Clinton's Team Confident About Health Care Politics

Like a debt collection service, the Democratic world will today finally recieve the long-awaited health care reform plan from Sen. Hillary Clinton, first in Iowa, and later in Washington, before an audience of the Service Employees International Union.

Sen. Clinton and her advisers are confident that the politics of the issue will cut in their direction. No need to hedge by writing they "seem confident" or "appear confident" -- they really are confident, which is not to say that they would ever betray any worry.

Here, according to Clinton advisers, are the reasons behind their thinking:

(1) -- Clinton knows these issues cold, and Democrats know that she knows them cold.

(2) -- If the argument is that Clinton limits herself to what's politically feasible, her early efforts at health care reform -- politically tone deaf, uncompromising, unyielding -- are a nice counter.

(3) -- Clinton's plan is fairly similar to Obama's plan.

(4) -- Ex-Sen. John Edwards will attack Clinton from the left, portraying her plan as too accomodationist and timid; Obama will attack Clinton from the center, calling her too polarizing to lead on such a vital issue; Republicans will attack Clinton from the right as "socialized medicine" or some other gimmick phrase. The attack message will therefore be muddled.

(5) -- Democratic voters give Clinton credit for having tried; they don't so much blame her for having failed.