Ed Rendell is the former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, a former DNC Chairman, and a longtime Clinton acolyte. He was on Team Hillary in 2008 and will likely feature prominently on her 2016 bandwagon, too. His biting commentary on Obamacare's catastrophic roll-out, therefore, is noteworthy for two reasons: First, it's a partisan Democrat criticizing the president's handling of his signature domestic initiative in unusually harsh terms. And second, it's a preview of how Team Hillary plans to cleanse itself of the Obamacare stench. Via MSNBC's Morning Joe:
"Yeah, I think there was terrible mismanagement...if it was my program, I would have been testing it six months out; every week, I would have been running tests and the tests would have been run in front of me."
Politico picks up on the 2016 subtext, which may have been heightened by former Obama adviser David Plouffe's comments over the weekend about Obamacare not being fully functional until after the next presidential election. Rendell isn't throwing Obamacare the policy to the wolves here; he's clobbering Barack Obama's failed leadership and "terrible mismanagement," which he agrees is historic in nature. Translation: This whole enterprise would've been a monument to federal prowess if -- cough -- someone else had been overseeing it. To the extent that Obamacare is still hurting Democrats in three years, Hillary Clinton will echo much of Obama's rhetoric about affordable care and pre-existing conditions, then wash her hands of any bad news and insist that she possesses the core competence to get the law running effectively. "I would have done things better" is impossible to disprove, aside from pointing out the boaster's past ineptitude. That being said, Obama's total boot-job on his own legacy project is startlingly embarrassing. Here's an actual quote from the man himself:
“We’re evaluating why it is exactly that I didn’t know soon enough that [Healthcare.gov] wasn’t going to work the way it needed to.”
He didn't know much anything, and he's "evaluating" why the hell not. Great. (As an added bonus, contrast Obama's comments about the public's perceptions of his trustworthiness in that CNN interview with CNN's poll on said issue). So Hillary may get some traction with this approach insofar as voters believe her to be more capable than the man she lost to eight years prior, but she'll still be saddled with the fundamental flaws of the law. Explaining that one would have implemented a bad "reform" in a less derelict manner isn't a great boon if one still embraces its underlying flaws. As I've discussed previously, Obamacare is Hillarycare. She proposed the individual mandate tax. She pioneered the false "keep your plan" pledge. She claimed massive new mandates would somehow bring down costs. Sticker shock, access shock, and coverage dumping are all going to intensify over the next few years. No amount of professed managerial shrewdness or self-interested distancing will erase those realities on the ground. And the internet is forever: