[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/02/art.obamatalking.0902.gi.jpg
caption="Gloria Borger says the president has to lead the way out of the confusing health care debate."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a way, the president really has no other choice but to finally speak - and speak conclusively about what he wants in a health care reform bill.
After all, 67 percent of Americans told CBS pollsters over the weekend that the health care debate is "confusing." Only 31 percent thought they had a "clear understanding" of the issues involved. What's worse, the uncertainty cut across party lines. For once, in this polarized time, Democrats and Republicans agree on something: They're perplexed by this health care debate.
And so the White House has allowed that it's time for the president to weigh in, perhaps from the Oval Office or maybe in an address to Congress. No matter how he does it, this much is clear: better late than never.
It hasn't been an easy summer. And maybe, when this is all over, administration aides will look back at their initial strategy with some chagrin. You'll recall the plan was to allow Congress to legislate first, in order to avoid the mistakes of then-first lady Hillary Clinton 16 years ago. She presented a health care reform plan to Congress which then became a big, fat target. The bill died, and she was excoriated.