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To Obama and lawmakers at health summit: stay longer!

Round 1 of the Blair House Summit on health care was interesting, testy, combative and clouded with talking points from both sides. As a result of all the speechifying, the lawmakers are running behind schedule. President Obama said he hoped everyone would be able to get out of there by 4:15pm. Good luck with that.

But if the conversation is going well, if there is finally an exchange of ideas that could turn this ultimate in political theater into performance art with results, then Obama and the gang should stay longer. Stay until 6:00 p.m. Or 8:00 p.m. We've heard so much from Democrats and Republicans about what they think the American people want. We know they want affordable health care. So why not stay longer if it looks like the germ of an agreement is visible? That's quite the Utopian notion, I know.

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 25, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
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Negotiation 101: you stay longer when you are making progress. If you are not, plan to leave on time. Don't waste time if your adversary is posturing.

Although the meeting was not going badly, it was also not going anywhere. Like the old "Mommy" joke (no, it's not about your pal Mika) where the kid says, "Mommy, Mommy, why do I keep going in circles?" (Punchline: "Shut up before I nail your other shoe to the ground!")

The Republicans only said "Scrap the bill. 2400 pages, government-run health care." Why stay longer for more of that?

Posted by: jade_7243 | February 25, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

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