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Geraldine Ferraro's Campaign Chief Says Hillary Will Prevail

John Sasso has a pretty impressive resume -- he was John Kerry's general election manager at the Democratic National Committee in 2004, manager of Michael Dukakis's presidential campaign in 1988 and the manager of Geraldine Ferraro's campaign.

True, they all lost, but that doesn't make his thoughts irrelevant. Writing in the Boston Globe Saturday, he says Hillary Clinton will prevail and win not just the Democratic nomination, but the Presidency.

Sasso says she's already cleared the bar, particularly that of attacks by Republicans:

If Obama is the Democratic nominee, a man less intimately understood and less defined, Republicans will rush to manufacture their own brutal definition. Can Obama withstand that kind of barrage? Does he have the personal makeup to be as relentless as his opponents? Do past political positions leave him vulnerable? Because the risks are sky-high, these questions need to be reasonably raised and answered beforehand.

Clinton is well past negative redefinition. Unlike John Kerry's 2004 campaign in which veterans opposed to Kerry's candidacy challenged his war record, it will be difficult to ram a Swift Boat into her candidacy. If there is a convict in her political past, as with Willie Horton during the Dukakis 1988 campaign, he will already have been exhumed. Besides, the Clintons are veteran enough to mount a withering counterfire of their own.

Sasso calls her a "thoroughbred" of candidates and the most electable. [More...]

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Des Moines Register Endorses Hillary Clinton

Calling her the "most prepared to lead," the Des Moines Register tonight endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for President. A video from the Editorial board explaining their endorsement is here. "Every stage of her life has prepared her for the Presidency." The editors say while Obama inspired their imagination, Hillary inspired their confidence.

From working for children’s rights as a young lawyer, to meeting with leaders around the world as first lady, to emerging as an effective legislator in her service as a senator, every stage of her life has prepared her for the presidency.

That readiness to lead sets her apart from a constellation of possible stars in her party, particularly Barack Obama, who also demonstrates the potential to be a fine president.

....Determination to succeed and learning from her mistakes have been hallmarks of Clinton’s life....In the Senate, she has earned a reputation as a workhorse who does not seek the limelight.

Tested by rough politics and personal trials, she’s demonstrated strength, resolve and resilience.....Indeed, Obama, her chief rival, inspired our imaginations. But it was Clinton who inspired our confidence. Each time we met, she impressed us with her knowledge and her competence.

Congratulations, Hillary.

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Hillary 's Expectations In Iowa

Hillary Clinton, speaking in Iowa today, took a question for the first time from M.E. Sprengelmeyer, who for the past nine months has been covering the presidential race from Des Moines for the Rocky Mountain News.

His question:

We wanted Clinton to think back to those days during the campaign when her staff reportedly was suggesting that she skip Iowa altogether, saving her money and precious time for states that will be part of the national mega-contest on Super-Duper Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2007.

Since she has invested substantially in Iowa and still trails Sen. Barack Obama in the most recent polls, did she have any second thoughts about rejecting their advice?

Her answer is below:

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Hillary and The Roosevelts

Bobby Kennedy, Jr. compares Hillary Haters and the Roosevelts over at Huffington Post. He starts with how many had an irrational hatred of the Roosevelts and continues:

Hillary's supporters should be heartened by the fact that intense hatred is often accompanied by equally strong support. Roosevelt won four landslide victories against his opponents and crafted the architecture for the most humane, successful, generous features of modern American government.

They can also take comfort in Hillary's proven ability to transform intense hatred into loyal support. I recently toured upstate New York's traditionally Republican counties which she has transformed through leadership and political acumen, into rock solid Hillary Clinton strongholds.

Update: Also on HuffPo, Hillary's former Chief of Staff and another writer outline Hillary's foreign policy experience.

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Clinton Advisor Shaheen Resigns Over Obama Comments

Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign advisor Bill Shaheen resigned today after yesterday's ill-advised and unauthorized comments about Barack Obama's drug use.

Bill Shaheen, a national co-chairman for Clinton and a prominent New Hampshire political figure, had raised the issue of Obama's youthful drug use during a Wednesday interview, published on washingtonpost.com.

"I made a mistake and in light of what happened, I have made the personal decision that I will step down as the co-chair of the Hillary for President campaign," Shaheen said in a statement released by the campaign Thursday. "This election is too important, and we must all get back to electing the best qualified candidate who has the record of making change happen in this country. That candidate is Hillary Clinton."

Hillary apologized to Barack Obama today on the tarmac as they waited for a plane from D.C. to Iowa for the debate.

It was an unfortunate, regrettable incident. There's no room for these kind of errors this late in the game. Shaheen did the right thing by resigning.

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Hillary's New Campaign Ad With Mom Praised

Adwatch has reviewed Hillary Clinton's newest campaign ad, featuring her mom, Dorothy Rodham.

Rodham looks younger than her 88 years and appears to be plainspoken, genuine and apolitical. Her description of her daughter comes off as heartfelt and unscripted.

Here's the 30 second ad, judge for yourselves.

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Clinton Advisor Apologizes for Obama Comments

A big mistep by New Hampshire Clinton advisor Michael Sheehan today.

He said voters should study Mr. Obama’s background as they chose a candidate, warning that Republicans would scour for new details about a period of Mr. Obama’s life more than 20 years ago when he admitted using marijuana and cocaine. According to The Post’s Web site, Mr. Shaheen said, “It’ll be: ‘When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?’ There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It’s hard to overcome.”

The most important part of the story:

Clinton spokesman, Phil Singer, said, “These comments were not authorized or condoned by the campaign in any way.”

....In a statement later, Mr. Shaheen said, “I deeply regret the comments I made today, and they were not authorized by the campaign in any way.”

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Chelsea Helps Hillary in Iowa

Hillary Clinton brought her mom and Chelsea to Iowa.

Three generations of Clinton women hit the trail vowing "change across the generations" as Hillary Rodham Clinton stepped up her pitch to the women voters who could hold the key to Iowa's caucuses, which will launch the presidential nominating season in less than four weeks.

Hillary told the crowd her mother lives with her and Bill.

Clinton used the occasion to trot out a plan to bolster long-term care, including a $3,000 tax credit for caregivers, a doubling of the standard deduction for the elderly and a tax credit for purchasing long-term care insurance. She repeatedly pointed to her ability to care for her own mother as she ages.

"I don't think having my mother with me is a burden, I think it's a joy," said Clinton. "It isn't easy to do and a lot of families don't have a lot of options." ...Issues of long-term care and building families will be a focus of her presidency, Clinton said.


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Hillary Brings Mom and Chelsea, Rolls Out Buddy System in Iowa

Update: Chelsea is in Iowa today as well.


While Oprah stumps at two events in Iowa for Obama today, Hillary has her own plan. She'll be bringing her mother to three events and promoting the "buddy system."

More than a mother-daughter act, the appearance was designed to illustrate an urgent point of her campaign: The Buddy. “I wanted to bring a buddy with me!” Mrs. Clinton said. “So I brought my mother, Dorothy Rodham.”

The idea is that women will be more likely to attend a caucus if they have someone to go with.

In her quest to win the caucuses, Mrs. Clinton is working to demystify the curious Iowa process. With women voters her key target, she believes two are more likely to attend together than one would alone.

“We have thousands of women in their 80s and 90s who live alone who want to caucus on the night of Jan. 3,” Mrs. Clinton said. “It’s very inspiring for me for people who want to be there.”

The Washington Post has more on the gender race between Hillary and Obama in Iowa. [More]

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ABC Poll: Clinton Holds N.H. Lead With More Reliable Support

A new ABC News poll shows Hillary Clinton leading in New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton is holding off Barack Obama in New Hampshire with a single-digit but seemingly solid lead, scoring more committed and enthusiastic support, higher trust to handle pressing issues and broad margins on leadership, experience and electability.

The chart and numbers are here. (pdf).

Among likely voters in the Democratic primary, Clinton has 35 percent support, Obama 29 percent, John Edwards 17 percent and Bill Richardson 10 percent, with others in the low single digits.

As to why Hillary's support is considered "solid" and "more reliable":

Among those who've definitely decided on their candidate, she leads Obama by a wide 43-28 percent; and among the most enthusiastic likely voters she leads him by 45-24 percent.

Hillary also leads on six of the seven issues polled and has the largest advantage on health care.

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Hillary Comes Out Against Crack-Powder Retroactivity

Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton in Iowa yesterday said she has problems with making the reduction in crack-powder cocaine penalties, minimal as they are, retroactive.

“In principle I have problems with retroactivity," she said. "It’s something a lot of communities will be concerned about as well."

Five other Dems at the forum favor retroactivity:

Her five rivals present on stage — Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich — all said they favor making the shorter sentences retroactive.

Hillary needs to rethink this. As Law Prof Doug Berman says at Sentencing Law and Policy, her position is a huge disappointment. But I'm not convinced Obama's position will result in any future change of the excessive mandatory minimum sentences (as opposed to the minimal guideline reduction) for crack offenses. [More...]

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Hillary Won't Cross Writers' Picket Lines for CBS Debate

Breaking from Huffington Post....

Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, announced today that she will forgo CBS News' upcoming presidential debate unless the network can reach a resolution with its striking employees.

"The workers at CBS News have been without a contract for close to two and a half years," the Senator said. "It is my hope that both sides will reach an agreement that results in a secure contract for the workers at CBS News but let me be clear: I will honor the picket line if the workers at CBS News decide to strike."

I hope the other candidates follow her lead on this.

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Hillary Now Opposes Drivers' Licenses for the Undocumented

I'm disappointed to see that Hillary Clinton has now come out against drivers licenses for the undocumented.

Her advisers think this will take the issue "off the table." I think it opens her up to new attacks in tomorrow night's debate for being inconsistent.

She said at the last debate she wasn't particularly familiar with the proposals. I assume she is now. That's what makes her statement so disappointing. I thought that with more information on the issue, she would have seen the wisdom of the plan.

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Newweek Poll : Hillary Maintains Lead Post-Debate

Newsweek today:

In a new NEWSWEEK poll, Hillary Clinton took the heat at this week's Democratic debate and emerged undamaged.

....The New York senator gets 44 percent of the overall Democratic vote, compared to 24 percent for Obama (down a point since NEWSWEEK's August poll) and 12 percent for Edwards (down two points). She is the first choice of 45 percent of self-identified Democrats (compared with 39 percent of Democratic "leaners"). She also trounces Obama among Democratic female voters (48 to 19 percent) and enjoys a marginal lead among male Democratic voters (38 to 32 percent). Obama runs better among younger Democratic voters and minorities.

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Hillary Clinton Opposes Mukasey Confirmation

Hillary Clinton released this statement today, opposing the nomination of Michael Mukasey for Attorney General.

We need an Attorney General who has the strength to challenge this Administration when it is wrong, who is committed to reestablishing the independence of the Department of Justice and to restoring respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. I am deeply troubled by Judge Mukasey’s continued unwillingness to clearly state his views on torture and unchecked Executive power.

The Attorney General is the chief defender of the rule of law in our country. After Alberto Gonzales's troubled tenure, we cannot send a signal that the next Attorney General in any way condones torture or believes that the President is unconstrained by law. When we leave any doubt about our nation’s policy on torture, we send a terrible message to the rest of the world.


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