President Barack Obama Wednesday told the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart that he hopes Democrats who took the tough votes on health care reform, reshaping energy policy and other attempts at meaningful change are rewarded at the polls next week. He named U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, a so-called “Blue Dog Democrat” in basically a Republican district (CD4), as one of those lawmakers who didn’t always do the politically expedient thing.
Stewart questioned the president’s agenda, wondered if Obama’s policies had in some ways been too timid and expressed dismay at Democrats choosing to run almost anti-Obama campaigns. Obama countered that his administration first had to stop the second coming of the Great Depression and then try to pass reforms. In other words, the administration weathered the economic storm of the last two years is not done enacting real change.
Here’s Obama on Markey and other Democrats who took tough votes:
“They won in the big surge that we had in 2008. They knew it was going to be a tough battle that these are generally pretty conservative districts and yet still went ahead and did what they thought was right, and my hope in this election is that people who vote on the basis of what they think is right and have integrity and aren’t just thinking about the next election but are thinking about the next generation, that they are rewarded.
Now that’s tough in this political process because you’ve got millions of dollars of independent money pouring into those races. They are being hammered by negative ads every single day and the question then becomes do the millions of voices that came out in 2008, who said folks were interested in fixing our health care system, wanted a serious energy policy, wanted the kinds of changes in our student loan program that have allowed millions of more kids to have access to college — that’s what we ran run on, that’s what we’ve delivered — and my hope is that those people are rewarded for taking those tough votes, and if they are, then I think Democrats will do fine on Election Day.”