Any taxonomy of first friends includes a few familiar types. There’s the amiable glad-hander destined for the outer Cabinet, like George W. Bush crony Don Evans. There’s the scheming, scandal-prone loyalist, like the Clinton hanger-on Harry Thomason, of Travelgate infamy. And then there’s the discreet consigliere who serves alternatively as fixer, sounding board, chief surrogate, and all-around defender of the faith. Personal friends with such outsize influence are actually quite rare in presidential politics. Within recent administrations, only Valerie Jarrett really fits the profile.
The Daily Caller has a good piece on various efforts by allies of Mitt Romney to explain why Romneycare was really, truly, very different than Obamacare. Really! “Like any experiment, this was meant for one thing: Massachusetts. It wasn’t meant for Vermont or Texas, and their systems would not work in Massachusetts,” said Ron Kaufman, a D.C. lobbyist and close adviser to Romney. Kaufman offered yet another line of argument in defense of RomneyCare.