September 9th, 2009
01:59 PM ET
13 years ago

Weiner: Obama speech may end 'Sybil' health-care message

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Democratic congressman - likening the Obama administration's health-care message to a movie character with a multiple personality disorder - said he expects the president's speech Wednesday night to bring focus.

"Up to now the messaging from the White House has been done by Sybil: It's like every time they seem to have a different perspective on this every couple of hours," said Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York, referring to the title character in a 1976 made-for-television movie.

"But now the big guy is going to have his say," he added.

A liberal who supports a single-payer health-care system for much of the population, Weiner argued that President Barack Obama's speech will be a critical moment to make the push for a public option.

"The president of the United States gets to stand up and say, 'I want this in the bill and I'm prepared to fight for it,'" he said. "... You never get 60 votes in the Senate or a majority in the House without the president standing up and saying, 'I really need this and I'm prepared to fight for it.'

"It's that or retreat. Those are really the two options and President Obama doesn't strike me as someone who wants to have a retreat on his signature issue."

But Weiner also admitted, "As we stand here today, there's probably not the votes for anything. We need the president to say what he wants."

Another New York Democrat who favors a strong public option, Rep Elliot Engel, told reporters, "I look at the president's speech tonight as the opening salvo in the Democratic counteroffensive, because we really believe that once the issues are explained correctly the American people will be on our side."

Engel said that while he expects Obama to put a strong emphasis on the need for a government-run insurance plan, he doesn't expect him to demand that Congress pass a bill with a public option

"We have to go on the offensive in a united fashion and I think you don't do that by drawing a line in the sand, " he said.

Filed under: Anthony Weiner • President Obama
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Angeliz Centeno

    I think obama is the president.

    September 9, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Proud Member..Party of No

    The aptly named Weiner is just an obama lackey that needs to be sent packing in the next election. The people don't want your stupid health care ideas but, of course, that doesn't matter to the dumbocrats.

    September 9, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. mjm

    Obama's 30th speech on health care reform. Yeah, that 'ought to do the trick. Like we haven't heard his position yet.

    It's more like he hasn't heard our position. American's don't want a government insurance option. We want real reform like Tort reform. We want co-ops for small businesses. And we want the government to stay out of the insurance business.

    The Democrats have the nerve to say everyone else is holding this up. They have the super majority and they can't pass it.


    Because the plan stinks. And we don’t need another lecture from Obama to tell us it doesn’t.

    September 9, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Carole

    Weiner is awesome! I admire someont that is told to sit down and shut up, but opens his mouth bigger.

    The Rethugs have NO solutions...........the Rethugs Just Say No.

    **I think all the politicians, the old White people protesting at town halls and Sarah Palin should refuse Medicare and any government health care.

    September 9, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Old Farmboy

    Obviously, Rep Weiner (how do you pronounce that? Doesn't matter) never read the book. It was observed by Dr. Cornelia Wilbur diagnosed 16 distinct personalities. The book "Cybil" is based on the life of Shirley Ardell Mason and she and Dr. Wilbur worked on the factuality of the content and was one of the first publications to bring to public eye "Disassociative Identity Disorder" or commonly called "Multiple Personality Disorder". Shirley Ardell Mason died of Breast Cancer.

    Note to author: She was a little more than a character in a movie.

    September 9, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. Garrett

    great for democrats! now everyone will be able to compare the mindless ranting of Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin & Co. to the sound, reasonable and ultimatley superior logic of the Obama Admin.

    September 9, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. S Callahan

    for the sake of sarcasm I have to do have just offended many Americans who suffer mental illness by using the terminology of Sybil ...shame on you

    September 9, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Kevin in Ohio

    If Obama supports any single-payer plan, and that includes the "public option", he signs his own termination papers for Jan 20,2013.

    September 9, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. idaho beef

    poor analogy. barack obama wants a certain kind of health care reform to pass, and it hasn't been publicized exactly what he wants. it's fascinating that the american people, sensing danger, have spoken out against a government-led health care reform. if this were truly a democratic-led government, the american people would have been far more involved writing the bills for health care revision. but the american people have been excluded from the writing of these bills, not excluded.

    September 9, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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