“In upholding most of President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Supreme Court handed the tea party a new lease on life,” Roll Call writes. “While activists spouted made-for-TV rancor through megaphones outside the court Thursday, the behind-the-scenes strategists who helped Republicans take the House in 2010 prepared for a flood of donations they said will fuel even greater gains this November.”
The Romney campaign, for example, said it had received more than $4 million yesterday.
But for all the talk of winners and losers, Glen Johnson points out: “The Supreme Court’s health care ruling today is a political victory for President Obama if you simply accept Mitt Romney’s most recent statement prior to the decision being handed down. Speaking Tuesday in Virginia, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee girded for the ruling by saying if the nation’s highest court overturned what he derides as Obamacare, ‘then the first 3 1/2 years of this president’s term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the American people.’ Yet the court, with the vote of conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, today upheld the law’s constitutionality. Accepting Romney’s logic, that would mean that the bulk of Obama’s first term in office was spent on something that helped the American people. Roberts is not someone Romney can dismiss, either. On his campaign website, he pledges to nominate Supreme Court justices ‘in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts,’ as well as other court conservatives.
Michael Shear on how the Romney campaign orchestrated the GOP message machine after the ruling yesterday: “Moments after the Supreme Court ruled on President Obama’s health care law, Lanhee Chen, the policy director for Mitt Romney, sent an e-mail to about three dozen senior Republicans on Capitol Hill and in state attorneys general’s offices. ‘Please stand by. Reviewing. Will circulate answer,’ the e-mail, sent at 10:17 a.m. said in part. Minutes later, at 10:27 a.m., Mr. Chen sent another e-mail: ‘Go with upheld.’ Those three words unleashed a public relations plan that was nine weeks in the making and designed to make sure that the Republican response to whatever the court decided served Mr. Romney’s presidential ambitions.”
“For more than two months, a group of top aides to Mr. Romney met weekly with staff members to Republican lawmakers, legislative campaign committees and representatives of the state attorneys general. The meetings, led by Jeff Larson, the chief of staff at the Republican National Committee, were usually held at 3 p.m. in a conference room on the fourth floor of the committee’s headquarters. The group developed three scenarios.” There was some disagreement, “But in all cases, it was agreed that Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, was in charge of the message.”
Jeff Zeleny points out: “Republicans swiftly sought to turn the court’s reasoning against President Obama, recasting the legislation as a tax increase. Mr. Romney, who as governor of Massachusetts signed a similar health care law, was one of the few in his party who did not join in that argument.”