After Palin: How Obama Can Change The Game - It Starts With A C(linton)

The day John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate I wrote:

Believe it or not, if not taking the Romney path and hoping for some campaign event to change the math, I think Palin is McCain's best bet. It is a gamble, but when you are going to lose if you do not gamble, you might as well take the shot. I think McCain is taking a clear eyed gamble.

For now, McCain's gamble has put him in the game. But the fundamentals of this election remain the same. If Obama can make this election about whether we continue George Bush's disastrous policies by choosing McCain or whether we change the direction of the country, he will win comfortably. Right now, that message has been lost. Time to get it back. More . . .

One way of doing that, imo, is to identify Barack Obama more strongly with the Democratic Party and, in particular, with the Clinton Administration's economic record. To that end, I heard Chuck Todd make an interesting suggestion - have Obama campaign with Hillary Clinton. I think that is a good idea. I'll go one further - have Obama campaign with Bill Clinton.

Maybe you do it for just a few days this week or next. But boy would that change the Media narrative. What do you think?

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Alaskans Assess Palin's Leadership and Follow-Through | Why Run Against The Media? Because It Works >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I like your suggestion (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Coldblue on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:25:39 AM EST
    about Bill and Barack together.

    It's a narrative changer (5.00 / 6) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:36:30 AM EST
    That day no one will be talking about Sarah Palin.

    The media would love it (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by dws3665 on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:38:49 AM EST
    It will feed right into the "Are the Democrats Divided or Not" story that the media seem to eat with a spoon.

    Suppose they do (none / 0) (#71)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:46:06 AM EST
    At least it won't be more Palin.

    Bringing Bill On Stage (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by fercryinoutloud on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:03:50 AM EST
    could make Obama look weak. The news and 24/7 talk could end up being 'Obama can't win without the Clinton's'.

    Obama is extremely arrogant and it would hurt his already bruised pride to make such a move, we'll see. But like I said the narrative may backfire.

    On This Week yesterday two things were very telling. One when they showed recent clips of Obama in front of an audience he seemed typically cocky on the outside but on the inside he was a bit shacky and unsure, trying to cover that with cockiness. Also the audience was not responding to him in the supportive manner that we have become accustomed to.

    And secondly, when talking to George S. Obama was so arrogant that the looks that George shot back at Obama with were unmistakably unflattering. George S. is an old hand at this by now and if a Pol is acting in such a manner that it elicits unflattering facial responses toward the Pol then something is definitely wrong with the Pol.

    Obama is a Pol who is lost when he isn't riding the crest of the wave. He is used to being a front runner and does not know how to act of respond when not in that role. He also has never had an opponent like McCain of the GOP machine.

    If this were a regular election year where Democrats were not so favored over a Bush tarnished GOP Obama would not even be close in the polls. It would be a runaway victory of McGovern proportions.


    Of course you think (none / 0) (#141)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 03:58:19 PM EST
    that McCain needed the help of the risky Palin pick also shows his weakness, right.  

    Could Be In The Works (none / 0) (#131)
    by daring grace on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:54:59 AM EST
    Obama and Bill to Lunch

    "The current plan is for Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton to have lunch at the Clinton Foundation headquarters on West 125th Street in Harlem with one close aide each. There have been discussions about the men possibly then doing a walking tour of the neighborhood, but that has not been settled."


    If only Barack's ego (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by BernieO on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:41:34 AM EST
    would let him do this!

    He should be hammering home the fact that Republicans were dead wrong when they kept shouting that Clinton's tax bill that raised taxes on the most wealthy would absolutely ruin our economy but the exact opposite happened. EVERYONE prospered - the poor, middle class and the wealthy, who more than made up for the tax cuts with investment income. We had a surplus, strong stock market, millions moved out of poverty, growth was solid and inflation was low. It was beyond amazing, yet the Democrats want to forget it. The party is seriously dysfunctional.  


    We'll see (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:50:20 AM EST
    I bet we see it.

    Not gonna happen. Not good enough (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:43:25 AM EST
    for prime time at the convention, not good enough for the campaign trail.  That timing of Bill Clinton's speech was another stupid diss by Obama.

    Anyone remember who else spoke that night, after Bill, but in prime time?  


    Joe Biden (none / 0) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:44:59 AM EST
    Gave a lousy speech I thought.

    I don't know about Bill. (none / 0) (#51)
    by dk on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:24:04 AM EST
    The MSM (and the A-list blogs) have settled on the "Bill Clinton is a bitter old hothead" narrative for this election cycle, so my bet would be that joint appearances by Bill and Barack would focus on the catfight element as opposed to what Bill would actually be saying.

    I suppose it would have a chance of working with Hillary and Barack, but wouldn't the danger be that it would show just how more conversant (and, therefore, knowledgeable) on the issues she is as opposed to him?  Could be a double edged sword.


    Even if that is the focus (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:27:50 AM EST
    At least they will be covering Democrats, instead of Palin.

    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#60)
    by dk on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:36:06 AM EST
    Another problem I just thought of for Bill is that, if you want the focus to be Bush-bashing, I don't think Bill is the best for it.  There is the whole Ex-Presidents-do-not-publicly-directly-bash-other-Presidents code.  Bill could talk up Clintonian economics, but he is not the most effective spokesman for McCain=Bush's Third Term.

    I guess I'm saying I agree that getting Bill out there is good, but I think there are a number of pitfalls that have nothing to do with Bill himself.


    Bill won in 92 bashing a Bush (none / 0) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:45:28 AM EST
    on the economy.

    Yes, but Bill wasn't president then. (none / 0) (#79)
    by dk on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:54:18 AM EST
    The candidate can bash sitting presidents all they want.  Ex-Presidents don't usually do that though.

    what bill is great at is (none / 0) (#97)
    by sancho on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:44:19 AM EST
    explaining why republican policies fail. as he said at the convention, the repubs finally got to control government and look what happened. barack needs to make mccain a republican. mccain's already branded himself not a bush and palin helps with that brand. hence, the bush's third term angle is not as powerful as it should be and may not work. clinton can help obama brand mccain a republican. obama just needs to ask bill to help him save the country. bill would respond.

    I don't think the voters that HRC (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by nulee on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:22:29 AM EST
    was winning in Ohio, PA, etc... give a rat's ass about that attempted branding of Bill as a hothead by the media (and I agree you are right that the media is trying that - is Obama dumb enough or vain enough to believe it? seems like he might be).  Those voters know just what you said about how good things were under Clinton, and want to see that again.

    The incredibly frustrating thing for me - as a strong HRC supporter from the start is - that Obama should be BEGGING the Clintons to even bother doing this - and how on earth did the superdelegates get us into this terrible position to start with?  I cannot remember an election when I was so turned off by our ticket.  

    Why should the Clintons be bailing out our nominees? I agree that they are his only hope - but if they are so effective - then HRC should have been on the ticket.  


    You're on... (none / 0) (#99)
    by kredwyn on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:47:27 AM EST
    50p says it's not going to happen.

    Not just positives on Clinton's presidency, (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by sallywally on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:47:03 AM EST
    also what both Clintons had to say at the convention about basic Dem values and what is needed for the future of the nation.

    Obama is not the future. Neither is the DNC. They are totally lame.

    The strong vision for the future is with the Clintons. Obama needs to let them get him into office and help him once there.

    They don't owe him a thing. But I think they feel the importance of this election for the Dems and the nation.


    I have been thinking the same thing... (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by sander60tx on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 02:18:42 PM EST
    Look at how well the Clinton's speeches were received at the convention.  Nobody can remind people about better economic times under Democratic leadership than Bill and Hillary Clinton.  I think Bill should campaign with Obama and that Hillary and Joe Biden should campaign together in those states that she won, like Ohio and Penn.  I am not worried about them overshadowing Obama.  I think that we saw at the convention that democrats were excited about all three of them.  Others who I would like to see on the campaign trail are Al Gore and if he is up to it... Teddy Kennedy (or maybe Caroline with a video appearance by Teddy).  

    I think it would be looked upon... (none / 0) (#84)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:06:51 AM EST

    ...with as much cynicism as Bill's convention speech.  People aren't clueless enough to think that the guy who's been raging mad enough after being labelled racist and then saying Obama would have to "kiss his @ss" for support is being completely serious about helping the guy who wronged him out of a tough situation.  Unless they truly believe--now--that Bill is a saintly forgiver (which is far from the picture the Obama people painted of him before, during the primaries).

    What cynicism? (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by sallywally on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:41:24 AM EST
    He got more and longer cheers than Obama did on his surprise visit that night, and cudos for the quality of his speech and content everywhere.

    Same for Hillary. A brilliant presentation.

    The Clintons are far from "old hat" - they still are the best hope for the future.

    If Obama loses this, his political career is over. No problem for me.

    But the Dems would be that much farther behind in reconstructing a decent nation in 2012, and that would be really bad.

    Get Obama in office, let the successful Dems tell him what to do, and then dump him in 2012.


    and the progressive blogs and the MSM (none / 0) (#139)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 02:15:44 PM EST
    that berated him and made him an object of derision, and who also badgered and derided Hillary at every turn with no objection from the Democratic Party.

    Now...they believe it is Bill's job to save them.
    I would tell them when hel+ freezes over.  However, I am sure like many I read here, the party is more important than feelings. Ha!

    Oh well.  I'm a Liberal and not afflicted with progressive personality disorder. Whatever they decide is okay with me.


    Broken Record I know (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by WS on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:26:17 AM EST
    but what do people think of replacing Biden with Hillary for VP?

    Can't be done (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:26:51 AM EST
    Agreed (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by kempis on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:41:11 AM EST
    Should have been done. Can't be done now.

    BTD is right about this and about his oft-repeated claim that Obama's worst enemies are his own supporters. They can't seem to realize that at this point, the hook is set in Palin-supporters and the frenzy with which her opponents have assailed her has only firmed up her supporters' commitment. These people get more energized with every over-the-top, meanspirited, personal attack on her.

    Obama can win by convincing people that he's the guy who can clean up Bush's mess, not McCain. But he can barely be heard over the cacophony of his supporters who are in full-throated anti-Palin-attack.


    Yep (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:50:03 AM EST
    Can't? (none / 0) (#27)
    by WS on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:52:07 AM EST
    Is it because its not allowed by law or is it because it'll look bad for Obama politically or what?  

    Political suicide (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:54:03 AM EST
    Can't be done.. (1.00 / 1) (#48)
    by gtesta on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:10:28 AM EST
    because the national convention would have to vote on the new nomination and they have adjourned.

    It was done when (none / 0) (#52)
    by tootired on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:24:43 AM EST
    Eagleton stepped down and Shriver took his place, but it would not be a good idea at all.

    Then there is a mechanism... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by nulee on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:41:23 AM EST
    Biden could step aside to spend more time with his family.  To address the original comment - I think this should be done because I think Obama already committed political suicide by not picking as VP the person who had 50% + of the primary votes.  It was clearly a hugely arrogant move on Obama's part and now the bloodletting in the polls has begun.

    McCain did something bold when he was in trouble.  Does Obama have the spine to do the same?  Ask Joe to step aside because of a hang nail and bring on Hillary.

    FWIW, apparently Dowd (I've been told b/c I don't read her, cannot stand the woman due to her bashing of HRC and other cynicism) implicitly suggests that BO will lose and that it will be HRC and Palin in 2012.


    At first I didn't like this but (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by sallywally on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:50:49 AM EST
    it might be the best way to save the election for the Dems this time - and the presidency if Obama wins.

    On the other hand, if he doesn't win with Clinton, that's bad for her.

    Important to save her for 2012.


    The Gallup poll out this morning (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by BrianJ on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:27:27 AM EST
    Showing McCain up by 10 among likely voters should be a shot across Obama's bow:  if you continue the campaign that you've been running, you will not only lose but be humiliated.

    Obama has basically returned to his late primary and post-primary campaign, and that was notably ineffective even with non-stop media promotion that isn't there anymore.  I agree with you that he needs the Clintons-  but I think the urgency of making that decision NOW needs to be emphasized.

    LV models this far out are sh*t (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:34:26 AM EST
    Particularly Gallup's.

    Regardless ... (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:39:50 AM EST
    not something you want to see.

    It's getting headlines.


    That's different (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:49:37 AM EST
    "This far out?" (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by BrianJ on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:43:45 AM EST
    The election is eight weeks from tomorrow.  By any meaningful standard, we're in the home stretch now, and likely voter screens matter.

    And voting starts early in a lot of places, including several swing states.  Virginia starts early voting as soon as 45 days before a general election-  12 days from now.  Iowa starts early voting 40 dayts before the election-  seventeen days from now.  Ohio starts 35 days before the election-  22 days from now.  Maine, Nebraska, and Wyoming will also start voting before September ends.



    LV models are good a week before the election (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:49:21 AM EST
    Never earlier.

    and so said the pundit panel on Morning Joe (none / 0) (#75)
    by DFLer on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:50:33 AM EST
    I wonder... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Polkan on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:33:09 AM EST
    BTD, my impression is that McCain has not only tried to distance himself from the Bush message, but he in fact went a step further and offered a centrist bi-partisan platform.

    And in this two-step approach, each element is re-inforcing the other and glued together by the "mavericky" personal narrative.

    So, while I like your idea a lot, it seems to me that it is no longer enough to promise the return to the 1990s. The trouble is, as you point out, that time has been lost on Palin, which allowed McCain to pick up the ball and run with it.

    What centrist bipartisan platform is that? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:33:59 AM EST
    Well (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Polkan on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:36:39 AM EST
    • wage insurance
    • schools (which Obama practically abandoned)
    • "best in the country" goverment
    • more than one Democrat in the cabinet

    This lacks the specifics but it sounds centrist and bi-partisan, would you agree?

    Sounds? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:38:20 AM EST
    How about adopting wholesale Bush economic policies?

    And Bush foreign policies?

    And Bush SCOTUS philosophy?

    And Bush social issues?


    Yes, but I doubt (none / 0) (#17)
    by Polkan on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:41:35 AM EST
    that this is the way ordinary voters process this, a side-by-side comparison of talking points and policy positions.

    The reason you propose Obama to campaign with the Clintons, I think, is because you recognize the importance of perception, no?


    Of course they will (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:48:58 AM EST
    If you hammer it.

    "Americans Love Divided Government" (none / 0) (#95)
    by blcc on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:44:02 AM EST
    is the meme that comes into play here, I think.

    A Blue Congress and Red Presidency has the compromise dynamics which play to the moderate middle.  Whereas a Blue Congress with an Obama Presidency may be seen as "too lefty-liberal" and "uncompromising" to many moderate voters.


    I should add that (none / 0) (#98)
    by blcc on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:46:50 AM EST
    I'm never sure how much credence to personally place in this meme.  I'm putting it out there because as electoral theories go, it's a perennial favorite.

    Congress may not be all that (none / 0) (#125)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:23:24 AM EST
    blue if McCain wins.

    Maybe the luncheon will help (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:41:27 AM EST
    Bill invited Obama on Thursday, Sept 11. Everyone including McCain will be in NY for the anniversary. Interesting that Bill called Obama and not the other way around. I guess Obama did not want to look as if he was asking for help. It is called Pride before the fall. He had better swollow it fast because he is behind. I suspect he will win but not if he just keeps giving the same funny name/not Muslim/and I am black speach. At first it shocked people that he is callimg them out for thinking like that. Now it is, we get your message, is that all you have?

    I'm sure (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:48:28 AM EST
    it was a mutual decision.

    Apparently it was decided it would be more effective saying Bill invited Obama.


    appearances (none / 0) (#76)
    by Fabian on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:50:36 AM EST
    are everything

    source? (none / 0) (#96)
    by nulee on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:44:02 AM EST
    link (none / 0) (#103)
    by eric on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:57:24 AM EST
    At the lunch Bill will likely suggest (none / 0) (#122)
    by Bob K on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:17:55 AM EST
    Obama covering Hillary's campaign debt as an incentive for Bill to help out.

    It depends on which voters he's after. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by tootired on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:42:45 AM EST
    When he campaigns with Hillary, many of her supporters are once again reminded of how much more they want to vote for her. They also see it as Hillary's being asked to carry him over the finish line. Bill might be a better choice in that regard. On the other hand, Bill's "X and Y" choices comment has been interpreted by many as a go ahead to vote for McCain. However, if he's after voters who are just now getting interested in the campaign, it might work.

    Look (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:47:38 AM EST
    People who want to vote for McCain will.

    That is never a reason to not use your assets.

    Clinton, Bill and Hillary, are tremendous assets for Obama and he must use them.


    I'm just suggesting that as time (none / 0) (#29)
    by tootired on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:55:24 AM EST
    has passed, the Clintons' value as assets has diminished, not that they shouldn't be used. Obama will need to weigh whether using them will generate excitement or make him look weak. It will grab the media away from Palin, but will they report it positively or negatively? I have no idea how it will play, but I think there is a risk.

    I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:00:12 AM EST
    The time is NOW.

    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by WS on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:02:18 AM EST
    Call it the Obama and Hill/Bill "Economic Bus Tour" and start hitting the road.  Biden can come too.  

    Heh (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:05:31 AM EST
    Biden can come too. Like that.

    But he has to be home every night. (none / 0) (#128)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:27:10 AM EST
    Support and Endorsement (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:06:52 AM EST
    from the Clintons cound never make anyone look weak.  I submit it will make Obama look that much stronger to have them stumping with him.  What better endorsement is there??

    On economic issues (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:09:25 AM EST
    there is no better endorsement.

    But in this case it could. (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by tootired on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:22:21 AM EST
    You trash Bill's legacy during the primaries even going so far as to suggest he's a racist. You admit that although "Hillary would be on anyone's short list for VP", she's not on yours. Then things get dicey for you, and you ask them to go all out and campaign for you. I'm not saying he shouldn't do it, but it might be viewed by many as a Hail Mary. Obama has carefully constructed his cool and confident persona. This would look like a complete 180 to a lot of people. Maybe that's the right thing to do, but it will change his image. Whether the image change is that he's grown stronger or weaker is a gamble.

    I think the scene changed (none / 0) (#85)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:07:36 AM EST
    when Hillary and Bill delivered their addresses to the convention.  That was the turning point, IMHO.    

    Clintons are Old News (for now) (none / 0) (#89)
    by Roz on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:22:16 AM EST
    Sorry, guys. Thanks to Obama, the DNC, the liberal media, time, and the successful RNC convention-Palin launch, the Clintons are old news. They will not have the punch you think they will for the rest of this election cycle, at least.

    Perhaps it's better than nothing, but it isn't going to carry the day, and it could backfire in so many ways, it makes my head hurt just thinking of the different scenarios.


    That is so much bulls#^%$ ! (4.00 / 1) (#109)
    by sallywally on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:33:14 AM EST
    If Bill and Hillary just went around giving the speeches they gave at the convention, they would make the case for a Dem president.

    My view is that we have to keep the Repubs out, esp after Palin.

    But Obama can't seem to make the case adequately. Every time they show him meeting with voters, not only does he sound whiny instead of in charge, the audiences are just sitting there, not even smiling, with maybe "golf applause."

    The Clintons know how to do this, and unless Obama puts them out there, along with others like Robert Rubin, etc., he will lose. He is totally without charisma except when he's giving those big sermon-like speeches.

    Very weak.

    I agree, it has to be NOW!

    Thanks for this great post, BTD.


    It's about The Narrative. (none / 0) (#93)
    by Fabian on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:37:12 AM EST
    Anything that changes The Narrative stands a good chance of the Media noticing.  

    Paradoxically (none / 0) (#133)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:59:36 AM EST
    I actually think the Palin matter has made HRC into an elderstateswoman overnight.  Now everyone wants to know what she thinks about everything.  A big event with her and Bill and Obama will have every camera and an opportunity to change the storyline.

    It's pretty funny that folks thought she was skating on her husband's name last year at this time.  Now, due to 18 million votes, she's perceived as a leader; due to the media/DNC treatment, she's perceived as a fighter; and due to Palin, she's perceived as a trailblazer.

    I think she always was those things, but it's funny how the crucible of the primary has only elevated her status.  Is this true for any other primary loser?  


    I don't agree that they are old news (none / 0) (#134)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 12:00:22 PM EST
    however, they are both too strong and too Democrat for Obama. The scenarios? Obama is weak  and back to he "shouhda" in re to Hillary. Basically, I think Obama and Hillary have different messages and while the comparisons appear to be be they are both the same, have the same policies is false, in my opinion.  They are very different.

    Hillary Clinton will not attack Palin personally and that's what the progressive wing wants.  It will not happen.  Plus, she already said that she will do what she can but her schedule is full. She and I seem to agree on this point; she is working for senatorial and house candidates, me too. The top...
    oh well.


    While I agree, (none / 0) (#91)
    by snstara on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:23:32 AM EST
    it comes down to this: does Obama want to retain his image, or win the election?  

    Either way, it's a gamble.  But an unsubtle reminder of the Clinton years, in which many (not all, but many) saw their income increase and all watched the deficit vanish, might be the cudgel Democrats need to wield against McCain right now.  


    Clarification: reply was to tootired's post. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by snstara on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:35:01 AM EST
    I do NOT agree that the Clintons are irrelevant.

     People do remember what things were like in 2000.  Using Reagan's gauge,  'are you better off now than you were 8 years ago?', would have definite weight coming from Bill Clinton.  Any argument that reminds independents that Republicans have made them worse off, coming from the president who presided over better times, would hit home.

    Obama would be foolish not to use the Clintons - but again, how much is about his ego, and how much is about actually winning this?


    My response was to tootired also.... (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by sallywally on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:54:25 AM EST
    Obama is the one who's becoming irrelevant.

    The Clintons are more relevant than ever.


    I agree with you. (none / 0) (#119)
    by tootired on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:08:57 AM EST
    So might inviting the Clintons to campaign with Obama make him look even more irrelevant? When push comes to shove, if he wins, he's the one who will have to govern. Will needing Hillary and Bill's help to get him elected make him look less able to handle the responsibilities of the oval office or just make him look like he isn't very good at campaigning? It isn't going to make him look strong, but will it hurt him? I honestly don't know.

    Yes, it's hard to figure how to make him look good (none / 0) (#121)
    by sallywally on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:15:22 AM EST
    while making the case for Dems, the one he can't or won't make himself. Same concern I have about being a neighborhood leader for his campaign.

    Once that narrative is figured out, it needs to be used to get him in office.

    He can be supported by "advisers" once there. He does not have to govern alone (and probably shouldn't). The DNC wanted him as a good front man. Let the real winners get him in there and support him as the front man for 4 years, then go for Hillary in 2012.


    I just keep thinking back to Gore, (none / 0) (#135)
    by snstara on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 12:13:48 PM EST
    who could have used Clinton to greater effect, and didn't.

    If the message is, 'this election is SO important that I'm willing to join forces with people you know I don't agree with because they're right on this one!', he can save face and save his candidacy.  (

    Besides, isn't the message that he'll reach across the aisle to solve problems?  Shouldn't he illustrate that by reaching within his own party first?! ;)


    Well (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:57:10 AM EST
    the problem here is that his primary campaign is coming back to bite him. Do you believe what Obama said before June or after June?

    Hauling Bill out after his campaign did what they did now smacks of desperation imo.

    Desperate to win? (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:59:50 AM EST
    I hope he is.

    I am desperate for a Democratic win.


    From (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:02:17 AM EST
    what I've seen, you're a lot more desperate than the Obama campaign is. Having never run a tough race against a Republican is really showing.

    And the "desperation narrative" is what I believe will pop up since this new poll is now out. If he had done this previously, it might be a different story.


    Agreed ... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:05:31 AM EST
    and on can argue that one of the impacts of the McCain's VP pick is not merely her identity, but the fact that it sent a message:  I want to win.

    That he isn't going to go quietly into the night.

    They always say that the biggest mistake many job applicants make is not saying they really want the job.


    Exactly (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:07:11 AM EST
    Sending the message you want to win is a good thing, not a bad thing.

    This can help ... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:59:10 AM EST
    but the Clintons can't save Obama.

    Only Obama can do that.

    Yeppers (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by lambert on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:03:21 AM EST
    But the more Obama owes the Clintons, the happier I'll be.

    Becoming President is worth (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:08:56 AM EST
    owing folks, especially good Dems like the Clintons.

    judging by Obama's history (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by ccpup on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:19:36 AM EST
    he has no hesitation thanking people who have bent over backwards to help him by throwing them under the closest speeding bus he can find once he's achieved his aims.

    The Clintons will be no different ... and don't think Bill and Hillary aren't keenly aware of that.  

    They'll help Obama up to a point -- or at least as much as the knives in their backs will let them --, but that's it.  

    I doubt very, very much the Clintons have forgiven Obama and the DNC.  They won't be expending political capital to help Barack out.  Again, just enough, but not too much.

    This is Obama's (and the DNC's) race to win or lose.  Not the Clintons'.  


    Starts with a Clinton (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:02:58 AM EST
    LOL.  Its a bit late for that.  IMO, there was too much Hillary trashing for this to happen.  Just who was it that dumped on the dream ticket?  BHO will have to live wiyh the bridges he has burned.

    Bridges can be rebuilt (4.66 / 3) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:08:13 AM EST
    But not in a day (5.00 / 6) (#61)
    by BrianJ on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:37:08 AM EST
    The Clintons are not going to do more than they're asked, and they're unlikely to be asked to do more than they're doing.

    Obamaism is about rejection of the Clintons, after all.


    Tour (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by WS on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:14:43 AM EST
    How about copying his European Tour but in America (and less opulent too, more humble) including a few major rallies? I know his European tour was criticized heavily but it can be tweaked and be focused on bread and butter issues.  

    It can be called an Economic Tour with Hillary, Biden, and Bill.  He can bring important media people like the network news anchors, bump the Repubs off the news, and transmit the Obama/Dem economic message.

    No rallies. (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:33:57 AM EST
    Rallies are a problem. He should have townhalls. He should agree to townhalls with McCain. I thought it was a mistake when he turned them down months ago.

    Obama MUST learn very quickly how to speak to the voters. Every time he's been put in that position he sounds like a college professor lecturing his students.


    He's doing townhall (or at least small (none / 0) (#62)
    by tigercourse on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:37:16 AM EST
    group meetings). The Saturday or Sunday times a picture of one on the cover. It also had a picture of McCain speaking to a crowd of thousands.

    And which photo send the stronger (none / 0) (#129)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:33:19 AM EST
    message?  I'd say the McCain rally photo, even though it was below the Obama photo on the front page.

    Rally and Town Hall (none / 0) (#65)
    by WS on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:40:23 AM EST
    Rallies grab media attention more than townhalls do.  I do think the formats can be combined and have the people asking questions (with a few pre-screened up front) sort of like the AFL-CIO Democratic debate back in 2007.  

    The (none / 0) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:47:22 AM EST
    media attention from rallies actually hurts Obama imo.

    Ok (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by WS on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:53:45 AM EST
    well the rallies can be cut out.  They should still do an Obama and Hill/Bill Economic Bus Tour (plus Biden).  

    A way to grab media attention would be for Obama to accept Hillary's health care proposal.  He can say that he grew to like her plan etc. etc maybe even getting the Repubs to attack.  The media can then talk about that instead of Palin.  


    That's (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:10:05 AM EST
    a pretty good idea. And go to small towns.

    Bad call, IMO (none / 0) (#59)
    by BrianJ on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:35:27 AM EST
    The last thing he wants to do is further amplify the Celebirty meme.  And the nets won't allow the anchors to come along because it would be a pretty much explicit endorsement of Obama, which would damage both Obama and the nets' credibility.

    Great idea (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:25:26 AM EST
    I have at times resisted the idea that the Clintons should help much, thinking that if Obama wants it to be his party, he has to lead it and win it on his own.  He's still the standard-bearer, but in my opinion, he can't win this without the Clintons. And to the extent that they help win this thing, he will owe them.  I view that as a good thing.

    And then there's this: (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:25:44 AM EST
    The AP is reporting that Obama is hedging on rescinding the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy if we are in a recession, but...he does not plan to extend them past their expiration date, even if we are still in recession.  If eliminating the cuts before they expire would be bad for the economy in recession, why would it not still be bad for the economy in recession to let them expire?

    I see a lot of WORM coming, and another precious period of time spent on defense instead of offense, and negative media coverage.

    Could either Clinton help him when he keeps going off-message?  I'm not sure they can, but he may need them by his side if for no other reason than it might keep the media distracted from the increasing instances of foot-in-mouth.

    Damage Control (none / 0) (#88)
    by WS on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:13:24 AM EST
    Stat!  I bet this question you asked will pop up in the debates.  Maybe just rescind whatever he said after his conversation with Bill on Sept. 11 and how Clinton tax plan helped America.  

    I think either Clinton (none / 0) (#102)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:54:46 AM EST
    by his side will be a tremendous asset, but the mean old MSM will attack him for needing help because he is "not ready".

    I would love to see him with Bill and Hillary but that would give the right an edge due to the aforementioned....


    This could also set off (none / 0) (#123)
    by DaleA on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:18:48 AM EST
    the PUMA's. Who have stated that Hillary has a 'knife at her throat'. If they are as numerous as they appear to be, there is a danger of bringing up all the primary anger again.

    I'm all for it (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:38:48 AM EST
    I'm sure it will happen sooner or later.  My vote is for sooner - in Ohio, where, in case I have not mentioned it lately, early voting starts on Sept. 30.

    Only possible drawback is this new McCain theme, picked up by Stephanopolous, where the new test is how often Obama has broken from his own party.  I think it is BS, and I hope Obama does too, but he did not fight against it yesterday - just went along with it.  He needs to stick up for Dem policies as the alternatives to Bush-McCain.

    Lordy, Lordy (5.00 / 5) (#66)
    by wasabi on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:42:41 AM EST
    So after 1 1/2 years of running a post-partisan sthick campaign, the Democratic team will decide that touting the Democratic brand is what is needed to win this election.  Finally getting a clue.  About time IMHO.

    By all means, let Clinton and Clinton campaign together with Obama.  The outreach began at Obama's acceptance speech with the shout out to the Clinton years and prosperity.

    Obama/Sen. Clinton or Obama/Pres. Clinton or all 3 together would definately get tongues wagging.

    A couple of thoughts: (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Angel on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:43:43 AM EST
    First:  It might look like he needs the Clintons, especially Hillary, to prop him up, that he can't do it on his own.  If people start thinking that way they might decide that Obama isn't ready.  

    Second:  Perhaps Hillary could get Obama to promise that he will let her run the health care initiative, and that means Universal Health Care, not Obama's version.

    On a personal level the thought that Obama (5.00 / 5) (#72)
    by Angel on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:46:57 AM EST
    needs Hillary and Bill to get him over the finish line disgusts me.  

    Your comment seems just like an attack - (none / 0) (#100)
    by nulee on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:49:29 AM EST
    do you have a point?

    Yes, and it is well understood by those who (none / 0) (#138)
    by Angel on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 12:35:51 PM EST
    have been on this blog for a long time.  Newcomers may not get it....

    Change narrative (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:08:40 AM EST
    Take a stand for something. Anything at this point would be an improvement. He's nuanced just about every position the last 3 months. He needs to put some fire and passion into this campaign before he finds himself buried in a hole that he can't climb out of.

    When... (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:19:46 AM EST
    Do the Clintons get to stop doing Obama's job for him?

    When they become Republicans (none / 0) (#110)
    by Abbey on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:34:46 AM EST

    The party of the first part! (none / 0) (#116)
    by marian evans on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:56:25 AM EST
    Well, I guess that would be the post-partisan politics that the Obama campaign is so keen on...

    Welll....as the Marx Brothers say, there ain't no sanity clause!


    Dunno. (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by rise hillary rise on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:56:26 AM EST
    it could be incredibly hard for Obama to regain the momentum. like it or not, Palin is a big game changer. like it or not she makes Biden look small and irrelevant.

    I don't know-as a Hillary (and Bill) supporter, I'm not thrilled that the Obama campaign seems to expect that they will pull his chestnuts out of the fire after everything that's gone down up till now. but you know that they will do the right thing for the party. and the Obots will turn around and give them another backhanded slap once it's over-and if he loses, figure out a way to pin the blame on them.

    Sad commentary (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:11:40 PM EST
    There is something pathetic about Obama having to campaign with Hillary and/or Bill Clinton to pull his meandering campaign out of the pit.

    All he had to do was name Hillary Clinton as his running mate and he would have been able to relax. Instead, for reasons only he and the people who pull his strings know, he picked Biden - a person who absolutely nobody gives a sh*t about.

    I think that at this point, were Obama to be seen next to Clinton - either of them - it would only make everyone aware of what might have been.

    Obama is doing fine (1.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Abbey on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:12:47 AM EST
    His campaign is under the radar, focused on swing states and select areas within them.  It's ground game, which is what won him the nomination.  I trust they know what they're doing, and if he was white, he'd be up by 10 points in the national polls.

    Well, he's half white (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by oldpro on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:10:45 AM EST
    so I guess he should be up by five.

    A lot of posters here are refighting the primary (1.00 / 5) (#114)
    by Christy1947 on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:54:24 AM EST
    and rubbing their hands with enthusiasm for the notion that Obama will lose without the Clintons, the same thing they have been saying since January. Some are soooo happy here at, they think, being proven right. And that is more important than almost anything else, like a Democratic win in November, or a permanent split in the party, which is what I am looking at here.

    This is a dangerous time for Clintons, since we have not heard from either of them, who were supposed to be so eagerly and loyally supporting the ticket, about the sexism claims. If it looks like they are sitting back and sulking, or just going through the minimal motions, as it now appears, their choices could limit their futures, assuming they survive a McCain term or two at all. Assumine we all survive a McCain term or two at all. Clinton supporters can say 'why should she, given all that was supposedly done to her,' but the fact is that if she sits back in this, she will be charged with a measure of the responsibility. And with undermining the ticket.

    You think the Clintons (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by oldpro on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:23:14 AM EST
    caused a permanent split in the party?

    Guess again.

    The primary created two factions in the party.  Obama's faction 'won' the right to lead the party and contend for the presidency.  So just do it.

    If he wins, he'll get the credit and we can all pretend he was the best candidate all along and the Clintons were no help at all, really.

    If he loses, we all know the Obama faction won't take the responsibility.  They will blame the Clintons.


    What a clever satire! (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by marian evans on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:23:28 AM EST
    You've caught just the right tone of aggrieved paranoia that people have been anticipating from supporters of the Obama campaign in relation to Sen. Clinton.

    Of course, having made sure that Sen. Clinton was kept off the ticket, and both Clintons were sidelined from the campaign, no one in their right mind would ascribe responsibility to them for the failure of the Obama campaign to connect with the electorate....

    Would they?


    I think that will happen (none / 0) (#8)
    by bluegal on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:34:34 AM EST
    They are having lunch together right? I think that is going to be the turning point and it couldn't come soon enough. I expect to see them on the trail together and you are right, once that happens, McCain will be gasping for air as the press loves to talk about the Clintons.

    Definitely it will become the Media story (5.00 / 6) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:35:49 AM EST
    TO me the irony is that a lot folks objected to Hillary as VP BECAUSE of Bill.



    odd (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by marian evans on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:04:53 AM EST
    From outside the US, the whole anti-Clinton obsession has always seemed a bit odd - pathological even.

    Hey, we LIKED Bill (remember all that peace and prosperity and stuff!), and Hillary Clinton's super-nerd persona looks pretty comforting to me in the case of that notorious 3 am phone call ("It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Wonderwoman-Wonk").

    And the whole two-fer thingy looks great to me - two super-strength leaders for the price of one!

    I wish.


    Yeah - (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by snstara on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:54:35 AM EST
    Something about dynastic politics, the dangers of having Bill running loose in the White House again, and a bunch of other juvenile nonsense spouted by know-nothings.  

    I'd think having a former president on hand to consult might help rather than hurt.  But then, that would involve thinking about the best interests of America, and not fretting over who gets to sit in the big chair.


    Bill was never seen as a problem (none / 0) (#117)
    by sallywally on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:02:33 AM EST
    in Hillary's Senate career, as far as I know.

    Absolutely correct - (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by snstara on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 12:35:03 PM EST
    no one thinks Bill dictates Hillary's Senate performance, except maybe Chris Matthews.  

    But we've had women senators, and representatives, for a while.  What we have not had are women who had any realistic chance of achieving the presidency, or vice presidency.  Little wonder that statements like this are made, because somehow, the notion that women can be controlled like puppets prevails.  

    This 'fear' of Bill Clinton running things again - it's not about Bill. People would probably vote overwhelmingly for Bill again if they could legally do so.    No, it's about putting a woman in line for the presidency, and insinuating that she is not powerful enough to withstand the strength of her husband.  That's exactly like the argument that was used to attempt to deny women the vote.


    Need new campaign ideas, (none / 0) (#80)
    by KeysDan on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:55:59 AM EST
    and a lot of them, fast.  The Clinton idea is great; need a solemn observance of 9/ll, maybe at the Pentagon, or in front of the Washington memorial.  Need to not just repeat old lines, like no "McSame", but specify economic and social polices of Bush and compare with McCain's; same with foreign policies--and, even where policies of McCain's are not the same, but, actually, worse.  We are all Georgians, the economy is just fine, you whiners. on and on.  Plenty to work with, unfortunately. If Palin needs to be addressed, down play it and roll the two of them into a "McPal".

    Boy I couldn't agree more (none / 0) (#36)
    by elmey on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:02:41 AM EST
    It will take over the media narrative and will allow him to get more traction hammering the Bush/McCain agenda.

    Speaking of media narratives, did you see this article in today's Times about MSNBC's backtracking on Olbermann as election anchorman?

    Olbermann's job is done (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by lambert on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:04:05 AM EST
    (smearing Hillary). Now he gets put back in his box. No big surprise.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:07:50 AM EST
    Actually, his work damaged NBC's reputation immensely.

    At this point, he is a negative for Dems.


    Progressives are best ... (5.00 / 7) (#55)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:26:41 AM EST
    served by factual reporting.

    We don't need hacks, because the facts generally support our positions.

    It's the Republicans that need hacks.


    EXACTLY! (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:28:23 AM EST
    If I could, (none / 0) (#104)
    by snstara on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:02:54 AM EST
    I'd give you perfect 10s for this comment! Just brilliant!

    Thank God! (none / 0) (#118)
    by sallywally on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:03:46 AM EST
    He's meeting Bill in NYC for lunch (none / 0) (#74)
    by musicsleuth on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:49:03 AM EST
    in what is termed a 'substantial discussion' on September 11th while he's in town with McCain. It may be sooner than you think.

    For Bill to campaign with Obama, (none / 0) (#77)
    by pluege on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:52:50 AM EST
    Obama will have to agree to whatever it is HRC wants should Obama win if she wants something other than her Senate seat.

    Health Care (5.00 / 4) (#81)
    by WS on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:56:19 AM EST
    The Dems can make a big fuss about Obama accepting Hillary's health care proposal.  That way the media can talk about issues instead of Palin.  

    Other than her Senate seat? (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by suki on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:03:22 AM EST
    Her Senate seat is a given.
    I hope she will get her health care plan at the least.

    What can Obama give her? (none / 0) (#127)
    by DaleA on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:26:19 AM EST
    Senate majority leader? Not his to give. Don't see anything in his bag of goodies for her.

    There is a lot he COULD promise her (none / 0) (#136)
    by hookfan on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 12:32:07 PM EST
    Not only her health care plan, but also promise a female supreme court pick, or gender equality in his cabinet, or replace his advisors with her economic advisors, or promise her budget priorities will be focused upon and fought for, etc., and etc.
       It will be interesting to see what they come up with. It makes me hopeful that Obama is forced by circumstances to consider this rather than arrogantly imposing what he wants.

    Promises are one thing (none / 0) (#143)
    by DaleA on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 12:08:34 AM EST
    actual giving is quite another. I feel Hillary has done all she can for him. As one PUMA put it, when she endorses Obama, she sounds like the battered wife saying he didn't mean to break my arm. Hillary should withdraw from the general election, let Obama/Biden win on their own.

    BTD"s point was that Obama (none / 0) (#130)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:37:43 AM EST
    campaign featuring either or both Clintons would divert the attention of the media from Palin.  I think it would and it is quite necessary for Obama's sake.