In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Lincoln: I Was Not The Deciding Vote On Health Care Reform


Neither characterization is inaccurate. Lincoln was one of four senators, depending on how you count, who withheld their votes on health care reform until the public option was stripped from the bill. And they negotiated as a bloc. But each of them had to be persuaded independently and in that regard all of them--including Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA)--were the deciding votes.

But in Arkansas being the "deciding vote" for health care is only a badge of honor in a Democratic primary. Now that she's running against a Republican it's not a distinction that helps her. But she'll have a hard time running away from it, and will likely pay for trying to have it both ways.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at