Dan Froomkin has his first piece up at HuffPo and in it, he doesn't hold back.
According to Dan, President's true colors -- good or bad (most like bad) are about to be exposed.
As soon as the final healt care bill is sign, we will know, "...what really matters to him. Where he draws the line. How he wields the levers of power. Whose ox he gores when there's goring that has to be done. We'll know who's really in charge."
Welcome to HuffPo Dan!
Yes, pulling the economy out of the death-spiral bequeathed him by the Bushies was no small accomplishment. But the real test of his character comes now, with the first of two major legislative initiatives that embody his campaign slogans of hope and change.
So when he and legislative leaders emerge from their last meeting about health-care reform, we'll be able to take the measure of the man: Did he stick to the values he campaigned on? Or did he barter them away? And if so, did he get a good deal?
Does Obama have the ability to stand up to corporate interests? There's scant evidence of that so far. Indeed, most notably in the course of the financial industry bailout, he deferred to them quite spectacularly. And it's not just corporate interests, either. There's something about the military/national security complex that seems to set Obama back on his heels on such issues as dealing with Guantanamo detainees, coming clean about the Bush administration's torture legacy or "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
Yes, despite an occasional commitment to open government, the White House remains largely a black box. We know some of the inputs - including a surprising number of health industry titans and veritable parade of other CEOs. By contrast, the "voice of the people" seems to be expressed mostly by the ten miserable letters from ordinary Americans that Obama reads every day. Doesn't exactly seem like an even match.
But we still don't know what really happens inside. Is the real Obama being serially co-opted by his aides in there? Or is the real Obama at heart a conflict-averse facilitator, rather than a leader?
We'll know a lot more soon enough.