Boswell: Obama willing to be one-term president

Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-Des Moines, Iowa) held a town hall meeting in Sigourney this afternoon.  Despite one group’s ad which “thanks Boswell for his support” of health care reform, Boswell told the crowd he may vote against it.

“We haven’t seen the final (bill) and you know it’s very likely, it’s very possible — I’m not going to say ‘likely’ because I want this to move forward — it’s very possible it could be something I can’t vote for,” Boswell told the crowd in Sigourney. “But we have got several places, miles to go yet and the process is going on. I think it’s something we ought to do because if you want coverage that you can’t afford or see people what is happening to our economy, if we do nothing and stay where we’re at, it’s just simply not working.” 

Earlier, a man in the crowd had asked Boswell for a yes or no answer on whether he’d support any of the three bills which have cleared House committees.

“I can’t answer that because we don’t have a bill,” Boswell said. 

Some in the audience expressed their disbelief and Boswell said: “No, no, no, no, no, no, no” to quiet the crowd. 

Then, Boswell continued: “We’ve got three drafts and they’ve got to be melded together…and when that’s done, then you ask me a question and I’ll give you your answer.”

During a brief question-and-answer session with reporters after the event, Boswell recounted a recent meeting involving Obama and the so-called “Blue Dog Democrats” (Boswell’s a Blue Dog).  The subject matter: health care reform.  Boswell claims Obama said he’s willing to be a one-term president if that’s what it takes to get health care and energy reform.  Listen to Boswell’s remarks.

“The president (said), ‘I’m not going to kick the can down the road.’ And he said that and I said, ‘Well, that’s something I’m kind of used to from southern Iowa, you know.  I know about kicking the can down the road.’ And he said, ‘No, if it makes me a one-term president, I’m going to, we’re going to take it on because the country is in need of us taking this on.’ I respected that very much.”

UPDATE:  Boswell also gave the audience in Sigourney a very detailed explanation of his grandson’s medical condition.  As you may recall, Boswell canceled his public events on Wednesday because the young man, Boswell’s grandson, had suffered a “serious injury.”  No other details were provided.

Boswell said Thursday he was a “little bit weary” because he’d been to Kansas City, Missouri, to visit his grandson in the hospital.  “It was a work out accident and (he) ruptured his pancreas and I had no idea how serious this could be…Nothing can enter his stomach for a long, long time.  I’m talking about months.  He’s going to be fed off an I.V…The doctors were just amazed by how well he’s doing, but right now, I’m feeling pretty good.” 

Boswell’s voice cracked a bit on that last sentence. A few seconds later Boswell told the crowd: “My voice is a little cracked because I’m just tired.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. The media is doing a terrible job of covering this issue. Intead of focusing on media-genic protests and clashes at town all meetings, they should be doing a better job of educating the public on the basic
    facts about efforts to reform the health care system. like the fact that, as Representative Boswell mentioned, there is no finished bill yet.
    Even the sincere protesters are railing against what is only rumor and hearsay. if
    you followed the money, I feel sure you’d find that most of those rumors originated from big players in the health care industry.

  2. Alice Fried says

    Where are the media’s stories about the town halls that are going well? They are doing a terrible job on this. How can we get our media to give us a more balanced picture so that we can make a more informed choice? This is exactly what happened with Iraq. I’d hate to choose against healthcare reform only to learn two months from now that without it there is no way the middle class can participate and/or benefit from the recovery. Get on the job media. You’re putting us at a disadvantage.

  3. Let’s hope that Boswell was speaking the truth; and that Obama will be a one term president…
    I don’t think the country could survuve 8 years of nutroot nation writ large…
    Just sayin’…

  4. I think this report really misrepresents Boswell’s tone at the event. At the event, it was quite clear that Boswell was supportive of reform. He also repeatedly said that he supported a public option, one of the more controversial proposals.
    So while he acknowledged that he might not be able to support the final bill, his real main message was that he was optimistic that there would be a bill he could support because he feels the country desperately needs reform.

  5. You know, people are saying what the big rush, well my question is what’s the hold up???? I mean these same people that are being so negative are the same one’s that will be in front of the line if this health bill pass. So what if the president want to make it easier for people to have better insurance. So much hatred going around, it’s crazy!!

  6. The racists are always there saying their own thing. Obama is a first of a kind president. A selfless hardworking fellow willing to giveup power to effect change. How many politicians can afford to do this. See what Palin just did – gave up power to score political points and not being sacrificial. Posterity will proof this guy a hero.

  7. I love the fact that the President is willing to be a one term President as long as the country gets the reform it so desperately needs. I highly respect him for putting us before politics. Still glad I voted for him.

  8. im an american too- make me equal says

    The fairly common belief is that Obama won’t work to repeal DOMA or DADT during his first term because it might hurt his re-election. If he commits to this idea, of being a one-term president, then he NEEDS to go all out and do everything he possibly can NOW. Queer American CANNOT sit through another republican president without reform already in place. Millions of americans are second-class citizens right now, being oppressed, generally sh*t on, and even killed.
    I bet this bill on healthcare still won’t allow a partner of 50 years stay by his husband’s side while he dies. This system blows, get out of the stone age.

  9. I will do everything in my power to make sure he is a two-term President. If he just gets one after the incompetent Bush got two there really is something wrong with this country.

  10. I’m impressed with the content of the writers here. The genuinely want to know. How did the Insurance Companies miss Iowa? Thank God!

  11. and last but not lease check out the kind of propagandist “news” and hipocracy you get from the likes of BECK, Hannity and Fox. You can tell they are in the hands of the Insurance Companies – look at Beck’s swing of just 1 year!

  12. Obama doesn’t care if he’s a one term president because of some honorable thinking? Give me a break. More like – shove this crap down our throats in a hurry, take advantage of all the vacations and perks you can, then run quick before he has to take responsibility for his actions.
    BTW – using the comedy channel as a reference for proving anything just goes to show that Obama really does fit in as “The Joker” and his followers are the butt of his joke.

  13. He is willing to be a one term president over healthcare? How is going against most of the country a thing to respect? I think 3+2 = 6! RESPECT ME!

  14. I want to see a single payer health care system.
    Private insurers should be booted out of health care. They are greedy and controlling and should not be allowed to take money from Americans and then deny them the health care that their lives depend on.
    I voted for Obama and I will do everything in my power to see him re-elected.
    Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Hannity, of Fox “News” as well as Rush Limbaugh, etc. are far right wing (Neocons) who stir up fear and hatred as they spread their lies. I can’t understand why their listeners do not see them for what they are: Destructive, divisive people who are bent on demonizing “liberals” and destroying America in the process.
    Most of the media today, TV news, and many radio programs are controlled by corporate comglomerates. They do not want to see Americans get the health care they deserve and need. They don’t care if America goes under. As long as they can rake in millions, billions, that’s all they care about.
    I, for sure, won’t listen to that garbage. I only wish people would wake up and stop believing what they hear. Think! Question! Please, for God sakes!
    And go the the and read about health care reform.
    It’s high time for Congress to stop catering to business interests and start paying attention to the needs of Americans. For too long now, our representatives have sold us down-river. It’s time to boot these turkeys out of office, every last one of them who refuses to address the needs of American citizens.

  15. The big players (BigPharma)was paid off by the Obama Administration… I doubt they would pay money FOR and AGAINST reform.
    …and, there are five versions of the bill in the House and Senate.
    You can’t say something is not in the bill just because it isn’t in one, and since when does not having a finalized bill mean we can’t debate what Congress is debating?