July, 30th 2007

Miscellaneous Rudy developments...

– Liz Mair

I'm pleased to see that one of my favorite Members of Congress, Rep. Judy Biggert, who is pretty much one of about five leading lights in the entire US Congress where the environment and energy policy are concerned, has gone ahead and endorsed Rudy Giuliani. For those who don't recall Biggert's record on the environment fully, she's the one who introduced a bill in the last Congress that would basically dramatically increase incentives for production and use of new energy-efficient, and alternative-energy based, technologies, like hydrogen cars, hybrid plug-ins, and so on.

In my view, her signing onto Rudy's campaign is therefore positive, in that it sends a message that one of the most forward-thinking political leaders, who wants to use carrots, as opposed to sticks, to improve our environment, further develop an important sector of our economy, and help move us towards energy independence-- for all the usual conservation and security-based reasons-- thinks this is the guy. Note that Rep. Jerry Weller, also of Illinois, has signed onto Rudy's campaign-- and between him and Rep. Biggert, they're sending a strong message that Rudy is the Republican who can win in a normally blue state.

Also of note: Rudy has released details of his health care policy team-- and it includes Mark McClellan, the former head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (and the FDA commissioner serving when the possibility of Plan B OTC sales was nixed), and Sally Pipes, who like me, is a disparager of RomneyCare.

McClellan jumping on board will probably result in a little bit of backlash in the liberal blogosphere (more of the "Rudy's just as big a right-winger as Sam Brownback" type chat)-- it will presumably be predicated on the notion that if you bring on board a guy who was involved in saying "no" to selling Plan B over the counter, then you must be a scary moralist anti-contraception Nazi. Of course, there were, and still are, real health-based concerns associated with selling Plan B without medical advice on it being dispensed first (likely with a prescription), so McClellan's actions aren't something that particularly rile me up-- or rather, they don't rile me up any more than the failure of the FDA to approve selling regular old birth control pills over the counter, since there would also be health risks in doing that, but ultimately, I think that in consultation with a pharmacist, people can probably make their own decisions about contraceptives that have been in common use for years and years now, and with much less cost and hassle than we currently have.

As for Pipes, well, unsurprisingly, since I think RomneyCare is only about 2% better than HillaryCare, and that what Giuliani is proposing in the area of health care policy is about 100x better than either, I'm very glad to see her on board...


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