I just spoke with Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who had a bit of a fractured take on the current state of the public option. He took issue with the President Obama's aloof approach to the public option, and at the same time echoed one of the administration's most controversial lines.
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"They're a little difficult to fathom sometimes, to keep up with what they're doing," Rockefeller said. "They're in these meetings, all of these meetings, that I don't get to go to so I can't tell you exactly what they're saying."
But he also said something that seems a bit at odds with his consistent, emphatic support for the measure, which he has described as a necessary element of reform. "You know, the public option--which I think in the end is going to prevail--is not actually the biggest thing in the entire bill," Rockefeller told me. "I hate to hear myself say that, but it's true."
Earlier today, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)--another ardent public option enthusiast--said much the same thing after an event heralding a plan to strip the health insurance industry of its anti-trust exemption.