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Prime time to dump Sebelius?

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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PRIME TIME TO DUMP SEBELIUS?
The White House is declaring victory on ObamaCare’s first open enrollment period, but you already knew that would happen. The rationale for the celebration is that government sources estimate 7 million people signed up for President Obama’s new entitlement program before fines (kinda) kick in. The tout remains mostly meaningless until the government starts saying who those 7 million are. Success or failure will be determined by how many healthy, previously uninsured, paying customers have come aboard. Given the fact that the law caused millions to lose their coverage and empowers the IRS to punish people who fail to comply, getting 7 million people to at least start the process of enrollment is hardly miraculous, no matter how bad the Obamanauts are at the Internet. The main question from critics – How many of the enrollees were uninsured before? – and other icky items that will likely cause dramatic downward revisions to the number can wait a few weeks. There are many Friday afternoons this summer that look just perfect for some turkey drops. Today, though, it’s time for the members of Team Obama to celebrate, that is unless you’re Kathleen Sebelius.

[“I think everyone is going to be really surprised and pleased how well this has turned out.” –Vice President Joe Biden, during an ObamaCare pitch Monday on the “Rachel Ray Show”]

Kansas is lovely in springtime - How is Sebelius, widely blamed and lampooned for her role in the disastrous rollout of the law, holding up? Her vacant stare when an Oklahoma news anchor pointed out Monday that ObamaCare was perhaps the only thing less popular than tornadoes in the Sooner State suggests that the secretary is more than a little worse for wear. (Not that she’s ever been a great spokeswoman.) Perhaps now is the moment, during this temporary, contrived victory celebration, to let her finally get some rest. The new federal contractor starts today for the Web site that Sebelius will always be remembered for wrecking. The replacement team begins working on the “back end” of the site (the part that actually connects payees to policies) and those maestros of mayhem from CGI are gone. Democrats are ready to forget a very unhappy six months from horrid launch to splashdown. This is also the moment when Sebelius could be tossed overboard with the minimum drama and maximum benefit. Remember, the president has been cagey on her culpability and prospects for continued service in his administration. When Bill O’Reilly asked her boss about firing her, Obamas only said “I promise you that we hold everybody up and down the line accountable, but when we are midstream, Bill, we want to make sure we our main focus is how do we make this thing work so people are able to sign up and that is what we have done.” Well, we’re through fording one stream, is it time for a fresh horse, Mr. President? You can do it now or ride it out until after Election Day.

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Chris Stirewalt

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