We were all on alert last week for nasty stuff in the GOP primary, on account of the history of what happened to John McCain in 2000.
Now, I’m getting whiffs of something on the Democratic side, as we shoot through the home stretch to Saturday. Three people — one at work, one a caller to the office, the other a relative — have told me of getting recordings that just unloaded a garbage truck full of stuff on Hillary Clinton. Tales of screaming fits in the White House, a bunch of junk everybody’s heard before about Vince Foster, and on and on. Highly offensive.
Thing about it is, at least one of the people who reported this voted in the Republican primary, so it’s a little strange that they would get these calls this week. If they’ve already voted, what’s the point? If it’s pitched toward the general election, why not wait a while, and see if she’s the nominee?
Or better yet, why not just not stoop to stuff like this at all?
Why are you surprised? With Headlines like this:
Sandy Berger now advising Hillary Clinton
This is raising eyebrows even among Clinton’s admirers.
“If Senator Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, at some point she will begin to receive national security briefings that will include sensitive information. At such a point, continuing to keep Berger on board as a key advisor, where he might have access to sensitive material, would be beyond incomprehensible.”
The Clinton campaign declined to comment.
THE KICKER—-He’s ACTUALLY SURPRISED that she WILL NOT COMMENT!!!!!
I seriously doubt any of this is coming from positions of authority in the Obama camp. The giveaway is Vince Foster…spend a little time lurking in the rightwing blogosphere and you’ll quickly see the Vince obsession surface, and repeatedly. Also, the fact that it is going to people who voted in the Republican primary might tip you off as to the source.
On the other hand, all it takes of course is a couple of renegade knuckleheads who think the ends (Obama winning) justify the means to pull this off, being of course way too stupid to realize that they’re hurting their cause much more than helping it, since the whole point of Obama’s candidacy seems to be to move beyond this kind of personal invective in our political discourse. I certainly hope this is not the case.
I think right-wingers fear Clinton more than Obama as a candidate and probably would prefer to see him as the Democratic nominee; forty years of playing the race card has conditioned them to be unable to conceive of an African-American possibly winning the White House. So they feel more confident. And they may yet be right.
In any case, this kind of garbage of which you write is exactly why I have decided to support Obama instead of Clinton. Not at all of course because I believe any of the garbage directed against Hillary, of course not. I share most of Hillary’s views and respect her work in the Senate and the fact that she has earned grudging respect from many of her Republican counterparts. But a Clinton Presidency would simply continue the divisiveness we’ve witnessed for the past 16 years now. Whatever her best intentions might be, we would be hearing “Vince Foster,” “Whitewater,” and yes, even “Monica” for at least four more nasty years. She will do much more good for the country as a United States Senator for a couple of more terms.
Obama’s positions are not hugely different from Clinton’s, from what I can tell. The leadership team he would put in place around him might very well consist of many of the same people she would have chosen, except possibly a more youthful generation.
It’s easy to say that “setting a tone” in the White House is a trivial consideration relative to matters of policy; but when the policy differences are not that great, I think the “atmosphere” of an Obama Presidency could indeed constitute a critical, pivotal, change in the way that America conducts itself in the new century, towards its own citizens, towards the citizens of the world, towards the planet itself. If there was ever a time in American history for voting for a certain “temperament,” this is it.
That’s why I’m voting Obama on Saturday.
To not vote for Hillary because she will be relentlessly attacked by the right is a poor reason. You will only reward their bad behavior. I say keep dropping a rock on Wily Cayoti’s head and sooner or later he’ll learn to leave her alone. My dream is to have Rush Limbaugh dropped from the air for poor ratings. Remember: “You can fool some of the people all of the time (dittoheads, perhaps) and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time” Abraham Lincoln
Phillip, I share your concerns about Hillary’s divisiveness. I find it very disgusting that for those of us who believe she would make an outstanding president actually have to consider this whole “diviseness” issue. Brad’s brought it up on many occassions and it simply makes me ill. Yet there it is.
So what to do? Vote for the candidate who you think will make the best president (Hillary) or for someone you greatly admire and respect but regard as a second choice (Edwards or Obama). In the final analyis I will follow my conscience and vote for Hillary. But on the night of the primary I’ll probably be pulling for Obama. It’s just a damn shame the right-wing smear machine has become so damned effective.
Donna and Bud, I agree that some of my reasons for tipping to Obama are not exactly fair to Hillary. But the fact remains that having Bill around is unprecedented and for me, not entirely a positive thing, much as I admire him. Moreover, I think the potential to lead a quantum shift in this country’s priorities is greater with Obama than with Clinton.
Gosh, Brad. I guess that “35 years of experience” brings with it 35 years’ worth of baggage.
The debate last night told us Hillary can serve up skeletons from others’ closets without batting an eye.
Hillary’s just getting back what she gives out. She serves up vitriol about the sitting president, Obama and whatever else she perceives the other side to be. Why shouldn’t every side she opposes fight back?
“I think right-wingers fear Clinton more than Obama as a candidate and probably would prefer to see him as the Democratic nominee; forty years of playing the race card has conditioned them to be unable to conceive of an African-American possibly winning the White House.”
David, funny how you left-wingers always say us right-wingers are the ones who play the race card…yet it will be YOUR side who has to defeat the black candidate (AGAIN,since you didn’t nominate Jesse or Al) in a primary contest in order for him not to be the nominee. Nothing us right-wingers can do about that one. Or on the other hand, if he does win the nomination, then YOUR party would have defeated the first women candidate. Not a whole lot of room to wiggle out of that mess…and as for not having a Black president, MANY of the righties were practically begging Condi Rice to run…my god, a Black WOMAN on the right… but I forget lefties don’t consider her black, so nevermind…
My mistake…that should have been directed to Phillip.
Obama makes the most sense on the Democratic side….congrats to The State for recognizing this. The Clinton machine is just now kicking in. They are simply ruthless. Hillary, in my mind, is incredibly unaccomplished. She couldn’t move the Arkansas education system forward as that state’s first lady. She couldn’t get traction on health care as America’s first lady. As a NY Senator, she sponsored and passed very few bills. She’s just ridden on her remarkably charismatic husband’s success. If elected, she’ll polarize the country and bring up Travelgate, healthcaregate, Whitewater, Monica, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers and ALL the rest. All these candidates who say they will hit the ground running….why did the DO SO LITTLE while in the Senate? Obama actually did more in just a few years than Clinton or Edwards. Do we really want to just rotate from the Bush and Clinton families again? Jeb, are you ready to run?
Obama’s entire platform is based on race – “Vote Obama because it is time for a black President. Don’t expect him to have a platform, ability, or experience. Vote color.”
Lee, I’m working as a volunteer with the Obama campaign, and I’ve yet to see race mentioned on any literature or anything else as a reason for voting for him. If you want to contend that his skin color automatically says that, then that’s your problem. By the way, I’m a white, southern woman who’s 61 years old. I find his message very refreshing, upbeat, and sane.
I hate to ask this, Karen, but I must.
Thank you for endorsing Senator Obama.
I am 46, white, and a woman.
His campaign inspires me. I researched his successful legislation and was impressed that it addressed nuclear disarmament, alternative energy, health care, ethics, government transparency…..all things we need to address on a national scale now.
I found an intelligent person who understands complex ideas, and can distill the important essentials to make the right judgments, time and again.
I looked at his style for working with people and found that he DOES bring people together by listening to all opinions, but finding agreement in disagreement, with humility to give more credit than is due, sometimes giving away all credit to get a job done.
I have seen a leader who has ideas about new directions for the country based on solid policy ideas.
I loved the Clinton years, but I don’t find these abilities and successes in Hillary.
Thanks again for endorsing Obama, and for helping us to move into something new.
I just got one of those messages left on my answering machine. The guy who did it identified himself at the end. His name is Robert Morrow – a long-time Hillary hater and a Ron Paul supporter. I’m an Obama supporter and just want to make sure neither he nor his campaign get blamed for such a ludicrous attack.
Chuck, I have only a few things to say in reply:
The symbolism of Reagan launching his 1980 candidacy in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Lee Atwater, Willie Horton, etc.
Jesse Helms ads vs. Harvey Gantt
LBJ correctly predicting that implementing civil rights legislation would tip the South to the GOP for a generation or more.
What we’ll see from the right-wing extremists if indeed Obama is nominated (you can get a little taste of it already in the comments under Brad’s blog entry with the State’s endorsement).
Yes, Chuck, I’ll agree with you that things have changed and are changing. Condi could indeed become a major political player for the GOP in the years ahead. Moreover, Obama’s candidacy is helping put the race division between parties behind us, as he is appealing to independents and Republicans as well.
But no rational observer could deny that GOP national political strategy for most of the past 40 years has been heavily predicated on exploiting racial tension between working-class Southern whites (who economically might have had more reason to support Democratic positions) vis-a-vis their black working class brothers and sisters. That era is, thankfully for BOTH parties, ending, but it was real.
Ask Rod Shealy if you don’t believe me. I bet he’ll cheerfully admit it.
Weldon, while Kiku did a good job of answering for me, I think the most basic message he sending is that we need to stop shooting barbs at each other, and see if we can’t find some ‘good’ that we can agree on, then do it. Or alternatively, each at least try to find something on the other side that we can work with. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “We must all hang together or assuredly, we will all hang separately.” Facing the problems of terrorism, economy, world politics, and factionalism requires us to try to “hang together” if we are to achieve acceptable solutions to any of these problems. This, I think, limits the possible choices on both sides. To me, Mitt Romney looks like more of the same of what we’ve had for the past 2 terms. The religious right strikes me as likely to burn me as a witch in order to save my soul (and all in the name of God). Guiliani?–I could be wrong, but I don’t think he’s got a snowball’s chance in a Columbia summer of getting the nomination. I could live with Sen. McCain, although he and I differ on a lot, but I don’t think the Republican party is willing to nominate him. On the democratic side–No, not Kucinich; his health plan actually makes some sense, but a lot of his hard line stances don’t (to me). Sen. Clinton is smart, and a good poliltician, but she has demonstrated a willingness to descend to dirty politics, and my gut tells me that the ‘misting/emotional’ bit was contrived and controlled by her. In any case, her assumption that if she’s not elected the USA would “fall back” strikes me as hubris akin to W’s. Edwards is angry this year, but I’m not sure that what he’s angry about doesn’t have more to do with losing last time around, rather than his concern for the ‘working class’. (By the way, if I’m not a mill worker of some kind, a legal but very underpaid and misused migrant worker, or a near-or-at-minimum- wage worker, what am I in his universe?–chopped liver?). That leaves me with Obama. Having checked his background, listened to his speeches, and read his online position blurbs, I think he’s the most qualified. Yes, his message is hope. Is that bad? He has plans, and he’s ready to work with people of good will. That beats the heck out of just shooting blindly at the far side. The trouble with uncontrolled shooting is that your foot or your buddy is as likely as the enemy to take a round. Or, as Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Go ahead, kill your enemy.
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