Wilder: I'd have finished health care by now

news-douglaswilder Former Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder lamented President Barack Obama's methodical approach to enacting a national health care package, extolled the virtues of his threatened one-handgun-a-month law, and defended his recent call for the president to fire Tim Kaine as chair of the Democratic National Committee. The always-outspoken Wilder made his remarks Wednesday afternoon, March 3, in the political science classroom of UVA professor Larry Sabato.

"Virginia used to be known as the gun capital of the world," said Wilder, pointing to the 1993 handgun law, which reduced the appearance of Virginia-bought weapons involved in Northeast crime by 66 to 71 percent, as –- along with the fiscal conservatism that earned Virginia "best managed state" honors–- as a key achievement.

"One handgun a month," exclaimed Wilder, who notes that he owns a handgun. "Isn't that 12 a year? And if you're married isn't that 24 a year? How many do you need, for God's sake?"

Much to Wilder's relief, the repeal bill, HB49, which was proposed by Republican Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, was officially killed on Monday, March 8, when it was left in a Democrat-controlled General Assembly subcommittee.

Wilder defended his criticism of Kaine in the wake of key election losses in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and in their home state of Virginia.

"We haven't been beaten like that as Democrats in 50 years," said Wilder of Republican Bob McDonnell's lopsided victory in the recent gubernatorial election.

As for health care, the former Virginia governor (whose 1989 election as an African-American blazed a path much like the one blazed by the current president nearly a decade later) suggested that Obama has taken too tentative an approach.

"If I had 60 votes and if were the president of the United States and I have a year to go, you'd have health care today."

Quicktime audio of the whole talk is archived here at readthehook.com.

–expanded at 12:41pm Tuesday, March 9

Read more on: douglas wilder


"Love Boat" is what the helicopter was called.

do not be so hard on the President Doug, it going to take a while to get this Country back into forward movement

Wilder has lacked credibility for years.

Obama's approach has been to let Congress take the lead on reform. Obviously not the fastest way to get things done - but, in my view, preferable to a heavy-handed "you're either with us or against us" approach. Just imagine what the dolts who unthinkingly throw around terms like "stalinist" would be saying if Obama had somehow ramrodded health reform through by now.

You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

I'm still waiting for Barack Obama to START his Presidency. He headed straight to Washington and then didn't keep a single promise he made to me during the campaign.

"...Obama's methodical approach..."? Try "laggardly," or "pathetic," or "ineffective." Should have been finished in March '09.

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Wasn't he the dude who had the State of Virginia buy him a helicopter so he could fly back and forth to the Kluge's estate?

heh. Nice one Col. I agree completely.

Wilder would have finished Health Care by now? LOL

Honestly, I don't believe he could manage a lemonade stand.

I'd have finished my political career by now...oh, wait...

Gasbag, you are so right! he did have the helicopter purchased so he could fly back and forth...I was wondering if anyone would remember the number of times he visited....ROFLMAO!!!

whatever you said must have been as good as the col's statement.
My hat's off to you Leslie.

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I'm still waiting for Doug Wilder to START his governorship. After election, he headed straight to Washington to try to become President.He spent his entire term doing that. Then he became an ex-govenor. Been a nobody every since.

If any politician wants to help the healthcare quality and cost problems, they can do so by butting-out and letting the rest of us move on in life--without the Stalinist mentality of forcing government interference on us at every turn.

Oh sheesh. Why does this guy still get so much press? His most noted accomplishments in the last ten years are making even more of a hash out of Richmond city government when he was mayor and his "leadership" of the now abandoned slavery museum project in Fredericksburg. Wonder if Sabato or his students asked Doug about either of those issues