The Hillary-Obama Spat

I wholeheartedly agree with A.J. Rossmiller:

Fundamentally, this is an example of establishment thinking versus normal thinking. Establishment thinking says, you don't meet with or talk to Crazy Bad Guys like Castro/Kim Jong Il/Chavez without doing tons of prep work, making sure it's on a track, there are specific goals and benchmarks met, etc. etc. Which is actually essentially true. But in answering the question "would you negotiate with these guys" the normal thinking goes, not negotiating with them is idiotic, so of course I would!

I don't think Obama was saying, "I'll sit down with Castro on day three of my presidency," I think he was saying that negotiations with bad leaders are theoretically possible in an Obama administration, whereas they're not even a consideration for the current one. Clinton, in a pretty savvy move, intentionally misinterpreted (I'm guessing) his answer to take a jab and imply inexperience and naivete. Which has worked to some extent, at least among the political insider class and the press. And she thought fast enough to specifically disdain Castro and Chavez, which probably helps her in Florida.

In the end, I don't think voters really care, and his answer probably helps in the primary whereas hers may benefit her in the general. His sentiment is absolutely right, but he can't afford to be careless; Clinton is too good to pass up an opening like that. Despite the generally congenial tone the Democratic debates have taken thus far, they are, after all, debates, not joint press conferences.

Still, on actual substance, it's not anything worth criticizing Obama for, and it's pretty disingenuous to hammer him on it.

But this is politics, not beanbag. Maybe Obama will wake up now and realize that what Clinton did to him is nothing to what Republicans will do to him. HE needs to stop his "above it all" nonsense or he will be eaten alive. Right now he simply is not ready for prime time and has not shown the political acumen or chops to be seriously considered as our Democratic nominee. Maybe that will change now.

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    Right, but (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 04:48:06 PM EST
    HE needs to stop his "above it all" nonsense or he will be eaten alive.
    I wish he could have done it over something I felt like hearing them actually fight about, like Iraq.

    He Did Stop It Today (none / 0) (#6)
    by talex on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 06:51:51 PM EST
    He has abandoned the high road. He is now one of them.

    Geekesque did a diary today on Obama's latest remarks. I was shocked at the way he twisted the truth do bad so I picked it apart a little while ago. He is just as bad as the rest now. The crazy thing is that between Obama's new rhetoric and Edward's exaggerations I think Clinton is the one who appears more above board! Who would have thunk!


    Amazingly (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 07:04:40 PM EST
    I agree with the thrust of this comment but I do not see it as a bad thing.

    He was always a pol and it is good thing he realizes it.


    The man delivers a mean speech (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 04:05:47 AM EST
    He channels MLK and JFK.  I have never seriously considered him for my vote though.  He's just too afraid to get some on him and that won't cut it in the current political climes.  Again, if I have to hear him talk one more time about how proud a Christian he is it is still VooDoo time for Tracy with the suggested loooooong pins and my Obama action figure doll!

    Hard Criticism and Straight Talk (1.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Aaron on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 06:51:30 PM EST
    Nice spin coming from Jeralyn and Big Tent Democrat on this debate.  From what I've read recently, I get the feeling you've both become propagandists for Hillary Clinton, much the same as many of the major media providers, but the people seem to have a different idea about who they prefer, and that seems to be Obama.  So why is it that so many folks up the media food chain, and within the Democratic Party seem to be trying to spin everything Hillary's way?  It's as if these folks believe that if they tell enough people that they prefer Clinton, then they'll begin to believe it, like sheep being led by their good shepherds.  Sorry but I can see right through this because I'm not a sheep, and I don't like it when someone tries to lead me by the nose.

    I wonder if you folks realize what you are doing, because while they may not be advertising it openly, most everyone in the Republican Party quietly supports Hillary for the Democratic nomination, and why do you think that is?  I'm sure some of it is the baggage that the Clinton name brings, they can't wait to sink their teeth into that old baggage and give it a good shake, in the hopes of energizing their base next year.  But perhaps it's something more than that, perhaps they think she can be controlled as president, that she's become "reasonable" now?

    You guys along with Hillary are playing it safe, the old Democratic political game, and we all know what happens when the Democrats play it safe.  This is the 21st-century and it's time to start changing things, not continuing to play along.  I'm sad to see members of TalkLeft seemingly becoming part of this creeping establishment, but as lawyers perhaps I was naïve to think you were ever not a part of it.

     Big Tents fawning over Hillary and slights of Obama are troubling, though I'm not a bit surprised, I've got a pretty good idea how he thinks, though I must say his powers of persuasion in text format are a bit lacking, a little too obvious.  Somehow I imagine his verbal skills are superior.  He seems to be something of a moderate, someone who likes to play it safe, I understand why Hillary appeals to him and his sensibilities as a legal adviser.  

    It's not that I don't like Hillary as a politician for the most part , the problem is her obviously disingenuous insider approach to the whole political process, she just doesn't seem to be for real. Unlike George W. Bush, Hillary doesn't believe the crap that comes out of her own mouth, and it's hard for anyone who is paying attention not to pick up on this.  I liked her a lot better when she was something of an idealist, I wonder if she even remembers that part of herself anymore.

     I doubt that Hillary could lose the general election, barring some major disaster for the Democrats, but I am worried about how she would govern as president, I'm worried that she has become far too much a part of the system, a system which is too damn comfortable taking control of our government out of the hands of its people.  We don't need that anymore, we've had our full measure of dictatorship under George W. Bush.  

    It's time to stop playing their game and start changing America.  At this point I believe the only way to counter the conservative revolution's wholesale metamorphosis of political discourse, is with a modern-day People's Revolution that puts the preponderance of power back in our hands.  We need to start whipping our politicians into line, and reminding them who they work for.  In truth they are nothing more than our employees who we contract with temporarily. They have all gotten ideas above their station and obviously forgotten that it is WE THE PEOPLE who are sovereign here.  They chose public service, and they need to remember their place as SERVANTS of the people.  We will have no rulers or King's in this land, and the sooner they remember this the better it will be for all Americans.  

    I must say (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 07:02:26 PM EST
    I find Obama supporters always post comments like this it is why I have such contempt for them.

    For the record, I support Chris Dodd.

    I have said so often and clearly on this site.

    Go back to daily kos with these style of insults.

    They are not welcome here.


    Sounds like a copout to me. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Aaron on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 12:35:32 PM EST
    Claiming to support Chris Dodd, when he has zero chance of getting the nomination.  I suspect that stated political position is just a convenient shield to deflect criticism of what you would have some believe are objective evaluations.  It provides cover for joining this mechanism which is trying to foist Hillary rather forcefully on Democratic voters so early in the process.

     So for the record, you're saying that if you were voting in the Democratic primary tomorrow, you would not vote for Hillary Clinton, instead you would virtually waste your vote on Chris Dodd and in effect help Barack Obama win the nomination?  Why do I find that hard to swallow.

    How convenient that your counter argument is to place yourself above responding to my more pointed criticisms.  It would be beneath you to dignify them with a more thoughtful response apparently.  You claim to have contempt for comments like mine, but I wonder if it isn't Barack Obama who you hold in contempt.   And if you've received many comments like mine, have you ever considered that there is some validity to them?  

    There does seem to be a general demeaning tenor and undercurrent of your evaluations of Obama as a politician, for reasons which can only be speculated upon.  You don't seem interested in engaging in a debate because you've made up your mind, and not in the post from a few days ago, but long before that I suspect. I find your continuing pretense at being objective in this regard rather distasteful, and I'm calling you on it because it's so transparent.  

     There is an air of elitism and condescension running through much of what you write on this topic, as if you have an understanding of these issues that we little people could never comprehend. At this point I wonder if that is intentional, or something you just can't conceal.  Either way it's coming through loud and clear in your writing and it's offputting, just a little FYI.  :-)

    And by the way, if my comments are so unwelcome and disturbing to you, you can always have me banned, and follow in the footsteps of Bill O'Reilly and Fidel Castro.  Censorship, is always the hallmark of those who don't comprehend or respect democracy.


    Working for Obama (none / 0) (#2)
    by magster on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 06:13:54 PM EST
    as he has been able to make a high profile exposure of Hillary's 2003 AUMF vote. On Hardball, Matthews repeated Obama's line of "Who's naive? She trusted Bush!" about 15 times.

    Obama needs to have some record (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 06:24:37 PM EST
    of busting on Republicans frankly.

    HE has tossed his "high road" schtick abruptly and seemingly, desperately.

    I think his attacks so quick in response are a mistake.

    He looks defensive.

    I think the Hillary camp is pleased to see this.

    I think Axelrod is an amateur at this level and is destroying Obama's campaign.


    OT but debate-related: any (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 06:41:07 PM EST
    reacation to Edwards accusing H. Clinton of being a "triangulator"? Playing to the DK anti-Clinton crowd?

    i must say Aaron, (none / 0) (#9)
    by cpinva on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 08:03:56 PM EST
    you very clearly don't know your ass from the proverbial hole in the ground. the "people" don't seem to prefer obama nearly as much as they appear to prefer clinton, by a factor of 10-15 points, in recent polls.

    if your going to spout off, at least appear to have even half a clue what you're talking about.

    obama is doing now, because of the premature nature of this campaign, what he would have done next summer: melting down. simply put, his almost total lack of experience, in big-time politics, is  showing. better that, and clear the decks for the big kids, then next summer.

    obama's campaign was always, in my mind, don quixoteish (sp) to begin with. while tilting at windmills (with some good songs thrown in) makes a great broadway show, it's death to a political campaign. cervantes would understand.

    sen. obama should use this as a valuable learning experience. go back to the senate, make his bones, then run again, when he brings substance to the table.

    Keeping Your Options Open (none / 0) (#14)
    by Aaron on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 12:45:10 PM EST

    As to your claims that Hillary is ahead in the polls I can hardly deny that, but polls don't tell everything.  Many people who choose Hillary have stated that they have done so because they believe her to be the most electable candidate, but they like Barack Obama and his message better.  This speaks clearly of the politics of fear, already the Democrats are running scared even though the likelihood of losing a national election is remote, considering how the Republicans are viewed even by those in their own party.  

    Even African-Americans in the South are saying that they'll vote for Hillary Clinton, not because they like her better than Barack Obama but because they're are fearful of another Republican president.  This is exactly what the Republicans want, a continuing climate of fear where no one dare step out of line to far.  This is one of the reasons that the Democratic Party and its candidates failed in 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, playing it way too safe.

    If you will remember, Bill Clinton was so successful as a president largely because he took much of the Republican fiscal agenda and made his own.  That's one of the primary reasons why he became so hated by the right, not because of his philandering ways and progressive social addenda, as some would assert, that's just a cover.  Clinton did nearly everything the right wanted to do, and he did it better.  At the moment his legacy is one of the main topics of discussion on Fox and much of the right wing blog sphere and among the conservative grassroots political machines. Every day they pound away at the name Clinton, not Hillary, but Bill Clinton.  

    This tactic is part of a larger strategy in preparation for the national election. If you listen to the crap they put out you would believe that William Jefferson Clinton was a murdering socialist criminal, and their coming strategy will be to transfer those images to Hillary once she gains the nomination and they can attach this image of her husband in the White House with her.  They attack Obama's character and political savvy, because they know he's the only real threat to Hillary for the nomination.

    You guys seem to be some smart people, but you also seem to be missing much of the larger picture, because some of the things I see being posted here concerning Obama are very similar to what I see posted on the right wing blogs.

    I like Obama, but I'm still open to other options, and that's what politics is all about keeping your options open.  I'd like to see Big Tent and others do the same, otherwise you're putting yourself and the party at a distinct disadvantage.


    A tiny addition (none / 0) (#10)
    by koshembos on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 08:39:40 PM EST
    What Obama said is such old hat and well worn that only the ignorant media sees any significance to it.

    Agree to all the rest of the post.

    I Couldn't Agree More n/t (none / 0) (#11)
    by kaleidescope on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 10:27:48 PM EST