The health care debate has provided different cats some different opportunities. It’s given the President a chance to exude leadership (FAIL). It’s given the Republican Party to hit the reset button at a time when many were expecting us to be “wandering in the wilderness” for a while. It’s also given the 2010 (yes, I said ’10 and nor ’09) candidates a big chance to use the added media exposure to launch their campaign. The seems to be the case with NY congressional candidate Greg Ball.
Since the start of the “debate,” the NY-19 has rapidly gone from “likely democratic” to “leans Democratic,” and Ball is one of the six or seven cats we in NY are hoping to send to Washington D.C. next year. The current Assemblyman Ball is making the most out of it.
So sayeth Roll Call…
Ball seems to have found a clever way to address — and oppose — health care reform. He uses many of the national Republican talking points, worrying openly about a government takeover of the nation’s health care system, and warning his audience that under President Barack Obama’s push for a public insurance option, patients will no longer have the benefits and choices they now enjoy. To loud applause, he calls for tort reform.
But in a swing district where independents and moderates could have the final word in November 2010, Ball, unlike many national Republicans, is quick to concede that the U.S. health care system is broken and that some national GOP leaders “are intent on making a political statement and making sure that health care reform fails.”
If there is a rock star in the Hall-Ball contest, it’s Ball. In contrast to Hall, Ball in public wears crisp suits, his jacket slung over his shoulder just so. At age 31, he is half the incumbent’s age, and he is very quotable. And unlike Hall, a lifelong policy wonk — despite his prior fame — who is passionate about governing, Ball is a pure political animal.
The health care debate is going to continue for at least another month or so, only with congress back in session, their opponents are going to have the districts all to themselves. Hopefully they’re paying attention to what guys like Greg Ball are doing right, and will exploit this opportunity the best they can.