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 Friday, May 30, 2008

Democrats Running Out of Patience and Courtesy: Hillary is Making Herself Into a Political "Pariah"

  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Starts to Walk Clinton Off the Stage


David Nather

Read here

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has tried to stay neutral in the presidential race between two members of his caucus, sent one of the most powerful signals this morning that the Democratic race is about to be over.

In an interview with the KGO talk radio station in San Francisco, Reid said he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "agree there's NOT going to be a fight at the convention."

He said they, along with Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, plan to call uncommitted superdelegates and "urge our folks next week to make a decision very quickly" between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And he ventured this prediction about the outcome:

"Probably just simple math indicates that on next Tuesday, after we get the results from Puerto Rico on Sunday and South Dakota and Montana on Tuesday, Obama will probably have the necessary number at that time anyway."
Until now, Reid has taken great pains not to be seen as favoring Obama's arguments or Clinton's arguments.

Today, that balancing act ended.

Reid basically dismissed Clinton's claim that she leads in the popular vote - a centerpiece of her letter and memo to superdelegates yesterday about why she's more electable than Obama.

"The nominee is not determined on popular vote. It's determined on delegates," Reid said.

As for the disputed Florida and Michigan delegations, Reid said both states "should be counted in some way."

But he also said "common sense indicates" that neither one had a true election, since none of the candidates were allowed to campaign there - allowing Clinton to win an advantage because of her famous name.

Reid said:

"Of course an election was held. But - I've been neutral in this, but being very realistic and candid - Clinton, her husband was president of the United States. He had a name that was well known.

She had a name that was well known. Obama? Certainly she would do better when there was no campaign."

Between Reid's comments and Pelosi's remarks to the San Francisco Chronicle this morning that "I will step in" to make sure the fight doesn't go to the convention, Clinton is now facing some awfully large writing on the wall.

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Clinton falls behind Obama in California, Poll Says


Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer

Friday, May 30, 2008

A new poll of California voters appears to undercut Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's argument that she is the stronger presidential candidate in big states, showing that her long-standing support in the nation's most populous state has eroded among Democrats - and even women.

The latest Field Poll shows that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama - who lost the Feb. 5 California primary to Clinton by nine points - is now preferred as the party nominee by a landslide 51 to 38 percent among the state's Democrats, according to a poll of 914 likely party voters taken May 16-27.

And in a head-to-head contest with presumed GOP nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Obama does as well as Clinton, both of them beating the Republican by 17 points among a cross section of voters likely to cast ballots in November.

Obama also leads McCain 59 to 24 percent among critical decline-to-state or independent voters, who make up 20 percent of the California electorate, the poll showed.

With just days until the final primaries in Puerto Rico on Sunday and in South Dakota and Montana on Tuesday, the poll shows Clinton of New York also has lost ground among her base voters in critical California - the state that represents the biggest cache of Electoral College delegates and where both she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have long enjoyed strong support.

Women, who have given Clinton a consistent edge in California, now support Obama by 49-41 percent, the poll shows.

"Women have pretty much come 'round to accepting Obama," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. He said the erosion of ground under Clinton in California is the result of Democrats' growing acceptance of the outcome of the primaries and the fact that Obama could have the required number of delegates for the party nomination by as early as next week.

Obama apparent winner

"I think voters here and elsewhere have been viewing the events of the last two or three months as the nomination battle has unfolded, and Californians are coming to the conclusion that Obama is the delegate winner," DiCamillo said. "They seem to be satisfied with backing Obama as the nominee.

"Many California Democrats are probably anxious to get the general election started and to stop the intramural battle between Obama and Clinton," he said.

The poll shows that while Clinton still leads Obama among three categories of voters - those over 65, those with a high school education or less and those earning less than $40,000 a year - Obama now bests the former first lady in all other age, educational groups and income levels.

In breakdowns among voters by ethnicity, Clinton leads only among Latinos - by more than 2-1 - though Obama is ahead among white non-Hispanics by a whopping 56-34 percent, among African Americans by a huge 76-13 percent and favored by Asians by 56-33.

DiCamillo said the poll showed some lingering resentment as 22 percent of Clinton supporters said they are "not likely" to vote for Obama in the general election, and 17 percent of Obama's backers said they are "not likely" to back Clinton should she be the nominee.

With Obama appearing to be moving quickly to round up the delegates needed to claim the nomination, the changing opinions revealed in the Field Poll are being reflected on the public stage. Rep. Dennis Cardoza of Atwater (Merced County), a state superdelegate who had supported Clinton, recently announced he had switched loyalties and would support Obama. Even current Clinton backers, like Assemblywoman Loni Hancock of Berkeley - now running for state Senate - have publicly predicted that Obama, not Clinton, will be the party's presidential nominee.

Californians want a break

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the poll showed that "California and all of America is looking for a break from the same failed Bush policies that John McCain is offering. This fall voters will have a choice between the George Bush leadership that John McCain offers and Barack Obama's vision to fundamentally change this country."

Political observers say the poll results in California, a trendsetting state, are a blow to Clinton's dimming hopes of making a successful case to the superdelegates to swing to her side before the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August.

"To the extent that California reflects a cross section of America, (the poll) demonstrates that the Democrats will have little trouble reuniting behind Obama in a campaign for the presidency in November," said Phil Trounstine, founder of San Jose State University's Survey and Policy Research Institute and a communications consultant and pollster who has donated to Obama's campaign. "It shows Hillary Clinton is no longer seen as the standard-bearer for the party; that role has now been taken over by Barack Obama. She's not big in the biggest state anymore, the biggest prize of all American politics."

But Clinton supporter David Rapaport of Palo Alto - one of dozens who wrote to The Chronicle this week insisting that they will stick by the former first lady - said polls and party leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, who has predicted the race will be over next week, will not put an end to the Clinton campaign. He said that the democratic process demands that the nomination play out, adding, "Let's hold the convention and not seal the fate in the House speaker's chambers - or elsewhere."

Other findings in the Field Poll:

-- Obama by far ranks higher than either Clinton or McCain in favorable-unfavorable ratings among likely state voters in November. He is seen favorably by 62 percent of California voters, compared with 29 percent who see him unfavorably. Clinton, by contrast has a 49-44 percent favorable-unfavorable rating, while McCain has a 46-45 percent favorable-unfavorable rating.

-- A majority of Democratic voters in California say that a "dream ticket" of Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama would increase their chances of supporting the party's ticket in the fall - but fewer Obama supporters favor the Clinton-Obama choice than Clinton supporters favor the Obama-Clinton choice.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points

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Sorry, Hillary, We Are Crazy for Obama

Mark Morford
(Mark Morford is a columnist for and Datebook)

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Are you paying attention to this moment in time? Are you reading bits and hints about the transformation, the shift, the unusual and slightly surreal energy coursing through the nation? Are you younger than 50? Then there's been nothing else like this in your lifetime. And there probably never will be again.

Because it wasn't that long ago, not even a year, that Hillary Clinton's presidential nomination was pretty much a given. Indeed, going into this race, Clinton was perfect, strong and smart as hell, and even I was relatively thrilled for her candidacy, especially given how she was so ahead in the polls, fundraising and public opinion that her imminent nomination felt much like a foregone conclusion.

Just a bit beyond incredible, then, what has happened since, in one of the more fascinating turning points in American history.

Barack Obama's steady, astounding rise to become the presumptive Democratic nominee, but also to overtake one of the strongest, smartest, most well-funded candidates in American history - and also to outpoll his deeply connected Republican opponent - is remarkable on a number of fronts.

But no matter how you try to analyze the components that made Obamapalooza happen, there appears to be something just beyond the logic, outside the normal machinery, that makes you shake your head in amazement.

Not the first time

On one level, I suppose it's not all that unusual. There have been plenty of scrappy, outta-nowhere, come-from-behind victories in political races before. Charming JFK revealed the deep sourness of once-omnipotent Nixon. Bill Clinton, the handsome, populist Arkansas governor with minimal big-stage experience but loads of effortless charisma, built a phenomenal following and stomped all over the doddering, baffled, how-much-is-a-gallon-of-milk Bush No. 41.

But with Obama, something feels more profound and even a bit more intimate. It is not just another smart upstart senator making a surprising play for the Show. This is a cultural marker, a harbinger of something worthy to take deep into your awareness.

You should take note, because Obama has accomplished his rise without the normal weaponry of American politics. As of yet, there have been almost no dirty tricks. He has not really attacked Hillary or "swiftboated" her. He has not employed any of the disgusting tactics Karl Rove's Republican Party used on Al Gore and John Kerry to secure a deceptive and brutal and failed chokehold on power.

Many pundits have been trying to parse just why Obama has been so much more effective, so much more far-reaching and cross-cultural than Clinton, not to mention John McCain or anyone else. What is it about him? What is it that draws such a broad circle of endorsements, from Ted Kennedy to Andrew Sullivan, John Edwards to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich?

It's the networking, they say. Obama is the first "Facebook candidate." He's the first to successfully leverage all the modern tech, the viral marketing, YouTube, clever videos by celebrity rappers who are nearly moved to tears by the man's speeches. Yes, that must be it.

Or maybe it's his remarkable, idealistic team of aides, his hotshot, fresh-faced speechwriters, his wondrous oratory skill. Is it the cool campaign posters? Is it the game-altering speeches on race in America? Or is it what the terrified right-wing hatemongers are calling "liberal guilt," the feeling that we, on the whiny, tree-hugging, ultra-PC left, feel so gosh-darn guilty about how blacks, Hawaiians and Harvard-trained lawyers have been treated these many millennia, that Obama gets our vote out of sheer nervous remorse?

Problem is, those explanations feel inadequate and, in the case of that last one, exceedingly stupid. Is there more to it that just a battle between old school and new school styles of campaigning?

Maybe you need to look to the dark side for a hint, for a bit of proof that there's more to this moment in history than mere shifting times. It comes in the form of that ugly and violent rumor that gets whispered among skeptics and conspiracy theorists and bantered about by cretins on Fox News, and even sighed by many otherwise happy, progressive idealists, those who've had their dreams shattered and hopes pummeled enough times that a form of sinister cynicism creeps in.

Repulsive idea

Many feel Obama will not survive. Some think something violent and lethal is bound to happen to him, and not merely because he's black, but because he's revolutionary, intelligent, different. He will not survive because he's a force for harmony and peace and evolution of the human animal, and the forces of darkness and oppression in America, be they troglodytic Southern racists or anarchist radicals or insular BushCo die-hard Muslim haters, simply cannot have that.

There is no need to invite that repulsive idea in for long. It is too dark, disquieting, pointless. But it is worth noting for one curious aspect: It is a fear borne of a rare historic circumstance, the amazing idea that someone like Obama is, to put it bluntly, too good for this particular role, a bit too enlightened for what is a brutal, soul-numbing and potentially deadly political machine.

Then again, maybe, in a morose way, this is how we know change is arriving, perhaps sooner than expected, but arriving nonetheless. We're already deeply scared of losing it. Really, how long's it been since we've felt anything like that?

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The Analysis: Why Obama WILL Beat McCain in November in a Blow-Out

  The McCain Blowout Fallacy


Bob Beckel
(Bob Beckel managed Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign. He is a senior political analyst for the Fox News Channel and a columnist for USA Today. Beckel is the co-author with Cal Thomas of the book "Common Ground."


Last weekend David Paul Kuhn on Politico wrote about the possibility that John McCain could beat Barack Obama by as many as 50 electoral votes this November. Kuhn cited several GOP strategists, Democrats and an anonymous RNC source who agreed with the "blowout" scenario, which is what a 50+ electoral victory would be.

To the contrary, I'm willing to go on the record saying that, barring an unforeseen scandal, a far more likely scenario is that John McCain will LOSE by at least 50 electoral votes in November - and possibly as many as 150.

The foundation of the McCain "blowout" scenario rests on the 286 electoral votes George Bush received in 2004.

It assumes McCain would win New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota - all states won by John Kerry in 2004.

I'll concede the possibility of New Hampshire going red this year.

John McCain has a unique relationship with the Granite State which has given him two sizable primary victories in 2000 and 2008. But, at best, McCain's chances there are 51-49.

Let's take the rest state-by-state:


If anything, the Keystone State has become much more Democratic since 2004 when Kerry won there. In 2008, 170,000+ Republicans switched their registration to Democrat; Bucks and Montgomery Counties in suburban Philadelphia (once the most reliable of Republican counties) for the first time have more registered Democrats than Republicans.

Pennsylvania has 200,000 unregistered black voters and we should count on a minimum of 100,000 to register and vote. By November, 250,000 new voters will turn 18, a group that has voted 60% + nationally for Obama. The fastest growing Pennsylvania demographic group is college-educated, white-collar suburbanites. We know who this group supports. Don't count on a massive disaffected rural blue-collar vote against Obama. They are the smallest and lowest turnout demographic in the state.

Bottom line? McCain is going to be a heavy underdog in Pennsylvania this year.


The most devastated economic state in the Bush years is a McCain target? Let me get off the floor and stop laughing. Michigan has 1.4 million blacks with 300,000 yet to be (but will be) registered. It has one of the largest populations of college students in the country, and 150,000 new voters will turn 18 by Election Day. Any bets how they will vote?

Michigan is highly unionized in a year where unions will spend more and be more active for Democrats than at any time since the halcyon days of the 1950s. "Uncommitted" in the Democratic primary almost beat McCain's total vote - and that's when no Democrat campaigned in the state.

The truth is that McCain has very little chance of winning Michigan.


Let's be clear, in 1984 Minnesota voted for my boss Walter Mondale. Suffice it to say, it was unique in that regard. More importantly, the state's growth is virtually all in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region, which is full of young, upscale voters who aren't known for their GOP sympathies.

The GOP could have a convention there every two weeks and still would have trouble winning Minnesota.

Now for a real view of the landscape. Start by giving Obama all the states Kerry won in 2004 (except maybe New Hampshire) and look at a few states Bush won that year:


This state is Obama's spiritual home. It is prosperous and has the largest number of colleges by population than any state in the union.

Iowa is a lock for Obama in November.


Once reliably GOP, the state is increasingly Democratic. It has a retiring GOP senator whose seat looks good for a Democratic pickup. It will also be home of the DNC convention and has a Hispanic population that has come to despise Republicans' immigration views. McCain showed guts bucking his party on comprehensive immigration reform but then ran from it like a scalded dog when conservatives cornered him on it last year.

Bottom line: Obama has a good shot at turning Colorado blue for only the second time since 1968.

New Mexico:

Like Colorado, there is a vacant Senate seat with a favored Democrat. But more importantly, there's Bill Richardson, who will turn every screw he has (and there are many) for Obama and will be the attack dog against McCain among Hispanics. New Mexico also has a population that is becoming heavily Democratic with tens of thousands of Hispanics yet to be registered.

New Mexico is as good a bet for Obama as Big Brown was in the Derby.


In 2006, amid rampant Republican state corruption, Ohio elected a Democratic governor and a Democratic senator. Home foreclosures are equally as rampant and Ohio is bleeding good paying jobs daily. Ohio had a massive Democratic primary turnout, which is the strongest predictor of general election results. It has a large college population and 1.38 million blacks of which 300,000 are unregistered. Expect 225,000 new black voters in November. Over 600,000 Ohio residents have turned 18 since 2004. They are registering in record numbers and are overwhelmingly for Obama.

For a state Kerry lost by only 117,000 votes, I'd say Ohio leans strongly Obama in 2008. The RCP Average currently has Obama leading McCain in Ohio by 1.8%.


The Commonwealth has been moving inexorably Democratic for the last decade. It has a Democratic governor and one Democratic senator, soon to be two. Twenty percent of the population is black, of which 200,000 are unregistered. If black turnout increases by 20% and Obama gets 90+% of their vote, as expected, it will constitute more votes than Kerry lost to Bush in 2004, and Kerry never contested the state. One third of the state vote is now from Democratic Northern Virginia where a huge increase in turnout is expected in 2008. Already 131,000 new voters have registered, half under the age of 25. Over 400,000 Virginians have turned 18 since 2004; expect Obama to win them in a walk.

Although McCain currently leads Obama in Virginia by 1.3% in the RCP Average, expect that to reverse when Obama becomes the nominee.

Other Bush states in play that McCain must protect include Florida, North Carolina, Montana, and even Georgia.

Ponder this: In 2004 the economy was strong, the Iraq war still marginally popular, Bush's favorability was near 50%, and voters were generally content. In 2008 the economy is in shambles, the war despised by most Americans, Bush has the highest negatives of any president since polling began, and the public, by an 80-20 margin, believes the country is on the wrong track.

Yes, there will be a blowout in November. But it won't be McCain's.

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Hillary Clinton's Role in the Presidential Pardon of Marc Rich

  Hillary Was a Key Player in the Marc Rich Pardon Deal

Jeffrey St Clair in Counterpunch wrote a detailed account of Hillary Clinton's role in the pardon of Marc Rich.

To know more, read this article: Bill Clinton and the Rich Women

"....Hillary has never addressed her role in the Rich pardon.

In fact, she’s rarely been asked her opinion on the free pass given to one of the world’s most wanted fugitives, a man who violated embargoes against Iran and South Africa and fled the country rather than face trial in what was billed as “the biggest tax evasion case in history.”

The senator has variously said that she was “unaware” of the decision and “surprised” by it. When pressed, she merely cackles.

Even though 300 pages of core documents relating to the pardon decision remain under seal at the Clinton Library, a review of the available record tells a much different story.

In fact, the Rich legal team viewed Hillary as a secret weapon, and as one door after another closed on their search for a pardon they focused more and more on invoking what Rich lawyer Robert Fink called the “HRC option.”

Who is Marc Rich? And why did he need a presidential pardon?"

... At 2:30 in the morning on January 20, Clinton gets a call from his National Security Advisor. Marc Rich’s name has surfaced in an intelligence file in connection with an international arms smuggling network.

Clinton calls Quinn. Quinn says the allegations are bogus.

Bill turns to his staff, all of whom oppose the pardon that is now being signed. “Take Jack’s word,” Clinton snapped.

Later Clinton will claim to have been “sleep deprived when he signed the pardon, an excuse that his wife would resurrect to explain her fabulation of her landing under sniper fire in Bosnia.

Marc Rich bought his pardon and now flies freely in his private jet, while Leonard Peltier languishes in prison with no hope of release.

That sums up Clintonism. Read here for more

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Media Mogul Murdoch, Owner of Fox News, Is Impressed by Obama


Eat your heart out, Bill O'Reilly and Hannity.
Your Boss is Pro-Obama

AFP Newswire

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch,77, said he was impressed by Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama's "rock star" status and found that his Republican rival, John McCain, "has a lot of problems."

Murdoch's News Corporation is the umbrella company for an empire that also includes the:

  • Fox News Channel,

  • Fox Business Network,

  • the New York Post,

  • the Fox Hollywood film studios and television network and

  • the rapidly growing social networking site MySpace.
Other holdings include The Australian newspaper, London-based satellite TV company BSkyB and the US-based book publishing giant HarperCollins.

Without actually mentioning Obama by name, at the "All Things Digital" conference held Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal in Carlsbad, California, Murdoch said:

"You have possibly the making of a phenomenon in this country.

Politicians and Washington are at an all time low, they are despised by 80 percent of the public ... And you've got a candidate who is ... trying to put himself above it all ... and he's become a rock star. It's fantastic.

I am anxious to meet him ... I want to see if he will walk the walk.

You've got the Obama phenomenon, undoubtedly a recession. McCain been in Congress a long time, and you've got to make too many compromises" as a lawmaker.

He's a patriot, he's a friend of mine, a very decent guy. I think he has -- and I say this sympathetically -- I think he has a lot of problems."

The News Corp. chairman admitted he had some influence over the New York Post's endorsement of Obama, 46, over Hillary Clinton, 60, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.

With regards to presumptive Republican candidate McCain, who also got the daily newspaper's backing during his party's primaries, Murdoch said the 71-year-old Arizona senator faced some problems.

According to a pro-Clinton commentator for, Hilary Rosen, Murdoch suggested Obama would win the Democratic nomination and made a prediction for November:
"I don't think he will win Florida... but he will win in Ohio and the election."

In Britain's 1997 elections, Murdoch turned his back on the incumbent Conservatives and threw The Sun tabloid's weight behind Labour's Tony Blair, in a move widely viewed as contributing to his overwhelming victory.

Murdoch became a US citizen in the 1980s and reincorporated the former Australian firm as a US company in 2004.

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 Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hillary and Bill Are Wrong: Obama WILL Win in November - Here is Why


Robert Creamer
(Robert Creamer is a long time political organizer and strategist and author of the recent book, Stand Up Straight. How Progressives Can Win)

With Obama inching ever closer to clinching the Democratic nomination, some of his opponents have resorted to a campaign aimed at convincing superdelegates that, no matter how much they like him, "Obama just can't win."

In fact, the odds are good that Obama WILL win the Presidency.

And if Democrats execute with precision during the campaign, the odds are good that he will win with a HEALTHY margin.

Here's why:

  1. If the election were held today - before the campaign begins - polling shows that he would have very high odds of winning states with 273 electoral votes, more than the 270 needed to win election.

    More importantly, he would win this victory WITHOUT needing the states of Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia or Florida.

    The people at the website have created a statistical model to predict the odds that a candidate will win each state in the general election. The model is based on a regression analysis of recent polling and sixteen additional political and demographic factors. It assigns a likely vote spread and the numerical odds that a particular candidate will win the state. The model updates its findings regularly based on recent polling data from the state.

    As the campaign begins, the model predicts that 22 states, with a total of 273 electoral votes, will go for Obama.

    These include the obvious states of California, New York, Illinois, Washington, Oregon and most of New England. They also include swing states like New Mexico, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

    As it happens, the model predicts that Obama's odds of victory are no lower than 63% in any of these states.

    But the model also shows that a number of additional states are right at the tipping point for Obama.

    Obama's odds of winning Ohio's additional 20 electoral votes are about even, at 49.8%. His odds in Nevada are 46%. His odds in New Hampshire are 45%. If he adds these three states, his total increases to 302 electoral votes.

    These are the numbers BEFORE the general election campaign begins. They are based on what voters say they will do today, and on voter turnout assumptions that generally reflect past elections. They are, in other words, based on past behavior. While it is true that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, it is the job of a political campaign to change that behavior.

    After all, if a campaign were not about changing the behavior of the voters, we should all just go to the beach for the next five months instead of knocking on doors, raising money, making speeches and all the rest.

    And the odds are that this campaign, as it unfolds, will result in an even WIDER Obama victory.

  2. The more people get to know Obama, the more likely it is that he will get their support. But the more they know about McCain, the less likely they are to vote his way.

    Polling shows that McCain substantially outperforms a generic Republican candidate in the presidential contest. Though the Bush legacy has greatly tarnished the Republican brand, many people start out thinking that McCain is not a standard-issue Republican. Instead they view him as a "maverick," an "independent."

    The problem is that the more they get to know him, the more they learn that on most of questions that really matter, especially trickle-down economics and neo-con foreign policy, McCain and Bush are twins. After all, as a Senator, McCain has voted with Bush 95% of the time.

    In our polling, as people learn about McCain's record of supporting Bush's policies, they begin to drop him quicker than you can say McBush.

    Every time Bush attacks Obama the way he did last week before the Israeli Knesset, he does Obama a huge favor. Anything that ties Bush to McCain - including his current fundraising tour for McCain - is a blessing. One of the campaign's biggest jobs will be to keep Bush in the message frame.

    People behave just the opposite as they learn MORE about Obama.

    Obama's initial problem with some swing voters is that while they know he is charismatic, they are worried whether he is safe enough - whether he is really like them - whether he's really on their side.

    Barack Obama is a likable, engaging person. The more that voters know of him, the more that they see his family, the more that he becomes part of their everyday experience - the more comfortable they become with him.

    In Illinois, where the voters know him best, the same demographic groups that are skeptical elsewhere give him their support.

  3. Obama's campaign will change the electorate. It will massively increase turnout among minorities and young people.

    Based on past history, Ohio has even odds of going for Obama.

    What happens if there is a huge spike in turnout among African Americans and young people? Obama takes Ohio by a respectable margin. The fact is that there is no plausible scenario where McCain wins in November that does not involve Ohio.

    In the fall, Hispanics will not break as heavily for Obama as African Americans, but they are likely to give him a two-to-one margin.

    Increased Hispanic voter turnout in Nevada will tip that state for Obama and guarantee big margins in Colorado and New Mexico.

    I believe that big increases in the African American and youth vote will also place a large number of other states into play including Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana.

    By placing these traditionally Republican states into play this fall, the Obama campaign will force the Republicans to play defense on their home turf and spread their resources. When you're on the defense, you're losing. No traditionally Democratic state will really be in play.

    Obama's massive small-donor fundraising base will give his campaign a huge advantage on this new, wider playing field.

  4. In this political environment, Obama's persona and message will resonate with swing voters. Eighty percent of the voters think that America is on the wrong track. Obama is change. McCain is the past.

    From the beginning of his primary campaign, Obama has had one consistent message: change you can believe in. He appeals for unity not division, for hope instead of fear, and to the fundamental premise that we're all in this together, not all in this alone. This resonates with voters tired of the division, fear and selfishness of the Bush years.

  5. Finally, Obama's ability to inspire is a massive general election asset.
    Not only will it motivate his base, it will also attract independents and Republicans in record numbers. The reason is simple: when someone is inspired they feel empowered. People of all sorts want to be empowered; they want to have meaning in their lives. They want to be part of something big and important and historic.

    The one thing we have learned again this year is that anything can happen in politics and those who predict with certainty will almost certainly be wrong. But if we set aside our cynicism - if we commit ourselves to victory this fall - I believe that we will all be part of something historic.

    I believe that Barack Obama can win by MORE than 300 electoral votes and 54% or more of the popular vote.

    I believe that Democrats can take another 25 seats in the House and five to seven seats in the Senate. I believe that this could be a transformational election of the sort that happened last in 1932 when Franklin Roosevelt launched the New Deal that made America the most prosperous society in human history, and committed our country to all of his famous "Four Freedoms:" freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

    And what's most exciting is that more than any election in modern political history, this election will be decided less by the strategies of a few political consultants than by what millions of everyday political activists do to make their mark on history over the next 161 days.

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 Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hillary Clinton Should Know 1st Grader Rules: You Break the Rules, You Get Punished

  Let Democrats show they're smarter than a 1st-grader

From USA Today: Read here

Some problems, if ignored long enough, simply go away. Unfortunately for the Democratic Party, what to do about Michigan and Florida isn't one of them.

Party officials will gather this weekend to try to figure a way out of a political mess that began in January, when the two states broke party rules by holding their presidential primaries before Feb. 5.

The states were RIGHTLY stripped of their delegates, and the fight has been on ever since.

The states and Sen. Hillary Clinton, who "won" both the unsanctioned primaries, now insist that this is all about democracy, respecting voters and counting every vote.


This is about rules, and Democratic officials have a chance to send an important message this weekend that rules matter.

Lest this sound harsh, bear in mind these facts:

* Both Florida and Michigan agreed to the rules they then went ahead and broke.

* Both states had plenty of time to stage new votes after Feb. 5 to get back into compliance with the rules. That would have been the fairest way to fix the problem and give
voters the voice they deserve. But neither state could get its act together for a revote.

* The January votes in Florida and Michigan were irreparably tainted. Major candidates pledged not to campaign in either state, and Barack Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan.
Clinton, on the verge of elimination from the Democratic race, is desperate to parlay her "victories" in Florida and Michigan into delegates, or at least into votes that she could use to argue that she won more popular votes nationally than Obama.

Neither election, however, was a fair representation of the voters' will.

Rather than stake claims based on tainted votes, Clinton would do better to convince party superdelegates that she'd have a better chance than Obama of defeating Republican John McCain in November.

That might or might not be true, but at least it would be an honest argument.

How the Democrats resolve this mess will be important not just for 2008, but also for efforts in 2012 to prevent the sort of chaotic leapfrogging that can undermine the primary process in both parties. (Republicans, who stripped rogue states of half their delegates, saw their potential problem disappear when McCain wrapped up the GOP nomination in early March.)

As a practical matter, Democrats want to give convention seats to delegations from Michigan and Florida, two big states that will be important in electing the new president this fall.

All sorts of compromises are being floated, and it's up to the party to decide what to do.

But any resolution should remind states of what every first-grader ought to know:
You break the rules, you get punished.

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Democratic National Committee MUST Come Up with an Equitable Decision


The DNC Should NOT Reward Those Who Break the Rules, Whatever the Political Fallout.

It is akin to rewarding a criminal who breaks the law.

Florida and Michigan broke the rules.

These two states must be seen by other states as serving a punishment from DNC. Otherwise, it makes a mockery of the power of the DNC to enforce party rules and an insult to the constitutional framework of the Democratic Party.

It sends a wrong signal to others and sets a bad precedent.

Hillary Clinton's play on Florida and Michigan is opportunistic.

She had agreed that that these two states should play by the rules and be punished by the rules.

For DNC to acquiesce to Hillary Clinton's demand that the goal post be moved once the game has started is morally and legally unacceptable.

Editor, Newscompass

  • From Melissa Patterson, Yucca Valley

  • Editorial

    Reader’s letter: Clinton disappoints Democratic Party

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 12:26 AM PDT

    I am stunned by Hillary Clinton’s behavior and deeply saddened by it. I used to hold her up as someone to emulate, now I just bow my head in embarrassment for her. She is not “entitled” to be president, so please stop!

    Both Florida and Michigan knew the rules and they broke them. The DNC stripped Florida and Michigan of 366 total delegates after the two states submitted delegate selection plans that violated party rules. She should stop acting as if she is owed this nomination! It’s not her time. And unfortunately it may never be if she keeps behaving like an elitist.

    I am and always will be a Yellow Dog Democrat, but if she somehow corrupts this fair primary, I can promise her I will vote for Ralph Nader before I vote for her.

    Shame on her and the disgrace she brings upon this party. If she thinks Florida voters would really throw their votes away on McCain because they would rather be childish instead of voting out the status quo, she is delusional.

    Don’t be a cheater, a liar and a thief. Don’t prove the conjecture of the right wing when they went after you and President Clinton during the witch hunt of Whitewater. Have some self respect and stop using the McCain threat, it’s ridiculous!

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    To the Super-Delegates: TIME to MOVE ON to More Defining Issues of the General Election

      Hillary Clinton, Please Exit With Dignity
    She Should Drop Out Of The Race On June 4


    Katrina vanden Heuvel.

    Read here in The Nation

    Check out for Bill Clinton's vent about HOW a "cover up" is hurting Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming the Democratic nominee.

    This is a man who has trampled on his spouse's voice every time, in this campaign, that she's found it.

    The women of The Nation are the first to deplore the sexism in media commentary this primary season, but a "cover up"?

    She WAS the One to Beat

    Hillary Clinton started this race last year as the one to beat--she had the money, the machine and the name recognition that assured her of quasi-incumbent status. And, indeed, she ran as a quasi-incumbent, an establishment candidate in a change-year election.

    Yes, there were the Chris Matthews and the Tucker Carlsons and the Mike Barnicles and the Rush Limbaughs and the women who were working out their Clinton hatred through Hillary's candidacy.

    Betsy Reed's superb cover story, "Race to the Bottom: How Hillary Clinton's Campaign Has Divided the Feminist Movement," documents those sexist remarks--and explains how Clinton's campaign has divided the feminist movement.

    Hillary's Grievous Mistakes

    But Clinton's losses cannot be attributed solely or largely to a sexism that still runs deep in our political culture.

    Clinton made the mistake of running a top-down campaign in a rules-changing year, and acceding to a sexism within her campaign that advised her not to apologize for her disastrous vote supporting Bush's war resolution.

    Yes, she was in charge. She could have rejected the guys' advice. But Clinton appears to have bought into the idea that a Commander-in-Chief has to play by "men's rules"--and be tougher than the toughest.

    If she'd been smart and right, not strong and wrong, how in her right mind would she not have said, I made a mistake when I accepted the word of a man who, it is now widely accepted (except in FoxLand), lied us into a war that has gravely undermined the US's security?

    John Edwards managed to issue an apology--and he was dueling with a media that had pegged him as "

    WHAT IF...?

    If Clinton had listened to alternative voices --if there'd be some "woman- common-sense" over in her campaign--they might have suggested that she reframe what a commander-in-chief for the 21st century means.

    That what's needed to deal with the challenges of this world is not more militarism and macho swagger, but a commitment to smart, principled use of non-military tools.

    After all, how does military might address genocidal conflicts? Or the worst pandemic in world history (AIDS)? Or staggering and destabilizing global inequality? Or, for that matter, the spread of weapons of mass destruction?

    Hillary might even have given a speech about what it would mean to elect the first women president. She might have given a superb gender speech--one that people, generations to come, might be talking about just as they will be talking about Barack Obama's magnificent speech on race. But she chose not to.

    Instead, Clinton chose a different route. And while, on some level, I like Clinton's "I'm fighting for you" persona, and her fighter instinct, that stance came too late in the campaign and needed an anchor in a larger fight than the fate and future of her campaign.

    So, opportunities lost, squandered.

    So, it is with sadness that one watches these last days of what began as an energizing and historic campaign.


    The last 72 hours of this campaign, I believe, have given renewed meaning to the term "move on."

    Ironically, that's a term that first gripped the national imagination at a very different moment in the Clintons' political history. It was in 1998, as rightwing forces converged on Bill Clinton, salivating about the possibility of impeaching a President for improprieties that, while grotesque, never rose to an impeachable offense, that the rules-changing internet operation emerged on our national landscape.

    It is now time to move on, again.

    That is not to say that Hillary Clinton doesn't have every right to campaign through the last primaries on June 3. After all, it's been a long time since millions of citizens were participants-- not simply spectators--in our mess of an election process. And that is exciting--as is the record-breaking turnout, the grassroots mobilization and registration of new and once-alienated voters in this campaign.

    But when the polls close on June 3, superdelegates should move, expeditiously, to make their decision so that this campaign can refocus on what is at stake in this defining election.

    And their decision should follow the will of the people--that is, the pledged delegates who are the backbone of a party that --under Howard Dean has crafted a spirited fifty-state strategy seeking to connect with ordinary Americans in every part of this country.

    That decision, to follow the will of the pledged delegates is in sync with a party that should see its future linked to throwing off the establishment mantle that is truly elitist.

    After all, as The Nation's Ari Berman has reminded us in his close reporting on the delegate race this charged season, those supers were created as a firewall to protect the party establishment.

    And at the end of the day, while Hillary Clinton has the grit, she ain't got the numbers.

    And the longer her fight drags on--with outlandish attempts to equate the status of the Michigan and Florida delegations with the fraudulent Zimbabwean elections or with the fraudulent Florida recount of 2000--the greater the disservice to the party, the people and the country.

    Bill Clinton liked to say-and let me paraphrase-- we are a country in which people who play by the rules should get ahead.


    The rules were the rules when the DNC laid them down to all the campaigns. At the time, the Clinton team, like all the others, agreed to abide by them.

    The rules are rules.

    Yet, in these last days, with Bill Clinton out there crying "coverup," it's as if Team Clinton has moved the goalposts so often, they're not even in the ballpark--they're somewhere out in the parking lot.


    We have big issues and big differences to thrash out in this election.

    On June 4, I hope Hillary Clinton exits this historic race, gracefully, with dignity.

    That exit should win her the respect due her from all those in the Democratic party, whether they are Hillary or Barack supporters.

    It is an exit that is in the interest of the party and the nation.

    And she must know that HOW she exits will define the winner in November 2008.

    It is time to for this election to turn to the defining issues.

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    MSNBC Chuck Todd Says It is HILLARY Who Should Reach Out to OBAMA Supporters

      From RAW STORY blog: Read here


    "Hillary should have quit and retain her delegates and be a suspended candidate."
    - Chuck Todd
    Video clip is from MSNBC's Morning Joe, broadcast May 27, 2008

    Chuck Todd on MSNBC,"Morning Joe" Show, 27 May 2008

    Spokespeople for the Clinton campaign have been saying repeatedly that Barack Obama has to show respect for Hillary Clinton to win the votes of her supporters next fall.

    (But) MSNBC analyst Chuck Todd believes it is Clinton who has to reach out to Obama supporters if she is to have any chance of a presidential run four or eight years from now.

    "You almost wonder if ... she's going to regret having continued this campaign full-bore.

    She is not making any friends with ObamaNation. ... If she ever wants to be president, she's going to have to make friends with ObamaNation.

    The Clinton people are not angry at Obama.

    They're angry at other factors ... the media ... the DNC ... some people that ran her campaign. Obama voters are angry at the Clintons.

    She has to figure how to reach out to this ObamaNation because these folks -- whether it's rational or not -- have absolutely come to be very -- I don't want to say hate, that's a strong word ... to loathe lots of folks on the Clinton side, including Senator Clinton, including President Clinton.

    And she needs to figure out how to -- for her political future, if she ever want to run for president -- to win these folks back over."

    Todd pointed to this weekend's flap over Clinton's remarks about Robert Kennedy, it was an example of why she might have been better off suspending her campaign rather than trying to keep it going.

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    Hillary's Dilemma: Damned If You DO, Damned If You DON'T

      From Federick News-Post: Read here

    Despite Sen. Hillary Clinton's tenacious attitude, all indications point to Sen. Barack Obama being the Democratic nominee for president.

    Whether that will be a done deal before the August Democratic National Convention in Denver remains to be seen.

    Earlier predictions that Democrats would avoid going to Denver with the party still divided get a little shakier with every passing primary. Still, who knows what kind of maneuvering and deal-making is going on behind the scenes. The only difference between party politics today and a century ago is that now the back rooms are smoke free.


    But should Obama get the nod, Clinton will be pressured, out of necessity, to support him -- even if he denies her the second spot on the ticket.

    That support will be critical to his chances of winning the White House, and the degree and sincerity of Clinton's support will be scrutinized and analyzed by her as well as Obama's supporters.

    Some political pundits have theorized that if Obama passes on Clinton as his running mate, she will then set her sights on the 2012 campaign. But that strategy would depend in large part on Obama losing to Sen. John McCain in the general election.

    Some conventional wisdom holds that if Clinton genuinely and enthusiastically encourages her devoted followers to support Obama -- disappointed and exasperated as they may at that point -- he will beat McCain in November.

    But that, of course, would almost certainly destroy any Clinton strategy surrounding the 2012 presidential election.

    And while in past months there has been a lot of talk and speculation that the Obama-Clinton "dream team" might materialize, in recent weeks the Obama camp seems to be distancing itself from that possibility.

    Many wonder whether, realistically, there has been too much rancor between Obama and Clinton for such a partnership to work, whether she would be happy playing second banana, and how former president Bill Clinton -- known to relish the limelight -- would fit into the equation if his wife were vice president.

    All this leaves Hillary Clinton with quite a dilemma.

    If she successfully steers her supporters to vote for Obama and he wins, her presidential aspirations for the future will likely die in the process.


    If Obama loses, and his loss is attributed to her failure to convincingly support him, she may well be labeled as selfish, or vindictive, or one whose personal ambition outweighs all other considerations -- including the good of the nation.

    That likely would also spell the end of her political career.

    To say that this Democratic primary has been interesting so far hardly does it justice. And its most compelling days -- for voters and Hillary Clinton alike -- may well lie ahead

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    Bill, Hillary's Problem is Not the Media, Its CFS

      Hillary Dangerfield Gets No Respect


    Craig Yates

    Read here on Chron.commons

    (CFS - Clinton Fatigue Syndrome)

    Bill Clinton gave a speech in South Dakota on Sunday in which he continued to promote the theory of a media conspiracy against Hillary.

    He suggested the Democratic Party should nominate his wife "unless we want to lose the election." If that weren’t enough, Bill added that he has "never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running."

    I’m not certain because I wasn’t there, but there must have been a short man in a white suit standing by Bill’s side, pointing to the sky and shouting "the planes boss, the planes".

    Clearly, Bill has taken up residence on Fantasy Island.

    1. Media Conspiracy Against Hillary

      First to the idea of a media conspiracy against Hillary.

      Would that be the SAME media that made Hillary the frontrunner before a single vote was cast? The SAME media that gave the Democratic Primary field the name Hillary and the Seven Dwarfs in the weeks and months before Obama’s upset win in Iowa?

      THAT media, Bill? The way I remember it, it was the Mainstream Media that had all but coronated Hillary Clinton since the day she announced her candidacy.

    2. Hillary Beating McCain

      Now to the notion that only Hillary can beat John McCain in the general election. On this point I suspect Bill may have a dyslexia problem as he reads the general election polls.

      As I interpret the data from RealClearPolitics, in the cumulative results from 7 different pollsters, Obama leads McCain in 4 polls, they are running even in 2, and McCain leads Obama in only one.

    3. Respect

      On the issue of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, I would contend that the Clintons received undeserved respect for too long in the days following Super Tuesday.

      Obviously, Hillary and her staff had no plan or strategy for that time. They assumed that the race would be over and they could turn their focus to the general election. And everybody knows the old saying about ASS-U-ME-D.

      Hillary was not prepared for a long struggle and did not have the organization in place after Super Tuesday, causing her to lose 11 straight contests. That lack of being able to assess the field and plan accordingly does not speak well of someone who wants to run an effective general election campaign against John McCain, or someone who wants to run the country for that matter.

      What has proven to be true is that the support for Hillary was 10 miles wide and 1/4 inch deep. Democrats supported her because they thought she could win.

      What they saw when Obama starting gaining momentum was a candidate that could win whose last name was not Clinton and did not carry all the baggage that goes along with that name.

      It had nothing to do with respect. In my opinion, it was and is, all about CFS (Clinton Fatigue Syndrome). This is an illness not only within the Democratic Party, but one that has spread to the country as a whole.

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     Tuesday, May 27, 2008

    Top Twenty Reasons Hillary Clinton Should Stay in The Race


    Will Durst

    Read here

    Even though the dogged Hillary Clinton is being encouraged by friend and foe and pundit alike to drop out of the Democratic Presidential Primary, there is a contingent that thinks her best move is to dig in her heels and bite the hand off of anyone who tries to restrain her.

    Admittedly, that contingent is mostly made up of me and a couple other guys in the editorial cartoonist world. But seriously, what the hell, she’s come this far.

    Who quits within sight of the finishing line of a marathon?

    It’s like climbing 890 steps of the Washington Monument, then turning around and going back down after the gun sounds. No. Walk the final three.

    And in an attempt to nudge her steadfastness into calcifying unity, I’ve doubled your usual top ten list, and come up with twenty reasons why the Junior Senator from New York should stick it out the bitter end, and when I say bitter, I mean bitter.

    No need to thank me, I’m here to help.

    Although, tips are always appreciated.

    20. With the May Sweeps over, you and Barack are the only serial left on air worth watching.

    19. WWERD. What would Eleanor Roosevelt Do?

    18. You’re faster and you outweigh him. He wouldn’t last three rounds in a ring.

    17. What kind of message does throwing in the towel now send to America’s youth?

    16. If they want you out, let them try something. They’ll soon find out, it’ll take more than a village.

    15. Meteor showers. Lots and lots of meteor showers. One of which could strike Barack right in the head. At any time.

    14. For posterity’s sake. Or is it posterior’s sake?

    13. You going to waste all those months training for Denver’s altitude?

    12. Summer vacation coming and it’s too expensive to go overseas.

    11. Who knows? Maybe Puerto Rico will tap into a vast pool of undiscovered oil and get ratified as a state in time for the Convention?

    10. It’s either this or you go home and listen to Bill bitch bitch bitch. “I could have been !st Gentleman” this. And “I could have been Attorney General” that.

    9. Grrrl Power!

    8. What’s that old saying: as go Montana and North Dakota, so goes the world?

    7. Now, people can look at Chelsea and say,
    “Well, it’s easy to see which side of the family she got her stubbornness.”

    6. You want that Vice Presidential nod, you get it the old fashioned way: you earn it.

    5. From now on, whenever people speak about the hardest- working woman in politics, they’re talking about you, little lady.

    4. For the healthy and nutritious road food.

    3. Staying in the race guarantees your knitting circle will never call you a quitter.

    2. Be honest: What else you got going on?

    1. Spite. Just do it for spite

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    Two Reasons Why Democrats Should Give Up on Hillary Clinton

      From Washington Post Letters to Editor

    Marie Cocco ["The 'Not Clinton' Excuse," op-ed, May 22] asked, if not Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, "which woman, exactly, would be acceptable?"

    Answer: any woman who didn't vote for the Iraq war. That single choice of Ms. Clinton's is the only reason she didn't wrap up the nomination four months ago.

    On Oct. 11, 2002 -- the day she lost my vote -- she either didn't know what 34 percent of Americans knew, in which case she's too ignorant to be president; or she voted out of fear she'd be perceived as weak, in which case she's too craven to be president.

    More recently, she asserted that if Iran considered attacking Israel, "we would be able to totally obliterate them," presumably including most of the country's civilians.

    What's the point in voting for a woman who is just as militant, just as belligerent, just as vicious as any man might be?

    Untold thousands have died in a war Ms. Clinton voted to authorize.

    Do I not have a right to hold her accountable for that vote just because I'm a 55-year-old woman?

    Am I supposed to support her solely because of her gender?

    And I also think that Sen. Barack Obama is a far better feminist than Ms. Clinton has shown herself to be.


    Stewartstown, Pa


    "Is it something about Hillary, or something about us?" Marie Cocco asked, wondering whether Hillary Rodham Clinton's apparent failure to secure the Democratic presidential nomination was related to her gender.

    The answer: Neither.

    It's something about Barack Obama, who inspired many Democrats who otherwise would have voted for Ms. Clinton.

    Ms. Cocco also suggests the possibility that if Ms. Clinton loses, "no woman will seriously contend for the White House for another generation," because there isn't a "woman on the political horizon" with Ms. Clinton's name recognition, fundraising ability, political experience and loyal base of support.

    But Ms. Cocco forgets that less than four years ago, Mr. Obama possessed none of those assets himself.





    Hillary Clinton: The Pinata Of The Political World


    Robert Paul Reyes

    Read here on News Blaze
    "Pundits, reporters, the Democratic establishment, and everybody else with at least room temperature IQ knows that Sen. Barack Obama has secured the Democratic presidential nomination.

    Only Hillary Clinton believes she's still a viable candidate; she continues her Quixotic quest with her painted-on smile and her luggage full of pantsuits. It's Hillary's turn to rule, by God, and even though she's hopelessly behind in every metric (pledged delegates, superdelegates, popular vote, most states won), karma will cooperate if need be, and kill Obama by means of an assassin.

    At every campaign stop Hillary is met by an adoring throng of white middle-aged ladies who will stick with their Queen come hell, high water or reality. These ageing women are persuaded that Hillary is their last chance to see a woman capture the White House before they kick the bucket. These old birds are full of p*** and vinegar and they unload on men and women who have the temerity to vote for a candidate other than their feminist hero.

    Hillary achieved her exalted position by clinging to the DNA-stained coattails of her husband - she's no feminist icon. If Hillary's last name wasn't "Clinton" she'd be working for a law firm defending white collar criminals, and whiling away her free time in bars making fun of blue-collar yokels.

    Hillary Clinton is the pinata of politics, she's such a despicable creature that nobody bats an eye when she's ridiculed, criticized or condemned. This is not a perfect analogy, a pinata is a brightly-colored paper container filled with sweets and/or toys and Hillary is a dour and bitter woman filled with arrogance, spite, jealousy and all manner of evil.

    A pinata does nothing to deserve its horrible fate; we can't help but feel a tinge of sorrow when we see its shattered remains. But Hillary is so evil that most folks figure she had it coming when pundits and comics tear her apart.

    Hillary's days in the national spotlight are numbered; soon even she will accept reality and quit the race. What a horrible prospect, we need a pinata that we can beat without feeling guilt or facing the reproach of others.

    Even when I criticize a clueless bimbo like Paris Hilton, I get nasty emails from her fans. But when I mock Hillary I get nothing but letters of support and encouragement.

    Hillary please don't drop out of the race, a legion of pundits, reporters, comics and regular folks need you. You are our beloved pinata and we want to continue beating on you until there's nothing left."

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    Kennedy Family Fuming Over Hillary's Assassination Comments




    Read here in New York Post

    Members of the Kennedy family are incensed over Hillary Rodham Clinton's invoking the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy to explain why she's staying in the race - and they think it could be the death knell of an increasingly desperate and sloppy campaign.

    "That comment may be the last nail in her campaign's coffin," a Kennedy relative told The Post. "How can Hillary even use the experience argument when she repeatedly pushes the wrong buttons in her comments?"

    An insider added, "I think people really felt that a line was crossed and that her campaign - and even her legitimacy as a politician - ended today."

    Said a second relative, "She no longer has only her husband to blame for the ill-chosen comments coming from her camp."

    While Robert Kennedy Jr. immediately came out in support of Sen. Clinton on Friday, others in the family's inner circle are fuming.

    One cited "a perceived insensitivity" in her comment, made Friday before a South Dakota newspaper's editorial board, especially with the 40th anniversary of RFK's death two weeks away and Sen. Ted Kennedy battling a brain tumor.

    "We were all sort of dumbfounded that she would say such a thing," the insider said.

    There was also anger outside the family. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), a Hillary supporter, told Bloomberg News that she said "the dumbest thing you could have possibly said."

    And the Rev. Al Sharpton ripped the comment as dangerous.

    The Kennedy family insider added: "I know that many Clinton supporters in New York and New Jersey are sickened by her comments and that they are more concerned with Senator Kennedy's health and well-being than they are her campaign anymore. "

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     Monday, May 26, 2008

    Death Wish II: What Hillary Was Aiming at With Her Two Assassination "Gaffes"


    Stephen Ducat
    in Huffington Post
    (Stephen J. Ducat, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist from the San Francisco Bay Area. His most recent book is The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity)

    Read here

    Opinion polls are the vital political weather reports that all politicians rely on, especially during campaigns. Arguably, there has been no political couple in history more vigilantly attentive to their fluctuations than the Clinton's -- and never more so than during the stormy conditions of electoral contests.

    Senator Clinton's campaign has used polling data as more than a guide on how to adjust her message to the prevailing winds. It has utilized such surveys to point up potential weaknesses of the Obama brand that can be exploited, even if the ultimate beneficiaries of these efforts are the Republicans.

    First So-called "Gaffe"

    On March 2 an ABC/Washington Post poll showed that 59% of Americans were worried "that someone might attempt to physically harm Barack Obama if he's the Democratic nominee for president."

    By March 6 Hillary Clinton was reminding her interviewer, Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel, of "the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A."

    This was a response to a question about whether her decision to stay in a race she couldn't win would hurt her party. It only seemed like a thoughtless non sequitur.

    Second So-called "Gaffe"

    As we have recently learned, two months later, on May 23, while discussing the same issue with the editorial board of the Argus Leader, she called upon her audience to "remember [that] Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California."

    When two utterances of the same "gaffe" are nearly identical, like Senator Clinton's oft-repeated Bosnian sniper "misstatements," such mistakes are likely to be motivated, either by a conscious strategy or an unconscious wish.

    Of course, at this distance, we cannot know which.

    But what do we know?

    1. We know that Senator Clinton's determined efforts to assassinate Barack Obama's character have not killed off his chances for the Democratic nomination.

    2. We know, as I observed in my last post, that her primary strategy has been to portray him as an effeminate, elitist, and fragile ectomorph who will be weak in the face of aggression, and who will be readily done in by America's more burly antagonists. She, on the other hand, we were often told, is the only one butch enough to stick it to the baddies of the world.

    3. We know that on March 2 it was widely published that Americans saw Obama as vulnerable to assassination.

    4. We know that it took only four days for her to remind us that he could indeed be knocked off, just like that other premature peacenik, Bobby Kennedy.
    What can we conclude?

    Perhaps her infelicitous phrasing was driven, in part, by a conscious or unconscious death wish towards Obama.

    After all, in her remorseless "apology" she NEVER apologized to him (Obama), only the Kennedys.

    The other, perhaps more likely determinant is Clinton's by now reflexive effort to paint her opponent as a vulnerable, sweet-talking pretty boy -- more likely to find himself in the sight of another's gun, than pulling the trigger of his own.

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    Hillary Clinton's Selective View of History

      Read here on Chron.commons

    In the days since Hillary Clinton’s monumental gaffe in South Dakota in which she referenced the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, many have defended her statement, saying she was merely citing historical perspective as a reason to stay in the race.

    Since in the same remarks she made a point of Bill’s 1992 run for the presidency as an example of a contest that was not decided until June, I thought it might be a good idea to look back at the 1992 Democratic Primary and see what actually happened.

    As usual with the Clintons, you have to parse every word to get to the meaning of what they say.

    Hillary said that Bill didn’t win the nomination until the June primary in California. Technically that’s true, but it all depends on what the definition of "win" is.

    In 1992, there were 3 major contenders for the nomination–Bill Clinton, Paul Tsongas, former Senator from Massachusetts, and Jerry Brown, former Governor of California.

    • Tsongas won in New Hampshire with Clinton finishing second.

    • Bill Clinton won nearly all the Super Tuesday primaries, making him the front-runner for the nomination.

    • Jerry Brown then upset Clinton in Connecticut and Colorado.

    • On March 17, Tsongas dropped out after finishing a distant third behind Clinton and Brown in Michigan.

    • On April 7, Brown lost to Clinton in Wisconsin and New York and was never a serious contender after that.

    • Clinton defeated Brown in California in June to clinch the nomination, which by that time was a foregone conclusion.
    To get a further perspective on the race that was really a no-contest after Super Tuesday, the final delegate count was:
    1. Clinton 3372,

    2. Jerry Brown 596,

    3. Paul Tsongas 289.

    Clinton won primaries in 39 states compared to 6 for Tsongas and 3 for Brown.

    Hardly the nail-biter that Hillary would have us believe.

    But much like the sniper fire incident in Bosnia, Hillary’s memory gets a little fuzzy when it comes to historical facts.

    If she wanted to cite a primary race that was decided late she could have used 1976, when Carter didn’t clinch the nomination until after he won Ohio on June 8, or 1984 when Mondale’s victory in New Jersey on June 5 gave him the victory in his primary battle with Gary Hart. Both of these are more recent examples than Bobby Kennedy in 1968.

    What does all this mean?

    It tells me that Hillary Clinton is nearly as bad a student of history as she is a presidential candidate.

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     Sunday, May 25, 2008

    The Remark that Lost a Vice Presidency


    Linda Bergthold in Huffington Post


    It's Memorial Day Weekend.

    However, once Memorial Day weekend is over, how will we view the remark that Hillary Clinton made on Friday night linking ending the primary in June with RFK's assassination in 1968?

    • Will we view it merely as a thoughtless reference that brought up painful memories for those who lived through that time?

    • Will we view it as nothing more than a historical, factual reference (as Hillary herself described it) to the fact that primaries have occasionally lasted until June?

    • Or will we view it as the remark that lost her a chance for the Vice Presidency?
    1. First, a few facts. Hillary has been referring to her husband's race lasting until June 1992 for awhile now. But in fact, he had the nomination sewed up in March of that year and only waited until June for California to put him over the top.

      So he was not exactly "fighting" for the nomination in June. That reference remains an odd explanation for her own desire to stay in the race until June, and the fact that she keeps mentioning it even though it is not quite accurate remains a mystery.

      It might be better if she were to state that she intended to stay in the race until the end because she owes it to her supporters to finish what she started.

    2. Second, she did apologize. But she apologized to the Kennedys for bringing up memories of that time while Ted Kennedy is going through his own struggles right now.

      Should her apology not also have been directed to the Obama family and his supporters, who live daily with the anxiety of some sort of assassination attempt on Barack?

    3. Third, it is a fact that she has not indicated that she wants the Vice Presidency. But behind the scenes, Bill Clinton has been mentioning it to friends and superdelegates.

      So even if she does not want to be on the ticket, she surely wants a place at the table that acknowledges how close she came and how much support she ended up having.

      How will this remark sit with those who would vote for her for Majority Leader or justice of the Supreme Court?
    After all the pundits have had their say, and the newspapers their screaming headlines, what is left is this:
    By bringing up the specter of assassination of a political candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton has revealed, perhaps totally inadvertently, the disturbing specter of her, standing beside that candidate and profiting by his death.
    Were she to be the Vice Presidential nominee or the eventual Vice President, how would we ever forget these comments should something happen to Obama?

    How could we ever believe that she did not really mean this?

    Thus, no matter how slim her chances were for being asked to be on the ticket, how could she ever be the Vice Presidential choice now?

    When Memorial Day weekend is over, when May is over, when June is over, will we look back and say that this remark was the one that sealed Hillary Clinton's political fate?

    The proverbial straw ? Dear readers. You tell me.

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    Hillary Clinton's colossal blunder simply the last straw


    Michael Goodwin in Daily News

    SICK. Disgusting. And yet revealing.

    Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in the event some nut kills Barack Obama.

    It could happen, but what definitely has happened is that Clinton has killed her own chances of being vice president.

    She doesn't deserve to be elected dog catcher anywhere now.

    Her shocking comment to a South Dakota newspaper might qualify as the dumbest thing ever said in American politics.

    Her lame explanation that she brought up the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy because his brother Ted's illness was on her mind doesn't cut it. Not even close.

    We have seen an X-ray of a very dark soul. One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way. Otherwise, why is murder on her mind?

    It's like Tanya Harding's kneecapping has come to politics. Only the senator from New York has more lethal fantasies than that nutty skater.

    We could have seen it coming, if only we had realized Clinton's thinking could be so cold. She has grown increasingly wild in her imagery lately, invoking everything from slavery to the political killings in Zimbabwe in making her argument for the Florida and Michigan delegations. She claimed to be the victim of sexism, despite winning the votes of white men.

    But none of it was moving the nomination needle, with Obama, despite recent dents, still on course to be the victor.

    So she kept digging deeper, looking for the magic button. Instead, she pushed the eject button, lifting herself right out of consideration.

    Giving voice to such a vile thought is all the more horrible because fears Obama would be killed have been an undercurrent to his astonishing rise.

    Republican Mike Huckabee made a stupid joke about it recently. Many black Americans have talked of it, reflecting their assumption that racists would never tolerate a black President and that Obama would be taken from them.

    Clinton has now fed that fear. She needs a very long vacation. And we need one from her.

    Say good night, Hillary. And go away.

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    Hillary Clinton's Candidacy Does NO Favors to Feminism


    Camille Paglia
    (Camille Paglia is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia)

    Read here in Telegraph UK

    When the dust settles over the 2008 election, will Hillary Clinton have helped or hindered women's advance toward the US presidency?

    Has Clinton hindered women’s advance towards the presidency?

    Right now, Hillary is in Godzilla mode, refusing to accept Barack Obama's looming nomination and threatening to tie the Democratic party in legal knots until the August convention and beyond.

    Those who think she will withdraw gracefully in a few weeks are living in cloud cuckoo land. The Clintons are ruthless scrappers who will lock their bulldog teeth in any bloody towel.

    In her raw ambition and stubborn, grinding energy, Hillary will certainly cast a long shadow on young women aspiring to high office. She is both inspiring role model and cringe-making bad example — an overtly feminist careerist who never found a way to succeed without her husband's connections, advice, and intervention.

    Bill Clinton may have masterminded Hillary's runs for the Senate and for the Democratic nomination, but he has been a gross liability in recent months, as he has co-opted the hustings to maunder on about himself or to inject divisive racial overtones into the debate.

    The next major female presidential candidate will be well advised to stuff any errant husband into a rucksack and chuck him down a laundry chute. If they are to be truly equal, women must fight their own fights and not rely on a borrowed spotlight.

    advertisementHillary has tried to have it both ways: to batten on her husband's nostalgic popularity while simultaneously claiming to be a victim of sexism.

    Well, which is it? Are men convenient sugar daddies or condescending oppressors?

    As her presidential hopes have begun to evaporate, Hillary has upped the ante in the crusading feminist department. Her surrogates are beating the grievance drums, trying to scare every angry female out of the bush.

    From that rag-tag crew, she will build her army. Let the red flags fly! Hillary is positioning herself as the Crucified One, betrayed, mocked, flogged, and shunted aside for the cause of Ultimate Womanhood. But doesn't this saccharine melodrama undermine the central goals of feminism?

    For all her claims of media bias and ill treatment by her male fellow candidates, Hillary has got off absurdly softly in this campaign. No one — neither her rivals nor mainstream journalists — has had the guts to explore or even list the bursting catalogue of past Clinton scandals, in which Hillary was nearly always hip deep.

    Charges of sexism have become Hillary's rote strategy for evading scrutiny. But by entangling the noble movement of modern feminism with her own knotty psychodrama, Hillary is reinforcing hoary stereotypes about women. Will every losing woman candidate now turn on the waterworks and claim to be maimed by male pride and prejudice?

    The biggest barrier to women winning the White House is that the president must serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and thus convey strength and purpose to defend the nation. Hillary shrewdly tried to address this gender problem by getting herself appointed to the Senate Armed Services Committee, where she absorbed information and slowly gained the trust of high-ranking military officers.

    However, the plan went awry when, servilely following polling data about national opinion, she voted for the War Resolution authorising George W Bush to invade Iraq. That fateful decision, meant to shore up her military credibility, would alienate her from the left wing of her party and ironically boost the presidential hopes of a virtual unknown, Obama, who had publicly opposed the war.

    Women contemplating the Hillary precedent would do better to ignore evanescent polls and study military history instead. When women try to masquerade in the lion skin of military bravado, it leads to embarrassments like Hillary's daffy tale about running for cover under sniper fire in Bosnia — which insulted the US military by implying it would put a First Lady and her daughter in danger.

    Then there was Hillary's threat to “obliterate” Iran should it attack Israel, a shocking word-choice that betrayed naivete about military options and indifference to their human consequences. Feminist ideologues sniffle about how hard the road is for women candidates. Hillary, it is alleged, has had to be both tough and soft, masculine and feminine.

    So that's the rationale for her head-spinning personality changes? For every new state or region, she trots out a new tone or accent, from the crisp to the cornpone. It's crude and patronizing —which is partly why she has surprisingly lost support among her peers, educated upper-middle-class women.

    No, the first woman president must have a consistent character and steady demeanour. She will also, however, need a mountain of cash, crucial for the blizzard of advertising that unfortunately constitutes national campaigns in the US. Here Hillary, tutored by her husband, has definitely blazed a trail.

    There's no one better at flattering and soaking the rich and famous. But she has blown through her hoard with breathtaking profligacy. After raising well over $100 million, she is now more than $20 million in debt and sinking deeper every day.

    Clamouring hosts of small vendors remain callously unpaid in her wake. A prudent money manager she clearly is not — hence the reluctance of so many voters to put Hillary in charge of the US budget. Sexism has nothing to do with it.

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    Death-Wish Hillary Primes Manchurian Candidate


    Alexander Cockburn in Counterpunch

    Ever since she realized back in early March that Obama was going to take the nomination Hillary Clinton’s LONG-term strategy has been to do her best to ensure McCain will win this November so she can become the Democratic nominee in 2012.

    But she had a SHORT term strategy too and on Friday she deliberately made it explicit in a newspaper office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There she suggested that some is likely to step up to the plate and assassinate Barack Obama in the waning moments of the California primary, just as Bobby Kennedy was forty years go almost to the day.

    The wish is mother to the deed.

    If anything does happen to Obama in California, Mrs Clinton should surely be indicted as a co-conspirator.

    How to else construe her grotesque remarks in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in the editorial offices of the Argus Leader newspaper.

    There is no other way to construe these sentences, delivered in measured tones to the Argus-Leader editorial board, but to interpret them as Mrs Clinton’s more or less explicit statement that she is spending a million a day just to keep her hat in the ring because Obama might well get killed.

    Then, just like the scenario at the end of the Manchurian candidate, Hillary will straddle Obama’s bleeding body, make the speech of her life and become the assured nominee. In fact, right now she’s probably sitting down with some numbed vet and whispering coyly in her best Angela Lansbury mode to the Lawrence Harvey stand-in, “How about passing the time by playing a little solitaire?" I pass on whether Hillary reprises Angela Lansbury’s famous incestuous kiss on her son’s lips. Perhaps Sid Blumenthal is the stand-in, though I doubt he’s a very good shot.

    To get added insight into what a TRULY NASTY woman Hillary Clinton is, remember that her remarks on Friday came a couple of days after Edward Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

    Next thing you know, his fellow senator is saying that California might well be celebrating the fortieth anniversary of his borther’s murder by killing the candidate he has endorsed for the nomination.

    Now Hillary Clinton is dutifully saying that she was misunderstood, that she had no intention, no thought, that she might be talking about SOMEONE KILLING OBAMA, SOMEONE SHOOTING THE BLACK MAN DEAD, JUST LIKE SOMEONE SHOT BOBBY KENNEDY DEAD IN CALIFORNIA, IN CALIFORNIA, DEAD, REALLY DEAD. Oh my heavens no, the thought never crossed MY mind.

    Recall too that as Jeffrey pointed out in his Wednesday piece here, Mrs Clinton and her mouthpieces have been steadily raising the volume on their verbal-lynching.

    In South Dakota Mrs Clinton lit the fuse.

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