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Kathleen Sibelius, if only I had known

April 11, 2014 - Paul Giannamore
I had the opportunity to interview Kathleen Sibelius when she was still governor of Kansas and was stumping for Barack Obama in 2008.

In Steubenville.

Home of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, which ended up having to sue her because of the Obamacare effort to dictate religious beliefs through insurance requirements.

But in March of 2008, Obamacare wasn’t yet a word. And our talk didn’t veer anywhere near healthcare.

Instead, she expressed her view of Obama as a “great new leader” and said he would bring inspiration, motivation and would be someone who would get the job done.

Sibelius is the daughter of the father of Ohio’s income tax, the late Gov. John Gilligan, who occupied the state’s chief executive’s office from 1971-1975.

I had noted she was the first daughter of a former governor to become a governor herself.

At one point in the comments, she said, ‘We have lost the sense that our greatest generations are yet to come and are not behind us. We really need a leader who believes that our best days are ahead of us and that by working together, we can really restore the greatness of America.”

At the time, I didn’t realize that meant leading a healthcare plan that only 39 percent of Americans (according to the last poll I saw a few weeks ago) would approve of six years later.

She also spoke of how Obama’s campaign was being funded by small contributions from average Americans, “not fat cats who are writing big checks.”

If I had only known that, according to the administration of which she has been a part, I’m now apparently a fat cat who owes more income tax at the end of the year than at any part of my adult life, that I cannot deduct expenses that used to be part of allowing the middle class be the middle class, that I’m part of a nation that pays people more to stay home than they would get at a real job because of a government benefits structure that incentivizes unemployment.

And then, at the bottom of my article, the kicker:

“Everybody has plans they say can solve those problems, but I think only one candidate left in this race can deliver on those plans, can bring Republicans, independents and Democrats together.”

Umm, well, I only report what they say.

Because since 2008 the Republicans have split into an extreme right wing and a confused main party that spends as much time fighting its own extreme wing as it does Democrats.

And that has led to Democrats who never compromise, who naysay anything from the Republican-controlled House that makes it to the Democrat-controlled Senate.

And he’s proven in his second term to be the President of the Executive Order, the guy who, when it can’t get it done in the divided Congress, is brazen about using the bureaucracy to get his way, be it on the troubled healthcare plan or killing coal through pollution controls or the soon-to-debut water regulations that will kill off the family farm by giving unprecedented control to the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.

No, in March 2008, Kathleen Sibelius was still the Governor of Kansas, not the lady who led the screwed up the healthcare rollout and rammed birth control and abortion payments down the throats of Catholic colleges.

It was just a cold Sunday afternoon at the IBEW in Steubenville. And I was glad to have had the interview.

Still am. Because words can be really ironic when revisited through the lens of recent history, can’t they?


Article Comments



Apr-16-14 12:58 PM

It's just a blog post, but try to look up some facts. Like that the President has way fewer exec. orders than Bush or Clinton. Heck, at least spell her name right.


Apr-14-14 8:35 PM

This dude is out there with the rest of these nuts. If it sells papers, so be it. Still waiting on the "republican plan". Repeal is not an answer so WHAT YOUR NUTTY FIX...Don't have one right?

Apr-14-14 10:45 AM

I admired Ms. Sebelius and still do. She weathered the ACA rollout fire-storm with an amazing amount of grace and composure.

As many of us moderates also desired, she holds high hopes for Mr. Obama’s potential to bring some unity to the polar opposite parties. We did not, could not foresee the amount of vitriol released that has so poisoned the political atmosphere, even to the point of nearly fracturing the Republican Party. Maybe we were just not ready for him. A pity.


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