The Kitchen Sink

[Note: As we go to press, Kostner brings a Chicago Sun-Times news article to our attention. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign “scored a significant hit” against chief rival Hillary Rodham Clinton “by helping to place” a story about tainted Democratic donor Norman Hsu, according to an article about Obama in the December issue of The Atlantic. [snip] If Obama’s operatives had a hand in “helping to place” the Hsu story, it would be counter to the claim that Obama was running a different and unconventional campaign.

This is further evidence of Obama’s Dirty Mud Politics. We wrote a few weeks ago, in Barack Obama and The Suicide Note: Was Obama responsible for planting the Hsu stories in the press? We don’t know specifically, but this is typical for the Chicago Obama crowd.

We now have our answer. The Obama denials continue, but the truth is emerging. As Obama himself says “I’m not going to change who I am.”]

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They threw everything at Hillary — even the kitchen sink.

What were the results?

ABC News summed it up:

Meanwhile, the Democrats have done the very Republican thing of finding a favorite candidate and sticking with him (her, actually). And so, as Sen. Barack Obama loses his way , and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton loses her voice , a quiet desperation is creeping into the campaign to beat Clinton.

Obama, D-Ill., added another piece to his scattershot criticism of Clinton yesterday: He’s making it a “generational fight,” Michael McAuliff writes in the New York Daily News. “I think there’s no doubt that we represent the kind of change that Sen. Clinton can’t deliver on, and part of it is generational,” Obama told Fox News.

The increasingly desperate Obama campaign appears to have a contempt for the biggest voting bloc in the nation and in Iowa – over 50 year old voters. Obama’s generational attack on Hillary was on FOX News [Video HERE]:

“I think there’s no doubt that we represent the kind of change that Senator Clinton can’t deliver on and part of it is generational. Senator Clinton and others, they’ve been fighting some of the same fights since the ’60’s and it makes it very difficult for them to bring the country together to get things done.”

More ABC News:

The Hillary “pile-on” comes in different styles and flavors, Christina Bellantoni writes in the Washington Times. “Mr. Edwards is the aggressor — often putting the words ‘corrupt’ and ‘Clinton’ in the same sentence,” she writes. “Mr. Obama is more nuanced, and even used a friendly ‘Saturday Night Live’ venue to push his message — ‘I’m not going to change who I am’ — with the subtext being that this is exactly how Mrs. Clinton operates.”

Look for the anti-Hillary forces to get more organized before caucus day — and in the caucus rooms themselves, Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen writes. “Piling on? She ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” Yepsen writes. “Emboldened, the boys will be noodling up other ways to dip her pigtails in the printer. One way they can do it is by throwing in together. A majority of caucus-goers still aren’t for her. If they all coalesce around one of the boys, she loses.”

But strident criticism of the frontrunner carries a risk — and if you’re going to attack a frontrunner for inconsistencies, it helps if you’re consistent yourself.

Former senator John Edwards, D-N.C., has been clear on debate stages: “Combat missions ended. Combat troops out of Iraq, period,” he said at last week’s debate in Philadelphia, as he sought to differentiate himself with Clinton. But he told a Boston Globe editorial board meeting Wednesday that he would continue combat “expeditions” against Al Qaeda in Iraq — from bases outside the country, per the Globe’s Jenn Abelson. Said Edwards: “We’re battling Al Qaeda all over the world right now and we don’t occupy countries to do it.”

And on the immigration issue that got Clinton into so much trouble at the debate (and its long aftermath), Edwards has endorsed an “incoherent” policy that “appears to hinge on blurring the distinction between state and federal powers,” Politico’s Ben Smith writes. Says the Edwards campaign: “He supports licenses as part of a path to citizenship. He doesn’t support the Spitzer plan because it doesn’t include a path to citizenship.” Governors, of course, can’t grant citizenship. Says Frank Sharry of the National Immigrantion Forum: “I don’t know if they think you’re stupid or what they think.

Time’s Joe Klein sees the firestorm passing over Clinton. “The propensity of Democrats to be chuckleheaded in ways easily exploited by Republicans is what Clinton, in most cases, is trying to avoid with her lawyerly answers,” Klein writes. “Clinton has always had a problem with authenticity. . . . But her plans on the big domestic-policy issues — health care and energy — have been courageous and detailed, more sophisticated than her opponents’ — and very, very smart politically.”

Charlie Cook of the famed Cook Political Report hit the pig on the snout:

In a twist on what a lot of people out there believe about the mainstream media, Cook accused the media of being desperate for a competitive race for the Democratic nomination, which in turn is what led many journalists and pundits to overinterpret Hillary’s bad week last week and to declare that suddently the race was more competitive. “Just wishing for a race and wanting a race doesn’t make it a real race,” Cook said dismissively. Hillary, in Cook’s view, is no less prohibitive now than she was a week ago. [snip]

As you would expect from the creator of the Cook Political Report, he said more and cited more polls and more history, but he, too, concluded that Clinton would win the Democratic nod and that she would then have a 65-70% chance of winning the White House.

Former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey was brutal in his assessment:

Of Hillary, Armey said: “I don’t think she’s going to make a mistake. She’s the best politician in the race..probably the best politician in America. In my view, she’ll win the nomination and will probably win the presidency.” [snip]

Later, Armey warned that opponents of Hillary should understand two things: “One, she’s smarter than they are. And two, she’s meaner than they are.”

Smarter? Yes. Meaner? No. But we do love that SHE FIGHTS.

The Hillary campaign itself, was not slouching. In the most significant improvement to any presidential candidate website the Hillary campaign unveiled a needed FACT LADEN, debunk rumors and lies and mistruths section to its HillaryHub page. Visit the FACTS page. It’s rumor debunking at its best – without having to search through all the other information on the good Hillary website. HERE.

As a response, we expect the Barack Obama campaign will soon unveil its latest innovation: a “Latest Rumors and Smears About Hillary to Circulate Page” – Michelle and Axelrod and Gibbs will edit that page. The John Edwards campaign will respond with its own page as well: “Latest Apologies Page” by John Edwards.

Bill Clinton meanwhile took Tim Russert to task on presidential papers.

TPM backed President Bill Clinton on another statement he made this week on the “swiftboating” issue, simply by printing a transcript of the former president’s remarks. Read the full transcript and how Bill Clinton notes the same thing that happened to Al Gore could happen again, if real Democrats and real progressives let Big Media, Naderites, PINOs and Big Blogs smear our Democratic candidates again:

“But, more than that I came here to tell you today, don’t you dare let them take this election away from you…Don’t be diverted, don’t be divided.”

Okay. This is murky stuff. But a fair reading of this shows that Bill is not saying that Dems “swiftboated” Hillary when they criticized her immigration answer. Instead, he’s saying that forcing simplistic “raise your hand” answers to complex questions ultimately makes it easier for Republicans to “swiftboat” Dems later by using them as wedges.

Even somnambulent Big Media came to Hillary’s defense on the immigration issue:

Tim Russert, the debate moderator, posed this to Clinton on the subject of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to give illegal immigrants driver’s licenses: “You told the Nashua, N.H., editorial board it makes a lot of sense. Why does it make a lot of sense to give an illegal immigrant a driver’s license?”

Great question. As Clinton herself put it, a chance for everyone to play “gotcha.” Which Clinton’s opponents immediately did.

The problem is, in the context of her full answer in response to a question from Telegraph columnist Eduardo de Oliveria, we think Clinton was pretty clear that she didn’t support Spitzer’s plan.

She began her answer by calling for comprehensive immigration reform on a federal level and a plan that could provide “an earned path to legalization.”

Then she said: “I hate to see any state being pushed into trying to take this into their own hands because the federal government has failed. So I know exactly what Governor Spitzer is trying to do and it makes a lot of sense, because he’s trying to get people out of the shadows, come forward and we’ll give you this license – but without a federal policy in effect people will come forward and they could get picked up by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) tomorrow. This can’t work state by state – it has to be looked at comprehensively.”

In the full context of this quote, we think it’s obvious that she’s saying Spitzer’s plan “makes sense” from his perspective and based on the position he’s in, but it is not a good idea.

It’s the rhetorical equivalent of saying to somebody you’re about to disagree with: “Yes, I understand your position and respect the process you used to arrive at it, but I think a better solution would be . . .” [snip]

The problem is that Russert’s question was based on an incorrect interpretation of what she said to begin with, when she stated more clearly her position on the Spitzer plan.

This means that Russert – along with the numerous blogs, Clinton’s political opponents and media outlets like The New York Daily News on Oct. 19 (when Celeste Katz wrote that Clinton, in our edit board, stood up for Spitzer’s efforts and said he had the right idea) – chose to read Clinton’s comments out of context.

Good thing our industry – and American politics – has so much credibility to burn.

John Edwards continued to make a fool of himself on ABC.

Senator Chris Dodd was rewarded for his abuses at the debate by falling to 4th place behind Hillary, Obama, Edwards – IN Connecticut, his home state.

The polls of course continued to reflect support for Hillary nationwide (Gallup with Hillary at 50%) and in individual states. The Hotline summarized the current situation:

Here’s something HRC isn’t used to getting lately: a week of bad press. But is it taking a toll on her campaign? If so, who can exploit it?

— Pollster.com shows no signs of HRC’s lead slipping in the Dem primary. More importantly, she doesn’t seem to have a ceiling of support. This makes it hard to argue that there’s an ABC vote out there to coalesce.

— For example, the latest NBC/WSJ poll shows Edwards dropped 5 pts. since 9/07, while both Obama and HRC numbers bumped up. If these voters had chosen Edwards simply b/c they disliked HRC, wouldn’t Obama or other candidates have been the sole beneficiaries?

— DMR’s Yepsen notes HRC’s shaky IA lead, but when supporters of third-tier challengers like Biden, Dodd and Richardson were asked their 2nd choice, HRC maintains her 6-pt edge.

— The better news for Obama/Edwards: HRC lost her 9/07 7-pt lead over Giuliani. Even so, neither of the other Dems did any better against him.

— That, of course, is why attacks on HRC as polarizing haven’t sunk her among Dems. To move primary voters, Obama and Edwards need to resonate among regular voters first.

Former Republican Congressman and all around loony Bob Barr assessed the presidential race this week too while remaining true to his extreme right views:

In fact, far from falling, Clinton’s support among Democrats remains solid and far in excess of that enjoyed by any of her rivals. Polls, including those taken after the Oct. 30 debate that so negatively impressed the former speaker, place Clinton (D-N.Y.) at least 20 points in front of her closest rival, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) — a lead she has managed to maintain consistently for months.

Republican hopes that a less-than-stellar performance in one early debate will doom Clinton’s presidential aspirations amount to little more than wishful thinking. This is especially true, at least to the objective observer, when one considers polls showing that Clinton continues to maintain a lead of several points over former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani — considered by many to be the Republican with the best shot at defeating his New York rival in a general-election matchup.

GOP pundits who try simplistically to weaken Clinton by pointing to one night’s performance in a debate few American voters actually watched, might be better advised instead to pay closer attention to a recent Newsweek poll indicating that Hillary Clinton enjoys more support among voters in so-called “Red States” (that went for President Bush in ’04) than Giuliani enjoys among “Blue State” voters (those that went for John Kerry in ’04).

Republicans appear to be placing a degree of emphasis on early presidential debates that recent history does not warrant. [snip]

However, more often than not, the majority of voters are not swayed one way or another based on what political pundits perceive as a “mistake” made in a pre-primary debate, especially a year out from an election.

Even Republican efforts to play “gotcha” and label as fatal Clinton’s defense last week of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s program to allow unlawful aliens in the Empire State to obtain a form of a driver’s license, are almost certain not to succeed.

By any objective measure, Clinton’s primary campaign thus far has been masterful. Even as it has virtually locked in the nomination of her party (Newt’s prediction to the contrary notwithstanding), it is already positioning her for the general election.

As the top GOP hopefuls — Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney — continue to run from the center and toward the right wing, which is where they apparently believe their primary votes will come from, Clinton is methodically moving in the opposite direction — from the left wing toward the center. If she is successful in continuing this route through the primary season, by the time the Republicans have resolved their intra-party squabbles and decided on a standard bearer, the Republican nominee may find the middle ground already solidly staked out by Clinton.

None of this is to say that Clinton is a centrist or a moderate. She is not. [snip]

She remains a Democrat, firmly committed to a statist approach to virtually every major social problem — perceived or real — on the national agenda; from education to health care to taxation. But what she has done, in articulating an approach to domestic and international problems that gives the appearance of solid thinking and careful planning, is to claim the solid middle ground, which, in presidential politics, is the high ground.

The longer the country witnesses the specter of Republicans beating up on one another, with each trying to out-conservative the others, the deeper they allow Clinton to plow her roots into that fertile, hallowed, middle ground.

Last word goes to Hillary:

Two months before Iowa’s Jan. 3 caucuses, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday she’s comfortable with the heat she’s taking from rivals for the party’s nomination.

“With two months left, 60 days left until the caucuses, things are going to get a little hotter,” said Clinton. “Obviously the campaign is going to get heated up and speeded up.”

She quoted former President Harry Truman’s dictum that “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

I feel real comfortable in the kitchen,” said Clinton

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188 thoughts on “The Kitchen Sink

  1. thanks,

    Here’s Tom Delay’s warning…

    Tom DeLay Worries Clinton Will Win
    By KATE SCHUMAN – 3 hours ago

    OXFORD, England (AP) — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will capture the presidency in 2008 unless the Republican Party can rise to meet the challenge, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Thursday.

    DeLay, once a pillar of the Republican establishment and still a fierce Clinton opponent, said the New York senator had the intelligence and organization to beat her Democratic rivals — and her Republican opponents.

    “Don’t kid yourself. She will be the next nominee, and if Republicans don’t get their act together — and it is pitiful — she will be the next president,” he told a crowd of Britons and Americans at the Oxford Union, a 184-year-old debating society.

    DeLay, who resigned from Congress in 2006 amid legal and ethical problems, was in Oxford to debate the merits of a Democratic victory in 2008.

    “She has, over the last six years, put together the most powerful political coalition I have ever witnessed in my career,” he said. “It’s not a left-wing conspiracy, ladies and gentlemen, it’s a smart, very impressive political coalition.”

    DeLay warned that a Clinton victory would result in higher taxes and bloated government. He also said she would seek to create a British-style publicly funded health care system, a prediction that was met with thunderous applause.

    “By the way, there’s no one denied health care in America. There are 47 million people who don’t have health insurance, but no American is denied health care in America,” he said to derisive laughter.

  2. btw,

    can you link me to the previous story you wrote on that mysterious suicide in NV of a Chicago patron who’s linked to Rezo(??).

  3. After all the stress Democrats have felt over our party not standing up and fighting the Bush admin as we want them to, I find Clinton’s campaign incredibly satisfying. It’s so good to know that there is someone who really does know how to fight without unnecessarily destroying other Democrats in the process. Fighting dirty is bad for the party. Hillary doesn’t let the boys push her around, but she’s also not behaving in such a way that her rhetoric or actions can be used against them in the future by Republicans. I’m proud of that.

    It’s her brilliance, her values and her clarity that I find so envigorating. I think this is the most exciting campaign of my life. I am so proud of her. I can’t wait to see her in action against the GOP.

  4. Ah! I am so excited for the JJ Dinner this weekend. I will tell you all how it went. It will be so much fun. BTW admin, this post is just how I wanted to end this day. Very encouraging and well written.

  5. Admin, Great post. Many thanks. Well here is a piece of article on WSJ and I am surprised why NOBODY calls out on him when he says such things.
    “As the interview drew to a close, Obama expressed great confidence in his ability to change the political environment — and the political map in America. Asked what red states he could win, he named Virginia and added provocatively, “I think I can put Mississippi in play” because of the high percentage of African Americans in the state, despite the fact that it has been one of the most reliably Republican states in the nation.””

    Now, if Hillary would have said, I will win in X state because there are lot of women voters in the state, that would be an OUTRAGE isnt it!!! double standards but why does no one call him on it??

  6. Celiff, we have an article in preparation for the JJ dinner but don’t want to give anything away until after Saturday. We might even censor ourselves after the JJ dinner so the other campaigns don’t get a clue as to how things are done.

    Have fun on Saturday. Can’t wait to hear from you how it goes.

    BTW, Obama has a video out asking his supporters to come to Iowa. Politico has the video.

  7. gladiatorstail,

    Mississippi. Yeah right. There will be so many opposition votes coming out to vote against him there he’ll think he is in Punjab with over 50 year olds. After all the nasty things he has said about Punjab and 50 year olds you can count the votes for him on you right foot.

    Ditto, Virginia.

    Big Media won’t call Obama out because he feeds them dirt on the other candidates.

    BTW, recall we wrote way back that it was Obama that pushed the Edwards $400 haircut story – wonder when that confirmation will be published.

  8. BTW, the next 2 debates will be on CNN and CBS. No Russert.

    November 15 will be moderated by Wolf Blitzer in Nevada. Gravel not invited.

    CBS on December 10 will be in California. Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer are the likely moderators.

    Celiff will be happy to know that Iowa is not being ignored. Johnson County, Iowa (south east Iowa, near Illinois) will host a newly added debate on December 13. Des Moines Register is hosting. Bet on Yepsen to be the moderator. This is a new entry to the debate schedule so we do not know who is attending. Bet on everyone attending except Gravel. Wonder if Obama will come up with an absence note.

  9. I don’t think Obama is a true democrat…he’s just not.

    More info from the streets of L.A.:
    ” I’m told that the Hollywood/Big Media moguls were pissed as hell that Barack Obama got out in front of the other Democratic presidential candidates and issued what they considered “a totally knee-jerk response” taking the writers’ side. And they let him know it, too. I can’t believe the CEOs are naive enough to think that just because they’ve been hosting political fundraisers and giving donations to him that gives them any clout.”
    http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/

    Obama appears to be Repug in Democrat clothings.

  10. Two rival Democratic campaigns in South Carolina are peddling rumors linking Hillary and Huma, according to Harpers Magazine Washington Editor, Ken Silverstein:

    ————–

    It’s not just Republicans who play rough in South Carolina. Rumors have been circulating in the Palmetto State, and elsewhere, that Hillary Clinton is having a lesbian affair. Her alleged paramour: a beautiful aide named Huma Abedin (Oscar de la Renta says he longs to see Huma in a strapless dress before he dies). As you can see from the photo, if Hillary is having an affair with Abedin it would not be evidence of her lesbianism as much as of her common sense and sound judgment.

    The hard-to-credit rumor of Hillary’s Sapphic excursions is being stoked by right-wing bloggers. They suggest that this supposed romance shows the candidate is not only a lesbian but consorting with terrorists, given that the Michigan-born Abedin is reportedly from a family brimming with known Muslims.

    But it’s not just Republicans who are pushing the story. Will Folks, a well-known blogger in South Carolina, reported yesterday that he’d “heard from sources at rival Democratic presidential campaigns who claim that they ‘know it to be true’ that Hill and Huma are romantically-involved.” I called Folks, and he said that two different Democratic campaigns had told him about the alleged affair, but neither had “presented anything remotely resembling proof.”

  11. gladiator:

    Forget Obama playing the race card. Just think about how dumb it is to suggest that a Democrat, any Democrat, is going to put Mississippi in play in 2008. A ticket of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis couldn’t put Mississippi in play if they ran as Democrats.

  12. Blitzer will stick to the silly Georgetown Social Club approved talking points in his questions, but at least he’ll moderate professionally. He doesn’t have an axe to grind like Timmy Russert.

  13. Admin,

    I think it is gradually dawning in Iowa that the most important thing is electability of a candidate (Obama was asked about it thrice in one talk today according to desmoines). I will work around the weekend and crunch the numbers and put them into visual graphs, so that it would be easy for others to view, especially for those who are still deciding their votes based on electability. I guess having those graphs and taking them to JJ dinner and running a small e-mail campaign/door to door campaign/awareness campaign to democrats primary voters in Iowa and NH will dispel the image that MSM has portrayed about her , the electability issue. The way I see it, her electability issue fair FAR better than any of the other candidates in the primaries.

  14. hwc

    how typical..when the boys can’t compete with the intellect and a successful campaign, they immediately attack her sexuality. that’s all they have left. give me a break.

    btw, over the past week of “bad press” i have taken my own little poll amongst friends, co-workers and family. the bottom line is, no one is listening…

  15. great post admin, my senator from connecticuit acted like a jerk and seeing that new poll made me smile. ct voters want him OUT OF THE RACE. he is miles better than lieberman, but if it is a choice between hillary and him i would toss him overboard in a ct minute.

  16. admin: A masterpiece of analysis. You hit the ball out of the ballpark on this one, and I thought yesterday’s piece was a very cleverly crafted diary. You are hitting your stride.

    A frontpager at Daily Kos yesterday wrote a diary about Hillary’s alleged failure to leave a tip at the Iowan restaurant. He made a lukewarm retraction of the story when NPR wrote its retraction. He basically said the story was BS, but it was an excellent example of a problem. He encountered a torrent of protests from even the worst among the Hillary detractors, but he held fast to his position like the arrogant fellow he was. MissLaura, another front pager, said it was common blogging practice. What? Printing a false story with a lukewarm retraction is common blogging practice? Maybe at the new dkos.

  17. Hey everybody,

    It was only a matter of time before a full-blown Obama implosion fell upon us. But let us not dwell too much on that dirty little snake, me must afterall remember where we are in this campaign. As Im sure we all know, a 5 point margin of victory in American politics is technically considered a landslide.

    Obama knows this, and see how it must be eating him alive! Hillary leading by 20+ points throughout the country! And in an 8+ person race?! – this is truly unprecedented.

    It all goes to show how deeply her message of change is resonating with the people.

  18. On this point, check out the James Traub article on Obama in this past weekend’s NY Times magazine. Traub dismisses Hillary’s amazing poll leads in a few sentences.

    The polls aren’t relevant, Traub tells us, because he has read the mind of the country’s foreign policy establishment, and discovered that they like Obama, because, he is, multi-racial?!

    Whomever these big-wig foreign policy types are, it shows Big Media’s contempt for the people at large. I wonder if Traub realizes that in a 300 million person country the only method of gauging such a large groups feelings is through modern polling techniques.

    But the people? The people!? Who cares about the people when one can just hob-nob around Washington and New York, eat at swank restaurants, stay at expensive hotels, kiss the ass of the “foreign-policy establishment,” get paid for it, and build a list of people who see you as sufficiently sycophatish to keep you in mind next time you are looking for an interview to write your new book! Now, that’s a job! No, no, that’s a career! And good restaurants and expensive hotels too? You said Steak? Del frisco’s for a lunch-time interview! The company’s paying!? ahhh, steak…

  19. HillaryHub has listed that there is a “MAJOR ENDORSEMENT” coming today in main section. Do you know who it is? Is it AlGore?

  20. That would be sweet!

    Now, Al. We need to hear from you NOW!

    Mandela? The icing on the cake.

    (Oprah, eat your heart out!)

    Mrs. S.

  21. Al Gore would be sweet..

    Nelson Mandela would be the icing on the cake.

    (Oprah, eat your heart out!)

    Mrs. S.

  22. I find it reassuring that French President Sharkasy called Hillary
    when he was in town. I notice he didn’t call on the other
    “foreign policy” experts in the campaign.

  23. rubin?

    I doubt Al Gore will step in at the moment. I also doubt Al will endorse Obama after he dismisses Al Gore’s 2000 election as a squeaker… Dumbass.

  24. Rubin has already endorse Hillary. His son is working for BO.

    I just saw the Hub Fact Check. I think it will help a great
    deal. The press will be busy; so much BS from BO and JE
    they will spend a lot of time there. If they want the truth…

  25. Yeah, the debate will be in my county, Johnson, and the candidates should be here on december 8th as well for representative Loebsack’s fundraiser/birthday party and a student issues forum. Should be interesting. This weekend has me really pumped, but I can’t tell you all some really good things. I am sure admin knows some of them, but we can’t give any away. It should be amazing.

  26. Our vote for feel good story of the day. Hillary – get some rest – take care of yourself.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2007/11/08/clinton_sees_good_omen_in_campaign_trail_cough/

    For Hillary Rodham Clinton, one woman’s cough is another’s good omen.

    For the past two days, the Democratic presidential hopeful has been losing her voice, and coughing spells have interrupted her speeches as she campaigns in New Hampshire.

    Speaking at Kennett High School on Thursday morning, Clinton told the audience that she has been fighting a cold but was looking on the bright side. The New York senator described a conversation she had with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in which she told him she had lost her voice.

    “Oh, that happened to me in New Hampshire, it’s a good omen!” he told her.

    “That’s my husband — he always sees the bright side of everything!” Clinton said.

    In one of his most memorable New Hampshire moments, then-Gov. Bill Clinton spoke in a hoarse voice six days before the 1992 primary, telling an audience in Dover that he would be with them “until the last dog dies.” The speech marked a turning point in his stumbling campaign, and he later dubbed himself the “Comeback Kid” after finishing second in the primary to Paul Tsongas.

    In North Conway, when Sen. Clinton began coughing, one concerned member of the audience shouted “You take care of yourself!”

  27. Check out the hub, who do you all think the big endorsement will be? Al Gore anyone? (:

    Tom Harkin????? I hope so. His wife has endorsed Hillary.

  28. Bill Clinton taps nostalgia, discontent
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    Hundreds turn out to see the former president campaign for his wife in Iowa.
    By Louise Roug, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    November 9, 2007
    ONAWA, IOWA — Deb Schonfeld and Janelle Anderson, friends for 17 years, had decided to take a road trip. So, said the co-owners of Hairbenders beauty shop in Mappleton, 25 miles from here, they put down their scissors and shampoo and put a notice up on the door:

    “Gone to see President Bill Clinton,” the handwritten sign said. “Go Hillary!”

    On Thursday, hundreds of supporters, detractors and the just plain curious came to see Clinton speak in western Iowa in support of his wife’s presidential candidacy.

    Afterward Schonfeld and Anderson — nicknamed Lucy and Ethel because of their own hairdos — went to a Dairy Queen, where they shared an ice cream float and analyzed Clinton’s arguments about why Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) deserved their votes.

    “It’s like we’ve been saying for a long time: The country is in such a mess, it’ll take a woman to clean it up,” said Schonfeld, 53.

    Hillary Clinton, she said, is “a take-charge lady.”

    Schonfeld said she liked the idea of getting “two for the price of one.”

    “She was his right hand when he was in the presidency, and I’m sure we’ll get his expertise as well as hers if she’s elected,” Schonfeld said. “It’s a no-brainer.”

    Many in the crowd Thursday at West Monona High School agreed.

    “I like the package,” said Brad Kusel, 68, who drove 100 miles with his wife, Nancy, to hear Bill Clinton speak.

    Mike Kelley, a 49-year-old farmer, said he was undecided about whom to support for president. He had attended a speech by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) recently and liked what he heard. But he also thought Bill Clinton’s experience would be an asset to his wife.

    “It’s a plus,” he said. “Two minds are better than one. It’s like any husband and wife. You tap each other for information and help.”

    Clinton said the two celebrated their 32nd anniversary last month. “Even if we were not married, I would still be up here campaigning for her,” the former president said. “She’s tough. She’s smart. She’s disciplined. And she can definitely win.”

    When asked whether he thought a woman could be elected president, Clinton responded that Argentine voters had recently elected their first lady, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, president.

    “It’s hard to believe that America is more sexist than Argentina,” he said before seeming to soften his comment. “I love Argentina, but . . . I’m just surprised that America is lagging so far behind.”

    Clinton plugged his wife’s energy policy and her stand on Iraq, and he said he — not she — had been mostly responsible for the failed attempt early in his presidency to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system.

    “She has taken the rap for some of the problems we had with healthcare . . . that were far more my fault than hers,” Clinton said.

    Having heard his pitch, Mary Mueller signed a pledge card: Hillary Clinton would get her support at the Iowa caucus in January. The combination of the two Clintons is attractive, she said.

    “She’s got a stellar track record,” Mueller said. “And he has a wealth of experience.”

    Seeing Bill Clinton made the 55-year-old nostalgic.

    “My life is not as good now as when he was president,” she said. Mueller’s husband has Parkinson’s disease. A trained nurse, she cares for him at home. Making ends meet has gotten harder over the last seven years, she said.

    “We stretch the dollar further,” she said. There are fewer restaurant dinners and nights out at the movies. Mueller buys new clothes less often and, with gasoline at $3 a gallon, she thinks about each drive she makes.

    Schonfeld and Anderson said they were happy they had made the trip to hear the former president.

    They had even gotten to shake his hand.

    “He was awesome,” Schonfeld said.

    “It’s been a red-letter day.”

  29. Bill Clinton was right on the presidential papers as today’s article states. Politico quotes FactCheck.org conceding Bill was right.

    However, they claim Tim Russert “misread” the letter. Probably the same way Russert “misread” Bill Clinton’s remarks on torture and lied to Hillary at the previous debate he “moderated”.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1107/Dept_of_Schadenfreude.html

    “Correction: Nov. 8: Our story originally stated that Sen. Clinton’s response to Russert’s question was misleading. We made the same mistake Russert did, misreading the former President’s letter to the Archives.”

    FactCheck:
    Contrary to what Russert said, there’s no “ban” on releasing Hillary Clinton documents. Bill Clinton’s letter, which dates from 2002, didn’t block access to communications between the President and the First Lady during his presidency. On the contrary, it eased restrictions on access to his documents, which are located at his presidential library in Little Rock and administered by the National Archives.

  30. ANewNewDeal sent us this video.

    Warning: very nauseating, very long. Obama putting on his southern accent. Obama in this speech does not seem to be upset with the fights in the 1960s and after for civil rights. Over 50 years old is not a handicap in this speech. Nauseating, Nauseating, Nauseating.

    Narcissism in full bloom:

    “Now, I’ve heard some folks say, ‘Yeah, he talks good. I like his wife. He’s got some pretty children, but you know we’re just not sure that America is ready for an African-American president,'” Obama told the crowd of about 800. ‘You’re hearing the same voices you heard 50 years ago. ‘Maybe it’s not time yet, maybe it’s better to wait.’ So I just want ya’all to be clear; I would not be running if I were not confident I was going to win.”

    “I’m not running for vice president. I’m not running to be secretary of something or the other. I’m already a United States Senator. Everybody already knows me. I’ve already sold a lot of books. I don’t need to run for president to get on television or the radio. I’ve been on Oprah. I’m running to be president of the United States of America.”

  31. Friday, November 09, 2007

    After a recent tightening of her match-ups with two leading GOP contenders, Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton now enjoys a modest advantage over each. Clinton leads former Mayor Rudy Giuliani 48% to 42% in the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Election 2008 (see crosstabs).

    The former First Lady leads former Senator Fred Thompson 48% to 42% as well.

  32. Always distrust polling pundits … they’re usually wrong!

    Jay Cost at the conservative ”RealClearPolitics” commented on ”The Politico”’s David Paul Kuhn who wrote:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton’s lead nationally and in New Hampshire appears to have slipped following her shaky performance in last week’s Democratic debate, according to several polls this week.

    However, Cost wrote,

    polls selectively – i.e. in a way that corresponds with the thesis that her numbers are down. This is problematic because poll results vary randomly. That is, they go up and down not necessarily because of changes in the population, but from differences from sample to sample. This is why they have a margin of error. So, you can’t just quote the polls that favor your thesis. There could be other polls that fail to favor it – and these need to be factored in.

    This is why it is a good idea to average the polls. As you average them, you necessarily decrease the variance of the final result. The variation from sample to sample is inversely related to the sample size. So, a larger sample – or an average that includes many polls – reduces the differences that are due merely to sampling. An average therefore gives you greater purchase on whether the population as a whole has changed.

    So – let’s do that. RCP has recorded five national polls taken since the Democratic debate on October 30. These five polls put her at an even 45%. So we may have an apples-to-apples comparison, let’s take the five national polls that preceded the Democratic debate. These put her at 44%. So, there is no evidence that Clinton’s national standing has changed.

    Nor should there be. This debate was watched by 2.5 million people nationwide. That’s chump change compared to the population that these polls are trying to gauge. It means that everybody else who encountered the debate did so second- or third-hand – in news reports on television, in the newspaper, or from the comments of friends and family. The effect of the debate was therefore greatly diminished for those people.

    As for NH, Cost wrote, there had only been one poll after the debate. Taking into consideration the margin of error, there was no quantifiable change.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2007/11/another_example_of_type_i_erro.html

    My observation from Hillary’s appearance here in NH yesterday was the audience was very positive, enthusiastic, attentive, asked great questions and got great answers. What more could you ask for at 4 in the afternoon when most of the folks I called the night before had to work and couldn’t get there on time?

  33. I am wondering if the Iowa December debate is DNC
    sanctioned. Obama vowed not to participate in any
    more non-sanctioned debates. If this debate is non-
    sanctioned and he attends, I guess we can brand him
    as a flip-flopper for going back on his word.

  34. Obama Loses Our Vote
    Thursday, November 08 2007 @ 10:34 AM EST
    Edited by: Michael Hess

    But Not for Being Too Young

    BBSNews Blog 2007-11-08 — According to news reports Barack Obama has made it clear that Hillary Clinton is too old to unite the country and incessant harping on the same old tired issues since the 1960’s is also getting old. There are many quick retorts that come to mind, and none of them particularly favoring Obama’s new found point of view, and we won’t review them here.

    What’s clear is that there is now a sense of desperation as the fight for the Democratic nomination draws near, and the Obama campaign is clearly desperately lashing out trying to get some traction against what is increasingly becoming a forgone conclusion; Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States in the upcoming 2008 presidential election.

    For good or bad, Republicans and most Democrats know that Hillary Clinton is the electable candidate. Republicans have made their choice as well. Some are holding onto principles, some are endorsing Rudy Giuliani including Pat Robertson.

    The United States will become even less united under another Republican administration. US standing in the world is at an all time low given the horrible state of affairs that the current Republican administration has fomented world-wide with war being on the top of the agenda and real peace nothing but a far away dream.

    Those of us who never gave up the idealism of the 60’s cannot afford to pick a candidate that reflects ‘go along to get along’ values just to garner a few votes and sell down the river the Democratic values that brought America the Civil Rights Act and countless other initiatives and laws that helped level the social, economic and business playing fields in America. And that work is clearly far from finished.

    According to the New York Daily News Obama said on America’s right-wing extremist network Fox News:

    “‘Sen. Clinton and others, they’ve been fighting some of the same fights since the ’60s, and it makes it very difficult for them to bring the country together to get things done.'”

    Bye bye Barack. Who knew that the fight for equal rights, fairness and equal treatment under the law had an expiration date?
    ###

  35. B Merryfield, for future reference, by clicking the “menu” button at the bottom of the Youtube video screem you can access the URL link as well as the embed code which is used to post the video wherever you want.

    We remembered your post about the video then ANewNewDeal sent the video over and reminded us about the nauseating piece of business. We pray for amnesia after viewing the video.

    Here is the link

  36. I am guessing the endorsement is from Gore. If it was Bob Rubin, there would not have been a big “?” on the site because it is pretty well rumored and written in NYtimes that Bob Rubin was going to endorse Hillary. I think it is someone big. Anybody else has a different guess?

  37. kegs: Are there any remain union endorsements of consequence
    that have not be give?

    In addition to NEA, 1199SEIU with membership in NY, MA, MD, DC (big east coast local).

  38. In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, Senator Hillary Clinton has bounced back. She is now supported by 44% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters, up from a recent low of 39%. Senator Barack Obama earns the vote from 19% while former Senator John Edwards remains at 15%. No other candidate tops the 3% level among Likely Democratic Primary Voters (see recent daily numbers).

    The Democrats are more pleased with their candidates—73% offer a favorable opinion of Clinton while 67% say the same for both Obama and Edwards. Clinton’s numbers are down slightly from previous weeks, Obama is up slightly, while the numbers for Edwards are fairly stable (see history of favorable ratings for the candidates among all voters and among Democratic voters.

  39. ra1029: I am guessing the endorsement is from Gore

    If that’s the case, call for a suicide watch for the blogs/bloggers, LOL.

  40. Kegs, the debate was scheduled for January but when Iowa moved up the caucus date to January 3 the debate was rescheduled for December. We can’t imagine that Obama will miss an Iowa debate that close to January 3 – he’ll come up with some excuse whatever he decides – How about ‘blame the staff’?

    Realist, love the last line from the article you posted: “Who knew that the fight for equal rights, fairness and equal treatment under the law had an expiration date?” Good line for Hillary to use in the CNN debate coming up.

    And yes, Kostner usually beats everybody to the punch, on many blogs.

  41. Obama is up slightly with 19%? LOL.

    There’s an article behind a registration wall at the FT, here’s a juicy excerpt:

    Yet even as they list the reasons why her lead over Barack Obama and John Edwards is impregnable, I found Democrats in the US capital careful to add a caveat. Mrs Clinton could yet slip in Iowa or stumble in New Hampshire. Something, anything, could happen. Some hope it will.

    Motivations vary. Ambitious Democrats who signed up with Barack Obama at the beginning of the year have begun to fret about the cost to their careers.

    He was the new political zeitgeist. As money poured into his campaign, it seemed certain that he would run Mrs Clinton close. Instead, the two frontrunners are just about where they started. The media has been left to scrabble around examining, and then re-examining, Mrs Clinton’s personal flaws.

    The legendary Clinton machine offers only part of the explanation for this resilience. While her Democratic opponents have been chasing her in the primaries, Mrs Clinton has been laying the groundwork for next year’s fight against the Republican nominee. In the process, she has rewritten many of the assumptions about political campaigns.

    Sure, she deploys every art and artifice of modern campaigning. No one beats the Clintons at political street-fighting and aggressive rebuttal. They had plenty of practice during the wars with Mr Armey and the gang back during the 1990s. Just as striking, though less often remarked on, is the extent to which Mrs Clinton’s political strategy has been rooted in a relentless preoccupation with issues and policy. From health to education, crime to welfare, climate change to families, globalisation to terrorism, she has a fully worked-up policy; and often more than one.

    —-

    The article title is: Obama and Edwards battle against the inevitable. (something we’re not allowed to say here in the USA).

    Great graphic of Obama/Edwards throwing stones at here here:

    media.ft.com/cms/b6b04e0c-8e2c-11dc-8591-0000779fd2ac.jpg

  42. hi,

    i don’t think it’s Al Gore. I won’t be disappointed if it’s Kerry. Hopefully Kerry will take Edwards to task and comfirm to us Edwards’ nasty history of using his dead boy to pimp for V.P.

  43. Today’s MSNBC/FirstRead:

    The Boston Globe front-pages whether or not black voters in South Carolina have confidence in Obama with this headline: “Politics of doubt gnaw at black voters in S.C.” ” ‘Personally, I don’t think he has a chance in hell,’ said Leah Josey, a 20-year-old English major at Morris College, a Baptist school in Sumter. ‘All those white people? Come on.’” More: “Such sentiments are prevalent among black South Carolinians, who are expected to make up nearly half of voters in the Democratic primary in January. Nearly a third of black voters surveyed in a statewide poll in September said white Americans would not vote for a black presidential candidate.”

    And the Chicago Tribune has this: “Although Obama has suggested in recent days that Clinton should do more to push for the release of archival documents from her time as first lady, he defended his own lack of a document retention procedure from his Illinois Senate days, saying he had a staff of just one. ‘Whatever remaining documents that I have are inevitably incomplete and then the question is going to be where’s this, where’s that,’ he said. ‘Once I start heading down that road, then it puts me in a position that could end up being misleading.’”

    – My comment? B.S.

  44. My Gods Kostner, that story you posted…it twice almost had me start crying…and Im a big damn goofy guy!

    The ladies with their sign on the door – Off to see President Bill!….the woman who cant treat herself and her family to a dinner out these days…lordie…just as I type the words I have to hold back the emotions that come with each keystoke…

    As an old ninety two road warrior for Harkin I wanna point out something….Tom did endorse Hillary, he just did it through Ruth….theyre a buy one get one free package too…

  45. Image this in your mind:

    Tom Watson ponders the fall of John Edwards. Edwards has become what Peggy Noonan described as: “a furry animal on a wheel, trying so hard, to the point he’s getting a facial tic, and getting nowhere.”

  46. I don’t believe it’s Al Gore today. Clinton machine is very good at doing stuff like this.

    Al Gore may eventually endorse her, but it does not feel the right moment for now. If Al Gore endorses, you can bet Hillary will announce this very unexpectedly and create a huge MO going into Iowa… I’m sure it’s not going to be in Nov…

  47. You know, Kerry is really big on the environment as well. I think it’s got to be an enviro endorsement to go with the theme. Health care and the environment are the two biggest domestic policies Hillary is offering.

  48. I have never seen such a tight lipped endorsement. Generally,
    there’s something leaking hours if not days before the endorsement. I would think this is a high valued person instead of an organization. Coming late on a Friday lends me think it
    is either Kerry or Kennedy.

  49. More on the waitress (and The Fact Hub)

    Reached at her home in Iowa, the waitress, Anita Esterday, said that neither she nor a colleague who helped serve Mrs. Clinton recalled seeing any tip.

    She said a local staff member of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign was in the restaurant on Thursday to tell them that the campaign had left a tip.

    She said that when she and her colleague said they had not seen a tip, the staff member gave each of them $20.

    Ms. Esterday said she did not understand what all the commotion was about.

    “You people are really nuts,” she told a reporter during a phone interview. “There’s kids dying in the war, the price of oil right now — there’s better things in this world to be thinking about than who served Hillary Clinton at Maid-Rite and who got a tip and who didn’t get a tip.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/09/us/politics/09clinton.html?ref=us

  50. This is not a good man. At best a phoney and a fraud. Audacity of Hope, my ass ! Its just Audacity, theres no “Hope” there !! If he was sincere and honest, he would not be going around bad mouthing her and Bill, the way he has and he would not intentionally lie about her record – he knows that what he is peddling is false but he hopes that it will stick so he can get mileage out of it.

    What really pissed me off was his duplicity regarding that Iran vote – he had absolutely no opinion about that amendment. He took no interest, he did not show up for the discussions, he did not voice any concern. Hillary, in the meantime, fought tooth and nail to ensure that all the aggressive language was out of that bill and made it much milder than what it was originally. Whereas this guy was busy trying to dig more dirt that he could throw at her. When the amendment was brought to the floor, he said nothing. When the debate was on, he said nothing. Christ, he did not even bother to show up when he was informed the previous night that the vote was scheduled the next day. After the amendment was passed, he said nothing. When he was questioned about Iran at the debate that evening, he did not bring up the amendment and said nothing. After the debate, only after the ass Gravel went after Hillary, at 10 pm that night, sensing that he could score a political point, he began to attack Hillary. And whats worse, he claims to have opposed the amendment because it involves “troop restructuring directed at Iran” , but he had no problems sponsoring a bill designating the IRG as a terrorist organization (the main thrust of the Kyle-Lieberman amendment) just a few months earlier. And he’s keeping on hitting at the same thing since then.

    This is just breathtaking duplicity and he is playing it to take Hillary down. Isnt it obvious that that guy is not what he claims to be, is just a dirty politician who’ll say and do anything for his own personal gain, his principles and talk about a “new beginning” are just plain hollow ? And in spite of the evidence, he is still being treated with kids gloves by the media and that is the sole reason for his survival. He has not been questioned hard or rather he had been hardly questioned about his positions and double talk on so many things including Social Security, Iran and Iraq.

    At the debate in Philly, he refused (!!) to answer a question about his contradictions on SS, but went on to attack Hillary. And there wasnt even a followup. Check out the daily howler on how he just plain refused to answer that question.

    The fellow is way in over his head. One of the slimiest politicians, who hides behind a facade of sincerity and knows how to give a good speech. A creation of the media from start to finish, a perfect empty suit if there was one. Believe me, he’ll stoop to any level just to get ahead. Its so damn obvious if you take the blinders off and check his past, his voting records, his game of not showing up for controversial votes and his double talk when it suits him.

  51. And oh yeah if ANYONE can figure a way to get some clues as to find out who is making up those lies about nice, sweet , gentle Yuma please post about it…that is SO WRONG! She is about the nicest and friendliest person you’d ever meet and so HARDWORKING!!…and did I say NICE?

    And strong and proud and decent! Her parents shouldnt have to read such filth about their daughter…

    There are so many…mean and little people in DC…and she is the opposite of them…screw the politics…if I knew who had said those things from “our side”…I’d drive down to SC myself and this big damn goofy guy would make that guy apologize and I wouldnt leave till he was sobbing and quivering in sorrow and regret.

    You may call me old school, but for some some dishonorable infamous acts the only correct response is a good thrashing…

  52. remember to feed stories of Obama/Edwards’ dirty campaigns to Taylor Marsh. She is generally a big sympathetic to Clinton.

  53. Strickland for Clinton

    Politico is reporting it’s Strickland from Ohio. Not a glamorous name, but a solid one in a key swing state, further dimishes Edwards/Obama’s ‘electability’ argument.

  54. Here’s what I hear from a reliable source: Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, often mentioned as a Vice Presidential pick.

    Neither Clinton’s campaign nor the Ohio Governor’s office immediately responded to a request for comment.

  55. Ohio governor endorses Clinton

    By Jim Tankersley

    Hillary Clinton has scored the most coveted Democratic endorsement from arguably the most important swing state in the nation: Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio.

    Three sources with knowledge of the announcement say Strickland, the first-year governor with sky-high approval ratings, will endorse Clinton today. The campaign has scheduled a noon conference call.

    Strickland is a pro-gun former Methodist minister who broke a 16-year Republican hold on the governorship last year. He won huge swaths of normally red rural Ohio, which analysts call key for a Democrat seeking the state’s 20 crucial electoral votes.

    A new Ohio Poll by the University of Cincinnati today pegs his approval rating at 69 percent, including 65 percent among Republicans.

    Strickland and Clinton go way back: They worked together on her ill-fated universal health care plan in the 1990s, when Clinton was First Lady and Strickland was a congressman from southern Ohio. Strickland has long called Clinton a personal friend.

  56. That’s great about the Strickland endorsement. Great column by Ellen Goodman today I saw in Boston Globe, Trumped by the Gender Card, it’s excellent. Also there is an interesting column speculating on when and whom Teddy Kennedy will endorse. molly j

  57. dem dem, I’m with you. And I’ve no doubt it’s the Obama and Edwards campaigns pushing it. Certainly Obama is an obvious culprit since he’s now been exposed for placing the Hsu story and having one of his aides ask Marc Ambinder why reporters weren’t writing about Bill Clinton’s sex life.

  58. Wall Street is having another rough day. The Robert Rubin endorsement will be timely. Hillary will be a good steward of the economy.

  59. Really cool article;

    Obama and Edwards battle against the inevitable

    By Philip Stephens

    Published: November 8 2007

    Politics these days is uncomfortable with inevitability. A certain future offends the idea that vibrant democracy depends on thrills, spills and, frequently, blood. Worse, it challenges the gnat-like attention span of 24-hour rolling news. There is a problem here for Hillary Clinton.

    Visiting Washington last week I heard again and again that Mrs Clinton has all but wrapped up her party’s nomination for the presidency. The outcome of the Democratic primary season that begins in the opening days of 2008 was a foregone conclusion. A prominent Republican has now joined the chorus. Dick Armey used to be one of the Gingrich gang – the congressional leaders who first humbled, but were then outplayed by, Bill Clinton during the 1990s. This week Mr Armey tipped the wife of his former nemesis as favourite to replace George W. Bush in the White House. Mrs Clinton, Mr Armey added, was “the most able politician in America”. Ouch. That must have hurt.

    Yet even as they list the reasons why her lead over Barack Obama and John Edwards is impregnable, I found Democrats in the US capital careful to add a caveat. Mrs Clinton could yet slip in Iowa or stumble in New Hampshire. Something, anything, could happen. Some hope it will.

    Motivations vary. Ambitious Democrats who signed up with Barack Obama at the beginning of the year have begun to fret about the cost to their careers. Others have long greeted Mrs Clinton’s candidacy with more resignation than enthusiasm. Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton, it must be said, is not a sequence with universal appeal. Beyond that, no one wants to be caught unawares by one of Donald Rumsfeld’s pesky unknown unknowns.

    Wishful thinking should not be confused with probabilities. Mrs Clinton’s poll lead has depth and breadth. She has been consistently 20, often up to 30, points ahead of Mr Obama. The latest findings of the Pew Research Center break down Democratic voters into 34 social, economic and ethnic groups – from liberal whites through black protestants, college graduates and welfare recipients in every region of the US. Mrs Clinton beats Mr Obama and the third-ranking Mr Edwards in each and every category; and, in all but a handful, by double figures. Only among college graduates does Mr Obama come within touching distance. Mrs Clinton, wife to Bill, leads by 12 points among African Americans.

    Many of the perceived character traits deemed by the media to be minuses are seen by voters as pluses. Thus Mrs Clinton is widely seen as ambitious, outspoken and tough. In each instance, the polling shows that majorities of two-thirds and above say they rather like these qualities.

    In Washington, the most common explanation offered for her lead is that Mrs Clinton has had the money, the organisation, the discipline and, of course, Bill. This is all true. As the race has progressed, the former president has become more of an asset. Though 45 per cent of voters still say they are uncomfortable with the thought of Mr Clinton returning to the White House, 64 per cent say he would probably be a good influence on President Hillary.

    Worse (for the Republicans anyway), Mrs Clinton is also faring quite well among church-goers. Pew asked voters to imagine a presidential contest between Mrs Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, the front-runner for the Republican nomination. Overall, the poll puts her 8 points ahead of Mr Giuliani. Just as interesting, though, voters who regularly attend religious services split only marginally, by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, in Mr Giuliani’s favour. Some of this can be attributed to the colourful private life of the former New York mayor. In Mr Armey’s estimation, though, Mrs Clinton’s devout Methodism has strong appeal among small government, religious conservatives.

    Unsurprisingly, the media has been disappointed by all this. Mr Obama had promised an exciting race. The young black senator from Illinois represented a generational as well as an ethnic shift. He was the new political zeitgeist. As money poured into his campaign, it seemed certain that he would run Mrs Clinton close. Instead, the two frontrunners are just about where they started. The media has been left to scrabble around examining, and then re-examining, Mrs Clinton’s personal flaws.

    True, she looked ruffled the other day in the face of a concerted assault from her Democratic rivals during the latest televised debate. Yet the very fact that Mr Obama now feels obliged to echo, albeit rather more quietly, Mr Edwards’s attacks on Mrs Clinton’s character and record testifies to the solidity of her lead.

    The legendary Clinton machine offers only part of the explanation for this resilience. While her Democratic opponents have been chasing her in the primaries, Mrs Clinton has been laying the groundwork for next year’s fight against the Republican nominee. In the process, she has rewritten many of the assumptions about political campaigns.

    Sure, she deploys every art and artifice of modern campaigning. No one beats the Clintons at political street-fighting and aggressive rebuttal. They had plenty of practice during the wars with Mr Armey and the gang back during the 1990s. Just as striking, though less often remarked on, is the extent to which Mrs Clinton’s political strategy has been rooted in a relentless preoccupation with issues and policy. From health to education, crime to welfare, climate change to families, globalisation to terrorism, she has a fully worked-up policy; and often more than one.

    Some are better than others. On issues where she is vulnerable to Republican attack – national security and immigration most obviously – discretion and fuzziness take precedence over clarity and detail. Yet viewed overall her prospectus defies the lazy assumption that positioning always trumps substance nowadays. Mrs Clinton has prospered because she has presented herself as a serious, capable candidate in command of the issues. Mr Obama has rooted his campaign in his own persona. It has looked flimsy by comparison. None of this means that Mrs Clinton will win the White House. If she does indeed secure the Democratic nomination, the general election will be a much harder fight. We may not yet know the name of the Republican nominee, but we do know that Mrs Clinton remains a deeply divisive figure. Her disapproval ratings have remained stubbornly above 40 per cent. The presidential contest is likely to get very personal.

    On the other hand, it is probably worth reflecting that sometimes the seemingly inevitable can turn out to be … well, just that, inevitable.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2c25f0aa-8e24-11dc-8591-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

  60. More Obama-Rama;

    On Campaign Bus, Obama Opens Up About Challengers
    ‘I Try to Stick to What I Think’

    By Dan Balz and Shailagh Murray
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Friday, November 9, 2007;

    CHARITON, Iowa, Nov. 8 — Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) took on his two principal rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, arguing that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) cannot appeal to independents and Republicans as effectively as he can and asserting that former senator John Edwards’s populist message does not square with his record.

    But even as he was challenging Clinton and Edwards (N.C.), Obama said he would resist pressure from supporters and others to go sharply negative in his bid for the nomination, saying that would undermine his effort to bring a close to an era of polarizing politics.”

    “I want to campaign the same way I govern, which is to respond directly and forcefully with the truth,” Obama said. “That means I’m not going to paint a caricature of Senator Clinton. I think she’s a smart, able person. I think anybody who tries to paint her as all negative is engaging in caricature, and when you start slipping into that mode, it’s hard to come back.”
    He repeats his ridiculous contention…
    “Whatever arguments you want to make for Hillary Clinton, I don’t think anybody believes that somehow the election is going to be significantly different than 2000 or 2004, that different states or different congressional districts suddenly come into play, that she brings in a whole new group of voters that might not have voted before.”
    Right.
    Here’s the link to the article;
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/08/AR2007110802459.html?hpid=topnews

  61. Prepare for some bad polls out of NH…

    Two new reputable polls of New Hampshire Democratic Primary voters will show statistically significant drops in support for frontrtunner Hillary Clinton, Democrats who have seen those polls said today.

    The polls will be released this weekend and are embargoed; though I’m not privy to the embargo agreement, I’ll be a little vague out of respect for the polling organizations.

    One of the polls shows that the gap between Clinton and Barack Obama narrowed by more than 10 points. Her biggest decline was seen among older voters.

    The other shows Clinton’s lead over Obama reduced by approximately 9 points.

    John Edwards remains at about 15 percent in both.

  62. That’s only in the Atlantic so far. Which polls? When were they taken? what’s the margin of error? I will wait until I actually see them to decide how reputable they are…

    marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/11/two_new_hampshire_polls_will_s.php

  63. I’d been wondering how to handle the NBC/Marist poll embargoed until this Sunday. It wasn’t actually sent to me directly, but by a reader, which leaves me unbound by the embargo.

    Anyway, Marc Ambinder seems to have lifted the curtain a bit with word that two polls (that’s one of them) are going to show some tightening.

    Here’s the central point: Clinton is up just 11 points, down from 21 points last month, over Obama. And the key change has come among older men.

  64. These polls may reflect some crossover that is permitted
    in New Hampshire. I wrote about it a couple of days ago.
    Republican are planning to vote in the Democratic primary
    then switch back. The older men catagory fits there
    profile. No surprise….

  65. Also, that poll is in line with the NH Rasmussen poll of a few days ago. An 11-point lead is decent at this point. And I think the numbers will start bouncing back, too, perhaps after the next debate. Kegs makes a good point, too, though.

  66. If the last debate is another pile-on, as I assume it will be, people will get really tired of this bs. Especially here in Iowa.

  67. Support will come and go. Pubs are big on trying to cross over and tamper with Democratic elections. Obama will see this as confirmation, and take it too far. The more time in the light he has, the more his unfavorables will rise.

    Besides, this just gives Hillary another chance to sharpen her fighting skills.

  68. True. She is way ahead in Nevada among my people. Latinos love her. She will be ready and she will do great.

    This weekend at the JJ Dinner I hear that JE and BO are going to keep attacking her. BIG MISTAKE. They will be doing this among a crowd of donors, and Iowans hate attacks. Hillary is bringing Ted Strickland, which will help dispell this assinine idea of her being unelectable. He was a minister and now a governor of argueably the most important swing state. I get so frustrated. That is one of the top things I hear on the phones here in Iowa, she won’t win in the general. Then I have to explain the truth. This will help ease these undeserved worries.

  69. Yeah. All of the candidates, Nancy Pelosi, Governor Culver, Senator Harkin, and now Strickland, and rich Iowa Democrats.

  70. celiff,

    I have a suggestion. Why don’t you guys compile the polls to rebut ‘unelectable’ crap.

    The state polls are extremely important. You guys should not only tout Clinton’s better #s in OH, FL etc, but mostly important, toss out Obama’s dismal #s in those swing states. We have tons of such polls out there to show Obama in double digit deficits in OH, FL, even PA!!!

    I think this is more lethal than just touting Hillary’s ‘electability’. When people compare notes, and find out Obama has the worst chance to win general election, they will think twice. Right now, nobody is attacking Obama’s electability.

    In IA, the key is to hold off Obama, Edwards is pretty much irrelevant.

  71. I totally agree. Edwards and obama lose us critical swing states, and put usually democratic states into play for the repubs; Cali, NY, and Washington. I get so sick of this arguement. I would love to do that. People here need to know that this is nonsense, polls prove this is bs, and Iowans take a long time to catch on to these things. We need to hammer this home asap. They usually don’t think about this until caucus day. And it is already freezing here, so I imagine January 3rd is going to be mind-numbingly cold. We’ll see.

  72. he New York Oberserver’s Politicker blog reports, “Barack Obama has just picked up a fairly important endorsement in New Hampshire. Lenore Patton is the chairwoman of the Rockingham County Democrats and– like every other party leader in NH — had been relentlessly courted by the Clinton campaign. Rockingham is one of the largest and most Democratic of NH’s 10 counties — it has a population of over 200,000, accounting for about 1 in 6 NH residents.

  73. More evidence Joe Trippi is an Obama plant…

    JOE TRIPPI IS ONE MILLION STRONG FOR BARACK OBAMA.

    Most professional political consultants become hyper-partisan on behalf of their candidate once they lock down a job. John Edwards campaign strategist Joe Trippi, though, is different, and has remained a member of the Facebook group “Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)” since the spring, according to current and historic screencaptures of Trippi’s Facebook Groups page. “Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack),” with close to 400,000 members, is one of the main independent online efforts to show support for electing Obama president.

    In some ways, Trippi’s membership in the online group isn’t that surprising. In a little-noticed passage in Noam Scheiber’s recent TNR profile of Trippi, he revealed that Trippi had previously discussed joining the Obama campaign with Obama’s chief strategist. Writes Noam:

    Trippi guest-lectured at Northwestern for a class taught by Obama strategist David Axelrod, and the two men briefly discussed how he might join the campaign. Several weeks later, Trippi met with Clinton strategist Howard Wolfson to discuss a possible role in Hillaryland. When neither option panned out, an acquaintance put Trippi in touch with John and Elizabeth Edwards. He flew down to North Carolina for a three-hour conversation and accepted a job with Edwards a few weeks later.
    Trippi was quite solicitous of various Obama staffers early on and until it was clear that he wouldn’t be brought into the campaign. His discussions with the Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns before joining Edwards have led some in-the-know political insiders to view Trippi as more of a free-agent than a partisan in the current race. As Noam writes, he’s in it “For Love of the Game.”

    Here’s a screencapture of Trippi’s Facebook Groups page, taken this morning.

  74. That’s tough, but Hillary can’t get all the endorsements, I guess, lol. I wonder if the debate fallout had an effect on her decision.

  75. Alegre wrote a DK diary on this Wednesday (quote):

    Suddenly his pal goes to work for Edwards?

    Seriously – is this hardball or is it sleaze ball folks? Did Obama’s guy send in one of his pals simply to use Edwards as a weapon against a woman he considers Obama’s main rival? Does Axelrod think John Edwards and all he’s trying to do is expendable – not able to win the White House so (what the hell?) it’s ok to use him as a pit bull to drag down the two main rivals?

    [snip]

    One other thing (and hattip goes to Yoshimi of all people for reminding me of this) – Edwards has decided to take public financing thereby limiting the amount of cash he can spend between now & the convention. I’ve always thought that was a strange decision but now it all falls in to line here.

    Tippi doesn’t think Edwards is going to make it to the convention but this gives him loads of $$ to work with for ads against (you guessed it) Hillary, to Obama’s overall advantage.

    (plus 298 comments)

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/11/7/155337/764

  76. My understanding of the NH poll is that while Hillary may have lost ground, Obama and Edwards remain the same…they did not pick up the “older men” votes…….in my local group of 25, we have some older men who undecided leaning towards Biden….mainly due to foreign policy….

    Key thing is that obama/edwards do not get the additional votes.

    also I am sure that some of these political polls “play” would like more money spent in NH by both clinton and obama….so this is not surprising.

  77. Amusing link, in light of today’s developments…

    Barack Obama / Ted Strickland 2008
    A Path to Victory
    Barack Obama
    Ted Strickland 2008

    Copyright MMVII
    Jake Young
    All Rights Reserved
    obamastrickland.com/

  78. hey hillfans, reading up what is happening. the nutkooks are really pushing this so called closing of the nh polls. i thought polls do not count this early?

  79. This is interesting – Joe Distaso yesterday in Union Leader:

    Last week, Edwards went after Clinton’s credibility in the now-famous Philadelphia debate.

    This week, Edwards’ campaign is saying that Obama has had his chance to take on Hillary Clinton and failed; so now, the race is coming down to Clinton vs. Edwards.

    Bonior and campaign adviser Joe Trippi made such a case in New Hampshire and Iowa last weekend.

    “We think this race, the frame of this race has been now Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton for the past nine months, and it’s clear right now that Sen. Obama is not able to break it,” he said. “The real challenger to Sen. Clinton is John Edwards.”

    Offsetting the tough talk, Edwards campaign released its first ad since August on Tuesday, entitled “Heroes.” Edwards invokes the plight of his wife, Elizabeth, but implores viewers not to worry about them, but to look to average Americans as heroes.

  80. And speaking in Durham, NH, on Wednesday, Edwards said:

    Barely mentioned is another rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who still is second in most national polls for the Democratic race.

    There is “a very simple reason … For most of these major issues, what we do in Iraq, what we should be doing in Iran, a system that in Washington is broken, the biggest differences are between Sen. Clinton and myself,” he tells a reporter later.

    – – It almost sounds as though Edwards is being set up to be the fall guy.

  81. From First Read

    Obama on his state senate records
    Posted: Friday, November 09, 2007 6:30 PM by Domenico Montanaro
    Filed Under: 2008, Obama

    From NBC/NJ’s Aswini Anburajan
    JOHNSTON, IA — Obama said that he didn’t know where his papers from his eight years in the Illinois State House were at a press conference in Johnston, Iowa, this morning after he taped an appearance on Iowa Press.

    When asked about why he hadn’t released his papers, Obama said that he had only one staff person assigned to him during his years in the senate and simply did not have the resources to keep archival records.

    “I don’t have archivists in the state senate,” he said. “I don’t have the Barack Obama state senate library available to me. I do not have a whole bunch of records from those years.”

    Obama had been asked the question by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, who pressed the senator on the question, saying that she wasn’t requesting specific papers. Instead, she just wanted to know where the papers were.

    “You know I’m not certain, Lynn,” Obama said. “I didn’t have the resources to ensure that all this sutff was archived in some way; it could have been thrown out. I haven’t been in the state senate now for some time. I’m not sure, Lynn. I don’t know.”

  82. hey hillfans, reading up what is happening. the nutkooks are really pushing this so called closing of the nh polls. i thought polls do not count this early?
    ***************************************************
    It’s because Chris Matthews and the rest of those idiots over at MSNBC are teasing these polls. I turned on the TV and that was all Chris and David Shuster talked about…gag me! Turned the channel off the news stations.

    I’ve never seen such terrible behavior from some in the media in my life…Just out right favoritism and bias.

  83. Could be, remember their ex-Governor is going to prison.

    I talked to my husband who from Chicago and he said that was the original Mayor Richard M. Daley quote when he want to say “it ain’t none of my business.”

    It’s typical Chi Town politics.

  84. celiff

    I am going tomorrow morning to an organizational meeting for Hillary so we have Nevada covered 🙂

    Now you get Iowa in shape and we’re done!

    Anybody here handling NH?

  85. New York Sen. Clinton was asked about her husband in a conference call with reporters on Friday arranged to announce that she had received the endorsement of Ohio Gov. Ted Stickland, an important development in a critical battleground state in the November 2008 election.

    Was she comfortable with Bill’s role in the campaign? she was asked.

    “Absolutely,” Clinton said. “I am so happy to have his help in this campaign. He obviously counsels and advises me every single day.”

    THRILLED BY HIS SUPPORT

    “I’m thrilled to have his support and look forward to being able to call at him in every capacity I can imagine,” she said.

    Arianna Huffington, editor of the liberal blog, Huffingtonpost.com, was not impressed by the former president’s efforts recently.

    “He’s becoming a liability,” she told MSNBC. “Send him to Africa.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN0937524420071109?pageNumber=2

  86. What the tip story means: Big Blogs once, a long time ago, denounced Big Media for concentrating on stupid non-issues, and for not getting the fact right.

    The New York Post reporter, no fan of Hillary, witnessed the staff paying the bill and the restaurant manager says they left a tip.

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11092007/news/nationalnews/race_tips_hills_way_756655.htm

    The waitress herself, sensible, denounced the attention paid to such a non-issue. “You people are really nuts,” she told a reporter during a phone interview. “There’s kids dying in the war, the price of oil right now — there’s better things in this world to be thinking about than who served Hillary Clinton at Maid-Rite and who got a tip and who didn’t get a tip.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/09/us/politics/09clinton.html?ex=1352264400&en=d8424e0ab4c93587&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

    This lowlife Kos proves what a low life he truly is with this tip story. PINOs and Big Blogs are not friends to Democrats or thinking people. The waitress is merely saying what we are saying: these people are nuts. Kos, his disgusting hate site and other Big Blogs have become what they used to denounce.

  87. Taylor Marsh denounced the wingnuts, but does not mention the biggest wingnut of all the nutkooks leader Kos and his DailyKooks. The Big Blogs are not only not friends, they are the most pernicious enemy.

    Marsh:

    “But this stiffing the waittress tale is just part of how the wingnuts take rumors and run with them on radio. Or like Dave Barnett did yesterday, once again bringing up Markos’s comments of four years ago and the private contractors. Once they’ve got a talking point they stick to it, even when facts are revealed like what we now know about Blackwater, though because of the focus of the panel it was hard to go into that detail, because it veered well away from the “power of the blogosphere.” The bogus waittress story played right into the wingnuts’ penchant for pumping up the emotion whether the facts are correct or not, especially where Hillary Clinton is concerned. Hard working waittress gets stiffed by elitist Clinton! Insert your headline here. Rush didn’t miss a beat: “Mrs. Clinton Stiffs Iowa Waitress.”

    http://www.taylormarsh.com/archives_view.php?id=26536

  88. “Meanwhile, John Podesta – former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff – filed papers yesterday to create a new “527” organization expected to pump millions into TV ads and efforts to get Democrats to the polls. ”

    ——-

    This is the interesting quote in the NYPOST article. Podesta is on the board of Women’s Voices, Women Vote and is head of the Clinton’s Washington think-tank, Center for American Progress.

  89. Hillary’s Gender AppealHow women view Clinton in Iowa.
    By John Dickerson
    Posted Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, at 5:09 PM ET

    he disconnect between the national political conversation and what voters are talking about in the early caucus and primary states is a constant story line in this political season. National polls show one thing—Romney in fourth place—and state polls show another—Romney leading in Iowa and New Hampshire. The political press reports on Clinton’s tipping habits in restaurants, and local voters don’t care. So, after Hillary Clinton was accused of playing the gender card to distract from her poor performance in the last debate, I was curious about how Iowa women were viewing the dust-up during my recent trip there. Women overwhelmingly favor Clinton in polls in the state. They’re also the ones who give her the edge over her rivals when polls measure voters who say they’ve picked their candidate and won’t change their mind.

    The first thing I noticed talking to women who both support Hillary and those who are undecided is that a general conversation about the presidential race pretty quickly gets to gender. Janet Almmey in the Amana Colonies explained why she thought Clinton aced the debates by saying, “It was the woman in her that won. Men have some abilities. Women have others, and she could just rise above them all.” Pam Reynolds of Cedar Rapids said gender was an “overblown issue,” but she listed among the reasons she was supporting Clinton that a win for her would bring America in line “with other progressive nations that have had women leaders.”

    Pollster Ann Selzer, whose firm administers the influential Des Moines Register survey, told me it was possible that some women would bond with Clinton as they heard about the other candidates’ ganging up on her. They would think about their own experiences of being a woman in a man’s world. That was the case for Ann Hutchens, who supported John Edwards in 2004 but has narrowed her choice down to Clinton and Bill Richardson. Her primary concern is the safety of her retirement benefits, but she found herself yelling at the television when she saw a recap of the Philadelphia debate. “They were so mean and nasty to Hillary,” she said outside of the Oelwein middle school. “It made me like her even more.”

    Of the more than a dozen women I talked to, only one had actually seen the debate—a Clinton campaign county chairwoman who declared it obvious that the men found it easier to attack a woman than a man. The other women, whether they were supporting Clinton or not, seemed to take it as an article of faith that the men had ganged up on her, as Seltzer suggested. Of the men and women who dislike Clinton, no one mentioned that she’d inappropriately used her gender. The nearly universal complaint was that she was too calculating and dishonest, which was actually the argument put forward by those men at the Philadelphia debate.

    In the national political conversation, the Clinton team is in a bad fix over the gender issue. Clinton has now had to insist several times that she didn’t claim she was attacked because she was a woman. From now until Election Day, the campaign will be accused of unfairly exploiting the issue. The early plausible attempts to refute the charge fell apart when campaign surrogates Geraldine Ferraro and Eleanor Smeal made the sloppy and nutty claim that the debate resembled the Anita Hill hearings. This causes tactical problems for the Clinton team, because there were strategic benefits in the national spin war to pushing the idea of a pile-on that had nothing to do with wooing women. The campaign wanted to paint Clinton’s opponents as mindless attackers to both delegitimize their specific claims against her and diminish their most positive attribute—particularly in Obama’s case—which is their hopeful optimism.

    In Iowa though, the campaign has no problem accentuating Clinton’s gender. She is quick to say at every event that she’s not running merely as a woman, which of course serves to put the issue front and center. She tells audiences she hears parents whisper to their daughters at campaign events that they, too, can do anything they want when they grow up. The campaign has started keeping track of women who say they were born when women couldn’t vote and now hope to live to see one in the White House. The message doesn’t just come from the candidate. At one event, the campaign prepared handmade signs that read, “I can be president” to hand to young girls. Introducing Clinton in the Amana Colonies last week, former Gov. Tom Vilsack said, “to the men in this audience, think about a young girl who is important in your life. I want you to think about the day after the election, look at that young girl, and say for the first time in American history: Every opportunity is available to her.” Including getting piled on.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2177756/

  90. good article. I am SO SICK and TIRED of male democratic candidates. They all look like wimps. The only thing they know is to gang up on Hillary. Whenever they face the GOP candidates, they just get creamed.

    I am still mad as hell at Breck girl Edwards being killed by grandpa Cheney in 2004 debate. When can these male democratic candidates actually have some bones and act like gentlemen????

    I won’t shed a tear if one of these wimps somehow squeak out a nominee and gets creamed again by republicians.

    Weak, weak wimps!!

  91. BTW, why would anyone care about Arianna Huffington’s opinion on Bill’s role in the campaign? She doesn’t like Hillary anyway.

  92. what is going on with this so-called planted question in iowa for hillary. her caimpaign comfirmed it. small, but still a silly mistake.

  93. in iowa the clinton caimpaign comfirmed a planted question about the environment was asked of her. they confirmed it to foxnews and made a statement it will never happen again. i know it is foxnews but they had a statement from her staff. i was watching hannity and colmes.

  94. Anyone have an explanation for why the NH and Iowa polls are narrowing but not the national ones?

    I’m glad there’s a debate on Thursday. That’ll give her a chance to get her mojo back.

  95. Paula, Some of these people more educated than I can probably give you the straight answer. Always look to methodology and sample first. But I would say that there is a kind of tightening effect as the primary day draws near. I don’t think it’s so much a true debate effect–I just think that the core support is there for Hillary and unchanging. As somebody mentioned, Obama and Edwards are not seeing a big effect, people may be movin’ to the other guyz–Richardson, Biden, etc. It would be men maybe who were previously undecided, perhaps. These are armchair guesses. I am sure other folks who know more about polling and individual polls can comment. I remember the 92 election so well, the general I am talkin’ about, and every dang day I was watching polls and calcuating the separation with MOE. SO, these things do tighten. All the more important to stay on message and focus. mollyj

  96. Paula,
    The trajectory of the campaign has changed significantly. So, I wouldn’t expect a stellar performance by Hillary. But would hope that she knows what to expect from the attack dogs.

    What to expect in the next debate [Rehash the same attacks from the prev debate]

    1. Withholding her record
    2. Attack her driver’s license stand
    3. Attack her for flip-flopping [they will cook something]
    4. Attack her for not being direct with answers [demand yes or no for complicated issues]
    5. Attack her honesty [when she answers them directly]

  97. I don’t know anythin’ of a plant. I wonder if you can have a plant of a plant. that’s too sideways for me to even think about.

  98. Remember that there are only 2 more debates and these attack dogs have nothing to loose – so they will attack her will all they have. I really don’t expect Hillary to pull magic. You need to be a super human to do that when you are attacked left right and center. I just expect her to know what she should expect.

  99. “Anyone have an explanation for why the NH and Iowa polls are narrowing but not the national ones?”

    I don’t know that Iowa, NH, or the national polls are narrowing. I follow the polls pretty closely, including a graph of the Rasmussen daily numbers going back to July. Polls go up and down.

    Interestingly, the Democratic primary polls have moved in a very narrow range:

    Edwards between 10% and 15%
    Obama between 20% and 25%

    Clinton started out between 35% and 40%, but since late summer has been moving between 40% and 45% with some peaks up near 50% in early October.

    I think the national race right now is 15% to 25% to 45%.

    The numbers I’ve seen for the Marist Poll in NH are 36% to 23%. Marist has a big lag in releasing their polls; they were in the field for five days immediately after the last debate. Even so, 36% isn’t much of an outlier compared to Pollster’s 40% trendline in NH.

    Here’s the way I see the race. Clinton has first support in the 35% to 40% range — support that is not going to budge and support that is plenty pissed off about the politics of pile on. Edwards has a ceiling of 15% — the left wingnut fringe of the party and some voters who will only go with the white male candidate. Obama has a ceiling of 25% nationally, no matter how much the Georgetown Social Club tries to pimp him. That ceiling is a direct result of one thing: people simply don’t think he’s qualified to be President in 2008.

    Here’s the situation in a nutshell: no matter who much damage is done to Clinton this month, what is the alternative for Democrats who want to win in November 2008. Edwards and Obama would get creamed in a general election.

    This election only has about 2 weeks to go. Once we get to Thanksgiving, the candidates will have to stop with their pile on attacks. That stuff just isn’t going to cut it during the holiday season.

    My concern is the damage the Democratic Party is doing to its general election chances by not pushing back on the overall media smear narratives. I am very concerned about that; there is absolutely nobody in Party speaking up to defend Democratic issues and positioning. Basically, the Democratic Party is swiftboating its own candidate.

  100. Thanks, everyone! You make a lot of sense as usual, lol.

    hwc, I know what you mean about the swift boating thing. But perhaps this will better prepare Hillary for the GE. This is the same stuff she’ll face then, only much worse.

  101. “Basically, the Democratic Party is swiftboating its own candidate”
    Amen!!

    Look at RNC – they seem to defend their candidates and defend their positions. Bloody DNC is useless. No wonder they never win elections!!!

    The Democratic Party doesn’t have what it takes to win – which is why they need a very strong leader like Hillary to lead it!!

    For anyone who would dispute that – look at the record – The Dems always have a knack to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!!!!

  102. A poodle has no chance against a pitbull. . .

    Just as Edwards was no match for Cheney in the 2004 debate, Obama would be no match for Guiliani in the 2008 debate–if he ever became the party candidate.

    Hillary, by contrast, knows how to fend off a pack of poodles in the primary, and how to defeat a pitbull in the General Election.

  103. Hey – everyone! Maid-Rite has their menu online. The Clinton party had 8 people and they ate hamburgers and shakes. Hillary’s sandwich, for instance, cost $2.89.

    Feast your eyes on this and tell me how 8 people ran up a $157 bill.

    http://www.maid-rite.com/food/food-menu.shtml

    I’m going to do a diary on it tomorrow on Kos. In the meantime, spread the word.

  104. hwc,

    I think your analysis is right now. Right now, we need to stay out of noise, and don’t panic on every poll. The truth is polls always tighten a bit in the end, but if my experience is of any guidance, if Hillary’s national number holds steady at 40-45 range, her NH # will be at around 35, if she’s approaching 50 points nationally, her NH # will be around 40 points…

    I think those three NH polls were sampled at the worst ‘pile-on’ time.

    Staying on message is key…

  105. OK, an analysis of this Marist poll:

    Among likely voters:

    Clinton 36%
    Obama 25%
    Edwards 14%

    Among likely and leaning towards voting:

    Clinton 38%
    Obama 26%
    Edwards 14%

    Among all registerered voters:

    Clinton 39%
    Obama 23%
    Edwards 13%

    The changes have been all with men voters with both Obama and Edwards gaining at the expense of Clinton and Undecided. The women vote is essentially unchanged.

    The sample is a litte suspicious. 20% of the voters who say they are likely to vote in the Democratic Primary have never voted in a Democratic Primary before. Obama wins this group:

    Clinton 32%
    Obama 45%
    Edwards 6%

    I don’t believe that the actual primary vote will be 20% first timers. New Hampshire is a very high turnout state for the primary, so there aren’t that many first timers. I suspect that we are seeing a big college vote here, but colleges won’t be in session on primary day.

    The really good news is the percentage of each candidate’s support that is “strongly support” and (“might vote differently in parentheses:

    Clinton 64% (10%)
    Obama 49% (18%)
    Edwards 46% (22%)

    Even better news, the second choice of Obama supporters:

    Clinton 43%
    Edwards 18%

    The second choice of Edwards supporters:

    Clinton 36%
    Obama 20%

    The second choice of Clinton supporters is split dead even between Obama and Edwards.

    “Bring about change”, “strong leader”, and “closest to you on the issues” are all roughly equal as the main criteria (between 21% and 25%). Obama wins among “bring about change” voters by 8% over Clinton. Clinton wins among “strong leader” voters by 18% and among “closest on issues” voters by 15%.

    Clinton and Obama are tied among “war in Iraq” voters (2% edge to Clinton). Clinton has an 11% edge among “economy” voters and a 29% edge among “health care” voters.

    Best chance of beating Republican:

    Clinton 53%
    Obama 17%
    Edwards 13%

    In other words, in a poll taken over last weekend, at the height of the negative Clinton pile-on, Obama and Edwards were unable to inflict anything but a flesh wound. They took their best shot (with the help of the Georgetown Social Club) and couldn’t seal the deal. For my summary of the race in New Hampshire, I turn to another Bob Dylan lyric:

    What else can you SHOW me?

  106. “Right now, we need to stay out of noise, and don’t panic on every poll.”

    I totally agree. Hey, the Breck Girl and B-Rock fans haven’t had much to crow about. Let them enjoy a few polls in peace. That’s my attitude. Actually, I think the best approach for Hillary fans is to say stuff like, “hey, you guys are really making a race of it — this is fun!” Because, here’s the deal. If they can’t put Clinton away in the next week or so, the Georgetown Social Club narrative will be “she took some heavy shots (from us) and just bounced of the ropes. She’s a fighter.

    The media has attention deficity disorder. They can only run with a story for so long before they have make up a new storyline.

    The reason I’m confident is that I know something the Georgetown Social Club doesn’t know: It’s not name recognition. It’s not Bill. It’s not money. It’s not slick campaign events. Hillary has a solid core of rabidly enthusiastic supporters somewhere between 35% and 40% of the Democratic primary voters.

    They’ll never figure it out at Sally Quinn’s dinner parties (finger bowls or not): “It’s the women, stupid!”

  107. hwc,

    Your suggestion is really good. I think we should adjust our tone on big blogs. We’ll just say to those detractors, yeah, the race is tightening, it is dead even, we have to work hard, blah, blah, blah… This is a good approach, let them enjoy a few ‘good’ polls…

  108. Hi Kostner & hwc,
    Yes – we have to concede that the race is tighening – sometimes the best offense is not to defend – and just go with the flow – whilst working our ass off – just as hwc says, things will change soon for the better!

  109. Kostner,
    The other things is Obami and Breck gal needs to feel like they are having good polls and so their supporters will be deluded – and our victory will be so much sweeter!

  110. This poll leak is probably a ploy by rival campaigns. They’d like to keep this storyline of ‘tightening race in NH’ alive for the entire weekend, at least on the big blogs…

    I can’t recall anything like this before. A leaked poll two days before it was actually released… Give us a break…

  111. Hey everyone,

    The menu for the Maid-Rite Diner is online. So anyone who is still beating the Hillary-stiffed-the-waitress line can be definitively shut up. Food at Maid-Rite is cheap. The sandwich Hillary had, for instance, is $2.89. The shakes that everyone was drinking are $3.50

    I’m breaking up the link so i can be certain this gets up.

    http://www.maid-rite.com/food/food-menu.shtml

  112. Okay, so this may go up twice – and i apologize. but I think you should know this. The Maid-Rite corporation has their menu on line and you can see quite clearly that the Clinton campaign, with eight people there, could not have spent $157 there if they tried. The sandwich Clinton had for lunch, for instance, costs $2.89. The shakes everyone had are $3.50.

    So, yes, the meal was $57 and the tip was $100. next thing you know, she’ll be criticized for overtipping.

    Anyway, I’ve tried to post the link and it gets shut down. But if you go to the Maid-Rite’s site, you can find the menu and see the prices yourself. I’ll post a diary on Kos tomorrow.

  113. I disagree. If it isn’t killed, we’ll be hearing about until the end. There is a definitive answer and it needs to out there.

  114. We’ve been through these Hillary “collapses” stories before – many times.

    Back in April, one of our very first stories (5th article we wrote here) dealt with an earlier Hillary “collapse”. Back in April the predictions were that Obama would be ahead of Hillary by Memorial Day. Here is what we wrote back then, which reads like today, especially with the disgusting Kos imitating Drudge post of today:

    April 20th, 2007
    Damn Polls. Just When They Had A Narrative…

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/?p=5

    “Ben Smith at Politico.com broke the code the other day. The occasion for this ooze of truth-telling was a new ABC News/Washington Post poll which was released on April 19, 2007 (we have it posted on the right hand side of this page). The truth-telling shock generated by this poll was that Hillary was still beating Obama by 17 points – 37% to 20%. As fists slammed into palms BSmith wrote: “Damn polls. Just when you think you’ve got a narrative…”

    The narrative referred to of course is the great collapse of the Hillary campaign and the mighty rise of the omnipotent Obama. Only problem with the narrative is — it ain’t so. [snip]

    Let us all understand what the narrative means. The great threat to Democratic victory in 2008 will not come from Fox News nor any of the other right wing news outlets. These fakes news outfits are discredited and losing influence with every passing day. The danger to Democratic victory in 2008 will come from journalists and pundits, whether lazy or malevolent (Chris Matthews and Arriana Huffington come to mind), and from self-interested, so-called Democratic “progressives” now huddled in their blog fortifications lobbing Republican propaganda grenades at popular Democrats like Hillary.”

  115. While we are strolling down Memory Lane let’s also revisit an article we wrote called The Hillary Clinton Dynasty.

    Today Big Blogs are rejoicing about Tom Udall running for Senate. In our debunking of the “dynasty” issue we mentioned the Udall family. We are happy for Tom Udall and happy he is running for the Senate. But what about the “dynasty” issue in this case? Apparently “dynasty” concerns are only raised when Hillary runs. Here is what we wrote back in May:

    May 9, 2007
    http://www.hillaryis44.org/?p=46

    “What about the dynastic Udall family? The great Morris K. Udall was the congressman from Arizona. He inherited his congressional seat from his father Stewart Lee Udall in 1961. Out with Stewart and immediately in with Morris. Congressman Tom Udall is still in office. And Congressman Mark Udall is running for the Senate from Colorado. Should we ban the distinguished Udall family in the name of anti-dynasty?”

  116. I’ve been thinking about the upcoming debate this week. What is the danger to Hillary if she takes the glove off a little as well? I wouldn’t want her to act like Obama or Edwards but I tell you I hope she lets loose a little at the debate this week. Wouldn’t this be a prime time to show how she would fight the Republicans smear machine (since, disgustingly, her opponants are doing the very same thing)? And wouldn’t this impact the media coverage if she shows she can dish it out a little as well as take it? Right now the others are continually getting all the press. Shouldn’t she do a little attacking herself to change the focus? (or perhaps it’s just hopeless as the media just don’t seem inclined to take on Obama or Edwards).

    On the Obama interview Sunday-how convenient that the NH poll will come out the same time as Obama visits Meet the Press. I think that probably seals it that the interview will be full of softball questions given Russerts obvious support for him.

    Lastly, on that Trippi business–shouldn’t this be big news? If someone aligned with Hillary worked at another campaign it would be major news don’t your think?. Also the story about the Obama camp asking questions about Bill Clinton’s sex life is disgusting. What will it take for the MSM to do even a basic examination of Obama’s campaign tactics, background and actions? I guess they are leaving that for the Republicans should he become the nominee. If that happens it will just be a slaughter since there is so much waiting to be uncovered.

  117. Timmy Russert doesn’t support Obama. He’s just trying to take down Clinton and give Rudy a patsy in the general election.

    Remember, Timmy Russert was one of the leading members of the Georgetown Social Club who helped Bush/Cheney sell the big Saddaam WMD story. He was also up to his elbows in the Scooter Libby treason case.

  118. Clinton takes lead among youth

    By: Ben Adler / The Politico
    Nov 9, 2007 07:03 PM EST

    Barack Obama may draw crowds on college campuses, and he may be the most popular guy on Facebook, but recent poll results challenge the common assumption that he is the candidate of the young. Rather, Hillary Rodham Clinton seems to have taken the lead among 20-somethings.

    A Nov. 1 survey of 400 18-to-29-year-olds showed the New York senator held a surprisingly large lead among young voters who identified themselves as Democrats. Clinton led her nearest competitors, with 54 percent, followed by her Illinois counterpart, with 24 percent, and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, with 8.4 percent.

    While polls have never shown Obama with a consistent lead among young Democrats, he has generally fared better among them than among Democrats as a whole. But now pundits may need to reexamine the assumption that Obama has the youth vote wrapped up.

    [snip]

    The Obama campaign, unsurprisingly, dismissed the poll. Hans Riemer, Obama’s national youth vote director, said it is an outlier and the result must be statistically flawed. He pointed instead to an Oct. 31 survey by the Pew Research Center as a more accurate result. It showed Clinton leading Obama 42 percent to 32 percent among Democratic-leaning voters under 30 — a 10-point margin. Clinton held a 21-point lead among voters in all age groups who lean Democratic.

    Pew surveys back in March and April showed Obama beating Clinton among young Democrats and tying her among more liberal Democrats. Clinton now leads in both categories. Experts have said her popularity has grown among older Democrats for the same reasons younger voters are joining her camp.

    [snip]

    Young voters also share the widespread sense that it’s long past time for a woman president. Among all younger voters in the Rock the Vote poll, Clinton got 22 percent of young women to Obama’s 11 percent. She led him by only 14.7 percent to 12.6 percent among young men.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1107/6805.html

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