April 13, 2014

Andrea Mitchell asks Kathleen Sebelius: "Along the way, what was your low point?"

On "Meet the Press" this morning. And Sebelius said:
Oh, Andrea, it would have to be the time I curled up into a little ball and cried all day. If it weren't for all the ice cream... people say I wasn't good at planning for all the things that could go wrong, but I did have the foresight to load the freezer with chocolate-chip Haagen Dazs... I cried and cried and consoled myself with ice cream and I tell you, Andrea, if it weren't for all that ice cream, I would have committed suicide.
Actually, that's not what Sebelius said. That's what I said watching "Meet the Press" and thinking Andrea Mitchell had resorted to an absurdly girlie question.

What Sebelius actually said was: "Well, I would say that the eight weeks where the site was not functioning well for the vast majority of people was a pretty dismal time. And I was frankly hoping and watching and measuring.... " etc. etc. Pretty dismal, but not emotional in any personal way.

27 comments:

Ron said...

"Kathy, if Obamacare were a tree, what kind of tree would it be?"

Michael K said...

Poor little girls. The world is filled with meanies.

Jason said...

Eight weeks? That's all?

Carl said...

So who these days, unless he's paid to do so or has a morbid taste for watching train wrecks in slow-mo, watches "Meet The Press" besides girls and betas? Mitchell knows her audience.

Jason said...

I think Sebelius should be held accountable for her shameless lying about Obamacare's viability, her dishonesty and concealment of the program's key metrics, and for being less than forthright with the American people regarding the problems in the program.

But there was no administrator who was ever born who could put wings on this legislative turd sandwich that Congress and the President gave her and make it fly.

It's the allure that always fools the central planners. They want to imagine government as competent and efficient and capable, even though it can't retain the best, particularly in IT - and then they are constantly surprised when it isn't.

Wilbur said...

Did you expect Ms. Mitchell to ask tough questions of a fellow Democrat?

MayBee said...

Is it girlie? It is soft, but not girlie.

Why should we care right now about how all of this affected Sebelious? It's how she and the admin affected the country that matters.

But Obama gets asked this stuff all the time. "What has delighted you." Or "How does this affect your family?"

YoungHegelian said...

When, and if, an honest history of the failed ACA web site roll-out is written, my guess is that this is what it's going to all boil down to:

KS (to White House): Guys, the tech people are telling me they simply don't have enough time to get the web site functional. We CAN'T make the deadline!

WH: Kathleen, you know this is very important to us & to the president. We're counting on you to make this work. You know the President is depending on you.

KS: I don't work miracles, and seemingly neither do the programmers. It's not going to be done in time. What are you guys going to do to change public expectations about the kick-off?

WH: Nothing. It's going live Oct 1.

KS: It will not be done on time. Period.

WH: Kathleen, we're counting on you...

I don't like Sebelius, but I don't think she was this stupid. The WH, on the other hand, has a long history of not wanting to hear bad news, and in this case, is shooting yet another messenger.

And to think the Ted Cruz & the Federal shutdown offered Obama the opportunity to simultaneous 1) delay the start date 2) look bi-partisan & magnanimous & 3) blame the Republicans for the whole thing. This is, far & away, the stupidest administration of my lifetime.

MadisonMan said...

I think Sebelius should be held accountable for her shameless lying about Obamacare's viability, her dishonesty and concealment of the program's key metrics, and for being less than forthright with the American people regarding the problems in the program.

And who in the Washington DC press corps is going to do that?

(crickets chirping)

The complete collapse of Actual Journlism in DC is shameful.

Drago said...

Another incredibly insightful and penetrating interview of an lefty.

Per the usual.

Of course, to ask tough question of Sebelius would have been "ugly", and sexist.

Probably both.

Drago said...

YoungHegelian: "When, and if, an honest history of the failed ACA web site roll-out is written, my guess is that this is what it's going to all boil down to:.."

Nope.

The fact is they purposely did NOT build the entire back end. The part where the Insurance companies would tie into the federal agencies.

Why?

Because they couldn't figure out a way to do it without showing the visitors what the actual, no kidding cost was going to be.

Obama and his pals needed to lie and hide and obfuscate.

So they did.

And continue to.

Do you really think the entire tech team selected to build this apparatus didn't happen to notice that the entire back end was not being built?

Hilarious.

rhhardin said...

It's aimed at the audience, not at history.

The ones who tune in every week.

They select the stuff that gets the largest share.

YoungHegelian said...

@Drago,

The fact is they purposely did NOT build the entire back end. The part where the Insurance companies would tie into the federal agencies.

I have to disagree with your analysis. The back-end to Treasury & the Insurance companies were in the requirements, but they are the most difficult by far to build because of the system integration issues involved. The agency to agency back-ends got left out because the public never sees them, and the user data, once captured by the web site, could be "walked" to the other agencies as needed. The web site front-end was the "critical path".

But, yes, I must agree with you that when the press speaks of the web site "working", they never refer to the original requirements. There's been some major moving of the goal posts.

Bob Boyd said...

Ron said...
"Kathy, if Obamacare were a tree, what kind of tree would it be?"

"Well, Andrea, it would be the kind of tree that had died and I hired a guy to take it out who said he knew what he was doing, but he didn't and it fell on my car. That's what kind of tree it would be Andrea. Why do you ask?"

Alex said...

, but I did have the foresight to load the freezer with chocolate-chip Haagen Dazs...

So when Sebelius gets the attendant health problems with consumption of ice-cream should I have to pay for her health care?

The Godfather said...

"The really low point was when I realized that we had cancelled all these existing policies that people liked, and that they couldn't even get onto our website to buy replacement policies. Here were these poor people having to wonder whether they would have to go without health insurance, perhaps for months, because I hadn't done my job properly. That's when I decided that I had to resign. So somebody new could come in and fix what I had screwed up."

April Apple said...

What is the point of Andrea Mitchel other than to pitch softballs to fellow democrats?

PB Reader said...

She should have asked" What flavor is Barack Obama?

FleetUSA said...

KS sounded like an old Petula Clarke song "hoping and praying and....

FleetUSA said...

KS sounded like an old Petula Clarke song "hoping and praying and....

urpower said...

Sebelius walked by me at an airport after Christmas, in heavy makeup, surrounded by men in black. Have never encountered anyone who felt so armored.

CWJ said...

Althouse posted referencing Kathleen Sebelius -

"etc. etc. Pretty dismal, but not emotional in any personal way."

Having watched her both on the news and in person while she was governing Kansas, I am confident that she has perhaps close to never been publicly emotional in any personal way. It wouldn't surprise me if that applied to most of her private life as well.

It amazed me that Sebelius' reward was a cabinet post when Obama first won when it was Claire McCaskell who stuck her neck out for The One early in his campaign. In return it appears she received squat.

traditionalguy said...

The end justifies the means. Every Marxist-Leninist knows that. So she did the job, the end of which is destroying private insurance to usher in Socialized Medicine.

Why anybody bothers to talk about trying to make ObamaCare a success is the eternal play to the WWF folks that actually still, believe Pro Wrestling is even 1% real too.

RecChief said...

"watching and measuring."

Measuring what? Apparently nothing means anything, like the demographic makeup of those who bought through the exchanges, or the number of previously uninsured who are now insured, or the number of people who actually paid for a policy....gah, get me a drink.

William said...

She looks like Marie Antoinette in the tumbrel. She feels that the most important thing is to maintain her dignity and not show pain.

Darrell said...

Sebelius has experience with failure. Wasn't she in charge of a creating a website in Kansas that had spent a record amount of money for that State that had absolutely nothing to show for it at the three-year mark? Nothing. The people she assembled couldn't get the website to work. After she left, they brought in an older consultant that had the site up in a couple of week--though not finished. He had to redo all their "work."

Hagar said...

Cabinet officers and agency heads in this administration are just flak-catchers.
The orders come from the White House (switchboard numbers).