Monday, September 22, 2008

Inside politics - why McCain "wrote" that banking was a good guide for health care reform

Emphases mine. Poignant, and funny. Worth remembering the next time your industry rag features the wisdom of a major political figure ...
James Fallows (September 22, 2008) - Edging back into politics: "My First Kill" (Life)

Many people have noted that this past week was a bad time for John McCain to have published an article promising to deregulate the health insurance industry, "as we have done over the last decade in banking," given the collapse of the banking industry due in part to that deregulation.

... my immediate reaction to the flap was to sympathize with whatever poor schlub had actually cranked out the article in question, which appeared in Contingencies, the closely-followed journal of the American Academy of Actuaries. The article just before it in Contingencies's newest issue was "An Actuary Weighs the Proposals." I love the magazine business.

Two things are 100% certain about this article:
1) John McCain did not write it;
2) Whoever did write it was just trying to get through the to-do deadline list for that day in the campaign office, and knew that the simplest way to do so was to cut-and-paste from existing statements on health policy.
I sympathized because on my very first day as a cub speechwriter in the Jimmy Carter campaign office, 26 years old and ready to inspire the nation, I was told that I had two hours to turn out an article "by" Carter for an important interest group...
Sniff. And we thought they really cared.

BTW, if you remember Carter's hunting rep, it came in part from Fallows cub assignment for a gun club rag ...

(Fallows, btw, is very much in the magazine business.)

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