We Can’t Spare This General. She Fights

Hillary Clinton is a fighter. Hillary is not kidding when she counters Rove and says she has been “fighting against these people” for years. In this fighting spirit Hillary is very much like Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant.

When Lincoln was asked to fire Grant, Lincoln refused by saying “I can’t spare this general. He fights.”

Grant was a fighter but he also knew how to build his forces and lead them to victory. Grant was a master tactician and master strategist who listened to the best ideas from others. Grant led the Union forces to victory over slavery and the evil that was the Confederacy.

In contrast, General McClellan, the General replaced by Grant, had talked a good game, usually to get himself out of actual battle. McClellan was a showboat who looked good in his uniform and loved parades. McClellan was a media star. But McClellan did not want to fight. Eventually he ran for president against Lincoln on a Copperhead platform vowing to negotiate with the Confederacy to end the Civil War by compromising on slavery.

As in the 1860s, the United States is very polarized today too. We need a fighter not a showboat. Hillary will fight for our values. We are not talking wars and bloodletting. Hillary will fight to end the Iraq war and to provide universal health care for all Americans and to restore the American economy to a fair and productive engine. Hillary will work with the opposition but on her terms, not theirs. Hillary will work with the opposition but the precondition will be that progressive values that benefit all Americans will be the goal.

To that end Hillary is organizing a massive volunteer organization to complement her excellent campaign team. Hillary will not be dependent on beach vs. ballot decisions for primary victories. Hillary’s campaign, even as it finds itself leading in Iowa is leading in the sunshine states of California and Florida. In Florida the news is very very good for Hillary. In California it is even better.

And with just more than five months until California’s Feb. 5 presidential primary, the effort by the campaign of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to organize trained volunteers – 1,000 strong across the state – suggests it is no coincidence that she has amassed a 30-point lead in California over her closest Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

The Democratic front-runner’s California grassroots organizing effort has been dubbed by Clinton campaign strategists as the “1,000-20-200” plan. And it will use “the power of the Internet with traditional field methods to create millions of voter contacts leading up to the Feb. 5 primary,” according to a 27-page “HillStar” campaign manual obtained by The Chronicle.

The Clinton campaign strategy in California is noteworthy for its scope and for its target – to help her secure the votes of potentially millions of absentee voters in California’s rich delegate field before Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire ever weigh in at the polls.

“Politics is about the bottom line,” said Averill “Ace” Smith, Clinton’s California campaign manager, who noted that in 2008, “the largest number of votes cast at a relatively early stage” will be in California.

Beginning Jan. 7 – when voters can begin to cast absentee ballots in the state – “we have a 29-day election” that starts before the current Jan. 14 schedule for the Iowa caucus and the Jan. 22 New Hampshire primary, Smith said. [snip]

This is Hillary the strategist, looking ahead, preparing, not fighting with the tactics of the 2004 election cycle, but using the tactics of 2007.

Presidential candidates are lavishing the lion’s share of money and attention on early primary states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and some political strategists suggested the efforts by the Clinton campaign to build, train and organize a California bank of 20,000 volunteers is a savvy move. That could help Clinton guard her front-runner status and construct a crucial firewall against Democratic rivals such as Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards – regardless of the results in Iowa and New Hampshire.

What of the Democratic opposition generals from Chicago?

Obama does not even have a campaign office open yet in California.

Democrats who follow Hillary’s lead around the country will win because she understands the value of preparation and getting out the absentee vote:

The “HillStar” campaign manual notes that “up to half a million votes will be cast in California in the week before the Iowa caucus … (so) for the first time, the California campaign will be in the vanguard of the presidential nomination process.”

Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, said the permanent absentee voting in California “is becoming one of the big megatrends,” and a closer look at California’s growing numbers could explain why Clinton’s campaign has targeted those absentee voters.

Field Poll studies show that in March 2007, there were 4 million permanent absentee voters in California – nearly 60 percent of them women, he said.

“Women are a bigger segment, and that makes sense,” he said. “Permanent absentees tend to be older, and there are a lot more older women than older men.”

General Grant’s usual standing order was “Advance”. After a victory “Advance”. After a defeat “Advance”. Hillary might be 30 points ahead in California but her standing orders are “Advance”.


47 thoughts on “We Can’t Spare This General. She Fights

  1. Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer

    NEW YORK — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday the Iraqi Parliament should replace embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with a “less divisive and more unifying figure” to reconcile political and religious factions.

    Clinton, the 2008 Democratic presidential front-runner, made her comments the same day President Bush reaffirmed his support for al-Maliki before a veterans’ convention in Kansas City, Mo.

    In a statement released by her Senate office, Clinton echoed a call by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin for Iraq’s Parliament to oust al-Maliki in favor of a leader who could restore order to Iraq’s unity government.

    “During his trip to Iraq last week, Senator Levin … confirmed that the Iraqi government is nonfunctional and cannot produce a political settlement because it is too beholden to religious and sectarian leaders,” Clinton said. “I share Senator Levin’s hope that the Iraqi Parliament will replace Prime Minister Maliki with a less divisive and more unifying figure when it returns in a few weeks.”

    Clinton voted in 2002 to authorize military action in Iraq and has since become a staunch critic of the conflict. She traveled to Iraq just before beginning her presidential campaign in January and expressed reservations about al-Maliki’s leadership upon her return.

    In a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, Bush reiterated support for al-Maliki a day after expressing frustration with the Iraqi leader’s inability to bridge political divisions in his country.

    “I support him,” Bush said. “It’s not up to the politicians in Washington, D.C., to say whether he will remain in his position. It is up to the Iraqi people who now live in a democracy and not a dictatorship.”

    Clinton was criticized by some of her Democratic rivals Monday after she told the VFW that new military tactics including a troop increase in Iraq’s Anbar province appeared to be working.

    In her statement Wednesday, she said the U.S. military had performed “magnificently” in Iraq but Iraq’s divisions require a political solution.

    “Our best hope of fostering political progress in Iraq is to begin the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops,” she said.

  2. our hillary is indeed a fighter. the right wing ain’t seen nothin yet. she is no john kerry or dukakis. a speaking of dudkakis did anybody catch what that clown had to say today? he basically said the dems are going to lose in 2008. yeah, he is a good authority on how to win caimpaigns. my 1st vote was for him and 1988 and he wasted it by running a lousy race, refusing to fight back.

  3. I know this off topic but it is worth noting.

    I just want to add something to the discussion
    about the Gallup Poll. A subtext noted in
    the body of the results was a head to head
    comparison between Hillary and BO. Hillary
    polled 61% to BO’s 34% with 5% undecided.
    This is extremely good news for the campaign.

  4. obama and the nutkooks cannot spin those numbers. but then again these guys are crazy. they will spin everything.

  5. i don’t see why that is not a good idea mj. this guy maliki is not cutting it. he has to go. i wish he can bring bush with him.

  6. We noticed the Dukakis statement Terrondt, and it falls once again into the self-defeating Dem category.

    The media is trying to make a great deal out of the Dukakis dumb statement but it will go nowhere. The Big Blogs wanted to make something out of Hillary’s VFW statements too but that did not work out when the whole statement was read and when Hillary put out the statement on Bush’s speech and Iraq cited by The Realist above.

    Hillary the fighter for progressive values versus the other approach by Obama of concilliation. This fight vs. Kumbaya difference might be what separates the Hillary and Obama voters too. Those that know that the Ripublicans (and PINOs and Naderites and Big Blogs) simply need to be beaten, then we can talk, support Hillary. Those that think personality and smiles will get the job done are supporting Obama.

    Maybe we are wrong, but this seems to be a big difference.

  7. Kegs, the head to head comparison is cited in our Hillary Poll Leads section. That result says a great deal. Lots of Edwards’ supporters have Hillary as their #2 (so do Obama supporters have Hillary as their #2).

  8. The ultra left think that by calling for Maliki’s
    ouster, we are continuing to intervene in Iraqi
    affairs. They want us to wash our hands of
    place and have no further responsibity there.

    If you subscribe to the broken cookie jar, then
    we have a responsibility to put them on a tract
    that will allow for a stable Iraq be it democratic
    or not. That is the debate.

  9. Minister Nouri al-Maliki is the perfect foil for Bush. He’s exactly the right person to inflame while stonewalling, serving Bush well. Just as is our own government. Bush stonewalling while burning the Nation down.

  10. lol, admin the kumbaya statement is so true on the obama thing. this guy actually think once he is the white house he can magically make problems go away like puff, the magic dragon. i can see obama promoting yoga to get get rid of the ills of the world. hope is all well and good but you have to have a real thought out plan. hope only does not cut it.

  11. Admin, the other number of importance is the
    extremely low undecided number at 5%. That
    is amazing at this time. Also, if you remember
    the Oregon poll which showed a 30% undecided,
    I concluded that it is the hidden Gore numbers.
    Gore is no longer a national polling factor. This
    should let Sam Nunn and any other Democrat
    looking to jump as an ABH (anybody but Hillary),
    there time has passed.

    Back in late April and early May, the polls
    questioned who their number 2 choice was.
    Hillary’s defection was less than 3%. By a
    large margin, Hillary was the second choice
    of a majority of BO’s and Edwards supporters.

  12. another thing, im am sick and tired of the nutkooks, the media, and crazies making obama to be like the 2nd coming of JFK. he does not hold JFK’S jockstrap. and michelle as jackie? SAY WHAT!!! pleeeeeeze.

  13. Maliki was not Bush’s choice. He wanted
    another puppet. The Iraqi parliment selected
    Maliki thinking he would serve as a buffer
    to the Americans. Bush and Maliki have
    served each other poorly.

    BTW, on Keith Olbermann program, Retired
    General Eaton just took Bush to task on
    the Vietnam/Iraq war speech before the
    VFW. It reairs at midnight on MSNBC. It
    is worth viewing.

  14. Now he’s JFK again? I thought he was Reagan, or was it Lincoln? Never in my life have I seen one candidate compared to such varying personalities.

  15. yeah, i even heard one character on tv interview months ago comparing obama to jesus, actually made a scuplter out of obama. these guys really worship the floor he walks. sad really. i hope when hillary mops the floor with him his worshippers don’t go over the deep end becuase of it.LOL.

  16. What was Dukakis’ reason for saying the Dems will lose in ’08 anyway? I was sort of out of the news loop today. 🙂

  17. basically he was giving advice to dems to organize in every voting district and expect a terrorist attack 3 weeks before the election, expecting to lose anyway. total moron. all you have to do is mirror his 1988 run and that will perdict certain defeat. i cannot believe that was nearly 20 years ago.

  18. terrondt,
    Dukakis is the typical liberal elitist. He is a sure loser. Obama is a replica of Dukakis. Gallup did a poll a while ago showing Obama’s has the same strength as Dukakis among white liberal democratic primary voters.

    They pointed out Dukakis was the only such candidate to win democratic primaries.

    Dukakis, Kerry, and Obama are all liberal elitists. They are out of touch of reality. I hate liberal elitists, their only purpose of existence seems to be losing election.

  19. Terry, you got Dukakis wrong. He is not
    “the typical liberal elitist.” He is the typical
    liberal “defeatist.” Liberals are noted for
    talking a great line, protesting the obvious
    defects in others, but other than writing
    checks, they don’t get their hands dirty.
    What is new!!

  20. al-Maliki ,

    Hillary’s call to oust al-Maliki is just a smart political move. Despite so-called military ‘progress’, Iraq is beyond salvation. However, perception is everything in reality. when people see less bloodshed on TV, they’ll believe the ‘surge’ is working. For democrats with no control over the situation in Iraq, it’s always a tricky task how to educate voters ‘staying course’ is not going to work.

    To direct attention to the failure of Iraqi government is a savvy way to remind voters despite ‘less violent’ in certain pockets, there is no fundamental improvement in Iraq.

    Hillary is trying to fight this battle on her own turf, not on George W. Bush’s turf.

  21. Kegs,

    You are right, I should call Dukakis ‘defeatist’…


    LOL. It’s fine you like them, and I know they are good democrats from bottom of their hearts. But I’m just not a fan of these defeatists.

  22. Maybe Dukakis can take OBOMBA for a tank ride. Since they are both losers. What was DUK. thinking when he said we would lose. YOu know somebody said it the other day. These other guys think they are “running” for President. Hillary is already there. She has a clear picture of her self as CIC and a strategy for getting there. mollyj

  23. MJ- I think you hit the nail on the head…Hillary is already there…she clearly sees herself as CIC and the others look pretty unsure when they say…When I am President…it just doesn’t ring true. LOL on Obama being compared to JFK or i’ve heard RFK – I think the supporters must be 12, because they have no clue! No comparison. Obama is a joke! But the nutroots keeps spinning his blunders as these wonderful statements. And now Obama is saying Michelle didn’t mean Hillary re: taking care of her own house..what a couple of bone heads.

  24. You’re right, KitforHill, Those who are comparing BO to a Kennedy are not playing with a full deck. I could compare him to some who’ve gone before…. but I won’t. He doesn’t get the legacy of the Kennedy’s or the social movements in this country. That is one reason why I thought “General” Hillary’s comments at the end of the debate the other day were spot on. –mollyj

  25. There’s a Newsday article: Edwards Goes After Clinton, Obama.

    The short story: change or experience isn’t enough -> only an anti-establishment guy like Edwards can get the job done.

    “Small thinking and outdated answers aren’t the only problems with a vision for the future that is rooted in nostalgia,” Edwards said in the prepared remarks. “The trouble with nostalgia is that you tend to remember what you liked and forget what you didn’t. It’s not just that the answers of the past aren’t up to the job today, it’s that the system that produced them was corrupt — and still is.”

    “I don’t believe we can change the country without having a president who is willing to take on the establishment.”

  26. Yeah, Edwards vs The Establishment. So believable.

    I like what the WashPost said: lobbyists would be relieved to stop getting calls from candidates for $$.

  27. An antiestablishment candidate for president = exsenator without a job. If you want a revolution, you don’t want to be Pres. You need to be out in the streets. If you want to lead the shaping of fundamental change in our society, then the presidency might be for you.

    But the very fact that John and BO are having difficulty defining themselves in the midst of the primary race is indicative of the very fact that they are clueless as to what the President does. That’s a real negative in my book –mollyj

  28. Here’s something I posted elsewhere. It’s site I have been a part time contributor (okay, sporadic). I know some of these people personally and have worked on campaigns with some of them and conspired against other campaigns with others. Anyways, here goes:

    For the last year, I have been a Hillary supporter. I have always admired Hillary. Not that I would have always acted as she has (i.e ML scandal), but I have admired the woman who kept her family together (much as my own mother or own grandmother in their times) and did so with as much dignity and grace as one could muster in such trying and public times. And since she has become a Senator, she has built coalitions and instead of looking for the limelight with cheap stunts, has made a quiet difference. I have examined her whole legislative record and think she has done and admirable job of pushing legislation meaningful to real people, not corporations. I admit I wanted Russ Feingold because he is closer to my own FU attitude, but the adult part of me is ready to move on to adult ideas.

    But knowing Russ is unelectable and more importantly, that he’s not running and never will, I go to the absolute next best- if not better- candidate- Hillary. And I am grateful Russ isn’t running. If this were a perfect world in which he could accomplish all things real progressives promise- all things I dreamt of as a young Yellowdog, I would still be sad.

    I am not.

    Instead, I am proud. Just like I was at the ripe age of 18 when I volunteered at OU and in the state campaign for Bill. I see promise.

    I see a candidate, like Gore who is educated beyond comprehension, and like Kerry who understands the nuances of all potential decisions. And the more I read about her, understand her upbringing, her enlightenment and subsequent activism (yes, even pre-Bill), the more I understand why she stayed with Bill after a very public embarrassment and why she is a member of certain committees that seem less than her capabilities suggest. She is strong, she is resolved to a greater idea than her individual self, and moreover, she is committed to a greater Union.

    I do not know about you, but I was raised with the concept that two things were sacred- the protection of those who were without power and the power of good government. I am still after years of adulthood, years of practicing law, and years of the Bush administration, resolved to focus on the greater good of my neighbor and my neighbor’s neighbor. After much research, soul searching and observation, I have determined that “[she] is [my] girl.”

    I am proud to say that. I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. I am willing to endure public ridicule. And best yet, I am willing to prostrate myself by calling out to my fellow Okies to help me in that endeavor.

    So now, I call upon you guys, my fellow Yellowdogs to tell me what you know insofar as who is heading up the state campaign, where I can volunteer, who I can place other nationwide contacts in touch with and what ideas you want to see advanced.

    I admit, to a certain extent, I am gushing with admiration with her. I love having the same feeling I did as a first time voter in 1991. I look forward to canvassing our state with my hammer in my passenger seat (again) for months on end to pound signs and a good Fleetwood Mac album on my radio. For the first time in my life I have a feeling of the joy I had as young pol and the certainty of my adult understanding.

    I like that. A lot.

  29. Hey Okie, What a great letter…I have got to write one like that to my friends and colleagues. It’s very well-spoken, and I know that it’s a big deal to write, because I have got to write one very similar. congrats–mollyj

  30. Part of the Gallup Poll summery you will
    probably enjoy:

    Bottom Line

    Gallup’s early August survey was conducted shortly after a widely publicized foreign policy speech by Obama in which he made some statements about the United States’ war on terrorism and relations with leaders of hostile countries, which drew a broad range of criticism from both sides of the political aisle. To the extent that firestorm was responsible for the increase in support for Clinton’s candidacy noted at the time is unclear. Given the results of the new poll, one thing is clear, however: Clinton’s surge was neither a fluke of sampling error, nor merely a fleeting reaction by voters to something on the campaign trail.

  31. OkieAtty, that was a great letter, it captured the feeling you have, and I’m sure many feel as you do, well done! 🙂

  32. Admin, I’m amused by your equating Hillary to
    Grant. More importantly, who is Hillary’s
    Sherman? Who, besides Hillary, will take
    the fight into the South? This is not VP
    question but a strategic assessment of
    her campaign. Is it Bill?

  33. Who needs Pat Murphy’s endorsement;
    Hillary has this: “Obama Girl”actually may vote for Hillary Clinton.”

  34. Kegs- I read your linked article. Here’s my take-

    Edwards plan= handouts (i.e. bribes to the middle and lower-middle class with subprime loans and a voter ID). Socialist shill. Bwa-ha-ha-ha.

    McCain plan= Bigger bureaucracy, no real relief bc no one will ever qualify, but the govt. will spend money looking like it cares (i.e. piss on your back tell you it’s raining).

    Obama plan= rip-off of Edwards (per usual) but throw in a “let’s beat up the big guys” sentiment to rally the anti-establishment types that do not make up his base even if his advisers cannot see that. There will never be any real teeth in the punitive portion of the act bc he always, always lays down (abortion vote anyone?)

    Edwards’ Family and Savings Commission= bigger govt w/ no real purpose other than “feel” good. (Someone should tell him the affective response driven policy is old hat and does not play well to the moderates and independents he needs to get the nomination and pass the legislation bi-partisanly.

    Clinton’s plan= PR brochure to tell buyers to get better consumer credit counseling BEFORE buying and change legislation so that documentation is in layman’s terms instead of the legalese I make my bread and butter from (?!?). j/k. More FHA’s would mean moving rental properties into the starter home column and younger, poorer people would get the loans with better advice and terms instead of subprimes.

    Dodd’s plan= See later half of Clinton’s, then add in tell Fannie/Freddie to stop selling paper and buy it so the private sector in the lending business can level off and stop putting people out of work- also keeps banks from crashing. Have the govt provide mortgage insurance which means more money spent, but more money coming in, too.

    Giuliani plan= “Screw ‘em.”

    McCain= “Screw ‘em.” But smile in their faces. Consumer education and use what we have. Hmmm. Sounds like, yep, “screw ‘em,” to me.

    Biden’s plan= Stir up the anti-establishment folks (not his base. Wait. What is his base???) and blame it on the fat cats. The ‘ole us vs. them mentality leftover from SDS politics from four decades ago. Time to trade in the boxers for a pair or lowcut leather briefs. Joe needs to spice it up a bit.

    Richardson’s plan= The sky is falling. The sky is falling. Well, duh. Give us a plan.

    My take on the whole group grade-wise:

    Edwards (D-)
    Edwards’ Family and Savings Commission- (F)
    Obama (F) bc he ripped off JE- again
    Clinton (B+)
    Dodd (A-)
    Giuliani (n/a) No grade if you do nothing.
    McCain (D)
    Biden (C-)
    Richardson (D)

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