In the videotaped interview above by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while she was in Nairobi last week, there is an unmistakable sincerity in Clinton’s comments regarding her relationship with President Barack Obama.
As noted by Harry Siegel at Politico, Clinton was generous in her praise of the Obama Administration on both foreign and domestic matters. Regarding her relationship with the president in her role as secretary of state, Clinton said:
But I also believe that what I brought to the job, the real commitment that I have to being not just effective but being part of a team that's effective, which the president knows —- we served in the Senate together — has really worked out better than anybody could have predicted. I think our personal relationship has, you know, certainly deepened and broadened over the course of the last 6 1/2 months. The time that we spend together, the difficult problems that we wrestle with.
Siegel points out that Clinton was equally generous when speaking of the administration’s progress on health care reform:
And she praised Obama's health reform efforts and suggested that the consensus had shifted toward the need for reform since her bid to remake the system in the early 1990s:
"Back in ’93 and ’94, when I was on the front lines and taking all the incoming fire on this issue, people didn’t really accept in their gut that we had to do this. They kept thinking there’s another way out of this, and it’s not that bad. And we’ll try, you know, managed care, and we’ll try more HMOs. We’ll try all of that.
"And now all these years later, we realize that we have some fundamental problems with our existing system that have to be addressed. So I actually agree that at the end of the day, with all of this negotiation and back and forth, you know, we’re going to come up with something."
One has to envy Clinton’s self confidence and strength of character in her ability to put the campaign behind her despite the media’s boring repetitive attempts to incite conflict between her and her one-time rival. She has chosen to fulfill her responsibilities at state with a remarkable maturity and professionalism. So it’s no wonder her job approval as secretary of state remains in the 70s.
It’s not a stretch to credit Secretary Clinton with the fact that recent polls showed the administration’s approval in foreign policy was much higher than its approval in domestic matters.
And we have to note the media is aflame this morning regarding what is perceived by many as the White House’s sellout to the pharmaceutical industry. Robert Reich, a self-described fan of the Obama Administration, has posted a piece at Salon titled The White House Deal With Big Pharma Undermines Democracy.
According to Reich:
Last week, after being reported in the Los Angeles Times, the White House confirmed it has promised Big Pharma that any healthcare legislation will bar the government from using its huge purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices. That's basically the same deal George W. Bush struck in getting the Medicare drug benefit, and it's proven a bonanza for the drug industry. A continuation will be an even larger bonanza, given all the Boomers who will be enrolling in Medicare over the next decade. And it will be a gold mine if the deal extends to Medicaid, which will be expanded under most versions of the healthcare bills now emerging from Congress, and to any public option that might be included. (We don't know how far the deal extends beyond Medicare because its details haven't been made public.)
Let me remind you: Any bonanza for the drug industry means higher healthcare costs for the rest of us, which is one reason why critics of the emerging healthcare plans, including the Congressional Budget Office, are so worried about their failure to adequately stem future healthcare costs. To be sure, as part of its deal with the White House, Big Pharma apparently has promised to cut future drug costs by $80 billion. But neither the industry nor the White House nor any congressional committee has announced exactly where the $80 billion in savings will show up nor how this portion of the deal will be enforced. In any event, you can bet that the bonanza Big Pharma will reap far exceeds $80 billion. Otherwise, why would it have agreed?
And you don’t have to go far to see videotaped evidence popping up in the blogosphere showing how President Obama has violated yet another promise of Candidate Obama. There have been times since the Democratic convention when I’ve felt guilty for not falling in line behind Hillary Clinton in her loyal support for her party’s nominee, and I’ve even considered giving Obama a break. But then I’m confronted with yet another disastrous sellout by the White House, and I feel confirmed in the choice I made last year to leave the Democratic Party and re-register as non-affiliated.