The Ties That Bind

Lots of talk, again, this campaign season about money and what lobbyist and other donors to political campaigns expect in return for their donations.

The Big Media and Big Blog narrative is that Hillary is the naughty candidate in this race and that all the other candidates/organizations are clean or at least aspire to be clean. Opposition candidates polish their recently purchased halos regarding campaign finance – handwringing and lofty words are employed in their mea culpas and hope for a new day of public financing is expressed.

Recently, John Edwards, forced to accept public matching funds for his campaign due to his inadequate fundraising, tried to turn lemons into lemonade by “challenging” other candidates (let’s face it, he wanted to just say ‘Hillary’) to join him in his misery. ABC News was not fooled by Edwards’ foolishness:

His rhetoric against “corporate Democrats” notwithstanding, Edwards, it should be noted, has his own senior strategist with corporate clients, Harrison Hickman, one of the principals in the Global Strategy Group. Global Strategy Group’s client list includes Lukoil and General Electric, companies that have done work in Iraq; Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma; and ABC News.

Obama has been equally humorous on campaign finance and lobbyist issues. Obama and his ties to Antoin “Tony” Rezko and Giannoulias and Michael “Jaws” Giorango have been discussed here previously. Plenty of information regarding Obama’s hypocrisy on lobbyists has also been published.

Political candidates are not the only hypocrites. A certain Big Blog loves to attack political candidates for taking “special interest” or “lobbyist” money. This same Big Blog loves to line its pockets with as much Chevron cash as possible (Chevron currently finds itself in several lawsuits and other bad publicity and therefore has launched its massive “greenwash” ad campaign.)

Big Blogs love to explain how they use the money from Big Oil propaganda to do “good”. The Big Blogs double standard is to take money from anyone that pays cash while denouncing the easily bought and paid for “others”. We won’t discuss “pump and dump” schemes here nor silencing of any mention of same by the Big Blogs today.

We now have a blog called The Left Coaster which has looked at the naughty Hillary narrative in a reality based post called Is Hillary a “Corporate Democrat?” [and a follow up Part 2 post] The article is a long one and filled with charts and all sorts of links and information which will be a good resource going forward. 

Readers of Big Pink will not be shocked by the conclusions of the Left Coaster:

This post examined the allegation that Sen. Hillary Clinton is a “Corporate Democrat” – namely, a person who is beholden to “Corporate America” and who is more likely to support “corporate interests” as President than the interests of average or middle-class Americans.

1. I find that the existing evidence, based on her Senatorial voting records compiled by Progressive Punch, Americans for Democratic Action, AFL-CIO and SEIU, does not really support this allegation.

2. Indeed, the evidence suggests that Sen. Clinton’s voting patterns are substantially and surprisingly progressive (ranging typically from 90-100%), including on corporate or labor issues. There are certainly serious issues where Sen. Clinton has unfortunately taken anti-progressive positions (e.g., her vote for a version of the Bankruptcy Bill in 2001), but the data reviewed here suggests that overall, she is far more progressive than corporatist.

3. In the absence of additional or new data, I have to conclude that the label “Corporate Democrat”, as applied to her, is inappropriate and extraordinarily misleading. In other words, while it is true that she has strong links to corporate America and corporatist interests, there is little or no evidence that she systematically votes in lock-step with those interests or even significantly in line with their positions. There are a few plausible reasons why Sen. Clinton has continued to build links with opposing corporatist or conservative interests.

  • In general, it may be beneficial to have people on one’s staff or payroll who represent opposing viewpoints – in order to make sure that nuances or different perspectives on issues get a proper hearing before final decisions are made on policies. Everything I’ve heard or read from people like former Ambassador Joseph Wilson or General Wesley Clark suggests that Sen. Clinton usually makes an effort to understand every issue very thoroughly before making up her mind on her position.
  • It is usually beneficial to have (reasonable) people on one’s staff or payroll who will provide you insight into how your policies or positions are likely to be attacked by opponents in the public sphere – whether the opponents are corporatist interests or conservatives bloviating on the vast Republican misinformation machine. Given Senator Clinton’s unpleasant experiences in the 1990s, it would not surprise me if this is one of the motivations for her connections with (or outreach to) those representing opposing interests.
  • Senator Clinton is sometimes attacked for being “polarizing” by the same people who invented this aspect of her personality because of their hatred for her. It is plausible, therefore, that she might try to assuage such concerns in the minds of low information voters by building links to those on the other side of the aisle. To some extent, this is similar to Sen. Obama’s outreach to odious Republicans like Tom Coburn, although the motivations may sometimes be different.
  • Yesterday, after surviving all the attacks with good humor,  Taylor Marsh wrote:

    Clinton may or may not win the nomination, but this is an historic time for women in this country. Whether she can pull it off and become the first female nominee for president in U.S. history remains to be seen. It’s up to all of you. But each one of us needs to understand and appreciate what she’s accomplishing.

    As of today, she gained respect in the Senate the old fashioned way, she earned it.

    She’s raised as much money as any man in the election cycle and more than all but one. She’s working every single county, while also making sure she votes on critical legislation. She’s campaigning for every vote, just like she did in New York, working her hardest to convince voters she can win. She’s also delivering better than the men in most debates and forums. Her campaign has also been the most disciplined and best run.

    This is not a small moment in U.S. history, whether you like Clinton or not. It’s pathetic that she’s not getting covered as such, because for anyone who has been around going as far back as Geraldine Ferraro, it took a long time to get a woman running again on the big ticket, let alone for the top spot. It’s a huge moment for us all, whether Clinton pulls it off or not.

    If she does succeed it won’t be because so called “progressives” aided her cause or even took the time to post the truth about what’s going on out in primaryland, preferring slash and burn, while ignoring the glaring faults of candidates not coming close to her performance.

    Clinton and I will never agree on everything, but we do have one thing in common. We understand how hard it is for a woman to do what she’s doing, especially in the boy’s club where national security, military matters and foreign policy, at least in America, are seen as guy things. Ask Nancy Pelosi.

    It’s good to see there are progressives now binding together online – who will not parrot Big Media and Big Blog anti-Hillary narratives, especially when most of those narratives originated with RIPublicans and the right wing.


    62 thoughts on “The Ties That Bind

    1. The Head Kook rules out Hillary:

      Question: You’re still publicly undecided.
      Answer: And privately. My choice will be Edwards, Obama, or Richardson. I love Edwards’s rhetoric, but he’s running against history. We have the chance to nominate the first African American or woman or Latino, and he’s the white guy. For me it’s going to come down to whoever has the clearest position on Iraq.


      More on thoughts from the Head Kook, who proves he is even less educated than we suspected. Head Kook must not know of all those problems the Dems in the House and Senate had such as the House bank “scandal” and the Dem leadership on the Hill failure to fight back against the new aggressive type ripublicans such as Gingrich:

      Question: Which brings to mind Bill Clinton. According to conventional wisdom it was his ability to play the middle that made him such a formidable politician.

      Answer: I personally think Bill Clinton destroyed the Democratic Party. He was a survivor and was under assault by the right wing, but he worked to protect himself at the expense of his party. We lost control of Congress during his tenure. So to me what’s dangerous is this notion that having a strong idea about the future of our country is inherently bad, because it’s partisan.

    3. daily kooks is a loser. that’s why i don’t post comments on there anymore. just hatred there. also admin, do you notice that katrina what’s her name from the magazine the nation? she has this thing against hillary but then again most of the farthest left fringe nutjobs like don’t her either. she is like arrianna huffington but in her case she was a rightwinger in 1994 with her husband now outed ex husband. now she is another big blog nutroot.

    4. Markos doesn’t come close to representing the average Dem voter. Bill Clinton is immensely popular among Dems and pretty popular among the country at large. The number of Dems who think he “destroyed” the Democratic Party is infinitesimal. No wonder he doesn’t like Hillary. Big shock there, lol. I’d pay him no mind. Let him think he’s important.

      I used to get into arguments with people on Democratic Underground about Bill on this very issue but it was like trying to reason with a tree stump.

    5. admin,

      Dailykos’ influence is diminishing on a daily basis. Think about it. Their impact comes from two sources in the past 1) they were able raise enormous money to candidates(Dean); 2) they had the ability to generate ‘buzz’ on the internet and pushed the stories to MSM.

      In this cycle, however, their favorite candidate Edwards who polled at 40% there could not raise money, Clinton, Obama, Ron Paul! and even freaking Thompson! are able to get enormous amount of money from more small donors on internet. Edwards’ anemic fundraising performance on the internet proves dailykos is starting to become a joke.

      Second, they’ve been ranting on a daily basis. They demand senators and congressmen/women to vote this and that. But nobody is paying attention to them. MSM stops quoting them, and there’s very little they’ve been able to push to the MSM. The reason is simple, they no longer have ‘original’, ‘inside’ and ‘interesting’ stories for MSM to report.

      On the other hand, some smaller blogs are getting more attention. For example, Taylor Marsh was able to get Clinton campaign’s online fundraising #, and her stories got reported widely.

      So I do believe dailykooks is on life support. That’s why they need big oil companies’ money badly.

    6. More good polling news. According to new Quinnipiac polls, Hillary leads Rudy in OH, PA and FL and has enormous leads over Obama in those states.

      New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is overwhelming Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and the rest of the Democratic primary field, and slowly increasing her lead over New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the Republican front-runner, in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to Quinnipiac University’s Swing State Poll, three simultaneous surveys of voters in states that have been pivotal in presidential elections since 1964.

      Sen. Clinton’s support appears to be as deep as it is wide. In Ohio, 74 percent of her supporters say they are not too likely or not likely at all to change their mind. In Florida, 59 percent of her supporters are unlikely to change their mind; in Pennsylvania it’s 56 percent.

      Giuliani voters are less committed, as no more than 39 percent in any state say they are unlikely to change their mind.

      Clinton and Giuliani dominate their party primaries in each state, even though voters say Obama and Arizona Sen. John McCain are more principled in their decision-making.

      Matchups by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds:
      Florida: Clinton tops Giuliani 46 – 43 percent, breaking a 44 – 44 percent tie September 12;
      Ohio: Clinton tops Giuliani 46 – 40 percent, compared to 47 – 40 percent September 6;
      Pennsylvania: Clinton beats Giuliani 48 – 42 percent, up from 46 – 44 percent August 23.

      “The news just keeps getting better for Sen. Clinton. She has a Democratic primary lead over Sen. Obama ranging from 27 to 34 points in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania and is widening her margin over the Republican hopefuls in each of those three critical states,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

    7. New results from the recent Gallup national survey of 1,010 adults (conducted 10/4 through 10/7) finds:

      Among 488 Democrats and those who lean Democratic, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (47% to 26%) in a national primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 11% — “each candidate’s support is the same or varies by only 1 percentage point compared with a Sept. 14-16, 2007, poll.” All other candidates receive less than five percent each.
      Favorable – Unfavorable Ratings

      Democrats and Democratic Leaners (n=488)
      Clinton: 81% – 14%
      Obama: 70% – 17%
      Edwards: 69% – 14%

      All Adults (n=1,010)
      Obama: 54% – 27%
      Clinton: 51% – 44%
      Edwards: 48% – 31%
      “Notably, the current poll finds Clinton with a favorable rating above 50% among all Americans for the first time since May.”

    8. those gallup numbers look nice, but the state numbers look better in the general and primaries. so much for those nutkooks saying hillary is unelectable.

    9. New ARG polls out for Arizona and Nevada have Hillary winning there by 27 and 37 points, respectively.

      Arizona, Hillary 41, Obama 14; Nevada, Hillary 51, Obama, 14.

    10. Paula,

      Time for Edwards & Obama to surrender Nevada as well. I hope their campaign will soon withdraw their names from the ballot there.

      Edwards & Obama: cut and run.

    11. Last night, I had a very colorful and heated argument with a GOP buddy of mine. He’s very red and ex-career military (an Afgahanistan vet recently retired). We argued over how best to handle Iraq, Iran, the looming India-Pakistan battle amongst other things. We also talked at length about this election. He was surprised to hear me prattle on about how much I dislike Bwak and why (the Pakistan gaffe is a huge one for me). He agreed that Bwak’s opening his big mouth has upset Musharraf’s hold on the country and, therefore, weakened our own position with one the few allies we have in the region. We also talked about the issues of healthcare and business necessity of a universal plan.

      Then he suprised the bejeesus out of me- this man who hated Bill like venal sin on Easter Sunday said if the general election was between Hillary and Rudy, he’d vote with Hillary. He also said that was true of everyone of the GOP candidates save Huckabee. He’s done his research. He knows the issues and he no longer believes she is the bitter harpy she has been portrayed as. He believes she would have no problem with national defense or foreign policy issues (his #1 issue) and that on the domestic front although she is more liberal on social issues than he is (he’s Pentacostal), he believes she won’t rape the treasurey and will work for sound fiscal goals.

      I’m over the moon right now knowing this staunch military man, a dyed in the wool Newt Gingrichesque guy who listens to Rush every day will vote for our girl because he believes she will keep America safer than anyone else.


    12. Markos is a total dipshit! I am done with Kooks, a bunch of lunatics over there. i think alot of people who actually had some sense and real arguments have left. The haters remain like AnneFrank, AmericanHope, and Tempestfugits. Ugh! Their impact as Kostner says is minimal. I have talked recently with died in the wool Repubs who want Hillary. I think she has more friends in the GOP then she does with the left. But that just may be a good thing. There’s this weird dude on the Washington State Democrats who says WA is going for anyone but Hillary. It was Edwards now it’s Obama. Good luck with that. They will come over to Hill when she gets the nom. They are still espousing this BS about her unelectability. Which is a crock.

    13. Admin, if I may disgress for a moment, I would like to commend you for your commentary yesterday. I thought about it when I read the editorial in the New York Times this morning by resident cynic and avowed Obama supporter Maureen Dowd. The thrust of that editorial was to conflate Hillary’s support for the non-binding Kyle-Lieberman resolution with her prior support for the Iraq Resolution, and to give cover to Obama. Nice try.

      As you correctly point out, the Kyle-Lieberman resolution does not authorize military sanctions. Whereas the Iraq Resolution did authorize them- if inspections failed. That alone is the difference between night and day. Furthermore, Hillary has been clear from the beginning that the President cannot initiate military action against Iran without specific congressional approval. Finally, her co-sponsorhip of the Webb legislation should be dispositive of the issue. That being the case, I find Dowd to be disingenuous–as usual.

      As you also point out, Senator Obama was once again unavailable to cast a vote, but willing to criticize those who did–however unfairly. That is the real story here which Mo would focus on if she was more of a journalist and less of a partisan. The title could be a snappy one. . . How about this . . . “The Dog That Didn’t Bark”–which is coincidentally an old Arab expression. It could recount all the other times Obama failed to answer the bell.

    14. With respect to the withdrawals from the MI primary- anyone agree it might be because they’re losing there anyhow and this is just a publicity stunt and way to cover up what had promised to be a big loss anyhow? Now they can just say “Sure she won big, that’s bc we weren’t there” and just be dismissive of the results. Plus, let’s face it- those guys really don’t have the cash or organization to play a 50 state game.

    15. kitforhill and OkieAtty, What you say about Republicans’ reaction to Hillary is very revealing. A few days ago, I posted something about how Hillary is benefiting from being demonized so long because now that people see she’s not the evil, far-left caricature she’s been made out to be, they give her a second look. I suspect there are quite a few Repubs who are impressed with Hillary’s refusal to pander to the left, and like her gravitas on foreign policy. And no one can argue with her intelligence and leadership ability. So maybe her nomination will motivate some Repubs – to vote for her! 🙂

    16. OkieAtty ,

      Regarding your MI comment, that’s absolutely the case. But the problem for those cut-and-runners is that their holdouts are diminishing everyday. Clinton is crossing 50 mark in FL and NV. They will sure to withdraw from FL, how about NV?

      Iowa is becoming their only hope, which is quite astonishing to say the least.

    17. From Staff, to wbboei,

      what struck all of us when reading the Dowd column was that she is still trying to push the Big Media narrative concerning the Randall Rolph exchange.

      From our inaugural article until today we have been stating that the danger to Democrats and to rational discourse lies not in the transparently partisan right wing media. The danger to Democrats and rational discourse comes from places like the New York Times and Big Blogs – supposed allies in rationality and progressive politics.

      Hillary seemed rattled.

      Up until now, she has displayed remarkable imperturbability — gliding along with the help of good lighting, a hearty guffaw and a clever husband.

      But on Sunday in New Hampton, Iowa, Hillary lost her cool at last. Sparring with a voter on Iran, she sounded defensive and paranoid.

      Maureen Dowd

      Hillary does not seem paranoid, defensive or rattled to us normal people.

    18. Kostner, I cannot believe the MSM is not paying attention to the undercurrents of defeatism in this race. Here’s my list of poll results with Clinton/Edwards/Obama/Undecided listed:

      Iowa 30/19/24/13
      Michigan 43/14/21/12
      Nevada 51/14/11/13
      New Hampshire 41/10/22/12
      South Carolina 44/12/22/12
      Florida 44/12/22/12
      Alabama 45/9/25/11
      Alaska n/a
      Arizona 41/16/14/14
      Arkansas 49/12/16/11
      California 41/14/23/13
      Colorado 36/19/20/13
      Connecticutt 28/8/20/17
      Delaware 34/10/19/10 Biden is at 19% there
      Georgia 34/13/25/13
      Idaho 31/15/33/11
      Illinois 33/10/37/12
      Kansas n/a
      Minnesota 47/16/2/7
      Missouri 40/22/15/12
      NewJersey 46/7/15/12
      New Mexico 17/8/8/18 Richardson is at 44%
      New York 48/7/14/13
      North Dakota n/a
      Oklahoma 29/29/13/17
      Tennessee n/a
      Utah 31/9/18/20

      These are mostly from

    19. OkieAtty,

      when you don’t have enough money to pay the hotel bill you sneak out the window. That’s what happened in Michigan. The losers snuck out the window. Obama and Edwards knew they were in really bad trouble there, so taking a page from Edwards and public matching funds the loser candidates pretended they were pulling out of Michigan for high minded reasons.

      Hillary is not only ahead in Michigan, she is getting stronger there. Remember, early in the year Edwards and Bonier were saying they would win Michigan due to Union support and Obama thought he would win Michigan because it is so close to Illinois.

      Here is another big reason why they ‘snuck out the window’.
      Gov. Jennifer Granholm said today she will endorse a Democratic presidential candidate next week, and hinted it may be Hillary Clinton.

      Granholm said she is “very disappointed in the candidates who chose to abandon Michigan” referring to the four or five candidates who announced Tuesday they would not campaign in Michigan because of its early primary.

      Granholm said she would not back down from the Jan. 15 primary date in defiance of the National Democratic Party’s rules. The party has threatened sanctions against Michigan and Florida for attempting to precede New Hampshire and Iowa in the nomination process.

    20. OkieAtty-
      That website doesn’t seem to exist. Is there another domain name? I usually go to RCP for my polling data, but the list you posted seems to be more complete.

    21. admin, I find this line from Dowd’s column to be particulary insulting (never mind her assertion that Hillary lost her cool. We all know she can’t stand Hillary to begin with):

      “Up until now, she has displayed remarkable imperturbability — gliding along with the help of good lighting, a hearty guffaw and a clever husband.”

      If that isn’t sexist, I don’t know what is. And from a woman, no less. (BTW, I think Bill Clinton is clever, too, but Hillary has a heck of a lot more going on for than that. Grrr!)

    22. Looks like the WaPo also screwed Hillary by not quoting her entire comments about torture. Check out this post on

      Hillary is taking a pounding in the blogosphere over this passage from today’s Washington Post front-page interview with her, in which she appears not to take a firm stand against torture:
      Clinton was similarly vague about how she would handle special interrogation methods used by the CIA. She said that while she does not condone torture, so much has been kept secret that she would not know unless elected what other extreme measures interrogators are using, and therefore could not say whether she would change or continue existing policies.

      “It is not clear yet exactly what this administration is or isn’t doing. We’re getting all kinds of mixed messages,” Clinton said. “I don’t think we’ll know the truth until we have a new president. I think [until] you can get in there and actually bore into what’s been going on, you’re not going to know.”

      Kevin Drum slammed Hillary over those two grafs for a “nauseating piece of evasion.” Andrew Sullivan was similarly dismayed, writing: “You knew this was coming.” And Open Left’s Matt Stoller also slammed Hillary, saying that “these two paragraphs get to the heart of the Clinton-era political model.”

      Turns out that there may be more to the story, however. The Clinton campaign has just sent over a transcript of the full question and answer that those two above WaPo paragraphs are based on. Here it is:

      Q: Can I ask you a follow up? You mentioned Blackwater, you’ve said that at the beginning of your administration you’d ask the Pentagon to report. When it comes to special interrogation methods, obviously you’ve said you’re against torture, but the types of methods that are now used that aren’t technically torture but are still permitted, would you do something in your first couple days to address that, suspend some of the special interrogation methods immediately or ask for some kind of review?

      HRC: Well I think I’ve been very clear about that too, we should not conduct or condone torture and it is not clear yet exactly what this administration is or isn’t doing, we’re getting all kinds of mixed messages. I don’t think we’ll know the truth until we have a new President. I think once you can get in there and actually bore into what’s been going on, you’re not going to know. I was very touched by the story you guys had on the front page the other day about the WWII interrogators. I mean it’s not the same situation but it was a very clear rejection of what we think we know about what is going on right now but I want to know everything, and so I think we have to draw a bright line and say ‘No torture – abide by the Geneva conventions, abide by the laws we have passed,’ and then try to make sure we implement that.

      I’ve bolded both the passage from the quote that WaPo used and the passage that didn’t make it into the paper. As you can see, Hillary also said that we “have to draw a bright line” against torture, and “abide by the Geneva conventions.” She also said we have to “try to make sure we implement that.” That’s clearly more specific on Hillary’s part than her earlier discussion of current policies, which was included in the article.

    23. And Obama is finally attacking Hillary by name. He brings up (take a wild guess here, folks) … her 2002 war vote, lol. I’m shocked! Here’s the post from

      If Obama doesn’t have the fire-in-the-belly to go after Hillary in the way he needs to in order to win, his reticence certainly wasn’t on display in this interview with the Associated Press, in which he seemed to signal that he’ll be escalating his attacks on her in the weeks to come:

      “What’s clear when you look at her statements and her approach to the problem, she was too willing to give the president a blank check. There’s been a little bit of revisionist history since that time, where she indicates she was only authorizing inspectors or additional diplomacy,” Obama said. “I think everybody in Washington and people in New Hampshire and round the country understood this was a vote for war. The question is: Does she apply different judgment today?”
      The question that needs to be asked of criticism like this is whether it’s too late. Multiple polls have shown that the most antiwar voters still favor Hillary, so it’s fair to wonder whether the moment to define Hillary with her 2002 vote — rather than her current antiwar rhetoric — has passed.

      Meanwhile, Ben Smith notes that John Edwards commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Iraq authorization vote with a statement slamming Hillary in similar terms, including this barb: “Evidently, Senator Clinton and I learned two very different lessons from the Iraq war.”

    24. Dick Durbin on his YES vote for the Iran amendment: differs from Obama….


      Obama and Durbin, aligned on Iraq, apart on Iran
      by Jill Zuckman

      When it comes to Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama is perfectly happy to point to the senior senator from Illinois as an example of someone who got it right when it mattered.

      Sen. Dick Durbin, the assistant Democratic Leader, voted against authorizing force in Iraq back in October of 2002. Obama, then a little-known state senator, spoke out against the resolution – a point he has made in the presidential campaign to criticize Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and argue that judgment trumps experience.

      “If it had come to me in an up or down vote as it came, I think I would have agreed with our senior senator Dick Durbin and voted nay,” Obama said at the time. Durbin, in turn, has praised Obama for speaking out on the issue back when the vote to authorize war was a popular one.

      But in recent days, Obama has also criticized Clinton for voting in favor of a “sense of the Senate” resolution calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. It was a vote that Obama missed altogether, but one that his campaign has used to criticize her for potentially expanding the Iraq war into Iran.

      “There’s nothing wrong with identifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, but it is a problem when you start using Iran as a justification for troop structures in Iraq and providing language that could potentially lead to military action in Iran,” Obama said Monday, according to the Associated Press.

      And in an interview with ABC News, Obama said: “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.”

      On this one, however, Obama parts ways with Durbin, one of his earliest and most ardent supporters, who voted for the resolution.

      “If I thought there was any way it could be used as a pretense to launch an invasion of Iran I would have voted no,” Durbin said in an interview.

      In fact, Durbin initially criticized the language in the measure, prompting its author, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, to cut two paragraphs out entirely.

      “I am opposed to military action in Iran,” Durbin said, noting that it would require congressional approval. “To say we need to pressure the Iranians to change their course in the Middle East and I want to do it by nonmilitary means, that’s what my vote was all about.”

      Durbin said he also received assurances that the U.S. is not preparing to attack Iran from a source he respects, Defense Secretary Robert Gates: “He was as clear as could be that there are no plans for that to happen.”

    25. Yes Admin. your point is very well taken. The Dowd editorial is the latest chapter in the continuing msm narrative which is negative, mean spirited and partisan. The net effect is like Greshom’s law, i.e. bad ideas drives out the good ones. You are to be commended for not allowing that to happen.

    26. okieatty I enjoyed reading your encounter with your republican friend,
      It’s good to hear that my feeling that there are surprisingly many republicans who would consider voting for her, actually holds some substance. 🙂

      Paula, I think AP is right when they wrote: “so it’s fair to wonder whether the moment to define Hillary with her 2002 vote — rather than her current antiwar rhetoric — has passed.”

      But we should let Obama continue using this card, it’s the only one he has, and the more he uses it, the more desperate he seems, as people will see this is truly all he’s got!!

    27. Hilllary better not pull out of Michigan. This is so transparent. the boys look like pandering children. She must stand her ground. I think even Iowa will reward her for it.

    28. mj,

      the deadline for taking a name off the ballot has passed (it was Tuesday at 4 p.m.). Time to file necessary papers to get a name off the ballot has expired. This is a done deal. Hillary and Dodd are on the ballot, the others are gone (Gravel is on and Kucinich tried to get his name removed but his staff alleges they were too incompetent to get the job done, so DK is also on the ballot).

    29. Great, admin. I think this was a huge mistake for the boys. I’m actually not that happy about it because if one of them one it puts Michigan in jeopardy, but since those chances diminish daily, this is good for Hillary, and frankly Dodd. What are they going to do about florida now?

    30. Hey ya’ll, Admin, a while back you put information for people who wanted to write about a DOWD column. At the moment, I can’t remember what it was at that time. But I am wanting to organize some folks to write about this latest offense. Somebody mentioned Washington State…I don’;t think that’s necessarily true of a majority. I am finding plenty of people who want Hillary as 44. mollyj

    31. Oh-boy,

      I’ve been with a gaggle of female Republicans for the better part of the day. I would like to nominate them for the “Desperate Housewives” Show. Our poor waitress was treated like lady #1’s personal domestic servant. #1 wanted no more than 10 ice-cubes in her water glass but not before the waitress checked if they were round or square cubes. Lady #2 wanted everything on separate plates. She said she didn’t want her food touching each other otherwise she’d be unable to eat.

      Lady #3 took 15 min to pick out the wine…should it be a Merlot, Chardonnay or Zinfandel? She asked to have the wine taster ck in at our table before making a decision. As for myself, checking out the menu listing the specials. #1 already sending the rolls back and could they be warmed before serving. #2 busied herself assessing the table room needed for the array of serving dishes to come. #3 couldn’t decide which wine would be appropriate, to be safe, she ordered a carafe of each. I caught myself thinking…(hurry with the wine…they’re all in some stage of withdrawal) and checking my watch, thinking time is usually fleeting, I’ve been with these ladies for 20 min and it feels like an eternity…

      I mentioned, anyone watch the debate last night? OMG- they were off and running with scathing reviews of all the candidates. Fred Thompson, the biggest loser of the bunch. The agreement was unanimous…Men (not Republicans??) were ruining the country. Saying to myself, “good enough!”

      To make a long story short. When all carafe’s were drained of their magical relaxer..meals disappeared, leftovers ensconced in the proverbial take homes…All 3 married ladies agreed, they were voting for Hillary without question. Ah, yes, the ladies who initially scoffed at a Hillary presidency had time to rethink their earlier decision and flatly decided, we’re gonna show em!

      Alls well that ends well…it was a great day. My ladies picked up the check and I gathered 3 (uncultivated) votes for Hillary.

      Pathei Mathei..

      Mrs. S.

    32. Thanks, Mrs. S., your story brought Mollyj the only smile she’s had all day! And that’s somethin’ that just doesn’t happen often. I would’ve been drinkin’ straight from the carafe! mollyj

    33. Daily Kos was such a wonderful place. It has been a passion of mine for almost four years, but I have wondered, from time to time, whether it will be able to recover its Democratic heart in the face of Hillary’s nomination.

    34. Mrs. S.,

      Just hope those democrats are smart enough to nominate Hillary. I predict she’ll have a landslide victory in general.

    35. Mrs. Smith, what a wonderful story. What an ephiany. What a happy ending.

      I can only assume it was your cogent commentary, the Ripublican banter on the screen– and the wine that did the trick. “En vino veritas” (in wine there is truth)

      Its cocktail time here, and I am about to have a drink to you Mrs. Smith–vine d’alsace. Nice work.

    36. Mrs. Smith, Thank you for posting that!

      I suspect Hillary has a lot of under-the-radar support like that; many women will vote for her that otherwise might not vote Democratic.

    37. Mrs. S.: My sister wrote me today to tell me my young nephew and his wife are thinking about voting for Hillary. They’ve cast only Republican votes in their lives, so this is quite amazing. My nephew’s wife is pregnant, and she just found out that her health insurance has no pregnancy coverage. They believe only Hillary will deliver equitable health care to Americans. And that is my amazing story for the day.

    38. Oh. One more thing. Because of a bout with lymphoma some years ago, I am a research subject at NIH. My employment provides me with Kaiser for health coverage. When I recently suffered my life-threatening condition that required emergency surgery, I considered whether I should go to Kaiser or cash in my NIH chips. I did the latter; I was not confident Kaiser would save the day. Believe me when I tell you that I am glad I went to NIH.

    39. Realist, I screwed up. Sorry.

      I’m ashamed I used to read MoDowd. She’s become a shrill buffoon.

      Anyone else see the news on the potential for a 61 seat majority for the Dems in the Senate. It means a perfect storm, but it could happen now. Imagine our girl with a filibuster proof majority. Wow.

    40. hi folks,

      does anybody know anything about this peru trade bill? Taylor Marsh is jumping on Obama on this one. Obama vowed to vote for it. I know nothing about this bill, but I hope Clinton will vote against it for pure political reason. She’s already stood on principle and taken lots of heat on her Iran vote from left flank. For these minor bills, I think she has the room to appease them and those union members. Nobody(general voting population) cares about a peru trade bill, but it will certainly make union members and leftists happy, happy and happy. It will also have the potential to put Obama into negative light. Politics is all about balance. On critical issues, Hillary needs to stand on her ground, but on minor issues, she can certainly make some calculation…

      I hope somebody will advise Clinton to vote against that bill .

    41. Mollyrichards, I have some encouraging news on the Washington state situation, but time is of the essence.

      I can send it to you off line if you are interested and Admin is willing to act as a conduit.

    42. btw, dailykooks are hanging their last hope on Al Gore to derail Hillary.

      I love love Gore, but think he’s still a terrible candidate….

    43. Mrs. S: My Republican sister, who is in her mid-40s, has never voted for a Democrat. She told me that no matter who the party nominates, she is going to vote for the Democratic nominee.

    44. I would expect Hillary to vote against the Peru Trade Bill as a matter of principal, absent a clear showing that it is consistent with the interests of the American People. I believe she is on record as favoring a periodic review of all existing trade bills based on that same criterion. That is vitally important because the presumed benefits of the NAFTA model– a rising standard of living for the three signatory countries, never materialized due to intervening events, e.g. China’s entry into WTO. What is more, that failure has been a contributing factor in the rising tide of undocumented workers, coupled with the benign neglect of the Bush Administration.

    45. Well then the daily kooks are kookier than ever.

      According to CNN there was a full page article in The New York Times today by a group of Al Gore supporter making their best case that he should run, and his answer was an unequivocal no.

      Evidently, they won’t take no for an answer.

    46. I am so sick of the Daily Kos! Marco whatever-his-name-is needs to get a cluel; He and those like him are the reasons why democrats lose elections that they should win (ie Al Gore w/o Ralph Nader).

    47. wbboei,

      I’m not so sure. I have no clue about the details of this Peru Trade Bill, but some unions do not really object to it. So it may have already contained clauses satisfactory to enviornmental, workers’ right etc conditions. Hillary claims to be a ‘smart trader’, she’s neither a ‘free trader’ nor ‘isolationist’. I anticipate she will every trade bill on a case by case basis. So there’s a chance this bill is acceptable to her on those criteria. But my point is if this particular bill meets those criteria, I still hope she will vote against it. Yes, it may sound like a political calculation, but on those minor issues, she needs to dance around it to at least lip service those union memebers and netnuts. I’m sure Taylor Marsh will be thrilled as well! LOL. The general voting population does not give a damn to a Peru trade bill. So she definitley has room to differentiate herself from Obama…

      Just my two cents.

    48. Some of you may have been aware of Graeme Frost story. NYT filed a report. He’s a 12-year-old kid who’s replying on SCHIP program for healthcare coverage. Right wingers are launching a full scale war against this little kid.

      Clinton just made the following comments. You can find the diary on dailykos.

      It pains me that in our country we have 9 million children without health insurance and now we have a President who doesn’t think they need health insurance. I thought I’d seen the depth of political partisanship and mean spiritedness but the Republicans and their right wing allies have really taken the cake this time.

      There was a young boy who was 12 years old named Graeme Frost. He was in a bad car accident and he didn’t have health insurance but thankfully he had a program that I helped start in 1997 with Ted Kennedy and others called SCHIP. So Graeme was able to get health care, good health care, that made a tremendous difference in the outcome of his injuries. So when the President vetoed the extension of SCHIP, Graeme and his family stepped forward to illustrate why it was so important….

      And boy the whole Republican and right wing attack machine went into overdrive. And they said ‘well, they have a house’ – yeah, I guess they could sell their house to give their child insurance.

      I don’t mind if they pick on me. They’ve done it for years. I think I’ve proven I can take care of myself. But George Bush and the Republicans should lay off Graeme Frost and all the other millions of American children getting their insurance from SCHIP

    49. I found an old article which Maureen Dowd wrote about Hillary in 1992. Unlike her current diatribes, it is humanistic, it captures the pressures of the First Lady role that Hillary was about to assume, and shows that the same right wing attacks we still see today, i.e. polarizing, etc. began even before Bill Clinton took office.

      It also confirms my conviction that Maureen Dowd is a first rate journalist, and more is the pity what she has become today as an editorialist. “Sic-as in dog” (Dorothy Parker)

    50. wbboei, Would love to hear the good news out of Wash state. Admin should have my email if they don’t mind passin’ along the message. I’m gonna do as much as I can here, though that’s not as monumental as what others can do, but every bit helps. I also will go to early primary states if it will help. Hillary is here on the 22nd and campaign kick off is this weekend.

      I am so glad Hillary made a statement about Graeme Frost. Unbelievable the meanspiritedness of some people. It’s gonna get more so before the big election too.

      take care y’all –mollyj

    51. mollyj,

      regarding Washington state, here’s an article: Edwards supporters are just delusional to extreme…
      Clinton strategist sees strength in Washington state

      OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Hillary Clinton has surged into a commanding lead for the Democratic White House nomination and should do well in progressive Washington state, the frontrunner’s chief strategist, Mark Penn, said Wednesday.

      “This is a very good state for her,” Penn said.

      Other campaigns, though, are yielding nothing in Washington and say they’re vigorously organizing and fundraising in the state in the months before the Democratic caucuses on Feb. 9.

      Clinton, who repeatedly visited the state as first lady and New York senator, will headline the state Democrats’ main fundraising dinner on Oct. 22 in Seattle, launching her presidential bid in Washington. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was in Seattle four months ago to raise campaign cash.

      The Clintons have a strong following in the state, although competitors, including Barack Obama and John Edwards, have “buzz” and are drawing early support here, said state Democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz.

      “I sense momentum on Clinton’s part,” Pelz said. “Early on, I thought Obama and Edwards had the lead here, but I’d say it’s a three-way race now. Clinton is surging.”

      Washington hasn’t voted Republican for the White House since 1984.

      Penn is in Seattle this week to meet Clinton backers and to promote his new book, “Microtrends.”

      Penn told political reporters Wednesday that Clinton clearly dominates the Democratic field. He called it “a tremendous consolidation of the (poll) numbers around the senator” and was already talking about Clinton’s general election campaign being under way.

      Penn said Clinton’s negatives are declining as she asserts her views and gives voters a broader picture of herself. Before, she was defined by lingering negative impressions and was “more famous than known,” he said.

      “She is seen as ready” for the presidency and is battle-tested in ways usually reserved for the nominees, he said. “People across the country see her as a champion for them, a warrior.”

      Penn said the campaign isn’t taking the nomination for granted, but that Clinton’s fundraising and poll lead clearly have answered the question about whether she’s electable.

      Penn said he’s confident that new polls will show Washington firmly in Clinton’s camp.

      Washington is a progressive state that appreciates Clinton’s views on Iraq, alternative energy and health care, Penn said.

      Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki dismissed the notion that Clinton has a grip on Washington.

      “The sheer grass-roots enthusiasm in Washington answers that question,” she said in an interview. “We are focused on building our organization from the ground up and we are seeing enthusiasm and excitement for Sen. Obama’s candidacy. We feel great about where we are in Washington.”

      As of the last federal report, Obama led in money raised in Washington and polls have showed him strong, she said.

      Jenny Durkan, a Seattle attorney who is an organizer for Edwards, said “Penn is too jet-lagged to remember where he landed. It is still wide open here, with Obama and Edwards running neck and neck for the lead. Every poll I have seen shows Clinton in a solid third place here.

      “The only category she leads in is endorsements by politicians who want a better job.

      “Penn and crew are trying hard to create an aura of inevitability. The only thing inevitable is that there are 20 political lifetimes between now and Iowa and 100 between now and the Washington state caucuses.”

      Paul Lindsay, spokesman for the Republican National Committee, rapped Penn and the Clinton campaign.

      “Of all people, Mark Penn should know that voters reject platforms of higher taxes, increased government, and weak national defense, all of which are staples of Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” he said.

      The state’s Democratic caucuses, which begin the process of allocating the state’s national convention delegates, will be Feb. 9. The state’s primary, strictly a beauty contest for the Democrats, will follow on Feb. 19.

    52. Not that Mark Penn needs me to defend him, but it is counterintuitive for the RNC to suggest that the voters of Washington are eager to embrace a continuation of the disasterous policies of the Bush Administration including but not limited to prolifigate spending, massive borrowing, skyrocketing national debt, dysfunctional government, abandonment of safety nets, trade imbalance, broken borders, lost jobs, health care inequities, and stay the course in Iraq in order to avoid the alleged problems of taxes, government, and their questionable concept of national defense.

    53. The Obama campaign is still a blunder a minute, but now they are also a laugh a minute.

      Beaten by Hillary in Michigan the Obama campaign has started to whine:

      “A top supporter of Barack Obama says Hillary Clinton could harm the Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses by not removing her name from the Michigan primary ballot.

      Former Iowa Democratic Party chairman Gordon Fisher is calling on Iowa Democrats to pressure Clinton to follow the lead of most other Democratic candidates in choosing not to participate in the Michigan contest.

      “I’m pleased the candidate I am supporting, Sen. Barack Obama — along with Sens. Biden and Edwards and Gov. Richardson — successfully removed their names from the ballot,” Fischer said on his blog, Iowa True Blue.”

    54. Ah, suddenly realizing the “Blunder of the Century” of course, the Obama campaign will start whining. What elese are they good for? Do they expect Hillary to fall in line and start handing out brochures “Election 2008 for DUMMIES” to Axelrod et al?

      Thanks to:

      Mollyj, Paula, DC Dem, wbboei…just goes to show you, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to get Hillary elected. Yes, ‘suffern succotash’, even meeting with Repub babes for lunch. What could be better than having closet Democrats in Republican camps. The hidden majority..

      DC..where is NHI?

      Mrs. S.

    55. Molly sorry to hear you’ve had a bad day, hope things get better!

      Mrs. Smith, I LOVED your recap of dining with the ladies, had me laughing, and especially the ending, I love happy endings 🙂

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