If there was ever a moment to get through to the White House (about the popularity) of the public option), it happened yesterday. The President, at a rally in Minnesota, stated his support for a public option, and the crowd went wild. Absolutely nuts. So much so, the President seemed unnerved by it. He kept on with the same rhetoric from his Wendesday speech about how it's not a big deal and it wouldn't cover everybody. But efforts to rein that in just elicited confusion.
Like it or not, the public option has major grassroots support, and it's driving whatever energy exists around the bill. Kill it and you kill any attempt at leveraging that energy. And the prospects for a bill become remote. Maybe Obama figured this out yesterday in Minnesota.