President Obama evoked Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the creation of Social Security today in a rare weekend meeting with the Democratic caucus, in a bid to keep his party united behind a historic health care reform bill currently being debated on the Senate floor. But liberal and conservative members, who are struggling to reach an agreement on the public option and other issues, didn't sound as if they were any closer to resolving their differences.
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"He reminded us why we're here," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL). But, he cautioned they're not quite there on the public option and abortion. "Close on both, not quite there," he said.
A number of senators suggested Obama's remarks provided the party and the legislation with much-needed momentum.
"I think it helped, more than significantly," said Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT).
"I can tell you, it would be very hard to have listened to the president's presentation and not have been persuaded of the historic importance of what's being discussed here," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND). "It was a powerful speech."