REID HOPES TO RALLY PUBLIC ON REFORM….. If the Senate Majority Leader is simply going through the motions on the public option, he has a funny way of showing it.

“Anyone that cares about [the public option], make sure you contact your representatives back here in Washington and push hard,” Harry Reid said yesterday in a web video. “We want a health care bill that has a public option that keeps the insurance industries honest and creates a level playing field.”

I found this interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it suggests Reid really is going for it. There’s been some talk that Reid’s commitment was for show — he’d put the public option in the bill, but isn’t prepared to see it through. In this respect, yesterday’s video was doubling down.

Second, Reid’s message has the added benefit of being true — if reform advocates want the public option to survive, it’s going to take some grassroots activism to help make it happen.

I was part of a small group that talked to Arlen Specter a couple of weeks ago, and someone asked him what interested Americans could do to help the reform effort. He encouraged the public to write some letters and pick up the phone.

It’s good advice.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.