By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – The White House is clearly in damage control mode.

As someone who spent too many hours to count in that White House briefing room I can tell you the Boss doesn’t come downstairs very often to take questions. Only if he needs to clean up a mess or drive home a big point with the public.

Now say what you will about President Obama’s performance at the podium Thursday – and I’ve heard a lot – but we must remember that winning-over voters may not be his most important job. Yes, he’s got a legacy to protect. But he’s not running for another election.

What he must do right now is to keep the faith and, in some cases, win over members of his own party. And the first test of Democrats’ loyalty will come Friday in the U.S. House, when lawmakers vote on a Republican-backed bill to allow insurers to resume the individual plans they’ve been canceling. For good.

The President says he will veto that bill if he has to because it would also allow those plans to be sold to new customers.

And that’s why it will be interesting to watch how many Democrats vote in favor of this bill. One Washington insider told me Friday morning to expect about two dozen.

Remember they still need to run for re-election.

And many of them, who have been loyal to the President through this entire health care saga, are taking a lot of heat at home. And some may break ranks – as many as two dozen, I’m told – reminding President Obama that the Oval Office can be a very lonely place.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz



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