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David Axelrod: Health Care Vote More Meaningful Than Election Night

How much history can one Presidency take? Looks like we may find out. Last night’s 219-212 vote for health care reform inevitably casts President Obama in a new historical light (don’t believe me? take a look at the nation’s front pages) and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t impact the rest of his presidency in a positive way; he put his entire presidency where his campaign promise was and won. One suspects it’s a whole new ballgame from here one out. That said, this is the first major piece of legislation in “modern times‘ ever to be passed with zero votes from across the aisle. Meanwhile, David Axelrod put the whole thing in relative perspective for a nation now accustomed really big moments: this was the biggest yet.

“As sublime as election night was, it wasn’t particularly meaningful, other than that it gave us the opportunity to do meaningful things. So, to me, this was a much more — in some ways — impactful thing than election night, because I know — and I speak now as a parent of a child with chronic illness — I know that the lives of million and millions of Americans will be more secure because of what we did. And that gives the election meaning.

We shall see. Election night also gave the country a moment to stand together, I think it’s fair to say the same did not happen here. Axelrod also told Politico that one of the reasons there “was such a frantic push at the end from the other side was that they knew that if it passed, everyone would know the truth.” The question now is will people discover they’re happy about it before this November?

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