Compare and Contrast: Obama’s Campaign and Obama’s Health Care Program

A reader makes an excellent point that I haven’t seen anywhere else:

Has anyone commented on the dichotomy between Obama the candidate and Obama the President with regard to data planning and execution? Obama the candidate (both in 08 and 12) was lauded (and Romney ridiculed) for his and his team’s data analysis and mining, online communications, ability to target and reach voters and raise lots of $$$$$ through online and other communications, get out the vote, etc. Numerous glowing stories were written about this and the consultants who built this machine have made lots of money.

In contrast, Obama the President had three-plus years to plan for the rollout of his signature piece of legislation, the ACA, and the website they constructed and the exchanges have failed miserably. I saw where the Chief Information Officer for the website said the site operates fine if there are only 50,000 visitors. Obviously, one would think that the rollout on Oct 1 would lead to a lot of curiosity and interest and corresponding large numbers of visitors to the website. This appears to show the callousness, indifference, hypocrisy, aloofness, and incompetence of Obama the President in actually governing and making sure that the individuals he uses as political props get benefits out of the program he campaigned on and drones on about endlessly.

That’s right: Obama the candidate and his minions put together one of the most technically sophisticated operations ever, and reached millions of people. Obama the president can’t be bothered to reach a minimal standard of competence in the same fields of expertise. Another example of the fact that Obama loves to run, hates to govern.

PAUL ADDS: I agree. It has occurred to me that Obama left the writing of “Obamacare” to congressional Democrats (they came up with an approach he did not advocate as a candidate) and seems to have left its implementation largely to the regular bureaucratic process. If he called on his campaign wizzes to help in the process, I’m not aware of it.

In fairness, running a campaign is much less demanding than running a bureaucracy. But it seems to me that Obama has made less effort than most modern presidents to put his footprint on the federal bureaucracy.

Naturally, Democratic presidents will see remaking the bureaucracy as less of a priority than their Republican counterparts. But in my view, Obama has made less of an effort to shake things up than Presidents Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton (remember “reinventing government?”) did.

So I conclude, subject to the opinions of presidential historians like Steve, that, yes, Obama isn’t really all that into governing.


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