Healthcare accomplished, the messenger is leaving

April 9, 2010

Here’s an example of quitting while you’re ahead.

Linda Douglass took on what some last year might have considered an unenviable task — pushing the message of  President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform against a tide of criticism and a history of failure by past administrations.

 Remember, last year it did not always seem like a go.

But now that healthcare reform is in fact the law of the land, the former ABC News correspondent turned Obama campaign spokeswoman turned administration healthcare reform messenger has decided now would be a good time to leave and get back to basics. OBAMA/

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the President, and leaving this great team is bittersweet. After nearly two years of work that has been exhilarating and grueling in equal measure, I am going to step off the treadmill for awhile and rediscover the experience of dining with my husband on a regular basis,” Douglass said in a statement.

“It has been a privilege to be part of the health care team, and I will be cheering with pride from the sidelines as this historic law takes effect,” she said. 

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said that “Linda has been and will continue to be a valued advisor to this President and this White House. She was instrumental in the passage of historic health reform. We’ll miss her hard work and the cheer she brought to the effort.”

Photo Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Linda Douglass in middle)

For more Reuters political coverage click here


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

While Linda Douglass did an admirable job dismantling the right wing lies and talking points, the Democrats completely lost the PR messaging war. Democrats spent a huge amount of time and political capital making sure the bill was scored by the CBO as reducing the deficit. They even got into a serious fight with labor unions over excise taxes. Defending the new taxes depressed support for the bill and almost derailed the legislation because of a fight within the party. Yet, politically, Democrats have nothing on a PR front to show for their efforts.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which is Congress’s official scorekeeper, projects that the bill will reduce the deficit, and has projected this repeatedly about past versions of the bill. Making sure the bill got a good CBO became an obsession with Washington Democrats. All told, they probably wasted well over two months just waiting for CBO scores and making small changes so the bill was found to be deficit reducing.
And yet, according to polls, 65% of the country think the bill will push us further into debt, and only 22% of think it will improve the national debt. Even Democrats are evenly divided 40%-40%.
Ironically, it might be the conservative Democrats who cared so much about a good CBO score and wasted so much time over it that might end up losing their seats in November because a vast majority of Americans incorrectly think they voted for a bill that will increase the national debt.
Mission accomplished, Freedomworks and Americans For Prosperity. Linda Douglass, not so much.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive

Your post proved this health care fiasco is bad for America.

You said:

“Democrats spent a huge amount of time and political capital making sure the bill was scored by the CBO as reducing the deficit.”

Yeah, just keeping submitting crap and in the end you get crap…But the numbers look good. However, in reality, it will not be deficit “neutral”. That is laughable…

Thanks for proving what a pile of junk this is for America and Americans.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

“Democrats spent a huge amount of time and political capital making sure the bill was scored by the CBO as reducing the deficit.”

Yeah, the administration kept changing the inputs every time the CBO came out over a trillion dollars a year. It’s such a sham of a health care law. It WILL increase the debt, no government program doesn’t. Garbage in garbage out.

Americans know what they are talking about. This administration can’t fool them.

But if you live in Europe and won’t live under this wonderful health care law…just shut up. We don’t want to be like Europe.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

The bill does reduce the deficit. TyC does not know what he is talking about.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

I hope you are right Yellow. But time will show you are wrong.

I can’t believe getplaning actually proved how this whole health care fight has been a sham. They had to fight so long to get the numbers to say it wouldn’t increase the deficit that is can’t and won’t actually happen. As I said, the president put garbage in and he got garbage out, but in the end it said what he wanted after changing and changing and changing the inputs.

It doesn’t really matter, it’s the law and it was passed against the will of the people. Although, it wouldn’t surprise me if it doesn’t actually see the light of day.

But we won’t know any of that for nearly 4 years. In the meantime, you can play the “yes it does…no it doesn’t…yes it does” all by yourself.

You are a professional troll Yellow.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

Getplaning proved that you make things up out of thin air because you have lost the debate and refuse to give up. The CBO has scored the bill as deficit neutral.

What have you got? “Reality?”
We already know that you create your own reality as you go along, TyC.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

Yellow. I am trying to figure you out. You don’t add anything to the conversation.

You only follow me around and don’t even comment on the article or provide anything to the discussion.

All I have done is provide an opinion on the “issues”. If it is your lot in life to follow me around, then so be it.

You are acting like a child.

As for the CBO. I explained how the president kept changing the information he provided the CBO until he got the number he wanted.

If you believe the deficit won’t increase, then fine. That is your opinion. You can’t prove it won’t increase and I won’t accept your opinion just because you say so.

I happen to believe the deficit will increase. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid weren’t supposed to increase the deficit either, but they did.

In addition, this whole health care mess may not even see the light of day.

Of course, the money that will be “taken” from us 4 years before this mess starts will add to the deficit once that money dries up after the first decade. That’s only if congress keeps its paws off the money and doesn’t spend it on anything else.

No go away little boy, you are a boring troll.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

You calling other people on this blog trolls is pretty funny considering your posts all begin by addressing me or Getplaning or whoever you want to say is always wrong while you are always right.

You can’t even get that part right, can you?
In my post I wrote that the CBO scored the bill as deficit neutral. You claim I don’t even comment on the article. TyC lies again, what else is new?

Getplaning and I both wrote that the CBO scored the final bill as reducing the deficit.
In your world, that means that the bill will increase the deficit. You offer nothing to prove this, but that is nothing new, either.

You are just a troll who clogs up the threads with your “opinion”, which is almost always the complete reverse of the truth.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

It doesn’t matter what you wrote. All you did was regurgitate what the CBO said after the president kept changing the inputs. Of course, the CBO said the final inputs would reduce the deficit. No one believed the final numbers would say otherwise. Duh!

The fact of the matter is it will increase the deficit which will increase the debt. That’s why the president, Volker, congress are talking about a VAT. They know they can’t pay for this health care fiasco without raising taxes…alot. Deficit neutral or reduced? That’s a laugh and talk of the VAT proves it.

We will be rationed and the elderly are in for a shock because there is no money to pay for all we are going to be taxed for.

This isn’t open to debate. These are facts and little by little we are being conditioned for less health care (ie rationing).

If this is okay with you, then God bless you. However, over 58 percent of America isn’t on your side. People do not want this, but it was forced on us anyway.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

So you are saying the CBO is wrong, and using what, exactly to argue this point?

Nothing, exactly.

Have fun huffing and puffing, you have nothing.

Hey, that rhymes.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive