My phone has been ringing off the hook since Tuesday night with questions like: “What does this mean?” “Is Healthcare Dead?” “Is Teddy turning over in his grave?” “Will this make Obama wake up?” I have to say, I don’t exactly know the answer to all of these questions, but Tuesday night was an amazing event to watch. What has been even more interesting is the reaction after the fact. How refreshing is it to have a President digest these events, quickly reflect, and decide to make slight adjustments in his course. As Obama said, “I hear you.” I am not sure Congress hears you. But I am hearing more rumblings about a jobs bill.
Will we get a healthcare bill? That is the Million Dollar Question! I think we have come too far to get nothing. Something will be passed. The House won’t simply pass the Senate bill. My bet right now is on Congress passing a stripped down bare bones healthcare reform bill that will have all of the controversial stuff deleted (the kick backs to Senators Landrieu and Nelson, tax on Cadillac plans, etc). This will anger the left for not going far enough and anger the right for passing anything. But the Administration can’t walk away without having some sort of healthcare reform passed. It won’t be easy to pass anything but they need to do it quickly.
Even more exciting about the current situation is it puts all the pressure on Pelosi. I have been amazed (actually impressed) she has lasted this long and this will really test her skills. The weight of passing a new Healthcare bill in the House rests squarely on Pelosi’s shoulders.
I also think it is important to note that Brown didn’t win because the Republicans have gotten it together, developed a national message and strategy and have strong leadership. In fact, we won the Senate Seat almost in spite of ourselves. This was truly a grassroots, from the people win. It was based on the Independent Middle making a choice. I find that more refreshing than anything.
One of the things I find even more interesting about this election is what messages resonated with the people of Massachusetts. Of course the number one message was voting “no” on Healthcare. But running a second close was Brown’s message on what we should be doing with terrorist suspects. He does not believe we should grant criminal trials to terrorist suspects. In fact, he has a quote often repeated on his campaign trail: “I believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation – they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime,” Brown said. “In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them.” Some political analysts actually believe this national security issue played more in his favor with voters then his anti-health bill stance.
I find it all fascinating and I am looking forward to someday meeting our newest Senator.