I’m working on a longer piece on this so I’ll make this post brief. Overall I thought it was a well-delivered speech and I wouldn’t be shocked if he receives a slight boost from it — depending on how many people actually watched it — but I don’t really see this changing the bigger picture. More or less, the same arguments he made tonight he’s been making for months. He said that we have to act now, that his plan will help everybody get covered, that it will curb insurance industry absuses, that it won’t add to the deficit, that it isn’t a government takeover, that his Medicare cuts won’t mean reduced benefits, and that he won’t increase taxes. The American people have been hearing this for months, and they haven’t been buying it, so I don’t see why that will change with one speech. The most significant part, I think, came when he talked about the government-run plan. While expressing support for it, it’s pretty clear that he was trying to sell the left on the idea that a “trigger” or co-op could be an acceptable substitute, but I don’t think that is ultimately going to satisfy the left. Taken altogether, I think that the speech may create a day or two of good feelings, but once we return to hashing out the details and get into the specifics, he’ll be faced with all of the same problems that have plagued the effort all along.