The New Attack Phase Of The Campaign?

If this is true, I think Hillary's opponents are making a grave mistake:

Her rivals clearly remained delighted by the turn of events. Edwards, in an interview with liberal talk show host Ed Schultz, promised to "keep pounding the drum on making certain the voters know they have these choices" between what he described as the entrenched special interests in Washington, represented by Clinton, and advocates of change such as himself.

Special interests like undocumented aliens? The issues matter Senator Edwards. And your views on licensing undocumented alien drivers is still unknown. Your misleading doubletalk, and that of Sen. Obama, on lobbyist money, is the height of hypocrisy and gameplaying. Obama's performance in the McClurkin Affair smacks of pandering to bigots. Senator Dodd's position on the question of licenses was simply terrible.

We need a little straight talk from Hillary's opponents on REAL progressive issues. There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton does not provide the most straightforward answers. But those folks living in glass houses need to clean up their act before they start casting stones. I want to hear about issues first. Not Hillary. Speak to the issues and then contrast with Clinton. Do not put the cart before the horse.

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    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:23:47 AM EST
     it's hard to trust someone who won't give a straight answer. As a caveat, though, I'd suggest I often find it difficult to trust politicians who give what appear to be straight answers. Some people equivocate and some people "look you in the eye" and tell you a flat out lie.

      There is obviously a willful refusal here to confront Hillary Clinton's very high negatives many of which are based upon her past conduct which will be easily exploitable by the Republicans. The "attacks" on her by the other Democrats thus far are quite  benign compared to what she will face if she wins the nomination.

      That these relatively gentle attacks on her character and credibility have thus far had relatively little impact on her numbers among likely voters in the Democratic nomination process should not be used to promote the assumption that the much more virulent attacks which the Republicans will use against her will not have a far greater impact upon people who vote in the general election.

      Ultimately, the general election will be decided on the basis of whom is disliked and distrusted the least by the people not beholden to either of the Parties or any of the candidates.


    You kidding? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by andgarden on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 12:50:01 PM EST
    BTD's trademark is to attack mercilessly--but only on issues.

    I don't think (none / 0) (#1)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 08:20:40 AM EST
     the new spin that poor wittle Hillary is being picked on by the mean boys, so please come toher defense is a particularly well considered one.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 08:38:50 AM EST
    I think it is pretty clear that the image of 6 other cadidates, all men, attacking Hillary, is pretty ugly for the 6 men.

    Particularly, as in Edwards' case, it comes without actually taking a stand on the issue being discussed.


    It appears to be the frontrunner facing (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Geekesque on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 11:56:28 AM EST
    the, ahem, inevitable gang-tackling.

    Howard Dean faced the same thing.

    I do think it's funny that have the blogosphere thinks Obama was a sexist attack dog, and the other half thinks he wasn't aggressive enough.


    "Funny," but not surprising ... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 03:58:32 PM EST
    ...given how partisan has been the response of people when asked "who won the debate?" So many in the "reality-based world" seem to lose it when it comes to being realistic about their candidate. What we've seen way too much of way too early is that whoever wins the Nomination is going to have feet of clay. Our challenge - our, as in left-progressives - is figuring out how to make the best of it when that Nominee, whoever s/he turns out to be, actually arrives in the Oval Office.

    My take on debates is that no one (none / 0) (#30)
    by Geekesque on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 10:12:48 PM EST
    really wins them but people can lose them.  I'm a terrible judge of how people perform at these things--but probably no worse then the bobbleheads on tee-vee.  

    It is true what you say about any President needing a push.  However, some will feel more accountable than others.  Not that any are perfect in this regard, as my preferred candidate so painfully proved this past week.


    What issue (none / 0) (#5)
    by eric on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 08:47:37 AM EST
    What issue?

    Did you watch the debate? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:09:36 AM EST
    Spitzer's plan to make available drivers' licenses for undocumented aliens.

    Edwards attacked Clinton on it but NEVER stated his own position.


    True (none / 0) (#22)
    by DA in LA on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 01:54:05 PM EST
    But the DL question was the only time she was actually called on giving a vacant answer.

    The entire debate was her not giving any substance, other than, "Bush is bad I'll do better."

    I'm not concerned about the DL issue as much as I am the total package.

    There is a reason people like Rupert Murdoch have held fundraisers for Hillary.  That's who they want, because she is the easiest to beat.  She certainly looked like the worst debater of all.  You can't buy likability with all the money you raise.

    Biden impressed me, as did Dodd and Edwards.  Obama was more of the same and it was not what he needed to do at this point.


    Sexist... (none / 0) (#11)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:31:36 AM EST
    Are you serious?

    The fact that you think it looks bad that six men would attack a woman is sexist in itself.  Hillary can take care of herself.  She is a Presidential candidate - if you can't handle being attacked by other candidates, than she shouldn't be up there.

    Why the hell does her gender matter in whether or not she is attacked?

    Are you a racist for attacking Barack Obama?  Come on...


    Image (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 10:12:33 AM EST
    I suppose to some, including Andrew Sullivan, my CRITIQUES of Obama are racist.

    I am not saying that going after he is sexist, but it will appear so to some.

    My critque is more based on the lack of stances from those doing the criticizing.


    An Inconvenient Truth (none / 0) (#27)
    by RedHead on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 08:47:59 PM EST
    At the Yearlykos candidate debate, you criticized the moderates as "pedestrian"  - wasn't one of the moderators a woman?

    I twice asked you why her questions were "pedestrian" and what questions would your have asked because I thought the slam was particularly ugly, yet you said nothing - twice.


    I actually (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:45:25 PM EST
    thought the FEMALE moderator was excellent.

    Your comment is ironic in the extreme.

    Where is Miss D when you need her.


    Prove It (none / 0) (#33)
    by RedHead on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 10:49:11 PM EST
    You can't.

    In the same-day thread I asked you directly and you refused to reply.

    When I brought this up again, a day or two later, you flip-flopped in your response regarding the female moderator, but you once again refused to provide any basis to your conclusory statement.  

    You really shouldn't pretend.  That only deepens the damage your standing and authority. Juries are reject masquerade.


    Pretend? (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 08:52:05 AM EST
    Let me make myself perfectly clear, I could not care less what you or anyone else thinks of me. In all my years of blogging, I thought THAT was the one thing that everyone understood.

    I am done with you. Enjoy your time at Talk Left.


    If you don't care what people think of you (none / 0) (#38)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 09:07:01 AM EST
     what could possibly motivate you to write so much in a  public forum? Absent the effect on other people wouldn't you accomplish just as much by writing and then hitting delete (not a bad idea,  by the way,  for about 90% of what you write).

      I will anticipate your inevitable "I don't care what people think about me but only about the ideas I express" claim by pointing out that even if any of us had any inclination to believe your ego is totally disengaged here it's pretty well understood by most people that people listen more to and accept more from people they have positive feelings toward than those they have negative feelings toward.

      I think the truth is more accurately expressed as  you don't care about persuading people but merely seek a captive audience of those who agree with you and welcome your reinforcement of their prejudices (there's that ego thing)  and wish you could be more successful in shunning and excluding those who disagree with you.



    Because I care what people think on the issues (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 09:53:04 AM EST
    I care about.

    Pretty funny that you STILL do not understand that about me.

    You are all about what people think of people.

    I am all about what people think of issues.

    That is how we are different.


    As for persuasion (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 09:57:29 AM EST
    You have imo demonstrated an utter lack of uderstadig at how political persuasion works.

    Take our small world of the blogosphere.

    Consider the issues I have obsessed on this year. Would you say I have done a decet job of persuading on those issues in the discrete world I aim at?

    Take my main issue - not funding the Iraq Debacle. How do you think I have done in persuading people on that issue?

    You are so caught up in your OWN feelings about me PERSONALLY that you have no idea what is going on around you.

    Frankly, it is a shame, because you are obviously an incredibly bright person.

    I'll grant you that unlike some folks here who are here for nice open discussion from folks of all ideological stripes, I am not. I do not engage in that type of stuff here.

    I write my polemics and defend them.

    I think you have never understood what I am about.


    since you asked (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 10:07:32 AM EST
     I don't think you persuade anyone to reconsider their preconceived notions on any issue including not funding Iraq. I think you  write in a manner which inhibits reconsideration of ideas among both those who agree with you and disagree with you and simply serves to harden positions and reduce the likelihood of people actually thinking about things.



    Then you deny the obvious (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 10:33:34 AM EST
    But it is little matter to me what you think on that issue.

    Look, let's get back to fighting about the issues.

    Talking about me is boring.


    Oh how thin skinned. (none / 0) (#43)
    by RedHead on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 10:08:34 AM EST
    you must bruise like a grape

    Buck up, little homie.

    Isn't that what you demand and expect of others?

    Remember, no phonys allowed.


    Nothing phony about it (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 10:34:19 AM EST
    You are on your own as far as I am concerned.

    Sorry if that bothers you so much.


    How Pedestrian of you (none / 0) (#41)
    by RedHead on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 10:02:52 AM EST
    Darling don't go!

    Please come back!

    Please, Please, Please!

    I need you!  

    I have low-esteem and daddy issues!


    You've been exposed for what your are.

    In addition to being a phony, a bully always runs away when challenged.


    I would bet a ton you've never made partner.  It's a tough profession, and for a while you can get ahead, but underlying hollowness and weakness always catches up.


    Whatever (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 10:35:29 AM EST
    Enjoy your thoughts.

    I think its worse (none / 0) (#3)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 08:45:49 AM EST
     for her to use this spin. first, I doubt anyone male or female is likely to be swayed toward her  by appeals for pity. Second, I think begging for pity is exploitable by those so inclined to sway people against her.

    She's not spinning this; it was self-evident (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Ellie on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:38:25 AM EST
    She's stating her position on the issues.

    The other candidates are opportunistically riding the animosity of hacks like Russert, who make Sen. Clinton "the issue", and then all the guys get to take a pop at her.

    I agree with the others who have posted here that she came off well by neither bowing to the pile-on, nor whining that it was going on. Again, she's not my 1-2-3, but ...

    "If people don't stop saying incredibly sexist things about Hillary Clinton, I may just have to vote for her." Katha Pollit

    (Some 90's witch hunters are already ravening audibly at the prospect of reviving their pre-Bush anti-Clinton gossip and circle jerk. I'll happily contribute to any effort to see every single sleazemonger plastered on a blog-wall of shame, forced to eat his or her new words AND some vintage crud from back when.)


    What? (none / 0) (#4)
    by eric on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 08:47:03 AM EST
    Special interests like undocumented aliens?

    Who said that undocumented aliens are a special interest?  I don't see it in the story.

    Are you talking about Edwards?

    You tell me (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:11:27 AM EST
    What special interests is Edwards talking about? Unions? AFSCME? Who is Edwards talking about?

    Obviously (none / 0) (#24)
    by DA in LA on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 01:58:41 PM EST
    They both take money from special interests.

    But Edwards is playing a smart political game here by putting the word "Washington" in front of political interests.  It is shrewd politics, and I'm sorry to say, what is needed if we are going to go up against the Republicans.  They are a nasty bunch.

    I still want Dodd, myself.


    Special Interests.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:54:33 AM EST
    like the insurance industry.

    Who benefits from a sudden leap in licensed drivers who are mandated by law to purchase insurance?  The insurance industry.


    What requirement? (none / 0) (#47)
    by libertarian soldier on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 10:46:25 AM EST
    What state has a requirement to buy insurance to get a driver's license (as opposed to register a vehicle for operation)?

    None that I know of.... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 10:56:14 AM EST
    but just connect the dots.  

    You need a license to buy insurance, and need insurance to register a car.  At least in my state, when you go to get an insurance quote the first thing they ask for is your license.

    I have no proof, but I have a suspicion that the insurance industry lobby is pushing the license idea...more licenses issued will inevitably lead to more insurance being sold.


    Spitzer Is No Friend (1.00 / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 12:58:00 PM EST
    Of the insurance industry. He went after them big time as NY attorney general.

    If you believe in accountability," says Spitzer, "then when you have the factual record to say, `Wait a minute, you [the top management] should be held accountable,' you have to act that way."

    At his October 14 press conference, Spitzer announced the guilty pleas of two AIG execs in the bid-rigging scheme. He also announced he was suing Marsh & McLennan in civil court. Then he brought out the big gun. Spitzer made clear that he was considering a criminal charge against Marsh & McLennan, essentially treating the company as a criminal enterprise, something no business can survive. Unless, that is, Marsh's top leadership stepped down.


    Now he squared off with Marsh & McLennan CEO Jeffrey Greenberg, scion of the country's most famous insurance family. Initially, Marsh seemed inclined to fight. Soon, though, Marsh's stock lost 43 percent of its value. In eleven days, Greenberg was gone. Rosoff soon followed.

    NY Mag


    Just as important (none / 0) (#6)
    by Lora on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:08:45 AM EST
    There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton does not provide the most straightforward answers.

    This means, for all her rhetoric, we DON'T really know where she stands on issues.

    They are right to call her on that.  I want a president I can trust.  I can't trust someone who won't give a straight answer.  We've had way too much of that lately.

    How you call her on it (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:10:51 AM EST
    is important.

    For example, on providing drivers licenses for undcoumented aliens, Edwards attacked her "doubletalk" while NEVER telling us his view on the issue.

    That is utter crap from him.


    Please explain (none / 0) (#14)
    by po on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:56:17 AM EST
    Why "Senator Dodd's position on the question of licenses was simply terrible."

    Immigration is a huge can of worms, no doubt.  And as a nation of mostly immigrants, we should do a lot better.  

    That said, Dodd explained, as any law student knows, that driving on public roads is a privilege, not a right.  Granting privileges to those, who by any current definition of the law, should not be in this country, is contrary to logic and the law.

    Why should a State allow undocumented workers / illegal immigrants with a driver's license, but not question their status at the same time.  It just seems absurd.  And more absurdity, in an already absurd situation of nudge-nudge-wink-wink that's been standard practice for decades, is not needed.  Actual reform of immigration laws is needed as is 'security' at the border.  Providing DL's does neither and is, frankly, a needless distraction aimed, primarily, to benefit insurance companies.

    I still maintain (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:56:29 AM EST
    that HIllary came off well in that debate, the last five minutes notwithstanding. And those last five minutes were only bad because there was an appearance of agreement between most of the other candidates over Hillary's untruthfulness.

    this happens in every series of primaries (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 10:05:01 AM EST
    People behind are not getting enough acceptance of their platforms so they attack the leader with some decorum.  

    After a month or so, the media starts calling it "toughening their candidate up"  "prepping the anticipated nominee for a tough no holds barred offense from the republican".

    Why is this any different than any primary in the last 50 years?

    Al Gore could have learned a thing or two in his primary debates about eye rolling and posture when challenged, but he didn't and lost.  This is candidate prepping for whoever wins and the leader(s) must be the recipient of the greatest scrutiny to refine their appearance and standardized responses.  You don't want to get blindsided with a "You're no Jack Kennedy".

    It's about time (none / 0) (#19)
    by fafnir on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 11:59:56 AM EST
    The "attacks" on Clinton were about her judgement. That's fair game. Sure, Obama and Edwards don't have clean hands, but it is Clinton's responsiblily to point them out.

    Instead of counterpunching, Clinton chose to play rope-a-dope, perhaps hoping to evoke sympathy, and wound up tripping over her mangled response to the question about giving driver licenses for illegal aliens.

    This is not a coronation. Every candidate needs to account for his or her judgement, past performance and stance on the issues.

    SFHawkguy (none / 0) (#23)
    by SFHawkguy on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 01:54:33 PM EST
    Of course the other candidates are living in glass houses.  The only candidates that clearly and unequivacably states his or her opinion are the ones the media has now labeled "crazy" (e.g. Kucinich).  All the "major" candidates are disgusting panderers that can't even forcefully stand up for traditional liberal ideas.  The Democratic party no longer stands for working families and no longer cares about civil liberties and progressive social issues.  It's all about triangulating and going farther and farther to the right to get those "moderate" votes.

    While they are all guilty of pandering and equivocating--Hillary is the worst.  It's so baldly obvious to any normal person.  

    But I do think she has good debating skills and can deflect the attacks on her.  The only reason I have any sympathy for her is that the media hates her (e.g. Timmy Russert and Mo Dowd) and the Republicans effectively defamed her in the 90s.  Other than that her politics and her lack of any real principal beliefs is terrible.  

    Liberalism will be effectively dead if she is elected.

    Female, Feminist, and Liberal (none / 0) (#26)
    by RedHead on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 06:52:31 PM EST
    I'm all of the above.

    I don't support Clinton, but..

    They have to be careful, they don't want to come venture into Rick-Lazzo-fist-shaking territory.

    Also, in the odd chance you missed the subliminal attacks, notice how the Terrorbuplicans never refer to her as Senator Clinton, they always say Mrs. Clinton.  You have access to westlaw & Lexis, check it out.

    As a fellow Clark supporter, you may remember about this time four years ago, when Gore endorsed Dean, everyone said the race was over. Sound familiar. In fact a day or two later, Ted Koppel hosted a debate, and in a boorish and petulant manner asked only "the race is over" questions.  Subsequently, the whole bunch started pounding Dean (they had been reluctant because they didn't want to alienate his mailing list).  That was early December.  Perhaps with IA moving up their date, attacking the frontrunner season has also been moved up.

    I've stated a long time ago, I don't favor any of the candidates, though I was impressed with Dodd until Sunday.  But I'm curious as to why you're so soft on Clinton.  Is it out of deference to Jeralyn? Are you on Peter Daou's payroll (one never knows)?

    You let her off the hook for saying the surge is working in August and for voting for Kyl-Lieberman. You would have pounded every other candidate into the ground.

    No one at talkleft (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 10:17:04 PM EST
    s on anyone's payroll or receives any money from any candidate. Ads on this blog and every blog I know of do not signify support.

    If that were to change, and I have no reason to believe it will, I would disclose it.

    Personally, I think it would be fun to work for a candidate, particularly with the Convention being in Denver. But I do have a day job.

    And for the hundredth time, let me remind you neither TalkLeft nor I have endorsed Hillary. Big Tent has endorsed Dodd, on his own, not on behalf of TalkLeft.

    I have said my favorites are Hillary and Edwards but I haven't made a choice yet. I may not before the first primaries.


    a one and a two (none / 0) (#34)
    by RedHead on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 11:11:16 PM EST
    I appreciate your response.

    But my question wasn't negative.  For the sake of argument, say you were a paid employee of a campaign.  It would only be wrong if you didn't disclose the relationship to the reader.  

    Additionally, I specifically did not question you as an individual or the or the blog in general.

    On the last matter, I apologize for failing to see the distinction between you as an individual and the blog as a separate body.


    Actually (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 11:31:37 PM EST
     I don't want to mislead you. TalkLeft and I are the same body. I meant only I speak for TalkLeft -- the others, including Big Tent Democrat, TChris and Last Night in Little Rock, when he posts, speak for themselves.  In other words, when TalkLeft endorses a candidate, it will be because I endorse that candidate.  Any post on TalkLeft written by me expresses my views.  I don't have two personalities.

    In particular, Big Tent and TChris are an invaluable part of TalkLeft. I couldn't keep this blog up with the frequency and variety of posts that it has without them. Many TL readers come here to read what they have to say. Nor would it be as valuable without the readers in the comments, and even the diaries, which are way underused.

    Hope that's clearer.


    who to choose (none / 0) (#28)
    by diogenes on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 09:08:44 PM EST
    If it is really true that "none of them" give straightforward answers, then why not pick the likable, charismatic one instead of the polarizing, Nixonian one?  Hillary has to BEAT Obama on issues to be the better candidate since he wins on charisma, which is valuable in inspiring the Congress and the country to do what is needed, and since her one effort to inspire the country turned into the health care fiasco which led to the Republican takeover in 1994.

    I don't find (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 10:22:00 PM EST
    Obama charismatic at all. Which isn't an attack. I really liked Wes Clark, but he didn't strike me as charismatic either. Bill Clinton is charismatic.  He oozes it. Michelle Obama seems like she might be charismatic though I've never seen her in person. In person, I find Hillary charismatic.

    When I think "charismatic" I think of that Stones' song, Sparks Will Fly.


    I don't find him particularly (none / 0) (#36)
    by DA in LA on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 11:50:27 PM EST
    charismatic either.  But he is somewhat likeable.

    Dodd still seems like a president that walked out of central casting to me.