Barack Obama Flops, Then Flips – Part III

Jut Jaw

Trying to piece together the events of the past 48 hours, we were at first stymied. We had no idea what Obama was saying. We think we finally have it figured out; at least until Obama opens his mouth again:

Hillary’s consistent position: We must have diplomacy but not foolishness.

Obama’s position, shifting and convoluted: We must have diplomacy and foolishness.

Here are the forensics: At the debate, Obama stated that YES he would (“I would.”) meet 1) separately; 2) without precondition; 3) during the first year; 4) in Washington or anywhere else; 5) with leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea.

Immediately after the debate however Obama’s chief mastermind David Axelrod (according to right wing journalist Byron York) declared Obama’s debate statement of “I would” – inoperative.

Sen. Barack Obama’s closest political adviser, David Axelrod, wants you to know that Obama did not say what he appeared to say at Monday night’s Democratic debate here in Charleston. [snip]

But after the debate, speaking to reporters in the spin room, Axelrod claimed Obama didn’t mean any such meetings would actually take place.

“He said that he would be willing to talk,” Axelrod explained. “And what he meant was, as a government, he’d be willing and eager to initiate those kinds of talks, just as during the Cold War there were low-level discussions and mid-level discussions between us and the Soviet Union and so on. So he was not promising summits with all of those leaders.”

Axelrod said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who took sharp issue with Obama on the question, was “trying to make a distinction without a difference.” If Axelrod seemed a bit sensitive about the issue, it was because Clinton, when she was asked about meeting Ahmadinejad, et al, showed a much firmer grasp of what a president should and should not do when dealing with rogue states. [snip]

Early the next morning, on Tuesday, the Obama campaign began circulating press releases attacking Hillary, then posed with outrage when Hillary responded to a question and rightly stated that Obama’s debate answer was naive and irresponsible.

In an interview the day before the debate with Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald Obama had a different answer:

A day later, at the CNN-YouTube Democratic Debate, Obama raised eyebrows nationwide when he responded affirmatively to a question on whether he would be willing to meet — without preconditions — in the first year of his presidency with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.


In our interview, the senator from Illinois had been a bit more cautious. When I asked him whether he would meet with Chávez, he had said, “Under certain conditions, I always believe in talking. Sometimes it’s more important to talk to your enemies than to your friends.”

So it went. Obama fluctuated his views, at one point repudiating “cup of coffee meetings” then eventually the Politico noted

Obama took another whack at Hillary today on the war, and seems to be trying a different tack.

On debate night, the spin was that he hadn’t actually said anything different from Hillary.

“Axelrod said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who took sharp issue with Obama on the question, was ‘trying to make a distinction without a difference,'” Byron York reported.

Today, Obama suggested that he was actually articulating a different policy.

The last screw connecting, a now unhinged Obama, attached to reality fell away as Obama ranted away in an open air speech with the implication that Hillary was “Bush-Cheney lite”. Hillary responded in an adult but amused manner and reminded Obama about his “new politics” slogan. Hillary then returned to her winning fight with the Bush/Cheney Pentagon. “Watching today’s Clinton-Obama spat play out on CNN right now, it’s impossible not to note how well Clinton has positioned herself to rebut the accusation that she’s “Bush-Cheney Lite.

The immediate political implications for Obama were fairly clear. Obama’s entire campaign premise was allegedly that he wanted to get people together and get away from political fights. The idea lodged in Obama’s head was that this was the way to attract independents and lead to victory. That six months pose has officially disappeared.

The other implication for Obama is the loss of voters who want an intelligent and professional foreign policy – missing in the entire 7 years of the Bush administration. Obama, like Bush, proclaimed that he, not lifelong diplomats knew best. Obama added, in a speech at the inaptly named Concord, New Hampshire: “I’m not afraid of losing the PR war to dictators.” Obama, like Bush, might not be worried about how his amateur “international relations” activity damages the United States and the world, but most Americans do not want to get further into the mess we are already in. The problem is not that professional diplomats and diplomacy have failed in the last 7 years, the problem is that the professionals have been banned for the past 7 years.

Other implications running against Obama were the loss of Cuban and Jewish voters in Florida. The more ominous implication, as detailed by David Corn in The Nation magazine was the probable swiftboat type ads with

Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Fidel Castro, Bashar al-Assad, and Hugo Chavez all strolling into the White House, and a grinning Barack Obama greeting them with a friendly “Welcome, boys; what do you want to talk about?”

If Obama gets close to the Democratic presidential nomination, pro-Hillary Clinton forces could air such an ad. If he wins the nomination, the Republicans could hammer him with such a spot.

And the junior senator from Illinois will not have much of a defense.

What caused this flopping and flipping from Obama and his campaign? Two words: South Carolina.

Obama’s entire strategy for any potential victory is South Carolina.

An insufficiently discussed article appeared this week in Politico. Some excerpts follow which provide the script Axelrod gave Obama to follow.

Awash in money and publicity but behind in the polls, Barack Obama, advisers say, is planning a classic insurgent’s campaign to wrest the Democratic nomination from Hillary Rodham Clinton — one that relies on a surge of momentum from early-state victories and faces a make-or-break test in the South Carolina primary. [snip]

Because nothing is working to move Obama’s poll numbers up, and due to the fast and intelligent footwork of the Hillary campaign team, Obama has been forced to drop his lace veil of “new politics” and attack Hillary explicitly.

The upbeat message, Obama advisers say, won’t prevent the candidate from stepping up both veiled and explicit contrasts with Clinton, who he hopes to portray as an old-hat conventional politician whose varied positions on the Iraq war reflect calculation rather than leadership.

The desperation of the Obama campaign became apparent as immediately pre-debate and immediately post-debate South Carolina polls showed Hillary gaining on Obama in the Obama MUST WIN state of South Carolina.

Obama’s need to transcend conventional politics is evident by looking at the practical hurdles to his nomination. He boasts best-selling books and magazine cover spreads and — most relevant to his 2008 ambitions — is winning the fundraising race in both total dollars and with a record number of contributors.

But bundles of cash and good buzz have not eroded what most national polls show as a durable double-digit lead for Clinton, built largely around her nearly two-to-one advantage with Democratic women. [snip]

Obama strategists say for now they are not running a national campaign but are depending on what senior adviser David Axelrod calls “a sequential series” of victories.

This is why Obama is already on the air with television ads in Iowa and New Hampshire and so far is out-spending Clinton in every early state.

Here is the desperation in stark dollars and cents. Obama is now airing ads in South Carolina too.

The trend includes more than twice as much spending in Iowa ($1.6 million to Clinton’s $839,000) and nearly three times as much in South Carolina ($350,000 to $120,000) in the first half of this year.

The South Carolina Democratic primary electorate is usually more than half African-American, and Obama advisers predict these voters will back one of their own to give him an essential victory a week before Super Tuesday.

History suggests the hazards of this momentum-based approach. Nearly every Democratic nominating contest for the past 40 years has featured some variation on the same script: reform candidates trying to use grass-roots energy and media momentum to beat rivals with more traditional profiles and, usually, more support from the party establishment. [snip]

As we noted, Obama overreached in his panic after flopping in the South Carolina debate and abandoned his studied cool to cross the line in a frenzied “draw blood” hunger after months of denying his hostility. The cheers from his dispirited supporters urging their dog to bark added to the frenzied Obama response.

Obama’s goal is to draw contrasts with Clinton without drawing blood. “There is a difference between contrasting and attacking,” Belcher said. Obama is relying on his oratory to portray himself as the aspirational candidate — “we’re more interested in looking forward, not in looking backward,” [snip]

Belcher flatly predicts: “We are going to outright win South Carolina.”

Democrats debated in the Palmetto State Monday night. A July CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll finds Clinton leading with 39 percent and Obama at 25 percent. Other polling in June showed Obama leading.

Again, Obama is trying everything and yet nothing is working. South Carolina is slipping away no matter how much time, effort, surrogates or money he sends to South Carolina. [Hint: They’re Just Not That Into You.]

Again, Obama wanted to start his advertising much later in the year but because of his series of debate flops he had to move up the timetable. Obama is now advertising in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as well as on as many websites as possible.

Obama’s greatest challenge in winning South Carolina is wooing black women, who are swaying between him and Clinton. “When you talk about the broken politics of Washington, the people who are most affected by it are single women, working moms,” Axelrod said.

Obama’s wife, Michelle, has already visited South Carolina several times. The campaign sees her as a key means to reach black women. By late summer or early autumn, Wade said the Obama campaign will be advertising in South Carolina, as well.

But Obama’s campaign staff is aware that if they do not appear to contest the earlier electoral challenges, from Nevada to New Hampshire, they may lack the momentum to win South Carolina.

Faced with rescheduled Florida primary, now on the same date as the South Carolina primary, Obama’s desperation has increased. He has lost Florida. South Carolina looms as an even more necessary state to win as before the debate. But South Carolina too is slipping, or has slipped away.

Obama is throwing everything he has into his flagging campaign. But Americans do not want Bush type inexperience and jaw jutting arrogance.

[Note: Hillary is now less than 800 people short of her Million Supporters goal]


86 thoughts on “Barack Obama Flops, Then Flips – Part III

  1. Who the heck is Brian Beutler? I saw this on

    “I think the escalating rhetorical battle the two senators is perhaps the only helpful instance of campaign jousting I’ve ever seen. At the same time, I only think I’ll believe that as long as Barack Obama wins, or at least puts up a good show. Because what we are seeing is, in as close to an unfiltered way as possible, a standoff between a status quo foreign policy and a much more constructive (though I hesitate to say new) direction.

    Certainly what you’re hearing from Clinton and Obama is a healthier debate than what you’re hearing from journalists. Clinton’s basic position is that Obama has, by announcing his intent to engage enemy leaders, proven that he’s too naive to set the country’s foreign policy. Obama, on the other hand, contends that Clinton’s foreign policy ideas are too similar to George Bush’s for comfort. As far as I’m concerned, I think Obama’s argument is basically correct and Hillary’s argument is totally nuts, but in any case both arguments are pretty close facsimiles to what the two candidates actually believe about foreign policy.”

    This guy must be an Obama apologist. This is a complete misrepresentation of what’s happening. Hillary never called Obama naive for wanting to meet with foreign leaders. It was the “without preconditions” part that was the problem. Geez.

  2. There are three more polls out today. All Hillary.

    AZ, i don’t even want to write, late state.
    A new poll among youth voters, lots of good internals for Hillary. She has the same favorable ratings as Obama, beating Rudy by the same margin. Most importantly, when youth voters are asked the quality they value the most to be president, they cite experience and competence, no difference than general public. This poll includes cell phone and web survey, which debunks Obama supporters’ theory that landline survey somehow underestimate his strength among youth voters.

    Another important Mason-Dixson FL poll. It should be noted that M-D poll constantly gives Hillary low #s compared to other national polls, so this is indeed very good news.

    Hillary 31
    Obama 17
    Edwards 12

    So Hillary’s margin is very impressive. This poll further confirms Obama’s weakness in FL.

  3. Paula,

    Somebody on mydd she/he saw that despicable Obama clip six times today. I haven’t seen it on CNN today. Not sure which channel.

    That video is really devastating.

  4. You provided an excellent assesment of this weeks
    dust up. Hillary should hire you to her on air
    spokesperson. Your assessment hits the mark.

  5. wow, that pic of obama over hillary’s shoulder. if looks could kill. he is sayin” how in the world im going to beat this person? she is tough as nails”. get used to it obama or any other gop slimeball. our hillary can give and take with the best and worst of em. GO HILLARY!!!!

  6. All Jazeera is reporting the existence of a new video statement from Osama Bin Laden. On the tape, which investigators are hoping to verify, Bin Laden states that his heart goes out to Barack Obama. He watched his debate performance and agrees with him that it is time to put aside the past and see if they can talk out their differences.

    On the tape, Osama is seen to actually be weeping uncontrollably. “All I ever wanted was for someone to talk to without preconditions,” he wails. In a truly moving scene and complete turnaround, Osama says he is willing to put aside his plans for world domination and killing Crusaders and Jews if only Barack will come talk with him.

    An unidentified spokesperson for the Obama campaign stated that Bin Laden had agreed to stop his War of Terror, apologize to the United States and all the world’s Jews and do 200 hours of community service at the United Nations. Bin Laden also vowed to talk with his best friend Ahmadinejad to get him to take the destruction of Israel off the table.

  7. From Staff to Joebama: your post is absurdly comic but actually quite on target.

    Will Obama agree to meet without preconditions, at any place, with Osama? If not, why not? By his logic he should. Also, why wait until he is elected to meet with rogue leaders and Osama?

  8. The Hillary Campaign is fundraising. Obama is spending on ads everywhere. Here is the latest Hillary campaign letter:

    Last week, one of the leading Republican candidates equated Hillary with Karl Marx. Yesterday, one of the leading Democratic candidates called her “Bush-Cheney lite.”

    Can you imagine?? Hillary like George Bush??!! Or Dick Cheney!!

    You and I both know that Hillary has stood up time and time again to the failed Bush/Cheney policies.

    Well, I guess this is what Hillary gets for being the strongest, most qualified, the most substantive, the most experienced, the most ready to be president. That’s what Hillary has gotten all her career for being willing to fight for change.

    Now that the presidential campaign is in full swing, Hillary is under attack from opponents on all sides. When you’re attacked, you expect your family and friends to stand with you. And one thing is crystal clear: you are Hillary’s family; you are Hillary’s friends. You are her strength. Almost one million of you — and she’s counting on you to stand with her.

    You’ve been there, in the trenches with her, day after day, week after week, year after year.

    Now there’s only one thing I’m going to ask you to do: CONTRIBUTE. Send Hillary $5, 10, 15. Anything you can afford. Every dollar helps Hillary fight back.

    Click to contribute:

    Why is Hillary the target of attacks like this? Because, like you, her opponents know Hillary is the candidate with the strength and experience to make change happen. America is ready for change and Hillary is ready to lead — ready to lead the way out of Iraq, ready to make universal health care a reality, ready to restore America’s leadership role in the world.

    And Hillary knows just how to respond to this kind of attack. Just look at what she said yesterday:
    Well, this is getting kind of silly. I’ve been called a lot of things in my life but I’ve never been called George Bush or Dick Cheney certainly. We have to ask what’s ever happened to the politics of hope?

    There are two reasons why Hillary is winning this race: because she’s the best candidate, and because she has the support of so many committed people like you.

    Will you show her your support today? Will you stand with her as she rises above these attacks? I know your contribution — today — will make all the difference to Hillary.

    Click to contribute:

    Hillary needs your support most now that the attacks have started in earnest. You and I and Hillary are all ready for change. We can make it happen, but first we have to win.

    Thank you for all your help.


    Patti Solis Doyle
    Campaign Manager
    Hillary for President

  9. Kegs, That’s great!

    BTW, kostner, are you referring to the video of Obama calling her Bush-Cheney lite?

  10. Paula,

    Yes. Somebody just made a video and posted on dailykos. It’s an attack ads on Obama’s blunder. I don’t advocate Hillary to use this sort of heavy tactics. But wow, this will just decimate Obama’s chance in general election. It’s really a hard-hitting, switfboating type of materials. The hole is deeper than I thought. I’ll post the link.

  11. Kostner: I got an error message, “The url contained a malformed video id.” What is the film?

  12. I don’t advocate Camp. Clinton to use this tactic, since it will likely backfire in primaries. But Hilllary can definitely make a case to primary voters in an implicit way that Obama is VERY vulnerable in general election due to his rookie mistake.


    I tried to cut and paste the ’embed’ code, it still does not work.

  13. Part deux:
    In an emotional moment, Bin Laden was seen choking up. “Obama is right. I’ve been so wrong for so long and I’m really sorry. We should all try to just get along.” As a gesture of good will Bin Laden offered to meet with Obama wherever he liked with no preconditions. “Maybe he’d like to sit down for some nice tea.” Bin Laden was heard to say.

    Official reaction from the Obama campaign was muted. A spokesperson would only say that Obama would be making a very important statement in the very near future. Speculation is that Obama will be traveling to the site of the World Trade Center to make his announcement. Unconfirmed sources say that they overheard Obama say, “I sure as hell ain’t making the announcement from Washington. Where would my foreign relations credibility be then?”

  14. Part tres:

    On the floor of the Senate Senator Joe Lieberman broke down in tears. “Finally, at last a politician that really understands that all we really need to do to stop all the killing and hate is to sit down and talk out our differences,” Lieberman moaned.

    When news of it reached the House, Minority leader Rob Portman rushed to the Senate floor to join Joe in their cryfest. “At last,” Portman wailed, “our troops can come home.” Not to be outdone, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates burst through the doors and joined them wailing on the floor. “Now we can tell all those brave families that their children didn’t die in vain and can come home at last,” he choked through his tears.

  15. Kostner: not sure what you are doing that is not working. Usually all it takes is to “select all” and copy the embed information (not the url, but the embed information), then paste it where you want the video to pop in. That’s how your post was edited. The video link seems to be working.

    Your original post with the link to the url was broken. It was not your fault. URL link at Youtube is faulty which caused the original comment link to fail.

    In either case the video link you wanted to post, as edited, hopefully is working and will continue to work without problem.

  16. Part quarto:

    In an unexpected turnaround Lieberman officially announced that he was taking bombing Iran off the table.
    “If Barack thinks all we need to do is talk that’s good enough for me. I remember when I came back to the Senate after this most recent election. The first person I saw was Barack Obama smiling at me. And when he led that standing ovation for me I knew that this was the right guy to be our next President. That Hillary is Bush-Cheney lite. I want a return to the good ole days of Reagan and Barack has promised me that is just where we are going.”

  17. Part Six:

    When asked if the rumors were true that Obama had offered him the Vice Presidency, Lieberman demurred but said coyly,

    “I can’t speak for Barack. But his bold leadership is just the kind of bi-partisanship I always said we needed. All I can say is this: When I lost the Democratic nomination I knew that if I sucked up to enough Neocons they would get me back here. And Barack has always said that if we try to get along with the Neocons it will be good for our country. It’s time for us to put aside this Democratic party label and do the progressive thing and elect us. Whoops, I’m wasn’t supposed to say that.”

  18. Finale:

    In an related story, it seems the Iraqi Parliament has canceled their plans to take an August recess. The Parliament spokesperson said they were so moved by Obama’s no preconditions diplomacy that they were going to try to all get along too. When asked about the brutal summer heat, the spokesman answered, “With all the wailing we’ve been doing for the last few hours we barely feel the heat.” I

  19. Jerome wrote another frontpage article blasting Obama campaign’s stupid strategy to repeatedly use ‘Reagan’ to ‘woo’ African American community. Sweet.

  20. “The Washington Post” and “The New York Times” have discovered the cleavage issue. They both have right now front page blog stories about it.

  21. Just some interesting observations tonight.

    1. I feel Obama is indeed a great divider who’s full of hubris.

    Take his relationship with those so-called ‘netroots leaders’. Theoretically, he should have been the overwhemling favorite of ‘netroots’ to attack Clinton, but he squandered this opportunity badly. The fundamental reason is of course those netroots leaders do not feel he is radical enough. But the other trivial things due to his ego has also exacerbated this situation. He wrote some diaries on dailkos long time ago, but abruptly stopped it and rebuked that site simply because some posters were not polite to him. He continued to alienate those ‘netroots’ site without putting on political ads on dailykos until today!

    His supporters have picked up stupid personal fight with ‘Jerome’, ‘Big Tent Democrat’, ‘Paul Rosenberg’ and lots of so-called ‘netroots’ leaders. Just read all those insulting comments to Jerome’s latest diary. LOL. People do have feelings, you can’t expect those guys to hold positive attitude towards you candidate if your supporters launch those stupid personal attack against them.

    On the other hand, Team Hillary has done an excellent job. Actually somebody posted an article here to explain the methodical procedure Camp. Hillary has done to court netroots. I mean, netroots’ ideology is to the very left of Clinton in democratic primaries. They should have been natural enemies. Instead, Team Clinton has successfully alleviated this sort of tension. Many so-called netroots leaders, even they don’t like her ideology, they respect her and like her personally because she never tries to insult them. We should not expect those far left netroots to stand behind Clinton, to be honest, to close to them is just kiss of death in general. However, we can always alleviate the tension by doing smart things such as forming temporary online allies with Edwards supporters when it’s necessary.


  22. Kostner,
    Yes, I posted an article in this regard. They observed the same thing. They said she cannot and should’t expect netroots to support her – but she has managed to keep them from getting united against her.
    You are dead right about Obama and his hubris. I hope he slips and slips badly and soon!

  23. What happened to you Oprah? Your friends are supporting Hillary!!
    Maya Angelou and Quincy Jones are supporting Hillary!!
    If anyone watched Oprah – they know what Maya Angelou means to her! I suppose she has let the excitement of a Black candidate becoming the President cloud her judgement!


    Clinton Rope-A-Dopes Obama
    Blake D. Dvorak
    Fri Jul 27, 5:30 PM ET

    The strategy in boxing that Ali taught Foreman is called rope-a-dope. You allow your opponent to pound away at you as you appear to be pinned against the ropes. But what you’re really doing is allowing your opponent to tire himself out, let down his guard and expose his weaknesses. Then you hit back.

    Aside from his inexperience, Barack Obama’s weakness has always been his insistence on tying his image and his campaign to a “politics of hope.” Variously defined, it means a politics of inspiration; of bipartisanship; of congeniality.

    Whatever it means, it has served Obama well on the trail, earning him attention and accolades – the audacity! – and the support of 260,000 donors. But it comes with a price, and the price is that if you choose to fight back, you risk becoming the very politician you’re telling everyone you’re not.

    This, we now know, was Hillary Clinton’s strategy since the end of Monday’s CNN/YouTube debate in South Carolina. On the question of whether in their first year in office the candidates would meet with the leaders of North Korea, Iran, Syria, et al. “without preconditions,” Obama said yes and Clinton said no. If there’s any doubt that Obama flubbed a gimme, consider that even populist, netroots hero John Edwards sided with Clinton. Afterward, campaign manager David Axelrod joined reporters in the spin room to explain that Obama didn’t really mean what he said.

    The rookie mistake certainly called for a response from Clinton, who, though a double-digit frontrunner, isn’t about to let an opportunity slip away. Recall that after the first debate, when Obama foolishly gave a non-military answer to a military question, the Clinton campaign issued a press release the next day highlighting her response, which was to retaliate militarily, without mentioning Obama. Everyone of course understood who the target was, but Clinton left that to the partisans and pundits to squabble over.

    Clinton could have done something similar after Monday’s debate. Instead what Clinton does is unleash a calculated and relentless campaign against Obama that must have caught the rookie a bit off-guard. First, a YouTube of Clinton’s response is up almost immediately; then, the next day, Clinton supporter Madeleine Albright holds a conference call with reporters to discuss Clinton’s “understanding of national security issues”; finally, later that day, Clinton herself gives an interview to the Quad-City Times in which she utters the now infamous “irresponsible and frankly naïve” line to describe Obama’s answer.

    Clinton was picking a fight.

    Now for the rope-a-dope. Within hours, Obama responds to the Quad-City Times interview with one of his own. On Wednesday, he gives an exclusive interview to NBC News, which dominates the nightly headlines, and says:

    “I think what is irresponsible and naïve is to have authorized a war without asking how we were going to get out – and you know I think Senator Clinton hasn’t fully answered that issue.”

    It was good, sharp line that Obama would use again. Also in the interview he began repeating another line:

    “Senator Clinton is wrong … we are continuing with Bush-Cheney policies, and I’m not interested in continuing that.” And, “If we say that we will not talk to them unless they meet a series of preconditions, then that’s the same position that Bush and Cheney have maintained over the last six years.”

    Obama clearly thought he had found a winning soundbite. Later, on Thursday, he would use it again at a rally, this time calling Clinton’s policies “Bush-Cheney lite.”

    During Obama’s push-back, Clinton’s team was responding, but issuing a statement from Richard Holbrooke is more like a feint than a real counterattack. Indeed, by Wednesday night, an Obama aide was telling Atlantic blogger Marc Ambinder: “I think we’ve got her on her heels.”

    Or on the ropes, which is exactly where Clinton wanted to be. Having exposed Obama’s weakness, she struck Thursday night in an interview with CNN:

    “Well, this is getting silly. I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but I’ve never been called George Bush or Dick Cheney, certainly. We have to ask, what’s ever happened to the politics of hope?”

    Was she inflating Obama’s comments? Of course. It doesn’t really matter, though. Clinton had struck at the core of Obama’s campaign message and hit her mark. Maybe she and her team didn’t strategize as methodically as the rope-a-dope theory suggests. Maybe all they wanted was to see what Obama would do if seriously challenged.

    But Clinton picked this fight for a reason and it’s unlikely that reason was entirely about exposing Obama’s inexperience in foreign policy. Rather, Clinton baited Obama into the trenches so that everyone could see that he’s just another politician.

  25. Hello all Hill supporters,

    I just find an interesting thing. Obama has now put up ads on dailykos/open left and other left leaning website. Interestingly, they have left out myDD. The apparent snub is perhaps due to their unhappiness with myDD.

    Can anybody send this tip to Hillary campaign, and alert them. If they are smart enough, they’ll just foot a small bill to buy some ads on myDD and capitalize on this fissure. My DD will become even more pro-Hillary in the days ahead.

    I don’t know how to alert Hillary campaign!

  26. or you can send the tip to that might work.

    btw, i can’t believe someone from obama’s campaign told marc ambinder they had hillary on her heels. talk about arrogance, lol.

    also, have there been any developments today? it seems like hillary’s interview on cnn was the last punch, so to speak.

  27. Paula, secret,

    I’m serious about this latest snub to myDD. I sent a tip via HillaryHUb by ‘contact’ line. Can you guys do the same? I can’t believe how pettiness Obama campaign is.

    If Clinton campaign is savvy enough, they’ll capitalize this opportunity and seize mydd as their first online propaganda terrotiry.

    Can you guys send the same information to Hill campaign. Obama supporters are bragging about this on mydd. Jerome will be under pressure, Hill campaign needs to shower them some love. It won’t cost much. A symbolic gesture will gain a lot in the end.

  28. Kostner,
    Yes, I will send the tip through hillaryhub
    Hope they can capitalize on this. Yes, Obama’s campaign is utterly petty!

  29. I just sent the suggestion to

    tips@ suggestion line: HillaryHub Tips

    I strongly urge everybody to do the same. If Hillary campaign takes notice, they will win the first online friendly site. I don’t believe it will cost a lot to run an ad on mydd.

  30. Paula,
    Obama’s peril is his Hubris. You wait and see. I think all the money and attention has really gone to his head!

  31. Kostner,
    Sent an email just now abt it. Hope they pick it up. Could you urge everyone to do the same?

  32. Hi secret,

    This is how they were bragging on mydd…

    The primary feud (none / 0)

    Obama is advertising on all the liberal blogs and has intentionally snubbed this site and Talk Left. This site’s propertier along with Talk Left’s FPer, BTD have made a decision to unfairly attack a Democratic candidate and they’re now paying for it. Thumbs up to the Obama campaign

  33. Hillary is brilliant….

    Now she is using OBAMA’s “Bush-Cheney Lite” comment for fundraising. I got an email from TEAM HILLARY today asking for a donation, with Hillary citing Obama’s comments.

    And while I was going to wait till the end of the quarter to contribute, the OBAMA thing was handled so brillianty that I will honor Hillary’s request, and contribute early. WHY? I just see the “Rope-A-Dope” as good as any Pay-Per-View slugfest. Hillary was pure genius. I am going to add my 44 cents at the end this time, lol.

  34. Kostner,
    How cheap and petty is that boast? Gosh Obama supporters are as petty as he is! Silly people!!
    Yes, this is a great opening for Hillary to snoop in there and turn that site as her first online friendly site.

  35. It’s interesting people are talking about the “Bush/Cheney Lite” fundraising email. I got one about that ridiculous cleavage article; I wish I had received the “Bush/Cheney Lite” email!!

  36. ******************************************************Everyone – Please read Kostner’s post and send your email to tips@ suggesting them to run an ad on mydd.
    Can admin help in this regard please

  37. KOSTNER……

    Can you provide the direct YOUTUBE link for that OBAMA video you posted. I am trying to share it with the folks in my DEBATE POLITICS chat, but I have searched YOUTUBE up and down for it.

    Also if anyone likes to chat online, and has AOL, I am often in DEBATE POLITICS on AOL, defending Hillary against the Naderites.

    Also I am going to see Hillary next week when she comes to the ABBEY in West Hollywood. I will tell her I am a member of this site. This will be the first time I have seen her since 92!!!!

  38. Sandy,
    You just click on that video and that will open another page – and you can copy the url
    Hope this helps

  39. Oh Sandy,
    How exciting that next week you will meet Hillary! Let her know about this site if you can!!

  40. Sandy,

    I think it’s not a good idea to mention this site to her. This site is not linked to Hillary campaign what so ever. We need to caution against any smear.

    Tell her to shower some love to myDD(put some ads there). Tell her by doing so, she will have the first online friend blog! How exciting! I don’t believe it takes a lot of money to do so. Just imagine Hillary spends a small amount on one site, and let Obama waste his money on other liberal sites with no return.

  41. Kostner,

    Don’t you think her campaign already has some idea about this site – even though it is not linked to her campaign in anyway? In anycase CNN did their little investigation about this site long ago and they got the answer that it is not linked to her campaign!!!

    But good idea to personally ask Hillary to run ad on myDD. Sandy read Kostner’s post above and see if you agree and if you do – please use your opportunity when you meet her.

    I am excited for you Sandy!

  42. did u guys read several pundits’ articles on hillhub. Wow, those sort of lovefest for Hillary, only the empty suit Obama enjoyed in the past. LOL.

    David Brooks.

    The biggest story of this presidential campaign is the success of Hillary Clinton. Six months ago many people thought she was too brittle and calculating and that voters would never really bond with her. But now she seems to offer the perfect combination of experience and change.

    She’s demonstrating that it really helps to have lived in the White House. She can draw on a range of experiences unmatched by her rivals. She’s dominated most of the debates. She’s transformed her position on Iraq without a ripple. Her measured, statistic-filled speeches rarely inspire passion, but always confidence.

    Her success has put incredible pressure on Barack Obama. He continues to attract huge crowds and huge money, but he also continues to make rookie mistakes, like saying he’d talk with Hugo Chávez. He’s forced to campaign on the defensive now, knowing that each misstep reinforces the “He’s too young” story line.

    Clinton’s performancewill also have an effect on the Republican race, though many Republicans are only now beginning to realize it. When you ask Republican presidential candidates about Clinton, a smile of professional respect comes over their faces.

    The big story line out of the Democratic presidential race thus far has got to be how Hillary Clinton keeps improving, maturing and getting more effective as a candidate.
    Barack Obama raises more money than she does. The hard anti-war crowd beats up on her for not apologizing for her vote authorizing the Iraq war. Her critics cite poll results showing a lot of Americans say they would never vote for her.

    Yet Clinton has maintained her hold as the front-runner in the Democratic marathon. Though labeled cold and calculating by her detractors, she seems to get better as the campaign progresses. She comes across as poised, confident, authoritative, smart, thoughtful and, most important, experienced. It’s that last trait that she has exploited in the debates. Just take a look at her subtle and adroit handling of the YouTube debate question about whether the candidates would be willing to meet without preconditions, during their first year in the White House, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.

    Charles Krauthammer,
    For Barack Obama, it was strike two. And this one was a right-down-the-middle question from a YouTuber in Monday night’s South Carolina debate: “Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?”

    “I would,” responded Obama

  43. secret,

    It’s absolutely a no no to link this site to her campaign. Her opponents and press will seek any opportunity to create some sort of ‘controversy’. They are pathetic.

  44. Kostner,
    You have a point. Yes, I agree with you that a clip of say Sandy telling Hillary about this site and Hillary just nodding – that might be devastating. That might amount to Hillary endorsing the content of this site. You are right Kostner her opponents might use this to create a controversy.

  45. Hi Admin & other Hill fans,

    Can any of you dig out the link to Obama’s speech at today’s National Urban League conference . I’d love to see the full transcript.

    Talkingpointsmemo has noticed the extremely turn in terms of his tone on race. He’s desperately trying to beef up his support among African Americans. Some of his comments are VERY close to race baiting..

    Unlike his previous addresses to primarily African-American audiences, Obama today overtly appealed to the black vote. “The day I’m inaugurated, the country looks at itself differently, and don’t underestimate that power, don’t underestimate that transformation,” Obama said in response to a question on racial polarization. “When the state of Black America comes out, I want it to say the state of Black America is strong. In order for that to happen, we’ve got to to form that base. If you don’t think I’m the best candidate to do that, I will just ask you one question. Who’s got capacity to put Mississippi in play, which is 40% African American?”

    I predict he will soon go down to path of race baiting. He will likely smear Hillary or her supporters to be racists. He is going for broke.

  46. Looks like Obama is the worst kind of politician. He’ s appearing to do anything to gain traction….and I think it will be his undoing. I am amazed though at all the people I heard call in to Air America today that were in support of Him and not Hillary. It’s just the nutroots supporting anything her oppostion says or does. But it is changing. She on the other hand is so damn smart. He’s just plain clumsy and doesn’t even get that she put him on defense.

  47. uh oh-poor barack stumbles again in iowa today. check it out-


    I see your point about mentioning HIllaryis44. But honestly, I am nobody important. I am not a political strategist or anybody who is anybody in POLITICS. I am just a Hillary fan. And it is quite doubtful I will get a chance to say anything more than something like “We love ya over on Hillaryis44” or something like that, before she moves on to the next handshake- if I even get that!!! I am sure it will be quite crowded. Hillary is VERY popular here.

    However, I would not want anything to potentially jeapordize anything either. So if you guys think that is best, I wont. I will just say something like “We love you on AOL DEBATE POLTICS” or something like that.

    That being said, I hope I am one of the lucky ones that get to talk to her!!!!


  49. The Wall Street Journal’s John Harwood on ‘Washington Week in Review’, relating his inside account:

    Kinda expected Barack Obama might be the one to make the first move, he’s trailing her in every state, in part our Journal/NBC poll has shown, because of this ‘knowledge and experience to be President’ issue.

    Hillary Clinton, who has that advantage, saw in this debate, a chance to really drive her core advantage over Obama, and so her people came out after the debate and said very clear, she was Presidential, he wasn’t.

    Now, initially, it appeared that Barack Obama’s people shared that view, that they thought he had made a mistake, because I was standing in the ‘Spin Room’ and the Obama people came out of their staff meeting and walked in and I asked about that question and the first response I got was “Oh, you didn’t think he was saying he was personally going to meet with those leaders ? Oh, no, no, he meant that lower level aids would meet and diplomacy would commence”. Same position as Hillary Clinton’s.

    Later they shifted, they said no, she represented Bush/Cheney Lite, and Barack Obama represented something different. But then what happened was, Hillary Clinton in Iowa, where she trails John Edwards, raised the stakes and said Obama was irresponsible and naive, and that gave him the opening to come back and say wait a minute, the irresponsible and naive thing to do was to vote for the Iraq war. That is a distinction that helped him in the democratic primaries that she’s managed to blur so far.

    Question from Doyle McManus, LA Times:

    “John, as you said, up until now, Hillary Clinton appeared to be solidifying her lead, and Obama needed to create a distinction and open it up, so is that what happened, has the race become more open at the end of this week than it was a week ago ?”

    John Harwood:

    “I think, if you net out what happened this week, Hillary Clinton comes out ahead. Because when we looked at our poll last month, and we asked Democrats what are the qualities you most want in the next President, number one ‘bring change’, number two ‘have knowledge and experience to handle the job’. Hillary Clinton was actually ahead of Barack Obama, they were very close, on bringing change, but she had an overwhelming advantage on knowledge and experience. She had a chance today to reinforce that point and I think she benefited from it.

    (The WALL ST. JOURNAL ! Who’d a thunk, eh ?)


    July 27, 2007, 9:11PM
    Clinton’s conservative kudos have many scratching heads
    Support from the right may be a strategic move


    Email Get section feed
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    WASHINGTON — Since when is Hillary Rodham Clinton the conservatives’ pinup gal?

    After Clinton delivered a foreign-policy cold-cock to Barack Obama’s head during a Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday:

    • Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, a neo-conservative weekly, wrote that she responded “firmly and coolly ” to the now-famous “would-you-meet-with-despots” question.

    • Rich Lowry of National Review, a conservative weekly, gushed like a schoolboy with a crush: “She excels … Clinton has run a nearly flawless campaign and has done more than any other Democrat to show she’s ready to be president.”

    • David Brooks, the conservative columnist at The New York Times, wrote that Clinton “seems to offer the perfect combination of experience and change” and said she’s changing perceptions in a way that may persuade voters to give her a second look.

    • Charles Krauthammer, the conservative columnist of The Washington Post, summed up the Clinton-Obama smackdown: “The grizzled veteran showed up the clueless rookie.”

    All this from members of a crowd that has spent the better part of two decades demonizing Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

    Is the conservative chattering class just hedging its bets, wary that Clinton might win and banish them all?

    Or is it a setup: The vast right-wing conspiracy pumping up the polarizing candidate they really want to face in the general election?

    Naturally, no one in politics wants to talk about that with their names attached, lest they alienate people whose favor they need. But here’s what some political strategists said when given anonymity:

    “Absolutely,” said one Democrat, citing Clinton’s high unfavorable ratings (42 percent in a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, twice Obama’s 21 percent). “Look at Fox News. They play her up all the time. Image-wise, they think she’s the one Democrat they can beat right now.”

    “A plausible theory,” said a Republican strategist with a top-tier GOP candidate. “Hillary Clinton is our best shot to win the White House. That’s pretty much consensus by Republican insiders. It’s a really crappy environment for us right now. What she does, and what Obama doesn’t do yet, is single-handedly solve our base problems. Because of who she is.”

    Could the plaudits of the right hurt Clinton with the left-ish voters who dominate the Democratic primaries? That’s clearly what Obama thinks, as he mocks Clinton’s position as “Bush-Cheney lite.”

    The Clinton camp believes it won the weeklong spat. Her supporters aren’t concerned about liberals being upset by conservatives’ praise for Clinton, pointing out that many — though not all — on the left also say that Clinton’s debate answer was better than Obama’s.

    If Clinton can get the National Review and The Nation to agree that she won a debate, maybe diplomacy is her strength.

  51. Sandy,
    I suppose saying we all love you at Hillaryis44 seems harmless. But, I am so excited for you – I hope you get to speak to her. Please keep us updated once you meet her. Let’s know how it was!

  52. To readers of this site, please don’t get
    to excited about positive articles or
    statements from Charles Krauthammer
    and John Harwood. They are conservative
    and very Republican. Liberal bloggers
    will not be convienced of their arguements
    because of who they are. Next week
    they are likely to slam Hillary…Just a
    word of caution.

  53. Hey Folks, This is my first post and I am so glad I found this site. I got an outlet now for speakin’ out against what I think are some of the most serious errors (and character flaws) of Obama. Obviously, I don’t feel comfortable saying these things on the official Hillary Clinton site. But in my humble opinion, Obama’s speech in front of the National Urban League shows that he is playing the race card. But, in the clip that I saw, where he was asked what he would do (I think it was for race relations) if he became President, his answer was vapid, to say the very least. He said he wanted to go to urban schools, actually, go there often to talk about achievment. Now, I wonder, do you think he’s gonna read My Pet Goat to them? Do you really think it’s gonna help urban teens and children to have the President come in and tell them they can achieve. Perhaps. But I think it helps a heck of a lot more if you put some substantive changes in the infrastructure–education and jobs, among others, or Hillary’s ideas relating to service. I don’t think most kids in the urban cities are concerned with become President. I think they want to be safe. I think they want schools where they are really able to learn with teachers who are excited about teaching them. I think they want to know that there are jobs waiting for them out there (other than serving in the army in a failed war in Iraq). His answer to the question was lame and even a little scary. Hubris is the word somebody used to describe him. I’d call it just plain ole ego. Thank you for this site where we can talk turkey. Hillary is brilliant and does have the right combination of experience, mind and heart. –Molly J.

  54. “Hillary Clinton is our best shot to win the White House. That’s pretty much consensus by Republican insiders.”

    I hope they keep thinking that, because they’re in for a very rude awakening.

  55. Let him keep digging. Those quotes are pretty damaging. I can’t believe he’s trying to ride this out.

  56. contrary to “the chattering class” in the nation’s capital who “want to focus, like they always do, on who’s up and who’s down.”

    He sounds more and more like Edwards. They are going to fight for the second place in the poll.

  57. kostner, Obama is pushing this today in Iowa. He must think there’s some advantage to keeping this alive. What’s your take on it?

  58. Paula,

    It’s expected. He can’t back down. He is now fighting for #2 against Edwards. He needs ultra-liberals. I’ll copy a diary of some predictions of what he’s going to do in the future.

  59. Thanks so much. I am really glad to be here, where I can talk to folks dedicated to seeing Hillary in the White House. When I was in my twenties, I guess, Hillary and Bill were just getting established in Arkansas. I saw how hard she worked going out and talkin’ with people about education. She and Bill both had the courage to take some unpopular stands in bringing about major changes. And when I heard Mrs. Edwards’ comment about her husband working longer and harder than Senator Clinton on women’s issues, I had to laugh. Of course I was upset too, but it was just so ridiculous. I certainly respect Mrs. Edwards and I know she’s just standin by her man, but I know what Mrs. Clinton was doing on behalf of women’s rights going back to the late 70’s and during the 80’s both in Arkansas and elsewhere. It was significant and it was brave. So Hillary was a role model for me and for many others. I am so proud of her and all that she’s accomplished. And I think the way that she and Bill handled the issue when Mrs. Edwards brought it up and it came up in the debate was absolutely right on. Hillary is doing a great job of stating her positions, reflecting on her background and maintaining the presence of a President. I believe in my heart and mind…she is 44! –MollyJ.

  60. 2nd place…I really felt that the last debate was ALL about 2nd place, frankly. I felt like Obama and Edwards were really fightin’ it out and many of the questions seemed like they were aimed at getting the two of them separated in their positions and such. And then Hillary obviously had some great opportunities to demonstrate that she has the background in diplomacy and international relations to really be a great president. She is so clearly the best of the bunch. –MollyJ.

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