Third Way Perspectives
Archive for January, 2010
January 28th, 2010
This piece was originally published on National Journal’s Health Care Experts Blog.
The President’s State of the Union address began to shift the momentum in the health care debate back towards passing reform. President Obama didn’t walk away from the challenge of passing controversial policies. Instead, he made reform more important than ever to the success of his agenda. Without reform, Americans will have less money to spend on college for their children, more anxiety about losing their coverage, and greater health care costs in retirement.
January 15th, 2010
This piece was originally published in National Journal.
Imagine this OMG moment for Democrats: a Massachusetts Republican wins Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat.
What an upset that would be. It’s JFK’s old seat, for goodness sake. After JFK won the presidency in 1960, the seat was occupied for two years by his former Harvard roommate until Edward Kennedy was old enough to run. He won the seat in 1962 and held it for 47 years. Massachusetts has not elected a Republican to the Senate since 1972. Right now, the state’s congressional delegation does not include a single Republican.
January 5th, 2010
This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.
In Washington, the conventional wisdom says that President Obama has spent his last nickel of political capital. His quick and substantial action to steady the financial markets, stimulate the economy, reset the war in Afghanistan, and, most of all, to reform health care, have all been bold and, to varying degrees, controversial. These mega-battles have left his political allies exhausted and his political coffers bare. His approval rating has steadily bled to an all-time Obama low. The outlook for 2010, the CW says, is for no further action in Congress and a grim midterm election for Democrats.
But such thinking fundamentally misunderstands the nature of political capital – it isn’t spent on big initiatives, it’s gambled. Right now, the President may appear to have a meager stack of chips in front of him, but it’s because his entire bankroll is in the pot. And as it turns out, he’s holding a couple of aces.