Prowler: Thomas is an SOB of the first order, but he was more often than not OUR SOB, with the intellect to get things done (and with the repeated reminders from Thomas himself that he does possess said intellect and that therefore you should defer to him). One of the biggest opportunities we had last year for real SS reform was when Thomas said he wanted to EXPAND the proposal so that it covered all sorts of other retirement-related programs as well, so that it would be comprehensive reform that would have other "sweeteners" in it that could make it more politically salable. Frankly, Sununu-Ryan was better both substantively and politically, but Thomas' idea was better than having a brave but poorly planned White House effort that went solo. If Bush had worked WITH Thomas from the start, there might have been a chance to achieve something solid for personal accounts. Now, with Thomas retiring, the odds, quite sadly, look even worse.
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