That Musta Been Some Health-Care Speech


Walking up the long and luxuriously paved hill to Shaker Heights High on Thursday afternoon with my two-year-old daughter Isabel in a stroller, a peanut-butter cookie smeared all over her face and dress, I’d never felt angrier at the president I helped to vote into office.

Of course, how angry could I have been? But still: You don’t want to see me? After all you’ve been through?

I called to reserve a spot on Wednesday morning for your big local unveiling of a Health-Care Plan to Save All Health-Care Investors, the one you crafted with all those dozens of insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists who came to the White House in recent months to be thanked for your victory against Hillary. The ones you still doesn’t want to talk about?

Cheney did something like that with the energy lobby and the Dems were all over it. And rightly so. But this health plan is a plan that’s better than the plan we’ve got, so I’ll get the word out like a good little drone.

One of your spokeswomen on the press release told me later that day that basically the mainstream media had this one covered. All filled up. Good thing somebody could be there to record it all.

But you let me in last year twice, and even let me come and go to smoke when you wanted all the press we could stomach. You even let that guy with the goiter in on Thursday, and he said some not-nice things about you on the way out. But me and my big-eyed Isabel — we watched it later in our minds’ eyes.

At the gates, Isabel sadly couldn’t woo anyone with authority. But we tried. And so we talked to people outside, liberals and conservatives alike, and you know what, B? They all fucking love you. Except for that little cluster of tax-whining poster-boarders, huddled around their champion, the guy holding the one with your picture as Jesus, warning passersby to “BEWARE FALSE IDOLS.” They hate you, and we know why: You’re not Sarah Palin. But the guy’s right, if only about the false idols thing. “Was he wearing a halo in there today?” he asked the throngs leaving the forum. Most people laughed. Good one. “Thank God He’s come,” one woman shouted over her shoulder. I think she was talking about you.

One girl was telling someone in her phone how she touched your hand. Not sure if she rehashed the talking points. Remember when I touched your hand? Isabel might never know how that even feels now.

A young black kid walking with a male mentor picked up one of the orange NO PARKING signs and carried it away as a souvenir. The man didn’t even question it. And why should he?

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