White House summit report card: A slide show

Thursday's healthcare confab was pure political theater. Salon grades the performances

By Salon Staff
February 26, 2010 5:26AM (UTC)
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Republican lawmakers (L-R) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) gather in front of health reform documentation at the start of a health reform summit with U.S. lawmakers and U.S. President Barack Obama at Blair House in Washington, February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) (Reuters)

There was no bipartisan breakthrough at Thursday's White House healthcare summit. You didn't really think there would be, did you?

The daylong event amounted to exactly what President Obama said in his opening statement he hoped to avoid: an exchange of partisan talking points. (Of course, Obama's plea for unscripted banter was itself a talking point.)


The Republican participants used their time to attack Obama's plan, reiterate their insincere call to "start from scratch," and (in the case of a certain Arizona senator) to exercise grudges from past presidential campaigns. Democrats defended the plan and tried to lay the groundwork for passing it through the filibuster-bypassing Senate reconciliation process.

Everyone, in short, stuck to the script that he or she arrived with. So with that in mind, Salon offers the following report card, which grades the summit's main participants on how well -- or poorly -- they advanced their side's cause.

View the slide show.

Salon Staff

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