Barack Obama’s Energetic Flip Flops

Happy Columbus Day!

Hillary is celebrating Columbus Day in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, by presenting her Economic Blueprint for the 21st Century: Rebuilding the Road to the Middle Class.

Obama is celebrating Columbus Day by “subtly” attacking Hillary on Energy policy and making a fool of himself – again. Obama is, contrary to his reputation, not very bright. His “campaign” incapable of vetting a policy speech.

Let’s rediscover a March 26, 2007 Politico article called Rookie Mistakes Plague Obama (read the whole thing, not just our excerpts). Back in March when he was talking to black folk in Selma, Obama was attacking the 2005 Energy Bill:

Speaking early this month at a church in Selma, Ala., Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said: “I’m in Washington. I see what’s going on. I see those powers and principalities have snuck back in there, that they’re writing the energy bills and the drug laws.”

It was a fine populist riff calculated to appeal to Democratic audiences as Obama seeks his party’s presidential nomination. But not only did Obama vote for the Senate’s big energy bill in 2005, he also put out a press release bragging about its provisions, and his Senate Web site carries a news article about the vote headlined, “Senate energy bill contains goodies for Illinois.

Hillary, as Politico discusses today, voted against the energy bill in 2005 “saying at the time it was too freighted with things like tax breaks for Exxon..”

Today, Obama, in New Hampshire, not Selma, is once again flip flopping and praising the 2005 Energy Bill and how he loves working with those Ripublicans:

In an interesting passage from the speech Obama’s planning to give in New Hampshire today, he pre-emptively casts his vote for the 2005 energy bill — derided by many Democrats, and a likely source of attacks on him in this area — as a vote for…ethanol!

“When I arrived in the U.S. Senate, I wanted to do whatever I could to make real progress toward energy independence. I reached across the aisle to pass a law that will give more Americans the chance to fill up their cars with clean biofuels. I passed a law that will fuel the research needed to develop a car that will get 500 miles to the gallon. I even voted for an energy bill that was far from perfect because I was able to ensure that it contained some real investments in renewable sources of energy. And I’ve fought to eliminate the tax giveaways to oil companies that were slipped into that bill – oil companies that have spent half a billion dollars lobbying Congress in the last ten years while their profits have risen to record highs.”

TPM, as usual, forgets Obama’s Selma Flip Flop too (Ambinder forgets too):

Obama is giving a big speech on energy this afternoon in New Hampshire. According to advance excerpts of the speech, he’ll be attacking Hillary without naming her by blaming Washington insiders for our current energy crisis, a case he’ll build with veiled but obvious references to several Hillary ethanol votes:

“There are some in this race who actually make the argument that the more time you spend immersed in the broken politics of Washington, the more likely you are to change it. I always find this a little amusing. I know that change makes for good campaign rhetoric, but when these same people had the chance to actually make it happen, they didn’t lead. When they had the chance to stand up and require automakers to raise their fuel standards, they refused. When they had multiple chances to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by investing in renewable fuels that we can literally grow right here in America, they said no.”

That first line is clearly a reference to Hillary’s argument that she has the “experience” to bring about change. The other references are apparently to votes and positions against ethanol Hillary has taken as a Senator, which she has said she did to defend the interests of her upstate farmer constituents.

In response to the speech, Hillary supporters are likely to point out that Obama voted for the widely criticized 2005 Bush energy bill, while Hillary voted against it.

Obama in Selma says 2005 Energy Bill BAD (even though he voted for it).

Obama in New Hampshire says 2005 Energy Bill GOOD (even though Democrats thought it was an EXXON giveaway).

If we could harness Obama’s Flip Flop energy we would be energy independent this Columbus Day.


56 thoughts on “Barack Obama’s Energetic Flip Flops

  1. Strangely enough, Politico misses the boat on this story. Politico wrote the original article noticing Obama’s flip flop so it is surprising they ignore their own good analysis. Maybe they forgot.

    Mike Allen or some Politico commentor needs to poke Ben Smith on this.

  2. Today I am a little disappointed; I hear hillary has Berger as an unpaid advisor. I think this is wrong.

    In the last few weeks, Hillary is showing signs that not all decisions she is making that are wise.

    So I am going to watch this development very closely before continuing my support.

    Sorry…but while I was willing to see both sides of the issue on that iran vote this one makes me uncomfortable.

    I would like to see more newer, younger, fresher faces on her advisory committee than just Bill’s former advisors.

  3. Berger is not an advisor. She refuted that. He’s a long time friend of her family. What’s she supposed to do? Castigate him in public to score some cheap political points.

  4. Further, Berger was the last security advisor to President Clinton. If you look at how Clinton handled terrorism leading up to his departure, including his assessment that Al Qaeda was the single largest threat to the US, I would imagine that Berger has tacit knowledge that the next US President will seek out, regardless of who they are, which probably explains why he was for a time, a paid advisor to John Kerry. This is inside baseball, IMO.

  5. mj, it’s not a personal thing with Berger. It remains a legal
    one. Hillary doesn’t need him as an open advisor. Perhaps,
    he should remain in a “kitchen” cabinet for now.

  6. Kegs, I agree. But I don’t understand nyone withholding their support over Berger. She’s refuted he is part of her campaign.

  7. This is just ridiculous. This Berger advisor stuff was first pushed by right wing blog and is now picked up by liberal blogs. It has no merit whatsoever. Clinton refuted this claim in a brief interview. I’m so disappointed with some of you guys. What do you expect her to do, stop talking to Sandy Berger? Geez. I don’t understand mp can fall into this stupid trap.

    At the end of an interview with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a short while ago, USA TODAY’s Susan Page inquired about reports that former Clinton administration national security adviser Sandy Berger is advising her.

    Susan asked whether Clinton has any qualms about having Berger as an unofficial adviser to her campaign, given his mishandling of sensitive, classified intelligence documents in 2003?

    “He has no official role in my campaign. He’s been a friend for more than 30 years. But he doesn’t have any official role,” Clinton said.

    But he’s an unofficial adviser, Susan asked?

    “I have thousands of unofficial advisers,” said Clinton, “and, you know, I appreciate all of that. But he has no official role in my campaign.”

  8. I don’t believe anyone is withholding support over Berger.
    It’s just a distraction to the campaign. It allows for the
    Susan Paiges of the world to ask the question. Instead of
    asking policy questions, they end up asking about campaign
    personnel whether real or imaginary.

    The media asks about the horserace. The public asks
    about the issues. You need to keep the media on your
    issues and not the horserace. Don’t give the bastards
    an opening.

  9. Ok, Kegs, this is what MP said, “So I am going to watch this development very closely before continuing my support.” Sounds like withholding support to me.

  10. MP is only stating the obvious. Every supporter of a
    candidate should feel comfortable with that candidate
    they are supporting.

    The one contridiction is MP’s searching for younger,
    fresher faces as security advisors. Your not going
    to find any twentysomething security advisors with
    any significant experience. While Berger is from Bill
    administration, Zbig Breshinsky now about 85 from
    the Carter adminstration is Obama’s advisor.

    MP also has issues with the Iran vote. Let MP think
    through these issues. Get the reservation out of his/her
    system. You can only be a better advocate for Hillary
    when you understand her positions.

  11. MP, can do whatever he pleases. But I find it perplexing to state such withholding on a site dedicated to electing the lady, especially when we know the press and other bloggers routinely come here. Also, Hillary has thousands of informal advisors. If one were to look fully at those she has spoken to they will see plenty of fresh faces. That’s my position.

  12. Hillary’s unofficial “official” think tank is the Center for American Progress…which she helped to found.

    The Center is run by John Podesta, former Bill Clinton Chief of Staff.

    Here’s a link to the Center’s Fellows and associated experts in various fields:

    It’s a safe bet that the Center for American Progress is the source for many of Hillary’s issues positions and will be a prime recruiting ground for her administration.

  13. Mike Allen on Obama courting Hsu:

    The news could be found in the fine print of a front-page profile of Smoot today by the Washington Post’s Matthew Mosk headlined “The $75 Million Woman.”

    “One potential bundler contacted by Smoot was Norman Hsu, one of the most reliable donors from her tenure as finance chair for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee,” Mosk wrote. “Hsu would later become mired in scandal as a top bundler for the Clinton campaign, but he was regarded at the time as a prime target because of his reputation for producing a steady flow of campaign cash.

    “In an interview — before it was reported that Hsu was a fugitive trying to outrun a 15-year-old conviction for running a Ponzi scheme — he recalled his call from Smoot. She asked what he thought of Obama’s bid and whether he might consider helping. ‘I told her, “You’re asking for an unbiased opinion from someone who is very biased.” She knew I was loyal to Senator Clinton. I told her she was asking the wrong person. We both respected each other well enough not to talk about it after that.’ ”

  14. The SEIU decision cooks Edwards:

    “As I suggested yesterday, the SEIU is letting each of its constituent unions make its own endorsement. That diffuses internal union tensions, but also diminishes the political muscle of the most important player in “new labor,” and it’s a severe disappointment to the Edwards campaign.

    From press release:”

    Citing Strength of Presidential Field, SEIU Locals to Decide on Endorsement of Presidential Candidates by State

    Members and Leaders in Each State Will Decide Whether/Whom to Endorse

    CHICAGO – Citing the strength of the presidential field on the key issues for working families, and the importance of the 2008 election on the future of America, SEIU local unions will decide on presidential primary endorsements on a state-by-state basis.

    “The outcome of this election will decide whether we finally achieve comprehensive, affordable healthcare for everyone, whether we bring economic security and fairness to working people, whether we bring our sons and daughters home from a civil war in Iraq, and whether working people in America finally have the freedom to form unions without intimidation,” said SEIU President Andy Stern. “Given the importance of this election, we are encouraging members and leaders to act on their passion for the candidates and get involved on a statewide basis.”

  15. mj,

    all we know is that the decision hurts Edwards and dilutes SEIU’s influence.

    It is likely (from earlier polls and the latest Des Moines Register poll) that as Edwards loses support that support goes to Hillary. In the DMR poll Edwards’ lost support went almost directly to Hillary and earlier polls suggest Hillary is a big second choice for Edwards’ and Obama’s supporters.

    What happens with the unions and the effect on Iowa can only be determined after we see which unions endorse and how much of their resources they deploy. For instance if Hillary gets big California and NY locals they might pour big resources into Iowa. We have to wait and see how muscular the Illinois SEIU plays in Iowa.

    Iowa is bordered by 6 states and we will have to see what those locals do.

  16. im sorry but if anybody is going to withhold support of a candidate becuase of some unpaid imformal advisor then that supporter was not a strong supporter of hillary to begin with. and younger advisors? i don’t understand that reasoning at all.

  17. All:

    You all do have a right to tell me like you see it…..
    And thanks for pointing out that usa today article…i did not find it earlier!!!

    And I will understand your wrath, anger, disappointment etc with me on what I wrote about….I agree I could have written my feelings more diplomatically!!!

    BTW…I am a “HER” and my vote or money is not going anywhere else;
    I just may not vote for anybody else.

  18. from Staff to mp,

    One of the pernicious effects of Big Blogs and media narratives is that they are so pervasive that after reading them Hillary appears to be a monster. Hillary is not a monster nor is she perfect, nor is it possible that any one person can agree 100% with all her positions.

    Some Hillary supporters wish that Hillary would come out for gay marriage, some want her to support a 100% government run health care program, some want her to denounce the military, some want her to strengthen the military, some want her to accept public funds for election, some want her to raise as much money in non-public funds as possible – some support Hillary on 99% of what she proposes, some on 98%, some on 55%. Some Democrats like her because she fights back against Ripublicans, some like her because she has a proven record of getting legislation passed with Ripublican support.

    The point of all this is that we look at Hillary in the totality of her life and her work.

    Usually, as with Iran, Iraq, fundraising, trade, staffers, etc. the opposition puts out a story which upon further reflection falls apart. Over the past few days we have heard over and over how Hillary was rude, or could not take the pressure, or offended, or maligned someone “who dared question the queen” about her Iran position.

    As the video posted by Kostner demonstrates clearly and without doubt, Hillary answered the Iran question politely and fully (and we would bet the guy who asked the question in a rude manner, is committed to another candidate and indeed if not an opposition campaign plant, doing a very good impression of one).

    When allegations against Hillary are made – usually in very convincing ways – we go to the source and almost immediately the allegations collapse.

    Hillary is smart and the totality of her life work and very high ratings from progressive organizations put a lie to the nonsense spouted about her. We trust her. Our default position on allegations against her is always that there is another side of the story that is not being told. As Hillary herself states “No matter how thin the pancake there are always 2 sides.

    A lot of forces are aligned to try and show us only one side of the pancake.

  19. Exactly it, admin.. I sometimes feel hillary is held to a much higher standard than any candidate I ever seen in a presidential primary.

  20. I just heard that on Nevada public radio, some Edwards person said that Hillary was getting extra credit for reasons other than her qualifications.

    I guess being an incredibly brilliant public servant doesn’t qualify someone as much as chasing ambulances does.

    If you’re a WOMAN, that is.

  21. Thanks vanreuter, er, TheRealist. We might put the video up front so that all the DailyKooks who attacked Hillary on this non-issue can get a dose of Reality.

    As to the SEIU endorsement, more news via ABC which clarifys how very muddy this all is. If the Iowa local endorses a candidate, then other locals supporting that particular can come in to help in Iowa. If the Iowa local does not endorse, then no other local can come in:

    None of the Democratic presidential primary contenders will get the endorsement they’ve been fervently seeking from the Service Employees International Union, an especially painful blow to John Edwards.

    Instead of making a national endorsement, the union will let its locals make decisions state by state. And to ensure that there are no conflicts, once an SEIU local has chosen a candidate, the union’s activists from that state will be barred from campaigning in states that have chosen someone else.

  22. Obama attacks Hillary for her Iran vote, and her campaign responds (via

    Barack Obama has now joined John Edwards in slamming Hillary for her vote for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which says Iran is responsible for problems in Iraq and designates the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization:

    “Senator Clinton obviously in 2002 voted to authorize the war in Iraq,” Obama told ABC News’ Sunlen Miller. “And her willingness to once again extend to the president the benefit of the doubt I think indicates that she hasn’t fully learned some of the lessons that we saw back in 2002.”

    “We have to be very cautious in how we approach these kinds of issues, because we’ve already seen enormous damage done to U.S.’s prestige around the world, the U.S.’s strategic interests in the world,” he added. “Part of the reason Iran has been strengthened is because of that war that had been authorized in Iraq.”

    The Hillary campaign has just hit back in this statement sent over to us moments ago by Hillary spokesperson Phil Singer in which he says Obama’s attack is motivated by dropping poll numbers and a “flagging” campaign:

    It’s unfortunate that Senator Obama is resorting to the same old attack politics as his poll numbers start falling. He knows that Senator Clinton was one of the first in Congress to say that Bush must seek an explicit authorization from Congress for any military action against Iran and that she is the lead co-sponsor of legislation by Jim Webb to prohibit funds for military action in Iran without approval from Congress. A flagging campaign is not an excuse to distort anyone’s record.

    Hillary supporters will also note that Obama co-sponsored a bill designating the Iran Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, though the Obama campaign has said that their objection to Kyl wasn’t to that facet of it but to the fact that it blamed Iran for problems in Iraq.

  23. That last graf is from the poster and not her campaign.

    BTW, wasn’t Obama absent for that vote? Her campaign could bring that up, too, though I like the response Singer gave.

  24. Check out this post from Kevin Drum on

    NO HORN, NO TAIL….The LA Times explains how Hillary Clinton’s polarizing reputation might actually help her:

    For more than a decade, she has been attacked in a shelfload of books, on countless websites and in repeated direct-mail drives. Her detractors see her as a calculating opportunist with a crisis-ridden past.

    Paradoxically, Clinton may be benefiting from that unflattering image as she reintroduces herself.

    “If she showed up and doesn’t have a horn and tail and speaks clearly and engagingly, people say, ‘You know, she’s all right,’ ” said Andrew E. Smith, a pollster at the University of New Hampshire.

  25. I am unconcerned with Berger’s help on the campaign. Never mind fresh faces and fresh ideas at this point in time those things come along the way.. Trust, loyalty and sound advice by old friends far outweigh the need for searching for fresh talent and time spent intervewing, training and worrying if so and so is on the same page or off somewhere crafting something we can’t use right now. etc…etc..

    Headlines change like the wind during an election cycle. So what, if Sandy Berger is a headline this week. Next week it will be someone else, about something else.

    I give Sandy a and a hearty welcome back!

    Mrs. S.

  26. Y’all, All this will just get harder as the primaries get closer and closer…the plants or wannabee plants at Hillary talks, the lopsided version of reality provided by the opponents, and probably out and out dirty tricks (should I say more out and out dirty tricks). And mp, I don’t begrudge you for expressin’ your doubts. Senator Clinton has said repeatedly that she has to earn everybody’s vote; she expects nothin’ as a “given” from anybody. But this I will say, Admin is so right: nobody will ever find a candidate that they agree with 100%. Hillary herself always points out “we won’t always agree.” I feel like when she does that she’s preparin’ us all for when she is president, or further in the campaign, and has to make decision that we don’t like. I read the Iran bill and heard explanations that satisfied me that she’d done the right thing for right now. I can’ t imagine Hillary Clinton wantin’ military action against Iran (or any other country). And this bill is certainly no authorization of force — it is necessary to impose economic sanction on Iran, as I understand it. I’m a member of the LGBT community and sure, I’d love to be able to marry my beloved partner. But i remember the civil rights movement, and the women’s movement and I remember Stonewall riots. And these things have taught me the incremental nature of social change in our country. I truly believe that Hillary Clinton wants to lead the changes that I most want to see- and are most needed in my lifetime. I been watchin’ her since she was a young person in Arkansas and she’s never let me down. Ultimately though, trust is a personal choice and I hope that you and others who are really serious about how you vote will be able to make the choice to pull the lever for Hillary and give her the opportunity to provide much needed leadership for this country. mollyj

  27. TheNewPresidentClinton: trying to fan the flames of resentment over affirmative action is a strategy Edwards repeatedly employs, usually through his wife.

  28. From upthread:

    Obama said:

    “Senator Clinton obviously in 2002 voted to authorize the war in Iraq,” Obama told ABC News’ Sunlen Miller. “And her willingness to once again extend to the president the benefit of the doubt I think indicates that she hasn’t fully learned some of the lessons that we saw back in 2002.”

    “We have to be very cautious in how we approach these kinds of issues, because we’ve already seen enormous damage done to U.S.’s prestige around the world, the U.S.’s strategic interests in the world,” he added. “Part of the reason Iran has been strengthened is because of that war that had been authorized in Iraq.”

    Hillary says:

    “The Hillary campaign has just hit back in this statement sent over to us moments ago by Hillary spokesperson Phil Singer in which he says Obama’s attack is motivated by dropping poll numbers and a “flagging” campaign:

    It’s unfortunate that Senator Obama is resorting to the same old attack politics as his poll numbers start falling. He knows that Senator Clinton was one of the first in Congress to say that Bush must seek an explicit authorization from Congress for any military action against Iran and that she is the lead co-sponsor of legislation by Jim Webb to prohibit funds for military action in Iran without approval from Congress. A flagging campaign is not an excuse to distort anyone’s record.

    Hillary supporters will also note that Obama co-sponsored a bill designating the Iran Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, though the Obama campaign has said that their objection to Kyl wasn’t to that facet of it but to the fact that it blamed Iran for problems in Iraq.”
    …….. ………. ………..

    What is SO bloomin obvious IS…IF Obama thought this Bill was such a detriment…

    what an incompetent phony,

    Mrs. S.

  29. admin,

    I’m glad the video helps. I decided against putting it up on myDD for the time being since there’s no need to get off the message for the time being. We will hit back when it’s necessary.

    Team Clinton is absolutely right to quickly hit back on Obama. I think the strategy is very clear now. They will not respond to Edwards but will aggressively hit back on Obama of his faked ‘new kind of politics’.

  30. admin,

    BTW, you’re absolutely right we don’t agree with Hillary on every issue, but what unites us is her strength and decisiveness as a leader. I don’t like the fact she’s proposed too many spending plans, and I also don’t like her occasional pandering to extreme leftists. However, I understand the necessity of compromise in politics.

    To me, she is the only candidate acceptable in democratic party, period.

  31. admin:

    While I happen to agree with Clinton on many issues, I really don’t care that much one way or another. I have made the determination that she will approach Presidential decisions by being as prepared and well-briefed as humanly possible and use sound judgement based on that preparation to make decisions.

    That’s all I ask for from a President (and it’s a LOT to ask). One thing I’ve learned from reading many Presidential biographies is that there are always two or more good sides to evern policy debate. Armchair quarterbacks like us would have to have awfully large heads to think that we know the perfect solution on every issue.

    Let me give an example. I am personally not enthusiastic about the use of economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool. But, that’s an abstract position. I would certainly prefer economic sanctions to doing nothing while Iran develops nuclear weapons or to a military attack on Iran to stop them. So a policy that I am not wild about may, when viewed throught he prism of the real world, be something I would endorse.

  32. I’m also worried about those nutjerks push the democratic party further to the anti-any-war flank. If you observe things objectively, Iraq situation is indeed starting to improve. The U.S. causualties are definitely down month over month, on the other hand, the netnuts’ rhetoric has not diminished one bit. Just imagine next year when there’s close to zero U.S. causualties, and if Obama/Edwards somehow magically gets the nomination, they will be creamed in general election. Their old rhetoric will come back to haunt them badly.

    I’m even more convinced Hillary Clinton is the only electable democratic candidate in the process.

  33. mollyj and others:

    Thanks for your comments and I PLEDGE that I will think careful and do my full research before I blog!!!!!!

  34. Poor Hillary

    MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa – When it comes to supporting the federal program for children’s health insurance, one of the Democrats’ favorite Republicans is Senator Charles Grassley, who stood up to President Bush and urged him to support a bipartisan measure to expand the program.
    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, gave a shout-out to Mr. Grassley just now at a rally here in Marshalltown, praising him and Iowa’s other senator, Tom Harkin, as leaders on the legislation that Mr. Bush recently vetoed.
    After hailing the popular Iowa Republican, Mrs. Clinton turned partisan with this applause line regarding Mr. Bush’s veto: “The best way to answer that – let’s veto George Bush and his policy.”
    Mrs. Clinton, speaking without notes, also added a few new lines to her standard critique of Mr. Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy,” which she said once more that she would end as president. She said that Iran was “the big winner out of President Bush’s policies,” because it no longer had to deal with Saddam Hussein to the west and the Taliban to the east.
    Moreover, she added, “China’s on the move, Russia’s becoming more authoritarian and czar-like.”
    At one point during the 20-minute rally – her third event of the day – Mrs. Clinton also started losing her voice. This happened back in May during a commencement speech in New Orleans, and the result – a pained, rather frog-like sound – stirred sympathy in the crowd and drew interest from lots of Hillary-haters on YouTube.
    Fortunately for Mrs. Clinton, there was a glass of water onstage this afternoon for her to take a few sips from, and her traveling companion, Christie Vilsack, handed her a throat lozenge as well. After a minute or so, her voice was mostly back to fighting form

  35. Adam Nagourney’s article today in the New York Times hits on a salient point. Speaking of Obama’s appeal to the so-called “youth vote,” Nagourney writes:

    The truth of the matter is that every four years — as sure as a sunset — stories appear about a surge of interest among younger voters in presidential politics, typically predicting a jump in turn-out that will benefit one campaign or another. It rarely turns out to be true: the percentage of voters under 30 in the total electorate was basically unchanged between 2000 and 2004 — 17 percent, according to surveys of voters leaving the polls.
    Every presidential cycle since at least Bill Clinton blew his saxophone and answered the question “boxers or briefs?” on MTV, the media has played up the youth vote, as if it were some substantial voting bloc to be won. Nevermind that it was a Democratic candidate who always seemed to win it, or that those candidates in the primary who had it rarely seemed to win (e.g. Howard Dean), the youth vote was very important to capture. Get-out-the-vote drives like MTV’s “Rock the Vote” and the 2004 “Vote or Die” campaign, led by rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs, both of which were more or less Democratic drives, also fed the hype.

    But, as Nagourney notes, the youth vote is largely an illusion. The larger point is that he or she who tries to capture the “youth vote” is probably on a fool’s errand. Even John Kerry, who again we were told had captured the “youth vote,” couldn’t overcome all the other voting blocs in Ohio, where the “youth vote” is abnormally large due to the abundance of college campuses. Indeed, whatever gains a candidate might receive by appealing to the 18-to-24-year-old crowd are probably lost by alienating the population that actually does vote.

    Which is what the Des Moines Register’s David Yepsen is getting to in his column ripping Obama for ditching last month’s AARP debate:

    On top of that, this wasn’t just an Iowa debate. It was a prime-time event broadcast around the country by public television stations. And it was sponsored by AARP, the largest advocacy group for senior citizens.
    Rule of thumb: Stick with issues that seniors care about.

  36. On Larry King Live, just now

    Vincente Fox, the former president of Mexico, when asked who he would like to see elected said “A lady”. Fox stated that the world craves U.S. leadership.

    More as this story develops.

  37. admin,

    I read somewhere Obama had a mega strategy meeting with his major bundlers in Iowa on Sunday. This is pretty odd. When are they still focused on fundraising in the final quarter? Several possibilities. Their money is starting to dry up and/or their burn rate is extremely high despite the huge amount of money he has collected. It’ll be very interesting to see his cash on hand # …

  38. great post from taylor marsh on the hillary is “snippy” event (or non event)hillary got into it witha caucus goer today in iowa-she got defensive
    thinking he was another plant. he asked her about her voted on the iran
    resolution in the senate and has she not learned from her iraq war
    vote. of course media types are all on it-calling her arrogant etc. if
    edwards stood firm on such a arguement he be hailed by russert etc as
    strong.hillary does it and she is “snippy.” oh it turns out that some
    bloggers have found this guy has been posting remrks on the ny times
    site for sometime about hillary-so he might have been a plant after
    all. now u see how we ended up with bush? gore sighed too much, kerry
    was arrogant. good grief-all of this back and forth today over this.

    In the What If A Man Had Said It Department

    A Democratic political activist in Iowa asks Clinton a good question on
    Iran. Clinton was suspect of him, thinking he was a plant, because
    she’d gotten the question before. It’s not like that doesn’t happen.
    But evidently she still doesn’t get how much her Lieberman-Kyl vote
    worried people, including myself. She also likely thought, as Webb has
    stated, that co-sponsoring his Iran bill would fix the problem. It
    hasn’t, because she should never have signed on to Lieberman’s bill in
    the first place, something Biden and Dodd figured out. Obama didn’t
    even have the courage to vote on it, so imagine if she’d done the same.
    So after she reacted to Randall Rolph’s question, he took “exception.”
    That’s when Clinton apologized.

    Clinton thanked him for the question and explained her Iran vote would
    lay the groundwork for using diplomacy and sanctions to pressure that

    Clinton accused the man of being a plant who had been sent to ask the
    question, to which he took exception, saying the question was a result
    of his own research.

    “I apologize,” Clinton said, explaining that she had been asked the
    very same question in three other places.

    The crowd applauded when the senator ended the back and forth by saying
    the two had a disagreement and offering to put Rolph in touch with her
    staff, who could provide him with the text of the legislation, which
    she suggested he had misunderstood. … ..


    Andrew Sullivan kicks into high gear, as usual. Honestly, I don’t know
    how he’ll survive if Clinton is the nominee. She’s arrogant!

    Maybe, but she’s working her hardest regardless.

    “I’m taking nothing for granted,” she said. “I hope I’ll be able to
    earn your support.”

    Another version of the exchange.

    Clinton then explained that she had gone to the Senate floor in
    February to state that Bush does not have the authority to use military
    action against Iran and that she is working on legislation to put that
    into law. Rolph once again challenged her recent vote, suggesting that
    it amounted to giving Bush a free hand..

    “I’m sorry, sir, it does not,” she said, her voice showing her
    exasperation. “No, no, let me just say one other thing because I
    respect your research. There was an earlier version that I opposed. It
    was dramatically changed … I would never have voted for the first
    version. The second version ripped out what was considered very
    bellicose and very threatening language.”

    The campaign said later that the excised language stated that “it
    should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll
    back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of
    the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” and “to support the
    prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national
    power in Iraq, including … military instruments, with respect to the
    Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” … ..

    Clinton’s Iran Vote Prompts A Harsh Back-and-Forth

    See that part above in bold. That’s the part that was excised before
    Clinton signed on to the Lieberman-Kyl bill. Shouldn’t that matter?

    But we’ve got another man who won’t vote for Clinton. Film at eleven;
    no, let’s put his picture in The New York Times instead.

    Clinton saying, “I’m sorry, sir, it does not,” prompted this cascade of
    blathering? Here’s a news flash. Hillary Clinton is tough. How do you
    think she got through the 1990s and continues to take the growing
    onslaught; every move is now scrutinized with an eye to take her down a
    peg. If she dares disagree with an Iowan, we’re supposed to send in the
    emotional paramedics?

    No wonder we get stuck with people like Bush. Gore sighed. Kerry was aloof.

    The only element of this back and forth between Clinton and the Iowan
    worth mentioning is that Clinton obviously underestimated the message
    her vote on Lieberman-Kyl would send. Wesley Clark and Joseph Wilson
    have both come out in support of her Iran stance, because it’s still
    resonating with a lot of people, which is understandable. But again,
    the bold above that includes military action against Iran was scratched
    from the final Lieberman-Kyl legislation. Got that or are you just
    intent on ignoring the facts for some overblown drama in Iowa?

    If Clinton doesn’t answer the questions you need answered sufficiently
    she shouldn’t get your vote. But the applause obviously signaled some
    Iowans thought she stood her ground. But if you have doubts, don’t like
    her policy stances or something else about her, you’ve got other
    candidates from which to choose. But let’s not pretend she’s not giving
    answers, even if you don’t like them, or that she’s being militant with
    Iran, or supposed to present herself as some political version of June

    If Barack Obama or John Edwards had responded to Randall Rolph as
    Clinton did the lede would be touting their strength.

  39. I just got a call from a local Hillary supporter about a Hillary meeting in my area this week. I can’t make it, but I really enjoyed speaking with her and told her about this Web site. I live in a pretty conservative county, so it’s great to see this kind of outreach here.

  40. More class from Elizabeth Edwards in tonight’s AP story:


    Edwards has increased the intensity of his criticism of Clinton in recent days, and his wife was asked about that in an interview on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”

    When Edwards was a boy, said Elizabeth Edwards, his father told him that if he was in a fight and had to hit back, “aim for the nose; you sort of get more bang for your buck there.”

    “So you have to aim for their vulnerability and make them understand that there is a cost associated with attacking you,” Mrs. Edwards said. “You’re not going to lay down. You’re strong enough not only to take it but to hit back. It gives you an opportunity, I think, when you’re fighting on even ground to redirect the conversation to something more productive for voters.”

  41. Is Edwards claiming that he’s being attacked? More like everyone’s put him on ignore — including SEIU.

    I understand that UNITE HERE is rethinking Edwards, despite having endorsed him in ’04.

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