What a Speech

President Obama delivered big tonight, and his speech will have a big effect on the 29th district race.

In Massa's corner, the effect of the speech depends on the details of the public option that ultimately comes from the bill. While Obama clearly stated that a public option is a necessary part of any bill, he hedged a bit by naming co-ops as one possible implementation. Since the details of the public option was the main reason Massa opposed the current House bill, we'll see if the changes (if any) to that legislation that come from Obama's speech will be enough to push Massa into the supporter category.

Even more interesting is the effect of the speech on Republicans like Tom Reed. Obama endorsed tort reform, raised the possibility of co-ops, came out strongly for laws against the barring of pre-existing conditions, and pledged that he will only sign a bill that will be deficit neutral. This addresses all but one of Reed's laundry list. The remaining issue is Reed's support for small business tax incentives finance employee insurance. Obama says that 95% of small businesses will be exempt from the requirement that they provide insurance. There's not a lot of difference between those two stands.

Obama has put a great deal of pressure on members of his party, and members of the opposition, to be reasonable. It's going to be a fascinating few weeks, hopefully far different from the last month of sideshows and shouting.