Archive for February, 2010

Glad I am Not An Incumbent Democrat

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

President Obama made it clear he does not care about the re-election of Democrats as he wrapped up the health care summit.

After warning if there is not enough serious effort in a month’s time “….then I think we’ve got to go ahead and make some decisions,” the president said, “and then that’s what elections are for.”

That is good news for Republicans.

The outlook for Democrats in 2010 is already grim.  Now Obama is going to “hang them out to dry” by forcing a vote in Congress of his unpopular health care reform legislation.  

Does he not hear the people?  They spoke clearly in a USA TODAY/Gallup poll just two days before his Blair House summit.  By a 49% to 42% margin they oppose Congress passing a healthcare bill similar to the one proposed by President Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate. 

The same poll found an even larger 52% to 39% margin of Americans opposed the Democrats in the Senate using reconciliation.  If you watched the summit there is no doubt Obama favors the reconciliation procedure to pass the 2,400 page health care bill.

Am I glad not to be an incumbent member of his party serving in Congress!

Mr. President it’s not just about you.  It’s about the American people.

Obama Is No Bill Clinton

Friday, February 26th, 2010

When consideration of health care reform started we were told President Obama did not want to make the same mistake as former President Clinton.  You will recall the Clinton administration presented its own bill to Congress. 

President Obama turned the writing of health care legislation over to House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid.  Well the nation saw what happens when the door is closed and the congressional barons write a piece of legislation.

After the health care reform fiasco of 2009 Obama decided to take charge, draft a bill and develop a strategy for passage.  His bill – an 11 page outline.  The strategy a – “guest house” summit.  The health care summit was best described by Dana Milbank as “Professor Obama’s Classroom”.

Where is Bill Clinton when we need him was my thought as I watched President Obama at the Blair House. 

Just after the election in December, 1992 former President Clinton held an economic summit.  President Obama should have spent his seven hours yesterday looking for economic development ideas instead of “beating a dead horse.”  Or reading Miss Manners.

President Clinton was known as a policy wonk, knowledgeable on most every subject.  He studied rather than sleep.  I went back to look at video from the l992 Little Rock summit.  I wanted to see how the President-elect conducted himself.

I can assure you he did not come across as “Mr. Know It All” and he did not show distain for his guests as was exhibited by President Obama at the Blair House summit.

After Members of Congress from both parties put forth a sincere effort it would seem the polite thing for President Obama to do was to say “thank you for your ideas, concerns and willingness to participate.”

Rather he ended on the lowest note of the day.  He told Republicans come around or we are going to proceed anyway.  That means using a reconciliation procedure to avoid a possible filibuster and pass a bill by a simple majority vote.   

President Obama may find he gets the same results as he received for his efforts in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.  That being a Republican Congress in 2011.

Speaker Thompson Positioning

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Speculation has centered on House Speaker Rick Thompson (D-Wayne) as a candidate for the Democrat nomination for Governor in 2012.  He was elected Speaker in 2007 with the strong support of Labor. 

Many political and business leaders have seen Labor’s support as a liability for Thompson if he enters the Governor’s race.  It appears Speaker Thompson has the same concern.

The Speaker got behind an effort to establish a business court in West Virginia.  It passed the House of Delegates 98 to 0.  This despite an independent committee suggesting the issue needed more study. 

“I have long felt that by creating some kind of business court system, West Virginia would be in a better position to attract and keep businesses of all sizes,” Thompson said in a House press release.

It goes without saying House Republicans and a few Democrats would support such a measure.   Without Thompson’s backing the chance of business getting a victory in the House is slim.

This move will pay dividends for Thompson in 2012.  As a candidate for Governor he can say I have been friendly to business.