By the way, even though it is still pretty obvious that Olympia Snowe will have an outsized impact on health care negotiations, it is hard to see her saying "When history calls, history calls" before voting yes in the finance committee and then not voting for the final bill. Right? I am pretty sure history would not have called to say, "Let's just get this thing as far as the floor of the Senate and then we'll kill it there." That doesn't sound like something history would say.
So we move on to questions about the centrist Democrats vs. the liberals. I would guess that the centrists will wield quite a bit of power when it comes to backroom negotiating, but at the end of the day it is just very hard to see any one of them -- not Ben Nelson, not Blanche Lincoln and so on -- actually being the Democrat who votes against cloture on health care. I could be wrong but I don't see it.
If they're all gettable on cloture (all except Lieberman), then a lot of the coming negotiations are really going to be about whether or not Ben Nelson et al. will actually vote in favor of the final bill -- the difference between a 60-40 vote and, say, a 55-45 vote. That's not nothing because the bills that get you those outcomes are probably different in some key ways, not least of which is this little matter of a public option, triggered or non-triggered or opt-in or what have you. Still, those things aren't really the same question as whether or not health care reform dies. That question seems to be basically in the past.
UPDATE [10/15 3:21pm] ... Liberal Sen. Sherrod Brown and conservative Dem Sen. Max Baucus play the expectations game here. Lots of difference between the bill that gets no Democrat to vote against cloture and the one that actually gets every Democratic vote.