JOINED: Mike Beebe's popularity is a key to the campaign of Mike Ross, who hopes to succeed him.
The New York Times today writes
on the success of a number of the country's governors
, including Gov. Mike Beebe
of Arkansas, in a time when Washington politicians have fallen into nearly universal disfavor. Capable, popular and at times able to avoid the partisanship that dominates Washington.
Said the article on Beebe:
One striking difference between the federal and state level is how governors have dealt with the new health care law. Even as lawmakers in Washington have been embroiled in battles to repeal it, governors in Arkansas and Iowa, to name two, have successfully worked with both parties in search of a compromise to expand insurance coverage for their constituents.
Mr. Beebe overcame a Republican-controlled legislature and a constitutional requirement that he secure a three-fourths supermajority to expand Medicaid coverage. And he did so by winning the approval of Mr. Obama’s administration to use the federal money included in the law to buy private insurance for low-income residents.
This hybrid model won 77 of 100 votes in Arkansas’s House. “We did it by inclusiveness, we did it with facts, and we did it with logic over ideology,” said Mr. Beebe, noting that six Republican governors had since contacted him to ask about his approach.
Funny. I thought Republicans took credit for the "private option." Lots of them are running from it now. A special state Senate election in Jonesboro, in fact, could be critical in reauthorization, with little love for it expressed by the Republican candidates for the job.
Beebe's popularity and success are critical to Mike Ross, the Democrat who hopes to succeed him. And it explains why Republicans daily sneer at Beebe, his staff, his record and anything else handy. But, as we might have learned from "The Gamble," the book I mentioned earlier today,
all that campaign messaging may not matter much. Are people going to believe Nate Bell about Mike Beebe or their own lying eyes?