Dan Rather and Andrea Mitchell said this weekend that Barack Obama made a huge mistake pushing healthcare reform so soon in his first term.
Appearing on the syndicated program "The Chris Matthews Show," the former "CBS Evening News" anchor said of ObamaCare, "Bad choice. Particularly looking back on it. Jobs should have been the first choice."
A few minutes later, Mitchell concurred, "I agree with Dan and everyone here that this was a big miscalculation to go into it."
Yet, they also both agreed that even if it was a mistake to tackle this issue, Obama has to win (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: The President's determination to get healthcare against all odds has even some Democrats wishing he had chosen to pursue jobs, something far less partisan. Congress watcher Charlie Cook calls it, "One of the biggest miscalculations in modern political history." Dan, he has made the decision. It's healthcare. Bad choice?
DAN RATHER, HDNET: Bad choice. Particularly looking back on it. Jobs should have been the first choice. Smart choice for him. Not saying that healthcare is not important, but your question is, was it a mistake, at least in hindsight? Absolutely. Because the economy is what it's about, jobs, jobs, jobs.
MATTHEWS: Okay, in foresight. Now that he has made the call and he sunk his teeth into this and his feet into this. Does he have to win on healthcare this month?
RATHER: Absolutely positively without question he's got to win on this. [...]
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC: I agree with Dan and everyone here that this was a big miscalculation to go into it. But now that they're into it, they've got to win it.
Interesting: mistake to go for it, but he's got to win.
Quite a contrast to when George W. Bush was President and the media were constantly pushing him to admit errors they believed he made.
I guess "character" only matters to these folks when there's an "R" next to your name. Move that letter far to the left in the alphabet and victory is much more important.
Color me quite unsurprised.