Hillarycare is Obamacare and vice versa. Both candidates in 2008 supported universal health care. Hillary Clinton, if she hopes to win in 2016, has to be for universal health care while being against it. Trying to thread that needle will be difficult to say the least. As with Benghazi, the Hillarycare-Obamacare questions will weigh down her candidacy with both the left (who fear pulling away from Obamacare) and the right who know in her heart she supports this stuff.
It is hard to see how Barack Obama is going to recover from the pummeling he has received at the polls. Obamacare is just one big rolling disaster for the White House, and a huge political albatross that will weigh down the rest of the president’s second term. US voters also have little faith in Obama’s big government economic policies.All of this is bad news for Hillary Clinton, who at present is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Many of the problems facing Obama, including a deeply unpopular health care reform, disillusionment with his economic policies, and a growing rejection of his liberal ideology, will be inherited by the former Secretary of State, who has significant problems of her own, not least the fallout from the Benghazi debacle. According to The Washington Post/ABC poll, 49 percent of Americans see the Obamacare law as “unworkable”, yet Clinton has championed the president’s health care reforms. Like Obama, Clinton is a firm believer in big government, and ideologically it’s hard to draw a line between the two. Barack Obama’s decline is not just the story of a president who fell to earth, but also a tale of Americans rejecting a liberal ideology that is more at home in continental Europe than it is in the United States.
As recently as September, Hillary Clinton was forcefully defending Obamacare: (emphasis added)
“I find the debate over the issue to be quite unfortunate,” Clinton said at an afternoon panel at the Clinton Global Initiative in Manhattan, two hours before her husband and President Obama were set to take the stage to discuss the health care initiative...“On the one hand a law was passed, it was upheld by the Supreme Court, it is the law of the land,” she said, contrasting the situation with President George W. Bush’s efforts to expand Medicare Part D, which brought about a different response from congressional Republicans...In fact, she argued, Republicans would be making a grave mistake to force a shutdown or, even worse, a default on the nation’s debt in order to try and force Democrats’ hand on the health care law. Clinton, of course, devoted the early part of her husband’s presidency to an ultimately failed effort to enact comprehensive health care reform — and was a vocal advocate for overhaul during her 2008 presidential campaign...“Nobody is saying [Obamacare is] a perfect bill,” Clinton added. “But it was a very important step forwaard on behalf of our country” to lessen health care costs and get people ensured.
Lock that last comment in. It ties in with her own 2008 presidential campaign platform. Make no mistake, she backs this healthcare Act.
"If you have a plan you like, you keep it." Hillary in 2007
The Plan: Given all the ammunition the Republicans will have on Hillary in relation to this debacle, she has to distance herself from Obamacare. That much is obvious. Bill Clinton started that ball rolling when he admonished Obama on Obamacare.
JAKE TAPPER: I don’t know, it’s interesting, we had Joel Pollack from Breitbart News on our panel today, and he thought that Bill Clinton, what Bill Clinton said today in that interview in which Bill Clinton extolled the virtues of Obamacare, but then also made this comment that got a lot of press, and he must have known it would, saying that he thought that the bill would need to be, the law would need to be tweaked so that the commitment that the President made, that if you like your health care you can keep your health care, would have to be kept. And Joel Pollack thought that that was, that was a way for Hillary to be distancing herself from Obamacare. Her husband out there presenting himself and the Clinton brand as pragmatic and opposed to some of the unpopular parts of the bill.HEWITT: But Jake Tapper, does that work? If we remember correctly, Ira Magaziner and Hillary cooked up an even more complicated, even less market-oriented disaster of an Obamacare bill back when it was Hillarycare. Can she possible distance herself from this fiasco?TAPPER: Well, first of all, I’m sure she would distance herself from your description of if then. But I mean, it’s an interesting question... And again, this is just Joel’s theory. I mean, Hillary Clinton hasn’t said anything about Obamacare. And if I were her, I probably wouldn’t until the bill has had more time to play out and have the kinks worked out. And obviously, the coverage that it’s been experiencing since October 1st is not going to be the coverage that it has in perpetuity.
The problem (for Hillary): The left, armed with the knowledge that Hillary may have a cakewalk to the Democratic nomination, fear her - particularly on the issue of Obamacare.
So with Democrats entering into the 2016 race with the clear upper hand, why does it seem like the left is anxious to recruit a challenger? We keep hearing rumblings about Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Howard Dean, and Martin O'Malley.Why?Because if Hillary becomes president by coronation, she doesn't owe anybody anything. And then, who knows what she might do?In the same way that conservative activists live in fear that Republican picks for the Supreme Court have a tendency to "evolve" leftward on issues like abortion and gay rights once they are freed from the politics of the Senate confirmation process, progressive activists are perpetually anxious that Democratic presidents will drift rightward on issues like Social Security, welfare spending, and Wall Street regulation once surviving the gauntlet of presidential politics.
From the perspective of conservatives, any attempt to push Hillary further left will ring alarm bells. While for the left it may serve as a tactic to get her locked into Obamacare with certainty before her nomination, it means she could reside there during a Hillary presidency. The good news, is that polls indicate she's going to suffer voter softening because of her association to Obamacare and she's also going to face left wing revolt that could harm her as well during the primaries. Not everyone agrees with that assessment. Frontpage Mag offers a reasoned counter-argument:
The ObamaCare failure is really the present that she had been waiting for. Hillary’s problem is that she’s the Romney of the Democratic Party, the expected candidate that everyone expects to come out on top but that no one really likes much. Her only selling point is “experience” though the experience consists of being a First Lady, briefly a senator in a blue state, and a disastrous tenure as Secretary of State. But it’s still more than Obama had.
Hillary needs Obama screwups to make the case that the Democratic Party should choose an experienced First Lady over another Hope and Changer spewing lefty dogma from a teleprompter. And a health care screw up is perfect, because it’s right up her alley. If ObamaCare had somehow worked, there would be an unfortunate contrast between her health care failure and his success. But now she gets to tell supporters that if more experienced grownups were in charge, instead of overeager lefty kindergarteners who were good at Twitter but bad at policy, it would have worked.
Who knows, maybe she can't be stopped and this will help her. But if it represents a risk to conservatism, it also represents an opportunity to be grabbed. After all, how easy would it be for the GOP to defeat a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren nominee? Then again, I said that about both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.