Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton

Who’s On First?

Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton:

…the debate seemed structured to further the storyline that the media has developed in the last few weeks, a storyline that only political junkies know much about or have any interest in: A Hillary has been spotted off the port bow. Attack!

Let me quantify my impressions. In the first two segments, I counted thirty-three questions. Twenty-two of them were designed to facilitate either another candidate attacking Hillary Clinton, or Clinton responding to attacks (either from another candidate or from Russert). Indeed, all of the major subjects were structured around attacks on Clinton.

Segment 1: How do Clinton, Edwards, and Obama Differ?
Segment 2: What Shall We Do About Iran? This segment could have been geared toward a more substantive policy discussion to tease out differences between the seven candidates. However, Russert and Williams framed the questions around Kyl-Lieberman, thus encouraging the six Democrats who opposed the resolution to go after Clinton, who supported it.
Segment 3: What Is Clinton’s Real Position on Iraq?
Segment 4: What are Clinton’s Qualifications?
Segment 5: Is Clinton Credible on Social Security?

[snip]

Afterwards, I could only stomach so much post-debate “analysis.” Before I had to walk away from the TV to find the Tums, I watched in amazement as Chris Matthews interviewed Joe Biden and Chris Dodd – and talked about nothing more than Hillary Clinton (well – I suppose there were a few UFO-related questions in there).

Hillary Clinton – Lion Tamer

Update: AFSCME Endorses Hillary:

This is no time to take chances. We need someone who knows how to fight and knows how to win. Sisters and Brothers, Senator Clinton is a seasoned fighter. Believe me, she knows how to fight and she knows how to win.
Some of you may have seen last night’s debate.

Six guys against Hillary.

I’d call that a fair fight.

This is one strong woman.

This is the Democrat with the strength and experience to make change happen.

This is the Democrat with the strength and experience who will always stand up for working Americans.

This is the Democrat with the strength and experience to take on the Republicans in the fall.

This is the Democrat who can win the White House in 2008.

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The circus came to town last night. There was an overweight clown and some toothless lions chasing a plucky blond lady around the circus tent. The plucky blond lady took her belt off and used it as a whip. Soon the lions were jumping through hoops for the plucky blond lady. The audience loved her. The audience booed the overweight clown.

* * *

 

As we predicted, Hillary was under attack last night by all her opponents, which included half of the debate moderating team. Politico posted a play by play article last night:

Republican loathing for Hillary Clinton used to be viewed as her Achilles’ heel.

But Tuesday night in Philadelphia, she wore Republican hate as a badge of honor, fending off her Democratic rivals’ sharpest attacks yet by casting herself as a kind of partisan warrior queen.

Barack Obama, pressed for weeks by his donors and by the media to take on Clinton more directly, came out swinging against her, moving from uncertainty to a more confident criticism.

Obama joined his Ripublican buddies and attacked Hillary on the basis that — Ripublicans attack Hillary, therefore she is to blame for partisan bickering:

“Part of the reason Republicans are obsessed with you, Hillary, is I think that’s a fight they’re very comfortable having,” he responded, adding that “what we don’t need is another eight years of bickering.”

John Edwards joined Obama in attacking Hillary:

John Edwards kept up the pressure most skillfully on Clinton, putting his courtroom skills to use to build a case, at times mockingly, against the New York senator.

After almost two hours of largely fruitless sparring with Clinton, accusing her of “double-talk,” Edwards drove his point home when she refused to say whether she supports New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

“Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No,” Clinton said.

“But do I understand the sense of real desperation of trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York, we want to know who is in New York, we want people to come out of the shadows.”

Edwards pounced.

“Unless I missed something, Sen. Clinton said two different things in the course of two minutes,” he said.

Obama said he supports the plan. An Edwards aide, Mark Kornblau, said after the debate that Edwards also supported the plan.

Was Hillary obtuse or fudging or lying or unclear on the drivers license issue? Let’s go to the videotape:

Hillary, after a back and forth with Dodd, explained that there is a problem with having people driving on American roads who cannot legally now get licensed to drive. Hillary explained the 3 tiered system Governor Spitzer will implement to try to get a solution to a difficult problem. Did Hillary think the original Spitzer plan to provide outright licenses was a good idea – No, but she understood Governor Spitzer’s motivation for trying to do something about a problem the federal government has failed to address. Edwards had the vapors with Hillary’s reply.

Politico:

Clinton, positioned in the middle of the stage with a row of men in suits on each side, turned to her left to listen to Edwards and her right to hear Obama.

She largely responded calmly, diminishing the policy differences between the candidates.

When Edwards tried to draw a difference between his plan to fight terror in the Middle East and hers to run combat missions against Al Qaeda in Iraq, she dismissed the gap as “semantic.”

The constant attacks on Hillary drew Governor Richardson to disgust:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, for his part, came to Clinton’s defense.

“You know what I’m hearing here — I’m hearing this holier-than-thou attitude toward Sen. Clinton … close to personal attacks that we don’t need,” he said. “I think it’s important that we save the ammunition for the Republicans.”

The “holier-than-thou” attitude was also lampooned by Dennis Kucinich who mocked hedge fund Edwards for daring to attack Hillary on taking lobbyist money.

The New York Times also noted the attacks on plucky Hillary:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York came under withering attack from the rest of the Democratic presidential field last night in a pitched two-hour debate that her opponents used to challenge her candor and electability and to portray her as enabling President Bush to prepare for an invasion of Iran.

It was the seventh time the candidates had met and it was strikingly different in tone from any of the prior debates. At times, it seemed that Mrs. Clinton was parrying criticism from every corner of the stage, reflecting the vulnerabilities that come from being a high-visibility candidate who has built large leads in national polls with just two months to go until the first vote.

Mrs. Clinton was attacked for not offering specific plans on what she might do with Social Security. She was challenged for voting to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a foreign terrorist organization. She was assailed at one moment as being disingenuous, the next as a symbol of tired Washington establishment and the next for being unelectable.

Obama, for all his promises, did not manage to eclipse Edwards in being the most vicious in attacking Hillary:

But for all the attention Mr. Obama drew to himself coming into the debate, he was frequently overshadowed by former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who — speaking more intensely — repeatedly challenged Mrs. Clinton’s credentials and credibility, and frequently seemed to make the case against Mrs. Clinton that Mr. Obama had promised to make.

The Times even managed to notice the ugly role of the moderators:

Mrs. Clinton walked into the debate expecting to be the target of attacks but as the night went on, she appeared surprised by the intensity as she was challenged not only by her opponents but by the moderators, Brian Williams and Tim Russert of NBC. [snip]

In an exchange with Mr. Russert, arguably her third toughest opponent on the stage, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly declined to say whether she would push the National Archives to release correspondence from Mrs. Clinton to Mr. Clinton in the White House when he was president. Mr. Russert held up a copy of a letter from Mr. Clinton asking the Archives not to release any of those documents until 2012.

“Well, that’s not my decision to make,” she said. “And I don’t believe that any president or first lady has. But certainly we’ll move as quickly as our circumstances and the processes of the National Archives permits.”

Hillary crushed Obama on his much trumpeted Social Security attacks. At one point Hillary pointedly noted that “Republican Talking Points” would not be parroted by her – a clear allusion to Ripublican loving Obama.

The L.A. Times sums up the results of the debate. Before the debate, the consensus was that Obama needed to salvage his sunken campaign with a clear win and strong damage inducing attacks on Hillary. Obama proved himself a failure yet again. Even the petulant John Edwards outshone Obama in assertiveness:

Trailing in national polls and with supporters growing restless, Barack Obama challenged Hillary Rodham Clinton’s electability and candor in a spirited Tuesday night debate. But he failed to rattle the front-runner or do much, it seemed, to shake up the Democratic race.

Under fire from the first question — an invitation for Obama to take a shot at Clinton — the New York senator smiled through most of the two-hour session, often seconding the views of others on stage and joining the laughter during an attack on Republican Rudolph W. Giuliani.

The toothless lions and the clown were unhappy last night. The plucky blonde lady was amazing on the flying trapeze.

Hillary Clinton In The Lion’s Den – Tim Russert, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Dodd, Biden, Kucinich, Richardson

Live webstream on MSNBC — HERE.

Hillary Clinton will be center stage. The order on the stage from left to right will be Dodd, Biden, Edwards, Hillary, Obama, Kucinich, Richardson.

MSNBC:

Sen. Hillary Clinton was preparing Tuesday to fight off a gang assault from the rest of the Democratic presidential field, led by her closest rival, who was closely studying the playbook of the master — Clinton’s husband, the former president.

Clinton, D-N.Y., and most of the other major Democratic contenders gathered in Philadelphia for a two-hour debate at 9 p.m. ET, which will be telecast on MSNBC and streamed live on msnbc.com. Brian Williams, managing editor and anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” will moderate.

Also on stage at Drexel University will be Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. NBC News and the Democratic National Committee excluded former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska on grounds that he did not meet fundraising and polling thresholds.

Advisers to Obama, who trails Clinton by a wide margin in national polls, told NBC News that Obama was reviewing tapes of Bill Clinton’s debate performances in his victorious 1992 campaign for clues to how to ratchet up his attacks on the senator without sacrificing his likability.

Obama’s camp adopted the same strategy being used by other Democratic contenders seeking to chip away at Clinton’s growing lead: It declared her to be incapable of winning the general election.

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Here we go:

Williams: You gave an interview saying Clinton was sounding Republican in foreign policy issues.  What issues has she sounded like a Republican. 

Obama: This has been hyped.  We have big challenges like health care and global challenges.  The way to change is have sharp contrasts with the other party.  We have to be honest.  It does not mean changing positions.  Clinton has been for NAFTA, Iraq, and now is against.  We need honesty.  That is how I am running my campaign. 

Clinton: I am the topic of great consternation because I want to stop the Iraq war and prevent a rush to war with Iran, stop global warming.

Read more

Lazio, Come Forth

[Note: We will have our usual live coverage of tonight’s debate. The debate will be on MSNBC starting at 9:00 p.m. EST. The debate will also be streamed live on the web.]

On September 14, 2000, Rick Lazio attacked now SENATOR Hillary Clinton in a televised debate in the New York Senate Race. Tim Russert was the moderator.

Tonight, there will be a mugging debate with the Democratic candidates for president. Tim Russert will be a co-moderator. Hillary Clinton will once again be under attack.

The desperate Barack Obama and the equally desperate John Edwards will be impersonating Ripublican Rick Lazio.

For Obama the stakes are high. Obama has promised his dwindling group of discouraged supporters that this time he will attack Hillary ferociously.

If Obama fails to attack, his dwindling group of discouraged supporters will be reduced to Michelle Obama and the Obama paid staff. Obama had promised a “new politics” campaign, but as this past weekend’s gay bashing tour demonstrates, Obama’s “new politics” is the old Ripublican attack politics of division.

But Obama, in both a speech last week in New York and one today in Chicago, is now moving past his earlier strategy, which was to distinguish himself from Clinton by arguing that she voted for the war and suggesting that she is more divisive than he because Republicans have spent years targeting her. He’s not using Clinton’s name or talking about Whitewater or scandals from the 1990’s, but Obama is in an area some of his advisers had suggested earlier he would not go: a critique that moves beyond policy toward her character.

Obama wants to blame Democrats for Ripublican and Bush failures, “That is why it is not enough to change parties,” Obama says. And in light of this past weekend’s gay bashing tour in South Carolina, Obama’s other promises sound hollow too: “I will always tell the American people the truth. I will always tell you where I stand. It’s what I’m doing in this campaign. It’s what I’ll do as President.

Attack politics is not what Barack Obama had promised. Barack Obama lied. Cynicism.

“Talking to a friend the other day, Obama stated the obvious about Tuesday night’s debate … “I’ve got to do something in Philly.” Whatever happened to Obama’s politics of hope?

Remember this, Barack?:

John Edwards will be Rick Lazio tonight as well. John Edwards in the past promised not to attack other candidates. John Edwards attacked the “politics of cynicism” and was against attacking other candidates and “tearing other people apart”. That was then, this is the desperate now.

Rick Lazio John Edwards is now desperately practicing the politics of cynicism:

The argument marks a shift in a race where Edwards and Clinton’s other Democratic opponents have criticized her stance on policy but usually have avoided taking on her character directly. In an interview Monday with The Associated Press, Edwards said Clinton is part of a corrupt Washington system. [snip]

Edwards is a former trial lawyer with a penchant for making effective closing arguments that are strong on emotion, and he is likely to press his case when the Democrats meet for a debate Tuesday night in Philadelphia. His shift against Clinton comes as she is leading in every national and state poll.

Clinton leads even though a study out Monday found that she got some of the most negative media coverage of the White House field. And she’s in front even though Edwards has been ramping up his criticism of her since the summer, particularly on her ties to lobbyists.

Barack Obama and John Edwards should remember Rick Lazio and his failed attacks on Hillary:

“Character issues are the most powerful attack lines in a general election, but they are risky in a primary, especially when questioning the honesty of someone like Hillary Clinton who remains among the most popular in the party,” Cutter said. “It can backfire. At the same time, the Clinton campaign would be wrong to ignore it.”

Personal attack is John Edwards version of “new politics” too:

Edwards suggested Clinton is mostly running for president out of personal ambition.

Is Edwards ambitious?

He acknowledged that personal ambition played a role in his 2004 presidential campaign, but he said it is less so in this bid.

Being honest, you can never say personal ambition doesn’t play a role,” Edwards said. “But I do think that I’m driven by something different. I’m driven by making this country work for the kind of people I grew up with.”

Clinton’s campaign responded by pointing to what it said are differences between Edwards’ first and second White House bids.

Senator Edwards’ entire campaign has devolved into a daily routine of negative personal attacks against Senator Clinton,” said Clinton spokesman Phil Singer. “He’s a far cry from the John Edwards of 2004 who rose to prominence by decrying personal attacks against other Democrats.”

Obama has already promised relentless attacks against Hillary:

Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia will be the first test on the national stage for Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) to carry through on his pledge to engage rival and Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) more directly and forcefully.

In a weekend interview with The New York Times, Obama said “now is the time” for him to step up his efforts to knock Clinton off the top spot.

Obama has implicitly criticized Clinton and her policies repeatedly, mostly recently in an ad released over the weekend that contained indirect references to the senator. The ad, entitled “Winds,” is an apparent attempt to hit Clinton for her reluctance to commit to an answer in a question about Social Security posed during the last Democratic debate. [snip]

Elmendorf said that by announcing the campaign’s strategy to step up confrontations with Clinton, Obama basically acknowledges that he knows he’s in trouble.

“He certainly telegraphed that punch, which isn’t always the best way to do this,” Elmendorf said. “Time is running out, and they clearly know that.”

The New York Times reported that several Obama supporters have been critical of the Illinois senator’s apparent reluctance to criticize Clinton aggressively.

Edwards, on the other hand, has been more outspoken by far in going after the front-runner, and he indicated Monday that he might be capable of moving that criticism into a higher gear.

Tim Russert will assist Rick Lazio John Edwards and Barack Obama as much as he can in their attacks against Hillary, as he did in the last debate and seven years ago.

But perhaps the most striking moment of the evening came not with Mr. Lazio and Mrs. Clinton, but with the first lady and the moderator of the debate, Tim Russert, the host of NBC’s Sunday program ”Meet the Press.” He showed a videotape from the ”Today” program of Jan. 27, 1998, in which Mrs. Clinton, just after the Lewinsky scandal broke, defended her husband and denied the allegations that he had had an affair with a White House intern. Mr. Russert asked Mrs. Clinton if she regretted ”misleading the American people” and if she would ”now apologize for branding people as part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.”

Hillary with a commanding presence faced down Rick Lazio and Tim Russert seven years ago.

Tonight Hillary will have to face down Tim Russert and all the other men surrounding her on the stage, again.

Obama’s Macaca Weekend

As predicted on this website, and detailed so well in the comments section of our many articles, the Barack Obama gay bashing tour of South Carolina went nuclear in a bad way for Obama. [See our articles HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.]

From our very first article on this matter it was very clear what this was all about and what it was not about: This was NOT a battle between African-Americans and Gay Americans. This was NOT even a battle between Gay rights and homophobia. This was always about Barack Obama’s willingness to divide and conquer – to divide two key Democratic constituencies for his political benefit.

African-Americans in South Carolina are reliable Democratic voters. Although many African-Americans in South Carolina are rural and poor, many deprived of any higher education, and very very few have ever even visited Harvard University let alone had the opportunity to attend Harvard – these are still sophisticated voters who understand where their interests lie. These are good and smart people who deserve better than to have their prejudices stoked for political advantange. Obama’s gay bashing tour was designed to benefit Obama, not to bring African-Americans who are not gay friendly into the Democratic Big Tent. The African-American voters in South Carolina are already in the Democratic Tent.

Barack Obama attempted to consciously exploit, for his own personal political profit, the lower instincts of this population. It is a disgusting trick employed by white southern politicians for many decades. These white politicians, Jesse Helms in particular comes to mind, race baited in order to get elected – and for decades this ugly trick worked – it still does. Typically the white politicians incited baser instincts on race to harvest white votes. Often white voters voted against their own self interest only because ugly racial prejudice was stoked by white politicians.

Way back in May 16, 2007 we wrote Barack O bomb a. We discussed Obama’s own criteria for judging him as stated to George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America:

Stephanopoulos: But you’ve never served in the military, never been an executive. What’s the most difficult crisis you’ve ever had to manage in your public life?

Obama: Well the truth is, in my public life, as a legislator, most of the difficult tasks have been to build consensus around hard problems. And, what I think the country needs more than anything right now is somebody who has the capacity to identify areas of common interest, common good, build a consensus around it and get things done.

Stephanopoulos: That is part of the job, there is no question about it, but you know a big part of the job for president is what you would do in a crisis, the crisis you didn’t expect. And you never ever really had to deal with something like that, right?

Obama: Well, what I think is absolutely legitimate is that my political career has been on the legislative side and not on the executive branch. Now, that is true for a lot of my colleagues, who aren’t governors, and one of the things that I hope, over the course of this campaign I show, is the capacity to manage this pretty unwieldy process, um, of a political race and one of the great things about the press is they’re going to be watching very carefully…

Stephanopoulos: Every move you make.

Obama: Every move you make and to make sure that people have a sense of how I deal with adversity, how I deal with mistakes. Who do I have around me to make sure we are executing on the things that need to get done.

By his own standards, Obama has failed. We now know how Obama deals with adversity and mistakes. We now know Obama’s lack of skills in identifying areas of common interest, areas of common good, how to build a consensus and how to get things done. We wrote back in May: Obama’s answer then is that as we witness his campaign fall apart, into crisis, we will at long last see his crisis management abilities demonstrated. We have.

Obama is convicted, using his own standards of behavior and leadership, of being unfit to be president.

On Sunday, Obama provided a gay basher unfettered access to an Obama paid for microphone.

The whole controversy might have been forgotten in the swell of gospel sound except Mr. McClurkin turned the final half hour of the three-hour concert into a revival meeting about the lightning rod he has become for the Obama campaign.

He approached the subject gingerly at first. Then, just when the concert had seemed to reach its pitch and about to end, Mr. McClurkin returned to it with a full-blown plea: “Don’t call me a bigot or anti-gay when I have suffered the same feelings,” he cried.

“God delivered me from homosexuality,” he added. He then told the audience to believe the Bible over the blogs: “God is the only way.” The crowd sang and clapped along in full support….

Mr. McClurkin’s support for Mr. Obama could signal to some black evangelical voters that race and religion are more important than Mr. Obama’s support for gay rights.

AmericaBlog summed up Obama’s gay bashing weekend well:

So, in the end, Obama let his “best” and “favorite” artist slam gays to thousands of African-Americans, in his name, and neither he nor his hand-chosen white gay preacher said anything in response. Class act, that Obama campaign. For them, creating a “dialogue” means the gay-basher gets to spread his bigotry to thousands while the candidate and the token gay STFU.

This is typical Obama behavior When Obama does something dirty he tries to disguise the dirt with flowery language.

And by the way, the Big Blogs want to take credit for exposing Obama’s ugly tactics. But the Big Blogs were initially silent. We noted the silence of the Blogs in our very first post on this matter. Only after Obama’s ugly Macaca weekend did the Big Blogs finally speak in a full throated manner. Oprah and Geffen and Arriana Huffington and others are still silent on this entire matter. They have a responsibility to speak out on this issue. They enabled Obama’s ugly behavior.

[For those wishing more information on this sordid weekend, Kostner provides plenty of links to the Obama meltdown on the Big Blogs.]

Obama used to try to compare himself positively with Abraham Lincoln. This weekend Obama learned from Honest Abe that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

Obama has fooled too many, for far too long.

Is Barack Obama A Closeted Ripublican

Update: Our counterattack begins.

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Readers of Big Pink have known for months of the chaos, confusion, and complaints at Barack Obama Chicago Central Headquarters. Barack Obama has denied and denounced all claims of a campaign beset by complaints. However, yesterday, the New York Times confirmed earlier reports on Big Pink about the chaos at B.O. central. According to the New York Times His [Obama] senior aides said they were now spending much of their day fielding calls from concerned donors and other supporters…” and that Morale at his Chicago headquarters, aides said, has been dragged down by the perception that Mrs. Clinton is lapping Mr. Obama.

The Obama interview in the New York Times, staggering in the level of desperate whining and desperate mistruths, is yet another [See, The Boston Globe and Time Magazine ] Obama promise to revive his long dead campaign.

Senator Barack Obama said he would start confronting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton more directly and forcefully, saying Friday that she had not been candid in describing her views on critical policy issues, as he tries to address mounting alarm among supporters that his lack of assertiveness so far has allowed her to dominate the presidential race.

Mr. Obama’s vow to go on the offensive comes just over two months before the first votes are cast for the Democratic nomination, and after a long period in which his aides, donors and other supporters have battled — and in some cases shared — the perception that he has not exhibited the aggressiveness demanded by presidential politics.

After all the many lies and denials concerning internal struggles with chaos, confusion, and complaints, Obama is not to be believed.

Like a common street hustler ripping off tourists in a streetside shell game, Obama skips from issue to issue trying to make a profit. Obama’s latest ball in his shell game is Social Security.

I don’t think people know what her agenda exactly is,” Mr. Obama continued, citing Social Security, Iraq and Iran as issues on which he said she had not been fully forthcoming. “Now it’s been very deft politically, but one of the things that I firmly believe is that we’ve got to be clear with the American people right now about the important choices that we’re going to need to make in order to get a mandate for change, not to try to obfuscate and avoid being a target in the general election and then find yourself governing without any support for any bold propositions.”

As we wrote in Barack Obama’s Social Insecurity:

The attempt to destroy Social Security was THE big Bush agenda item for his second term. The failure to pass schemes which were Trojan horses meant to destroy Social Security effectively destroyed the Bush government immediately after it had supposedly won re-election. Karl Rove pushed for the privatization schemes and the other ploys such as “personal” accounts (which were politically meant to shift resources from public program Social Security into “personal” accounts, none of which actually did what they were advertised to do – because the real aim was the destruction of the Democratic and successful New Deal and Social Security). Democrats understood the real purpose behind the Bush proposals and opposed them effectively and in unity. TPM on privatization:

This is all another way of saying that the Democrats do have an alternative on the table: preserving Social Security rather than phasing it out. (Once again, let me say that in a later post I’ll discuss why our values are only honored by a system like Social Security.) Democrats already have and will continue to propose adjustments to the system to handle potential shortfalls which are decades in the future. But this debate — for anyone who understands it, indeed even the White House now concedes the point — is not about solvency. And the fact that Kristoff does not grasp that point is not their problem, though his confusing the two issues certainly complicates preserving the program.

In other words, Ripublicans wanted to create a crisis in order to force through changes that would destroy Social Security. Ripublicans wanted to “put everything on the table”. To create a crisis Ripublicans told young voters that the young would not have Social Security when they came of retirement age. Democrats refused to play into the Ripublican crisis creation narrative. Well, most Democrats refused.

Enter Obama with a satchel full of Ripublican propaganda and scare tactics aimed at young voters.

Barack Obama wants everything “on the table” when it comes to negotiating away Social Security. Barack Obama is not to be trusted when it comes to privatization either not, as long as Jeffrey Liebman is a trusted Obama advisor on Social Security and “personal” accounts.

Perhaps Obama thinks scare tactics on Social Security, which have not worked for him before, will work during Halloween season.

[At the end of this post we speculate on on the pundit question as to why Obama is making this crazy gambit on Social Security.]

Desperate Obama and his Chicago thugs have now also abandoned “the politics of hope”. As usual Obama pretends this is all part of some grand strategy. But, it is transparent to all, that ike a drowning man, Obama is flailing about trying to grab on to something, anything. Not content with merely spewing Ripublican propaganda on Social Security, Obama joins Ripublicans on other issues regarding next year’s general election.

Mr. Obama suggested that she was too divisive to win a general election and that if she won, she would be unable to bring together competing factions in Washington to accomplish anything.

“There is a legacy that is both an enormous advantage to her in a Democratic primary, but also a disadvantage to her in a general election,” he said. “I don’t think anybody would claim that Senator Clinton is going to inspire a horde of new voters,” he said. “I don’t think it’s realistic that she is going to get a whole bunch of Republicans to think differently about her.”

Obama supporters who want to join the reality based community should read Obama’s Present to Ripublicans to see what new voters Hillary will bring to the polls and how Obama is again repeating Ripublican propaganda.

Mr. Obama said he was not concerned by a repeated spate of national polls showing lopsided support for Mrs. Clinton. “The national press for the last three months has written glowingly about her and not so much about me, so it’s not surprising,” he said. He described himself as an “underdog” running against a campaign that has “a 20-year head start when it comes to managing the spin of the national politics.”

Here are the facts on Obama receiving the most glowing press coverage:

The new Shorenstein Center report on the “Invisible Primary” has some interesting findings, including the (intuitively true) chart above of Obama’s media coverage.

The report finds that Obama has had the most positive coverage, though it notes — but doesn’t break out from the total — the overwhelmingly negative Clinton talk-radio coverage, which makes Clinton’s coverage worse than it’s been perceived by Democratic primary voters, I’d guess.

The big mystery for Sunday’s talk show pundits, Hillary supporters, and objective analysts is why Obama raised Social Security as his latest anti-Hillary weapon. Big Pink readers know by now that Obama is not very bright, well educated yes, but not very bright – he is merely a flowery talker who charms the gullible.

Here is our guess as to why Obama is gambling on Social Security to salvage the trash that is his sunken campaign: (1) Obama desperately needs a debate victory over Hillary to buoy his donor/supporters; (2) Obama knows that Iraq and his 2002 speech as a lance against Hillary are wet noodles; (3) Iran as an issue against Hillary has blown up in his face because it only serves to remind the voters of Obama and his AWOL record; (4) Obama knows Tim Russert will be co-moderator at tomorrow’s debate; (5) Tim Russert thinks Tim Russert is an expert on Social Security and Tim Russert wants Democrats to adopt the Ripublican “Crisis” narrative to destroy Social Security; (6) Obama wants to suck up to Tim Russert/Ripublican’s on Social Security and thereby finally beat Hillary in a debate. – Mystery solved.

Hillary knows what attacks will come from Obama tomorrow. Obama will repeat Ripublican attacks.

Hillary In Harlem. Obama In The Mud.

Three shameful items concerning Barack Obama on this last Sunday of October.

(1) Barack Obama and his supporters are trying to bamboozle themselves and American voters into thinking the gay-bashing tour of South Carolina will have no consequences and they have already ‘turned the page’ on this obnoxious homophobia tour. It turns out that Bob Farmer, a member of Obama’s national finance committee, whom we referred to yesterday when he left the Obama campaign to join Hillary — is gay. Although Farmer has not confirmed that the gay bashing tour is why he left, we will not be surprised if this starts a trend. Farmer will not be the first gay or gay positive person to leave the Obama campaign because of the gay bashing tour. Now that Farmer has left the Obama campaign, the Obama campaign is sliming Farmer.

(2) Today is the day when gay basher Donnie McClurkin sings for Barack Obama on Obama’s gay bashing tour.

(3) Today is also the day an Obama interview appears in the New York Times. We will discuss this filth tomorrow.

Before plunging, tomorrow, into the depths of Obama’s dishonesty and delusions let’s enjoy the last day of this Hillary birthday weekend.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose quest to become the first woman president is outpacing Barack Obama’s bid to become the first African-American winner, took her campaign to the nation’s best-known black neighborhood, and was hosted there by the nation’s most powerful black politician.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) introduced the New York senator to a nearly full audience at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church shortly after noon, telling people sitting in the pews to turn to their neighbor and say, “We are making history.”

Hillary appeals to the Democratic Party base of voters. Hillary will bring out Women and African-Americans to vote for her in record numbers.

Clinton – who was also introduced by former president Bill Clinton, who retains near rock-star status in the black community – appears to be accomplishing that. She has done so largely by offering herself as a champion of women, another group that has struggled to advance in a world dominated by white men.

Drawing repeated cheers, Clinton promised that an America under her presidency would restore its image abroad by ending the Bush-Cheney “cowboy diplomacy.”

She said she would address the problems of “everyday Americans” by pushing for universal health care, affordable housing, rebuilding aging roads and bridges and creating a new GI Bill to help soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hillary’s Harlem Homecoming was especially Historic. Charles Rangel is now the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, arguably the most powerful House committee. The last African-American to lead the House Ways and Means Committee was Adam Clayton Powell of Abyssinian Baptist Church, the host facility for Hillary’s Harlem Homecoming.

Abyssinian Baptist was once led by legendary preacher Adam Clayton Powell Jr., a proponent of black political power who launched his own congressional career from the pulpit. Powell later was among the first Protestant preachers to endorse the presidential bid of John F. Kennedy, who had to overcome religious bias against his Catholic faith.

Abyssinians’s current pastor, the Rev. Calvin Butts, reminded the audience of the church’s traditional political activism, and said Clinton’s candidacy would also break new ground.

“Adam always understood who would become the next president, and all of us here understand who will be the next president, isn’t that right?” Butts said, drawing a roar.

A CNN poll last week showed Clinton with a 24-point lead over Obama among registered black Democrats.

African-American women are especially strong in that 24 point lead for Hillary over Obama.

“I think there is a sisterhood that transcends race,” Dorise Roberts Black, a black Harlem resident and retired principal, said as she entered the church. [snip]

Black women provide the former first lady with her biggest support from among black voters, choosing her as their top choice almost three times as often as they cite Obama.

Willie Mae Anderson said she would likely back Clinton even though she is sympathetic to Obama’s goals.

“I’m a black woman, we have a good African-American candidate running, and I love him,” she said. “But she has experience and she can win. Look at what Bush has done to us. I think our world depends on her.”

Anecdotal evidence, on the street interviews in Harlem, demonstrate Hillary’s strong support with African-Americans.

America’s most famous black community is spurning African-American presidential candidate Barack Obama and backing Hillary Rodham Clinton instead.

More than half of the 96 people questioned by a Post reporter in Harlem this week said they would vote for Clinton, with most preferring her experience as senator and first lady over relative neophyte Obama.

“Obama has complexion protection, but skin color doesn’t cut it. Anywhere uptown, you need to earn respect, and Obama hasn’t proven that he’s done anything for the minority community,” said college student Camille Garreude, 20.

Fifty-seven percent chose Clinton; 19 percent favored Obama.

Clinton was not surprisingly a favorite among females, with 75 percent in her corner.

We wrote on August 22, 2007 We Can’t Spare This General. She Fights. The premise of that article was that Hillary is a fighter and we need her to fight for us. Willie Mae Anderson of Abyssinian Baptist Church said the same thing in less words:

Look at what Bush has done to us. I think our world depends on her.”

Obama Slimes, Hillary Climbs

[Note: New York area Hillary supporters will rally today at a Hillary Homecoming“. The rally will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Hillary’s Homecoming will be at Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 Odell Clark Place (138th Street) in New York City.]
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Just before approving his gay bashing tour in South Carolina Barack Obama declared a “next phase” to his campaign. In short, Obama’s “next phase” is a slime and mud campaign against Hillary.

Meanwhile Obama, instead of having a pro-Obama gospel tour with musical artists from that genre of music that would appeal to South Carolina’s African-American community, decided to engage only homophobic gospel artists for his tour.

Obama when caught at this gay bashing flipped by saying that his campaign staff once again failed their jobs and did not properly “vet” the homophobic artists. Obama subsequently flopped by saying that actually the homophobic artists were part of his strategy, a good way to bring evangelicals into the Democratic “Big Tent”. Of course, South Carolina African-Americans vote Democratic in general elections. They are already in the Democratic “Big Tent”. The only purpose a gay bashing tour serves is to bring Obama votes by appealing to the low instincts of prejudice.

Again, why did Obama engage only homophobic artists?

The empirical evidence increases that Obama’s “next phase” is as failed and fraudulent as his “new politics” last phase.

Yesterday, the well connected Elzie Higginbottom stunned his Chicago compatriots by announcing a fundraiser for Hillary. Yesterday, Bob Farmer a member of Obama’s national finance committee dumped Obama and endorsed Hillary.

As Hillary climbs, Obama’s desperation will only increase. The attacks on Hillary will only intensify. The ‘pile-on’ will continue. The next debate will be a mugging by the other candidates against Hillary.

There are as of today 5 national polls which show Hillary Clinton over 50% in Democratic support (several others have Hillary at 46%, 47%, 48% and 49%). The trend lines in all the polls are clear and beyond dispute: Hillary is dramatically gaining support; Obama, in medical terms, has flatlined.

Hillary will continue her sunshiny campaign. Hillary is climbing ahead by running a positive campaign and discussing her vision for America.

Barack Obama’s Shame Day

Update: Obama flops and flips and flops again. Now Obama is “Blaming the Staff” again. Earlier he said it was good outreach, now its back to vetting excuses, or is it still an outreach to bigots campaign strategy?

The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld has an exclusive Obama interview, in which he says gospel singer Donnie McClurkin was “not vetted as well as I would have liked to see,” but defends keeping him on the gospel tour.

Obama argues that it serves gay rights better not to keep the cause “hermetically sealed” off from the church. And he argues that his campaign isn’t different from others.

Eleveld also asked if he’d chosen Christians over gays.

“No, I profoundly disagree with that. This is not a situation where I have backed off my positions one iota.”

Meanwhile, the story heads off in all sorts of odd directions, with South Carolina AP saying the concert will be “overshadowed by criticism, protest.”

And a group called PFOX (“Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays”) is calling “for Gay Activists to Stop Promoting Hatred Against Former Homosexuals Participating in Obama Presidential Campaign.”

South Carolina Associated Press:

Now a week later, the concert is overshadowed by gay and lesbian activists upset that a singer who says homosexuality is a choice has not been removed from the lineup. Obama’s campaign tried to quell the anger by adding an openly gay pastor to the event, but the activists weren’t appeased and planned a protest outside Sunday’s concert – once seen as a unifying moment.

The campaign backlash piqued with a conference call Thursday night between one of Obama’s top strategists, Joshua DuBois, trying ease national criticism and discontent from more than a dozen of South Carolina’s top gay and lesbian activists.

The concert DuBois saw as an event to bring people together had actually fractured supporters who noticed that Grammy-winning singer Donnie McClurkin was a headliner.

McClurkin, who performed at the Republican National Convention in 2004, said this week that “sexuality, everything is a matter of choice.”

Obama’s campaign damage-control effort – putting openly gay Rev. Andy Sidden on the program – did little to lessen the activists’ outrage.

By week’s end, the affable DuBois, who was interviewed by The Associated Press after Obama’s “40 Days of Faith and Family” workshop a week ago, wasn’t responding to calls or e-mail. It was a stark contrast for the 25-year-old lay minister and stepson of an African Methodist Episcopal minister, who exhibited a glow when he talked about wrapping up the workshops and launching the concert.

It’s unclear if DuBois was ready for this week’s backlash. When the conference call about McClurkin ended, gay activists got off the phone and leaders of the South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement agreed to hold a protest, urging national groups to participate, too.

“They really didn’t make any headway,” the state group’s president, Michael VanDiver, said of Obama’s campaign. “They would never answer our questions other than saying Obama said he would not pull this guy from the event that is taking place Sunday.”

The Advocate:

For LGBT people, it prompts the question, Weren’t Obama and, by extension, the people who run his campaign versed enough in the pain of the people he calls his “gay brothers and sisters” to see the McClurkin land mine before they rolled over it?

And can Obama really, as he claims, create the “big tent” movement he’s been selling, where voters who vehemently disagree on something as fundamental as what constitutes love put aside their differences to rally around a single candidate?

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On the day Hillary Clinton and Hillary Clinton supporters celebrate her birthday Barack Obama supporters begin a gay bashing tour in South Carolina. Today is Barack Obama’s Shame Day. The South Carolina gay bashing tour was a deliberate attempt by the Obama campaign to send a coded message of bigotry. Barack Obama tried to silence those who speak out against bigotry. The Human Rights Campaign was not silenced. Other attempts to silence outraged Americans are likewise failing.

The gay community has known for decades now that Silence = Death.

The gay community is not keeping silent:

With it’s oh-so-spot-on new tagline, “Acceptance Without Exception,” the Alliance for Full Acceptance sent a call out to members this afternoon to let the Obama campaign know if they’re upset about the anti-gay gospel singers joining Obama on his three-city tour.

Donnie McClurkin’s ministry only serves to create an environment where discrimination and prejudice flourish, something we do not expect from Senator Obama in his campaign. Mr. McClurkin’s stance toward the GLBT community rejects the DNC plan for inclusion and acceptance.

Many people have asked, “What can we do?”
· If Senator Obama wants to raise the issue of homophobia in our community, it ought to be done in clear and constructive ways.
· Tell him.
· If you think it is wrong to include in a presidential campaign a preacher who clearly seeks to demean healthy GLBT people choosing to live openly and honestly, contact Senator Obama’s campaign.
· Tell him:

Obama Campaign headquarters in Chicago: (312)819-2008

The protests against Obama will take place on the streets, not just on phone calls:

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s campaign held a hurriedly put together conference call Thursday night with gay and lesbian leaders in South Carolina to discuss the candidate’s gospel tour, which includes a singer who says homosexuality is a choice.

Obama campaign spokesman Kevin Griffis refused to talk about what was discussed.

Afterward, the South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement decided to hold a vigil outside the Sunday concert in Columbia to protest gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, said Tony Snell, the group’s past president.

Obama’s campaign invited the Rev. Andy Sidden, a South Carolina pastor who is openly gay, to appear at the same concert. But Snell said that doesn’t right the program.

In case anyone in Obama’s mud slinging Chicago campaign has doubts, here is more proof that this story is not going away. Bigot tour Obama will be exposed:

A frantic effort by Senator Obama to defuse a row over the appearance of a homophobic gospel singer at a fund-raising concert appears only to have made matters worse.

Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign hurriedly added to the concert program yesterday an openly gay white minister, the Reverend Andy Sidden, to counteract the bad publicity generated by its decision to invite the Reverend Donnie McClurkin, a gospel singer who has described homosexuality as a “curse,” to headline a fund-raising event on Sunday in Columbia, S.C. [snip]

Mr. Obama stands accused of trying to win the support of socially conservative evangelical Christian African-Americans, who make up half of the registered Democratic voters in the early voting state of South Carolina, at the expense of gays.

Obama’s failed leadership skills are on full failure display.

Mr. Obama’s campaign went into crisis mode yesterday, with his advisers on the homosexual community at the center of the storm. The senator personally fielded complaints from prominent gay donors and urged the president of the powerful gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, not to condemn him.

Obama first tried to have supporters call the Human Rights Campaign and pressure them into silence. That did not work.

However, the hectic efforts to defuse the row were unable to head off a scathing statement by Mr. Solmonese. “I spoke with Sen. Barack Obama today and expressed to him our community’s disappointment for his decision to continue to remain associated with Rev. McClurkin, an anti-gay preacher who states the need to ‘break the curse of homosexuality,'” he said. [snip]

The news that Rev. McClurkin would headline Mr. Obama’s “Embrace the Change” tour, and that the tour would include artists such as Mary Mary, a gospel duo that has also disparaged homosexuality, stoked a firestorm among gay and liberal bloggers.

A black political analyst, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author of “The Emerging Black GOP Majority,” wrote an item on the Huffington Post headed, “Obama should repudiate and cancel his gay bash tour, and do it now.” Todd Beeton, at MyDD.com, asked, “Did Obama just lose the gay vote?”

According to a letter to Mr. Obama from the National Black Justice Coalition’s chief executive, H. Alexander Robinson, leaked to Fox News, the three days of concerts are populated by “gospel music’s most openly homophobic artists; the most volatile of which is the Rev. Donnie McClurkin.”

The full ugliness of the Obama campaign is being exposed every day:

Your willingness to share a stage with Rev. Donnie McClurkin is alarming and, frankly, deeply disappointing,” Mr. Robinson said. “Rev. McClurkin has consistently disparaged gay men and lesbians, spread half-truths and unproven theories about our lives and has shown a willingness to work with those who would use the rights of gay Americans as a wedge issue to divide black families for their own cynical political objectives.”

John Aravosis at AMERICAblog remarked that “Sucking up to anti-gay bigots and joining them on stage — no, giving them a stage — is certainly defying conventional wisdom as to how a Democrat becomes president.”

The executive director of the Brooklyn-based Truth Wins Out, Wayne Besen, wrote, “I can’t imagine why the Obama campaign would choose to associate with a man who is so closely identified with hatred and discrimination.”

Obama, typically, has responded with flowery printed words and a slap in the face to the gay community:

As for rushing onto the program Rev. Sidden, a white United Church of Christ pastor in Columbia, S.C., Mr. Boykin appeared doubtful that the trick would work. “Obama won’t win any new black votes by getting a white gay guy to speak at a black event,” he wrote. “Especially when there are plenty of black straight people, black gay people, families of black gay people, and friends of black gay people who could have been chosen to speak.”

Obama will persist with his South Carolina gay bashing tour.

Hillary Clinton’s Birth Day

Update: From the comments:

My wife and I were 5 and six seats away from the Clintons. We were in seats 109 and 110 in row F and they were in row C. My wife gave Hillary a b-day card that read, “Best Birthday Ever”, and inside, “Best Year Ever!”, to which we added, “Best campaign ever…best inauguration EVER!”, and “here’s a little something for the campaign” as we put a dollar bill in the card as a little joke. I have a secret video of that and many wonderful moments during the evening. You should have seen Hillary, “Bopping” to the Wallflowers, or even better, “Boogieing” to “What’s so funny(’bout peace, love, and understanding”, which featured Elvis backed by the Wallflowers.

Elvis sang Happy Birthday, adding, Happy Birthday…Madame PRESIDENT”! to the crowd’s delight. We were so high that we couldn’t get to sleep!

Met Ron Howard, Ann Lewis, Charlie Rangel and the rest of the NY congressional delegation, who were all in attendance. Billy Crystal was Hil-arious, making fun of getting older, Bush and especially Rudy, who he said he believes will be the repubs nominee.

I’ll try to post more later, but let me tell you that it was a once in a lifetime experience that we will always treasure.

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Happy Birthday you brave lady.

We celebrated yesterday and last night:

Led by crooner Elvis Costello, supporters of presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton rose to their feet and cheered on Thursday night, the eve of the 60th birthday of the Democrat who aims to become the first woman U.S. president.

Costello, who sang “Happy Birthday Mrs. President” and delivered raucous versions of hit songs including “Pump it Up,” was joined by actor-comedian Billy Crystal, former President Bill Clinton and several members of New York’s Congressional delegation.

Crystal, in a more serious moment during his introduction of the former president, told the fund-raiser’s audience at Manhattan’s Beacon Theater Hillary Clinton’s campaign was one of only three times he had become politically engaged — after the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992.

Hillary’s real birthday gifts are her popularity and lead in the polls. Those are gifts she has earned the old fashioned way, hard work and dedication:

Memo to the Democratic presidential candidates: You can still beat Hillary Rodham Clinton, but you better act fast.

The former first lady looks more likely to win the nomination every day, showing strength in polling, fundraising and setting the campaign agenda.

Even right wing outlets have been forced to acknowledge Hillary’s strengths:

Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton is at the top of voters’ minds. More people are familiar with Clinton and her positions on the issues than any other candidate, she is the most mentioned when people are asked who they would want in the White House in the event of a national crisis and she is also the candidate seen as having the most passion and enthusiasm to be president.

The latest polls have Hillary leading in the race by over 30 points. In state after state, Hillary is in the lead with enormous gaps between her and the also rans.

This election is not over until the last vote is counted. But for now we celebrate that 60 years ago Hillary Clinton was born and has lived those 60 years to the fullest.

Happy Birthday Hillary and thank you for all you have done.