Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 25, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

IDIOCY, FRIDAY STYLE....Some bright boy is now trying to link Tony Rezko to Hillary Clinton? You gotta be kidding me.

Naturally it's at the top of the page at Drudge. I guess that automatically makes it news.

Kevin Drum 1:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (93)

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Comments

Kevin, you generously give more credit than is due. It is, after all, Matt Lauer, shiny perhaps but not exactly a bright boy.....

Posted by: mikey on January 25, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

hmm, this world is going crazy.

People Search
http://www.vcao.net/people-search

Posted by: danielbank on January 25, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well my political career is over. I'm an environmentalist, but there exists a picture of me with former Sec of the Interior James Watt. BTW, he was an ass.

Posted by: Bush Lover on January 25, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Such a scoop! As others are saying, it kinda serves her right, karma-wise. On the other hand, the Clinton hatred is really getting out of control on both the left and the right . . . people are very eager to find HRC guilty of all manner of crimes and misdemeanors -- some of the criticism is valid but much of it is not.

So I guess I'm back where I've been for months now: voting for Edwards in the primary but willing to support whoever wins the nomination.

Posted by: mary on January 25, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Tweety, Pumpkinhead, Prettyboy and the other NBC clowns must be peeing their nappies from the opportunity to channel Drudge

Posted by: Mike on January 25, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: But photos can be damming [sic]

so can deferment records. why did you get 10 years of deferments to avoid fighting in Vietnam? how do you still support that war, knowing all the men who died in your place? how do you sleep at night?

Posted by: as it unfolds on January 25, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

This picture is very good for Hillary. So much so, they may have distributed themselves.
Now, the press is going to have to delve into the Cintons' relationship with Rezko. There isn't much there. This opens the door to scrutinizing Obama's relationship with Revko. It is long and tangled. The house deal stinks.

Posted by: oldgold on January 25, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Heh. I see I'm no longer the only one who wants to know how the warmongering chickenshit sleeps at night.

So long as you advocate for this war we will ask you, ex-liberal, how many deferments did you ask for and receive during the Vietnam war?

And do you ever, in the still of the night, wonder about the brave men who went in your cowardly stead?

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 25, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

If it's been said about Hillary Clinton and it's bad, it must be true, right?

Posted by: Rob Mac on January 25, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

A picture like that is the product of a fund-raising event where people walk through and get their photo with the first family. It would be meaningless but for the fact that it points up the hypocrisy of both sides in making these accusations of guilt by association

Posted by: Stuart Shiffman on January 25, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to add that I'm also interested in knowing how many deferments ex-liberal had. I've seen the question posed several times, and never once addressed, if only to say "non of your business."

Grow a pair.

Oh and I've got no problem with Hillary getting splattered with some of the sleazy bullshit she's been flinging Obama's way. Fuck her.

Posted by: phleabo on January 25, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Quite frankly, I'm completely underwhelmed with both Hillary's and Obama's people. What do we have to look forward to? A bunch of knee-jerk yahoos who will scream "sexism" or "racism" every time someone mentions their name in less than glowing terms.

Blah!

It was nice to think we were mature enough to have a woman and a black man as standard bearers, but the constant emotional blackmail being tossed around by both sides isn't worth it.

Posted by: Joshua Norton on January 25, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

ROFLMAO for sure.

Romney is the next one they will probably try to tie to Mr. Rezko.

More popcorn !!!

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H. L. Mencken

Posted by: daCascadian on January 25, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Am I correct in assuming that there is ABSOLUTELY no chance that Inkblot had met Rezko?

If not I gotta get started on the spin, asap.

Posted by: Optical Weenie on January 25, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

"like Stalin's Russia, "

Oh my, aren't we the queen of hyperbole. All hail her majesty and her imperial hurt feelings!

Posted by: Mrs. Peel on January 25, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

The First Couple get photographed with zillions of people who buy Picture Opportunities at every fundraiser. They're responsible for the pasts and futures of every single person they're ever photographed with. It's not like the guy is that slimeball influence peddlar Jack Abramoff who inserted himself into the White House over and over again. His pictures, consisting mostly of "disappeared" ones of course--now, those are deeply embarrassing.

Shouldn't Hillary at least have a chance to sell out in spectacular George W. Bush-style before she's demonized?

Posted by: Anon on January 25, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Deleting disagreeable posts does you no service."

It provides a service to his readers. Strident crap flinging for its own sake is just graffiti that hijacks the discussion of the real issue.

Posted by: Mrs. Peel on January 25, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

The Rezko thing is funny, but doesn't mean much on it's face. But can you blame people for raising their eyebrows on this, I mean, c'mon, is there a dirty hand in politics the Clintons haven't shook?

Posted by: drosz on January 25, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'm of the opinion that this is great for Obama. The Clinton campaigned have done well with their outright lies, and all Obama has to do is show this picture. It is true that, during the course of one's political career, you meet with all types of people, and you can't vet everybody. This picture goes a long way to proving that.

I don't count on regular people digging past that. But go ahead and dig in on Obama & Rezko, if you gotta.

Posted by: Boorring on January 25, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Who needs Rezko when the Clintons have spent their lives with the likes of Web Hubbell and even appointed him to high office?

Posted by: N CA Dem on January 25, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I also want to throw this in: I know that in political campaigns, truth can be a hard commodity to find. But, if people want to play that, be prepared to fight back. I don't expect any real outcry from the Hillary supporters, however. Surely, they must understand that this is a political campaign, and condoned when their candidate was doing likewise, right?

Politics.

Posted by: Boorring on January 25, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

What's up Kevin? Holding out for an early morning appearance? You know, you could name Matt Lauer in the post, instead of possibly pretending its one of the right wing nut jobs.

Posted by: DougMN on January 25, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

CNN did a piece on the Obama-Rezko relationship. They referred to Rezko as Chicago's Jack Abramoff. Also showed the very old pic of BillnHill. Pretty much garden variety Political Favors for Sleazeball Political Fixers stuff, lots of smoke, but no laws broken.

Still, it reduces BHO down closer to the level of the rest of us human beans.

Posted by: Becca on January 25, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

It's worse than you think. I've seen a photograph of her standing next to George W. Bush.....

Posted by: Stefan on January 25, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, it certainly sucks to have your fav candidate unfairly maligned, doesn't it...?

Live by the sword, die by the sword, Kev.

The sooner HRC and company stop sliming Obama and starts running on her record (and, as I have been asking for the last year, explains how someone with 49% disapproval can win in the general), the sooner the slime will stop rebounding onto her.

Posted by: Disputo on January 25, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'm an environmentalist, but there exists a picture of me with former Sec of the Interior James Watt.

I can do you one better -- I actually interned with the Reagan admin back in 84, and I still haven't been able to wash off the stench.

At least I was smart enough to burn that polaroid of me smoking a bong....

Posted by: Disputo on January 25, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: At least I was smart enough to burn that polaroid of me smoking a bong....

Sorry, baby, there was more than one camera there that night. We have the negatives. Best Halloween party ever!

You didn't happen to meet this guy, did you? He came kinda late.

Posted by: shortstop on January 25, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

According to some Illinois Democrats (via WGN-TV), the unsourced / undated photo in question was apparently a reception line stock picture taken at a 1997 Chicago-area fundraiser for then-U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, where then-Pres. Bill Clinton and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton made an appearance on the senator's behalf.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 25, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Ironically, the bitter, divisive (and potentially hurtful to the Democratic Party) fight between Obama and Clinton is raging precisely because there is very little substantive difference between them. Lacking any substantive differences to campaign on in the primaries, they are campaigning on bullshit.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 25, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Well, thank gawd that the pic was linked to a black politician....

Posted by: Disputo on January 25, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Yes Kevin, this is the most outrageous spin of the campaign yet. Your blinders are absurd.

Posted by: Jor on January 25, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on January 25, 2008 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Ya know I think every politico has a Rezko in the closet...

Posted by: Ya Know.... on January 25, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, mentally handicapped reject, everyone knows that a receiving line is exactly the same thing as a sweetheart land deal.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 25, 2008 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

We're supposed to feel sorry for Ma Clinton after the way her campaign has behaved? Puh-leeze. Who doesn't love a little schadenfreude?

Posted by: Brian on January 25, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Moderator(s), Doesn't Isle of Lucy qualify as a troll? S/he is consistently off topic, attempts to derail the thread by injecting something completely irrelevant, and refuses to discuss anything else.

Why isn't her/his posts being deleted?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 25, 2008 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

We thought you loved "passionate" posts, Dr. Morpheus? Isle of Lucy is full of that passion.

Posted by: Straight Face on January 25, 2008 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Morpheus, I find your whining very tiring.

Posted by: Keith G on January 25, 2008 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of sleaze, Hillary Inc. now wants to have the state deligations from Mich and Fla seated at the conventions with full voting rights (this from TPM)

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/064801.php

Posted by: Keith G on January 25, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

I'm torn about that - the Florida primary was moved up by the republican Florida legislature. And Obama ads started running in Florida right after the last Democratic debate. I mean, I think everyone should have their vote counted.

What I really hate is the internecine squabbling among Democrats. Work like a madman (or woman) for your candidate in the primaries, and save the kneecappings for the rethugs - my two cents.

(Dr. M, I have commented intermittently on many topics over the last year or so. And if I get moderated for calling out a chickenhawk, well, I'm an adult - I can take it.)

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 25, 2008 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

I have a 1992 photo of me and Hillary, taken while she was on the campaign trail for Bill. There were about 80 other people who got similar photos on that occasion. For all involved, that was probably the begining and end of their relationship with HRC. Memorializing that moment had such a profound effect on me that I'm supporting Edwards.

Posted by: DevilDog on January 25, 2008 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

One thing Lucy, those Obama ads were nationally run ads, not targeted to Florida. If we want to get technical, the Clintons shouldn't have even run in Michigan as everyone agreed not to "participate". But that, I agree, is debatable.

Posted by: drosz on January 25, 2008 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

More wonderful stuff today from Kevin's favorite candidate.(re florida & michigan) Kevin you are a TOOL. And a really dumb one at that.

Posted by: Jor on January 25, 2008 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of sleaze, Hillary Inc. now wants to have the state deligations from Mich and Fla seated at the conventions with full voting rights (this from TPM)

I saw that coming a mile away.

What I didn't see was that the HRC campaign would go to court to try to prevent union workers in NV (whom they presumed would vote preferentially for Obama) from caucusing in the primary.

What's next? Suppressing black turn-out in SC on Sat?

You HRC supporters will have to forgive the rest of us for presuming that Rove is working for her campaign.

Posted by: Disputo on January 25, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks drosz - I had read on another site that they were a regional buy on CNN. I am just, at my very core, opposed to disenfranchising even one voter anywhere. (And at the very least, I think the entire slate should have been on the ballot in Michigan, whether they campaigned or not.)

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 25, 2008 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

What I didn't see was that the HRC campaign would go to court to try to prevent union workers in NV (whom they presumed would vote preferentially for Obama) from caucusing in the primary.

The people in NV who initiated that blew it - they totally took the wrong tack. They should have approached it from the position of "then you have to hold caucuses in hospitals, too." What judge would want to be seen as the guy who upheld a showgirls right to caucus, but nurses can go hang? It was a no-brainer. Apparently. Some no-brain out there fucked that up from Jump Street.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 25, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy,

I hear ya and I agree. But the time to make that fight was back before the primaries began.

Posted by: drosz on January 25, 2008 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Some no-brain out there fucked that up from Jump Street.

I'd love to believe that it was a rogue local operation, but the mounting evidence is that employing sleezy tactics straight from the GOP playbook is an integral part of the strategy of the national campaign.

The more I see the HRC campaign up close, the less I want to see any of them anywhere near the WH.

Posted by: Disputo on January 25, 2008 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

More to the point, about Hillary's delegate challenge that Ezra Klein says could "tear the party apart":

http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=01&year=2008&base_name=clinton_tries_to_reinstate_mic

Posted by: Neil B. on January 25, 2008 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

More to the point, about Hillary's delegate challenge that Ezra Klein says could "tear the party apart"

Ahhhh.... finally an explanation as to how HRC and her 49% disapproval rate can win in the general -- she purposefully tears the Dem party apart, and cruises to the WH on the support of her Dem faction and all the Republicans who reward her for destroying the Dem Party....

Posted by: Disputo on January 25, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's all so sad. I would've voted for Hillary a month ago, but that is gone now. She attackes Obama, very insidiously and Bill turns into Godzilla. These are not people putting the country first. They are people who are putting themselves first. Whoever said that Hillary hating was getting out of hand has seen nothing yet. When, and if, she gets the nomination the rest of this election will be a horrible terrible show no matter who the repugs nominate. And the national press will eat itself up with all the horrible nastiness that is to come. How many times can you say Monica Lewinsky people? It is so like the dems to have an unbeatable year and throw it away on the worst kind of evil hack in the mistaken belief that she can win. And even if she does win, will that actually be good for this country? I personally think it stinks. I remember campaigning for Bobby Kennedy in 1968. Obama has that feel. Too bad we are going to piss it away on the party machine. I will not vote for the Clintons again. Those days are passed. What happens will happen. The underground will grow again. The true patriots will be in that group. "The frontiers are my prison."

Posted by: Tim O. on January 25, 2008 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

If this picture is coming from the Obama camp as rebuttal, it is extremely weak rebuttal and not going to be more than a slight deflection because of the inherent difference between what is clearly a walkthrough picture from a fundraiser type environment and a repeated lengthy relationship of 17 years. If the picture showed him in a more intimate/personal context/environment with the Clinton's then I could see it having some effect, but given what it so clearly is and so far is the only evidence of any contact with the Clintons I just don't see it having much effect.

If it is coming from the Clinton's then as someone else noted it shows they do not fear any digging into connections between them because they aren't there and by doing so invites that much more comparison between her relationship with Rezko and Obama's. Either way though I just don't see this giving Obama any significant/useful help on this issue, it simply hasn't enough bite. Maybe 20 or more years ago you might have been able to use it in a sales job, but the public today is simply too media aware/savvy not to recognize this photo for exactly what kind of generic meet-and-greet context every politician in the America goes to and has their picture taken with people they never met before and never will again.

If this is the best the Obama campaign can come up to try to neutralize the Clinton's use of this issue against them I think that is a bad sign for them. This looks a little desperate to be using if it is all they have, in some ways it might have been better for them not to have used it at all because by itself it clearly doesn't deflect from his association with Rezco. Besides, if everyone thinks the Clintons are already on the scummy side with fundraisers then what is one more versus a candidate that is supposed to represent something different and new as Obama is running as then it becomes very damaging in appearances even if there is no actual wrongdoing on Obama's behalf. Taint shows most strongly on the shiny candidate, not the dinged up dirty one, and this is what I think makes this Rezko issue so much more of a problem for Obama than Clinton even with this picture being released.

Posted by: Scotian on January 25, 2008 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: " ... she purposefully tears the Dem party apart, and cruises to the WH on the support of her Dem faction and all the Republicans who reward her for destroying the Dem Party ..."

Oh, puh-LEESE, Disputo.

Just chill out on the over-the-top hyperbole, OK? You know damn well that Hillary Clinton isn't going to destroy the Democratic Party, any more than Barack Obama would if he's our nominee.

Your shameless emoting is not only as ridiculous as it sounds, it also makes you look patently foolish, which I know that you're not.

This sort of nonsense reminds me of that scene near the end of the movie Airplane!, when the flight crew told the passengers to assume their crash positions, and they all simultaneously took on a look of sheer panic.

The Democratic Party's primary process has surely seen far worse -- go take a look at the ferocity and bitterness on full display in the 1960 campaigns of John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Hubert Humphrey -- and it will survive this little dust-up, as well.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 25, 2008 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Moderator(s), Doesn't Isle of Lucy qualify as a troll? S/he is consistently off topic, attempts to derail the thread by injecting something completely irrelevant, and refuses to discuss anything else.

You need to learn the deference between a "chickenhawk slayer" and a "troll".

A troll shits his/her pants during real confrontation because they have no balls. A chickenhawk slayer is there to points out the shit to everyone and rubs the chickenhawks nose in it...

Oh, and Lucy, call me sweety. We need to compare notes...

Posted by: elmo on January 25, 2008 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: The more I see the HRC campaign up close, the less I want to see any of them anywhere near the WH.

Now who exactly is working for Rove? Hmmm?

I'm voting for the Democratic nominee. Period. The End.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 26, 2008 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

Just chill out on the over-the-top hyperbole, OK? You know damn well that Hillary Clinton isn't going to destroy the Democratic Party, any more than Barack Obama would if he's our nominee.

I was joking, you ridiculous twit.

You're the one who needs to chill with your shameless emoting.

Posted by: Disputo on January 26, 2008 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

I'm voting for the Democratic nominee. Period. The End.

As will I.

My only point is that the more HRC acts the a dirty Republican, the more tightly I'll have to hold my nose when I go in the booth in Nov if she takes the gold at the convention.

Posted by: Disputo on January 26, 2008 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, Scotian...wow. My respect for you has been called into question with that, as well as my appreciation of your objectivity. It's almost like you want the Rezko to go on. Clinton has backed off of it like I knew she would. It's dead for now.

Posted by: Boorring on January 26, 2008 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

Disputo: "I was joking, you ridiculous twit."

Really? My bad. I apologize.

Surely, then, your prior two statements were also offered in jest:

8:56pm EST -- "You HRC supporters will have to forgive the rest of us for presuming that Rove is working for her campaign."

9:21pm EDT -- "The more I see the HRC campaign up close, the less I want to see any of them anywhere near the WH."

Yep, you're a real comedian. But perhaps I'm being too harsh -- after all, at least the intent was there.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 26, 2008 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

The length of the Rezko/Obama relationship and the fundraising will not hurt him. The problem will be the mansion/yard sale. Even if everything is above board that just looks funny.

Posted by: bad optics on January 26, 2008 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

Boorring: "It's almost like you want the Rezko to go on. Clinton has backed off of it like I knew she would. It's dead for now."

No, it isn't:

Chicago Sun-Times (January 24, 2008)
Time for Obama to Come Clean
"Barack Obama just keeps bobbling the Tony Rezko hot potato, and if he doesn't get a handle on it soon, his campaign for the presidency is going to be badly burned.

"On Wednesday, the Illinois senator fumbled again as he continued to try to minimize his relationship with Rezko while making the rounds of the morning news shows.

" 'My relationship is he was somebody who I knew and had been a supporter for many years,' Obama said on CBS in response to Hillary Clinton's 'slumlord' attack from earlier this week. 'He was somebody who had supported a wide range of candidates all throughout Illinois. Nobody had an inkling that he was involved in any problems.'

"Somebody who I knew?

"Wow. That's such an understatement that it borders on a falsehood.

"Proving, though, that this was one of Obama's preprogrammed talking points, not just a slip of the tongue, he also told ABC: 'This is somebody who was active in Illinois politics who I knew. Nobody had any indications that he was engaging in wrongdoing.'

Obama certainly did know Rezko. He knew him quite well, although perhaps not as well as he should have."

P.S.: Antoin "Tony" Rezko's corruption trial begins in a Chicago federal court on February 25 -- and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is the prosecutor.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 26, 2008 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

President Hillary
By Paul Craig Roberts

... Are the Democrats choosing Hillary because she has the moral integrity to stop an unjust war and to hold war criminals responsible for leading America into war based on lies and deception? Are they choosing Hillary because she defends the US Constitution from usurpation by executive power? Are they choosing her because she is public-spirited instead of personally ambitious?

No. The Democrats are choosing Hillary because of gender and race. Despite all the efforts of Democratic activist groups, the majority of Democratic voters are more concerned with race and gender issues than with their country's reputation and their civil liberties.

If elected president, Hillary will bring no more change than did the Democratic congressional majority elected in 2006. ...
.

Posted by: Poilu on January 26, 2008 at 3:33 AM | PERMALINK

Poilu: That says it perfectly. Hillary will be as great as the 2006 democratic congress has been. Hell, her best friend Reid, right now is going to grant retroactive telecom immunity.

Posted by: Jor on January 26, 2008 at 5:12 AM | PERMALINK

She'll back off. Why? One word...Hsu. The skeletons in the Clintons' closet make Obama's look like kiddie Halloween costumes.

Posted by: drosz on January 26, 2008 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

Even Pat Buchanan shot that one down as ridiculous on the McLaughlin Group. He pointed out that all politicians have tons of thoses kinds of pictures made. They stand in a room and a whole group of people are ushered through to get pictures with a candidate.

Posted by: BernieO on January 26, 2008 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

I'd say it serves her right too, that was a silly attack by Hillary... not very Presidential I must say.

Posted by: leo on January 26, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Donald, you were aware that you linked to and opinion column, right? I know you wouldn't purposefully say it was an opinion column, but would rather use the Chicago Sun Times name in order to increase the weight of the article itself. That's akin to me linking to a Will Kristol article in the New York Times, and saying that was the opinion of the New York Times. At least when I linked to Hitchens column titled "The Case Against Hillary Clinton", I wasn't simply saying it was from slate.

Nevertheless, Antoin Rezko has been linked to possible fundraising improprieties to politicians from the likes George W. Bush to Chicago Governor. And that was an opinion column link, by the way.

Was there an exclusive relationship between Barack Obama and Antoin Rezko? The trial, as you stated, is set to start on February 25th, with Fitzgerald running the prosecution. Although major newspapers have looked into the matter and found out that he did nothing illegal, I will await the findings of this trial as I'm sure you will.

However, unless there is some new and explosive development, politically this issue will not be brought back on the forefront by Hillary Clinton, lest she knows better. Let the indictments come, then, and I agree that Obama should just explain himself to save himself from more political headaches. Despite Hillary Clinton's numerous problems, this is, like, only one. So while I can understand people yelling "Rezko! Rezko!" if they support Hillary Clinton, as you do, but I do not understand those posters yelling the same thing vehemently when they are only trying to view these candidates through an "objective" lens. It makes me wonder what their angle really is, and whether they were really objective in the first place.

In other news, the South Carolina primary...

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

--from Decision 08 2004--
Oil-For-Food Part Five: Marc Rich
Clinton's pardon buddy Marc Rich has popped up on the OilyGate radar again. The New York Post reports that Rich is facing a subpeona should he return to America regarding allegations he brokered illegal deals for Iraqi oil. Mr. Rich, number six on the Justice Department's outstanding fugitives list at the time of his 2001 pardon,

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

To channel Hillary Clinton from her throat-clearing warmups in the debates: "Well..."

I was not once deleted in this thread. Didn't once post and can't think of another PA thread so heavily redacted as this one.

I'll watch the Rezko trial with interest but don't expect it to have much of an impact on the Dem race or the general.

As for the game of perceptions, the Clinton-Rezko photograph takes the visceral ooomph out of their hit on Obama.

That's all the photograph accomplished. Oh, and the suggestion that the Clinton pot in longtime service is calling a newbie kettle, er, black.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 26, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

So now you're saying Hillary is all like Condi Rice and what she did for Chevron, cognitorex?

Posted by: elmo on January 26, 2008 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Watching MSNBC, with Salon's Joan Walsh on right now wielding condescension ("I don't see it"), responding to David Shuster and Mika B. high-mindedly wringing their hands over code ~purportedly~ at work among the electorate.

Joan has been dishing this bull hokey-dink ever since the LBJ-MLK incendiary device from New Hampshire, walking the code back to its literal meaning. She is being purposely obtuse.

For the record, the code words Joan Walsh [JW], soul of liberal reason, "just doesn't see" are as follows:

"Experience" = code for "wait your turn, Obama." (JW: "Oh, I don't see it. Maybe African-Americans do. But you know how sensitive they are. You know, thin-skinned like Obama."

"LBJ-MLK" = HRC is workhorse legislator (a doer who btw was white) vs. mere orator who raises "false hopes" (a dreamer who btw was black).

[JW: "I don't see it," she adds in all her obtuse glory.]

Other code? Anyone?

The code, the effort to knock a ~transformational~ candidate off his postracial plane, is not all of it race-related.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 26, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Scotian...wow. My respect for you has been called into question with that, as well as my appreciation of your objectivity.

Translation: you are now disagreeing with me, which can only mean you must harbor some key personal defect I never noticed before.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 26, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, the code words Joan Walsh [JW], soul of liberal reason, "just doesn't see" are as follows: = I'm getting frustrated and played the fool so much all I can do is bitch about some virtual "code".

Posted by: elmo on January 26, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

paxr55,

Gotta tell ya, if you think that these examples are somehow just obvious cases of code words being used, you're just off your rocker.

Look, what you seem to be utterly incapable of understanding is that, if you can use such examples as being representative of racism, then you can take any set of random criticisms or remarks you want and twist them into racial code. If you absolutely insist on finding a pattern in a reasonably large set of data, it's not hard to pretend that you've found them. That's what every crackpot conspiracy theory in history has relied on to convince the gullible.

You would be the gullible here -- or perhaps the crackpot pushing the conspiracy.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 26, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

If you go back and look at Obama's speeches, you find he says the word "that" a lot. It is code for "that woman" and is obviously misogynistic.

Posted by: elmo on January 26, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

frank,

I was reporting on the MSNBC ~reporting~ on code. And it's funny to watch Joan Walsh attempt to walk words back to their literal meanings.

It's my view, fwiw, that code is a crude word that nevertheless has some currency now, like the term dog-whistle. I used it because MSNBC anchors, on SC primary day, used "code" as part of their coffe-klatsch political coverage ca. 10 am Mountain Time on MSNBC.

The Clintons can say whatever they want to in a political campaign. Listening to them, we can call it code, dog-whistle, talking point, suggestion, innuendo. Fine.

But isn't it indisputable that sometimes a word (or suggestion) takes on a life of its own over which a campaign has little control?

Condescension and entitlement (not at root racist) is at the heart of the Clintons' private political conversations. That'smy view.

They don't see it. They would protest, if one were to point it out to them. But it's there for all to see, once that private conversation takes flight out on the campaign trail--and nosedives.

Hillary Clinton has inherent weaknesses as a candidate. I am impressed, however, at how, mirabile dictu, she transforms these real weaknesses (lack of experience, unelectability, leaden oratory) into the appearance of strength. Now that's a transformational candidate.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 26, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

make that:

Condescension and entitlement (not at root racist) are at the heart of the Clintons' private political conversations. That's my view.

And there is emphasis in repetition.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 26, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

It's my view, fwiw, that code is a crude... = I can't beleive those fuckers are better at "code" than me!!!

Posted by: elmo on January 26, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I have to go vote in an hour and you kids are all harshing my buzz. Now settle down or I will stop this car. You know I'll do it.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

And to bring this all sorta back on topic, to the slumlord business, which strikes me as on beyond zebra in a political campaign between two liberal Dems, one of them biracial.

I'm agnostic on the Obama-Rezko matter, waiting to see what comes in the trial. Hillary Clinton, in the meantime, is not withholding judgment, is wielding a powerful word. And again it all got away from her when the Clinton-Rezko photo surfaced on the Today show on Friday.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 26, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yes ma'am...sighs and bows head

Posted by: elmo on January 26, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Good man, elmo! We'll all stop for ice cream later.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Now settle down or I will stop this car.

He hit me first, mom.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 26, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Mom I'm trying to stop but pox wont leave me alone!

Posted by: elmo on January 26, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK
....If elected president, Hillary will bring no more change than did the Democratic congressional majority elected in 2006. ... Poilu at 3:33 AM
While the House has passed important Democratic bills, they have all been stymied in the Senate by obstructionist Republicans who have filibustered 62 bills and paid no political price for doing so. If this election doesn't reduce the number of Republican bitter-ender radicals, it would be difficult for any meaningful legislation to pass but there won't be a Republican in the White House who vetoes good bills.
....The skeletons in the Clintons' closet make Obama's look like kiddie Halloween costumes. drosz at 6:36 AM
Republicans have spent tens of millions on those smears and after 20 years, nothing; although, the same old charges are being repeated endlessly, mostly by Republicans and now by 'bamabots who apparently haven't been paying attention.
Although major newspapers have looked into the matter and found out that he did nothing illegal....Boorring on at 11:11 AM
No one has claimed that the association was illegal, only strange for someone who claims political purity. Why is he trying to minimize his relationship? It reminds me of when Kenny-boy became Who?in Bush world.
....The sooner HRC and company stop sliming Obama.... explains how someone with 49% disapproval can win in the general.... Disputo at 3:58 P
How about the sooner the media and Obama stop sliming? What was Bush's approval in 2004 ? (Hint: June, 2004 42%)
I was reporting on the MSNBC ~reporting~ on code....paxr55 at 12:45 PM
That would be the same MSNBC whose talking head has said that Pelosi is castrating and Clinton people were eunuchs. That would be the same MSNBC whose gasbags went on for minutes how 'things go better with coke.' Experience is not a code word. MLK, LBJ was not a racist remark no matter how the Clinton hating media try to spin it so.


Posted by: Mike on January 26, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

“Wow, Scotian...wow. My respect for you has been called into question with that, as well as my appreciation of your objectivity.

Translation: you are now disagreeing with me, which can only mean you must harbor some key personal defect I never noticed before.”
Posted by: frankly0 on January 26, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Yep, that is how it reads to me too, especially given that it is done without showing why my argument is wrong and simply stating/declaring I am instead. Why is it so hard for some partisans to comprehend that just because someone is critical of their candidate it does not mean they are inherently for someone else? I keep saying that it is my disinterested objective perspective that Obama is running a campaign of hope and being different but has yet to show how it works in action, has yet to prove it works in the primaries, and therefore I see him as the most dangerous and open to exploitation by the GOP smear machine and the hostile MSM that targets all Dems no matter how nice they once thought they were prior to the general election campaign, so of course I must be partisan and biased against him and for someone else. As you well know I am a Nova Scotian with single citizenship as a Canadian with no desire whatsoever to change that, so if I truly am comfortable with any of the Dem choices as President over any GOPer (which I also keep repeating) why would I be this focused on attacking the ability to withstand the coming onslaught from the GOP/MSM of this Dem candidate unless that is where I truly saw the greatest danger/weaknesses? I mean really, if I can see these things up here you have to know the GOP does as well, and for all the comments about how Clinton is the one they want to run against I would have thought the Dem they talked up the most would be their preference, and not the one they keep trying to destroy and keep failing to succeed in that aim, I would have thought the one they couldn't break would be the one they would be most afraid of, especially given the ammunition Bushco has given to use against any GOP candidate by someone willing to go for the jugular against their political opponents.

My problem with Obama's campaign is simple, they think he can transcend based on his inspiring words about transcending, but where is the beef? Where is the proof that he can do this in action in this campaign? Why do I see his side making misrepresentations about the Clinton side (MLK/LBJ, which I saw as the first injection of race directly by either side at the top, and the fairy tale comment which was at least as misrepresented if not more than what the Clintons said about Obama's Reagan comment) and then getting all offended when it is done to them in response if he and his campaign is the ones doing things differently? Could it be they are playing to the preconception that people and especially media people will prefer to blame the Clintons because of their own negative preconceptions of the Clintons and is that no less hardball ruthless politics than what the Clintons themselves play?

My problem with a lot of Obama supporters is that they fail to recognize that they are not playing the political game any differently than the Clintons, and that both sides have been roughly equal in terms of misrepresenting the other side, although I do personally blame the Obama side for the injection of race as I noted before, not to mention the way the fairly tale comment was twisted into some sort of racial insult, that looked like nothing more than confirmation bias in action. I think a lot of the Obama supporters are suffering from that confirmation bias about the Clintons, they already believe/expect the Clintons to act so so when they see something from the Clintons that they think could possibly be a "dog-whistle" they assume it is so and treat it as certified fact and if you don't agree then you are racially insensitive or a Clintonite. This was why I debated about joining the fray here because I knew I was going to get this sort of thing; I watched it happen to others. Bottom line though is that I don't do this for the respect of others here, I do it because this is what I see and think and I leave it to others to decide whether they agree/disagree or not. I don't think my opinion should count for anything more than what it brings to the table, nothing more and nothing less.

I do find it disgusting to watch the Clintons being called Rovian so easily, it makes me think that those using the term either don't understand true Rovian politics or they know but think it is too good/easy a smear on the Clintons that many people would believe without examination not to use. The Lee Atwater comparison the other day though really was something else. I also find it interesting to note that it is only in the Obama camp that I hear a significant amount of "well if candidate "x" wins (Clinton of course, never Edwards for some reason) then I won't vote for the Dem candidate for President. The other camps have repeatedly shown they will support any of the winners because they see any Dem as superior to any GOPer, even a Dem they don't care for much otherwise, and given the current reality America is in that is from my perspective entirely reasonable and cognizant of reality. It is those that would claim to want change that if it is not Obama but Clinton opt out that I find the poseurs here, because anyone that thinks Clinton would be on par with any GOP candidate running overall clearly does not understand their own political world very well.

Posted by: Scotian on January 26, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Mike,

You wrote, after quoting me thus in responding directly to frankly's criticism:

I was reporting on the MSNBC ~reporting~ on code....paxr55 at 12:45 PM

"That would be the same MSNBC whose talking head has said that Pelosi is castrating and Clinton people were eunuchs. That would be the same MSNBC whose gasbags went on for minutes how 'things go better with coke.' Experience is not a code word. MLK, LBJ was not a racist remark no matter how the Clinton hating media try to spin it so."

Leaving aside your general off-topic remarks regarding Tweety, let me take up the "experience" term batted about among Mika B., David S., and Joan W.--remarks that struck me as noteworthy.

It was Joan Walsh (or Mika) this morning who conceded that the Clintons' use of the word "experience" (as in Hillary has it, Obama doesn't) is perceived as condescending among voters of color in South Carolina. It means "wait your turn until your betters have had theirs."

Here is my next logical step, on the effect of the word: Insofar as condescension ("I'm experienced, he's not") is handmaiden to racism, I contend that, yes, this word got away from the Clintons among the black electorate in S.C., an electorate that knows about this sort of thing.

Did the Clintons deploy it as code? No. They're just campaigning hard and repeating themselves as happens during campaigns ("Ready on Day 1. Thirty-five years of experience.").

But I sense a tin ear among the Clintonites. Themes like "experience" have to have some grounding in reality and message shapers need to be alert to unintended consequences.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 26, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

My problem with a lot of Obama supporters is that they fail to recognize that they are not playing the political game any differently than the Clintons

Spot on. Sometimes an outsider is needed to put an issue into focus. (I've been pronouncing your handle "Scott-Tane in my head, before you put the "Nova" in front of it...blush)

Posted by: elmo on January 26, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

elmo:

Thanks for the chuckle; I can see how that could happen so I am glad I cleared it up for you. I use that alias because it is where I am from and my ancestry/heritage, seemed like a good descriptor without giving away too much about me personally, something I learned to avoid in the online world fairly early. As to the point you made, being an outsider makes it easier to not get caught up in the partisanship, but it also helps if the outsider has a good working understanding of what they are observing too, something I think I've demonstrated at this blog enough in the past to convince those with an open mind. I was one of those that four years back thought Kerry's honourable service would help him against the military oriented campaign the GOP was clearly planning on running, and we all saw where that ended up. So this time I am making sure that the one getting the easiest ride is the one I am focusing most on, especially when that person also appears to me to have the most vulnerability to having the media turn against them as well as the GOP slime machine's ability to destroy the character of any good person, just ask Al Gore about that one.

As I said before, I call them as I see them and either people accept that or they don't I cannot do anything about that, all I can do is what I am doing and that I will not stop just because I am suddenly losing the respect of partisans of a particular camp.

Posted by: Scotian on January 26, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well I, for one, welcome you with open arms...

Posted by: elmo on January 26, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

elmo,

Dad's putting both you and Scotian on the roof rack on the way back from ice cream.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 26, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

paxr55: Dad's putting both you and Scotian on the roof rack on the way back from ice cream.

Pipe down, young lady! And I am not married to Mitt Romney.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

See what happens when you have a life on a Saturday night? You can't tend to the message-boards, and this stuff happens...

Wow, Scotian...wow. My respect for you has been called into question with that, as well as my appreciation of your objectivity.

Basically, I worded this wrong, but what I meant was: I respected your earlier perspective and apparently honest concern regarding Obama and that Rezko issue. Anyways, now I think you're going on and on about something that may not have anything to it, which makes me wonder whether your interests are unbiased. Could I have worded it better? Sure. Even if things with Rezko turn out otherwise, you are forgetting the elephant (pun intended) in the room: Hillary Clinton. I just find this so amazing, that's all. From my end, it comes off as someone yelling "Whitewater!", and while I hear that and understand it, this concern suddenly becomes this huge, overwhelming issue when I just feel like saying "Alright, we got it. I heard you. Got it, thanks, I'll keep it in mind.". I just don't think of it as that big of a factor, considering his competition. Newspapers have not found anything so far, but if you think where there is smoke, there is fire, I still believe the man is viable. Still.

Translation: you are now disagreeing with me, which can only mean you must harbor some key personal defect I never noticed before.” Posted by: frankly0 on January 26, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Tending to a political message-board is like tending to a garden: you don't keep things maintained, and weeds start to grow. That's sort of the price you pay, I guess.

Yep, that is how it reads to me too, especially given that it is done without showing why my argument is wrong and simply stating/declaring I am instead. Why is it so hard for some p artisans to comprehend that just because someone is critical of their candidate it does not mean they are inherently for someone else?

Nice, the partisan tag. Well, whatever, I walked into it. Oh, and I was just lazy, I didn't feel like typing my usual page response, which is why I didn't state and declare it. Laziness.

Posted by: Boorring on January 27, 2008 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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