Help Tim Russert Question Barack Obama

At the last Democratic presidential debate Tim Russert interrogated Barack Obama. Russert unearthed the startling fact that Obama’s Halloween costume would consist of a Mitt Romney mask. Days later in a Halloween skit on a comedy show Obama was not wearing a Mitt Romney mask, but rather an Obama mask. No surprise there from this candidate. Hopefully Tim Russert will unearth facts relevant to American voters and desist from acquiring other costume gems this Sunday, when Obama appears on Russert’s comedy show, Meet The Press.

Tim Russert, after the necessary UFO questions, could start the Obama interview with one of his amusing video clips about Obama. We suggest a clip from the last debate when Obama said the following:

SEN. OBAMA: Well, look, I’m glad that Hillary took the phrase “turn the page.” It’s a good one. But this is an example of not turning the page. We have just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history, and not releasing, I think, these records at the same time, Hillary, as you’re making the claim that this is the basis for your experience, I think, is a problem.

Part of what we have to do is invite the American people back to participate in their government again. Part of what we need to do is rebuild trust in our government again.

And that means being open and transparent and accountable to the American people.

And that’s one of the hallmarks of my previous work in the state legislature, in the United States Senate — making sure that Americans know where our money’s going, what earmarks are out there, what kinds of pork barrel spending is being done, who’s bundling money for who. And that, I think, is part of the job of the next president, is making Americans believe that our government is working for them because right now, they don’t feel like it’s working for them. They feel like it’s working for special interests, and it’s working for corporations.

Flowery words from Obama (and by the way inaccurate as they relate to Hillary and presidential papers). What are Obama’s actions regarding those flowery words? The Chicago Tribune hears the flowery words but gets no results when questioning Obama:

Reflecting a new intensity in the Democratic presidential race, Sen. Barack Obama portrayed himself Thursday as more genuine and consistent than his two principal challengers. [snip]

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.

There is no requirement that correspondence, schedule information or policy memos be made public now that Obama is no longer in the state senate. The Tribune asked him for such documents from his time in Springfield earlier this year, but never received anything.

The Chicago Tribune is rightly miffed at getting stiffed by Obama. The Chicago Sun-Times is not happy with Obama’s openness either:

Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson was given the first question, followed by a series of other Iowa-based reporters.

But there was this pesky woman in the front row who refused to be ignored.

“It’s been a while,” said Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet, when she was told that preference was being given to Iowa reporters.

But Obama finally gave in.

“Alright, Lynn, go ahead,” he said, as the news conference was winding down.

Sweet asked where documents from his time as a state senate in Springfield are located.

Nobody has requested specific documents,” he said.

(That’s not entirely true. The Tribune, as was reported in today’s edition, had requested documents from his time in Springfield and never received a response.)

“I was in the state senate for eight years,” Obama continued. “I had one staff person….I don’t have archivists in the state senate. I don’t have the Barack Obama state senate library available to me, so we had a bunch of file cabinets. I do not have a whole bunch of records from those years. Now, if there are particular documents that you are interested in, then you should let us know. But I don’t have – I don’t maintain – a file of eight years of work in the state senate because I didn’t have the resources available to maintain those kinds of records.”

Sweet pressed on: “When the office was packed up, where is the stuff.”

Obama: “I’m not certain…It could have been thrown out. I haven’t been in the state senate now for quite some time.”

This afternoon, Obama’s campaign issued the following statement: “All of the records that the state considers to be public are currently available. This is as opposed to the millions of documents that should be publicly available from the Clinton White House that currently are not. In fact, tens of thousands of documents are currently being kept from public view by a representative of the Clintons.”

As ABC News wrote, regarding John Edwards, … 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.

On Social Security, one of Russert’s favorite topics, Obama is confused at best too. Hillary at the last debate made her position on Social Security clear, only to be attacked by Russert and Obama, among others. John Edwards even misled voters with a slimy YouTube ad about this issue. Here is some of what Hillary said at the debate:

Hillary: But on specific issues I’ve come out with very specific plans.

With respect to Social Security, I do have a plan. It’s called start with fiscal responsibility. That’s what we were doing in the 1990s, and we had Social Security on a much better path than it is today because of the irresponsible spending policies of George Bush and the Republican Congress.

If there are some of the long-term challenges that we need to address, let’s do it in the context of having fiscal responsibility, and then let’s put together a bipartisan commission and look at how we’re going to deal with these long-term challenges. But I am not going to balance Social Security on the backs of seniors and hardworking middle-class Americans. Let’s start taking the tax cuts away from the wealthy. Let’s take away the no-bid contracts from Halliburton before we start imposing a trillion-dollar tax increase on the elderly and on middle-class workers. I don’t think that’s necessary.

So I have a very specific plan. My friends may not agree with it, but I’ve been saying it and talking about it for many months.

[snip]

You know, part of the idea in the ’90s was not just so Bill would have a check mark next to his name in history, but so that we would have the resources to deal with a lot of these entitlement problems. George Bush understood that, the Republicans understood that. They wanted to decimate that balanced budget and a surplus because they knew that that would give them a free hand to try to privatize Social Security. I am not going to be repeating Republican talking points.

So when somebody asks me, would something like this be considered? Well, anything can be considered when we get to a bipartisan commission, but personally, I am not going to be advocating any specific fix until I am seriously approaching fiscal responsibility.

[snip]

SEN. CLINTON: Well, but everybody knows what the possibilities are, Tim. Everybody knows that. But I do not — I do not advocate it, I do not support it. I have laid out what I do believe, and I’m going to continue to emphasize that. I think for us to act like Social Security is in crisis is a Republican trap. We’re playing on the Republican field, and I don’t intend to do that.

MR. RUSSERT: You called it a Republican talking point. Georgetown University, February 9th, 1998: We are in a — you’re heading to a looming fiscal crisis in Social Security. If nothing is done, it will require a huge tax increase in the payroll tax or 25 percent in Social Security benefits, Bill Clinton, 1998.

That’s recent history, only two years to go in his term. Is that a Republican talking point?

SEN. CLINTON: No, but what he did was to move us toward a balanced budget and a surplus. And if you go back and you look at the numbers, they really took off, starting in ’98, ’99, 2000, 2001. And that would have given a president who actually believed in Social Security, which George Bush does not, the resources and the options to make decisions, but not the kind of draconian decisions and certainly not the move toward privatization, which is what the Republicans have been advocating for as long as I can remember.

Obama, questioned by Russert at the debate, contradicted himself several times. But at least Obama did repudiate “Republican talking points” by declaring Social Security was not in crisis.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Obama, you said in May that, quote, “Everything is on the table” when it comes to Social Security. You now have an ad up in Iowa which says that any benefit cuts are off, and raising retirement age are off. Why have you changed your mind?

SEN. OBAMA: Well, what I say is, is that that is not my plan.

Now, I just want to go back to — to what Senator Clinton said, because I think it’s important for us not to engage in business as usual on Social Security, and talk straight. Everybody on this stage is against privatization, and we all fought against it, everybody.

I absolutely agree that Social Security is not in crisis. It is a fundamentally sound system, but it does have a problem, long term.

Obama at the debate agreed that Social Security is not in crisis. However, when Obama talks to young people, such as his New York University rally, Obama frequently refers to a “Social Security crisis“. Obama’s latest “Social Security crisis” talk came after the debate in an interview with The National Journal:

Q: So, welcome to Senator Barack Obama. Welcome to “National Journal On Air.” Let me start right away by asking you about the contrasts that you are drawing between yourself and Hillary Clinton. Her campaign people, the people who support her, say by calling her somebody whose word can’t be trusted, by suggesting that she’s disingenuous, that that’s really a character attack — that that’s the very thing that you said you weren’t going to do in this campaign.

Obama: Well, I strongly disagree. Look we are offering our plans for the future on health care, on education, on energy, and the American people have a right to judge how clear and how consistent have the candidates been in their positions. Because if they’re not clear and consistent, then it’s pretty hard to gauge how much they’re going to fight on these issues. You know, Senator Clinton says that she’s concerned about Social Security but is not willing to say how she would solve the Social Security crisis, then I think voters aren’t going to feel real confident that this is a priority for her. And that’s the kind of leadership I think that the Democratic Party has to offer in the years to come.

We agree with Senator Obama when he says that the American people should judge candidates on “how consistent” and how “clear” they are on issues. We too are concerned, that without such clarity “it’s pretty hard to gauge how much they’re going to fight on these issues”. Where we part company with Obama is his how he misrepresents Hillary’s views and his almost constant use of Ripublican talking points such as “Social Security crisis”.

Again, as ABC News wrote, regarding John Edwards, if you’re going to attack a frontrunner for inconsistencies, it helps if you’re consistent yourself.

As to consistency, Russert could ask Obama about his hire of Jeffrey Liebman who wrote a loathesome plan to destroy Social Security under the guise of reforming the great New Deal program. Obama is the one who demands consistency and clarity – ask him Tim, pretend he’s Hillary.

We speculated in Is Barack Obama A Closeted Ripublican why Obama employs the Ripublican “crisis” narrative on Social Security. We also posted this video which Russert might want Obama to comment on:

Other questions, in no particular order which Tim Russert could ask Obama:

Did Obama, as alleged, peddle the story about Norman Hsu, a donor Obama himself solicited, to the media in order to trash Hillary? Norman Hsu made a reference to “a politician who pledged ‘hope and change'” in his suicide note – what does Obama know?

Why did Obama circulate “a negative, and ultimately false, story about Bill Clinton – that he allegedly made money giving a speech on September 11, 2006.” Is this the “new” politics? Has Obama apologized to Bill Clinton for this intentional and acknowledged smear? Why not?

Why did Obama say his campaign had nothing to do with, nor did not know who De Vellis, was -De Vellis who circulated a smear video which portrayed Hillary as fascist Big Brother? De Vellis was known to Obama’s press secretary because they used to be room mates. What really happened? Was that video a Gibbs dirty trick operation?

Why is Obama planting sex stories in the press about other candidates and their spouses? Is Obama trying to do in the presidential race what he did in his own senate race – planting sex stories?

Did Obama plant the Edwards $400 haircut story in the media?

What exactly was the Obama campaign’s role in knocking Stephen Colbert off the South Carolina ballot? Is Obama doing in the presidential race what he did in his previous local elections?

On open records, when will Obama deliver the goods? Obama keeps promising, but the Chicago Sun-Times is still waiting:

• • An Obama spokesman, Ben Labolt, last week declined to say where Obama’s records from his years in the Illinois State Senate are located. There is no law mandating the state to archive the records. The records from Obama’s office — if he kept them — would potentially show appointments with lobbyists, policy memos, meetings, etc.

• • Obama has supported more earmark disclosure to bolster government transparency. Last June, Obama disclosed the earmarks he requested for Illinois and national interests. However, his office, after repeated requests since June, has yet to disclose earmarks Obama sought in 2006, before he was running for president.

• • Obama does list the names of hundreds of bundlers — people committed to raising at least $50,000 for the campaign — on his Web site. He brags about the disclosure on the stump. But that’s literally all Obama does, list a name. No cities or states, information that is available to his campaign. Some names are well known because the bundlers are celebrities or longtime activists. But it’s a big country, and there are more than one Bob Clark and Lou Cohen. Just listing a name does lip service to meaningful disclosure.

• • Obama’s campaign has refused to identify the biggest bundlers, people who are raising at least $200,000 for him and are given membership in his National Finance Council. Obama, as all major candidates, declines most of the time to disclose details about most fund-raising events.

• • During a town hall meeting last month in Dover, N.H., Obama pledged that he would post all meetings he would hold as president on the Internet. As a senator, Obama has never done that.

Ask him these questions Tim. Don’t be shy. Pretend he’s Hillary.

And as we wrote last week:

Will Tim Russert ask Obama about the indicted pal Rezko’s documents the Chicago Sun-Times has been asking for months and months to see? [Obama says he did only 5 hours worth of work for his pal and now indicted friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko, but won’t produce any records which his law firm should have. Let’s see those records Senator, which you promised long ago, but have yet to deliver. Ask him Tim. Here’s a quote to get you going: Just what legal work — and how much — Obama did on those deals is unknown. His campaign staff acknowledges he worked on some of them. But the Rezmar-related work amounted to just five hours over the six years it said Obama was affiliated with the law firm, the staff said in an e-mail in February. Obama, however, was associated with the firm for more than nine years, his staff acknowledged Sunday in an e-mail response to questions submitted March 14 by the Sun-Times. They didn’t say what deals he worked on — or how much work he did. While you’re at it Tim ask Obama about this: Obama spent the next eight years serving in the Illinois Senate and continued to work for the Davis law firm. Ask Obama Tim where Obama was when For more than five weeks during the brutal winter of 1997, tenants shivered without heat in a government-subsidized apartment building on Chicago’s South Side. Did Obama know about the conditions his former “community” organizer friends were suffering under while he was doing legal work on those very same buildings – getting millions of government money for his friend Rezko? We wrote about it Tim, in The Case of the Missing State Senator. Read up.]

Will Tim Russert ask Obama about Obama’s gay bashing tour in South Carolina? [Ask why every single performer Obama obtained for his campaign was a homophobe? Ask Obama about his Macaca Weekend. Is this an Obama example of being a national uniter?]

Will Tim Russert ask Obama about his ‘attack Pakistan’ speech which led to demonstrations and American flag burnings in Pakistan? [Is this how Obama is going to be an international “uniter”?]

Will Tim Russert ask Obama the $925,000 question? [We help again: The actual Obama house story stripped to its essentials actually appears to be rather simple: (a) Barack Obama and/or his wife decided they wanted to buy a certain house — but unfortunately the house cost $2,305,000; (b) the Obamas either did not want to have the appearance of such luxury digs snuff out their Lincolnesqe facade or they actually did not have the money; (c) in either case, Barack Obama somehow saw the deal to a successful end when the sellers of the house divided the property into 2 separate lots; (d) one lot contained the house and; (e) the other lot contained the large yard; (f) the Obamas then purchased the lot with the house (at a discount of $300,000) for $1.65 million; (g) they were happy; (h) on the very same exact day a rich friend of Obama purchased the lot with the yard at full price ($625,000); (i) eventually Obama would buy from his friend a chunk of the yard. Tim, the friend who gets Obama the house is the now indicted Rezko who owned all those tenements without heat in winter. The same tenements Obama ignored as State Senator. Obama worked all along for the law firm that obtained about a hundred million for Rezko. Are you getting the connections Tim? Does this interest you?]

Will Tim Russert ask Obama about his ties to Alex Giannoulias and the connection to Michael “Jaws” Giordiano?

Will Tim Russert ask Obama about his ties to Antoin “Tony” Rezko?

Will Tim Russert ask Obama about Obama’s failure to vote on key issues (Kyl/Lieberman, MoveOn) in the U.S. Senate, in Illinois?
[Ask him Tim, why Senator Joe Biden says “I wonder why he wasn’t there to vote,” Biden said. “We all knew that this vote was coming up.” Why did CNN report: And I have an important point to make about that Iran amendment, which Obama has made such as important part of his campaign. Now, again, his campaign contends that Obama did not get enough notice to return to D.C. to make that vote, but two Democratic Senate sources tells CNN that all senators were advised the night before that the vote would come up the next day, and Senator Obama should have known that vote was coming.?]

We won’t be so impolite as to ask about all the additional money that came Michelle’s way when Obama became a Senator, nor the ugly hospital connections – Tim we are sure would not ask a candidate about their spouse’s finances.

Whatever happened to the politics of hope, Tim? Ask? Pretend Obama is Hillary.

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403 thoughts on “Help Tim Russert Question Barack Obama

  1. Great commentary, Admin… Lots of ammo in our aresenal. Thanks for keeping track!

    (My impression of Sunday’s) RUSSERT INTERVIEW:

    Russert will ask the questions all of America will be waiting to hear the answers to.:

    Sample:

    Senator Obama, seeing we’re discussing the Holidays. Is Michelle happier when she receives a practical Christmas gift, such as a new vacuum cleaner or is she the jewelry-perfume type?

    Tell me Senator, what was the reaction at home from your appearance on SNL?
    Were the kids surprised when their daddy showed up as himself? ::chuckles all around::

    OK, enough with the opening questions, now for serious talk.

    It must be tiring for you hearing yourself compared to JFK, MLK and all the other revered leaders in the US, people who have affected serious change in the country?

    Obama’s response:

    Oh, I’m right up there with them, Tim. I’ve been waiting for this moment to leave my mark on history. I’m on my game now, just like Lebrun. I’ve taken up gulf. I may be better than Tiger Woods. They say, I’ve got so much potential.

    Well thats enough for now Senator. I would like to spend the balance of time remaining in this hour and just stare at you Senator. You are quite the GQ man.

    **************************

    Well, Lets see how close I come to the real interview on Sunday. I would be interested to hear what others have to say about the Russert interview…please post your thoughts..

    Mrs. S.

  2. MRS S,

    You are spot on. Russert will just continue to dote and drool over OBAMA as he has done in the past. BTW, when will RUSSERT issue an apology for intentionally misleading the public into thinking that PRESIDENT CLINTON tried to block archive records?

    According to factcheck.org, Russert is unavailable for comment. What a surprise!!

    I wish there were a way for us to send RUSSERT admin’s questions in email, so that he cant use IGNORANCE as an excuse for not asking them.

  3. I just went to The official MEET THE PRESS Website, 1) There is no way that I found to email anybody and 2) They conveniently have a link to HOW OBAMA is REBUILDING the AMERICAN DREAM and links to him discussing THE AUDACITY OF HOPE from a 2006 interview. This is a foreshadowing of SUNDAY’s interview I am sure.

    Anyway, I will post the link to MEET THE PRESS below, even though its easy enough to find on google.

  4. brava, admin. i second mrs.smith in keeping track, biting in and not letting go.

    any thoughts out there on senator clintons performance ( defense vs offense ) in the upcoming debate in NV? i am already getting nervous. i can almost visualize JE shaking his head, putting on his best reagan voice over and drawling “there she goes again”..

  5. btw

    great to see cspan will be covering the iowa jj dinner live tonight. pop the corn and chill the beerz. can’t wait.

  6. Mrs. Smith, your questions sound about right. SNL will come up so Russert can plug NBC’s show. Probably some questions about the difficulty of having little children and running for president while pictures of JFK and his kids are displayed. Deep concern for Christmas-time politics without the kids will be expressed.

    Sandy, one of the reasons we posted the questions is so that Russert cannot claim they did not think about these before the interview. Russert is the one who has something to prove – that he is an actual interviewer.

    Aside from the softballs Russert will probably ask some Social Security questions but those questions and all his questions will merely be cover for attacking Hillary. Foreign policy questions will be asked only to provide Obama the cover of actually knowing something about the topic and to mention how he took classes in “international relations” and his diplomacy as a 6 year old in Indonesia. Expect quotes from Andrew Sullivan which Obama will humbly echo.

    Expect no apologies to the Clintons from Obama for the 9/11 and Punjab remarks and no apologies from Russert for his FactChecked misrepresentations (actually lies).

  7. alcina,

    thanks for the C-SPAN reminder.

    As for debate strategy, it depends on what happens with the other candidates.

    Dodd must realize his attack strategy is bringing down his poll numbers in Connecticut and not helping him at all in Iowa. Biden has to decide whether he wants to face reality too. Richardson will measure to see what is best for him on defending/attacking Hillary.

    Edwards is such a fool at this point it’s hard to figure out what he will do. Logically Edwards should realize he is only helping Obama and hurting himself. But maybe Edwards is too far gone to think logically. Obama is probably just afraid of slipping on the floor and falling.

    The difference this time and next is that the moderators will not be part of an attack team along with Hillary’s opponents. CNN might even bring up the question of Obama’s absence on Kyl-Lieberman and his lies about not knowing. Wolf might even mention Obama messing up on Pakistan.

  8. OT: Hey guys! I have been kept away from this site(against my will!) for a few days now, while I like to give my computer some company, life has an annoying way of intervening. 😉

    I am hoping I can catch up soon on all the previous posts, I want to read it all! I just wanted to pop in and say how awesome it is to see so many new people posting on here!! Or perhaps many have been hanging around but just recently decided to come out from the shadow, either way, I love it! The Hillary community, or the Big Pink community is GROWING!!! Just as her campaign will!

    Although this does mean more post to read through to catch up, alright, I’m off again, back to reading, life has granted me a few hours today! 😀

  9. Gorto, life can be annoying but it is better than the alternative. 🙂

    For all:

    There is an interesting bit from Fixed News http://cameron.blogs.foxnews.com/2007/11/09/obama-meets-the-press/

    “On Friday, Senator Obama held his first media availability since he filed his candidacy papers to run in the New Hampshire primary on October 22nd (when he only took a couple questions from local reporters, as is tradition after the Granite State exercise).

    Twenty or so reporters assembled in Johnston, Iowa, for the avail following his appearance on a local political show called Iowa Press. Obama’s Iowa Communications Director called on reporters by name to ask the senator questions, only recognizing the local reporters in the group. The campaign declared “last question” five minutes and thirty seconds into questioning. The candidate had not taken one question from the national press corps.

    “Oh no, no,” the Chicago Sun-Times‘ Lynn Sweet interrupted. “It’s been awhile. I have a few more questions.”

    “If transparency is a big part of the campaign, why are the availabilities so few and far between and so short?” ABC’s David Wright added.

    The candidate listened with no discernible reaction, took the final local reporter’s question, and acknowledged the tenacious Lynn Sweet. “All right, Lynn. Go ahead,” he said – despite his staff’s best efforts to end the avail.

    Obama took a series of tough questions from Sweet on the whereabouts of his state senate papers, a subject on which the reporter had previously written a story. Obama obliged one additional question from a national reporter before exiting a little more than ten minutes into the affair.”

  10. Your right, it’s better then the alternative, at least in this exciting time we’re living in!!

    Admin you should try and post the video of him there, made him look quite bad. He does not come off well in those kinds of questioning settings.
    Oh God….I can’t bare the thought of having to listen to his aaahs….and uuuuummhs for 4 years! It’s like Bush in a way, he sucks at that stuff as we all know far to well!

  11. Admin, do you kno anything about these staffers asking some kid to ask Hill a question? Why the hell would they do something so dumb? John Edwards, ofcourse, is making this out to be a huge big deal. Hillary is great on her own, she doesn’t need canned questions.

  12. Read between the lines of some recent reports and it sure sounds as if negative attack ads will be airing soon. “By December,” The Washington Post’s Dan Balz writes this week, “it’s likely that television ads in Iowa will be airing that directly attack her [Hillary Clinton].” Ken Wheaton of Advertising Age agrees that “chatter from inside the parties” means “the negative campaigning would start just around Christmas.” Meanwhile, a clever attack ad by the Edwards campaign posted to YouTube wins plaudits as “a mini-Internet sensation.” Edwards consultant Joe Trippi mocks the Obama campaign for failing to “take the gloves off” and says that “asking questions about a candidate’s position on the issues is not attack politics, it’s responsible politics.”

    So with speculation building about a coming negative ad war, here are some words of advice: In a multi-candidate primary, an attack ad strategy presents huge risks for the attacker, and not just in Iowa.

    Consider the names and races on the following list. What do they have in common?

    Gary Hart (1984 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary)
    Wallace Wilkinson (1987 Kentucky Governor Democratic Primary)
    Buddy Roemer (1987 Louisiana Governor)
    Russell Feingold (1992 Wisconsin Senate Democratic Primary)
    Carol Mosley Braun (1992 Illinois Senate Democratic Primary)
    Jesse Ventura (1998 Minnesota Governor General Election)
    Mike Rounds (2002 South Dakota Governor Republican Primary)
    John Kerry (2004 Iowa Democratic Caucuses)
    All eight emerged as “surprise” winners in competitive multi-candidate races. All eight surged to victory in the final days of their respective races as the more heavily favored candidates hammered each other with negative attack ads. In all but one of these races the pattern was the same: The two front-running candidate – let’s call them Candidate A and Candidate B – ran attack ads against each other. In each case, the ads “worked,” but in an unexpected way. They moved support away from both A and B to the benefit of a third Candidate C (the names listed above) that was able to communicate a mostly positive message that reached voters in the final weeks of the campaign. When this phenomenon occurred in the Iowa Caucus campaign four years ago — a negative exchange between Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean that worked to the advantage of John Kerry and John Edwards — the pundits dubbed it “murder suicide.”

    The one semi-exception to the typical pattern was the 1984 New Hampshire primary in which John Glenn ran television ads attacking Walter Mondale in the final weeks of the campaign. As far as I can tell from the historical record (and my own memory), Mondale never responded with counterpunch ads of his own. According to Jack Germond and Jules Witcover’s Wake Us When It’s Over, Glenn’s attack ads raised Mondale’s negatives and initially helped Glenn narrow Mondale’s lead in New Hampshire. However, after Gary Hart’s surprise second place finish in Iowa made him a viable challenger to Mondale, internal campaign polls in New Hampshire showed Glenn “fading rapidly” with all the benefit going to Hart.

    Yes, as First Read reminded us recently, voters in focus groups “don’t like negative ads” but “that doesn’t mean negative ads don’t work.” True on both counts. Voters do not like negative ads, but they work best in general election contests when voters typically have only two viable choices. Two-way contests are essentially a “zero sum game.” If A moves support away from B, it goes to A, and vice versa. However, when voters believe they have a real third choice, the negative ads sometimes work to the benefit of that third candidate.

    Of course, as a wise Republican pollster put it to me recently, the “necessary corollary” of this pattern is that Candidate C needs to be more than a passive bystander. That candidate needs “to be enough of a force field to have some gravity of their own” to pick up the voters that become disillusioned with the candidates at the top of the ticket. The various Candidate C’s above had achieved critical mass through a combination of many of the following: Enough paid advertising toward the end of the campaign to establish solid name recognition, a coherent and differentiating message, perceived success in campaign debates, late newspaper endorsements and last minute evidence of growing viability (usually in the form of last minute public polls showing the candidate gaining and “doing better”).

    What is clear about the presidential nominating races in both parties is that several candidates on each side are or may soon be positioned to play the Candidate C role.

    Now for some cautions: First, keep in mind that the “negative attacks” that typically trigger this phenomenon are paid advertisements that reach a mass audience on broadcast or cable television, not criticism in debates or speeches. Most if not all of the C candidates listed above criticized their opponents in debates or public appearances. Negative broadcast ads are more likely to boomerang than other attacks (including those that appear only on the Internet) for two reasons: They reach politically inattentive voters that pay less attention to politics and are typically harsher in tone than the statements made in speeches or debates. As such, the gentle chiding in Chris Dodd’s recent ads do not fit the bill.

    Second, the list above amounts to a pretty small sample size, and most of the examples come from Democratic primaries (perhaps reflecting my own skewed experience as a Democratic pollster). Readers may know of exceptions to this pattern, and if so, I certainly urge them to leave comments below.

    Third, it is worth noting that John Edwards, should he begin airing broadcast attack ads, is running behind both Hillary Clinton and a potential “candidate C” Barack Obama. My own sense is that only increases the risk for Edwards, but it certainly makes his situation a bit of a break from the typical pattern.

    For all of these reasons, I hesitate to describe the “A hits B, B hits A, C Wins” pattern as an inviolable “rule.” Sometimes, campaigns find a way to defy the conventional wisdom. My point, again, is that in a competitive multi-candidate primary, a candidate takes an enormous risk in embarking on a broadcast attack ad strategy.

    Partly for that reason, I am guessing that the Edwards campaign has not yet committed to “going negative” with its Iowa television buy. I have no inside information, but Clinton’s position in Iowa is weaker than elsewhere, most polls show Edwards within single digits of Clinton and Obama and the Edwards campaign has just started airing its positive ads. For all the bravado, his consultants know the history as well as anyone. Edwards pollster Harrison Hickman (my one-time employer) worked on the Glenn campaign in 1984. So I am guessing that the Edwards campaign is holding fire to see if the combination of positive television and attacks limited to speeches, debates, Internet ads puts them in position to win.

    We will soon see.

    — Mark Blumenthal

  13. Russert is known for the attack interview. That is his stock and trade. The line he will attempt to walk is the line between asking Obama too few serious questions (which would jeopardize his own image as a tough interrogator) vs. asking him too many serious questions (which would deflate the Obama candidacy, and the msnbc narrative). In fairness, he needs to ask Obama all of the questions listed above, and let the chips fall where they may.

  14. Where are Obama state Senate files?
    POLITICS | They ‘could have been thrown out,’ says candidate calling for transparency

    November 10, 2007
    BY LYNN SWEET Sun-Times Columnist

    JOHNSTON, Iowa — White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) –whose staff has been deflecting questions about the whereabouts of his state Senate papers — said Friday he was not certain whether they still exist.

    Obama made the comment after I asked him, “Where is the stuff?”

    The context for pressing Obama on his state papers is this: He is campaigning as a champion of government transparency and slamming chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) for not pushing the Clinton Library in Arkansas to speed up the release of papers from her tenure as first lady.

    At a news conference, I asked Obama, “Do your state Senate papers still exist? If they do, just where are they? And would you ever intend to make them public to be responsive to some requests?

    “Nobody has requested specific documents,” Obama said.
    ‘I don’t have archivists’

    However, the Chicago Tribune reported it has asked for documents from Obama’s Springfield years and never received a response.

    The Chicago Sun-Times has also been asking about Obama’s papers. Records from Obama’s office — if he kept them — would potentially show appointments with lobbyists, policy memos, meetings, etc., items the state would not have.

    Obama has no legal obligation to archive his state papers.

    “I was in the state Senate for eight years,” Obama said. “I had one staff person, that was what was allocated. I don’t have archivists in the state Senate. I don’t have the Barack Obama state Senate library available to me, so we had a bunch of file cabinets. I do not have a whole bunch of records from those years. Now, if there are particular documents that you are interested in, then you should let us know.”

    I said my question was not about specific records. “When the office was packed up, where is the stuff?”

    “You know I’m not certain, Lynn,” Obama said. “As I said, I didn’t have the resources to ensure that all this stuff was archived in some way . . . it could have been thrown out.”

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  15. In reference to Bloomy’s story on Edward’s campaign strategy…

    It takes alot longer to heal the memory, than airing a few positive 30 sec ads, after months of slicing and dicing an opponent with negative ads.

    Why should I expect an opportunist like Edwards to realize that? Either he’s dreaming or I’m the one afflicted.

    Mrs. S.

    ps.. welcome back, Gorto..

  16. Gosh, Edwards’ embarrassing moment…

    Mellencamp, standing alone on stage with his guitar, then launched into Tough It Out and Be the Best You Can followed by Jesus Can You Give Me a Ride Back Home? and another song about youth and love. The crowd erupted as he started Small Town and sang the lyrics as though Wells Fargo Arena were one of those sing-along piano bars.

    It’s at this point Mellencamp gestures and John Edwards walks on stage. After a few cheers boos overtake the hall. “I’ve been in your small towns,” Edwards said as Mellencamp stepped aside to give Edwards a place behind the microphone. “…You didn’t come here to listen to me,” Edwards continues as he winds down with a “thank you,” waves and walks to the darkened edge of the stage.

    The crowd is mostly booing at this point. “I came for a concert,” one man behind me yelled. “Refund. Refund,” another chanted a few rows back. One person in the crowd made this observation: “Are they booing Edwards specifically or booing because they don’t like politics?” Mellencamp tells the crowd he’s “had a lot of fun with that guy,” and begins playing his guitar and singing Small Town again. The crowd slowly begins to sing along again. Edwards stood on the darkened edge of the stage until the song was over, then exited. Mellencamp didn’t say anything at the song’s end, and there was a swell of chatter among the audience members.

  17. Talk to you all tonight after the JJ Dinner. See if ya see me on c-span. I don’t look like you all might suspect. Some of you probably saw my pic when I wrote that blog on the IOWA homecoming parade on the hillary.com site. I have a goatee, I will be wearing my Iowa hat, and sitting in the balcony along with all of the other students and non-rich people. Should be really fun.

  18. Clinton takes lead among youth
    By: Ben Adler
    November 9, 2007 07:02 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.

    “For quite some time, the polling has shown the 18-to-29-year-old primary vote was about even between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and just recently Clinton was pulling ahead,” said Kat Barr, director of research for Rock the Vote, one of the poll’s sponsors. “Young people are trending in ways similar to the overall electorate.”

    In addition to Rock the Vote, the Nov. 1 poll was commissioned by World Wrestling Entertainment’s Smackdown Your Vote. It was performed by the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute.

    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.

    “Young voters are not just idealistic,” said Gary Rose, a professor of political science at Sacred Heart who served as a consultant for the poll. “They are also on the practical side as to who can achieve these objectives.”

    Clinton’s young supporters often argue that she has the experience to actually accomplish the major goals shared by the leading Democrats, such as withdrawal from Iraq, reforming health care and taking action on climate change.

    Said Ashley Ruiz-Margenot, 20, a junior at Florida State University who plans to vote for Clinton: “I feel more comfortable with her level of experience.”

    Voters of all ages also cite President Bill Clinton’s tenure as a reason for supporting the former first lady.

    Uriel Tapia, 23, of Columbus Junction, Iowa, said, “Both my parents went for [Bill] Clinton two times, and they’ve said good things about him. Just as she helped out during his presidency, he would be at her side.”

    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.

    Clinton’s campaign embraces the advantage. “Her candidacy is exciting to young women. They see the chance to shatter the final glass ceiling in electing her,” said Clinton spokesman Isaac Baker. And even Tapia, a male Clinton supporter, said, “I don’t know that this country needs another man president.”

    Finally, the many polls showing Clinton ahead reinforce her lead to a certain extent. Ruiz-Margenot, for example, said, “I really like John Edwards. He’d probably get my vote if I thought he’d get the nomination. But I think he won’t.” Given a choice between Clinton and Obama, she said she thought Obama had too little experience.

    Riemer, however, argued that Clinton’s current advantage essentially comes down to name recognition. He contended that in the early states where voters have gotten to know Obama, he is doing better —particularly among young voters in Iowa, where some polls show him ahead.

    The Obama campaign, according to Riemer, will turn out enough young voters to win in Iowa, and then the national polls will change accordingly. “This is not about a poll two months before the election,” said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “This is about which campaign is best equipping young people to participate in the process, which is what we have been planning for months.”

    But both the Clinton campaign and observers such as Rose questioned whether an Obama victory in Iowa will be enough to stop the Clinton juggernaut.

    “I don’t think Iowa will have that catapulting effect [for Obama or Edwards],” Rose said.

    “Clinton is ahead in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and Feb. 5 will seal the nominee.”

    TM & © THE POLITICO & POLITICO.COM, a division of Allbritton Communications Company

  19. One of the things the Georgetown Social Club misses is that Hillary’s “piling on” narrative is designed to innoculate her against the upcoming blitz of negative ads, especially among her core supporters who will get angrier and angrier as the attack ads air.

  20. The other thing to watch for with Russert is whether he softens his interrogation tactics to protect Obama.

    His normal tactics are: i) to focus on candidate’s history, ii) to ask him about questionable conduct and associations, iii) to show prior inconsistent statements, iv) to seek an admission, apology and/or pledge , iv) to reduce complex policy questions to Henny Youngman one liners, iv) to demand responsive answers, v) to push back on non-responsive, philosophical evasions, etc.

  21. Trouble is, the young woman told others and today her account showed up on the Grinnell website, including mention that the staffer signaled Clinton who to call on.

    Tonight, as other campaigns chuckled and hypocritically spread the news far and wide, a Clinton campaign spokesman admitted sheepishly, “On this occasion a member of our staff did discuss a possible question about Senator Clinton’s energy plan at a forum. However, Senator Clinton did not know which questioners she was calling on during the event. This is not standard policy and will not be repeated again.”

    Perhaps in large urban centers such stage-managed set-ups are acceptable, even expected. But in smalltown Iowa and New Hampshire, where even political opponents run into each other at the Dairy Queen after the high school football game, they take great pride in genuinely meeting candidates face-to-face in living rooms and diners for honest questioning. Rigging a show like this is extremely bad form and Clinton could take a real hit for it, especially since it suits her reputation for being calculating.

    But here’s the catch. Although other campaigns are righteously denying it tonight, virtually every…

    professional presidential campaign plants questions. It’s a routine part of preparation for the advance people staging every event.

    Not every question is planted, as you can tell from the weird ones that sometimes pop up. But enough are to ensure the campaign gets the necessary rehearsed sound-bite for the TV cameras on the day’s theme. The candidate may honestly not know of the plants, but as soon as she/he hears the question, the answer carefully prepared by the political staff comes flowing forth.

    Most planters will be far smoother than Clinton’s simply grabbing a passing college student. They’ll plant questions in advance with known local supporters who can be trusted and, frankly, who are flattered by their moment in the limelight addressing the possible next president in front of friends. They want it to look like their own question.

    A twist on this strategy is for another candidate’s team to smuggle one of its supporters into an opponent’s event to ask an embarrassing question while the cameras roll. That’s why attendees are usually screened and tickets issued.

    So this time the Clinton camp got caught, the latest in a series of stumbles the last couple of weeks. It’s embarrassing, at least for the moment. Right now, some clever Clinton communications staffer is no doubt advising her to make a self-deprecating joke about the slip. At the next forum the first questioner she calls on, Clinton should smile and say, “Now, I want to make sure, you’re not a plant, are you?”

    And the sympathetic audience will laugh and move on. That’s how this presidential campaign game is played.

    –Andrew Malcolm
    latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2007/11/plants.html

  22. Still it was dumb of her campaign. Hillary is so good off the cuff, I wish her staffers would give her some breathing room. She does great on her own.

  23. hey guys, checking in on my hillary news. im LMAO,these nutkooks have been touting a new poll showing a tight lead and it is 11 POINTS!!!? HAA!!!!!

  24. everytime i convince myself not to watch mtp again, he pulls me back in!!!lol. anyway i will watch and see if obama gets equal grilling, not less. im sick and tired of this punk getting a free f*ing pass. i want and smell political blood sunday.

  25. A few things:

    terrondt, you are right about the cheering for an 11 point lead and mtp – both are a joke.

    mj, sometimes staffers ‘working the crowd’ get someone who is nervous and say things like “I don’t know what to ask” and the staffer trys to calm them down and says well try asking this, and then the staffer provides a suggestion and then for ego or kindness reasons gets the candidate to select the questioner; and, then again, sometimes staffers are dumb/full of themselves and do stupid things. Hillary does not need planted questions so this, almost for sure, was an isolated incident.

    wbboei, we hope we are wrong, but we expect a kinder, gentler Russert. This will be the Russert, as hwc points out, of the fingerbowl set – all manners and no rude questions. Let’s hope we are wrong. Sometimes pigs fly.

    Celliff, enjoy tonight. Take a camera, if allowed. Cheer on our behalf for the plucky blond lady. Don’t forget 20 year olds, like the over 50 set, support Hillary. You were with Hillary from the beginning and soon the other candidates will disappear. Hopefully your hat is not orange.

    Kostner, the Mellencamp story will haunt poor Edwards for days if not weeks. Cold sweats in the middle of the night when Edwards realizes he will get an equivalent boo on election day.

  26. admin, Nice explanation on the plant story. I’m sure it won’t happen again; Hillary can speak extemporaneously on anything, as mj said, so she doesn’t need that kind of help.

    As for the debate, I’m actually optimistic. Hillary won’t have two subpar performances in a row. I’m sure of it.

  27. You may recognize an ardent Obama poster named DANIELLECLARKE — she’s on dailykooks, mydud, and all over the internet. Hails from Philly.

    Caught this from a debate write-up at NYO:

    In front of the dozens of Hillary volunteers, Wesley Clark stood on top of a short white stepstool in a dark suit yelling into a bullhorn.

    “And she’s got a secret weapon,” said the retired general and Clinton supporter. “Hillary is a great person. She’s warm. I like her. Don’t you like her?”

    “Yeah,” screamed the ranks of volunteers, cheering ecstatically behind the iron rails.

    “We like Hillary,” chanted Clark. “We like Hillary. We like Hillary.”

    A tall, muscular and throaty Obama volunteer named Danielle Clarke, upset about “illegal bullhorns” walked over, and repeatedly screamed “Go to hell Hillary” in time with the retired general’s chant. The volunteer got so close to him that aides had to intervene.

    “She’s a nasty bitch,” Clarke said on the way back to the Obama section.

    The general continued, unfazed, now leading the crowd in a chant of “Our next President.”

  28. Back from the southern Nevada organizational meeting. Very encouraging — a lot of people very enthusiastic about Hillary — young and old, short and tall, white and colorful, smattering of accents, long-time residents and newcomers, everything represented. The first person I met was a Chinese lady so beautiful and so attractively dressed that I felt I had just been dumped out of the spin cycle. There were more women than men, but it was ever thus, and the men there were fabulous. We really liked each other — we got organized and some are canvassing as we speak, so Iowa, if you don’t want Nevada to show you up, get organized 🙂

    One tip to volunteers – as you do your errands and things, wear a Hillary button and people will come up to you and you can sign them up.

    Good luck, all.

  29. Just be grateful about the timing within the news cycle. The JJ dinner speeches, OB on MTP and the NH polls are all much bigger stories than the plant story, and will fill most of the Monday newshole. Edwards already sent out an email with over 10 links to stories on the gaffe to his supporters and is sure to hammer it in his speeches and in the debate, though. Even though it’s a staff thing, they are LOOKING to find evidence of Hillary’s dishonesty and duplicity, it’s what the MSM WANT part of her narrative to be about, so there is real danger that the USUAL SUSPECTS will still be carrying water on this as evidence of character long after the MSM move on to the next thing.

    The Clinton campaign is I guarantee (and I hope), scouring the landscape for ANY plant from another campaign for a moral equivalence spin, in the unlikely event that this story has legs.

    Here’s the article where the Edwards info came from

    blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_stump/archive/2007/11/10/the-process-primary.aspx

  30. Thanks for the news from Nevada, Freckles.

    And good advice on wearing Hillary buttons. There are many Hillary supporters who feel isolated due to all the haters out there. When these quiet supporters see a Hillary button they know they are not alone in their support.

  31. all pink-posters

    how about when senator clinton makes her appearance tonight, we all send out a universal-coast-to-coast clapping extravaganza? cannot wait to see her!

  32. alcina, if Hillary claps or laughs tonight, Matthews, Kos, John Edwards and B.O, will denounce her. Of course if Hillary does not laugh or clap she will be accused of being Al “Bore”.

  33. Thanks, admin, for the correction on the dinner time. The front page of C-SPAN says 8:30 but the schedule says 8.

  34. As for plants from other campaigns, how about that guy who asked Hillary that Iran question, the one where the press said she got testy when she didn’t? He endorsed Obama right after that. Struck me a little too coincidental.

  35. i wear my hillary buttons all the time in public and i run into more hillary supporters than haters. there are closet supporters though.lol. WEAR IT WITH PRIDE.

  36. Paula —

    Let’s see. First, the Obama supporter who wrote an indignant letter to the DesMoines Register claiming poor treatment at the hands of the Clinton campaign without disclosing that he’d originally applied for a job w/ HRC but was turned down.

    Then, Randall Rolfe, as you mention.

    Next, some another Obama supporter claiming that Hillary didn’t answer him properly on Social Security (although it is Obama who holds the contradictory position). Obama used him as a prop to open up a campaign event.

    Finally today some minister, who is … wait … yes, an Obama supporter, feels the need to come forward months later with a “they tried to get me to plant a question” story. See Ben Smith/Politico.

  37. guys, im getting a real kick out of this ron paul thing. this guy is rabid rightwing, against all spending including against education funding, social security, right to choose, the medal for freedom to rosa parks, on and on. but a lot in the nutkooks love him because of his anti-war stance. i think he is going 3rd party.

  38. When will Hillary speak at the dinner? I’m at work and can’t watch the whole thing, but want to tune in on my computer when she’s on.

  39. Paula:

    Who knows? I’ve seen so many schedules that I’m not even sure the JJ dinner is even this month.

    She’s supposed to be next to last.

  40. i was recording it on my dvr at 8pm. then bush’s face propped up as a news confrence with the german president. so much for avoiding chimp. anyway waiting for our girl.

  41. Uh oh. Hillary is clapping. Matthews must be fuming, smoke coming out of his ears. He won’t mention the others clapping too.

  42. Preplanned chanting for Obama

    gave me a headache … went on too long.

    What determined the order — why is obama giving the last speech?

  43. They did a shot showing Obama holding his hand on his heart for the pledge. It was the only close-up of the group.

  44. Hillary, not engaging

    At least, that’s how I take Terry McAuliffe’s comments at the Jefferson Jackson dinner tonight, sent on by my colleague Carrie Budoff Brown:

    “Some of the campaigns have gotten a bit frisky,” he said. “You do it at your peril in Iowa.”

    “We are going to stay positive. We are not going to get in a mud pit,” he said, adding — a bit in advance of the official message that she’s still dominating the polls — “Listen, I knew this thing would tighten up.”

  45. How do people get to go to this event? Are there an even number of tickets available for each candidate? Or is it by purchasing tickets? Are the candidates represented equally? Just wondering…

  46. To answer that question: everyone — including Obama — had their hands over their hearts during both the pledge and “The Star Spangled Banner.” Although for “God Bless America,” everyone put their hands at their sides. At times, it looked like they were watching each other to see what to do

  47. I missed a little of the pledge portion of the broadcast–thanks for clarifying Kostner. That’s an interesting observation of their actions–I guess everybody is watching every little thing these days…

  48. AmericanGal,

    Russert need to ask Obama why he put hand on his hand this time around? What’s his new explanations?

    He will be creamed in general election.

  49. If candidates buy tickets isn’t it possible for one candidate to get a larger group at the event than the others?

    Also, to echo HillaryLandRocks, it is interesting if Obama is going to speak in the last spot..is the order Edwards, Clinton, Obama?

  50. AG, they announced the line-up before breaking to Bush … yes, Edwards-Clinton-Obama. IIRC, it’s the same as the order in which they were introduced.

  51. Correction — Edwards came in first, but he’s speaking later/before Clinton. Some of the 2%’ers go first …

  52. HillaryLandRocks,

    I’m for Hillary, not for democratic party. Without Clintons, democratic party is just a ruderless ship…
    Boring , empty..

  53. Without Clintons, democratic party is just a ruderless ship…

    I have to say that if Hillary doesn’t win the primary, I certainly will not get involved in any way.

    Listen to these lies … Bold Agenda …

  54. if hillary is not the nominee it is going to take everything in my fiber being to fill in a oval next to obama’s name. edwards too. i can’t vote gop and i can’t sit out a presidential election. damn i would throw up at my voting place.my wife 2nd choice is obama, she has no problem with him. UGH!!!!

  55. There’s zero energy.

    Probably because they’ve talked about IA for one hour now and most of the volunteers are from out-of-state …

  56. let’s not go back to the 1980’s when we were losing presidential elections over and over again. change the music to the 90’s at least.

  57. Alcina and RA1029, I sympathize with your feelings. I work with someone who hates the Clintons and isn’t thrilled with the other Dems either. He is the type who would gladly vote for Nader. I have expressed to him my belief that it’s better to vote for someone with a chance to win so you can have an impact on policies that will impact our lives rather than throwing your vote away on someone who will not be in that position. But if Hillary doesn’t win the nomination I will be in a similar situation. I dislike Edwards intensely and under no circumstances will I vote for Obama. I won’t vote Republican–that puts me in a real bind. Hopefully Hillary will prevail and none of us will have to face this type of choice..

  58. I wont mind voting for Edwards either, but will NEVER vote for Obama, who hasnt hesitated to take cheap shots at my race, and who threatens my social security. So much for being a minority candidate. I really hope Hillary wins, and I will do whatever it takes to ensure the same.

  59. I saw a Richardson campaign ad for the first time the other day (SE Minnesota). Lots of Obama and Edwards ads each day. Once in awhile a Hillary ad.

  60. Richardson is a fool, but I’m glad he is stealing Edwards’ show so far… At least his speech has a bit originality.. some new language.

  61. Richardson’s ‘don’t tear down fellow democrats’ got the loudest appaulse, I think he got potential to grow in IA. I certainly hope so…

  62. Per Politico:

    Richardson defending Clinton

    Richardson, repeating his stance at the last debate and his tacit defense of Hillary:

    “It is desperately important that Democrats not tear each other down,” he says.

    The Clinton and Obama sections of the stands applaud loudly; the Edwards sections, at which his criticism is obviously aimed, are much quieter

  63. Biden said “have a sense of humor” when he didn’t get a laugh at the Chicago joke. It definately was intended for a cheerin’ section. mollyj

  64. Most of the questions had less to do with how the system works than what one could do to cheat it, or at least take unfair advantage of Iowa’s rather generous voter registration guidelines (there’s no residency requirement, and you can register to vote at the primary itself). We were told that the threat of a $7500 fine and up to five years in prison is what keeps the caucus-goers honest. The staffer was unable to tell us if anyone had ever actually been arrested for on those charges.

    http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2007/11/jefferson_jackson_dinner_caucu.html

  65. This is proof positive that Hill doesn’t consider herself “inevitable” — she would have skipped this nonsense.

  66. mj — they have been busy all evening pretending that IA is women-friendly. Oh, and they had an African American and Hispanic for opening ceremonies.

  67. What a boring event… Gosh, are those folks supposed to select the nominee? No wonder democratic party keeps on losing and losing.

  68. i’m really not optimistic about democratic party’s chance next year. Yeah, GOP is in a hole, but dems are as stupid as well..

    Stop it.

  69. An auction is not a smart thing to do. There is so much money and complaints about same that the auction should have been done off camera.

    And a foam microphone protector would help prevent those obnoxious microphone bumps when someone breathes too hard on the mic.

  70. Do they have any idea that prime time just ended in the Eastern Time Zone?

    Good god. Make Iowa and all its old white dudes go away.

    And to think these people have the nerve to blackmail our candidates and keep them from campaigning for Florida’s Electoral College votes.

  71. this is a lousy display, not just becuase my candidate did not speak yet, but dumb ass speeches by other people that are not running for president. longer speeches than the actual presidential runners.

  72. Obama’s ‘hope monger’…

    When I’m your nominee, my opponent won’t be able to say that I supported this war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I support that Bush-Cheney diplomacy of not talking to leaders we don’t like. And he won’t be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether it’s ok for America to use torture – because it’s never ok. That’s why I’m in it.”

    “This party – of Jefferson and Jackson; of Roosevelt and Kennedy – has made the most difference in people’s lives when we’ve led, not by polls, but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction; when we’ve had leaders who could summon the entire nation to a common purpose – a higher purpose. And I am running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States because that’s the party America needs us to be right now. “

    “I don’t want to pit Blue America against Red America, I want to lead the United States of America.”

    “I’m running because of what Dr. King called “the fierce urgency of now.” I’m running because I believe there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.

    I run for the presidency for the same reason I fought to bring jobs to the jobless and hope to the hopeless on the streets of Chicago; for the same reason I stood up for justice and equality as a civil rights lawyer; for the same reason I’ve fought for Illinois families for over a decade.

    Because I will never forget that the only reason I’m standing here today is because someone, somewhere stood up when it was risky. Stood up when it was hard. Stood up when it wasn’t popular. And because that someone stood up, a few more stood up. And then a few thousand. And then a few million. And together, standing up, with courage and clear purpose, they somehow managed to change the world.

    That’s why I run, Iowa – to give my children and yours the same chances someone gave me.

    That’s why I run, Democrats – to keep the promise of America alive for those who still hunger for opportunity and thirst for equality.

    That’s why I’m asking you to stand with me, to caucus for me, to stop settling for what the cynics tell us we must accept. In this election – at this moment – let us reach for what we know is possible. A nation healed. A world repaired. An America that believes again.”

    ###

  73. I find democratic party is completely out of touch. NOT A single candidate has talked about middle class, economy etc. Geez…

  74. my senator is speaking. may you enjoy a long career in the senate. better yet retire in 2010 so my congressman john larson can run for your seat.

  75. Where was Obama when the tenants in Rezko housing froze? His “community” was abandoned by him. Shouldn’t the state senator have known about the conditions in those tenements? Obama might have swindled them with hope, but he let them freeze while plowing money into Rezko’s pockets and living warmly in the house that Rezko made possible.

  76. hwc, you are right. This should have been held much earlier during prime time. Although perhaps it is better that few people witness this. JJ Dinner is an important event but the production values are not very good. This is outdoing the Academy Awards in bad timing and length.

  77. admin:

    Classic Democratic Party. Not even a shred of capacity to understand how to package politics to win general elections.

  78. I’ve reset my Tivo three times and I’m still going to miss Obama’s speech. Sheesh. If Dodd goes on much longer, even C-SPAN will sign off before Clinton gets there.

  79. Dodd — his message is Obama’s plus experience. Be glad he’s in the race, might take a few votes away from JFK/RFK/MLK Jr/Lincoln

  80. You know, Hillary has talked about the urgency of now, as Dr. King called it. Hillary remembers hearing Dr. King preach, as do I. In fact Hillary used that phrase in a speech of hers which I have read just in the past few months. IT may have been the speech where she talked about going to hear Dr. King speak. IT seems like I have read the text of that speech as well as heard her say it. Interesting how much of what I hear the other candidates say, I heard Hillary say first. mollyj

  81. If he is the nominee by the time the general election is over republicans will make sure he becomes Dukakis/Mondale/McGovern all rolled into one.

  82. *********************************************
    This is a show that perfectly illustrates what a bunch of losers dems are. If not for the Clintons!!

    I can bet my house that if Hillary doesn’t win the nomination – Dems are losing the election for sure!
    *********************************************

  83. secret, i thought this is about the candidates, but this is about auctions, nancy prancing around, and boring speeches by non presidential candidates.

  84. Whoa, I get it now (kitchen=heat). It’s getting late here and I can’t think straight as I’m numbed by teh previous speakers…

  85. It’s hot in here Terrondt, but Turn Up The Heat.

    One of her best speeches and best delivered speeches by Hillary ever.

    This is how it is done. When she whispered the hall was silent. Marvelous.

  86. yeah awesome speech.. i am excited.. i think last last week of December, I will spend in Iowa helping out her campaign! Go hillary.. we love you.. btw my TV set is turned off after the speech! 🙂

  87. I totally agree admin and I been watchin our girl for almost all those 35 years. fantastic, wonderful speech

  88. that was one off the best firery speeches i have ever heard from anybody let alone hillary. worth the wait. gonna turn off the tv so i don’t have to listen to “the punk”.

  89. What’s up with this second canned question story? There were not even questions at the speech. I hope Hillary can’t put this stuff to rest soon.

  90. Hillary gave a great unifying speach and took the wind out of Obama’s sails…brilliant to have her come out before him.

    Obama doesn’t seem too happy coming out last…those cheeks of him could crack a walnut.

  91. molly,

    yes, tonight telepromter is not allowed, that’s why Obama is so scared. lol…

    Without teleprompter, he can’t really talk.

  92. some candidates would kill to come in last but then again that is best in political debates maybe. not events like this.

  93. Clinton has obsessed over polls, but I’m pissed at her staff for the canned questions bs. She’s reat off the cuff. She doesn’t need this crap.

  94. lol, before i turned off the tube i see obama supporters with lights. maybe singing kumbi ya.lol. remember that old coke commercial about living in harmoney?

  95. Is The Wizard of Oz still on TBS? There has to be something better to watch than Obama – the Weather Channel is more exciting.

  96. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii….my fingers got tired of counting all the I’s Obama has said and he isn’t even half way done.

  97. After watching this event it restore’s one’s confidence that despite the ups and downs of polls and media distortion Hillary is still miles above the others and I think voters will see that in the end.

  98. Gosh, sounds like Obama gae a pretty cynical speech and his supporters are saying they had “goosebumps” and he “won Iowa” tonight. What the hecks going on?

  99. There’s some disappointed men on that stage, look at the body language and how they have their backs turn from Hillary.

  100. gladiatorstail,

    exactly. He’ll be swifboated in no time. When people questioned his refusal of putting hand over heart while pledging allegiance, he had to bring out some letters of veterans to ‘prove’ his patriotism…

  101. gladiatorstail — it’s an old boy’s club in IA. Did you notice — no women politicians (not even state party honchos) except for ceremonial positions like Lt. Gov? They had to bring in Pelosi for some balance.

  102. you know what. screw em. they know she is winning this nomination so they are pissed they have to share the stage with her.after tonite, no matter hard the msm and nutkooks do, she is winning the whole thing next year.

  103. Obama didn’t but Michelle came over and spoke and then turned her back away and was kissing up…I think Richardson or whoever was standing next to Hillary. You know cut her off…

    Hillary should have brought Bill or her someone else because the envy and jealousy was think. Hilliary is like the nerdy student that ace the test in a room of C, D and F’ers…she push the curve up high and just when you think you’re gonna get a A…she gets a A+.

  104. from mydd:

    i know someone who left chicago in order to attend the event on obama’s behalf in iowa. believe what you want. i know the truth.

    from a JRE supporter

    I just came home from the event. You need to see close-ups of the Obama crowd. The GREAT majority of these supporters are college-aged. I would go so far as to say 9 out of 10. No way on this earth they are all from Iowa.

  105. kostner, i remember like it was yesturday. in 2004, the stormtrooping deaniacs with red caps in iowa. at the time i was supporting kerry for president. he got all of 18 pecent on that deal.lol.

  106. First of all, as much as I despise Obama, I’ll vote for whatever Dem gets the nom next years. Hopefully, we’re all blowing off steam here.

    That being said, if you don’t love Obama, he has nothing to offer you. He’s all about ego. He’s the Mighty Quinn, and if you’re with him, you’re in. If you’re not with him, you’re out. He’s all about hatin’ on the Clintons. He has emotional problems – that’s clear. He is dull and dull witted. When he was talking about how we don’t a Dem who votes like a Pub, I wanted to ask him when he intended to start showing up and voting. Creepy guy.

    Hillary was great. Wonderful speech. Edwards gave a stem winder (I think he picked up some support tonight) and following that is tough. She did a great job. Her supporters were right there with her, and reduced Obama supporters to sniping about how she has to pay people from Illinois to come in for her. Anyway, she moderated her speech brilliantly to contrast with Edwards. Great job.

    I think it was a really, really, really good night for the Clinton campaign. She painted a large, magnificent picture for the world to see, with herself as leader. Great job.

  107. Mother Jones magazine covered the JJ dinner. They are not a friendly Hillary spot. They do seem to unhappily share our view that Hillary was great and on fire and Obama was a wet blanket.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2007/11/6153_jeffersonjackso_2.html

    Mother Jones’ take is not friendly to Hillary but not stupidly so, like certain Big Blogs.

    MJMagazine writes that Obama had a lot of enthusiasm from the crowd but “I’m not sure the speech actually earned it. It wasn’t his best.”

    Excerpts:

    Hillary Clinton has taken the stage.

    10:49 – Smack down of Obama! Here’s Clinton: “Change is just a word if you don’t have the strength and experience to make it happen. We must chose a nominee who has been tested and elect a president who is ready to lead on day one.”

    10:51 – Clinton is emphasizing her experience in the White House. “As First Lady, I fought my heart out for health care.” She might not have won, she says, but she laid the ground work for the progress universal health care is making now. The Clinton crowd here is huge, and going absolutely bananas.

    10:52 – “We love you, Hillary!!!!” shouts a girl behind me. The Clinton people have rally sticks, made popular at baseball games. They are very loud and very annoying.

    ——
    10:57 – So the kitchen analogy is the explanation for the “TURN UP THE HEAT” slogan. Democrats are going to turn up the heat on Republicans on a number of issues. You see, Hillary has been through the fire. She doesn’t mind the high temperature of presidential spats. She can take the heat. In fact, she is going to TURN UP THE HEAT.

    11:04 – Funny enough, Barack and Michelle Obama give Hillary Clinton’s “F*ck Bipartisanship” message a standing ovation.

    ———–
    11:08 – Barack Obama just took the stage and some dude screamed, “I LOVE YOU!” Obama responded, “And I love you back.” Huge cheers. People like love, it appears.

    11:10 – “The same old Washington textbook campaigns just won’t do in this election,” says Obama. “Triangulating and poll-driven positions because we’re worried about what Mitt or Rudy might say about us, just won’t do.” Obama is finally breaking out the criticisms of Clinton that his campaign has been promising for so long.

    11:16 – “A party that doesn’t offer just change as a slogan, but real, meaningful change. Change that America can believe in… That’s why I’m running for president of the United States of America! To offer change we can believe in!” Long, long standing ovation from the Obama folks. The crowd has ratcheted up the emotion in this speech to such a high degree that Obama has to shout his lines.

    11:20 – Yikes. Obama just likened Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy to Bush and Cheney. Twice. The gloves are off. The gloves are officially off.

    11:23 – An echo of the 2004 convention speech! “I don’t want to pit Blue America against Red America, I want to lead the United States of America.”

    11:24 – Obama says that he is not in the election to “fulfill long-held ambitions.” Did I mention the gloves are off?

    11:28 – The roof is on fire.

    11:29 – Obama wraps up and the crowd, predictably, goes crazy. But for all the enthusiasm in the room—and there was A TON of enthusiasm—I’m not sure the speech actually earned it. It wasn’t his best. But that old 2004 convention speech set the bar pretty high…

    11:140 – It’s over. Other than a handful of Edwards supporters who are still shouting, “Go, John, go!” everyone has left. Good night, loyal readers. All eight of you…

  108. well i said i would not watch tim russert or chris mathews after the last debate, and i did, i absolutely stopped giving msnbc my patronage…

    after the 2000 presidential debacle, i said i had it with my party (democratis) i changed to independant…

    after that creepy lieberman turned independent to screw the democrats senate , i said i would not campaign again for any f—ing democrats, unless they get it together and stop screwing us all…

    and if hillary clinton does not get this nomination, i will turn around and walk away, and never look back again…
    i will never have anything to do with politics again…

    alot of people feel this way, i listen to the blogs, everyone has had it with our party, i am hoping hillary can pull it out…

  109. Other views: U.S. yearns for Hillary’s competence
    By Gorman King,
    Published Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Conrad Black’s rich biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Champion of Freedom,” reveals that Gov. Roosevelt first announced his intention to run for president in a letter to the North Dakota Democratic Party Central Committee. We also learn that among the most important life experiences that uniquely prepared him for office was his earlier post as assistant secretary of the Navy Department under President Woodrow Wilson. Through trial and error, he mastered the ways of Washington bureaucracies.

    You don’t have to be a partisan Democrat to observe that more than a few mistakes have been made by this administration. Let the historians decide whether Bush supplants James Buchanan on the Best Presidents list. Debt at home and derision abroad, for which Bush bears primary responsibility; and the looming demographic time-bomb, for which he is blameless, are but a few reasons why the next president needs to possess exceptional skills and sound judgment.

    Amateur hour is over. The nation yearns for a president of competence, experience and pragmatism.

    Consider Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

    To fellow Democrats who fear that blind hostility to her could jeopardize the election, I say: You underestimate the senator from New York.

    King
    A suburbanite from Chicago educated in the East joins her young husband in his native Arkansas to begin their family and careers. They raise a lovely daughter. By all accounts, Hillary utterly charms the Legislature and works cooperatively across party lines on education reform. A talented corporate lawyer, it is believed that she was in line to have been the first female president of the American Bar Association.

    In the White House, she experiences firsthand the effectiveness of special interests who sabotage an overly ambitious health-care plan. She makes mistakes in policy and politics on health care but, unlike some, is willing to admit failure and learn from her early Washington days. Her 2007 health-care initiative bears little resemblance to the earlier attempts at reform. In fact, it creates no new bureaucracy, allows people to keep their existing choice of plans and is remarkably similar to a plan written by Republican Gov. Mitt Romney. Like FDR, her Washington experience well prepares her for the presidency.

    To my Republican friends who lick their lips in anticipation of her candidacy, I say: Ask Republican senators about her performance. Clinton is a centrist Democrat. She prizes pragmatism over ideology. Hard work, constituent service, listening respectfully to her colleagues and a special focus on rural development in upstate New York has marked her tenure in the Senate.

    A member of the Armed Services Committee, she knows the world is a dangerous place in which America has a special leadership role to fulfill. She believes that saber-rattling only serves to shore up the political strengths of our adversaries; that America is strongest when it works with others and that humility, not hubris, will best serve our national interests abroad.

    Clinton frustrates some Democrats who wish she would promise to get us out of Iraq in a heartbeat. The Iraq quagmire can be neither easily nor quickly resolved, and she will not jeopardize our national interests by making promises for primary votes.

    It is not news that Clinton will be caricatured and vilified in the campaign. Politics has always been a contact sport: FDR was reviled by many; Lincoln likened to a buffoon. The news is that everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown at her, and she remains unbowed; a graceful, gifted and hopeful politician, striving to make a difference in the lives of Americans.

    Consider Clinton. She is that steady leader who will restore our frayed international relations, tackle issues of economic justice, be strong and smart on national security, and sensible on fiscal responsibility.

    We may even call her HRC.

    King is a Fargo attorney and a former Democratic National Committeeman for North Dakota.

    http://www.in-forum.com/Opinion/articles/183222

  110. Jefferson-Jackson event a warmup for Iowa

    Here is how it works: You are the Barack Obama campaign and you contact those voters who have pledged to support you in the Iowa caucuses next January. You offer those supporters a free ticket to the JJ dinner and you see who accepts.

    And then you see if they really show up.

    Because if people are not willing to come out on a mild fall evening for a free dinner, they probably won’t come out on a cold winter night to vote for you in the caucuses.

    So the JJ is a test to see if you are really reaching supporters or just reaching people who say they are supporters.

    An estimated 9,000 people showed up here at Veterans Memorial Auditorium Saturday night and the Obama campaign claimed that 3,000 of them were Obama supporters.

    “The JJ is a place to deliver a message,” Tommy Vietor, Obama’s Iowa spokesman told me, “but it is also a place to show organizing muscle. It shows you can get people to show up at the same place at the same time.”

    At least two of Hillary Clinton’s upper-echelon advisers, Mandy Grunwald and Mark Penn, were decidedly unimpressed .

    “Our people look like caucus-goers,” Grunwald said, “and his people look like they are 18. Penn said they look like Facebook.”

    Penn added, “Only a few of their people look like they could vote in any state.”

    Even the few memorable rhetorical moments of the evening were tactical.

  111. If that’s Obama’s organization in IA, he’s in trouble but then maybe some repugs will crossover to him in the primary.

    All I know is that when Hillary was speaking the room got very quiet and everybody listen when she put the focus on everyday Iowains and you can tell she was very sincere with her pledge for their one day support of years of dedication…very moving.

    The media and others use the plant stories make her look deceitful but I just think people need to be wary because Hillary is a target and some people are going to use every like petty thing to fit their narrative.

    BTW, kistner did you find any photos for Hillary?

  112. the plant story is an embarrassment, but I dont think Hillary was even aware of it. well, the way I see it, the campaign HAS to make sure that the story is closed. I am sure all these events have plants, especially that one in which a small kid asks Obama those questions. That was the biggest plant of the decade and made me cringe. but no one will speak for any of those, because MSM loves getting onto bash clintons agenda. and remember the second story is from fox news, so its just attack hillary band wagon. MJ, think about it this way. do you think hillary would have supported this stunt if she had known in advance? you will find the answer. dont forget, both her and her husband are few of the most gifted politicians/orators on the political sphere today. so think about that question and you will find the answer. the rest is all noise and it will disappear as long as we dont panic or waiver from our support.

  113. Ok, gladiatorstail. I just hate this election. It’d almost have been nice if there had been a secondary front runner, but as it is they just endlessly bash Hillary’s character. It’s disgusting.

  114. hi gladiatorstail

    agree with you. I find Obama’s unity rhetoric is simply laughable. This guy has insulted Indian Americans, his support among latinos is also dismal… I don’t know how he can win a GE if the democratic base voters do not go with him.

  115. If anyone is still up, I just got back from the JJ dinner. HOLY COW! That was amazing. We had the most signs byfar. stadium is U-shaped, and edwards and obama people took up the bend and we had both sides of the arms. We had so many supporters there! It was infectious. We were the loudest and most visible. Check out our thunder-sticks. And the new campaign slogan is TURN UP THE HEAT! If you saw it on tv, you saw edwards didn’t attack her, but obama did. She gave a mesmerizing, touching, powerful speech and she wore Hawkeye colors (: She was totally fine and didn’t sound sick. I did find out that Bill is under the weather. I bet he caught it from her (: It was wonderful.

  116. celiff,

    i’m still alive. From the photos I found online, it seems to me many, if not most of Obama’s supporters are Chicago import….

    No wonder Mark Penn dismissed Obama’s so-called ‘organization prowness’ out of hand.

  117. They are. It was total Chicago import. Infact, Biden said “hello Iowa! hello Chicago!” looking at the obama people. it was hilarious.

  118. celiff,

    I’m afraid Obama will bus lots of Chicago teenagers to stuff the ballot boxes in the upcoming Jan…

    Hopefully, Iowans will be ready to kick them out…

  119. Oh my god yes. She had so many people there for her that were people that were just suporters, from the ages of like 35-90. There were veterans, AFSCME workers, and so many elderly people. btw, I looked at the feed above, I DID FALL ASLEEP DURING OBAMA’S SPEECH (: I was nodding off, but then sobered up for the finale. He is so repetitive.

  120. That is obama’s secret weapon, and i hope a blizzard or apathy or new years partying discourages these kids from traveling into iowa.

  121. Celiff, she has a large lead among 18-34 in the US, what’s up with Iowa? Is she having that much trouble organizing younger Iowans?

  122. Iowan kids are either republicans, or they are apathetic. Her support comes from younger iowans not in college, ie. single moms and then kids like me that are poli-sci majors. obama’s support here is from college kids from chicago, which make up 48% of the kids on my campus. Apathy is sad among our aged people.

  123. That is sad, Celiff. I hope some young people there will clue in and listen to what she has to say. She’s got great plans for the future.

  124. I hated sitting through Dodd. He yells when he talks. Also, they did an auction in the middle of the event and Nancy Pelosi’s scarf sold for $6,000! A homemade stuffed donkey sold for $2,000. That was boring, as was obama’s speech. I just wish Tom Harkin would do what he is going to do anyway and endorse Hillary, his wife has.

  125. celiff,

    Can you tell us if any of the clinton supporters were “imported”? I mean if all the supporters she had were from iowa, thats really great news, because it shows the campaign’s organizational prowess. I was aware that most of Obama’s support is from college students, who lean democratic and love seeing speeches from popular candidates, but when it comes to voting, they are either too lazy or are stuck doing some assignment or project.

  126. Her supporters were elderly, women and volunteers/staff. I read some of the blogs, and they are already spinning it as an obama noise/visibility victory. Even if I was an edwards supporter, or someone else, I am not kidding, Hillary’s people were much louder. This is COMPLETE BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O, saw Tim Russert there, I leered at his pumpkin head.

  127. We should lay off the “imported” talk. It really doesn’t matter. Despite the navel gazing of the Georgetown Social Club, the ability to organize a crowd for a rally in Des Moines doesn’t really bear much resemblence to the precinct by precinct ground game required to fill 2000+ caucus sites across the state.

    The people Hillary has running her campaign in Iowa — Teresa Vilmain, Tom Vilsack, etc. — know how to turn out their voters and they aren’t going to make a big show of what they are doing.

  128. “O, saw Tim Russert there, I leered at his pumpkin head.”

    Well, I certainly hope they had fingerbowls with scented geraniums at the dinner tables.

  129. Celiff, you guys who are the college supporters, what do you do to drum up support? Has Hillary come to your campus to speak at all?

  130. celiff-
    If u are around could u take a moment and email me? Im on cmte with one of Hillary’s natl co-chairs and we are preparing to send folks to Iowa. Ive read mcuh of your work here and u clealry are well versed in Iowa poltiics etc.. could u email me at texan4hillary@gmail.com? the admin knows who I am as well! I have some questions for you and am hoping you can give us some great advice-thanks
    texan4hillary

  131. Just checking out the JJ activity (read Politico first). The Obama office in our downtown is staffed with college kids. Hillary’s office just opened almost next door. Last night we picked up first signs to put out this morning. While loading them into trunk, two “younuns” popped their heads out storefront door to see what we were doing. I asked them if they had “Hillary envy” ! Huh!

  132. yeah I agree on organization part. Infact, I am taking my van and driving down to Iowa in last week of December, so if they need some extra volunteers/drivers to pick up and drop voters, I can do it. I love the message she delivered today, if we give her support, she will deliver for us. I am glad she was able to turn out people of that magnitude.

    Organization, grass root mobilization and convincing Iowans about her electibility. I think thats all that matters. I am working overtime trying to put up graphs on my website, http://www.clickforhillary.com. Once I am dont with that, I hope some of us will have better equipment to convince others of her electibility.

  133. Speaking of turnout, I’m pretty sure that this is one of the TV spots that will be kicking off in the next 10 days in Iowa:

  134. Actually, Celiff, I’m very interested. If I had the wherewithall, I’d come to Iowa myself. I’m in my young 30’s, but I don’t think there is any reason for Hillary not to have alot of support among young college kids. I don’t really get it.

  135. mj: I think Hillary has more support among college students than anyone recognizes.

    The overwhelming majority of college students in the United States today are women, somewhere between 55% and 60% if I recall. Trust me, it is not lost on these young women that in studying American history since they were in the first grade, they’ve never seen a picture of anyone who looks like them in the Oval Office.

  136. These last few weeks are going to be hardcore GOTV for us. Obama gave several low blows, and he is showing his desperation. Sure thing Texan4Hillary.

  137. Here’s the key point. If we don’t elect Hillary, it could be another fifty or hundred years before another women comes along with the perfect storm of experience and political organization to make a serious challenge for the White House.

    Hell, if we had to rely on Iowa, it could be another 230 years.

  138. Now they are already saying she’s smearing the youth vote because of what Hill’s staff said about Obama’s supporters. Sometimes I wish her campaign people would just put a sock in it. Better to let people figure these things out for themselves.

  139. mj:

    Hillary will win Iowa. Edwards has become too scary and Iowa, of all places, isn’t voting for the black guy statewide.

    Edwards coulda been a contender in Iowa if he hadn’t gone nutso and instead run as the safe moderate, fiscal-responsibility southern white guy. Trippi talked him into this psycho storm the barricades “down with the man” raging populist schtick which is limited in its appeal to the wacko fringe of the party.

  140. Yesterday’s very conservative Foster’s (NH):

    Clinton’s numbers in New Hampshire remain steady. Where there is movement, it is in the direction of separating her further from her two main primary opponents — Barack Obama and John Edwards.

    Edwards seemed to be getting nervous this week when he said Obama’s failure to catch Clinton was a sign Obama should step aside and give him — Edwards — a chance to do it.

    Clinton’s on-the-ground staff in New Hampshire will work until the polls close on primary day to avert any of those impish surprises that can kick a campaign into the back forty and start a candidates greatest ambitions onto a road to oblivion.

    http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071110/GJOPINION_01/711100009

  141. mj, dont worry about what daily kos says. remember dailykos doesnt represent majority of american electorate. Actually it doesnt even come close. so its useless arguing with them. infact I remember reading somewhere that it consists 92% white men, and average age is around 30 or something. Is that the same about average voter at these caucuses? if dailykos and mydd were representative of the electorate, then Howard dean would have been representative of the democratic party in 2004 by a whopping 80% of the party, and Edwards would have received numbers spiking to leads averaging 70-80%. so dont bother arguing with them, but if you have a point, put it out there succinctly and let them fret over it.

  142. If the Georgetown Social Club and her Democratic rivals take her down, then they can enjoy another losing Presidential election and eight more years of Republicans.

    This much I know: John Edwards and Barack Obama are not going to be elected President in November 2008. Simple as that.

    We have 200,000 troops in active war zones and neither of them have one minute of national security experience or credibility. They’ll lose to the Republican mantra of “they want to raise taxes, increase the size of government, and wave the white flag in the global war on terror.”

    Neither of them can cross the “commander-in-chief” threshold and without doing so, they can’t be elected.

  143. Thanks, but I meant in Iowa. Dodd, Obama, Edwards, they are just throwing everything at her. And, the press basically ignores her plans to focus on this bs. Her staffer was absolutely stupid to plant a question to anyone in Iowa for those reasons.

  144. Iowa always votes for the safe choice at the end of the day. They just like to be really flakey getting there. I mean, good god, they voted for the corpse John Kerry, not because he brought anything to the table, but because he was the only one who even remotely had a story of national security to sell.

  145. hwc,

    I agree with you on the commander-in-chief issue. the way they will spin the story is : Do we want a commander-in-chief who has a middle name Hussein. Well, if someone asks my mom, she would say heck no. she has no clue but she would drag her ass to the polls to vote against this guy. Thats how paranoid america is after september 11, and Mr. Obama thinks he can talk to them and engage them and start a conversation, but trust me, from where I come, they wont even lend an ear without suspicion to this guy.

    and mj, i feel your frustration. these mistakes will be made, but I wish they were made earlier, but again, we have two more months, so the quicker they are forgotten, the better All campaigns make mistakes, but it depends on weather any of this sticks. Remember Bill Clinton’ mantra. Dont make news, dont make news, dont make news, and there is a reason for that. the more the news, the greater the possibility that it will actually stick to your caricature. So I think we should stop arguing about this on blogs and let them discuss it among themselves and tear it apart. In the end, if no body cares, it just dies down. remember its a zero sum game. If they cannot convince you to change your vote on your favourite candidate, all their lies/spin hold no ground and are ineffective.

  146. Also, I look for the pile on to reach a breaking point in the very near future. The poo-bahs of the Democratic Party have to see where this is headed in terms of crippling the Party’s chances in 2008 if they keep up the suicide firing squad on the party’s strongest candidate. I think you’ll see some elected officials start to speak up.

    I mean, you’ve got two Democratic Presidential candidates on the stump accusing the entire Democratic Party of corruption. That isn’t helping Chuck Schumer and Chris van Hollen win legislative seats. Or Democratic governors position for 2008.

  147. I’d watched the JJ dinner again and Hillary was better this time for me because I was able to relax and savor it but I swear I saw Obama’s section clapping for Hillary thoughout the speech.

    I wonder if Celiff can confirm that for me because when Hillary got the audience participation started and it kept getting louder and louder as more people caught on to what she was doing.

    Nancy Pelosi need to start showing leadership and stop letting Hillary hang out there by herself talking party unity….geesh you would think the party leadership would start putting the flames out before it gets to late.

    Letting the media control the dems message is just irresponsible to me and even if the candidate still choice to shoot themselve in the foot at least the leadership should be out there talking about party unity and about coming together for the greater good.

  148. Maybe this is why Obama was angry all throughout his speech…or maybe not but I’m LOL as I’d read this

    Reflecting the tradition of this dinner, the candidates sat in the audience to be available at the end of the night, when they returned to the stage in a display of unity with Democratic leaders and the master of ceremonies, Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker.

    That meant Clinton was in Edwards’s line of sight when, addressing Iowa voters, he offered what appeared to be a rebuke of her campaign. “You’re in a place to judge who is trustworthy, who is honest, who is sincere, who can restore that trust relationship,” said Edwards, who spoke first, quietly left the hall and did not return until the end of the night.

    When Obama spoke about Clinton, the New York senator talked quietly with people at her table. At one point, Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of her campaign, brought over Quincy Jones, the record producer, for an introduction. Clinton and Jones embraced as fans snapped pictures, while Obama continued his implicit attacks on Clinton.

    But Clinton noticed — applauding and rising to her feet — when Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico implored Democrats to refrain from attacking one another. “It is critically important that Democrats not tear each other down,” he said. “I believe it’s important to point out policy differences on Iraq, Iran. But it’s important to remember the American people want a positive campaign.”

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/11/america/11cnddems.php?page=1

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    Can someone please – post the video of Hillary’s full speech? Please please please…

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  150. Yes, please post a Youtube if possible. Everyone else has their video posted.

    I’m dying to see and hear Hillary’s speech.

    Mrs. S.

  151. Meet the Press: Russert in subdued mode. Several questions related to Hillary at the start. Russert is challenging Obama on statements he has made on social security and the war. He’s letting Obama give long answers to explain. It’s polite challenges (by that I mean Russert doesn’t seem in relentless aggressive attack mode like he was with Hillary). He has shown statements Obama has made in the past on Hillary and a couple issues that seem to conflict current statements. He has just brought up Obamas views on the Iran issue as compared to Hillary and showed a newspaper quote that says Obama is talking about Hillary unfairly on the Iran vote as it did not mention authorizing troops for a potential war there. He followed up by asking Obama to explain his statements on how he would deal with Iran particularly in regard to them having nuclear weapons.

    I’m off to church soon. I just thought I’d give everyone a brief update on the flow of the interview. I look forward to everyone’s analysis when I return..I didn’t have time to listen closely to Baracks responses. In general, they seems like the same things he has said many times before in debates and in the media.

  152. A few more tidbits: Russert is challenging Obama on getting lobbyists support–that he received it before. Russert also asking about Obamas state records and if they would show lobbyist support.

    Wow, he is asking about Resko! Russert’s asking about Reskos finacial support of Obama and his assistance with his house purchase. It’s a short exchange however and no followup by Russert. Russert now asking about John Lewis and Obamas support for gay rights/marriage. Russert brings up gay bigot singer but lets Obama give answer on how he want’s to bring all type of people together even hostile ones. No follow up by Russert.

    Russert is not following up aggressively on Obama’s responses.

    News: Obama thinks Hillary can win in November ’08 but it will be harder for her. Obama thinks only he can “transform the political landscape”.

  153. **********************************************************************
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    Anyone…anyone at all have the full video of Hillary last night? I am so restless to watch it. This is insane. Every other candidate have posted their videos. How bloody annoying is this? Can anyone pleassssssse post the video –
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  154. I think that Russert had “pretend” gotcha questions. He asked a few challenging things just so he won’t be accused of asking softball questions but actually never really challenged Obama seriously at all.

  155. It is easy to criticize the Russert interview. The tone was more like a direct examination of your own witness, than a cross examination of an adverse witness. He failed to follow up certain issues, such as Obama’s deflection of the question about dividing the party through personal attacks, and no mention of Obama’s failure to show up for the Iran vote–which goes to the larger question of whether he is all talk and no action, etc.

    On the other hand, Russert did achieve some valuable admissions, which will be evident in the transcript. One key admission is that Hillary is electable in November, which will negate efforts by his supporters to suggest otherwise.

    That said, the real test of this interview is how it was perceived by people who have not followed the process as closely as we have. Rather, the test is how it was perceived by the rest of the country. And on that score, I believe the following is true:

    Many of them heard for the first time that his opposition to the Iraq War has not been a model of consistency. Many of them heard for the first time about his relationship with Rezko. And many of them saw for the first time the wide gap in experience expressed in statistical terms.

    Like I said yesterday, Russert had a line to walk. In general, I think he succeeded. More of the truth about Obama has now come out, and listeners can evaluate his answers for themselves. My mother who is a strong Hillary supporter, but has not followed the process as closely as we have summed it up this way: Russert was tough on Obama.

  156. It is a softball interview. Nowhere close to the agressive way in which he went after Clinton with half truths. I am still waiting for an apology for his misleading question on archives. Knowing these MCPs, I will be surprised if she get’s one.

  157. hi folks,

    I doubt such interviews will have any impact if MSM does not spin it…

    Here’s the latest CNN/WMUR poll taken from Nov 2 to Nov 7

    Clinton 35 (43)
    Obama 21 (20)
    Edwards 15 (14)

    Clinton’s support has softened a bit, but Obama/Edwards have not been able to move up their #s either.

  158. Kostner,
    Do you have a clip of Hillary’s speech last night? It is pitiful that they haven’t posted the video. Obama’s entire video is on youtube. What a shame – that we cannot post it!!

    Again – I am desperate to see it – haven’t slept at all. Can anyone tell me where I can get the video? Please please please….

  159. As sad as it is to admit – Hillary’s team is a terrible slack when it comes to online posting. This is beyond a joke!! Even Chris dodd has his bloody video up – what the hell is wrong with clinton’s campaign!!

  160. It’s possible the numbers have not changed at all the 43% may have been to high, the 35% on the low end. This isn’t so bad. She still has a very healthy lead.

  161. I think the campaign should back off a little, and just let Hillary go out and talk to the people. She’s absolutely brilliant on her own.

  162. Her campaign is starting to get on my nerves these days – with information lag. After 10 days of nothing but bad press for her – finally she shines – well – her supporters cannot watch it. Why? Because the goddamn campaign cannot post their full video!!! I think her campaign has lost their online mojo!

  163. Secret,

    hehe, don’t get so restless, I’m just kidding. i know you love the entire speech, but after i browsed the entire internet, not a whole lot of talk who ‘won’ the speech competition…

    Frankly it’s a great speech, but i doubt it will change anybody’s mind, it’s just a partisan rehash.

  164. Kostner,

    I know it is not earth shattering speech. But after 10 days of being bruised by barrage of negative press – it is only normal for her supporters to watch her do well. Don’t you think it is fair to expect them to post the entire video online?

    Anyways when they do it [I doubt her campaign will ever do that – but of some of her supporters post it] please alert – so, some of us who hasn’t watched it would want to watch her do well and feel happy for her.

  165. Hi GANG!!!!

    FACTHUB already has OBAMA’s lies posted from the RUSSERT interview. God I love that new addition to HILLARYHUB

  166. This is great from Mike Allen/Politico:

    OBAMA — “NEVER EXPECTED TO BE HERE”: “I am not in this race to fulfill some long-held ambitions, or because I believe it’s somehow owed to me. I never expected to be here. I always knew this journey was improbable – I’ve never been on a journey that wasn’t.”

    REALLY? EXPECT TO SEE THIS IN MONDAY STORIES: A little bird points out a Washington Post article from September saying, “According to those who know him, he has been talking about the presidency for more than a decade.” The AP reported in January: “Iis Darmawan, 63, Obama’s kindergarten teacher, remembers him as an exceptionally tall and curly haired child who quickly picked up the local language and had sharp math skills. ‘He wrote an essay titled, “I Want To Become President,” ‘ the teacher said.” The L.A. Times reported in March that Fermina Katarina Sinaga, Obama’s third-grade teacher, “asked her class to write an essay titled ‘My dream: What I want to be in the future.’ Obama wrote ‘I want to be a president,’ she said.”

  167. Yepsen/DMR just stops short of endorsing Obama with a fawning review of his speech (no others were discussed).

    blogs.dmregister.com/?p=9887#comments

  168. Most Important Issue in DEM Primary – 1st Choice

    Iraq-26, Iran-ONE PERCENT!, Health Care-33, SS-5, taxes-4, Immigration-2, economy-15.

    Looks like Hill’s #1 issue MATCHES the voters in NH.

  169. This is my first chance to post, after seeing Hillary’s speech, and she made me very proud. I thought she was superb. I’m also glad she’s still ahead by 14 in that NH poll.

    I’m not sure what Yepsen was watching, but I’m a little biased, I admit, lol.

    BTW, this thread has almost 400 replies. Wow!

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