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Sen. Andy Sanborn’s ‘plane crash’: slips of the tongue can reveal politicians’ ‘inner lives’

The things I learn while blogging! Turns out there’s a whole field of study about politicians’ “inner lives”. “Your inner life is the realm of who you really are, on the inside… Your inner life drives what you do… your decisions, commitments, and the responsibilities you take on; and the goals you want to achieve.”

In other words, what you believe determines what you do – and that’s something we should pay attention to, when it comes to our elected officials.

Here’s what happened this week: state Sen. Andy Sanborn “laughingly compared Obamacare to the San Francisco plane crash while guest-hosting a radio show.” Saturday’s crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport killed two 16-year-old girls and injured more than 180 people, some seriously.

“Now that this thing is barreling down on us like a jet landing into San Francisco, it’s (Sanborn laughs) it should make people really concerned,” Sanborn said about the Affordable Care Act.

Yes, yet another New Hampshire Republican gets to issue a public apology for something he said. “If I offended anyone I am sorry.” Looks like the “slip of the tongue” syndrome has been going around, up at the State House.

  • Just three weeks ago, Rep. Stella Tremblay resigned after suggesting the U.S. government was behind the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon.
  • And Rep. Kyle Trasker didn’t exactly apologize for an on-line Facebook posting – but had to clarify that he “does not believe black women are unfit parents.”
  • In April, Rep. Peter Hansen apologized “to those who took offense” when he referred to women as “vaginas” in an email to his House colleagues.
  • And Rep. Romeo Danais compared hungry New Hampshire families to “wild animals” – but there wasn’t any apology; instead, Rep. Dan Itse actually defended the choice of words.
  • In February, Rep. Mark Warden apologized “to those whom may have been offended” for remarks suggesting that people may “like being in abusive relationships.”
  • In 2012, Rep. John Hikel livened up a picnic by asking a former GOP official if she was a “pole dancer,” and a “stripper.”
  • And then-House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt resigned “after apparently misrepresenting himself to law school officials.”
  • You may remember that back in 2011, Rep. Bettencourt responded to criticism of state budget cuts by calling Catholic Bishop John McCormack “a pedophile pimp”.
  • And then there was Rep. Martin Healy, who eventually resigned after telling a constituent that mentally challenged people and other “defective” people should die in a modern-day Siberia.
  • And the list goes on. Rep. Nick Levasseur on the Japanese art of anime. Rep. Al Baldasaro saying the state was “selling children”. Etc., ad nauseam.

But this time, it’s not just another one of 400 state Representatives saying something that embarrasses New Hampshire in the national press.

This time, it’s the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

This time, it’s a potential candidate for Governor in 2014.

This time, it’s a voting member of the state Commission to Study Expansion of Medicaid Eligibility – the same group that will recommend to the Legislature whether New Hampshire should participate in expanding coverage through Obamacare.

Gov. Maggie Hassan said the state stands to lose about $1 million in federal funds per day for every day past Jan. 1, 2014, that Medicaid expansion is delayed.“Accepting the $2.5 billion in federal funds available for Medicaid expansion is critical for boosting our economy, transforming our health-care system and providing needed health coverage for tens of thousands of New Hampshire working families,” Hassan said.

What does Sen. Sanborn’s “slip of the tongue” say about his ability to serve on that Commission?

What does his ability to laugh about last week’s airplane crash say about Sen. Sanborn’s “inner life”? His values? The decisions he is going to make?

The Commission meets again on Tuesday, July 16th, starting at 1:00 pm in LOB 210-211. The meeting will probably be streamed live on the General Court Website.

Might be worth tuning in, to see what Sen. Sanborn has to say for himself on Tuesday.

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About Liz Iacobucci

Liz Iacobucci is the former Public Information Officer for the State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire, SEIU Local 1984. Over the past three decades, she has served in government at the federal, state and municipal levels; and she has worked for both Democratic and Republican politicians.
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