Hillary Clinton – The Juggernaut Begins To Move

The other Democratic candidates probably think the Hillary Clinton Juggernaut has been on the move since January – but they are wrong. From January until September 15 the Hillary Juggernaut was rousing itself, organizing itself, gathering the storm clouds.

Now the Hillary Juggernaut has begun to move.

It is not the reinforced concrete poll numbers reflecting Hillary’s popularity that have to worry opposition candidates. It is not the hardening and climbing poll numbers in the early primary states. Although, as the devastating ruminations by the Gallup Guru indicate, it is almost certain that Hillary will get the nomination. The latest Gallup poll proves that adding up the total support for all of Hillary’s opponents (46%) still would not dilute Hillary’s frontrunner status (47%).

It is not the money raised in support of Hillary that has to worry opposition candidates. Tens of millions of dollars have been raised by the Hillary Team. The money raised helps get the message out. But another campaign has raised millions of dollars too, yet that campaign sinks like a large, heavy, quadruped in thick mud.

Consider, on September 15 in a political shocker, former General Wesley Clark, a potential candidate himself, endorsed Hillary. That endorsement led to a near constant presence on TV by Hillary. From Tom Harkin’s Steak Fry to a speech at the Laborers’ International Union of North America, later a rousing speech to SEIU members.

But the most important event was the presentation by Hillary of her top domestic program – the American Health Choices Plan. The Hillary plan has dominated political conversation for the past few days.

A series of television appearances on Tuesday culminated in a webcast conversation to discuss the American Health Choices Plan followed by a nationwide conference call to mobilize the next phase of the Juggernaut.

On September 10 Hillary campaign headquarters sent out an email to supporters requesting help for the next phase of the campaign. With 20 offices already open in Iowa and poll leads in all the early primary states it was time to move beyond the early primary states. 3,600 people responded to the email within 72 hours.

Respondents to the email received a phone call from the campaign almost immediately. Human contact. The campaign provided details to a nationwide conference call for those wishing to assist. The first step is to provide some innovative and powerful tools to help organize the campaign in the 23 states which will vote on February 5, 2008.

Inspiring stories were heard on the conference call. From Joan in Olympia, Washington – a teacher who supports Hillary because she knows Hillary has prepared herself for the job. Tyson, from Waldorf, Maryland, a former member of the Air Force who as a manager at a temporary agency related a touching story on the need for universal healthcare. Melissa, from Stork, Florida is a student who knows Hillary is needed for a better future. Paul, from Dallas, Texas – whose interest is in civil rights. Paul is a longtime, now former, member of the Navy submarine service. Paul understands the need for civil rights. Paul is gay. Paul supports Hillary. Craig, who was drafted to serve in Vietnam. Craig sees the similarities of Vietnam and Iraq. He wants Hillary and her sensible solutions to help unite the country.

With the churning but much earlier primary calendar the campaign acknowledges that there is no way to send enough informational mail and buy sufficient television advertisements to saturate all 23 states voting on February 5, 2008. The campaign will rely on the grassroots for this national campaign. There are at most 20 weeks to the start of voting.

This accessible campaign will help connect individuals. On October 11 – Team Hillary meetings. There will be follow-up emails, and weekly conference calls, contacts at the campaign, some interesting new tools to help Hillary supporters connect.

The first goal is to host organizational meetings. Get all Hillary supporters involved with the campaign.

HILLARY spoke at the conference call:

Hillary thanked the over 1000 people on that call.

(excerpts of remarks follow) Great to be on with you and thanks for taking time from your busy schedules. You’ve met some of the great people working for me. It has been a wonderful day.

I introduced the third part of my healthcare plan yesterday that will give us universal health care, with reduced cost and give better healthcare to everybody. We have got to do this for every single American. This is the result of years of effort. It is based on what works in our country. It is my highest domestic priority.

It is important we make the case to bring costs down and quality up. It’s exciting to be back fighting for healthcare. We are picking up support across the country. So much is at stake in the election. We want to speed the clock up because we are upset at what has happened the last 6 years.

I have been traveling all over with the emphasis on early states. I am very optimistic. I can’t do it without your help. We need thousands of people across the country.

On October 11 we will bring Team Hillary together. Bring your friends together. We will provide information. A grassroots movement. We will work for the important agenda items I have worked all my life for (speaks eloquently on issues). I am asking you to participate and we will make history together.

Thank you.

The Juggernaut Cometh.

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56 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton – The Juggernaut Begins To Move

  1. mmm…..while I like that she is moving up and support it, I do not like to use the word “juggernaut”…..

    I do agree…this week she was the most confident; even passionate on the healthcare issue.

  2. according to politico.

    The case of top trial lawyer Bill Lerach, who will reportedly acknowledge in his guilty plea this week making under-the-table payment, has been all over the business pages, but for some reason hasn’t quite spilled over into the recent catalog of political donor messes.

    Edwards, though, is particularly tied to him. Though he’s giving away the $4,600 from Lerach, Lerach is also listed as a bundler, and employees of the lawyer’s firm are his third-largest group of donors, mostly giving in the first quarter.

    And Edwards actually campaigned a bit on Lerach’s behalf earlier this year (in a matter unrelated to the charges.) Lerach was lobbying the SEC to file an amicus brief supporting his argument that Enron shareholders could sue companies who allegedly helped Enron commit fraud, as well as suing Enron itself.

    In a May 16 press release that appears on Lerach’s website, but not on Edwards’, Edwards is quoted calling on the SEC to get involved (as it ultimately did):

    “I urge the S.E.C. to fulfill its historic mission of protecting investors. Silence, or even worse, siding with fraud participants, would be a betrayal of that mission,” said Edwards.

  3. According to politico:

    This is getting nasty. Rev. Jesse Jackson slams Obama for ‘acting white’ . I am not a big fan of Jesse Jackson, but this sort of bickering between him and obama won’t do Obama any good in SC when he really needs to shore up his support among AA community.

    I thought Jesse Jackson endorsed Obama?

  4. Jesse Jackson denies saying that. However and possibly worse is Jesse saying Obama needs to be “bolder”. After Rev. Jackson sees the new Obama ad he will bang his head against the wall.

    Jesse Jackson won South Carolina when he ran for president and is in SC now on a voter registration drive. He endorsed Obama long ago. He knows something is very wrong with the Obama campaign. Obama if he had any judgement would listen to Jesse Jackson. Instead they produced the new tepid ad that says nothing but echos Obama campaign speeches about “hope monger” and such. The photography of the ad is also rather miserable. It’s almost as if the Obama campaign decided at the last minute to do an ad in a hotel room.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0907/5902.html

  5. Admin, I love your description of what is happening now. It gives me the sense of an army of American people on the move. It also reflects a new approach to political leadership since we have not seen before. Her campaign is based on a conversation with the American people where she talks and she also listens. It reaches over the heads of media filters, lobbyists and speaks directly to voter concerns. In the final analysis, the voters want change (from Bush), but I believe that what they
    really want from our next president is solutions to the seemingly intractible problems that jeopardize our future, plus the will and capacity to implement them. That is what Hillary is offering, the health care reform proposal is part and parcel of it, and I think the country is ready to support that kind of leadership.

  6. Hey, admin: I wrote a diary today on this same topic over at Daily Delusion. The Delusional are unhappy and incapable of reasoning, but the juggernaut moves forward.

  7. MJ this is disappointing, but hardly surprising. They were leaning that way before, and group think can be hard to change. Edwards is a pass master of the emotional, conspiratorial argument, honed over decades as a plaintiffs lawyer, and that can have a gut level appeal to certain audiences.

    Andy Stern is a different story. He is a smart guy, and good leader. I fully expect he understands and appreciates the benefit of Hillary’s plan to his members. I also believe he understands that Edwards will not prevail in the primary, and aspires to have influence in the next adiministration.

    This is the classic problem that every labor leader must confront from time to time, namely a conflict between a vote of the membership vs. their long term interests and those of the institution. We shall see how he handles it.

  8. I wrote a reply (a personal opinion) in defense of Hillary’s multipayer health health plan at myDD.

    http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/9/19/104133/933#4

    I hope LADemocrat and others, who’re dissapointed with Hillary’s Plan for not being a single payer system, would reconsider and return to support her. Thank you.

    BTW, if you like my post, please kindly rate it up so I can gain trusted user status soon. Thank you. 🙂

  9. Link? – DCDemocrat

    And BTW, lots of information was left out of the article here. There is lots more to this story. Loose Lips Sink Ships, as the World War II slogan says.

  10. Looks like this story is continuing to brew. I don’t want to get into the ugly racial politics. But this is going to be good for Obama’s chance in SC.

    From First Read:

    Tomorrow, thousands of protestors will travel to Jena, LA in support of six African-American students accused of beating a white classmate. That protest — and the original incident — today spilled over in the Democratic presidential contest.

    That began this morning, when the Columbia State — and then Drudge — had Jesse Jackson criticizing Barack Obama for “acting like he’s white” for not responding forcefully enough to the Jena case. “If I were a candidate, I’d be all over Jena,” the paper quoted Jackson saying; Jackson has endorsed Obama for president.

    “Later,” the paper added, “Jackson said he did not recall making the ‘acting like he’s white’ comment about Obama, stressing he only wanted to point out the candidates had not seized on an opportunity to highlight the disproportionate criminal punishments black youths too often face.”

    Well, not long after that article made the rounds, Edwards released a statement, saying: “As someone who grew up in the segregated South, I feel a special responsibility to speak out on racial intolerance. To measure our progress in the fight against racism, today our nation looks to Jena, Louisiana. Americans of all races are traveling to Jena because they believe that how we respond to the racial tensions in Jena says everything about who we are as a nation.”

    And Clinton, it turns out, will be appearing on Al Sharpton’s radio show at 1:30 pm ET to discuss the Jena case.

    Speaking of Sharpton, who has helped to organize tomorrow’s march, his spokeswoman said that he spoke to Obama, and Obama “assured him that he is supporting him with his rally and march in Jena tomorrow.” The spokeswoman continued, “Neither of them understand the basis of Rev. Jackson’s remark.”

    Indeed, Obama released a statement on Friday saying he was pleased when an appeals court ruled that the aggravated battery charge of one of the Jena Six, who was 16 at the time, should not have been charged as an adult.

    Also, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, who is black, said the Jena incident “should not become an opportunity to denounce any of the presidential candidates. I think by far, any Democrat in the White House would do a far better job of ensuring equal justice under the law than the current administration.”

    Brazile later called back with a heads up that Jackson is saying he was misquoted on the “acting like he’s white” part of his statement about Obama and Jena.

  11. As we wrote earlier, Jesse Jackson denies saying the remark. We should take Jesse at this word until such time as contrary evidence surfaces. Jesse did say to students, as quoted, “Your fight is not about ropes, it’s about hope”.

    What this demonstrates is the frustration Obama supporters are beginning to express. As we also pointed out earlier, the new Obama ad is bad. Bad lighting, bad scipt, dull message. This must be frustrating to someone like JJ. The line about ropes and hopes should have come from the mouth of Obama. Instead it is Hillary once again on the radio with supposed JJ rival Al Sharpton talking about Jena.

    Once a campaign gets to this point, with prominent supporters sending clear and very public signals of their frustration the trajectory is down and downer. It won’t be long now until the clamor grows to fire top campaign people like Axelrod, Gibbs and Plouffe.

    Reverend Jesse Jackson, winner of the South Carolina primary years ago, is trying to help Obama. But Obama won’t listen.

  12. hi admin,

    I’m surprised that Axelrod, Gibbs and Plouffe are still hanging on… I guess the money from hat and t-shirts sales is still on track…

  13. TheNewPresidentClinton, Edwards should be told the old adage “People who live in glass mansions should not throw stones.”

  14. Admin:

    Or people who fly in glass private jets owned by crooked trial lawyers like Fred Baron.

    Next thing you know, he’ll be criticizing Hillary over hair stylists.

    Has he given Jeff Fieger’s money back yet?

  15. Update: the below sounds like real good news, if confirmed at 4:30 p.m.; Edwards supporters will be in full slump today:

    ———-
    On SEIU, Politico has several reports.

    #1 http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0907/SEIU_in_the_balance.html
    The SEIU just pushed a conference call with reporters back from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. this afternoon, and I’ve heard mixed things out of the union’s deliberations today, though various sources agree that Edwards’ supporters inside the union are pushing hard for what would be a big win for him.

    #2 http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0907/No_endorsement_today_from_SEIU.html
    the latest news:

    “An SEIU insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the union won’t endorse a presidential candidate today.

    Edwards’ California supporters were confident last night that they had the votes to make him the union’s candidate — it was Edwards or nobody — but, according to two sources, they weren’t able to pull it off over the opposition of big locals based in New York and Chicago.

    That’s a real loss for Edwards. The endorsement would have been a major vote of confidence and a source of institutional muscle at a time his campaign could use both, and he and his supporters inside the union pushed for it very, very hard.

    The decision today — which is expected to be announced in a 4:30 p.m. conference call — doesn’t mean the union can’t endorse later in the cycle.”

  16. Rough day for Edwards.

    http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=E-mails+lead+to+ouster+in+Edwards+camp&articleId=9dc9fbc8-f205-4842-8046-7abda955d2d5

    The deputy political director of John Edwards’ New Hampshire campaign has resigned after writing what the campaign describes as distasteful internal e-mails critical of fellow New Hampshire Democrats.

    Campaign spokesman Kate Bedingfield said last night that Matt Spence’s e-mails were “made public” when someone breached the campaign’s internal e-mail system, printed copies of the e-mails and sent them in the mail to several prominent New Hampshire Democrats.

  17. Edwards and Lobbyists hypocrisy:

    We love SEIU and think they do good work. Should we hate them because they are lobbyists?

    Here is the latest on Edwards hypocrisy via Tapped

    http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=09&year=2007&base_name=post_4977#018082

    John Edwards has made it very clear that he thinks lobbyists are the bane of the American political system, and will prevent needed healthcare reform. He said so again at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Political Action Conference yesterday, warning that if you give industry lobbyists a seat at the table, “they’ll eat all the food.” So it was with some amusement that I looked up, after Edwards finished his remarks yesterday, to find a man on the stage jazzing up the crowd for the SEIU’s “Lobby Day.”

    “We’re going to lobby, and then we’re going to lobby some more,” he shouted at the crowd. “And then we are going to rally.”

    And that, indeed, is the SEIU’s Political Action Conference’s agenda for today. From 10:30 to 11:30, the group is holding “Lobby Day Briefings” at the Washington Hilton, after which participants will be ferried to Capitol Hill by bus. And then, at 1:45, they will hold a “Money for Healthcare, Not War” rally.

    In addition to citizen lobbying efforts like today’s, the SEIU works with registered federal lobbyists to forward its agenda and weigh in on legislation critical to its members. Since just 2000, Senate records show, the SEIU has worked with: Bond & Co.; Clark & Weinstock; Colling Murphy Swift Hynes Selfridge LLC; Robert Giroux; Jennings Policy Strategies; the Nueva Vista Group; Bill Lynch Associates; and Tighe Patton Armstrong Teasdale.

    Additionally, the SEIU has its own in-house registered lobbyist, Alma Henderson, according to Senate disclosure records.

    These are likely the sorts of efforts Hillary Clinton was defending at the Yearly Kos conference when she said: “A lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans.”

    I seriously doubt that the Edwards campaign has a problem with any of this SEIU activity, either, despite his anti-lobbying stance.

    –Garance Franke-Ruta

  18. Edwards will respond to these allegations of hypocricy in his typical bold leadership style:

    He’ll send Elizabeth.

  19. Ugh, looks like zany ol’ Ralph Nader is threatening to run for President again, if Hillary gets the nomination. He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he “may run” in that case. Whatever… at this point, he’s relegated to the bottom of the ballot, with the rest of the loony candidates. Just passing the info along…

  20. her lead is hardening but i will not be overconfident. i will just say i like hillary’s position more than the other candidiates.

  21. Berkeley Vox: Fortunately, Nader proved in 2004 that people won’t buy any more of his snake oil. I am astonished at the number of people at daily kos who profess their adoration of Nader.

  22. don’t worry about that a**hole nader. he was marginilized in 2004. he will be again. by the way expect the nutkooks to jump on his bandwagon also in the general.

  23. John Edwards, who spent the offseason working at Wallstreet learning about “poverty,”now says all the money donated to the charity he started up to feed starving children was actually spent on his Presidential Campaign. The man is shameless.

    From the N.Y. Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/22/us/politics/22edwards.html?ex=1190260800&en=282adfc9dfb94911&ei=5070

    “Mr. Edwards, who reported this year that he had assets of nearly $30 million, came up with a novel solution, creating a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of fighting poverty. The organization, the Center for Promise and Opportunity, raised $1.3 million in 2005, and — unlike a sister charity he created to raise scholarship money for poor students — the main beneficiary of the center’s fund-raising was Mr. Edwards himself, tax filings show.

    The organization became a big part of a shadow political apparatus for Mr. Edwards after his defeat as the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004 and before the start of his presidential bid this time around. Its officers were members of his political staff, and it helped pay for his nearly constant travel, including to early primary states.

    While Mr. Edwards said the organization’s purpose was “making the eradication of poverty the cause of this generation,” its federal filings say it financed “retreats and seminars” with foreign policy experts on Iraq and national security issues. Unlike the scholarship charity, donations to it were not tax deductible, and, significantly, it did not have to disclose its donors — as political action committees and other political fund-raising vehicles do — and there were no limits on the size of individual donations.

    Of the explicitly political entities, Mr. Edwards’ OneAmerica Committee 527 organization allowed donors to give without limitations. The money was transferred to his leadership political action committee. Leadership committees were initially created to allow prominent politicians to raise money for distribution to needy office-seekers. But Mr. Edwards spent the entire $2.7 million he raised for OneAmerica, including $532,000 raised by the 527, on himself….”

    John Edwards is worth 30 million dollars, and he’s living off of the donations people are sending in to fight poverty? What cruel irony is this?

  24. New FL and CO Polls:

    americanresearchgroup.com/

    September 19, 2007 – Presidential Preferences

    Democrats FL
    Biden 5%
    Clinton 47% (Up 2)
    Dodd 1%
    Edwards 9%
    Gravel – –
    Kucinich 1%
    Obama 19% (down 6)
    Richardson 3%
    Undecided 15%

    Democrats CO
    Biden 3%
    Clinton 36%
    Dodd 1%
    Edwards 19%
    Gravel – –
    Kucinich 1%
    Obama 20%
    Richardson 5%
    Undecided 15%

    Hillary Clinton leads John Edwards 30% to 28% among men in Colorado and she leads Barack Obama 42% to 21% among women in Colorado. Clinton leads Obama 43% to 22% among men in Florida and she leads Obama 51% to 16% among women in Florida.

  25. What ever happened to that BIG foreign speech Obama was going to deliver? It created some fuzz leading up to it, did he ever deliver it?
    I haven’t heard a damn thing….

  26. Ramsussen NH poll has Hillary up 23, 40-17.

    I noticed her leads are smaller in the Cook and Zogby polls than in many others, but Obama is still in the low 20s, which is good news.

  27. From NBC/National Journal’s Mike Memoli
    — MANCHESTER, NH — This reporter interviewed voters here who participated in yesterday’s municipal elections. Call it the primary before the primary. And months before these same voters are to cast a ballot in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, many say they are undecided.

    An informal, unscientific survey of more than a 100 voters across New Hampshire’s largest city found that nearly three in five had not made a decision at this point. Clinton had a clear edge among Democrats who indicated a preference. Meanwhile, Republicans appear to be most uncertain. “It’s just one of those years where people are going to be undecided right up until the primary,” said Mayor Frank Guinta, a Republican seeking his second term this year. “I, like everybody else, want to meet [the candidates] three, four, or five times before I make a decision, and it’s tough because on both sides of the aisle you have very strong candidates.”

    Sixteen of 51 Dems surveyed chose Clinton, with no other candidate getting more than three votes. Twenty five were undecided, including Donna Smith, a voter in Ward 8 who has narrowed her chose to Clinton or Obama. “I think that Hillary has experience, obviously. But I’m not sure if the woman factor is going to be a weakness. As far as Obama goes, before the convention no one knew who he was… But he definitely has that spark.” Betsi Devries, a state senator and Manchester alderman who has endorsed Clinton, said Democrats are motivated regardless of their preference. “I think we have so many excellent Democratic candidates to choose from,” she said.

    Twenty four of the 44 voters who identified themselves as Republicans said they were undecided. Romney got six votes, followed by McCain with five. “We don’t have statesmen anymore,” said Alana Demers, a Republican in Ward 1, who is leaning toward Paul. “Right now, Bozo The Clown looks better than anyone,” another Republican voter said as she headed into the polling site.

    Nearly all of the unaffiliated voters surveyed were uncertain not only about which candidate they preferred, but also in which primary they’d vote. The three voters who had decided said they were planning to vote for Democrats. “Probably Iraq has a lot to do with it,” said Alec Deroches, an unaffiliated voter in Ward 8.

    At each of the four polling places, there was only a hint of presidential politics. Volunteers for Dodd were seen asking voters to fill out surveys on issues in Ward 8. In Ward 5, one of the more Dem-leaning in the city, a volunteer for the leading mayoral challenger was also giving out Obama literature. And in Ward 10 — which has a slight Democratic registration edge, but has supported Republican candidates in recent years — a few sign wavers were sporting Clinton buttons.

  28. MJ:

    You know things are going well when we’re crushing The Rookie by double-digits and at least a 50% margin–and those are the bad numbers.

  29. i believe they are mj. i would pay attention to the realclear politics.com averages website. they average the most recent national polls together. it is now 18.8 point lead for hillary over obama.

  30. Yes. Zogby and Cook poll likely voters, which is a much narrower group, FWIW. The state polls, however, are all looking very good right now.

  31. kostner, That Manchester, N.H., piece you posted is interesting. Though the anecdotal stuff looks encouraging for Hillary, this thing is far from over, and there are plenty of undecideds.

  32. mj: They actually are alright. They show the same general trend lines as other polls. Hillary’s numbers are greater than Edwards and Obama combined. A lot of this has to do with the particular sample a pollster gets. We don’t know what the confidence interval is (that is, whether what chance the median of all possible samples falls in this particular sample), and we have no data about the question or how hard respondents were pushed to give an answer.

  33. Latest news on SEIU. Edwards can’t be happy:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0907/SEIUs_decision.html

    On a call just now, SEIU president Andy Stern kept hope alive for the Edwards campaign, raising the possibility of a vote next week and stressing one of Edwards’ themes, electability.

    He mentioned, in that context, that Clinton had clearly considered the question of, “Are her negatives too high?”

    He noted that Edwards has discussed “the advantage he has coming from the southern states.”

    And he added that he’d read in the papers that Obama thinks he can “compete in a lot of states.”

    Stern said the delay in a vote was due to some SEIU leaders who “wanted some additional information.”

    The take of a less diplomatic SEIU insider: “No votes, more process. Setback for the Edwards folks.”

    It’s unclear what it would take to swing votes to Edwards, and which votes could swing, but stay tuned.

  34. Screw Andy Stern, he’s resurgigating the right-wing talking points on Hillary.

    Clinton does not need his nod. Screw him after she moves into the white house.

  35. I can’t believe that jerk. Do we have his email? Chris Cizzilla and gallop both printed articles today making the case that Hillary may indeed be most electable. If anyone has his email, I’d be quite happy to write him.

  36. I was under the impression that Stern favored Hillary, and was biding time for the membership to come around. Obviously, that was wrong. I wonder what polls he is reading. I wonder why he cites negatives, when all three leading candidates are over 40% (edwards 41, obama 45, hillary 47 as I recall). I wonder if this relates to SEIU goals in the south. At this point, I dont know what to make of it. The only thing I can say for sure is he and his members should be supporting Hillary and it is apparent that many of them are including big locals in New York and Chicago.

  37. speaking of hillary’s plan-does her plan regulate copays, coinsurance etc… that eats me alive. i think i read it doesnt-but of course u could go to the govt plan and pay way less.

  38. Hillary and Wes Clark and Tom Vilsack at Town Hall:
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0907/Darth_Cheney.html

    Darth Vader Cheney:
    “Vice President Cheney came up to see the Republicans yesterday. You can always tell when the Republicans are getting restless, because the Vice President’s motorcade pulls into the Capitol, and Darth Vader emerges,” Hillary Clinton said just now at a $100-a-head fundraiser at Town Hall near New York’s Times Square, referring to Cheney’s efforts shore up Republican congressional support for the Iraq war.

    “I’m not invited to their meetings and I don’t know what he says or does,” she said, in an informal conversation on stage with former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and retired General Wesley Clark. “But all the brave talk about bringing our troops home, and setting deadlines, and getting out by a certain date just dissipated.”

    She was referring specifically to the White House’s successful effort to stem Republican support for Senator Jim Webb’s legislation to limit troop deployments, which failed today in the Senate by a vote of 56-44, short of the 60 it needed to pass.

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