President Obama’s long closing statement typified what we saw at the summit. As he mentioned earlier, he is the president, and so he got to speak longer than anyone else, both at the end and throughout the day. He wanted to highlight areas of apparent agreement, but the distance between his position and that of the Republicans is greater than he is suggesting. And at the end of the day, he did not really move from the place in which he began.
The summit was good theater for health-care wonks, but it did not change where anybody stands, and it will probably embolden Republicans to stand their ground in the weeks ahead. In all, a good day for open government and democracy, but not the game changer President Obama was hoping for.