President Obama is trying to get beyond the fiasco surrounding the rollout of his health care law by returning to first principles. He is arguing that despite setbacks in implementing Obamacare, he is looking out for the middle class while his Republican opponents are fixated on catering to a narrow, hard-line ideological base.
In a series of speeches in the past few days, Obama has come up with a renewed manifesto, portraying himself as a pragmatic leader while billing the GOP in Congress as hopelessly outside the mainstream. In some ways, he is again sounding like the candidate who won a strong re-election victory in 2012 over Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
During a Democratic fundraiser Monday evening at the Beverly Hills, Calif., mansion of former basketball star Magic Johnson, the president said the problems with Obamacare would be fixed and urged his supporters not to lose sight of his larger message.
"We're going to make sure that this country provides affordable health care to every single American, and if I have fight for another three years to make sure that happens, I will do so."
Obama also declared, "When you look at American history, some way somehow we always are able to confront our challenges." He said his goal is "making sure that everybody gets a fair shot."
But he added that "our politics all too often encourage people to think selfishly or short-term, and that's what the debate in Washington is about and that's what the debate in this country generally is about right now."
Obama said, "There's at least one faction of one party that has decided they're more interested in stopping progress than advancing it and aren't interested in compromise or engaging in solving problems."
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House." Ken Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.