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Obama agenda: Forum reaction

In its write-up of last night's forum on health care, the AP leads with Obama leaving the door open to taxing health care benefits. "The prime-time program was the latest in a string of events designed to build public support for his plan to slow the rise in health care costs and expand coverage to the nearly 50 million uninsured."

The Hill saw Obama as trying to reassure the middle class.

Video: Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., discusses the actions President Barack Obama needs to take in order to ensure both Democratic and Republican congressional leaders will approve his health care plan.

The Boston Globe: "The hour-long ABC special reminded viewers of the sheer vastness of the legislative project now before Congress. In a single bill, lawmakers will attempt to regulate wasteful end-of-life spending, send more primary care doctors to medical school, prevent kids from getting fat, pay doctors in a more sensible way, eliminate inefficient treatments and cover 46 million uninsured Americans. Without increasing the deficit." More: "Obama was also forced to address one of the most difficult political obstacles he will have to confront: Americans' fear that changing in how healthcare is delivered could do more harm than good."

Per NBC's Luke Russert, House Republicans continued to blame the media yesterday, going so far as to create a group called the Media Fairness Caucus, urging the networks in particular to "argue on behalf of the American people." Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) again accused the broadcast media of having a liberal bias and used the podium to preemptively attack ABC for its health-care forum -- something the Republican National Committee and House Republicans have done for the past two weeks. "I would challenge them to devote a day to the other side" of the health care debate, said Phil Gingrey (R-GA). Smith added, "Various objective studies have shown that Fox is the one that comes closest to interviewing both sides."

Time magazine's cover: "WHAT BARACK OBAMA CAN LEARN FROM F.D.R."

It includes an essay from Bill Clinton: "Roosevelt also knew that in a highly dynamic time like his -- or the one we're in now -- you have to do a lot more than one thing at a time. I was often criticized, just as President Obama is now, for trying to do too many things at once. Roosevelt understood that in a complex and perilous situation, you have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, and he was masterly in doing a variety of difficult things simultaneously... I thought of both Roosevelts when I told Americans that we needed a new social contract for the 21st century, one that would keep us moving toward a 'more perfect union' in a highly interdependent, complex, ever changing world. That is the challenge Obama has inherited. I believe he will succeed in his efforts at economic recovery, health-care reform and taking big steps on climate change. Along the way, I hope he will be inspired by F.D.R.'s concern for all Americans, his relentless optimism, his penchant for experimentation, his relish for spirited debate among brilliant advisers and his unshakable faith in the promise of America."