Barack Obama And The Chicago Suicide

We interrupt yet again the scheduled publication of Part II of Barack Obama’s Mob to discuss the latest Obama related suicide.

Fresh from yesterday’s article (Barack Obama and The Suicide Note) in which Norman Hsu wrote a suicide note which blamed Obama for planting stories in the press about him; we now have an actual Suicide in Chicago to discuss.

First, the immediate facts – Former Cook County Official Found Dead In Michigan [Check video at the site too.]

CHICAGO – Orlando Jones, the godson of former Cook County Board President John Stroger and an insider in county politics, has been found dead on a Michigan beach from what authorities say is a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Cook County political insider was found Wednesday night, just as a corruption inquiry targeting him was heating up.

Police found the body of Orlando Jones on a beach in Union Pier, Mich. As CBS 2’s Rafael Romo reports, Jones had close ties to the Stroger family. [snip]

Jones rose to the level of chief of staff for former president John Stroger, who was his godfather. [snip]

Jones left his position in county government to create a lobbying firm in association with Tony Rezko, who has been indicted on fraud charges.

Recent reports from Las Vegas also claim that he was the target of a federal investigation stemming from a hospital deal that he negotiated.

Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica says Jones’ untimely death, while firstly is a human tragedy, also raises many questions about the Cook County president’s office.

Some of these matters Jones was involved in that are currently being investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are reaching to the highest level of county government,” Peraica said.

The Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday published an article about Jones, who has worked for the past several years as a lobbyist and consultant, pointing out that he was earning a six-figure “referral fee” every year from the financial firm William Blair & Company, for helping steer state pensions to the firm.

The Chicago Sun-Times article was called Stroger’s Godson’s Sweet Deal which outlined Orlando Jones’ lucrative relationship with William Blair & Co., “a Chicago financial firm that pays him a six-figure “referral fee” every year — for a job he did in 2004.”

The Illinois State Board of Investment oversees retirement funds for state employees, lawmakers and judges. In 2004, the state agency invested $280 million with the William Blair firm.

The Chicago Sun-Times article detailed on a yearly basis the amount of the payments to Orlando Jones. More disturbing however was the Chicago Sun-Times publication of The original investors in Tony Rezko’s big South Loop deal

Orlando Jones was among investors in a Tony Rezko real estate venture in 2003, records show. Rezko wanted to develop 62 acres of prime land at Roosevelt and Clark — for which his company, Rezmar Corp., sought $140 million in city tax subsidies.

The deal stalled when Mayor Daley’s administration accused Rezko of minority-owned-business fraud. But most investors apparently recouped their money after Rezko sold the site in late 2005.

Here is a previously undisclosed list of the investment groups for the project (in most cases, City Hall couldn’t find records identifying the groups’ investors):

The list of investors in Obama pal Rezko’s deal included Anthony Licata, the project’s attorney, Tony Rezko Fighting federal corruption charges, Daniel Mahru Rezko’s former partner, Orlando Jones and Chicago Police Board member Art Smith, trucking mogul Michael A. Tadin, Dr. Paul Ray, chief urologist at Cook County’s Stroger Hospital, Joseph Scoby Executive at UBS O’Connor, an investment company, Victor J. Cacciatore, once extorted for $5 million by Chicago mob, Joseph P. Cacciatore, one of Victor Cacciatore’s sons, and Michael Seibold, a former insurance executive; as well as Dr. Mamdouh Bakhos Suburban cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Michel Malek a Chicago neurosurgeon appointed to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board at Rezko’s request, and George LoCasto a Manager with UBS O’Connor

Here is the link to an article by the Chicago Tribune, Stroger Godson Wielded Power Behind The Scenes which provides additional information on Orlando Jones.

We will explain this complicated story in Part II of Barack Obama and the Chicago Suicide. For the curious read Obama – Turning Pages, Part II for our prescient analysis concerning the healthcare connection to Michelle and Barack Obama and Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the Strogers and the expanding investigations by the Federal Prosecutors from Patrick Fitzgerald’s relentless office.


117 thoughts on “Barack Obama And The Chicago Suicide

  1. We’re trying to resolve the server problems causing havoc with access/comments etc. The problem seems to be affecting other websites as well.

    We did find this bit of good news:

    “Magic Johnson is expected to join Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton at a discussion in Watts on Friday, then host a fund-raiser for Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination at his home near Beverly Hills.

    Clinton, D-N.Y., is scheduled to speak about education, job creation, economic development, health care and public safety with about 300 area residents, community leaders, ministers, students, teachers and parents, according to Luis Vizcaino, her campaign’s California communications director.

    Though Johnson contributed gave $2,300 Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill.’s campaign, the former basketball player turned entrepreneur said he is endorsing Clinton because of her “unique understanding of the domestic and international issues” and because she “has the experience and knowledge to help lead our country and get us to a better place.”

    “We need a winner as our next president of the United States — someone that can help realistically improve relations in the world, someone that will work to provide affordable and accessible health care and someone that is simply a strong leader,” Johnson said last month when the fund-raiser was announced. “I know that’s Hillary Clinton.”

    Record producer Quincy Jones, Motown founder Berry Gordy and music industry executive Clarence Avant will also help host the fundraiser. About 300 people are expected to attend. Ticket prices start at $500, Vizcaino said.”

  2. Union endorsement news:

    John Edwards has more support from Service Employees International Union members than any other presidential candidate, though not enough yet for an endorsement, said Andy Stern, president of one of the largest U.S. labor groups.

    About 2,000 of the union’s leaders will meet Sept. 17 in Washington to listen to pitches from the major Democratic candidates and take a straw poll that will help guide the group’s endorsement, Stern, 56, said in an interview.

    “Edwards has done an awful lot with leaders and members in our union,” said Stern, who expects a decision on whether and who to endorse by the end of October. He said Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York have strong support within the union, too, and together may be able to fend off any endorsement of Edwards, a former North Carolina senator.

  3. New AP-Ipsos poll has Hillary up 20 without Gore:

    Among 482 registered Democrats and those who lean Democratic, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (34% to 20%) in a national primary; former V.P. Al Gore trails at 16%, former Sen. John Edwards at 10%. Without Gore, Clinton runs at 43%, Obama at 23%, and Edwards at 13%. All other candidates receive less than five percent each.

  4. Paula, the polls are consistent and Gingrich doesn’t think much of Ripublican chances against Hillary either.
    Gingrich, like many Republicans, believes Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, and he spoke with some awe of the Clinton machine after remarking on the fact that, on the same day, Bill Clinton was on Oprah and Hillary Clinton was on the Ellen DeGeneres show. “As a professional, I am very, very impressed,” he said.

  5. Why would SEIU endorse Edwards? I guess they like to be pandered to. His record is not especially pro-union and he comes from a low union state. This is all based on his current record. I find this terribly disappointing. Hillary has been a real advocate for SEIU. I do not understand why they would not endoorse her.

  6. admin, why are these pollsters keep adding gore in the poll mix? this guy is not running. the nutkooks on daily kos still have people waiting for him to run. lordy.

  7. Something is just not right. I keep reading tidbits on Fitzgerald going after the Rezco flunkies and that BO will get some bad press out of it, but I keep seeing nada. It’s like Fitzmas all over again….

    Check out this page:

    There are some references to his coal indutry ties and legislation he has advanced to turn coal into liquid fuel and provide tax breaks for those companies. Guess who his major contributors were???
    He used the “lobbyist money=influence” routine at YearlyKos- let’s hammer him dKos on his environmental record or lack thereof. Those assholes over there pride themselves on being staunch treehugging hippie Naderites (Oops, I mean progressives. Not.). Let’s shame them with the fact he’s a sellout and sells out the environment. That will get them riled. 🙂

    As for SEIU, I still think Hillary will get an endorsement because of their joint campaign after her healthcare plan is released. I think it’s interesting that in labor negotiations for the last 20 yrs, healthcare coverage has been a major issue with companies not wanting to pay the increasingly expensive premiums and workers and tehir families needing good coverage. If her healthcare plan is as good as I think it will be (and I have faith), this could help save unions and help business with their bottom lines. A win-win for everyone.

  8. A little fun for everyone;

    There’s this site, called “Nobody likes Hillary Clinton”, run by a guy named Michael Kraft (and he IS cheesy) Where he bashes Hillary, even selling tshirts and the like. I have been his personal nemesis, to the point where, today he has BLOCKED his site to comment!

    here is the link;

    Please pay him a visit and drop him a line!

  9. Paula, from what I have read health care is the pivotal issue to Stern and his members. Edwards has presented a big proposal on that which reflects universality and soak it to the rich. However, that proposal may not be realistic. Thus, the challenge for Hillary is to present the third piece of her own health care policy, explain why her plan is more realistic and achievable, show how she is on their side on all issues that count, and invite them to be a part of her winning team. That at least is my take.

    Terrondt, that is what we were saying yesterday. HillaryLandRocks made the same suggestion that local unions from his home state may endorse him.

  10. wbboei, I was the one to make the point about SEIU. I understand that Edwards has his grand plan. But I can not imagine Sterns et. al. actually believe he can get that through Congress. Further, every Dem is proposing UHC. And, Hillary is the one who got the ball rolling on the current SCHIP expansion, which SEIU has put tons of advertising in to. I am just surprised that all it takes to get the support of the SEIU is rhetoric. He’s from a low-union state and didn’t even run on UHC in 2004.

  11. Paula- SEIU.

    BTW- there’s a rumor that Hillary is visiting the OK State Fair (it’s our statehood centennial this year). Anyone heard anything about this? I hope it’s true bc I’d love to be able to see her in person. My college roomie got to meet her and Bill and Al and Tipper, etc. at the election night stuff in Little Rock in 1996. She said it was so awesome to meet them in the receiving line and shake their hands. Said Bill had the best handshake ever. Al- not so much.

  12. From the Washington Times (yes, it’s a Moonie rag, but the info is from National Journal)

    All those Republicans who say they are begging for Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the Democrats’ presidential nominee? Don’t believe ’em.

    National Journal asked its panel of Republican insiders and found more than half (52 percent) think Clinton would be the “strongest general election candidate” Democrats could put up. Trailing well behind, former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama were the choice of 18 percent each.

    The Republicans find Mr. Edwards more formidable than the Democrats do. Only 11 percent of the Democratic insiders surveyed by National Journal thought he was the strongest choice for their party, while 21 percent chose Obama and 55 percent said Clinton is their best hope.

    OkieAtty, I like what you said about the handshakes. I remember reading where Bill said he was teaching Hillary how to do it, lol.

  13. Giuiliani is blasting Hillary today. The Clinton campaign already issued one rapid-response statement, which was great. Now Rudy’s posted an anti-Hillary video on his website. Carville ripped into Rudy tonight, calling him a draft-dodger who has criticized the troops, and who has zero foreign policy experience.

  14. BV, that’s interesting. Ofcourse the netroots could give a frig. I’ve noticed the Republican candidates and the Republican pundits have been trashing Hillary saying she going to social medicine(I actually wouldn’t mind that), she didn’t speak up to, she’s for cut and run, etc., and none of the netroots front pagers ever have a word to say about it. Imagine if Rudy were going after on of the other Dem’s, frankly any of the other Dem’s, I bet the netroots would be in an uproar.

  15. mj:

    The SEIU had a deadline for health plans — end of August. Hillary did not meet that deadline, which irritated SEIU. I expect current polling reflects this.

    However, Stern also says that even right now, both Hill/Obama have enough support that it may be difficult for Edwards to come out on top. As I mentioned earlier, SEIU’s membership slants women/minorities, so her support is coming from people who vote Hillary *despite* her not filing her health plan according to SEIU’s formal request. Some of it might be NY locals as well (both NY/IL are influential union states).

    So what it comes down to is reaction to her health plan come Monday. And I still think the outcome will be “no endorsement” or “advantage Hillary” (depending on reaction to health plan). I have no idea if there’s a long-term backlash for not having followed SEIU guidelines on timeliness.

  16. They made it pretty clear that the endorsement was riding on evaluating the health plans. Hillary took a calculated risk — we’ll see if that pays off.

  17. mj, incidentally, I’m 100% with you on not understanding Edwards’ cachet with unions. His senate record is horrible on many levels, including voting down every amendment to bankruptcy reform and voting to end debate on the same.

  18. I gotta say I find the video on rudy giuliani FRONT page despicable.
    And by the way, why does he think he can get away with being called just rudy??? Yeah yeah, he was dubbed (by oprah, none other) Americas mayor. But still…..Hillary, now ‘Hillary’ has been a trade mark almost, for a decade and a half now, if you say Hillary, everyone knows who your talking about. But rudy ain’t there yet, and hopefully never will be.

    But that video is so typical republican hash trash. To find something that we would all be better by just forgetting about(‘the’ ad), but no, they think they’ve found something (finally) to go after her for, and jump on it. It’s been just a few days, and ALREADY they have a video made of it. And also, in the video the voice over says that since 2002 she has changed her mind! WHAT!!!!!! How can she do that???
    Outrageous! No one does that, at least not the Republicans!

    I’m sorry, but how stupid can you get? It’s called being reasonable and responsible, evolving when you face new kind of evidence, also called evolution, but we know many repugs don’t believe in that kind of thing.

    There’s a reason republicans have started to attacking so early, they know they need all the time they can get, to tear her down. Although it has undoubtedly been proven in the past, that nothing so far has worked to make it happen. No one is going after Obama yet, I wonder why??(NOT- he’s not a threat) Oh well, still, I just find this video…at best….odd.
    Still, Hillary could end this all in a heart beat by just saying she doesn’t think Gen. Petraeus deserved that ad. Any reason why she hasn’t done so by the way?

    Berkeley Vox what was that rapid response by Hillarys campaign, I don’t think I have seen it.

  19. Gorto,

    Rudy is in desperate mood. He’s playing a game here. After Thompson jumps into the race, Rudy’s national polling number is in free fall. With early states IA and NH out of reach, he’s in a deep hole. The only trump card that has been holding him is the ‘electability’ argument. Many GOPers believe he’s the only candidate who can beat Hillary. However, his head-to-head matchup #s vs Hillary have been sliding at an astonishing pace. That’s why he has to lash out at Hillary in order to cement his withering support among GOPers.

    I don’t believe Hillary should be dragged into a war with him, she just needs surrogates to brush Rudy off.

  20. From CNN’s Political Ticker, and a HOOT!

    COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) — When Beaufort, South Carolina Mayor Bill Rauch was press secretary and adviser to former New York City Mayor Ed Koch in the 1980s, he didn’t think 20-plus years later he would end up running a small coastal town about 40 miles from the Georgia border.

    Rauch also probably never thought one of Koch’s eventual archrivals, another former New York City Mayor named Rudy Giuliani, would one day run for president.

    Now, as a small town mayor and supporter of Sen. John McCain in a state that will help determine the Republican presidential nomination, Rauch has a minor voice in politics here. And like his former boss Koch, he still doesn’t like Giuliani very much.

    “I know Giuliani will fold up like a dove who got hit with buckshot in a dove hunt,” Rauch said in a phone interview. “I don’t worry about Giuliani at all in terms of winning. He’s not going to win.”

    Giuliani and former Sen. Fred Thompson are currently battling for first place in most polls in South Carolina. McCain, once the frontrunner, is now in third.

    Rauch’s former boss Koch famously wrote a book in 1999 called “Giuliani: Nasty Man,” attacking what he said was Giuliani’s abrasive leadership style. Rauch believes South Carolinians don’t yet know enough about Giuliani’s career as New York mayor, and wants more people to read the book. He suggests that when they learn more, his poll numbers will slide.

    “Once people get to know him he won’t win,” Rauch said. “To know him is to not trust him and to not particularly like him. The more you know him, the less you like him. This love affair with America’s mayor around the country is in the early stages, and I don’t believe that love affair is going to go on.”

    That said, Giuliani’s reputation as “America’s Mayor” has remained largely intact for almost six years, and much of his support in polls nationwide is arguably built on that name recognition. He has also maintained his lead in South Carolina polls for months, despite the fact that critics like Rauch have predicted he will falter as voters familiarize themselves with Giuliani’s record.

    There also happen to be more than a few New York City transplants in South Carolina who do support Giuliani’s bid for the White House.

    For instance, there’s Joe Luzzi, a retired New York City police detective now living in Myrtle Beach working as a realtor and volunteer firefighter.

    “As a former New York police officer, I’ve seen mayor Giuliani’s leadership ability up close, and I’m positive that the more people get to know him in my new home state, the more they’re going to support him,” Luzzi said. “Rudy has the qualities South Carolinians are looking for in a president. After all, he’s a fiscal conservative who has proven that he knows how to get things done.”

    — CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

  21. The war between the two New York frontrunners is heating up today. Rudy — who took out a full page ad in The New York Times today blasting Hillary and MoveOn for questioning Scholar-Warrior Petraeus — has just posted a new Web ad with lots of pictures of Petraeus hitting her yet again on this front.

    In response, the Hillary campaign is charging that Rudy is attacking her to halt his slide in recent polls. Hillary spokesperson Phil Singer sends over the following:

    Rudy Giuliani is dropping in the polls and is unable to defend his own support for George Bush’s failed war. Instead of distorting Senator Clinton’s record in the campaign’s first attack ad, the Mayor should tell voters why he thinks sticking with the Bush Iraq strategy makes sense. The country wants change and while Hillary Clinton is focused on ending the war, Mayor Giuliani is playing politics

  22. Anyone see Kos’s paltry coverage of the Giuliani/hillary/MoveOn business. I wonder if he will even bother himself to discuss the full page ad.

  23. Fred(iesdead) is going after Hil too. It looks like they have decided who the Democratic nominee will be.
    He blames her for his stupid remark!

    MIAMI, Florida (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson blamed Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday for the publicity surrounding his remark suggesting Cuban immigrants are bringing suitcase bombs to the United States.

    When asked by Florida’s WTVJ about the perception in the Cuban-American community about his comments, Thompson replied, “I think that was a Hillary Clinton news release that she put out or a statement that she made trying to capitalize on something when she knew better.”

    During a trip to South Carolina in June, Thompson was talking about illegal immigration from Cuba and elsewhere and said, “I don’t imagine they’re coming here to bring greetings from Castro. We’re living in the era of the suitcase bomb.”

  24. I just went to read that bloomberg article on SEIU.

    The poll is of 2000 union leaders — whether the leaders are expressing personal preferences or that of rank-and-file below is unknown.

    Edwards’ support is coming from CA union leaders. California! Can there be any more evidence of being out of touch w/ the rank-and-file?

    CA is having its own health care battles right now. Interestingly enough, Sheila Keuhl, the state’s #1 advocate for single-payer in the state senate, is a Hillary endorser.

    In any case, I don’t think the current polling is worth the beans they’re using. All eyes will be on Hillary’s health plan and convention performance.

  25. The ad rudy has put in the NY times is trying to link Hillary to then, for gods sake, does he need her to spell it out for him?

    I know it’s politics, but it still grates at me at times….

  26. Ah, Gorto, it gets worse. I just read that Elizabeth Edwards is over on Huff Po criticizing MoveOn. You think that might just be to tie Hillary even more to the ad? Real nice.

  27. Kostner, I agree the ad was inappropriate. I said as much days ago. Howver, EE is just now stating this because of Rudy’s attack on Hillary. I think that is fairly obvious.

  28. OkieAtty wrote:

    “… said it was so awesome to meet [Clintons/Gores] in the receiving line and shake their hands. Said Bill [Clinton] had the best handshake ever. Al [Gore] – not so much.”

    WTF is that supposed to me…!?!?!

  29. mj,

    I’m actually glad moveon has been discredited. They are going too far. They are now even threatening Clinton/Obama to take their marching order and cast vote based on their opinion. They need to be defeated, otherwise it’s troublesome in a primary fight.

  30. mj,

    of course that’s his intention. It’s a primary fight, and his gimmick won’t save his ass. The more he attacks Hillary, the more likely dems will rally around Hillary.

  31. mj, I like EE, I respect(ed) her, I just wish she would back off of HRC a little. I mean, it looks at times as if she has a vendetta on her.
    And why she is buying into this thing I don’t really get. I don’t really see who’s to gain from going after this story.

    Maybe this gives the repugs a chance to show some fake strength, by doing what they do best – attack. But why help them do that.
    If you give it attention, you feed it, and it will grow. That’s why I like what HRC is doing now, letting her people deal with it and rudy.

    Like she has with Edwards and Obama in the past, they have been looking for a fight, and have found none. Because HRC refuses to let them get to her, giving them no chance to grow!
    Now thats experience, and discipline!

  32. Ok, Kostner, but I do worry about Rudy trying to tie Hillary with MoveOn, and I do think it was political calculation on EE’s part to just today comment on the ad. For myself, I said on this very site I though the ad was way beyond acceptable. Worse yet, it has meant that the media will spend the weekend dicussing this silly ad instead of Bush’s failed policy.

  33. Obama and Edwards et. al. are wishing Rudy would attack them. Hillary is the clear frontrunner and every Ripublican attack unites the Dem base to support her now, before any votes are cast in primaries.

    As to Rudy, he has enough problems trying to convince his kids and his ex-wives to support him. He is not going to be the Ripublican nominee. But supposing he is able to survive losing the first batch of primaries and then manages to capture the nomination by amassing huge delegate counts in California, NY, Florida and other big states, what then?

    With Rudy as the nominee a lot of social issues and old reliable Ripublican red meat (gun control, immigration, gay rights, abortion rights, etc.) issues won’t be in play. OkieAtty might have a better idea of Rudy’s popularity in places like Oklahoma but we doubt Rudy will play well in red states.

    There is also the probable third party run from some right-winger with Rudy as the Top Ripublican.

    Also, OkieAtty, Hillary at the OK State Fair? It would be amazing if it happened. It would show no red state is safe from Hillary’s charms.

  34. MJ, any attack is a concern but an attack from Rudy we label as clown material. Yes, there might be some tarnish, but the opposite effect of uniting Democrats and Independents to Hillary is an even greater positive effect. When Ripublicans attack Hillary or any Democrat it is easier for the voter to see the possibility that the attacks are political and that the attacks might not be fair.

    The danger we worry about is when Naderites, PINOs and Big Blogs – disguised as well intentioned Democrats – attack a fellow Democrat. Attacks from this type of PINO coalition confuses voters because they often assume that if a Democrat says something nasty about another Democrat then there must be some truth in the charge. (Recall, the Willie Horton ads that were run against Dukakis to such great effect came out of the Democratic primary – the Ripublicans then used the resonant attacks to finish off Dukakis.)

    The PINO type charge is the dangerous attack, not Ripublican attacks. The PINO attacks get repeated in the media as somehow “bipartisan” and therefore true. For instance, when Clinton and gays in the military came up in the 90s, it was the opposition of Sam Nunn which really stung. The Ripublican opposition and the military opposition were to be expected. But when Democratic Senator Sam Nunn turned on Clinton the end of the proposal could be seen.

    We were very restrained in our criticism of Obama for instance. We do not like to say anything that would hurt another Democrat. We “took the gloves off” when Obama was caught peddling anonymous memos smearing Bill and Hillary Clinton – for which he has NEVER apologized. All of Obama’s other dirty works we would have tolerated but the anonymous memos were clear cut proof of the dirty campaign Obama was running and would continue to run, unless opposed with vigor by us. At that point we published an article in which we stated that from then on Obama would be referred to by us as (D-Rezko).

    BTW, if Obama had run the type of campaign he PROMISED, Hillary would not be doing as well, because the electorate and Democratic activists and Big Media would have thought that in fact Obama did represent some “new” politics and the “new” always has an allure in American culture.

  35. Admin, you are right about that. Deval Patrick ran the same campaign but he was very mch in control. He never took the low road and it paid off in dividends. Now I see that was him and NOT Axelrod. I really like Deval, but politics have not changed. Same old politics.

  36. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow on Saturday will endorse U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton for president in 2008, according to a source close to the Clinton campaign.

    Stabenow becomes the highest-ranking Democratic official in Michigan to endorse Clinton. Clinton’s Michigan campaign is co-chaired by former Democratic Gov. James Blanchard

    Neither Gov. Jennifer Granholm nor U.S. Sen. Carl Levin have endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate.

    The Clinton campaign officially would say only that it was announcing a major congressional endorsement Saturday afternoon.

  37. Kostner, great news on Stabenow. Inevitability continues to march ahead. Terrondt was right when he noted that Obama has zero union endorsements. Hillary has a great team, money, endorsements, union support, nationwide support. Obama has a few endorsements and money. Edwards has some union support. Only Hillary has everything that it takes to win.

    Michigan was a state the Edwards people thought they could win but every day it becomes more and more a Hillary state.

  38. Here is a good overview on the SEIU/AFSCME situation:

    Oh, the deadline for health plans was Aug 1st!

  39. Hi folks.

    Some heads-up.

    ANDREA MITCHELL, the Greenspan’s whore, will bash Clinton campaign on Matthew’s show over the weekend.

    A sneak peak at this weekend’s “Chris Matthews Show”:

    “Up until now, Bill Clinton has been a complete plus among Democratic primary voters for Hillary Clinton. But now, with the Norman Hsu money-raising controversy, for the first time there’s a real concern in the Clinton camp that this is real baggage from the Clinton White House years. There’s a lot of stress, a lot of damage control, a lot of finger-pointing — and in fact, stress is so high that there was a shouting match observed among Clinton staffers in public last week.”

    Clinton is riding high in the poll. There is ZERO evidence they’ve been ruffled by this Hsu controversy. They made a tough decision and got out very quickly. What the hell is this STUPID Lady talking about?

  40. HLR, I get that she missed the deadline, but she already had her own plans for addressing healthcare. I think she was quite purposeful, and wanted to use her plan in the fall to seal the deal. I don’t know why they would punish her for not being able to go directly according to their plans.

  41. Oh great, now we will be treated to yet another weekend of Hsu on the nets. What the hell is Mitchell talking about? What an ass.

  42. CBS) NEW YORK — Ever since Rudy Giuliani aborted his race for Senate against Hillary Clinton in 2000, the political world has been hungering for a re-match between the political titans.

    On Friday, with both candidates running for president, we got a taste of what could be.

    Suddenly, it’s Rudy versus Hillary all over again.

    Giuliani plunged head-first into a growing controversy over the activist group

    “Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of herself for that,” Giuliani said.

    The organization publicly mocked Gen. David Petraeus this week as “General Betray Us.” On Friday, Giuliani tried to link Clinton to that comment by purchasing his own ad in the New York Times.

    “These times call for statesmanship, not politicians spewing political venom,” it reads.

    But Clinton had nothing to do with the Moveon ad. Instead, Giuliani cites her comment this week during Petraeus’ testimony.

    Clinton said, “…this requires the willing suspension of disbelief.”

    Giuliani then swooped in: “I’m not sure what she was trying to say … but she was saying that he wasn’t telling the truth.”

    On Friday, Clinton’s campaign shot back, saying:

    “It’s hardly surprising that Mayor Giuliani is running the first negative ad of the ’08 campaign, given his inability to justify his unqualified support for President Bush’s failed Iraq strategy.”

    Giuliani’s move comes as Fred Thompson is eroding the ex-mayor’s lead in the race. This could be Giuliani’s way of seizing the momentum again.

    “He’d love nothing more than for her or members of her campaign to respond in an agitated way to what is clearly at best a very dubious linkage between what Moveon does and what Hillary Clinton says,” said David Birdsell, professor at Baruch College.

    With the war debate intensifying, some anti-war protestors descended upon Clinton’s Manhattan office Friday. But fewer than two-dozen protestors showed up.

    As the poor turnout over this rally shows, it hasn’t been easy to tarnish Clinton over the war issue. But a lot of people are still very eager to try.

  43. Admin, what do you think? Mitchell bringing up long discredited WH scandals an arguments between aides seems pretty inside baseball to me.

  44. Kostner:

    i agree that was unwarranted……but Rudy is a chickenshit….he removed himself from the Iraq study group…wanting to stay from the most important issue facing…iraq war….he stayed away because he did not want to commit himself….

  45. And so far… has been mostly on Edwards side….he met with that group more than most! also likely got the most money from as well.

  46. As we wrote in a previous entry, the way to fight this Hsu story is to bring out the entire Hsu story, not run from this story. The Hillary Team has done what it felt it needed to do regarding Hsu and contributions.

    Obama and the suicide epidemic he is attached to can’t be ignored forever. Eventually the U.S. Prosecutor’s office in Illinois will issue subpoenas. Hsu will have a trial and we will learn why he thinks Obama was planting stories in the press about him. Hsu will in all likelihood be able to depose Obama aides. Big Media will eventually shift to Obama/Hsu. Instant Karma.

  47. Gingrich Thinks No Candidate a Match For the Clinton Machine

    Newt Gingrich, who must wake up each day spewing ideas and dispensing advice, offered a gloomy prognosis today of his party’s chances of winning the White House in 2008 and his own prospects of running.

    “I believe for any Republican to win in 2008, they have to have a clean break and offer a dramatic, bold change,” he said. “If we nominate somebody who has not done that…they’re very, very unlikely to win it.”

    Republicans must break with President Bush and separate themselves from the current state of the political system, he said, and so far none of the current candidates has met that test. But he also made clear that there is now almost no likelihood that he will become a candidate himself, having too little money, too much baggage and too much impatience for a successful campaign.

    Gingrich, like many Republicans, believes Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, and he spoke with some awe of the Clinton machine after remarking on the fact that, on the same day, Bill Clinton was on Oprah and Hillary Clinton was on the Ellen DeGeneres show. “As a professional, I am very, very impressed,” he said.

    Clinton can be defeated, he said, but only by the kind of campaign that none of the potential nominees is yet running. “None of the Republicans have figured out how to get a routine, repetitive explanation of the future that breaks out of the current situation and that’s their primary challenge,” he said. “Whoever does that will both, I think, win the nomination and have a realistic chance of defeating Sen. Clinton.”

  48. Hey guys, What do you make of this?

    Posted on, The Fix:

    Clinton and Senior Iowa Operative Part Ways
    Angelique Pirozzi, the Iowa field director for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), is no longer a part of the campaign — the Clinton campaign’s first senior staff departure since it reshuffled its Hawkeye State staff in June.

    Clinton’s campaign would not confirm whether Pirozzi had resigned or had been fired; “She is no longer with the campaign,” was all spokesman Mo Elleithee would offer when contacted on the matter.

    Pirozzi, often described as a protege of uber organizer Michael Whouley, has a long history in Iowa Democratic presidential politics, having served as caucus manager for Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 victory and as deputy caucus manager for then-Vice President Al Gore in 2000. In between those races, Pirozzi managed Kerry’s 2002 re-election race to the Senate.

    Clinton’s campaign has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Iowa so far in the race. A leaked internal campaign memo from deputy campaign manager Mike Henry advised the candidate to skip Iowa, a suggestion that caused a national uproar. Clinton said she never seriously considered the possibility and moved to strengthen her Iowa staff in the early summer by placing highly-regarded operative Teresa Vilmain in charge of her Iowa operation.

    Since then the campaign has steadied considerably. A recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll showed Clinton leading the pack with 28 percent followed by former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) at 23 percent and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in third with 19 percent.

  49. What I can’t figure out about Andrea Mitchell’s statement is what the Hsu thing has to do with Bill Clinton’s “scandals.” Hsu has zero connection to Bill Clinton, as far as I can tell. They keep trying to turn BC into a liability when he’s anything but.

    Yes, returning the $850,000 was damage control, but it was done quickly to get ahead of the story.

    As for the public argument, does anyone know anything about that? I doubt it was anything more than a tempest in a teapot.


    Today, one week later, on Compton Avenue in South Central Los Angeles, Sen. Clinton greeted a crowd of community leaders from Watts, before heading to her own Hollywood fundraiser. Clinton, clearly drawing a contrast to Obama’s tonier campaign venue in Los Angeles, took questions from audience members. She was joined on stage by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Laura Richardson, and Magic Johnson at King/Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science.

    Sen. Clinton was introduced as the “point guard” in this faux basketball team on stage, Magic was the “center,” Villagarosa the “swing forward.” Civil rights and discrimination were common themes in this discussion. “Anybody who tells you there is no longer discrimination in America is not living with their eyes open,” said Clinton. “This administration basically dismantled the civil rights division of the justice department.”

    One audience member took the microphone and told Sen. Clinton that she was “extremely attractive.” Clinton got a high-five from Magic after that comment.

    Clinton’s fundraiser at Magic’s house is a much smaller event, compared to the glitz and glamour at Oprah’s house. Those expected to show: Quincy Jones, Berry Gordon (Motown founder,) and Clarence Avant (Famous record executive.)

  51. mj:

    Interesting. Pirozzi was bumped down from Field Director to GOTV coordinator during Kerry’s campaign. Same time of year, too — Sept.

  52. As for the finger-pointing, perhaps there are some staffers who think Hsu should’ve been flagged before he became a HillRaiser. I can see that point of view.

    Anyway, there’s no poll effect from the Hsu thing thus far, which is very good news.

  53. I love this sentence:

    One audience member took the microphone and told Sen. Clinton that she was “extremely attractive.” Clinton got a high-five from Magic after that comment.

  54. You know, the more I think about it, the more disgusted I am. It is quite obvious to me that one or more of the other candidates(at least Obama, perhaps Edwards) is providing the media with oppo research designed to make Hillary appear too cozy with China and India. It’s designed to scare workers. That’s just so wrong, and it also picks up on racial tensions. I really don’t like it.

  55. MJ, the Magic story is really nice. Did you read the one we posted the other day about Obama being told by “Opie” that Hillary will stop the war and Obama not knowing what to say but to call the kid “Opie”?

    As to planted stories, read the documentation we posted on Axelrod and his history of planting stories. Axelrod got away with that tactic in earlier races, but this is the big time. We don’t fall for his nonsense and tricks. He has gotten caught over and over with his typical negative and anonymous attacks against Hillary (possibly Edwards too, if as we heard it was the Obama campaign that leaked the $400 haircut story after oppo researching Edwards’ FEC reports. Edwards is responsible for allowing such a charge to be made to his campaign but Obama is not “new” politics enough to point out that entry in a sneaky way).

    If you are disgusted with the racial component of these disgusting tactics, remember, there is no question that it is Obama and his campaign peddling these racially tinged attacks (like calling Hillary the representative from Punjab).

    Dem Dem pointed out that Hsu being Chinese plays right into the type of attacks Obama indulges in and which have helped him climb the electoral ladder. The only thing new is that his dirty history is being documented now and being publicized. And we are calling him on it.

  56. Yeah, that Opie story was funny. Obama leaked the haircut story? Gee, this guy will stomp all over his fellow Party members.

  57. Sorry MJ. Sorry Paula. Since turning 50, I have found I get easily confused and forgetful. But even so, I am not crazy enough to sit down with sworn enemies of the United States without preconditions regardless of what Dr. Z tells me to do.

  58. LADem, my ex-roomie said Bill’s handshake was warm and solid, and that he has very large hands. Gore’s handshake was stiff and clammy. What’s your problem anyhow? It’s just an old story. Lighten up.

    Admin, as for the OK State Fair, supposedly the rumor was on the local news according to the site operator who heard it from a junior ODP staffer. And for Rudy, he’s not very well-liked by my Rep pals. They like Huckabee and Thompson (mostly bc they know very little about him but that he ‘looks’ presidential). The last poll I saw showed Rudy ahead at 32%.

    I think Hillary will do fine with SEIU. I bet her plan involves business backing being lined up ahead of the release. She leaves nothing to chance.

  59. I found the following analysis by a poster on Obama’s candidady on ‘openleft’ is pretty convincing…

    Obama is Done (4.00 / 2)
    An astute and intelligent analysis from Stoller and Bowers. One other thing signaled early on that Obama was not a serious contender:
    Obama never was an organic candidate unlike, the self made Bill Clinton, who masterminded and managed his own social and political network for the presidency from his time in university onwards. For good or for ill, Clinton was his own campaign manager and tirelessly plodded and plotted towards the presidency. Obama on the other hand is something of a petri dish creation. Grown in an incubator of assorted interests drawn from a coalition of Chicago’s monied leaders, disgruntled ex-Clinton administration types and African-American aspiring middle classes and elites. Obama was the prize horse and his backers were sure he could take the prize away from Hillary Clinton with the black vote as their secret weapon. Obama unlike Bill Clinton did not have to scrap, beg, seduce, cajoal, triangulate his way to the presidency, Obama just had “to be” like a GQ model or show horse, all Obama had to do was to strut his considerable stuff. Others would ensure the money, publicity and support flowed in. In a way, as a candidate, Obama was always a bit spoilt, a bit of a diva. Languidly elegant in crisp white shirts, he never seemed to pound the pavement in threadworn shoes and threadbare clothes like the 1992 Bill Clinton in New Hampshire who played Willy Loman eager to close the next sale as if his life depended on it. Obama is not prepared for the grim dull slog of running a campaign, he expected and still does, to be hoisted on the shoulder to easy victory by the black vote. The big shock though and a puzzle to Obama and his supporters is that a majority of the black vote has not yet significantly broken his way. The seemingly easy calculus of denying and defeating Hillary with the black vote does not appear to have panned out and in some respects has taken the wind out of Obama’s sails. Obama, in other words never really had a deeply pressing urgent agenda that he would bust his guts to see done as president. He was just there. A promising candidate in the right place, at the right time, and that was good enough for him and his backers. Unfortunately voters can smell lack of urgency, or fire in the belly or whatever you want to call it. Especially blue collar, lower income workers both black and white, who litteraly cannot afford Obama as a “feel good” candidate. They want someone who they percieve will fight for their interests till the last dog dies.

  60. You know, Kost that is just how I see his candidacy. Even those of us in the middle class can not afford him. Our health premiums have gone up 78% since 2001. Our schools are underfunded. Our cities don’t have their proper COPS funding. We want the war ended competently. Hey, maybe Obama would turn out to be great after a couple years training, but none of us can afford his on the job training. I hope voters are not fooled by him.

  61. Good posting. It highlights the difference between a politican with a working class background and an ivy league education vs. an ivy league politican.

  62. Mark Greenberg has a great article in Huffpost on Rudi–before he became a national shrine. It puts Rudis comments about Hillary and in the proper pespective. Tried to post the link twice but it did not take.

  63. The Big Bloggers are turning against Obama — Markos of Daily Kos says in tomorrow’s WaPo:

    [“It’s great [Obama] had good judgment,” said Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, who runs the popular liberal blog Daily Kos, but he added: “There’s no clarity of message.” Moulitsas argues that Obama should have firmly come out against any bill that offers funding for the war without a timetable for withdrawal, as Edwards has.]

  64. Gosh. Edwards is spending like a drunk sailer…

    Edwards’ ad spending

    A reader familiar with the present cost of cable television time e-mails that Edwards paid about $150,000 for his two minutes of MSNBC last night.

    That’s two weeks of television time in Des Moines, and reflects the campaign’s willingness to spend on keeping him a national candidate, perhaps a national, buzz-inspiring “insurgent,” even while trying to guard his Iowa edge.

  65. A new expense for Edwards

    President Bush, in signing the lobbying ethics bill today, just made John Edwards’ campaign — along with those of several Republicans — quite a bit more expensive.

    That’s because Edwards is the only leading Democrat who flies on a supporter’s private jet, rather than flying on a charter jet; the bill closes a loophole that billed private jet rides to campaigns at the price of a first-class ticket, one of the great deals in politics while it lasted.

  66. Some campaign finance reform, huh? So now only candidates with serious money can fly private jet, practically the only way to travel that makes sense in a national campaign. Man, Congress can’t get anything right.

  67. mj,

    I just read that stupid ‘Yoshi En Son’s claim that kos was bought by Clinton despite his vehement daily attack against Hillary.

    I’m surprised that nobody brought out the fact Obama had actually bought ads on dailykos in the past. Nobody remembers it except me? After the dictator debate, Obama campaign purchased ads on almost every lefty blog EXCEPT myDD. Those Obama supporters even bragged about this saying Jerome’s attitude irritated Obama. I recall vividly Obama’s ad on dailykos.

  68. I have no idea. It could be completely made up. It’s a popular japanses name. I have three japanese friends named Yoshi actually.

  69. Hey y’all, It’s me, it’s me, it’s earnest t. Now I know some of y’all know where that comes from cause I see references to Gomer and Opie on this site. Lordy, I was just readin’ the site and tryin’ to catch up. Looks like EE’s at it again, Rudy’s sayin’ Hillary dreamed up “be-tray-us” and is in league with, obama is knee deep in it, and our girl is hangin’ tough. My head was spinnin’ by the time I got through all of this. But saw somebody asked about me and wanted to say I appreciated it. I just been tired and so I got on tonight to try and catch up with all the news. That chicago business sounds pretty complex. I am glad to hear about Hillary’s meetin’ in Watts and the good support that she’s got with Magic and Quincy and others. I was at a meetin’ tonight here at a church and some people I assume Naderites were talking about advocating a general strike on election day until the current administration resigns. Will these people never learn? I just thought I’d nominate that little idea for the daily Darwin award. You know how they give out Darwin awards every year. Well I think we ought to give them out with special categories for political Darwins. Just an idea. Thanks for askin’ about me, I was missin’ y’all. mollyj

  70. Good to hear from you MollyJR.

    You missed Hillary not saying anything about move-on though you got Rudy attacking her about move-on; then there is move-on attacking her for not doing what move-on wants her to do and EE attacking move-on but move-on not saying anything but instead choosing to move-on.

    and yes, we like that Opie feller, he’s a right good Democrat.

  71. Admin, I wish would moveon.outtahere. I think they did some good things in the beginnin’ but now it seems counterproductive. I thought somebody had a real good pointabout Obama choosin’ to do attack style politics. What became obvious at that point was that he was politics as usual. rather than puttin’ the emphasis on working together, unifying people, he chose to go negative quickly. And EE did the same and then JE went off the deep end with negativity. As you pointed out, this does help Hillary, in some ways. But I find it disappointing when people resort to name calling, plantin’ articles and such. That makes me proud that Hillary stays on the high road and yet has no trouble at all showing her toughness. In the midst of all this chaos, Hillary’s done a great job of stayin’ on message and it’s a tribute to her excellent organization and team. Is there any evidence that Obama got a positive bump in the polls from Oprah’s endorsement? Seems not to have helped at all. mollyj

  72. Question: Has anybody actually seen Michael Moore’s “sicko” film? It’s here in town right now. And I’ve heard that it (he) insinuates that Senator Clinton was bought off by the insurance companies, or at least, knuckled under to the health insurance companies when trying to work toward change on this during President Clinton’s first term. Some people have brought it up to me in discussing Hillary and health care reform. How do others on here address that? –mollyj

  73. I have not seen sicko, molly, but I am looking forward to it. From what I have heard, it is mostly favorable toward Hil, but then says she’s now one of the biggest recipients of health care dollars. I say they are betting on who they percieve will win, and that she is on health and human services committee, and that she has already worked/working to expand federally funded health care, voted to allow reimportation of drugs and to allow medicare to negotiate drug prices. Her full plan comes out Monday. I wrote a little something about it on

  74. Oh, also Molly, Hillary was in know way bought off by the insurers, nor did she buckle. Her plan recieved much praise when it first arrived in Congress. Then, Moynihan wanted to deal w/welfare reform first, and the Dem’s lost Congress. Moynihan was a real impediment. Also, the insurers and pharma companies ran a $100 million dollar campaign against her plan, that’s how “in bed” she is wih them.

  75. Thanks, mj. That’s a nice site you got over there at I appreciate the information about Sicko. –mollyj

  76. This needs some kind of rebuttal. It’s being discussed on Daily Kos, the DU and who knows where else. Evidently Obama (what are the odds it’s NOT his campaign) is pushing the notion that the Clinton campaign is in “havoc” in Iowa because one staffer left. I’m not all that asute on politics and even I know that’s a gross exaggeration. Obvious we will be seeing more and more of this over the coming weeks.

  77. Admin, your earlier point advantage Hillary on the Guilania attack was echoed last night by the senior editior of Slate magazine which only goes to show there are some in the media who get it.

    I am not troubled that Hillary did not do the knee jerk thing and condemn Move The ad was ridiculous, the issue was diversionary and requires no comment. Instead, she focused on the one thing that matters–our failing policy in Iraq.

  78. molly richards, you probably saw the Mark Penn interview yesterday in which he indicated that in his opinion the Oprah endorsement is likely to move money– not votes.

  79. Nice article from The Guardian;

    Hillary rolls along

    Voting for the Democratic presidential nomination gets closer every week – and Hillary Clinton looks more and more like she may be sewing this thing up.

    Is the Democratic nomination already Hillary’s? Could be. In some ways, it’s a pretty simple calculation. She began with the support of the Democratic establishment, at least a third of primary voters, a big advantage with women, who make up the majority of these voters, and by far the most experienced campaign organization. Though she’s been – rather amazingly – out-fundraised a bit by Barack Obama’s campaign, she’s got all the dough she needs.

    Last March a friend who’s actually supporting Obama and has run many campaigns marveled at the Clinton’s campaign staffers’ ability “to swim in their own lanes.” It takes enormous self-discipline for Democrats to do that because it is a congenital condition of Democrats (like reporters) to think they know politics better than anyone.

    But here is one of the almost countless advantages Hillary enjoys by virtue of her marriage. Nobody seriously thinks he understands American politics better than Bill Clinton does. Having the only Democrat who happened to win two full terms as president since FDR as your top adviser ends a lot of arguments before they begin.

    What’s more, for a front-runner to lose a nomination – something that is admittedly far more common among Democrats than Republicans – something big has to happen to upset the proverbial apple cart. But not only has Hillary’s organization worked enormously effectively, the candidate’s performance itself has been almost flawless.

    She has shined in the debates, demonstrating poise, knowledge and even warmth in equal measure. No less important, she has defanged her most significant nemesis: her Iraq vote and her relationship to the party’s furiously antiwar base.

  80. No, I missed that wb, but thanks for tellin me about it. Also I agree about her not saying anything about moveon. I think Hillary’s statement to the General and Ambassador was on point. All that earlier condemin’ of moveon was just grandstandin anyway by the politicos on the committee and she stayed focused on the business at hand and did a great job in my opinion. mollyj

  81. From staff to

    MollyJR – on the Sicko situation and other issues regarding healthcare, we will have several articles on Hillary and healthcare possibly tomorrow Sunday and of course Monday (unless another Obama blunder throws the publication schedule off again).

    And AmericanGal on the issue of staff changes: latest polls show Hillary ahead in Iowa. Campaigns which are ahead and acknowledged by just about everyone to be excellent (see the article The Realist links to) which makes changes in staff are not in havoc. A smart campaign such as Hillary’s continues to fine tune its operation. The Hillary Team will continue to fine tune, sharpen and refocus operations as needs arise: it is a dynamic operation not a static operation.

    You must have pity for those shouting “havoc”. They don’t know what they are talking about. They are naive and inexperienced.

    A Fred Thompson campaign which has key staffers quitting on a daily basis is in havoc. Some wag said that the Thompson campaign might be the first campaign to implode before it was officially announced.

    Another example of campaign havoc is Obama who has plummeted in the polls from the mid thirties to the twenties. Obama needs major staff changes. Axelrod should have been fired a long time ago. Gibbs should never have been hired. Obama should be fired too. And Michelle is not the brightest bulb either. Obama’s campaign is in “havoc” but they are too naive and inexperienced to realize it.

  82. kostner, Thank you for posting that spot-on analysis. Remember how the CW was Hillary was expecting the nomination to be handed to her? Well, she’s outworked Obama and all the others, and is reaping the benefits.

    AmericanGal, I wouldn’t worry about that “havoc” charge. Those people are just looking for straws to grasp. Hillary’s doing fine in Iowa, as far as I can tell.

  83. The Manchester Guardian article is excellent. I wonder why British journalists often have a clearer perspective on US events than America journalists. I rather suspect it is because they are not straight jacketed by the leggo block narrative of American media and are not trying to be a kingmaker. They just report the facts, unlike our own media darlings.

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