Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) spent the day in Washington, D.C. today, at the same time the Massachussetts House started overriding his vetoes to parts of the universal health insurance package he was busy touting in Washington. To be fair, the overrides were expected and they weren't even close. One of the most contentious provisions, a $295 charge on businesses that didn't offer insurance, cleared the chamber on a 136-20 vote.
Romney began the day bright and early, telling the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (video here)about the details of the new plan over breakfast. For a presentation by a governor, it was pretty detailed.
He did his best to convince the audience that mandating that everyone get insurance is an act of championing "personal responsibility," because otherwise those who didn't get insurance would get health care without paying for it, essentially freeloading off the rest of us. And he explained how it made good business sense, too, because having everybody in the insurance pool makes for both cheaper insurance (because risk is spread over a bigger pool) and for cheaper health care (because people go to the doctor to get treated sooner, rather than waiting to go to the emergency room when they can no longer avoid it).
He may have mentioned the fee on businesses quickly, but only in passing.
Later in the day he was meeting with senators, congressmen and journalists. Don't know if that sounds like more fun than trying to sustain your vetoes as a Republican in a legislature that's 85 percent Democrat, but I guess that's the price you pay for exploring a White House run. (By the way, the location of the U.S. Chamber's headquarters, where Romney gave his speech, may have given Romney reason to smile so early in the morning).