Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Thoughts on Biden

The problem with Biden is not substantive. He seems intelligent, if not exceptionally so. He is quite affable, sensible in his policy prescriptions, and on paper complements Obama nicely. He brings foreign policy gravitas to the campaign, and in general, experience. His sins are his candor and verbosity. The former is refreshing and is actually consonant with the general "change" theme of the Obama campaign. The latter, his verbosity, or really a propensity towards verbal diarrhea, is what is potentially toxic in the modern campaign. In his own campaign for president, which unfortunately never gained traction, he seemed to tame his tendency to put his foot in his mouth.

I hasten to add, my observation and the core of my criticism is exceedingly shallow. But alas, so are presidential campaigns and their media coverage.

Biden as VP

This one surprised me. I like Biden, and on paper, he was the ideal pick. However, I think he is an awful, awful campaigner and this is the one time where I thought McCain has a chance.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Medicare's Efficiency

One of the points that single payer advocates make is the potential cost savings we could reap from low overhead costs, they then point to medicare. This, they conflate with efficiency. However, that Medicare has low administrative costs should not surprise us, all medicare does is process claims. Thus, if medicare were to process ten times the claims it does now while maintaining its staffing concerns, it would be even more efficient by such a metric. Never mind the fact that costs could as well grow ten fold without having a discernible impact on health outcomes. I don't point this out to indicate that private health insurance is the answer, just to note that administrative efficiency shouldn't be considered such a potent talking point.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Enquirer Sacks John Edwards

I would guess at this point his potential VP nod or Attorney General post is off the table. For those of you who doubt the National Enquirer, I have six words for you: Jesse Jackson, Rush Limbaugh, Gary Hart.