Did Obama blow it by not being a centrist? Berkowitz w/ Cook Political Report's Amy Walter, Cable and Web

Amy Walter: ... So, that sort of set the tone. Then we move into—and this was the argument-which was, it’s beyond just—should [Obama] have cobbled together a bi-partisan coalition. The other piece was- was this the right time to do healthcare reform, right? You still have an economy that is struggling [in 2009-2010].

Tonight’s City of Rockford edition of “Public Affairs with show host Jeff Berkowitz” features Amy Walter, National Editor of the Cook Political Report.  Amy is also currently a Fellow at David Axelrod’s Institute of Politics (“IOP”) at the University of Chicago in Hyde Park.  Tonight’s Public Affairs, featuring Amy Walter, airs at 8:30 pm throughout the City of Rockford and surrounding suburbs on Cable Ch. 17. 

You can also watch the show with Amy Walter 24/7 here.

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The issues debated and discussed by Ms. Walter with show host Jeff Berkowitz include, among others, the following:

Is the Tea Party good for America?

Did Obamacare have a fatal flaw from its inception?

Did President Obama make a mistake by focusing in 2009-2010 more on reforming healthcare than on getting the economy moving and creating the right environment for job growth?

Is America about individuals making their own consumption choices or government making those choices for them?

Was Obama, in 2008, a leftist disguised as a centrist, or a centrist disguised as a leftist?

Will the Republicans take the Senate and keep the House in the 2014 mid-term elections?

Who is the likely Republican Presidential nominee in 2016? Cruz, Ryan or neither?

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Jeff Berkowitz: ...Do you think David Axelrod ever advised [President Obama] and said, “You know, you could do that, Barack, you could ram [Obamacare] thru, you could pass it, but it might be better to bring along some Republicans.”  I mean there are people like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins who are moderate Republican in the Senate and the House-

Amy Walter: Well, remember, this started long before healthcare. The economic stimulus bill was first and foremost-

Jeff Berkowitz: Obama got some Republicans to support that.

Amy Walter: Just a couple- three Republican Senators, only one of whom is still in the United States Senate. So, that sort of set the tone. Then we move into—and this was the argument-which was, it’s beyond just—should he have cobbled together a bi-partisan coalition. The other piece was- was this the right time to do healthcare reform, right? You still have an economy that is struggling [in 2009-2010].

Jeff Berkowitz:  Absolutely.

Amy Walter: That should be No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 priority. Getting the economy back on track, especially when it was clear that the stimulus still was not all that—

Jeff Berkowitz: We hear that his White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, now the Mayor of Chicago, was saying to President Obama just that.

Amy Walter: Right, put healthcare reform off

Jeff Berkowitz: It’s the economy, stupid, as Bill Clinton said [in 1992].

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