The Silver Lining of the Health Care Cloud Over Mitt Romney

Pundit after pundit and political junkie after political junkie have pronounced Mitt Romney’s 2012 chances dead or mortally wounded by the recent Health Care debate and passage of the bill.  Democrats of all ranks (even President Obama himself) have gleefully compared their health care plan to Mitt’s health care plan in Massachusetts.  The reasons why this comparison is false are too numerous to effectively lay out here, but this, this, this, and this should get you started.  Also, kudos to T-Paw for stating the obvious that Mitt did and would’ve continued to do his best to fix health care in Massachusetts if Mitt was still governor.  However, far too many conservatives have fallen into trap set for us by the democrats and that is where the pessimism for 2012 comes from.  However, as Mark B. Lowe speculates,

All they have accomplished in the past few weeks since ObamaCare has passed is to make Mitt Romney a indispensable part of the biggest political conversation going on in the country right now. He is continually being interviewed on local and national media.  His name, face, and voice is everywhere.  TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Internet — they are all clamoring to talk to Romney.  And what do they want to talk about?  HealthCare.  Mitt hasn’t been in this much demand since he ended his 2008 Presidential more than two years ago.   It is all free publicity for him.  The results are when people think of HealthCare and Republican, they think not of Huckabee, Palin, Pawlenty, Gingrich, or any other potential Romney rival.  They think of the former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.  And with the national conversation firmly focused on HealthCare right now, they are thinking of Mitt a lot.  And it’s all thanks to those who wish to destroy him.

The media has pushed, prodded, and grilled Mitt since the passage of Obamacare trying to force him to make the false choice of admitting his health care plan in Massachusetts was a mistake or calling on republicans to tone down the rhetoric against Obamacare.  What democrats don’t seem to understand is that Mitt lost the 2008 nomination because the average citizen didn’t know Mitt very well at all.  Mitt spent the majority of his campaign just trying to build name recognition with the average voter, and now the dems are giving Mitt millions of dollars worth of free publicity. The more people get to know Mitt and hear how articulate he is and the strong and positive vision Mitt has for America, the more appealing Mitt becomes. Even when people disagree with Mitt on certain details of his plan, no objective person can listen to Mitt and not conclude that Mitt has the best interests of the country at heart and that Mitt is an extremely intelligent and capable leader. All of this free publicity is giving Mitt the platform to explain his views on health care in a detailed way which debates and commercials during a campaign don’t allow.  Mitt is at his best when he is allowed more than 30 seconds to explain an idea and Mitt also shines when he is under attack and has a chance to defend himself.

Exit Question: Are the dems rethinking their strategy to attack Mitt?

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34 Responses to The Silver Lining of the Health Care Cloud Over Mitt Romney

  1. Makeli says:

    Great post Ross! I hadn’t really seen it from this standpoint yet.

  2. Chris says:

    Very, very good post.

  3. JD says:

    A good post, but the most significant issue is that Mass plan was a state plan. It is valid, legal, and could even be good for the citizens of the Commonwealth. I believe that many states could craft, possibly should craft, a healthcare plan or initiative for their state’s citizens…

    This is a 9th and 10th amendment issue. The states can (depends on their own constitutions), but the United States should not. (I would argue can not)

  4. ParisParamus says:

    Good post. I’ve written this in a number of places in defense of Mitt Romney, but here goes, again.

    The question is whether Mitt Romney’s involvement in what MA did is a net gain or loss for him should he run in 2012.

    Yes, MA healthcare probably somewhat hurts him in a GOP primary if only because explaining why what MA has, even in its current Democrat-fortified, post-Mitt incarnation requires a level of nuance that’s hard to make in the MSM and/or blogosphere.

    But it also helps Romney in a general election. Why? Because psychologically, Romney’s involvement with healthcare irrespective of what he endorsed and endorses, kind of “de-fangs” him in the eyes of independent, and even conservative Democrat (if that species still exists?) voters. And I must stress, *psychologically*: it matters not what he did, or didn’t do, but that he was involved.

    Something to remember after you read another 8000 Mitt-derogatory comments. on HotAir.

  5. Bagoh20 says:

    The Mass plan is a failure and for all the reason it should never have been allowed by a Republican Governor. Sorry Mitt, you blew it when you decided conservatism was optional under you. If not for your Mass. health care plan, you might have fooled me into voting for you. No RINOs! Thank you.

  6. Bagoh20 says:

    “it matters not what he did, or didn’t do, but that he was involved.”

    Wonderful way to choose a leader. By that logic, everyone in MA is a good candidate. Sheese!

  7. Jared A. says:

    Great post Ross.

    People think that they can sink Romney by hanging RomneyCare around his neck. What they don’t realize is that, regardless of what people think about it, Romney actually has experience with this issue and got involved in it.

    Obama, who is the most inexperienced President we’ve ever had, is just dealing with health care for the first time. Lets not forget that he basically delegated all the work to Congress which is why we have all these taxes, special programs, exemptions, back room deals and kickbacks.

    Obama didn’t lead. Romney did.

  8. ParisParamus says:

    “Wonderful way to choose a leader. By that logic, everyone in MA is a good candidate. Sheese!”

    Was there ever a more out-of-context quote or accusation?

    Mitt Romney’s record, as a governor, and business success speaks for itself. I was referring to the irrational fear many, even sane Democrats have of voting for a Republican. Romney’s involvement in an ambitious healthcare change will de-fang him in the eyes of such voters.

  9. Bagoh20 says:

    “Romney’s involvement in an ambitious healthcare change will de-fang him in the eyes of such voters.”

    I agree with that, but he is better suited to run for the Democratic nomination. We have already had plenty of Republicans that were Conservatives in a nominal way. Some got elected and some lost to Democrats, but the end result is the same: runaway spending and a nanny state.

    If we can’t run a real Conservative, what the the point?

  10. Bagoh20 says:

    Maybe the goal for Romney is to win, but for the majority of the country the goal is smaller government. Romney abandoned that as Governor and I would expect him to as a President.

    In other words, what he DID is what matters.

  11. Singsai says:

    Mitt is the rising star now why every thing going around him and every sources attack him,blame him,critic him,anti him,but the more attack him make he stronger,smarter,and push him to the top.Mitt is truly America leader,he is the most experienced in all American politics now,he knew how to develop himself from the bottom to the top,from bad to best,from bankrupt to success,he has solution,he has ideas,he has plane that why he is the wealthy man,wealthy family,and wealthy leader. Republican don’t see their real leader,don’t respect their real leader,they just think about himself,yourself,my self,herself,they ignored their national leader,why Obama took white house,riding America neck laughing attacking America around the world, where is America’s value now? what ever you guy think,you guy say,you guy see is not for U.S,just talk to your own,when come to the two men,the American people just look at who is the man of character,has the leadership style,and power full speaker,that one is the winner,just compare Reagan to Carter, Reagan look more presidential,Sr.Bush to Dukakis, Bush look more presidential,Clinton to Bush sr. Clinton very handsome and younger,Bush jr,to Al gore,Bush look stronger, Obama to MaCain, Obama look stronger and power full speaking, so when compare Mitt to Obama,Mitt look the man of great character,look very presidential than Obama, power full speech,and he is the most experienced,so Mitt will beat Obama by landslide in 2012,if America believe America,remember America,and love America,they won’t let Obama change democracy to socialism,won’t let Obama change America to Kenya any more,or republican will fight themselves and gave 4 more years to Obama completed his goal of change? no more loser,we must stand for the winner Mitt.

  12. Rebel Ross says:

    @Bagoh20
    You should probably take another look at what he did then. Mitt shrunk government and spending and eliminated the deficit while creating a budget surplus in its’ place. How is supporting personal responsibility like he did with health care a democratic idea. Mitt is conservative through through and through. If you haven’t already please read either of Mitt’s books.

  13. ParisParamus says:

    Bagoh20, in the unlikely chance that you are actually sincere:

    (1) Taking care of the poor and people of modest means is a conservative position, and has been since biblical times; also, see Edmund Burke.

    (2) Being able to afford health insurance, but declining to get it is selfish, and irresponsible.

    (3) What was passed in MA forces people who make money to do what they should do.

    Please tell me how a state-based health insurance mandate is any less “conservative” than a state-based income tax. In fact, what MA has is little more than a new income tax that one can opt-out of by getting health insurance.

    personal responsibility = a conservative value. While neither of us may like the bells and whistles of MA’s insurance obligations, the concept of a state-based mandate is 100% conservative. And 100% fiscally responsible.

  14. ParisParamus says:

    Bagoh20
    April 22nd, 2010 at 14:46 | #10
    Reply | Quote

    Actually, when contrasted, say, the way every other state deals with free-riders (or doesn’t); and constrasted with Obamacare, what MA did IS reducing government since it uses the private sector to deal with a real problem.

    Yeah, Romney isn’t much into substance-less slogans–THAT’s a DEMOCRAT kind of thing.

  15. Bagoh20 says:

    Well Paris, your defense of Mitt above is exactly what is wrong with him. Those are the exact arguments for Obamacare. I won’t argue the individual points; that been done to death, but if your description is Mitt’s position, then I’ll be working against his nomination.

    Is this a Moby site designed to make Mitt look bad? I liked him more before I came here.

  16. Neuromon says:

    it’s not a false choice- Romneycare WAS a mistake. Mitt needs to own that, and say that the lessons he learned from the MassCare fiasco make him uniquely positioned to dismantle the obamacare monstrosity. Romneycare is a failure- costs are up, service is down- there’s no sugarcoating it or passing the buck. i love Mitt, but as a MA resident, i HATE Romneycare

  17. Rebel Ross says:

    @Bagoh20
    Paris is/was a Huckabee supporter who has his own site if my memory serves. We welcome all ideas from all people, but don’t let his ideas dissuade you from Mitt. Listen to Mitt in his own words in some of the links in the original post, at the links at http://mittromneycentral.com/on-the-issues/healthcare-reform/ and in Mitt’s book. The truth is out there for anyone willing to take the effort to find it.

  18. Rebel Ross says:

    @Neuromon
    Does it change your point of view in any way to know that Mitt never signed several parts of the law that are leading to the problems? He vetoed them and they were added back in. As T-Paw states in the video posted in the original post, we can all be sure Mitt would’ve continued to improve the bill if he was still governor and the democratic legislature is to blame for the failures of the healthcare plan in Massachusetts.

  19. Neuromon says:

    @Rebel Ross
    Rebel, no it doesn’t. I watched Mitt’s video (linked above), and listened to his own words. the fact that Romneycare is set up to use private groups instead of a public option is not much of a mitigating factor. i reject the very premise of a healthcare “crisis” in the first place. and while Romneycare may be legal and constitutional within the state, it’s still a disgusting intrusion of government into the lives of its citizenry which mandates the purchase of a product in order to “fix” a non-existent problem. why can’t someone who’s young and healthy choose to defer buying insurance until later? why can’t someone who’s wealthy decide to pay cash for their care? when i go to my tax preparer, he makes me show my proof of insurance to him- that should not be any of his business! Romneycare erodes liberty, and Mitt should have had nothing to do with it. blaming the MA legislature for its flaws is a cop-out that will not be a politically viable excuse going forward. neither will the “Tenth Amendment” argument- like it or not, people’s eyes glaze over once the wonkery starts flowing. obama will use Romneycare as a bludgeon against Mitt in the general election.

  20. Rebel Ross says:

    @Neuromon
    Obama can not use Romneycare as a bludgeon against Mitt like you say. How could he? That is some very poor analysis. Mitt is set up very nicely for the general election. Even the most cynical analysis I’ve seen says health care only hurts Mitt in the GOP primary.

  21. ParisParamus says:

    “Paris is/was a Huckabee supporter who has his own site if my memory serves.”

    I supported MH? Never. Ever. Blech.

  22. Rebel Ross says:

    @ParisParamus
    I apologize if I was wrong. That’s why I said if my memory serves. I remember talking to you about why you didn’t support Mitt or reading one of your posts about it. In any regard, it’s safe to say that you aren’t fully on board with Mitt and didn’t vote for him in 2008 right?

  23. ParisParamus says:

    Neuromon, how is what MA has, conceptually, different than a dedicated income tax that you can opt out of?

  24. ParisParamus says:

    RebelRoss, I first registered as a Republican in the fall of 2007, and learned a few months later that my registration would not be effective until after the 08 primaries (not that it would make any difference whatsoever in NY!). But I was totally for Romney in 2008! FWIW, I voted for Bush in 2004; didn’t vote in 2000 (because I was still registered in the suburbs, but lived in Brooklyn). This doesn’t prove my loyalty, but I did write this:

    http://nyformitt.blogspot.com/2010/03/no-apology-tour-first-stop-huntington.html

  25. Neuromon says:

    @Rebel Ross
    in the primaries Mitt will certainly be attacked from the right about Romneycare (and correctly so)- at which point he’ll either defend it or repudiate it. since repealing obamacare is already one of the planks in Mitt’s platform, he will therefore have to confront obama on it in the general. obama will have a ready-made weapon to use no matter which way Mitt went in the primary: he’ll either be a flip-flopper or a hypocrite.

  26. Neuromon says:

    @ParisParamus
    Paris, so you favor it because it’s no different than a tax hike?

  27. Rebel Ross says:

    @ParisParamus
    I may have confused you with a notorious Huckabee supporter than. My bad! Thanks for your support!

    @Neuromon
    Mitt won’t repudiate it and he will defend his vision for health care. Mitt won’t defend what the dems did against Mitt’s will or even after he left. Therefore, Mitt won’t be a flip-flopper and also is not a hypocrite. Plus, attacking Obamacare is easy on the fact that it is unconstitutional. I’ve highlighted other differences in the post, but President Obama is the last person that can attack Mitt about health care.

  28. ParisParamus says:

    “Paris, so you favor it because it’s no different than a tax hike?”

    No, I am simply saying that it’s not something fundamentally different than an income tax levy, whereas the Mitt bashers assert that it is. On the other hand, I oppose the larding up of the mandate–what the Dems did post-Mitt–which is likely responsible for the cost increases that exceed what would have happened without the mandate.

    Look. The bottom line is that someone/something needs to pay for the heathcare of the uninsured. In every state, general revenues/income taxes pay for it; is that better than off-loading at least some of the costs onto private insurance risk pools?

  29. Samantha says:

    I’m from MA and really don’t have a strong opinion on Romneycare one way or another. I think that health insurance reform is only one issue in a state that has a multitude of problems. We have so many generous entitlement programs that it’s not surprising that the state is in trouble. One aspect that I do think is positive from the health insurance reform is the ability of individuals to access insurance. Prior to the reform those that were self employed, worked for small companies that did not offer insurance or worked part time could not get insurance. I have a friend that lost insurance a year after her divorce but was still able to work part time until her young daughter started school only because she could buy insurance through the Commonwealth Connector – she was not under a subsidized plan. On the flipside I also know an uninsured twenty-something year old (he takes the tax penalty instead of buying insurance) that was recently hit by a car in a snow storm. Had it not been the fault of the driver of the car who would have paid for his medical bills? Most likely the taxpayers would have foot the bill. I really don’t think some personal responsibility for medical insurance by twenty-somethings is unreasonable.

    I’ll admit I’m in the Romney camp for 2012. I see him as a strong leader with sound fiscal policies and what appears to be a solid moral background. These are all the qualities our current administration lacks and we so desperately need.

  30. ParisParamus says:

    The potential sad truth is that because Mitt Romney does not take an all-or-nothing position, he won’t be able to explain his position to enough people. I hope he can. I hope we can.

  31. ParisParamus says:

    Followup comments, svp.

  32. Tracey says:

    Thanks Rebel Ross. Great post. When you hear Mitt Romney speak he just makes sense. Mitt Romney 2012. We need him in Washington.

  33. Luke says:

    @Rebel Ross
    It’s QuoVadisAnima you were thinking of.

  34. Rebel Ross says:

    @Luke
    That sounds about right. Again, my apologies.