Hillary Clinton And American Voters Lied To By Tim Russert

Tim Russert appears to have lied or at the very least engaged in deception at last night’s Democratic debate. Russert’s target, along with the seven other men on the stage, was Hillary Clinton.

Russert tried to mug Hillary Clinton with his lie.

Russert posed a question premised on a discussion with Bill Clinton on Meet The Press last September 25, 2006. Russert kept hidden that the discussion was with Bill Clinton. Hillary objected to the Russert hypothetical as “dangerous” because it opens “a great big hole in what should be an attitude that our country and our president takes toward the appropriate treatment of everyone”. Russert then, trap baited, went in for the “gotcha” kill.

Russert finally disclosed that “The guest who laid out this scenario for me with that proposed solution was William Jefferson Clinton last year. So he disagrees with you.”

Here is the transcript of Russert’s “gotcha” question:

RUSSERT: I want to move to another subject, and this involves a comment that a guest on “Meet the Press” made, and I want to read it, as follows: “Imagine the following scenario. We get lucky. We get the number three guy in Al Qaida. We know there’s a big bomb going off in America in three days and we know this guy knows where it is. Don’t we have the right and responsibility to beat it out of him? You could set up a law where the president could make a finding or could guarantee a pardon.”

[snip – other candidate answers]

CLINTON: As a matter of policy it cannot be American policy period.

I met with those same three- and four-star retired generals, and their principal point — in addition to the values that are so important for our country to exhibit — is that there is very little evidence that it works.

Now, there are a lot of other things that we need to be doing that I wish we were: better intelligence; making, you know, our country better respected around the world; working to have more allies.

But these hypotheticals are very dangerous because they open a great big hole in what should be an attitude that our country and our president takes toward the appropriate treatment of everyone. And I think it’s dangerous to go down this path.

RUSSERT: The guest who laid out this scenario for me with that proposed solution was William Jefferson Clinton last year. So he disagrees with you.

CLINTON: Well, he’s not standing here right now. (applause)

RUSSERT: So there is a disagreement?

CLINTON: Well, I’ll talk to him later. (laughter)

Did Russert lie to Hillary on national television? Does Bill Clinton in fact disagree with Hillary? Is torture William Jefferson Clinton’s “proposed solution to the hypothetical” scenario?

The Bill Clinton appearance on Meet The Press – September 25, 2006 – full relevant excerpts:

MR. RUSSERT: As you travel around the world, what do people say about the image of the United States?

MR. CLINTON: Well, different people say different things. But I think that the real problem—it’s generally assumed, I think, in Washington, that, that the problem the American image has is that a lot of people disagree with President Bush, and it’s basically about Iraq. I, I think it’s a little more complicated than that. That is, I think it—it’s true that in the Middle East and many places out the un—in the independent, unaligned countries, they don’t necessarily agree with our Iraq policy, but I think it’s more the feeling that that’s just the most severe example of a country that is more committed to doing what it wants when it wants, and not listening to other people and working with them whenever possible. And the bigger you are and the wealthier you are and the more traditional power than you have, the more you have to be sensitive to how you’re perceived by other people, the more you at least have to want to have people think that even if you don’t agree with them, you’re kind of on their side. And I don’t think America has any significant image problems that couldn’t be turned around rather quickly with a different way of dealing with people.

I also believe that, in the Muslim world, at least, if there were a resumption of serious Israeli/Palestinian peace talks, that would help a lot, because everybody knows that in the end, that situation can’t be resolved, in all probability, unless we’re involved in a supportive way in what happens after they sign the deal.

MR. RUSSERT: What did you think when Colin Powell said, “The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism”?

MR. CLINTON: I think he was referring to the, the questions that have been raised about the original evidence, which plagues him and in which he was, I think, unwittingly complicit. I don’t think—I think it’s pretty clear, based on what all the people that worked for him have said. I think he was most worried about the question of torture and the conduct of the prisons at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. And of course, he weighed in in this debate about the extent to which the CIA or others could engage in conduct which clearly violates the Geneva Convention.

Now, we—as you and I talk, and we hear that they’ve reached an agreement, the senators and the White House, and I hope they have. But Colin pointed out that, you know, we’ve got soldiers all over the world. If we get a reputation for torturing people, the following bad things are going to happen: We’re as likely going to get bad information is good, just for people to just quit getting beat on; two, we’re likely to create two or three or five enemies for every one we break; and three, we make our own soldiers much more vulnerable to conduct which violates the Geneva Convention. That is, we can’t expect our friends, much less our enemies, to accept the fact that because we’re the good guys, we get to have a different standard of conduct. And most people think the definition of a good guy is someone who voluntarily observes a different standard of conduct, not someone who claims the right to do things others can’t do.

MR. RUSSERT: Would you outlaw waterboarding and sleep deprivation, loud music, all those kinds of tactics?

MR. CLINTON: Well, I—here’s what I would do. I would figure out what the, what the generally accepted definitions of the Geneva Convention are, and I would honor them. I would also talk to people who do this kind of work about what is generally most effective, and they will—they’re almost always not advocate of torture, and I wouldn’t do anything that would put our own people at risk.

Now, the thing that drives—that, that gives the president’s position a little edge is that every one of us can imagine the following scenario: We get lucky, we get the number three guy in al-Qaeda, and we know there’s a big bomb going off in America in three days and we know this guy knows where it is. Don’t we have the right and the responsibility to beat it out of him? But keep in mind, in 99 percent of the interrogations, you don’t know those things.

Now, it happens like even in the military regulations, in a case like that, they do have the power to use extreme force because there is an imminent threat to the United States, and then to live with the consequences. The president—they could set up a law where the president could make a finding or could guarantee a pardon or could guarantee the submission of that sort of thing ex post facto to the intelligence court, just like we do now with wire taps.

So I, I don’t think that hard case justifies the sweeping authority for waterboarding and all the other stuff that, that was sought in this legislation. And I think, you know, if that circumstance comes up—we all know what we’d do to keep our country from going through another 9/11 if we could. But to—but to claim in advance the right to do this whenever someone takes a notion to engage in conduct that plainly violates the Geneva Convention, that, I think, is a mistake.

Bill Clinton on Meet The Press told Tim Russert that it “is a mistake” to have an advance policy of torture. Hillary said about torture “As a matter of policy it cannot be American policy period.” There is no difference between Bill and Hillary Clinton on torture policy, contrary to Russert’s assertions. In fact, Hillary seemed to track closely Bill Clinton on the mistake that is torture. Hillary noted her conversations with various military generals (as did Obama), all of whom stated to her that regarding torture “there is very little evidence that it works”.

Having failed to “gotcha” Hillary with his smarmy schoolboy stunt of not revealing the source of the quote as Bill Clinton, Russert went for his second “gotcha” – an outright misrepresentation of Bill Clinton’s position on torture. Hillary was no fool ready to fall for Russert’s trap. Hillary answered honestly. Having been told on national television, that Bill Clinton disagreed with her, a weaker person would have melted. Hillary struck back and now the “gotcha moment” is Russert’s Hall of Shame.

Russert also repeatedly tried to force his narrow view of the world and policy issues on Hillary and the other Democrats on the stage. On Social Security, “dynasty”, torture, and a hypothetical attack by Israel on Iran, Russert tried to break Hillary. The most noted battle between Hillary and Russert was the battle over torture as captured in the above video. In that exchange Russert appears to have misrepresented Bill Clinton’s words.

On the foolish “Dynasty” question Hillary answered “I thought Bill was a pretty good president” – a not unexpected answer after the same dumb question was asked at an earlier debate. But then Hillary delivered the coup de grace “I know how to find common ground and how to stand my ground.” Wow! Hillary stood her ground and more last night.

The more substantive battle between Hillary and supposed non-candidate Russert was on the question of Social Security. Russert repeatedly demanded that Hillary and the other Democrats accept his formulations on Social Security which lead to “accepted” Social Security “solutions” by the wealthy elite of elites of Big Media.

Hillary, wise woman that she is, firmly focused on her wiser policy of ‘first things first’. First, you adopt fiscal responsibility – then you see the results of fiscal responsibility. Only after that post-fiscal responsibility accessment do you begin to devise solutions to the situation. Russert was a glum plum.

Russert and the elites of Big Media do not understand the need for the universality of Social Security. Presumably, Russert would rather raise the retirement age than raise taxes on all income – most of Russert’s income is not taxed for Social Security.

Russert, because he has a cushy job performed on padded chairs and in front of computer monitors, has no fear of retirement at the age of 80. For elite Big Media types the fear is forced retirement. Early retirement to Big Media elites is inconceivable. For a mine worker or a laborer, retirement is welcome relief from a life of punishing the body with hard work. When Russert discusses raising the retirement age he sees it as an actuarial shuffling. Hillary sees raising the retirement age in all its vast complexity in this diverse nation.

Last night Hillary was challenged by 8 men. Only 7 are running for President.

Great Hillary Reviews:


NBC NEWS’ CHUCK TODD — HILLARY ‘CONTINUES TO SHOW COMMAND… IN CHARGE OF THIS CAMPAIGN’: “She continues to show command on the stage; it’s subtle things but there’s no doubting who’s in charge of this campaign right now, it’s Hillary Clinton.” [NBC News First Read, 9/26/07]

ABC NEWS’ RICK KLEIN — HILLARY WAS AT A ‘HIGHER LEVEL THAN HER RIVALS’: “And, of course, Clinton is again playing at a higher level than her rivals.” [ABC News Political Radar, 9/26/07]

ATLANTIC’S MARC AMBINDER — ‘THOROUGH AND CAREFUL, CAME OFF AS INTELLIGENT AND PRUDENT’: “Clinton was solid…She was thorough and careful, came off as intelligent and prudent, and really didn’t take a nick tonight. She did unleash the night’s best jab, and she displayed a genuine sense of humor, one that the audience seemed to appreciate and acknowledge.” [Atlantic, 9/26/07]

NBC NEWS’ DOMENICO MONTARO — HILLARY SOUNDED ‘PRESIDENTIAL’: “Clinton sounded her best tonight… her talking about a president’s role sounded presidential.” [NBC News First Read, 9/26/07]


AMERICAN PROSPECT’S DANA GOLDSTEIN — ‘HILLARY CLEAREST, MOST CONCISE ON IMMIGRATION’: “Hillary clearest, most concise on Immigration. No, she says local police shouldn’t be made to enforce federal immigration policy: ‘It’s not their job.'” [American Prospect blog, 9/26/07]

NEW YORK TIMES’ KATHARINE SEELYE — HILLARY ‘CONTROLLED THE QUESTIONING’: “Wow. Quick arms race between Mr. Russert and Mrs. Clinton over what she said was a hypothetical question — whether Israel would be justified in launching an attack against Iran if it felt its security was threatened. She controlled the questioning…” [New York Times Caucus blog, 9/26/07]


79 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton And American Voters Lied To By Tim Russert

  1. L.A. Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-nareiner27sep27,1,7777092.story?coll=la-politics-campaign&ctrack=1&cset=true

    “Director Rob Reiner, one of liberal Hollywood’s most courted presidential fence-sitters, said Wednesday that he has decided to endorse New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Her campaign staff is set to make the announcement today. To seal the deal, Reiner also will throw a fundraiser party for Clinton’s 60th birthday at his Brentwood estate Oct. 21. “I’ve been around a long time in the political wars, and I’ve been on the front lines of them,” Reiner said in an interview. “I’m interested in someone who can really manage those political waters. “Every one of the Democratic candidates is strong, but Hillary is head and shoulders above the rest,” he said.”

  2. Hey Admin: Great work on finding the context of that conversation between Russert and President Clinton, not to mention the actual transcript. Russert’s behavior was shameful, truly shameful; as the actual quote demonstrates he was being completely disingenuous with Senator Clinton and the rest of the candidates. I hope this leads to some sort of reexamination of these gotcha tactics that some members of the press seem to be obsessed with. The point of a debate, it seems to me, is to get at genuine differences in candidate’s positions- their approaches to policy and leadership-rather than trying to use dirty tricks – or any other means, for that matter – to trip them up. The best news in all of this that is that Senator Clinton knew the appropriate, Presidential way in which to respond to such tactics. She didn’t fall for it. She’s ready for her first Press conference as President. –mollyj

  3. Rasmussen constantly gave Clinton low numbers vs GOPers in his head-to-head matchups. So this is really good news.

    Surging Clinton Outpaces Giuliani and Thompson

    Senator Hillary Clinton now enjoys a five-point lead over Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. It’s Clinton 48% and Giuliani 43%. The former First Lady also leads former Senator Fred Thompson 48% to 41%.

    Both match-ups represent gains for the Democratic frontrunner. But the more modest lead, over Giuliani, is also the more dramatic news.

    Two weeks ago, Clinton held a statistically insignificant one-point lead over Giuliani. Prior to that, Clinton had held an advantage over Giuliani only once in fourteen consecutive Rasmussen Reports polls.

    Giuliani began the year with the advantage in this match-up, but Clinton has gained ground in the latter part of the year. And Clinton has had a particularly good week, getting an often-generous reception for her recently announced health care plan (see “Hillary’s Great Week”). On Health Care, voters currently trust Democrats more than Republicans by a wider margin than on any other major issue).

    Senator Clinton also continues to enjoy a very healthy lead in the national Democratic nomination race. Recent polls in the early Primary States of New Hampshire and Florida show her lead growing in both places.

    A good showing with primary voters doesn’t always translate to clearly greater success in general-election match-ups. But it seems to be happening this week for the senator.

  4. Strategic Vision which constantaly puts Clinton in third place in Iowa had a new poll. Clinton for the first time moves up to the first place although the gain is just marginal.

    Clinton 24
    Edwards 22
    Obama 21

    Strategic Vision has always been the toughest poll on Clinton in Iowa, bar none.

    The trendline:

    Strategic Vision Iowa polling:

    1/19-21/07 600 LV Clinton 15% Edwards 25% Obama 17% Richardson 1%

    2/16-18/07 600 LV Clinton 18% Edwards 24% Obama 18% Richardson 1%

    3/30-4/1/07 600 LV Clinton 19% Edwards 27% Obama 20% Richardson 4%

    5/18-20/07 600 LV Clinton 16% Edwards 29% Obama 24% Richardson 9%

    6/22-24/07 600 LV Clinton 20% Edwards 26% Obama 21% Richardson 11%

    8/17-19/07 600 LV Clinton 21% Edwards 23% Obama 22% Richardson 14%

    In every single Strategic Vision poll to date, Clinton has always been at #3, the overall low bars SV polls provided for her have been the lowest of all polls. For them to show her with a small lead this time around (given the type of screen they must be using) may mean that other polls will be showing her leading with a larger margin. At this point I would be surprised if the next DesMoinesRegister poll does not show a Clinton lead in Iowa.

  5. Russert what a putz. As the Daily Howler has said”Jack Welch knew what he was buying” when he brought in that big Dem embarrasing oaf to run his DC news bureau. I suggest you go to the Howler’s archives to review this phonies bast bad acts against our candidates.

    Great info on the gotcha stunt. Its amazing the level of buffonary this guy and that network will use against Dems. The depths of his shallowness is truly unexplainable.

    AS to Reiner, thats a bigger sign then first it seems. Reiner is a much bigger player in CA politics than some may guess. A very close friend of mine went to work for him after the death of his boss and friend, Paul Wellstone. That Reiner didn’t endorse either Edwards or mObama, showed that the liberal Hollywood elite truly isn’t buying what those fellows are selling.

    Yay Hillary! Russert thought he had her you can bet – and she instead embarrased him and not herself. That’s why she surely is “our girl.”

  6. This is interesting. College kids are generally Obama’s big constituency, but even they thought Clinton was the WINNER. From HillaryHub.

    As of 11:30PM, over four hundred Dartmouth students had weighed in on open-vote.com, choosing Hillary Clinton as the debate winner. Hillary received 34% of the vote, following by Barack Obama with 25% and John Edwards wiht 15%.
    See the full results at http://www.open-vote.com

  7. Ouch: While Edwards may have been basking in the glow of solid reviews from his debate performance last night, the campaign must feel like it was punched in the stomach when it clicked over to today’s Des Moines Register. The paper — similar to what the Columbia State did a few weeks back — reports on its front page the 100+ Iowa foreclosures by sub-prime mortgage lenders owned by the hedge fund Edwards had worked for last year, Fortress. BTW, did Edwards lose his temper on a bit at last night’s debate on this question because he knew this Des Moines Register story was coming this morning? Talk about a precision oppo-strike.

  8. From First Read:

    NBC/NJ’s Athena Jones reports on the results of one Dartmouth focus group. A group of 16 undecided Dartmouth students, who got together to watch the debate, declared Obama the big loser and said Clinton held her own. The focus group, which was sponsored by the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, later reconvened to watch the debate together. The students, who are registered to vote in New Hampshire, said Richardson and Biden also scored well. Earlier in the day the group got together to talk about what characteristics they were looking for in a candidate. They mentioned honesty, character, experience, accountability and leadership skills, and discussed the relative importance of things like likeability and attractiveness.

    They also played what may be best described as a game of free association. When Professor Ronald Shaiko asked them to talk about what words came to mind when they thought about the two major political parties, here’s what they said: Democrats: social programs and social issues, bigger government and higher government spending. Republicans: money, corporate money, war, oil, pro-life, Halliburton, religious, defense, guns, the South, morals and white.

    Meanwhile, the Open-Vote.com online survey of 400-plus Dartmouth students rated Clinton as the debate winner. Clinton led with 34% of the vote, followed by Obama with 26% and John Edwards with 15%. No other candidate was rated the winner by more than that

  9. I found it sexist, questioning Hillary about her beliefs, then hitting her with her husbands. Why does that matter. It is that lingering idea that a women is influenced or even votes and believes the way their husband does. His being President and her husband does not make a difference to Hillary. How much was George W. questioned about his father’s beliefs and programs? Tim is Sexists. Others in the media have treated her the same. We need to stop this.

  10. Hillary dominated despite the Swiftboating from that hack Russert.

    Did The Rookie even show up? I honestly can’t recall if he was there.

    Edwards is such a phony. Just ask the people of Iowa who lost their homes so he could make himself rich: http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070927/NEWS/709270393/-1/NEWS04

    Of course, that news story had to smear Hillary just to be “fair and balanced.” I feel sorry for The Rookie–the press in Iowa won’t even pay attention to him even to criticize him. Maybe we should start calling him The Invisible Man.

  11. I can’t stand Tim Russert. I have stopped watching MTP ever since the primary season started. He is so obviously biased against Hillary. He used every opportunity he had to put Hillary in a bad light.

    I used to watch MTP every Sunday morning. I have now switched to watching This Week. I’m pleasantly surprised at how much more balanced This Week is.

    With > 40% of Dems supporting Hillary, NBC’s MTP and evening news with Brian Williams (show-casing Tim Russert as their Political analyst) are losing viewers at a fast clip to ABC. Viewers want a fair and balanced and not a partisan reporting from NBC.

  12. Thank you so much for posting this. I missed the debate last night because I was out, and that performance by Russert was abominable.

  13. A Dartmouth College poll asking the question:

    “Do you think that Tim Russert is biased towards one candidate or another?”

    shows 70% of the respondents say YES, he is biased.


    Comments posted by respondents include the following:

    “It seems like he was gunning for Hillary Clinton.”

    “Yes. He has demonstrated time and time again that he is not a fan of Hilary Clinton. When he behaves in such an unprofessional manner, I lose respect for him, and that’s sad, because he is a fine journalist overall.”

    “I think he seems kind of abrasive towards Hillary as compared to the other candidates, esp Obama…”

  14. A diary from Daily Kos:

    MSNBC was an irresponsible debate host

    by cham

    Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 05:46:48 AM PDT

    Last night is a good argument against a presidential debate
    being aired exclusively by one news channel.

    The MSNBC sponsored debate was little more than an anti
    Senator Clinton propaganda campaign.

    Russert did do a good job asking hard questions. Candidates
    Clinton and Edwards were squirming on occasion.

    But the dominant post-debate host was Chris Matthews.

    Matthews has been spewing anti Clinton venom for nearly
    a decade. His fixation on Hillary is near psychotic.

    MSNBC doesn’t know this?

    I remember a Hardball show 7 or 8 years ago . Back when it
    the channel was competing with Fox News to be the dominant
    right wing propaganda mill.

    Mathews had three guests on Hardball.
    All four of them spent the entire segment bashing and
    vilifying Hillary Cliinton.

    cham’s diary :: ::
    It is no surprise that he spent last evening finding anything and
    everything negative about her debate performance.

    It is true that because of her lead, she was less direct to avoid
    giving anything that would instantly be used against her.
    But no candidate should be subject to this kind of abusive handicap
    by a media personality.

    Right now, Matthews up to his old tricks, pandering to the
    left wing camp – probably to get plum gigs like last night’s event.

    4 years ago, he was pro democrat right up until the Democratic convention.
    Then he made a 180 degree turn with quicksilver speed.

    This is the man who cut off Al Sharpton’s effective speech at the
    democratic convention. Then he began attacking Sharpton.
    This is the man who let Kerry get swiftboated night after night.

    Matthews went for Cliinton’s jugular last night, he did the same to John
    Kerry and you had better believe he’ll be going all out to kill our
    candidate in the ’08 election.

    Last night, MSNBC let Matthews undercut Russert’s good work, and
    turn this presidential debate into a travesty.

  15. It’s extremely refreshing to read an analysis of this debate that is not afraid to call out Russert for the liar that he is.

    Big Media won’t call him out, because being the careerists they are, and NOT responsible journalists, they pander to a incompetent lout like Russert so they can be invited on his show and further their own personal interests – at the expense of the public they have pledged to inform.

    Yes, a betrayal of the public trust on petty personal grounds brings Iago to mind, but we doubt Big Media has read their Shakespeare. Otherwise, they may realize how pathetically they abase themselves in service of Mammon, and the acceptance of a profession that neither deserves respect nor understands what it means.

    The word “Liar”, is ofcourse, much to direct and honest of a word for Big Media when called on to report on the disgusting actions of a powerful peer like Russert.

    Two things are obvious: first, Russert purposefully lied, (it was NOT just glaring incompetence), because his line of questioning in based on rereading Bill Clinton’s previous appearance on the Russert show. Finding the opposite of what he was looking for in Bill Clinton’s words, he decided to pervert the facts in order to (second point) PIMP Big Media’s new story: Now that Hillary is indisputably in the lead nationwide, Big Media has decided to insert themselves into the campaign and try to take her down with their pathetic insinuations and deceptions.

    Yes, Big Media is driven by a desire to satisfy their corporate fathers and pump up ratings, but this schlock reporting is also driven by a Press Corps that is completely out of touch with THE ISSUES THAT AFFECT MOST AMERICANS.

    These Big Media types are elites in the financial sense of the word, (culturally we hold them to be a little lower than scurvy), and being financially well-off they neither understand nor deem to care about important issues that Americans want real solutions and awnsers to, and NOT reporting that is only interested in trying to “get” someone.

    The real crime in all this is not that lout Russert, but his peers who won’t report on Russert – probably because they realize once they scrutinize themselves, most of them will fail the test.

    That, and its probably too much hard work for them to actually research these issues.

  16. Boy, Edwards can’t be very happy. DesMoinesRegister has a front page story on him, not very flattering. His chance in Iowa does not look very promising….

    A total of 107 Iowa homeowners were foreclosed upon by subprime mortgage companies owned by Fortress Investment Group while Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards was associated with the equity company, court records show.

    Fortress foreclosures have occurred in other states, but the Iowa cases bring Edwards’ tie to subprime lending to the leadoff presidential nominating state, where he has staked his political future.

    Most Iowa Democratic activists interviewed by The Des Moines Register say the foreclosures by themselves do not undermine Edwards’ anti-poverty message. However, some say he should have known that his tie to Fortress, which paid him $479,500 for 14 months of work, would be scrutinized in the campaign.

    Some former Edwards supporters in Iowa say the Fortress link is another reminder of his personal activities and opulent lifestyle, which they find troubling.

    Edwards said the focus of his public work in the past 2years outweighs any questions about his sincerity.

    “If you look at the context of everything I’ve done since the last election, it’s absolutely clear where my heart is and what I care about,” Edwards said in a Register interview.

    He pointed to his launch of a university policy institute in North Carolina to study poverty, overseas humanitarian work and efforts to help organize unions and raise the minimum wage around the country.

    Edwards has been critical at times of subprime lenders. He said he tried to head off conflicts before going to work part time for Fortress as a consultant in October 2005.

    Edwards has said subprime lenders, which target higher-risk borrowers, sometimes use predatory practices that lead to foreclosures. Last month, he severed his remaining ties with Fortress in light of foreclosures by two of its subsidiaries in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans.

    A central part of Edwards’ domestic campaign agenda has been to rein in predatory lending practices. He says those fuel the poverty he would work to curb as president.

    Edwards says he was assured by Fortress principals before taking the consultant’s job that the company’s holdings included nothing that could be construed as anti-union or predatory lending.

    At the time, however, the company owned Green Tree Servicing LLC, a subprime lender, and acquired a second, Nationstar Mortgage LLC, in 2006, six months before Edwards quit Fortress to run for president.

    In May, Edwards contacted Fortress after learning about the first New Orleans foreclosure. He later divested his personal holdings in Nationstar. Edwards said he never invested in Green Tree.

    In August, he removed the rest of the roughly $16 million he had invested in Fortress holdings. Edwards also used $100,000 of his own money to begin a charity for New Orleans homeowners after learning that 34 of them faced foreclosure from his former employer’s companies.

    The 107 Iowa foreclosures were filed by Green Tree and Nationstar from October 2005, to Aug. 17, 2007 – the day Edwards pledged to divest his Fortress holdings. During this period, a national subprime mortgage crisis has led to a spike in foreclosures nationally.

    Edwards said he did not know about the Iowa foreclosures until his campaign was contacted by the Register.

    Edwards said he has no plans to establish a charity for the Iowans with Fortress mortgages because they were not affected by Hurricane Katrina the way borrowers in New Orleans were.

    Of the Iowa foreclosures, 60 resulted in Iowans losing their homes; 20 were dismissed; 27 were pending as of last week.

    Edwards said he had aimed his criticism more at predatory lending practices than at subprime lenders, although “the line between the two is gray.”

    “I think what I have said is if subprime loans have some characteristics of predatory loans, then our national predatory lending law should deal with it,” he said, referring to his proposal to deal with abusive lending practices.

    That proposal includes enacting laws to curb practices such as excessive loan pre-payment fees and mortgages whose payments balloon toward maturation; establishing a commission to monitor and regulate terms of family financial services, and creating options to help keep homeowners at risk of foreclosure from losing their houses.

    Iowa Democrats say Edwards’ relationship with the subprime lenders was far enough removed to absolve him of any connection to the foreclosures.

    “In the political arena you are always going to be scrutinized,” said Neven Mulholland, a Fort Dodge lawyer who supported Edwards in 2004 and who is planning to support him in 2008.

    “He wasn’t being hypocritical. What he said, he meant. It doesn’t mean to me he’s trying to benefit or prey on the poor. Whether it’s a mistake, only time will tell.”

    In his second run for his party’s presidential nomination, Edwards is counting on a strong performance in Iowa’s precinct caucuses. He finished a strong second-place here four years ago.

    Recent polls in Iowa have shown the lead he held for months this year among the Democratic candidates has shrunk or disappeared.

    Edwards’ top rivals for the Democratic nomination also have faced scrutiny over their associations.

    Last month, it was reported that Norman Hsu, one of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s top donors and money-raisers, was wanted on federal fraud charges. Last spring, Sen. Barack Obama faced questions about longtime backer Tony Rezko, a Chicago businessman indicted on extortion and fraud charges.

    Claire Celsi, a Des Moines Democrat who was firmly with Edwards, said connections like Edwards’ to Fortress should be expected from candidates, many of whom are wealthy and whose networks include influential business people and investors.

    But Celsi has turned away from Edwards because she felt that the news in March about him building a $5 million home in North Carolina, followed quickly by reports in April that he was paying hundreds of dollars apiece for haircuts, irreparably undercut his credibility on poverty.

    “I didn’t like some of the things I saw within the last six months,” she said. “Why the heck he decided to build a 28,000-square-foot house, when his poverty is his platform, is beyond my imagination. The haircut thing just added to it.”

    Celsi, who now supports Clinton, added, “I just thought, he can’t be that naive.”

    Des Moines Democrat Tom Rial is considering Edwards as his second choice. He said the Iowa foreclosures put Edwards in “a sticky spot, but it’s guilt by association at best.”

    “If somebody can prove that he knew going in about potential foreclosures, that’s one thing. But just having a consulting relationship, I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Rial said.

    One of the Iowans foreclosed upon last year by Green Tree is a Marion County Democrat, who declined to be identified by name for this article because he is embarrassed about his situation.

    The man and his wife, who were unaware of Edwards’ relationship with Fortress until last week, were unable to keep up payments on the house they had owned for more than 10 years after a disability forced his wife to stop working.

    But the man, a caucusgoer, still believes Edwards is committed to helping struggling families. The man has not ruled out supporting Edwards in the caucuses.

    “I honestly think he’s a genuine individual,” the man said. “There’s just a bit of a sour taste there.”

    Edwards has continued to lead among Iowa Democrats on the question of which candidate identifies with most people.

    Edwards said he has faith Iowa Democrats will take him at his word and on the basis of his public record.

    “I am perfectly happy to have them judge me based on my honesty and my sincerity,” he said. “They know me. They know what I care about, and I’m confident about the conclusion they will reach.”

  17. That’s a good diary about Matthews on Kos.

    BTW, this is kind of off the subject, but I loved Bill’s takedown of the Repubs’ Swift Boat tactics on CNN yesterday.

  18. admin,

    Have CNN/MSNBC and/or other cables been playing this clip? This should be the most memorable moment?

    Washington Post came out an article dissecting the nature of this exchange. It’s pretty good.

  19. hey Hill44 – can I share?

    This post got banned from mydd last night but I dont want it to go waste. it is kinda long, so just skip it if you want straight hill news. But its addressed to the problems of whats happening on the big blogs and somehow, though they HATED it, it amused me.

    I wrote this about being “Banned” from DailyKos tonight and put it up at myDD and got threatened with being banned there too. It was a tongue in cheek and inspired by the cult of banning and it was responded to by threatening to …ban me. Ironic huh? The idea of it came from my being kicked off kos for false reasons and then reading a post by Chris Bowers yesterday where he defended banning those that disagreed with him and actually said that he was “sick of hearing people talk about ‘free speech’ and ‘open debate’. Now, when you read this understand that I was trying to be as nice as I could handle to both Stoller and Bowers – for obvious reasons – and still the hand of the censor refused me my right to my opinion.

    Sockpuppets: Iamready is Stoller and I am not Areyouready! Snark or Not ?-You Decide. Add to Hotlist

    by holden caulfield, Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 11:27:38 PM EST

    Here’s the news. Iamready is Stoller’s sock puppet.

    I was only joking when I first wrote this to iareready today – but now its clear (to me at least!) that I was right.

    Earlier today, for jollies, which I sorely needed after reading here in a post that Hillary was a threat to the future of the world because she was a hard laugher, I was being a smart ass and trying to push IM because I was annoyed and disappointed with him because he wouldnt stand up for me when some numnuts at Kos BANNED me a couple of nights ago. I was miffed at IM because these bozos had claimed that I was a sockpuppet for Areyouready and though IM had acknowledged that I was not, he didn’t raise his voice to say, “hey, he ain’t.”. So, I decided to amuse myself, by poking him with a stick and asking if he was really Stoller’s sockpuppet (you will read that I have found common traits)and then I wondered, goodness, what if he really was?

    Sockpuppetry – what is with everybody going nuts about people using different name? I mean wtf? Everybody is using an alias, so what’s the diff? Worrying about that, I don’t get and if someone does it, I couldn’t care less. Hell, i believe that Triumph – the Insult comic dog is the best comic/political pundit in the biz and he is afterall, a sock puppet too.

    Personally, I think the worst thing about these sites is the sport of stomping on dissent by banning those who disagree with an aggressive majority or a tyrannical moderator. (ie. Bowers)

    My banning was based on that I had quoted a joke line from Hillary’s appearance on Letterman a few weeks ago. It was from her top ten list of why we should elect a woman to the White House and it included this line: “We need a President that if lost, will pull over to the side of the road to ask directions….Am I right ladies?” So, I had included the line “am I right ladies” as a (I thought) funny tag…and next thing I know some punk with the moniker “Yoshimi” (who wrote that “he fucking hated myDD”, by the way) started to get his clown college of followers to buy into the idea that I was areyouready because he/she had also used that as he/she’s tag line. Before I knew it, I had been gang 0′d and BANG! Id been silenced! Without asking me if this was true or giving me a right to explain.

    I was trying to make a funny and they BANNED me for it!


    Not like I really give an F. If I really cared I’d just register under another name and move on – but isnt it really about the point of the thing?! Banning those that actually dare to dissent is anti democratic. Both big D and little d.

    And I frigging hate bullies…

    Now back to Stoller/iamready

    So three times after iareready had acknowledged that I was not areyouready, I publicly (at this site) asked him to stand up and tell those bullying thugs that they had banned me unfairly. Each time, he did not respond and each time I got a lil’ more annoyed at iamready. And so, I started to pay more attention to the typings of this poster and I noticed something. Something very odd. Iamready, like Stoller just LUVS to use the very annoying insider lingo used by SOME political campaign workers. Ive been around Presidential politics for a long time, working on campaigns since my freshman year in college and I’ve always HATED that “jive” talk.

    “Burn rate”, q1, q2, q3…”ground game”…”Potus”. Yuck!

    Iamready uses all that same BS insider slang (learned from watching reruns of the West Wing I’m sure) as Stoller and he thinks he knows everything about everything (just like Stoller)and you can tell…he’s just DYING to tell ya he went to dear ol’Ha-Vard, just like good ol’ Matt Stoller keeps on reminding us he did…

    And then I started to realized that the two of them both annoyed me in another same way. They both reminded me of the brand new kid who somehow believed that by – birthright or somethin’ – he already knew EVERYTHING! This folks, is a very common thing with campaign working kids. I mean, Stoller writes ALWAYS as if he is the “One and Future King of the Democratic Party”. And what’s his background, his level of ACTUAL experience? As far as I know, he has worked on one (1) actual campaign as a net root outreach guy in a Senate race in Jersey. Ok, great. Good on ya. But, now he seems to believe and writes as if he has the historical knowledge and the right to tell EVERYONE in the Democratic Party what to do about anything, everything. And how much real time experience does he have working in real life Democratic campaigns, 2-3-4 months?

    Lordie – not that this makes him a bad guy – it sure as hell doesn’t – but it also doesn’t give him the wisdom of Soloman.

    Hell, a couple of months ago I actually read him write that if Hillary is elected president, that “we (he always uses the royal we doesn’t he)may have to consider ‘primary-ing’ her in 2012″

    Yikes! Stoller-boy who was scurrying across Harvard yard in his birkenstocks in 2000 when we tragically had the government stolen out from underneath of us by a street gang made up of the GOP, the MSM, Naderites and the Supreme Court 9…now is saying that if we are actually able to – by doing everything exactly right – win back this Government – he was saying basically, lets give up all our advantages of a hard won (please God please!) incumbency, and risk giving it right back! OhmyGod! What a wack-a-fool!

    But, I don’t think all bad thoughts about young ambitious Matthew.

    Last week I read his interview with that very fine fellow, General Wesley Clark. In that interview, Stoller spoke as a guy who looked up to and respected and actually, differed to a man with greater experience and knowledge. Wow! I was actually touched. And even though for a short while, he seemed to try to get the General to admit that Hillary is a HORRIBLE choice to be our nominee, but when Wes pushed back and said no, she’d make a fine leader, Stoller didn’t whine for long at all and gave the General his due for being an honest man making his honest and personal choice. Once again, wow, it seemed there might be hope that Stoller might actually be able to develop the grace to turn his fierce intellect into actual wisdom.

    Hmm, stick me with a pin and tickle me with a feather!

    So, I wondered is it actually possible that iamready is young Matt? I actually haven’t read enough of either of them to compare their thoughts or opinions, besides knowing that both of them think that Hillary is just some big, stupid, silly girl…but there was more proof that very possibly…iareready is actually Stoller.

    The actual coup degrace or smoking gun if you will. The guy is just dying to tell us that he is.

    Evidence. iareready’s post of this eve. A post called, with an expected insidery title – The Money Game.

    In it he gave this clue, to quote:


    Now both camps are pooh-poohing the expectations game.

    Yes, that is part of the money game.

    Clinton camp is stating that Obama is going to raise 30M. Now I am here to TELL YOU, if he does that, I will reveal myself. OK?



    Poster lori commented on this”

    “What the hell do you mean by that .

    Are you some sort of alien or something.”

    and Stoller/iamready responded:

    “We are ALL ALIENS on these sites, ok?”


    Now finally, FINALLY, something that Stoller/iamready has said that I actually agree with 100%. You see, I’m an Alien too. I agree, ain’t we all?

    OK, Stoller/iamready the gig is up, come clean. Drop your sockpuppet. Tell us that this really tis you.

    And if it is you, lord god man, find a hobby, get outside, go to a museum or something. Hell, watch TV! You already are pumping out 10 or 15 diaries a day it seems at open left and STILL you feel the need to write for both here and at KOS!? Have you no fears of carpal tunnel syndrome? Take a break buddy, it’s a long ass time until November of 2008.

    It’s true, after his moment of sorrow with Clark, I’m not so mad at Stoller anymore. Now, if he’d just get his good buddy Chris to actually understand that Dissent is a GOOD THING in a democratic (both big and lil d) society and get him to the turn from the tyrannical side of his nature, just as General Clark seems to have gotten Stoller to question the absolute infallibility of his own mind, then I wouldn’t be mad at him either of them anymore.

    Because, sometimes – both these guys really do some really fine work.

    Remember this, if iamready really is Stoller, above all, Democratic politics is a team sport and our team has been around for over two hundred years now. Though we admire your hard work in recent years, please acknowledge once in a while, that others were working with your same zeal before you discovered how important this fight was – through staring at your computer screen in your dormroom. And even before you, we too were fighting this fight this with the same level of idealism that you claim for yourself today.

    Nuff said. And if I’m wrong and iamready is not Stoller.


    Btw, I wrote this while listening to tonights debate. Wasnt that fun?! We relearned that Russert is a putz and learned something fresh from Gravel – that ya can burn the credit card companies for $90,000 and later brag about it on national TV. And they can’t do shit

  20. Kostner, the talk is all about Hillary. The clip is not being shown so much. We suspect MSNBC does not want to show a firm Hillary standing up to their elite media star. Big Media will protect their own so don’t hold your breath with other non-MSNBC outlets outing Russert. There is not much discussion of ‘sniffles’ Obama. Edwards is getting better coverage than he usually does.

    Big Media has decided that Obama and Edwards are not going to successfully take down Hillary so they will do the job. But Hillary is not so easy to break as they thought.

    The students at Dartmouth, we are surprised to learn thanks to HG’s comment appear to agree with Russert’s bias against Hillary.
    Update: http://www.open-vote.com/polls/161?view_results=true

  21. ‘Sniffles”Obama has his big rally today in New York City. The New York Times weather forecast is for some thunderstorms in the afternoon. Doors at the rally open at 5:00. Take your vitamin C ‘sniffles’ we don’t want you missing more senate votes or any more debates.


  22. To me at least, the big story which emerged from last nights debate, other than the fact that our girl can fend off attacks from all sides and remain presidential, is the ethical lapses of two journalists.
    Not knowing where to go to find the set of rules and principles that guide and illuminate journalistic endeavors, I turned to an op-ed article by WSJ Publisher Peter Kahn dated January 9, 1992, which addresses that question.
    Kahn identified eight (8) generic problems of MSM
    which jointly and severally impede its ability to properly inform the public: blurring the line between
    journalism and entertainment; fuzzing the line
    between news and opinion; the perils of pack
    journalism (and group think); exaggerated
    pessimism; seduction by social othodoxies; puritanial
    pretentions; limited attention span; abuse of power.

    He then expands on the subject of power and offers the shocking suggestion that with press power comes responsibility, measured in terms of: i) accuracy, ii) fairness, iii) modesty, iv) common sense, and v) humanity.

    From my perspective Chris Matthews fails on each of those criteria. Like a refugee from a Mummers Day Parade, he wanders through life with a single purpose which is to bring down the Clintons. It is evident in his constant cheap shots, his sexist comments, his anti-Hillary leading questions to
    opponents, there is no end to it. If he displayed similar animus toward all candidates it would be one thing, but in his world the target is always her. This is a clear breach of the journalistic standards Kahn talks about. It is why the public does not trust the press. It is in short, an abuse of power, reminiscent of Westbrook Pegler.

    As for Russert, he is better than Matthews by degree because he does spread the manure around, rather than hurling it all at a single candidate. But if what appears to be true here is true, namely that he accused a former President of saying the opposite of what he actually said, before a nationwide audience, then the transgression is just as serious, viewed in light of the aspirational standards of accuracy, fairness, etc. outlined above.

    This is not by any means a condemantion of journalists as a whole. They are a critical component of our democracy. Nor is it a condemnation of a single network. Keith Oberman of MSNBC is an example of the standards others should aspire to, in my opinion.

  23. admin,

    I’ve snickering all morning. Just as you predicted, Obama’s dumb ‘advisors’ and his online supporters are citing his ‘sickness’ as an excuse for his bad performance.

  24. kostner,

    after tonight’s Obama Hoopla lets watch and see if Obamarama’s advisers start jumping ship. In as much as I have a severe dislike for Axelrod, his pride should overwhelm his loyalty to a campaign in serious trouble.

    Theres no hiding the facts anymore that the USS Obama is beyond help and sinking fast. Will the rats desert the USS Obama’s sinking ship, as they are genetically bred to do when survival is their basic instinct?

    It isn’t nice to (tryto) Fool Mother Nature!

    Mrs. S.

  25. I think Obama’s favorite basketball team is The Washington Generals.

    With Silky getting bad press in today’s Iowa paper, how long before he sends out his wife on another attack run?

  26. hey guys, watched the entire debate plus post debate by mathews and russert, what asses. mathews tried to get buccanan to trash hillary and he was having none of it. he tried to get the entire panel to agree with his poo-poing hillary’s performance and it flopped. edwards did well but i doubt he will have staying power.

  27. there is a Silky fan on dailykos begging sniffles to drop out of the race so that silky can take on hillary…..really begging!!!

  28. the one and only real time russert went really hard at edwards about the $400.00 haircut and the hedgefund envolving forclosure on homes of katrina victims in new oleans. edwards never really answered the question rambling on on what he has been dong for the poor. he should have gone after obama’s rezko problem also. instead he thrown ambush after ambush towards clinton. he asked one tough question each about gravel’s buisness failures and kusinich’s mayoral stint in clevland,ohio. but these guys are not serious.

  29. mp,

    looks like Edwards supporters have got a bit oxygen on dailykooks. I’m glad to see the flame war between both supporters’ camps.


  30. man – not one comment on my attempt to be funny up above – come on – now that hurts a lot more then being banned!

  31. Wow,

    Another good news for Hillary. HillaryHub just posted the latest head-to-head matchups. Clinton beats all GOP contenders by a decent margin. Wow, it’s getting better and better. Obama barely squeezes out an even.

    Clinton 46
    Giuliani 39

    Clinton 46
    McCain 39

    Clinton 48
    Thompson 35

    Clinton has double digits lead among independents. Wow.

  32. Hey, a new Obama campaign gaffe! Just saw this AP story on yahoo:

    The campaign of Democrat Barack Obama moved quickly Thursday to dampen any expectations raised by Michelle Obama who said this week that her husband has to win Iowa.

    Most polls in Iowa show the Illinois senator in a tight race with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards. During a visit Wednesday to Davenport, Iowa, Michelle Obama commented on the importance of a strong showing in the caucuses.

    “Iowa will make the difference,” she said. “If Barack doesn’t win Iowa, it is just a dream. If we win Iowa then we can move to the world as it should be. And we need your help in making that happen.”

    Typically, meeting expectations in Iowa is nearly as important as who actually wins, so candidates are careful about their public comments on the importance they place on a victory. …

  33. Edwards to take matching funds for primary

    CNN has the scoop, with a video interview.

    Edwards is portraying it as a principled decision, denying it has anything to do with slow fundraising, and calling on his rivals to join him. And this can be a powerful part of his case about not being in the pocket of political donors.

    But as with many of his stances: Will voters believe it’s a matter of principle when it’s adopted midway through an election campaign, and when convenience and principle seem to line up so neatly?

    Edwards has taken a lot of criticism in the press today on a similar theme for drawing a sharp distinction between himself and Hillary on combat missions in Iraq, when he seemed to back combat missions in Iraq a couple of weeks ago. The press is likely, I’d guess, to harp on the fact that so many of his sharply-defined, and defining, positions, from support for universal health-care to opposition to the war, are new, adopted during the off-season or during the campaign.

    And Edwards will have go find a way around the media filter for a message that voters will like.

  34. Edwards’ new handcuffs

    I’m still trying to get a clear sense of exactly how public financing will limit Edwards in the primary and general election, but the immediate obstacle is the state-by-state spending cap, which could all-but shut down his campaign in the primary states.

    This Hill piece on McCain’s decision to accept public financing lays out the limits:

    More arduous for McCain, however, would be the spending limits that public funds would trigger in key primary states. If the presidential primaries were held this year, McCain could spend only $818,000 in New Hampshire — a limit that includes funds his campaign has already spent in the Granite State.

    In Iowa, if McCain accepted public funds, he could spend only around $1.5 million between the start of his campaign and Caucus Day, according to a list of state expenditure limits made available by the FEC.

    The FEC has publicized hypothetical state spending limits for 2007 to let candidates know what caps they will face next year. The limits are expected to increase slightly because of inflation.

    In South Carolina, publicly funded candidates can’t spend more than $2.2 million. In Nevada, $1.2 million is the limit.
    The limits cover media expenditures, mass mailings, overhead expenses for state offices, phone banks and public polling.

    Nationwide, McCain could not spend more than $50 million if he accepted public funds. That restriction would last until the Republican convention in September.

    UPDATE: Here are the FEC’s state-by-state limits.

  35. Hillarity.

    Last night Obama said Michelle would keep him a non-smoker. Today, Michelle made Iowa a MUST win for her wittle ‘sniffles’.

    Last night John Edwards wiggled around trying to explain the haircut, the hedgefund and the house. Today, it’s public financing and the disasterous consequences Kostner points out in Iowa. Blinky must have a really sad 3rd quarter report about to be released.

  36. http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN2738834120070927?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=22&sp=true

    The donors are restless, the campaign is witless:

    “A top aide insisted afterward Obama had never intended to go into a more critical mode at the debate despite widespread anticipation that he would do so and reported concern from some of his donors that the Illinois senator needed a breakthrough performance to shake up the race for the White House in November 2008.”

  37. Director Rob Reiner endorsed Hillary today. This is a very important endorsement from someone with great influence. The director of films such as “Stand By Me” is considered a potential future California Govenor.

    Thanks Rob.

  38. admin,

    Even kos is bashing Edwards’ stupidity on his frontpage. Despite Big Media’s tendency to overrate Edwards’ debate performance last night, Obama is still the guy we need to focus on. Edwards has no prayer. He has no financial resources, no core constituency in a primary fight. If Obama drops out, I can assure you the vast majority of minority group will immediately consolidate behind Hillary.

    Kos writes:

    Any Democrat that agrees to forgo this advantage in a primary instantly suffers an “electability” hit, a misguided effort to turn a liability (relatively poor fundraising) into a positive. Obama has at least tied taking public financing to reciprocity from the Republican side, Edwards is essentially calling for unilateral disarmament.

    We can’t have a nominee emerging from the primaries broke and underfunded like Kerry was in 2004. This election is far too important to fight with one arm tied behind our back.

    Update: Here’s how it would play out:

    Lots of money is spent in January and February. Let’s say Edwards emerges the victor — wins Iowa, and parlays that victory into national momentum. It could really happen, especially if Hillary and Barack beat the crap out of each other.

    So he’s won, but he’s spent his primary money, and he won’t get his first general election check until after the Democratic convention. August 25.

    So Edwards won’t have any money in March, April, May, June, July, and most of August. That’s six months of darkness.

    Six months in which the Republicans will be beating the crap out of him, because they won’t do anything so foolish. Six months to turn Edwards into the devil incarnate, with no money to hit back.

    This is what we want for our nominee?

  39. That is an important vote which Edwards supporters needs to address, his lack of money, if in a GE would make him a lame duck candidate for all those months mentioned.

    Admin I loved the last part of the article you linked to. And as usual, the Clinton response team serves up another beauty, with just the right amount of arrogance… 🙂

    “Edwards was sharply critical of Clinton’s positions on both Iraq and Iran at the debate.

    The Clinton camp was not impressed.

    “No one laid a glove on her,” said Clinton strategist Mandy Grunwald.

  40. HA HA!!! kostner you are right, edwards is not this noble guy at all on the public funds for the primaries. looks like his 3rd quarter is going to bad. what very small chance he had to win next year is gone. we don’t need a potential BROKE nominee all summer long until next late august.

  41. It’s a shame, really. As Pat Buchanan pointed out last night, Hillary would rather be in a two-candidate shootout with Edwards because he doesn’t have the finances to go the distance as opposed to Obama who does.

    I’d rather see Edwards be the stronger of the two challengers going into Iowa. Oh well.

    BTW, Todd and Gregory both said last night that the Democratic establishment hates John Edwards with a red-hot passion and will do anything to prevent him from winning the nomination, even if it means supporting Hillary. I think it goes back to episodes like his bold-face lying to Kerry about running in 2008. Not just that one instance, but I think he’s viewed a dishonest phony in the party.

  42. I was proud of the way Hillary set the record straight when Edwards tried to distort her position on troop withdrawal, and when he turned around later and tried to equate labelling the Iranian paramilitary group a terrorist organization with a declaration of war on Iran. It is a mystery to me why some elements of MSM think Edwards did well. All they need is what Hemingway in his declining years referred to as a good “bull shit detector”.

  43. Good analysis Hwc.

    Dem Dem, I appreciate your blog about Stroller boy, a true believer in censorship if there ever was one. Running his little own Hayes commission on the net he is, he is. Also, I quite agree that the guy we all thought was someone’s crazy uncle, i.e. Gravel has a creative approach to debt management, namely a simple default for the good of the country. I remember hanging around some dem lobbyists back in the 70’s when he was Senator of Alaska, and you will be happy to know some things do not change.

  44. admin,

    Gosh, this is unexpected. McGovern is to endorse Hillary! Wow, I don’t want Team Clinton to touch him. His embarrasing loss doesn’t bode well….

    ABC News has learned that former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, is planning to endorse the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., in Iowa City, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 6.

    The Clinton campaign declined to comment. Reached by phone in Mitchell, S.D., in the midst of getting a haircut at the OK Barber Shop, the 85-year-old World War II veteran was coy with ABC News, saying he wouldn’t confirm the news though he allowed he was “leaning that way.”

  45. kostner, The McGovern endorsement is fine with me. Remember, he lost to Nixon, who ended up resigning. There are probably a bunch of people out there who wish they’d voted for him in retrospect. And 1972 was a lifetime ago, and McGovern’s become something of an elder statesman in the intervening decades. I’ve always liked him.

  46. admin,

    CBS Evening News devoted almost 3 minutes on ‘Teflon Clinton’. They played that clip, wow, that’s great news. I’m sure her poise, calmness will spread even further. Great news. The videos is now on CBS website.

  47. Saw that.

    Jim Axelrod, the Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News, mentioned Hillary’s “teflon quality”. He said that “something was supposed to stick, but so far, nothing has”.

  48. Tonight on MSNBC-TV’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann (8 p.m. ET), former president Bill Clinton is asked about the moment during last night’s Democratic debate when Tim Russert pointed out that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton might disagree with her husband about whether it’s ever a good idea to torture suspected terrorists.

    Sen. Clinton, who had just said torture is not permissible, said of the possible conflict with the former president that “well, he’s not standing here right now.” (Video clip here.)

    According to a transcript of the pre-recorded Olbermann interview that MSNBC just e-mailed to reporters, president Clinton says:

    I loved it. I thought to myself, you know, Tim Russert is a very clever interviewer, he thought that he had trapped her, and instead she made the obvious point that if she is elected, she will be the president, I won’t, she will make the final call and I completely agree with her about the policy. The United States has to be against terror.

    As a matter of fact, what I really was talking about with Tim Russert is what happens when 24 -– you have people watch 24, as you know. And this guy, Jack Bauer, he is always, the nuclear weapon is going to explode in five minutes and here is a guy who knows what you do.

    There is a one in a million chance that happens. But the United States is against torture because it’s illegal, it’s immoral, it doesn’t work and it makes our own soldiers vulnerable to torture.

    If that ever happened, the point I was trying to make to Russert, and you or I or anybody else thought a million lives for you beating up this guy, you’d probably do it, but you should know it’s against the law and you should be prepared to take the consequences.

    And we shouldn’t ever ask the president of the United States of America to be on the side of torture, illegal, almost always ineffective and makes our own people vulnerable to the same sort of treatment.

  49. She was typically brilliant. First she smacked Russert down, then with her keen instincts, she was wary of his ‘hearsay’ about Bill – which turned out to be false, which is why hearsay is not admissible in court.

    Hillary and Bill are both right – policy is one thing, extraordinary situations is something else. After Lebanon, Alan Dershowitz made an ass of himself by trying to ‘legalize’ Israel killing civilians to get to Hezbollah. Shimon Peres at least had the human decency to say, ‘we hate doing this, we hate killing children, but what can we do?’ If you have to do something horrible in an extreme situation, you don’t try to legitimize it and make it policy. Because practice is always going to be worse than policy, whatever the policy is.

  50. In my opinion, Russert approach to journalism is highly problematic. Just think about his little hypothetical for a minute. Is he really trying to educate voters? Or is he simply trying to put candidates on the horns of a dilemma? And, if it is the latter, is it a good thing for the country?

    I think he is trying to put the candidates on the horns of a dilemma, wherein: i) if they say they would torture to save a million lives, then they head down a slippery slope, whereas ii) if they say they would not engage in torture to save a million lives, then they violate their obligations to countrymen. And because as WJC says this is a 1 in a millon scenario, it has no practical relevance to voters, it is simply a game of wits, and its all about Tim.

    But there is a cost to the country for his egotism. For if the candidate says yes to the hypothetical question, it invokes images of Abu Grave, Gitmo and sends a signal to the Arab world that nothing will change. On the other hand, if the candidate says no then it sends a signal that he or she is not firmly committed to the protection of American lives.

    Fortunately, our girl is smarter than that. She answered the question by articulating the policy against torture, and why it would not work. In that sense she disarmed the hypothetical, which assumed it would work. And when Russert tried to suggest that she was at odds with her masters voice, she made what Oberman described as a defining moment of her candidacy, by proclaiming that she was the candidate.

    No wonder Russert was sweating. It’s tough to swing at 100 mph fast balls.

  51. ^ a perfect analysis of Timmy’s “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” questions. Damned if you say yes; damned if you say no.

    Really, his question about having the very last soldier out of Iraq was the same thing. Everyone of those candidates wants essentially all 160,000 troops out of Iraq within a couple of years, but no it’s the commitment to bring the very last one home that his the “gotcha” part of the question because saying yes assumes that we have closed our embassy, abandoned any relief efforts, given up on diplomacy, and so forth…all requiring a crystal ball.

    Yet, the purpose of Timmy’s question wasn’t to go deep into the issue. It was to generate a false headline: “Top Dems plan to keep troops in Iraq for six more years” — a headline that in no way shape or form accurately reflects their goals, even as stated clearly in their answers.

  52. clarification: next to last paragraph second sentence was unclear. She articulated why “torture” does not work. The word “it” was ambiguous and was not intended to describe the policy against torture, which policy she clearly supports.

    Sorry, its late here.

  53. mcgovern backing hillary is great news. and that clip from last night-as olbermann called it a seminal moment-keeps getting replayed. better yet-bill’s interview on olbermann was a preview of what is comming sunday. he made a great point-themore dbeates the better as they further the dem message of change in 08. a historic campaign indeed

  54. yes..mcgovern is ok now…..he has a lot of anti-war people in his camp….he was advicing the anti-war group within congress in early 2007….so this makes it ok now……. those extreme left antiwar group within congress would be good to have in your group.

  55. Kostner:

    You really think Obambi is the one we should be worried about? Edwards has no money and no class (well, personally he has money) but he also will do or say anything to get himself elected. Not to mention his Desperate Housewife.

    Obambi seems to be in it to have college kids think he’s cool. I just don’t see Obambi making any kind of move. He’s relying on college kids in Iowa.

  56. hey ya’ll, anybody got any clips of big dog on olbermann? He was so well spoken on cnn about the petraeus ad…really worth watching. mollyj

  57. TheNewPresidentClinton,

    I don’t believe either Obama or Edwards is posing serious threat, however, everything is on a relative scale. Compared to Edwards, Obama’s threat is bigger and there’s no question about this. He has money, and he has the potential to solidify support among AA community. Edwards has nothing except Iowa.

    Edwards is a mad man, he will continue to attack Clinton, well attack politics has the potential to drive up the negativies of both attacker and whoever being attacked. That can also give Obama an opening to reap the benefit.

  58. I’m pretty confident if Obama finishes in the third place in Iowa, he’s done even Clinton loses to Edwards there which is increasingly becoming unlikely. Edwards is slipping in his must-win state – Iowa. I fear he will eventually end in the 3rd place there, which is not really a good thing for Clinton campaign.

  59. I think the McGovern endorsement is a plus in the primary for the reasons cited above. Also, it may be particularly useful in Iowa, because of common mid-western roots, the age & demographics of its electorate, and its anti-war disposition.

    I believe it is more of a mixed bag in the general election, depending on whether he plays an active role in the campaign. On the plus side, it could be useful in neutralizing a possible Nader candidacy.

  60. Kostner:

    I’m not sure about the edwards….in the primaries……his extreme left position is such that he will use it a bargaining position even if he loses in the primaries….

    The leader of the Dem party should be worried about his switching positions…….he can effect some thoughts in the moderate wing of the dems and repubs who may want to vote for dems but won’t….just because of his utter rhetoric…

  61. Hey, everyone, check this out (via talkingpointsmemo.com).

    A Republican group called Stop Her Now is vowing to raise and spend between $500,000 and $600,000 in an all-out effort to derail Hillary’s presidential candidacy between now and February.

    “We expect we’ll be much more intense in our efforts between now and Feb. 28,” said Texas businessman Richard Collins, a leading organizer of the group. Among their efforts will be adding more mainstream humor — not just the right-wing kind — to their Web site and other efforts.

    In addition, another group called Citizens United is producing an anti-Hillary documentary, which backers intend to serve the same role as the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth campaign against John Kerry in 2004.

    Bring it on!!!

  62. on the blogs is reporting that obama hired some key advisor – moses mercado?; he was an employee of a lobbyist and had client like sempre energy, monsanto, carlyle group…. these clients are big companies….

  63. BTW, Rasmussen has Hillary running 2 points ahead of Rudy in Tennessee, of all places.

    The Rassmussen poll, taken Sept. 19 and released today, shows Thompson leading Clinton by a 54 percent-39 percent margin in a mock matchup among Tennesseans.

    The former Tennessee senator has even bigger margins over Barack Obama (60-30) and John Edwards (56-35).

    On the other hand, if Giuliani were the Republican nominee, Clinton is shown with a slight lead in Tennessee — 46 percent to 44 percent. The poll also found her leading Romney by a 46-40 margin.

    The poll’s margin of error was listed as 4.5 percent. Since Clinton’s lead over Giuliani or Romney is within that margin, such a race is seen as a dead heat. Thompson’s margin over all three leading Democrats is substantially greater than the margin of error.

  64. Paula,

    “A Republican group called Stop Her Now is…”

    A little too late.

    “In addition, another group called Citizens United is producing an anti-Hillary documentary”

    ‘Citizens United’ is a Fake RightWing front group run by Floyd Brown. He used to have a newsletter called ‘Clintonwatch’.

    The man is a walking fruit loop.

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