Saturday, January 05, 2008

Hillary's Message

There has to be some truth to the idea of "Clinton fatigue." It's inseparately intertwined with "Bush fatigue." We went from 4 years of Bush (12 including VP) to 8 years of Clinton to 8 more years of Bush. Maybe it's feeling like a very old act, & maybe we're tired of it, & maybe we don't think we owe the Clintons another 4 years in this long political dance. It's not so much a generational thing, as Obama claims, as a desire for some other family to occupy the White House. Is it so hard to imagine three ex-presidents - George I, George II, & Bill - waving from a boat off Kennebunkport in 2009?

The Clinton way is that if the outside is changed, we'll believe the inside is changed, too. Call it Aluminum Siding Strategy. So Hillary thinks changing the "message" is the corrective to her Iowa showing. As if over the course of 18 years we haven't gotten to know the "real" Hillary. Of course, we know. The Clintons take whatever is working well for the opposition & decorate themselves with it. Hillary brags how she's stood up to the worst the Repugs have thrown at her. But we can also recall Bill's crippled second term, & consider if Hillary's presidency would begin right where that one left off. If enough voters up in New Hampshire like her, she'll win. But adopting an Obamamama facade won't fool anyone.


Healthcare reform only seems to come into the conversation when HRC has something to gain by trumpeting about it. It will be interesting to see if she continues to be the torchbearer for this after she's out of the spotlight.
None of the candidates' reform plans will survive the election & new congress. If there is health care reform, we have no idea now what shape it will take. All we can do is hope something will happen.
Here's the thing that worries me about the "debate" surrounding healthcare: people talk about this like when the day comes, no one will suffer illness, all surguries will be successful and any disease will be cured.

First of all, this discussion is not about services or treatment - its about financing and reimbursement. Secondly, modern medicine can only do so much and that is a surprisingly small amount. I only hope that some real discussion about the state of American healthcare takes place somewhere along the line. Is that expecting too much?
Suzette, don't get your hopes up if you're seeking a serious discussion about the US healthcare system in Washington. Just look at the endless parade of pharmaceutical products peddled during network news broadcasts to see how much $$$ is spent by big pharma on marketing the newest wonder drug and imagine how many lobbyists are employed by health insurers and said pharma companies. Politicians are more excited about their next lobbyist lunch are deaf to the cries of the millions of Americans who have no health insurance and who face financial ruin (or worse) if they land in the hospital or come down with a serious illness.
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