Hillary’s Veep

Hillary is so dominant a candidate right now that speculation abounds concerning her vice presidential choice.

What kind of candidate will help her win the election with most ease? What will her VP bring to the table – geographic balance?, speaking skills?, debating skills? popularity? fundraising ability?, policy knowledge? electoral votes of home state? base appeal?, media appeal? appeal to independents? personality? star power? intelligence? capacity to lead the country if the worse happens?

Who will it be?

Let’s first consider the anticipated political landscape in 2008.

The Ripublicans are about to nominate a loser. Giuliani is the most popular candidate right now but it is doubtful that in the end he will get the votes of either his children or his wives, let alone the social conservative base of the party. Thompson (Fred, not Tommy) is the latest hope of dissatisfied Ripublicans. As soon as social conservatives search out his record and the other Ripublicans rip into him he will be Drop Dead Fred. Mitt Romney will have trouble getting his dog’s vote. Even Mormons are upset with his Mount of Olives moment. McCain. What can you say about McCain. 2 words – Immigration, Iraq. Savior Newt? Name says it all. [We can’t wait to turn our attention to Hillary’s Ripublican opponent after she wins the Democratic Party nomination.] Losers all.

Bloomberg is running. He will probably make it official in May 2008. Bloomberg will likely organize a simple campaign (no third party) operation by carving the country into 4 sectors (Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest). Each sector will have a director in charge who will report directly to the national office (the very competent Kevin Sheekey). Each state will have 2 employees (with minimal staff) running some sort of astroturf volunteer operation. The real work for these state employees will be to determine saturation levels and efficacy of media campaigns along with helping determine pulsing and rotation schedules as well as interacting with local media. The entire Bloomberg operation will consist of personal appearances but most importantly a massive air war. With a minimum of $1 Billion Sheekey will be able to do the mother of all media buys for the months of September and October (in June!). After Bloomberg purchases his initial media buys will there by any time avails for anyone else?

If Bloomberg does the type of media buy anticipated above Hillary will need to raise a great deal of money from February 5 through the date Bloomberg announces. Hillary and the Democrats will also need to rely a great deal on free media. The VP pick must be someone who will get free media by dint of personality alone.

If Barack Obama ever answers all the many questions he must answer, soon and throughly, enough to get through the vetting process he fits a great many of the VP qualifications. A Clinton/Obama ticket would be the democratic base vote personified. Obama would help enormously with free media. His fund raising skills are without question. Obama’s base appeal is without dispute and would be helpful in solidifying the Democratic base against any erosion by Bloomberg. On the other hand, his lack of experience, seeming inability to function at the national level and in debates raises huge questions about Obama as VP. Further, Hillary will win Obama’s home state with relative ease and the African-American vote will flock to Hillary with great love. Keep an open mind on this one but any more dirty tricks and its bye bye bama.

A Latino, and Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson is the dream candidate. His resume is incredibly impressive which would be a big plus as VP. Already much speculation swirls around a Hill/Bill ticket.

But in the second debate, with Hillary making an effort to be nice to all the Dems onstage, she notably lauded his people skills when asked how she would handle Iran. With “the kind of diplomacy that Bill Richardson did for my husband,” she said. (Richardson was his ambassador to the U.N.) Back in February, he conspicuously defended her by asking Barack Obama to apologize for David Geffen’s anti-Hillary remarks. And “their chemistry is excellent,” attests Earl Potter, one of the New Mexico governor’s big supporters back home. “Everyone is pushing Richardson,” says New York Democratic fund-raiser John Catsimatidis. “When you check off the list of what they need, a few things get satisfied. What percentage of the country is Hispanic these days?” Plus: “He could offset the cowboy, Fred Thompson.”

Richardson solidifies the Latino vote for an already popular with Latinos Hillary. Richardson helps in the southwest, although Hillary is also popular in the Southwest. Richardson would ensure New Mexico’s 5 electoral votes which eventually were not counted for Kerry. The Latino vote will be crucial in states such as Colorado and Nevada. Big Latino votes in Texas, California, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico would come in for Hillary.

However, Latinos are already angry with Ripublicans over immigration and Hillary is already very popular with Latinos. Richardson has been a big disappointment in the debates and in his appearances around the country. His last debate performance was, to be polite, odd. He is a very intelligent man but seems incapable, thus far, of communicating intelligently. Our advice: Get yourself together big guy. Stop adlibbing, get a speechwriter that can write clearly and stick to the written speech. Stop answering questions until you develop that skill. Stop trying so hard to show you are a nice guy and an intelligent one. Get your act together or we will lose out on your considerable talents and it will be back to the cabinet for you. You’re raising some money [not great at a national level though] and in double digits in some state polls. Get it together or VP is not going to happen.

Evan Bayh proved he was a good fundraiser before he dropped out of the 2008 race. Bayh made some dumb personnel decisions for his campaign but quickly corrected them, which we found impressive. Bayh as both a senator and governor of Indiana might be able to bring in Indiana’s 11 electoral votes, which usually go to the Ripubicans, for Hillary. He might be popular with independents. Indiana also borders Ohio so Bayh might help in Ohio as well. Lots of question marks here. He is considered too moderate by much of the Democratic left but if he can bring in Indiana the risk is worth taking.

Tom Vilsack might bring in Iowa’s 7 electoral votes. That is the alpha and omega here.

Here is the interesting possible choice.

The freshly minted junior senator from Virginia (13 electoral votes) was a Secretary of the Navy in Republican Ronald Reagan’s administration. He has written several well received books. He graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1968 and then served in Vietnam. He is a highly decorated Marine combat veteran. In 2006 Jim Webb became the Democratic Senator from Virginia by beating the unbeatable George “Macaca” Allen in a very tight photo finish race.

Jim Webb comes from a military family and his father is buried at Arlington National Cementary. Jim Webb wrote Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. (Other books include Fields of Fire, A Sense of Honor, A Country Such as This, Something to Die For, The Emperor’s General, and Lost Soldiers.) Webb has roots in Arkansas, England, Nebraska, and California. During the 2006 campaign for Senate Webb garnered national attention when he campaigned with his Marine son’s combat boots on. At the time his son was serving in Iraq. Webb is fluent in Vietnamese. Webb earned the Navy Cross and the Silver Star as well as two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

Webb earned a law degree from Georgetown Law School in 1975. While attending Georgetown he wrote the book Micronesia and U.S. Pacific Strategy. In a 2003 op-ed piece for USA Today Webb wrote that Bush had “committed the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory” with the 2003 Iraq war.

Webb serves on the Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs committees in the Senate.

Here is what’s interesting. On November 15, 2006 Webb authored an astounding Op-Ed article in the Wall Street Journal entitled Class Struggle. The article is about the economic inequality currently afflicting the United States. Webb also attacked high executive compensation, tax cuts geared to the wealthy, high health care costs, globalization, and free trade.

Ripublican David Ignatius recently wrote about Webb:

That kind of populist anger is part of the Democrats’ past, and Webb argues that it’s the party’s future as well. But he worries that “the people at the top of the party don’t comprehend the power of that message” and that as a result the Democrats may miss their best chance in a generation to reconnect with the American middle class.

“The Democrats need to embrace the fact that the greatest issue in America today is economic fairness,” he says. He argues that if the Democrats construct a “fairness agenda” that tilts toward workers and away from corporations and the rich, “they will win big.” John Edwards hasn’t had much luck so far with the issue, which he has made the centerpiece of his presidential campaign. But some influential Democrats, including former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers, share the focus on fairness.

and

On the issue of fairness (if not political correctness) some influential Democrats are starting to come Webb’s way. In a recent paper for Rubin’s own Hamilton Project, Summers and fellow economists Jason Furman and Jason Bordoff made a powerful case for restoring the progressivity of the tax system. They found that in 2004 the top one-tenth of 1 percent in America made as much before-tax income as the bottom 28 percent combined. Actual federal tax rates on that top one-tenth have fallen sharply, from 60 percent in 1960 to 34 percent in 2004.

Recently TPM wrote that Jim Webb is about to “Ratchet Up Role Against Iraq War”.

Webb is someone to watch for VP hunters. His agenda is reminiscent of Hillary’s progressive agenda.

Hillary has a long menu of VP choices to choose from. Clinton/Obama, Clinton/Vilsack, Clinton/Bayh, Clinton/Richardson, Clinton/Webb.

Don’t be surprised if come November 2008, the CW –the Conventional Wisdom — is C/W — Clinton/Webb.

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Hillary – The Musical

Update: Check out this link which provides the video of 2 of Hillary’s best moments from last night. The video provides an overlay of how the focus group watching the debate reacted to Hillary. Watch those lines go up and up.
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The Democratic Party debates are turning into pleasant affairs for Hillary supporters. We come out whistling and repeating Hillary’s best moments, of which there are many. It’s like watching The Sound Of Music. Sure, there are moments of trouble when we get nervous for our plucky heroine. But we know from the first shot of the Salzberg mountains that everything will turn out all right.

Last night’s debate was fraught with peril. It was after all held in an African-American college, with many supporters of a very serious African-American contender. Shouts of “Obama” were heard throughout the hall when Obama entered. He was the home team favorite. But strangely, on the two questions that Obama should have done the best — he did the worst. The questions were on Africa and Hurricane Katrina. He meandered so, it was evident he did not know what to say. Hillary, we were confident, knew what to do about these issues right now. Dare we say it? She’s READY!

Politico:

And, once again, Hillary, as her campaign officially refers to her, looked like she was in charge, with a command of the issues and even some soaring rhetoric now and again: “Yes, we have come a long way. But, yes, we have a long way to go. The march is not finished.”

But time and again, she spoke clearly and compellingly. At the beginning of this campaign, her opponents had hoped she was going to turn out to be Humpty Dumpty, just waiting to fall and shatter into a million pieces. Instead, she has turned out to be King of the Hill. If anybody is going to really challenge her, they better find a way to do it in these debates.

Traditional home of the Hillary bashers (The New York Post):

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was the runaway winner over the race’s lone black candidate in the Democratic debate, according to groups of African-American voters in Harlem and Washington, D.C.

In the nation’s capital, 33 undecided voters who identified themselves as people of color and who supported John Kerry in 2004 scored last night’s face-off an overwhelming victory for Clinton.

Twenty-seven participants gave the former first lady the nod, compared to just two who went with Barack Obama.

Associated Press:

Obama, the only black running for the White House, came into a debate Thursday night at predominantly black Howard University with the crowd on his side, chanting his name as all eight Democratic candidates posed for pictures on stage. But Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared to win many of them over in an impassioned performance that addressed their anger over inequality.

Ripublican Robert George:

She set the tone from the first question about whether race was still an “intractable problem” in America. While agreeing with the question, she noted that the diversity of the Democratic field (including herself) showed how far America had come.

She did her homework in mentioning a line from the best seller that moderator Tavis Smiley edited, “A Covenant With Black America,” and dovetailed that with a reference to the failures shown in Hurricane Katrina.

She was prepared for every question with precise responses that rarely went over the one-minute time limit – even while squeezing in a Paris Hilton joke.

As the debate drew to a close, she got this nearly all-black, very anti-war audience to applaud heartily when she called for an enforceable no-fly zone to stop the genocide in Darfur: “We will shoot down [Sudanese government planes]! It is the only way to get their attention!”

In making that statement, she accomplished two things:

(1) She told the audience about her commitment to an issue in Africa, and (2) more importantly, for a broader audience, she demonstrated – as in other debates – that this woman is not afraid to use military force.

Other candidates had their moments, but none that came close to Clinton.

Barack Obama obviously connected with the audience when he reminded them that without Brown vs. Board of Education, he wouldn’t have been on the stage.

But, after that, his answers were boilerplate.

Iowa’s Des Moines Register:

The New York senator turned in the single most impressive performance during a debate among the Democratic presidential candidates Thursday night in Washington, D.C.

Clinton was crisp, cogent and methodical in her answers. She understood better than any of the other candidates the need for terse answers when so many candidates are given so little time in which to answer questions.

It’s more than just a debating skill. American presidents lead the nation through television appearances, and Clinton’s performance Thursday night suggests she can do that. She showed she has mastered the ability to put a lot of information into a few seconds on the tube.

She did that by talking more about solutions instead of yammering about how bad the problems are. Some of her opponents, who’ve had careers in the U.S. Senate or House, didn’t get to the point before their time was up.

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The Third Democratic Party Debate

Update: Does anyone other than Hillary know how to debate?  She was the only one that seemed to understand you have a time limit so you had better make your answers quick and concise.  Hillary responded with very concise answers such as “You need to do this, then this, then this” or “I’ve done this before and here are the ten things that need to be done.”  Check our reaction as the debate was going on (below), notice how Hillary consistently answered with specifics and within the time limit.  Richardson, does not understand the concept of clocks.  Obama too seems to be lethargic and out of touch with the reality that you do not have hours to get to the point.   

This should have been Obama’s night.  The audience started off by being on his side.  If he can’t come out the undisputed leader on a debate about domestic issues as they effect the African-American community, when can he possibly come out ahead?  Obama tried by speaking about some issues he worked on in the state legislature but that is like a PTA president talking about school district politics to the Secretary General of the United Nations. 

Hillary looked Pretty in Pink.  The ties on the men were uniformly ugly.  Hillary also made the audience stand up and cheer with that amazing AIDs answer.  Roars for Hillary when she got the answer right on Darfur and everyone else followed.  She got the big sound bites of the night which will be repeated over and over tomorrow.  It will be Hillary in the lead this Summer just like it was Hillary in the lead this Spring, just like it was Hillary in the lead this Winter.  Hillary did us proud tonight. 

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This debate was interesting.  Hillary was wonderful.  She had the best answer of the night with her AIDs response (comment agrees and CNN which is providing commentary agrees).  Hillary had clear answers to questions with point programs.  Hillary also had a strong moment with her Darful comment and that tough tough answer which prompted everyone else to follow.  On outsourcing, which Obama attacked her for last week, Hillary demonstrated her experience and also spoke to environmental issues.  Loved the It takes a village, answer. 

Obama started strong and clearly had a lot of supporters in the audience.  Obama proceeded to meander and start falling off the tracks (like the easy New Orleans answer which wandered around and around).   Once again he spewed platitudes.  This should have been Obama’s night and Hillary still shone.  Compare Obama’s answer on New Orleans to Hillary’s answer. 

Edwards was OK but hardly noticed.  Biden was OK but predictable.  Dodd was OK but not noticed much.  Richardson had one good moment but perplexing.  Kucinich was better than Gravel.  Gravel has crossed the line and become a pest.  Are all these guys, including Obama, running for Veep? 

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Tiers Of Joy

National Journal and their “Daily Briefing on Politics” the Hotline, are very Big Players with Big Media. Even Big Blogs read and pay attention to the expensive subscription service Hotline. In many ways, like the front page of The New York Times, Hotline sets the Big Media agenda (unfortunately so does Drudge Report. Good news is that our timid little voice is increasingly echoed through the blogs, news reports, and newly assertive Hillary supporters.).

Big Media has been beating up on Hillary for decades. She keeps on winning.

Hillary’s defense of the defenseless, such as children, and her extraordinary 2 victories at the polls made her a likely presidential candidate. When Hillary announced her candidacy for president, Big Blogs pronounced her downfall. Big Media, usually pushed the “downfall” stories too. Today, signs of a change in agenda from Hotline:

“As WH Dems meet at Howard tonight, we ask, is it time to re-assess the party’s top tier?

A boatload of new polls suggests it is. New Q polls have HRC leading Obama roughly 2-1 in FL and PA and more than 3-1(!) in OH. She’s up 2-1 in NH. We’ve known she led the pack for months, but is she in a tier of her own? 2ndQ reports will offer more clues. But has Obama already raised expectations so high that he’s neutralized another would-be bump in buzz?

Sounds like National Journal is Thinking Pink!

It’s not time to celebrate yet. No votes have been cast. Hard work every day is still the rule. Prepare for pitfalls. For instance, tonight’s debate will be filled with peril. The other campaigns know this is their last chance until September to change their fortunes. Desperate people do desperate things.

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Equal Time

We’ve received a few emails suggesting that we have not posted anything positive about Senator Barack Obama (D-Rezko). This suggestion is not true of course. Why, just the other day when we discovered that an Obama event in New York City was not sold out we provided a much needed assist.

Today we provide an Obama supporter and contributor an Equal Time opportunity. (Politico.com linked the wonderfully named Dawn Summers blog on its website and we discovered the Dawn Summers site there.)

Dawn Summers contributed a V.I.P. amount of cash to the Obama event in New York City. She attended the Obama fundraiser.

Dawn, an Obama supporter, had a question for Obama ready but instead was overcome with the exuded charisma:

Senator, my name is Dawn Summers. do you really think you can beat a Mccain or a Giuliani or a Thompson? Do you have enough experience to be President? Didn’t you make a commitment to the people of Illinois that you’re breaking? Is it true your friends call you Barry? Seriously, you admit to doing coke??? IN WRITING?? What were you thinking???

Yeah. Or else I said something like: “Hi.” Followed by a ridiculously huge grin and intermittent giggling before he moved on to the next outstretched hand.

Dawn is quite a writer. Be prepared for laughs galore as descriptions of the evening with Obama fundraiser unfold.

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Debate Tonight

Update #3:  Hillary the first presidential candidate to condemn today’s Supreme Court ruling rejecting school diversity plans that consider race.  This will be a major topic at tonight’s debate.  The debate is at Howard University, a predominately African-American college.  “On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the valiant struggle to integrate Little Rock Central High School, let us remember the millions who marched, fought and even paid the ultimate price to help ensure every child in America has an opportunity to attend diverse, high-quality schools.”  We are sure Obama will follow with a statement soon. 

Update #2:  “Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins endorses Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.”  “I’m with Hillary Clinton,” said Dinkins. “You see, Dominic, if you go to the dance and you bring a girl to the dance and then you arrive at the dance and you see another girl who’s got charisma and she’s attractive and articulate and whatnot, you don’t leave the girl you brought, you stay with your friends; and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton campaigned for me, and I will never forget it.”

Update:In a campaign season that’s been dominated so far by Iraq, the 90-minute session at Howard University, a predominantly black college in the nation’s capital, will focus on domestic issues, with emphasis on how they affect minority and poor communities. Eight candidates will share the stage, but the spotlight will focus most on the two Democratic front-runners, Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois.”
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Our 2008 Primary Calendar page features as a bonus the schedule of debates calendar.  There is a Democratic primary debate tonight hosted by PBS.  The debate starts at 8:00  9:00 p.m. EDT. 

We will probably post comments about the debate while the debate is on tonight.  We will debunk attacks on Hillary here on the website, as it happens.  Join us and feel free to comment on the proceedings as well. 

A group of young professionals organizing support for Hillary will host a “watch party” in Washington, D.C.  The group, Young Lawyers for Hillary invites you to join with like minded Democrats to cheer on the next president as she debates other candidates for the nomination.  All are invited. 

The debate watch party will be at Stetson’s on Thursday, June 28th.  The group will celebrate the launch of their new website as well (www.younglawyersforhillary.com).  

Stetson’s Bar and Grill is located at 1610 U Street NW (16th and U).  The event is from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 

Let’s all watch and cheer on Senator Hillary Clinton.  She has demonstrated her excellence on all the previous debates.  Won them flat out. 

 Expect lots of attacks on Hillary tonight.  This is one of the few chances for her faltering opponents to make news and keep their campaigns afloat so they will take advantage of the opportunity. 
 

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Air War

Yesterday, once again, Obama threw a punch which landed him on the canvass. More self inflicted blows followed.

Is this any way to run a campaign?

The day started filled with audacity, but not hope. Obama, who strutted his 6 foot frame at the 2004 Democratic convention fantasizing himself to be basketball player Lebron James “with game, baby,” was defending his Chicago turf with steroid bluster. Obama decided to speak with the Chicago press, finally, to denigrate Hillary Clinton’s qualifications to be president. “The only person who would probably be prepared to be our president on Day 1 would be Bill Clinton — not Hillary Clinton,” said the newly minted Lazio Lebron.

The macho bluster blew away with a Freudian slip reminiscent of Banquo’s unannounced visit to Macbeth: “I’m sure the Clintons can raise much more money than us,” Obama said. “She was president…”

“She was president…” is the reason why Obama decided to launch his air war yesterday.

When we wrote A Thing Of Beauty we described what a well run campaign Hillary has organized. The candidate is not only excellent but demonstrates that excellence day after day. (By contrast, Bill Richardson is an excellent candidate on paper but his performance on the campaign trail has been flawed.) The Hillary campaign is not only on target with the candidate’s communication skills, but it is on target on policy, on field organization, on rapid communication and response, on hiring of personnel, on landscape preparation, on understanding the electorate, on resources distribution among early states, on signage, on scheduling… well on just about everything.

Poll-wise, Hillary is becoming the equivalent of Secretariat. Hillary is pulling away from the field nationally and in just about every state. Iowa is the only state where Hillary fluctuates from #1 to statistical ties, or even slightly behind. Current poll averages have Hillary and Edwards within approximately 1% of each other. Obama can see how this is going. Although Obama is from neighboring Chicago, Illinois he is slipping behind.

Add to these woes the storm that is coming. No we don’t mean the Rezko trial. We mean the Hillary campaign rolling out its well planned efforts to win Iowa:

“It’s official now: former President Bill Clinton will campaign for his wife, Hillary, in Iowa, from July 2 through Independence Day.”

Knowing the Hillary campaign will dominate the free Iowa airwaves during the July 4 holiday Obama did what all desperate candidates do: pay for what you can’t get for free.

Obama joined Governor Bill Richardson and Senator Christopher Dodd with television commercials airing in Iowa. John Edwards also launched his effort in New Hampshire. Obama, the media darling for these many months, is going paid media to repair his self-scorched image. Hillary meanwhile continues her climb by sheer hard work. The Hillary website now beats the Obama website in popularity. Obama’s supposed core consitutency, Young Democrats prefer Hillary to Obama. African-Americans still support Hillary over Obama.

On the same day it was launched, the air war was blasted out of the skies:

“A day after a new television ad debuted for White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) aimed at Iowa voters, the union official in it was removed from the spot at his request.”

“Chicago-based Tom Balanoff, the president of SEIU Local 1, was in the original version of an ad about Obama’s years in Chicago as a community organizer. It was released on Monday, along with another spot featuring state Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) — who is backing Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president — who talks about Obama’s bipartisan efforts while they served together in Springfield.”

[and]

“SEIU communications director Steve Trossman said Balanoff was under the impression his interview would be “used on some Web stuff” and not packaged for a commercial.”

Not nice to burn your own friends.

Meanwhile the McCain endorsing Republican featured in Obama’s Democratic primary advertisement bought his own baggage to Obama’s air war.

“Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson said Tuesday that Sen. Kirk Dillard should explain to fellow Republicans in the legislature why he appeared in an Iowa TV ad touting Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. Watson said he was disappointed that Dillard, the former chair of the DuPage County GOP organization, agreed to the ad for Obama, who once represented a Chicago district in the state Senate. He called on Dillard, a Senate Republican whip from Hinsdale, to “address why he did this and the ramifications of it” in a meeting with the Senate GOP lawmakers Wednesday.”

“Dillard contended the ad, in which he speaks of the bipartisan cooperation exhibited by Obama in the Illinois Senate, is “not that big of a deal,” and actually helps Republicans. “The bigger message being sent is that we know how to cooperate, and the current crop of Democrats needs to have an infusion of Republican input because it’s just gridlock and economic chaos coming out of Springfield,” said Dillard, a supporter of GOP presidential contender John McCain of Arizona.”

Dillard praises Obama’s cooperation in the Illinois Senate. What was this cooperation?

We wrote Obama’s Present To Pro-Choice Opponents back in April. We wrote about the April 18, 2007 decision by the United States Supreme Court

which returned abortion and the reproductive rights of women back to the center stage of political life with its ban of so-called “partial birth” abortions. It also returned the Supreme Court itself as an issue. For the first time since Roe v. Wade the court rejected the sensible Clinton position – both Clinton’s – of “safe, legal, and rare”. Right-wing Republicans delighted in the decision which will now be used as a major weapon when they move into state legislatures to attempt to make abortions dangerous, illegal and nonexistent – and to hell with the health of a woman. As Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention stated “This decision is a powerful and timely reminder of presidential elections and their pivotal impact on the makeup of the Supreme Court.”

We wrote back then about Obama:

In 1997, when it mattered, when he actually had a vote not just a microphone, when the issue of partial birth abortion came before the Illinois State legislature Obama twice gave a “Present” to abortion opponents. On House Bill 382 and Senate Bill 230 – bills that prohibited “partial birth” abortions, Obama took a dive. Like a character from Dr. Suess, Obama did not vote “no,” he did not vote “yes,” he gave a “present”. Obama did not take a stand in 1997. He did not take a stand in 2001. Then House Bill 1900 and Senate Bill 562 – on parental notification, Obama instead of voting “yes” or “no” voted – “present”.

The Associated Press in a recent article called The Unknown: Is Obama Ready? described these Obama “Presents” this way:

“Obama could be as calculating as they come. He promoted himself as a defender of abortion rights, but he encouraged fellow Democrats to vote “present” on abortion bills. Friends say the strategy was designed to protect lawmakers, including Obama, with designs on higher offices.”

The same article quoted Republican Kirk Dillard, of the Obama advertisment, as saying:

“Obama has a great intellect and the leadership characteristics of our great American presidents,” said state Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Republican who befriended Obama in Springfield. “But the unknown is the administrative and foreign policy experience.”

“His negotiating skills and an ability to understand both sides would serve the country very well,” Dillard says in one of two ads Obama’s campaign will start airing statewide Tuesday in the early voting state of Iowa.

Ripublicans love Democrats whose idea of compromise and negotiation mean voting “Present” instead of in opposition.

Obama’s Iowa Air War reminds us that on policy, Obama’s just Hot Air.

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The Paris Hilton Version

Update:  Kevin Drum of the Washington Monthly questions the integrity of Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.  The idea is that Ripublicans are so corrupt Fitzgerald might be tainted.   We think this is foolishness.  Yes, Ripublicans are capable of anything but Patrick Fitzgerald has a high degree of integrity.  Drum writes: “Again, I’m not saying Rezko’s innocent — I don’t have any idea either way.” Drum should be respected but instead of questioning Fitzgerald’s integrity maybe he should read our posts and have an idea of the type of person Rezko is.  Maybe Drum and Big Media will ask Obama the $925,000 question. 

We posted a longish piece earlier today.

Many of us are very busy. Work keeps us busy. Our families keep us busy. School keeps us busy. Big Media is busy.

We will be helpful. Check out this video for the “Cliff Notes” short version of our earlier post. We think Obama needs to stop running and answer the questions about this before Patrick Fitzgerald answers the questions for him.


By the way, we still have this little previous unanswered question which the Obama Campaign can answer:

“During the first Democratic Party debate Barack Obama was asked about his relationship with his indicted slumlord friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

Brian Williams: “You’ve promised in your campaign a new kind of politics, but just this week the Chicago Sun-Times reported on questionable ties you have with a donor who was charged last year for demanding kickbacks on Illinois business deals. Aren’t you practicing the very same kind of politics that many of the others on this stage have engaged in?”

Obama responded in part: “Well, not all, we have thousands of donors. This donor engaged in some ethical (sic) behavior and I have denounced it.”

We assume that Obama mispoke when he referred to his slumlord friend as “ethical”.

Since that first debate we have been looking for, but have yet to find a statement in which Obama has “denounced” Rezko.”

Obama campaign: Where can we find these denunciations?

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Varmints!

Ripublicans shur are funny varmints. They gets us all riled up. They’re even funner when they critic us and yell “disclosure” without doing their own disclosure.

This is by way of saying that the Democratic Party will have its nominee chosen by Democrats. We will unite at the end of the process. We don’t want or need Ripublicans telling us how to run our affairs.

We receive a great deal of email. We received one over the weekend which was polite and respectful in tone. It deserves an answer. We have not received permission to post the name or home state of the sender, yet, but other than name/address we have not corrected or changed the email in any way. Here is the epistle:

“We have spent the last 6 years being lied to, ignored, and taken advantage of. The Republicans have done near irreversible damage to the policies that help keep the United States striving forward and put us in a federal defecit that will last for decades. I think that it’s fantastic you at Hillaris44.org want to support her through grassroots, but I think it’s imperative that you don’t do it by bashing the opposing democrats.”

“What’s to happen if Hillary doesn’t get the nomination? All the people who are reading your site will certainly NOT vote for Edwards or Obama (due to your negative press) and then in turn vote third party or not at all-resulting in the Republicans keeping control. It is necessary that you contrast Hillary with the other Democrats, but to do it in such a negative light will affect the over-all outcome of the elections if she is not nominated. We as a country need to grow together, not apart. I’m sure you’ve already come to grips with what your doing and have no problem with it, but as a concerned citizen I think it is the wrong approach and we will have four more years of trouble if Hillary is not nominated. In 2008 I’m not going to carry all my eggs in one basket until after the primaries. I would urge you to do the same. Thank you.”

“A concerned democrat,”

“Concerned Democrat” we share your big concern. The Ripublicans must be routed out of government. An effective Democratic administration must be inaugurated in January 2009.

We too have a sense of urgency about the direction of the country. We believe that Hillary Clinton, the Senator from New York is Ready to become President on day 1. Hillary knows who the best people in and out of government are as well as their strengths and weaknesses and personalities. This knowledge will help her put together, immediately after the November 2008 elections, a team that can work together to effect the changes needed. On policy, Hillary’s history, heart, and head are in the right place too.

Your point about not “bashing” Democrats is one which we adhere to. Most of the Democratic candidates we have completely ignored because they do not have a chance of getting the nomination. We occasionally refer to their ideas and enjoy the variety of personality they bring to the debate stage.

John Edwards we have been very kind to. We have pointed out the unignorable stumbles his campaign has made, sometimes in a humorous manner. The Edwards campaign is in a death spiral. We have almost completely ignored the Edwards campaign even as major news organizations catch up with our analysis. ABC News, for instance, is openly speculating how long his campaign will last after the second quarter financial reports are submitted. The New York Times and Associated Press have printed some very unflattering articles as well recently. We have ignored them all. Why beat a dead horse?

Substantively we have stated that Edwards has had a remarkable transformation on issues such as his co-sponsorship (not mere vote for) of the Iraq resolution and his vote for the Bankruptcy bill – both of which he has said “I was wrong”. We even expressed some sympathy towards Edwards about the $400 haircut story when it came to our attention that the haircut story might have been planted by Obama opposition research.

Richardson we have hardly mentioned other than to welcome him to the race.

Senator Barack Obama (D-Rezko) is another matter entirely.

Obama’s campaign from day 1 has been a negative machine operation posing as clean new politics. We pointed out how his campaign began by hiring “hired muscle” in the form of David Axelrod. The Obama campaign is run by Robert Gibbs who ran advertisments against Howard Dean in 2004 which morphed Dean’s face into the face of Osama bin Laden (ironic isn’t it that the Obama campaign yells “foul” when horrible people refer to Obama as “Osama” – it’s called KARMA, Robert Gibbs.) You hire people for the type of campaign you want to run.

Then the Obama campaign, and yes it was the Obama campaign, decided to defame a Democrat, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, as facist “Big Brother” from the novel 1984. We documented how the creator of the ad was a roomate of Ben LaBolt – a spokesman for the Obama campaign, even as Obama stated “we have no idea who this person was“.

The latest and ugliest smear was the attack Obama initiated, via right wing sludge machine The Drudge Report, against the last elected president of the United States Bill Clinton. It was an attack which employed the right wing smear machine. It was an attack which had been debunked previously by the New York Observer. It was an attack totally untrue in the substance. And – Obama has never apologized.

Obama also issued another anonymous attack against Hillary by calling her the representative from Punjab “(D-Punjab)” because of her work with the Southeast Asian community. Ergo, from now on we refer to Senator Obama as (D-Rezko) for his work representing his indicted slumlord friend and beneficiary Tony “Antoin” Rezko.

Our points about the Obama/Rezko connection are basic: Obama has a lot of questions to answer and he is not answering them. There is one question in particular which we call the $925,000 question.

Big Media are missing the Rezko story for now. But as we pointed out in Will Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald Destory The Obama Campaign? this story is not going away. There is an ever expanding trial to take place in February 2008. The Chicago newspapers are noting that Obama is the Democrats’ spokesman on ethics. The story will grow. Obama needs to answer the questions and not run away from them.

Stop running away. Answer the questions.

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Chris Matthews’ Nappy Headed Hos

Matthews The Nut
Chris Matthews is Don Imus. Chris Matthews has been Don Imus for a long time.

The “prestigious” “journalists” that participated in Don Imus’ show, year after disgusting year, pleaded the “We Did Not Know” defense when confronted with the video evidence of Imus’s homophobic, anti-women, racists rants. They pleaded they did not know although the evidence was clear for all to see.

The same “prestigious” “journalists” such as Howard Fineman, Tim Russert… well you know the names, now appear on the Matthews’ Mudball cable show. Their excuse is that “Well, you know, ah, Matthews might be nuts when he is on cable but he behaves on his network show, uh.”

Yesterday on the (June 24, 2007) Chris Matthews Show on NBC Chris “Imus” Matthews had his very own Don Imus “nappy headed hos” moment. That ugly Imus comment helped to finally expose, beyond denial, that Imus was a racist woman hater at worse, an idiot not to be trusted on the airwaves at best. The phrase that sealed Don Imus’ fate was one that disparaged the texture of African-Americans’ hair in general (nappy) and denigrated a young womens sports team as composed of “hos” (the plural of “ho”, a riff on the word “whore”).

Yesterday, Chris Matthews on his NBC transmitted show crossed several lines into women hating. The jouralists that still participate in Chris Matthews’ shows must be held responsible for tolerating Chris “Imus” Matthews.

Here is what transpired yesterday on the NBC version of Mudball (guests are Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post, Richard Stengel the managing editor of Time magazine, and Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times):

MATTHEWS: Kathleen, being surrounded by women, does that make a case for commander in chief — or does it make a case against it?

PARKER: It makes a case with a certain demographic, and I noticed the picture on the front of The Washington Post the other day showed her with all these women and her crew, and did you notice, there was only one blonde out of about 15 women, so it sort of — I thought that was very telling.

STENGEL: What are you suggesting, Chris?

MATTHEWS: Well what does that mean? I want to know what you’re suggesting.

PARKER: Well, I don’t know, but that was definitely noticeable.

MATTHEWS: What am I suggesting?

STENGEL: What are you suggesting by saying does that diminish her as a commander in chief by being surrounded by women?

MATTHEWS: No, the idea that it — well, let me just get historic. We’ve never had a woman commander in chief.

PARKER: No, you start picking on her. As soon as men start picking on her —

MATTHEWS: But isn’t that a challenge, because when it comes down to that final decision to vote for president, a woman president, a woman commander in chief, will be an historic decision for people. Not just men, but women as well. Elisabeth, you’re always thinking about these things.

BUMILLER: It’s Golda Meir, it’s Margaret Thatcher. I mean, we all remember these women. I, you know, I think we can get there.

MATTHEWS: But we’ve got Patton and John Wayne on our side

[Media Matters For America has the video]

Get it? Non-penised persons need not apply.

Elisabeth Bumiller comported herself with some dignity, but with too much restraint in tolerating obvious misogeny. Stengel did better. The same cannot be said of Kathleen “Blonds” Parker who reminded all of us of the “performing monkey” remarks by Jon Stewart which torpedoed the cable show Crossfire. We need a Jon Stewart to confront Chris “Imus” Matthews on his own Mudball. Failing to find a singular journalist, with courage to denounce this Mudballer, decent journalists must stop enabling the new Imus. Why do they continue to appear on these shows?

When will the courageous Keith Olbermann speak up? It is unfair to ask KO to KO Chris Matthews but he appears to be the sole “serious” person who speaks up on issues everyone else fears to tackle. What about Dan Abrams? He runs MSNBC. He helped get rid of Imus. Hey Dan: wake up!

Chris “Imus” Matthews has long slobbered over one woman in particular: Hillary Clinton. Recently Hillary and Matthews were on the same stage. Matthews tried his usual tricks on her. We wrote about the results in Hillary Leashes Mudball’s Chris Matthews. Perhaps this public humiliation by a woman is what gnaws at Matthews. Perhaps his nocturnal fantasies of Hillary were thwarted when he faced the reality of a strong, commanding woman. Perhaps. But Chrisy has had these Hillary problems before.

Here is the new “Imus” on the old Imus show (March 28, 2007, MSNBC Imus in the Morning):

IMUS: Can she be elected president?

MATTHEWS: You know, somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean, I think there might be a giant, green, ugly, horny monster. A gigantic, gigantic monster of anti-Hillary, an anti-woman Hillary, anti-liberal woman Hillary, some real ferocious beast out there that says no matter what happens between now and Election Day, they’re not going to let her win. There’s men, some women, are just not going to let this woman, this woman win the presidency. I don’t know whether that monster’s out there. All men I meet are afraid to talk like that. You only hear criticism of Hillary from smart, college-educated women. They’re the ones that always have a problem with her now.

But something tells me this country hasn’t changed that dramatically. You know, a friend of mine pointed out the other day that we let African-Americans vote starting in the 1860s, at least under the law. It took us until the 1920s to let women vote. It’s easier for men to accept a black guy as president than a woman president, I think, historically.

So why’s everybody so happy about Hillary? Have we changed overnight? And that’s what I can’t get in my head. If we have changed overnight, that’s a big development. If we haven’t, we haven’t talked about it yet. But there’s something out there about having a woman president — it’s huge — and nobody wants to talk about it. Just the idea of a woman president. And nobody’s argued it. It’s always — it’s all this politically correct, careful discussion. And yet it’s there, and nobody’s debating it.

[Media Matters For America has the video]

The horny monster Matthews fears, like the plot of Forbidden Planet, is in his own psyche. Let’s consult Matthew-ologist Bob Somersby of DailyHowler:

Simply put, this man is a nut. (Yes, he actually said the word “horny.”) His discussion would only get worse this day—but note what he had already said. He had said that men have these Hillary-hating feelings—and he knows this even though, in his experience, only women are voicing such views. He hasn’t heard other men say these things. But he knows what they’re secretly thinking.

Of course, one man hasn’t been afraid to talk like that—and that man is the nut-case, Chris Matthews. He has aimed endless gender-based insults at Clinton—and as he continued along with Imus, he gave us a look at the secret feelings that have been driving his vile, nasty rants.

This Imus/Matthews loves that “horny” metaphor of his. It is not an accident. He actually thinks about his comments. They are premeditated. Here is Matthews spouting pretty much the same nonsense he spouted on the Imus show, on his own Mudball show:

Is there, out there in the country or out in the Atlantic Ocean, some gigantic monster — big, green, horny-headed, all kinds of horns coming out, big, aggressive monster of anti-Hillaryism that hasn’t shown itself: it’s based upon gender, the fact that she’s a liberal, that she’s Bill, what — and that hasn’t shown itself, because people are being so nice in the polling, they are saying all the correct things?

Is there an anti-Hillary monster waiting out there that could deliver this nomination, or this election, to someone else?

Chris “Imus” Matthews just cannot help himself. He knows these remarks are sexist, he says so himself:

MATTHEWS: You know, men don’t knock Hillary that I talk to; it’s the women. For some reason, men are being politically careful. They don’t want to be caught being —

MYERS: I wouldn’t go that far, Chris.

BLANKLEY: But you —

MATTHEWS: The crowd I hang with don’t want to be caught knocking her, because it sounds sexist, but women are so tough on Hillary.

BLANKLEY: I — but I don’t — I don’t take that number terribly seriously for her or anyone else, because, ultimately — people may say that, but, ultimately, it’s a binary choice at some point.

The BLANKLEY who is making sense on this show is Tony Blankley who was the press flack for — Newt Gingrich. When right wingers are embarrassed by an “Imus” you know things are bad.

“Is there out in the country, or out in the Atlantic Ocean, some gigantic monster, big, green, horny-headed — all kinds of horns coming out, big aggressive monster of anti-Hillaryism that hasn’t shown itself”? The answer to your question dear Chrisy, is in your mirror.

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