This isn't the first time Hillary and Newt have joined forces to push small-bore health improvements, but as both gear up for 2008 runs, it's worth taking it seriously. It's perhaps emblematic of where the parties are that these foes have ended up following such different strategies en route to 08. Newt just wrote a book that reads like a transcript of a conservative wet dream, it's all HSA's and privatization and sacking government. Hillary, on the other hand, is assiduously courting the center, proving herself everything but a wild-eyed liberal. So when the two join up, realize the subtext: Hillary is showing that she's repudiated the health care "radicalism" she's shown in the past while Newt is just gobbling up some headlines.
That's one thing that scare me about Hillary's candidacy. While her moves are smart and her tactical abilities considerable, she's more hemmed in on policy than I'm comfortable with. She, for instance, will never be able to push the sort of government-based health care reform we need as her past lashing on the issue would make future attempts impossible, not least because of the resulting media narrative. We need someone with the freedom and lack of baggage to propose big plans on important fronts, and I fear Hillary ain't the gal. This wouldn't be so galling, except check this graph (via Julie Saltman) from Pew's typology study:
There's a constituency for reform out there, we just need someone able to push it. I fear Hillary can't.
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