Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 6, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

PRIMARY COLLARS....Obama foreign policy advisor Susan Rice, referring to Hillary's "red telephone" ad, said today of Obama and Clinton that "they're both both not ready to have that 3 am phone call." Jerome Armstrong is unhappy about this, saying that this three second clip is all John McCain needs to go after either candidate in the general election. Obama has gotten similar criticism (including from me) for providing Republicans with ammunition by circulating "Harry and Louise" style flyers attacking Hillary's healthcare plan.

In a similar vein, Hillary said today that presidential candidates need to pass a "commander-in-chief threshold." And who's done that? "I believe that I've done that," she said. "Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you'll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy." Bingo! Instant TV material for McCain this fall.

Now, there's no question that this stuff sucks. Hillary sucks more on this score since her team has been doing more of it than Obama's team, but they should both knock it off.

That said, though, I have a question. It occurred to me today that primary opponents attack each other all the time, and yet I don't remember ever seeing a general election ad taking advantage of that. Once the general election starts, nobody seems to think it's worthwhile trying to make hay out of old attacks.

I can think of several reasons why this is true, but before I commit those reasons to print I'd like to make sure that it actually is true. Anyone got any examples that come readily to mind? TV ads preferred, but debate references and stump speech sound bites would work too. If you can come up with any, leave 'em in comments.

Kevin Drum 9:03 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (189)

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Comments

I think GWB used Howard Dean's attacks against John Kerry's inconsistency. Here's a link:

http://www.slate.com/id/2098177/

Posted by: Sam K. on March 6, 2008 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

The shit the Retadicans start throwing will make everyone forget about these petty squabbles.

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Before we can understand this latest BS from Hillary, we have to answer one question. At this point, does she really believe she can win the nomination? If she does, then this is just another clumsy attack on Obama. If she doesn't, then what is she up to? (said in a sinister voice)

Posted by: on March 6, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

This fall, if he quotes Clinton regarding Obama's readiness, McCain will be relying on the opinion of the woman who couldn't even win the primary and is despised by half his constituents. Not likely.

Posted by: duh on March 6, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure it made it into an ad, but Bush Sr.'s reference to Reagan's "voodoo economics" got a lot of play.

Posted by: wagster on March 6, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Whether it has or it hasn't: they're BOTH going to come home to roost. Sen. Clinton has set herself up for the Kerry-works in placing McCain at her level. If they both have the same experience, he's got Vietnam and a record of actually CHALLENGING Bush far more than she has had and she has no purity on Iraq.

Similarly, Obama's advisor is on record as saying he's not ready for the 3am ad. It's a simple soundbite that is effective; but more than that it was an easy mistake to avoid. It's also easy to correct, but I kinda think the Obama team as a whole needs a pause and time to redirect their attacks. They have a good argument in McCain-Clinton flubbbing all the crisis to date that they verred away from today.

And Rice and the Hillary is a monster thing is a big problem. I hope he fires her, she crossed a line and she needs to be called out.

But yeah, Hillary started this and she is in my opinion creating a box she won't be able to come out of come November. McCain is a strong candidate and has the benefit of saying he can bring competance given how he's been railing against DOD incompetance and pushing Bush on that front; and how he was in front of the terror issue.

He's not as badly positioned against Clinton as many assume. And clearly, Clinton is running on kerry's map as the data right now shows. She's got a solid ceiling and while also a strong coalition not much attraction for Independents.

This whole CIC ready argument while true and a true attack from the right; it's hard fighting this TWICE for either candidate.

JMHO

And these clips WILL be used.

Posted by: Rhoda on March 6, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's nice that Jerome Armstrong is so concerned.

It's not like he's thoroughly discredited MyDD with an obsessive bias against Obama or anything (though I will admit that their other front pagers have been trying to claw the site back from the brink lately).

Posted by: Warren Terra on March 6, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary's camp should "knock it off" when it comes to elevating the other party's nominee against the current (and likely final) delegate leader?

Gosh, with such a stern warning, I'm sure they'll cease and desist immediately.

Hillary has decided the nomination is either hers or no one's. Her berserker strategy will either gain her the nomination (less likely) or damage Obama's chances against McCain, leaving her to say "I told you so" in her 2012 run against incumbent McCain, who has kept the status quo in Iraq for four more years (more likely).

It's awful, awful. There needs to be much harder pushback against these kamikaze tactics.

Posted by: ppp on March 6, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

According to FactCheck.org the information in the Obama flyer about health care was accurate. I don't think it counts as giving the R's talking points when the candidate is truthfully stating an attribute of another candidate's plan.

it is a demonstration of Hillary's skill at Rovian dissimulation that so many people think the flyer had misindformation in it. Just another of Hil's lies.

Posted by: wonkie on March 6, 2008 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

Rhoda, it was Samantha Power who called Clinton a monster ...

I have to say, I had a lot of respect for Samantha Power until today.

Posted by: Tang on March 6, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Al Gore was the first to bring up the Massachusetts furlough program against Michael Dukakis, although he did not explicitly mention Willy Horton.

Posted by: KobayashiMaru on March 6, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Since when is "You'll have to ask Senator Obama" ad material?

Posted by: MG on March 6, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

This is from an article by Rick Pearson in today's ChicagoTribune.com, the quotes are from Hillary Clinton.

"'I think that since we now know Sen. (John) McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

“'I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.

"Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a “distinguished man with a great history of service to our country,” Clinton said, “Both of us will be on that stage having crossed that threshold. That is a critical criterion for the next Democratic nominee to deal with.'”

If McCain doesn't use that in an ad against Obama then he is an idiot. I don't think he is an idiot. What Hillary is obviously doing is poisoning the well. If she doesn't get the nomination John McCain will win the election.

Up tell now many Democrats haven't really cared which of the two is nominated. They better care now. Somebody has got to tell her to get herself under control. This election is too important.

Flame away, but I think Hillary has disqualified herself. Sorry, no self-respecting Democrat should ever support her again. Even if it were true you never say that the Republican candidate is better qualified than your Democratic opponent. That is over the line.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 6, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking as an outside observer (though we all cheer for our favourite horse up here), I'd nominate McCain as the scariest 3am phone call guy. Not because he's too "inexperienced", or too "My Pet Goat", but worse. Because Mcain looks to be a nice guy, but is also the most likely to deserve this 3am-phone-call ad.

Please always remember that US presidents are followed around by a man with a briefcase, which in a crisis allows them to kill us all, american citizens or not.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on March 6, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I'll be more specific. From Wikipedia:

He [Gore] did not, however, mention Horton or any other specific criminal by name. He asked it in the form of a rhetorical question, asking Dukakis whether he would extend Massachusetts-style furloughs to the federal level. Dukakis' retort was, "The difference between you and me is that I have run a criminal justice system. You haven't." But Dukakis also quickly noted that the furlough program had been changed. (This can be found in Jack Germond and Jules Witcover's book on the 1988 presidential campaign, "Whose Broad Stripes And Bright Stars?", on page 315).
Posted by: KobayashiMaru on March 6, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Well, in 1980 a group calling itself "Democrats for Reagan" made an ad with Ted Kennedy criticizing Jimmy Carter. It went off the air pretty quickly, though, since it was made without Kennedy's permission.

There may be others, but that's the only instance of a primary criticism coming back in the general that I can think of.

Posted by: Harkov57 on March 6, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Two words: Willie Horton

Gore raised it in the primaries

Posted by: Michael Cohen on March 6, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Rhoda is right, because I say so. And Obama should fire Powell, not Rice.

She was saying that no-one had CIC experience, including John McCain.
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/06/obama-aide-neither-candidate-ready-for-3-am-call/

On the critical foreign policy issues of the day, whether it was a decision to go to war in Iraq or the decision to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt and beat the drums of war with Iran, Hillary Clinton has made the same wrong judgment as John McCain and George W. Bush. Barack Obama has made a very different judgment.

So neither one of them, and nor John McCain for that matter, have had that 3 o’clock phone call that others have had. And I think we have to be honest about that.]

Oh, and this primary has shown one thing for sure; blogs are no better than the media. The gotcha sound bites are flying back and forth, while real issues are ignored. Shame on us.

Posted by: enozinho on March 6, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

I've said it before and I'll say it again: NOBODY is "ready on day one" to be President. There is a learning curve. Even a re-elected president beginning a second term is starting over with turnover in staff and other logistical problems that inevitably surface when running an enormous executive organization. Can we stop with this shit already? It's embarrassing. If there is a crisis on Day 1 of any Presidency, either Clinton or Obama will muddle through. The question to me is: which one of these candidates is more likely to be reflexively hawkish in the event of a "red phone" moment? Hillary has proven her militaristic nature on Iraq and Kyl-Lieberman. Obama showed sound judgement in opposing the Iraq war. In the event of 9/11 redux, I would prefer the candidate who showed the most sound and sober judgement, and his name is Obama.

Posted by: drjimcooper on March 6, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

I think Bush's, "Voodoo Economics" line against Reagan was used by Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, and Kerry! Probably by McCain against Bush jr too ;-)

Posted by: Patrick on March 6, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

"voodoo economics"

Don't forget Bill Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

"Something - Doo - Economics, Anyone? Anyone?"

Posted by: enozinho on March 6, 2008 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

But yeah, Hillary started this..

Really Rhoda? Point out to me, please, the place and time she "started this".

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Already mentioned twice in this thread, but it's the gold standard; Willie Horton. However, the lesson is Republicans take legitimate issues and pervert them into over-the-top iconic hate-filled wedge issues. About the only thing that comes close going the other way is "voo doo economics." Not really in the same ballpark.

Posted by: dennisS on March 6, 2008 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

The "Dean Scream" is up there. Republicans and the Media are still using that one.

Posted by: enozinho on March 6, 2008 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

Oh sigh. all this talk about this or that attack ad will seem pointless by the end of september.

There are a gazillion things that can happen, one of which will happen, which will totally shift the context of the debate such as

Cheney attacks Iran

All out warfare in Gaza

Ware breaks out between Venezuela and Colombia

Chips made in China are alleged to have secret trap doors

The rapture

McCain tells Cafferty to F*** off in prime time

Posted by: CSTAR on March 6, 2008 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

enozihno,

thanks very much for actual language. "because i say so" takes on new weight.

Posted by: paxr55 on March 6, 2008 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think anyone should be too angry with Samantha Power. As the nation's foremost expert on our country's nonchalance toward genocide, she knows better than anyone the Clinton Administration's failure in Rwanda - she is just being intellectually honest rather than being a party hack. I guess we Democrats don't really understand that because we really are a lame party that has a large minority of members who have no vision, no idealism, and no backbone.

Posted by: reader on March 6, 2008 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's not fodder for commercials.

But it is the kind of crap that gives Russert wet dreams.

Posted by: lampwick on March 6, 2008 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

On the Samantha Power thing. It's not what she said per se. it's that she sounded like a snarky blog commenter. You should read some of it. Maybe she was drunk or didn't know she was on the record, but she used the word "ergh". I don't even know what that means, but I certainly don't associate it with foreign policy prowess.

Posted by: enozinho on March 6, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Could someone explain to me why Hillary thinks that she's passed the "commander-in-chief threshold"?

What has she done?

She seems to be riding this idea that she's more serious on national security and defense issues. Where on earth did she get that from? People in the military despise her and laugh at her. For most military folks, that 3am commercial where she picked up the phone at the end was their worst nightmare.

Posted by: Joe on March 6, 2008 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone really think McFill-in will have the luxury of going on the offence in the general? If he does not spend the entire election defending his stance on Bush's Iraq and Bush's economy, then we were just not fucking trying...

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Since no one has answered, I'm going to ask again, and then ask several other questions: since when is "You'll have to ask Senator Obama" some kind of evil low blow that will be used in campaign ads? What does it say about Obama and his defense credentials that people could be going into hysterics over a question like that? What, exactly, was Hillary supposed to say? "I think Obama has demonstrated he, too, has passed that threshold"? She'd be laughed out of the campaign. In fact, making such a stupid statement could be used against her in the general.

When Drum can post braindead shit like this and the Obamabots come charging in in a red blooded fury over it, the primary has gone on way, way too long.

Posted by: MG on March 6, 2008 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

People in the military despise her and laugh at her.

Prove it. And what about those 27 or so Generals that came out supporting her?

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Prove it. And what about those 27 or so Generals that came out supporting her?

Prove it? Fucking talk to them. I have friends in the military and I hear what they say. I've had co-workers who were former military and they say the same shit. She is not liked.

Posted by: Joe on March 6, 2008 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Ana Marie Cox is one of the most useless political writers known to man.

Albeit, a cute one.

Posted by: lampwick on March 6, 2008 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry I wasn't clearer in my post. I think Hillary started the back and forth on the CIC by saying she has a lifetime of experience to draw on, John McCain has a lifetime of experience to draw on, and Barack Obama only has a speech he gave in 2002. She's been using variations of that up to today; when she basically said she and McCain are CIC material while Obama still has to answer that question.

Nevermind, exit polls show he wins people who are voting on the Iraq issue as their number one choice.

And Obama's advisor gave them material as Drum pointed out by saying neither has answered a 3am phone call like that and are ready; McCain's staff jumped on it right away. I'm not to clear because I read this a while back today.

Anyway, all of this and above is JMO. I figured that too was given. I guess I apologize for the declarative tone, but they drummed that into me in high school and college so whatever....

Posted by: Rhoda on March 6, 2008 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

IMO either of them (although BHO is better placed because he has been saying I'll tell you the truth, not what you want to hear) should bring up the multiple crisis: economic meltdown, Iraq meltdown, oil unaffordabelity, etc. that we are ignoring. Then he/she, can claim, that he/she are best qualified to lead the American people in coping. These are all issues the Republicans will pretend aren't real. The problem is that neither candidate has chosen to bring them up with enough volume to be noticed.

Posted by: bigTom on March 6, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

MG,

Taken in a vacuum, Clinton's "you'll have to ask Obama" is perfectly fine, but when she also said:

"I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002," Clinton says.

you can see why some of us are getting tired of her bullshit.

Posted by: drjimcooper on March 6, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a fucking Vet too, shithead. Your sweeping generalization is par for the course. That's exactly what the wingnuts do...

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Equating out of context blurtings of advisors to the candidate herself endorsing the Republican over the Dem front-runner is simply stupid.

Posted by: jim on March 6, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

While you are correct that Susan Rice's comments and Clinton's comments both "suck" as they tear down a fellow Democrat, Clinton's is a strategic blunder for her if she does win. By saying that McCain is commander-n-chief material she dramatically reduces options for attacking him on foreign policy--think about a nice RNC commercial with footage of Hillary praising McCain. While Rice's comments on Obama's behalf could hurt Clinton if she wins the primary, they are helpful Obama if he is the nominee. It seems as though Clinton is in the running for McCain's Veep spot. With easily exploitable Clinton dirt like the 450k donation to the Clinton library by Denise Rich, Hillary will not have the ethics argument to use against McCain-- she is painting herself in the corner by reducing lines of attack.

Posted by: Josh on March 6, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Willie Horton was an Al Gore attack first (although it was not racially tinted when he used it)
Ironic, isn't it ?

Posted by: Benjamin on March 6, 2008 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

1968 - LBJ ran several TV spots reprising the attacks on Goldwater by other Republicans, including Romney and Rockefeller.

Posted by: Bob Mann on March 6, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

think about a nice RNC commercial with footage of Hillary praising McCain

Like I asked above, when is McFill-in going to have the time to go on the offensive?

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

I worry about McCain not because he's isn't "ready" for that 3am call, but because he is. And if the issue comes up in the general election campaign, I hope his opponent is ready to make an issue of it, with images of mushroom clouds if necessary.

Posted by: idlemind on March 6, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Hai!

Invisible Crisis

Posted by: Lolcat5k on March 6, 2008 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

elmo, McSame can probably walk and talk and chew gum at the same time. Attack ads will run regardless of whether he is on the defensive or not.

Have you ever heard of a member of one party comparing her opponent and the candidate for the other party? I haven't. The three Hillary comments are brand new as far as I know.

Why, there are some lines you don't cross for the sake of the party. I am sure Hillary thinks that McSame is better qualified than Obama. For all I know she might be right. The truth of the matter is irrelevant.

If she looses the nomination, she will have made it harder for Obama to win. That means all those down ballot Democrats are going to have a harder time winning. We might not expand the number of Senators to a comfortable working majority. We might not expand the membership in the house. We will have a harder time electing purple state Governors. All the way down to the grassroots.

Even if it is true, a serious candidate never, ever compares her primary opponent unfavorably to the other party's nominee. It just isn't done.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 6, 2008 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the entire Susan Rice clip:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=K1LECapgmGk

The comment comes shortly after the 1st minute. I don't know why she said "they're both not ready"--horribly worded, to be generous. What she should have said is this: "Both of them haven't been in that situation. Neither has McCain. That's a situation only a President faces. What matters is, who has the ability to be calm in a crisis and make the best decision?"

Posted by: Jason on March 6, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

She's Rove in drag.

Posted by: kevin K on March 6, 2008 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

In 1964 LBJ's campaign used quotes from Goldwater's primary opponents in an attack ad.

Yeah, I'm old.

Posted by: Joseph A. Miller on March 6, 2008 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

"While you are correct that Susan Rice's comments and Clinton's comments both "suck" as they tear down a fellow Democrat, Clinton's is a strategic blunder for her if she does win. By saying that McCain is commander-n-chief material she dramatically reduces options for attacking him on foreign policy"

As if anyone didn't think McCain was ready for military leadership. There's lots of ways to follow that up. Obama has even used some. "50 years of experience," for example. That's a good one.

From what I've seen, Hillary is quite capable of taking the initiative away from McCain in the general. And yes, she still thinks she can win. It's not a good shot, but it's a shot. Obama has to take the prize, it isn't going to be handed to him. That's fine with me, we don't like coronations, leave that to Republicans.

Posted by: on March 6, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

elmo ... you tickle me silly!

Posted by: tang on March 6, 2008 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

kevin k, she isn't Rove in drag. Rove is a party man. He would never have allowed his candidate to compare his primary opponent unfavorably to any Democrat, at least not out loud.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 6, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Excuse me, but this "red telephone" business is a huge red herring. Please... How much red phone experience did Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ronald Reagan have when they took office? They were all governors with limited foreign policy experience. We can probably name a dozen others. Hillary has zip, perhaps less than Obama. But it really doesn't matter, hasn't mattered in the past. The idea is that you want cool judgment and intelligence on that end of the telephone. So let's not get anal about the scales on this particular red herring.

Posted by: e.R. Beardsley on March 6, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Even if it is true, a serious candidate never, ever compares her primary opponent unfavorably to the other party's nominee. It just isn't done.


Oh really? Then what about one of Obama's favorite stump bumps...

blah blah blah sending the same people to Washington and expecting different results blah blah blah

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: NOBODY is "ready on day one" to be President."

It's even worse than that: nobody has to be "ready on day one" to be President! Clinton is running on the Republican platform of fear: these are dangerous times and she's "ready". It's complete bullshit.

Posted by: PaulB on March 6, 2008 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK
you can see why some of us are getting tired of her bullshit. Posted by: drjimcooper on March 6, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

How utterly devastating, what a terrible blow. Poor Obama! And he defended himself by, what? If he had a response he would have made it. If he wasn't so incredibly vulnerable on this issue, this stuff wouldn't be driving you people into a tizzy.

I was at the point where I didn't care who won. But Obama is starting to look so incredibly fucking fragile, especially on this issue, that I don't see what you people think he's going to do in a general against McCain. His own response to this sort of thing is to chant "Iraq War, Iraq War, Iraq War" like it's a verbal talisman, and that might work in a Dem primary (although it hasn't even worked there so far), but no way in hell does it work in a general election. Obama has a serious problem here, Hillary didn't create it, and you people attacking Hillary for bringing it up now isn't going to make it go away.

Posted by: MG on March 6, 2008 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Shithead" has just gained 10 points on the insult market. Invest now. "Asshole" is down 12, but still a good buy for the long haul. Analysts claim that the relatively obscure "blackguard" could make a comeback, but the day traders are throwing their spare change at "fuckwad." Most industry watchers agree that the increasing emotional stakes in the primary season are the main variable driving the expletives and ad hominem markets at the moment.

Posted by: lobbygow on March 6, 2008 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

elmo,

In essence what she is saying is "if I don't win the nomination vote for my good friend Republican John McCain, He is much better than Democrat Obama." See what she is doing? She is making an endorsement. That is unheard of. It really is.

Obama's line is pretty standard outsider stuff. It isn't even comparable to what Hillary said. He sure as hell isn't endorsing Republicans.

Remember a few weeks ago when everybody got upset because Obama made a mild comment about Ronald Reagan being a President who changed the national conversation. What Hillary has said goes way, way beyond what Obama said. Reagan's dead. Obama was talking history. McSame is very much alive and here and now.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 6, 2008 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

LOL! That was awesome, lobbygrw!

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think a lot of things could come up again but I think your giving too much credit to the campaigns to say they originated with either Hillary or Obama.

And isn't the phone in Hillary's ad white? Mondale's ad had a pretty different tone IMO.

Posted by: B on March 6, 2008 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

"Equating out of context blurtings of advisors to the candidate herself endorsing the Republican over the Dem front-runner is simply stupid."

I agree -- the Obama gaffe is much worse. It underscores the amateurism and how not ready for the big-time he and his campaign are. He has no response for CLinton's criticism because they are true. Indicting Hillary for being honest is silly. The sooner Obama gets off the stage and throws his support behind Hillary the better. He can't match her experience and policy chops.

Posted by: Tom on March 6, 2008 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

I am so fucking sick of this election, where everyone (including you, Kevin) acts like every stupid thing the candidates say means life or death. You play it as a ballgame, and it's disgusting. Remember how worked up all of you were about Fred Thompson declaring his candidacy? You all could barely contain yourselves, tripping over even your own tongues to proclaim the importance of it and its significance for the presidential race. And the final result? Thompson was a limp dick who could barely even come out of his hotel room to campaign -- a complete loser of a candidate, with no hope whatsoever -- a joke, frankly. And not one of you -- Drum, Sullivan, Corner, Yglesias -- and all your bullshitters, had not a clue. And yet you keep deceiving yourselves and pretending like ever Obama fart matters. It is really disgusting what passes for punditry these days.

Posted by: David on March 6, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

See what she is doing? She is making an endorsement.

You've got to be kidding me? Endorsement? Wow. Do you really believe that if Obama wins, she will not endorse him?

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

The media is not being honest here. The full context of Susan Rice's comments can be found at http://swimmingfreestyle.typepad.com/swimming_freestyle/2008/03/msnbc-manipulat.html

Posted by: Jay McDonough on March 6, 2008 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo, I don't know what she will do. All I know is what she did.

I happened to think the 3:00 am ad was well within bounds and said so right here.

What she is doing now isn't.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 6, 2008 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

In essence what she is saying is "if I don't win the nomination vote for my good friend Republican John McCain, He is much better than Democrat Obama."

I don't think she's actually saying that. She's trying to make Obama's argument in reverse. That since John McCain is the opponent, you need to send someone that can go toe to toe with him. Problem is, she doesn't have a foot to stand on because she unenthusiastically supported the war and hasn't done much but oppose it on the margins.

Maybe it hurts Obama in the primary, although I doubt it. But it certainly hurts her in the general if she wins the nomination. She'll have locked herself into the Kerry, "I was for the war before I was against" trope.

Pretty stupid for someone with so much experience. And yes, this certainly will be used as an ad in the fall, whomever the nominee is.

Posted by: enozinho on March 6, 2008 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Now, there's no question that this stuff sucks. Hillary sucks more on this score since her team has been doing more of it than Obama's team, but they should both knock it off.

Alright, first, you're right that "this stuff sucks" and I've definitely noticed both campaign staffs making these kinds of gaffes. You're right that the remark Hillary made was a bad remark.

Having said that-- isn't it a little too familiar for you to write something like "Hillary sucks more on this score..." posted up on your blog for all to see, as one of our elder gentlemen and a representative of liberals? Whether you intend to our not, you represent all of us in some way by writing on this blog, and to use language like that in person among friends is one thing, but sort of "in public" on a blog that oversensitive sorts may read is another.

I and other commenters are just pseudononymous goofballs, so I think we can get away with writing something like that once in a while, but you're the "designated driver," Kevin, the square who's got to get us all home from the party.

Posted by: Swan on March 6, 2008 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

I mean, if you go an write it even though you know it's appearing on a big major blog that loads of people read, then those who perceive themselves as kind of moderate may look at it and think things like "Well, these liberals don't really care about anything, look at that..."

Posted by: Swan on March 6, 2008 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

I actually don't think McCain would be smart to allude to a Hillary endorsement in a general election. He'd probably do better kissing Ted Kennedy or telling his base that taxes had to go up.

I don't know about Hillary's comments. She's basically arguing she's a better matchup against McCain with respect to (the allusion of?) foreign policy experience. And she's backed up by Axelrod I guess. It's common to start out an argument with some sort of acknowledgement of an opponents strengths but it would help a lot if she quickly turned it around and emphasized that McCain's wrong on the war, wrong on terror, and wrong on diplomacy. Maybe she did and we're just getting a truncated quote.

Meanwhile, Obama's camp claims Hillary is more of the same, compares her to GWB and calls her a monster who will do anything to get power. Oh and she hates black people and thinks white people will respond positively to subliminal and overt race-baiting.

Posted by: B on March 6, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

I fail to see why Sen. Clinton could not have said, "Senator Obama's policy plans are certainly a step in the right direction. My policies are a giant stride in the right direction, which is why you should vote for me. The only wrong choice is to vote Republican; that's the fast track to disaster." It doesn't provide any ammunition for the GOP, and doesn't hurt Sen. Obama if he becomes the nominee. Since it doesn't mention Senator McCain by name, it's not a direct personal attack on him either.

Posted by: J D Eisenberg on March 6, 2008 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote:

I can think of several reasons why this is true, but before I commit those reasons to print I'd like to make sure that it actually is true. Anyone got any examples that come readily to mind? TV ads preferred, but debate references and stump speech sound bites would work too.

My guess is, it's unprecedented that primary staffs have provided so many great openings for the other party. I mean: "they're both both not ready to have that 3 am phone call."??? Give me a break!

Posted by: Swan on March 6, 2008 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

I've gone through the thread quickly, but I don't think anyone has mentioned Wolfson today accusing Obama of being like Ken Starr in calling for Clinton's financial records. Just incredible.

"WASHINGTON, March 6 (Reuters) - An aide to Hillary Clinton likened Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama to independent prosecutor Ken Starr on Thursday, comparing criticism of her to the 1998 probe that led to President Bill Clinton's impeachment.

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson criticized Obama's promise to take a more aggressive stance with the New York senator after she won three of four states on Tuesday in their hard-fought battle for the Democratic nomination to face Republican John McCain in November's election.

"I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president, but perhaps that theory will be tested," Wolfson told reporters.

Clinton Aide Likens Obama to Ken Starr

Posted by: nepeta on March 6, 2008 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo, I don't know what she will do.

Yes you do. There you go again, with another wingnut political stunt...

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta, really, how could anyone ever think going after the Clinton's financial records would make one think of Ken Starr?

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

ah yes, as always, both sides do it.

Posted by: sebastian on March 6, 2008 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

You don't see such ads because candidates, while making negative attacks in the primaries, are careful about how they phrase the attacks. You didn't hear Howard Dean, for example, praise Bush while contrasting him to Kerry. unlike the other comments you cited, the Clinton comments were tailor made for a McCain ad, and WILL be used.

Clinton is the devil. If she somehow wins the nomination, I hope she loses in a landslide. And this is coming from someone who thinks that McCain is crazy and will destroy the country, and hates the Republican establishment.

Posted by: LarryM on March 6, 2008 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

haven't fished through the comments yet...on the state level, I remember Ahnold using Westley's words against Phil A in a tv add.

Posted by: mainexileinsf on March 6, 2008 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

elmo,

As far as I remember, Ken Starr wasn't particularly interested in Clinton's financial records until he started investigating Whitewater. Even then, I don't remember a big deal about financial records. As special prosecutor, I'm sure he had access to them from day one. Obviously, this charge against Obama is really subtle. A reminder of long-past sympathy for Hillary and Bill? Some sort of warning that any vetting of Hillary should be seen as unjust? Lots and lots of levels here.

Posted by: nepeta on March 6, 2008 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Lots and lots of levels here.

You got that shit right...

Oh, and LarryM, LOL! You sound like a dieing chickenhawk on payday...

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

"nepeta, really, how could anyone ever think going after the Clinton's financial records would make one think of Ken Starr?"

I know you meant this sarcastically, but I think you're quite correct as written: how could anyone ever think that asking your political opponent to display her financial records would make one think of Ken Starr? There's just no correlation there.

Posted by: PaulB on March 6, 2008 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

I want to see Clinton's tax returns. Before she utters one more negative phrase or feigns one more tear.

As far as I'm concerned, she has no real party affiliation, and is undertaking a course of self-aggrandizement. I cannot point to a single thing she has done that proves she has competence in governing. She has riven the party. Her supporters arguments here are hollow. She threatens to disenfranchise and demoralize young people while keeping us at war perpetually. Her "win" in Texas was really a Republican cross-over selection of a WEAK candidate. She lost the caucuses as she almost always does. Even with her wealthy backers, she loses the donation battle every day. This means there are far more democratic Obama supporters--Republicans will give mostly to their own party even while they vote for her.

I defended her for years from right-wing attacks. She is an embarrassment--and is an accidentally famous person running for office. Her main qualification for office was that she did not divorce her husband after a public humiliation. Nothing about her, save name recognition, made her moderately qualified to run. She is inarticulate. Mean spirited. Dissembling (NAFTA????). And fatally flawed by selfishness. She and Lieberman need a retirement package and no longer deserve to be taken seriously.

Posted by: Sparko on March 6, 2008 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

"nepeta, really, how could anyone ever think going after the Clinton's financial records would make one think of Ken Starr?"

I agree. Obama and his band of mudslingers should head back to Chicago...they may have to anyway for Rezko's trial. I can't even fathom the hypocrisy of Obama trying to question Clinton's ethics when he's neck-deep implicated in the Rezko scandal. Time for O to go...

Posted by: Tom on March 6, 2008 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

"ah yes, as always, both sides do it."

Sebastian,

I guess I'm just so biased that at least until this past Tuesday (and not since then although perhaps I've missed something), I've seen the political campaign hatchet being wielded completely by Clinton. Part of Obama's problem now is how to respond to Clinton attacks while at the same time staying above the fray ethically. A big part of Obama's charm is his disavowal of DC politics as usual. So far it appears to me that his rational responses to Clinton attacks have worked, and I hope he keeps them coming, as well as refusing to 'throw the kitchen sink' at Clinton.

Posted by: nepeta on March 6, 2008 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Snarko, there's an easier way to say it. She's New Coke. The product you're suppose to buy because it has the right name, but you never really asked for in the first place.

Posted by: enozinho on March 6, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Sparko, not Snarko :)

Posted by: enozinho on March 6, 2008 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Tom: as you well know, the Clintons have more exposure to Rezco and his compatriots than Obama ever did. These are the kind of willfully dishonest attacks that disqualify your candidate. Truly embarrassing to see.

Posted by: Sparko on March 6, 2008 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'd have to go back & watch the interview again, but I'm virtually positive that Susan Rice didn't limit her discussion to Clinton & Obama. She was pointing out the fairly obvious fact that none of the candidates -- including McCain, whom she indicated by name -- had never been in any kind of executive position that would require this kind of response. She committed the sin of stating a very plain truth.

Posted by: junebug on March 6, 2008 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Snarko does have a nice ring of truth though. I admit it. But I want a democratic party ascendant and strong. New Coke Clinton has a bad after-taste.

Posted by: Sparko on March 6, 2008 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Junebug, a couple people addressed that in comments. But as I said up thread, bloggers who spend a ton of ink complaining about reports should look before they link. Armstrong has completely jumped the shark, but Kevin should know better.

Posted by: enozinho on March 6, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

I cannot point to a single thing she has done that proves she has competence in governing.

SCHIP. Stupid.

Posted by: elmo on March 6, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo: SCHIP; that was a great Veto debacle--right after funding the war indefinitely and suspending habeas corpus and threatening Iran. I also loved the way Clinton obtained universal health care for everyone in 1994. It saved my best friend's life. She kept me out of three wars. Oh yeah. Guess not. She has a famous husband and a temper. And my friend did not see the Bush years. Lucky guy.

Posted by: Sparko on March 6, 2008 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

"I agree. Obama and his band of mudslingers should head back to Chicago...they may have to anyway for Rezko's trial."

Tom,

Funny how Clinton hasn't really mentioned Rezko since one of the early debates, don't you think? Do you think it could have anything to do with what is posted on Josh Marshall's muckraker site, i.e., that the Clintons and/or Clinton supporters have received political donations from Rezko?

"Clinton's national co-chair received donations from Rezko. Three of the co-defendants at Rezko trial contributed to Clintons and campaign supporters. Obama didn't receive any donations from Rezko.

"Of the other five defendants, three have donated to the Clintons or to Clinton supporters, three have donated mostly to Republicans, and at least two have donated to Obama’s political opponents. None have donated to Obama."

Clintons Tied To Rezko

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

New Coke Clinton has a bad after-taste.

hmm. Like this?

"If you haven't tasted Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi, but would like an idea of what it tastes like, do this - keep a straw in your pocket and wander around outside until you find a pigeon or squirrel that's been dead for, oh, say three months. Stick the straw into the dead animal and suck. Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi tastes like that, except worse. Plus, the taste lingers in your mouth for months. And gradually gets worse until it's like your mouth was invaded by the notoriously rare and deadly Asian Shit Ant," - William K. Wolfrum.

I forget the original link--maybe Sully.

Posted by: paxr55 on March 7, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

pax55, Oh, so true re caffeine-free diet Pepsi. I used to drink it all the time but then they changed something (the sweetener?) several years ago and it's now undrinkable.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

She has a famous husband and a temper. And my friend did not see the Bush years. Lucky guy.

Why not? Didn't you save his life? If you are referring to a combat buddy, then you should show him more respect. You hate her, I get it, but I will not bow to your irrational epileptic fervor.

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

thanks, nepeta. I think it works on the allegorical level too. JMHO.

Posted by: paxr55 on March 7, 2008 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

I'm getting concerned about Hillary's mental stability. Seriously. She seems to believe in her own spin and exaggerations a little too much. Shades of Richard Nixon.

"I have crossed the threshold of Commander in Chief," says Hillary, who has no military training or experience. She believes in "truth by exertion" -- truthiness! We're getting into egomaniac territory here.

"I have 35 years of experience" -- er, doing exactly what? Doesn't matter, she's repeated it enough time she believes all 35 years counts as presidentially qualifying.

"I didn't know it was a bill to authorize war with Iraq." -- uh huh. You mean the bill titled "Resolution to Authorize War with Iraq."?

Hillary is the Democratic Rove. Repeat a falsehood enough times in a believable, forceful manner and it becomes "truth" in the MSM. Never thought I'd see a Democrat use dirty mudslinging against another Democrat.

Posted by: Elliott on March 7, 2008 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

junebug & enzohino,

I saw the Susan Rice clip tonight on Olbermann. Wow, what a show. I was wishing that the whole country was watching MSNBC. There's no doubt about where Keith Olbermann's sympathies lie. Anyway, I hadn't heard about the Susan Rice blunder but when she said "neither are prepared" I groaned. I'm almost certain that it was a verbal snafu and that she didn't mean to say that at all. Possibly both 'are' prepared. I thought she had a funny look on her face after she said it, as if she knew something she said hadn't made sense but she wasn't quite sure what it was. There would be absolutely no reason at all for her to say that 'neither' were prepared.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

hillary's shaping up to be the next nader

Posted by: c-bo on March 7, 2008 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen the full clip. I just saw Jerome's three second "Gotcha" version. From the transcript, it doesn't seem like a particularly forceful argument, but it's not a "Gotcha" either.

Ms. Rice: He hasn’t and he hasn’t claimed that he’s been in a position to have to answer the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning in a crisis situation. That’s the difference between the two of them. Hillary Clinton hasn’t had to answer the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning. And yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They’re both not ready to have that 3:00 a.m. phone call.

The question is and what Barack Obama raised is, when that phone call is received for each of them for the first time, who’s going to make the right judgment? Who is going to make the right decision?

On the critical foreign policy issues of the day, whether it was a decision to go to war in Iraq or the decision to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt and beat the drums of war with Iran, Hillary Clinton has made the same wrong judgment as John McCain and George W. Bush. Barack Obama has made a very different judgment.

So neither one of them, and nor John McCain for that matter, have had that 3 o’clock phone call that others have had. And I think we have to be honest about that.]

Posted by: enozinho on March 7, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

pax55 - For sure, it certainly works on the allegorical level! I wouldn't want this thread hijacked to a discussion of our favorite soft drinks. (big grin)

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

"I have 35 years of experience" -- er, doing exactly what?

Look, fool. She stayed in law school an extra year to work on a case that secured rights for special education children. 35 years ago.

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

nepeta and pax, please, the geek shit doesn't make you look cool...

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

"I have 35 years of experience" -- er, doing exactly what?

I bet her helping in the Nixon impeachment hearings means nothing to you too...

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

enzohino,

Interesting. That really doesn't sound like the Rice quote I heard on Countdown. But maybe it is. I can't believe she would have said something similar twice. But this gets stranger and stranger. You're right. If she was going to say something like that, then she should have included McCain.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Sparko: "Tom: as you well know, the Clintons have more exposure to Rezco and his compatriots than Obama ever did."

Don't embarrass yourself with statements like that. It wasn't Clinton's name that was invoked by Tony Rezko's defense counsel in his opening statement today.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 7, 2008 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

She stayed in law school an extra year to work on a case that secured rights for special education children.

I'll have to remember this technique the next time I'm putting together my resume.

Posted by: enozinho on March 7, 2008 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

remind me; when the phone rang at 3AM in the glorious Reagan era, whose job was it to decide whether or not to wake the President?

Posted by: thersites on March 7, 2008 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

"I bet her helping in the Nixon impeachment hearings means nothing to you too..."

elmo,

I don't know who you addressed this to, but for me, no, her participation in the Nixon impeachment hearings doesn't mean a whole lot to me. I do think that it was a great opportunity for her though.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

"She stayed in law school an extra year to work on a case that secured rights for special education children."

Are you sure that's why she stayed in law school an extra year? She didn't pass her first state bar exam even with the extra year.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

her participation in the Nixon impeachment hearings doesn't mean a whole lot to me. I do think that it was a great opportunity for her though.

Well, so, what does count as experience to you? And what exactly gives Obama the experience you say he has?

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Are you sure that's why she stayed in law school an extra year? She didn't pass her first state bar exam even with the extra year.

But she did help secure rights for special education students, and continues to do so to this day.

Results mean more than words.

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

nepeta: "Funny how Clinton hasn't really mentioned Rezko since one of the early debates, don't you think?"

She hasn't really had to, has she? It's all over the news -- just like I told you months ago that it would be, once Rezko's trial got underway.

nepeta: "Do you think it could have anything to do with what is posted on Josh Marshall's muckraker site, i.e., that the Clintons and/or Clinton supporters have received political donations from Rezko?"

That should be an easy thing to prove. Why don't you?

After all, you're the one who's making this serious allegation. Certainly you can support that contention with something more than offering up unsubstantiated hearsay and innuendo offered up by one moonbat (Margie Burns) and referenced by another (Gary Cohen), who actually insists that "Obama didn't receive any donations from Rezko.".

Show us the evidence, i.e., who gave what to whom, when and where. Good luck, and have fun.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 7, 2008 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

...unsubstantiated hearsay and innuendo offered up by one moonbat (Margie Burns) and referenced by another (Gary Cohen)...

Same-O same-O what they offer up over at TPM.

Posted by: Steve-O on March 7, 2008 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

elmo,

What matters to me isn't 'experience.' If that were the most important thing, then certainly John McCain should be elected as the next president. What matters to me most is ideology and integrity. Also, my intuitions are important to me when I have to make judgments about people. If the candidate's ideology tends to match my own, then I use intuition to finally decide zero in on things like integrity, honesty, substance, and character.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

What matters to me most is ideology and integrity.

You must be new to the game. Oh, I'm sorry, you don't play the game, right? It's the dissing of Hillary's integrity that sets me off. The woman gave her entire life to this country.

Also, my intuitions are important to me when I have to make judgments about people.

You see, that's the defense between me and you. My intuition is something I use like hope...when I got nothing else...

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Donald,

Did you read the story with specific donation amounts and by whom and to whom they were given? Donations to political campaigns aren't secret anymore. It's easy to check FEC data on political donations at opensecrets.org. I'm certainly not going to spend an hour documenting data that has been published at Josh Marshall's site. If you would like to disprove that data by doing the research, feel free.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

I'm trying to finally read up on this Rezko stuff. I'm having a hard time though, finding anything very damning. How Obama's time as a State Senator can be considered insignificant, while who he hung out with while he was there is apparently a huge deal, continues to elude me.

Don, do you have anything good that goes beyond the innuendo in the Sun Times? So far he seems to have extended his yard and employed an intern for a month. Is there anything beyond this? And no, bringing it up in every thread for months isn't going to do it if that's all there is.

Posted by: enozinho on March 7, 2008 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

elmo,

Integrity? Clinton? You can't be serious Even her supporters - the sentient ones, anyway - know that she has none. That's why they like her - they think it will take someone with no integrity to defeat the Republican slime machine.

Mind you, that's not enough for me. If the devil woman wins the nomination, I'm voting third party.

Posted by: LarryM on March 7, 2008 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

elmo,

"The woman gave her entire life to this country."

Oh, for God's sake, Elmo. This is absolutely pure drivel. The men and women who lost their lives in Iraq have given their entire lives to this country, with no help from Hillary Clinton I might add.

"My intuition is something I use like hope...when I got nothing else..."

You have my sympathy. Another word similar to intuition is instinct. Instinct is genetic and goes hand in hand with intuition, a total sum of lifetime experience, which are two of our greatest resources and probably our greatest defense against danger.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

It's easy to check FEC data on political donations at opensecrets.org. I'm certainly not going to spend an hour documenting data that has been published at Josh Marshall's site.

Wait...it's "easy" but it's going to take you an hour to back up what you posted so you're asking someone else to do your work?

You sound like a member of Team obama. You know...you just don't like paperwork...or work in general.

Posted by: on March 7, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

The definition of instinct is not "a total sum of lifetime experience". It is actually something you are born with, well some animals anyway. I'm supposed to be the stupid one around here, nepeta.

And don't throw the lives of the men and women that were lost in Iraq at me, or I can get real ugly real fast. You know damn well what I meant. And you know it is true.

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

on,

You don't trust Josh Marshall? Even though it was a reader comment which linked to a Margie Burns (?) blog with cites to the FEC and opensecrets.org, I don't think Josh would have published it without having double-checked the accuracy of the content. So if you want to disbelieve the info, go right ahead. If and when I feel like making it a federal case, perhaps I'll do some checking. It's hardly surprising information that rich Chicago businessmen have given large donations to Dems, including Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton (you have seen Rezko posing with the Clintons for a photograph, no?) as well as donations to Repubs. Doesn't surprise me in the least.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

elmo,

"It (instinct) is actually something you are born with, well some animals anyway"

That's how I described it, dear. Genetic.

I described intuition as the total sum of an individual's life experience. I don't know whether that's a good definition or not, it's just how I tend to think about it. Or it might be a talent, who knows?

You're right, Elmo. I did know what you meant. I apologize for the low blow. But your comment that 'she gave her entire life for this country' is just plain dumb. I wouldn't say the same thing about Obama either. He hasn't given his whole life for his country. Heck, I'd love to be a senator. I hardly see it as being a hardship. Well, sorry I guess it is for some people, since you only make a couple hundred grand/year.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

You're right, Elmo. I did know what you meant. I apologize for the low blow.

Fair enough, it's not like I haven't given my fair share of cheap shots. "Entire life" may be a little heavy, but she has given much much more than most of us, including Obama.

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

I'm really disappointed in you guys. Months of Rezko and no one is making the connection between this character, Obama, and the Nation of Islam.

Rezko meets Warith Deen Mohammad, and gets his career going in the 70's by joining Mohammad Ali's entourage. You probably don't know this, but their was a huge feud between Warith Deen, the son of Elijah Mohammad, and Louis Farrakhan. I actually saw Warith Deen speak once (true story), where I met "Raj" from What's Happening, who played him in the film Malcom X. Anyhoo. The Farrakhan black nationalist Nation guys would show up periodically to make a scene. They didn't like that Warith Deen had backed away from his father's more controversial teachings.

Somewhere while this is going on Rezko and Obama become friends. Business deals, fundraisers, whatever. By the late 90's Obama comes on the scene, suddenly Warith Deen and Farrakhan are friends again. Coincidence? Puts the Farrakhan endorsement in a new light though doesn't it?

ALSO, I'm pretty sure Leila Ali was on Oprah once... Clearly Obama needs to come clean about his Arab-Christian-Black-Nationalist-Muslim-Land-Grab-Scandal.

Posted by: enozinho on March 7, 2008 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

elmo,

"she has given much much more than most of us, including Obama"

Can you tell me what she has given? Do you feel that public service is somehow a hardship? She's been paid for her work in government as a senator, and it seems to me it's really interesting work. Being First Lady of the US or First Lady of Arkansas hardly seems like an awful sort of self-sacrifice. And how does being a corporate lawyer for 16 years count as giving anything to the country? Did I exaggerate the number of years of her law career? I think 16 is correct. I know she's done a few good things, such as working for the Children's Defense Fund and later working on education reform in Arkansas, albeit a failure as was her healthcare work in the Clinton administration. I just don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

I just don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Yes you do. You are just strategically avoiding it. But lets get to your side of the equation. What has Obama done that is so spectacular? Hillary has the sum of her parts, dismiss them as you may, but they amount to a lot of good. Obama has some catching up to do...

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

OK, Elmo, then I have to go to bed. But I already said that 'experience' isn't my No. 1 priority. And I'm certainly not going to follow you down the 'giving one's life to this country' as a means of reckoning. McCain would win that one too. So, remember, this is just a short list of Obama accomplishments: editor of the Harvard Law Review; community organizer helping laid off workers find jobs; Illinois state senator who sponsored a lot of progressive legislation; US senator with a voting record similar to Clinton's but as far as I can tell a much more active sponsorship and cosponsorship of important liberal legislation. I looked at this sponsorship issue last night at thomas.gov. I've probably forgotten a ton of things, but bedtime has been delayed too long already.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

Question for Hillary supporters: do you see a distinction between these arguments:

1. HRC's experience has given her better preparation to be Commander-in-Chief, and is an attribute that will place her well in a general election against McCain.

vs.

2. Only HRC and McCain have unquestionably crossed the threshold that will prepare them to be Commander-in-Chief.

Posted by: SH on March 7, 2008 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

This is easy. Too easy.

Obama was RIGHT about Iraq; He's ready for the 3 A.M. phone call.

Clinton was WRONG about Iraq; Clinton should NEVER be allowed to come close to being in the White House.

That's all it takes - Judgement.

Posted by: James on March 7, 2008 at 3:44 AM | PERMALINK

enozinho: "Clearly Obama needs to come clean about his Arab-Christian-Black-Nationalist-Muslim-Land-Grab-Scandal."

Interesting and humorous, in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way. But it's astonishing to see how many people buy into that srt of crap.

Obama is no Muslim, and quite frankly, there's nothing in his history to suggest that he'd have either the stomach or the backbone to be a black nationalist. I think he's a rather decent guy, and would make a great vice presidential candidate ...

;-)

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 7, 2008 at 4:06 AM | PERMALINK

nepeta: "I'm certainly not going to spend an hour documenting data that has been published at Josh Marshall's site. If you would like to disprove that data by doing the research, feel free."

But of course, you're not. I didn't think you would, when it's just so much easier to make an unsubstantiated allegation, and then place the burden of disproving your negative on someone else.

If it looks like horseshit and smells like horseshit, it IS horseshit. And you could fertilize a 40-acre truck farm with the contents of Gary Cohen's post at TPM.

Now, I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been keeping up with Josh Marshall since he overhauled and revamped Talking Points Memo. But really, what the hell is he thinking, allowing that sort of crap on his site? Is he now of the mindset that the combination of sober political analysis with a "madman in the attic" editorial perspective somehow constitutes a compelling business strategy?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 7, 2008 at 4:27 AM | PERMALINK

This is easy:
Clinton promises to release her tax returns as soon as Obama releases his calendar and schedules from his time in the Illinois legislature.
Obama then promises no more bogus mailers attacking Clinton's healthcare proposal and Clinton promises no more fear ads with phones (she will even throw in wolves) Obama then promises he will mention one specific legislative proposal in each speech from now on and Clinton will remove one item from her list and give a brief soliloquy on hope or change depending on the day. They each agree that the other is the second best presidential candidate ever.

The candidates enjoy this new campaign style so much Obama takes to wearing yellow pants suits and occasionally shedding a tear while Clinton starts delivering sermons on citizenship while wearing an endless variety of ethnic headdresses. In mid August, McCain renounces the nomination sensing there is no way he can compete with the Democrats. He is overheard by the press saying the new Obamaton team 'scares the bejesus out of me...will bludgeon me worse than the Cong ever did.'

PS At the convention the Democrats choose a Gore/Oprah ticket because Obamaton scares the shit out of them as well.

Posted by: could happen on March 7, 2008 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

Obama have right! Very interesting! http://www.spymac.com/details/?2349694

Posted by: Jeffrey on March 7, 2008 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

enozinho: "Don, do you have anything good that goes beyond the innuendo in the Sun Times? So far he seems to have extended his yard and employed an intern for a month. Is there anything beyond this? And no, bringing it up in every thread for months isn't going to do it if that's all there is."

I've said this before, so I really don't want to keep repeating myself -- but no, I don't think Barack Obama's done anything illegal. The person who I think is probably shitting bricks in that regard is Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, because Rezko was indicted for his part in a play-to-pay scam with the Illinois Teachers Retirement System, where he had set himself up as a gatekeeper for the governor.

But that's not the point. This isn't a legal problem for Obama, but a political one. He has been extraordinarily retiscent about discussing his long-standing relationship and friendship with Tony Rezko, and has put himself in the unenviable position of having to respond to reporters' queries each time there's a new revelation in the burgeoning scandal.

To be blunt, he makes it appear as though he's holding back or hiding something. Is it embarrassing that a candidate who's running as his party's white knight (no pun intended) should have a history with someone as oily as Tony Rezko? Probably. But at this point, he needs to heed the wisdom of Pulp Fiction's Marcellus Wallace: Fuck pride.

All told, this is a truly perplexing scandal -- and it IS a scandal, no doubt about it, because Obama's acting like it is when he dodges reporters' questions about the topic for months on end. Now, the Rezko issue holds very real potential to seriously compromise his campaign's central premise that he's a straight shooter.

My own feelings are that if it does, it's best that it happen during the primary season, and not in October, if he's on our party's ticket as either the nominee or the running mate.

Obama should have put this to bed months ago. He could have easily laid his cards on the table, taken some hits for the obvious lapse in personal judgment on his part in getting involved in that convoluted real estate deal with Rezko in the first place, and this matter would probably have blown over months ago.

But instead, Obama's been remarkably disingenuous from the moment he initially and falsely denied back in early 2006 that Rezko was anything more than a casual acquaintance. And once you've been caught en flagrante by the media, they smell blood in the water. He has been reluctantly forthcoming, and even then only in a reactive sense, certainly not a proactive one. That's where we are today.

So in the end, it really doesn't matter what you and I believe. This story is ripe for malevolent spin by the GOP, because it's become problematic. At this stage in the game, any complete disclosure now offered from the Obama camp is going to involve a convoluted explanation of a rather complicated series of real estate transactions and political fundraisers that will just be begging for misinterpretation and ridicule.

The Rezko scandal really exemplifies very questionable personal judgment on Sen. Obama's part. Demonizing the media for following the scent will not scare them off; that tactic has never really worked in the past, and it won't now.

There's an old saying amongst officers in the Marine Corps, in that you always stay ten yards ahead of your own dust cloud. Well, that was the lesson the Clintons hopefully learned from the decade-long Whitewater saga, and it applies equally to Obama now. He must come clean about his relationship with Rezko, before his own dust cloud envelopes him and cripples either his campaign or his career.

The ball is in Obamsa's court. It's up to him. He could well have his reasons for obfuscating the truth here, not because he personally did anything questionable, but because he might be close to someone who perhaps did.

Nuf ced. Good night.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 7, 2008 at 5:25 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary sucks more on this score since her team has been doing more of it than Obama's team ...

—Kevin Drum

By the time this lying skunk gets done trying to steal the nomination, 75% of the country will hate her fucking lying ass. And, anyone who thinks she will beat McCain, is nuts.

Posted by: Econobuzz on March 7, 2008 at 6:12 AM | PERMALINK

"What has Obama done that is so spectacular?"

No more, and no less, than Hillary. Did you have a point to make?

"Hillary has the sum of her parts"

As does Obama.

"dismiss them as you may, but they amount to a lot of good."

Funny, I was just thinking the same thing of Obama.

"Obama has some catching up to do..."

Not even remotely.

Posted by: PaulB on March 7, 2008 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

"and it IS a scandal, no doubt about it"

Really? Because I'm just not seeing it. And, so far, nobody has been able to demonstrate it. It's Whitewater revisited

Posted by: PaulB on March 7, 2008 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

"He could well have his reasons for obfuscating the truth here"

And your evidence that Obama is lying is, what, exactly?

Posted by: PaulB on March 7, 2008 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

Given that Vice President Cheney has apparently made his office more powerful and influential
than the President's, one wonders what Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton are achieving in their
continued efforts for the presidential nomination.

Obama consistently polls higher than Clinton against McCain. Clinton displays the "attack dog" characteristics desired in vice presidential candidates. And it keeps Bill out of the Oval Office.

What's not to like?

Posted by: LimaBN on March 7, 2008 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

"After all, you're the one who's making this serious allegation. Certainly you can support that contention with something more than offering up unsubstantiated hearsay and innuendo offered up by one moonbat (Margie Burns)"

Oh, for Pete's sake. Margie Burns may or may not be a moonbat, but she links to a credible site, opensecrets.org, that uses FEC data. If you want to dispute that, you're going to have to do a lot better than: "Oh, she's just a 'moonbat offering up unsubstantiated hearsay and innuendo'."

You can argue that the data isn't relevant, that it doesn't matter, that there's nothing wrong with these donations, and so forth, but you just make yourself look silly by denying information that's readily available.

Posted by: PaulB on March 7, 2008 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

Electioneering aside, the question is why does Obama have someone who clearly can't think straight under pressure as a foreign policy advisor, let alone one who functions as a spokesperson for him?

Posted by: larry birnbaum on March 7, 2008 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

It should be no surprise when moderate Republicans who register as Democrats run campaigns with Republican themes.

Posted by: Brojo on March 7, 2008 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Somebody has got to tell her to get herself under control.

Hillary is developing a Sybil problem, as noted by Bill Maher last Friday and by Larry David today. You never know which personality is going to show up.

Maher showed her in the vulnerable and emotional mode shedding tears in New Hampshire, followed by the "I'm so honored to be on the stage with with you" suck-up, followed by the scold, "Shame on you, Barack Obama", followed by the sarcastic witch mocking and ridiculing Obama in Ohio.

Obama, meanwhile, has remained cool and unflappable as usual. Very even keeled.

Larry David asked a relevant question: "Do you really want this nut answering the phone at 3 AM"?

Posted by: Pug on March 7, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Re: 9:19 AM comment

Obama's going to look a lot different when the media pulls the rug out from under him, so to speak, if/when Hillary drops out. Once they start doing ridiculous, bad stories on him, and he ends up having to spend half or more of his time on every public appearance in a defensive mode, it's not going to look so easy for him anymore.

Posted by: Swan on March 7, 2008 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

How dare she display a range of emotions! That is just classless. She needs to learn how to hypnotize people like Obama, then she will be ready to be President...

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary has a Rezko problem? How so?

She hoovered up campaign doantions from a fixer all too willing to give to any politician conceivably in position to help him down the road. She got money. He got his picture taken standing next to her.

Obama's the one who got into bed with Rezko. A sweetheart real estate deal. Carrying Rezko's water on some City of Chicago or State of Illinois orogram to fund elderly housing.

It's unlikely he has any legal liability. But he has a political problem that just won't go away. He hasn't been forthcoming, he dodges the hard questions, and it seems the longer the story hangs around, the deeper the shit Obama's standing in.

I don't know why Obama didn't put the Rezko mess to rest months ago. Was he arrogant? Inexperienced? Too loyal to a friend? Beats me. But he's now got a problem that sullies everything he's claiming about himself and what he can bring to this country as presdient.

To insist Hillary's got the same exposure to Rezko or faces the same political fallout from her ties to him as Obama is brain-dead stupid.

Posted by: Auto on March 7, 2008 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/time/1999/12/13/gore.html
Change Gore to Clinton and Bradley to Obama and this article could be written today.

Posted by: david on March 7, 2008 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

In a similar vein, Hillary said today that presidential candidates need to pass a "commander-in-chief threshold."

You know how you pass the commander-in-chief threshold? You get elected president. Nothing more to it than that. At least, that's the way it works according to the Constitution the last time I read it.

Posted by: Stefan on March 7, 2008 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Stop picking on Hillary. You're just doing it because she's a GIRL!

Damn your eyes.

Now, get back to dissing Obama.

Posted by: Hart Williams on March 7, 2008 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Auto,

I have read the stories about Obama and Rezko, and to insist Obama has a problem on the basis of the evidence currently known is equally brain-dead stupid. Whitewater was a ginned up scandal. The Clinton's lost money in the deal. This is an equally ginned up scandal. Obama paid FMV for the land in question and Rezko didn't give him anything.

Lets face it Rezko is one of those guys who hangs out with elite politicians trying to buy favors. He contributed to the Clintons and got his picture taken. He sucked up to Obama. They both live in Chicago. Big Deal. He sucked up to every other politician in Chicago.

There is no there there. Until you find something, I would suggest you move on to other issues.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 7, 2008 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Maher showed her in the vulnerable and emotional mode shedding tears in New Hampshire, followed by the "I'm so honored to be on the stage with with you" suck-up, followed by the scold, "Shame on you, Barack Obama", followed by the sarcastic witch mocking and ridiculing Obama in Ohio.

So she's a cold, calculating automaton or she displays a full range of human emotion? Er, which is it?

And why exactly is it bad to display different moods and emotions at different times depending on the circumstances? Because, uh, I think that's what most human beings do....

Posted by: Stefan on March 7, 2008 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on March 7, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

So she's a cold, calculating automaton or she displays a full range of human emotion? Er, which is it?

Precisely the question. Which is it?

Is she honored to be on the stage with Obama or is he worthy only of her scorn and ridicule? Or is it just, you know, whatever feels good at the time?

Is she the steely-eyed "Commander-in-Chief" ready for that 3 AM phone call, or is she the weeping, vulnerable, over worked woman?

And which one is answering the phone at 3 AM? 'Cause I'd like to know.

Posted by: Pug on March 7, 2008 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary said today that presidential candidates need to pass a "commander-in-chief threshold." And who's done that? "I believe that I've done that," she said.

Well, that makes me cringe. I support her candidacy, but this is one time where I have to speak up and criticize this kind of notion.

I'm sorry, but sleeping next to the guy who really is the Commander in Chief doesn't equate to passing the threshold, and I think she's getting some of the worst possible advice imagineable right now. If this is part of this whole Wolfson/Williams/Penn notion of good campaigning, they need to stop it. The people who ran Kerry's campaign should have been sued for malpractice, and the people running Clinton's campaign should also face a malpractice lawsuit when this is over.

This is not a reflection of sound campaigning--this is desperation and foolishness, actually. You don't assert you have "passed a threshold"--you assert that you can do the job. She CAN do the job, but to date, she HAS NOT done the job, so this kind of language is upsetting.

Clearly, McCain is not qualified to be Commander in Chief. They need to hit him on this every day. They need to get their hands on every possible anecdote about his temper and his vicious mouth. They need to find audio of him screaming at people and using profanity. They need to run ads where he calls people who question him "you little jerk" and they need to run video of him standing before the cameras to answer questions about his involvement with Charles Keating. Those press conferences were hilarious--McCain is basically caught lying and challenging the press at first but later has to recant everything and apologize.

Obama is just as qualified as Clinton to be Commander in Chief. And for me, the only qualification is, CAN you do the job? Because you don't elect an experienced President to their first term. You re-elect an experienced President for a second term.

Duh.

Posted by: Pale Rider on March 7, 2008 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Too bad John Edwards didn't do better.

Posted by: Randy Paul on March 7, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Donald--

On the NAFTA thread I posted a summary about Obama's links to Rezko. Apparently, I'm a thread killer because it's the last comment on that thread. For your perusal re the possible impact of the scandal on Obama.

Elizabeth

Posted by: e1 on March 7, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

mhr, don't try and make your Retadican pansy ass sound tough. A crisis to you is running out of cheese wiz...

Posted by: elmo on March 7, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Randy Paul on March 7, 2008 at 10:43 AM:

Too bad John Edwards didn't do better.

My thoughts exactly.

Posted by: grape_crush on March 7, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK


"Whitewater was a ginned up scandal."

Ron,
Maybe you should tell that David Alelrod. I think that's what Wolfson meant with his Ken Starr comment/


AXELROD: "I honestly -- with all due respect, I would think that the Clinton campaign would be the last person to be wanting to characterize any real estate transaction as unusual, but anyway, George, I'm sorry." [ABC This Week, 3/2/08]

Posted by: mm on March 7, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

George Bush has set the threshold for Commander in Chief so low that my pet goat could cross it.

Posted by: AJ on March 7, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, but sleeping next to the guy who really is the
Commander in Chief doesn't equate to passing the threshold...

Is Monica running?

Posted by: Econobuzz on March 7, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

I've read about the first 30 or so comments, and I'm going to stop right there, since about five addressed Kevin's question and the rest were primarily attacks on Hillary by Obama supporters. Color me surprised.

I think there's a significant difference between a GE candidate using the same criticisms against his opponent that were used in the primary, and actually using the fact that he was criticized by members of his own party in the primary. I think it's safe to say that McCain can think of using the experience theme against Obama with no help from Hillary. Just as Bush would likely have come up with Willie Horton against Dukakis, especially since Gore was criticizing the furlough plan, while Bush was specifically using the Willie Horton case.

I've been asking this same question for a while, and have yet to see anyone provide a definitive answer. Every time Hillary says something negative about Obajma, his supporters start spouting foolishness like "We'll see that clip in a McCain ad." But how many times has a candidate successfully said "Members of your own party criticized you for this in the primary"? I think most voters know how primaries work, and get that candidates will say things about each other. I haven't really seen anyone from either party using this tack other than Obama supporters. But then, they get the vapors any time anyone critices their candidate, so I guess that's to be expected.

Posted by: ChrisO on March 7, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

To reiterate above: Bush Sr took several primary attacks against Dukakis in his general. Gore had criticized the prison furlough program (although it was actually initiated by a previous Repub governor, and Dukakis signed legislation ending it). Bush expanded this to add race-baiting into the mix.

For an incumbent president, the mere existence of a primary challenge (1992, 1980, 1976, 1968) makes a pretty significant statement about the incumbent, and no incumbent has won in recent times in that state.

Posted by: tyronen on March 7, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Time to braek it down:


* fighting to seat the rule-breaking states of Florida and Michigan
* coming flat-out against a caucus in either state while downplaying the possibility of a recount (shades of Florida 2000?)
* winner-take-all-and-damn-the-collateral-damage attacks against fellow party members...
* HELLOOOOO, NAFTAgate?!

It's time to call a spade a spade: Hilary Clinton is a DINO Republican. Zell Miller must be proud.

Posted by: Cicero Hood on March 7, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

I just thought I'd point out that Ms Rice says that her comments were unfairly edited. She writes about it on the Huffington Post. (The article has both a transcript of her complete remarks and links to both the unedited video and the you tube edit that the Clinton Campaign sent reporters).

In any case, her point was that none of them have received any 3 am phone call, and what you look at is the judgement.

Posted by: Zel on March 7, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Ron Beyers

While you're telling people we have to "move on" from the Rezko scandal, you might take a minute to reflect on how awesomely stupid your analogy to Whitewater is. Whitewater was a scandal, and it had no substance. The two aren't mutually exclusive. It got Clinton impeached, for Christ's sake, so I think saying no one should be concerned about Rezko because it's like Whitewater is mind boggling.

I guess Whitewater would have never happened if you had only been there to tell people to "move on."

Posted by: ChrisO on March 7, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

"Obama was RIGHT about Iraq; He's ready for the 3 A.M. phone call.

Clinton was WRONG about Iraq; Clinton should NEVER be allowed to come close to being in the White House.

That's all it takes - Judgement."

Wow, I was against the war too! That means I'm qualified to be President. Although, I didn't make a speech in a park, so I guess there's that. Damn, I was so close. I didn't realize the threshold was so low.

Posted by: ChrisO on March 7, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Susan Rice, whom you quote with approval, is notoriously inept.

….an insightful video clip that summarizes succinctly the inept incompetence of the Obama foreign policy team. Susan Rice, a senior Obama foreign policy advisor, who served on the National Security Council and later as the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the State Department under Bill Clinton. We don’t know for sure what Barack or Hillary would do with a “3 a.m.” phone call, but we don’t have to wonder about Susan Rice. She sits on her hands doing nothing.
During her time on the National Security Council, as the senior person responsible for giving the President policy options on Africa, Rice reprised the role of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. She sat by while more than one million Rwandans were butchered in a bloody genocide. She let the phone ring and declined to offer any answer that would have saved lives. And she is one of Barack’s key advisors.
But Rice is wrong about Hillary. Hillary is quite ready to answer the 3am phone call. As someone who has been directly involved with such calls during the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations, I do know what I am talking about.
As I have said before, I have had the opportunity to brief Senator Clinton twice on terrorism and Iraq during the last three years. During the course of my career at the CIA, State Department, and as a consultant, I have briefed in one form or fashion more than 60 members of Congress, a Vice President, and a President. I have participated in briefings for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior military commanders. I entered my first meeting with Hillary with strong reservations about her competence (based entirely on what I had heard and read in the media). I walked out of that meeting very impressed. Hands down…

I realize that data from the Drudge Report and the opinion of lunatic Andrew Sullivan rank higher than that of Larry Johnson, Joseph Wilson, Paul Krugman and Sean Wilentz, but that is the way it goes.

In the meantime, another of Obama's foreign policy 'gurus', Samantha Power, brands Clinton a 'monster'

… In an unguarded moment during an interview with The Scotsman, Samantha Power, his key foreign policy aide, let slip the camp's true feelings about the former First Lady.
….
Ms Power told The Scotsman Mrs Clinton was stopping at nothing to try to seize the lead from Mr Obama.
"We f***** up in Ohio," she admitted. "In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win.
"She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything," Ms Power said, hastily trying to withdraw her remark….

Two words: Willie Horton Gore raised it in the primaries Michael Cohen at 9:28 PM
FoxNews spin, but false. Gore never mentioned Willie Horton. Posted by: Mike on March 7, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK
"Obama was RIGHT about Iraq; He's ready for the 3 A.M. phone call. Clinton was WRONG about Iraq….ChrisO at 11:37 AM
Lets see: Here's Clinton calling for withdrawal from Iraq in '05 and here are some Obama statements

….On July 27, 2004, he told the Chicago Tribune on Iraq: "There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage." In his book, The Audacity of Hope, published in 2006, he wrote, "...on the merits I didn't consider the case against war to be cut-and- dried." And, in 2006, he clearly said, "I'm always careful to say that I was not in the Senate, so perhaps the reason I thought it was such a bad idea was that I didn't have the benefit of US intelligence. And for those who did, it might have led to a different set of choices."

On examination, Obama isn't as pure on this issue as his followers like to believe especially since he has voted for war funding at every opportunity.

What matters to me isn't 'experience.' ….nepeta at 1:23 AM

You have made it abundantly clear that what matters to you are pleasing platitudes

Posted by: Mike on March 7, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK
…Clinton is running on the Republican platform of fear….PaulB at 10:38 PM
While all times are dangerous, that is not her campaign platform.
Obama consistently polls higher than Clinton against McCain. …. it keeps Bill out of the Oval Office. LimaBN at 8:02 AM
Here is a tracking poll McCain Vs Obama Clinton Obama, Clinton. Not much difference. While you like to ignore Obama's negative ads, they exist in abundance and not only his Harry & Louise attacks. He also used of false quotes with NAFTA attacks. People who remember the 90's as a time of economic growth, peace and prosperity with the reduction of the deficit and respect for America throughout the world have no problem with Bill.
…Hilary Clinton is a DINO Republican…. Cicero Hood on at 11:28 AM
Yet it is Obama who talks of putting the likes of Hagel, Lugar in his cabinet

…Hagel and Lugar are both rank conservatives….there is simply no way to describe either of them as centrist, much less progressive. Hagel's lifetime score on progressive punch is 9.27 out of 100, while Lugar's is 12.46 out of 100. Both of them are only very slightly to the left of the craziest wingers out there.
Obama sends out regular signals that he will govern in a very centrist fashion. Running Harry and Louise ads and appointing Bush Dog Jim Cooper as a spokesperson on health care make that obvious enough. His praise of Reagan and bragging that he is more bipartisan than the DLC also make that clear. He has no problem letting you know that he's "not one of those people who cynically believes Bush went in only for the oil," that he isn't a "anti-military, 70s love-in." He scolds unknown progressives for thinking that "every mention of God is automatically threatening a theocracy," and reminded everyone that Social Security faces a crisis. Now, he is sending out signals that will be appoint Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar to incredibly powerful posts such as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense.
Here is the thing: what counter-indications had Obama given that he will govern as a progressive? I honestly can't think of any….

While Clinton is slightly left of center, at least she doesn't promise cabinet posts to crazed Bushistas and sing paeans of praise to Reagan.


Posted by: Mike on March 7, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

But lets get to your side of the equation. What has Obama done that is so spectacular? Hillary has the sum of her parts, dismiss them as you may, but they amount to a lot of good. Obama has some catching up to do...

More bullshit from elmo. No one on Obama's side said anything about Obama being the "experienced" candidate or "passing the commander-in-chief threshold". Those are quotes directly from Hillary, don't get so prickish when people ask her, or her supporters, to back up those assertions.

Clinton's resume is as "paper thin" as Obama's. She's had 1 more term in the Senate...whoopee. McCain's been there for 20+ years. She's very intelligent and very competent but this "I'm experienced" stuff is nonsense. Her political career consists of her being First-Lady of Arkansas and later the US, and then being elected to the Senate for 2 terms....that's it.

Not sure why her and her supporters think that that so clearly trumps Obama's time in the Illinois and US Senate, and makes her qualified to be commander-in-chief while Obama is not. It's a laughable contention and it's incredible that she's being allowed to get away with it.

Posted by: Joe on March 7, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Just in case anyone is keeping track. Samantha Powell just resigned from the Obama campaign.

Clinton wins another news cycle, hooray for her! Funny how when this primary was about substance she was getting her hat handed to her. But questions must be answered, charges must be addressed.

Old politics, bleh.

Posted by: enozinho on March 7, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, Susan Rice said none of the candidates, including McCain, is ready for the 3 a.m. call because a 3 a.m. call is not the sort of thing anyone can be "ready" for. She then went on to talk about judgment, etc. etc.

Obviously if she's going to speak in public she needs to be careful of saying things that can be so easily excerpted to create something misleading. But, the willingness of the media -- including you, Kevin Drum -- to simply accept these exceprts at face value is part of the problem.

Posted by: LynnDee on March 7, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is positioning herself as McCain Lite, how could she possibly think that will help her in the general election?

If she (by hook or by crook) wins the Democratic nomination, I will not be voting for this insane Democratic party come this fall.

Posted by: anon on March 7, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I seem to recall that, in the 2006 CA gubenatorial campaign, Schwarzenegger used Steve Westly's attacks on Phil Angelides' environmental record in his own ads.

Posted by: KenS on March 7, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB: "You can argue that the data isn't relevant, that it doesn't matter, that there's nothing wrong with these donations, and so forth, but you just make yourself look silly by denying information that's readily available."

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Have YOU looked at the website and the data?

Hell, I can offer you a link to a credible website myself, but if I selectively pick out bits and pieces in order to deliberately misinterpret or misrepresent to you what's on that site, then I'd be bullshitting you. Well, that's exactly what Burns did.

Others like Cohen on TPM took it one step further, and said unequivocally that it proves that Tony Rezko never donated money to Barack Obama's campaigns.

Well, that's positively loopy. Obama is clearly the candidate with the Rezko problem, not Hillary Clinton. By saying or alluding otherwise, well, let's just say that these people are way out there orbiting with the Hubble Telescope. If you want to join them, be my guest.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 7, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

e1: "For your perusal re the possible impact of the scandal on Obama."

Thank you, Elizabeth.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 7, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Others like Cohen on TPM took it one step further, and said unequivocally that it proves that Tony Rezko never donated money to Barack Obama's campaigns.

Huh?

Here's what opensecrets.org has to say about that--Rezko and his wife have been big donors to damned near everybody:

REZKO, ANTOIN $10,000 Obama, Barack
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN $2,000 Jackson, Jesse Jr
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,250 Illinois Victory '96
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Blagojevich, Rod R
GLENVIEW,IL 60025
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Abraham, Spencer
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Blagojevich, Rod R
GLENVIEW,IL 60025
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Campbell, Tom
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Gash, Lauren Beth
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Gash, Lauren Beth
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Streeter, Allan
CHICAGO,IL 
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Gutierrez, Luis V
CHICAGO,IL 60622
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Gutierrez, Luis V
CHICAGO,IL 60622
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Quinn, Pat
CHICAGO,IL 
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Gutierrez, Luis V
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Obama, Barack
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN $1,000 Phelps, David
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN $815 Abraham, Spencer
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN $500 Obama, Barack
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN $500 Obama, Barack
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN ($500) Obama, Barack
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN ($1,000)LaHood, Ray
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN S $15,000 DNC Services Corp
GLENVIEW,IL 60025
REZKO, ANTOIN S $5,000 Democratic Party of Illinois
CHICAG,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $2,000 Majette, Denise L
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN S $2,000 Boxer, Barbara
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN S $2,000 Kerry, John
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, ANTOIN S $1,000 Gutierrez, Luis V
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $1,000 Kirk, Mark
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $1,000 Rush, Bobby L
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $1,000 Gutierrez, Luis V
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $1,000 Gutierrez, Luis V
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $1,000 Moseley-Braun, Carol
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $1,000 Gutierrez, Luis V
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $1,000 LaHood, Ray
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $1,000 Kerry, John
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S $500 Steele, Bobbie L
CHICAGO,IL 60622
REZKO, ANTOIN S $500 Palmer, Alice J
GLENVIEW,IL 60025
REZKO, ANTOIN S $500 Palmer, Alice J
GLENVIEW,IL 60025
REZKO, ANTOIN S $500 Giles, Percy Z

REZKO, ANTOIN S MR$1,000 Gore, Al
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOIN S MR$1,000 Bush, George W
GLENVIEW,IL 60025
REZKO, ANTOINE $1,000 Obama, Barack
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOINE $250 National Republican Congressional Cmte
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTOINE MR.$1,000 Touma, Leslie Ann
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, ANTONIO $1,000 Lazio, Rick A
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, RITA $1,000 Obama, Barack
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, RITA $1,000 Gutierrez, Luis V
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, RITA $1,000 Obama, Barack
GLENVIEW,IL 60025
REZKO, RITA $500 Palmer, Alice J
GLENVIEW,IL 60025
REZKO, RITA $500 Palmer, Alice J
GLENVIEW,IL 60025
REZKO, RITA $500 Obama, Barack
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, RITA $500 Obama, Barack
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, RITA ($500) Obama, Barack
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, RITA MRS.$1,000 Touma, Leslie Ann
CHICAGO,IL 60610
REZKO, RITA S $1,000 Gutierrez, Luis V
CHICAGO,IL 60615
REZKO, RITA S $1,000 Fitzgerald, Peter G
WILMETTE,IL 60091
REZKO, TONY MR $4,000 Bush, George W
WILMITTE,IL 60091
REZKO, TONY MR $2,000 Bush, George W
WILMITTE,IL 60091
REZKO, TONY MR ($2,000)Bush, George W
WILMITTE,IL 60091

Posted by: Pale Rider on March 7, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Willie Horton. and when people cried foul the Bushies said "Al Gore used it first" though of course, Al Gore used it differently with a different emphasis.

Posted by: Kija on March 7, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

"-Rezko and his wife have been big donors to damned near everybody" - Pale Rider

And that, of course, was the whole point! Cohen or Burns did not say that Rezko had NEVER given money to Obama. I assume Cohen's statement meant that Rezko didn't give money to Obama for his presidential run. He also mentioned that he gave money to Clinton for her NY Senate campaign. Now that you've made it look so easy, Pale, I'm going to go take a look myself. But, yes, the point is that Rezko and his co-defendents gave money to many politicians, both in IL and across the country.

Posted by: nepeta on March 7, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm late here, and it might have already been said above.

But even if the comments aren't used by competitors in the general election, they will certainly be used by Tim Russert in a gotcha interview with the losing candidate.

Posted by: af on March 8, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK
....Funny how Clinton hasn't really mentioned Rezko since one of the early debates, don't you think?... Obama didn't receive any donations from Rezko. .... nepeta at 12:00 AM
No and why should she? Trying to claim vindication by lack of action is sloppy reasoning. Yes Rezko did contribute to Obama

...Obama continued to say that reporters' interest was due to the fact this was "a hot story."
He claimed that his campaign would be happy to provide the details, but when asked why the campaign hadn't been forthcoming, he said, "What happens is these requests I think can go on forever, and, at some point, we've tried to respond to what's pertinent to the question that's been raised." He added, "There's no question that he raised money for us, and there's no dispute that we've tried to get rid of that money."...

Your other point is another classic attempt at misdirection. Rezko was a financial backer Obama's entire political career. What others did is completely irrelevant to Obama's judgment in accepting favors from Rezko after it became know that Rezko was in legal trouble.

Rezko raisedmoney for Obama over the years and was his biggest supporter

…Mr. Obama turned to Mr. Rezko for help at several important junctures. Records show that when Mr. Obama needed cash in the waning days of his losing 2000 Congressional campaign, Mr. Rezko rounded up thousands of dollars from business contacts. In 2003, Mr. Rezko helped Mr. Obama expand his fund-raising for the Senate primary by being host of a dinner....The land sale occurred after it had been reported that Mr. Rezko was under federal investigation. That awkward fact prompted Mr. Obama, who has cast himself as largely free from the normal influences of politics, to express regret over what he called his own bad judgment.....…

You are one of Obama's most dishonest dissemblers.

Posted by: Mike on March 8, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Others like Cohen on TPM took it one step further, and said unequivocally that it proves that Tony Rezko never donated money to Barack Obama's campaigns."

Donald,

That's crazy. He said no such thing. From Cohen's TPM post:

"Meanwhile—That Rezko donated over the years like a political junkie, and may have been one, has already been written about by Buzzflash. Rezko himself gave mostly to Dems, with the largest amts going to central committees, other donations to national figures incl GWBush ($4000), and frequent contributions over the years to IL politicians incl Rod Blagojevich, Luis Gutierrez, and former senators Carol Moseley-Braun and Peter Fitzgerald as well as the donations to Barack Obama that Hillary Clinton pointed out."


Posted by: nepeta on March 8, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta is part of the Obama talkingpoints net squad. Don't take her bullshit personally just realize she paints Obama in the best possible light and Clinton in the worse way. Her job is spin so that is what she does

Posted by: nepeta is on the Obama payroll on March 9, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kennedy's 1980 speech makes no sense on economics grounds. At one level, he says no more high interest rates which was James Tobin's frustration with the tight monetary policies from the Volcker FED. But then Kennedy said we needed to end inflation. But wasn't that what the Volcker tight money was doing. OK, the Reagan crew had similarly inconsistent economic rhetoric. It's a shame that Ted Kennedy rsorted to the same misleading rhetoric.

Posted by: pgl on March 9, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

'nepeta is on the Obama payroll'

Don't I wish! Unfortunately, my support for Obama is given freely, based on my perceptions of the two Dem candidates, their ideologies, their records, their integrity. No more, no less.

Posted by: nepeta on March 9, 2008 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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