Oof, today's White House briefing! It just ended. It is ridiculous, and sort of tense, like alligators wrestling for sex. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs suggests if perhaps there were two restaurants, each would be less expensive! This is a metaphor for healthcare. But people are like, yeah yeah, but is there going to be a "public option." Then Gibbs says: WHAT DID THE PRESIDENT SAY ON SATURDAY? NO NO NO NO, WHAT DID THE PRESIDENT SAY? I think he used the word "essential" someone volunteers! So if he did-GO FIND THE TRANSCRIPT. (Robert Gibbs shininess threat level, by the way: very matte!) YES, JAKE TAPPER? No we have not vote-counted, no really, we have NO idea if this thing will pass. (Um. Right. As if.)
Well is it a dealbreaker, if there is no public option? That's what we said in June, and July! But did the president say it was a dealbreaker in June to the AMA? So what the president is saying is that the public option is optional, and what are you going to say to Congress who will blow up over this? I AM NOT A MEMBER OF CONGRESS. IT IS A PREFERRED OPTION. But also: the President can't live without a competitive option! Warning to fish: RAHM IS FISHING OUT WEST. Sidebar! Why shouldn't tax payers feel like suckers? AIG is a ROYAL MESS. Also, Gibbs: "I am conversant on cookies but they're slightly different than what we're talking about now." NO LAUGHS, THE END. Back to healthcare. In the past Obama used to use the word "MUST" have a public option and now, now there is no MUST IS THERE? Now the word is "preferred." But he used to say "MUST INCLUDE" and now he does not! WHY is Obama not here to clear things up? WE DON'T THINK THERE'S ANYTHING TO CLEAR UP, says Gibbs. Oh God then someone brought up Glenn Beck. Gibbs says Glenn Beck is not in his top 9000 choices on TV.
But there are upset liberals, who want the public option, and this is going back to square one? Well it's important to the President says Gibbs. But I guess "preferred."
Okay so now the press accepts that the public option is not a "dealbreaker." The final proposal has to satisfy "choice" and "competition" says Gibbs. So yes: back to square one.
Later there will be newspaper articles about this. And they will not make much sense because none of this does.