In the last two weeks, we saw Mitt Romney win the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, and in both of his election night speeches, Romney cited the speeches of President Obama, four years earlier, in those states.
And while much of the speeches were the poetry of that campaign, about hope and change, it was also notable to remember what policies were noted. It’s a useful accountability moment, to both note that some of the goals cited by Obama have been accomplished, like ending the Iraq war, and others where there’s clearly more work to do–such as action on climate change.
But was was also notable, way back when, was how prominent was the goal of health reform. It’s a useful reminder to remember that President Obama campaigned on health care issues actively in 2008–both in the general election, and even in primaries–even when consultants told him it wasn’t an issue that helped him, since his rival Hillary Clinton had so much credibility and goodwill on the issue herself. It also undermines those who claim that the “Affordable Care Act” was rushed into passage: it wasn’t just that it took over a year of excruciatingly detailed debate–it was one of the main plank and platforms of the campaign.
Now we are embarking on a new campaign, where health care will again be a key issue–not just on the Affordable Care Act, but on Medicare and Medicaid. And once again, there’ll be an opportunity for an accountability moment.