After NY-26, Will The Medicare Issue Scare The GOP?
Seniors vote. Always have and always will. Let seniors get a whiff that you will vote against their interests, then you should be scared. Last night, Dems won a special election in a very red congressional district, NY-26. The issue was Medicare and the GOP plan to dismantle it. How will the GOP react? Almost as interesting is how will Obama and the Dems react. The guy in charge of electing more House Dems, Steve Israel, was hammering on Medicare:
This isn't about a three-way race," said Israel. "This is about three issues: Medicare, Medicare and Medicare. Independents and seniors, if you look at the polling, are voting for the Democrat and when you ask them why, they say Medicare.
Some Dems seem willing to throw away the issue (see Steny Hoyer.) I trust the Obama Team will have more sense than that, but who knows? Paul Ryan, now the face of the GOP on Medicare, seems unwilling to go away:
Ryan said he wasn't surprised Democrats had focused on the Medicare issue. "Democrats have made it clear they were interested in medi-scare, scaring seniors," he told The Ballot Box. "And they're doubling down on that."
Ryan said a victory for Hochul in Tuesday's race wouldn't dampen enthusiasm in the GOP House Conference for his budget proposal. "No, I don't think so," Ryan said. "It just shows that they want to scare seniors and I don't think it's going to last. I think seniors are going to see through this, I think people are going to see through it."
I imagine the Republicans will be looking to people like Hoyer, and maybe Obama for that matter, to throw them a lifeline on Medicare. The Beltway wants that too.
Time will tell what they do. But in case the Obama folks are wondering what to do, here is what Bill Clinton did when Newt Gingrich decided to run on slashing Medicare in 1995 and 1996:
Clinton dubs latest budget proposal "dead on arrival"
November 18, 1995
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton vowed again Saturday to veto the Republicans massive plan to balance the budget. The House was expected to finalize the budget measure Saturday and send it to the White House.
During his weekly radio address, the president again expressed his concerns over budget expenditures for social programs. "This budget is dead on arrival when it comes to the White House," said Clinton," and, if the price of any deal are cuts like these, my message is no deal.
This approach will work now for Obama, imo.
Speaking for me only
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