Friday, February 29, 2008

Clinton math

From CNN:

Seeking to raise the expectations for its rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign said Friday that Sen. Barack Obama needs to sweep the March 4 primaries.

The Illinois senator should win all four states — Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont — decisively, given the amount of money and resources he has devoted to them, the Clinton campaign said in a memo circulated to reporters.

"If he fails to garner big wins, there's a problem," the memo states.

(Full Article)

So by her logic, she can loose 11 straight contests and still be a contender, but if Obama looses 1 or 2 out of the next 4 he's got a problem.


Hillary takes another page out of Giuliani's playbook

The Clinton camp is now running the following shamelessly Republican-like, fear-based ad:

Obama's swift response:

Score: Obama

Clinton Denounces Hispanic Supporter's Comments About Obama...

...But does she "reject" her?

Kris Alingod writes for All Headline News:

Clinton was quoted by the Dallas Morning News as saying in a short statement that she "denounces and rejects" Callejo's omments. The former First Lady previously refused to reject the support of Callejo, saying in an a television interview: "I want us judged on our merits. I believe strongly that the fact that we have an Aftrican Ameircan and a woman running for the Democratic nomination is historical and I'm very very proud of that. I want people thought to look beyond, look beyond race and gender."

"This is a free country. People get to express their opinions," she added. "A lot of folks have said really unpleasant things about me over the course of this campaign. You can' take any of that as anything other than an individual opinion."

Some observers have noted that Clinton refused to condemn Callejo's comments in spite of her insistence that Obama denounce Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan's endorsement of him.

(Full Article)

¡Yo amo George Lopez!

Lopez on Obama:
"For all the people who say Latinos won't vote for African-Americans, I'm looking out in the crowd and 80 percent of us are darker than him, including me. Throw that out the window."

¡Soy puro Obama!

From: Puro Obama

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Texas Republicans cross over to vote for Obama

Alex Johnson writes for MSNBC:

One of Sen. Barack Obama’s surest applause lines comes about halfway into his standard stump speech. It goes like this:

“They whisper to me. They say, ‘Barack, I’m a Republican, but I support you.’ And I say, ‘Thank you. Why are we whispering?’”

If the latest polling data are to be believed, those Republicans aren’t whispering in Texas, where 195 of the 228 delegates the state will send to the Democratic National Convention will be chosen in a primary and caucuses Tuesday.

As many as a tenth of the Texans voting in the Democratic contests could be Republicans, and overwhelmingly they favor Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, the polls show.

“I ran for Republican precinct chair. I went to the Republican state convention,” said one of them, Donald Rau of Austin, who has already voted in early balloting. “In this election, I voted for Barack Obama.”

(Full Article)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

George Lopez stumping for Obama in Texas...

Pure genius!

I agree 100%.
Nader is someone to be respected and revered. But he also needs to learn when to just sit down and shut the fuck up.

Maureen Dowd tells it like it is...

In her Op-Ed for the NY Times today, Maureen Dowd speaks truth on the debate and train wreck that is the Clinton campaign:

She has been so discombobulated that she has ignored some truisms of politics that her husband understands well: Sunny beats gloomy. Consistency beats flipping. Bedazzling beats begrudging. Confidence beats whining.

Experience does not beat excitement, though, or Nixon would have been president the first time around, Poppy Bush would have had a second term and President Gore would have stopped the earth from melting by now.

Voters gravitate toward the presidential candidates who seem more comfortable in their skin. J.F.K. and Reagan seemed exceptionally comfortable. So did Bill Clinton and W., who both showed that comfort can be an illusion of sorts, masking deep insecurities.

The fact that Obama is exceptionally easy in his skin has made Hillary almost jump out of hers. She can’t turn on her own charm and wit because she can’t get beyond what she sees as the deep injustice of Obama not waiting his turn. Her sunshine-colored jackets on the trail hardly disguise the fact that she’s pea-green with envy.

After saying she found her “voice” in New Hampshire, she has turned into Sybil. We’ve had Experienced Hillary, Soft Hillary, Hard Hillary, Misty Hillary, Sarcastic Hillary, Joined-at-the-Hip-to-Bill Hillary, Her-Own-Person-Who-Just-Happens-to-Be-Married-to-a-Former-President Hillary, It’s-My-Turn Hillary, Cuddly Hillary, Let’s-Get-Down-in-the-Dirt-and-Fight-Like-Dogs Hillary.

Just as in the White House, when her cascading images and hairstyles became dizzying and unsettling, suggesting that the first lady woke up every day struggling to create a persona, now she seems to think there is a political solution to her problem. If she can only change this or that about her persona, or tear down this or that about Obama’s. But the whirlwind of changes and charges gets wearing.

By threatening to throw the kitchen sink at Obama, the Clinton campaign simply confirmed the fact that they might be going down the drain.


Hillary and her aides urged reporters to learn from the “Saturday Night Live” skit about journalists having crushes on Obama.

“Maybe we should ask Barack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow,” she said tartly in the debate here Tuesday night. She peevishly and pointlessly complained about getting the first question too often, implying that the moderators of MSNBC — a channel her campaign has complained has been sexist — are giving Obama an easy ride.

Beating on the press is the lamest thing you can do. It is only because of the utter open-mindedness of the press that Hillary can lose 11 contests in a row and still be treated as a contender.

Emphasis mine.

(Full Article)

A must read.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

That's a wrap...

Right off the bat, let me just say that Tim Russert almost, almost blew this by being overly aggressive with Clinton early on.
Thankfully he evened it out by coming down on Obama in the second half, thus avoiding a possible claim of bias.

That said...

I have never been as proud to be an Obama supporter as I was during this debate.
He didn't just have his best debate of the primaries. He had the best debate of the primaries.
He was incredibly "Presidential". Calm, focused, on point, aggressive but not overly so, and willing to compliment ideas admirably.
He showed an impressive, sure-footed command of the majority of the issues discussed.

He wasn't perfect. He had his waffling moments (particularly in the area of public financing in the general election), but his overall performance was sharp and solid.
He also displayed both his brilliant skill at deflecting non-issues, as well as a smoothly-handled ability to concede where Clinton's points warranted it.

Despite my committed support of Obama in this blog, I have been forthright in my past criticism of Obama's debating skills in other forums.
I'm not shy about pointing out where he needs to pull it together.

But tonight, due credit has to be given. He. Kicked. Ass.
Perfect tone to end the final debate on.

Clinton, as always, displayed her impressive command of policy minutia.
But beyond that, I think her tone in the beginning of the debate hurt her considerably.
Whether or not you feel that a debate moderator is acting in a way that is biased, there is simply a right and wrong way to react to it.
She reacted the wrong way. It came off sounding like one of Mike Gravel's notorious sarcastic rants.
Contrasted with Obama's coolness, Clinton did herself a disservice. Her objections looked foolish as it became clear that the she was not being unfairly questioned first the entire time (indeed, there were just as many first questions for Obama, and a few questions that were asked of them both simultaneously which Clinton jumped in to answer first on her own accord), and that Russert nailed Obama on some controversial issues for his campaign as well.

The second half of the debate was much stronger for her, but it was not the performance she needed to deliver to slow Obama's momentum.

A candidate was clearly chosen tonight, and his name is Barack Obama.

Bits from the SOTBU

Some highlights from the State of The Black Union...

Dick Gregory on "The Black President"...

Michael Eric Dyson: "If Barack Obama becomes president"...

Al Sharpton on "Changing the rules"...

I never thought I'd find myself actually agreeing with Al Sharpton.

Associated Press does a fact check on Clinton and Obama regarding NAFTA

Calvin Woodward writes for the AP:

Thanks to past equivocations, the Democratic presidential candidates have left themselves open to the criticisms and misrepresentations they are now turning against each other as they scramble to dissociate themselves from a trade agreement they once praised — with qualifications.

The root of their ambivalence is their shared belief in "free and fair trade," which, on the surface, almost anyone can subscribe to.

The problem is that "fair" trade means restrictions on "free" trade, a gloss-over that allows politicians to have it both ways when saying where they stand on NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and similar deals.

In picking apart the other's this-but-that position, they are seizing on the "this," and ignoring the "that," in the interest of winning voters in the primary next week in Ohio, where the trade deal is blamed for lost jobs.

The dustup spilled into the streets Tuesday when dozens of protesters who oppose free trade gathered outside Clinton's office in New York City. Several apparently shackled themselves to a front door of the building before police came.

Obama on his position: "I don't think NAFTA has been good for Americans, and I never have."

Obama on her position: "She was saying great things about NAFTA until she started running for president."

Obama campaign mailer in Ohio: "Hillary Clinton believed NAFTA was a 'boon' to our economy," and "Only Barack Obama consistently opposed NAFTA."

Obama has been consistently ambivalent.

In his 2004 Senate campaign, he said the U.S. should pursue more deals such as NAFTA, and argued more broadly that his opponent's call for tariffs would spark a trade war. AP reported then that the Illinois senator had spoken of enormous benefits having accrued to his state from NAFTA, while adding that he also called for more aggressive trade protections for U.S. workers.

"We need free trade but also fair trade," he said, taking the dodge.

Obama is correct that Clinton has praised NAFTA in various ways, but he leaves out the qualifications she's expressed along the way.

And she did not say NAFTA was a "boon," as the mailer states on its ominous cover, depicting a locked factory gate. "Boon" was a newspaper's characterization of her position, which is reprinted inside the mailer.

Clinton on her position: NAFTA was "negotiated under President George H.W. Bush and it was passed during my husband's presidency. But I was always uncomfortable about certain aspects of it, and I have always made that clear."
Clinton mailer on Obama's position: "Ohio needs to know the truth about Obama's position on Protecting American Workers and NAFTA."

Her implication that NAFTA was simply a spillover from the first President Bush and passively made law under President Clinton ignores the fierce lobbying Bill Clinton engaged in to get the deal ratified by Congress. Hillary Clinton helped him in that effort.

President Clinton used his faith in free trade as a core issue to distinguish himself from Democratic orthodoxy and establish a "third way" between politics of the left and right.

Hillary Clinton counted NAFTA among her husband's leading accomplishments, despite her publicly expressed misgivings about parts of it.

In 1996, when the pact was three years old, she said the trade deal with Mexico and Canada was giving U.S. workers a chance to compete. "That's what a free and fair trade agreement like NAFTA is all about," she said. "I think NAFTA is proving its worth."
In a speech to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council in 2002, she said this of her husband's record:

"The economic recovery plan stands first and foremost as a testament to both good ideas and political courage. National service. The Brady bill. Family leave. NAFTA. Investment in science and technology. New markets....

"All of these came out of some very fundamental ideas about what would work. The results speak for themselves."

The Clinton mailer accurately quoted news stories from 2004 describing Obama's call for more NAFTA-like agreements and his belief that the deal has brought benefits to his state. But the mailer was strikingly selective, leaving out qualifications he emphasized at the time, and were closely linked in the news stories.

In one such example, he said: "The problem in a lot of our trade agreements is that the administration tends to negotiate on behalf of multinational companies instead of workers and communities."

(Full Article)

No matter how you slice it, Clinton has been more positive about NAFTA than Obama.
Score: Obama.

The Clinton-Obama Exchange You Might Have Missed

Writing for the Partnership For A Secure America blog, Matthew Rojansky offers a sober look at the philosophical differences between Obama and Clinton:

It may not be big news that Hillary and Obama have dramatically different political styles, but given how close they are on substance, many still undecided voters—and superdelegates—may be looking for some indication of how those differences in style are likely to play out. I think last Thursday’s debate offered us a valuable glimpse. At worst, a President Obama might be accused of being more style than substance, but at best, he could be the inspiration around which centrists coalesce to make real progress on dozens of longstanding “stuck issues” in Washington. A President [Hillary] Clinton, on the other hand, will definitely make a lot of new policy, but she’s not likely to make a lot of new friends, and that suggests her great ideas might not go anywhere.

Lastly, let’s not be unfair to either of these candidates. Obama is a very competent policymaker, who knows the issues and offers intelligent opinions on all of them. He has put forward at least as many substantive proposals as his opponent, and has rightly earned both her respect, and that of the press and the pundits. For her part, Hillary Clinton knows Washington well enough to recognize that she’ll have to come to terms with at least a handful of centrist Democrats and Republicans to get anything done. She has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation in the past, and she would certainly be a credible partner on future cooperation across the aisle.

The real question—and the debate on which the Democratic contenders have staked their candidacies—is whether Americans are willing to commit to more cooperation, more dialogue, and more bipartisanship as objectively positive values for the long term, or whether we view these things as mere instruments for achieving short-term policy goals. As somebody who works for dialogue and cooperation across party lines every day, I can’t help but view the latter as both pessimistic and destructive.

(Full Article)

Former candidate Chris Dodd endorses Obama...

Elana Schor writes for The Guardian:

Barack Obama picked up another high-profile endorsement today, appearing in Ohio alongside former presidential foe Chris Dodd.

Dodd, a Democratic elder statesman with long ties to the Clinton family, also tossed a subtle warning at the former first lady to avoid splintering the party with her attacks on Obama.

"I don't want a campaign that is only divisive here, and there's a danger of it becoming that," the Associated Press quoted Dodd as saying, echoing the sentiment expressed in Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy's January endorsement of Obama.

"I'm deeply proud to be the first 2008 Democratic presidential candidate to endorse Barack Obama," Dodd wrote in an email to supporters. "He is ready to be president."

(Full Article)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why the right-wing wont destroy Obama...

Glenn Greenwald writes for

By far, the most significant pattern in how our political discourse is shaped is that the right-wing noise machine generates scurrilous, petty, personality-based innuendo about Democratic candidates, and the establishment press then mindlessly repeats it and mainstreams it. Thus, nothing was more predictable than watching the "Obamas-are-unpatriotic-subversives" slur travel in the blink of an eye from the Jack KingstonsFox News adolescent McCarthyites, and Bill Kristols of the world to APMSNBC, and CNN. That's just how the right-wing/media nexus works.

Far more notable is Barack Obama's response to these depressingly familiar attacks. In response, he's not scurrying around slapping flags all over himself or belting out the National Anthem, nor is he apologizing for not wearing lapels, nor is he defensively trying to prove that -- just like his Republican accusers -- he, too, is a patriot, honestly. He's not on the defensive at all. Instead, he's swatting away these slurs with the dismissive contempt they deserve, and then eagerly and aggressively engaging the debate on offense because he's confident, rather than insecure, about his position...

(Full Article)

Hillary's political limbo dance

"How low can you go? Everybody! How low can you go?"...

Obama slams smear photo

(Photo: AP)

Mike Allen writes for Politico:

"The photo, taken in 2006, shows the Democrat front-runner dressed as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya," the Drudge Report said. The photo created huge buzz in political circles and immediately became known as "the 'dressed' photo," reflecting the Drudge terminology.

Plouffe said in a statement: “On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election. This is part of a disturbing pattern that led her county chairs to resign in Iowa, her campaign chairman to resign in New Hampshire, and it’s exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world," said Plouffe.

The Clinton campaign issued an official response to the growing tempest - but the statement from campaign manager Maggie Williams did not respond to the central question of whether staffers circulated the photo.

“Enough,” Williams said in the statement. “If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

(Full Article)

Thanks to The Obama Project for the link.

Are you mocking me?

Clinton's new tool... Ridicule...

Michael Finnegan writes for the LA Times:

With her White House prospects in jeopardy, Hillary Rodham Clinton has shifted from one tactic to another in trying to overtake rival Barack Obama.

She tried TV ads saying he ducked debates. She accused him of plagiarism. She disparaged his huge crowds. She called his attacks on her shameful and dishonest. On Sunday, Clinton turned to ridicule.

"Now I can stand up here and say: Let's just get everybody together, let's get unified, the sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing, and everyone will know we should do the right thing, and the world will be perfect," Clinton told supporters here at Rhode Island College.

"Maybe I just lived a little long. But I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be," Clinton continued. "You are not going to wave a magic wand and have the special interests disappear."

Clinton's string of tactical adjustments comes amid Obama's 11-contest winning streak, which has given him the lead in delegates to the party's national convention.

"Most baffling is the inconsistency -- literally the three or four or five approaches we've seen, all within one week," said Roy Behr, a California Democratic strategist not involved in the race. "This is commonly what happens to campaigns when things are not going well."

By contrast, Obama finds himself in the enviable position of sticking with a strategy that has worked well: giving high-minded speeches to large, adoring crowds, including more than 10,000 Sunday in Toledo, Ohio, and delivering the occasional pinprick to Clinton.

(full article)

The desperation becomes more and more evident with each passing day.

Friday, February 22, 2008


The Cup Of Joe compares Hillary Clinton to Lisa Simpson in a so-true-you-have-to-laugh satire:

Whether it's the Little Miss Springfield Pagaent or a school competition for first saxophone in the school band, Lisa Simpson savors achievement. She is smart, competitive, vulnerable. She is embarrased, often, by the men in her life. Like all perfect students, with her high level of competence and intelligence, she expects to win and hates to lose...

(Full Article)

Latinos for Obama

Two great music videos...

Breaking: "Change you can Xerox"?

Everyone is talking about Hillary's "high note" at the end of yesterday's debate.
Apparently she is not above stealing whole passages herself.
An astute You Tube'er put together a video that reveals her big finish was ripped off from John Edwards...

and Bill Clinton...

And here she is (poorly) attempting rip off Obama's (and Chavez's) "Yes We Can" chant by changing it to "Yes We Will"..


Bonus blunder!
Not a speech theft, but worth noting...

Here's an older video with Hillary not only blatantly saying that she will take money from lobbyists, but also defending her reasons...

And Obama taking her to task for it...

Thanks to LiveJournal users "insomnia", "7950", "ukbedeviled", "cieldumort" and "miss_opinion" for the tip

Please spread this liberally!

Edit: And the hits just keep on coming...

CNN calls her on it...

She also steals from Giuliani...


We are no longer a nation of losers!

By Roland Madore

Why is Hillary Clinton losing the battle against Barack Obama to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for president? It’s all boiling down to which candidate has the best set of leadership skills for the 21st century. More Americans choose his set and reject hers.

We truly do deserve the government we get. And in this cycle, America feels they want, need, and deserve the leadership of Barack Obama. “It’s the People, Stupid,” who believe the time is right, and this is why so many of them, for the first time in a long while, are working nonstop to get him elected. Rather than being a “cult leader,” as the Clinton campaign so absurdly suggests, Barack Obama is in truth a “catalytic leader” because his is a transformational leadership whose mission is making the world a better place for the public good. The phrase was coined and described in the work of Dr. Jeffrey Luke of the University of Oregon. Professor Luke founded The Luke Center for Leadership: It seems Barack Obama has the very type of leadership style we need at this very moment of world history.

According to the Luke Center, “catalytic leadership style is based on a vision, building partnerships, collaboration, and passion.” It’s Obama’s leadership style that is representative of turning the page from the fights, divisions, and the blame game of the past to a brighter future of cooperation, unity, and real solutions for the 21st century. As a nation, we are ready and “fired up” because, rather than remaining stunned silent like deer caught in the headlights of our drivers-in-chief, we, the People have finally gained our wits. As such, we know we’re the deciders in ’08 and, at long last, we reject the George Bush-McCain autocratic style of “forcing your will upon others, not consulting with opposing voices, and falling prey to the supposed collective wisdom of a coterie that never disagreed with you” -- Quoted from

failed policies and the Clintonian bureaucratic style of egocentric calculation, secrecy, and aggressive “gotcha, must-win-at-all-costs” failed strategies. The 20th century Bush-Clinton dynasties have failed us and must end! America is turning the page to the real 21st century leadership because Yes, We Can!

Ed: It has come to our attention that this article references an earlier article posted at
The original article is here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Teamsters endorse Obama

Steven Greenhouse writes for The New York Times:

In a surprising boost for Senator Barack Obama, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters endorsed him on Wednesday, giving him new momentum among a group where he is eager to shore up support: blue-collar men.

James P. Hoffa, the president of the Teamsters, which represents more than 1.2 million truck drivers, warehouse employees and other workers, announced the endorsement after meeting with Mr. Obama in Austin, Tex.

“Senator Obama understands the challenges working people face every day,” Mr. Hoffa said. “He is the candidate in the best position to lead our movement to restore the American dream for working people in this country.”

A spokesman said Mr. Hoffa would campaign with Mr. Obama on Friday in Ohio, where the Teamsters have considerable strength.

Teamster officials said the union’s board had voted to endorse Mr. Obama, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, after a weeklong scientific survey of the union’s rank and file found strong support for him.

With the Teamsters’ move, labor leaders said, Change to Win, a five-million-member coalition of unions that broke away from the A.F.L.-C.I.O., is expected to vote Thursday to endorse Mr. Obama.

(Full Article)

A brilliant assessment of the reality of Clinton's failed campaign

Christopher of From The Left tells it like it is:

The news for the Clintons is really getting worse by the day. She’s lost ten of the last ten primary and caucus races to Barack Obama. Obama is cutting into her core constituents of working class whites and older women. Not only is she losing her base, the money is drying up. The mathematical possibilities for winning the nomination are becoming virtually impossible as she falls further and further behind. Any possibility for victory would require breaking party rules or making shady back room deals that would result in riots in the streets outside the Denver convention.

Sadly, this is all Hillary has left in her arsenal. But even this isn’t looking like a sure thing for her now. The Superdelegates are keenly aware of what circumventing the will of the people would mean to Democrats. Particularly, to those younger Democrats voting for the first time. If the DNC pulls any funny business, the Democratic party will drive away voters under the age of 30 who will not be seen or heard from again.

Even the upcoming primary in Texas — long considered Clinton country, is changing as younger Hispanics no long feel any allegiance to Bill and Hillary. Young, upwardly mobile Texas Hispanics favor Senator Obama 2-to-1 which means Hillary Clintons is left to take her case to the floor of the convention. Imagine how the mainsteam media will report the angry visage of Hillary Clinton alternately braying and crying, as she tries to convince Obama’s delegates that she is somehow entitled to the nomination?

(Full Article)

A must read.

The Nation lays out the numbers...

John Nichols writes for The Nation:

Wisconsin, where Clinton had demographic and structural advantages -- overwhelmingly white, working-class electorate with a recent tradition of voting for women in a lot of elections -- important endorsements and union support, she got wiped out.


Exit polls had Obama winning liberals, moderates and conservatives.

Exit polls had Obama winning among white voters and African-American.

Exit polls had Obama winning 60-40 among Protestants and splitting the Catholic vote.

Exit polls had Obama winning urban, rural and suburban areas.

Exit polls had Obama winning union households and non-union households.

Bottom line: Obama won and won and won in a state where it should have been a close race.

Even among women, Clinton was ahead just 51 percent, to 48 percent for Obama.

Among men, it was 66-32 for Obama.

Why didn't Hillary Clinton mention Wisconsin in her speech Tuesday night?
Because there was no good news for her from a state where should should have been a competitor. No good news at all.

(Full Article)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Former Clinton Speechwriter Weighs In On Plagiarism-Gate

Former Clinton speechwriter David Kusnet tells The New Republic:

Barack Obama’s greatest strength is the originality of his rhetoric. Sometimes he talks like a regular person, as in his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he introduced himself as “a skinny kid with a funny name.” Sometimes, he sounds like a president from an earlier, more historically literate era, as when he situates his campaign in a tradition that includes the American Revolution, the abolitionists, and the emergence of the labor movement, the civil rights movement, and other social struggles. But only rarely, if ever, does he use the familiar freeze-dried phrases that most current politicians favor. To borrow a phrase from the UAW, the “domestic content” of his speeches is unusually high.

That’s only one of many reasons why it’s so silly to accuse Obama of plagiarism because he used some of the same phrases as his friend and ally, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (who, I should add, was helpful to me when he was assistant attorney general for civil rights at the same time I was a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton). If plagiarism is borrowing rhetoric without permission, Patrick most likely is happy to have Obama sound similar notes, such as hope and inspiration being more than “just words.” Even if Obama and Patrick didn’t know each other, they might use some of the same phrases because similar public figures frequently draw on common streams of public rhetoric.

(Full Article)

Thanks to The Barack Obama Project for reporting this one.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Obama supporters creepy?

By Roland Madore

Who are “creepy and cult-like?”

Often our news network and newspaper outlets like FOX, CNN, MSNBC, The Los Angeles Times etc.—and their “talking head” anchors, columnists, and contributors—are the ones who are “creepy and cult-like!” CNN’s recent smear of Barack Obama supporters points this out big time! Carol Costello said that audience response at a Barack Obama rally is "a scene some increasingly find not inspirational, but 'creepy,' " quoting columnists who have likened Obama supporters to members of a cult or described their enthusiasm as "creepy." On-screen text during Costello's report read: "OBAMA-MANIA BACKLASH" and "PASSION 'CULT-LIKE' TO SOME."

Personally, I get so sick and tired with the likes Pat Buchanan, Joel Stein, David Brooks, and Joe Klein who love to rain on Barack Obama’s parade. I wonder what their real motive is other than self-promotion or ratings. Like Hillary Clinton says: “Do a reality check!”

It’s a movement, all right?!? Our goal here is to lift up America and take back our government! Give some of us who are educated and fired up a break! What we’re seeing out across America can’t be stopped anyway, so it doesn’t matter what you all say. I’m convinced Barack Obama can handle the so-called cult following anyway. He’s got the even temperament, the best organization, the obvious competence, the most money, the fresh message, and the growing momentum—even with all the heaping malice!

Melissa Harris-Lacewell to Tavis Smiley: Who died and made you king?

On her blog, Melissa Harris-Lacewell weighs in on the Tavis Smiley dust up:

Who put Tavis Smiley in charge?Over the past two months African Americans have emerged as equal partners in a multi-racial, intergenerational, bipartisan, national coalition led by the most exciting political candidate of the past four decades, who also happens to be the first viable African-American presidential possibility in our history. So why is Tavis Smiley throwing a temper tantrum?

He is mad because Obama has not promised to attend Smiley’s “State of the Black Union” next week in New Orleans. At last year’s SOTBU Al Sharpton, Cornel West and others joined Tavis is roundly criticizing Obama for not attending. Where was Barack that weekend? Oh yeah, he was announcing his bid for the US presidency. This year, Obama is busy trying to win Texas, which has emerged as the firewall sate for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Obama wins Texas; Hillary goes home. But Tavis and company think Obama should spend precious hours chatting with them about their agenda?

Let me be clear. I respect the importance of the SOTBU. Tavis performs an essential public service by creating and reproducing a critical black counter-public through this event. The event is decidedly democratic because it is open to a true variety of black voices. Every year it showcases black intellect, commitment and ideological diversity. All this is great, but it doesn’t make Tavis the gatekeeper. It certainly doesn’t give him the right to act as King-Maker or in this case Queen-Maker.

(Full Post)

A must-read.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Service Employees Union Endorses Obama

Jesse J.Holland writes for the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Barack Obama won the support Friday of the 1.9-million member Service Employees International Union, his second endorsement in as many days from large labor organizations and a fresh sign of momentum in the Democratic presidential race with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"There has never been a fight in Illinois or a fight in the nation where our members have not asked Barack Obama for assistance and he has not done everything he could to help us," Andy Stern, the union's president, told reporters in announcing the decision.
Stern said that in the months since union leaders met with several Democratic candidates last fall, "the excitement has been building and building for Obama."

The politically active union represents workers in health care, building services and other industries. It has donated more than $25 million to candidates in the past two decades, most of it to Democrats.

For Obama, the endorsement offers a chance to increase support in the primary states that are scheduled to vote in the next few weeks, particularly Ohio and Texas on March 4 and Pennsylvania on April 22.

(Full Article)

Obama ahead nationally by 12 points...

Robert Schroeder writes for Market Watch:

In the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama is now leading rival Hillary Clinton by double digits, a new poll found.
Obama leads Clinton 49% to 37% in the daily presidential tracking poll by Rasmussen Reports. The poll of likely Democratic primary voters was published Thursday.
Moreover, the poll found, Obama is now leading Clinton among women voters by five percentage points. Clinton retains her lead among white women but her advantage is down to three percentage points in that demographic, the poll found.

(Full Article)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Obama: 1, Hillary: 0...

Obama has just released this brilliant counter to Hillary's sleazy attack ad in Wisconsin...

Obama lands his "A-Team" in Ohio

Beverly Davis writes for the Huffington Post:

Behind the scenes of the Obama-Clinton race to capture Ohio's 161 delegates, the biggest jackpot of states still in contention, it will be a killer match between each campaign's point man: Paul Tewes and Robby Mook.

Among campaign professionals,Tewes is widely regarded among the very most talented of political organizers in the nation - he's largely responsible for Obama's surprise win in Iowa, which proved that the "inevitable" nomination of Hillary Clinton wasn't so inevitable and that white voters, independents, and women could be lured to Obama.


Obama's Ohio state director, Tewes, just needs to keep it close enough for Obama to earn his proportional share of Ohio's delegates rich primary, which will be a battle that looks possible - even more than possible. Obama has a slim shot at an Ohio victory as of this moment, but as long as he just shows well (no less than 10-15 points behind Clinton in strategic areas), he stands to maintain his lead over delegates-won as long as he continues to outpace Clinton in the momentum game and grabs his expected smaller share of the Texas and Pennsylvania delegates on March 4.

Both campaigns are literally racing to get their respective Ohio teams onto the field. However, Obama's campaign looks to be outpacing the Clinton machine - at least, this week.

While Chelsea Clinton stumps for her mother in Ohio today (to decidedly mixed reviews), Obama is flying in his popular wife, Michelle, to campaign tomorrow. Senator Clinton is also winging toward Ohio.

The most disturbing number for the Clinton camp is the rising trend in Obama's momentum. He's gained a 20-point bump from Quinniapac's December 5th poll, which calculated Clinton with a 26 point lead over Obama. But his recent eight-state victory streak combined with Clinton's big margin losses, financial problems, and campaign shake-ups has helped Obama cut Clinton's Ohio lead nearly in half.

(Full Article)

Barack needs you!

Despite his current string of victories and the momentum that brings, Clinton currently has a hefty double-digit lead over Obama in OH and PA...

As reported at Real Clear Politics:

Yet more encouraging news for Clinton in newly released Quinnipiac surveys in Ohio and Pennsylvania:

Clinton 55
Obama 34
Undecided 9

Clinton is winning women in the QPoll by 26 points (56-30), those over 45 by 27 points (58-31), and whites by an even bigger margin of 64 to 28.

Overall, Clinton's lead in the new RCP Average for Ohio is 17.3%.

Clinton also holds a 16-point lead over Obama in Pennsylvania, again with a 20-point lead among women and 27 points among whites:

Clinton 52
Obama 36
Undecided 11

You can help turn this around and ensure that Obama sweeps these states!
Phone banking works! Contact your local Obama campaign office (or volunteer office) and join the phone call effort!
You can find out where your local reps are on the Obama site:

Make an account (it's free) and join groups in your area!

You can also get phone numbers and call scripts directly from the site:

Obama phone banking

They aren't currently targeting OH and PA, but you can call other states.
But if you get involved locally, your rep will have numbers for OH and PA.

Let's make some calls and show OH and PA that we're FIRED UP!
This campaign is all about you and me!


This is a bit old...

But it was just too awesome to not post...

You make us proud Mrs. Bennett!

The devil is in the details...

An ordinary citizen (who wishes to remain anonymous) compares Obama's health plan to Hillary's and finds that Clinton comes up short.
(Reposted with permission from a friend's LiveJournal)

My choice is Barack Obama. Here is why.

My #1 issue this year is universal health care. It's a personal issue for me. It was a terrifying experience for me to be pregnant and slightly above the income level Medicaid. Since I was unemployed during Babygirl's birth and most of my pregnancy, I had to have health insurance. And the only thing available to me was to continue my employer's plan through COBRA, which was difficult to apply when I moved to TX, and whose premiums were incredibly expensive. Now, with Babygirl to cover, I'm spending $600 a month to cover both of us monthly. And that's before co-pays, deductibles, and lab fees. With no income (my mom has graciously paid most of my COBRA premiums). I'm usually on the phone at least once a week with my insurance carrier getting bills adjusted, and I'm convinced the the system is utterly broken. I loathe going to the doctor because I know it means I'm going to have to spend a couple hours on the phone with the insurance company in two months to get the visit paid for. Husband, who is working full-time as a contractor right now, has not had health insurance for about a year and remains uninsured.

I've been on the fence about both candidates for some time, and I finally decided to compare their health plans to make my decision. I'm thrilled that both Democratic candidates are committed to universal health care. It's time for this ridiculous field day for HMOs and pharmacorps to end, and I would like to move as close to socialized medicine as possible (ah, Europe! Canada! You have it where it counts!). Neither candidate offers that, but both are trying to at least ensure that all Americans have health insurance.

Here's what I found. Both Obama's and Clinton's plans are pretty similar: they cover everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions or employment. They both offer you the choice of opting into the Federal Employee's Health Plan or Medicaid if you don't have coverage or if you don't like your current health coverage offered by your employer (if you work for the state of Texas, for example, there is only one plan you can get--no choice).

Where they really differ is in how one is to pay for the coverage. Hillary says that she will make premiums affordable by offering those with lower incomes a TAX CREDIT so that they can afford high-quality health care plans. I think this is crap. If I have cancer now and I can't afford to pay my deductible and my monthly premium and whatever percentage of the treatment I'm responsible for under my plan, then having a tax credit in April of next year is not going to keep me from going bankrupt. It's basically the government saying, "You can have the health plan, just pay out of the nose now and we'll hang on to that money for you until next summer while it earns interest and then we'll give it back to you then, OK?" Hillary's plan also proposes limiting premiums to a percentage of a family's income, but none of her literature says what that percentage is (I did quite a lot of digging on her website and found no concrete numbers on the subject). So basically, we'd be at the mercy of whatever Congress thinks is a reasonable percentage of income to pay, and what is that? Half of one's income? A third? Seeing that I believe that the government should be paying 100% of our health care and drug costs, you can see where my beef is.

Obama, on the other hand, suggests that families who fall in that don't-qualify-for-Medicaid-but-can't-afford-regular-premiums (a.k.a. me and a lot of other working and middle class folks) qualify for GOVERNMENT-SUBSIDIZED payment of premiums based on income. In other words, if you can't pay the premiums, based on your income, the government helps you out now by paying for it. Given, this is a far cry from my ideal of socialized health care, but I think it's a step in the right direction. If you can't pay, the government helps you then and there instead of next April. As I read through Obama's health care plan, I was impressed by his goals of taking pharmacorps and HMOs to task, as well as his commitments to HIV education and prevention. Admittedly, these are painted in broad strokes, for which I know some of you will criticize him. But I still feel like Obama better represents what I'm hoping from health care reform. Clinton may be more specific about her ideas, but I don't feel they substantially address the problem or help families with their immediate health care crises. Obama's plan requires a little more work on behalf of our government, but his plan directly addresses what's going on with families now.

So that's it. I'm voting for Obama. That's still doesn't get those of you Hillary-haters off the hook for jokes about pantsuits and PMS, though.

Michelle Obama on Larry King Live...

A class act all the way.


Hillary is out of it!

by Roland Madore

Ann Coulter is in the gutter...and worse than Hillary, so I can't believe in anything Coulter says or does. Regarding, John McCain and Hillary? They're the past, although their association with failed policiies, and the damage they've caused, will affect us well into our future. Talk about guilt by association, the Bush-McCain war in Iraq is on Hillary's shoulders, along with plenty Democrats too.

Moreover, I believe Hillary will never regain momentum in the race with Barack Obama, and I say "Hooray!" The Clinton Machine math is all off and so 20th century. Hillary and Bill have also been just too damn dismissive of all those little caucus and primary states. Hillary herself couldn’t even thank all those who voted for her in Virgina, Maryland, and D.C. before she darted off to El Paso, TX. Then, rather than congratulate Barack Obama for his wins, as all second-place candidates always do, NOT EVEN AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of anything?!? How rude!

Their entire attitude about all this makes them real losers in my book. Rather than just relying on the so-called big states and super delegates, they need to do the new 21st century math of Barack Obama. And, with all due respect, another lesson of this election cycle I hope Hillary supporters especially learn is that not only do we deserve the government we get, but also, part of the individual responsibility of citizens in a participatory democracy is to educate themselves on the important issues of our day rather than follow blindly as the lazy zombies we’ve become. As an English teacher, I always preached this to my students: “If you don’t think for yourselves, there’s always someone else who will do it for you.” Again, wake up, America! Not just the Bush family, but the Clintons are also messing with your minds. At least, John McCain is a national hero, and he deserve our sincere gratitude. But he's an old soldier, who should not die; but at least, fade away.

In truth, this is another time in American history when we need the hope and inspiration Barack Obama offers. His campaign is our wake-up call, an America movement built on a vision of the country we will become if we can rise above the old politics that parses us into separate groups and puts us as odds with one another. As a born-again boomer for Obama, a newly-retired teacher with 35 years of service to our nation’s kids, a parent, and a grandparent, I do not believe Hillary Clinton is the solution to our problems. Instead, she is part of the problem.

Only Barack Obama has the best set of skills to unify this country, rally the Congress to work together to bring about real change in all segments of our daily lives, and lead this country in a new direction with the right moral compass to change hearts here at home and all over the world.

Roland Madore
Fort Collins, CO
Born-again boomer for Obama

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Let's turn the page with Obama

By Roland Madore

I voted for President Bill Clinton twice, but as a boomer for Obama in this election, I’m hoping we can turn the page on the Bush-Clinton dynasties and move ahead with the 21st century leadership of Barack Obama because America deserves it.

In a Virginia stump speech yesterday, Hillary said: "When the cameras are gone and lights are out and the crowds have gone home, the president is alone in that Oval Office trying to make the best decisions about the most difficult issues confronting us in the world and as we go forward in this campaign, I want people to ask themselves two basic questions, because this is really what it comes down to: Who do you believe would be the best president for you, your family, your future?" She continued: "But then for us who are Democrats, we also have to ask who can win, who can go the distance?" she said, repeating the argument that she was best equipped to face the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain when it comes to national security and other issues.

When she talks about the president being alone in that Oval Office, I cringe. Both she and Bill were there already and betrayed the trust of the American people. The facts—and they can hurt—as I remember sadly, were that Bill was not always alone in that Oval Office. He had Monica Lewinsky there with him and together they defiled the People’s House. The Republicans will bring this up, but they don’t need to if we move forward with Barack Obama as our nominee. To answer Hillary’s first question then, “No, I sincerely don’t believe you would be the best president for me, my family, or my future. And it has nothing to do with hate; it’s about hope!”

And as Democrats, we should really be asking: “Who deserves to win?” Hillary asks her second question predicated on the wrong premise. Sure, Hillary could go the distance with John McCain when it comes to national security and other issues. But will she be heard over all the anti-Clinton, spewed venom coming from the far right? Plus, with either John McCain or Hillary Clinton, the nation loses and nobody wins. It would be the most expensive, slime-filled contest ever—backward, not forward—featuring his past vs. her past with those two—and bridges to nowhere, in large measure, because of their stands on the Iraq war. I say “No” to Hillary here too because I want to move forward. Our nation’s future and real security rests on the shoulders of Barack Obama ecause the Bush-Clinton dynasties represent too much that is bad with America. Again, we must turn the page to 21st century leadership with Barack Obama. It’s time, and more of the People demand it.

Roland Madore, Fort Collins, CO
Boomer for Obama
Retired teacher with 35 years service


We deserve the government we get!

By Roland Madore

We deserve the government we get. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: America, you need to wake up then wise up to today’s realities. For the first time ever, young voters are united en masse and working for the election of Barack Obama. Why? They see and feel what their past has been under the Bush-Clinton dynasties and, hoping for the brightest of futures, they’re working hard to achieve real change with Barack Obama.

Having taught the nation’s youth here in Colorado for 35 years, I often unfairly viewed our nation’s youth—13-year-olds—as counter culture, lazy, self-centered, and uncaring. What a remarkable transformation can take place between the ages of 13 and 18! As a boomer and early supporter of Barack Obama and his vision for America, I’ve witnessed first hand the organization, conviction, and hard work of this block of young voters, and I am proud to be working hard alongside them.

Let’s review, do a little reality check—by no means complete—as to why they’re onboard for Obama in this election cycle. We’re in a war we didn’t need, we have a President who lied to get us there, and Republicans and many Democrats—like Hillary--gave this President a free reign to do whatever he wanted. Further, this Administration and the Republicans can talk about lowering taxes and federal spending, yet they charged billions and our future on a big fat Chinese charge card. Ironically, we pay our short term expenses by borrowing from China to pay for Middle East oil and, day by day, our economy sucks worse, and our reputation in the world sucks the worst, while fat-cat corporations and lobbyists benefit. And what about us, We, the People? As a boomer, I’m not happy at all, and I’m certainly not looking forward to replacing one liar—George Bush, who’s all but defecated on our Constitution—with two—Hillary and Bill Clinton and a co-presidency. Young people may not know the full history of the Clintons, but I do. And if Hillary chose to stand by her man as he messed up the White House with Monica Lewinsky—I guess that’s fine, but I don’t want to re-live that past. This election IS about the vote on the Iraq war, and it IS about the economy, but it IS also about judgment and character and the past vs. the future and who can best unite and lead this country out of the muck and mire.

Although I would vote for Hillary were she our nominee, there is no need to. We don’t need to build another bridge to the past, and we don’t need the division anymore—the old math of the 20th century no longer adds up. And we no longer need to hold our noses when we cast our vote. Let’s do the new math of the 21st century. Listen to the youth this time, America. They have it right. No longer are they just content to “fight for their right to party;” they are now fired up and in the lead for a new, promising, and brighter future with Barack Obama, and I stand with them.

One of my favorite poets reminds us now more than ever: “Do not go gentle into that good night, old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light.” --Dylan Thomas

Roland Madore, Fort Collins, CO
Boomer for Obama
Retired teacher of 35 years

Smells like desperation...

Hillary sinks in the Potomac...

Howard Kurtz writes in the Washington Post:

Before we get to the demographic, geopolitical and psychological breakdowns of Barack Obama's triple victory yesterday, I just want to make one observation.

Hillary Clinton lived in Washington for eight years, in a very large home with a big back yard and a great view. She was a local figure as first lady. She made plenty of appearances in the District, the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia, while Obama hadn't even gotten himself elected to the Illinois legislature. She should have had the home-field advantage.

Instead, she got walloped. The easy explanation is that there are a lot of African Americans in the District and Maryland. But Virginia? A big NASCAR state that has tended to elect moderate Democrats such as Chuck Robb, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine? Clinton should have been at least competitive, and she got creamed.

(Full Article)

Long read, but well worth it. Excellent analysis.

Peggy Noonan ponders what kind of looser Clinton might be...

Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal:

If Hillary Clinton loses, does she know how to lose? What will that be, if she loses? Will she just say, "I concede" and go on vacation at a friend's house on an island, and then go back to the Senate and wait?

Is it possible she could be so normal? Politicians lose battles, it's part of what they do, win and lose. But she does not know how to lose. Can she lose with grace? But she does grace the way George W. Bush does nuance.

She often talks about how tough she is. She has fought "the Republican attack machine" that has tried to "stop" her, "end" her, and she knows "how to fight them." She is preoccupied to an unusual degree with toughness. A man so preoccupied would seem weak. But a woman obsessed with how tough she is just may be lethal.

Does her sense of toughness mean that every battle in which she engages must be fought tooth and claw, door to door? Can she recognize the line between burly combat and destructive, never-say-die warfare? I wonder if she is thinking: What will it mean if I win ugly? What if I lose ugly? What will be the implications for my future, the party's future? What will black America, having seen what we did in South Carolina, think forever of me and the party if I do low things to stop this guy on the way to victory? Can I stop, see the lay of the land, imitate grace, withdraw, wait, come back with a roar down the road? Life is long. I am not old. Or is that a reverie she could never have? What does it mean if she could never have it?

We know she is smart. Is she wise? If it comes to it, down the road, can she give a nice speech, thank her supporters, wish Barack Obama well, and vow to campaign for him?

It either gets very ugly now, or we will see unanticipated--and I suspect professionally saving--grace.

(Full Article)

What is particularly poignant here is the fact Clinton has already shown very bad form by twice neglecting to congratulate Obama on his recent strings of wins.
Not to mention the way she has blatantly written off those states as unimportant and insignificant (despite her rhetoric about every voter mattering in Michigan and Florida).

CNN strikes back at Bush's Obama distortions...

As seen on Crooks and Liars:

Monday, February 11, 2008


Clinton's Latino spin

Gregory Rodriguez writes for the LA Times:

If a Hillary Clinton campaign official told a reporter that white voters never support black candidates, would the media have swallowed the message whole? What if a campaign pollster began whispering that Jews don't have an "affinity" for African American politicians? Would the pundits have accepted the premise unquestioningly?

(Full Article)

A must-read.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Asians for Clinton?

By Christopher Fung, Ph.D.

I don't think it will be news to anyone who knows me that I found this latest op-ed piece by Joan Walsh at Salon in which she tries to make sense of "Asian" support for Hillary Rodham Clinton more than somewhat frustrating.

Ms. Walsh has shown an annoying tendency to jump immediately to simplistic notions of race, class and/or gender in order to bring some sort of taxanomic order to what is actually a relatively complex array of factors used by voters to select the candidate of their choice.

Her discussion of "Asians" is a case in point. As with the rest of the punditocracy (interestingly, Walsh does not seem to believe she is a part of this group), Walsh engages in lazy generalizations which I believe end up obscuring more than they illuminate. As someone who has studied Asian diaspora cultures professionally for almost two decades, I’d like to make a number of points.

The first issue that needs to be remembered is that the people being interviewed are registered Democratic party voters. Many of the people who are active enough to vote in the primaries are people who are involved in Democratic Party politics or who have been mobilized by friends who are active in Democratic Party politics. As I have said before in this blog, Asians and Latinos inside the Democratic Party are much more likely to vote the establishment party line. And let us remember some of the people who are the Democratic Party establishment in California: Dianne Feinstein, who is often referred to as a quasi-Republican, Nancy Pelosi who has given the Republicans everything they want even though they are no longer the majority in the House, and the Orange County mafia who are similarly pro-business and pro government. Now granted, there's also Barbara Boxer, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters, but the overwhelming majority of the California delegation are much less radical than the reputation of the state as "liberal" California would have us believe.

The party line in California is thus establishment and therefore overwhelmingly pro-Hillary. It is no accident that the states Obama took handily are those which have not been considered to be Democratic strongholds. The Democratic party power structures in these states are likely to be much more flexible and perhaps responsive to change since they have relatively little to lose compared to their dinosaur sister chapters in the Democratic heartland.

The second issue is that of generation and orientation. Those Asians who either are immigrants themselves or who identify politically and socially with their immigrant parents or grandparents are likely to be relatively conservative - not politically conservative but conservative in the sense that they want to be part of a large, powerful organization with which they have an established relationship and some history of mutual benefit. By contrast, third and fourth generation Asian immigrants, those young Asian Americans who see themselves as entitled to full citizenship in a cultural sense, and those with strong ties to other communities of color tend to be more excited by the idea of transformational politics and the kind of true polyculturalism that the Obama campaign represents.

Hillary Clinton's faction embodies the qualities sought by the immigrant-identified to a T.

The third issue I would like to point out (a trifle wearily), is that to make a big deal out of "Asians" political choices is to overstate the political importance of Asians as a group. Nowhere except in Hawai`i do Asian Americans constitute an electorally-decisive population in terms of numbers. There are select districts particularly in the LA area and the Bay Area where this is so, but in general terms Asian Americans are not in the same league as Latino voters in the southwest or African American voters in the southeast.

Ms. Walsh has confused the politics of establishment with the politics of race. In this she does nothing more than prove that she doesn't really understand the groups she blogs about with such apparent authority.

Melissa Harris Lacewell asks, "Where was Hillary in 2004?"

Melissa Harris Lacewell writes in a blog post titled "We Can't Wait":

Which leads me to the central question of this electoral season. Why didn’t Hillary run in 2004? In New Hampshire she was brought to the brink of tears as she described her deep commitment to altering the course of our country. She argues that she is ready on Day One. She claims 35 years of relevant experience. So where was she when her country desperately needed her?

Four years ago the Democrats were mobilized to defeat Bush and put an end to the War in Iraq. The folly of W.’s administration was clear from worsening educational outcomes, accelerating environmental degradation and the deepening failure of our war efforts. All we needed was a galvanizing, appealing leader who could put together a winning electoral college coalition. Where was Hillary?

Was she devoid of great ideas for our country then? Is 31 years of experience insufficient to be ready on Day One? Thousands of soldiers in body bags, New Orleans still laying in ruins, the middle class losing its tenuous grip on wealth creation, tens of millions of Americans without health care: those are realities to make an American cry. But where was Hillary?

(Full Post)

Oprah tells is like it is...

This is a little late, but in light of the recent letter going around from Robin Morgan, it needs to be repeated:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Oh SNAP!...

Hillary Clinton has had to resort to "loaning" her campaign $5 million dollars to stay in the race.
From AFP/Yahoo News:

Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she loaned her campaign five million dollars of her own money in January to keep up with rival Barack Obama's record cash windfall.

"I loaned the campaign five million from my money," Clinton said a day after more than 20 state nominating contests resulted in no clear front-runner for the Democratic party ticket.

"I loaned it because I believe very strongly in this campaign. We had a great month fund-raising in January, broke all records. But my opponent was able to raise more money," Clinton said.

(Full Article)


The Obama campaign has raised over $5 million in ONE DAY from millions of supporters.

Super Tuesday by the numbers...

According to CNN as of 10:00 this morning (numbers are still being tallied):

States won:
Obama - 13
Clinton - 8

Pledged delegates:
Obama - 603
Clinton - 590

Total delegates:
Clinton - 783
Obama - 709

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Young republicans torn between Obama and McCain...

Alex Mar writes for

Sure, ultra-conservative Ann Coulter is threatening to campaign for Hillary Clinton if John McCain snags the nomination — "She's more conservative than he is," Coulter recently remarked. But while some young Republicans are supporting the Arizona senator all the same, others in the demographic say they're finding themselves drawn, improbably, to the other Democratic front-runner, Barack Obama. Could this mean that Obama is more capable of pulling moderate Republicans over to his side come November, making him a fiercer Democratic opponent than Clinton?

Both McCain and Obama are seen as potential aces in foreign affairs — the former is a military veteran and ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services, and has more than 20 years of experience in the Senate; the latter is a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations and has an international background and JFK-like charisma. Obama is seen as an outsider fighting to shake up the system, McCain a "maverick" who works across party lines. And in a standoff of macho celebrities, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is siding with McCain, while Robert De Niro has Obama's back.

But perhaps most importantly, both McCain and Obama carry clout with indie voters and moderates across party lines. In a speech at College of DuPage in Obama's home state of Illinois over the weekend, Republican rival Mitt Romney pointedly compared McCain to Obama, saying, "I'm afraid it's going to be real hard to win the White House if there's not much difference between our nominee and theirs, and that's why I'm going to make sure that we stand for Republican ideals and win the White House on that platform."

(Full Article)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Conservatives say Obama will be hard to beat in general election

David Catron writes in The American Spectator:

...while it is indeed pleasant to watch Obama bedevil the Clintons, conservatives should not become so drunk with schadenfreude that they forget how much harder the Illinois Senator would be to beat than Hillary.

Mrs. Clinton's capture of the Democratic Presidential nomination could unite conservatives, generate an avalanche of cash for the Republican nominee, and produce a record-breaking turnout of Republican voters on election day. Obama's nomination would bring none of these benefits. Indeed, his presence at the top of the Democratic ticket could mean a Democrat victory in November.

(Full Article)

Endorsement Roundup...

Joan Baez
Kate Michelman
LA Times
Susan Eisenhower
Albuquerque Tribune
Maria Shriver
La Opinión

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Clinton would seize pay for health coverage

From USA Today/Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday she might be willing to have workers' wages garnished if they refuse to buy health insurance to achieve coverage for all Americans.
The New York senator has criticized presidential rival Barack Obama for pushing a health plan that would not require universal coverage. Clinton has not always specified the enforcement measures she would embrace, but when pressed during a television interview, she said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."

Clinton said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms. Under her plan, she said, health care "will be affordable for everyone" because she would limit premium payments "to a low percent of your income."

(Full Article)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Hudson Valley activist speaks about his experiences with Hillary...

Why I can't vote for Hillary

By Sam Pratt, Founder - Friends of Hudson

When it comes to Hillary Clinton, there is no shortage of unfair and
unprincipled reasons for disliking her -- and if you listen to AM talk
radio for an hour, you'll probably hear them all.

I reject the sexism of those who still think a former First Lady has
no place in policy debates, just as I reject the absurd theories of
those who think she had a hand in the death of her close friend Vince

Having volunteered on Clinton's first senate campaign, I get mad when
I hear Rush Limbaugh savage her as a liar and an opportunist. I'm also
grateful to her for keeping Rudy Guiliani and Rick Lazio out of the

But you don't have to be a sexist or a conspiracy theorist to oppose
Clinton's candidacy.

I don't dislike Hillary; I distrust her. And my reasons are both
substantive, and based on direct personal experience. When a major
issue hit the Hudson Valley, Clinton was less than honest with her
constituents, and all to eager to take credit where none was due.

For nearly 7 years, our communities were riven with controversy about
a vast, coal-burning facility proposed by St. Lawrence Cement here in
the Hudson Valley.

Given the harsh health, scenic, noise, traffic, economic and other
negative potential impacts, opponents naturally wanted to get the ear
of Mrs. Clinton -- and we tried everything. She was approached at
campaign whistlestops, at private dinners, and public fundraisers.
Printed factsheets were pressed into staffers' hands, and handwritten
letters beseeched our new Senator to help end this dangerous idea. But
she refused to take any public stand.

Finally, as the leader of the grassroots opposition, I tried an old-
fashioned political route. A friend identified a celebrity donor in
nearby Dutchess County who was opposed to St. Lawrence's plans, and he
called in a big favor. Driving to the capitol in his limo, we met with
Hillary first in a chamber outside the Armed Services Committee, then
took a long walk and tram ride under the Capitol to her offices.
Hillary was both charming, and surprisingly well-informed on our issue.

At last, here was my big chance to make a full case for her involvement.

But when I launched into a carefully-prepared spiel, the Senator
stopped me: "You don't need to do the presentation," she said. "The
plant is a terrible idea. Just tell me how I can help." Delighted, I
described the various Federal permitting processes in which she could
intervene, and the benefits of her taking a public stand.

She called in her chief environmental policy advisor, and gave
detailed instructions: Get a memo on her desk right away, listing the
necessary action steps and the policy rationales for each, and she'd
get right to work on it. Her performance was smart and convincing, and
her celebrity backer and I practically floated down the Capitol steps
on the way out.

The rest was silence. After promptly delivering the requested memo, I
was never able to get her staff (let alone the Senator herself) to
discuss the issue again, let alone take action to stop the plant.

About a year later, Clinton was cornered on the SLC issue by an
interviewer from The National Trust for Historic Preservation, who
finally got her to say that she thought the proposal was "not the
right direction for the Hudson Valley." These remarks were published
in Preservation Magazine, which Clinton apparently thought no one
would read... because when we then alerted local media to her
statement, Clinton's staff denied the remarks and claimed she still
had not taken a position.

Only after nearly 14,000 residents and 40 groups wrote in opposition
to the Republican administration of George Pataki did this terrible
project get scrapped -- without any help from either of our Democratic

But there was one more damning chapter in our Clinton saga.

After we won, the group I co-founded received an award at the Waldorf-
Astoria from the Preservation League of New York. During the award
ceremony, it was announced that there would be a video tribute from
someone who couldn't attend, but who wanted to pay her respects. Up on
a giant screen came Hillary Clinton, talking about how we'd all fought
such a good fight together.

Those of us who had been in the trenches for years looked at each
other in amazement. All the awful things people say about Hillary were
horribly validated: She didn't deliver on her promises, and then she
took credit for a victory achieved without her help.

Now, some friends say, "Come now, Sam -- all politicians are the same.
They tell you what you want to hear, and then do the opposite. Get
over it!" Others say, "Well, Hillary dropped the ball on that one, but
I still trust her on health care, education, abortion, the economy, et

To these excuses I say: Other politicians from five states had the
guts to take a stand on an issue affecting hundreds of thousands of
downwind residents; why couldn't Clinton?

Why should we expect her to act differently the next time a major
regional controversy hits? If she won't stand up for the health of
children and the elderly, and won't expend any political capital to
save a broad swath of her own adopted State as its Senator, why should
we expect her to behave differently as President?

And why shouldn't I get behind another candidate who is just as strong
on core Democratic issues, such as Barack Obama -- whose campaign
overtly rejects this cynical brand of politics?

The whole experience brings to mind that phrase famously mangled by
our current President: Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame
on Hillary.

And that's why Senator Clinton doesn't have my vote on Super Tuesday.
She will almost certainly carry this State, but our votes can help
ensure that at least a portion of New York's delegates to the
Democratic convention are awarded to a more deserving candidate.

Ed: To make a reader happy, I am noting that this letter was forwarded directly to me by a volunteer for the Obama campaign in Columbia/Greene county, NY.
The letter was sent to him by Sam Pratt and he was given permission by Mr. Pratt to pass the letter along to as many people as possible.