By Joe Scarborough inside the chamber
I just saw the wave sweep through the United States Congress.
As President Bush called for affordable health care, Democrats swept to their feet at once cheering wildly. Republicans sat frozen in their chairs, but only for a few seconds. Soon enough a GOP member figured that keeping health care costs low might not be such a bad idea. Row by row Republican congressmen and senators jumped to their feet as the wave swept from my left to right.
Democrats reacted similarly when the President called for balancing the budget without raising taxes. On that issue, GOP members shouted with joy while Democrats sat stubbornly in their seats. But soon enough, they lumbered to their feet figuring that being seen as the party of higher taxes might not be good for maintaining their majority status. Again, the wave swept across the hall but this time from right to left.
And then President Bush began explaining the details of his health care plan. Looking across the room, I saw just how contageous a yawn could be. It swept from the floor to the press galary. One young reporter looked as if he would slump over the railing and land on the Speaker’s podium if the President stayed on the subject a minute longer.
Fortunately for the young man and Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Bush moved on.