Barack Obama headed for a closed door meeting with Democrats on the Hill today. It wasn't what he said that was important, it's what he didn't.
"As President Obama finished his speech to the Democratic caucus in the Capitol's Mansfield Room on Sunday afternoon, Joe Lieberman made his way over to Harry Reid. The independent who still caucuses with Democrats wanted to point something out to the Majority Leader: Obama didn't mention the public option.
Lieberman was beaming as he left the room and happy to re-point it out when HuffPost asked him what Obama had said about the public health insurance option, perhaps the most contentious issue still facing Democrats as they negotiate their way toward a final health care reform bill. "Well, it was interesting to me -- of course everybody hears with their own ears -- that he didn't say anything about the public option," said Lieberman.
"In other words, when he outlined how far we've come on the bill, he talked about the cost-containment provisions; he talked about the insurance market reforms; and he talked about enabling 30 million more people to get insurance.
He said these are historic accomplishments, the most significant social legislation, or whatever you call it, in decades, so don't lose it." Obama spoke for roughly 30 minutes and did not take questions, senators said afterward."
Obama didn't speak about the public option simply because it's dead. There simply isn't enough support for it. What you were watching today was a salvage mission, not a pep rally.