Marc Ambinder, without sourcing, speculates about Romney:

Czar Mitt

President Obama could do worse. Romney has a bad reputation among Congressional Democrats, so I can't imagine they'd cotton to this. In fact, it's highly unlikely. But what Romney, in a bipartisan fashion, was able to do in Massachusetts -- even with caveats -- is pretty much the same as what Obama wants to do on a national level. Karen Tumulty notes that Romney is the only American who can claim the provision of universal health care as a resume line. Didn't help him in the GOP too much, but that's another discussion. If Obama wanted to bring Romney into the cabinet, he'd have to balance him by appointing a pro-choicer to a top HHS post because there are so many controversial, sexuality-related programs in that department that apportion money.  The thinking here is that Romney would be the White House health care czar and that a Democrat -- Gov. Kitzhaber of Oregon, maybe -- would move over to Health and Human Services.


The notion that Obama would replace Daschle's White House spot with a Republican is a complete non-starter. Dead. Impossible.

Gregg at Commerce (a relatively benign spot) toed the line. But there's absolutely no way Democratic groups, Congressmen, voters, political-button salesmen, or domestic furry pets would stand for this.

The fact that a Washington political reporter like Ambinder would even float the idea, however, really helps distill the Beltway's near-fetishistic obsession with theatrical bipartisanship. I don't mean to get all David Sirota here, but wow. Romney? Seriously?

Tags: Bipartisanship, Mitt Romney (all tags)



I don't care what the rest of you say

I'm against it.  Going out on a limb here.  Flame away.

by Strummerson 2009-02-03 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't care what the rest of you say

As I said, I believe the Conservative Democrats have captured control of Obama's ear. If this is correct, he won't learn until the first major desaster strikes and they leave him hanging just like they have done others.

by bruh3 2009-02-03 02:53PM | 0 recs
Blue dogs

Obama is worried about them, no doubt: h/

Romney would be a step too far.  I think Obama needs to hit the reset button now, or he'll end up like Jimmy Carter.

What parts of the stimulus package is he for?  No one knows that.  Health care needs a strong hand, and I'm just not sure who would be the best choice right now.

by esconded 2009-02-03 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Blue dogs

I don't think he knows how to use the stick against the right. Maybe the GE was an aberration based on projection from the horrible choice McCain represented rather than a sign that Obama was understanding that it's enough to use the carrot.

by bruh3 2009-02-03 05:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Blue dogs

There's a thought... any Blue Dogs on the right side of Health care that have a Dem Prog Governor...   Take out a blue dog and not hurt our senate numbers...

by yitbos96bb 2009-02-03 06:03PM | 0 recs
Im for it

Romney is probably the strongest challenger to Obama in 2012 and this would likely take him out of that race.  

by Kent 2009-02-03 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Im for it

And that's more important than affordable health care, right?

by antiHyde 2009-02-03 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Im for it

I'm against it, but that would be the only logic I could see...

However, Mittens is a dream opponent... someone weak on nearly every level... the Obama machine would cruch him...  Meanwhile clearing mittens could put us against Huckabee or maybe Jeb (although I'm not convinced the Bush name will be any less toxic in 4 years).

by yitbos96bb 2009-02-03 06:00PM | 0 recs
I should have voted for McCain

5f al i get are repubs

by ann0nymous 2009-02-03 02:36PM | 0 recs
Maybe we should have

Things have been nothing but awful for Democrats since Obama's election.  

by Kent 2009-02-03 02:56PM | 0 recs
Did it just turn dark and gloomy all of a sudden?

You can really lighten up a room, Kent.

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-03 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Maybe we should have

THis is either Snark or Stupidity...

by yitbos96bb 2009-02-03 06:04PM | 0 recs
Yes, I for one am PISSED about Lilly Ledbetter
This president SUCKS.  Bring back W!
by tammanycall 2009-02-04 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

That's crazy talk.

Besides, his plan hasn't done anything to control health care costs and in fact may be in financial trouble.

by Bush Bites 2009-02-03 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

I'd hope people could see the difference between Ray LaHood and one of the top Republican contenders for 2012!

I don't hate Mitt Romney - heck, I used to work with his brother! - but come on, he's way too much of a political animal.  I hope to high heaven that Ambinder is just sharing random thoughts and not helping to float an actual trial balloon.

And Ambinder is one of the smarter political journalists out there, too.  What these people never seem to grasp is that there are genuine philosophical differences between the parties on many issues.  It's not as if everyone secretly agrees on the right policies but they all go out and pretend otherwise in order to pander to the base.  To the extent Mitt Romney has any actual beliefs, he certainly seems to be a very standard pro-business Republican.

by Steve M 2009-02-03 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

Pro-business Republican is not what you want in a role that is set to redefine the relationship between the private sector and public. I get what you mean- he's malleable, but the bottom line is that this is not a good decision regarding the signal it telegraphs from Obama.

by bruh3 2009-02-03 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

Ambinder is one of the smarter political journalists?  

Wow, you have low standards... I've always found him woefully ignorant.

by yitbos96bb 2009-02-03 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

Tell me who you think the smarter political journalists are.

by Steve M 2009-02-03 06:20PM | 0 recs
I don't think Ambinder's ignorant

And unlike the majority of political journalists, he's able to report on his subject without much of a personal ideological agenda.  Normally that is a virtue.  In this instance, however, it causes him to assume Obama's bipartisan-mania is common to all Dems (it isn't) and that the base's dislike of Romney has been greatly exaggerrated (it hasn't).  

by tammanycall 2009-02-04 11:44AM | 0 recs
Marc, don't take the brown acid...wait stop....

Oh no..too late.

OK Marc, just put on these headphones, I have The Grateful Dead Anthema of the Sun on continuous loop...stare into the blacklight poster, and think beautiful thoughts!

Will check in with you tomorrow.

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-03 02:50PM | 0 recs
Not to mention that:

-Romney's plan in Massachusetts has been a dead failure

-His big innovation is the "health insurer bailout"--also known as the mandated purchase of harmful private insurance products.  This is the big angle that the health insurers want, a federal law to require everyone to buy their products.  For obvious reasons.

-Obama's healthcare plan was specifically against these Massachusetts mandates, and presumably will continue to be so.  

by California Nurses Shum 2009-02-03 02:54PM | 0 recs
I'd only support this if it would actually


I am in no way confident it would.  I, too, fail to hate Mitt Romney.  He wasn't a trainwreck of a governor and he seems like a good father and husband.  He ain't all bad.

That said, he's waaaay too much of an ass hatchet to trust with this.

by Reaper0Bot0 2009-02-03 02:55PM | 0 recs
Yeah, he's great....

Unless you're his dog, then watch out!

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-03 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

I might be way out in right field on this one, but I personally wouldn't say "no way" to this one without more information.

We all know that, even with the presidency and a congressional majority, getting universal health care is just about the hardest progressive fight there is.  It's no accident that we are the only developed country without it, and that we have failed in other efforts previously.

If Obama and Romney could agree on an approach--and if we made sure that Romney couldn't find a way to screw over folks along the way (e.g., through anti-gay stuff, etc.), why not consider it?

by markjay 2009-02-03 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

I don't think Mitt is particularly well liked.

And, for somebody trying to push something through congress, that's a disadvantage.

by Bush Bites 2009-02-03 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

Romney would help Obama " Socialize " healthcare ?.

Not going to happen.

That would mean he doesn't want to be president.  

by lori 2009-02-03 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

Sirota is pretty much being proven right about everything.

by Marylander 2009-02-03 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

I'm not sure Romney would be the right choice either, but Commonwealth Care worked, at least while I lived in MA.  I went from paying $311 per month on COBRA to $113 per month on Commonwealth Care.  Granted, I qualified for a lower premium because I made less than $30,000, but COBRA sure didn't give me any breaks.  And because of our screwed up insurance system, I couldn't (and can't) ever lose coverage or I can forever be turned away for a preexisting condition.  So it wasn't as if I had a choice.  I think that system could work as a step on the way to single-payer universal health care, but I don't know that it would work on a national level.  And I don't know that I want a Republican out in front on this issue.  But it did work in Massachusetts.

by ProgressiveDL 2009-02-03 03:08PM | 0 recs
Nurses disagree

Both the Massachusetts Nurses and California Nurses Associations disagree with your point on Romney-Care.  

While subsidies may lead to some patient seeing fewer costs, they are at the end of the day subsidies to insurance corporations...which means we'll all be paying higher costs, for the pleasure of buying wasteful and inefficient care.  Here are some thoughts about Mitt Romney's health care record.

by California Nurses Shum 2009-02-03 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Nurses disagree

Fair enough.  I am not saying it will work for everyone or for the state as a whole, but it made my life a million times easier and it covered a lot more of lab costs than COBRA did.  This may just be an indictment of COBRA, which is really really crappy.  

by ProgressiveDL 2009-02-03 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

Marc Ambinder, without sourcing...

Pretty typical for Ambinder.

by fogiv 2009-02-03 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?

hell no.

by art3 2009-02-03 05:38PM | 0 recs

The Hyppocratic oath says "do no harm."  Asimov's first law for androids says "do no harm to humans."  Mittens is subject to the second law, but the effect is still the same.  Bring it!

by username 2009-02-03 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Mittens?


by Charles Lemos 2009-02-03 09:30PM | 0 recs


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