Time to Thank the Losers for Obamacare

Snapped backstage during the CNN “Obamacare is great” Moment

You should thank Charlie Crist for losing in 2014. Here’s why.

On March 9, 2014, idling outside of CNN studios getting ready for Candy Crowley’s Sunday Show, Charlie got a little more direct with me than usual.

“I don’t want to lie. I’ve been the Governor before. I’m going to say what I think and I think it’s great. Do you want me to lie?”

Let me explain his bluntness.

In 2014, Governor Crist was trying to make his title current again.

The climate against President Obama and Obamacare was toxic. We were up slightly in polls, but knew we would be outspent 2–1, and might lose regardless of anything we controlled (spoiler alert: we did).

We talked through the interview.

I catch a lot of crap from some media consultants, but my style is to give my clients some background, ask them what they want to say, and then help them say it a little better. I had already finished that when I got a couple of urgent texts telling me to tell Charlie to not to stick up for Obamacare.

I didn’t agree, but politically, those folks were right. So, I told him.

Now that you know how he reacted to that, here’s what he said when Candy told him other Dems are sprinting away from Obama and asked if Obamacare had “irreparably harmed Floridians.”

“No, I don’t think so at all. I think it has been great. And I know the roll out was difficult. I’m sure the president feels that way it too… I just know that he has a compassionate heart, he cares about people. People getting health care is like a civil right. I mean people need to have shelter. They need food. They need water and they need health care and they deserve it. We’re the richest country in the world. We ought it provide it and God bless him for doing it.”

Watch the whole thing here.

This instantly became an attack ad against Charlie. He didn’t care.

It actually sounds like a message that would have won lots of states in 2016.

And will in 2018.

I know a lot of people don’t like Charlie because they think he’s what Nas calls a “poll-a-tician.” That may have been the case once, I don’t know. We didn’t become friends until 2011. But he certainly hasn’t been that lately.

And his backing of Obama and Obamacare might have cost him the election. Well, actually, probably more than one election. :)

What I do know is that this isn’t a unique story. There were plenty of Democrats that fell on the sword for Obamacare to get it passed in the first place. Tom Perriello, for instance. But for most there was no fanfare. There was no second chance at higher office, a TV gig, or a lucrative job.

And it’s time you shout them out. Thank them.

Later in that interview, the guy who had minutes ago reminded me he had already been Governor and didn’t need to mince words predicted on TV Obamacare “is going to be a very popular program.”

And turns out he was right. He lost, but he was right.

So find go all the losers for Obamacare in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

And thank them.

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