June 25, 2010
By Julie Mason
Examiner White House Correspondent
Democrats had planned to campaign this fall on health care reform, but President Obama's deep pivot to the BP oil spill changes both the equation and focus of midterm campaigning.
Whether the shift helps or hurts Democrats is unclear.
Health care has not been a solid political asset for Democrats, and it remains to be seen whether perceptions about Obama's management of the spill will turn a corner and give him an advantage.
"Health care was never going to work quickly enough to be a lead issue for Democrats," said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University. "What they hoped to do was substitute it later on with economic recovery."
But with the recovery coming together slowly, BP may ultimately serve as a boon for Obama, by giving Democrats some corporate malfeasance to "bang on" until the jobs and other numbers improve, Jillson said.
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