John Dickerson of Slate drills down on why Jon Gruber is such an awkward ally for the Obama administration, and hits the nerve:
Before he was causing problems for the Obama administration, the Obama team was using Gruber to unsettle Mitt Romney. In the 2012 campaign, Obama’s camp was claiming that the Massachusetts health care plan was the intellectual model for Obamacare, just as Romney was trying to disavow it. Gruber was essential to this case. In a video produced by the Obama campaign celebrating the anniversary of “Romneycare,” Gruber says, “I helped Gov. Romney develop his health care reform or Romneycare, before going down to Washington to help President Obama develop his national version of that law.” The spot includes old footage of Romney thanking Gruber for his work on the Massachusetts health bill. “The core of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare and what we did in Massachusetts are identical,” Gruber says. The MIT professor was such an important part of the creation of Obamacare that his association with Romney’s effort proved the link between the two programs. If that involvement in Obamacare was sufficient to condemn Romney in 2012, it’s sufficient enough for Republicans to raise it now over Gruber’s claims about the Affordable Care Act. What’s Gruber for the goose, is Gruber for the gander.
…First off: groan. Second: yes, this is correct – and it shows the problem with obsessively focusing on elections rather than the job. The Obama administration probably did not have to connect up Romney with Obamacare: goodness knows that the Right knew about that, going in. Once Mitt Romney had cemented the nomination* we were all scheduled to go campaign for the man anyway, smiling grimly all the while: it was probably overkill to bring ‘Romneycare’ up at all. It’s certainly not helpful for the administration now, given that even Slate can’t let itself ignore the links between Barack Obama and Jon Gruber.
Moving on: …well, just my usual admonition: this is the 21st century, everything that you say or do is probably going to end up being recorded somewhere, so you might as well own it. Because if you don’t, you have to sit there and woodenly lie about how all those things that you or somebody else said, lo those many years (or days) ago, were actually not what you meant. And nobody …read more