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Tilting at Windmills

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January 7, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

ON THE TRAIL....And the top political story of the day is....Hillary Clinton displaying a brief moment of emotion. At a campaign stop today, after she was asked how she puts up with the rigors of campaigning, her eyes "appeared to well up" (Washington Post) and her voice "softened and lowered to a near-hush" (New York Times), providing a "dramatic coda to a campaign in which she has largely offered voters policy prescription" (Los Angeles Times).

Indeed. This sparked ABC News' headline writer to ask breathlessly, "Can Clinton's Emotions Get the Best of Her?" — a question that will undoubtedly be the lead story on all three networks tonight, right alongside John Edwards gallantly refusing to comment on the story just moments before deciding that he ought to comment after all. "I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve," he said, doing his gender proud.

Somebody shoot me. But hey, in for a penny, in for a pound. As long as I'm writing about this, I might as well ask the only question that anyone really cares about: Does this help or hurt? And what will be the response of the pack?

Kevin Drum 7:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (229)

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Comments

I doubt it will hurt. But downplaying the role of Dr. King in the civil rights movement sure seems like it will hurt, if not now, then further down the ballot.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0108/Clinton_and_Obama_Johnson_and_King.html

Posted by: Keith on January 7, 2008 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think she's consciously downplaying it, but it looks pretty bad.

Is there confirmation that Edwards actually said this? It sounds like such a huge Gaffe from him, so OOC. Elizabeth E. needs to smack him upside the head for something like that.

Posted by: MNPundit on January 7, 2008 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

It shows once again that John Edwards is not a natural politician. He has repeatedly made errors that someone running for the mayor of Burnt Stump would not make.

Posted by: old gold on January 7, 2008 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Well, she implied through her tears that Obama not only wasn't ready, but that he's liable to let things "spin out of control."

This follows on the heels of her A) trying to tie him to George W. Bush, saying that last time we elected a "likeable" guy, and that didn't work out and B) dropping a mailer falsely claiming that he wanted to eliminate the SocSec cap and raise taxes on the middle class by $1 trillion and C) implying he should know his place because while MLK was inspiring, it took an LBJ to get things done.

Ugly stuff that she tries to hide through sympathetic tears.

Posted by: Mike H on January 7, 2008 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK


Well, I can't imagine that it would look very good if a man had tears in his eyes on the campaign trail, either. If Obama cried, say? There would certainly be questions about his strength and resolve.

Although if I were Edwards, I wouldn't say anything. Just let the media report it and let people make their own decisions. You say something, and then maybe it does come off as sexist.

Posted by: mmy on January 7, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

It's a positive, if the media environment were not so skewed to favor men. It shows commitment. All women know that they don't cry when they don't care deep down inside. It's only men -- with their legitimately protective impulses -- that would interpret this as a sign of weakness.

Posted by: Illume on January 7, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

FWIW, I suspect that the question was a plant and Hillary's crying was intentional. I think it will help Hillary in the short run. Notice how it has made her the center of every political news story today, and thus took the air out of Obama's surge.

In the long run, this crying could hurt her, but only if the media continues to play up the idea that she's too emotional to be President. However, I don't expect that to happen.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 7, 2008 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

MNPundit:

You might be right. I'd be interested to her what Andrew Young and John Lewis think about her statement though. I mean they marched with Dr. King, so one would think that they may have a better sense of the role Dr. King played in moving civil rights forward.

Posted by: Keith on January 7, 2008 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

But downplaying the role of Dr. King in the civil rights movement sure seems like it will hurt, if not now, then further down the ballot.

Yep. First she breaks down and cries confirming all the theories she's too emotional to be President. Then she lauches a racist attack against Obama. This will only help Obama more as Hillary's campaign self destructs.

Posted by: Al on January 7, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

I think it will help, but not much. Watching it, as a non-Clinton supporter, I felt very sympathetic. In context it reminded me (not that I've ever really forgotten) of how deeply she believes that she would be the best person for the job, and that by extention her election would be the best thing for the country. That's a good reason to run, perhaps the only one.

That said, it didn't actually affect my opinion about who really would be the best person for the job, and I doubt it will do so for many others. I've never disliked Hillary; in a different year she could have been my favorite candidate. I think that's the case for most of the primary voters. Her hurdle in the primaries isn't about likeability, it's about political style (and not at all in a trivial sense). Given that, I doubt that a sympathetic moment will be enough to move the polls much.

Posted by: Adam on January 7, 2008 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Pack is the right word. The press has turned on her like a pack of rabid dogs. It's a feeding frenzy. I wasn't aware that a sadistic streak was a prerequisite for being a political reporter.

And they scoff at Faux news for being fair and balanced. They are no better. What a low bar they set themselves.

Posted by: Susan on January 7, 2008 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! After taking a vicious, relentless pounding from Republicans and the media for 15 years that not one of us could take for 15 days, she has a human reaction. Good for her.

Posted by: emmarose on January 7, 2008 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, it sucks being a woman. Cold and bitchy, emotional and overwrought are the only options. Way to go, Edwards. Yeesh.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on January 7, 2008 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: Hillary's crying was intentional

As I recall, Ronald Reagan used to choke up at some point during his stump speech in 1980. It really got to people, how he could show emotion like that. Except the press caravan noted that he choked up at that EXACT SAME SPOT, EVERY TIME he gave the speech. Yet I don't notice his adoring fans commenting on how intentional, deliberate, crass, etc. this was...

Posted by: Art Smith on January 7, 2008 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

As the Chipmunks would say,"Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang walla walla, bing bang."

Posted by: hollywood on January 7, 2008 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not a supporter (slight Obama lean), but I didn't see anything wrong about showing a little emotion and humanity. I'd even ask for more of this from all the candidates if it wouldn't result in phony displays of emotion and a lot of bad acting.

I thought it was one of her best moments of the campaign. It's hard to doubt the sincerity of her campaign after this She has made some very poor judgments (in 2002 and since then), but she is tough, smart, resilient and a surprisingly good politician. There is a lot to admire about this person whether or not one supports her.

She has been dumped on so much by so many over the years and she has stayed in the fray. Few would have been as strong in the face of such assaults.

Posted by: Ben Brackley on January 7, 2008 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

The tears won't help or hurt her. But some of the associated words I find obnoxious and insulting:

"And some people think elections are a game. They think it's like who's up or who's down. ... But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not."

Give me a freakin' break.


Posted by: Econobuzz on January 7, 2008 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

I can't even imagine what she's been through. She has been so unfairly attacked - not on her positions but on everything about her. The fat, loud, crass Chris Matthews has had a jihad going against her while at the same time blowing kisses to the Obama. Attacked her laugh and even her clapping. If she questions Obama's record (fair game) they say she's going negative. If Obama or Edwards attacks her nothing is said. The blogs have been against her. Even Saturday Night Live has been vicious and bitchy (with the help of the odious Obama). If this is the change in the Democratic party we'd be better off going back the past.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 7, 2008 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

It will hurt, unfortunately. It will feed into the "she's a woman, she can't handle it" type thing. I enthusiastically support Obama, but I still sympathize with the pressure they all put themselves through for the election.

That said, President Obama in November changes the whole game, and the county will be ecstatic for a new beginning. Not even a McCain can stop the inherent impulse for Americans to have a real change, even if it just looks that way to them. Funny how the racial politics is being used subconsciously against the previous benefactors. I don't mean to race bait, but can't someone appreciate the irony?

Posted by: Boorring on January 7, 2008 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

My personal opinion on the crying:

AAHHHHIDON'TCAREMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOP

Sorry, I could not care less. However, if you want to see signs of an imminent implosion by the Clinton campaign, try her criticizing Obama from the right on social security and then ragging on Martin Luther King as ineffectual.

Posted by: ArtB on January 7, 2008 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the tears are sincere -- after all, I never questioned Bill's sincerity either. I don't question GWB's sincercity when he gets choked up or angry.

But this doesn't mean it wasn't a calculated move. Any performer (and politicians are performers) that the best scenes are those played with genuine sincerity. But they know the moment is coming. They are ready.

I'd feel better about the emotion if she hadn't gone on the TODAY SHOW this morning and talked about how women have all these "emotions" and need to "express" them. She says that this morning, and this afternoon, she cries.

Plus, it was another moment where she is talking about herself. She got emotional on Saturday, when she felt attacked. She gets emotional today, when someone asks about her, albeit in a kindly way. (The words "so wonderful" were used.)

Personally, I like emotion, anger or tears. But I'd rather have a little bit more on her positions and ideology and a little less on herself.

Posted by: geml on January 7, 2008 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Nah, not even close. It'll hurt her.

I'm not saying that it should hurt her, mind. As so many thoughtful comments here already have pointed out, you'd have to be something other than human not to have a little emotional weariness during the ordeal that is a presidential campaign.

But -- like it or not -- Hillary is a woman, and she is being held to a different -- and, yes, a double -- standard. It isn't right and it isn't fair, but it is true. For a lot of people out there who don't really know her well or have at least a slightly negative opinion, this is something they can use to confirm their own right-wing engendered bias against voting for her: "She's not strong enough to be a Commander-in-Chief."

It's like Madonna. I was never a fan, but she churned out successful album after successful album, worked hard to reinvent herself to stay fresh, yet she's pretty much been erased from the popular music scene. Her only crime was to get old; much older than the young sexpots you find on screen now.

Meanwhile, Mick Jagger is 89 and would still get airplay if the Stones put out another album.

It isn't fair and it isn't right, but Madonna's a woman who got old in the entertainment world. And Hillary is a woman running for president, and she's gonna be damned if she does and damned if she doesn't.

Posted by: swellsman on January 7, 2008 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, I cry at least once a day until mr. shortstop relents and turns off the election coverage.

What a classy moment for John Edwards.

Posted by: shortstop on January 7, 2008 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Might help a little in the short term, but it will kill in the long term. Wasn't the spin that she was the only one tough enough to handle the VRWC? So, to do this now, no matter how spontaneous, she seems petulant: as in "How dare they take this nomination from me. I have worked so hard. Why does everyone pick on me?" However, judging from the comments, it does seem to have struck a nerve with her female supporters, many whom seem to share her persecution complex. Don't think it will sway non-supporters.

Posted by: Shine on January 7, 2008 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

That is one stupid statement by Clinton. But let's be honest. If she had said what Obama had said, many of you would be outraged that she compared herself to JFK and MLK (cue Lloyd Benson).

Posted by: Bush Lover on January 7, 2008 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Um, folks.

Can I remind you of the Dean Scream?

Exactly the same friggin circumstance, exactly the same result. Unstoppable force, loses Iowa, gets overly emotional, media pounces, campaign disintegrates...

Invoking a sexist media conspiracy reveals a lot about ones (frightening adversarial) view of gender politics, but not much about the dynamics of this campaign.

This is the Dean meltdown redux. Give it up.

Posted by: Adam on January 7, 2008 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

doing his gender proud

I'm not sure how it is that this can be spun as sexism.

Are you arguing that Edwards wouldn't have said it if Clinton were a man?

I don't know, but I think people in general would be more likely to say something like that about a male presidential candidate who teared up. So I'm not sure how Edwards treating her as he would treat a man, instead of treating her with kid gloves because she's a woman, implies sexism on his part.

To be clear, I'm not arguing that Edwards isn't being a jerk.

Posted by: ag on January 7, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

swellsman:

Bad Madonna/Mick Jagger analog. I can't think of any new Stones song that has had any real airplay in over 30 years. 99% of Stones songs still played on the radio were recorded 30 years ago.

Madonna still gets airplay with her new stuff, (Get Together was popular for re-mixes at dance clubs) though not as much.

Other than that, good comment.

Posted by: Shine on January 7, 2008 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Adam, the Dean Scream wasn't pinned on him because he was a man.

And, yes, Edwards blew this one.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 7, 2008 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the tears are sincere ... But this doesn't mean it wasn't a calculated move.

She's crying because she's LOSING. Does anyone think that she would be crying if she was winning?

The tears can be genuine. We can even empathize. But she's not crying for the country, for fuck's sake. She's crying for herself

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 7, 2008 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

I don't read Edwards' comment as sexist in intention (although one could argue that you simply cannot separate a comment like that from millennia of stereotyping about women as weak creatures prone to tears, too emotional to hold the heavy reins of real responsibility).

I read it as pure assholery, whether it had been addressed to a woman or a man.

Posted by: shortstop on January 7, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is a woman, and she is being held to a different -- and, yes, a double -- standard. It isn't right and it isn't fair, but it is true.

I think the double standard works in Hillary's favor, if anything. For example, suppose Ray Hutchinson ran for some high office based on 15 years experience as husband of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Would he deserve be treated as a qualified candidate? I don't think so.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 7, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

I have all along been pretty much convinced of Edward’s phoniness, but have never thought of him as stupid.

His comment was very, very stupid.

I have never been a Clinton supporter, either President or Senator. (I caucused in Washington state for Tsongas in 1992 and have been pulling for Obama all along.)

But Senator Clinton can’t win. She’s been getting hammered for being “angry” for displaying a bit of impatiences at an Edward’s criticism during the last debate and today she gets hammered for displaying a bit of emotion.

I think we could put a stop to a this kind of silliness by:

Enacting a Constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college (instituted by the aristocrats who wrote the Constitution because of their mistrust for the unwashed masses).

Establishing a national primary two months before the election and limiting the primary and general election campaigns to two months.

Enacting a Constitutional amendment establishing that corporations are not considered “persons” under the Constitution, an invention of the Supreme Court some time back. Thus corporations would no longer enjoy the first amendment protection to freedom of speech and so legislation could prohibit corporate money from campaigns.

And by limiting campaigning to the publicly funded publication of one’s biography and and platform.

Media outlets and influence peddlers would not be happy with such changes. Screw ‘em.

Posted by: Chris Brown on January 7, 2008 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

A couple of comments: First, I've seen the clip maybe five times today and the MSNBC reporting throughout the day.

The reporting and ~analysis~ has been fairly restrained and equivocal, given that the subject is Hillary and possible tears.

As for the interview itself, my sense was that HRC was in complete control of what seemed like an unguarded moment, breaking down noticeably only when she shared that she had been given "so much" by the country (maybe she said "opportunities") and it was then that real emotion, the emotion of gratitude (hard to fake), showed.

Then she recovered and talked about the importance of the country's future and its children and she didn't want it to "fall back." A curious construction since everyone seems to agree that the country fell back about seven years ago.

For my part, the interview left me unmoved. The woman cannot tell a story to save herself. Still, I don't think the episode hurts her.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 7, 2008 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's really awful how everyone impugns her sincerity. All politicians are calculating about what they say. Just look at Obama. That doesn't mean they aren't doing what they think is best for their country (not to mention for themselves). All of these people are working real hard, and in the end it's just going to be a personality contest. How stupid are we?

Posted by: Charlie on January 7, 2008 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

So, to do this now, no matter how spontaneous, she seems petulant: as in "How dare they take this nomination from me. I have worked so hard. Why does everyone pick on me?"

I saw zero "petulance." I did see, perhaps, an on-the-spot decision to drop her control and let the strength of her feelings show about what she perceives to be her mission in life.

Sadly, I think it was a mistake to let it happen now, when her campaign is in trouble, because it is already being portrayed as a display of despair and weakness, as a "Muskie moment," and the self-fulfilling media narrative will be that it's going to have the same effect on her campaign.

Posted by: Swift Loris on January 7, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

However, judging from the comments, it does seem to have struck a nerve with her female supporters, many whom seem to share her persecution complex. -- by Shine at 7:43

What a sexist comment! I am begnning to wonder if the Democratic Party even wants women to belong. I am discovering that the men in this party treat women, like the Republican Party treats evangelicals. You only want our votes--and that's all.

Posted by: emmarose on January 7, 2008 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone involved - candidates, press, voters, everyone - seems like they're all a little too sleep-deprived right now.

Posted by: lampwick on January 7, 2008 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

If Giuliani or McCain choked up like Hillary I sure hope someone would've been there to say what Edwards did.

To me it seems those claiming sexism are themselves the sexist ones here, essentially arguing that women should be treated differently. They shouldn't. To think women need to be coddled is quite chauvinistic in my book.

Posted by: bubba on January 7, 2008 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Steady on, emmarose; you walked straight toward that clumsily extended bait. Many of the people on this thread commenting disapprovingly on the coverage and Edwards' remark are men, whether or not Shine knows or acknowledges it.

Posted by: as it unfolds on January 7, 2008 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Since you asked, the impact will be mostly negative, but only because how she has chosen to portray herself, and only as a minor drag amidst many larger ones.

HC has run in Iron Women--able to take on the Repub. attack machine. This is an intrinsically defensive and pessimistic approach to the election--which is why she'll lose. It also leaves her precious little room for acting out of script--as she now has.

All that said, the display of genuine emotion made me like her a bit more. But it's too late for that. The poll- and focus-group driven candidate is running up against something much bigger. Go back to being a good senator.

Posted by: Matt on January 7, 2008 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Hollywood: the chipmunks had nothing to do with that (although their creator Ross Bagdasarian certainly did).

Any respect I might lose for Hillary getting misty-eyed at the prospect of losing (come on, "cried" is much too strong a word) would be regained tenfold if she simply pushed Mark Penn under the campaign bus. Please, Hil, can ya do that for us? Pretty please?

Posted by: idlemind on January 7, 2008 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Someone should ask her if she has already gone through menopause. I think the American People (press corps) would like to and have a right to know.

Posted by: yep on January 7, 2008 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Why do we accept displays of "masculine" emotion in our candidates, but not those that reveal tenderness?

The male candidates are far from emotionless--they're just more (ahem) calculated in the ones they let show.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on January 7, 2008 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

We don't "only" want your votes . . .

Ha!

Posted by: Lucy on January 7, 2008 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

"I can't even imagine what she's been through. She has been so unfairly attacked - not on her positions but on everything about her. The fat, loud, crass Chris Matthews has had a jihad going against her while at the same time blowing kisses to the Obama. Attacked her laugh and even her clapping. If she questions Obama's record (fair game) they say she's going negative. If Obama or Edwards attacks her nothing is said. The blogs have been against her. Even Saturday Night Live has been vicious and bitchy (with the help of the odious Obama). If this is the change in the Democratic party we'd be better off going back the past."

Precisely. It's making me dislike Obama, even though the press is at fault. And have you read the Huffington Post lately? They don't even pretend to be objective. It is sickening how these 'reporters' are fawning over Obama and giving him all of these puff pieces.

Posted by: Susan on January 7, 2008 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Americans are delusional if they believe the Man With Hope is going to solve the problems this country faces. He certainly won't bring about the change I'm looking for. More INCOMPETENCE is what we'll get with Obama for president!

Posted by: Jane on January 7, 2008 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Even though I don't like Hillary Clinton at all, I think this aspect of our national narrative is idiotic:

1. She is too cold and calculating to be President.
2. She is too emotional to be President.

WTF.

Again, I think she would make a terrible president for a lot of reasons, but WTF. Truly, some people just hate her but don't have the intellectual honestly to admit the real reason.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on January 7, 2008 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: FWIW, I suspect that the question was a plant...

Well, it's interesting to note that after phoning in halfhearted bullshit posts or repeating such mindless GOP spin that it gets bounced (thank you, mods!) within moments, a national story about Hillary Clinton rouses "ex-liberal" to put on his usual, hackneyed bad-faith act.

We all know that what you claim to "suspect" or "think" in the service of your loathsome neocon talking points isn't worth a bucket of piss, "ex-liberal."

One think I'll enjoy about this election is knowing that you're watching the implosion of the neocons and yahoo conservatives whose boots you lick, "ex-liberal." Enjoy the next eight years, toad.

Posted by: Gregory on January 7, 2008 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

1. She is too cold and calculating to be President.
2. She is too emotional to be President.

That isn't the narrative. The narrative is:

1. She is too cold and calculating to be President.
2. Her emotional outburst was calculated and cold.

Posted by: Howard Wolfson on January 7, 2008 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Greg: We don't "only" want your votes . . .

Made me laugh.

Posted by: Adam on January 7, 2008 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Unbelievable the coverage this is getting, it's one of the few things that has made the commercial news here in Australia concerning the US primaries since Obama's win last week.And it's irritating how trivial it is. Reminds me of sigh-gate during the 2000 debates. Someone has already mentioned the Dean scream, same league.

I'd write in Howard Dean again before I voted for HRC, but my God what a waste of time this is. I wasn't entirely sympathetic to Drum's comment about the sad way the media is tearing apart Clinton based on frivolous, sexist criteria, but maybe he has a point after all.

Posted by: sweaty guy on January 7, 2008 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Fairly or unfairly, it's now part of the "CLINTON UNRAVELS!" meme.

One of her biggest drawbacks is her tone deafness when it comes to the media. Like it or not, media savvy is an important part of governing. JFK knew it. Reagan knew it. Bubba knew it. Obama knows it. Hilbot knows it...but can't do anything about it.

Posted by: Cazart on January 7, 2008 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

The press hates Hillary and wants a KO now if possible. Once Hillary is out of the way they will turn on Obama. If Obama is the eventual winner it is in his best interest to have Hillary around as long as possible to draw the press flack away from him.

Posted by: bakho on January 7, 2008 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

I empathized, as a busy, over-stretched woman, with much at stake.
Come on, blogosphere--we've watched the cold, emotionally removed Condi--as well as the ridiculously falsely macho, uncaring Bush/Cheney nightmare--
get over it--please.

Hillary was tired, sleepless, human, forthright--emotional? No--she recovered quickly, and was not sobbing--by any means. I say this as a person monitoring emotional regulation as a living.

I cry for this country, for the shameful, uncompassionate, fraudulent Bush/Cheney coup d'etat that occurred 7 years ago, courtesy of a shocking decision of a Republican-appointed Supreme Court in 2000.
We have cried ever since.
You pass judgment on Senator Clinton for sensing something possibly lost to her?

Focus instead on the tragic losses from this administration--the crimes, the ruination of this country, the trampling of the constitution, the result of the most divided country in decades, and the biggest security failure ever in New York under this administration in 2001.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 7, 2008 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

I'm finding this whole spectacle in New Hampshire no fun at all, and I'm an Obama supporter.

Can't Rudy do something scandalous to distract from the lamenting Hillary drama? I do feel for her--it's appalling how she's treated by the media, but lampwick's right. She should take a nap.

Posted by: Lucy on January 7, 2008 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, lampwick said that every candidate, plus the press and voters, should take a nap. Good advice. I'm takin' it.

Posted by: shortstop on January 7, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Don't tase her, bro.
Leave Brittany alone.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 7, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary's display of emotion is fine with me.

Anyone, male or female, who can shed an honest tear when talking about working to make our country a better place for its citizens is okay with me.

Could you imagine Dick Cheney shedding a tear for his country? Ha!

Posted by: McCord on January 7, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly I think this is overblown. Bush cried. Boehner crys more than Hillary...

Posted by: Xisithrus on January 7, 2008 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

as someone pointed out earlier in the thread it isn't about a Hillary crying it is WHY she is crying

She is crying because she is frustrated at suddenly losing -- this is not the same as crying because of witnessing some moving event.

I think this hurts her BADLY

Posted by: smartone on January 7, 2008 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary didn't cry. She got emotional and misted up. There is a BIG difference.

If a man gets emotional and mists up it is 100% OK, so long as he keeps control and talks through it, and it isn't because he is a wimp, but because he cares. And that is exactly what Hillary did.

Any non-sexistwith half an open mind who watches the video who will not be troubled by Hillary's emotionality. It was not excessive, out of control, or unseemly. I watched the video, Hillary talked through the moment it with self-possession. She was not emoting from self-pity; she was expressing that she really cares about the job, and she really thinks she is the best candidate. (Personally, I'm less convinced than she is that being ready on day one is so critical, but that is beside the point).

Most people won't bother to watch the video. They will hear that a woman cried. That will hurt her. It shouldn't, but it will.

Posted by: tomtom on January 7, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK
providing a "dramatic coda to a campaign in which she has largely offered voters policy prescription"

On what planet has Clinton's campaign been focussed on policy prescription rather than vague claims of beneficial character traits ("experience", mostly) with the occasional vague allusion to some policy area to which those traits might be applied, usually extremely light on the specifics?

Posted by: cmdicely on January 7, 2008 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

Everything is oh-so-five minutes ago. She'll survive this. It was horrifying how the vast right wing conspiracy treated her--Hannity mocked her mercilessly. Tucker was positively hateful.
In this anything-can happen- world, the right wing fears her still.
She represents a female playing in a man's world seeking the presidency.

The right wing is callous, bigoted and still inept
and the ridicule of Mrs. Clinton is a dismal moment in our national life, a crazy distraction.
The lot of republican candidates scares the living hell out of me, every last one of them.
They are the questionable ones.
We attack our own?
She spoke of her vision and humanity, and is pummelled for it.
A nap is needed. I'm pissed with the attempt to trick the public and make like this is a catastrophic and catalyzing event.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 7, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK
The tears won't help or hurt her. But some of the associated words I find obnoxious and insulting:

"And some people think elections are a game. They think it's like who's up or who's down. ... But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not."

I don't think that's obnoxious or insulting; I think its true, and explains why I am dead-set against her: she is neither right, nor ready. She has never had much to offer, just the perception of invincibility derived largely from her closeness to the big money establishment donors and reflected glow from being married to the most popular outgoing President in, at least, the post-World War II era. And now that perception has been pierced.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 7, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

From what I've read, the exact question asked which elicited tears from Hillary was "How do you make it out of the door in the morning?" This was asked by a woman who commented after the question that 'getting ready' to go out, fixing the hair, putting on make-up, looking good, took an inordinate amount of time for just the normal woman going to work. I think the tears attest to the fatigue Hillary is experiencing as well as the societal pressure to always look as young and as beautiful as possible. I don't support Hillary as a candidate but I sure do feel for what she's going through. The simplicity and plain humanity in the question brought on the tears, like when someone finally understands in a real way exactly what you're feeling. It's sometimes easier to take criticism stoically rather than compassion.

Posted by: nepeta on January 7, 2008 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

I very nearly despise Matt Stoller and celebrated the day he left MyDD, but he had a good post on the subject of the "crying" moment, that I'm choosing to believe unless evidence to the contrary arises.

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3122

Posted by: MNPundit on January 7, 2008 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary displaying an emotion is undoubtedly the key story that needs to be mulled over leading into the primary, but I hope it doesn't suck air out of the discussion of Edwards' haircut.

For God's sake, people, we still haven't determined whether Obama is black enough.

Posted by: Boronx on January 7, 2008 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

I heard the exchange on the radio ----- a very well-edited NPR story and she sounded amazing. Not weak or girly or emotional ----- thoughtful and concerned; deeply invested in what she's doing.

I say all this and she is my 3rd choice Democrat. But I was impressed. I was proud of her and proud to be a woman.

Posted by: Stacy on January 7, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

I watched the "moment" on tee-vee and didn't think it was overwrought or "too emotional."

The problem for Hillary, however, is that her campaign strategy is built on an imperial ice queen facade. Once there is a chink in the armor, look out.

If you want to see who a woman can be emotional and funny and smart and human without cracking check out Michele Obama on the stump.

Posted by: Obama/Webb 08 on January 7, 2008 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Will it help or hurt her?

Nothing can help HRC at this point other than an Obama implosion. The race has been over since Obama won Iowa.

Posted by: Dresden on January 7, 2008 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I saw the complete video from question to where she laid down the mic. My impression is there is no "crying", just a little choked up. Clearly she's tired, clearly she's at the end of the NH campaign, and if she'd been showing this softer side long before, her campaign probably wouldn't be imploding.

I'm sure the MSM is going to clip the video to get the most impact (i.e. negative), but in total it doesn't hurt her at all and the copy on CBS' site is positive for her (naturally, since they seemed to only talk to Clinton people).

It's a wash at worst.

Posted by: CB on January 7, 2008 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Seems pretty obvious to me that:

(1) Obama will win by large margins tomorrow

(2) Once Obama wins tomorrow, the culinary union in NV will endorse him and he will easily win NV

(3) He will then win by even larger margins in SC.

(4) This momentum will make it impossible for Hillary and John to raise any more $$ unless they can prove they can win

Question for the Clintonites on this thread:

Will you support Barack after he puts it out of reach tomorrow?

Posted by: David on January 7, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

I've always been an Edwards supporter. Now i am rooting for Hillary, even though it looks as if she's going to lose the nomination.

We'll see.

Posted by: ppk on January 7, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

ONE POSSIBLE SCENARIO:
In four months, the Beltway's pampered political media elite will open up a subtle line of questioning about prospective Democratic nominee Barack Obama's relationship with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, currently under federal indictment for political influence-peddling, and extend that questioning to include Obama's role within the Chicago Democratic machine. While that relationship may well be tangential at best, the facts of the matter will simply bounce of the Beltway pundits like water off a duck's ass.

Once Obama's been perceived as wounded, the rest of the pack will smell blood, and will start to revisit his record (or lack thereof, as the case may be) in the Illinois General Assembly, perhaps focusing on his numerous votes of "present" on such politically controversial issues as gun control, etc., and further the absence of his day-to-day records whilst in the State Senate.

Again, that line of questioning won't be fair, because as I said in a thread a couple of weeks ago, state legislators' personal correspondence and daily schedules are not part of the public record, and as they are not legally obligated to save such extraneous material (which would fill most people's garages, and then some), Barack Obama and other state legislators are free to dispose of the accumulated paper as they wish.

But that also won't matter. A story arc will develop that the nominee's state legislative records are incomplete, GOP pundits will pepper the cable news airwaves with charges of a cover-up (while taking great pains to avoid ever stating directly what Obama's ostensibly covering up, thus avoiding a slander charge), and Obama will be forced to try to answer questions about who visited him in Springfield, who was trying to curry favor, etc. without the records necessary to support his contentions.

Which of course, will lead the Beltway media discussion right back to Obama's relationship with Democratic Party operative "Tony" Rezko, currently under federal indictment for influence-peddling. The good senator will become defensive, and charge the media with "swiftboating" his campaign.

Chicago Democratic congressman Robby Rush, who defeated Obama in the 2000 Democratic primary for his current seat, will become a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, where pundits repeatedly pick his brain as to how he defeated his party's presidential nominee eight years earlier.

But in the end, all of that it really won't matter either, because by thEN prospective GOP nominee John McCain will be all the rage amongst the Beltway media as the political "Comeback Kid OF 2008". This, in turn, will cause MSNBC's Chris Matthews to wet his pants on the air, while Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow look on in utter disgust and Joe Scarborough looks the other way as though checking the weather.

The last poll prior to the 2008 Democratic National convention in Denver will show Obama trailing McCain by 18 points. ABC, CBS, and NBC all refuse to alter their respective prime-time line-ups to provide live coverage of the convention save for Sen. Obama's acceptance speech on the final night.

FOX will go so far as to schedule the finals of American Idol to coincide with that final night of the convention, offering instead to show an edited version of Obama's speech in the 11:30pm time slot, opposite Jay Leno and David Letterman.

"Fasten your seat belts -- it's going to be a bumpy night!"
-- Margo Channing (Bette Davis), All About Eve (1951)

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 7, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

First, she's too cold and heartless, now when she barely "tears up," she's too weak to be president.

Absolutely, she cannot win. No matter what she does, the largely male media coyotes will do everything they can to destroy her. Who among us wouldn't buckle if we faced all that she has?

John Edwards should apologize. That guy wants it so much he can't see straight. I'm hoping he breaks down before the cameras after another one of his 36-hour-marathons. And if he doesn't apologize, Elizabeth should give him a sharp tug on his short-hairs. The the media can carp for a couple of days on his "crying" and lack of fitness to be prez.

Posted by: kimster on January 7, 2008 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Look what "strength and resolute" got us... a #1 prick and a-hole of a pReznut. Hillary teared up? After all the crap the GOP slime machine has piled on her and Bill?

PS: Hilary somehow has kept Bill in control. Chelsea is a great kid. Give Hillary a break - please.

PSS: How about botox Laura.. the woman couldn't cry if she tried. !!!

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on January 7, 2008 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

A bit much of the Maui Wowie, Donald?

Posted by: Obama/Webb 08 on January 7, 2008 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Let's face it! Hillary is not going to get any slack. If it's no tears then it's too cold. It's never a laugh but a "cackle" etc and so forth and so on. What you are seeing is the "slicin' and dicin'" thats going on by the Media. This is nothing compared to what it will be like in the general election regardless of who the candidate is. The Media and all it's questionable "serious pundits" believe that they alone know what's best for all of us. They have now elevated Obama to media celebrity status now and when they are through with him they will "slice and dice" him too. From my point of view, Hillary expressed the frustrating concern we have all felt for our Country these last 7 years. I know I've been emotional about it. Of course, there was no mention of the point she was making-only the "weakness", "feminine emotion", "calculated motives" she had in mind. We worry about the Coporate influence on us but we must remindful of the Media influence as well. It's "BUCKS" and not the "COMMON GOOD" that drives them.

Posted by: phil on January 7, 2008 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

This slowly becoming an insane thread. Yeah, she and Bill were pounded on for 15 years. So? Can someone please tell me when and where Bill and Hill were conscripted into national politcs. I was under the impression that they though they went into public service with high ideals, they did so voluntarily. I had no idea they were compelled to do so, then were so abused by the VRWC. Boy, egg on my face!

Posted by: Shine on January 7, 2008 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

From what I've read, the exact question asked which elicited tears from Hillary was "How do you make it out of the door in the morning?" This was asked by a woman who commented after the question that 'getting ready' to go out, fixing the hair, putting on make-up, looking good, took an inordinate amount of time for just the normal woman going to work.

Nepeta is right, I think. A sympathetic question in the right context captured the unfairness of it all--however vaguely defined--keenly felt by those of us who must don foundation and mascara in order to face down the world.

Putting my voter hat on again, may I add that this moment does mean that HRC is presidential timber.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 7, 2008 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

The entire conversation is based on a very masculine concept: that crying in and of itself is a sign of weakness or sentimentality. Nowadays there is a tendency to think that men who cry have tapped into their feminine side or discovered their inner humanity. The fact is, women cry more than men do. If men cried more than women do, it would be considered fine and dandy to sit in the club with a scotch and a cigar and sob while discussing a huge drop in the Dow Jones. I am not advocating for crying and wailing at the office, but it is time to remove the stigma from tearing up.

Posted by: Stevie on January 7, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

David: "Question for the Clintonites on this thread: Will you support Barack after he puts it out of reach tomorrow?"

Oh, my. Aren't we the gracious winner? Or, perhaps more specifically, the gracious person who's merely basking in the reflected glory of someone else's accomplishment.

You're getting a wee bit ahead of yourself here. After all, while Sen. Obama received a clear plurality of Democratic votes amongst Iowa caucus-goers, 38% is still far short of an absolute majority, which means (I'll do the math for you) that 62% of those in attendance last Thursday night still preferred someone else.

Even Sen. Obama would tell you that, by ever so politely alluding to the thought that maybe you shouldn't count the chickens before the eggs hatch. A lot can still happen that can leave those eggs on your face, especially when you make such preremptory statements as that.

Further, I think most people would daresay that voters in Iowa and New Hampshire do not speak for the rest of the country -- nor should they. This race needs to play out.

And finally -- and as a veteran of past political campaigns, I can't stress this enough -- you really don't help your candidate by publicly acting so smug, especially with rude or disdainful statements toward fellow Democrats whose support your candidate will need come November, should he become the party's nominee. In most political campaigns I've worked on, such public statements are cause for termination of either your employment or your volunteer relationship with that campaign.

Nobody likes an asshole -- even if he is on your side.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 7, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

My apologies: A dropped "not"--

Putting my voter hat on again, may I add that this moment does not mean that HRC is presidential timber.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 7, 2008 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Hillary has been beat up, kicked and trashed far more than deserved. No doubt about that. However, Obama is not riding high because Hillary has been put down. Obama is soaring because he connects with people, his words inspire, and people sense a natural leadership and charisma that can lead us to believe in America again. Hillary was not born with that skill. She is fully capable of being President but history and fate has a way of spoiling our best plans.

Obama appears to be a once-in-a-century JFK-like figure who has the potential to be one of our greatest leaders. He is uniter, a motivator, the real deal. The proof is in the crowds. As Democrats we should recognize this, get together behind him, and he will win the White House against any candidate the GOP wants to throw at him.

Posted by: Elliott on January 7, 2008 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it hurts Edwards. He just lost my vote with that comment. It's not the first time he and his campaign have played the race and gender cards, either.

Hmmm, Kucinich or Obama? I continue to not like Clinton on foreign policy matters, so I'm not switching to her.

Posted by: Charles S on January 7, 2008 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Donald,

You must be almost as cynical as I am! A scary and realistic scenario you paint...

Phil,

Media influence is corporate influence. The media are not mom and pop stores but giant corporations...

Posted by: nepeta on January 7, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus wept.

Posted by: the bible on January 7, 2008 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Tears at times have all the weight of speech."
--Ovid

Posted by: Quotation Man on January 7, 2008 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Apologies if this was said before. If Hillary does this again will it be a trail of tears?

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08 on January 7, 2008 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

"If men cried more than women do, it would be considered fine and dandy to sit in the club with a scotch and a cigar and sob while discussing a huge drop in the Dow Jones." - Stevie

I love the image! Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: nepeta on January 7, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Kucinich or Obama?" - Charles S

How 'bout Kucinich in the primary and then the winner of the primary for the general? That will probably be how I vote.

Posted by: nepeta on January 7, 2008 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

make that 'winner of the primaries"

Posted by: nepeta on January 7, 2008 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Nice, realistically portrayed hypothetical, Donald. However, this is how it will most surely go down:

- Obama wins primary.
- McCain wins primary.
- This land deal, among other attempts, will be thrown at Obama, but they will not stick. Attempts to slime Obama will be counter-productive, due to Obama's race and appeal. Record turn-outs and volunteerism, followed by public enthusiasm over the prospect of a viable black candidate as president (regardless of your choice).
- McCain will be bogged down by his statements in the past and his allegiances then between his allegiances now. His age will be a factor, as will his VP choice.
- The presidential debates will be very interesting, and highly-viewed. But, in the end, the nation will see youth over age, and choose youth (regardless of your choice).
- President Obama takes the oath.
- A few years after that, a fresh graduate from a business school accepts a position in his administration.


...okay, maybe that last one might be iffy.

Posted by: Boorring on January 7, 2008 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

That's the first time I've heard Edwards sound just like George W. Bush.

Posted by: mroberts on January 7, 2008 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I forgot to mention about McCain: that picture of McCain hugging Bush will be another negative against McCain, and it will be strangely ironic that even in this campaign, George W Bush screws John McCain again.

Posted by: Boorring on January 7, 2008 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

From my point of view, Hillary expressed the frustrating concern we have all felt for our Country these last 7 years.

If that is the consensus, Sen. Clinton's soft and wet tone helps her. She needs some way to reconnect with how people are feeling. Being womanly is a trait Clinton needs to use to return to issues like child care and two family incomes that don't pay the bills. She was popular in the first place because of family advocacy. She might still have a chance after S. Carolina, but she will have to change her style and message. Before she was a candidate and would do the talk show stints, I thought she was convincing about knowing what the problems were and how to solve them. Clinton's friendly style communicated an earnest message then that is missing now. If she is unable to return to that persona, the well informed and positive woman, she is going to lose to Obama.

Posted by: Brojo on January 7, 2008 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

From the Times article:

"... Mrs. Clinton said she choked up at the Portsmouth event because the other woman had expressed concern for her feelings, after months when Mrs. Clinton's was focused on voters' anxieties.

"'It was just a touching when this woman said, 'Well, what about you?' Mrs. Clinton said. 'I just don't think about that, I think about what it can do for other people. I've spent a lifetime trying to help others; I'm very other-directed. That's maybe why people don't get me in the political world.'"

Maybe I'm surprised this kind of stuff doesn't happen more often, especially with the sleep deprivation these candidates go through. I believe everything about the scenario was genuine -- the question was unsolicited, the questionnaire was sympathetic, and Clinton was humbled by someone else's concern for her as a person, rather than as a candidate. It's much easier to win gracefully, and, while I'm not prepared to write her off at this point, I think this episode, combined with the fact that she hasn't gone negative in spite of the situation on the ground, says a lot about her character.

Posted by: junebug on January 7, 2008 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

That question was planted

Posted by: PeterW on January 7, 2008 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Errr, questioner, not questionnaire.

Posted by: junebug on January 7, 2008 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Booring, I grant you that Obama will probably win the NH primary. But, Obama will not become President if, indeed, he goes on to become the democratic nominee. Rather, the following will happen --unless DEMOCRATS DO A REALITY CHECK before it’s too late, and give Hillary the nomination.
If the Democrats nominate Barack Obama, their candidate of CHANGE and YEARNING -- a dream; the Republicans will nominate, not McCain, but Romney. Republicans might nominate McCain to oppose Hillary (seasoned, experienced realists, each), but they will go with Romney against an Obama candidacy. Why? Because Romney provides the best contrast to "dreamy" Obama. Romney is the Republican embodiment of American WISH-FULFILLMENT – Hollywood-handsome, successful, untroubled, hard-working super achiever with a picture perfect family; a devoted and happy “homemaker” wife and five handsome, untroubled, successful and admiring sons. The Republican election machine will convince Americans that Obama represents TOO MUCH CHANGE, TOO FAST, that his election will mean instability, trouble and turmoil for America – that he threatens to blow up the long ago perfected, reassuring American Dream (the OZZIE AND HARRIET kind). They will “swift-boat” Obama with TV Ads taunting him with quotes from his book “Dreams of my Father” and assail him for dreaming of Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. -- a staunch Moslem from Kenya who had many wives and many children and abandoned his American Family when Obama, Jr. was two. In defining Obama for the American general election voter, the Republican dirt machine will show pictures of the unrest and mob behavior in Kenya and thereby deviously, unfairly, but effectively associate Obama with that tumultuous behavior. By way of pointed contrast, the Republican TV Ads (maybe even a movie) will then show the picture-perfect, serenely untroubled Romney family in idyllic American Dream settings. And, they will say to of the American voter, which is your dream? The choice is yours.
Given the strong likelihood that Obama will be defined and contrasted by the Republicans similar to a fashion I have described, I WILL BET YOU AND ANYONE THAT NOT TOO MANY OF THE INDEPENDENT VOTERS NOW FLOCKING TO OBAMA WILL SHOW UP AT THE VOTING BOOTH IN NOVEMBER TO CAST THEIR VOTE FOR THE OBAMA DREAM. Romney (whom Wall Street and Business interests big and little love, will win.

Hillary may not be the candidate of our dreams, but she will survive the Republican dirt machine – no matter what they toss at her – and she will go on to win the White House.

Posted by: Erika S on January 8, 2008 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

I thought it was real and fine, although I think it is accurate to say it was caused at least in part by her losing and, to the extent she still has a chance to be nominated, it will reduce that chance.

The women I know who watched it thought it was fake.

Posted by: brian on January 8, 2008 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

I think the good ship Clinton is holed and doesn't have enough watertight compartments to stay afloat. Whether or not the captain's tears make the hull fill up a tiny bit faster is a moot point. This crying story will be forgotten in a few days, but with or without it Hillary Clinton wasn't going to win NH, NV or SC. And once she's lost all those there's no way to recover.

The press hates Clinton and will viciously do everything to use this story and any others it comes up with against her, but in the end, that's not Hillary's real problem. Her real problem is she's facing two extremely smart, charismatic and attractive candidates and in the end, she just doesn't have the mojo to overcome them. Plus, her past misjudgments, like the AUMF vote, won't go away.

Hillary Clinton is an extremely impressive individual. I predict a long and distinguished senatorial career for her, but not the presidency. Which I think is as it should be.

Posted by: jimBOB on January 8, 2008 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

New York Times is reporting that if Hillary loses in NH, a shake-up in her team is imminent:

'If Mrs. Clinton loses badly on Tuesday, campaign officials say she may shake up her team and replace one or more of her senior aides, such as her campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle; her chief strategist, Mark Penn; her advertising adviser, Mandy Grunwald; and her communications director, Howard Wolfson.'

Posted by: nepeta on January 8, 2008 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

Obama will not win the general election. The media has spent the last 12 mos. using everything in their power to destroy Clinton's nomination. Once she is taken out then they will destroy Obama. Have we not seen this played out the last two elections (three decades really)?

Dem nominee has huge lead Carter, Dukakis, Gore, at some point post Dem. Convention only to barely win or lose the election. I am starting to think Clinton might have lost in 1992 if Perot hadn't entered the race (two challengers against Bush in the debates).

Gore never would have made it past the primaries if he had as large a field to maneuver in 2000.

Obama is getting the benefit of the tilted field effect, which will be reversed when/if Clinton leaves the campaign.

Posted by: Harry S on January 8, 2008 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton Campaign Shows Stress Before Primary, NYT

Posted by: nepeta on January 8, 2008 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

The last of my guests have left, the primary has begun--oh, my!

Will the dreaded Hillary Clinton disappear in a cloud of fairy dust and leave the stage as if on a magic carpet? Who knows?

I do know one thing. Rudy Guiliani is going to get forty percent of the vote. I told him myself this evening, Rudy, you're going to win it all. He just muttered at me and then one of his security people popped me in the ribcage with a telescoping baton.

I should have raised money for Thompson.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 8, 2008 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary's laugh and other displays of emotion have been a major target of the machine, and for good reason: it's hard to convince the sheep to hate her if they start liking her! I love Hillary's laugh, it seems genuine. The "tearing up" may be too. But for those who didn't see it, don't have context, the story is going to be "Hillary cried for no good reason." Way too many sheep.

Posted by: Captain on January 8, 2008 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Why would be the motivation for the media being anti-Hillary? Or, for that matter, anti Obama?

Posted by: brian on January 8, 2008 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hi Erika S, I'd like to take you up on your bet. I don't know how secure or viable the bet would be monetarily on the internet, but you can mark my words on Obama winning, and I can mark yours.

I have to concede that I am cloudy to the Republican nomination prospects, and a Romney candidacy may happen. But I stake that Obama would be able to beat Romney more easily than McCain, and you can hold me to my words.

Posted by: Boorring on January 8, 2008 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK
If a man gets emotional and mists up it is 100% OK
Bullshit.

Again, if Giuliani or McCain got choked up I sure hope someone would've said what Edwards did.

Or did you forget that during the past eight years "toughness" has been a measure of a president? That's not to say Edwards' comment is a GOP talking point. Rather, to say that it is sexist is fucking moronic and grasping at straws. If any male running for preznit did what Hillary did we would be mocking the poor dumbfuck. Why should a woman get different treatment? Isn't that different treatment itself the sexism here?

Posted by: bubba on January 8, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

One of the strangest thing about this primary season is how much the tide seems to have turned against Hillary based on one not obviously remarkable event: the debate performance in which she was judged to have stumbled, because she was at the receiving end of stinging criticism from all her competitors. The next day or so, her campaign talked about how her competitors were "piling on", and effectively played the gender card.

It was, as I recollect, at that moment that her commanding 2-1 lead over Obama and others dramatically dropped, and stayed down for the duration.

Now I don't know quite what to make of the plummeting in her polls after that event. One plausible account is that when she came across as weak, and particularly as she played the sympathy card, people turned away from her in droves, because any suggestion of weakness is the very last thing they want to see in a President.

This might suggest she'd lose even more votes with this current meltdown.

But I don't know. The other real possibility is that women voters will rally to her support, and put up a firewall against further losses in popularity, given that she has gone down so far in the polls already. I'm kind of guessing that this is the possibility that will actually come about.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

It would come up again if she were the nominee and people woudl ask if she's strong/stable enough to deal with Bin laden, Ahmadinejad, etc... Then it would hurt.

It may hurt a little in the priamry too. I heard reports in NH that younger women are turned off about it. They think it makes women look weak.

I would just like to add though that Romney cried on Meet the Press, and that should be used against him if he's the nominee too. I think he was crying because he was losing too.

Posted by: Jonesy on January 8, 2008 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

Why would be the motivation for the media being anti-Hillary?

You need to quit starving your brain of oxygen.

You're on record here time and again accusing the media of having an anti-Bush bias - stupidly to be sure, but on record.

Here's a Logic 101 exercise for you: take the reasons you believe the "media" to be anti-Bush and see if you can imagine any kind of equivalent reasons for anti-Hillary Clinton bias (of course there is no monolithic "media" except as a constraint of your limited ability to cogitate, but we will set that aside for the purposes of this exercise).

Think about her past; is there another in her past that might make men or even women who work in broadcasting or print media not like her?

Take it slow, we don't want you to strain anything.

Posted by: trex on January 8, 2008 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

bubba's right.

If one of the men did this, he'd be be a laughing stock. His campaign would be OVER.

Posted by: Jonesy on January 8, 2008 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

Am I really the only person on this thread who opposes Hillary because (for example) she takes more money from the Death by Spreadsheet lobby than ANY other Presidential candidate (either party)?

Her idea of "standing up" to the mega-corporations that are raking in insane profits at everyone else's expense is with her hand out. You can't change a system you are completely beholden to.

And yes, I think the welling up, or whatever you want to call it, was entirely planned. Mark Penn probably conducted a focus group to determine just how teary she should get....

Posted by: Jim in Chicago on January 8, 2008 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

The issue isn't that she choked up - the issue is she basically stole what Edwards said - "it's personal - this is personal for me.." Clinton basically copied that moment in the debate that Edwards said exactly the same thing..

Posted by: Andy on January 8, 2008 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Obama will not win the general election. The media has spent the last 12 mos. using everything in their power to destroy Clinton's nomination. Once she is taken out then they will destroy Obama.

Well, by any objective evidence, the media has actually been far more kind to Obama than to any other candidate. I see no reason to believe that that will change anytime all the way up to the general election in November.

And clearly this is the Democrats' election; even the idiot media seems to be granting that, and probably won't interfere with the chances of a Democrat out of their usual perversity. They are like referees in a game who know that they really, really fucked up the call in the last major play, and will find a way to call something for the other side to make things up.

So unless Obama finds a way to screw up on an epic scale entirely on his own, I don't see him losing the general election if he wins the nomination.

Obama's problem is what happens next. Though I think he'd win the election, there's no question in my mind but that he will be damaged goods by the time he gets elected, thanks to the right wing machine. They have by now honed their skills well past the possibility of stopping that. There will be all kinds of negative feelings about Obama if and when he becomes President.

What I expect of Obama when he gets elected is that the course of his Presidency will be very much like that of Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter likewise rode a surge out of the Iowa caucuses, and likewise came into the Oval Office in an election that was a Democrats' election (immediately after Nixon).

And I think that Obama and Carter are similar in other critical ways. There's the same talk about a new, purer politics. There is, in both cases I believe, a very real rigidity in their personalities, which showed up or shows up in their inability to deal with criticism. Jimmy Carter got to be intensely disliked even by other Democrats in Congress in the end, because he was perceived as aloof and high handed. I strongly suspect that the same will happen to Obama.

And I also think that Obama's stated approach of reaching out to all sides is simply doomed to spectacular failure. The problem for Obama is that he has made it such a centerpiece of his campaign that that failure will hurt him politically. Ordinarily, talking about bipartisanship is understood as pure rhetoric, not to be taken seriously. Unfortunately for Obama, he has made it quite clear that he means it. I have no doubt at all that he will attempt it. And in doing so, he will look like a fool or a traitor or both. He will look like a fool if he can't get the Republicans to sign on to Democratic initiatives, and will look like a traitor to the Democrats if he trades away things that are important to us. I don't see how anyone with any common sense might see this all ending well.

What's certainly true is that Obama is going to have a great deal going against him simply in terms of required skills and knowledge that he lacks. Even Clinton stumbled badly in his first couple of years in the WH, helping to bring on the 94 Republican revolution, and Clinton was a born genius at politics. Obama's experience as a state legislator I think pales by comparison to the level of experience as an executive in government that Clinton possessed.

I think it's pretty fair to predict that Obama's stumbles will be more severe, and that he will have far less ability than Clinton to recover from them.

Put it all together, and what I see if Obama becomes President is, too likely, a one termer like Carter.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Tears? What tears??

Look at the full two minutes of Hillary's response on ABC. Shortened versions for local consumption may aid in propagandizing a false impression.

Check out Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIG1mJAdMv8

Posted by: deejaayss on January 8, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary goes before a handpicked group of sympathetic women, who are outnumbered only by the reporters in attendance, and proceeds to field a softball of an inquiry which allows her to demonstrate her new emoticon software.

"Some of us put ourselves out there against some pretty incredible odds”, says Hillary The Vulnerable (how do you like me now?).

She must be speaking of Obama, not herself who had 30 point leads in Iowa and New Hampshire six months ago. Or maybe the odds she speaks of are related to her now impossible comeback.

I’d cry too if I was going down in history as having blown the biggest lead since the 1964 Phillies blew a 6.5 game lead over the Cards with 12 games to go.

This up close and personal campaign moment has been brought to you by Sony ~ Creators of the new AIBO Emotive Artificial Intelligence for the Replicant 6.0 Series.

Posted by: filmex on January 8, 2008 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

how much the tide seems to have turned against Hillary based on one not obviously remarkable event: the debate performance in which she was judged to have stumbled,

I think this fundamentally misreads how primary elections work. I really doubt debate performances have much effect on anything - the vast majority of voters either don't watch them or don't see them the way news junkies and committed supporters do.

Most voters have relatively little capacity to evaluate policy claims or plans that candidates issue, and don't base their voting behavior on these things. Instead they respond to personalities and to narratives.

Hillary Clinton benefited early from voters' hazy focus, as she had a famous, popular name to sell. But once the time for decision got closer and the uncommitteds began to focus, all Hillary was offering was an empty "experience" rationale, which isn't something voters will respond to emotionally. Obama, OTOH, was offering an emotional connection plus a sense of youth and vigor, plus a narrative about personal uplift. Facing that, Hillary really had almost nothing.

A collapse in support such as we have seen shows that the erstwhile supporters haven't made a deep connection to their candidate. So it was with Hillary. She hadn't given anyone an emotional reason to have a stake in her candidacy, and the support she did have was based on superficial things like name recognition and bandwagonism. Eliminate the bandwagonism and her numbers drop like a stone.

The bottom line is that Hillary never really had anything like the crushing prohibitive lead she appeared to have earlier. The collapse in her support was merely reality reasserting itself.

Posted by: jimBOB on January 8, 2008 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary is done.

Obama likely wins for a while.

It's up to Edwards to get his act together and find a way to take it away.

The system (designed in part by the Clintons) isn't especially well designed to come from behind. It will take a miracle.

Posted by: MarkH on January 8, 2008 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

Why would be the motivation for the media being anti-Hillary? Or, for that matter, anti Obama?


Because they are smarter than the media, and the media knows that and hates it.

They loathed Bill. He was the kid in HS who aced the math quiz, stole their lunch money, and f-cked their girlfriend.

Obama and Hill are the same plus black and a woman. The media are a bunch of insecure 8th graders. Do the math.


Posted by: Sarah on January 8, 2008 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just me, but having looked at the Hillary "getting all weepy" clip several times, it didn't look to me like she was getting all emotional at all, but just had a bit of a hoarse voice and one or two words just got caught in a dry throat. I'm surprised all these candidates don't have severe laryngitis by now (not that that wouldn't be a bad thing for a while at this point). That said, the MLK/Johnson remark was inexcusably dumb, even if, as Josh Marshall has pointed out, it was taken a bit out of context.

Hillary is one of the most articulate, experienced and intelligent people -- man or woman -- to run for president in a long time. At this point she has a lot more experience in federal level government and foreign affairs than her husband did in 92. But this is the kind of thing Democrats always put forward, going all the way back to Adlai Stevenson and we usually lose because of it. In 1992, Bill Clinton connected with voters by promising to bring a new vision of change and renewal to Washington. He inspired people the way George H.W. Bush, with all his patrician gravitas and "experience", never could. Barack Obama has that same mojo going for him now and Hillary is left to be the candidate that Democrats have always wished appealed to the American public, but never has -- the cautious, competent policy guru who knows the levers and buttons that make Washington work. The Presidency requires "the vision thing" and I think a lot of voters are beginning to notice that "vision" and "inspiration" are not words that we readily associate with Hillary's candidacy.

Posted by: jonas on January 8, 2008 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

Hi to you too, Boorring. I take note of your marker.
Of course, I still have some hope that we both will lose -- in that Hillary will still pull it out because Feb. 5 will give Hillary the boost she needs, and the democratic fight will go all the way to the convention (just like the republican fight is likely to do); thus, giving Democrats time to wipe the stardust and sand dust -- and the various snow jobs -- from their eyes and take a sober second look at the candidates, coolly and rationally.

Posted by: Erika S on January 8, 2008 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, I don't know who is worse about picking our president for us, the press, or nasty, partisan liberal bloggers.

I want to hear what the candidates have to say. NH hasn't voted yet and it does count, like it or not.

I don't want bloggers damning our candidates for simply reacting. It was like this too, after Kerry won Iowa in 2004. Kos, Josh, and most of mainsteam bloggers all decided that Kerry was it and anybody afterwards didn't had a right to campaign, no other liberal running for Prez had the right to get into Kerry's way afterwards or it was clear signs by the other candidates of being nothing but sore losers. I hated that bloggers do this, in the same, exact way I hated the press for showing Dean yelling when indeed nobody else standing nearby could even hear him and his famous inaudible yell. The scream that never was heard without a microphone Amplifying it to viewer everywhere.

Might as well not have another election because God knows the bloggers want Obama - no more free speech, other opinions need not apply at this point. So I don't know who is nastier, a Bush aiding press or cross-eyed partisan pack of liberal bloggers that have decide they hate Hillary and hate Edwards.

What don't you all just shut-up already.

Posted by: me-again on January 8, 2008 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

Hey me-again...Uninformed much?

We people that post here, that voted for Clinton twice, and ended up feeling betrayed by him because he was a triangulated Southern moderate who let down millions of supporters because he couldn't curtail his Libertine shenanigans...and would sooner go suck on a shotgun than see a quarter century of uninterrupted Bush-Clinton dynasties...we are not bloggers.

Kos and most of the lib bloggers have been scornful of Obama since day one. In some of the most petty and ego-driven nonsense seen yet in the blogosphere, they apparently decided he wasn't one of them.

To them a philosophical movement is more important than actually getting elected. To them, tilting at windmills is preferable to running the county where the windmill is standing.

This NYT blog sums it up nicely:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/05/no-they-really-werent-netrooting-for-him/

Personally, I haven't been as excited about the "possibilities" since Bobby Kennedy ran in 1968. But to Kos and Company, apparently Obama's failure to ever go to them, hat and hand, as if he was the baker whose daughter was insulted, and they were the Godfather, has had them pooh-pawing his candidacy every step of the way.

What a brilliant way for the once powerful liberal blogs to become irrelevant.

Posted by: filmex on January 8, 2008 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

What don't you all just shut-up already.

Cos you're hella fun to fuck with.

Posted by: the internet on January 8, 2008 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

It helps her. Even I was moved to vote for her. I've also read comments elsewhere from women who've changed their minds about her.

But, it won't help enough. And I'm still voting for Obama, despite feeling strongly she's getting a raw deal in all this.

Posted by: KathyF on January 8, 2008 at 4:05 AM | PERMALINK

Booring: "Nice, realistically portrayed hypothetical, Donald. However, this is how it will most surely go down ..."

I was going to offer a snarky remark about youthful naivete, but I paused to think again about your earnest alternative scenario and thus refrained.

One mustn't ever deliberately dash the hopes and dreams of the young and idealistic, especially in politics. Reality somehow always manages to do that to all of us all too soon enough. And oftentimes, our dreams are all we have to sustain us in times of misfortune and trouble.

So, dream on, friend. You're too young to remember the 1969 Mets, but I still recall that as a budding 7-year-old baseball aficionado, my grandfather told me as we watched Game 5 of the World Series together that year to always remember that moment. I was bearing witness to something that I'd in all likelihood never see again in my own lifetime.

Sometimes, he said, magic happens, and thus we believe.

Aloha.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 8, 2008 at 4:41 AM | PERMALINK

As for the rest of you, sometimes shit happens, and thus we get right-wing Republicans.

Good night, all.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 8, 2008 at 4:43 AM | PERMALINK

Of course the media treats Hillary very badly. Still, she triggered this whole downward media spiral in NH when she lobbed that cheap salvo at Obama during the debate. It set the stage for Edwards's attack, followed by the indignity of Charles Gibson's egregious question about "likeability". Obama's withering "You're likeable enough" was also pretty egregious.

Afterwards the narrative, for me, anyway, has been about Hillary's indignation. After all, she is the workhorse. After all, she has the experience. After all, she's survived a sustained and apparently interminable assault by the right-wing attack dogs. After all, she survived Bill's shenanigans to become a popular New York senator. After all, she raised so much money. After all, she really cares. And still, people say they don't like her very much.

Along comes this silver-tongued phenom who sweeps the country off its feet and threatens to usurp all she has worked so hard to achieve. The media swoons over him, and the voters...like him. It's so unfair.

I wasn't being glib upthread when I said this has been no fun at all to observe.

Posted by: Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 5:01 AM | PERMALINK

HRC: "And some people think elections are a game. They think it's like who's up or who's down. ... But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not."

cmdicely: I don't think that's obnoxious or insulting; I think its true, and explains why I am dead-set against her: she is neither right, nor ready.

Let me explain. It was obnoxious and insulting, perhaps unintentionally, to me and many of those who have chosen Edwards or Obama -- or those who are struggling to make up their mind. None of us thinks elections, particularly this one, are a game, or that it's all about who's up or down. And tearing up at the same time you're implying that your opponent is not ready is to me totally disingenuous.

I agree with everyone up thread who has stated that tearing up should not be held against either a man or a woman. But tearing up while you're reciting false talking points? To me, that's obnoxious and insulting.

Once again, she's crying for herself, not for her country.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 8, 2008 at 6:00 AM | PERMALINK

As a 61-year-old woman, I admit to a large amount of bitterness over this campaign. Bloggers and blog-readers consider themselves so independent and contemptuous of the MSM but we've let them lead us right down the primrose path. They set Hillary up with the "inevitability" meme, then waited for her to make a mistake and trashed her for 2 months. Meanwhile, never a critical word was heard about Obama and just as they wanted, Iowa went for Obama, then NH fell into line and so it goes. I now think he will be our nominee but the way Hillary has been treated is disgusting and for a woman, disheartening. Much as we claim to hate the MSM, we all fell right into line. So, we are now having the FIRST primary but the election is essentially over. I don't even think I'll vote in my primary. (Not that it will matter by the time Indiana rolls around.)

Posted by: vdeputy on January 8, 2008 at 6:25 AM | PERMALINK

The campaigns are all manipulation, this was just a bit too stereotypical (let's do girl talk, sniff, sob) and so didn't really work.

Posted by: leo on January 8, 2008 at 6:48 AM | PERMALINK

Her sense of entitlement is overwhelming and pretty pathetic.

What would I want her to say if she were my candidate? I would want her to say,"Kiss my white ass and let's move on" A better version of Dean.

Instead she goes into a bunch of sappy stuff that is mainly about herself.

Posted by: Matt on January 8, 2008 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

Not an Edwards supporter here, nor a misogynist. I have a wife and daughter both more accomplished than I.

But for all those trashing Edwards above as classless, put yourself in his position. One day to go, and he hears Hillary is crying. Knowing that the story will dominate the coverage right up to the election, his attitude must have been: give me a fucking break.

I'm surprised he didn't react more angrily. I would have. Here's this calculating (not because she's a woman!) candidate, who's been trashing her competitors, crying right before the election. When it was known by EVERYONE that her campaign was out to make her seem "more human?"

If we're going to give HRC a break on her tears, which I will, we have to give Edwards a break on his frustration and reaction. His opponent who has been trashing him is now crying?

Edwards and his wife know that this was a totally contrived, purely political moment designed to avoid a wipe out -- with HRC finishing third. Edwards, if nothing else, is a gentleman and perhaps the most compassionate of the candidates. (Misogynists don't have wives like Elizabeth Edwards.)

If he thought the tears were real, he wouldn't have said what he did.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 8, 2008 at 6:55 AM | PERMALINK

It is the schadenfreude among Democrats that really sickens me. She took bullets for us in the 90's, and has been a tireless champion of progressive causes.
Her only crime has been wanting to bring good government and good people to DC. And for this a lot of Democrats dance on her grave.

Posted by: bob h on January 8, 2008 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry to say this but Obama reminds me more of a door to door vacuum cleaner salesaman than a presidential candidate. I know his supporters are very excited about something, but I can't seem to pin them down on what that is. It reminds me of someone who just bought a new vacuum cleaner and is so excited and happy, until they finally calm down and realise all those features aren't useful to them.
Obama is good at motivating people, getting them stirred up, to be optimistic, to have hope, etc but in what exactly? Someone can always work a crowd and get them to act like a mob, but there is not much a mob can really do in a modern society except elect the one who stirred them up.
Obama is very emotional and talks about people being emotional, I am sure he would be very good in a court room swaying a jury with emotion. In fact he seems to regard the primaries as juries to be swayed like Alan Shaw on Boston Legal. I would love someone to explain what Obama intends to do as president, without using any emotional terms whatsoever in their answer. Hillary is easy to understand because she is such a wonk, and suffers from a vague negative emotional cloud beause she is not trying to stir up people's emotions. So we are left with how people felt after listening to Al Gore.
Edwards is kind of in the middle, a little emotionally inspiring, probably trying to channel Jack Kennedy, and has more and more ideas on what to do, which is ok. But with Obama I have no idea what he wants to do other than the standard boilerplate policies crafted by his campaign and some wild excitement about change, hope, dreams coming true, and so on.
I think Dubya was a lot like Obama in that both seem to rely on other people to craft their policies, and the assumption was that both would hire clever people to run everything. So Dubya could concentrate on showing how boring and wonkish Gore was, sidestep any serious policy questions or bait his opponents into negative campaigning, and project an emotional attitude of competence, friendliness, oh shucks, have a beer with me, everything will be wonderful, joking, laughing, and so on.
And that is all I see Obama doing. As it turned out Dubya had no idea what he was doing, and only SNL seemed to pick up on that early. Is Obama different to that and why exactly?

Posted by: RC on January 8, 2008 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz: "I'm surprised he didn't react more angrily. I would have. Here's this calculating (not because she's a woman!) candidate, who's been trashing her competitors, crying right before the election."

Jesus H. Christ, did you even watch the video of Sen. Clinton's alleged "breakdown"? Or are you just repeating ad hoc the trash you've read on the internet and heard on cable TV?

I did not watch the video until about a half-hour ago, not really caring to see all the sobs and tears and self-pathos I heard about from people like you.

Yet upon viewing it twice, I didn't see any tears. All I saw was a very tired middle-aged woman who's spent the last few weeks non-stop on the campaign trail, who upon sitting down finally dropped the ice queen facade I've always found so irritating, and spoke from her heart -- as opposed to say, Sen. Obama, who spoke from a teleprompter at his own victory celebration in Iowa.

To be perfectly honest, I was very moved by what Hillary said when she dropped her guard down momentarily. Probably not enough to support her in the primaries, but that won't preclude me from stating unequivocally that she has gotten a very bum rap from both the mainstream media and by so-called Democrats who for their own short-term ends freely drank of the poisonous GOP Kool-Aid about the lady, before upchucking it back up and spewing all over the rest of us.

That's some "break" you're giving Mrs. Clinton, dude. Shame on you for willfully trashing someone you know only through the warped prism of an equally hostile American media, and for misrepresenting on this thread what occurred yesterday in New Hampshire, even though it's on video for all to see. You're the one who's cold and calculating and has no heart, not her.

Frankly, I also saw Edwards' comments as equally cold-hearted and opportunistic, and because of it he just lost my vote in the upcoming Hawaii caucuses. All that nasty snark of his did was firmly underscore my wife's contention that Elizabeth Edwards, rather than her husband, should have been the candidate.

Right now, I don't honestly know what I ever saw in John Edwards this go-round. He sure talks tough, but he also totally whiffed in the 2004 V-P debate with Dick Cheney when he had a primo chance to confront that asshole. Instead, all I remember from that debate was how much Edwards liked Cheney's lesbian daughter, and how Cheney graciously acknowledged the compliment, after earlier claiming falsely that he never met the man.

I'm not quite sure who I'll support in the caucuses. I'm now leaning tentatively toward Obama, while freely admitting that I still harbor significant reservations about him.

But one thing's for certain. I sure as hell won't be marking my ballot for North Carolina's self-styled "Mr. Populist". These last three days, I witnessed an ugly side of him that finally allowed me to see him for what he really is -- a vainglorious, arrogant, and pompous ass.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 8, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

I think this fundamentally misreads how primary elections work. I really doubt debate performances have much effect on anything - the vast majority of voters either don't watch them or don't see them the way news junkies and committed supporters do.

Yes, I know of course that people don't generally pay attention to debate performances. That's why, as I said, it was so remarkable that at that particular moment her poll numbers nearly immediately plummeted. Many more people were paying attention, obviously, than one would think or you seem to acknowledge.

So my question is: what was it about that moment that would have inclined so very many people to turn against her?

I won't claim to know the answer for certain by any means. But that event must have tapped into something that people really didn't like about her.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

I take issue with vdeputy's accusation that Much as we claim to hate the MSM, we all fell right into line.

Excuse me, but some of us have been supporting Obama since the petition drives. Otherwise, you seem to be saying that Democrats are a bunch of zombies taking orders from their masters in the MSM. Huh.

The media's ferocity toward Hillary is an outrage and an injustice, but that is no reason to vote for her. We're not out to settle scores with the media. We're trying to win an election.

Posted by: Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry to say this but Obama reminds me more of a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman than a presidential candidate.

As has been pointed out up thread many times, similar things were said about many visionary and inspirational leaders who transcended the politics and culture of their time. One of the most unfortunate things about this thread is that it has far too often missed the major point.

IMHO, this is NOT about race or gender. It is about a profound generational shift. That's why Clinton and her team are at such a loss to regain their footing.

FWIW, I think the shift, while on its surface seems naive, is healthy -- precisely because it is energizing young people. Can it go awry? Of course. But can it bring change? We must hope that it will. And, if it succeeds, both men and women will benefit -- as well as all races and ethnicities.

At work, my staff consists almost exclusively of bright, highly educated young people -- disproportionately women. Their enthusiasm is palpable and contagious. I am experienced; they are passionate. I am practical; they are dreamers. But because they force me daily to confront my realistic (read: cynical) assumptions derived from experience, our team is devastatingly effective.

If you're much over 50 -- as I am -- you have to learn to get out of the way, at least long enough to harness the energy that only hope can bring. You can't step in at the beginning telling youth what they can and cannot achieve. You have to get out of the way, hold on, win them over, and intervene wherever possible to minimize inevitable mistakes.

We older folks can muster only so much true progressiveness and progress. If left to our own experienced devices, we will pretty much stand still.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 8, 2008 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

And to RC: Google is your friend.

Posted by: Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

as a budding 7-year-old baseball aficionado, my grandfather

This one made me smile as I pictured infant Donald heading off to the ball game with his first-grade grandpa.

And I have to agree with Donald, Econobuzz. It's really sounding like you haven't seen the video and are simply reacting to press coverage. It's pretty obvious this wasn't a scripted moment, and while I thought her comments about "some of us [being] ready" were pretty outrageous when I saw them in print, when I heard her say them in context a lot of the bite came out. A dumb and arrogant thing to say, but at least understandable if not acceptable in the context.

What I think the "HRC was crying for herself, not the country" people aren't getting is that she believes she was doing both. These people really do believe they're the best hope for the country. Not one of the candidates, save perhaps the dozing and patently unserious Fred Thompson, is running for president unaccompanied by a giant ego. That includes Obama and Edwards, and most certainly goes for Giuliani, McCain and Paul.

Now, it's bad form to publicly say you think the other guys will fuck up the presidency and the voters would be idiots not to vote for you. But every one of these people believes it.

Posted by: shortstop on January 8, 2008 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Jesus H. Christ, did you even watch the video of Sen. Clinton's alleged "breakdown"? Or are you just repeating ad hoc the trash you've read on the internet and heard on cable TV?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii

Yes, I saw it just after it happened, by the way. And I have been watching it every ten minutes since -- was actually watching it as I read your intemperate post.

In my post, I was merely suggesting that it might make sense to look at it from Edwards's viewpoint. That to him, it probably seemed like a last ditch ploy to stem her losses. Obviously, you made up your mind that the tears -- or would you prefer choking up and misty-eyes -- were genuine. Maybe they were; but others thought they were contrived. We will never know, will we?

Your intimation that I had not watched the video and/or was "just repeating ad hoc the trash you've read on the internet and heard on cable TV" is a little over the top, don't you think?

To repeat my main point: "If we're going to give HRC a break on her tears, which I will, we have to give Edwards a break on his frustration and reaction."

BTW, for the record, I didn't hear anyone in the MSM make that point.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 8, 2008 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Econobuzz (whose use of the word "intemperate" to describe others' reactions to this event seems highly ironic), we'll assume that people have different reactions to that video and that those widely divergent responses aren't reconcilable.

As for cutting Edwards a break on this comment, I'd be glad to hear what he has to say after the fact. Clinton addressed the moment later in the day yesterday. I don't think Edwards has done the same for his "frustrated" reaction, has he?

Posted by: shortstop on January 8, 2008 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Nobody likes an asshole -- even if he is on your side.

Great smackdown! Donald, I love your writing. I enjoyed your soothsayer piece. Thought provoking. How do you get time to do all this?

Posted by: Sharon on January 8, 2008 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Econobuzz (whose use of the word "intemperate" to describe others' reactions to this event seems highly ironic) ...

Posted by: shortstop

You're exactly right. Wrong choice of words on my part. I should have used "ad hominem," not "intemperate."

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 8, 2008 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing wrong with getting a little emotional. These candidates are exhausted, driving ahead on no sleep, taking shots from the media, from each other, etc... it takes a toll and everybody should chill out. I don't think HRC was being a phony but it's hard to turn off the poli-speak.

On that note Edwards or Obama could have scored with the following: "Hey, she got a little emotional. We all do. What we're doing, running for president, is a tough business. We need to be tough to fend off the media and each other, but we're human and sometimes it gets to you. I get emotional too. It just shows that we're all human."

Done

Posted by: David68 on January 8, 2008 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Nobody likes an asshole -- even if he is on your side.

Posted by: Sharon

Please, that's Dr. Asshole to you :-)

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 8, 2008 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Have we not seen this played out the last two elections (three decades really)?

Harry S, I'm not so pessimistic myself. In fact, I find a phrase on Blue Girl's site that's pretty convincing: “Once a pendulum changes direction, it doesn't turn in mid-swing.”

Posted by: Sharon on January 8, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Now, it's bad form to publicly say you think the other guys will fuck up the presidency and the voters would be idiots not to vote for you.

Posted by: shortstop

Agree. But, at some point, to avoid being destructive, a candidate has to drop that argument if it becomes clear that another candidate has won over the majority of voters in your party.

Now, before I get flamed, I'm NOT saying that we have reached that point. And there will be honest disagreement as to if and when we do.

But this is, I think, the next challenge facing HRC and her supporters. Hanging on through February -- to continue to question Obama's experience, honesty, drug use, etc. -- has a definite downside.

Tough call.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 8, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

The irony of Edward's remark is that it actually displayed the very thing it complained about in Hillary: that someone who would be President should be able to deal with highly stressful situations, keep their cool, and act deliberately.

More than anything else, it is on this precise point that I find Edwards to have failed as a politician and leader in making this remark. Every instinct in him should have told him to keep his mouth shut about what happened with Hillary until he a) knew more about it, and b) he had carefully reflected on an appropriate response. It didn't take a political genius to realize that the situation was highly loaded.

Instead, he just blundered ahead and said something that he thought might score a political point for him.

I understand that he was frustrated and tired. But his remark was a perfect example of failure under pressure.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

OT at first, as I partially quote filmex upthread:

Personally, I haven't been as excited about the "possibilities" since Bobby Kennedy ran in 1968. But to Kos and Company, apparently Obama's failure to ever go to them, hat and hand, as if he was the baker whose daughter was insulted, and they were the Godfather, has had them pooh-pawing his candidacy every step of the way.

Great post, filmex--the entire thing. I remember Bobby too, although was too young to vote, and think we're seeing much the same phenomenon, although I'm thankful Obama is not evoking the "hate" response that RFK did among some on the right.

As for the Edwards remark, mentioned in Kevin's OP, here I'll simply link to the TPMCafe comment thread under Todd Gitlin's ludicrous post on the matter: "Hillary Teared--And Edwards Blinked".

A brutal thread, actually, with a stirring defense of Edwards (and slamming of Clinton) by a number of on-fire posters.

As for the emo interview and Kevin's help/hurt question, it's something of a Rohrschach test, isn't it? Few here are seriously contending that HRC is temperamentally unsuited for the presidency. She's tough and all that. No question. With the emo moment yesterday, HRC supporters peeked at the inkblot through the armor and liked what they saw.

But for others, including me, the moment with the women in the diner (and the microphone) asking "How do you do it, Hill?" seemed staged, cagey, scripted, and relentlessly, tunelessly, remorselessly on-message. And the message was jarring. Some are wrong. Some unready. I'm right. I'm ready.

The question was, "How do you do it, Hillary?" A decent candidate (like Edwards, for example) would have answered the softball with a story not about himself being (sniff, misty-eyed now) right and ready, but about the Americans he's met for whom he will fight and that's why he gets up in the morning. Obama would talk about his dream of what America could be again, and that's why he gets up in the morning.

I hasten to add that I voted for Bill Clinton twice.

What hurts her with the interview is her perceived phoniness. So it's bad for her.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 8, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK
Let me explain. It was obnoxious and insulting, perhaps unintentionally, to me and many of those who have chosen Edwards or Obama -- or those who are struggling to make up their mind. None of us thinks elections, particularly this one, are a game, or that it's all about who's up or down.

I don't think it was a comment about those of us who have chosen Edwards or Obama or those who are struggling to make up their mind, I think it was a comment directed at dispelling the perception of Clinton herself as a calculating, game-playing opportunist rather than a passionate candidate, with a swipe at the way the media presents elections. She was simultaneously trying to communicate that she really is passionate and concerned (so people should not abandon her for Obama based solely on his passion for change), and that people shouldn't just pay attention to the horserace elements that the media is focussing on and should look to substance (of course, she's never been concerned about when her high name recognition and giant warchest made her the beneficiary of the horserace coverage—the absence of substance in coverage was fine when it was to her benefit.)


Posted by: cmdicely on January 8, 2008 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, a woman's tears put Sam Alito on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Stuart Eugene Thiel on January 8, 2008 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

frankly0: Instead, he just blundered ahead and said something that he thought might score a political point for him.

Worse than that. When first asked about it, he (correctly) declined to comment. His "immediate, frustrated reaction" came later. Maybe it was just a case of getting madder the more he thought about it. But starting with a "no comment" and then coming up with this pip looks like a response by design.

I was wrong about his not yet addressing his own comment. This morning, MSNBC asked him if he'd been criticizing HRC. "Absolutely not," he replied, and the crack reporters refrained from asking him what his intention actually was. Fine work all around.

Econobuzz: But this is, I think, the next challenge facing HRC and her supporters. Hanging on through February -- to continue to question Obama's experience, honesty, drug use, etc. -- has a definite downside.

It's pretty clear that Clinton's campaign wasn't remotely prepared for an Obama bounce and hadn't planned how to handle one. It's somewhat painful to watch the floundering.

Posted by: shortstop on January 8, 2008 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Personally, I haven't been as excited about the "possibilities" since Bobby Kennedy ran in 1968. But to Kos and Company, apparently Obama's failure to ever go to them, hat and hand, as if he was the baker whose daughter was insulted, and they were the Godfather, has had them pooh-pawing his candidacy every step of the way.

Could you express a more distorted description of what really went on here?

The complaint that Kos has expressed about Obama is the identical complaint to that of Krugman, and that of any number of other progressive bloggers: the eagerness Obama clearly displayed to use Republican talking points to promote himself. When Obama said that SS was in crisis, everybody who was around in 2005 knew that those were Republican code words. Kos and Krugman didn't make that fact up because they felt Obama wasn't paying someone proper deference. It was the clearly deliberate act of a politician happy to employ a political technique that would allow them to attack their opponents, progressive politics be damned.

What was most troubling about Obama is that this approach clearly became quite deliberate. He has used Republican talking points in a number of other contexts as well.

What is most remarkable to me about Obama doing this is that he's willing to use Republican talking points even in the midst of a Democratic primary. Typically, a politician will at least wait until they have the nomination sown up before they make their move to the opposite side of the aisle. What, one wonders, will Obama be willing to do to "reach out" to Republicans when he has the Democrats already in a box after the nomination?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Like cmdicely, I think the "elections are not a game" comment was directed at the media, not voters.

Posted by: shortstop on January 8, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

"Adam, the Dean Scream wasn't pinned on him because he was a man."

Socraticgadfly, you've assumed your conclusion. Thank god you're not a scientist.

Posted by: Adam on January 8, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

It's pretty clear that Clinton's campaign wasn't remotely prepared for an Obama bounce and hadn't planned how to handle one.

There's really not much they could do about NH, given that there were only 5 days between the two primaries. Nowadays, NH does little more than create a slingshot effect exaggerating whatever happened in Iowa.

On the other hand, they were poorly prepared even with spin. That may prove to be a fatal mistake, not allowing them to dampen the slingshot effect in the slightest.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

The tide hasn't 'turned against' Hillary; it's just that the corporate media and beltway cocktail party set aren't the only people voting in these primaries... The Independents turning out don't like the Repugs - which is great - and they don't see Hillary as part of the solution - which in my opinion is also great because she is the most likely Dem to lose the general election.

The corporate media complex will be really pissed because they won't be able to talk about Bill & Hill in the White House again, whether they are sleeping in the same bed, etc. for 4-8 years. I guess they will get to pronounce Obama's middle name thousands of time and work along with other corporate interests to SwiftBoat him; but I'm not sure it will work this time.

I still think Edwards is the best candidate nationally and the most progressive - but it is looking Obama right now.

Posted by: Brian on January 8, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Here's the ABC interview in question.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 8, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

OT, sort of. I'm confused and nervous about this election concerning the front runners. Obama's emphasis on bipartisanship - and now Bloomberg's group effort - is just freaking me out. I read today that the Bloomberg group is calling for whoever wins to have a bipartisan cabinet. Is this really the direction we want to go in? I can understand a 'token' Republican or two in the cabinet, but nothing near what is being suggested.
I think I've finally reached the point of being so cynical that I don't believe what any political person says and can't help but look for an 'angle,' one that doesn't serve the republic well. Anyway, this all fills me with dread. I hope someone can fill me in if I'm missing something.

Posted by: nepeta on January 8, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

political person = politician

Posted by: nepeta on January 8, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

I understood Edwards was a vainglorious, arrogant, and pompous ass back in 2004. After he worked for a hedgefund in 2006 I thought he was even worse - a stooge for Wall Street.

When Obama's annoying finger goes up in the air I lose hope for the future of America.

Clinton's downfall was assuming the front runner role. She started acting presidential instead of being the vulnerable, friendly, wise and compassionate villager that created her original popularity. Being the front runner is probably good for raising money and gaining TV air time, but it separates the candidate from the electorate, which hurts Clinton's appeal.

Posted by: Brojo on January 8, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

a bipartisan cabinet. Is this really the direction we want to go in?

Hell no! But Obama will hold up his finger and wag it at me as a signal to ADM that my opinion is not worth the pixels it takes to put it in text.

Posted by: Brojo on January 8, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

It's pretty clear that Clinton's campaign wasn't remotely prepared for an Obama bounce and hadn't planned how to handle one. It's somewhat painful to watch the floundering.

Hillary should have ignored Obama instead of listening to her idiotic advisors and going negative. She's impressive, after all, and Obama gave a lackluster performance at the debate. If she had forcefully argued her case and left it at that I think she would be better off today.

Not exactly a convincing display of the "readiness" she talks so much about.

Posted by: Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

It doesn't hurt Hillary to show a human face, but it's too late. She is part of the in-group. The more annoyed that you are with Pelosi and Reid the less that you want Clinton with her secret White House papers, her earmarking, her bullet lists and schoolmarm ways.

If the Obama steamroller can bring in more liberal Congress people, he may be able to make some real changes. If it can't, he will go the way of Jimmy Carter, who was much more insular and schoolmarmish than he is. Carter built early momentum in 1976, told us that he would never lie and gave us lectures about zero-based budgeting.

Posted by: oldtimer on January 8, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Would be funny if Hillary turned the tables on the corporate press that has decided they want Obama to be the nominee and threw her delegates to Edwards. Really mess up their game plan.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 8, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton's downfall was assuming the front runner role. She started acting presidential instead of being the vulnerable, friendly, wise and compassionate villager that created her original popularity.

Well *something* happens when they move into a state and start campaigning that drives down her numbers. I was just checking tpm and she's still in the lead nationally (by a good margin), but in Iowa she cratered, and NH doesn't look much better. What's up? People getting exposed too much to Hillary turn off, people turning on to Obama, the ads are poorly done...?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 8, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

frankly0: There's really not much they could do about NH, given that there were only 5 days between the two primaries.

Obama was gaining traction considerably before Iowa. Clinton's team's been fumbling for weeks in reaction.

nepeta: I read today that the Bloomberg group is calling for whoever wins to have a bipartisan cabinet. Is this really the direction we want to go in?

Hell, no, but it's the only hope the thoroughly disgraced and largely rejected GOP sees for getting a seat at the table. I understand your concern, but I wouldn't conflate Obama's trying to pick up independent and left-Republican voters with Bloomberg's desperate attempt at preserving a little Republican relevancy.

Brojo: But Obama will hold up his finger and wag it at me as a signal to ADM that my opinion is not worth the pixels it takes to put it in text.

That was damn funny.

Posted by: shortstop on January 8, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0, why don't YOU tell us all the Kos/Krugman plan for turning around SS.

It's bad enough that Krugman ran three op-eds in a row trashing Obama. As if he surveyed the political landscape and decided the most dangerous guy out there was Obama, and it was up to the enlightened Mr. Krugman to straighten us all out on the guy.

It was more telling that he never bothered to respond to Ruth Marcus' body-slam takedown of the "honest" Mr. Krugman:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/20/AR2007112001651.html

SS is going to take a group of very smart people coming up with an as unyet refined plan to fix a system that will undoubtedly cause some problems somewhere down the line.

Rather than gleefully grab that, as Krugman did thrice in a row, in an effort to stick a fork in Obama, why not imagine the possibility of an enlightened Presidency which creates as of now unknown alternative-fuels that become so popular worldwide, that our tax reserves become so flush that SS becomes a solved problem?

Obama is thinking outside the box. He refuses to wear his ideology on his sleeve, much to the consternation of some of my lib friends (of which I am one).

That's the funny thing about getting elected as a progressive in America...showing the public the benefit of progressive ideas is a lot easier once you are in office, rather than trying to explain it all ahead of time. They're much less threatening that way to a citizenry that has been indoctrinated that liberal is a pejorative.

It took the Great Depression for the country to give FDR a chance. Then, actions spoke far louder than words ever could. People have forgotten that great progressive legacy. Obama, nor anyone else, will never be able to remind them from the sidelines.

Posted by: filmex on January 8, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on January 8, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

If Hillary had stopped with "... I have so many opportunities from the country... I worry about the country falling backwards" and left the rest unstated she would have sounded patriotic and stateswoman-like.

Oh, why did she have to cheapen it with all the campaign rhetoric that followed? They say moments like these reveal the most about the candidate. Does this say that even in her most unscripted moment HRC is still campaigning? Does this mean that she is on auto-pilot all the time? Does this mean that she is so into the fight that she cannot step back for a moment and get perspective? If true, that would truly be sad.

Maybe the media will play it over and over again in the coming months. But the clip is fairly long, so depending on what they show, this may affect people's perception of HRC differently.

-Cool D.

Posted by: Cool Dude on January 8, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is thinking outside the bun.

Taco Bell is a big customer of ADM.

Posted by: Brojo on January 8, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

When Obama's annoying finger goes up in the air I lose hope for the future of America.

Maybe it's just payback for all the times blacks have seen white fingers go up in the air.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 8, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Thinking outside the bun alright. Obama - all bun no beef.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 8, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0, why don't YOU tell us all the Kos/Krugman plan for turning around SS.

You really are new to these parts, aren't you?

There is no plan because there is no crisis. If you don't get that much, I'm afraid I don't have the time to educate you on the point.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

It's a bit ironic that it is Obama of all people who is decrying the cynicism of our politics.

Yet Obama, alone among the Democratic candidates, pushed Republican talking points to attack his opponents, promoting his own narcissitic ambition at the risk of damaging progressive policies.

Somebody please tell me what could be more cynical politics than that?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, Great article in Slate by Christopher Hitchens regarding the ridiculous obsession and nonsense on Obama and race by the terminally maudlin and misguided.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 8, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just payback for all the times blacks have seen white fingers go up in the air.

If Obama were to invoke the memory of Toussaint L'Ouverture and tell us this revolutionary hero inspired him to leadership, I would support Obama.

Posted by: Brojo on January 8, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

When you're approvingly citing Christopher Hitchens, Chrissy, it's time to call it a day.

OT, crazy moments in NH. It's being reported that some old guy in a houndstooth coat and deerstalker cap is harassing poll workers, arguing that Republicans should have an expedited line to vote because "this howling liberal detritus doesn't have jobs to get back to anyway." Something vaguely familiar about that guy.

Posted by: shortstop on January 8, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop, do you have to weigh in on and approve or disapprove of every comment? Enough already.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 8, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yet Obama, alone among the Democratic candidates, pushed Republican talking points to attack his opponents, promoting his own narcissitic ambition at the risk of damaging progressive policies.

Breathlessly awaiting your righteous indignation over Clinton's lapsed principles on gun control & taxes.

Posted by: junebug on January 8, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

brojo,

Thanks for your answer upthread. I'm glad to know that my nervousness is based on reality.
Now, to betray my ignorance, what's ADM?

Posted by: nepeta on January 8, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop, do you have to weigh in on and approve or disapprove of every comment? Enough already.

Yeah, I've made a lot of comments in this thread (looks like nine to your four before this post). In most threads in which Obama is directly or indirectly referenced, I think we'll find you far outpost me and most others. However, I will take a break from chattering now.

Posted by: shortstop on January 8, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

aha...I think I got it...Archer Daniels Midland

Posted by: nepeta on January 8, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo,

But it's not just Obama. It's people like Gary Hart and Bob Graham in the Bloomberg group.

Posted by: nepeta on January 8, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Really shortstop I don't mean to offend you. It's not the number of posts its just the "I approve of your post I don't approve of this other post" thing.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 8, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK
.... People have forgotten that great progressive legacy.... filmex at 12:03 PM
The only one expressing the progressive legacy is Edwards. As Krugman pointed out, Obama using right wing talking points to hype non-crises that are dear to the hearts of those economic elite who want to get their hands on the money.

Here's the current Candidate delegate count

Democrats
States Won Del*
Obama IA 16
Clinton — 15
Edwards — 14

Republicans
States Won Del*
Romney WY 20
Huckabee IA 17
Thompson — 6

New Hampshire has 22 Democratic delegates and 12 Republican. The decision will happen on Super Tuesday. These small state events are being overhyped by our worthless media whores.

Posted by: Mike on January 8, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy--shortstop is witty and her remark about your citing Hitchens was funny--a good thing--although she took you down with it. She employed what my mom calls "the needle." No big deal.

If you post disproportionately anti-one candidate, you're gonna get the needle. It's only fair.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 8, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy,

It's just that C. Hitchens is a former liberal (long time ago) turned insane person. I actually cancelled my subscription to 'The Nation' years ago because of his 'Counterpoint' section, with a note to the editors on why I was cancelling. He no longer writes for 'The Nation.'

Posted by: nepeta on January 8, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta, who cares what all of Hitchens' opinions are. A great article is a great article and he was exactly right in Slate. Of course he's been wrong (like everyone) most importantly on this tragic war. But good writing is good writing. Don't be so doctrinaire. You need to be open to all opinions - not rigid like the Republicans. This whole attitude of "I don't like this person because of that opinion" is childish.

paxr55: witty? Well I don't get the witty part.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 8, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK
Anyway, this all fills me with dread. I hope someone can fill me in if I'm missing something.

Ha(!), you’re not alone, but when it comes to dread, that’s little comfort. Nobody knows what will happen, but we know things like Iraq do happen, so maybe dread will at least keep us on our toes.

Hell, I cry at least once a day until mr. shortstop relents and turns off the election coverage.

Yep, all of my wincing and cringing must be pretty unattractive. My kids have been looking askance. Crying might be an improvement.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 8, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

junebug,

I have no particular interest in defending Hillary, but however you slice it she's not a fraction as bad as Obama has been in repeating Republican talking points.

Did you not notice that the "gun control" link only talks about Hillary considering attacking Obama on his stance? Has she, in fact, done so? Don't you think you might wait until she actually does something offensive before you go after her?

And as for the "taxes" link, I think it's fair to say that there at least Hillary gets a bit closer to Republican talking points, but you can also see her as being in defense of the particular delicate balance that makes SS work as a program, in which people pay in a certain, unoppressive amount to get true social insurance in their old age. The perception that it is not oppressive is pretty key to its success. Really, she's fundamentally just defending the status quo in SS, which for most progressives is the exact stand they want to adopt. But I grant that the words resemble Republican talking points, though I don't know how else one could make the particular point anyway.

This is in complete contrast to Obama's attacks that will absolutely and directly undermine universal health care.

But then what progressive cares about that?

Obviously, not you.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy,

I'm quite willing to give anyone a generous hearing. I've given Christopher Hitchens far more fair hearings than he deserves, which isn't to say that he can't still write persuasively or doesn't occasionally hit the mark on certain subjects (like his recent book on religion). He is the one who is absolutely unwilling to participate in polite debate so I respond to his utterances in kind.

Posted by: nepeta on January 8, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Don't be so doctrinaire.

Oh that's rich!

witty? Well I don't get the witty part.

Well bless your heart! But truly, that you don't get the witty part surprises precisely no one.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Well, finally I've caught up with this and tracked down what she was talking about when she had this emotional moment. Gosh, she showed some emotion when talking about why she puts up with it all. I've been a firm Edwards backer, but that was probably one of his worst moments.

When I was a kid, I remember crying about something in my third grade classroom for which I was mocked as faking it with "crocodile tears". By the teacher.

STFU, John.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on January 8, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Success!!!

The polling place known as Manchester Ward 10 on James Pollock drive is now KAPUT! I have successfully convinced a bus load of Romney supporters to go instead to the Episcopal Church on Old Bedford Road and they bought it! Suckers! When they attempted to turn around, they crashed into a van full of retirees and now there is mayhem! Mayhem, I tell you! It's a hoot!

Seven more to go.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 8, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Typical nastiness coming from the Obamabot.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 8, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, franky0, I'm SO new to these parts.

I think you'd be better off arguing SS with yourself, just as Krugman has done. No response to the Marcus chokeout of Krugman, just like Paulie. What a shocker.

Hillary, with more big pharm and military contractors in her corner than any other candidate, is unelectable.

Edwards, believing an angry populist approach, while getting $400 haircuts, building a 28,000 sq. foot Marie Antoinette McMansion that his family is not even home to live in, while drawing a half million salary from a hedge fund firm that targets low income borrowers...yeah, THAT'S a recipe for success.

The minute I saw Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, of Nader infamy, standing behind Edwards, I exhaled knowing he was dead man walking.

That leaves Obama who clueless "progressives" won't be happy until he waves every freakin' liberal flag, only to be shot down in the general election for it.

Criminy.

Posted by: filmex on January 8, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I have a garbage bag full of squirrels in the rear of my Lexus SUV. I used a Have-A-Heart trap and gave them a dose of ether to get them to settle down.

Once I get over to the Ward 3 polling place on Elm Street, I'm going to let them loose and run from the premises!

The Obama hotline is 603-668-2008, liberals. I have entered that number into what we call the "speed dial" on my cellular phone and I am repeatedly calling it and asking to talk to Julio. I'm even disguising my voice and I am pretending not to know that Julio does not work there anymore! That's just for you, Miss Chrissy! Ha!

The most difficult thing in the world is the suppression of votes, liberals. Pray you never have to face me in a battle of getting out the vote--I am legion in this pursuit.

Suckers!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 8, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Edsall reports that "Clinton Allies May Dump Millions Into Anti-Obama Group".

Crazy that.

Posted by: Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

And today we learn the powerful Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas, by far the most powerful in Nevada, is to endorse Obama tomorrow.

With entrenched Dem Party figures in the state already stuck having jumped on the now flaming Hillary bandwagon, and the union leadership having been leaning toward Edwards, it seems there was such an overwhelming tide of support amongst rank and file union members for Obama, that the union heads have been forced to cave.

That's the beauty of bottom-up politics, as opposed to top-down. I guess that's what's driven the Clintonistas to such rabid fury.

Posted by: filmex on January 8, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Typical nastiness coming from the Obamabot.

Please show me where I have endorsed any candidate at all? Can't do it, can ya, Toots? That's because I ahven't.

I am absolutely certain that finding you tedious and tiresome is not exclusive to any candidates camp. All I know is that you and MarkH have succeeded in putting me off Edwards.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

It's alright--I'm fine.

I had to pull into the hotel parking lot in order to connect the laptop to the wireless Internets.

The squirrel idea didn't work. They just ran off and didn't bite anyone. A pollworker and a security guard took my bag and my name. I told them my name is James Carville and they bought it.

Suckers!

I need to look up where the Ward 7 polling place is. Could one of you liberals look it up and post the address for me here? And a link to the Google map so I can get there? Chrissy, dear--please go to the website for Edwards and look up the directions for Ward 7--I have to get over there before 3pm Eastern or I won't make my goal for this afternoon.

It's time to discharge some fire extinguishers and incite some Ron Paul supporters.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 8, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I read it as pure assholery, whether it had been addressed to a woman or a man.Posted by: shortstop on January 7, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed. I can only hope that he regrets it, and for the right reasons.

Posted by: E Henry Thripshaw on January 8, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Yikes! Carville and Begala?

Is this true?

Posted by: paxr55 on January 8, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Isle of Lucy, I'm sure you are able to speak for everyone because you are so very important. How very nice for you.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 8, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Did you not notice that the "gun control" link only talks about Hillary considering attacking Obama on his stance? Has she, in fact, done so? Don't you think you might wait until she actually does something offensive before you go after her?

Well, frankly0, I'm not going after her, but let's not kid ourselves -- merely entertaining the thought fairly pisses all over the progressive values you claim to hold so dear. That kind of talk is nothing short of liberal heresy. In fact, though, I have no doubts about Clinton's commitment to either gun control or the reestablishment of tax policies tax policy more akin to what existed before the current administration. She's looking for any angle she can get in a tough race where she differs little, substantively, from her challengers. Similarly, I have no doubt Obama's desire to see universal health coverage for Americans. He's simply framed his position in anticipation of the crass argument he knows the Republican challenger -- whoever it is -- will lob: "Big Brother will steal your wages if you don't buy health insurance policy!" (as Tim Noah put it). Universal health coverage, if it's ever going to happen, is never going to be realized without a Democrat in the Oval Office to sign off on it, and the way he positions himself makes him the more inviting candidate in the general election. And while the point of Clinton's & Edwards' mandate makes sense for progressives, it's a nonstarter without the votes for cloture, which neither one of their presidencies would do anything about. In light of these realities, it's reasonable to ask which of these candidates is being pragmatic, and which are simply relying on hope.

Posted by: junebug on January 8, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy, you perfectly insipid little twit - it's really precious how stupid you can be sometimes. You can rally it like no one else. Now, in all seriousness, where did I deign to speak for anyone besides myself?

You were the one who went all knee-jerk and called me an "obamabot" - how clever of you - knowing who I'm going to vote for before I even decide!

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Chrissy confused the Isle of Lucy with Lucy or luci?

Posted by: Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy?

Where are my addresses? I can't keep driving around in circles like some ditzy housewife, looking for sprinkles to put on a birthday cake.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 8, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Isle of Lucy, I'm sure you are able to speak for everyone because you are so very important. How very nice for you.

you sound about sixteen.

insofar as people supporting all the candidates, including edwards,* have told you much the same thing, i don't think IOL is speaking for others so much as joining them.

for someone who constantly blasts obama supporters for having a filter on reality, you are remarkably proficient at ignoring criticism you don't like.

*not to mention posters from outside the US who aren't even voting in this election

Posted by: as it unfolds on January 8, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Chrissy confused the Isle of Lucy with Lucy or luci?

I eagerly await the unveiling of "synonym of the year" - my money is on Chrissy=confused.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 8, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

My apologies: TPM shoots down the Carville/Begala rumor here: Fox News Report Wrong.

As long as I'm linking, might as well shoot down the Hitch piece too, h/t Atrios and Shakesville: "The crudest sort of right-wing hack, and he doesn't even realize it."

Enjoy.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 8, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy?

Let's go. Chop chop.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 8, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Like any good actor Hillary knows that you should let your audience do your crying for you. Let your eyes well up, pause, then talk through it.

She did it perfectly, and it worked perfectly - very touching and it showed she was human.

If it was calculated it was very well done and in that case is shows great skill.

The press is twisting and twisting this. View the source. View. The. Source.

Posted by: Tripp on January 8, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

No response to the Marcus chokeout of Krugman, just like Paulie. What a shocker.

How sensible of you to quote a MSM pinhead like Marcus in a "chokeout" of Krugman, whose head is rather better endowed.

If you're actually interested in a response, I suggest you check out this link.

You will also find there links to Krugman's own responses to Marcus.

But let me quote the beginning paragraph here anyway, for flavor:

Ruth Marcus shows two things in her commentary today, "Krugman vs. Krugman". First, she hasn't a clue about Social Security financing. Second, she has no problem at all presenting a distorted picture to rationalize her clueless position.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK
....Hitchens' opinions are. A great article is a great article and he was exactly right ....Chrissy at 1:25 PM
Hitchens is a nutty hack and if you think that's clever writing, it's no wonder you can't see wit when cast: you marched unarmed into battle.

Quoting the brilliant Marcus"

...Just how unserious is Marcus' effort? Check out this paragraph:
"I acknowledge: Medicare is a bigger problem than Social Security. It's also harder to solve, both because it is more complicated and because it involves the larger question of rising health-care costs. That doesn't argue for ignoring Social Security but for tackling it first."
Huh-wha? That doesn't make a lick of sense. But this is what passes for a "debate" on Social Security....

Posted by: Mike on January 8, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

I acknowledge: Medicare is a bigger problem than Social Security. It's also harder to solve, both because it is more complicated and because it involves the larger question of rising health-care costs. That doesn't argue for ignoring Social Security but for tackling it first."

But isn't that exactly like the WaPo editorial board's justification for invading Iraq? I mean, aren't N. Korea, Iran, and Pakistan all bigger problems than Iraq? Doesn't that mean we should deal with the Iraq problem first?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 8, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Really shortstop I don't mean to offend you. It's not the number of posts its just the "I approve of your post I don't approve of this other post" thing.

You didn't offend me at all...but I don't think your characterization of my posts is quite accurate. If anyone else thinks that my responding positively and negatively to various bits in other posts is outside the normal range of blog discourse, I'd be glad to reconsider.

(Thanks, paxr55.)

Posted by: shortstop on January 8, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

filmex: "... the now flaming Hillary bandwagon ..."

As of 9:18pm EST, with 34% of New Hampshire precincts reporting, that flaming bandwagon is up by 4 points.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 8, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: "If anyone else thinks that my responding positively and negatively to various bits in other posts is outside the normal range of blog discourse, I'd be glad to reconsider."

Keep speaking your mind. If I wanted to talk with people who simply agreed with me practically all the time, I'll stand in the bathroom mumbling at the mirror.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 8, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

As of 10:30pm EST, NBC News and the Associated Press have just declared the filmex's flaming Hillary bandwagon the winner in New Hampshire.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 8, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's true, it's true, Hillary won in NH! I can't believe it.

To qoute an unnamed candidate after the Iowa primary results 5 days ago: "WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK IT!"

Posted by: Erika S on January 9, 2008 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: lobvlyat on September 28, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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