Why The Obama/Clinton Rules Led Us To This Rough Campaign

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

When the Media and the Left blogs deplore the negativity of the Democratic presidential campaign, especially from the Clinton campaign, they ignore that they are a major reason why it has happened. Why? Because they attack the Clinton campaign no matter what it does while ignoring or defending every negative attack and questionable tactic of the Obama campaign.

The examples are legion. There is not an ounce of doubt that it was the campaigns challenging Hillary Clinton last fall that first engaged in negative attacks. The Media and some of the Left blogs were imploring the Barack Obama campaign to do that and certainly not a single word of reproach was written about it.

Led by Tim Russert and Brian Williams in the October 2007 debate, and followed eagerly by the entire NBC network and many Left blogs, the attacks on Hillary Clinton, especially on her character, were applauded on a daily basis. More.

I criticized the character attacks and dirty politics. I was quite alone in this at the time. (I dropped my endorsement of Chris Dodd as a result.) And Clinton suffered because of these personal attacks against her. To wit, Barack Obama was rewarded for his dirty politics last Fall.

The Obama/Clinton rules were in full flower in the run up to New Hampshire. The Media and some Left blogs led the charge - cheeering negative attacks on Clinton, attacking and distorting the Clinton campaign's responses and attacking her for trumped charges of negative campaigning. They were ready to dance on Hillary Clinton's political grave.

Since then the rules have been locked in. No matter what happens or is said - to NBC and to some Left blogs, Hillary is evil and Obama is without sin. The coverage of the Nevada at large district issue led to the most ludicrous charges of "disenfranchisement" from the Media and some Left bloggers.

Then, expecting Clinton to be knocked out in Texas, NBC and some Left blogs were bitterly disappointed and argued Clinton should drop out even though she won both Ohio and Texas (some even float the idea that the Texas caucus results were the true contest in Texas, rather than what they were - proof positive that caucuses disenfranchise voters.)

Indeed, disenfranchisement now becomes the key guiding principle of some Obama supporters - they support it at every turn. My own personal anger is tied up in the attitudes about the Michigan and Florida revotes. Everyone knows that Barack Obama blocked revotes in Florida and Michigan. No one outside of Michigan and Florida seems to care.

Let me put it bluntly, the dirtiest politics practiced in this campaign was Barack Obama's blocking of the Michigan and Florida revotes. There is nothing uglier in politics, nothing dirtier, than blocking voters' chances to vote. The stain on Barack Obama for this will not wash away with me. (BTW, I am not saying Clinton would not have done the same thing, I THINK she would have. But she did not.) Especially since I believe it would have helped Obama in the general election.

The Clinton campaign realizes that no matter what they do, they will be declared evil. They realize that no matter what Obama does, he will be declared a saint. In such an environment, both the Clinton campaign and the Obama campaign will feel no restraint to their behavior.

The Media and some of the Left blogs have created this climate. Pols are pols and do what they do. I expect nothing else from them. I once expected honest assessments from some in the Media and from most in the Left blogs. I no longer do. Clearly neither do the campaigns.

If the headlines and coverage do not change no matter what is done by the campaigns, then you can not expect the headlines and coverage to matter to the campaigns in terms of tactics. For all those in the Media and in the Left blogs deploring the negativity of the campaign, I suggest they look in the mirror for the main culprits.

NOTE - Comments closed.

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  • Exactly (5.00 / 10) (#1)
    by lepidus on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:37:24 AM EST
    Thanks, this is the most concise and well-stated explanation of this issue that I've seen. I've been trying to explain this to friends of mine on both sides, and while I've had success, your words here should make it a lot easier.

    Observers Should Know (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by flashman on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:46:29 AM EST
    how the media has been sucking up to Obama in this campaign, especially NBC.  I almost can't watch the news anymore, because of the nauseating slant represented by the news organizations.  On an emotional level, I have begun to want to see BO lose, because I don't like it when cheaters win.  Not that I totally blame him for the slanted coverage, but because I hate the idea that those who have been so blatantly dishonest in presenting their narratives might win to the detriment of honesty and fairness in the public arena.  

    The national news organizations have been deemed the "4th Estate of Government."  They should be held to the same standards of honesty as any of the other 3.


    cheating? (1.33 / 3) (#172)
    by shaharazade on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:06:06 AM EST
    Both MI and FL broke the rules. They were told of the consequences and proceeded anyway. Hillary  also ignored the rules, and now wants a redo as she's losing. I understood that the state legislature put the kibosh on a new primary because of the legeal problems involved.

    Waht rules? (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by flashman on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:15:15 AM EST
    Hillary  also ignored the rules

    What rules did Hillary ignor?

    Hillary wants the voters in Fl. and Mi. to have a voice.  Yes, rules were broken, but in a very close race, those voters are important, as they will be in Novermber.  She has broken no rules by her efforts to enfranchise all of the voters.  Rather, she suggested the rules change so that all votes get counted.

    BTW, the thread is about media coverage, and we've gone off-topic.


    Ther states put the kibosh (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:28:38 AM EST
    because Obama BLOCKED the revotes.

    Agree and disagree (none / 0) (#138)
    by Claw on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:48:23 AM EST
    You're dead on that blocking the vote in MI and being of absolutely no help in FLA constitutes the dirtiest kind of politics.  And I agree with you that the revotes would have helped him in a GE.  I do think Obama's sainthood sheen has worn off, though.  The media LOVES the rev. Wright clips and for obvious, if not good, reason.  You don't have to work as hard or engage in actual journalism if you've got clips of a crazy pastor to play.
    No doubt Hillary gets much less favorable press coverage. We all (should) know that...but Obama isn't getting a free pass anymore.

    But, only on ... (5.00 / 2) (#210)
    by alexei on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:05:33 PM EST
    the Rev Wright issue does he get any bad press.  And even on that issue, I haven't seen or heard the MSM talk about Obama's lies and on what he heard the Rev say.

    Eh (none / 0) (#223)
    by Claw on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 01:12:57 PM EST
    I don't think so.  Like I said, Hillary gets much, much worse coverage, but I think he gets bad press.  They question his experience, an astonishing number of Americans still think he might be Muslim, Michelle Obama gets plenty of bad press, they question his patriotism (no flag pin!).  You know, I'm not saying Hillary wouldn't kill to get the kind of press Obama gets but I don't think he gets a free pass anymore.  For a while I think he did.  
    And I'm not sure what Obama lies you're referring to, but if you haven't heard/read all the massive speculation about what Obama did/didn't hear you must not be watching T.V. or reading any newspapers.  I don't mean to be snarky, but it's just been everywhere.

    you know (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:38:47 AM EST
    for an Obama supporter you're OK.

    He's among a growing number (5.00 / 4) (#81)
    by blogtopus on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:20:15 AM EST
    Who are 'waking up' to some of the problems with the Campaign coverage.

    Although I give BTD credit for being there from the beginning.


    yes (5.00 / 4) (#92)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:26:26 AM EST
    credit where credit is due.
    big time.

    And beneath the anger, grief (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by lambert on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:40:52 AM EST
    I remember when we had a media critique. I remember reading vibrant posts from many writers I'd never dream of classifying as "in the tank." No longer. Silly me, not cynical enough.

    Absolutely! (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by nemo52 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:49:21 AM EST
    This entire campaign is making me very sad.  And I started with great hope.  (Not necessarily Obama's kind!)

    Dare I say it: Genius. (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Jim J on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:45:18 AM EST
    Extremely well-reasoned and well-written analysis. Forgive me for gushing, but I am so happy I found this blog.

    I say it all the time (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:53:56 AM EST
    Finally, someone recognizes my genius . . .

    The Audacity of Survival (5.00 / 4) (#109)
    by Athena on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:34:21 AM EST
    BTD, concise and spot-on.  In such an asymmetric media environment, and with asymmetric rules - what's amazing is that Clinton has done so well, and is gaining momentum.  It's clear that Obama has only managed a close contest despite having structural advantages that should have given him a blowout.

    The rabid anger against Clinton stems from the existence of a well-organized MSM/blog campaign to annihilate her - and the fact that she is still standing.  Dare I say - the "audacity" of survival?


    Yes! That should be a talking point. (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:40:01 AM EST
    "Will do anything" morphs to "fighter"(good quality in a President).

    Tonya Harding (5.00 / 3) (#149)
    by americanincanada on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:52:41 AM EST
    The media also, blindly, that it was Obama who started the Tonya Harding memo so the new reference by an unnamed DNC person obviously came from them.


    Obama: Not Going to Pull a Tonya Harding
    December 28, 2007 7:49 AM

    ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told a crowd in Vinton, Iowa Thursday that he's not going to pull a Tonya Harding on his rival candidates.

    "Folks said there's no way Obama has a chance unless he goes and kneecaps the person ahead of us, does a Tonya Harding," Obama joked, referring to the female skating champion who conspired to harm a competitor during the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

    "We decided that's not the kind of campaign we wanted to run," he said.


    of course, (5.00 / 3) (#204)
    by nemo52 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:45:02 AM EST
    This comment itself of Obama's belies its own subject!

    heh (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:56:54 AM EST
    BTD gets picked up widely.... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:54:35 AM EST
    ...your analysis is spot on accurate. I tend to over defend my side, as we all do. But given the platform that they have, it is grossly irresponsible behavior on the part of the media. I don't even think that people like Matthews, O'Donnell, and Mitchell  and some of the other shills on NBC are particularly supportive of Obama. Indeed they have never been truly supportive of any Democrats. But they seem to be drunk with power. How else to explain their interference. The only other time I remember hearing an intense media drumbeat for a candidate to concede was in 2000. And we all know how that turned out.

    drunk with power (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by CLancy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:58:32 AM EST
    is a good way to describe most in the large media outlets. I don't know if NBC is any worse than any other. They are undoubtedly unfair to Clinton, but the same can be said for almost any network/newspaper. It doesn't help that Matthews seems to take particular glee in attacking either Clinton. I have no idea how any one can watch him.

    I've been really bothered by the Today show (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:04:23 AM EST
    ...I don't expect much from the Today Show. It's what comes on my TV to help me wake up in the morning. But the past couple of days they have run some vicious attacks on Clinton and have brought on "experts" (David Brooks???) to act as concern trolls while Lauer says things like, "can we really believe anything she says anymore?" I would really like to know if they have ever asked the Clinton campaign to appear and do a rebuttal of this Bosnia story? Or if they just don't bother anymore. And Lauer implying that Chelsea Clinton was rude in her response to that person who asked her about Lewinsky, oh please. Just oh please.

    Yes, (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:07:04 AM EST
    shows like that are the ones to worry about because a lot of people watch them.

    I'm glad, though, to hear that they covered the Chelsea Clinton answer. IMO, it will resonate to the good of the Clinton campaign.


    Good point (none / 0) (#153)
    by Daryl24 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:56:23 AM EST
    I think we're having a pretty good primary fight. Like any campaign some things cross the line but that's politics. Kerry was brutal toward Edwards (the diaper comment?) but he picked him as his running mate. That's they way the play the game.

    But the media has gone off the deep end.
    Don't they think people notice that or do they even care? You'd think MSNBC being one of the lowest rated networks would have figured that out. Instead we get the high school kids reminding us why they don't like Hillary the mean hall monitor.



    In that case (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by txchicanoforhillary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:55:43 AM EST
    HRC should go nuclear on Obama. If they are going to say she's all these horrible things, give them REASON to.  If I were running the Clinton campaign I would give Obama and his supporters a REALLY good reason to be saying and doing what THEY are doing.

    Man, Obama's campaign is SO thin-skinned.  I don't see one strong thing about them.  This is not invective language, just an observation.  It seems they are the eternal victims over there.  Is that a snapshot of what his presidency (God forbid) would be like?  No backbone whatsoever.

    Unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:57:02 AM EST
    I think she is going to.

    And I will be criticizing her for it here at Talk Left.


    She can't. (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by ghost2 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:54:34 AM EST
    Depsite the coverage, she can't go negative.  The media crucifies her at each turn.  Look at how they are covering her simple answer to the Wright question.  Did she get credit when didn't  talk about it? Did the media cover how absolutely disgusting and abhorent it was to equate Ferraro with Wright? No.

    Now, no one in media is putting the actual clip of her trip to Bosnia, and the report at the time.  

    I love Gore, and I was disgusted with the way press treated him in 2000. Perhaps I have forgotten, but this time, it seems far, far worse.


    I know.... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:59:06 AM EST
    ...While on a personal level I could understand her doing that, it's something I have trouble with from a political perspective. It will just lead to an even bigger GE disaster for whomever.

    Heh (none / 0) (#35)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:02:05 AM EST
    I notice how readily the blogs have seized upon the "Tonya Harding" soundbite.  Every time Hillary so much as raises her voice from here on out, the Tonya Harding accusations will fly fast and furious.

    I wonder how people would react if some anonymous DNC official speculated that the Obama campaign might take an "OJ Simpson approach" going forward?  Tell me, do you think the blogs would consider that kind of label fair game?


    It's a disgusting talking point (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:03:47 AM EST
    made worse by the fact that you know they've always felt this way about her.

    You bet they have (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by txchicanoforhillary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:11:09 AM EST
    The media, the "progressive" bloggers who were conservatives during the Clinton years (Arianna Huffington, Americablog creator) will characterize her as nothing more than an unscrupulous candidate.

    It comes as NO suprise that these blogs hold the views they do of the Clintons.  Yeah, low gas prices, peace, prosperity...Americans HATE those things!  And obviously so did the creators of the aforementioned blogs.  Not very "progressive" in my mind's eye.


    That might explain the disconnect (none / 0) (#170)
    by Daryl24 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:04:18 AM EST
    They just can't believe people like the Clintons.

    Heh (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:07:35 AM EST
    Some anonymous DNC official sounds like Donna Brazile to me.

    BTD (none / 0) (#39)
    by txchicanoforhillary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:03:38 AM EST
    I agree with a lot of your analysis. And I feel that it would be have been better to have stayed on course with respect to issues.  But politics is a knife fight, and we have to have a strong person to come up against the R's.  

    Winners are winners for a reason.  Dirty or not, to the victor, goes the spoils. The R's are better at playing the game than the D's (hence 8 disastrous years of Bushco).

    Critical analysis needs to be out there.  But if and when Clinton goes for the jugular, I won't criticize. I really don't want the Wright ads playing ad nauseum this fall when the new swiftboaters come out against Obama, daggers and all.


    chances. I will state what I think with my main focus being what I think is good for Democrats.

    stay tuned (none / 0) (#50)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:07:20 AM EST
    on the other hand its very effective in quelling (none / 0) (#89)
    by dotcommodity on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:24:35 AM EST

    So, if a President Obama were to adopt these same tactics getting the hordes of bottomup talkingpoint spewers in the mediacumblogosphere to go after the global warming deniers and their lobbyists in congress, with the same gusto that they use to hound Hillary we could easily pass the energy bills that Mcain keeps blocking by not voting.

    I know I get his talking points in my daily emails from his campaign, ever since I contacted him to change a coal to liquids vote a year ago.

    He is conducting a brilliant campaign. If only he would use it for good.


    Quelling dissent? (none / 0) (#226)
    by txchicanoforhillary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 02:44:07 PM EST
    Wow. I think that was used in Germany back in the 1930s.

    Wow, truth (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by vastleft on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:58:30 AM EST
    I remember that.

    The up is down nature of this campaign (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by annabelly on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:58:36 AM EST
    is what infuriates me most of all. The O/C rules, the way Obama supporters have to betray things they've believed in for years in order to support him (Remember every vote counts? Or how about intolerance for repugnant politicizing from the pulpit?), and the double standard between the treatment of racism and sexism in this country have dramatically effected my  view of my country, and of Obama himself.

    Good points (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:59:00 AM EST

    The Clinton campaign realizes that no matter what they do, they will be declared evil. They realize that no matter what Obama does, he will be declared a saint. In such an environment, both the Clinton campaign and the Obama campaign will feel no restraint to their behavior.

    This really concerns me. The two candidates will almost have to play chicken with Democratic chances in November.

    there's a new talking point (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by Turkana on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:02:21 AM EST
    that the only way for her to win is to tear obama down. the horror! as if those decrying such a possibility haven't been tearing her down, for months.

    what you call "the left blogs" have forfeited all credibility, in the past month. they will never regain it.

    I actually believe (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:05:53 AM EST
    She should not discuss him at all.

    The narrative for Clinton depends on a big win in PA. All she does she be focused on running up the score in PA.


    i'm no fan of negative campaigning (3.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Turkana on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:08:12 AM EST
    and i think she should do her own bus tour. i have a feeling it would be even more successful.

    I heard her Generals are (none / 0) (#104)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:33:02 AM EST
    doing a bus tour.

    she has a ton of resources (1.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Turkana on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:39:27 AM EST
    she can use, in pennsylvania. but she should be going town to town, the way she did in upstate and western new york, when she first ran for senate.

    Here's my worry (none / 0) (#62)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:10:37 AM EST
    Do you know how you win big in PA if you've already lost the vast majority of the AA vote?

    I need a hole to crawl into.


    I think Clinton (none / 0) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:13:40 AM EST
    misunderstands that Wright is out there and that she need not do another thing about it.

    What she needs now is to provide a rationale for voters who do not like Wright but do not want to think of themselves as racists - The Economy should be her issue for the next month.


    And having John Murtha (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:51:24 AM EST
    be such a good advocate for her does not hurt one bit.

    I agree (5.00 / 0) (#184)
    by Daryl24 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:17:44 AM EST
    regarding Wright. That story hasn't even gotten started. But if people are uncomfortable with the race part they have no problem voting against him when it comes down to Wright's anti-American statements. That imo is a dealbreaker.

    She's already on the air (none / 0) (#72)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:15:42 AM EST
    with her Ohio strategy, which is pretty much as you say.

    What worries me is the potential for a 30 second "god damn America" spot.


    I share your worry (none / 0) (#87)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:23:57 AM EST
    BUT I would say that Clinton's few remarks about this suggest she is trying to take the high ground by condemning all hate speech (and presenting herself, of course, as the only one who truly does that...sort of like the Farrakhan moment in the debate) and lumping Wright into that.  Thus, I would think it unlikely that she would replay his 'hate speech' in an advertisement (exposing the speech to the American public again).  To me that wouldn't tally with her line.

    I wish she had said nothing (none / 0) (#95)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:28:45 AM EST
    I don't agree with that ... (5.00 / 3) (#146)
    by gmo on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:51:38 AM EST
    ...isn't saying nothing tantamount to being complicit in hate speech?   I think she said the bare minimum necessary.  

    I strongly disagree. She answered (5.00 / 2) (#221)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 01:04:23 PM EST
    a question in a judicious manner.  Of course, the media immed. trumpeted that she "resurrected" the Wright issue, even though obama spoke of it the same day to the media.  Which I guess just proves BTD's point.

    Don't think that's insurmountable (none / 0) (#111)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:34:59 AM EST
    in PA. Also, AA Mayor of Philly backs her.

    I know, and it doesn't matter (none / 0) (#116)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:37:29 AM EST
    Obama will walk away with 90% of the black vote. Nutter can help Hillary with white liberals in Philly and the near suburbs.

    A new Public Policy Polling survey (none / 0) (#193)
    by Daryl24 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:30:33 AM EST
    In Pennsylvania

    Key findings: "Some of the lead is attributable to Clinton racking up large leads in her key demographics, such as a 66-20 advantage with female voters. But she's holding Obama down with his key groups. He is only at 63% with black voters in the poll, a percentage much smaller than what he has been getting in most states.

    That's very bad considering he was getting roughly 90% in most places. If Hillary cuts into that any further, Obama will look back at his loss in Ohio with fond memories.


    PPP is not a reliable pollster yet IMO (none / 0) (#198)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:37:36 AM EST
    Absolutely. (none / 0) (#90)
    by Fabian on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:24:49 AM EST
    It's hard not to respond, but unless it's necessary to respond on a substantive and significant issue, I vote that Hillary say nothing about Obama except carefully worded platitudes.  

    Better not to invite attack than to become a reliable source for the next cable news sound bites.    She'd be baited at every opportunity just to see what she would say about Obama this time.


    Here's (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:31:46 AM EST
    my take on Hillary's answer. It was perfect. And I hope they play it over and over and over again. Why?
    Because IMO that's exactly what the average voter would think when exposed to the Wright clips.

    Someone here wrote a two-line post about the Rs tying Wright around all Dem candidates' necks this fall and that person was absolutely correct. I wished for 100's of fives to bestow on that post.

    Hillary's answer was the first salvo in what all Dem candidates are going to have to be doing in the general election if Obama is the Pres nominee.


    consider the difficulty of doing that: (none / 0) (#98)
    by dotcommodity on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:31:08 AM EST
    all day, every day, sunup to sundown, reporters dogging her to get the daily comment to get mangled...how would any human being manage to say nothing?

    Or even when for one day they do succeed, then reporters will capture some comment that will be somehow construed as about him, like Bills wish that presidential campaigns could be about issues, and of course it can be construed negatively.


    Obama is just following Karl Rove's advice (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by myiq2xu on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:08:09 AM EST
    Rove laid it out for him in a Dec. 2nd, 2007 column in Newsweek.  From Earl Ofari Hutchinson:

    In an open memo which got almost no media play and zilch public attention last December, Rove spit out six things Obama should do to zap Clinton.

    Obama has followed the script to the letter. He's unleashed an all-out no holds barred attack on Clinton's personality, record, and demeanor, and even tossed in some blatant racial digs at her and hubby Bill for supposedly demeaning Dr. King, Jesse Jackson, and of course himself. He's made bold, brash, and loud pitches and promises to do everything from end the war to clean up the economy. This fulfills Rove's admonition to him to stop sounding wishy-washy on the big ticket issues and create an aura and persona of confidence, expertise, and even invincibility about himself.

    I always thought I smelled the stench of Turdblossom in the Obot attacks.

    Turdblossom's rule number 1 (5.00 / 7) (#85)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:23:35 AM EST
    and most successful tactic is to go after your opponent on his/her strengths.  With Kerry, it was his military record.

    With Clinton, it was her and her husband's strong civil rights record and consequent support in the African-American community.  The racism charges are no accident.  What must have suprised even Axelrod is how easily they stuck.


    And why? (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Foxx on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:12:54 AM EST
    Thank you. I hope this is widely circulated.

    The remaining question is Why? Why this relentless hostility, self-righteousness, hypocrisy, loss of objectivity on the part of so many?

    Given the content of a lot of the attacks, I've had to conclude it is because Hillary is a woman. Many men are angry that she would dare, and many women are afraid that anger will spill over onto them.

    How's about this (none / 0) (#132)
    by po on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:43:42 AM EST
    It ain't because she's a woman.  Who cares if she's a woman? not me.  Some do I'm sure, but that's life and I'm willing to bet it less than the number who have issues with a black man, especially now with Wright out there.  

    Perhaps it's because she's married to Bill Clinton.  Great guy, voted for him twice.  Thought he did a good job with what he had to work with.   But we did 8 years of Clinton before we did 8 years of Bush and Clinton's last 4 years weren't all that great because he put himself in the position he did and we all payed for it.  And just like I hate waking up in the morning to NPR and the Israeli-Palestinian fubar that will (apparently) never end, so too will i detest waking up and hearing about all those old scandals made new again and the new scandals that will surely arise.  It's time to move on, past the 20th century, into the 21st, and her star is tied too far to the past.  it's got very little to do with "hate" per se; just a weariness and fatigue.

    And what are men supposedly so afraid of that Hillary would "dare" -- to run for office?  No, most everyone saw that coming the day the she won her Senate seat.


    Do you really think that... (5.00 / 2) (#216)
    by alexei on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:29:05 PM EST
    the Rev Wright will go away if Obama happens to get by McCain (which I seriously doubt)?  I know I've tuned out all the Clinton "scandals" of the '90's and have real nostalgia for that "peace and prosperity".

    Seriously (5.00 / 2) (#218)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:37:58 PM EST
    The "scandals" of the Clinton years were mostly fake, fakey, fakesters created by the Republicans and pushed by breathless reporters (see David Brock's Blinded by the Right).  

    I feel pretty confident that sleazy GOP operatives will have no troubles coming up with similiar re:  Obama.  Rezko will be a start.


    exactly! - more traffic, more revenue (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Josey on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:13:15 AM EST
    >>>The Media and some of the Left blogs have created this climate

    Obama followers admit they're more interested in inspiration not solutions. And pro-Obama blogs have promoted the horse race more than Obama's positions on the issues.
    The media accommodates those seeking "inspiration" by hyping and mischaracterizing a Hillary trip 12 years ago while ignoring her major speech on the Economy.

    That's because (none / 0) (#107)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:33:47 AM EST
    Obama's positions on the issues are ultimately dissappointing to all of those peope.

    The lastest proof of that is Obama saying Welfare may have worsened the lives of black people in his big speech.

    I've been arguing that (because I think it's true) for years amongst progressive only to be vilified.

    See?  Obama and I agree on something.


    I'll say this for Obama, he's got a certain (5.00 / 4) (#154)
    by tigercourse on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:56:29 AM EST
    quality that makes people forget/change many of their core beliefs.

    An example: When Harold Ford attacked equal marriage in New Jersey Kos was very angry. From then on, he didn't care if Ford won. Obama embraced, defended and gave a platform to a guy who believes he can cure homosexuality. Kos swept that under the rug.


    What you are implying about Kos (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:06:39 AM EST
    is sort of off limits on this blog.

    I agree.  I go much further on other blogs.


    The media is picking our candidate (5.00 / 6) (#76)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:17:52 AM EST
    just as they "chose" the Iraq War for us.

    That is a little of why, my knee-jerk is if the media likes it, I automatically don't.

    Media darling status is a negative for me.

    Um, BTD (none / 0) (#108)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:34:10 AM EST
    if media darling status is a negative, then why are you supporting Obama, which you say you're doing primarily because of that media darling status?

    Or are you making a distinction between pure practicality and your frank opinion of the person/campaign?


    That is Teresa's comment (none / 0) (#136)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:46:53 AM EST
    not mine.

    It's still a conundrum for me at least (none / 0) (#167)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:03:22 AM EST
    The juxtaposition of your electability argument, the reason why you say you support Obama, with your contempt for the media creates and interesting dynamic to say the least.

    One could have some negative things to say about that dynamic but you seem like such a great guy in general, why force the issue??


    Oops (none / 0) (#168)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:03:27 AM EST
    Never mind! :-)

    If your level of analysis (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:19:18 AM EST
    is "the other pol would have done it" then we have nothing to discuss and you should deplore ANY and ALL criticisms of any political campaign.

    The idea is that we can regulate what pols will do by shaming them.

    IF you do not criticize, then there is no shame. If you criticize everything no matter what is done, then there is no regulator.

    To wit, if the behavior of the pols is beyond reproach or beyond praise, then they will do anything they can to win.

    That is what we would like to avoid, I THOUGHT.

    Who's shame tho? (none / 0) (#96)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:28:47 AM EST
    What might be shameful to you, might not be so for someone else.  This inconsistency seems to me would lead to some pols (and the media for that matter) getting a pass.

    Please (5.00 / 4) (#124)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:41:07 AM EST
    They only have outrage for actions by Clinton.

    Do not pretend for a moment that their outrage is not selective.

    The Clinton/Obama Rules.

    I find it hard to discuss this with folks who, imo, deny the obvious.


    You misunderstand my comment.... (none / 0) (#155)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:57:51 AM EST
    I agree the coverage has been one-sided (FYI, I support Hillary).  What I'm saying is, it's going to be difficult to decide what's used to "shame" a politician one way or another.  Again, IMO, things that are shameful to one person might not be shameful to another.  As a result, it will be hard to get a pol (and/or the media) to respond one way or another unless a substantial majority of people are pulling one way (which will hopefully be the "right" way.)

    You are on to something (5.00 / 6) (#78)
    by Kahli on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:19:28 AM EST
    On super Tuesday I was so depressed that I had only Obama and Clinton to choose from.  I agonized.  I had worked on Obama's senatorial campaign and had become disenchanted by his actions is Washington and in Illinois.  I wasn't fond of Clinton - her using Mark Penn as an advisor struck a real reaction in this strong labor supporter.  I ended up voting for Hillary convincing myself that it was because her health care plan was a little bit better.  But in large part I think I made the decision because of the way many Obama supporters were behaving.  They would extol the politics of change and of of coming together with some of the most hateful rhetoric I have ever seen online.  The reaction that Obama was stirring up in people repulsed me and turned me into a tepid Hillary supporter.

    Someone Asks "Why" Above (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:27:25 AM EST
    And while it's tempting to blame sexism and racism.  While I do think both are in play to some degree (I think Ferrarro might be right at this point, you just can't say it), they are not the primary reasons.

    It is because the media resents Bill's success from the 90s.

    Because Bill governed well and the lives of all Americans inproved in the 90s Bill got away with too much.  This is their second chance at destroying that legacy.

    I agree with Big Tent Democrat (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:31:45 AM EST
    He clearly and accurately describes (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:36:09 AM EST
    How the campaign turned ugly.

    There's no incentive for Clinton to change cause they're going to rip her to shreds either way.

    There's no incentive for Obama to change cause they're going to fawn over him anyway.


    The media (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:38:06 AM EST
    resents that they weren't able to take Bill Clinton down. The Clinton presidency showed that the press has much less influence over the American electorate than was previously thought before.

    They began ratcheting it up in 2000 and escalated in 2004, but I think they have overplayed their hand and have lost credibility with the public. This election will be an interesting test of my hypothesis.


    If Obama wins (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:41:11 AM EST
    Your hypothesis is false.

    Indeed, while BTD cuts throught the BS on this issue, BTD concedes that his support of Obama is based primarily on the assumption that the media has the power to make and break candidates.


    x (none / 0) (#181)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:14:35 AM EST
    If Obama wins your hypothesis is false.

    Yep. Especially in the general, where I expect the media to favor McCain. We shall see.

    Also, the power of the media wanes as the pain of Americans rises. Will there be enough pain spread far enough in Nov to overcome media bias?


    I totally agree. (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:29:33 AM EST
    And may I add, anyone who lives in Florida has seen the sign holders at intersections in the dead of heat, or pouring rain, waving at drivers on election day, urging them to go to the polls and vote.

    For 30 years (in one state or another) I've been one of those sign holders, fending off discouragement over the voter apathy that's been proclaimed by the media since the 1970's.

    Finally, we have people going to the polls and taking part in the process.

    And what does the media do?

    It demands Clinton drop out of the campaign, while simutaneously doing whatever it takes to start a race war in this country.

    And, what does Howard Dean, Donna Brazile and the DNC do?

    They punish the people of Florida and Michigan for what a group of elitists (holding the reigns of power) did.

    And, what did Nancy Pelosi do?

    She appeared on national television during prime time to say, "The votes don't matter. Only the delegates matter."

    Well then Nancy, since you said it and you rule the roost, discount the delegates as an act of punishment for not obeying the DNC rules, but demand the votes be counted!

    We have 10 more states who want a voice in this, and no elected official, or superdelegate, or wannabe talking head should be telling any American citizen not to vote, or that his/her vote doesn't count.

    Personally, I think Pelosi deserves to be voted out of office for this, as a reminder of how important our right to vote is.

    As for the media encouraging Clinton to step aside so they can put their choice of nominee on the road to the White House, maybe it's time you look at your falling circulation figures and Nielsen ratings and brace for the loss of women 55 and older.

    Just a thought.

    Wow, you don't even have (5.00 / 4) (#99)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:31:33 AM EST
    your facts on this straight.

    1. Obama was on the ballot in Florida

    2. Hillary didn't campaign in Florida either.  And if you want to be really accurate, you'd note that Obama found a fine way to run television ads in Florida, which Hillary did not do.

    3. Obama took himself off the ballot in Michigan, and then when he realized that was a big mistake, he had his grass roots groups campaign for him to tell voters to vote "uncommitted" as a substitute.

    Otherwise, I think you're quite right that neither campaign has exactly been above doing what most benefits them with regard to FL/MI.

    The big, big difference is that only one campaign is pretending to be pure and virtuous and above it all.

    The attacks on Hillary (5.00 / 10) (#102)
    by stillife on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:31:56 AM EST
    by the MSM and "progressive" blogs have strengthened my support for her.  The media pundits are the same clowns who slobbered all over Bush and slammed Gore in 2000. I resent the presumptuousness of the idiotic media trying to pick my candidate.

    I remember the days not so very long ago, when I used to like Obama OK, although I always thought he was a weaker candidate than Hillary or Edwards.  The media and the blogosphere have been fanning the flames and yes, I believe that Obama's campaign was the first to go "dirty".  They're certainly the first to whine about unfair treatment.  

    Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Brave New Films which, along with moveon.org (I unsubbed when they endorsed Obama), is delivering a petition to NBC studios asking them not to "parrot right-wing Fox" in bashing Obama.  Like there's any danger of that!

    I e-mailed them back:

    Your concern for Obama is touching.  Funny I haven't heard anything from you on the horrendous bias of MSNBC, CNN and much of the MSM against Hillary Clinton.

    Of course, I just got an automated response but it made me feel better.

    That's what I've realized too (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:45:16 AM EST
    Ultimately the situation described above forces me to resent Obama for a lot of things that he might not be guilty of.

    But he's clearly embracing it.  It's his only path to victory.

    The hardening of Clinton support in this context is something for Obama to worry about in the general election.

    I don't need to repeat where I stand on this.

    Everyone makes their own decisions when the time comes.


    Heh (none / 0) (#120)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:38:17 AM EST

    funny (none / 0) (#169)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:03:34 AM EST
    early in this campaign this was an argument FOR Obama and against Hillary.
    you still hear Obama fans on some sites saying the media pick is Hillary and that is why they are against her.

    They tagged her (none / 0) (#202)
    by stillife on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:43:28 AM EST
    the "presumptive nominee" while sharpening their knives.  They never liked her.

    Please get your facts straight (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by macwiz12 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:36:01 AM EST
    1. Obama WAS on the ballot in Florida.

    2. Clinton did NOT campaign in Florida except, as was allowed, to raise money. I think Obama also ran fund raisers but that would need to be verified. Obama also ran ads in Florida which was prohibited. His campaign argues that they were national ads that had to run there. Clinton did not run ads in Florida.

    3. The date of the primary was set by the republican controlled legislature. The whole issue of Florida and Michigan is due to the stupidity of the DNC. They seem to want to give Florida to McCain in November.

    Obama had fundraisers (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by tree on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:12:30 AM EST
    in Florida. He also had an impromptu press conference after his fundraiser in Tampa in September 2007 in which he promised to "do what's right" for the Florida voters.

    Barack Obama hinted during a Tampa fundraiser Sunday that if he's the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, he'll seat a Florida delegation at the party's national convention, despite national party sanctions prohibiting it.

    Obama also appeared to violate a pledge he and the other leading candidates took by holding a brief news conference outside the fundraiser. That was less than a day after the pledge took effect Saturday, and Obama is the first Democratic presidential candidate to visit Florida since then.

    Real Change (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by OxyCon on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:42:38 AM EST
    I often say that the only change Obama has accomplished is that he changed many Clinton supporters into Clinton haters.
    I remember when most of the left blogoshpere were avid Clinton supporters who felt honored to be associated with the Clintons.
    One case in particular was John Aravosis of Americablog, who was thrilled to meet President Clinton, along with several other lucky bloggers, when President Clinton arranged a meeting with them solely because he personally took an interest in them and their blogs.
    Sadly, you won't find a more irrational, anti-Hillary blog than Americablog today.
    What changed them? Their new allegiance to Obama.

    Do you still support Obama? (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by dianem on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:43:41 AM EST
    You sound a lot like I did when I went from supporting Edwards but preferring Obama over Clinton to preferring Clinton over Obama. It didn't happen overnight, and I was a bit ambivalent about the change. Clinton was never my favorite politician. I initially started defending her just because I felt that she was being treated unfairly, but in the process of defending her, I learned a bit about her history and qualifications and I came to realize that there was a lot more to this woman than the media had been showing me. I guess that a lot of other people already knew this, judging by her support.

    The reverse has happend with Obama. I started out sympathetic to him, but the more I have learned the less I like him. I thought he was just inexperienced, but I'm wondering at this point if he is not simply a Potemkin candidate, put forward and propped up by people who want to use his natural appeal and speaking skills to launch a legend. Whenever I ask one of his supporters to tell me why Obama should be President, they point to his web site, which is nothing but platitudes. Is there something more to this man or is it simply that his supporters prefer platitudes to cold, hard, reality.

    More so than ever (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:49:32 AM EST
    This all has confirmed my thesis.

    I do not care about candidates per se, I care about issues. On the issues, I see not a dime worth of difference between them.

    Indeed, my ultimate point is there really is no basis for all this PASSION for two very uninspiring cautious candidates.


    A small sad truth (5.00 / 3) (#148)
    by suisser on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:52:26 AM EST
    A middle aged woman is viewed by the media as the least valuable human being.  No matter who she is, or what she's done, she's a post menopausal female.
    There. I've said it - now I think I need to go throw-up.

    If the Clintons really were evil racists (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by OxyCon on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:57:58 AM EST
    ...as many Obama supporters seem to believe, then why didn't Hillary bring up Rev Wright in South Carolina when President Clinton was being attacked as a racist? Or why not before the Iowa caucuses?
    If they had, Obama would have been the first candidate to bow out of the election.

    And why would Bill Clinton's offices (5.00 / 3) (#197)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:35:52 AM EST
    be in Harlem?  etc. etc.

    If the media wanted to, they could have ho-hummed the racism charge with plenty of evidence.  They didn't.

    And I'll state my bumper sticker slogan again, in the hopes it catches on someday:

    "The Iraq War Was a Media Darling Too"


    I found it curious (none / 0) (#199)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:37:41 AM EST
    that a party that believes the Clinton's will do anything to win hasn't brought this up.  Maybe everyone knew about it and knew it would come up and it gave the Clinton's a position to argue that Obama was unelectable until the situation had time to shake out.

    Nope. Still fair. But the cannibalization (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:01:42 AM EST
    stems from the the kinds of things BTD is detailling in his post. You can't villify half of the party and then expect it to unify with the other half. On the other side, I guess they believe the villification.

    Are We Really Different Than the Republicans? (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by Elporton on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:02:24 AM EST
    Much has been said here (rightly so) about intra-party conflict and dirty tricks, and it does seem to me that Sen. Clinton seems to get the worst of it more often.

    But I'm sure we all remember the 2000 Republican presidential race in South Carolina.  Whispers of McCain's illegitimate black child and his wife's instability/drug addiction.  Politicians are generally not beyond throwing low blows, even at their own team.

    BTD said this hurts the party's chances in the GE and he's probably right.  But what will really hurt our chances is putting up the candidate that can't win.  Look what we did in 2004.  There was no internal bickering about or among the candidates, and we found a way to lose to Pres. Bush!

    While we'll get past this squabbling among ourselves, it looks like the candidate most likely to defeat the presumptive Republican nominee won't get that chance because we've been hijacked by the wacky and bitter elements of our own party, just like the Republicans.

    Ok (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by cmugirl on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:26:30 AM EST
    I keep reading this comment over and over on this and other blogs - "don't blame Obama, blame the state parties of MI and FL".  The problem is - I don't want to blame anybody (not yet - that can wait until after the election).  I just want it to be fixed.

    It just occurred to me that this argument sounds strangely familiar - Obama has used it against Hillary for the AUMF vote.  He keeps saying he had superior judgment then (subtly, blame Hillary) but hasn't done anything to fix the problem now. Fast forward to 2008 - blame MI/FL because they screwed up, but don't try and fix the problem.

    And this farce has self-marginalized (5.00 / 0) (#206)
    by Pacific John on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:49:37 AM EST
    NBC and the blogs. They are now nearly irrelevant to the election.

    As a humble volunteer for Hillary in TX, it was clear that there was no connection between what we saw in the media and what voters were thinking. Strike that, our biggest phone banking night was after Russert's blatantly misogynistic debate performance. If anything, the adversity generated by the current left-media farce is fueling the opposition.

    I won't vote for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 02:42:28 PM EST
    I agree with the framing of how and when the negativity started.

    At the time I was reading Arianna and Dowd. Both of them practically were stating that Obama was unmanly for not attacking Hillary Clinton.

    Then it began. Stinkers like Russert revealed themselves.
    The press enjoyed what they think was a heavyweight fight.
    They lured folks into the tent with the big fight so that they could sell their hair tonic and snake oil.

    But it is Obama who went for it.
    His campaign became one of the sleaziest in memory.
    Bill Clinton, you know, the one who has his presidential office in Harlem, was recast as a racist.

    And so on.

    I admit that I never liked Obama. His campaigning for Lieberman disqualified him for me. His speech before the convention in 2004 that everyone found so electrifying was an absolute nothing for me. He said nothing about Iraq. He said practically nothing about Kerry. He waved the flag, and talked about himself.

    And so if he is the nominee, in my view he will have gotten it by destroying Hillary Clinton, the one viable candidate in the race.
    He would have done it in concert with a rabid sexist media.

    If he is the nominee, I must admit that I don't think he is prepared to be President. I don't think he knows what the hell he is doing.

    I'm not saying I could vote for McCain, but Obama can forget about it. I think he is potentially dangerous.

    media love to hate Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by NO2WONDERBOY on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 01:39:47 AM EST
    BTD,you are right! The media has shown their bias against her intelligence, her competence, and her gender. They revel in distorting, and misrepresenting her statements, underscoring her life-time, untiring efforts to bring equality for the underprivileged, Blacks, Latinos and other minorities on the issues that challenge them most. The media hangs on her every word, the slightest facial expression to vilify and disparage her.
    Carl Rove just recited a lithany of Obama's "mispeaks" on the Greta Susteren(spelling?): that his parents met on the Selma march, when this happened when he was four years old; that he and Rezko didn't have any kind of relationship, yet went on record the Friday of Wright's bombshell with a Chicago newspaper man to disclose just how much Rezko had contributed to his campaign ($250,000+)and his shady deal on his 1.6 million dollar home; that he spoke fluid Indonesian which was denied by his teacher there; that his father was a humble shepperd, when it has been proven that his father was a member of the elite of the revolutionary dictator Odinga in Kenya, whose government paid for his trip and post graduate education in Hawaii; the list goes on, and on, and on...
    Now the media is blowing way out of proportion and is chastising Hillary Clinton for he Bosnia exaggeration, as if she had driven a dagger to the American people's heart. Give me, us, a break!!

    Who plays dirty? (3.66 / 3) (#22)
    by myiq2xu on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:57:53 AM EST
    I am an Oakland Raiders fan.  The Raiders have long been considered the dirtiest team in football, and are almost always the most penalized.

    But I recall back during the Niners glory years when they polled the NFL players as to which team played dirtiest, and the Niners were the consensus pick.

    I don't mind negative campaigns.  "Politics ain't beanbag" as Molly Ivins used to say. (RIP Molly)

    I really don't mind that Obama gets away with playing dirty.  Life isn't fair, and the Clintons know that.

    But what annoys me is the Obamaniacs acting all sanctimonious and smarmy, accusing Hillary of playing dirty.

    BTW - The Niner fans are the reason I hate the Niners.

    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:09:42 AM EST
    In a perfect world the blogs would at least be clear-eyed enough to take note of what is going on.  Instead, they've all become willing participants in the sort of reality-free media narrative the blogosphere used to deplore.

    As you say, if he gets away with it, he gets away with it (and maybe that's the mark of a skilled politician), but savvy political observers ought to be at least able to point it out.  You'd think a sharp media critic like Josh Marshall would be one of the first to catch on, but instead, you find Josh and friends doing nothing but obsessing over the anti-Hillary talking point of the day.


    x (none / 0) (#79)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:19:51 AM EST
    I have to admit I was quite surprised that the boyz couldn't remain detached and analytical. (Well, except Kos because his written contributions to the blogosphere have always been second-rate, reactionary, and self-interested, IMO).

    But the finer minds! Heck, if they could maintain perspective when discussing the various and sundry Bush outrages these many years, how in the world does the Kabuki of an American political campaign send them round the bend. It's mind boggling.


    Kos is a fighter for his cause (1.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:22:37 AM EST
    Obama is his cause now.

    I actually do not mind. I just respond to his arguments.

    But OTHERS (Josh Marshall! cough!) pretend to something different. Those are the hacks of this season who I have strong resentment against.

    Kos is Kos. Always has been. Some have pretended they are something different.


    Opportunist only (none / 0) (#222)
    by Boo Radly on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 01:09:20 PM EST
    His(kos) cause is himself. His blog reflects himself as a mirror - think hateful as in blinding. He is what he is, heh? Status quo  

    It's a good analogy (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by eric on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:02:46 AM EST
    and I agree with it.  What happens is a sort of "conventional wisdom" supercedes actual facts and shapes perception.  The Raiders are a dirty team, therefore, they get treated like one whether they are or not, and whether or not on any given play the Raider actually did anything wrong.

    Whatever the source or motives, there is a conventional wisdom - or "narrative" as I call it - that has developed that clouds Hillary Clinton as well.  Probably more than one, actually.  For example, "Hillary has shown that she will do anything to win," or "Hillary Clinton and her campaign have consistently shown a pattern of racial attacks".  Everything that happens is viewed through these narratives.  The Obama people cultivate this willingness of everyone to believe the worst and accept the narrative by suggesting that there is a "pattern" of behavior.

    The latest one, BTW, is "Clinton Camp Has "Pattern" Of Questioning Obama's Patriotism".

    The strategy does seem to be working.  There are legions of people that have adopted all of the narratives out there.  When Hillary or somebody associated with her says something inartfully or a comment can be construed against her, it will be.  And it will because, you see, it's all part of the "pattern" of bad conduct by Clinton and her campaign.

    Just like when the Raiders get a flag for pass interference because, you know, the Raiders are a dirty team.


    NBC = Obama? (3.00 / 2) (#11)
    by CLancy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:53:49 AM EST
    I know that it's en vogue to lash certain networks to particular candidates, but your mentions of attacks against Clinton predating her allegedly going negative are from bloggers and certain people over at NBC News. I've no doubt that examples of negative campaigning can be found, but attacks by the media are not the same thing as an attack by a candidate.

    Also, as for MI & FL, I'm more than troubled by the situation, but have little sympathy for a candidate that delayed taking action on the matter for 6-7 weeks in the vain attempt that they might get counted despite all indications to the contrary. Simply because Obama opposed revotes crafted at the last second (for very self-interested reasons, admittedly) does not wipe away Clinton's being complicit in the matter not being addressed sooner. Both their hands are dirty.

    Also, I heard very little from Camp Clinton (and its followers) about attempts to block certain voters from taking part in proposed revotes in Michigan. For some reason, these people found it convenient to hide their electioneering (some may call it vote-rigging) in some of the same DNC rules against which they railed for months as undemocratic.

    Ahem (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:59:26 AM EST
    Immediately following the debate in question, attacks from the other candidates on the driver's license issue were fast and furious.

    They didn't attack on the merits, as you might recall, but made it into a character issue instead.

    The attacks on Clinton's character started well before Iowa, most notably in regards to the "planted question" flap.  That one started out as a media frenzy, but the other candidates didn't hesitate in seizing on it.  The Edwards campaign even created a "Plants for Hillary" website.

    We all accept that Hillary was taking the high road during this period because she was way ahead in the polls.  However, the fact remains that she wasn't the one doing the attacking.  She was focused relentlessly on the issues and on emphasizing the overriding importance of a Democratic win in November, while all the other candidates looked to impugn her honesty and integrity at every turn.


    Yup (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:01:51 AM EST
    Remember (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:12:54 AM EST
    when Obama had an impromptu backyard meeting?  There was a round table in a corner of the house and a rake leaning against the wall.  I remember because the press release of the quotes came out before the meeting happened.  Clinton had a planted question, Obama had a planted meeting for the media to cover.  I'm not offended by it,  I thought it was just more of the same.

    Heh (none / 0) (#73)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:16:37 AM EST
    I just went and read it.. (5.00 / 0) (#183)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:16:37 AM EST
    and I found it very amusing. First of all, the rake is upside down, and who has microphones wired into, and blue linen tablecloths(complete with hole for umbrella) on their backyard tables? I wonder if their discussion was written by Obama's speech writers. I know candidates do this sort of thing all the time, but if Obama is going to do it, perhaps he should get a better art director. I can't think of a single back yard I have ever seen that has that sort of setup in it. Linen on umbrella tables? In a middle class neighborhood? Right. The first picture, without the press visible, looks phony on its own. The one with the press just reinforces that impression.

    I Read You Blog (none / 0) (#110)
    by flashman on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:34:29 AM EST
    Very well done.

    Did you show (none / 0) (#171)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:06:00 AM EST
    the series of photos where they panned around and showed all of the media?  The excess of coverage for the homey little media made for a humorous scene?

    I dunno (none / 0) (#178)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:10:15 AM EST
    but you could probably find out by clicking the link! :)

    honesty and integrity are fair game (none / 0) (#83)
    by CLancy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:22:28 AM EST
    Right? I personally think that it's okay to go after these things. It's not what I generally would consider mud-slinging. After all, these are certainly things which the candidates themselves use to promote their qualifications for public office. We should want honest and ethical people in the positions of power.

    What's decidedly negative, and unseemly, are attacks which seek to gain political advantage by dividing the electorate on social or cultural issues: be they on gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or class. I think that the NY driver's license issue could be construed as such, but if a candidate waffles on such answers (I don't recall the situation perfectly, but Clinton didn't seem to be at her best for that one), there's also an honesty and integrity problem which one can't reasonably expect opponents to ignore (especially when, as you said, she was then the front-runner).


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#215)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:28:25 PM EST
    Even if "honesty and integrity" are fair game, Obama has not limited his attacks to those subjects (and certainly didn't last fall).  Take this:

    "At a breakfast in Iowa Falls, he appeared to take another shot at Mrs. Clinton, who is often accused of excessive ambition. `I'm not one of those people who decided at the age of seven that I wanted to be president.'"  ["Obama's First Salvo Targets Hillary Clinton", The London Daily Telegraph, February 12, 2007]

    So he attacked her "excess ambition" a year ago.  And then last fall, he was repeating the (discredited) Jeff Gerth attacks:

    "Barack Obama is starting to slip into his speeches a disputed account of a secret 20-year plan for both Bill and Hillary Clinton to win the White House.

    "'I'm not in this race to fulfill some long-held plan or because it was owed to me,' Obama told a gathering of Nevada Democrats after Thursday night's Las Vegas debate.

    "That was a veiled reference to an account by biographers Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta that the Clintons sealed a `secret pact of ambition' to both win the presidency - which has been vehemently denied by Clinton advisers.

    "Asked if Obama was referring to the pact, a spokeswoman replied, `Barack Obama has not been mapping out his run for president from Washington for the last 20 years like some of his opponents.'"  ["Obama's Shot at Clintons", Newsday, November 17, 2007]

    There's more like this that I've found, but I won't belabor the point.  

    The problem with these attacks are numerous:  1) excess ambition is something all politicians running for president have.  It's disengenous to say that one person is all ego while you have been dragged - against your will no doubt - into service a la George Washington.  2)  This is a rehash of a common refrain against Big Democrats (see also:  Gore and Kerry) - that they have been prepping their whole lives for this, are "entitled", etc and thus it's bad for the party to consistently have it's nominees so labled.  And 3) the Jeff Gerth thing is simply false!  So why would a transcendent candidate go there?  

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything BTD said.  


    Want to give some (3.00 / 2) (#93)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:27:12 AM EST
    examples you have noticed it is ok to attack Obama with?  Have there been times when you questioned his honesty and integrity?  This is not a sarcastic question.  I just want to know which items you consider legitimat with regards to Obama.

    BTD's example of CIC is a good one . . . (none / 0) (#105)
    by CLancy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:33:05 AM EST
    . . . as is his past/present associations with certain lobbyists. And, Rezco. There's always that. I don't personally think that it's a big deal, but come on, Obama had to deal with the guy. Rezco was a big time player, especially in Illinois politics, and he's on trial for some pretty serious stuff. How's that not fair game?

    I never understood why some people took offense at the military/foreign policy stuff Clinton was throwing. It's a legitimate issue, even if I disagree with her stance on it. Given his relative lack of experience in national politics, Obama does need to prove himself on it.


    oops (none / 0) (#114)
    by CLancy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:36:15 AM EST
    I misread a comment (below) by BTD. Sorry about the confusion.

    I still think that it's okay to go after it.


    I think Rezko is a very big deal (none / 0) (#143)
    by dianem on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:51:07 AM EST
    This guy bankrolled Obama's early campaigns and became his friend. Even after Obama learned that Rezko had a habit of expecting favors from politicians he supported, even after learning that Rezko was conning the government and maintaining slums for hte people Obama purported to support, Obama maintained his political relationship and personal friendship with the man. Put this together with Wright, and you have a portrait of a man who has serious problems standing up to authority figures to the point that he refuses to stand up to people who are doing and saying things he purportedly abhors.

    I do not think it is fair game (none / 0) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:23:50 AM EST
    in an intra-Party contest.

    For the same reasons questioning C-i-C credentials.

    IT hurts the Party's chances in November.


    fair game (none / 0) (#127)
    by CLancy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:42:03 AM EST
    Going after someone on CIC is okay, but comparing them unfavorably to the likely opposition in the other party is below the belt. In this instance, I think that Clinton's raising it actually helped Obama. His message on this issue has certainly improved as a result of it.

    As for honesty and integrity, they are at the core of representative democracy. They have to be fair game.


    Traditionally not true (none / 0) (#117)
    by Trickster on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:37:49 AM EST
    in a Democratic Presidential primary.  The tradition has been that the gloves stay (mostly) on and attacks are on issues, not personal.

    This campaign utterly destroyed the traditional Democratic primary campaign.  Sadly, unless Hillary can pull out a miracle come-back, the lesson is going to be that going nuclearly personal early on is the way to win, and that Democratic voters have apparently lost their old scruples about negative campaigning.


    that bad? (none / 0) (#142)
    by CLancy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:49:59 AM EST
    Hart & Mondale were pretty bad in 1984, as was Bradley's attacks on Gore in 2000, though to a much lesser extent. As far as campaigns go, this year is mild in some ways in comparison (as far as the personalities and campaigns are concerned). Heck, even Jerry Brown in 1992 was completely awful compared to anything Clinton or Obama has done in 2007/08.

    I'll agree though, the media has been absolutely terrible to both Clinton & Obama. They will also continue to be terrible to whomever gets the nomination while letting McCain skate. No matter who gets the nod, we've only begun to see the slime that will get tossed around.


    Nearly a x-post, clancy, though (none / 0) (#175)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:07:44 AM EST
    in 2000 recall that Bradley went straight at Gore's character by openly questioning the VP's ability to tell the truth.  And, like Obama today, BB's attacks on Gore's character were not called out as unfair by the very friendly press.  Gore of course, when he counter-attacked BB, was called 'ruthless' by the MSM.

    If Hillary goes even half as far in attacking Obama, the BHO campaign and his friends in the corp media  go after her similarly as 'willing to do or say anything' to win.

    And of course she always has to tiptoe around in being aggressive with Obama lest she or her campaign be accused of being racist.


    Those were vanity campaigns (none / 0) (#187)
    by Trickster on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:22:40 AM EST
    Fringe candidates like Brown and Bradley have often run incendiary campaigns, and the Democratic electorates have shot them down in exactly equal numbers.

    I don't remember the Hart/Mondale campaign as being even a shadow of what this one is.


    My reading of Dem primary politics (none / 0) (#161)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:01:22 AM EST
    says it's a tradition of both personal and substantive issues-oriented attacks.

    2000, 1992, 1988, 1968 and 1960 in particular featured some very sharp exchanges between leading candidates on personal issues.

    Dems should expect this as a part of the political process and not get so worked up in a lather -- calling a mid-sized attack as going 'nuclear' for instance -- that we make our candidates and ourselves into such kumbaya softies that we won't be able to withstand the onslaught of the Repubs in the GE.

    Going negative using actual facts and not fabricated stuff is acceptable.  Trying to define your opponent should not be off limits so long as no swiftboating lies are used.


    That is a fair point (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:55:48 AM EST
    Obama's heart used to not be in it when he went negative. He is not good on the attack.

    Luckily for him, he need not be, everyone else will do the dirty work.

    At least where Clinton is concerned.

    IT is a concern actually concerning John McCain.


    Why is his heart virtues? (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:01:36 AM EST
    I think it's not his heart, it's the Obama story that gets damaged when he goes negative.  Axelrod has been brilliant at not letting the Obama negativism stick to Obama, he can sustain that he is the "new politics".  I don't believe the heart part.  It's all a campaign.  

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:08:43 AM EST
    someone has to attack McCain. The Media attacks Clinton for Obama.

    Will they attack McCain? See my point.


    Indeed. (none / 0) (#91)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:26:22 AM EST
    Really good question.  I'm not sure Obama's surrogates would be that good at attacking McCain either, just from the way I've seen them attack Hillary.

    Well (none / 0) (#126)
    by Trickster on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:41:26 AM EST
    The media does get a nasty-gram little memo every morning with its marching orders (e.g., the stink bomb that the Obama campaign excreted last Friday morning).  So it's certainly not as if Obama's people are innocent in this regard.  

    I do go with the buck-stops-here theory in regards to things that come from the top of the campaign.  Axelrod may be running it, but Obama is 100% responsible for what his press people put out every morning.


    The VP nom is supposed to do it (none / 0) (#147)
    by Manuel on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:51:57 AM EST
    Recall how the Kerry campaign was upset with Edwards for not doing enough of it.

    Apparently she won't (none / 0) (#201)
    by shaharazade on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:41:06 AM EST
    Bill Clinton March 21:

    And then he painted this scene: "She and John McCain are very close," he said. "They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."


    I agree (none / 0) (#52)
    by CLancy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:07:36 AM EST
    I've no problems with going negative, per se. For both Clinton and Obama, it's been troubling how some sort of identity politics is getting dragged in to it. I also don't know how well he'll be able to attack McCain, but you're right, he's got plenty of people to do it for him.

    I question how well either Dem can stand up to the attacks that are coming/will come their way. I really don't buy HRC's claim that she's already been tested and passed, nor Obama's that he's somehow above all of that.


    Obama did not block Florida. (1.00 / 2) (#65)
    by sweetthings on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:11:57 AM EST
    I've never agreed with BTD's logic on 'blocking' revotes - namely, that because local politicians who support a national candidate blocked the revote, that automatically means that the national candidate is responsible. However, I can see why some people would view it that way, and yes, if you go with that assumption, then Obama 'blocked' Michigan.

    But that didn't happen in Florida. The Florida revote was scuttled by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the rest of the Florida House delegation. Debbie is a Clinton campaign co-chair. Most of the house delegation are Clinton super-delegates. In the case of Florida, it was Clinton surrogates, not Obama surrogates, that sank the revote effort in Florida. So if you are going to blame national candidates for the actions their committed supporters take, then Clinton gets the lion's share of the blame for Florida.

    I know we're all hot and bothered about various injustices, but can't we at least be consistent in our logic?

    You misunderstand (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:16:40 AM EST
    the pressure that would have been brought to bear on Wasserman-Schultz et al if Obama had agreed to the revote.

    Obama was very much the main reason Florida did not have a revote.


    Forget surrogates and supporters (5.00 / 4) (#82)
    by Josey on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:20:48 AM EST
    What was Obama's position on the revotes?
    iirc - he didn't have one - his campaign was always "looking into it" - or criticizing every proposal - until the clock ran out and it was obvious it wasn't going to happen.

    This is a tough issue... (none / 0) (#3)
    by proseandpromise on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:40:45 AM EST
    Because it is so subjective.  All one has to do is look at DK and then here and see almost the same kinds of arguments and approaches with the roles flipped.  Some see the media as HRC biased (thus they talk about the Clinton News Network) and others see MSNBC as the Obama station.  I tend to agree, actually, with both assessments.  

    Meanwhile, blogs like thedemocraticdaily bemoan the use of the "race card" on occassion, accusing the Obama campaign of using it, while the ad on the side of their page tells me to "Drop my sexism" and vote for HRC.

    Ultimately, I think you are correct.  Both sides have played dirty.  But there are sites (like thedemocraticdaily and largely this one) where the roles are reversed.  Obama here does no right.  At DK, Clinton does no right.

    I think the blame rests on our own shoulders.  I, you, anyone reading this, bring an emense amount of personel bias and emotion to this subject.  We are often blinded by those prejudices.  This is why I've stopped making "media" arguments.  I just can't believe that I see things any more clearly than they do.

    We've all got to own up to our subjectiveness, and do our best to seek out facts.  Its hard, and I've failed (like the media) so I won't blame them.

    That is utterly false (5.00 / 8) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:49:48 AM EST
    THIS web site criticzed Clinton for bringing up Wright. This web site criticzed Bill Clinton for referencing Jesse Jackson in South Carolina.

    This web site demnaded the firing of Billy Shaheen and criticized Bob Johnson.

    You are practicing a sub-species of the Clinton/Obama rules - ignoring what actually has been said at the sites in question.

    Your opinion is filled with falsehoods.

    There is nothing subjective about that. You are stating falsehoods.


    OK (none / 0) (#115)
    by proseandpromise on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:37:15 AM EST
    So I haven't been around this whole time.  I'm just giving you things as I have seen them.  For instance, you said that "this website criticized Clinton for bringing up Wright" but then, like a post ago, Obama was criticized on Wright again.  

    I see this as a clearly pro-Clinton site.  It is not objective.  That's OK.  THat is what I was saying.  No one is objective.  We just have to deal with that.

    And is calling my statements "utter falsehood" substantively different than calling them lies?  Because I was told in another post that implying that someone was lying was against the comment rules.

    I just want to have a reasoned discussion.  If I misrepresent the site, correct me.  Link to those diaries.  I'll gladly read them, and change my opinion if they are truly balanced.  But don't just call me a liar please.


    You stated falsehoods (none / 0) (#133)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:44:49 AM EST
    I did not say you DELIBERATELY stated falsehoods.

    You didn't say that... (none / 0) (#141)
    by proseandpromise on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:49:35 AM EST
    but you implied it.  

    You said I was, "ignoring what actually has been said at the sites in question."  YOu could have said I haven't been around long enough to have read those posts and that I should save my judgement until I've been here longer.  That would have been fair.  But by saying I "ignored" those posts, you are saying I knew about them.

    ANd if you believe I intentionally ignored the posts and stated things that I would have then known to be false, I was lying.  I was not lying.  I was not ignoring.  I could be wrong, though.  I'm willing to admit that.  Are you?

    Don't pee on my leg and tell me its raining.


    That rain is in your brain (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by joc on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:48:45 AM EST
    You didn't say that...but you implied it

    That's not true either. You were the one who inferred it.

    If I go to a website for the first time and read the topmost post, and respond to that post without looking at what preceded, I am ignoring those posts. That is a cold hard fact. Hell, by not spending the time to read what I know is there I am intentionally ignoring them. What I am not doing is intentionally misrepresenting what came before. That is the distinction BTD is making.

    There is no need for you to infer an accusation of lying because he points out you haven't taken into account what came before.


    I implied no such thing (none / 0) (#166)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:02:58 AM EST
    I NEVER imply accusations of lying. I state them DIRECTLY.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#173)
    by proseandpromise on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:06:24 AM EST
    I don't mean to get into these scuffles.  I just get frustrated because I feel like I'm being misrepresented.  I'll stop arguing with you.  It is not my blog, afterall.

    huh? (5.00 / 10) (#16)
    by dws3665 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:55:43 AM EST
    I'm not sure what TalkLeft you've been reading, but both BTD and Jeralyn have expressed disappointment and disapproval of some Clinton campaign statements and tactics. Your comment reads a little bit like a "can't we all get along" concern troll who acts as if there really isn't a blatant, documentable bias in the media and on the majority of prominent left blogs against Clinton and for Obama. That's just not true, no matter how much it may disappoint you to admit it.

    Opinion isn't bias... (1.00 / 1) (#122)
    by proseandpromise on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:39:59 AM EST
    It is no surprise that a site like DK, which is grassroots, far-left, and behind the 50-state strategy would not support CLinton.  SHe is not that kind of candidate.  SO their reporting is pro-Obama.  There is a slant.  But there is one here too.  You can argue it's not as great, or whatever, but you have a slant as well.

    We all wear glasses tinted by our own beliefs.  Let's be a little more charitable to others with a supposed "bias" because we all have our own.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Trickster on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:55:18 AM EST
    I'd have to say I was a bit surprised by the vehement defense of Obama's remarks about how Reagan saved us from the excesses of the 60s and 70s (sheesh - you mean excesses like the Civil Rights Act, feminism, and the EPA?) with bold and dynamic entrepreneuralism, and the Gingrich-Bush era Republicans have been the party of new ideas challenging conventional wisdom.  Those statements were chock-full of tried and true political value words all in favor of Reagan and Republicanism, and the DK bunch ate it up with a spoon.

    That controversy... (none / 0) (#159)
    by proseandpromise on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:00:50 AM EST
    is a good example of what I'm saying.

    I believe that you believe what you're saying.  I don't think you are being disingenuous.  But I totally disagree about his statements.  I heard them as Obama saying that the GOP was successful because it ran on new ideas.  Not that the new ideas were good, just that they were new.  Ironically, this could have actually worked against him, because just being new is, then, obviously not inherently good.  But that's not the point.

    Another example is the whole "love the country thing."  Now I didn't think Bill was implying anything underhanded. But I've read people who sincerely believed he did.  I'm an Obama supporter and it seemed like a stretch to me, and most Clinton supporters, but that doesn't mean that really isn't the way they heard it.  Again, it just goes to show - we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear.


    Believe what I'm saying? (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Trickster on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:19:45 AM EST
    It's elementary: "party of new ideas" "challenging conventional wisdom".

    Jeez Louise - every candidate from dog-catcher to President since Flintstone days has said he's the "candidate of new ideas" who "challenges conventional wisdom."  Are you honestly telling me that you don't think those words carry any value judgment at all?  

    OK, let's run for office.  So long as you run on a platform of "old ideas" and "conventional wisdom," I'll let you outspend me 10-1.

    Same thing for the quote about Reagan:

    Reagan came in response to "excesses" when there "wasn't much sense of accountability" - and replaced them with "clarity," "optimism," "dynamism," "entrepreneurship."

    If there's one thing you have to say about Obama, it is that he is brilliant with words, and especially with prepared statements, as those quite obviously were, he is very very precise and targeted.  It doesn't pass the laugh test to suggest that he loaded those statements down with value words by accident.  It was very obviously no accident.


    The biggest tragedy (5.00 / 11) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:00:14 AM EST
    of the way this has all played out is that there has literally been no possibility anywhere for a substantive, thoughtful discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of both candidates.

    I'm a fairly reluctant Hillary supporter, but I'm damned if I'm going to be willing to voice my concerns about her in this overwhelming atmosphere of demonization of her every breath.

    The volume and hatefulness of the garbage that's thrown at her every day is just breathtaking.

    Unless you are willing to believe that BC saying the press's narrative about Obama's opposition to the war was a "fairy tale" was a racist slur, that his saying Obama was a "roll of the dice" was another racist slur, and that HRC's remarks about MLK and LBJ were belittling MLK, and on from there, I don't think there can be any question in any rational mind about "who started it."

    Far, far more unforgiveable to me than even the MI/FL debacle is the deliberate campaign to destroy HRC and BC and many other good Democratic leaders in her camp by painting them as racists and race-baiters.  I truly never thought I would ever see such a thing coming from one Democrat to another.


    Your feelings totally express mine as well (5.00 / 7) (#55)
    by athyrio on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:08:16 AM EST
    I started out not particularly being for Hillary but I was an Edwards supporter, but the more she was attacked the more I found myself supporting her...I cannot stand bullies and I cannot stand sexism...I am an old line feminist....Anyway, the attacks kept coming till all of a sudden I found myself a big supporter of Hillary...Who knew it?? So in a way, the attacks helped me to get to know her better and watch her more and now I think she is great...In a perverse way, MSNBC has helped me be one of her greatest supporters LOL....They come across as big bullies....

    I agree, the racism charge takes the cake (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by annabelly on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:09:30 AM EST
    Once you call someone a racist, all avenues of discussion are closed, especially if the person isn't a racist, but someone who has been thoughtful and conscientious of race issues for decades. I heard some pundit on Sirius, maybe Alex Bennett, say the other day that racism was the easiest argument to make. It's also the most offensive.

    It is part of Chicago politics (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by DaleA on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:30:37 AM EST
    Lived there for some years. Harold Washington figured out that with 42% of the votes, blacks could not run the city. But add in liberal and gay voters, that was a majority. He became mayor. And did a very good job, lots of white support eventually. One of his constant problems was a segment of the black community that wanted to make everything a race issue. Washington rarely ever talked about race; he was open to everyone. But this black faction was very loud. He managed to keep them quiet.

    Mayor Washington died suddenly. When the liberal and gay supporters tried to go to the funeral home to pay respects, the racism people denied them entrance. Physically would not let them enter. This set the stage for the reborn Daley machine.

    This thread has let me put things in perspective. It is an old Chicago style presentation of issues. There are some blacks screaming racism; they are not a majority but make a lot of noise. Which turns off white people in droves. This is how things worked in Chicago in the 80's and seems to be working nationally now.


    Hear Hear (none / 0) (#203)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:44:58 AM EST
    here's a clue... (5.00 / 8) (#41)
    by Turkana on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:03:55 AM EST
    when was the last time you saw a daily kos front pager write anything positive about clinton? when was the last time you saw any of them write anything critical of obama?

    Exactly (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:10:36 AM EST
    I haven't seen it... (1.00 / 1) (#103)
    by proseandpromise on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:32:35 AM EST
    but I've also not seen anything as non-issue as the Obama giving story.  I'm not saying TL is terrible and DK is awesome.  I see strong bias with both.

    BTD calling my statements "falsehood" is confusing.  I have been on here for a few weeks and have seen Clinton-spin the whole time.  Even pro-Obama articles seem reluctant to me.  

    I'm just saying all blogs are like this, and I don't want to demonize one over another.


    you haven't been paying attention (4.20 / 5) (#118)
    by Turkana on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:37:53 AM EST
    many of we who are critical of both campaigns are faulted by the more glassy-eyed obama supporters for daring to criticize the chosen one. but on the supposedly pro-clinton blogs you will see criticism of clinton and defense of obama. at daily kos you will not see the opposite.

    pro Hillary diaries (none / 0) (#211)
    by shaharazade on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:10:49 PM EST
    often posted before 'the strike'. They huffed off.

    I personally blame (none / 0) (#6)
    by white n az on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:47:56 AM EST
    your tepid support for Obama for all of it.

    You would have to admit that if/when Obama becomes presumptive nominee, the Obama rules are out the window and the media slant will be decidedly for the 'maverick'

    We'll See (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:51:37 AM EST
    If the Obama rules are discarded.

    Oh please..can't you see a setup (5.00 / 2) (#208)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:54:40 AM EST
    when it's right under your nose? The media is setting Obama up for McCain. The media is pretty much wholly corporate and would hate to have a Dem administration which might curb their power or take away their tax breaks.

    If Obama gets the nomination, it will be open season on him, and all his weaknesses, his lack of actual work on bills he claims credit for, his lack of support for the poor in his community when he was a state Senator, his connection with Wright and his poor choices of friends, as in Rezko and anything else they can dig up on him will be front and center every day until the election. The GOP is praying for, and doing what they can to ensure, an Obama nomination. It will be a bloodbath, no quarter.

    And if you think Obama can stand up to it, may I refer you to his statement that he was "shaken" by the Wright reportage. He thinks that was bad?? It is NOTHING to what is coming at him if he gets the nomination. Hillary knows what is waiting for her, she has been through it before, and emerged victorious. Obama has had an easy road, prepared and softened for him by his mentors. He doesn't have the psychological armor necessary for a presidential campaign. He whines once and he's done. And given how much whining he does, it's not something he seems to be able to refrain from doing.

    If Obama gets the nomination, the media will eat him alive. All in the name of saving the country, of course.


    What about Rev. Wright and Rezko? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Lora on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:49:06 AM EST
    Seems like Obama got some bad press around those two.  In fact, thanks to the media feeding on Wright especially, it appears to me that Obama's fallen off his pedestal somewhat.  No?

    Wright yes (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:51:02 AM EST
    Rezko no.

    But imagine those two issues if they were pinned to Hillary Clinton. What do you think would have been the coverage?


    And by extension ... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Demi Moaned on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:04:35 AM EST
    (as Greenwald, among others, pointed out) imagine the coverage of McCain's Iran/Al Qaeda statement if either Obama or Clinton had said it?

    I appreciate your overarching sense that a tolerance for all this stuff is bad for the party's electoral chances in the fall.


    Obama would have gotten away with it now (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:10:12 AM EST
    The Clinton Rules would apply.

    Can we hold onto to these ground rules for the GE? That is the 64$ question.


    The irony (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Demi Moaned on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:13:54 AM EST
    Yes. Expecting Obama to win the nomination, it's clear that Obama is the one hurt most.

    The folly of Obama supporters gloating that there will be no revotes in FL and MI distresses me.


    Well Fox News led the charge on that.... (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:56:37 AM EST
    ...the others were forced to follow because the public, rightly or wrongly, was interested and ignoring it became a tad too embarrassing.

    I disagree (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by dws3665 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:03:05 AM EST
    Some in the "MSM" have overly focused on the Wright controversy, but surely you've noticed that after "The Speech to End All Speeches" the tenor of the coverage has reverted to the previous levels of reverential treatment for Obama. As for the blogosphere, the prominent left blogs have been utterly dismissive of the Wright "controversy," have suggested or outright asserted that HRC's campaign is behind (or has at minimum been promoting) the controversy, or have tried to gin up "pastor problems" for Hillary.

    My own opinion is that the pedestal is largely intact, especially in the blogosphere. BTD is right - it is groupthink, and all evidence disconfirming Obama's sainthood is dismissed or ignored.


    Yes and No (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by BarnBabe on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:06:38 AM EST
    There was not that much about Rezko. I mention it and people do not know who that is. As for Wright, yeah, sounded bad for a couple days, but then he made 'the most wonderful speech they had ever heard' and all was forgiven. There are DC people who did not want Hillary as President. So, they choose a man, but added a distinction so it would not look like a man vs woman. But it is. And the media is fooling a lot of people but I hope Hillary can pull this off and the media ends up looking the fool. BTW, people do talk about how unfair the media has been. If this was DK and the media was unfair to BHO instead, they would already be listing the sponsors and making the phone calls.

    Too late (none / 0) (#46)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:06:28 AM EST
    when those stories were there to be done from the start -- and could have made a massive difference in balancing coverage of both candidates.  You actually have provided an example of the problem, not an example that counters it.

    x (none / 0) (#14)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:54:49 AM EST
    I don't consider this campaign particularly rough, actually, and I'm glad it's going down to the wire because so many voters in the real world are paying attention.

    The pols will do their thing, the voters will do theirs, and the big boys and girls in the party will do theirs and give the nod to one or the other. The loser will come out and exhort his/her supporters, we'll have a big show in Denver, and the general election will commence.

    Most people don't watch cable news and fewer people read blogs. Remember that and it will help to keep you grounded in this silly season.

    IT is getting pretty nasty now (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:56:23 AM EST
    x (none / 0) (#25)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:58:35 AM EST
    It's only a tiny speck in the universe of voters.

    I'm so discouraged with the my old favorite (none / 0) (#26)
    by jes on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:58:36 AM EST
    blogs. I never expected much from the Media, indeed I found atrios and dKos many years ago because I thought I was loosing my mind over the Media coverage of Iraq.

    What is to happen after the nomination has been settled? I don't think I could ever go back to my old haunts. I don't know where TalkLeft will fit in then - I only used to check once every other week or so to see if you had something interesting to say.

    I've had enough and suspect I'll become apathetic. But if you ever do start your own blog as you suggested recently, I suspect it would be one of the few left in my blogroll.

    I understand completely (none / 0) (#106)
    by Dave B on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:33:32 AM EST
    I'm right there with you.  I'm in the wilderness once again.

    Ditto (none / 0) (#32)
    by TrevorWynne on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:01:04 AM EST
    I've said for some time that the media must and will come together to back the candidate in November. This current negativity toward other Democrats is only a device to drive up ratings until the real race against the Republicans starts.
    -Trevor Wynne

    it's all obama's fault (none / 0) (#37)
    by po on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:02:32 AM EST
    that "[t]here is not an ounce of doubt that it was the campaigns challenging Hillary Clinton last fall that first engaged in negative attacks."  what all those other campaigns did is now his fault.  Interesting.  

    And It's also his fault that, long long after the MI and FL democratic parties did what they did and the national party announced the "penalty", that he won't agree to some "fair resolution" -- any number of which are solely skewed to result in Hillary gaining more so she can stay longer.  Why should he agree -- he didn't create the situation.  You want to place blame, blame the party leaders, the superdelegates, the ones who made this a fubar of monumental proportions.

    Bizarro world.  It must be Obama's fault for the announced kitchen sink strategy as well.  

    Obama rules -- give me a break.  Three months ago Hillary was inevitable and Obama was all talk, no action.  Today, the meme from the sugar sweet, would-never-play-mean Hillary camp is that she and John McCain are the only real patriots.  yeah, let's talk about them rules the candidates are playing by.  At the moment, I'll take Obama's over Clinton's most any day.

    Insult alway about how I don't know what I'm talking about.  'Tis the usual response.

    have you considered ... (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by dws3665 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:10:48 AM EST
    that the response you get might be the usual response because it is accurate?

    Only a very twisted thinker would say that a revote of an primary was "skewed" to favor one candidate over another. Unless you mean the vote totals would be "skewed."

    No one here is accusing the HRC camp of being sugary sweet, or perhaps you missed the point of the post. It's that both candidates have used negative messaging, but ONLY Hillary's campaign takes any flack for it. That's what seems to escape you here.


    No (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by po on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:24:00 AM EST
    what I mean by skewed is that both Hillary and Obama are both pushing fixes and / or re-votes designed to benefit them in getting to where they want.  That's the problem.  It's no long just a vote; it's THE vote.

    to those of us not living in MI or FL and who were paying attention to what was going on at the time the DNC was stating its penalty, the proposals to allow these fools to do it all over again is preposterous.  Why on earth would we want that -- so we can more problems arguing over the inevitable problems that will arise?  No.  2.2 million voted.  the votes were counted.  delegates . . . well, i'll guess we'll see.  

    I view it as sort of like Gore and Bush in FL (that state, gosh how i love the beaches but detest the politics of it) where both sides pushed for a resolution that benefited them.  Had they just agreed to recount the entire state, imagine what might have been.  Instead, they pushed their own plans and we got what we got.  


    The voters of Michigan and Florida be damned! (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by joc on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:04:53 PM EST
    You're certainly allowed to support punishing the voters of MI/FL for what others did. That's a choice you're allowed to make, but as for me, I place the value enfranchisement at the top of my list. And disenfranchising people because of the actions of the DNC or their legislatures is deplorable in my mind.

    The Obama campaign has been working against the revotes because it runs contrary to their immediate need to win the nomination.

    You'll need to look into your own mind to see why it is that you are okay with disenfranchising millions of people who did nothing wrong. I'd be interested in reading your answer.


    If that is your honest view of these events (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:04:42 AM EST
    Then good luck to you. I live in reality based world.

    Indeed, it is because of the reality I perceive that I believe Obama is the best choice for Dems.

    I have nothing really to say to you if you honestly believe what you wrote.


    Actually, you just said a lot (none / 0) (#75)
    by po on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:17:14 AM EST
    most notably that i don't live in a reality based world, i.e. an insult.  whatever, i don't really care. i have a firm grasp on reality and do not expect you to understand or even try to understand what i'm saying or where i'm coming from.  the folks here are polarized beyond repair and perceive bias, attacks and negativity at every turn.  It's like talking to your spouse when he thinks he knows what your saying but he doesn't.  borders on useless.  obama bad; hillary good.  nice and simple, but way oversimplified and not based on reality at all.  

    and, you failed to point out even one thing i wrote that is not based in reality.  heck, the comments here are talking about things other candidates (edwards, dodd) did during the early primaries, not what obama did.

    you want do-overs or something to "fix" that which the DNC, FL and MI broke.  That's all well and good.  But, what about all the rest of us that voted.  As everyone is aware, the timing of any do-over now makes those do-overs the deciding factor under the process under most any do-over.  Rewarding bad behavior, excellent.  If nothing else, this mess has made me realize just how messed up the Democratic Party's processes are.  That's the real problem, but it's easier to blame the guy who's trying to overturn the apple cart of inevitability than to put the blame where it really belongs.  


    Is that an insult? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:20:07 AM EST
    I apologize to you then.

    Politics is supposed to be (none / 0) (#56)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:08:24 AM EST
    nasty and the media plays a huge part in that.  Dare I say it, but the media actually helps ensure our leaders are "tough enough" to do their job.  BTD is right in about the media's role.  The issue even-handedness with the coverage.

    Clinton Endures (none / 0) (#128)
    by pluege on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:42:38 AM EST
    Agreed that Clinton has born the lions share of media abuse...and through it all Clinton endures. Her endurance through blatant bias is exactly why Clinton is the better dem candidate for the fall than Obama, who has born almost no abuse and has been mostly ineffective in rebuffing the little he has received. (Note, if Obama is such a media darling, why is it that one bad pastor [albeit with legitimate grievances] remains a boat anchor for Obama [which will become orders of magnitude heavier if its Obama versus mccain], while chief republican loon mccin has many such pastors, only worse and the media says nothing.)

    Obama's job is to bring his worshipers out in the general election to make a Clinton presidency happen in 2008. In return, Obama gets 8 years to establish conditions for an Obama presidency from 2016 thru 2024.

    I agree to an extent (none / 0) (#137)
    by DaytonDem on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:48:00 AM EST
    that Clinton is straying into dangerous ground here but I disagree that the Wright issue was being played out without her involvement. All that I have seen lately in the MSM is what a wonderful speech Obama gave. And I think there is some reaping what you have sown going on. I recall the debate leading into New Hampshire when Obama responded to the idiotically hostile question as to whether Clinton was likable by smirking that she was likable enough. I believe that if he had smacked that question  down and said it was out of bounds and lets get back to issues he would be the unopposed nominee now.

    Arrant and Inaccurate (none / 0) (#145)
    by Harley on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:51:36 AM EST
    The biggest spike in negative campaigning came prior to the Texas and Ohio primaries, after Obama's eleven consecutive wins.  Hence, the kitchen sink.  That doesn't mean the Obama team has clean hands in this.  But to ignore the Red Phone ad or the now infamous commander in chief threshhold remark is to engage in special pleading of little value.  Cripes, Mark Penn needs a category all his own in this regard.

    Let's make is easy.  Find one instance where Obama, not a surrogate, made a remark similar to Hillary Clinton's invidious comparison with the nominee of the other party.  I'll wait.  Go ahead.  Look.

    Nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:00:30 AM EST
    The biggest spike was from the ZERO before the October debate to the constant personal attacks on Clinton through New Hampshire.

    And of course, you introduce a straw man, that someone is arguing Clinton did NOT go negative. I will not take your false bait, since I never said anything of the sort.

    Try it with weaker minds than mine Harley.


    But your weak mind is so much more fun to toy with (none / 0) (#212)
    by Harley on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:11:58 PM EST
    And, as I suspected, you refused to answer the simple question that puts the lie to this Stab In The Back warmup session.

    Give me one statement, made by Obama and not a surrogate, that is equivalent to Senator Clinton's remarks re Obama, McCain, and the Commander in Chief threshold.

    Go ahead.  Your own thesis demands it.


    more press bias (none / 0) (#217)
    by Harley on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:36:43 PM EST

    By the way, still waiting for an answer to the simple question.  Let's call it the Big Tent Challenge!


    What's wrong with the red phone ad? (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by Trickster on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:10:06 AM EST
    That's a serious question: who do you want to respond to a crisis?  Cripes, it didn't even mention Obama's name.

    How about when Obama called Bill and Hillary liars (or said they make "statements not grounded in fact" and not really implying they had been mistaken, eiher) on the debate stage on national TV in South Carolina?  Non-invidious?

    And while I think it's fair to leave out statements made by persons far down the campaign food chain, inner circle statements are a far different matter.  If the buck is ever going to stop at Obama's desk, he needs to practice for that by at least exercising a modicum of control over the daily rantings of Axelrod and Plouffe.


    Oh Dear Trickster (none / 0) (#213)
    by Harley on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:17:07 PM EST
    Still fighting the last war?  Check in at the Forvm.  Even Bird Dog is having fun -- mostly with the recent gunfire on the tarmac fantasy.

    The idea that Axelrod and Ploufe are somehow equivalent to Penn and Wolfson - the Ken Starr comparison was fun - suggests you're still having a hard time separating fact from go-team fiction.

    But more to the point, just how much longer are you willing to put yourself on the line for someone else's sense of entitlement?  Or, more succinctly, at what point do you concede defeat -- only after sufficiently savaging the Dem nominee?

    I'm genuinely curious.


    Oh, and speaking of Maniacal Supporters (none / 0) (#214)
    by Harley on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:23:52 PM EST
    A new Gallup Poll finds a "sizable proportion" of Democrats would vote for Sen. John McCain next November if their favored candidates does not win the Democratic nomination.

    "Clinton supporters appear to be somewhat more reactive than Obama supporters. Twenty-eight percent of the former indicate that if Clinton is not the nominee -- and Obama is -- they would support McCain. That compares to 19% of Obama supporters who would support McCain if Obama is not the nominee -- and Clinton is."

    So there's one myth we can put to rest.


    I thought you were that Harley (none / 0) (#219)
    by Trickster on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:41:18 PM EST
    Equivalent?  Nowhere near.  Not even close.

    Perhaps you should re-read BTD's post.  There's still a seat for you on the reality train.


    Well (none / 0) (#160)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:00:52 AM EST
    if you want to believe history started right before the Texas and Ohio primaries, then maybe you're right.  I prefer not to ignore the stage of the campaign where relentless character attacks turned a big Clinton lead into a big Obama lead.

    Disenfranchisement SOP for Obama - Illinois story (none / 0) (#150)
    by Marlowecan on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:53:06 AM EST
    This is my first post here. As a conservative, I must confess to amazement at the quality of criticism and observation here at Talkleft.

    That said. I am surprised that folks here do not seem aware that cutting off opponents at the knees by first disenfranchising voters has long been SOP for B. Obama.  He first attained electoral office in Illinois, not by competing with his popular (female) Democratic incumbent, but by devious backroom lawyering to block her nomination.

    See below, from Todd Spivak's "Barack Obama and Me" at Houstonpress.com (a must-read to understand the shady background of Obama's Illinois political career):

    "Even many of his staunchest supporters, such as Black, still resent the strong-arm tactics Obama employed to win his seat in the Illinois Legislature.

    Obama hired fellow Harvard Law alum and election law expert Thomas Johnson to challenge the nominating petitions of four other candidates, including the popular incumbent, Alice Palmer, a liberal activist who had held the seat for several years, according to an April 2007 Chicago Tribune report.

    Obama found enough flaws in the petition sheets -- to appear on the ballot, candidates needed 757 signatures from registered voters living within the district -- to knock off all the other Democratic contenders. He won the seat unopposed.

    "A close examination of Obama's first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career," wrote Tribune political reporters David Jackson and Ray Long. "The man now running for president on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it."


    Some of us are (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:34:08 AM EST
    I happen to be aware of what happened in Illinois.

    You clearly have not lurked long here (3.00 / 2) (#220)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 12:41:29 PM EST
    or used search to see that we have discussed this.

    x (none / 0) (#163)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:02:06 AM EST
    Will you, as a conservative, be voting McCain in the general election? I am wondering whether Bush has succeeded in driving enough reasonable Republicans away from the party.

    Invalid petitions (none / 0) (#186)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:20:30 AM EST
    Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with getting people thrown off the ballot for fraudulent petitions.  I was personally deeply involved in one such attempt in Massachusetts 35 years ago <cough!> in Michael Dukakis's first major statewide race.

    All campaigns routinely have a look at sample petition papers of their opponents.  When we did that with ours, we immediately saw several of our own precinct captains' signatures on one petition and obvious multiple, multiple signature pairings (one person signing for two in the same handwriting) on the other.

    After studying the petition papers closely for about a week, I suddenly saw the pattern of where a half dozen folks had sat at a kitchen table and passed the papers around, each person putting in a name right off the voter lists.  I got to the point where I could tell when one of them took a bathroom break because their handwriting disappeared for a while and then reappeared on the pages.

    It was clear both sets of position papers were completely fraudulent, but we were unsuccessful in persuading the then Republican-controlled ballot law commission to disqualify the two candidates, so it was ultimately a wasted effort.

    But the point being that signature fraud is odious, and the only people who can police it are the other candidates.  If a "good guy's" papers are screwed up, y'know, too bad.  Especially in a local legislative election, there's no excuse for it.

    I have no problem with Obama having done this.


    disenfranchising voters/ old story for St. Obama (none / 0) (#190)
    by noholib on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:28:58 AM EST
    Every time I read this story about Senator Obama's tactics in that early race I am astounded and frankly disgusted. To those who see only the visionary side of Obama and who construe him as a saint or moral leader, let them take a good hard luck at a very savvy pol.

    Well, if you're with your candidate (none / 0) (#151)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:53:34 AM EST
    by default, that seems very, very Republican of you.

    These numbers will only go higher (none / 0) (#157)
    by riddlerandy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:59:21 AM EST
    between now and PA.  I hope all of these good Dems enjoy the hundred year war and 20 years of the Roberts Court shoving rightwing opinions down our throats.

    From Gallup:

    "A sizable proportion of Democrats would vote for John McCain next November if he is matched against the candidate they do not support for the Democratic nomination. This is particularly true for Hillary Clinton supporters, more than a quarter of whom currently say they would vote for McCain if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee."

    solution to this seems to obvious (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:08:32 AM EST
    to point out.
    make Hillary the nominee.

    Obama will be the nominee (none / 0) (#191)
    by riddlerandy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:30:09 AM EST
    but this campaign will ensure that she will able to seek the nomination again in 2012 to run against McCain for his reelection

    This also doesn't account for... (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by cmugirl on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:30:14 AM EST
    ...those who just won't vote for the top of the ticket if their choice is not the nominee.

    It is a smaller (none / 0) (#200)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:40:32 AM EST
    number though.  Some still think there is a greater chance voters will come back if there is a joint ticket.

    Geez, I hadn't thought of that. (none / 0) (#179)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:11:24 AM EST
    Guess I'll have to give my time and money to the downticket Dems to control congress.

    If both sides have played dirty, why is it (none / 0) (#224)
    by halstoon on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 01:13:52 PM EST
    that this thread focused almost solely on the sins of Obama? Other than a passing reference to Clinton negativity in the opening, you direct all your ire at Obama and the media.

    As to the point that it was the challengers who went negative on Clinton first, you should have pointed out that it is never the front-runner that goes negative, especially not a front-runner who is as highly favored as Clinton was in the fall. That is politics, and everybody played the game the way it is played. Clinton tried to stay above the fray, and Edwards, Obama et. al. tried to knock her down a few pegs. We can all disdain that, but it's kinda like deploring the fact that people want to sack Peyton Manning; it's part of the game, and it's gonna happen sometimes.

    Obama was the beneficiary of Clinton's return to Earth. The media followed the people as they became enamored with Obama's eloquence and air of confidence. When he won Iowa--which was a major upset--the media did what they do, making him the new leader and looking for him to clinch things in NH. When Clinton went from dominating the field to finishing third in Iowa, of course the media saw her campaign collapsing. Thanks to that coverage, her campaign stepped up and her supporters showed up in NH. She was the comeback kid, and pundits continued to identify her as the likely nominee.

    There are no rules locked in. When SNL and Clinton went after the media for their crush on Obama, we promptly got a nice raking over of Rezko--turns out there just wasn't much there--and then an exploitation of MO's proud comments, and now an exploitation of Wright. I am sorry if I don't see how Obama's saintly treatment continues. The media follows the same ebb and flow of the campaign and of the people; Clinton is not constantly villified and Obama is not constantly canonized.

    As to Obama supporters, since you are one it is clear that we are not all mindless drones. Interestingly, Clinton has a bit higher % of voters who refuse to support Obama as the nominee. So why not call them idolaters or any of the other pejoratives used on Obama supporters?

    Finally, Alcee Hastings and most of the rest of the FL House delegation that refused to support a FL re-vote are Clinton supporters, so it is really unfair to claim Obama is at fault for that state's failure to hold a valid primary. Not to mention that it was not Obama who stripped those states of their delegations. When that decision was made, Clinton was supposed to be the nominee by Feb. 6 so she could seat them w/o controversy. Blame Obama for messing up that plan, but not for denying the people of FL a chance to vote.

    You can stop being angry at Obama now (none / 0) (#227)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 11:59:52 PM EST
    for Michigan at least:

    Federal judge in Detroit strikes down state primary records law
    by Jeff Karoub | The Associated Press
    Wednesday March 26, 2008, 6:36 PM

    DETROIT (AP) -- A federal judge on Wednesday struck down a Michigan law that allowed only the Republican and Democratic parties access to voter information from the state's Jan. 15 presidential primary...

    [A] spokeswoman for the Michigan Democratic Party said the ruling essentially ends any chance of a Democratic do-over election in the state because the judge prohibited the Michigan secretary of state from giving the lists to the parties.

    "We need those lists to prevent people who voted in the Republican primary from voting in the Democratic do-over. Those are DNC rules," said spokeswoman Liz Kerr, referring to the Democratic National Committee. "This is basically the final straw in preventing us from having a do-over election."...

    The Clinton campaign on Wednesday issued a press release urging Obama "to join our call for a party-run primary and demonstrate his commitment to counting Michigan's votes."

    But Kerr said the party doesn't have the time or the resources to pull together another election, even if the judge hadn't made it impossible to get the voter lists.

    So all your blame and anger at him from here on in will be misdirected. The MI revote would not have gone forward no matter whether he'd blocked it or cheerled for it or whatever. Not that I expect this will have a whole lot of effect on what you have to say about this topic.