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Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers

Why would I fly to New York for a day? Because former President Bill Clinton invited a group of progressive bloggers (who happen to be Democrats) in for a 2 hour roundtable meeting at his Harlem office. It was awesome. More later, including a list of all the bloggers there (and yes, even the TL kid was there, thrilled at the opportunity.)


Bill Clinton, Peter Daou, Jeralyn Merritt


Bill Clinton and Bloggers

Criminal defense lawyers take note: He's far better on our issues than we thought while he was President, from mandatory minimums, to drug courts to restoring the right to vote to former offenders. I'm totally impressed.

More later, time to board the plane. I'll have lots more pictures up tonight as will all the bloggers there. I'll also update with a list of the bloggers.

First Update:

The bloggers in attendance, in no particular order:

Also Attending: Peter Daou, Hillary Clinton's Online Communications Director and creator of the Daou Report.

Lunch was suberb -- southern chicken, fresh salad, baked sweet potato fries, sauteed spinach, corn, cornbread, and a cherry cake like dessert. Even the iced tea was wonderful. All our plates were clean at the end.

More on the politics and discussion after I unpack and push through your still stuck comments. The site move to Scoop has entered the final phase by the way, so pretty soon the comments should just sail through. I'll let you know when.

Update: After reading the comments here, I think you are all being too hard on Bill Clinton. I wish he was still President.

To answer one of you, yes, I offered him the opportunity to blog at TalkLeft -- I added that I'm sure all of us at the table would welcome guest posts from him. He said he might take us up on it.

As for those of you who seem to assume the conversation was one-way and we were just listening to spin, we bloggers did our fair share of the talking. And he listened intently and responded on point.

As to the topics discussed, we talked about the Iraq War, the alleged terrorists in overseas secret prisons, health care (he said John Kerry's plan was the best of all, including his own) and he had nothing but praise for bloggers. While many of the mainstream politicians view us as the outlaw element of political society, up to no good, President Clinton has a different view. He complimented us on our fact-checking and our ability to get the word out on a moment's notice, such as the last week's blogswarm over ABC's movie, "The Path to 9/11″, which was written by a GOP guy and contained major inaccuracies as to what was done and not done during Clinton's terms.

We also talked about America's criminal justice system, how politicians are too afraid to do what's right, about the over-jailing of offenders, particularly those with minor drug offenses, about mandatory minimum sentences and how they haven't worked or promoted fairness. He said former offenders should regain the right to vote.

It was a heady experience, and one I will always appreciate and remember. How many of you have had the opportunity to sit down with a President for two hours, with your child, no less? In terms of access and being heard, which are primary goals of netroots and grassroots activism, it doesn't get any better than this.

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    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#4)
    by selise on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 01:58:33 PM EST
    saying it don't make it so... and he's talked a good line for a long time. i'm going to stick to judging him by his actions.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 02:29:14 PM EST
    Criminal defense lawyers take note: He's far better on our issues than we thought while he was President... Well, that was when it counted, wasn't it?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#11)
    by Andreas on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 02:57:20 PM EST
    I agree with the first two comments.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 03:14:41 PM EST
    So why the f--k wasn't he a more progressive, less reactionary, less corpoRatty prez? his triangulation killed the liberal wing of his Party... just askin...

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 03:21:08 PM EST
    Talk about perfect enemies of the good, initial-posters-wise. -

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 03:28:41 PM EST
    Gee I wasn't invited. Wonder why.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 03:39:30 PM EST
    "So why the f--k wasn't he a more progressive, less reactionary, less corpoRatty prez?" Because he's not the great and powerful Oz. You may not like it (I certainly don't) but the political era we're in was established by Reagan, and has yet to exhaust itself. Just as Nixon had to tack left during the Roosevelt->Carter era, any Democratic president will have to yield right during the Reagan->??? era. Sadly, ??? won't be GWB, but the next guy, who'll make Carter look like he had it easy.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#23)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 03:40:28 PM EST
    Max, It would take a miracle.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 03:47:43 PM EST
    I can't believe you wrote "Democrat bloggers". Has the Republican spin machine infected your brain as well? Of course, "Democrat" is the noun, "Democratic" is the adjective, but the Republicans have spent the past 40 years deliberately trying to get people to use "Democrat" as the adjective, often with a subtle stress on the last syllable. The New Yorker ran an excellent article on this.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 04:33:30 PM EST
    Wow, all the people with the hate-on for Jeralyn (and BigDog) today! Sheesh! Remember, he had to swim against the current, a current largely directed rich conservative media moguls. When he got the final repeal of Reagan's asinine tax cuts through Congress -- and he needed Al Gore to cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate -- the right-wing media establishment jumped all over him, to the point where the Democrats lost Congress in 1994.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 04:48:00 PM EST
    Amen to Joe Buck's comment. If we talk like the GOoPers, we're thinking like the GOoPers. Just sayin', not hatin'.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#45)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 05:29:59 PM EST
    I'll never forgive him for flying back to Arkansas to ensure the execution of Ricky Ray Rector.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#49)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 06:52:19 PM EST
    sure, i'm bitter and jealous. but i have to ask: how many totally impoverished, gay, or black blogges were invited. sigh. i guess i'll just get comfy down here in ignored land.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#6)
    by Kitt on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Oh whatever, selise. Jeralyn: You're right. It's an awesome opportunity. I too would jump at the opportunity to meet Clinton. (Of course, I would jump at the opportunity to meet Carter as well.) He is one of the brightest of past presidents and that counts for something. And for whatever reason, although not necessarily or particularly with me, he has an incredible following within certain communities.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Criminal defense lawyers take note: He's far better on our issues than we thought while he was President... Well, that was when it counted, wasn't it?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    He's far better on our issues than we thought while he was President, from mandatory minimums, to drug courts to restoring the right to vote to former offenders.
    Far better as well on issues than the current occupant of the WH. Much better at his choices of advisors too. Way to go Jeralyn! ---edger

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Tough crowd here. I'm interested in hearing more, so I await updates eagerly.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Congrats, Jeralyn Unlike the previous commenters, I think it's great that Clinton is reaching out to bloggers. He is still an important figure in Democratic Party circles and can influence key figures in government. The fact that he is paying attention to blogs is likely a great development because it means you message is getting through to the party establishment. I wouldn't vote for him again, but what's past is past and I am happy to have him on our side.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    I miss Bill. Though at this point, I actually also miss Nixon.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    I doubt I'll ever stop thinking that Bill Clinton was the greatest,most talented president I will ever see in my lifetime, but the commenter above is right... it is awefully strange to compliment him on the opinions he *actually* holds but did not put on paper.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Let's remember he was up against a Republican congress. I could be persuaded that he didn't manage to do enough to make his coattails longer, and I definitely agree that NAFTA and the Telecom bill were huge, unwise concessions. But his triangulation alone didn't lose the house.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#18)
    by Avedon on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    I'm afraid I'm with the chorus on this one. He can say whatever he wants, but what did he do for me when it counted? Bupkis.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Some people'll complain if you hang 'em with a silver cord.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#21)
    by JSN on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    It is said he can charm a cat off a shrimp boat.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Bill Clinton fought for Nafta and got it passed. He signed legislation that allowed media to consolidate into a handful of companies. He failed to restore the Fairness Doctrine. He left it up to the Bush Administration decide whether to pursue Osama Bin Laden, rather than launch the attacks once the evidence was in on the Cole Bombing. He has refrained from criticizing Bush even though the Bush Administration has broken all precedent by criticizing him relentlessly. He continues to support dynasticism in American politics by supporting his wife's presidential ambitions. Most unforgivably, he labors under the naive impression that his political opponents just differ about what's best for the country when it has been quite clear from the beginning that they wanted to liquidate it, take possession of its assets and trample on its founding document. And I don't believe he's taken much of a stand on the war, but I might be wrong about that. These are all pretty important issues to me, so I'd be just fascinated to know on what issues he's supposed to be "better than we thought while he was president," when, as an ealier commenter pointed out, it would have made more of a difference.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    C'mon Quentin. I'll grant you that the commenters might have let her down more softly, in that we could all perhaps try and understand why Jeralyn said what she said and allow her the pleasure of basking in the glow of a superstar. But given that the guy was known PRECISELY for being able to say what he knew people wanted to hear, her comment really does come across as laughable at best, downright naive and "faith-based" at worse. He's a brilliant politician. He worked the room well. Doesn't mean he didn't believe what he was saying, and it doesn't mean he's an evil man (we all know what that looks like in a President). But it does mean that we in the reality-based community should be ready to call a spade a spade. The blog post is fawning. The commenters are doing what blogs do best - holding people accountable with cold, hard facts. Yours is a perfect example of centrist ideological extremism. Never mind the facts, there are "leftists" to browbeat with "sensibility".

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    let's see who's there; Duncan told us already, and I believe I see Chris Bowers hair in the back row!

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Politicians find it notoriously easy to impress intellectuals and writers in face-to-face meetings. It's the oldest trick in the book. I hope the others in this meeting were more on their guard than the host of this blog.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#29)
    by nate on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    I'm with the first posters, too. Clinton was a great deal better than the lump we've got now, but he wasn't exactly a hero of the people. Welfare "reform," criminal justice "reform," etc. -- it's great that he's sounding more progressive now, and I'm still proud of much he did in office, but you have to be honest that when it was up to him he let us down in some major ways.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#30)
    by msobel on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    I note Peter Daou's presence as being indicative of Senator Clinton's positive influence in understanding the Blogosphere. I will forgo the obligatory, "Yeah but Clinton didn't give me a pony" comment. He was the best president we had in my lifetime, with JFK open to argument. You try governing with Newt's assistance. I omit Harry Truman because I was only 7.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#31)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Wow! Can't wait to hear more about it. :)

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#32)
    by ltgesq on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    He is an opportunist. Now that his wife is in office, she (the allegedly more liberal one) is pushing a flag burning amendment. Spare me. Bill Clinton has a long history of being personally charming, and stabbing his friends and supporters in the back. Welfare reform anyone? And whose justice department continued to harrass defense lawyers with the threat of money laundering charges? He had his chance and blew it (or someone did it for him.) Before I went to law school, I was a union carpenter. On one major job we saw the non union steel company located out of arkansas. They treated thier employees like crap and killed more people than all the rest of the contractors put together. Arkansas -- home of extreme poverty, ignorance, lax environmental standards, and large corporations running everything. Sound familiar?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#33)
    by wagonjak on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Why then doesn't Clinton come out more strongly against all the corruption he knows this administration is perpetrating on the American people?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#34)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Criminal defense lawyers take note: He's far better on our issues than we thought while he was President, from mandatory minimums, to drug courts to restoring the right to vote to former offenders. I'm totally impressed.
    I'm sure Ricky Ray Rector's family is very impressed too.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#35)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    That's right, it's Clinton's fault. The fact he wasn't the perfect liberal President has nothing to do with people like Newt Gingrich, Phil Gramm, Bob Dole, the idiots in the press, or Ken Starr. It's all Clinton's fault. Get a grip, people.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#36)
    by pax on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Jeez, I feel totally out of synch tonite. Was just over on a sports blog and I was happy about something no one else was happy about. Congrats to TL on the invite! I'm envious. Hopefully positive things come from the meeting.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#37)
    by sue on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    I was thrilled to be asked to meet with John Edwards in a closed blogger session when he came to New Haven to support Ned Lamont. Things are changing in the media world.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#38)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    He wasn't perfect, but why the venom?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#39)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Well, that photo gives lie to the stereotype that Democratic bloggers are all just a bunch of twenty-somethings who hang out all day in their pajamas. I wish I could have been there......

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    For me,Bill Clinton is forgiven all his socalled mistakes by the brilliant comment he made a couple of days ago about the Bush fearmongers: "They keep trottin out that same old mangy dog." the mangy dog of fear and more fear.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#42)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    He was a great president, but like all of us he has his flaws too. At least he admitted his and came clean. I think Bill Clinton should run for President again.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#44)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    I don't care. I loves me some Big Dog! Clinton at his worst was 1000 x better than Bush at his best. Not that Monkey Boy HAS a best.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#46)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    I am against the death penalty. However, to bemoan the fact that Rector was mentally disabled without recognizing the guy became so through his own actions, is a joke. I'm not *that* liberal.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#47)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Forget the Democrat-ic thing. Talk about wasting time and energy. Clinton would love to have been a lefty, but the left has been pressed out of the mainstream for 20 years or more. Our time will come again, especially given the easily-predicted incompetence and heartlessness of the current crop of psychos.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#48)
    by Mary on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Clinton did the best he could with incredible right-wing resistance. He's not a miracle-worker, only one human. That said, he was a fabulous president. Don't be too hard on him...we may not see such a good president again in our lifetimes.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    WTF is this blaming Reagan for Clinton being a weasel? He was forced to push NAFTA through congress because of Reagan? Puh-leeeeeeze! Clinton ripped huge holes in the social safety net established by FDR and he did it unflinchingly. He's the guy that brough the DLC to the fore and gave the Democrats minority status for 12 years now, so I am not sure why you are even bothering talking to him unless it was to tell him thanks for nothing.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#51)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Very happy you all got to tell your truths to the Big Dog. Very sorry you've fallen into the "Democrat blogger" form of propaganda. Hoping it was just a typo.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#52)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    "He's far better on our issues than we thought while he was President" What exactly does this mean? Sure sure, perfection enemy of good etc. But, what does that mean? He did and signed into law various things. What did you not know? What he himself believed? He always seemed to talk lib and act centrist and sometimes somewhat rightish (free trade, welfare 'reform', anti-terrorist/efficiency in death penalty act). On balance, this was a good thing in many cases, but what exactly are "we" supposed to be only now aware of?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#54)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Since Peter Daou heads Hillary's blogger outreach, may we wonder whether a more subtle objective was being pursued, to wit, getting the ceme de la creme of the lefty blogosphere (Miracle Max excepted) on board for Hillary '08?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#55)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    selise said: "i'm going to stick to judging him by his actions." Two things: I just finished reading The Bush Junta, a great graphic novel-style history of the Bush Crime Family. Quote that stuck out from that tome: Watch what they (the Bushes) DO, not what they SAY. Second: Contrast Clinton's and Bush II's State of the Union speeches; the former a laundry list of achieved goals and challenges for the future, the latter nothing but smears and fears. If you didn't like what Clinton was doing, I think you might have been a little too focussed on the LITTLE picture. Greatest President of my lifetime--but far from perfect. He'd win again today in a landslide.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#56)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    Posted by chicago dyke September 12, 2006 07:52 PM sure, i'm bitter and jealous. but i have to ask: how many totally impoverished, gay, or black blogges were invited. sigh. i guess i'll just get comfy down here in ignored land. ------------------- At least one gay blogger was there - John from AMERICAblog!

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#57)
    by Al on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    I hate to say it, but haven't you guys learned how Clinton works? He says whatver the group in front of him wants to hear at that moment - even if an opposing group is right there too. He just tells the other group what they want to hear and everyone goes home happy. I saw him answer a question in a press conference and, no lie, he said "there are two answers". He proceeded to support both sides of the issue without any hesitation. The press went along with it too. They say the guy is unbelievable in person.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#59)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 09:08:41 PM EST
    Expatjourno, I could not have expressed it better. I completely agree with you. Anon, Good point. Let's wait and see a bit. We have not heard from the invited Web Hosts yet.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#63)
    by Avedon on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 04:17:45 AM EST
    *ahem* Scher. Bill Scher. (And count me as one of those people who speaks English well enough to twitch every time I hear "Democrat" when it should be "Democratic".)

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#68)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 05:33:28 AM EST
    Interesting. Did anyone ask him if he's going to blog? What's his interest in bloggers?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#75)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 08:23:15 AM EST

    My morning thought was about the blogger's meeting in New York with President Clinton. Many of you luminaries were there.

    I had two reactions. First, it was incredibly neat for you people who have kept the flame alive [or rekindled it] through these dark years when the traditional media and the Democratic Party has been asleep to be recognized for what they've done. My second thought was that you sounded "Star-Struck." Nothing wrong with that. Bill Clinton is a Star, flaws and all. A great man. But not many months ago, these same bloggers were questioning the Democratic Party, Where the hell was it! Of course most of us are Democratic voters. Where's the choice? Of course, most of the people there think of themselves as Democrats. Who wouldn't. But you had the "Star-Struck" thing a little backwards. You are the Stars.

    If I were the Democratic Party, and I wanted to bring these popular and powerful liberal bloggers into the fold, who would I send as my emissary? Mr. Charisma, Bill Clinton. So my thought on awakening was that the downside of this visit might be the co-opting of the independence of the bloggers. Support all the Democrats you can find, as long as they are hard workers who are dedicated to doing the right thing. If a do_the_right_thing Republican crawls out of the muck, support him_or_her too - or a Libertarian, or an Independent, or whomever. You guys are in a buyer's market, not a seller's market. Progressive bloggers support progressive politicians, no matter from whence they come.

    Never forget that the Democrats let us down - way down. Even Bill Clinton let us down. We all know what we're fighting for, and what we're fighting against. It ain't time for a Bob Dylan to pick up an electric guitar. That day may come like it did for him, but it's not on September 12th, 2006.



    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#62)
    by Liberal Heart on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    I miss the Clinton Presidency every day.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#64)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    What was discussed for two hours? Anonymous provided some food for thought. The presence of Daou made me wonder also. I hope the well known bloggers do not get so celebrity mesmerized that they will begin pushing for Hillary--that would certainly be a shame should it evolve into flame wars of the "for" and "against" on their sites. Hillary is not so popular on the blogs. Then what I wonder? deletions? bannings? of the anti-hillary group and admonitions from the owner to put aside "ideology" hold your nose and vote type of exchange? Well we are all, after all, only human beings

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#65)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    Jeralyn, I hope you had a lovely time with Clinton in spite of the many detractors. He must have been very interesting to listen to, after all folks here in europe aren't paying three hundred thousand pounds a pop to listen to him for nothing. (still got the article? I can resend it)

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#66)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    >>Even the iced tea was wonderful probably southern style 'sweet tea'

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#67)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    Every night before I go to sleep, I say a little prayer blessing the light of my otherwise miserable life -- William Jefferson Clinton -- for perfecting the art of pardons for profit on his way out the door.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#69)
    by bella on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    Unfortunately, the proof on Clinton is in the pudding, starting with the fact that he incarcerated his own brother rather than sending him to treatment. He didn't even have the class to act like a politician when the cameras were onhis own brother. His actions on criminal justice were humiliating for a democrat nationally and internationally. You are star-struck a problem of many who don't spend real time in DC with the clay-footed.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#70)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    Destardi, It comes down to a matter of motivation. Clinton flew back to make sure Rector was executed to show the world he was "tough." It's proof of his pandering.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#71)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    Al you are right. I don't know if Bill actually beleives the BS he is pushing but does it really matter? He is a master politician no what you think of him. In my veiw he is Kerry if Kerry could keep more then one thought going in his head at the same time. While Bill would tell you he voted for it before he voted against it you wouldn't know it when he told you and it would make perfect sense. Example is the arresting of OBL. Bill admits in a speech that he didn't think he could hold OBL so he passed but later says that he really didn't say it that way but a different way. It's as if you just can't believe he is saying what he's saying so the press gives him a pass. I miss Billy Boy.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#72)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    Since Peter Daou heads Hillary's blogger outreach, may we wonder whether a more subtle objective was being pursued, to wit, getting the ceme de la creme of the lefty blogosphere (Miracle Max excepted) on board for Hillary '08? Bingo! We have a winner!

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#74)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    Clinton, the best republican president since Ike. no doubt this meeting was in/directly concerning Hillary '08, the guy is clever, and an effective politico. there's always at least two answers to any question.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#76)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    Mickey, it seems to me like it was one of those chess tourneys, where the grandmaster plays a dozen games blindfolded. I doubt if Clinton gave one thing away, but I'll bet he got a real good read on our blogger pals. What makes these people tick? I wonder if he understands yet that the instant one of our blogger "leaders" sells out they're as gone as last months' lunchmeat.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#73)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:58 AM EST
    Everyone knows that Clinton could charm a mink right out its hide. But by any objective measure, the man and his politics were devastating for the Democratic Party. Here are a few facts from an article in the Nation by Bob Borosage, February 8, 1999: "In 1992, when Clinton gained the presidency, Democrats controlled the House 258 to 176, the Senate 57 to 43 and the nation's governorships 30 to 18. As the new Congress convenes, Republicans control the House 223 to 211, the Senate 55 to 45 and the nation's statehouses 31 to 17. Republicans lost House seats but won more total votes than Democrats in 1998, in an election that featured the lowest voter turnout since 1818 outside the South. However exhilarating, escaping extinction is a long way from triumph." If I am not mistaken, the Republicans made equally disturbing gains across state legislatures. If you look at these numbers, and you understand the amazing bully pulpit the president has (which George Bush has used so well to inculcate us with his lies), you have to ask whether Clinton really wasn't one of the worst presidents in history, from a progressive point of view. He had a chance to fight against the right, and instead he went with Dick Morris, triangulation, the Democratic Leadership Council, and devastation of the Democratic Party. Why progressives think they should be sucking up to this guy now is beyond me. This guy's politics were completely selfish; he benefitted, but he utterly failed to do the hard work he should have done to build a progressive base in this country.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:32:55 AM EST
    He's far better on our issues than we thought while he was President, from mandatory minimums, to drug courts to restoring the right to vote to former offenders.
    Far better as well on issues than the current occupant of the WH. Much better at his choices of advisors too. Way to go Jeralyn! ---edger

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:32:55 AM EST
    He's far better on our issues than we thought while he was President, from mandatory minimums, to drug courts to restoring the right to vote to former offenders.
    Far better as well on issues than the current occupant of the WH. Much better at choosing advisors too. Way to go, Jeralyn! ---edger

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:32:55 AM EST
    With all due respect...he's a politician, not opposed to telling people what he thinks they want to hear. He had a chance to do something about those issues you mentioned while in office...but then he was telling a much larger audience what he thought they wanted to hear...more police, more tough on crime nonsense. Actions speak louder than words.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#5)
    by John Forde on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:32:55 AM EST
    Jeralyn... What is it like to be annointed?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#58)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:32:55 AM EST
    Congrats to Pickabone for nailing the counterargument to the anti-Clintonites. The liberal wing of the Democratic establishment wasn't killed, it committed suicide. The retirement of Hubert Humphrey and the death of Bobby Kennedy left it without strong leaders. You had the liberal but corrupt types in Washington, typified by Tip O'Neil, and the liberal to moderate weak and inept faction, of which, sadly, Daniel Patrick Moyhnihan was the most telegenic. I was an outcountry witness to the whole, sorry process, beginning with the betrayal of Jimmy Carter by the Beltway establishment in the 70s and their knuckling under to Reagan in the 80s. There was no sadder sight than to see a decorated war hero like Inouye cower in bewilderment before the bravura TV performance of that weaseling traitor, Oliver North. That entire generation of well-intentioned nice-guys were chopped into chowder by the likes of Deaver, Ailes, Rove, etc. They didn't understand what was happening and wouldn't get out of the way so someone else could take over. Clinton was the only Democrat with the talent to actually get anything done. This in the midst of a full scale political war in which his fellow Democrats were either helpless bystanders or aiding the enemy.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:32:55 AM EST
    Notice how the only real praise that people can muster here for Clinton is how much better than George W. Bush he is. Very telling that. When you get around to looking at ISSUES he don't come off so good. Yes, he is a great politician and as such he is exactly what we don't need more of.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#77)
    by Sailor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 01:39:38 PM EST
    So much for the meme that the left will dosay anything for clinton. What the wrongwingers miss is that we have principles and we hold everyone to them while they will defend bush no matter how often he flip-flops and lies.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#79)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 04:21:58 PM EST
    My biggest question is what does he say about all the 9-11 online banter?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#78)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:04:34 PM EST
    Amen to Sailor! However there are some Democrats that will defend Clinton to the death and the truth be damned. I "debate" with them all the time, to no avail. They are so used to defending him after the 8 years of unrelenting rabid wingnut attacks that they became blind to the fact that just because that sick element of the political spectrum hates him, he was not necessarily good for the Democratic cause. One more thing should be brought up: Clinton's great capacity to throw his people to the wolves at the first sign of trouble (Lani Guinier and Jocelyn Elders come to mind). It still galls me that the corporate owned media frames the Clinton versus Wingnut (what the Republican Party has become since 1980) debate as anything more than a fight over just how much of a third world country the United States will become over the next few decades. It's time to retire the DLC to the dustbin of history and recognize Clinton for what he did to the working class and the Democratic majority.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#80)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:04:34 PM EST
    ...until, of course Clinton buys us dinner.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#81)
    by rob on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 12:01:41 PM EST
    Jeralyn: I've got a bridge in Manhattan I think you might be interested in.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#82)
    by Sailor on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 12:24:49 PM EST
    EDL, agreed with everything you said ... and I could add a few of my own. Mainly I think a good fight that you lose is better than a mediocre compromise that you 'win.'

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#84)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 02:36:42 PM EST
    Posted by Pope Buck I September 12, 2006 04:28 PM Some people'll complain if you hang 'em with a silver cord.
    You'd be just as dead. So I don't think that observations works in your favor. Clinton was best when he was standing up to Gingrich and the GOP Congress. He should have been doing that the whole time. There's no point in triangulating if you don't bring home the legislation/policy for your own team. The chorus is right: saying the right words, but refusing to push the policies to enact them, is in the end just saying what people want to hear. I like Clinton. He's got GREAT command of the facts relating to progressives' most important objectives. But he was much less hamstrung than he or others like to believe.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#83)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 02:36:43 PM EST
    Clinton had a Democratic congress his first two years, but he had a poor relationship with Congress and wasn't able to enact anything of significance. He has to take a share of the blame for losing the Congress to the Republicans. He passed NAFTA with mainly Republican support and demonized organized labor, so the labor movement, usually the backbone of the Democratic get-out-the-vote effort, sat the election out. He responded to the loss by shifting right, declaring "the era of Big Government is over", enacting the GATT and welfare reform, two items at the top of the Republican agenda. His economic policy was pro-corporate, and he taught Democrats to stop talking about the poor, but to talk instead about the hardship of "the forgotten middle class".

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#85)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:41:10 AM EST
    "We recognized, once again, that we can't love our country and hate our government."

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#86)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:44:01 AM EST
    "But do not condemn people who work for the government. That's the kind of mentality that produced Oklahoma City."

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#87)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:48:36 AM EST
    "Like the vigilant generations that brought us victory in World War II and the Cold War, we must stand our ground. In this high-tech world, we must make sure that we have the high-tech tools to confront the high-tech forces of destruction and evil. That is why I have insisted that Congress pass strong anti-terrorism legislation immediately" "I welcome the comments that some of you have made recently condemning the bombing in Oklahoma City. I believe you have every right, indeed you have the responsibility, to question our government when you disagree with its policies. And I will do everything in my power to protect your right to do so. But I also know there have been lawbreakers among those who espouse your philosophy." "If you say that government is in a conspiracy to take your freedom away, you are just plain wrong." "How dare you suggest that we in the freest nation on Earth live in tyranny." "I say to you, all of you, the members of the Class of 1995, there is nothing patriotic about hating your country, or pretending that you can love your country but despise your government."

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#88)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:17:59 AM EST
    I think it's worth noting, and keeping in mind for a sense of perspective, that Clinton was far and away the best and most successful president of my lifetime. But what do I know. I'm only forty.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#90)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 04:51:56 PM EST
    "At the time, 1996, he [bin Laden] had committed no crime against America, so I did not bring him here [from Sudan] because we had no basis on which to hold him." - BJ Clintoon, February 2002. Now ... what did the crook mean by that?

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#89)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 04:51:57 PM EST
    I have to agree: Clinton at his worst was better then what's going on now. Personally, I would *love* to have had an opportunity to have a dinner with a man of his stature & compassion.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#91)
    by Andreas on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 11:58:38 PM EST
    Just for the record: I agreed with kdog and selise who wrote "Actions speak louder than words" and "i'm going to stick to judging him by his actions". The two comments by "Anonymous" praising Clinton were not there when I posted.

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#92)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Sep 25, 2006 at 05:53:04 PM EST
    I can't believe all of the negative comments about Bill...what a bunch of liberal whiners....I believe he did the best he could in the era we lived in at the time....I would do anything to have him back in office, rather than this mess we're currently stuck with...

    Re: Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers (none / 0) (#93)
    by Mary on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 02:43:10 PM EST
    Um. It is indeed, very enteresting to see how liberals think among themselves.