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March 6th, 2009
05:57 PM ET

Succeeding in health care reform where Clintons failed?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is warning critics of health care reform quote that "The status quo is the one option that is not on the table."

Succeeding in health care reform where Clintons failed?

Mr. Obama seems to promise a more open and inclusive push for expanded health care.

During a health care summit at the White House, the president vowed that he'll listen to anyone with a good idea, that there will be "no sacred cows" and that anyone who tries to block reform will not succeed this time around.

Mr. Obama seems to promise a more open and inclusive push for expanded health care than the failed effort by the Clinton administration 15 years ago. Although he wants coverage for all Americans - the president suggested he would compromise. In the 90s, President Clinton had promised to veto any measure that didn't give him what he wanted. Back then, Hillary Clinton led a secret effort that was mostly written by the White House with little input from lawmakers or interest groups. And it was roundly rejected.

However, President Obama is making a public show of consulting with a wide range of people right from the start. Yet he is setting a strict timeline - likely because the U.S. has 48 million people uninsured and the world's most expensive health care system. Aides say the president is determined to pass health care reform this year, and Democratic leaders say they hope to pass a bill by the end of the summer.

But it's not going to be easy. There are so many interests involved - from patients to doctors to labor unions, drug companies, insurers... and of course - lawmakers up for re-election next year.

Here’s my question to you: How can President Obama succeed where Hillary Clinton failed when it comes to health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

March 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Would you invest extra money in the stock market?

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If you had extra money would you invest in the stock market? (PHOTO CREDIT: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Despite the plunging stock market, a majority of Americans still think stocks are a good place to put their money for the long term.

A new Gallup Poll shows 53% of all adults and 67% of stock owners agree that stocks are a good long-term investment.

However, although most people say they back investing in the market in theory, actually buying in this down-market is a whole different story.

When stock owners were asked what they plan to do with their money in the next month, only 21% say they plan to buy more stocks. 73% say they plan to hold onto their stocks - but not buy any more right now.

It seems it will take more than bargain-basement share prices to lure investors back into the market. Stock prices are driven by corporate earnings, and until there is some indication that companies are going to start making money again, don't look for a turnaround on Wall Street.

Truth is, no one knows how long it will take for the stock market to recover, and so many people have the jitters, that they're just standing on the sidelines waiting. The market continues to take a beating in the last 2 weeks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost more than 735 points. And this Gallup poll shows 20% of Americans think it will be at least 4 years before the market recovers.

Here’s my question to you: If you suddenly came into extra money, would you invest it in the stock market?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: US Economy
March 6th, 2009
02:56 PM ET

Does Michelle Obama have a future in politics?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Earlier this week I wrote this in my column on CNN.com: "First lady Michelle Obama has blown away the stale air in a White House musty from eight years of the Bushes. It's like the sun came out and a fresh spring breeze began wafting through the open windows."

Does Michelle Obama have a future in politics?

Mrs. Obama has avoided the appearance of getting involved in policy.

The First Lady recognizes the White House is "the people's house", inviting ordinary people, kids, you name it to visit. The nation's first African-American first lady is also making the rounds among federal agencies - sometimes thousands of government employees line up to see her. She has visited schools in the district and yesterday she went to a soup kitchen.

Perhaps it's no surprise that a recent poll shows Michelle Obama has the highest initial favorable rating of first ladies going back to Nancy Reagan.

An article in the Christian Science Monitor points out that one thing is clear about Michelle Obama's post-election rollout. "She is no Hillary Clinton," said the article. Although both first ladies are Ivy-league trained lawyers who came out of high-power careers, Mrs. Obama has avoided the appearance of getting involved in policy. Instead she's cast herself as "mom in chief", with her top priority getting her girls settled at school and into a routine.

Yet, some are wondering if this is just Obama's opening act, if policy work will be a natural progression at some point. After all, she was a top executive at a Chicago hospital. And during the campaign Obama held regular women's roundtables, selling her husband's candidacy and giving feedback to his inner circle. She has made the needs of military families a priority both before and after the election.

Raised on the south side of Chicago in a working-class family, Michelle Obama went on to a top-notch education at Princeton and Harvard Law School.

Here’s my question to you: Does Michelle Obama have a future in politics if she wants one?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Michelle Obama