Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville said Monday that if President Obama is unable to push a health-care bill through the Congress it will be his Waterloo.
Carville echoed the term used by Republican Sen. Jim Demint, of South Carolina, who last summer made the comparison between the health-care fight and the decisive 1815 battle in modern-day Belgium that broke the French army under Napoleon Bonaparte.
“If the bill loses, it proves Senator DeMint right. It will, I think, by and large, be a lot of the president’s Waterloo, and I think a lot of Democrats realize that,” Carville said, speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Carville said he was not as confident as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, that there will be enough votes in the House to pass a bill.
“I’m glad to hear that she’s confident. I guess she knows more about where our votes are than anybody else,” Carville said of Pelosi. “But the math is pretty daunting. I don’t think it’s impossible but it’s going to be difficult. This is going to be a real, real fight.”
Political consultant Matthew Dowd, who has worked mostly for Republicans during the last decade, agreed that it will be an uphill battle for Pelosi and the Democratic leadership to find the 217 votes needed to pass a bill.
“I don’t know if she has the votes,” Dowd said on GMA. “I think the problem is the moderate Democrats who voted for this bill a few months back but now the political environment has changed dramatically. I don’t know if she can keep those.”
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, said last week that Pelosi does not have more than 203 or so votes. But a handful of House Democrats who voted no in November told the Daily Caller on Friday that they are not ruling out changing their vote and supporting a bill.
A White House official on Sunday insisted that they will find the votes necessary to pass a bill.
Here is the video of Carville and Dowd on GMA: