WASHINGTON (CNN) - No-drama Obama morphed into an emotional, tough, determined leader in his joint address to Congress Wednesday night, making it clear that "the moment" is demanding health reform. Not just as a matter of care, but as a matter of national character.
Fearing the future, President Obama told us, is "not what the moment calls for."
The high moment, however, had already been disrupted by a low one: an out-of-order, childish, dumb taunt from GOP Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, who shouted, "You lie," when Obama said that illegal immigrants would not be covered under his health care measure. The errant congressman later apologized, of course, but his infamous heckling would not be forgotten.
The angry outburst reminded us that this defining domestic debate has, at times, descended into a churlish display of acrimony. Hard to escape, it seems. But after Obama's speech, maybe a tad easier to ignore.
Complaints that those in the United States illegally would get benefits under the health-care bill now before the House of Representatives have been a staple of the raucous public meetings some members of Congress have been hosting during their August break. At least two people raised the issue at a forum held by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, on August 12, and Cardin's insistence that "Illegal aliens will not be in this bill - period - the end" was met with a round of jeers.
(CNN) - Andrew Card, the former chief of staff to President Bush, said Wednesday he'll likely run for the vacant Massachusetts Senate seat that was held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy for more than four decades.
Card, a Massachusetts native who served four terms as a state representative in the late 1970s and early 1980s, told reporters the chances of him running for the seat are "much better than 50 percent," according to the Boston Globe.
The comments came at a Republican state committee meeting Wednesday evening, during which Card said he had "a phenomenal desire" to run, but expressed concern his wife - a Methodist minister in Virginia - might have to leave her job as a result.
"I am not going to ask my wife to leave her church," he said.
(CNN) - South Carolina Republican Party Chairwoman Karen Floyd is expected to seek a party resolution calling for Mark Sanford's resignation, a source familiar with plans for the call told CNN.
Floyd is expected to make the request on on a conference call Thursday afternoon with members of the state GOP executive committee. The call is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
The South Carolina Republican Party convened a similar conference call in July, which resulted in a vote to censure Sanford for "repeated failures to act in accordance" with the party's core principles and beliefs - but the party did not ask for Sanford to step down. At the time, Floyd issued a statement saying, "Now is the time for healing for our great state."
Thursday's conference call comes one day after 61 Republicans in the South Carolina House of Representatives wrote to Sanford demanding his resignation. But the governor has repeatedly rejected the onslaught of calls for him to resign, instead vowing to stay in office to fight for his fiscally conservative beliefs.
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