Todd: Economy Issue To Drive VP Choice

Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:

MR. BROKAW: But is Iraq going to be the fault line in the fall, or is it going to remain the economy, Chuck?

MR. TODD: I think it absolutely remains the economy, and I think it's possible we will see how both candidates use their vice presidential choices to make that emphasis.

If that's the case, then Bill Clinton is a shoo-in to be Obama's VP . . . But seriously, who exactly would be an "economy" emphasis pick? Not anyone not named Clinton frankly. I know some would argue John Edwards or Sherrod Brown but to me that is silly talk. One name means good economic times in the modern Democratic Party -- that name is Clinton.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Robert Rubin. . . (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:59:00 PM EST
    except he's kinda old.

    The focus for Obama seems to be on colorless Midwestern center-rightists.

    A report I read yesterday indicated that the Obama team has walled off the VP selection from the actual campaign so as to avoid strategic considerations in their work, FWIW.  I don't expect a VP choice that will make any kind of major statement at all.

    I've seen Chuck Todd on TV once, on the night of the PA primaries, and everything he said seemed to me to be ill-informed and disproved by the actual results.  He'd say "Oh, this county is still out and it's favorable to Obama" and it would come in with a Clinton lead.

    This is great: (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:13:42 PM EST
    He [Rubin]then attended Harvard Law School for three days before leaving to see the world.

    Another (none / 0) (#17)
    by oldpro on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:54:44 PM EST
    good Rubin decision...

    Brilliant - where's it from? (none / 0) (#65)
    by catfish on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:31:18 PM EST
    A wise man.

    Wiki. (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:33:11 PM EST
    Leading From Day One (5.00 / 7) (#2)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:11:30 PM EST
    People thought that was a stupid statement but I did not. When dealing with most huge problems in the modern day world, there is a first meeting of the minds. Tasks and ideas are sorted out and everyone meets back in a week. Then the 2nd meeting you hear the suggested ideas. Then another meeting follows, etc. etc. But with a Clinton there, the successful plan is already in place. You can skip the back and forths and just go with what needs to be done to fix the economy. The logic is, we fixed it once before after a Bush......We know how to do it.  

    Those with Star Power Need Not Apply (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:28:18 PM EST
    Seems as if Senator Obama is looking for a white male, without star power for the campaign or for governance.  As a personality driven presidential candidacy, the vice presidential running mate should be non-controversial owing primarily to little national exposure. A "centrist" (i.e, right-leaning Democrat) who has administrative and senatorial experience is preferred.  One who looks good, a plus.  Senator Evan Bayh (D. sort of, IN) fits the bill and might bring along his state. Bayh voted for the new and improved FISA, so there is that in common. Having been a Clinton supporter is probably seen as his major character flaw, but maybe not a fatal one.  Mrs. Clinton would bring spark, competence and experience, but falls down in the department of too much star power.  

    Consider this: (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:08:37 PM EST
    If Obama picked a VP candidate with star-power, couldn't/wouldn't that be seen as a mark of strength and confidence?  Shouldn't he be secure enough that he doesn't need to pick a weaker running mate?

    I think he should pick the strongest running mate available.  In my view, that is Hillary Clinton.  Certainly it isn't Bayh or Kaine or Sebelius or most of the others who are mentioned.  


    Of course he should pick... (none / 0) (#198)
    by sj on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 10:25:09 AM EST
    the strongest running mate possible.  But considering all the consternation devoted to the possibility of either Clinton upstaging a candidate who is supposedly Mr. Charisma, I don't see that his ego will be able to tolerate having a running mate with star power.  

    If I'm wrong, and he can actually set his ego aside, it will be one of the few positives I've seen in him and maybe I won't have to hold my nose so very hard in order to vote for him.


    pretty funny (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by pluege on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:33:47 PM EST
    ...should be non-controversial owing primarily to little national exposure. A "centrist" (i.e, right-leaning Democrat) who has administrative and senatorial experience is preferred. One who looks good, a plus.

    that pretty much describes Obama.


    Bayh seems good for Obama (none / 0) (#128)
    by daveyson98 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:34:25 PM EST
    I agree with Keysdan: "Senator Evan Bayh (D. sort of, IN) fits the bill and might bring along his state."

    Did anyone see him go after Lieberman and his baseless accusations about Obama earlier today on Fox News Sunday?

    After the show, he was interviewed by CNN where he further defended Obama, and he did a pretty good job. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rccc6Zgfqyk.

    If you want to see the original exchange between Lieberman and Bayh, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzr9BCttZ6M.

    Let me kwow what you all think.


    Wake me up (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:46:28 PM EST
    when it's over.

    I feel the same way. (5.00 / 3) (#135)
    by misspeach2008 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:53:42 PM EST
    I think Obama thinks that if he keeps dangling the VP slot, the Clinton money raisers will send him some to get her the slot. If I dangle a piece of yarn in front of my cat, she'll try to catch it, but if I wait too long to let her, she'll move on to do something else- like take a nap. We've moved on. Snooze. . .

    If only he'd pick (none / 0) (#172)
    by JDM in NYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:14:16 PM EST
    Evan's dad...

    What the R** happened to Indiana? To go from Birch Bayh to Dan Quayle... (not to mention Dan Burton).

    Slightly OT: the first campaign song I can remember is:

    "Hey look him over
    He's your kind of guy
    His first name is Birch
    His second name is Bayh"

    which I thought was hopelessly stupid.

    So I said to my mother "Who is his opponent?"

    She said: "Homer Capehart"

    I said: "Homer Capehart- that name is even stupider than Bayh's jingle. I will be a Bayh guy."

    Of course I was 7 years old (and didn't use contractions).

    I am so glad that we have grown as an electorate, and base our support on things much more substantive than names and jingles.


    Who Is Chuck Todd? (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:34:22 PM EST
    Yeah, I know who he is, but why does what he thinks matter so much all of a sudden?

    4-5 months ago, no one knew who he was, or much less cared for him and his prior work at the National Journal. But then his opinion on NBC's poor coverage of the Primaries suddenly became gospel, second to Tim Russert's.

    Now, he's being hailed as the next Tim, and likely host of MTP. Frankly, his opinions and punditry are not much different from the 108 other political pundits and savants on TV and in newspapers nationwide.

    IMO, it's media political directors like him who are shaping and influencing how this election's progressed, and likely will end, and he really has no business to do that. But then again, he works for NBC, so that's an argument for another day.

    He earned his spurs (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:04:47 PM EST
    destroying Edwards's candidacy.  That's the first I heard of him. He would mention haircuts and houses every other sentence.  Now he's getting his reward.

    It's interesting because after saying this... (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:37:18 PM EST
    ...he then went on to predict that the candidates would pick someone that they could "govern" with. My reading of the tea leaves was that he thinks that Obama will pick Sebilius and McCain would pick himself. LOL.

    Apparently. . . (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:40:04 PM EST
    even Obama advisers understand the problem with selecting a woman other than Clinton.

    Really? (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:31:09 PM EST
    I haven't seen any sign of that so far.  (just the opposite in fact).  I'd be interested in why that's your impression.

    The Times article. . . (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:37:14 PM EST
    stated that both Clinton and Obama advisers (not supporters, not the netroots) recognize that selecting a woman other than Clinton is likely to stir up enormous amounts of resentment.

    Thank Goodness! (5.00 / 4) (#110)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:47:49 PM EST
    It would be extremely ballsy for him to choose another woman, besides Clinton. And I'm so glad the KS Gov. (snooze!) and MO Sen. (urgh!) are out of contention.

    Well, stirring up resentment has worked for them.. (5.00 / 4) (#112)
    by lambert on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:52:01 PM EST
    ... so far, very well.

    I'd say that makes Sibelius a lock.


    Sebelius it is then! (none / 0) (#157)
    by sleepingdogs on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:49:06 PM EST
    That means they can play the misogynist card on us to explain why we vote "buy" the ticket!

    The entire NYT article (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:01:10 PM EST
    is based on what 'some Democrats' said.  That could be anyone.  It could be me, I said exactly the same thing before I switched from Dem to Indie 6 weeks ago.  Heck, half the folks here have said the same thing.

    That whole article is just two people talking out their butts.

    Larry, I'm not jumping on your statement or anything, it's just that that article is nothing more than the average person could observe for themselves.

    Btw, this little bit of journalist writing made me lol:

    But it is indeed calculated and does provide a chance for the candidates and their aides to assess how they and their prospective running mates look as a ticket, in the newspaper photographs and television images these events are producing. That is no small thing, as could arguably be seen in Mr. Bayh's eyes last week as he cast a vice-presidential gaze at Mr. Obama.

    Emphasis added.


    Exactly! (5.00 / 5) (#127)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:17:00 PM EST
    ...based on what 'some Democrats' said.  That could be anyone...

    Bingo! That has been the problem (I have) with the NYT from the get-go. All their articles concerning Hillary Clinton, her campaign, Bill Clinton, problems they have with other Democrats, a supposed list of people who burned them etc. they are all filled with anonymous sources. Which basically is:

    ... people talking out their butts.

    The NYT political writers, especially Patrick Healy, Jeff Zeleny and Adam Nagourney, have long histories of using their poison pens (or poison keys) on the Clintons.

    To think Healy was actually assigned (and he willingly accepted) to be part of the Clinton Campaign press pool was just preposterous. I'm sure there might have been some political motive on the campaign's part to allow him on board the campaign plane too, for sure.


    Well. . . (none / 0) (#137)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:58:00 PM EST
    pretty much all newspaper articles are based on what some people said.  In this case, the article indicates that they have sources from both the Obama and Clinton camps.  That doesn't make the article necessarily accurate (it's only the Times), but I'd say the odds are that advisers to both candidates made statements to the effect reported in the article.

    "odds are" (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 01:02:37 AM EST
    Then you are a man of faith.

    If it was a campaign advisor, they could easily have said "Some Obama campaign advisors" or "An Obama campaign advisor".

    It's not like they have to worry about blowing anonymity for their sources, if Obama's taking 300 advisors to Germany with him, no one will ever be able to figure out which one it was.


    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:18:24 PM EST
    I agree with you that Clinton is the only one that has the economic message. However, it's not going to be her.

    Yeah, I've given up hope. (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:39:15 PM EST
    Maybe Krugman (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by oldpro on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:23:58 PM EST
    if not Clinton.

    Can't you just see him on the campaign trail?

    Guess not.  Saw him speak last year at Town Hall in Seattle...not exactly dynamic...

    My first thought on the 'economic credibility front' though.

    C'mon...it's Sunday!

    Except Krugman has criticized (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:27:05 PM EST
    Obama.  A non-starter.

    Well, that (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by oldpro on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:49:22 PM EST
    leaves out practically everyone, including Michelle.

    Krugman has a signature delivery (5.00 / 8) (#75)
    by catfish on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:37:47 PM EST
    that I love. His eyes are bulging, shifting left to right, as if to say "is it just me or has the world gone mad."

    After Bush published a budget Krugman was on MSNBC when they said yeah, well the Clinton budgets did the same thing. Krugman replied "the Clinton budget LOOKED like a budget. This .... looks like a comic book" then he shook his head and buried it in his hands, not even laughing.


    Krugman's the man. He will say what he thinks!! (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by DeborahNC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:26:17 PM EST
    And he is (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:34:16 PM EST
    very well informed; not just unafraid to shoot from the hip.

    I can't imagine who he could pick. His resume (5.00 / 5) (#54)
    by WillBFair on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:13:20 PM EST
    is so thin, nearly anyone would overshadow him. It's a big problem. But of course, a large enough media snow job will cover anything, as we saw in the primary.

    Lieberman, the reach across (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:16:07 PM EST
    the aisle choice.  Plus AIPAC would cheer, no?

    I think I just - urp - threw up in my mouth (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:18:56 PM EST
    a little...oof...

    [okay, where'd I put the Tums?]


    Don't you say another word against (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by WillBFair on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:23:57 PM EST
    Leebersnorf. Just thinking of him as vp gives me wood.

    Excuse me, Anne, for that last remark. it's guy (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by WillBFair on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:33:49 PM EST
    humor and maybe a bit wrong for this venue. I work with a bunch of men all day, where it can get a tad rambunctious. And your comment was so funny, I forgot where I was.

    Austan Goolsbee? (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:35:58 PM EST

    Dick Morris. He is speaking to (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:49:27 PM EST
    the Oxonions at the Cornell Club in Manhattan about a book he co-authored entitled Fleeced.  Listen to him.  He knows everything about everything.

    Oops. He just sd. he's voting (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:01:56 PM EST
    for McCain and that Sens. McCain and Lieberman are the best we have in the U.S. Senate.

    Bill Clinton would be ideal (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by dianem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:54:38 PM EST
    It would be fun to watch the freepers bleeding out of their ears. Darn the Constitution, anyway. <sigh>  "The other Clinton" would also be a terrific choice. I still don't think he'll do it. He is certain he can win without her. Why should be be half of an "historic" ticket when he could be the could hold the spotlight alone?

    Agree he won't do it (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:49:04 PM EST
    Whenever Obama's about to change the message, his surrogates start telegraphing it all over the place.  (I don't mean his propagandists like the NYT pair folks mentioned upthread, but people actually associated with the campaign).

    We all know his 'new' politics is nothing more than the 'old' politics given who his friends are and who his main campaign staff and advisors are.  But he's not trying to reverse the new politics thing.  (ok, maybe trying to sweep it under a rug, but that's not what I mean).

    I'm not hearing any of that sort of thing.  I'd expect some real ramping up of the Bill era economy, and some praise for Clinton that falls outside digging for dollars out of her big $ people, and some blah blah along the lines of how among the failed partisan policies of the past there were a few good things worth keepping.... etc.

    Unless, of course, he's still utterly undecided about VP, so his surrogates don't know which way to jump yet.


    Oh, really? (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Pol C on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:56:20 PM EST
    How do you know Clinton's votes on FISA were tactically motivated? Or, for that matter, Obama's? Or are you just rationalizing that the hated Hillary voted in a way you agree with, while the beloved Barack didn't?

    The answer is easy (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by BernieO on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:14:27 PM EST
    During the primaries he swore up and down that he would not only vote against FISA he would lead a filibuster - hardly an ambiguous position! Then without any improvement in the bill he voted to make Bush's spying on Americans legal to pander to the center right. What gets me is that this bill legals spying on anyone, including Obama and his campaign operatives! What got one president removed from office is now perfectly legal and we will never find out because the FISA court workings are ultra secret. However leaks of important dirt on the campaign and the personal lives of Obama et al will be a good clue.
    The Clintons learned the hard way the lengths Republicans will go to violate the privacy of Democratic leaders in order to discredit them. I doubt that Hillary would ever give Bush this kind of power. Obama must have been too busy teachiang constitutional law during the 90's to notice what was going on.

    Obama is in suck up to repug mode (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by pluege on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:05:48 PM EST
    the VP most definitely will not be anyone the left would be pleased with - more likely the opposite. Obama knows the left has no choice but to vote for him and he's going out of his way to piss the left off to try and make points with the political establishment and republican controlled media.

    The VP choice is going to be some kind of corporate hack Washington insider appealing to center-right white males.

    What's all this (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:38:04 PM EST
    doing for him?  Today there was an article (posted at realclearpolitics) indicating Michigan is very much in play. How preposterous that Dems should have to worry about Michigan with its economic woes.

    And another thing (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by Miri on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:16:12 PM EST
    This VP pick talk is just meaningless. The media is obsessed with it but really nobody gives a rat's ass. Nobody votes for a candidate based on VP choice.

    No presidential election has been decided in my lifetime based on VP pick. And yet in every election people obsess over the VP pick. It makes no difference. Bentson did not help Dukakis carry Texas. Edwards did not help Kerry in North Carolina.

    It makes absolutely no difference. People vote for candidates. Not VP picks. And they vote for candidates based on perception of candidates. Not issues.

    If that's true, (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:57:00 PM EST
    Obama is toast.

    Haven't you said this more than (none / 0) (#158)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:56:30 PM EST
    once before?

    Nobody? Wrong! (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by oldpro on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 01:36:08 AM EST
    Jack Kennedy would not have been president without Lyndon Johnson.  Now maybe that didn't happen in your lifetime but it happened in mine.

    Furthermore, it may make a difference in THIS election, for there is only one chance that I would vote for Obama...if Hillary is on the ticket.  Otherwise, no.


    Absolute nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Miri on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:26:32 PM EST
    All this talk about economic advisor etc. is absolute rubbish. Most voters have no idea who Ruben is and they don't care. They don't vote for a candidate based on advisors. They vote based on perception of the candidate.

    In this regard McCain has a huge advantage. Check out the polls. He has very high personal ratings on issues like trust, commander in chief qualities, patriotism, etc.

    It won't be Clinton... (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by kredwyn on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:45:32 PM EST

    She Would Be Perfect (5.00 / 3) (#129)
    by Missblu on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:38:01 PM EST
    Any consideration for VP has to entail the fact that the majority of the popular primary vote was won by another candidate. That candidate to this day has many many supporters who will not have one pang of conscience in just sorta forgetting to check the president's box on voting day. Just check around the blogs and see. One and a half months out we still miss our "powerful intellectually enduring star". She is a grownup who will help her running mate because she cares so passionately about the people of the United States. I even think Michelle and Bill could be friends.

    Big Tent has worked this through in his mind. Honestly and without malice.

    When will this happen, (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Lil on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:53:18 PM EST
    In your opinion? I'm getting impatient. and still a little bored. Slightly nervous about winning in the Fall.

    From Missouri: A telephone poll yesterdy: (5.00 / 3) (#143)
    by mogal on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:17:46 PM EST
    Would you answer three questions? Yes.

    Q.Have you been following the presidential election closely, reply on a scale of 1 to 5?
    A. 1.

    Q. Are you considering voting for John McCain or Barack Obama?
    A. I'm writing in Hillary Clinton's name.

    Q. Would you consider voting for Obama?
    A. Absolutely not.

    The kicker: Would you mind telling me how old you are?
    Reply: Yes I most would.


    You might want to check (none / 0) (#151)
    by tree on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:40:17 PM EST
    your state's rules. Some states don't allow write-ins unless the candidate has filed a request to be a write-in candidate. (Highly unlikely in Clinton's case.) Some even have rules that would count a vote for Hillary as a vote for Obama(Since they are both D's, in theory). I'm not aware of what Missouri's rules are, just suggesting that you might want to make sure that your vote doesn't end up going to someone you don't want it to.

    Tree, you are right`.... (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by mogal on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:05:37 PM EST
    I  was caught off guard and wanted to send a message. I wish I had said, "Yes I will consider voting for him if Hillary is the VP."

    Hey, I think your response (none / 0) (#161)
    by tree on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:09:48 PM EST
    was great! I just wanted to warn you about the possible consequences of a write-in in actuality. Your alternate response would have been good too.

    Hillarious (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by fctchekr on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:49:03 PM EST
    Kick when they're down, kick when they're up, kick em, and than choose them as VP!!

    Amen (4.42 / 7) (#98)
    by tek on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:33:25 PM EST
    to that.  I will never forgive the DNC for foisting an inexperienced, opportunistic man on the ballot at at time when we desperately needed Hillary Clinton.  Just kiss the economy goodbye whichever one of them wins and greet the new Great Depression.

    sher (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by weltec2 on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 03:49:26 AM EST
    Instead of being a troll rating troll, why don't you try having reasoned discussions or just leave if you don't like it here. Personally I would prefer the former. But just to give ones and twos and then slither on without a word... that's just annoying.

    No mention of the tech bubble? (2.50 / 2) (#4)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:19:27 PM EST
    Without the artificial, largely fraudulent boost of technology stocks, Clinton's two terms would not have been significant for much.  His welfare reform was heartless conservatism masquerading as progressive poltics.  His immediate cave on gays in the military was cowardly beyond measure.  Though, obviously, I prefer a Clinton 8 years to a Bush 8 years.  Still, I find it hard to disconnect any talk of Clintonomics and good times during his presidency with the massive economic shell game that was the tech bubble.

    And, it must be said, if Obama cannot make it clear to the American people, who on the whole seem utterly brain dead about this connection, that the economy is in the tank BECAUSE of the war (both wars), then he will have failed as a leader from the go.  A leader would make it crystal clear -- the economy will tank and tank on until troops are home from both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Iraq is obvious, Afhghanistan less so, but still clear.  Chasing Taliban around the mountains, in the place where Superpowers go to die, is not progress or anything like it.  It is more of the same.  We owe Afghanistan massive restitution and arms to defend themselves.  If we stay to "help" them fight, we will, as in Iraq, merely be prolonging Afghanistan's misery and inability to forge its own.  I know it's popular to talk about Iraq as the bad war and Afhganistan as the good war, but that is folly.  Both are debacles.  The Taliban and elements like them have lived in those tribal areas along the Pakistan border for centuries, if not millenia.  The idea we're going to change that is ridiculous.  We stick our finger in the dyke and call it security.


    "Dike," no? (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:24:59 PM EST
    The New Republic (none / 0) (#176)
    by sallywally on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:51:07 PM EST
    made that mistake once. I sent them an e-mail about it but never heard back.

    LOL!!!!! They're so thrilled with themselves and all to make a really ignorant, stupid mistake like that.

    I'm an editor and writer and to see that in print under my name would just KILL me!

    I loved sending the e-mail. I hope they got a million of them.


    Thanks For The Laugh (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by flashman on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:31:59 PM EST
    Clinton presided over the longest economic expansion in the country's history.  Most of the growth came before the so-called "tech bubble"  He also presided over the only period of annual budget surpluses going all the way back to Carter.  Seems odd to see Republican talking points showing up here.

    they aren't necessarily repub talking points... (1.75 / 4) (#13)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:48:08 PM EST
    ...just a reality check.  It's easy to get sentimental for Clinton when living under Bush, but those points matter.  Clinton was a largely a conservative economically, and in any case, has the end of the cold war and the tech sector to thank for much of the boom.  He also delegated his health care reform to Hillary, which aside from being flagrantly undemocratic, was a terrible plan and deserved to get crushed (even if you disagree w/ the anti-socialist propaganda courtesy of the '94 Repub Revolution).

    Yeah, Sure (5.00 / 10) (#19)
    by flashman on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:01:34 PM EST
    Every Republican and conservative trys to rationalize the roaring economy of the 90's.  Clintons faced challenges as well; massive annual deficits, asian meltdown and a hostile congress.  The fact is, no matter how many excuses you can come up with, the economy was better under Clinton than any other president in a generation.  No amount of spin will ever change that.

    Health care is another matter alltogether.  Basically, the plan was raliroaded by speical interests who spent a mountain of money to kill it.  The right was so fearful, they though if the plan passed, they would be out of power for years.

    The bottom line is that Clinton was one of the most successful presidents in US history.  His agenda was historically successful and popular.  He remains one of the most admired people in the country, despite the awful press he gets.


    1990s: It isn't easy making it look that easy (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:03:03 PM EST
    That should have been Clinton's campaign theme.

    if Clinton gets any bad press... (1.00 / 1) (#30)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:19:03 PM EST
    Every president faces challenges.  Reagan and Dubbya both faced worse.  Reagan managed the biggest war-time expansion in the history of our country at that time.  Bush obviously failed in most ways.  But those arguments aren't "excuses" against Clinton.  Just facts that he rode the wave of our post-Cold War honeymoon, and then left the bubble to burst for Bush.  And having a hostile Congress is only a point for Clinton if we assume that Congress was pushing through bad economic policies (which I don't think is a given).  Finally, his healthcare plan was terrible.  Yes, it was railroaded by special interests, none of whom I respect, but we are better for it.  Finally, it's hard to say that his agenda was one of the most successful, given that his healthcare plan didn't go through...that would have been his major legacy if it had.  

    His healthcare plan (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:49:18 PM EST
    was one put forward for debate.

    However, there was no real debate.  If there had been and if some compromises could have been made, we certainly wouldn't have the healthcare debacle we have now.

    His administraton was the only one talking about it.  Where, oh where, was Congress?  


    Isn't one of Obama's healthcare guys (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by nycstray on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:57:05 PM EST
    one of the main opponents of the Clinton plan?

    Jim Cooper ... (5.00 / 7) (#53)
    by Inky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:13:07 PM EST
    It was one of the tip-offs early on, to anyone who was paying attention, that Obama was actually more conservative than Hillary, at least on economic/domestic matters. Here's what Mike Lux had to saty about Cooper back in Fbruary:

    I was part of the Clinton White House team on the health care reform issue in 1993/94, and no Democrat did more to destroy our chances in that fight than Jim Cooper. We had laid down a marker very early that we thought universal coverage was the most essential element to getting a good package, saying we were to happy to negotiate over the details but that universality was our bottom line.

    Cooper, a leader of conservative Dems on the health care issue, instead of working with us, came out early and said universality was unimportant, and came out with a bill that did almost nothing in terms of covering the uninsured. He quickly became the leading spokesman on the Dem side for the insurance industry position, and undercut us at every possible opportunity, basically ending any hopes we had for a unified Democratic Party position. I was never so delighted to see a Democrat lose as when he went down in the 1994 GOP tide.

    Unfortunately, he came back, like a bad penny.



    early tip offs like that (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by dotcommodity on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 09:48:40 AM EST

    I was not at all surprised by the FISA vote.

    Alito was a "constitutional scholar" (went to law school). The idea that studying the constitution is some indication of their "leftness" is not bourne out by the facts.


    i have no idea... (none / 0) (#47)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:01:50 PM EST
    ...but that's interesting if true.  i guess it shouldn't be surprising, Obama's plan differs in a few key ways from the original Clinton plan (universal coverage, role of insurance companies)

    Elizabeth Edwards is also (5.00 / 5) (#61)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:23:45 PM EST
    a lawyer and a "healthcare advocate," who happened to support Clinton's plan over Obama's.  

    Let's say that John Edwards has been elected president, and Elizabeth is the one who will present a new healthcare plan to Congress.

    Would that be "shameful" too, john b?

    After all, she's not a doc either.


    I don't know much about Mrs. Edwards... (1.00 / 2) (#63)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:28:20 PM EST
    ...so hard to say.  But in general, I do not think unelected officials should ever be put in charge of behind-closed-doors decision making about legislation.  If Edwards made it clear before he was elected that he'd put her in charge, I guess that's slightly better.  Finally, Mrs. Edwards may have a background in healthcare.  Hillary didn't know enough when she spear-headed the plan.  

    Good grief. (5.00 / 5) (#67)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:32:28 PM EST
    Hillary didn't know enough when she spear-headed the plan.  

    How do you know what she did or didn't know?

    Wha she didn't know, I'll grant you, was how to get things done in DC.  

    She knows now.


    I know... (1.00 / 1) (#74)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:37:30 PM EST
    ...because I read the plan.  It was terrible.  And I know because there are very few people alive who know enough about US healthcare to warrant nepotism by a president for the sake of being appointed to a healthcare commission.  I'm really not sure why ppl would defend this...it was a huge mistake on Bill's part, it weakened our democratic checks (albeit slightly and only temporarily), and it was one that allowed the Repubs to steamroll our best chance for healthcare reform.  Now every single reform plan starts by giving a nod to the insurance companies.  

    This is Clinton's doing? (5.00 / 5) (#77)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:46:41 PM EST
    Now every single reform plan starts by giving a nod to the insurance companies.  

    Sorry, dude.  Corporate America has been sailing.

    As for your opinion about healthcare, I'll have to get other opinions.  

    You have a mild case of CDS.  Just don't OD on Obama.


    Well. . . (5.00 / 7) (#87)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:10:55 PM EST
    But in general, I do not think unelected officials should ever be put in charge of behind-closed-doors decision making about legislation.

    There goes the cabinet, and 99.9999% of the executive branch.  Is the President allowed to hire someone to answer the phones?


    And Elizabeth Edwards (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:47:40 PM EST
    has been working on healthcare issues for John Podesta's think tank since shortly after her husband pulled out of the Dem primary race.

    Administrative advisors... (1.00 / 2) (#91)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:20:46 PM EST
    ...are different than a spouse.  You can't fire your wife.  And when someone appoints in incompetent cabinet member, the public and the press can and do ask for a change.  There isn't much we can do about a president who puts family members in charge, since they aren't there by virtue of their expertise, but of their relation to the president.  Again, not sure why people defend Bill's decision here.  It was stupid and it contributed to the failure of healthcare reform.  

    So JKF (5.00 / 4) (#94)
    by misspeach2008 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:29:33 PM EST
    was out of line when he appointed his brother to be Attorney General?

    RFK was confirmed by the Senate (1.00 / 0) (#153)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:43:58 PM EST
    That's your comeback? (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:46:20 PM EST
    Good lord.

    Ha! (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by flashman on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:05:10 PM EST
    Nepotism is bad, unless congress approves.  Then it's good.  But is the person in question is a woman, she should just bake cookies.

    That might possibly. . . (5.00 / 10) (#100)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:33:45 PM EST
    be an important difference if you had talked about spouses.  But you clearly said you didn't think unelected advisers should have any role in making decisions about legislation (by which I assume you mean matters of state).

    That indicates to me that you don't really know too much about how government functions.

    I know of no other person who disputes, then or now, Hillary Clinton's expertise on health care.  Many people share your apparent horror that she might force universal health care down the throats of our poor nation, but I've never heard anyone else suggest she didn't know exactly what she was talking about.

    And as for causing the health care initiative to fail?  Until the Clinton attempt there was no health care initiative.  It was roundly attacked by reactionary forces who share your disdain for universal care (under the label "socialized medicine") and they -- the entrenched interests and right wing ideologues -- caused it to fail.


    you are right, (none / 0) (#113)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:52:27 PM EST
    I should have been clearer.  I do not think that family members should be appointed to legislate where either an elected official or professional will do, since they play a much different role in the political life of the president than someone who is not a family member.  Maybe I should frame my statements by asking, "Do you think she was the best choice?"  I'm not sure why anyone would think that Hillary in '94 had the credentials to make the plan.  She knows a lot now, sure, but then?  She surely didn't know enough to know not to lock out the special interests  while creating the plan.  I never disputed that the Right defeated the plan.  I stated that Clinton made it easy for them to do so by making poor decisions.  I don't disdain universal care (who can argue w/ everyone getting care?), I am personally against Federalized Universal Insurance.  But that is besides the point - I was arguing over the political feasibility of her plan, not my value judgements of it. Finally, I wouldn't call HillaryCare, "socialized medicine", at least not in comparison to Medicare.  It was run-of-the-mill nationalization/healthcare legislation, nothing more.  

    Several points: (5.00 / 6) (#150)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:40:13 PM EST
    One - only legislators legislate; what the Task Force did was prepare legislation to submit to Congress.  Once presented, it was out of their hands.

    Two - your constant use of the term "HillaryCare" makes you instantly recognizable, and not in a good way.

    Three - for the last time, she was not a committee of one.  From Bill Clinton's announcment of the Task Force:

    As a first step in responding to the demands of millions of Americans, today I am announcing the formation of the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform. Although the issue is complex, the task force's mission is simple: to build on the work of the campaign and transition, to listen to all parties, and to prepare health care reform legislation that I will submit to Congress this spring.

    The task force will be chaired by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and will include the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Treasury, Defense, Veterans Affairs, Commerce, and Labor, as well as the director of the Office of Management and Budget and senior White House staff members.

    I am grateful that Hillary has agreed to chair the task force -- and not only because it means she'll be sharing the heat. As many of you know, while I was Governor of Arkansas, Hillary chaired the Arkansas Education Standards Committee, which created public school accreditation standards that have since become a model for national reform. In 1984-85 Hillary served as my designee on the Southern Regional Task Force on Infant Mortality. She was the Chair of the Arkansas Rural Health Committee in 1979-80. And she has also served on the Board of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, where she helped establish Arkansas's first neo-natal unit.
    I am certain that, in the coming months, the American people will learn -- as the people of Arkansas did -- just what a great First Lady they have.

    Here in the White House, Hillary will work with my domestic policy advisor, Carol Rasco, my senior policy advisor, Ira Magaziner, and the head of my health care transition team, Judy Feder. I have asked all of them to be as inclusive as possible and, as part of that, we are inviting the American public to write us here at the White House with their suggestions. All suggestions should be sent to the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20510.

    The emphasis is mine.


    Thank you, Anne. n/t (5.00 / 3) (#154)
    by tree on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:45:07 PM EST
    this is a great post... (none / 0) (#179)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:58:08 PM EST
    ...I'm glad someone quoted Clinton's press release.  It's a useful thing to read these now while we're debating.  Anyway, one: you're right, I should have been more careful with my words...Hillary didn't write the bill.  Two: HillaryCare is just the most convenient phrase.  Don't read into my usage of it.     Three: obviously, I didn't think she literally wrote the entire recommendation.  I was driving home the point that she was not welcoming to alternative opinions, and locked out the special interests that eventually sunk the plan.  I'm sure she had 1000 advisors...but that isn't the same thing as running a receptive, transparent committee.  

    I get it! (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:34:01 PM EST
    And when someone appoints in incompetent cabinet member, the public and the press can and do ask for a change.

    You're a stand-down comedian!


    John b please... (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by weltec2 on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 03:58:44 AM EST
    You're in a hole. This is embarrassing.

    I won't defend Congress... (1.00 / 5) (#44)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:55:13 PM EST
    ...they certainly didn't help.  But there is zero excuse for Clinton asking his unelected wife, who had no training as a doc or an economist, to put forth a healthcare plan.  Shameful.  

    Shameful? (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:58:12 PM EST



    Yeah...shameful...sure, whatever you say. (5.00 / 8) (#57)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:16:12 PM EST
    Because, of course, she came up with the plan all by herself.  Didn't gather anyone from the medical profession, no one with any economics background. It was just Hillary.  All by herself.

    She knew nothing about the issue, having wasted all her time in the Arkansas governor's mansion sleeping late and reading trashy novels.  She could not possibly have learned anything then about the costs of health care and the huge gaps and discrimination built in to a lot of these health care plans.

    And I'm sure when she was working with the Children's Defense Fund, health care never came up as an issue.  She never got to see the effects of no insurance on the lives and health of children.

    Yeah, those Clintons had some nerve, didn't they?


    exactly... (none / 0) (#119)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:01:32 PM EST
    ...if you see the effects of no insurance, then you better plan well when you decide to re-vamp the system.  picking your under-qualified wife is not the best way.  i'm not denying that she had some experience, just not enough with healthcare or politics.  there are plenty of ppl who know what happens to uninsured children...but very few people who can reorganize a 2 trillion $$ industry.  

    So...Just what is your expertise? (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:02:06 PM EST
    He hates Hillary (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:15:43 PM EST
    or women, or wives or unqualified wives because nothing the woman had been doing for the previous decades in Arkansas makes any a difference.  She did not have MR. in front of her name.  Makes her unqualified.

    It's unfortunate... (none / 0) (#178)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:54:56 PM EST
    ...that you have to argue by assuming that I'm sexist.  Clinton could have been married to an equally qualified man and I'd still be saying "Hillary had some qualifications, but no where near enough to reorganize 1/12 of our economy".  

    You need to read some of the (none / 0) (#185)
    by hairspray on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 12:11:26 AM EST
    documented rebutals to your posts.  There was a lot of data given to demolish most of your points, but you didn't appear to have read them.

    Er, most presidential advisors and (5.00 / 4) (#103)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:36:02 PM EST
    cabinet members haven't been elected, either.

    Any many have lesser resumes than Hillary.


    You have got to be kidding (5.00 / 5) (#76)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:46:19 PM EST
    We have it better because a health plan was railroaded by special interests?
    Reagan had it harder?  Sheesh...the man was given a free pass on everything.

    Clinton was voted in but was resented by much of the elitists of the democratic party; was despised by the Washington Press Corps elites....

    why are you so hell bent on trashing the only decent administration we have had in over four decades.  Does Hillary scare you that much?


    i'm not hell-bent... (1.00 / 0) (#79)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:52:25 PM EST
    ...I just think ppl are overstating how great Clinton was.  I still like him as a pres.  And yes, I think we're better off bc Hillary's plan didn't pass, again, not bc I love the special interests, but bc her plan was that bad.  Reagan got a free pass from the press, sure, but I'd take getting a bad rap from the press over dealing with the Soviet Union.  

    Once more with feeling: (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:56:57 PM EST
    but bc her plan was that bad.

    Then the plan should have been debated.

    It wasn't.

    Don't blame Clinton for that.  It was a position.  Certainly, the Clinton administration didn't think it was the only position.

    What is it about this that you don't get?


    I'm just not sure... (1.00 / 0) (#85)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:06:54 PM EST
    ...why you would defend a president's decision to have his wife put forth a poor piece of legislation.  Of course that is his fault.  What if it had actually passed?  Would we be sitting here saying, "it's not Clinton's fault that HillaryCare made our system worse...that plan certainly wasn't his only position".  Maybe I'm missing your point, but it seems like you're arguing that because worse ppl than Clinton railroaded the plan, he can be excused for putting forth a plan that invited the railroading.

    Thick? (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:10:11 PM EST
    What if it had actually passed?

    It would have never passed as proposed.

    I can't make that any clearer.  You're shooting the messenger.


    ah... (1.00 / 0) (#88)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:13:20 PM EST
    ...I think I was missing your point.  But here's the thing with her plan - it wasn't just a left-of-center first offering to be negotiated...it contained a lot of structural problems that really couldn't have been negotiated away.  The risk pools, universal coverage, costs, etc. were all basic parts of the plan.  If you're going to try to radically change our system, why not appoint someone who carries the weight of expertise and who won't invite the Repubs to railroad you?  In any case, Hillary wasn't a messenger...she created the message from a number of options in a way that made true compromise impossible.  

    Compromise is only (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:18:10 PM EST
    impossible if one side isn't willing to do that.

    We're not talking two sides.  We're talking squares or pentagons.


    Absolutely... (none / 0) (#92)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:24:01 PM EST
    ...but when one party starts with an extreme position, it makes debate harder.  When Bush asks for $$ to continue the Iraq War, I don't remember anyone saying, "that's an interesting first position.  I hope the Democrats negotiate."  We say, "I hate Bush's politics and am sick of his terrible ideas."  Why?  Because in the beginning of the war, the ball was in Bush's court, and so we hold him responsible for his own legislation.  

    Right. (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:29:45 PM EST
    And a debate about healthcare in the early 90's and war, after Bush screwed up pre-9/11 are exactly the same.

    Your poor child.


    then replace... (none / 0) (#97)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:33:19 PM EST
    ...the war funding with any 1st term Bush legislation you like.  

    Which means what, exactly? (none / 0) (#107)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:38:10 PM EST
    If I decide to vote for Obama, it will be because he tells me what I want to hear and picks an acceptable VP.

    So far?



    ? you lost me (none / 0) (#109)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:40:18 PM EST
    You mentioned (5.00 / 0) (#114)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:53:01 PM EST
    first-term legislation.

    If not for 9/11, Bush would have been an inconsequential footnote, as would his first-term legislation.


    my point was just an analogy... (none / 0) (#117)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:59:24 PM EST
    ...to show that when a politician writes poor legislation, we don't blame the other side for not negotiating in good faith.  2nd term Bush is sort of an exception because of 9/11, so I suggested we use 1st term Bush to remove the confusion.  

    Dude, don't look now (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by RalphB on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:53:59 PM EST
    but you've been lost all day.  What a maroon.

    Say it ain't so! (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:20:18 PM EST
    structural problems that really couldn't have been negotiated away.  The risk pools, universal coverage, costs, etc. were all basic parts of the plan.

    Heaven forbid that unelected ninny should ever have forced universal coverage on an unsuspecting America!  Thank god you, and the Republicans, were able to save us from a fate worse than an early death!


    universal coverage... (1.00 / 0) (#93)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:27:16 PM EST
    ...is one non-negotiable thing.  she should have just stuck with that, instead of making it easier for the repubs to slam her for the 100 different extreme measures in her bill.  

    Coming from someone. . . (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:35:38 PM EST
    who just described universal coverage as a "structural problem" of Clinton health care plan, I'm surprised to hear that you know consider it non-negotiable.

    being non-negotiable... (none / 0) (#105)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:37:17 PM EST
    ...is the thing that makes it a structural problem.  it's hard to remove universal coverage from a plan that bases it's funding on the idea that everyone is a part of the same system.  

    it's funding? (5.00 / 0) (#116)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:58:13 PM EST
    it's = it is

    it is funding = makes no sense.


    As I'm certain you know, Cooper (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:33:35 PM EST
    was a Dem.

    So just what did you think the (5.00 / 0) (#142)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:15:37 PM EST
    Jackson Hole Medical Group was.  A show tune? You really are wasting our time here with your Naderite or is it GOP talking points.


    it's not a Republican talking point... (none / 0) (#180)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:03:37 PM EST
    ...to question a decision that cost us our best chance to reform our healthcare system.  My argument is simple: Hillary was far from the best person to head that committee.  No where do you see me whining about socialism, Gingrich, etc.  This is purely a political argument.  

    Simply your opinion that was one (none / 0) (#186)
    by hairspray on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 12:16:08 AM EST
    of the GOP's biggest arguments.  The wife of the president organizing this effort?  Wives do not do that regardless of how well they did in the past on a statewide level!  And certainly they don't do it with hundreds of advisers meeting secretly!  blah, blah, heard it all before from the right wing.

    I understand "talking point"... (none / 0) (#191)
    by john b on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 07:49:29 AM EST
    ...to be falsehoods that politicos repeat simply to win a political fight.  I am not repeating things to simply win a fight for the Republicans.  When they questioned Hillary's credentials, they were right to do so.  Do you think she was the best choice?  Sure she did things on the State level.  Those are necessary, but not sufficient, qualifications.  

    so the JHMG... (none / 0) (#192)
    by john b on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 07:54:43 AM EST
    ...was the source of the basis of her plan.  My understanding is that they argued for the risk pools and national health service-esque board to oversee the benfit plans.  As we'd expect from any person charged w/ creating a health plan, Hillary consulted many experts and co-opted one of the respected plans at the time.  Then she discussed it in a non-transparent way, locked out the sepecial interests, and allowing her ignorance of DC politics and healthcare policy in general to weaken her plan.    It takes decades to learn enough about our system to know how to change it.  I recall her rushing the experts to submit ideas to her so she could finish the plan in the first however many 100 days.  

    It could be (5.00 / 4) (#170)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:50:46 PM EST
    that one of the reasons he put her in charge is that he had done a similar thing when, as Governor of Arkansas, he put her in charge of reforming the education system in that State. As a result, that system went from second worst in the nation to the "most improved" in a matter of years.  

    Are you seriously that naive (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:18:15 PM EST
    or underinformed?

    You really are a Reagan dem or just some "independent" who worshipped the hero Reagan who took down the Soviets.  Anyone so ignorant as to buy that bs is truly blinded by paternalistic worship.

    I get you now.  You want a hero who does "magic" and finds enemies....you don't want a woman like Hillary because Hillary isn't flashy; like most women she's about the work, not the heroics.


    OMG... (none / 0) (#181)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:05:26 PM EST
    ...I would die for a politician that isn't flashy and just gets down to work, assuming, of course, the work they do is correct.  I like Hillary's style, just not her policies.  I never said Reagan "took down the Soviets"...where are you getting that?

    Balony (5.00 / 4) (#140)
    by flashman on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:08:56 PM EST
    There was no such 'cold war' wave that Clinton rode.  He had the best economy of any president since the end of WWII.  His policies were responsible for maintain a 10 year period of growth, the longest in US history.  Americans were better off at all levels under Clinton than at any other time.  Unempoloyment was a unheard-of 3.8%.  It's just sad that anyone feel the need to spin Clinton's economic legacy.  Congress tried at every turn to sabotage him, but he kept a step ahead of them.  The reason the health care bill failed was that it was good enough to scare the hell out of the Republicans.  They were afraid that it would be so popular, the Democrats would control government for years to come.  

    Clinton gets the worse press of any president, former or current.  The press he got during the primaries was disgraceful.  The press treated him shamefully and dishonestly.  But the public approval of Clinton remains strong, and the press is lying through there teeth when they say otherwise.


    Do YOu Have A Poster Of Bill (3.00 / 2) (#144)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:21:19 PM EST
    Because if not I think you would enjoy having one. His favorability rating is good.

    I like him too. I personally benefited during his presidency. The economy was good.


    Best Economy (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by flashman on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:16:00 PM EST
    Even Forbes knows it.

    It doesn't make sense... (none / 0) (#177)
    by john b on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:52:43 PM EST
    ...to remove the historical context of Clinton's presidency.  He led our country after the SU fell and before 9/11.  The economic boom was due mostly to the Fed and our tech sector.  He certainly contributed a great deal, but mostly because he stayed out of the way of the economy (which I respect a great deal...it takes a great leader to know when not to step in).  His policies helped, but did not cause, our economic prosperity.  The healthcare bill was defeated by Republicans for the wrong reasons, but as I've stated above, it wasn't a good bill.  It ignored the role of insurance companies too much, attempted to import the worst aspects of the German health care risk pools, increased costs, would have forced a lot of new Federal policies on the States, and contained to cost growth control measures.  I agree that the press was unfair to him, and again, I like him a lot, but there is a limit to how much credit he should get.  

    Well My Rebuttal Disappeared (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by flashman on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:41:12 PM EST
    so my apologies if it comes back.  

    It doesn't make any sense to remove Clinton from the historical context.  The Soviet fall didn't help GHWB's economy, or hurt Reagan's second term. The impact was, at best, minimal.  Clinton had such a good economy because he 'fine tuned' it by fixing tax inequities, controlling spending, expanding trade, increasing receipts and setting priorities.  Allen Greenspan said Clinton was the best president on the economy that he served under.  Think HE might know a thing or two about the economy?  There was one factor more important than all others affecting the economy under Bill Clinton: Bill Clinton.

    As for your recitation of your talking points concerning health care, I'll defer to molly, who has already debunked most of them.


    no problem... (none / 0) (#193)
    by john b on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 07:56:50 AM EST
    ...I saw your rebuttal and responded, but my response didn't go through.  Here's the cut-and-paste from last night: I never took BC out of the equation.  I'm arguing that his role is overstated.  Greenspan himself, however, deserves more credit for the economy than Clinton for his role in the $ supply.  HW Bush's economy certainly didn't benefit from the fall of the SU, but in the long run, it enabled BC to lower military spending.  BC came into office as Bush's recession was ending, making the subsequent recovery likely.  He did lower the unemployment level left by Bush, not doubt about that.  However, his legacy to Bush II was a slowdown and an increase in unemployment.  As you said, there are not one or two factors - Clinton was one very important factor of many.  Finally, I don't see Molly's post, not sure what you're referring to...maybe it also got erased.  

    I Honestly (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by flashman on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 10:32:24 AM EST
    Don't think Clinton is given too much credit.  The economy has had boom and bust periods throughout the cold war, as well as the 'hot' wars.  Clinton inherited an anemic recovery with record deficits.  I do think GHWB made some good moved late in his term, but it was Clinton who did all the right things.  It was Clinton who finally got control over spending, what the Republicans always say they will do, but never do.  It was Clinton who eliminated wasteful government programs in his first term, a policy that paid dividens throughout his admin.  Allen Greenspan served under 4 presidents, and while I believe he was part of the reason for strong economic conditions, only under BC was he so successful.  Really, the Fed is limited in how it can affect policy; it's effect being indirect.  So, there were some advantegeous conditions that worked in BC's favor, and some that worked against it.  The genius of BC was to exploit those conditions, but also to take bold new steps to grow the economy in new ways (expanding trade, enterprise zones, etc.)  I have absolutely no doubt that if he could step into the persidency today, we economy would be much better for it.

    I can't disagree... (none / 0) (#200)
    by john b on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 12:17:55 PM EST
    ...with your last statement.  It would be nice to have a true fiscal conservative back in the White House.  Also interesting to read your quote of Greenspan...he must have liked Clinton before he argued for the Bush tax cuts.  

    The Quote (none / 0) (#201)
    by flashman on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 12:22:00 PM EST
    was from the Biography of Greenspan.  Remember, when he supported the tax cut, there was supposed to be surpluses as far as the eye could see.  Greenspan wanted the cut as a means to achieve a balance between reserves and the money supply available.  Had he been able to forsee the disappearance of the surpluses, and return to record deficits, I really believe he would have thought differently.  

    oh ok... (none / 0) (#202)
    by john b on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 06:55:04 PM EST
    ...even more interesting then.  I recall reading a statement or quote by AG regretting his support for  the tax cuts.  I wish he had either not said anything, or called out Bush on his mis-use of the Laffer curve.  

    Ron Brownsterin of the LA Times wrote this (5.00 / 4) (#132)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:51:10 PM EST
    in the carpetbagger report July 2004:
    Clinton years produced the most extraordinary gains in the communities that needed it most....because Clinton encouraged and rewarded work for those on the economy's bottom rungs....the MEDIAN incomes for American families increased by 15% (adj/inflation) and especially for African Americans (33%) Latinos (24%). Families in the bottom 5th of the range saw their incomes rise twenty percent faster than the top 5%. Poverty fell (25%) faster than at any time since 1960's particularly in communities of color. Under the Reagan 8 years poverty of children fell by 50,000 and under Clnton by 4.1 million." He did this by increasing EIT, minimum wages and creating SCHIP among other system wide strategies. So ending welfare might have infuriated many people, but other factors helped to change the paradign for poor families and more than compensated and eliminated the scapegoating of welfare recipients.

    Thanks (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by flashman on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:12:19 PM EST
    I've seen these stats in response to those who what to distort Clinton's legacy, but didn't remember where it was.  I've been saying the same thing, but without the numbers to back it up.  Amazing that some have to spin and distort, and for what?  Do they still fear Clinton so much that they have to talk down his stellar accomplishments?

    Oh my. (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:43:20 PM EST
    Chasing Taliban around the mountains, in the place where Superpowers go to die, is not progress or anything like it.

    That was very nice.


    There is a WWII-type consensus about (none / 0) (#155)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:46:10 PM EST

    How many Democrats voted against taking military action in Afgahnistan....


    Typical far left cherry picking of non issues (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by WillBFair on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:07:40 PM EST
    to discredit the most successful and knowledgeable president of our time. In Bill's words, 'give me a break.'

    Republican obstructionists? (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by tek on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:37:37 PM EST
    talking points.  Obama wishes your assessment were true.

    Obama tried to peddle that story about (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:21:37 PM EST
    "people falling through the cracks during the Bush and CLINTON administrations"  No wonder Bill is peeved.  And now he has to carry water for this newbie.  Shameful!

    This is one of the more troubling points of this (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 09:02:15 AM EST
    whole subthread -- it's almost impossible to tell whether john b is a Reagan fan or an Obama fan.

    He could be both. (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by tree on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 09:11:40 AM EST
    Dadler -- obviously you weren't running or (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by esmense on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 09:31:00 AM EST
    starting a business in the 90s and so don't understand the many, many ways in which the Clinton administration supported small business, new domestic business creation and, consequently, new job creation. Yes, the tech bubble explains what was going on in a large segment of the economy -- on Wall Street -- and the gains of investors during the 90s, but it doesn't explain the gains on Main Street, the huge increase in non-tech business creation and, consequently, the rising wages of the working class and poor.

    All of the Clinton era's innovative small business initiatives and policies were reversed immediately after Bush took office.

    "Creative class" prejudice and disdain for Main Street business and the working class sometimes leads to ignorance about, and under-estimation of the importance of, aspects of the American economy, and American life in general, beyond their own limited experience.

    There was a lot more going on in the 90s than just the high tech bubble.


    say dam (none / 0) (#16)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:54:28 PM EST
    less posibility for snide jokes.

    Clitnon was significant.  Good times. That's damn hard to do.


    Here I thought you would (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:09:23 PM EST
    comment on the Roman-built dykes in Great Britain.

    I could talk about (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:16:03 PM EST
    Danish dug Fens. If you like.  

    I made an allusion to Pontius Pilate in an earlier thread. You may have enjoyed that.


    Loved the Pilate (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by oldpro on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:02:28 PM EST
    comment to BTD...hilarious, in fact!

    And (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:14:44 PM EST
    what's amazing from a lot of these people is that they think Carter did a good job. I've lived through the economies of the 70's, 80's, 90's and the millenium and I can tell you that I did the best under Clinton.

    Bad idea (1.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Miri on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:09:27 PM EST
    I wish you guys would give up pushing "Hillary for VP" idea. It is not going to happen and I hope to God it doesn't happen.

    I wish Hillary would follow Webb's example and issue a statement saying she is not interested.

    If Hillary is the VP picks's Obama defeat will be blamed on her. She will end up as another Ferraro. Blamed for the defeat of a doomed candidate.

    She is better of declaring she is not interested in the job. Keep her distance from his campaign. Same for Bill.

    After the Obama defeat in November she will be able to say I told you so and work for reform within the Democratic party. She she follow the Reagan model of 1976.

    So? (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:50:57 PM EST
    In the unlikely chance that Obama loses in November you don't think Hillary will get the blame no matter what she does or where she is?

    Do you know why Webb said (none / 0) (#171)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:02:03 PM EST
    no way to VP?

    Clinton won't be the VP (none / 0) (#8)
    by Prabhata on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:33:48 PM EST

    I don't think so, either. (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Jeannie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:42:40 PM EST
    Whenever they are are on the same stage, Hillary is the grown-up. She has so much more presence and 'weight' - and is much more knowledgeable and presidential.
    Obama has a huge ego and he will never want anyone else to steal the limelight. Of course - if his numbers tank badly enough, he may have to ask her. I hope she would turn him down.  

    Won't happen with this criteria: (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:04:55 PM EST
    Members of both parties said Mr. Obama, 46, should not be looking to make any dramatic or risky moves that would divert attention from his role as the would-be head of a new generation of leadership seeking to make a clean break from the politics of the past.

    [NYT's Nagourney and Zeleny]

    NYT's Nagourney and Zeleny (5.00 / 0) (#51)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:08:47 PM EST
    Why of course it'd be Adam and Jeff, the NYT's lead Obama cheerleaders, to write that. I'm sure Katherine (Seelye) and John (Harwood) stood behind them, pom-poms in hand. I believe they see themselves as the Obama advisers, under the media arm of his campaign.

    JimWash...media armpit is more like it :) (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:54:03 PM EST
    Get out the shovel and the hip boots. (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:08:48 PM EST
    a new generation of leadership seeking to make a clean break from the politics of the past.

    It's getting deep in here.

    Everything old is new again, it seems.


    why then they won't need those millions (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:15:47 PM EST
    of voters from the past for their new politics either i assume. good luck with that.

    Just the checks, please. (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:34:11 PM EST
    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by tek on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:38:49 PM EST
    Be happy to oblige them.

    I'll tell you who else is the wrong choice: (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:39:15 PM EST
    Larry Summers. Word from up high is that he's got table manners no one could love. Plus his sexist musings.

    Larry Summers???????? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:45:51 PM EST
    Aaaack. Please tell me this is a joke and has no relevance to this discussion. PLEASE?

    He Does (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:11:33 PM EST
    He is with the Rubin package. He was with Sec of treasure in the last year and half of CLinton admin

    What's the Rubin package? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:15:52 PM EST
    Google Link (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:19:22 PM EST

    He is part of Rubin's team, Clinton's team now Obama's team.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#33)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:26:15 PM EST
    Interesting reading. I didn't know all that about Summers, only his fall from the top at Harvard.

    Yes (none / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:29:56 PM EST
    He made a terrible president, but may be a good economist. Just like Jeff Gannon/Guckert made a terrible journalist, but I am sure is great in bed.

    Well let's hope so, anyway. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:38:25 PM EST
    HAHA what an awesome message to send (none / 0) (#72)
    by catfish on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:35:43 PM EST
    Pick Larry Summers. No we're not sexist, we really get it.

    BTD (none / 0) (#12)
    by chupetin on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:46:57 PM EST
    Are you talking about "gas tax holiday" Clinton? Surely you jest.

    He Is With Rubin Package (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:09:55 PM EST
    And was with Clinton, Bill.

    Rubin or Greenspan. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:51:41 PM EST
    lol Yea that's all about teh economy innit?

    I know that Rubin and Summers and a (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:32:07 PM EST
    third economist were featured quite prominently in the Clinton administration as the three that brought fiscal sanity to the new administration.  According to Robert Reich in "Locked in the Cabinet" Clinton had a lot of big programs to stimulate the economy (like rebuild America's infrastructure, ironic huh!) but the debt was looming and the conservatives (read financial markets) wanted fiscal restraint. It made Reich angry, he was Sec of labor after all, but it with the tax increase signalled the markets that Clinton was not going to break the bank.  The Reagan/Bush people had already done that.  That is what Clinton had to work with and then to top it off, the Democratic congress turned on him in a number of ways.

    In That Case (none / 0) (#175)
    by AlladinsLamp on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:41:58 PM EST
    Gene Sperling.

    Perhaps he should consider Donald (none / 0) (#15)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:53:33 PM EST
    Luskin. He's an economist, and has the kind of star power Obama is looking for in a VP.

    what about Gordon Brown... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:01:41 PM EST

    Actually, what he could do is pick a Clinton (none / 0) (#59)
    by WillBFair on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:19:58 PM EST
    supporter as vp, like Evan B, then bring Hillary on as a newly created cabinet advisor: Lord of the Economical Decisionaries. It would flatten McCain on economics in three seconds.

    What ticket will be best (none / 0) (#133)
    by lilburro on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:51:38 PM EST
    against McCain-Romney?  That's the only ticket I could see modestly pulling together the McCain campaign.  

    A sweat-rolled Indian railway ticket. . . (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:54:37 PM EST
    could beat McCain - Romney.  Romney (who may well be McCain's choice) will only bring negatives to McCain.  It would be a disaster.

    Heheh. You think so? (none / 0) (#146)
    by lilburro on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:21:55 PM EST
    Who do you think could do better for McCain?

    Romney at least sounds confident when discussing the economy.  Who else can do McCain that favor?  His flip-floppy nature will be perfect for McCain's campaign as well.  I see that as Romney's biggest weakness, and I think he'll be freed up from it as he'll no longer be in charge of making the promises.


    Sarah Palin (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by misspeach2008 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:25:13 PM EST
    Nobody is going to talk . . (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:27:59 PM EST
    to Romney about the economy.  VP candidates don't talk policy.

    The only thing Romney will do is piss off the already reduced number of the evangelicals who are thinking of voting for McCain.


    What do you say (none / 0) (#152)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 08:42:31 PM EST
    to people who are more than willing to leave the top space blank or write in a better choice?

    That's your privilege (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by mogal on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:41:53 PM EST
    mccain needs to shake things up (none / 0) (#168)
    by kenosharick on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:48:56 PM EST
    and grab some of the overwhelming media adulation that obama constantly bathes in. How about Sarah Palin as suggested above? Or Jindahl? or even Pawlenty? romney is too much like a robot. As for Obama, maybe Evan Bayh or he may try to win Ohio or Va. by picking a favorite son. not Sam Nunn though, please.