Sam

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

On Friday, at the Portland City Club, John Kitzhaber spoke alone - since Chris Dudley decided to bail on yet another of Oregon's traditional gubernatorial debate forums.

That's OK, I guess, because we know what Chris Dudley would have said. He'd have hemmed and hawed and aw-shucks'd his way through a bunch of platitudes, completely devoid of details or intelligent substance.

It's also OK, because with a moment away from the political swashbuckling, John Kitzhaber was able to quietly deliver the most compelling and profound case for his candidacy yet.

Watch this. And share it with everyone you know.

Comments

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    Full disclosure: My firm built John Kitzhaber's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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    A beautiful summary of who John Kitzhaber is as a person, of what motivates him to be involved in public service, and what contrasts him with his opponent.

    I worked for over 30 years in the mental health sector of public services. I personally witnessed and provided services to countless Oregonians who received needed help, medical and mental health services, because of John Kitzhaber and his creation of the Oregon Health Plan. His experience of Sam and his mother translated into real constructive change in the lives of human beings, through government service.

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    For those interested in reading the original version of the "Sam" story you can find it in Kitzhaber's 2001 State of the State Address.

    In the original version, people referred to it as the "Sam and Gladys" story because he contrasted Sam's treatment with a 90-year-old woman named Gladys. His conclusion was a little different:

    "Why am I sharing this with you? I am sharing it because of the contrast between the frenzied efforts of a roomful of people, with all their sophisticated equipment, to save someone at the end of a very long life, and the quiet and undramatic death of someone at the very beginning of life. I am sharing it with you because of the connection between the money spent on Gladys in her final hour and the money not spent on Sam during his mother's pregnancy."

    For obvious political reasons, Kitzhaber is now leaving Gladys out of his story, at least until after the election.

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      To which "obvious political reasons" do you refer?

      Seriously--are you somehow under the impression that Oregonians aren't concerned about the extensive cost of end-of-life care?

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        My understanding is that Kitzhaber has received complaints from senior groups in the past that have interpreted many of his statements on end-of-life care ("What's wrong with that fish?" "Nothing, it's just dying.")as suggesting that he wants to cut medical costs by reducing end-of-life care for seniors.

        I understand that his position is much more nuanced than that and certainly it is a legitimate issue that any serious effort to prioritize health care services has to address, but I do think there is an obvious political reason why he has stopped talking about those things during this campaign.

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          Oh, Jack, so you've signed on to the Sarah Palin "death panels" delusionary expedition. Honestly, is that the best you can do?

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            No, not at all. But I think it was politically prudent of Kitzhaber not to repeat the entire "Sam and Gladys" story. And it is at least worth pointing out that he has read the "Sam" story, word-for-word, on at least one previous occasion.

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              You can quite your dog-whistling Jack. Making veiled implications that Kitzhaber was in any way making a comparison in the story that we should be spending less on the elderly in order to pay for pre-natal care, and that Kitzhaber not including the "Glady's part of the story" being the politically "prudent" thing for Kitzhaber avoid making is rather really pathetic.

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                Actually, Mitchell, there was a lot of discussion of that story after his 2001 State of the Union Speech and the general consensus then was that was exactly the message.

                I guarantee you, Kitzhaber will not tell the "Sam and Gladys" story between now and the election. Even the Rasmussen poll released today, which shows Kitzhaber pulling ahead by 2%, shows him trailing among voters 65 and older by 10%.

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      Any explanation as to why was your guy a no-show?

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        He had a prior commitment in Bend is my understanding.

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            Gee, Greg, everybody knows that the Boys & Girls Club of Bend is only open once a year for public tours - at noon on the first Friday of October. Also, the voters there at B&G Bend are constitutionally authorized in Oregon as "super voters", with 10,000 times each the usual weight in the final vote count.

            There was absolutely no way that Chris Dudley could miss that appearance - even against an opportunity to speak to a statewide radio audience. After all, that radio debate would only have been heard by regular voters with just one vote each.

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      Right. Because wanting to improve pre-natal healthcare means you want to off grandma.

      (rolls eyes)

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    Now THAT's the John Kitzhaber I want for governor... one who can speak from his heart and not from his handler's notes.

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    I'm sure Dudley, the former "Wealth Manager" has an equally moving story to tell about some downtrodden billionaire who was unjustly taxed to pay for education and public safety.

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      Again, that's not true. But I do think it was prudent of him not to repeat the "Gladys" part of the "Sam and Gladys" story. After all he was the one who said of the combined stories, "I am sharing it with you because of the connection between the money spent on Gladys in her final hour and the money not spent on Sam during his mother's pregnancy."

      I don't necessarily disagree with the point I think he was trying to make but I do believe it's obvious why he refrained from making that same point again in the middle of a political campaign.

      Believe me, Bill, if I was trying to "promote fear mongering amongst the senior population" I wouldn't be doing it on Blue Oregon.

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        What was the point you think he was trying to make Jack?

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          Let me amend my last statement to say that I HOPE he was trying to make the point that we spend too little money on prenatal care compared to end of life care and therefore should spend more on prenatal care.

          The reason it is not politically wise to make that statement during a campaign is because it can also be interpreted to mean that we should spend less on end of life care so that we can spend more on prenatal care.

          Of course, Kitzhaber has said over and over that we are spending enough on medical care already we just aren't prioritizing properly so I'm not sure he didn't actually mean the latter. But I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

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            Only in the paranoid world GOPers railing against phantoms like "death panels" would someone arrive at there being some room for doubt as to what Kitzhaber was saying about the need for more pre-natal (and preventive care for all age groups might add) that he might in any way mean we need to spend on end-of-life care.

            I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are unaware of the dog whistling your words in this thread come across as, and simply chalk it up to tone-deafness and that you are not the same as many on "the right" and you do not indeed embrace the absolutely dishonest crap of "death panels".

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              I sometimes wonder if you'd ever heard of Kitzhaber before this election, Mitchell. You do know he was governor for 8 years, right? And before that he was Senate President? He actually has a long history on some of these issues.

              I suggest you google "John Kitzhaber and Coby Howard" or perhaps "John Kitzhaber and Richard Lamm." You might even look up a former Portland Democratic legislator named Tom Mason and see what he thought about John Kitzhaber's approach to medical rationing.

              Blaming everything on Republicans is no doubt comforting but there is a reason the enthusiasm level for Kitzhaber among many Democrats remains so low.

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                I remember the Coby Howard case well. The Republicans love to highlight it, but it was a case where the most extreme and experimental therapy with the most uncertain outcome was not paid for so that many more children could be taken care of. If you were honest, Jack, you would cite the Republicans who want to simply eliminate Medicaid entirely, and who are content to have 51 million Americans go without health care entirely. And if you were honest, you would cite the Harvard Medical Study that shows 45,000 Americans who die every year from lack of health coverage. ( http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/09/new-study-finds-45000-deaths-annually-linked-to-lack-of-health-coverage/)

                But the fact is, you aren't honest about your party's social darwinist position that govt. should not be in the position of providing any health care coverage for Americans. And this election season some of your star candidates are even honest enough to say that Medicaid and Medicare should be eliminated, instead of Newt Gingrich who talked about causing Medicare to "shrivel on the vine." So it is total hypocrisy for the GOP to talk about "rationing" when your corporate insurance funders are rationing all the time and you defend their exclusion and recision of every day Americans who actually paid them for coverage.

                And I don't believe you are honest in your arguments here and in your defense of a political party that is without any moral standing when it comes to health care.

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                No need for me to google anything as I am well aware of the case you cite as am I well aware of Kitzhaber's proven record of expanding health care coverage and emphasizing preventative healthcare which further extends every healthcare dollar spent.

                But I want to thank you for finally admitting that you were indeed pushing the dog- whistle, 'Kitzhaber's going to insist grandma dies' scare tactics and the "R" word of rationing (aka death panels), and that you were being dishonest before by claiming that was not what you were trying to insinuate in this thread.

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    This is bizaare. I simply pointed out that Kitzhaber, for legitimate political reasons, left "Gladys" out of the "Sam and Gladys" story he told as governor. You guys keep insisting I spell out exactly what I mean. When I explain it to you, then you accuse me of making "dog whistle" attacks on your candidate.

    Believe it or not, I don't post on BlueOregon to try to convert people. Once upon a time, you could carry on an intelligent discussion with people who understand politics and appreciate how the game is played.

    Then the numbnuts arrived and its all FoxNews- and MSNBC-Lite. Good grief!

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      You don't convert anyone here, Jack, but your compatriots follow here and occasionally post. So things carry around the blogosphere. What you write here doesn't stay here. And when you simply repeat the Republican talking points, we get it, and we get the hypocrisy and the messaging behind it.

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      But were you ever able to carry on such a "once upon a time" conversation the week that the ballots were dropping in a really close race?

      I think that any rational arguments about the healthcare issue have to include the fact that a whole lot of "end of life" care is reactionary, useless, and expensive, but rational debate is not something that's even remotely possible with people standing by to turn any comment into a 30 second hit piece.

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    Bill, you wouldn't recognize a talking point if you heard it. I don't repeat other people's talking points. I think and speak for myself. You seem incapable of thinking in anything other than partisan stereotypes.

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