Ezra Klein has it right – Howard Dean has become a “hostage-taker” in the process, threatening to blow everything up on one or two points. How does this make Dean any different from Joe Lieberman?
Klein also goes on to explain the prudent purchasers language in the bill and why it should be sufficient. As Dean acknowledged, this was John Kerry’s issue, and Kerry is very happy with the language.
It’s because his judgment stinks. His latest call to “kill the bill” is a ridiculous and irresponsible response to the latest round of negotiations in the health care bill. I understand his disappointment in the Lieberman fiasco, but the bill in it’s current form is a good bill. 31 million people will not have access to health insurance, with many of them getting generous subsidies from the government. The bill also has numerous cost controls that will change the way we pay for health care over time.
Progressives made a strong push for the public option. I understand their anger. I agree that they should encourage primary challenges to lawmakers who oppose the public option. But killing the bill is going too far.
Joe Lieberman helped Al Gore lose in 2000, and now he’s doing the same for McCain.
He’s such a terrible speaker. It’s so annoying listening to him. He started his speech by putting the audience to sleep with an appeal for bipartisanship. The crowd is dutifully reacting to his canned applause lines, but there’s very little fire in the crowd.
Lieberman always comes across like he’s speaking to a small child. I cringed when Gore picked him as his running mate, and I was hoping McCain would sink his candidacy by doing the same. McCain, of course, did the next best thing by picking Sarah Palin.
The Joe Biden pick complicates things for John McCain as he considers his choice for a running mate. Bill Kristol points out some of the drawbacks of selecting Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney.
The two leading G.O.P. prospects have been Tim Pawlenty, the Minnesota governor, and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. But with Biden’s foreign policy experience as a contrast, could McCain assure voters that the young Pawlenty is ready to take over, if need be, as commander in chief? Also, Biden is a strong and experienced debater. Pawlenty is unproven. If he is the choice, there will be many anxious Republicans in the run-up to the vice presidential debate in St. Louis on Oct. 2.
Romney might match up better against Biden in debate. But it’s clear that the Obama-Biden campaign is moving aggressively to embrace a traditional Democratic populist economic message. Such a message will have appeal this year — especially, one supposes, against a doubly multimansioned G.O.P. ticket of McCain and Romney.
It’s hard to imagine Pawlenty going up against Biden. Also, Pawlenty made comments last month basically praising Barack Obama’s positive message and arguing that the GOP needs to move away from negative campaigning. Those words will present problems for McCain. Kristol also states the obvious – Romney’s wealth will reinforce the populaist message from the Democrats, and Romney’s history of being involved with companies that laid off thousands of workers won’t help.
Kristol goes on to argue for Joe Lieberman, the ultimate neocon. This would be a gift to the Obama camapign, as there would be a revolt among pro-life conservatives if Lieberman is added to the ticket. McCain has already trashed his image as a “moderate” as he’s embraced his far-right positions on abortion, judges and taxes. Adding Leiberman would confuse that message and undermine all the progress he’s made getting Republicans to come home and support his candidacy. Let’s hope he listens to Kristol.
John McCain used to held in high regard by many in the press corps, including guys like Joe Klein. Those days are over.
McCain earned a tremendous amount of respect for the way he ran his 2000 campaign, and in the manner he endured the despicable attacks levied against him and his family during that election. Now he’s decided he can only win by using those same tactics.
Klein used to have lots of nice things to say about McCain, but now he’s fed up, and he’s letting McCain have it.
But there is no excuse for what the McCain campaign is doing on the “putting America first” front. There is no way to balance it, or explain it other than as evidence of a severe character defect on the part of the candidate who allows it to be used. There is a straight up argument to be had in this election: Mcain has a vastly different view from Obama about foreign policy, taxation, health care, government action…you name it. He has lots of experience; it is always shocking to remember that this time four years ago, Barack Obama was still in the Illinois State Legislature. Apparently, though, McCain isn’t confident that conservative policies and personal experience can win, given the ruinous state of the nation after eight years of Bush. So he has made a fateful decision: he has personally impugned Obama’s patriotism and allows his surrogates to continue to do that. By doing so, he has allied himself with those who smeared him, his wife, his daughter Bridget, in 2000. Those tactics won George Bush a primary–and a nomination. But they proved a form of slow-acting spiritual poison, rotting the core of the Bush presidency. We’ll see if the public decides to acquiesce in sleaze in 2008, and what sort of presidency–what sort of country–that will produce.