I know what you are going to say.  This is politics.  Politicians change what they say pending the audience and the time.  You would be right.  That is true.  But, it is still interesting to see the strength of conviction when Mr. Obama was the critic on the outside and when he is the criticized on the inside.

• “The President hasn’t gotten his way. And that is now prompting a change in the Senate rules that really I think would change the character of the Senate forever…what I worry about would be that you essentially still have two chambers the House and the Senate but you have simply majoritarian absolute power on either side, and that’s just not what the founders intended.” – Barack Obama 4/25/05

• “You know, one of the arguments that sometimes I get with my fellow progressives–and some of these have flashed up in the blog communities on occasion–is this notion that we should function sort of like Karl Rove, where we identify our core base, we throw them red meat, we get a 50-plus-1 victory. But see, Karl Rove doesn’t need a broad consensus, because he doesn’t believe in government. If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a sizable majority.”–Center for American Progress, July 12, 2006

• “You’ve got to break out of what I call the sort of 50-plus-1 pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory of 50 plus 1, but you can’t govern. You know, you get Air Force One–I mean, there are a lot of nice perks, but you can’t deliver on health care. We’re not going to pass universal health care with a 50-plus-1 strategy.”–interview with the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, Oct. 9, 2007

• “I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or the Senate.” March 17, 2010  responding to questions from interviewer Bret Baier who asked, “You have said at least four times in the past two weeks: ‘the United States Congress owes the American people a final up or down vote on health care.’ So do you support the use of this Slaughter rule? The deem and pass rule, so that Democrats avoid a straight up or down vote on the Senate bill?”  Mr. Obama followed up when Baier asked for a more specific answer, “What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise.”

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