I love the columnist activity in peak campaign time, and this year is no exception. Paul Krugman of the Times is one of my favorite columnists, so I was surprised to see the response his columns on health care the last couple of weeks ago have gotten from the Obama campaign, who you would think would be all about someone like Krugman. Instead they’re attacking a solidly progressive columnist with the vigor of Republican attack dogs! Note to Senator Obama – we expect this from Republicans, but not from one of our own – and certainly not from someone who has talked about running a campaign of hope and positive ideals.
Krugman’s looking at all three health plans, those from Clinton, Edwards, and Obama, and talking about what of all those ideas make sense. Yes, Krugman is a little more critical now, but that’s in response to Obama being more critical of the others’ plans now. I like Obama, but it worries me that he’s getting defensive and attacking Krugman for raising legitimate questions about his plan. That’s what happens in elections and his campaign should have been prepared with answers, not arrows back at the columnist. Obama’s plan leaves more than 15 million people uninsured. He should spend some time answering those questions and less time on Krugman. It makes me wonder if he’s doing this with an eye toward the general election, taking on more conservative language that avoids sounding like he’s in favor of socialized health care or using the word “mandate.” Seems a little too early for that and don’t we get enough of that from the Republicans? Plus, this isn’t the first time. Remember the Obama – Krugman go-around over social security when Obama talked about the social security “crisis”? Put down the Republican playbook. We expect the scare mongering from the Right, not the Left.
I’m not sure I completely agree with Joan Vennnochi’s comparison of Obama and Deval Patrick this morning, but it’s interesting, for sure. Sometimes style, rather than substance, can be what makes the difference, especially with so much of America voting on style, not substance! Absurd, but true. How else was our current president foisted upon us?? Personally, I’ll take some more substance and urge all of our candidates to do the same.