Team Obama is suffering from Extended Campaign Syndrome. In an election, campaign staffers are often just trying to survive until the next week or the next primary. They cut corners because they are fatigued or under pressure. They can be purposely combative and even portray critics as enemies.
Carrying this mindset into the White House can get you into trouble, a lesson the Obama administration is now learning the hard way.For example, there's a video being circulated online of Barack Obama telling the Illinois AFL-CIO in 2003, "I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health-care program . . . we may not get there immediately" and then telling an SEIU Health Care Forum in 2007, "I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out where we've got a much more portable system."
The White House now insists that the president doesn't want to enact a single-payer health-care system or eliminate private insurance. What's more, a White House spokeswoman attacked the video, saying its compilers "Take a phrase here and there—they simply cherry-pick and put it together—and make it sound like he's saying something that he didn't really say."
That's laughable. Mr. Obama's remarks are straightforward and indisputable. Rather than saying his views have changed as he has worked to create a national consensus, the administration denies what is obviously true.