Mitt’s Nemesis

While Jeb Bush is having one of those weeks, Mitt Romney has been doing his best to distract attention from the suddenly inept Floridian with his own questionable utterances, particularly his comment during an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace that Obamacare gave the president an irresistible advantage during the 2012 cycle.

Loosely speaking, that may be true, insofar as Obama could straight-forwardly take credit for health care reform whereas Romney has had to spend at least half-a-decade in the grotesque position of denying the exceptional similarity between the president’s initiative and his own as governor of Massachusetts.

But the Washington Examiner‘s Phillip Klein, echoing Reason‘s Peter Suderman, suggests a more visceral reason: Romney wanted to campaign on his health reform record and Obama preempted that appeal by taking Mitt’s ideas national.

Anyway you slice it, Romney’s preoccupation with this subject makes sense: health care policy was his nemesis throughout the 2012 campaign, from his pretzel-logic about his own record to his struggles with the Medicare proposals of his running mate. I don’t know if he would have had a better chance of victory if he had been able simply to drone monotonously and vaguely about jobs the entire campaign, but the health care issue was not helpful.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.