For me, after the big pharmaceutical back room, smoke deal my eye turned critical. Remember, Obama said the negotiations would be on television, on C-SPAN, but once he assumed the Oval Office that was another thing scratched off the "campaign promise" list.
Now, the president "regrets" transparency. whatever....
In Diane Sawyer's interview with President Obama today, she asked him if going forward all the conversations should be on C-SPAN.
"I think your question points out to a legitimate mistake that I made during the course of the year," the president said, "and that is that we had to make so many decisions quickly in a very difficult set of circumstances that after awhile, we started worrying more about getting the policy right than getting the process right.
"But I had campaigned on process," the president continued. "Part of what I had campaigned on was changing how Washington works, opening up transparency and I think it is -- I think the health care debate as it unfolded legitimately raised concerns not just among my opponents, but also amongst supporters that we just don't know what's going on. And it's an ugly process and it looks like there are a bunch of back room deals.
Mr. Obama said, "I think it's my responsibility -- and I'll be speaking to this at the State of the Union -- to own up to the fact that the process didn't run the way I ideally would like it to and that we have to move forward in a way that recaptures that sense of opening things up more."
This was a remarkable admission considering how much others in the White House have acted as if President Obama kept his promise to -- as he pledged as a candidate -- "have the (health care reform) negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so the people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who is making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies."