Hodes on Hardball
I caught Rep. Paul Hodes on Hardball with Chris Matthews last night. You can watch his appearance here. Hodes was on with Florida Rep. Debra Wasserman Schultz to talk about his recent experience with town hall meetings over the Easter Congressional recess. I am sure his appearance was spurred by the recent Politico article featuring both him and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter on the same subject. Wasserman Schultz was there to talk about some videotaped constituent blowback on health care reform from her own town hall meetings.
Unfortunately, Hodes didn’t get a lot of camera time with Matthews (always a risk with the loquacious host). Since the show had videotape of the Wasserman Schultz confrontation, discussion of her encounter seemed to dominate the segment. But what I heard from Hodes about his own experience largely confirmed my earlier analysis. He doesn’t seem particularly phased by this most recent round of town hall meetings, and was able to point out that the Politico’s focus on a high-profile rejection by a few voters overlooked the support he received from other attendees. Wasserman Schultz made much the same point, arguing that the videotape was supplied by an opposition group and omitted supportive comments from other members of the audience.
All of this is not to say that the Democrats don’t have a difficult road ahead in selling health care reform and other Obama Administration agenda items on the horizon. Nor am I discounting the obvious voter unease in the country. But it increasingly feels like we are seeing a selective presentation of these town hall meetings, in order to keep the angry town hall voter narrative from last August front and center.

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