QUOTE OF THE DAY…. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is one of four members of the Senate Democratic caucus strongly opposed to the public option. But she also hasn’t gone as far as, say, Joe Lieberman in insisting that any competition between public and private plans is necessarily unacceptable.

So, what does the center-right Louisianan support?

“What I could support is something like a competitive community option … which would be triggered,” Landrieu said. “Various moderates have slightly different versions of that.”

“That’s where the discussion is right now,” Landrieu added. “There has to be a decision soon.”

I see. So, a public option — a straightforward, popular idea — is out of the question, but a “competitive community option” with a trigger is entirely acceptable. Good to know.

Now, you may be wondering what on earth a “competitive community option” is. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind an explanation myself. What we do know is that several key senators have been in fairly intense negotiations this week, trying to nail down exactly what can get 60 votes, and are reportedly near some kind of conclusion. Maybe a “competitive community option … with a trigger” is on the table.

Before reform proponents get too discouraged about watering down a watered down idea, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), one of the Senate’s strongest supporters of a public option, seemed relatively encouraged by the talks.

Details remain scarce, Jonathan Cohn, another public option supporter, reports on some of the rumors, some of which are more encouraging than others.

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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.