Saturday, June 1, 2013

The "Last "Obamacare Campaign:  Plausible Desirability Versus Plausible Deniability
The president is very good at campaigning and very bad at governing.  Governing requires a lot of personal interaction with people you don't  particularly like. It requires intense one-on-one persuasion.
Whit Ayres, Republican pollster, May 31, 2013

President Obama is now engaged in what he assures us  is his “last campaign.”  He is hellbent on carrying  out his second term agenda – lifting the middle class out of its current economic doldrums  by taxing the rich, investing billions in infrastructure spending,  and expanding healthcare access for Medicaid and the poor, defined as a family of four making less than $89,600.
The success of Obamacare is at the heart  of this campaign.  He must persuade at least 7 million citizens, especially young healthy people and minorities,   to sign up for the health exchanges starting on October 1, 2013.   To do this,  he and his advisors are launching a White House-based  multimillion dollar PR initiative consisting of frequent  Obama speeches across the country, often at college commencements,  prime time TV ads, countless door knockings, and social media saturation.  
The campaign will feature positive benefits so far,   anecdotal stories of patients saved through federal largess,   and the promise that exchanges will offer abundant consumer choice and lower premiums generated by insurance company competition.  To advance this monumental effort, the administration has developed 78 talking points and has simplified the online application by reducing it from 21 to 3 pages. 

To succeed, the president must develop a unifying message of “plausible desirability” of Obamacare.  This is difficult, because so far Obamacare has raised premiums,   caused businesses to delay hiring,  to reduce low level workers to 39 hours a week, and to drop 10 million  workers or so from coverage.
Aligned against Obama's  last campaign are the House GOP,  GOP governors,   500 conservative groups denied tax-exempt status by the IRS, right-of-center Americans, and 55% of Americans who think Obamacare should be repealed.
Complicating the campaign is a flurry of scandals – Benghazi,  the Fox News and Associated Press incursions,  the Kathleen Sibelius attempt to raise private funds to pay for health exchanges, and the  IRS delay or denial of tax exempt status for Obama’s ideological foes.  
The Obama position is that these are not scandals at all, but mistakes carried out by underlings who knew not what they are doing.   He has yet to explain why the head of the IRS made 118 visits to the White House over the course of two presidential campaigns while conservative groups were being denied tax exemptions.  
His defense has been that he does not interfere with iongoing nvestigations,  that the Justice Department, State Department,  the Department of the Treasury, and the IRS are "independent" federal agencies,  and that all he knows is what he reads in the papers.  To which a Wall Street Journal ran a May 24  editorial with the title,  “If the President Doesn’t Run the Country: Then Who Does?”  The question  is:  Does  the President’s positions on these matters fall into the category of “Plausible Deniability.?
Tweet:   Obama  is leading a campaign to assure Obamacare’s success: does the campaign have “plausible desirability” or “plausible deniability?”

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