February 25th, 2010
05:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Analysts: Health summit a 'stunt' and 'spectacle'

Washington (CNN) – Heated partisan exchanges and in-depth policy discussions at the bipartisan health care summit on Thursday are unlikely to sway both parties in finding common ground, analysts said as the summit was going on.

One said the summit makes an argument against televising hearings. Another said it will reinforce doubts about whether Washington can resolve the health care impasse.

"I think it's reasonable to expect that an exchange like this is not going to change the public's skepticism about the way Washington works," said Michael Murakami, a visiting professor of government at Georgetown University.

Murakami added that the summit is a "big PR stunt" where "nothing is going to be decided."

"This is just the two sides putting their view in front of the media so they can try and rally their support as the legislative battle begins."


Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said the summit "wasn't much more than a TV spectacle."

"Only the infirm or unemployed could have possibly sat home and watched it all," said Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University. "Instead, what everybody will see tonight on news broadcasts are the sparks of tension between [President] Obama and [Sen. John] McCain. It's like the 2008 election never ended."

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Jim K.

    "This is just the two sides putting their view in front of the media so they can try and rally their support as the legislative battle begins."

    Mr. Hornick – is there something wrong with that? You paint the picture that it is a useless and counter-productive thing. You could not be further from the truth. It is a necessary part of the political process. Do you have a problem with that?

    You have very poor judgement, sir.

    Jim K.
    Allentown, PA

    February 25, 2010 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. Democrats - the Party of NO

    The Democrats showed no interest in finding common ground. They are the Party of "NO".

    February 25, 2010 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  3. Shelly

    The Republicans looked lost for words. They had no intentions of agreeing with anything and all their questions were answered succinctly by the President and the Dems. It was clear who was there for the American people and who was there for the show.

    February 25, 2010 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. proud mother and sister of a soldier

    I made a point to watch a large portion of this summit. I felt this would be political theatrics on the democrats part and it proved to be just that. I was pleased McCain pointed out the many special deals included in the bill for votes. I was also very insulted by Obama's elitist attitude vocalizing the public did not understand our government, were not interested and it was up to this administration to do what is best. Why must the republicans compromise on a bill drafted by the democrats behind closed doors? Is that bipartisianship? Must the america citizen accept these special deals made for votes paid for with our taxdollars? I don't think so.

    February 25, 2010 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  5. 'aren Coady

    Yesterday's "gov't performance" is just one more slap in the face of Americans. How can our president and others like him continue to insult our intelligence regarding health care and other major issue? When 75 percent of Americans polled oppose the plan, how can these "representatives of the people" continue to ignore and insult us? It is my most disappointing time of my life-regarding the govt.

    February 26, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. MitchB

    It's amazing how CNN can dramatize this 6 hour meeting as heated, that is so untrue. Then they go and talk to two repub. professor who makes 100k+ a year w/plenty of health care for family and friend to give their one side expertise. "Only the infirm or unemployed could have possibly sat at home and watch" that statement only proofs what sentiment were about. Think about asking the infirm and unemployed as to what the summit meant to them. News media report the news and not some antic thinking newsperson or professor.

    February 26, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. diane

    cnn made it a spectacle by cutting to a health insurance commecial every time a democrat talked. now the talk on cnn is republicans did a better job. so cnn is another fox news

    February 26, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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