Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the architect of her husband's failed health legislation, was obsessed with Obamacare as it faced legislative hurdles and victories, offering advice, thanking supporters and apparently taking delight when compared to her own effort, according to new Clinton emails released by the State Department.
Clinton's interest was noted in the Senate, where friend and Sen. Barbara Mikulski mentioned problems with the initial Obamacare bill in a messy email after Clinton's 2009 fall when she broke her elbow.
The Maryland Democrat wrote: "Am so glad to hear frm you/Hi knew this was painful combined with logistics of being a woman--know. How streddful this must be----the other night the. Senate. Women had dinner anyway---all sent good words. And encouragement. To a woman theyb all said. Oh my imagine just getting dressed and the. Hair thing. Get your therapy. Get better. The senate is slogging along health care is starting to sag. --- some days it feels like we are doing the public option off backof envelope. Call when you can. X."
Clinton responded in an edited note, "Barb--Thanks, my dear friend, for your good wishes. I am on the mend, Let's try again for dinner soon. Happy 4th!! All the best, Hillary"
Hillary Clinton manned her husband's health care task force. AP Photo
In another email, and for no stated reason, Clinton references her days as Bill Clinton's health care czar, asking for speeches she and he gave to doctors at the time. "Pls pull for me the speeches I and/or Bill gave about health care to any doctor group in the 90s," she wrote.
Some aides and friends gleefully shipped her stories about how her health care plan was as good as Obama's. Obama health care aide and longtime Clinton ally Neera Tanden sent along one titled "A Year Later, Hillary Wins."
Tanden, now president of the Obama-linked think tank, Center for American Progress, wrote Clinton, "Sorry to flood your email, but I couldn't resist sending this to you from Ben Smith," a Politico reporter.
Clinton had earlier, in September 2009, sent Tanden this note on health care. "Neera--does this make sense given the inside back and forth? Pis offer reactions, additions and anything else you think might help." The rest was blanked out.
In another email, Clinton heralded the vote opening the healthcare debate in the Senate, writing on November 21, 2009, "Finally!!! Who didn't vote?"
Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski warned Clinton that Obamacare support was sagging. AP Photo
She also penned an email with the subject line "health care calls," but virtually everything else was edited out of public view.
And she was clearly on the Obamacare cheering team, emailing Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, a note of thanks for blasting GOP "death panel" attacks in a Washington Post column.
"Strobe--Thanks to you and Devin for speaking out so personally and persuasively about the end of life decisions which will face us all. I hope the absurd 'death panels' argument can be put to rest so people can have the peace of mind that planning provides. Hope to talk again soon. Best, H"
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.