Politico Reporter: Obama Seeking Visual Proof of Bipartisan Efforts

BY Hari Sreenivasan  February 9, 2010 at 2:26 PM EDT

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he would be open to starting over on health care reform and incorporating ideas from the Republican minority — as long as the final bill fulfills his goals of extending coverage, ending insurance company abuses and lowering costs.

“The people who sent us here expect a seriousness of purpose that transcends petty politics,” Mr. Obama told reporters during an unexpected appearance in the White House briefing room. Earlier Tuesday, the president held a bipartisan meeting aimed at creating jobs, reducing the deficit and reviving his health reform push.

The GOP, meanwhile, expressed wariness over the president’s plans to host a bipartisan health care reform later this month. “It’s going to be very difficult to have a bipartisan conversation with regard to a 2,700-page health care bill that the Democrat majority in the House and the Democrat majority in the Senate can’t pass,” House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “It really is time to scrap the bill and start over.”

With both major political parties jostling to appeal to independents this election year, Politico’s Josh Gerstein talked to the The Rundown about how a bipartisan televised summit could play out.

This marks the first in a weekly series of conversations with Politico’s journalists, who will help keep us up to date on the latest happenings in political news.