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Special Report

Did Obama Get the Message?

President Obama surely deserves a little time to grasp the meaning of what happened yesterday. His press conference today suggests he fully hasn't grasped it yet.

The president said the toughest thing about Tuesday was the loss of members who voted with him on health care reform and other controversial issues in states and districts where those votes were unpopular. Those members, he said, were -- quote -- "really terrific public servants."

Mr. Obama said he's questioning whether he could -- quote -- "have done something differently or something more" to save them. One thing he could have done differently was not forcing through major legislation that required members to defy the will of their constituents in order to support it.

As for the perception that he had fostered ever bigger and more meddlesome government, the president suggested that was an illusion. The country, he said, was in an emergency, at risk of another Great Depression and so he took a series of right steps that came at people -- quote -- "fast and furious" and it -- quote -- "felt as if government was getting more intrusive into people's lives than they were accustomed to."

He never quite said it, but the implication is clear -- he was doing the right things, but the uncomprehending public thinks they're getting too much government and turn against the terrific public servants who support him.

Presumably he's waiting for the people eventually to get it. Meanwhile, they wait for him to.