The Real Danger

Update: Joy Behar gets it (video below).

What are the lessons for Hillary Clinton and her supporters from Tuesday night’s mugging debate?

What are minor irritants for Hillary Clinton and her supporters coming out of Tuesday night’s mugging debate?

What is The Real Danger for Hillary Clinton and her supporters from Tuesday night’s mugging debate?

Hillary and her campaign and her supporters must now look at our fundamental premises and strategies for winning the nomination and the general election. Are our fundamental premises and strategies developing as we anticipated? Are our fundamental premises and strategies for this campaign in need of complete revision or minor adjustment or right on target? Is the campaign organization functioning as required?

How do we honestly answer all the above questions? How do we check ourselves and our answers – to make sure that our answers are not whistling past the graveyard, delusional, wishful, stupid, or just plain dumb?

ANSWERS (in no particular order):

The best way in any endeavor or enterprise to check whether you are being honest with yourself, on the right path, not whistling past the graveyard, delusional, thinking wishfully, stupid, or just plain dumb is to apply scientific methodologies to the enterprise. By this we mean you prepare a thesis, you test that thesis in real life, you acquire results. Test those results with your original thesis. If the results are what was you anticipated, (taking into account the circumstances when your thesis was tested) the thesis is accurate. If the results do not comport with your anticipated results – your thesis is wrong. This methodology cuts out self-delusion and associated traps and provides an objective, not subjective, analysis. A reality based analysis.

For instance, if you start a business, first you write a business plan. The business should meet its quarterly results for profits and losses detailed in your business plan. If the business does not achieve the profits and losses anticipated, then at best, the business plan is flawed. At that point the buisiness plan needs revision or a total overhaul.

Intelligent campaigns too have a plan, the campaign strategy, the campaign plan. Periodically and regularly that campaign plan must be reviewed to verify the plan is still viable and still working and still achieving the (good and bad) results expected.

So, to paraphrase former New York City Mayor Ed Koch – How are we doing?

The big answer is we are doing very well and are on target with what we have anticipated and what has been achieved. There have been no bad surprises only good surprises which deviate from the campaign strategy and our expectations. [Using our standards of objective analysis this can be verified by polling data which have Hillary doing very well. Contrast these results to the anticipated results from the other campaigns and you have further objective verification.]

The biggest surprise of this campaign has been what a great campaigner Hillary has become. Hillary has done better in the many debates and the many campaign appearances than any of us anticipated. The Hillary Team has also been superlative. The Hillary Team anticipates problems and deals with those problems immediately.

The minor irritants coming out of Tuesday night’s debate are the distortions about what Hillary said during the debate. The comments on this week’s earlier articles in Big Pink pretty much answer these irritants. We’ll review them quickly below.

The driver’s license for “illegal” immigrants issue is the most talked about irritant. Senator Dodd will eventually realize the problem he has opened up with his own supporters over this issue due to his very basic dishonesty. The link HERE demolishes the anti-Hillary narrative on this issue. As to the general election and this issue, let’s worry about it when we are in the general election (hint: plenty of states provide this type of license including Bush’s Texas and Bush’s Florida because cars do not discriminate on who or what they hit.)

Obama moaned and groaned about Hillary and the release of her papers. Plenty of lies on this issue. Taylor Marsh demolishes this silly business, especially Russert and the letter. Turns out “the letter” is from 1994 and (surprise!) it was the typically Russert misrepresentations and lies.

Obama, should stop worrying about Hillary’s papers – Obama has his own papers to release. Obama needs to start cooperating fully with the Chicago Sun-Times which has been trying to get answers from Obama and the law firm he worked for. The Chicago Sun-Times is being stonewalled. [Sun-Times article on missing Obama documents HERE].

Iran and Iraq and Social Security were the dogs that did not bark on Tuesday’s debate. Yes they were discussed, but these issues have been forgotten because Hillary and her supporters had done such a good job at addressing these worn out issues. We’ll keep addressing these issues but essentially Hillary is right where she should be.

Quickly, on Iran Hillary has made clear she opposes war with Iran and Hillary has credible Durbin, Clark and Wilson who support her on this. On Iraq, Hillary has the support of most Democrats who are against the war in Iraq. On Social Security, Obama is repeating Ripublican propaganda and Hillary will not use “crisis” Ripublican talking points. On Social Security Obama has a big problem with Iowa’s biggest voting bloc – seniors.

Testing our assumptions.

Before the debate (let’s test our assumptions here using our ‘before and after’ tests) we assumed that there would be an Obama/Edwards/Russert attack against Hillary. Our article BEFORE the debate was Lazio, Come Forth referencing Hillary’s 2000 senate race opponent and his attack against Hillary in a debate. Not suprisingly, we were correct. The attacks on Hillary by Obama were predicted by many. The attacks on Hillary by Edwards and others were predicted by many. Honest observers also expected a hostile Russert. No surprise. Big Pink however, noted the Russert and Lazio combination in that 2000 debate. Remember this line from our article Lazio, Come Forth which quoted news accounts of the 2000 debate?

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.”

That was in 2000.

After the Tuesday 2007 debate, in Hillary Clinton – Lion Tamer we quoted a news account which said essentially the same thing about Russert that was said in 2000:

In an exchange with Mr. Russert, arguably her third toughest opponent on the stage, …

Russert, Lazio, Obama and Edwards rejoiced after the debate. They loved beating up on Hillary. Lazio was very happy post debate 2000 too. What happened to Lazio after that 2000 debate? In short, Lazio rejoiced, Russert rejoiced, Hillary elected.

Rick Lazio, grinning, crouched to embrace a group of children at an elementary school in Rochester, N.Y., the morning after his first debate with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Thank you very much for all these hugs,” he exclaimed. “I love the hugs! It makes me feel great! I love you! I love you all! I’m getting all kinds of hugs today. Any more hugs? Thank you very much for these hugs. I’ll be back soon. You guys work hard in school, O.K.? You guys do well in school, you can have any job you want. Any job, O.K.?”
He strode out of the school, hand-in-hand with a little boy.

Later that day, Mr. Lazio clambered onto a wooden picnic table before a crowd of supporters in Fulton, N.Y., a depressed industrial town. With about a hundred restive locals buzzing about his feisty debate performance, Mr. Lazio spoke gravely about his opponent’s out-of-state roots. He assailed her “hypocrisy” on soft money. The time had come, he yelled, to “fire back.”“The campaign really started yesterday–last night!” he declared.

Poor Obama/Edwards Lazio, he was happy for a day. Then reality intruded:

Mr. Lazio’s transformation, in just several hours, from simpering guidance counselor to savage orator mirrored the metamorphosis in his campaign. By sharpening his attacks on Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Lazio hopes to dispel the perception that he is running a relaxed and ineffectual campaign.

While his more energetic pose has delighted core supporters, Mr. Lazio’s top advisors are worried that the new strategy carries a grave risk–one that could cost him the election. [snip]

“I don’t know if it’s a role she plays or whether it’s just the way the electorate perceives her,” said Assemblyman Phil Boyle, a longtime friend and close advisor to Mr. Lazio. “Certain attacks on her evoke sympathy, and we need to be wary of that.” [snip]

Mr. Lazio’s advisers are well aware that Mrs. Clinton has ensnared many Republicans in this trap before. When the First Lady is attacked, she rises in the polls; voters stop viewing her as an ambitious opportunist and start seeing her as an aggrieved and noble victim. It was this dynamic that gave rise to her candidacy in the first place–she was proposed as a candidate after she stood by her cheating husband during the impeachment crisis and was roundly assailed by Republican critics.

The Lazio campaign already has reason for concern. Their vigorous assaults on Mrs. Clinton are re-awakening sympathies had vanished once she became a carpetbagging candidate for Senate. Since the debate, polls have shown that some undecided voters–including those who dislike the First Lady–disapproved of Mr. Lazio’s sharp assaults and now are drifting in her direction. [snip]

The dynamic was apparent in the press room during the Buffalo debate. Mr. Lazio’s advisers had hoped that news accounts of the debate would be dominated by Mr. Lazio’s soft-money challenge. In the press room, that moment was greeted by a sudden burst of keyboard clattering, as reporters chronicled the unexpected gesture even while grumbling that it was a “stunt.” But a similarly deafening clatter greeted another moment: when debate moderator Tim Russert aired pictures of a drawn and exhausted Mrs. Clinton defending her husband at the height of the Lewinsky scandal.

Still, there’s no question that other voters were delighted to see someone–in this case, Mr. Lazio–stick it to Hillary. [snip]

For his part, Mr. Lazio dismisses the idea of a backlash to his Hillary-bashing. “Since the debate,” Mr. Lazio told the New York Daily News , “we have seen I don’t know how many thousands of people, and we haven’t had one person say anything to me about that.”

The Real Danger

The real danger for Hillary Clinton, the Hillary Team and Hillary supporters is that after Tuesday night’s debate there is now a template for attacking Hillary. Big Media, the debate “moderators” – Russert in particular, and other candidates for the Democratic Party nomination attacked Hillary in a united probably coordinated manner.

Our counterattack has to be clearheaded and aware that the announced primary campaign opponents are not the only nor the most dangerous opponents. Any doubts in the Clinton campaign or the Hillary Team or among Hillary supporters that Big Media (Russert and Matthews in particular) and/or Big Blogs are our friends or allies or fair must be rejected. Any question that Obama and Edwards’ personal attacks against Hillary are anything but personal attacks have to be quickly rejected. (Edwards and Obama are not questioning Hillary policies, they are questioning her honesty. Further the silly attacks on electability from candidates polling less than half of what Hillary is polling is ridiculous.)

In our inaugural post months ago, we stated our contention that the danger, the effective attacks on Hillary, will come from Big Media, Big Blogs, PINOs and Democrats who repeat Republican propaganda to undermine Hillary or any of our candidates.

We have sounded the alarm about Big Blogs and Big Media well before this debate. Some questioned our analysis and aggressive “no unilateral disarmament” posture out of honest disagreement. Many more sought to distract us from what we see as a clear and present danger.

Hillary supporters, the Hillary campaign and the Hillary Team should have no doubt about the dangers posed by coordinated attacks from Big Media, Big Blogs and PINOs and Democratic opponents.

Big Pink has been right from the very beginning. The danger is as we anticipated. Our fight continues.


88 thoughts on “The Real Danger

  1. funny thing, besides Dodd tv ad jabbing at Edwards. Here’s another one…

    Dodd vs. Edwards online

    In the latest faux-informal missive from a candidate to supporters, Dodd forwards supposed email traffic between his campaign manager, Sheryl Cohen and his web guru, Tim Tagaris.

    She tells me that in addition to a spike in traffic and mentions on progressive blogs, we could beat John Edwards October online fundraising goal if I emailed a few people and asked them to help get us there.

    The Edwards monthly goal is $500,000, Tagaris writes: “For all the hype their internet team and Joe Trippi gets, we finished the month nipping at their heels.”

  2. does Dodd have a pollster ? I have a sense they are smelling Edwards’ blood there.

    It’s no coincident that Edwards sent out a mailer and put on air a one-min ad in Iowa. Based on spending cap regulated by FEC, Edwards is in panic mode. Can he run ads at this rate for two more months? I don’t think so since he can only spend 1 million+ there even if he has the resources…

    I think he is in a big hole there…

  3. I try to look at things objectively, even though I am obviously biased towards Hillary Clinton.

    And now that the dust has settled, after the Tuesday debate, it truly does seem to me that the other DEMOCRATS have become rabid attack dogs that will only be seen as NEGATIVE by the electorate.

    ADMIN, that was a great analysis, imo, of this contest vs the 2000 Senate race.

    Also, I am prepared for a softening in Hillary’s polls. I expected that long before this latest series of attacks. But I always remember that even a 10 percent lead is always outside the margin of error, and thats all it takes to be certain of a victory.

    Hillary’s current RCP average is 22.9 nationally. It was over 28 percent a few weeks ago. And her RCP lead in IOWA is stronger than ever.

    With that being said, I have to confess a few things. I feel that HIllary did not seem herself the other night. I dont know if it was the pressure of being “Gang banged” or what.

    The HILLARY I have grown accustomed to has a BIG SMILE and laughs heartily. All I can say is that I hope she has not censored herself and her laugh because of what some sexist pundits said about her.

    I have been following HILLARY for years. She is known for her belly laugh. Its part of her personality. If stupid people want to call it a “cackle” then thats their problem.

  4. In Pennsylvania, Senator Hillary Clinton has opened a double digit lead over four Republican Presidential candidates. The survey, conducted before Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, reflects a big improvement for the former First Lady from a month ago.

    Arizona Senator John McCain has struggled in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination, but is the closest Republican to Clinton in the Keystone State. It’s Clinton over McCain by ten, 48% to 38%. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani trails Clinton by thirteen points in Pennsylvania, 52% to 39%. Nationally, Clinton and Giuliani are in a toss-up. In Pennsylvania, Clinton leads former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson 52% to 36% and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee 54% to 31%.

    Clinton is viewed favorably by 57% in Pennsylvania, Giuliani by 55% and McCain by 53%. Thompson gets positive reviews from 44%, Huckabee from 36%. Compared to a month ago, Clinton is up a few points and Giuliani down five. Thompson and McCain show little change while Huckabee was not included in last month’s poll.

    Pennsylvania has cast its Electoral College votes for the Democrats in four straight Presidential elections, but the competition has recently been too close for any Democrat to take for granted. In Election 2004, John Kerry won the state by just three percentage points.

  5. All Hillary needs to do is show her smile (not always the laughter), keep talking to small groups of people more often in the key states, and keep on her policy messages. She can do it….

    And perhaps letting Edwards spent his money early would be good as well.

  6. Kostner, we just viewed the ads.

    Edwards: Edwards is finally putting on ads in Iowa. He has little money but has to spend it because he is falling behind Hillary and Obama. The ad itself is not terrible, just embarrasing and a waste. The camera angles are trying to make Edwards look heroic even as he says he is not a hero (camera shooting from below at a speaker is a classic “heroic” angle – think of Leni Riefenstahl’s seminal work).

    The ad is at least 30 seconds too long. Much of it could easily be cut out. The reason why it is a full minute long is because it is all a lie. What we mean by that is that the REAL premise of the ad is that Elizabeth and John Edwards ARE heros because Elizabeth has cancer – even as the text of the ad denies this message. The ad could be 30 seconds if all the Liz and John footage was deleted but it is included because the visual message of the ad is more powerful than the fake message which is Edwards talk.

    Dodd: The Dodd ads are not bad. Essentially the Dodd ads are what Obama should be running. Obama can’t run them however because he has zero accomplishments. Dodd uses his experience and legislation he has passed to illustrate Obama’s message of working with Ripublicans to get things done.

    Dodd’s delusion is that he has any chance at all of being the nominee. But Edwards better worry because Dodd can hurt him. Obama better worry too.

    Obama: His ads have all been terrible. There is no message in them. They look terrible. The few with any production values are conveying a wimpy image. A lunkhead. His ads are just simply and absolutely terrible. Not a one has been close to even tolerable.

    Hillary: Hillary has the best ads this cycle and possibly some of the best ever. They are well produced. They have a direct message. They convey the message in text, visuals and emotionally and logically.

  7. Sandy, Hillary is doing fine. We are the ones that are fit to be tied with anger.

    She was on her guard on Tuesday, which was probably a good thing. Can you imagine the savage attacks on her if she dared to smile or laugh? Hillary is not allowed to laugh, or cry or show cleveage or dress up or dress down. It’s not easy being under attack 100% of the time.

    Hillary now knows what to expect for the next debate. She’ll be laughing at the fools.

  8. Excellent analysis admin! I think that is the best piece I have seen on this site. I’m curious what the polls will show about Edwards new “slah and burn” strategy in the near future. I think he will lose support. But I might be wrong and it would be painful to see Edwards rewarded for these despicable tactics. But as you say we have to be clear minded and objective. May Hillary continue her historic march to the White House!

  9. ADMIN,

    EXACTLY!!! Hillary is under attack constantly. Her clothes, her hair, her laugh, or lack of laugh, her smile, or her seriousness.

    I hope the voters see through these sexist stereotypes. Its truly disgusting!

  10. We should digg that clip from The View. That’s worth more than all the baloney on bsnbc and cnn combined. I hope everyone is registered at

  11. mj, good press release. Too bad they did not poll on whether/how much the McClurkin gay bashing tour changed the numbers:

    This week, Gallup reported that Hillary Clinton’s support among 18-34 year-olds in the multi-candidate Democratic primary had climbed 11 points to 45 percent – more than any other candidate. The Harris Interactive poll also showed Hillary ahead among every age group, including 18-30 year-olds. The Cook Political / RT Strategies poll had Clinton ahead by 11 points in September among 18-34 year-olds, after trailing by 16 points in April. And the LA Times/Bloomberg poll has Clinton leading the Democrats among 18-29 year-olds with 46 percent compared with 33 percent for her closest rival.

    In a nationwide poll of 18 to 30 year olds released today – conducted by Rock the Vote, WWEs Smackdown Your Vote!, and Sacred Heart University – Hillary has support from 54 percent of those polled, leading her nearest opponent in the Democratic primary by 30 points.

    Furthermore, in the general election, 18-34 year-olds choose Hillary Clinton over Rudy Giuliani by a margin of 45 percent to 33 percent in the October Cook/RT Strategies poll, up from a 7 point deficit in April.

    Young women in particular are driving Hillary Clinton’s strong support among young people – 94 percent of women aged 18-34 say they would turn out to vote for the first woman president because it would be important to them. And in the June CBS News / MTV / New York Times poll of 17-29 year-olds, 46 percent of young women said they were enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton, compared with 35 percent for her closest competitor (excluding “none” and “don’t know” responses).

  12. TEX!!!

    That is a WONDERFUL CLIP! I watched it 3x, and I heard the Audience (mostly women) try to break out into applause. I am a fan of THE VIEW, and so far, Joy has been more prone to OBAMA. Obviously these ATTACKS have turned her off, just like the women in the audience.

    The narrative is changing. Its now all about “SWEET HILLARY vs the ATTACKERS”…..I am happy about it.

  13. BTW,

    THE VIEW’s audience is approximately 3 million….Thats 3x the number who watched the DEBATE on Tuesday!!!

  14. Admin, why as Russert even at the debate? I keep thinking he couldn’t catch her in a gotcha on his show or the last debate, so he latched on to Brian Williams debate to take another shot. I really believe that.

  15. mj,

    I predict some women pundits are going to pile on Russert soon. You can feel the narrative is definitely shifting in our direction. When the aggressive-attacker narrative is a bit firmer, we then need to let the media eat their own, and establish Clinton as a strong woman who does not even want to meddle with those kindergarten boys.

    I’m sensing Clinton campaign is already in this mode…

    The best result of this dust-up is:

    A strong woman vs. a bunch of bully boys… Clinton still comes out on top.

  16. The backlash against the gang attack isn’t going to show up on Big Media.

    Please vote for The View clip on I’d love to see it on Digg’s front page.

  17. According to Rasmussen:

    Obama is now viewed favorably by 48%, unfavorably by 50%—including 31% who view him very unfavorably. That’s not quite the level of dislike accorded the former First Lady, viewed very unfavorably by 37%. It surpasses that of both Giuliani and Thompson. At the same time, though, Rasmussen Reports polling indicates that core opposition to all the major candidates has been growing.

  18. Kostner, those numbers from Rasmussen are, as Ralph Wiggums says “unpossible”. Haven’t you heard Obama say “to know me is to love me”. How can Obama’s unfavorable numbers be higher than his favorables? Mystery of mysteries. 🙂

  19. I am back and i am disgusted. Admin you are reading this dead right, the main prob here is that all the dimwits in the political media are now on a new script -well, not that new, since its about exactly the same as ten years ago – and in that time theres been not much change in their disgraceful behavior, these people have no sense of shame, responsibility or real brains.

    But even better we now have a new crowd of stupid folk from our own “side” just helping them bash our leading candidate and give comfort and hope to the GOP.

    Those fakes. Im done forever with Edwards and B arry. lets just be frank about these phonies. Rezko and hedge fund hypocrites. Fakes and poseurs. the level of hypocricy is enough to make one gag and rage.

    Since the debate Ive read my bud walt shapiro talking and givin the cw stupid talk at salon and halperin on lehrer saying that Hill is bleeding horribly and….he actually said on PBS that Hillary was….shrill during the debate. These morons. Children of imus. They all wanna make this a real race, they dont give a whoot about anything else.. Just like in 2000, when some of them admitted that they hit Gore extra hard cause they didnt want him to “runaway with the election”. Fools. As Bobby Somerby keeps saying over and over – could we possibly have a dumber political press corps?

    Im just soo pissed -evgen though I knew this was coming….. russert, what a ass. NBC is our enemy folks – not Fox – be clear about this!

    I just wish that duerlling was still accdeptable political action – cause b oyo – Then this problem would be ovber quick….



    From the start of her professional life, she was regarded as an intense listener and stickler for accountability. While serving as a field coordinator in Indiana for Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign in 1976, she met with some men leading the get-out-the-vote operation and pressed them for specifics about how many phone calls they would make and how many cars they had secured for Election Day. As Mrs. Clinton kept grilling them, one man reached across the table, grabbed her by the turtleneck and told her to shut up.

    “First, don’t ever touch me again,” Mrs. Clinton told him, as she recalled the incident in her memoir, “Living History” (Simon & Schuster, 2003). “Second, if you were as fast with your answers to my questions as you are with your hands, I’d have the information I need to do my job.” And she walked out.

    That penchant for bluntness, insistence on data and impatience with evasiveness have endured through the years.

  21. ADMIN,

    “The real danger for Hillary Clinton, the Hillary Team and Hillary supporters is that after Tuesday night’s debate there is now a template for attacking Hillary.”

    This is precisely what I have been saying in the last topic posts. I thought this debate is bad

  22. This is precisely what I have been saying in the last topic posts. I thought this debate is bad for Hillary not because she lost the debate. But because of the development of this “template” to attack her further. This “template” will be used relentlessly by her opponents and media.

  23. hi all,

    I’m monitoring CNN’s situation room. I have a sense the MSM has gotten some furious reaction from women.

    They did a piece on Hillary’s triumphant return to Wellesley.

    NY times and Washington Post also filed two largely positive stories on her Wellesley return and union endorsement(detailing how union voted )…

    Sweet. Edwards is the biggest loser in this dust-up. He looks really bad after everything settles, but I don’t want him to get completely ditched in Iowa.

  24. Kostner, Matthews had a bad night tonight. His guests disagreed with him and think Hillary and the Hillary Team are having a good day.

    On Tucker, Pat Buchanan said today is Hillary’s best day. Bill Press agreed.

    Edwards and Obama made a very big mistake on Tuesday.

  25. mj,

    politico posted a clip from ‘commedy central’, unfortunately for some reason, I have trouble watching that clip. Politico comments further:”

    That’s Jon Stewart’s take on the debate, and sort of a Hillary talking point perfected”…

    I assume Jon Steward is mocking those ‘boys’…. Well, when Obama/Edwards/Dodd boy-club becomes ‘commedy central topics, you know who’s actually winning…


  26. mj,

    I think we have turned a corner even on big blogs. Going foward, our theme should be focused on ‘a strong woman is winning against the crying boys’…

    I think it’s meaningless now to complain about Russert. He looks pretty bad already…

    How sweet!

  27. No, I don’t think so Kostner. i’ll try to view it. But Stewart is an Obama guy and he’s always making cynical jokes about Hillary.

  28. Joe Scarborough on Hillary and the Ripublican fear of Hillary’s electability below. Mica’s dad endorsed Obama which is probably why she defends Obama. Scarborough:







  30. i didnt like that little clip, he managed to bring out all the main points that ‘the boys’ did…
    he probably does back barack, cause he sure wasnt helping hillary…

  31. mj, I’m just gonna paste in from the previous thread my reply to your question as to what Russert was talking about when he chatted with Meredith.

    ‘mj, if my memory serves me right, Russert was speaking especially on the drivers license thing. He looked content that he had finally ‘trapped’ her. And was expecting something to ‘happen’ the next days.

    And also, he look like he had been drinking heavily that night!!!!
    He looked unshaved and had a big red bloated nose!’

  32. united 12, I just watched it and fearing the worst after readying your comment, so that may have something to do with my perception of it now. But I didn’t think it was that bad, if anything he painted Obama as weak.
    And if anyone really paid attention to what Hillary was saying in the clips at the end there, although I won’t hold my breath, there was no contradiction and Jon’s ‘impression’ of her ‘contradictions’ can be seen as just one made up for laughs. She was a bit evasive, but so are most politicians. It certainly didn’t do Obama any good, which is nice.

    Also up there in the post, thanks for the clip of Joy, you can say many things about ehr, but she ain’t afraid of speaking her mind, and she seems to like Hillary more and more, moving away from Edwards. I can see her fighting elizabeth in the future! and fight her hard!!!!

  33. Hillary Clinton spoke to an enthusiastic audience at UNH this afternoon, local TV station WMUR had a decent clip in their evening news… Click to watch… .html

    MSNBC covered Hillary’s triumphant return to Wellesley… Click on the ‘video’ on the left colum of the NYT article… itics/01cnd-clinton.html?r=1&hp=&am p;adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1193958836-jVqbHg ZjMclUA5DsGVjYKw&oref=slogin

    AFSCME boss Gerald McEntee details their decision-making process of endorsing Hillary Clinton. /2007/11/01/post_168.html

  34. Alert:

    Taylor Marsh to be on MSNBC in 50 mins to blast Russert …
    After this post, “Russert Leads The Boys in All Out Clinton Assault,” got around the web, I was contacted by the team at “The Abrams Report” to see if I could be a guest tonight on the show. The consensus from my radio audience when I announced the invitation on the air today was “drop everything” and do the show. We’ll be talking about the Drexel debate, as well as the illegal immigration drivers license issue, not to mention the gender issue. Hillary Clinton will be the main topic.

    MSNBC is by extension Tim Russert territory, so sometimes there’s a benefit of being on satellite feed. Hold good thoughts.

    As regular readers know I’ve covered Clinton in the ’08 campaign, along with the other candidates, including some tough posts like “Clinton Iran Vote Mimics Iraq.” She and I disagree strongly on Kyl-Lieberman. I’ve joined with leading progressive bloggers to urge Clinton, as well as Reid, to state firmly that telecom immunity is wrong. I also cover Clinton when she leaves her opponents in the dust.

    Lately I’ve been getting hate mail from the left and the right. I’m not pleasing anyone these days. Frankly, I don’t try to, so I’m sure I won’t please everyone tonight either. But I hope to have a lot of fun.

    I’ll be on tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern – 6:00 p.m. pacific, at the top of the show. It’s likely to be a lively segment

  35. Hey all

    We will watch out how this plays in the poll numbers and how Hillary’s camp changes their strategy if at all.

    They cannot afford to ignore this. They will have to tighten up their message.

  36. well he’s an F—ing idiot!

    but i loved what the first guy said about people being pissed off that russert was shafting hillary…

  37. Great post, as usual, admin. I also feel better today than I did yesterday. I’m under no illusions about what we face over the next two-plus months, and neither is her campaign.

  38. Paula,
    I think this debate was good to shake us all up – to know what we are up against. We are in the season of character assassination.

  39. hi all,

    Obama made a huge political miscalculation by not signing a letter to George w. bush IMHO. I guess he’s trying to distinguish his position from Hillary…

    Democrats Split on Iran Letter

    Hillary Rodham Clinton and 29 other senators wrote to President Bush on Thursday to tell him he has no congressional authority for war with Iran and sparked debate among the Democratic presidential candidates.

    The four Democratic senators running for the White House split over whether to sign the letter. Chris Dodd of Connecticut added his support, while Barack Obama of Illinois and Joe Biden of Delaware declined.

    Clinton’s campaign accused Obama of playing politics by refusing to support the letter circulated by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. Instead, Obama introduced a measure Thursday to make the case in law, said spokesman Bill Burton.

    “It will take more than a letter to prevent this administration from using the language contained within the Kyl-Lieberman resolution to justify military action in Iran,” Burton said. “This requires a legislative answer and Senator Obama intends to propose one.

    Burton was referring to an amendment sponsored by Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., that passed on Sept. 26 and designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

    Clinton was the only Senate Democratic running for president to support the measure, and her rivals have argued that Bush could use it to justify war with Iran. Clinton insists her vote would not support military strikes and instead was a vote for stepped-up diplomacy.

    The letter she and Dodd signed accuses Bush of “provocative statements and actions stemming from your administration with respect to possible U.S. military action in Iran.”

    “We wish to emphasize that no congressional authority exists for unilateral military action against Iran,” it says. That includes the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, the letter says.

    Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said Obama’s refusal to sign the letter raises questions about whether his position on the amendment is “motivated by politics or principle.”

    “If Senator Obama isn’t just playing politics and really believes Kyl-Lieberman gave the president a blank check for war, he would have signed the letter today and would have fought to stop the resolution before it came up for a vote,” Singer said. “Instead he did nothing, remained silent, and spoke out only after the vote to engage in false attacks against Senator Clinton.”

  40. New SC poll:

    New S.C. poll: 3-way ‘dead-heat’ on GOP side; Clinton ahead among Dems
    Republicans Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson are virtually tied in South Carolina, according to a Winthrop/ETV Poll just released this evening.

    On the Democratic side of the equation in that early decision state, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a nearly 11 percentage point lead over second-place Sen. Barack Obama, the pollsters say.

    Among both Republicans and Democrats, though, nearly a third of voters are undecided.

    The pollsters interviewed 522 “likely” Republican primary voters and 534 “likely” Democratic voters between Oct. 7 and 28.

    Republicans who got more than 3%:

    • Thompson, 17.9%.
    • Giuliani, 16.5%.
    • Romney, 16.5%.
    • Sen. John McCain, 9.2%.
    • Mike Huckabee, 5.4%.
    • (Undecided, 29.9%.”

    Democrats who got more than 3%:

    • Clinton, 33%.
    • Obama, 22.7%.
    • John Edwards, 9.6%.
    • (Undecided, 29.6%.)

    The margins of error: 4.29 percentage points on the Republican numbers, 4.24 percentage points on the Democratic numbers.

    The “Winthrop” in the poll’s name is Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. The ETV refers to the state’s public television and radio network.

    South Carolina’s Republican primary is set for Jan. 19. Democrats vote on Jan. 26.

  41. Those SC numbers make me a bit nervous because of this: (Undecided, 29.6%.)

    While I appreciate what Hillary’s staffers are saying about the letter, I wish she would use a surrogate rather than a staffer if she is going to accuse Obama of playing politics.

  42. Washington, D.C. — A national group that seeks to elect more Democratic women to political office plans a mid-November drive to bring more Iowa women to their neighborhood caucuses.

    The group Emily’s List, which supports women who back abortion rights, will try to reach as many as 100,000 women who might support the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

    Maren Helsa, the director of the group’s women’s vote program, said a Web site will be set up that will try to decrease anxiety among women who have not been to caucuses in the past and don’t know what to expect.

    There will also be outreach through calls and advertising to Democratic women who have not historically attended caucuses, and a particular targeting of young female voters, those 17 and 18.

    Presidential candidate Barack Obama has been found in polls to have strong appeal to younger voters. But Helsa said, “We are not ready to cede those voters to Senator Obama.”

    She would not divulge the cost of the drive by the independent group, which is not connected with the Clinton campaign.

  43. mj,

    this is just different methodology. This poll does not push leaners. Clinton has actually widened her lead slightly from last survey in Aug.

    Last one was 29:21 , I believe.

    I think SC will follow NH. Who wins NH will likely win SC.

  44. I think the feeding frenzy has probably helped Clinton a bit today in terms of media coverage. The so-called ‘debate’ aftermath has definitely raised even more interest in Clinton’s candidacy. She got two local coverages and one MSNBC coverage on speech at Wellesley. I don’t think she would have gotten such attention if she did not ‘bomb'(pundits’ word, puke, puke) at the debate.

    We all know the local media are generally more positive than national media. Hopefully she will get even more attention by local media in the days ahead when she tours campuses…

  45. Iran letter sparks new fight between Clinton, Obama

    By Susan Cornwell

    WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Sen. Hillary Clinton signed a letter to President George W. Bush on Thursday warning he has no authority from Congress for an attack on Iran, setting off a new round of fighting with Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama.

    Clinton, battered in a debate earlier this week for backing a resolution labeling an Iranian military unit a terrorist group, joined 29 other senators in signing a letter expressing concern about “provocative statements and actions” toward Iran by the Bush administration.

    Democratic presidential rival Chris Dodd of Connecticut signed the letter, but rivals Obama of Illinois and Joseph Biden of Delaware did not.

    Obama instead introduced a binding Senate measure nullifying the earlier resolution. His campaign accused Clinton of using the letter to adjust her stance on Iran.

    “While she’s trying her best to change her position on yet another critical issue facing our country, Senator Obama knows that it takes legislation, not letters, to undo the vote that she cast,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.

    The vote by Clinton, who leads national opinion polls in the Democratic race ahead of the November 2008 election, has become a major focus of her Democratic rivals trying to close the gap in the presidential race.

    They said the resolution would embolden Bush to wage war against Iran, but Clinton said she was simply supporting a more vigorous diplomacy to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.

    Clinton, of New York, was the only senator running for president to support the measure. Dodd and Biden voted against it, while Obama did not vote. Clinton’s campaign questioned why Obama would not sign the letter.

    Spokesman Phil Singer said if Obama “isn’t just playing politics” and really believed the resolution gave Bush a blank check for war “he would have signed the letter today and would have fought to stop the resolution before it came up for a vote.”

    Burton, Obama’s spokesman, said a binding resolution was a better solution than a letter. He said there were no co-sponsors yet for the resolution, which was introduced on Thursday.

    Sen. Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat and former secretary of the U.S. Navy, drafted the letter and signed it, then gathered the signatures of 28 other Democrats and one independent.

    The letter stressed no congressional authority exists for action against Iran — and said the resolution the Senate passed in September, urging Bush to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist group, should not be seen as a predicate for a military strike.

    A recent increase in angry rhetoric between the United States and Iran has prompted speculation of possible U.S. military action.

    Bush has suggested a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War Three, and last week he dubbed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and imposed sanctions on its Qods force.

    White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said officials there had not yet seen the senators’ letter.

    “President Bush is focused on a diplomatic solution to Iran’s refusal to comply with the will of the international community, but it’s never prudent policy to take any options off the table,” he said.

    Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said he had voted against the resolution because he believed it could be used by Bush to justify military action against Iran — and so did not need to clarify his position in a letter.

    Obama said in an interview with The New York Times that if elected president he would “engage in aggressive personal diplomacy” with Iran, offering it economic inducements and a possible promise not to seek “regime change” if Tehran stopped meddling in Iraq and cooperated on terrorism and nuclear issues.

    He made clear he intended to talk to Iran without preconditions and said “changes in behavior” by Iran could possibly be rewarded with membership in the World Trade Organization. But he declined to say if he would consider military action if Iran did not abandon its presumed nuclear weapons program. (Additional reporting by John Whitesides)

  46. mj,
    It is from Reuters. As we all know – now everything she does will be seen through the prism of double talk and dodging issues and being political and lacking conviction.
    This is what we have to fight. Not a easy one!!

  47. Doesn’t what Obama did essentially kill the Webb bill? No one is going to endorse Obama’s bill if they think it will pass because it is too political. Webb is not running for anything, so it might have had a chance. But, now?

  48. From CBS:
    Attack Clinton At Your Own Risk, Her Supporters Say

    Hillary Clinton has been taking heat, from pundits and her rivals for the Democratic nomination, for what they’ve called vague answers from Tuesday night’s debate on topics like immigration, Social Security and presidential secrecy.

    But the only ones likely to suffer from this criticism are those dishing it out, says EMILY’s List, a group known for raising money and providing support for Democratic women candidates. They cite a new poll that shows Clinton not only leads among women Democratic primary voters, but also that she is generating excitement and admiration.

    “If someone attacks a person you genuinely admire, you will not like that person,” said pollster Geoffrey Garin. “For the other candidates – the male candidates, frankly – it’s not a free shot, in terms of how this base of voters may react to that. I’m not sure that all of these women will take it as a neutral act, these kinds of attacks.”

    To back up that point, another pollster behind the survey, Diane Feldman, pointed out that while women voters in the poll aren’t backing Clinton explicitly because of her gender, 58 percent of them see electing her as a way to change society’s perception of women in general.

    “I think the attacks from the other candidates are both a risk to them and an opportunity for Sen. Clinton, because the image of her standing up to the attacks and moving forward unfazed when there are a dozen men attacking her or trying to gang up on her may well be enforcing the perception among Democratic women voters that electing a woman president would cause a change in attitude,” Feldman said.

    The survey was conducted Oct. 16-22, over a week before Tuesday’s debate. It included 900 Democratic women primary voters, evenly divided between Arizona, Georgia and New Jersey, all of which hold primaries on Feb. 5, along with 19 other states. It had a margin of error of 3.4 percent.

    Across the board, the survey found strong support for Clinton, who was backed by 57 percent of respondents. In a demographic breakdown, women aged 18-44 were the only group where Clinton did not command majority support – 49 percent of those women said they supported the New York senator and former first lady.

    Garin noted that Clinton’s efforts to appear tough yet also emphasize her gender seemed to be effective – women overwhelmingly believed that she both cares about children and would be a strong commander in chief. “Think about that combination of those two things,” he said. “How many people can be those two things at the same time?”

    EMILY’s List, which in years past has been a fundraising and organizing force for Democratic women running for Congress, released the survey as it stands on the verge of getting deeply involved in a presidential race for the first time. On Nov. 19, it will launch a Web site aimed at Democratic women in Iowa who do not normally attend the state’s caucuses, which are scheduled for Jan. 3. The goal is to get those women to participate and cast a vote for Clinton.

    The effort may include sending paid staff to Iowa and, according to Maren Hesla, who is directing the program, it will feature extensive advertising. “It will be substantial and you won’t be able to escape it,” she said.

  49. hi admin,

    Times has an interesting analysis. Who is Gerard Baker

    Hillary’s choice: be a bully or delicate flower
    Mrs Clinton’s opponents haven’t a clue how to take on a woman

    There’s an essential paradox about successful women in politics that we flat-footed men have never really grasped.

    To succeed in anything, but especially in the cold brutality of politics, you have to be hard as nails, ruthless, willing to win at all costs. Life and love have taught us that these are qualities we associate mostly with the selfish, hardened, ambitious male.

    But the few women who do possess these traits are unusually blessed. They are after all, still female, and as such have, or at least are deemed to have also those feminine qualities that speak to a different kind of leadership – maternal solicitude, selflessness, enduring loyalty.

    I pondered this chromosomal dimension to political competition as I watched the latest American presidential debate

    The campaign for the Democratic nomination entered a new phase this week. Lagging Hillary Clinton ever farther in the opinion polls with only two months until the first votes are cast, her increasingly desperate rivals have decided to go on the attack.

    Instead of politely setting out an alternative that nobody seems to want, they have chosen to come at her with pitchforks and steak knives. At the debate in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, they went for the jugular and it wasn’t an edifying spectacle.

    There stood Mrs Clinton, the little woman, caught like a frightened doe between her two principal rivals. The shameless John Edwards pounded her repeatedly over her tough foreign policy stance and her dishonesty. Barack Obama, the more reluctant pugilist, landed softer jabs, still designed to tenderise her. From the wings, the also-rans – all male – threw a few lusty punches.

    Needless to say, the Clinton campaign seized on the opportunity that the spectacle presented. They issued a video after the debate that emphasised the narrative – Little Woman Waylaid by Big Bullies.

    It was pure Clinton. Having spent a lifetime insisting that women should be treated exactly the same as men, Mrs Clinton has been quite brilliant at exploiting her femininity.

    She campaigned for years for the rights of women to stand up to abusive men, and then defended her husband as he treated vulnerable female employees as playthings for his own sexual gratification. Better still, she exploited her own status as the helpless, wronged wife of a multiple philanderer to launch her campaign for the Senate from the humiliating ashes of the Monica Lewinsky affair.

    In that campaign, the most telling moment came in a debate with her Republican rival, Rick Lazio. The witless Mr Lazio had happened upon a brilliant wheeze to challenge Mrs Clinton directly over some issue by striding towards her podium and insisting that she sign some piece of paper. As Mrs Clinton visibly flinched, the election was clinched. Who wants to vote for a man who would treat a woman like that?

    Now she’s under attack from a whole gang of men, and tactically speaking it’s a no-lose situation for her. If her opponents play tough, she can shrink and look like the intimidated woman beset by brutal men. If they treat her with kid gloves – all gallant forbearance and courtly deference – she can open up a can of whoop-ass on them as eagerly as a dockside bully.

    Mrs Clinton, of course, is not the first woman to spot the possibilities of this duality. Elizabeth I, when she wasn’t putting Spaniards to the sword overseas or lopping off the heads of Catholics at home, softly reminded her courtiers that she had the body of a weak and feeble woman. Margaret Thatcher could beguile any opponent with her feminine wiles even as she demonstrated repeatedly that she was the proud owner of the largest pair of steel balls in the Cabinet.

    All this merely emphasises again that her rivals cannot really defeat her. Only Mrs Clinton can. And it is also why the most revealing moment of the debate was a self-inflicted wound.

    Asked whether she stood by an earlier remark that she supported a plan by the Governor of New York to give driving licences to illegal immigrants, she said, essentially, of course she did. But when one of her opponents said he didn’t agree – that driving licences were a privilege that ought not to be extended to people who were here illegally, Mrs Clinton backtracked furiously.

    It was a startling moment – a rare blunder and an insight into the candidate’s fundamental weakness – a powerful impression that she will say and do anything to get elected, even if it means contradicting herself in consecutive sentences. It was a reminder, too, that for all the advantages she and the Democrats possess, both remain deeply vulnerable.

    It’s been tempting to write off the Republicans, but history suggests that it would be unwise. They have proved remarkably good at winning elections. Since the Republican party was founded in the middle of the 19th century there have been 39 presidential elections. In 23 of those the winning candidate secured a majority of the popular vote. Of those majority winners, 17 were Republicans – beginning with Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and ending with George Bush in 2004 (there’s a pair of bookends for you). Only six of those elections were won by Democrats and, get this, four of those winners were Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    So in 150 years, only three Democrats have been elected to the presidency with the support of a majority of voters — FDR, Lyndon Johnson (by a landslide in 1964) and Jimmy Carter (he scraped home with 50.1 per cent in 1976). Now, to be fair, there have been sometimes been special circumstances – Bill Clinton surely would have won a majority in 1996 had it not been for the late entry of the quixotic Ross Perot as a third-party candidate.

    But the numbers are so stark that they suggest something quite enduring. The Republicans have been brilliant at assembling winning coalitions over the years — social conservatives, business interests, libertarians, national security hawks. And it is still true that Americans are, deep down, rather conservative.

    For most of the past 150 years the Republican message of free markets, traditional values and a strong defence has seen off a steady succession of ambitious Democratic men. Who’s to say it won’t do the same for a Democratic woman

  50. All of the help from Emily’s List and AFSCME on the ground will help us here in Iowa. On the phones in the office tonight, a volunteer told me that a woman said her husband and she were for Edwards until they watched the Philly debate, and then they switched to Hillary (: Iowa voters don’t appreciate these sorts of attacks, seriously.

  51. celiff:

    Thanks for the story!

    That is why Clinton has been so consistent in not attacking the other Democratic candidates. By refusing to go negative, she makes it possible for those kinds of conversions. If she were out there slinging the mud, it would be harder for voters to swing her way.

    BTW, it’s not just the “women” thing — anger at a woman being attacked by a gang. It’s a Democratic party thing too. If you are a regular Democratic voter and don’t have a strong attachment to any of the candidates, it’s not going to sit well to watch a pack of Democrats all gang up on a single candidate — especially a candidate who has given her entire life to Democratic Party issues.

  52. celiff,

    nice switch! I tried to put the youtube link to Hillary’s speech at Wellesley, it hasn’t shown up yet. Damn!

  53. One more thing:

    Boy, is it going to frost the asses of the media pundits if the slugfest in Philly they had so hoped would turn the election ends up giving Clinton even more of a boost! These beltway pundits’ heads are going to explode.

    You could kind of see it with Mathews tonight. I think, for the very first time, they are starting to get an inkling of something I’ve been saying all along (as has Mark Penn) — that women control this Presidential election. It’s hitting Mathews and his ilk right in the gut.

  54. hwc,

    you can sense the overall tone of media coverage except msnbc maybe is changing today. Those folks are lusty for blood, if they haven’t received all sorts of negative feedback, do you believe they would have stopped the pile-on?

    Also pay attention to Edwards/Obama campaigns’ activiites for the last 24 hrs. They were very very low key. I don’t believe their internal tracking polls are quite encouraging…

  55. I have noticed that Matthews, Russert and Abrams have a familiar style of interrogation. They begin with a bias, and flaunt it with a smirk. They ask the witness a succession of leading questions to set a trap or highlight a prior inconsistent statement. They reserve the toughest questions for the witness they seek to embarrass. When they do not get the answers they want, they browbeat the witness, and when that doesn’t work they resort to the tried and true technique of shouting the witness down. It was obvious in the debate, and it was equally clear in the Abrams panel discussion with Taylor Marsh et al which I just got done watching. She made Abrams look like a real lightweight.

  56. good morning all

    i don’t write often, but read 44 on a daily basis. needless to say, it’s been quite a week. many thanks to all posters, especially admin, for the advice and direction in what is now an all out war on our candidate.

    today, senator clinton will officially put her name on the NH ballot. i will be at the state house today, along with hundreds of her supporters, for the rally.

    bottom line, we will all benefit from the lessons learned this week and be stronger for it. the tide is turning.

  57. Thanks Alcina. Have fun today. We will all be with you in spirit. Take photos and post them as well as let us know how things go.

    Also, you might want to re-post your comment on our new, freshly posted article.

  58. kostner, That is an interesting analysis by Gerard Baker. Not entirely favorable to Hillary, of course, but largely fair, and that’s much better than we get from a lot of U.S. media. I did like the comparison to Elizabeth I and Thatcher, though.

    BTW, Did Hillary backtrack in her license answer? I know it was probably her worst moment of the debate, but I don’t remember any backtracking.

  59. I didn’t really see it as backtracking. But she was forced on her way of wording it which could make it seem as if she was.

    She didn’t day she endorsed the plan, but she understood the governors difficulty with this issue. She would have liked immigration reform be passed, it wasn’t so now, what is one to do? It is better to do something than nothing. She didn’t oppose it but did not come out supporting it in the debate, but said she understood the difficulty.

    Now just look at the way I worded it, I’m perhaps sounding as confusing as Hillary, but still if paying attention, it is quite clear. although perhaps a bit nuanced.

  60. The Wellesley video is absolutely charming. Although I have seen the one great line about the all-women’s college preparing her for the all-boy’s world of presidential politics, nobody will show the whole clip as it is here because it shows Hillary as warm, smart and funny. The look in her eye when talking about the 2-foot rule as she says “Try it sometime” is priceless.

    Obama and Edwards got some very, very bad advice from the pundits. They should have been aggressive about their own plans (whatever they are) instead of announcing they would get tough with Hillary and then joining in a wolf pack attack.
    Bad form, bad idea, bad for their own party, and very, very bad for their images.

    We will all have top work doubly hard for Hillary because I do not want to vote ever for either of those bully boys. You know what they say about bullies.

  61. The other contenders for the democratic nomination, including Obama, are running for the democratic nomination. Hillary Clinton is running for president. There is a difference. She sees the complexities of the issues, like driver’s licenses for illegal alliens, where her opponents see an opportunity to score with primary voters.

    Hillary has the maturity to see that what a candidate says now, in the campaign for the nomination, is important and will haunt the person once they run for office or win the election. Obama gets this but he is trapped into this thinking by his supporters. Edwards doesn’t get it. He will say and do anything to get the nomination. Both of them exhibited a palpable desperation to knock down Hillary during the last debate and I think it turned off a lot of non-democratic independant voters.

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