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Obama: It's Time to Finish the Job

The speech was straightforward and simple: We've been working at this all year, we have a good plan, now it's time to bring health care reform to an up-or-down vote.

President Obama didn't use the word "reconciliation," but he did say it should be up to congressional majorities, rather than super-majorities, to make the call on final amendments to health care reform. He reminded everybody of his efforts to include Republicans, and pointed to the Republican ideas he ended up including. He also answered critics who think he should be paying more attention to the polls: "I don't know how this plays politically, but I know it's right."

Obama didn't give a specific date by when he expected resolution. Deadlines, the White House has discovered, don't work very well. But he said he wanted a vote within a few weeks, which would be consistent with the timeline that leaked early this week.

I'll have more to say on the speech later. For now, I recommend this contribution from my colleague John Judis, who thinks faster than I do--and, as always, has really smart things to say.