Health Care Battle To Become Cover War!

Barack Obama has been having a hard time selling his health care reform, especially now that public option's looking more endangered. What's a besieged President to do? Turn to Rodale and their cabal of politically-friendly titles!

Rodale, which publishes health-conscious magazines like Prevention, will feature the first couple on the cover of four of its titles, Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health and Children's Health, a new publication. Three will hit the stands in October.

According to Peter Moore, editor of Men's Health, which will endorse the President's plans, the publications have a direct stake in the political debate:

The whole issue of health care in the U.S., it's something that we have to feel strongly about. We're health journalists. We know, if anyone does, what's broken there, and so if this comes off as more of an advocacy piece, it's because we're advocates for health.

Um, well — obviously everyone has a strong opinion of health care. If not, they should be sent to the emergency room, an experience that will no doubt teach a valuable lesson. While certainly this sounds like a good idea, it may not be. You see, the President's opponents, especially the toothless masses, may see the President's relationship with the media as, for lack of a better word, elitist.

Though only Men's Health and its lady counterpart explicitly address the political debate — Prevention will keep to neutral topics, like diet — the writing's on the wall: these magazines are in the ring for the Commander-in-Chief.

Many Americans see the publishing industry as nothing more than a legitimization of liberal politics, so having the President and his kin appear in the pages of monthlies — especially three at once — could be seen as a tad offensive. But, at this point, Mr. Barry has little choice but to be offensive. Or, rather, go on the offensive.

Also, having an Obama, namely: Michelle, on the cover doesn't necessarily mean huge sales, so this whole thing could turn out to be a big disaster. But, of course, there aren't many other options. Except, of course, back channel negotiations and actual politics.