At Slate, John Dickerson notices
that the president has a habit of setting deadlines, then forgetting them. Take health care. From Chuck Todd's interview with President Obama
, November 18, one might not think that the president had committed to signing a bill by year's end:
TODD: You gonna sign health care before the state of the union?
OBAMA: I expect so.
TODD: But obviously not the end of the year at this point?
OBAMA: You will not hear that from me.
TODD: You're not ready to say that?
OBAMA: Absolutely not.
But he had already carved a 2009 deadline into stone, and repeatedly:October 5
: And so if you're willing to speak out strongly on behalf of the things you care about and what you see each and every day as you're serving patients all across the country, I'm confident we are going to get health reform passed this year.September 12
: Nobody should be treated that way in the United States of America, and that's why we're going to bring about change this year.July 23:
I want the bill to get out of the committees; and then I want that bill to go to the floor; and then I want that bill to be reconciled between the House and the Senate; and then I want to sign a bill. And I want it done by the end of this year. (Applause.) I want it done by the fall. (Applause.)July 1
: It's not something that we're going to keep on putting off indefinitely. This is about who we are as a country. And that's why we are going to pass health care reform -- not 10 years from now, not five years from now; we are going to pass it this year. (Applause.) That is my commitment. We're going to get it done. (Applause.)June 22
: AARP is committed, as I am, to achieving health care reform by the end of this year.June 13
: I know some question whether we can afford to act this year. But the unmistakable truth is that it would be irresponsible to not act.May 13
: We've got to get it done this year. We've got to get it done this year -- both in the House and in the Senate. And we don't have any excuses; the stars are aligned.May 11
: It's reform that is an imperative for America's economic future, and reform that is a pillar of the new foundation we seek to build for our economy; reform that we can, must, and will achieve by the end of this year.March 5
: And our goal will be to enact comprehensive health care reform by the end of this year. That is our commitment. That is our goal.February 24
: So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.