Mobilizing the Health Care Troops: Bring Back the Big Dog

If the administration is hoping to rally Democrats around the country to support health care reform, it ought to enlist Bill Clinton for big town halls.

If the administration is hoping to rally Democrats around the country to support health care reform (er, excuse me, health insurance reform), maybe it ought to enlist Bill Clinton for big town halls. His most recent junket went pretty well.

Yes, yes, I know, I know: he’s undisciplined, he’s off message, he’ll step on Obama’s toes, yadda yadda yadda. Maybe that’s what the White House wanted to see about the North Korea trip. Clinton did pretty well. And no; this won’t remind anyone of 1993: the press is already talking about 1993, and no one else really cares.

There’s only one political figure in the nation with greater drawing power than Clinton, and for some reason he has decided to be a shrinking violet in the Rose Garden (if that’s possible — can you be a violet in a rose garden?). And consider the metaphysical possibilities. The heads of the right-wing nutcases have already exploded over a very centrist health care plan: can they explode again within a matter of days?

Get the Big Dog out there.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.