From the always-insightful John Heilemann. Piece on the coming Obama administration, a little crystal ball gazing, and background on the transition team. This caught my eye:
Yet the very feebleness of Reid and Pelosi may work to Obama’s advantage; they are much more likely to see their fates as bound up with his than Tom Foley and George Mitchell ever did with Clinton’s. Obama’s race, in a funny way, may make him less vulnerable to mau-mauing by the left. And the unconventional way he ran for office, the whole bottom-up movement thing, may grant him a degree of independence unique in modern history. “Personally, I think the depth of the Obama realignment is being underestimated,” says the Republican media savant Stuart Stevens, who helped elect Bush twice. “They have basically invented their own party that is compatible with the Democratic Party but is bigger than the Democratic Party. Their e-mail list is more powerful than the DNC or RNC. In essence, Obama would be elected as an Independent with Democratic backing—like Bernie Sanders on steroids.”
The article also highlights that Obama is putting financial regulatory & energy reform and middle class tax cuts first (with Health Care probably having to be a year out). Though not mentioned in the article will of course also be the announcement of the drawdown in Iraq as well. I’m much more on board with Obama’s financial regulatory/energy policy & tax cut proposals plus infrastructure spending (and his Iraq policy) than I am with his health care plan and (even less so) with his education plan. So I like the sound of this basic vision coming out the gates.
I’m not sure health care reform can meaningfully be handled until after the coming global recession is over. On the other hand, the recession is being fueled in the States by exorbitant health care costs. It’s a real damned if you/damned if you don’t situation.