I don’t buy it.
Granted, we talk all the time aboot the different people who are all running for President and how every little thing they say has a clue as to what they’re plans will be, but let’s be serious. This time four years ago the nominees were going to be Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, some guy name George Allen was the next Reagan, and Obama was the guy we were hunting in Afghanistan.
A lot can change in three months let alone three years. By the mid-terms next year, Obama might look like he knows what we’re going right now. I think it’s silly to say because “RomneyCare” is similar to “ObamaCare,” that people are going to dismiss the rest of Romney’s experiences in dealing with business and the economy.
Try as they might…
Three years ago, Romney was heralded for his innovative effort to institute near-universal health care in his state. But now that the issue has emerged as a partisan fault line and the Massachusetts plan has provided some guidance for Democratic reform efforts, Romney finds himself bruised and on the defensive as the GOP rallies around opposition to President Barack Obama’s plans. When Romney came to Washington last week to speak to social conservative activists at the annual Value Voters Summit, his potential 2012 GOP rivals chewed him up in front of the same audience over his Massachusetts legacy.
Before he took the stage to criticize the president’s approach to foreign policy and the economy, the former governor was dinged by one of his opponents for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. “It’s going to bankrupt their entire budget,” former Arkansas GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee said of Romney’s health care program in his address to the summit. “The only thing inexpensive about the Massachusetts health care bill is that there you can get a $50 abortion.” Huckabee went on to win the event’s straw poll, a contest Romney topped during February’s Conservative Political Action Conference.
It’s not just Romney’s ballot box foes who are taking him to task over his signature accomplishment as governor. His health care program has been lacerated by prominent conservative bloggers and also by the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and National Review, the conservative magazine that endorsed him in the 2008 GOP presidential primary. “It’s Obamacare with the public option not included,” said Michael Tanner of the libertarian-oriented Cato Institute. “It’s pretty indistinguishable from what the president is proposing. At a time when there is such growing opposition on the right to the president’s plan and when a lot of conservatives feel like they are winning the debate, an Obama-light proposal doesn’t have a lot of attraction,” Tanner added. “Because he has a great deal of knowledge of health care he really should be a leading opponent of the president’s plan, but he has sort of been on the sidelines.”
The straw poll is something that’s only relevant to the person who won it, and even then it’s not all that relevant. Let’s see what 2010 brings before we decide that the most qualified is already done for.