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It hasn’t been the Obama plan, but it might have to be. For months now, the administration has aimed to see the Bush tax cuts extended for the all but the top two percent of income-earners. Of late, however, team Obama’s tune has changed tenor, if only slightly.

Speaking with the Huffington Post earlier this week, David Axelrod maintained that “We have to deal with the world as we find it…The world of what it takes to get this done…The notion of spending the next two years fighting over this, I think, is a complete misreading of what the American people want…They want us to focus on the economy. They don’t want us to fight the battles of the last two years. But we are not going to stand by and go back to allowing people with preexisting conditions to be discriminated against, go back to the situation where people can be thrown off their insurance simply because they become seriously ill or you can’t get on your parents’ insurance after the age of 20. There are so many things that are just central.”

And, while Axelrod has backtracked from these claims rather quickly, his slip of tongue may be informative nonetheless. If bipartisanship is to be valued, some flexibility will be required on this particular issue.

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