Clinton Campaign Misfiring

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

On Monday, during a press conference call, I asked Howard Wolfson about Clinton supporter PA governor Ed Rendell's criticisms of NBC and NBC's inaccurate coverage of the Trina Bachtel story. I specifically asked if the Clinton campaign would ask NBC to correct its false reporting. Wolfson had no answer for me and Hillary Clinton's campaign has had no answer for the unfair media coverage it has received, particularly from NBC.

What happened instead yesterday and today was Bill Clinton reviving the Tuzla sniper fire story. Instead of a going on the attack against a Media that will never give them a fair shake (a strategy that has paid political dividends before for this campaign), the Clinton campaign instead reopened an old wound of its own. It seems that it is intent on being a Media punching bag. If this is the type of "fight" Hillary Clinton will bring to a general election campaign, then she has no chance. Today, more than ever, I am convinced that Barack Obama is more electable than Hillary Clinton. More . .

Instead of focusing on how the Media will unfairly distort and misreport an issue and story, and what Hillary Clinton said about it -- (a paramount issue, indeed, perhaps the central issue of Hillary Clinton's candidacy), the Clinton campaign's chief surrogate discussed a trivial, unimportant and politically harmful issue instead. In a word, this is simply political incompetence.

What if, instead of stepping back into one of Hillary Clinton's lower moments of the campaign, Bill Clinton had instead discussed the Trina Bachtel story. How to discuss it? Look no further than how Paul Krugman did it today. This was a political layup. The Clinton campaign not only did not make this easy attempt, they did not even try.

This is a campaign in disarray and without a plan or, seemingly, a clue. Hillary Clinton's political strengths are her image as a fighter and on issues like health care. (Oh BTW, some of these issues are really important too.) Here was a chance to showcase these advantages. And it occurred to no one in the Clinton campaign to take this clear opportunity. Again, this can only be described as political incompetence.

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    When I saw the story in CNN website... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Josmt on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:32:39 PM EST
    I said to myself, what is Bill doing... he's just making this harder for Hillary...

    Bill, Bill, Bill... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by stefystef on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:46:42 PM EST
    You gotta love this guy.  Everyone had forgotten about the Bosnia thing and what does he do in Indiana?  Brings it back up again.  

    Hillary shouldn't have to put a muzzle on Bill, he should know better.  But I think the main problem with Bill, other than the flair for the dramatic political, is that he doesn't realize the strength and speed of the internet world.  

    It used to be a time when a political could say or do something in a small town and the story wouldn't get out there for a few days, if ever.  Now, the story is all over the place before he can finish the sentence.  I'm sure Hillary had to make that phone call to tell Bill to shut up (as Barak as done with Michelle "We-Need-More-White-People-Up-Front" Obama).

    I don't know if it's misfiring as much as not taking advantage of Obama's missteps (the delegate purge, oil company donations, flip/flop on Palenstine and the Olympics Johnnie-Come-Lately).  I will have to quote Howard Ickes again "Hillary is better than her campaign".  

    Someone's gotta put a muzzle on Bill, and I love Bill.  But Bill, please, SHUT UP!


    To her credit: (4.88 / 9) (#30)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:56:46 PM EST
    Responding to the former president's comments, Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer said, "Senator Clinton appreciates her husband standing up for her, but this was her mistake and she takes responsibility for it."

    It may be hard for Hillary, but for Obama? (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by MarkL on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:35:50 PM EST
    Are you kidding me?!!

    Yes, (5.00 / 5) (#10)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:43:17 PM EST
    Wright will not be an issue AT ALL in the upcoming election. And Obama has been fighting a hostile media for the past 16 years, so he will know exactly how to hit back!



    yeah because the media loves to be attacked (none / 0) (#136)
    by mscristine on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:33:48 PM EST
    That is plain STUPID! Hillary calling out the media over their bias only causes them to roar back in a very angry manner. She was called a whiner and a victim when she said she didn't appreciate the comments about her daughter being pimped out. And if she even says glass ceiling she is accused of trying to use her gender to her advantage. Sadly, it will the SNLs of the world to call the media out.

    Hillary's Problem (none / 0) (#171)
    by 1jane on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:50:55 PM EST
    When you vote for Hillary you are voting for a 2 for 1 vote deal. Bill is both a positive and a negative and appears to be more of an encumberance as the campaign progresses. She and Bill agree on economic policy and disagree on trade policy. Her campaign has not been skillful at managing Bill. As BTD metioned, its a drip, drip, drip of one mistake after the other that is making PA Clinton's to lose.

    So, who has more to offer to the country, and (none / 0) (#172)
    by MarkL on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:55:14 PM EST
    who will do more good if their spouse is elected: Michele Obama or Bill Clinton?
    There's no contest, right?
    As a goodwill ambassador, he has enormous potential.
    Michele Obama? Barack doesn't even want her to participate in public life.

    Bill Clinton (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:37:12 PM EST
    has been proven to be an asset to HRC on the campaign trail, despite all the media assertions to the contrary.

    I don't think the public cared too much about the Tuzla story, and they will be inclined to believe Bill, despite his inaccuracies, especially since they lied so spectacularly about Trina Bachtel.

    Respectfully disagree with your POV on this one. But of course, I would. :-)

    Whoops (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:38:16 PM EST
    should have been:

    especially since the media lied so spectacularly about Trina Bachtel.

    From msnbc, bill seems to have made.... (4.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:04:26 PM EST
    ...a little lemonade this morning. At least in my opinion.

    Hope this link still works.

    Here's a snippet:

    The former president said that his wife called him last night to ask him to let the issue lie. "Hillary called me and said 'You don't remember this. You weren't there, let me handle it.' I said, 'Yes ma'am," Clinton said.

    He did, however, say that it was a fact that his wife flew into an area with "some risk," and that others have written accounts acknowledging that which have not been disputed. "I'll let people who actually were there and knew what happened to talk about it," he said. "But I think the fact that Hillary made a factual error in her account and acknowledged it shouldn't obscure the fact that she did go into an area not free of danger and was there advocating for the troops."

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by nell on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:08:29 PM EST
    he should not have made the remark, but making it clear that Hillary is boss is the right way to handle this.

    Odd (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:39:57 PM EST
    You'd think they'd know something about fighting back against the media. And yes, this one seems obvious.

    So this campaign comes down to the question of whether you think media or demography are more important.

    Thumbs up (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by herb the verb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:49:01 PM EST
    This election (like all elections before it) will be decided on demographics and meta-events like the economy. None of these candidates advantages in playing the media will be important. In fact, the only candidate who depends on the media as a component of their general election strategy is Obama. Neither Clinton nor McCain will be negatively impacted by "The Village" being against them since they are already well-known to the public (both positively or negatively). Obama depends on the media darling status since he hasn't been defined yet and has no track record to point to.

    No, the media matters (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:54:31 PM EST
    but how much?

    I think not as much as BTD thinks.


    Matters, yes I agree (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by herb the verb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:01:21 PM EST
    that much, no, for Clinton of McCain. For Obama, it is the whole enchilada, raison d'etre, driver, prerequisite.

    Clinton needs to improve her campaign media message, but even with a poor one, she is still in this race and demographics (and a poor initial campaign strategy to give away the small states and caucuses) were the driver. Even BTD admits that.

    Certainly it's a matter of degree....


    Wow! Thanks for your concern (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:40:26 PM EST
    Actually, BTD, the more voters' attention is called to these seemingly weird fixations that the press has on Clinton's "misleading", "deceptive", "exaggerated" statements, the better, IMHO.  Now, the campaign has a chance to go back and link these feeding frenzies with what was done to Gore on the "I Invented the internet" and "Tipper and I were Preppie and Jenny" statements as well as how Kerry's credibility was shredded by Swiftboaters who said he'd only gotten self-inflicted flesh wounds.  It's about time the Clintons took on the media and REALLY got it all out in the open.  All the ugliness and over reaction should be reopened like an old wound and cleaned out.  How else can you ever expect to beat them?  
    Besides, it looks like the voters are already onto this.  PA is still Clinton's to lose.  Somehow, the voters are getting a clue.  Why not seize the initiative and expose the bastards?  

    Thanks for my "concern?" (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:51:19 PM EST
    You become that you condemn? Disagree with me. But to say I am a concern troll? Weak.

    Well, yeah, kinda (none / 0) (#55)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:29:09 PM EST
    Hey, if the shoe fits.  According to new reports, Bill's new statements are full of inaccuracies as well, which the NYTimes promptly jumped on to make trouble with.  And he pretty much called her old and forgetful.  I don't know whether they are hlepful or not but maybe they're planned.  The news orgs will go into a tizzy covering them.  Before you know it, people won't remember exactly what she said.  All they will remember is that the media twisted itself into a knot trying to make Bill state, restate, correct some niggly little detail.  And isn't this the way the Freepers have operated for years?  They make a big deal about some little detail, like kerning, and the "journalists" go nuts trying to hunt down every expert who has an opinion on it until people forget the the original issue was all about George Bush going AWOL.  Just watch, this thing is going to devolve into "what BILL said" instead of what Hillary said.  By the time it is over, no one is going to care about it, the voters will be disgusted by the amount of attention it gets and they are going to remember the LAST time the media  made a mountain out of a absolutely nothing.  Yeah, like with Iraq and Gore and Kerry.  Yeah, how did they turn out?  

    If the shoe fits? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:33:03 PM EST
    Nooo, it does not work that way at this site.

    Neither Clinton NOR Obama supporters get to attack me personally.

    the reason is simple. I do not get to attack you.

    Nothing would give me more pleasure that to eviscerate any number of comments I find ridiculous. But I am not allowed to. So you do not get to invite my counterattacks.

    Do not do it again please.


    Touchy (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:10:00 PM EST
    It wasn't an attack on you.  It's merely an observation.  You seem overly "concerned" with Hillary's chances based on what Bill has said.  You appear to wish Bill would shut up.  You predict imply that misfortune will befall her if he doesn't curb his tongue.  
    Come, come, BTD, we all know that Bill is one of Hillary's greatest assets.  People have been trying to shut him up for months by over-analysing everything he says, trying to spot the precise syllable where he loses it all for her.  But it only makes sense for him to call attention to himself.  Despite his many flaws, his administration comes with the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.  He may be inept or fiendishly clever.  But your concern does seem to be a bit misplaced for an Obama supporter.  The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.    

    Goldberry, (none / 0) (#116)
    by ghost2 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:19:05 PM EST
    It kills me to admit it, but I think BTD has a point here.  Perhaps not about Bill, I don't know what Bill said.  But BTD's opening paragraph is this:

    I asked Howard Wolfson about Clinton supporter PA governor Ed Rendell's criticisms of NBC and NBC's inaccurate coverage of the Trina Bachtel story. I specifically asked if the Clinton campaign would ask NBC to correct its false reporting. Wolfson had no answer for me and Hillary Clinton's campaign has had no answer for the unfair media coverage it has received, particularly from NBC.

    It seems to me that BTD is suggesting the campaign should have aggressively gone after NBC and the media for their coverage on this issue, and put them on defensive.  That point is valid.  

    Hillary Clinton is an amazing woman, and the most qualified candidate by a mile.  But the campaign doesn't seem to be top notch.  I don't deny the media bias, and there is a chance that no matter what she says, the media will go all out to make her look petty, bitter, and shrill.   It's a valid point to discuss.  


    ghost2 (5.00 / 3) (#142)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:37:56 PM EST
    It seems to me that we see all of the flaws of the Clinton campaign but very few of the flaws of the Obama campaign.  As someone has already pointed out, there are no perfect campaigns with the exception of Bush's where he benefitted from the media throwing themselves at him.  He could do no wrong.  
    As much as I regret that Hillary didn't wrap things up on Feb 5, it was no failure for her to win the big states.  And let us remember that the reason why CA, NY, NJ, etc, were even holding a primary then was because we got sick of having no impact by having our primaries in June.  No matter what you might say about her campaign, those states were HUGE victories for her.  She wouldn't even be in this race at this stage if she hadn't gotten them.  
    Now, let's think about Obama's campaign.  Other than Il and GA, he's got nuthin'.  His debate performances have been pathetic (though I expect that he will have crammed for this next one).  His campaign spokesman are every bit as loathesome to me as Penn was to everyone else.  I can't look at Axelrod without thinking of a cheesy rat.  He's disgusting.  Samantha Powers calls Hillary a "monster".  And his claim to foreign policy superiority is laughable to the point of absurdity.  The only way he can win is if he suppresses over two million voters.  That's the ONLY way he ends up coming out ahead after all the primaries.  
    And we're making a big deal over what the Big Dawg said?  Hillary's supposed to defend her Trina Bachtel story?  ghost2, you know I love you dearly but it if the Clinton campaign decided to ignore the media and just let it all out, doing and saying whatever they felt was right, combative and competitive, they could hardly be worse off than they are now when they are persuaded that the only way they can win is to walk on eggshells.  
    I admire the way she's run her campaign to be honest.  She's been a lot less negative than any politician I've seen in many years.  She should be commended for that, not bashed over the head to the point where her campaign advisors must second guess everything they do or say on her behalf.  The good thing is that she is connecting with the remaining voters and that is the only thing that will matter from here on out.  

    Thanks. (none / 0) (#155)
    by ghost2 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:09:46 PM EST
    I also said below, there are really two sides to this.  Media (remember hours and hours of broadcasting at prime time, how much is that worth?) is all out against her.  Yes, she has run the most POSITIVE campaign, and she is supposed to walk on eggshells, and look good while doing it.  

    BTD can be tough, but he is honest.  I love both of you!!


    If you want to judge (5.00 / 9) (#7)
    by sister of ye on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:40:54 PM EST
    by effective campaigns, Bush had the best-run, tightest campaigns around. And he's been an effective president. Of course, everything he's done has been disastrous for the country, but, damn, he had great campaigns.

    Whatever Bill Clinton said (and I haven't seen clips), there is no way to "run a good campaign" if the media are bound and determined to nitpick at anything and everything. Same as with Al Gore in 2000 - as little as I think of Donna Brazille, I'm not sure Jesus Christ could have "run a good campaign" if he had a D after his name. Same with Kerry - I'm sure Rove had a game plan for any way Kerry could have responded.

    On the other hand, it's easier to "run a good campaign" like McCain and Obama to date if the media ignores "trivial" things like confusing Sunni and Shia and purging your delegate crop of anti-war activists.

    Bingo!!!! (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:45:18 PM EST
    Does anyone really think the MSM is going to say "wow, you're right, we're shameful people!" if the Clinton Campaign adopted Krugman's attack on the media?

    Nope (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:46:34 PM EST
    But then everyone knows you consider yourself at war with the Media.

    very good points. (none / 0) (#130)
    by ghost2 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:28:35 PM EST
    You know, never mind Obama is ahead in money.  Bush was too (compared to Gore).  But both Hillary and Gore are dealing with a hostile media that amounts to hundreds of millions (perhaps more) in advertising, and is creating memes that money cannot buy.  

    Gore fought like heck.  Hillary is fighting like heck.  

    BTD thinks (and he is honest about it) that it may be worth taking a risk with Obama, and bet that the media won't turn against him in GE.  I personally prefer Bob Somerby's plan.  Somerby has his most scathing critisms for the liberals in blogs and media, and says that they are too comfortable where they are.  Somerby says that's where it should be fought.  Candidates should not have to fight the media, and get in their face.  It should be up to bloggers and liberal columnists, who sadly are sellouts (with the exception of a few, and BTD IS one of the exceptions).  

    Josh Marshalls of this world are either intent on schmoozing and promoting their careers, or intent on joining in smearing of democratic candidates.  Hillary has to single-handedly fight all these.  It's tough.

    BTD, as I said above, I think you have a point.  But then, if you had a sports match when it was a fight between 10 and 1, I am sure the team of 10 could afford to look a lot more professional and organized.  


    Hillary will get past this too... (none / 0) (#151)
    by stefystef on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:06:14 PM EST
    I know Bill is trying to help.  He loves his wife and I do believe he wants her to be President.  Hillary is smart, committed and tough.  She's use to alot of people trying to mess things up for her.

    Bill meant well, but the way the campaign has been going now, he should know better.  Hillary is back on track and has been stronger than ever, since getting rid of Penn in the top strategy seat.  I hope can quietly get rid of him without missing a beat.

    Go Hillary!  


    I agre on the media coverage, but (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Teresa on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:42:29 PM EST
    Today, more than ever, I am convinced that Barack Obama is more electable than Hillary Clinton.

    I have zero confidence that Obama can win in November. He can't put away someone with the most negative, unfair media coverage ever. He doesn't stand a chance against McCain.

    I saw a poll on Hardball last night where the majority of those polled want us out of Iraq. Who do they trust most on the issue of Iraq? McCain, 52%, Obama and Clinton 40% each. We are heading for a loss. People want experience even if they don't agree with the policy.

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:46:37 PM EST
    The Tuzla thing should not have been revived by anyone on Clinton's team, especially Bill.  Really dumb.  I don't know why they don't just take NBC on head-on if that's what they want to do.  An hour in the Daily Howler archives will give them all the good examples they need. They always seem to pick the wrong example, or the wrong angle to emphasize, like her comments in the debate about getting the first questions, or giving Barack a pillow.

    As you said better:

    Instead of focusing on how the Media will unfairly distort and misreport an issue and story, and what Hillary Clinton said about it -- (a paramount issue, indeed, perhaps the central issue of Hillary Clinton's candidacy), the Clinton campaign's chief surrogate discussed a trivial, unimportant and politically harmful issue instead.

    This is what really frustrates me about Clinton's campaign.

    It's not about the Clintons (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by tdraicer on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:47:33 PM EST
    Your belief that Obama is more electable has never made much sense, and hanging it on this slender thread doesn't help your case. The media is going to treat Obama EXACTLY the same way they treat the Clintons once his opponent is named John and not Hillary. Because this it isn't about the Clintons-it is about the Democrats. (See the press and Gore, Kerry, Dukakis, Mondale, Carter, Dean.)

    And Pastor Wright is going to be a much bigger club for the GOP than snipers in Bosnia.

    The difference is that Obama has been coddled by the media (without that coddling he wouldn't still be in the race) so when it suddenly stops, he isn't going to handle it well. As indeed he hasn't handled it well in those rare instances when the press wasn't building him up (to tear him down).

    As for their relative electoral maps, the Clinton map which runs through the key battleground states (OH,PA,FL,MI) is the only realistic one. Obama isn't going to win VA, barring a GOP collapse so complete it doesn't matter who runs.

    So support Obama because you like Obama better by all means. Supporting him because you think he is more electable is, otoh, a huge miscalculation,

    One thing I give Obama credit for (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:53:10 PM EST
    is that his attacks and counterattacks are usually a lot more on target then Clinton's.

    I agree with you that the media will come after him just as hard and ugly, but I think he usually has repsonded mnore effectively than she has.

    Ironically, as vague as I think some of his issue positions are, his media policy has been right on target. Seem to be different people in charge of those oerations, or else a deliberate strategy to blur one and sharpen the other.


    Obama is effective with politics & process (none / 0) (#73)
    by Josey on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:43:37 PM EST
    but he's also received a big helping hand from the corporate owned media that prefers rockstars to substantial discussions of the issues.

    But perhaps Obama's PR and marketing strategists will organize the al-Qaeda community. We already know - when Obama is president they will bow at his feet at the mention of his name.


    Yes and I'm hoping that the media (none / 0) (#76)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:45:51 PM EST
    ...continues to love Obama so much if he gets elected. I'm hoping that they get so inspired by having selected our next president that they decide to end the war in Iraq, give us universal health care, and fix the economy. They can do it. Yes they can. </snark>

    It was passing strange (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Maggie on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:49:44 PM EST
    He didn't just call attention to Bosnia, he did it in a way that added on a bunch of statements that were patently false -- which just amps up the meme.  Moreover, he tried to excuse her on the grounds that people make mistakes when they are 60 and tired.  How does that help her?  (Juxtapose this with the whole 3:00 a.m. message).

    Either it's some serious mismanagement.  Or it's a rather clever ploy to keep the Colombia issue off the radar.  Cause I'm not quite seeing how the fact that he's raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby on big issues like trade agreements doesn't raise at least some questions about conflict of interest.  Clinton loaned her campaign money from their joint account -- which includes money he earned supporting a trade agreement she opposes.  I doubt that would play well in PA.  And I'd expect a huge swarm of stories about who else Bill's been taking big bucks from if HRC somehow got to the GE.  Anyway, the calculation would be that it's better to revisit old bad news than to visit new bad news.  But whether it's a mistake or calculated, I don't see how it's not a problem.

    It sounds like he was just taking it personally. (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:18:41 PM EST
    It's understandable he'd get defensive, she was mocked when it turned out what she said didn't happen, there are youtube videos on it. It's natural he'd want to push back. But that's not a good way to run a campaign, one can't take things personally, one has to always be looking at the bigger picture.

    This is something that surprises me. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:53:29 PM EST
    It certainly wasn't the only reason, but one of the reasons I voted for Hillary Clinton was I thought she'd be more effective fighting back against right wing attacks, having had so much experience with them. That doesn't seem to be the case. Certainly Obama has done things that have disappointed me in this regard; he's prone to making gaffes when speaking off the cuff, much like Kerry. But when Wright came up, he pushed back and pushed quickly. It may still be a problem, but at least he didn't ignore it, the way Kerry originally did the swift boaters.

    She seems to handle the right-wing (none / 0) (#181)
    by eleanora on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 07:09:46 PM EST
    attacks just fine, but the left-wing ones have been throwing her for a loop now and then.

    The Clinton Myth (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Manuel on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:53:43 PM EST
    All through this campaign season there has been this myth floating around of how Bill Clinton can perfectly calculate the political effect of each and every word he utters.  This myth was used to paint Bill and Hillary as racists.  Perhaps this gaffe can put that myth to rest?  Nah.  Not a chance.

    Sorry BTD (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by angie on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:55:58 PM EST
    as much as I admire you (and I really, really do), the only Dem. to get elected for 2 terms since FDR and "political incompetence" just do not go together.  It's not that I disagree about your overall sentiment -- I think the Clinton camp should be screaming from the mountaintops about the Bachtel snafu too -- it is just that I'm not buying their failure to do so as a sign of "incompetence." Proof of their competence can be seen in that Hillary has remained essentially tied with Obama despite the uphill battle she has faced this entire election with the media (as opposed to the love fest given to Obama).  Can anyone really believe that if the situation had been reversed that Obama would still be in this thing?      

    This may be a new plan (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Sunshine on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:59:05 PM EST
    I would just like to know how its supposed to work...  This is sure no time to put another rookie in the Whitehouse, we need time to recover from the last one...  

    Only disagreement I have (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:03:25 PM EST
    which is partially opinion, is with the statement that they are in disarray and without a plan or clue.

    I think they have made many mistakes, but my sense is more of a campaign that is not as tightly scripted and externally polished as Obamas. This can be a weakness, but I also think it is a strength. I think they adapt better than any campaign I have seen recently. I don't think they would still be here if that was not the case. Considering some of the obstacles, media issues and yes their own errors it is amazing that they are still kicking. I don't think if the Obama campaign was faced with 1/2 of the same issue if they would even be around.

    So in the GE, if Obama is running and things don't go so great for him, will he recover? I guess we'll wait and see.

    Press and Obama (5.00 / 5) (#39)
    by tdraicer on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:06:10 PM EST
    >I agree with you that the media will come after him just as hard and ugly, but I think he usually has repsonded mnore effectively than she has. Ironically, as vague as I think some of his issue positions are, his media policy has been right on target.

    Um, he has been more effective BECAUSE they haven't gone after him. Period. He hasn't handled the press well-they have handled him with kid gloves. If they had treated him half as badly as they treat the Clintons he'd be gone by now.

    BTD's fundamental error is in thinking the press will continue to hold his hand once he has the nomination. They are going to slaughter him (with the help of the GOP running Pastor Wright 24-7).

    Whereas with Hillary, after almost two-decades of abuse, there is more than a little backlash against the press coverage, with Obama the newly hostile press is going to do nothing but raise doubts about someone who remains a blank to most voters.

    No, Obama's only hope will be that the GOP is so damaged ANY Dem can win. In which case the "who is more electable" debate is irrelevant.

    Yah, what tdraicer said. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by MMW on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:12:49 PM EST
    Sorry BTD (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by MMW on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:09:34 PM EST
    I don't see how this latest action of Bill's would lead anyone to conclude that Obama is more electable than Hillary.

    After Tuzla, her ankles, and everything else Hillary is still essentially tied and leading in most of the coming primary states. The lead in the coming states alone says he's not gaining any traction, despite his inevitability status.

    The man just said that he was more experienced than Hillary and McCain because he lived in Indonesia as a child and travelled Pakistan to India for three weeks as a young man, his staffer just said he was about Politics not Policy, that's the last few days. All of these things will get played in the General. If NBC won't do it, Fox will and CNN and ABC and CBS will follow.

    You've really got to explain this to me. Because his media fans will turn in a haert beat when the 527s start working. What is he going to do, call Hillary up to ask her to cause a diversion for him?

    I'm really trying to understand this electability argument, but to be honest - I don't get it.

    Me either, (none / 0) (#50)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:19:11 PM EST
    and I never have.

    We must take it as a given that the corporate media will attack the Democratic nominee as soon as he/she is chosen. If we don't, we really haven't learned anything in the past 28 years. They've been doing it since Carter and the rabbit, for Jeebus' sake.

    HRC is still standing after 16 years of media attacks - in fact, she's risen spectacularly. This shows not just guts and skill, but the ability to withstand unimaginable torrents of slime and flourish.

    Once the media gets to work on Obama, there will be nothing left but an empty suit. And John McCain, the media's former, current, and future favorite, will be the President. I believe in my heart and soul that this is the truth, although I know it is only my opinion.


    Got link? (none / 0) (#62)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:33:24 PM EST
    his staffer just said he was about Politics not Policy

    Where can I find this? I need it for a discussion on another forum.


    it's a TL diary today (none / 0) (#86)
    by Josey on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:55:08 PM EST
    Thanks! (none / 0) (#156)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:11:05 PM EST
    Helloooooo? (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:12:40 PM EST
    The always having to play the victim.

    WTF are you talking about?

    Obama is the one who always plays the victim.

    "Big mean Hillary is attacking me, she's throwing the kitchen sink, I don't know who I'm running against, but they're all racists!"

    "She didn't defend me ..." (none / 0) (#186)
    by andrys on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:06:53 AM EST
    He said the above in Mississippi on March 10 to his audiences, the day before the primary, to whip up their Hillary dislike.

    First he complained she "leaked" a photo "of me" in native garb, which by March 10 his Internet-Army had to know was not true and which had been indicated only by a vague Drudge report for which he would not provide proof -- and a couple of us found an open distribution of a newly-scanned version of that photo by conservative-forum members was done 2 days before the Drudge report.  This was posted in most of the Dem forums.

      Then he complained to them that "she" didn't DEFEND him on 60 minutes which, she certainly did.

      His dishonesty was highlighted when he again quoted only the last part of the THIRD answer she gave (her puzzlement about being asked about this the third time).  Then her FOURTH answer on 60 minutes was

    "Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors. I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time."

      But I suspect his grandmother spoiled him, and therefore no one could "defend" him enough! and he would set others against the person who he feels failed him, as he was doing here.  It's no accident that so many of his supporters on the Net are so rabid in their hatred of her.

      This is Mr. Uniter with his Hope and Change though!

      I couldn't believe that he was doing this after accusing her in a debate of 'whining.'

      And, it does puzzle me that any of us should be demanded to defend the validity of someone else's personal faith - not to mention someone who is just a co-worker.


    The Clintons are dammed if they do and dammed (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Angel on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:16:29 PM EST
    if they don't.  Fight back?  Then the media says they are whining.  Don't fight back?  Then they are rolling over and playing dead.  The public is onto the media and their hatred of the Clintons so I don't think this little thing about Bill will make any difference to the general public.  For people on the blogs who live and breathe this stuff, sure it's interesting to discuss, but nothing more than that, in my OPINION.

    Bill (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by nell on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:39:46 PM EST
    is taking this campaign very personally. He has never really been on the other end the way Hillary has and he doesn't really know how to let her take the shots. In a weird way, this campaign has confirmed for me that Bill really loves his wife.

    I think he has been surprised by some of the vitriol and baseless accusations coming at Hillary from the DEMOCRATS who are supporting Obama, both public officials and private supporters. I bet he has also been surprised by how eager some Dems are to smear his record as President.

    He did misfire, I agree, and I am just going to close my ears and pretend I didn't hear about this. I am glad Hillary released that statement basically saying I am a big girl, I made the mistake, I take responsibility and I am also glad she told him to stay out of this one!

    Question for BTD (5.00 / 6) (#72)
    by tdraicer on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:41:56 PM EST
    Fine BTD-Bill Clinton blew it. You still haven't explained why you think Obama is going to get better press once it is Obama vs. St. John, or why you think he'll handle the press turning on him (which they will) better than Hillary. You keep acting as if this is about Bill and Hillary, as if the press was fair to Gore, Dean. Kerry, Dukakis, Mondale and Carter.

    What happns to the Clintons isn't the exception, it is the rule. And you've yet to give a good reason why you think either the rule doesn't apply to Obama, or why you think he'll be able to deal with it when the press rediscovers all the Obama problems they've been willing to ignore in order to get Hillary.

    On a more general note (and NOT about Talk Left or BTD) the real joke to me of the Obama campaign is that supporters are projecting onto him every quality they want to see (and onto Hillary the reverse) with a shocking lack of evidence, or even concern that evidence ought to be required.

    Obama AT BEST will be another Bill Clinton, a competent centrist Democrat, but because he made a statement against Iraq when it cost him nothing to do so, he is the new Bobby Kennedy; and because he is black, the new MLK. Progressives who prided themselves on their attachment to "reality" have turned into teenage girls swooning over a rock star, and speeches that contain not a single line that will be remembered a year from now are treated as historic documents.

    Apparently it has been so long since a charismatic leftist has run for the White House, a mediocre simulation is all it takes to make people's hearts beat faster. It's like mistaking Beatlemania for the Beatles.

    your last 3 paras - right on!! (none / 0) (#87)
    by Josey on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:56:45 PM EST
    Eh (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by BDB on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:01:34 PM EST
    Obama's people have made just as many stupid statements as the Clinton people, it's just that only the Clinton people - particularly Bill - get called on it.

    Of course, Obama got called on it, too, when he hit John McCain over his 100 years in Iraq. Then the press hit him and that will be what will happen if Obama's the nominee.  And folks praising what a great campaign he's running will all say, "Wow, I don't remember his campaign making this many gaffes in the primary!"  

    So I don't think any of this makes Obama more or less electable.  His campaign has been able to spew CDS talking points and leverage media hatred.  What that has to do with his ability to withstand the media onslaught in November, is a mystery to me.

    As for the Clintons, I've been wanting them to hit the MSM over the Bachtel story, but I think Hillary is trying to avoid appearing as if she's at war with the media.  I think they've decided taht as bad as the coverage is, it would be even worse if they declared some sort of war.  I also think Bill doesn't necessarily agree and that's why he goes off the reservation occasionally.  Not to mention, it must be hard to listen to all the crap spewed about your wife.  I remember reading an interview with Steffi Graf where she said it was much more nerve wracking watching her husband play in a Grand Slam final than playing in it herself.  Of course, that may just be because she won more of them.

    Has Any Obama Attack on McCain Worked? (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Dan the Man on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:22:31 PM EST
    So far as I can tell, the answer is no.  Obama's "McCain wants Americans to fight in Iraq for 100 years" was (as you said) immediately disproved because it wasn't true.  This is pretty good proof the view that the media would defend Obama against his critics is just wrong.  If this far into the campaign he hasn't made even one charge against McCain that has stuck, what makes anyone think he can do so in the future?

    No it hasn't, and it won't. (none / 0) (#140)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:36:11 PM EST
    Obama and McCain are just not in the same league. Obama would be a much better President, IMHO, but McCain has a lifetime of experience and is generally trusted on national security matters.

    And unfortunately, BHO loses to McCain on the economy, which may be the key issue in November.


    I disagree, Bill was and still is rather saavy (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by vicndabx on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:17:28 PM EST
    Contrary to what folks think, as someone in health care, noone should really be talking about the Bachtel story.  Even though it's already out there, it's still someone's private health information.  When it was used as an example w/o specifics OK.  Any mention of it at this point because of they way it played out in the media, will draw folks attention to the specifics.  IMO, it's wise for public officials not to talk about it.  They may be exposing themselves to a lawsuit.  Bill should know, HIPAA was passed under his watch.  Back to the topic.  Both the Bachtel and Tuzla stories point to the same issue - focus on the thing that was not the point of the comment in an effort to point up some supposed flaw of the candidate.  OK, so Hillary wasn't running across the tarmac carrying Chelsea on her shoulder firing an AK-47 ala Rambo.  Bill's point is still illustrated nicely by Tuzla.  Rather than discuss the foreign policy experience she may have gained in her role as first lady and how it compares to O's, let's talk about some other nonsense not relevant to the role our president plays.  So I don't get blasted.  I do think truthfulness is important.  I also know we don't always get the truth from our pols and am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.  The media is supposed to be the check that we rely on.  Which, IMO, was another one of his points.

    An Overreach (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by BDB on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:30:40 PM EST
    I think you've over-stated your claim, here, BTD.  I agree that Bill's comments were not helpful, but to go from that to this

    This is a campaign in disarray and without a plan or, seemingly, a clue. Hillary Clinton's political strengths are her image as a fighter and on issues like health care. (Oh BTW, some of these issues are really important too.) Here was a chance to showcase these advantages. And it occurred to no one in the Clinton campaign to take this clear opportunity. Again, this can only be described as political incompetence.

    Seem to be reaching.  There are risks in going after the media.  It may very well have occurred to folks in the Clinton campaign to consider going after the media over Bachtel and they simply decided not to.  

    As for Bill's comments, how many appearances has he made on her behalf in the last year and with the entire media looking on, he's made what, a half dozen comments that have gotten him in trouble?  And most of those were manufactured trouble (fairy-tale = racist).  This one was dumb, I'll grant you.  But I'm also willing to bet that if we go and read Michelle Obama's comments for the past year we can find at least as many "questionable" things said when the Clinton Rules are applied.  And, yet, based on these things, the Clinton has a campaign in disarray and without a plan.  

    You know what worries me about Obama's electability?  That even with the media spending all of its time on this crap, even with the misogyny and the CDS, even outspending Hillary by 4 to one, he can't win Ohio.    

    I don't think it was a mistake.... (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by lookoverthere on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:34:20 PM EST
    And here's why:

    There's great footage of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton with the troops in Bosnia. She looks presidential.

    Getting that footage to roll repeatedly shows her being somewhere Sen. Obama was not. And she looks younger and more sprightly than Sen. McCain.

    These are both good for her. She's addressing the commander-in-chief and experience issues with Sen. Obama and age and health issues with Sen. McCain.

    I wish I could find this great study done regarding perception---I had it but I can't find it. Eddie Izzard uses the same material in DRESSED TO KILL. Anyway, the study had to do with how people decide about you based 60% on how you look, 30% on how you sound, and 10% for what you say.

    My last two numbers don't look right, but I think the first one is. Anyway, to parrot Izzard, that's one reason people fake sing the National Anthem---because it's better to look like you're singing than to just honestly stand there like a dope.

    The weekend talk shows are coming up. If the media reprises this footage, it could work well for Sen. Clinton in that people will catch a glance at her with the troops as they're eating breakfast or going to buy a new dishwasher. They'll pay less attention to what is  being said and more to what they're seeing.

    And what they're seeing is pretty powerful.

    I could be completely wrong here, but I'm not sure. Former-Pres. Clinton and Sen. Clinton are pretty adept and news cycles, and it's hard not to use the footage if you have it.

    And if you turn off the audio when that footage rolls, she looks great.

    But as I say, I could be wrong. I could be reaching. I'm willing to accept that.

    I don't know but... (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Truth Partisan on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:12:43 PM EST
    ...would it be possible that Bill is just reacting, in a normal, regular people kind of way to an attack on his wife? I think your average non-political junkie (none of us would be in this group) might take it that way and see nothing wrong with it.

    I just heard David Shuster on Ed Shultz show... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Exeter on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:43:17 PM EST
    Pretty disgusting and pretty inappropriate. Ed has endorsed Obama and is pretty anti Hillary and then they brought on Shuster, supposedly the "news guy" on MSNBC, but he was once again pundit extraudinaire going on and about how bad the Clintons are... including incredulously chuckling and saying that it was "crazy" that Clinton would say that when you are 60 and tired, sometimes you misspeak, considering that Hillary is saying she wants to the one that SHOULD PICK UP THE PHONE AT THREE AM!  

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:45:57 PM EST
    Bill Clinton completely blew it.

    that is a fact.


    It's your opinion (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:54:44 PM EST
    not a fact.

    In my mind, he was subtly tying the media's coverage of the Trina Bachtel story with the media's coverage of Tuzla. He was trying to defuse the Tuzla effect by saying, "See? They're lying just like they did about Trina Bachtel."

    So to me, he is doing what you think he should be doing, but not in the same way.

    But I guess we will see if the media coverage has any effect on her poll numbers in PA. If those numbers take a dive after today, then I will agree that you are right.


    No (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:50:37 PM EST
    That is your opinion.

    Ok (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:52:20 PM EST
    that's true. It is not a fact. Seems obvious to me though. Do you disagree?

    yeah, I do. (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:07:04 PM EST
    I don't usually. But Bosnia has not been laid to rest. The Obamanauts are keeping it alive. Say anything about Hillary and the response is "was that while she was dodging sniper fire?"

    I think Bill is not wrong to talk about how absurd it is to negate her entire record and her very real experience in foreign policy based on a misremembered detail of one trip. So, no actual shots were fired - she was still there. It was still dangerous. The snipers were still there, too.

    And don't forget - us old people can relate, and anyone who's actually ever been in danger knows that it's not exactly good for retaining exact memories of the experience.

    Ridicule is a good weapon. IMO.


    That might make sense if what he said (none / 0) (#99)
    by fuzzyone on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:06:55 PM EST
    had not been so totally inaccurate.  This was a bonehead move.  I have not seen much about Bosnia recently but if the concern is that it is still a live issue this is a stunningly ineffective way to deal with it.

    Sure it was (none / 0) (#169)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:41:01 PM EST
    Pretty soon no one will remember or care about the original story, because Bill muddied the waters and pointed it out for the ridiculous non-story it really is.

    All people will remember is that Hillary went to Bosnia when it was dangerous and she acted all presidential and sh*t. Look, here's a video. See the sandbags? Those weren't for a flood. See the soldiers in flak jackets with rifles? It was a war zone. See Hillary visiting the wounded soldiers? Eating in the mess hall? Presidents do that kind fo thing. Awesome.


    Opinion now, will be proven as fact in a few days (none / 0) (#31)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:57:24 PM EST
    as the media regurgitates is endlessly.

    This issue (none / 0) (#46)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:13:21 PM EST
    Is less important to me than it is for you.

    I'm sure Bill has his reasons for saying what he says, what happened in Bosnia might have some importance for him that transcends the things you care about.

    Thing is, I don't watch the news.  I just don't. So I don't know what they're saying right now about what Bill said.

    I simply do not care.

    Bill can say what he wants.

    And then people on a blog can criticize it.


    The exact same thing crossed my mind. (none / 0) (#26)
    by MMW on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:54:31 PM EST
    What BTD stated was opinion not a fact.

    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#77)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:46:56 PM EST
    Consider his audience.  If it is true that most of the Clinton supporters are older seniors, this is something they can totally identify with.  And they ALSO know that at 60, a little lapse in memory wasn't tantamount to alzheimer's disease.  It's more like having less RAM than you need so occasionally something has to be stored in the archives and is a bit harder to retrieve on the spur of the moment.  Heck, most people are still years away from retirement at 60.  It's no biggy and his audience knows it.  
    That's what we are failing to see.  Anyone who's watched her over the past couple of months knows she's got more energy than most 4 year olds.  For all we know, he might also be laying the ground work for her debate performance.  If she's older and slower than Obama, how come she's running circles around him on policy?  And if she's having senior moments and can still perform like that, why is it that a young whippersnapper sounds like just a bunch of prepositional phrases without a direct object?  
    Anyway, I agree with the rest of the commenters who say that the belief that Obama is more electable is misplaced.  He's going to get CREAMED in the GE phase.  And a lot of us Clinton people are going chuckle when you Obama people wonder in consternation why his campaign just can't seem to do ANYTHING right.  And why is that Obama's side of the story never gets attention?  And why is that his policies are torn to shreds?  And why is it that the media always smirks whenever his surrogates are on TV?  yadda-yadda-yadda.  
    We'll be planning vacations in the fall but I'm sure all of Obama's coeds will not be too busy studying for midterms to gelp GOTV.  

    so you are saying (none / 0) (#82)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:52:35 PM EST
    Clinton supporters will be happy to see a democrat lose? or will take joy in watching the media hand the nomination to McCain? or am I misinterpreting?

    you know what nevermind, on another blog someone said that secretly HRC supporters WANT Obama to lose, so they can say see told you so. and everyday I am starting to think that this may just be true. if Hillary can't have it, then Obama needs to lose so all her supporters can be like we told you so and feel better about her losing.

    I think the media is biased against Hillary, I just have never agreed that the way for Democrats to win against an biased Media is to send someone who the media doesn't like. I know there seems to be an argument that she can handle the media but doesn't the primary actually prove NO she can't? if she couldn't stop the Media against Obama why are you telling me to believe she can do it against McCain?

    just wow.


    On the contrary (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:03:09 PM EST
    Obama's campaign has made a point of treating us like the uncool people they take great delight in excluding.  They take us for granted.  He must think he can depend on his AA's DINKS and young'uns to sing it for him, not to mention the Independents, Libertarians and moderate Republicans he's counting on voting for him.  I'm SURE he will do just fine.  Why are you panicking?  

    As for sending someone out there who the media doesn't like as being a bad idea, hmmmm, does that mean we should let the media dictate the policies of our party?  How about if a lot of the rest of us, you know, voters, prefer the candidate who the media doesn't like because we like what that candidate stands for.  Can we help it if the media won't cut her a break?  What if we vote for her in spite of the media?  If THAT were to happen, that would mean that most of the media's well-aimed missiles would have been complete and utter duds.  It would be like the media was ineffective.  It would mean the end of the media stranglehold on the country's government.  Wow!  That sounds pretty darned good to me.  I think we ought to try it.  It's worth a shot.  Otherwise, we will always be afraid of them and they will become emboldened to continue misbehaving and we will continue to put forward weak candidates like Obama who will become so much quadrenniel cannon fodder.  

    Now, if you really don't want McCain to win, get behind Clinton and make sure the media just reports the news instead of making it.  


    ok but once again (none / 0) (#100)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:07:41 PM EST
    obama is going to win the popular vote and delegate count so that is the voters and once again we are told the supes should still give it to Hillary because only she can win the GE.

    so no when that argument is made then its NOT about voters.


    Only because (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:13:01 PM EST
    Two large states were left out of the process.

    This will never be forgotten.


    he has a 140 delegat elead (none / 0) (#124)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:25:30 PM EST
    she would only get 70 out of MI and FL being seated

    so he still has a pledged delegate lead. so sure lets say we seat them, you tell me why should Obama's delegate lead be over turned?


    I was referring to (none / 0) (#125)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:26:21 PM EST
    The popular vote component of your comment.

    well that goes to the math (none / 0) (#129)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:28:26 PM EST
    and no I don't think she will surpass him in popular vote.

    but for PURE speculation purposes if he wins BOTH the pop. vote and delegate count wont you still think the supes should give the nomination to hillary?

    if so why then (just for speculation purposes) should the pledged and popular vote leader be overturned?


    I have stated repeatedly (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:31:26 PM EST
    If FL and MI were brought back into the fold and Obama still maintained a popular vote lead at the end of the process, then -- even despite what I now know about caucusses -- I'd have to recognize that as legitimate.

    I wouldn't like it.

    I would still view his candidacy as a fracturing of the party, forcing people to make a choice between the Clinton legacy and the future of the party, but at least the legitimacy issue would be dealt with.


    aight then I am not talking to you (none / 0) (#139)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:36:05 PM EST
    I am talking to those people who even if Obama won the popular vote AND pledged delegates they still think Hillary should be the nominee because Obama can't handle the media.

    these people I ask why do they believe Obama can't handle it but Hillary can't.

    and I dont wanna get called on for being off topic so maybe I should save it for an open thread.

    but its those people I am talking to, why do they believe Hillary can fight the media and not Obama? because her husband did it?


    Meh (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by LoisInCo on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:50:33 PM EST
    You seem to be stuck on her being married to Bill Clinton. The FACT is, if she is the nominee, her position will not be affected by the media, because she is already being flogged in it. Obama however, is largely being ignored except for the back patting. It has nothing to do with her being mariied to Bill. She is still standing NOW because she has managed everything. Not perfectly of course. But enough. If she had not, Obama would be trouncing her. He is staying a nose ahead ONLY because of his media and caucus advantages. NEITHER of which will be present in the GE.

    The crux of the matter is (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:59:07 PM EST
    The media wants to destroy the Clinton legacy.

    They tried to while he was president, but things were so on measure good for America back then, they couldn't do it.

    Sitting in a bar in 1998 and Bill was being surrounded, attacked on all sides, the media had their fangs out like they have never had in my lifetime.

    But I looked up and the guy who owns the bar looks across the floor and the place is packed, everyone's leaving 5 buck tips.  And he says, "Yeah, like I want this guy impeached?"

    So the media failed.  They failed because Bill was good at governing.  Lives of Americans, all Americans for the first time in decades started improving.  Bill didn't counter-attack the media so much more than just simply relied on America to make a choice between the lives they had and going back to what it was before Clinton was president.

    Now I understand not everyone in the world prosperred during the 90s, but the majority did.

    Now it's 10 years later, and the media gets a second chance to rip Bill apart.

    So whatever Obama has, he has that.

    The problem as I see it, Obama won't have that in the General Election.   Clinton will be gone then, the Clinton supporting part of the party will be very angry.  And the media likes McCain.   So Obama's strength is making speeches and big promises that everyone honestly want to believe in.  Gosh if I thought it was possible, I'd be all for it.  Who doesn't want a post-racial post-partisan utopia?

    But Clinton will have a legacy to run on.

    Anyway, the main point is it's not so much fighting the media but trusting the public to be able to make a decision between listening to the media and acting out of concern for their families.

    And it's the same thing Obama will have to rely on one day.


    Who are these people (none / 0) (#180)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:51:44 PM EST
    I haven't met any here. Almost everyone says if you include FL/MI and he is ahead he is our nominee (in popular vote that is). So this is a bit of a red herring.

    Not on a 48 state strategy he won't (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:21:49 PM EST
    None of us Clinton supporters will ever consider him legitimate.  And, NO, we will not get used to it.  
    If you feel comfortable with this scenario, then more power to you.  Otherwise, I would suggest that you try your damdest to get Obama to seat Florida as is and work on a revote in Michigan toot sweet.  
    The rest of us Clinton states want our votes to have impact and right now they are being held hostage because of MI and FL.  I didn't go to vote on Super Tuesday so some newby senator without a full term under his belt, NO foreign policy experience, policies that sound like Republican lite High Broderism, and a bunch of glazed eyed zealots as supporters could sit on two crucial states and make my vote not count.  I am not amused by the inexperienced, exclusionary, arrogant "gentleman" from Illinois.  
    No indeedy.  Not amused at all.  
    I fear that you guys are in for a very rude awakening.  At this point, my expectations can only rise.  But YOU, well, I wouldn't want to be you right now because a little more than half the party thinks you need a good spanking and no dessert.  

    Hate to break it to you (none / 0) (#128)
    by Deadalus on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:28:21 PM EST
    But he's still ahead including Michigan and Florida.  Rail on about illegitimacy, but whoever wins will have a good argument for legitimacy at this point--unless Michigan is seated as it stands.

    By an insignificant margin (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:44:24 PM EST
    Which she will shortly erase.  
    No, I'm sorry, Utah or wherever you're from does not get to stifle CA, MA, NY, NJ, AZ, FL, OH, MI, etc, etc, etc.  Over our dead bodies.  
    See you in Denver in August.  

    I could definitely be wrong.. (none / 0) (#149)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:58:28 PM EST
    but if neither candidate can reach the delegates needed to clinch the nomination (regardless of who has more delegates up to that point), then we turn to the Superdelegates to get us to that number.

    If Obama (or Hillary for that matter) have something come up like the Rev. Wright episode before the convention, wouldn't it be good to have Superdelgates to decide who'll be best suited to take on McCain?

    Not to mention, that there may be many people that have voted for Barack (or Hillary for that matter) and have regretted doing so? Barack supporters voted and were part of the big Obama tsunami before Wright occured. If Wright had been exposed earlier, would Obama have had the same numbers he has now? Would Hillary have gotyten more votes? Maybe even made a bigger dent on Super Tuesday? Possibly.

    If the primary contest were to be decided today, Barack would be the man. Fortunately, we have many more months for him (or Hillary for that matter) to destroy his chances.


    Oh man. (none / 0) (#107)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:13:31 PM EST
    obama is going to win the popular vote and delegate count so that is the voters

    Based on what metric? Exclusion of the millions of voters in MI and FL? Selectively enforced Party "rules" and a few thousand voters in red caucus states?

    Tell ya what, let's talk again in June after all the primaries are over. We'll see how the picture looks then.


    WHY do I (none / 0) (#127)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:26:59 PM EST
    not matter to the democratic party because of the state I live in? I am sorry we vote red tell the DNC and National candidates to get their butts here and flip more people to blue.

    but I am sick of hearing MI and FL matter but I don't because of our color. so no that is not a winning argument to me.

    you don't sit here and say hey we have to count all the votes and in the same sentence say "well not you, your state is the wrong color"


    That is ludicrous (none / 0) (#143)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:40:06 PM EST
    and OT.

    Delegate count probably (none / 0) (#109)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:15:22 PM EST
    But I woudn't be so sure about him winning the popular vote.

    The voters include certified FLA and Mich (none / 0) (#187)
    by andrys on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:23:07 AM EST
    You can Robot your popular vote argument as much as you want but the states and the rest of us will remember that Obama and probably you did not want them to re-vote because it would go the way it already had.  Obama (who removed his own name, it's said, to avoid recording the fewer number of votes)  already implored Mich voters to vote Uncommitted, so a number of them did.  Clinton said nothing.  But they voted for her anyway, at 54% or so, while the rest were split between Uncommitted, Kucinich, Gravel, and Dodd.  Most of us know about the Florida situation.

    If Obama insists on no compromise (now that he killed the Mich revote) and insists on grabbing 50% of any vote (how incredibly cowardly), there is NO chance of good support from the Clinton forces or the states affected.

      Obama and his supporters will have had their chance and blown it by incredible arrogance toward the states' voters and toward Clinton.  As for the Obama talking-points re "The Rules" see Wayne Barrett's detailing of the Republican forces that drove the date-changes (most who like info will have read it by now).


    Then why isn't she gone? (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:04:06 PM EST
    The media has been against her and for Obama since Day One.

    And this HRC supporter will vote for Obama and never will vote for McCain. HRC herself has said several times that the most important thing is to elect a Democrat in November, and that is how I have always felt as well.

    That rumor that HRC wants Obama to lose so McCain can win and she can run again in 2012 is one of the ugliest I've ever heard. There is no basis for it whatsoever. It really proves that some Obamans have gone completely round the bend with HDS.


    isn't gone because she has (none / 0) (#103)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:09:22 PM EST
    support? has anyone ever said she doesn't?

    but I mean its like people who argue hey Obama can't win the big states he shouldn't be the nominee, well what does that tell me? I am NOT in one of those big states but I voted for Obama, and enough of us did, but we don't matter because we aren't what seems to be the ONLY 12 important states to democrats?


    The Swing States (none / 0) (#111)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:17:26 PM EST
    are the most important states to win if you want any Democrat in the White House. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

    You know (none / 0) (#113)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:17:43 PM EST
    I live in California and I've come to terms with the fact that my vote is not as important as a vote in Florida.

    If I want my vote to count for something, I don't need Obama or Dean pandering to me, what they can do is they can start a campaign to reform and do away with the electoral college.


    It's not about you! (none / 0) (#115)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:18:55 PM EST
    Personally, my vote has NEVER counted. I live in Blue NY. We always vote for the Democrat for President (at least, I hope that will continue.) Personally, I despise everything that I know about Barack Obama. It doesn't matter, I will vote for the Democrat in 2008.

    We need to go with the reality of the situation. We can't afford to mess around with hoping and dreaming. HRC can deliver the blue states AND the swing states. If Obama can't do that, and so far he can't, then say hello to President McCaca. And I don't want that lunatic anywhere near the nukes.


    Well, I live in NJ... (none / 0) (#145)
    by goldberry on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:47:12 PM EST
    ...and I am telling you now that a moderate Republican with a strong anti-tax message will be VERY competitive here.  I wouldn't want to risk it, if I were Dean.  We are NOT reliably blue.  The only Dem who can win NJ in the fall is Clinton.  We are at risk with Obama.  
    Ignore NJ at your peril.  

    well I say (none / 0) (#158)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:14:36 PM EST
    Minnestoa, wisconsin and Iowa are in peril with Clinton, its speculation at this point, you can point to factors to show you are right so can I, but in the end we are still only speculating.

    which swing states? (none / 0) (#157)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:11:27 PM EST
    Minnesota? wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri?

    what democrat cant win California, New york, Illnois, yes she beat him, but he can beat McCain.  I just hate the argument that I need to pander to a few states, then we will motivate our base and change the map.

    just because Hillary wins a blue state DOES NOT mean Obama can't also carry it against a GOPer, I mean thats like saying Hillary won't carry Illinois since she didn't win it in the primary


    Of course you count (none / 0) (#167)
    by LoisInCo on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:25:00 PM EST
    You count as piece of a big picture. You certainly can argue that he should be the nominee based on votes in red states. But what is more important? Who should be the nominee or who  should be President? In the race itself, people weigh in. If candidates reach the magic number with that weight game over poof. But in absence of that, Super Delegates must decide to add to the weight of a particular candidate, if they are deciding who will win the PRESIDENTIAL election, red states count less. Red States Votes count 100% towards the magic number. Not so much to the Presidential number.

    It's not about "big states" (none / 0) (#182)
    by cymro on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:01:12 PM EST
    I think you may be missing the most important part of the explanation when you hear statements like "Obama can't win the big states."

    The real question is which Democratic candidate can win in November, and most discussions of Obama's likelihood of winning in November take the form "He can't win the GE because [insert argument about some segment of the electoral votes here]".

    Some of those arguments refer to the big states, some refer to the 'battleground' or swing states, some refer to the irrelevance of Democratic votes in states with an unassailable Republican majority.

    But the reason for the discussion is always Obama's liklihood of winning, not the relative importance of subsets of the electorate. To focus on the latter, as your comment does, is to miss the real point of all discussions within the Party during the primary season.

    I want to see a Democrat in the WH, and if voting patterns demonstrate that a particular candidate cannot win in November, then I am opposed to that candidate being the nominee. Period. It has nothing to do with whether some subset of the Democratic electorate is more important than some other subset. It has everything to do with how the electoral college works during the GE.


    At this point (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:04:21 PM EST

    There's only so much you can take before the siege mentality devolves into party dysfunctionalism.  Because of the MSM and because the only pathway to electability that Obama could come up with was to destroy the Clinton legacy, I will get a visceral thrill when he loses.  This visceral thrill will go against everything I understand and believe in.  But it will be there nonetheless.

    BTW, Markos over at dailykos long ago remarked he'd be glad when Harold Ford Jr. loses TN.

    I hope you have some choice words for him, as well.

    Do you?


    Nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by bodhcatha on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:37:54 PM EST
    What is this nonsense about her not being able to handle the media?  It's been said ad nauseum here that she is virtually tied with O in spite of what's been done to her for 16 years.   Only the misguided believe that making the media happy is one of the prerequisites for being president (um, present company excepted, BTD).  I thought it was qualifications and experience and doing your best to better the life of the citizens of this country.

    OT It  was the same when Bill was president.  It used to infuriate me every time the media and Reps said the military didn't like/respect him.  This country is not run by the military!  You don't like the CIC?  Tough titties!  Buckle down and do your job!  Same message to the incompetents in the media.

    As for HRC supporters being happy that O would lose in the fall, it doesn't matter if we want it or not, it's going to happen.  We're just trying to avoid the meltdown and put the most qualified person in office instead.


    doesn't the primary actually prove NO she can't? (none / 0) (#89)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:59:21 PM EST
    No - it proves she doesn't need the media to be competitive. People wills till vote for her no matter what the media says.

    Obama? Not so much. Or at least we haven't seen proof that the media is not important to him.

    I'm going with the media antidote, rather than let the media ram a candidate down my throat. The media is not our friend.


    I agree... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Exeter on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:04:52 PM EST
    I just didn't like Shuster, once again, being Obama spokesman and giving the campaign a great line to use against her... if in fact, he made it up himself.

    Did you see this?  Hopefully that will divert attention away from what Clinton said.  It reminds me of his "inbr... ingrown" comment.


    It will get no attention (none / 0) (#148)
    by waldenpond on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:54:07 PM EST
    many items on Politico get no attention.  I erred and read some of the comments... it's all true, blah, blah, it's not true in the cities but in between it is... rednecks.... blah, blah, blah.  sigh.

    I watched him on Morning Joe (none / 0) (#74)
    by TheRefugee on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:44:12 PM EST
    The guy is KO-like irrational when concerning anything Clinton.  He was literally spitting: this guy (Clinton) is crazy.

    eh, I think we all know (none / 0) (#28)
    by TruthMatters on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:55:04 PM EST
    that voters have a very short attention span,

    ask them tomorrow they won't even remember what this bosnia thing was about.

    And many aren't wired in 24/7 (none / 0) (#54)
    by nycstray on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:24:17 PM EST
    I saw this story in the wee hours of the morning. They implied it would be the talk of the day. It wasn't on my noon news, and I'll be watching to see how much airtime it gets on the cycles tonight. I gave up watching the cable political assaults a week or so ago. Whole different perspective, which may be close to what the average voter sees. I'm sure some are feeding off of cable, but not to the extreme. I think it's prob tempered with local news/weather/sports. Most people do not have time for 24/7 Clinton bashing, especially at the expense of finding out other news info that may actually be of more interest to them. In NY, we'll be talkin' Yankee/Sox, not Clinton mis-speaks TYVM! ;)

    Agree. Hillary should fight back hard on (none / 0) (#35)
    by criticalthinker on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:03:28 PM EST
    the Bachtel story. At the minimum the Clinton camp should have done demage control as soon as the MSM got the story wrong. Now voters are convinced that Hillary lies frequently in order to win.

    I call voters in PA for Hillary. Few days ago a woman said she no longer support Hillary because "of the Tuzla sniper story AND THE TRINA BACHTEL LIE". Yes, it is frustrating for me as a volunteer to see the Clinton camp shoots themselves in the feet again.  

    It never ceases to amaze me (none / 0) (#36)
    by Andre on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:03:48 PM EST
    how so many people in the blogosphere know more about how to run a presidential campaign than the candidates.  Just saying!  But it might be the case that they want the press to treat them badly.  A lot of people go in there and pull that lever just to spite Tweety or whoever else is badmouthing a Dem candidate.  Indeed, it may be at an all time high right now, since 2000 when people started to get the picture on the media's bashing of Gore.  Hillary may have won New Hampshire that way.  And you're crazy if you think Obama is gonna deliver any kind of health care.  He will give a great speech that will be summarized simply as "Well, we tried".

    Interestingly (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:04:59 PM EST
    you actually agree with me not the Clinton campaign.

    Think about it.


    Ot deleted (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:08:09 PM EST

    gXXXX (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:14:39 PM EST
    Your comment was deleted precisely because you wanted to be attacked.

    Ther big dawg (none / 0) (#52)
    by LoisInCo on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:21:35 PM EST
    I was just watching MSNBC (I'm a glutton for punishment) and Bill was asked about his defense of Hillary, he said that Hillary called him and told him " Stay out of it!". He replied to her " Yes. Ma'am." Heh.

    Hee hee! (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:37:16 PM EST
    First, Bill went out and attacked the media for Tuzla, which Hillary really couldn't do because she was the one that made the mistake and admitted it; then, he let everyone know that HRC is the one in charge despite his passionate advocacy.

    And HRC herself said it was her mistake and she takes responsibility for it.

    No one spins like the Clintons. I think I'm getting a little dizzy. ;-)


    That's funny (none / 0) (#68)
    by waldenpond on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:39:09 PM EST
    thanks I needed that.

    Excellent response (none / 0) (#70)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:39:11 PM EST
    Best way out of this one is to keep up that humorous tone. Hope he does it.

    There can be personality changes (none / 0) (#53)
    by MarkL on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:23:55 PM EST
    after heart problems, and cognitive impairment.
    Is Bill Clinton more irritable now than before---less able to control his emotions?
    Not sure, but HE is not the reason I support Hillary, and I think he still has a lot to offer.

    And when you love someone.... (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:34:45 PM EST
    ...its harder to take when they are being attacked than when you are. I know some people don't believe that Bill loves Hillary, but I do.

    Great (none / 0) (#56)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:29:51 PM EST
    What an ugly comment.

    It's realistic. (none / 0) (#59)
    by MarkL on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:32:36 PM EST
    Just as its realistic to say that McCain's age is a serious drawback. I have nothing against Clinton, personally.

    Wow (none / 0) (#98)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:05:55 PM EST
    Now I have to wonder if age-ism is rearing it's ugly head.

    Wow, would you elect a 9 year old to (none / 0) (#173)
    by MarkL on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:56:59 PM EST
    the White House? If not, does that mean you are ageist?

    No (none / 0) (#176)
    by facta non verba on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:15:06 PM EST
    I won't help elect a 46 year old one either.

    His wife is being attacked. Wouldn't (none / 0) (#146)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:49:00 PM EST
    anyone in a similar position be a little emotional?

    Please...... (none / 0) (#170)
    by michitucky on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:45:31 PM EST
    We all know how cold and calculating the Clintons are......They have no emotions.



    If you can not (none / 0) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:30:13 PM EST
    be civil and trollish (looking to start fights) then you will be censored.

    Your comment EXPRESSLY invited attacks.

    such comments are not allowed here. Stick to substance. This comment from you gXXXXX, will ALSO be deleted.

    60 and tired (none / 0) (#58)
    by nellre on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:31:46 PM EST
    Don't like this.
    McCain at 72 is really showing his age, but 60 is just not that old... and Obama supporters are going to point out how young and senility free Obama is.


    'She's also told her husband to quit talking about it.

    "Hillary called me and said 'You don't remember this. You weren't there, let me handle it.' I said, 'Yes ma'am,'" Bill Clinton, who was in Indiana campaigning for his wife Friday, told reporters.'
    AP opinion piece masquerading as news

    LOL, well you know its just a matter of time... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:36:57 PM EST
    ...before Bill gets accused of saying that to try to excuse McCain for confusing Sunni and Shia. LOL.

    I think this was Bill being stupid (none / 0) (#61)
    by ajain on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:33:23 PM EST
    I dont think he meant it.
    He was simply wrong in what he said. I'm near any television set, but I'm sure this is not the story they want.

    I agree with BTD, he should have fired at the Health Care story.

    Look (none / 0) (#64)
    by TheRefugee on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:35:46 PM EST
    Bill knows the cameras are on him.  He is taking a calculated risk to pass off some of Hillary's mistakes as no big deal..I'm sure he'd prefer that it wasn't on camera..that he was just speaking to the crowd at hand..but what the hell?  Tuzla wasn't a deciding force for most voters.  Bachtel won't be either although I'd rather they focused on Bachtel being accurate than Tuzla being a mea culpa.  

    BTD, I appreciate your mostly unbiased slant...it is most refreshing...but here's the question:  How many undecided voters to you really think remain in upcoming primaries?  You really think that Tuzla is going to be the deciding factor for that small percentage of undecideds?  You really think that Tuzla is going to register on swing voters in the GE?  Moreso than Wright?  Moreso than I was for NAFTA before I was against it?  Moreso than I was against Iraq before I was for it but now I'm back to being against it---with the possible exceptions?

    I do appreciate that you pt out the hypocrisy on both sides, the mistakes of both sides, etc..but honestly I have no idea how you believe Obama is more electable.  

    I think you are wrong because there is no way Obama is going to allow MI and FL to be seated before the nomination is decided.  Without MI and FL Obama is DOA in the GE and I see no way either state goes for Obama if their voters had no say in the nomination.  You know as well as anyone that voters can be led to vote on things that have nothing to do with issues.  Wright has every GOP 527 licking their collective chops.  Obama has been every bit as inconsistent as Clinton and has stuck his foot in his mouth just as often.  That the media chooses to ignore more of Obama's faux pas than Clinton isn't likely to continue against McCain.  The GOP machine doesn't need the media...they will air ad after ad of Obama standing on a stage listening to the pledge of allegiance with hand at his side; ad after ad of  Obama praising his pastor then cutting to Wright saying God Damn America.  That crap may not be enough to sway a Dem but they made a lot less stick to John Kerry.  

    Unfortunately, BTD is right (none / 0) (#69)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:39:09 PM EST
    Just when this story was laid to rest, Bam! Then to make it worse, Bill gets more details wrong. Doh!

    Ok.. I'm seriously grasping at straws here, but what if her campaign wasn't incompetent. What if Bill's lack of citing correct details was to prove a point that HE too (and anybody else) can get information wrong? Perhaps he wanted to draw attention away from something else (bait-n-switch) that he didn't want the media to find out about? Or, maybe he's trying to set-up a scenario that will work to the campaign's advantage in the future, eventhough now it looks like he made a mistake.

    Alright, none of those make much sense. I really want to believe that the campaign knows what they are doing. But if they are as savvy as many people have claimed them to be from their years of practice in politics, then this reopening of a wound demonstrates that Bill (maybe not he campaign) is not as politically savvy or competent as he used to be.

    His remarks about  Jesse Jackson threw Hillary's campaign off a bit thanks to him. And now here's another. I'm hoping this will be the last Bill blunder for at least a month.

    most of the public probably isn't aware (none / 0) (#81)
    by Josey on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:50:59 PM EST
    of Jesse Jackson's racist comment re NH primary about Hillary "not crying over Katrina victims" because it didn't fit the media's racist narrative about the Clintons.

    You're right. (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:58:12 PM EST
    But I didn't think it was Jesse that said it. I think it was Jesse Jackson Jr.

    And what is so terrible about it? (none / 0) (#118)
    by Deadalus on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:20:43 PM EST
    I didn't think Jesse Jackson' Jr.'s statements were racist, as you have posited.  It's a fair point, and he's drumming up support for an issue that he cares strongly about.

    *Caveat: I'm not saying that Bill's statements re: Jesse Jackson were racist.  I don't think they were.*


    Jackson's comments not racist, but race baiting. (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:31:15 PM EST
    A "fair point"? (none / 0) (#159)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:15:18 PM EST
    He said she cried (she didn't, she choked up) over being asked about her hair. Sexism. And false, BTW.

    He said the tears needed to be analyzed (with what? a DNA test?). "She was faking it!" More sexism.

    He said she never cried about Katrina victims (how the hell does he know?). Race-baiting pure and simple.


    Not racist (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by nell on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:36:28 PM EST
    but his comments were sexist, as well as race baiting. Plenty of male politicians have cried, but when male politicians cry it is a show of passion, it shows just how much they care. When women cry it is calculated, self-absorbed, and means that they don't care about the little people...what he said was outrageous and out of line.

    Yes - that's a more accurate description (none / 0) (#154)
    by Josey on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:06:47 PM EST
    race-baiting and sexism, not racism.

    The Obama comment (none / 0) (#177)
    by facta non verba on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:17:30 PM EST
    on bitter Pennsylvanians clinging to Jesus and guns is getting more attention.

    Clinton Campaign is tired and losing faith (none / 0) (#75)
    by gnipgnop on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:45:22 PM EST
    In  my opinion, Bill's comments and other Clinton Campaign missteps lately including the leadership turnover are signs that all is not well within the Clinton campaign itself.

    I believe many people within the campaign, perhaps including Bill, are starting to think they cannot win. Such a belief can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and lead to the campaign drifting off message and becoming less focused.

    You can fault Obama for many things, but his campaign seems sharp as ever. I believe they are just as able as the Clinton campaign to duke it out with McCain. If anything the sharpness and focus of the Obama campaign says they can do better against McCain.

    When Hillary wins Pennsylvania, but only by a moderate margin, I think this negativity within her campaign will become more prominent, possibly more visibly public, and very hard for her and her true believers to counteract. I think her team believes in her, but also believes in electing a Democrat over McCain. If the Clinton campaign pulls out something really nasty about Obama within 72 hrs of the Penn Primary (something ala Wright), look for the backlash against Hillary and her campaign morale to sink lower. I don't think they believe in destroying Obama.

    At some point, I think in May or June, she will resign.

    Correction (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:50:34 PM EST
    Besides the fact that I think 90% of what you've written is inaccurate, I wanted to clarify one of your statements:

    "You can fault Obama for many things, but his campaign seems sharp as ever."

    His campaign is not "sharp as ever", it's as "shrouded in mystery as ever". And "protected by many in the MSM".


    Sorry. (none / 0) (#85)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:53:29 PM EST
    The above comment was in reply to GnipGnop.



    Well, you can hope. (none / 0) (#78)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:48:03 PM EST
    You guys are big on that.

    I don't think it's gonna happen that way.


    Alternatively (none / 0) (#79)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:48:33 PM EST
    They are not as you say, but seasoned veterans who can handle ups and down. They win PA and IN, and if they do it right, may get another turn on the story that should have happen in TX/OH when they pulled it off despite these kind of "doom" predictions.

    I think we all underestimate that these people have all done this before, have seen lows and highs. The only issue may be that they are just tired, like everyone on both sides of this campaign is at this point. Remember Sen Obamas testiness with the guy who kept bugging him about a picture? It wasn't a reflection of anything other than he has been doing this for too long now. Probably same on the Clinton campaign.


    You (none / 0) (#101)
    by nell on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:07:47 PM EST
    have very little basis for anything you say EXCEPT for what is said on MSNBC, which is typically BS and made up stories from some anonymous source within the campaign. I won't even bother to argue with you about your thoughts regarding the Clinton campaigns morale, you can think what you want.

    What I do want to address is the comment you made about Obama's campaign being "sharp as ever." Obama's campaign has had some very significant blunders, such as the race-baiting memo in SC, such as the NAFTA issue in which he did nothing about Goolsbee, such as his copycat campaign of Patrick (something similar sunk Biden if you remember clearly), such as his typical white person comment, or his babies are punishment comment, or his out and out copycatting of every single one of Clinton's plan. The only reason the Obama campaign appears "sharp" is because the media refuse to cover his daily negativity, his lies (yes, he lies, all politicians do), misstatements, and gaffes. You need to recognize this because should he be the nominee, the media will probably turn on him in the general election and make it look like he is falling apart. But he won't be falling apart, it will be that the media is actually starting to be critical of him.


    Babies are Punishment? (none / 0) (#117)
    by Chimster on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:20:23 PM EST
    I don't think I've seen that comment yet. Looking forward to it.

    Babies are punishment.... (none / 0) (#122)
    by Deadalus on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:23:20 PM EST
    Go ahead...make hay over this statement.  It's something that I guarantee you every single one of us believe is correct.  In context, he was positing his support for sex education as a means of preventing teenage pregnancies.  Because yes, pregnancy is a "punishment" for teenage girls in that it drastically reduces their chances at college, etc.  But go ahead, be politically correct and distort that comment.

    My point (none / 0) (#135)
    by nell on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:32:28 PM EST
    was that Obama has not been treated the way Hillary has and that this will change come November. Just as people made political hay over the health care story when she was in essence correct, the media/the right wing will make hay over this comment if Obama is the nominee. I am not saying they will be right or fair, I am just saying that you should not act like Obama has not said controversial things and his campaign never blunders (and yes, the way he talked about this was a blunder, though the essence was correct). He has, the press just doesn't care so long as Hillary is around. She serves as a buffer for him.

    I'm not going to deny that. (none / 0) (#137)
    by Deadalus on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:33:53 PM EST
    Just wouldn't jump on him for the baby comment.  He's had his fair of unfair treatment too.  It happens.  Crying foul never works that well overall, though.

    It works for him (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:21:05 PM EST
    When he calls any criticism racist.

    Here you go (none / 0) (#131)
    by nell on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:30:33 PM EST

    Personally, I totally understand what he was trying to say and I am 100 percent committed to choice (and Hill's track record on reproductive issues is one of the reasons I support her). However, the republicans will use this statement with GLEE come November:


    Especially given this narrative that Santorum is cooking up:

    Politicians have to be very careful about how they talk about choice issues and I think he made a blunder.

    Again, understand and agree with the premise of his comment (though I would have said it different), but I am talking about electability.


    I'm not going to underestimate (none / 0) (#138)
    by Deadalus on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:34:53 PM EST
    the ability of the press to inflate statements and take them out of context.  Both candidates have this problem--and we should push back for them.

    Here ya go (none / 0) (#162)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:19:27 PM EST
    More failures than successes (none / 0) (#83)
    by Sunshine on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:53:08 PM EST
    In the last 50 years, we have had more failures than successes, the failures, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Bush and Bush..  The successes, Kennedy, Ford, Reagan and Clinton... I think before the election is over, the people will figure out that we need somebody with more experience than Obama and if we don't run Hillary against McCain, we will lose....
    This is no time for a Rookie !

    Not sure on your criteria (none / 0) (#160)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:16:04 PM EST
    for success vs failure.

    I can think of successes with all of those except Bush II.  Give him some time in the rearview mirror and maybe something will come up...


    bill clinton was once known (none / 0) (#84)
    by Turkana on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:53:09 PM EST
    for the genius of his political instincts. from south carolina on, he's been, at best, a distraction, and at worst a disaster.

    In your opinion. (none / 0) (#165)
    by echinopsia on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:22:12 PM EST
    no (none / 0) (#174)
    by Turkana on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:11:52 PM EST
    it's a scientific fact, based on peer-reviewed studies. as are all political statements.

    You crack me up, Turkana! (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by cymro on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:16:39 PM EST
    Very droll. Thanks for the Friday night humor.

    Ehhh... (none / 0) (#97)
    by Scan on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:05:19 PM EST
    While I agree that the disgraceful Bachtel thing deserves more pushback (and maybe they will take your advice), I don't see Bill's gaffe as a big deal. His basic POINT about the media feeding frenzy was correct, and today when he came out and said that Hillary called him and said "appreciate your trying to help, but shut up", that was good. Honestly, its kinda laughable. By Monday, we'll be onto something else. This is not a sign of a campaign in disarray.

    Yes indeed (none / 0) (#105)
    by nell on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:11:59 PM EST
    I think Bill is growing tired of the Obama campaign taking shots at his administration.
    I wonder if Pennsylvanians would like to be told they are bitter and cling to guns and religions as a result? Now tell me, do you think the MSM will blow up this gaffe? Of course not.

    From the Ben Smith at Politico.


    You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them...And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

    And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

    Geez. (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Scan on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:20:49 PM EST
    Now THAT is a friggin' gaffe.

    Amazing how Obama never (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:23:29 PM EST
    seems to have any praise for Democrats, eh?

    What a positive and unifying campaign he's running!


    You know what? (none / 0) (#108)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:15:02 PM EST
    He'd be a great therapist.

    I wonder what BTD thinks of (none / 0) (#152)
    by waldenpond on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:06:19 PM EST
    that gaffe?  It's probably irrelevant as it will never be reported.

    OOPS!    Rove is covering this on Fox, breaking on the net.... Drudge, Huffpo quoting the reporter....

    Never mind, it's getting covered......

    Per Rove??.... this will be remembered as the moment he had of ever carrying Penn is doomed.

    Obama covered before Clinton.  Unusual.  Nothing right now on CNN or MSNBC.


    Now This From The AP (none / 0) (#110)
    by flashman on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:16:08 PM EST
    It's also not true that she was the "first first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt to go into a combat zone" -- a claim that Hillary Clinton has also made when talking about the trip. Pat Nixon traveled to Saigon during the Vietnam war and Barbara Bush went to Saudi Arabia two months before the launching of Desert Storm

    WHAT!?!?!?  Saudi Arabia was NOT a war zone at anytime during Desert Strom!

    I know Clinton was sloopy, but that doesn't mean it's OK to print lies about it.

    And Clinton was citing a WaPo story (none / 0) (#153)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:06:20 PM EST
    that said in 1996 that she was the first First Lady in a war zone . . . so again, the error was by the media.  I know that will shock, I say shock, you. :-)

    SCUDS were pointed in that general direction (none / 0) (#161)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:18:37 PM EST
    does not make it a war zone...

    Ironically... (none / 0) (#179)
    by AmyinSC on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:41:11 PM EST
    Bill was scolding the media for going after Hillary on this.  Nedra Pickler, that sorry excuse for an AP journalist, has already written a negative article on what Bill said.  So - here's the thing, to prove many of the points above: Bill was telling the media that they were going after Clinton when the primary scenario WAS true as she stated, according to the prez of Bosnia.  Then Nedra goes after him for getting the year wrong, along with other things mentioned above, like the Saudi Arabia thing. (And seriously - every time I start reading an AP story that is negatively skewed against Clinton, I look at the name of the writer and - SURPISE - it's Nedra.  Sheesh!)

    Given that this is the media's ratchet response, WHAT good would it do Clinton to keep pointing out how unfairly the media has been treating her??  They'd just ream her even more, like they did over the whole Trina thing, even though she WAS telling the truth.  WHEN does it become incumbent on the media to actually do a little JOURNALISM, and to apologize when they get it wrong?

    Anyway, it's best left to her surrogates, like Ed Rendell, to point out the bias.  


    Very great observation (none / 0) (#114)
    by Deadalus on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:18:50 PM EST
    The "media unfairness" discussion should have centered around a real issue of media unfairness--the Trina Bachtel story.  Also this dovetails perfectly into Hillary's strongest policy advantage over her opponents.  This would have been a brilliant move, and it was a blunder to pass it by.

    Well (none / 0) (#126)
    by facta non verba on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:26:37 PM EST
    Jack Cafferty was all enraged just now on CNN, calling it the "story of the day." I guess his bosses didn't quite have the same view since they led with Clinton in Philadelphia touring West Philly with Mayor Nutter and talking crime.

    News for Jack it is the "non-story of the day."

    Hillary has apparently told Bill to keep mum and let her handle it. Great response She's the candidate not Bill.

    I disagree with BTD that Barack Obama is more electable than Hillary Clinton. Not on my block in the Castro of the San Francisco. I am not alone in that I will not vote for Obama under any circumstances. When gay men, albeit older well-to-do gay men, are voting for McCain, you have think that Obama has a problem. Maybe it is different in the heterosexual world I suppose.

    Everyone's living in different worlds... (none / 0) (#164)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:21:29 PM EST
    the only gay Republican I know voted for Obama.

    Begala chewing Penn (none / 0) (#166)
    by waldenpond on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:22:22 PM EST
    a new one.  Begala was on CNN responding to remarks he had made regarding Mark Penn.  Begala does not hold back.  He is comparing Penn to Rumsfield.  He blames Penn for the bad campaign.  The candidate is better than the campaign, wrong not to portray her as she is warm and funny, microtrends wrong for her, she is big change for big ideas like health care......

    I don't think Begala likes Penn.

    It may have been bad of Bill Clinton but as of 5:00 pm, Obama's gaffe and the Begala/Penn situations are getting more attention.

    (My first post at TL) re: Bill's gaffe (none / 0) (#184)
    by Mshepnj on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:53:02 AM EST
    I've been pleasantly lurking here faithfully at Talk Left for over a month. I've enjoyed the relatively civil debate/dialog by partisans of Clinton and Obama and wanted to finally sign in to respond to this.

    Someone up-thread said the Clinton campaign is "damned if they do, damned if they don't." That's how I see it too. Consider what happened the last time Hillary or one of her surrogates called the Media on their bias - David Shuster's "pimping out" comment. The reaction of MSNBC, apart from a grudging apology and a brief suspension, is that Hillary is now in their sites even more. The talking heads seem to be looking for any opportunity to attack.

    I'm not sure if fighting back every time helps her more than choosing her battles carefully. For it to work the Media would have to acknowledge their own biases. They don't. The new video of IndyRobin shows snips of Media sexism clearly, but the reaction of people in the Media like Chris Matthews is - denial. So that leaves them feeling that Hillary is "whining" and attacking because she is losing, and allows them to dismiss her legitimate complaints.

    Bill's gaffe looks to me like a loving husband who is pissed at the Media's fixation with his wife's errors. It may hurt her with some people, but it makes me smile. The fact that he showed as much restraint as he did is admirable. When Bill takes the Media to task the narrative is usually even more negative.

    Nevertheless, it should be noted that yesterday Bill did in fact take the Media to task for their fixation on finding factual errors in Hillary's statements, instead of focusing on what she wants to do for jobs, Iraq and other ISSUES. I believe he said they are making mountains out of molehills. Of course, the Media will ignore this and continue to show "Wild Bill" going off script.

    BTD, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression from your posts that your heart is with Hillary but your head is with Obama, as far as supporting either of them as the nominee. Both my heart and my head are with Hillary but I'm realistic. I understand she's a serious longshot and am trying to make peace with the likely outcome of an Obama nomination.

    I will give Team Obama credit for running a brilliant campaign. He probably will win the nomination because of this, plus the pile-on of the old-boy Media, but Hillary HAS made mistakes and the reality is that people are looking at her under a  microscope in part because she is a powerful woman, and in part because she is a Clinton.

    This has been good for Obama in the primaries, but I think the GE campaign will be a very different thing. I'm not sure he will hold up so well when the Media kick his a*s for attacking a genuine war hero. I actually think Hillary would do better in GE than Obama because she can attack McCain because those on the right already hate her and she says can matters worse.

    I have to say that Hillary has won over some of my Republican relatives from NY State because she's been a very effective Senator. I figure the more she's able to show her grasp of the issues, the more likely she is to blunt the negatives. Those who are thinking about the issues, not those who are emotionally attached to their hatred of Hillary might be persuaded. And at least then she wouldn't have the progressive establishment crying foul and tearing her apart from the left.

    Despite what's happening now with the progressive Media on Obama's side, I think Hillary's proven she can take a punch better and keep standing and will best face the Media backlash when she attacks McCain. I'm not convinced that Obama can. But who knows? We'll find out in the Fall.

    oops (none / 0) (#185)
    by Mshepnj on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:55:15 AM EST
    Correction:   I actually think Hillary would do better in GE than Obama because she can attack McCain because those on the right already hate her and nothing she says can make matters worse.