Debatable Maneuvers

Update: McCain has a history of ugliness (and a complicit Big Media protected McCain) towards the Clinton’s – including attacking Chelsea Clinton when Chelsea was a little girl.

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Hillary Fundraiser on NOW – $1 Million by 8:00 p.m. EST Thursday. Thursday is debate night. Over $500,000 already raised.

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Yesterday John McCain responded it was “an excellent question” when a questioner asked “How do we beat the bitch?”

In a letter published in today’s New York Times former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro not only named Tim Russert as a main opponent against Hillary in the last debate, Ferraro had three challenges for the anti-Hillary mob:

Barack Obama has said that, when he was attacked for 15 minutes in a prior debate, he didn’t raise his race as an issue. Fifteen minutes is not two hours, though, and I feel sure that, if Senator Obama had been subjected to so sustained an attack, plenty of other people would be talking about racism, even if he wasn’t. But then, as I’ve said before, in this country it’s still O.K. to be sexist, but not to be racist.

I’ll be watching the coming candidate debates on CNN, and if the Republican front-runner, Rudolph W. Giuliani, is the sole subject of two hours of personal attacks, I’ll rethink my position.

It will help if, next time out, John Edwards and Senator Obama stick to substantive policy disagreements with Senator Clinton. If they can’t, they’ll only prove themselves unworthy of our party’s nomination.

Tomorrow night instead of the male candidates called to account to their personal attacks against Hillary we will not be surprised if instead Hillary is attacked again for allegedly daring to raise the “gender card”. Instead of the sustained personal attacks against Hillary being the issue, the victim will be blamed. Russert’s misbehaviors and distortions in the previous two debates, of course, will not be mentioned.

ABC News is speculating on what will transpire in Las Vegas, Nevada as the desperate Obama and Edwards gamble on more attacks against Hillary aided by Big Media complicity:

In the two weeks since the last Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton has seen her rivals garner increased media attention with sharp rhetoric and pointed jabs at her candidacy and character. For Clinton, the debate is a chance to come out swinging against the “boys” standing with her on stage and try to reverse the perception that her campaign has hit a rough patch.

But Clinton, who in past debates has not focused her rhetoric on her rivals, may want to work on landing some direct punches of her own on Thursday. Because dodging and weaving isn’t going to work if the last few days on the campaign trail are any indication of what’s ahead in Las Vegas.

On Tuesday John Edwards once again would not come out and say he would support Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic nomination, sticking to his statement that he expects to support the nominee and he expects to be the nominee, ABC News’ Raelyn Johnson reports.

Edwards long ago became the Nader wannable in this election cycle. Gravel will not be at the debate. Senator Dodd, battered by Connecticut polls showing about 5% support in his home state, might withdraw from the beat up Hillary coalition. Governor Richardson never joined the beat up Hillary coalition.

Debate night is tomorrow. We’ll have questions for Obama raised by his appearance on Meet the Press later today.

Clear your calendars for tomorrow night – 8:00 p.m. (ET); 5:00 p.m. (PT). CNN. Moderators are Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, John Roberts.

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237 thoughts on “Debatable Maneuvers

  1. I think the debate will have even more diminished return for O-bomb and Breck Girl.
    The last debate was used by media to draw blood on Hillary. After three weeks of sustained attacks, smears, she is still standing tall, how many more ammos are left for DC pundits to chew on?

  2. Powder Room Politics
    By Kathleen Parker

    WASHINGTON — Will women vote for Hillary Clinton only because she’s a woman?

    That question keeps getting bounced around and I’ve recently revised my answer from “no” to “yes.”

    That is, yes, women will vote for Clinton because she’s a woman — if men target her as a woman.

    Translation: Gentlemen, if you don’t want another Clinton in the White House, do not say unkind things about her persona, demeanor, appearance — even if bull’s-eye true. Not even in your own kitchen with your own wife.

    Women have radar for anti-woman sentiments — and all guys have them to some degree. Blame Mom, if you haven’t already. And no one has benefited more from being a victim than the candidate formerly known as Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    The truth is, Clinton might not be a senator from New York if not for her victimization as first spouse. How soon we forget the circumstances of her rise to power. It may be arguable that Clinton is a good-enough senator — that’s not the point — but it is inarguable that she won the office in 2000 because women rallied around her.

    Overall, women voted for Clinton over Republican Rep. Rick Lazio 60 percent to 39 percent. In upstate New York, typically a Republican stronghold, women voted for Clinton 55 percent to 43 percent.

    And that rally had as much to do with Clinton the Victim as Clinton the Candidate. Throughout their White House years, the worse Bill behaved, the better Hillary looked. All women, without exception, could relate to her position and could admire her classy handling of the situation.

    Polls during the campaign indicated that women identified with Clinton’s struggles and “saw some of themselves in her,” according to Clinton pollster Mark Penn.

    Today we have a different Hillary Clinton. Now a consummate politician in her own right, Clinton has a record and a position (or two or three) on national issues that transcend her domestic life. Criticism of her policies isn’t just appropriate, but necessary.

    But she should lose the presidency for legitimate reasons, not because men find her unappealing.

    When Clinton’s campaign recently played the victim card following a debate in which the other top Democratic candidates “piled on,” they misspent her gender equity. The men weren’t piling on because she’s a woman, but because she’s the leading candidate, as Clinton subsequently acknowledged.

    Invoking sexism was a risky strategy that almost worked, but not quite. Enough women navigate all-male boardrooms without needing special protections. They and others in more traditional roles were surely insulted by the implication that a woman running for president needs special handling. They’ve come too far to bat those lashes.

    But. Let men criticize Clinton personally and a funny thing happens. Contaminating the air is a slight whiff of misogyny that women recognize and recoil against. When men speak derogatorily about Clinton’s looks, all women feel a little bit wounded. What woman can withstand such scrutiny, after all?

    Women may attack each other — I’ve been known to observe the shrillness of Hillary’s voice — but when a man does it, something female kicks in among even the least girly of us. Bottom line: What women have in common with Hillary Clinton will always exceed what they have in common with men. This is powder room wisdom. Two women can disagree on the most controversial issues at the table, but when they head to the ladies’ room, inevitably together, they see eyeball to eyeball real fast over the most basic, and ultimately most important, matters.

    Hair, for instance. But also, seriously, children, family, life, love and those mysterious creatures — men. Women may cut each other’s throat for a man’s affections, but most will also come to a sister’s aid when men behave badly. It’s human nature to empathize with the pain of those most like us.

    Similarly, what men have in common with Bill Clinton exceeds what they have in common with women — even if they are contemptuous of his narcissism and lack of self-control.

    Many of us witnessed this in our own kitchens during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The deeper Ken Starr cut into Bill Clinton’s very private life, the more men felt sympathy for and aligned themselves with the president. In the locker room, schadenfreude has its limits.

    Will women vote for Hillary just because she’s a woman? Only if men attack Hillary as a woman.

    So be nice, boys, or you may end up choking on the words “Madam President.”

  3. Brace Yourself: McCain’s Manager Calls CNN ‘The Clinton News Network’

    Hell has frozen over, bears no longer do that thing in the woods, and pigs are flying…

    … because folks, John McCain is running against the media. His campaign manager is calling CNN the Clinton News Network.

    Team McCain is swinging away at Rick Sanchez, who I ought to note, used to host the Sunday night blogger chat segments that I appear on from time to time. I think Sanchez is a pretty good anchor, but I saw the segment last night, and it seemed to be a pretty obvious effort to turn the question to McCain into a YouTube moment. Sanchez kept inferring that McCain thought it was “excellent” to call Hillary Clinton the B-word, and I think he’s seeing something that isn’t there. The “how to beat her” part is an excellent question to contemplate for any candidate who wants to win. And indeed, McCain went on to say he respected Hillary.

    Rick Davis’ message to supporters after the jump:

    Friends,

    The CNN Network, affectionately known as the Clinton News Network, has stooped to an all-time low and is gratuitously attacking John McCain for not defending Hillary Clinton enough when a South Carolina voter used the ‘B’ word to describe her when John McCain stopped into a luncheon yesterday at the Trinity restaurant in Hilton Head, SC.

    A voter used a word that I would not have used to describe Senator Hillary Clinton and asked the Senator how he was going to beat her. Senator McCain first responded by saying that he respected Senator Clinton, as he has said repeatedly throughout the campaign. Then, focusing on the question, he pointed to the new Rasmussen national poll showing that he is the only Republican candidate who can beat her in a general election. No other Republican candidate beat Clinton in the poll.

    As an independent news agency, CNN owes John McCain an apology because of the outrageous behavior of their network host Rich Sanchez. Liberal bloggers and their friends at CNN went on the attack yesterday and continued their attacks through the night. They said the McCain campaign was over because of the statement of one, lone voter in South Carolina. Well friends, we are on a comeback, we are the only campaign that can defeat Hillary Clinton and CNN knows it. We are not going to let Senator Clinton’s friends in the liberal blogosphere and on CNN try to destroy our campaign. Senator McCain is a fighter and he is not going to back down to CNN.

    Please click here to watch how John McCain responded to the question.

    Please click here to watch CNN’s Rich Sanchez’s biased and factually incorrect “reporting” try to end the McCain candidacy.

    Why are they doing this?

    Because John McCain is the only Republican who beats Hillary Clinton in recent national polling data and who will beat her in the general election. The Rasmussen poll shows that he leads Senator Hillary Clinton by two or three points while Rudy Giuliani loses to Hillary Clinton by six points. State-by-state polling shows that he can win important swing states in the general election whereas Rudy Giuliani loses those swing states.

    John McCain is now in a strong second place in most, if not all, recent national polling. These polls emphasize what CNN and their liberal friends are afraid of: John McCain is the best general election candidate.

    John McCain is improving in primary polls. A poll released yesterday by CBS News shows that he is now in second place in New Hampshire. He won New Hampshire in 2000 and he will win New Hampshire in 2008. The McCain comeback is here and it is real.

    John McCain displayed leadership on Iraq when others were silent. He was the only candidate who criticized the Rumsfeld strategy and argued for a new strategy in Iraq – a strategy that is now succeeding. The liberal media knows that if John McCain is nominated they can no longer try to use the War in Iraq for political gain.

    The liberal media has figured out that John McCain is the only thing that stands between a Hillary Clinton presidency, and they are therefore trying to stop the McCain comeback. Simply put, CNN is scared that John McCain will beat Hillary Clinton. They are right to be scared. We are not going to back down.

    We need your help. We need you to stand with John McCain, a man of honor, integrity and love of country, against the liberal media and liberal blogosphere that are trying to bring him down. We need you to stand with John McCain against Rick Sanchez and his friends at CNN and their biased reporting. We need you to stand with John McCain against Hillary Clinton’s allies who will do anything to prevent him from winning the Republican nomination.

    Can we count on you to stand up and support John McCain against these attacks?

    Will you stand up and help strengthen the resurgence of our campaign as the best candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton?

    We are asking you to help us fight Rick Sanchez and CNN and stand with John McCain.
    Please make your most generous contribution from $25 up to the maximum limit of $2,300 to the only candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton.

    With your help John McCain will fight back against this onslaught by CNN and their liberal friends in the blogosphere and the McCain comeback will continue, will strengthen and will earn the nomination and the right to defeat Hillary Clinton in November.

    Sincerely,

    Rick Davis, Campaign Manager

    P.S. By contrast, I invite you to read this story from David Brooks that appeared in The New York Times. It is an excellent piece that is a must read for every voter.

  4. “The John and Hillary Show”/Michael D. Shear, WaPo, 11/14/07:

    Are Republicans hammering Hillary because they’re too afraid of attacking each other? Or is it that they are hoping criticism of her somehow bolsters their own — sometimes lacking — conservative credentials?

    Just in case we needed any more evidence that the Republican candidates are obsessed with Hillary Clinton, check out a new online game created by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

    ** Go to johnmccain.com / hillaryshow **

    The game features two cartoonish depictions of McCain and Clinton standing behind podiums, and gives websurfers the change to answer questions about them.

    “Which candidate proposed to spend $1 million of taxpayer money on a concert museum for Woodstock?” the first question asks. The answer choices are: Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and John McCain.

    When Clinton’s name is clicked, a yellow daisy sprouts out of her hair, she holds up the two-fingered peace sign and a bubble appears over her head with the words: “That’s groovy, man.”

    The next question, predictably, asks: “Which candidate held Sen. Clinton accountable for attempting to waste taxpayer dollars on a museum for the “cultural and pharmaceutical event?”

    When McCain’s name is clicked, Clinton’s arm extends out, holding a flaming wad of cash, and saying “Let’s not talk about that.”

    As noted in today’s story, McCain and his Republican rivals are increasingly using Clinton as a foil in their efforts to secure the GOP nomination.

    The Republicans are hoping to tap into anti-Clinton fervor among the GOP base, which are the most likely voters in the coming caucuses and primaries.

    But the fact remains that they are engaged at the moment in a contest that is supposed to be among Republicans. With 50 days to go, they’ve engaged in very little aggressive challenging of each other.

    The first television ad by Rudy Giuliani, for example, is a positive piece about his record as mayor of New York. And former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has been airing ads for months, has yet to do an attack piece.

    Those ads may come soon. But for the moment, the leading candidates for the Republican nomination appear content to let their voters judge them on how harsh they can be toward the former first lady.

  5. Why is that Hillary never gets any credit on the issues. She came out with by far the best work/family, UHC and energy plans, and they were hardly spoken about. Now Obama’s comes out with this tech policy, that sounds remarkably like Hillary’s and people are going crazy about it. It’s so transformative. I’ve noticed this before, she doesn’t get much credit for her very good policy proposals.

  6. Boy, I bet the Obama/Edwards campaigns are in a total dither. Didn’t the number of voters who are firm in their support of Clinton rise after the last pile on? Maybe I have that wrong, but I don’t think I do. Maybe in New Hampshire, or something.

    Attack to hard and your campaign to pick up more voters is DOA – Dems don’t like watching Dems attack each other. Don’t attack hard enough and Clinton’s natural ability as a candidate allows her to pick up more support.

    What to do? What to do?

    I think they’ve painted themselves in a corner courtesy of Mr. Russert.

  7. From the November 13 edition of CNN’s The Situation Room:

    JACK CAFFERTY (commentator): Usually, we only do one question at a time in these segments, but, today, I have an extra question. And it has to do with the Drudge Report and my pal, Wolf Blitzer. I was clicking on the Drudge Report, and there you are, big as life, in the middle of the Drudge Report this afternoon, with a headline suggesting that the Hillary Clinton campaign is trying to intimidate you before you moderate this big debate in Las Vegas. What up with that?

    BLITZER: Not true. No one has pressured me. No one has threatened me. No one is trying to intimidate me.

    CAFFERTY: They’d better not. I’ll come down there.

    BLITZER: No one has even called me to try to pressure me or anything like that.

    CAFFERTY: Where do — where does a silly thing like that come from?

    BLITZER: I don’t know. You know, I try to suspect that maybe some rival campaigns are trying to create a little mischief, try to get her embarrassed a little bit getting into the debate Thursday night, but I have no idea where it’s coming from. I have no idea who generated this story, but I can tell you I have not felt any pressure whatsoever.

    CAFFERTY: What about Drudge just rushing this thing right onto the website without knowing if it’s true or not?

    BLITZER: Well, that’s another story.

    CAFFERTY: Well, that’s — we may get into that at some point.

    BLITZER: Maybe we will.

  8. Yep! Ever since the JJ dinner I noticed a reevaluation on Obama and it doesn’t hurt that they are being called out for their anti-Hillary bias.

    People wont forget and some might not forgive the media run up to Hilliary bashing and attacks.

  9. Chase Martyn is on Taylor Marsh’s show right now. He thinks this negative message testing is from Edwards camp itself to see if his supporters are wavering. Most likely scenario since all the people getting calls are well known hardcore Edwards supporters. He does not think it is put by rival campaigns because they would not test it only on hardcore Edwards supporters.

  10. ra1029: there’s been a report of one Edwards leaner receiving the call. Script slightly different — no Hillary questions, just right into asking about Edwards upon hearing the support was not firm.

    This would support Edwards message testing. It also supports that her health *is* an issue for voters.

  11. Let me say that I’m not accusing the Edwards campaign, just fleshing out a scenario that it could be. Frankly, it’s Obama that’s been making more noise about picking off Edwards support. It’s not hard to dream up a scenario where it’s any one of the campaigns (even Hillary).

    They’ve covered their tracks well.

  12. Ok, so he’s not biased toward Hillary was all I meant. In other words, he wouldn’t say this to help Hillary out given that EE is suggesting Hill’s camp did this.

  13. I was just going to say — the posts I’ve read were not unbiased …

    Out of curiousity, what makes him a IA political expert? He could well be, I haven’t paid enough attention to him.

    Why do you assume that nobody here has any experience in polling or message testing?

    I’ve often found comments more valuable on blogs that the actual posts that spawn them …

  14. We are having a debate watching party (the UDEMS) tomorrow at the student union, with the Iowa Independent news people buying us free pizza. I think they want to watch us watch the debate. The arrogant obama people never come to these events sponsored by the UDEMS, but they will probably be at this one. Free pizza. Should be interesting. I will be sporting my Turn Up The Heat, Turn America Around yellow shirt from JJ.

  15. People with blogs tend to stick together — sort of an authoritative self-reinforcement mechanism. In the political blogosphere, most are just winging it.

    Reason is because if you’re really tapped into what’s going on — you can’t talk about it in public.

    There are many niche blogs with serious experts but have much smaller audiences.

  16. He’s a complete Obama supporter and when he mentioned on the show about the debate watch party he is hosting for students I know for sure that Obama is going to win this party. I can tell that ahead of time.

  17. He said he is going to post their reactions after the debate. How much I can bet that this is going to be a positive coverage of BO?

  18. Well, he’s irrelevant. I only meant that if he doesn’t think the poll is from Hill, we can be fairly certain it isn’t. Is he a student?

  19. ra1029: He’s a complete Obama supporter

    That was my impression reading older posts — however, I usually arrive there via a link and have not followed his coverage in a comprehensive fashion.

  20. I have been trying to be cordial to Edwards people because we are trying to overtake obama on campus, and I will be bringing up this push polling thing at the debate watch. And the UDems exec board, which has a pres, vp, secretary, an events coordinator (4 elected positions) and 2 people from each campaign (except obama (1), kucinich, gravel, dodd (1), and biden (1)), has the vp, secretary, and 2 others for Hillary, and the president is pretty much on our side. We should win if not too many obama-ites show up for free pizza.

  21. mj: I only meant that if he doesn’t think the poll is from Hill, we can be fairly certain it isn’t.

    Oh, I understand what you meant, certainly. Another possibility is that he’s nervously deflecting for Obama and doesn’t take the opportunity for the customary blogger stab at Hillary. Very honestly, I’ve let my blog reading dwindle because the Hillary hostility has become so predictable.

    All the campaigns are going to be doing this kind of stuff, so I’m not particularly interested in assigning blame — the survey design is interesting, though.

  22. celiff — whenever you have time, comment a bit about support by gender. I witnessed an Obama rally from a distance fairly recently, and I noticed his crowd slanted to young men in a big way.

  23. Mj, to answer your question about why our girl never gets any credit on the issues: Simple enough. She’s a female in a male dominated world. She has to work twice as hard, do twice as much, be twice as smart and she only gets half the credit of a guy who just barely shows up to work. And she does it in high heels.

    Disgusting.

    On a more positive note, just got back from Court a few minutes ago with a client, her mother and her sister. All three it turns out are very committed voters. Never missing an election. My client in particular registered to vote on the anniversary of her grandmother’s first vote 75 years prior when women gained the right of sufferage. So as you can imagine, these women take this seriously. All three are going to the local polls in February to vote for our girl. They’re even getting dear old dad out there for Hillary.

    As we discussed our reasons, all three said they were proud she was a woman but that on the issues, on demeanor, on experience and overall worldliness, she was the best choice out of all candidates. Period. They also believed she’d get universal healthcare passed in her first administration and take on poverty issues. None trusted Breck Girl or Bwak and believed they were too negative. All-in-all, it fits with what we’re seeing in the polls and the underlying demographics. Mom was 50-60, both daughters mid to late 20’s. College or some college. Caucasian. Catholic. Middle to upper middle class.

  24. mj:

    It cannot be her. Many people are now saying (including Chase Martyn) that the most likely explanation is Edwards’s team doing it to test if his support is wavering among his hardcore supporters. This guy said that a lot of Iowans like EE and they were wondering why he is still campaigning when she is ill. Chase Martyn’s theory was Edwards camp is testing it to see if it had any impact among his core supporters.

    He also said it did not make any sense for rival campaigns to do this because the people who got calls were very well known and hardcore edwards supporters. There information can be obtained from Iowa democratic voter files and no campaign will go on a suicide mission to engage them because they very well know it will be leaked out. Also, this message was not tested on any others supporters other than John’s.

    Anyway, that was his theory. He also said BO did the best at JJ and next was Edwards.

  25. The obama rallies here have highly consisted of white guys, usually hippie white boys, and then hippie white girls. There are few african americans and latinos in Iowa, as I know first hand, and there are more african american men in obama’s offices than ayone else’s. But, there is definitely more men than women at obama’s rallies. We also have a lot of men working for us. but we have more females than obama by far. I always make sure to look at girls supporting obama puzzled-like, wearing my Hillary pin prominently on my backpacks shoulder strap, and I wonder how they could be supporting someone who has no history on women’s rights, and refused to even take a stand on abortion rights in the state senate of Illinois. I suspect this is a little known fact, or in this LIBERAL city, the prochoice ladies (99% of them) would be throwing a fit. I also saw a latino guy in an obama crowd at JJ, and I looked at him and he looked down. He has no proven record of helping out our community either. He has no record on helping out his own community. I fail to understand why young people support him. Everytime I ask someone, they get defensive and criticize Hillary for being a war hawk. I love smacking these people down with facts.

  26. hi,

    I don’t buy Chase Martyn’s ‘analysis’. Remember he’s an obama guy, so obviously it’s in his best interest to push this back to Edwards’ corner.

    BTW, am I the only one who does not care one bit about EE’s situation. I think all the concern about her, genuine or disgenuie is quite misplaced. Edwards will get a boost should unexpected things happen to his wife. Remember the widow of a MO senator after her husband crashed in a plane accident.

    I think Edwards and his family are using this cynically to beef up his campaign. But I don’t care one bit one way or the other…

  27. GOD BLESS GERALDINE FERRARO for having the courage to speak the truth!!!!!

    I have no idea if she is endorsing Hillary or not, but she most certainly deserves credit for saying what anyone with a brain and heart should be feeling after the last two weeks. It is sometimes shocking for me to see how blind and/or ignorant the media pundits are in regards to Overt Sexism.

    So far, this campaign has forced sexism to rear its ugly head in so many ways—-first with the critique of Hillary’s outfits based on cleavage, then her laugh, then her clapping, then her supposedly “using the gender card’ when she spoke at Wellsely and encouraged the students to “roll up their sleeves and get to work”……And NOBODY except Geraldine, (and Taylor Marsh) seems to NOTICE that it is the MEDIA PUNDITS who are in fact the ones RAISING THE ISSUE of gender. Even Maureen Dowd, self avowed FEMINIST, jumped on the sexist bandwagon.

    ITs quite sickening. But its also quite encouraging that FERRARO is speaking out. I am truly looking FORWARD to the debate tomrrow night.

  28. kostner, hillfans i just got up. slept all day and groggy, but i just checked rass. hillary has the biggest level of support for with 32% all voters and 44% against. but guess what? she has the largest for. but guess what? who matches her for against. obama 44%!!! so much for the haters on her being the most disliked. no matter what the haters say once the rightwing attack machine get throu with you no matter whom is the dem nominee it will not matter. like all of the sudden obama wins and he will get the gop vote too.

  29. mysterypollster has an article up at pollster.com. He is leaning towards push-poll via Republican-leaning outfit. I normally have a lot of respect for his opinion (he has significant experience in polling for Dem clients). This time I’m puzzled by what he says.

    He doesn’t think that it’s a push poll because the respondent, although directly identified, isn’t asked questions about age, etc. Perhaps IA is different, but in my state, that information is part of the voter file, as well as party affiliation, etc.

    Somebody in comments is reporting that one of the persons did get asked eight questions (immigration, are you a teacher) etc.

    As I mentioned above, leaners also received the call, not just hard-core supporters. There’s more than two reports on the call now.

    http://www.pollster.com/blogs/about_those_ugly_iowa_calls.php

  30. celiff: I suspect this is a little known fact, or in this LIBERAL city, the prochoice ladies (99% of them) would be throwing a fit.

    I expect Emily’s List will get to them. Gosh, I hope there’s enough time.

    Also, most of the universities in my state have a NARAL chapter — and they have their own communication channels w/ listservs, etc.

  31. You can be sure there’ll be a question tomorrow night about this:

    Greg Sargent writes at TPMElectionCentral: “McCain Campaign’s ‘Bitch’ Email Fibs About What Actually Happened”

    One other quick thing about the email the McCain camp sent out attacking CNN for covering his supporter’s “how do we beat the bitch” moment: It fibs pretty audaciously about what actually happened at the event.

    Here’s how the email, from McCain campaign manager Rick Davis, describes it:

    – A voter used a word that I would not have used to describe Senator Hillary Clinton and asked the Senator how he was going to beat her. Senator McCain first responded by saying that he respected Senator Clinton, as he has said repeatedly throughout the campaign. Then, focusing on the question, he pointed to the new Rasmussen national poll showing that he is the only Republican candidate who can beat her in a general election.

    Actually, that’s not how it happened at all, as the video shows. Rather, what happened was that first the supporter asked the “bitch” question. Then he laughed and said, “that’s an excellent question.” Then he went on to talk about the poll. Than, finally, as an afterthought, he added that he “respected” her. He did not “first respond” by professing his respect, as the email claims.

  32. There is some explosive stuff that just came out about Judith-Rudy-Kerik- triangle.

    abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3864145&page=1

  33. Helena Andrews at The Politico writes:

    …, to be fair, McCain didn’t use the word, but he didn’t admonish its use either.

    Some feminists say the path of least resistance — simply ignoring the insult and moving on — was a missed chance at elevating the debate beyond the gender politics that have been plaguing the presidential race since Clinton was ganged up on by the “all boys club” at the last Democratic debate.

    “One way that you keep the rhetoric from getting too inflamed is to simply, as candidates, draw the line about what kind of words you’ll use,” said Sheila Gibbons, editor of the Media Report to Women, a quarterly newsletter about women and the media.

    “There has always been a debate about what kind of rhetoric goes too far regardless of the gender of the candidate,” said Gibbons, before adding that McCain should have tactfully put the audience member in her place.

    She said she’d expect the same of Clinton if one of her supporters asked, “How do we beat the bastard?”

    Andi Zeisler, editorial director of Bitch Magazine, said her first reaction to the incident in question was, “Ugh, here it goes …” adding that Clinton foes are constantly finding new ways to paint her as unlikable.

    “We don’t really have words in our cultural vocabulary for strong women that aren’t negative,” said Zeisler, who co-founded Bitch Magazine, which publishes quarterly.

    On its website, Bitch Magazine defines its title as “an insult” used to describe women who “speak their minds, who have opinions and don’t shy away from expressing them, and who don’t sit by and smile uncomfortably if they’re bothered or offended.”

    Needless to say, the staff at Bitch has turned the word into compliment. The median age of a Bitch reader is 24.

    “It’s really unfortunate that the questioner was a woman. That was very, very disappointing to see,” said Gibbons, before adding that the “b word” is processed differently depending on the mouth out of which it flies — if a woman says it, Gibbons explained, the word is mean-spirited; from a man, it sounds threatening.

    Buzz Jacobs, McCain’s campaign manager in South Carolina, said in a statement that CNN’s coverage of the flap was “sensationalism” and that “Sen. McCain has expressed his utmost respect for Senator Clinton numerous times on the campaign trail as he did at Monday’s event in Hilton Head.”

    Even Zeisler agreed that these “little dramas” and the media’s possible over-coverage work “to obfuscate the real issues that are going on.”

    Section 2 of Rule XIX of the “Standing Rules of the Senate” deals with debate on the Senate floor: “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

    Now a campaign stop in South Carolina is by no means the Senate floor, plus this is a race for the White House, as Jacobs pointed out, not a pajama party.

    Still, one would imagine those (mostly men) running for president would seek to rise above not just mudslinging, but bitch-busting.

    On the other side, isn’t Clinton — whose camp hasn’t fired back as of yet — supposed to be thick-skinned enough to handle presidential politics?

    “Hillary can handle it,” Gibbons said. “She’s been called a lot worse.”

  34. Sandy1938 and Okie: I am with you on the issue of sexism. It just shows how insidious sexism now is in our society because of the media supported impression that “we’re (our society) is all cured…we’re all liberated.” People don’t get it: the so called gender card is played by the people who made Wellesley into “playing the gender card” She went to Wellesley because it’s her alma mater. And she wanted to launch her students for Hillary campaign. And it just happens to be an all female school. But, it’s not playing the gender card to say, “this all girls school prepared me for the all boys club” or words to that effect. It’s stating the obvious. It’s stating the obvious. Hillary makes us talk about things we want to forget, to ignore, to think we are done with in this society. She brings people who are invisible to our attention. Well, “conditions” and “issues” can be made invisible too. mollyj

  35. Hi,

    AP filed a story on Obama’s hidden files…

    Obama Says He Has No Illinois Records

    By MIKE BAKER and CHRISTOPHER WILLS

    Associated Press Writers

    AP Photo/Mark Hirsch

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    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Barack Obama, who’s been scolding Hillary Rodham Clinton for not hastening the release of records from her time as first lady, says he can’t step up and produce his own records from his days in the Illinois state Senate. He says he hasn’t got any.

    “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,” he said at a recent campaign stop in Iowa. He said he wasn’t sure where any cache of records might have gone, adding, “It could have been thrown out. I haven’t been in the state Senate now for quite some time.”

    Obama’s statement that he has no papers from his time in the Illinois statehouse – he left in 2004 – stands in stark contrast to the massive Clinton file stored at the National Archives: an estimated 78 million pages of documents, plus 20 million e-mail messages, packed into 36,000 boxes. While any file from Obama’s time in the state Senate would be far smaller, the idea that no papers exist at all is questioned by one historian.

    “Most of those guys do keep this stuff, especially the favorable stuff. They’ve all got egos,” said Taylor Pensoneau, a historian who has written about Illinois legislators and governors and worked with them as a lobbyist for the coal industry. “It goes in scrapbooks or maybe boxes. I don’t think it’s normal practice to say it’s all discarded.”

    Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said Wednesday that “Obama has a track record of leading the way on reform and disclosure,” adding that “correspondence with state agencies and records of requests Obama made to them on behalf of his constituents are available to the public and have been accessed by our opponents and members of the news media.”

    Pressed for details, LaBolt said Obama did not keep any correspondence with the general public. Ditto for letters to or from state associations and lobbyists, memos on legislation and correspondence with Illinois state agencies. The campaign said Illinois agencies have copies of his requests for information or help, but accessing those records would involve contacting the agencies and asking them to comb though eight years of records to find correspondence from Obama.

    Meanwhile, the campaign of John Edwards – Clinton and Obama’s leading rival for the Democratic nomination – said Wednesday it will release the records from his single term representing North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.

    “Senator Edwards will release the records from his Senate office and is committed to getting this done as quickly as possible,” said spokeswoman Colleen Murray. “He is currently in discussions with some North Carolina institutions to figure out where to best house the documents, and in the next few weeks we should have a better sense of when the release will begin.”

    Obama criticized Clinton during a debate in Philadelphia at the end of October, comparing her record on records to the Bush administration and saying the country had “just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history.”

    Clinton’s papers from her time as first lady, including her work leading a controversial health care task force in her husband’s first term, are held at the National Archives and Records Administration. The Clinton campaign has said that neither she nor husband Bill Clinton can do anything to speed the process of review at the National Archives that must precede the papers’ becoming public.

    Every president can, and usually does, exercise a right to withhold some documents for up to 12 years after leaving office. Bill Clinton wrote in a 2002 letter that he did not want the agency to release communications between the first lady and him for that period.

    Obama hasn’t always claimed there were no papers left from his time in the state Senate. Earlier this year, campaign spokesman LaBolt asked The Associated Press to narrow a request for records on whether Obama had ever urged clemency for a convicted criminal.

    “You’re asking us to do an extremely exhaustive search into every record we have from the U.S. Senate and state Senate offices,” LaBolt said at the time. At the news conference in Iowa last week, Obama said he didn’t “have a whole bunch of records from those years,” but told reporters to “let us know” if there are “particular documents that you are interested in.”

    As for Edwards, the AP asked the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for records and papers from the Center on Poverty Work and Opportunity, the research center Edwards founded and ran after the 2004 campaign. The university acknowledged receiving the request, but would not comment on whether it would be granted.

    Edwards left the poverty center last December, shortly before announcing his second bid for the White House. Campaign spokeswoman Murray said the campaign does not control the records, which belong to the university.

    “As a public institution, the University of North Carolina has its own procedures, which we respect, and we hope they will release everything they can that is consistent with those policies,” Murray said.

  36. JE pile on (ABC News):

    John Edwards’ presidential campaign says the Democrat will release the records from his single term representing North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.

    That decision comes as his opponents for the Democratic nomination criticize each other over release of their own records.

    Barack Obama has been scolding Hillary Rodham Clinton for not hastening the release of records from her time as first lady. Now he says he can’t step up and produce his own records from his days in the Illinois state Senate because he hasn’t got any.

    Edwards’ campaign spokeswoman Colleen Murray says Edwards is talking with various North Carolina institutions about the best place to house the documents. She says the campaign should have a better idea in the next few weeks about when the papers will be released.

  37. B Merryfield,

    do you have the link to that politico article…

    I think this little episode is good for Clinton. The media are getting bored pretty soon, and they will have some stuff to chew on.

  38. Maureen Dowd, “the queen of newsprint psychoanalysis, … who argues that Clinton is having a hard time because of the infamous, fragile male ego – she’s just trying to go about her business, and is just too smart and ambitious for men to stand.”

  39. hilfans, i think there has been another candidate that has been getting a BIG pass. guliani has this bernie kerik problem plus all other marriages, crossdressing, and other loopy stuff. if this guy is the gop nominee, the rpukes have no recourse on going after hillary and bill on “family values” or “character issues”.

  40. proudparenting . com / node / 981

    On the eve of the 38th anniversary of Stonewall, Hillary for President announced the formation of “LGBT Americans for Hillary,” a national steering committee of over 65 leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Members of the steering committee include LGBT elected officials, activists from national LGBT and Democratic Party political groups as well as leaders from the worlds of business, entertainment and sports. This leadership committee will work with the campaign on several areas including political outreach, communications, policy advice and counsel, and fundraising.

    [snip]

    “I am proud to have the support of such distinguished leaders in the LGBT community,” said Clinton. “Together, we can move our nation closer to the promise of fairness and equality that all Americans deserve.”

  41. Kostner I agree, this incident with the ‘bitch woman’ is oneof those things that the media loves! Especially as there is very little else going on. This is good.

    And the comments from G.Ferraro gave me an epiphany as to the fact that it WAS indeed a bit sexist. When she said something to the extent of: When I see Rudy being attacked for 2 hours straight I’ll conceive it is not a sexist thing….. True! Go Ferrero! 🙂

    How will Hillarys decision to not support drivers licenses for illegal immigrants be received? I lay down 5 bucks saying they will accuse her of flip flopping! *it never ends*

  42. Rudy has already dropped out of NH and Iowa (no primary push) and my son, who considers himself an expert of “no guts, no glory” Rudy, says this is already the first step in setting the stage for his total disappearance

  43. “John Edwards’ presidential campaign says the Democrat will release the records from his single term representing North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.”

    Shouldn’t take long to go through his records. He didn’t leave much of a mark on the US Senate.

  44. LOLLOLOLOL!!!!! thanks hwc for the link.

    I love their video makers, they are creative and good at what they do, this one had me laughing till I nearly cried! And I love how they feel free to mock themselves, it always helps her with the negative perception that lots of people still refuse to give up. Love it.

    And also good with it’s informative message, I’m sure many people didn’t know exactly how caucusing is done. Great job 😀

  45. kostner, That McCain e-mail calling CNN the Clinton News Network cracked me up, because it’s 1) demonstrably false, as they’re no strangers to Clinton-bashing, and 2) it’s not even original. That’s how Rush Limbaugh referred to it during Bill’s presidency.

    BTW, I’m glad the media is focusing on the “bitch” story. With all this Hillary bashing, I knew someone would go too far, and McCain should be embarrassed. I believe him when he says he respects Hillary, and I think the feeling is mutual. But he could’ve handled this better, and the fact his campaign sent out that ridiculous, over-the-top e-mail tells me they know this could hurt them badly. Hence the pushback.

  46. haa.. thanks kostner, and i heard yesterday that clintons campaign was imploding :).. makes perfect sense.. lol..

    anyways, I wanted to share my two cents on Mccain controversy, and I am sure there will be quiet a few who will disagree with me. But here it is.

    The question was asked by a mean spirited ol’ lady. she has issues with Hillary, and it doesnt surprise because she does invoke strong feelings among hardcore right wing. I am going to go a distance and say Mccain did not know how to react to the question. I think he was surprised by the exclamation, but just dismissed that comment, and went ahead to address the content of the question. I believe him when he says he and Hillary have good working relationship, which can be seen by their co-operation in senate. Now should he have confronted that lady’s comment, ideally he should, but then strategically, he need not since that wont help him in primaries.

    One of my collegue who is a republican for life also hates Hillary, and he came to me yesterday to complain about the “fact” that Bill and Hillary Clintons campaign fund raisers were all corrupt :). I forwarded him the speech Bill gave to Concord Coalition and told him that Bill was one of the most practical presidents who never tried to twist facts for ideology :).. he never came back with a rebuttal but the number of views the video increased by1.

  47. McCain can be sort of mean spirited himself though. He told a very ugly joke about Chelsea Clinton when she was only 18.

  48. Yeah, but this also fits McCane’s history. Remember the story way back about him telling that stupid joke of why chelsea was so ugly, because janet reno was the father….this is right up that alley.

    But the story also goes that Hillary and John are ‘good’ friends. And another story had them apparently doing a drinking game of sorts, or at least Hillary showed the ‘boys’ she could drink anyone under the table. Although I don’t think that story was ever confirmed. hehe, nor denied. 😉

  49. Wow..Admin..

    I am having great difficulty with my log-in here. I have been unable to access my account for several days.

    Is there a way of contacting admin directly via e-mail as an alternate resource for contacting this site when the problem arises again?

    Thanks,

    Mrs. S.

  50. Mrs. Smith,

    I think the contact webmaster on top of the site works.

    The new video is awesome :). enjoyed it.. hehe this goes on right next to Bill’s video for Correspondent’s Dinner.

  51. The big media know nothing but polls. If Clinton’s poll numbers continue to stablize, they will swift to a ‘come-back’ narrative…

    Geez. They have zero understanding of how strong Clinton’s base is just as they were puzzled over George W. Bush’s win despite all efforts.

  52. mj,

    I’m not worried at all. Remember the famous law of ‘diminished return’. You could sense last time rival camps/MSM were trying to draw blood prior to debate, the tension was so high. I don’t sense it at all this time around. They can only do so much.

  53. I’m sure Hillary is determined not to get ‘swift boated’ in this debate. And she will do great!

    I am not religious, although I am spiritual, but I will say a prayer for her before I go to bed tonight.

  54. gladiatorstail

    My e-mail doesn’t correspond with the webmaster’s for outlook express. I have a simple yahoo.com email box. If admin would post an address compatible with it that would be great!

    Thanks,

    Mrs. S.

  55. btw,

    the most amusing part in that NV poll is regarding Dodd…

    Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut received less than one percent

    He’s dead last, even behind Gravel’s 1%, and Chris Dodd is accusing Hillary of being ‘unelectabel’…

  56. Kostner, in a way Dodd raising the issue helps Hillary. It’s so unbelievable coming from him that it makes it crystal clear that it’s a false argument.

  57. gladiatorstail, you might not be aware but McCain has a history of ugly remarks about the Clinton’s. Years ago McCain made a joke about Chelsea, when Chelsea was a little girl – saying Chelsea was ugly. McCain stated that Chelsea’s mother was Janet Reno to explain her ‘ugliness’. McCain eventually apologized for the very ugly remarks made in an auditorium but that is a fact to put the “bitch” comment into context. If McCain becomes the nominee we will have more to say on McCain and his history.

  58. Here’s a few comments from another Hilliary hater:

    Hillary’s Achilles’ Heel
    Brainy women don’t frighten voters. Control freaks do.

    Nov 14, 2007 | Updated: 12:23 p.m. ET Nov 14, 2007
    Related:Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton Whitewater Type Size Print
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    Biography
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    Heading into yet another TV debate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton faces a potent enemy—not onstage, but in her own mind. She has a lifelong obsession with seeking out, and trying to control, unruly events and people. She often fails, and harms herself trying. If she doesn’t ease up, she risks losing the race. Brainy women don’t frighten voters; control freaks do.

    Hillary hates surprises yet chooses to live in the most chaotic situations imaginable—from her eyes-wide-shut marriage to an undomesticated Arkansan, to a race for president in today’s impossible-to-tame Wild West of bile-filled blogs and You Tube videos.

    I’ve seen this disaster flick before. In her husband’s 1992 campaign, she turned a family real-estate deal into a horror show by refusing to show documents about the transaction to The New York Times. She played the reporter along; then she stiffed him. The maneuver was too clever by half. “Whitewater” dogged the Clintons for years.

    The latest example of the Control Freak Syndrome arose in Newton, Iowa, where her campaign planted in the audience at least one (and maybe several) questions to be asked of her. What on earth did she have to fear? By now she has answered thousands of questions and is smarter and better-briefed than any candidate in the field.

    Why plant an innocuous question about global warming? The answer: because she could.

    A campaign is an extension of the candidate, reflecting his or her personality. Bill Clinton’s in 1992 was a brilliant combination of soap opera and floating crap game. George W. Bush’s cold-blooded machine had no compunction about waterboarding Sen. John McCain in 2000 or swift-boating Sen. John Kerry four years later. Hillary’s campaign too is personality writ large: defensive, and seeking dominion over everything that moves.

    Clink on the link for the rest of the article:
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/70382

  59. After weeks of taking a pounding from Dem rivals for not taking a clear enough position on whether she supported New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give driver’s licenses to illegals, Hillary has now come out against the plan in the wake of news that Spitzer withdrew it this afternoon. Here’s her statement:

    “I support Governor Spitzer’s decision today to withdraw his proposal. As president, I will not support driver’s licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration including border security and fixing our broken system.”
    This is likely to spark a whole new round of skirmishing among the Dems. Last month, just after the debate where she gave an equivocal answer about whether she supported the plan, Hillary advisers told The Washington Post that she ultimately backed the plan.

    Today’s statement will almost certainly provoke another volley of criticism of her from rivals who will point to that previous position as proof of her vacillation on the issue. Stay tuned.

  60. Thanks, mj..

    I upgraded my browser and it seems to have condensed my bookmarks.. 🙁

    I wanted to get this straightened out before tomorrow night..(sigh..)

    Thanks,

    Mrs. S.

  61. Dodd needs to wise up; he might get his ratings up if he can take on the repugs/edwards/obama in the debate…..
    Dodd: set the agenda!……

  62. They can try but she is on video talking about her stand on this and it is the same. What are they going to say…She stood side by side with the democratic governor of her state and took the heat for his decision?

    Hey all that shows is that she won’t “cut and run” on her friends like Obama and Breckgirl. After seeing how Bwak “cut and ran” from Lieberman (his Senate mentor) and MoveOn.org. How Breckgirl impuned Hillary over this issue in the debate and afterwards…they have very little credibility themselves.

    Yeah, they will try to use it but words alone doesn’t mean much if your actions is not in set with the words you speak.

  63. Just watched a bit CNN. They talked about this new devlopment on illegal drivers’ license issue. You can bet they’re going to pound Hillary tomorrow accusing her of changing position. She’d better be ready.

    They also talked about Obama’s percarious position. He is on record supporting granting driver’ license to illegals. Will he stick to this position? It’s a death trap for any democratic candidate as Taylor suggested.

    This is good, it puts Obama into a corner.

  64. OK.. now this is a twist. frankly as far as I am concerned, drivers licenses is not even a real issue. I can see why she has come out supporting the plan. Thats because she didnt want to run down her fellow democrat. I actually dont even see an inconsistency, but edward and obama supporters will. here is the opinion she gave 1 day after the debate.

    “Senator Clinton supports governors like Governor Spitzer who believe they need such a measure to deal with the crisis caused by this administration’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform,’” her campaign said.

    here is the transcript from cnn site in another interview.

    In the wide-ranging interview exactly a year before the election, Clinton continued to hold back from offering full-fledged support for a plan offering illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, saying it’s a question that doesn’t allow a candidate to answer simply by “raising their hand.”

    “It depends upon what state they’re in, it depends upon what [governors] think the risks are,” Clinton said. “The governor of New York has a lot of immigrants, many of whom we know are not there legally; [he] has to worry about security. A governor of another state where that’s not a problem doesn’t.

    “This issue has been so politicized,” Clinton continued, “and I understand that, because you can score points, you can score all kinds of political, demagogic points.”

    ———–

    i think all she is doing is supporting the governors but has never endorsed the plan. when asked if she endorsed the plan, she said an emphatic NO. so the truth be told to parsers!!!

  65. obama and a nevada based mining lobbyists:

    note: we do not know where hillary is on this issue, but at least it shows how obama uses lobbyists.

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Democrat Barack Obama opposes a bill that would change the nation’s 135-year-old mining law — the same stance as mining industry executives who employ a Nevada-based lobbyist advising the presidential candidate.

    The Obama campaign and Billy Vassiliadis, a longtime Nevada power broker, contend there is no connection, saying they have never discussed Obama’s position on the mining bill.

    However, the Illinois senator’s stance on pending legislation and his adviser’s ties to the mining industry are raising questions in a state where mining is an economic engine in rural areas. Democrats will vote in presidential caucuses Jan. 19, and Obama’s position could help him against rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards, who have not taken a clear position on the bill.

    The General Mining Law of 1872 allows the mining industry to pull gold, silver and other minerals from federal lands without paying royalties. The industry opposes changes to the law and several efforts to reform it have failed.

    A House-passed bill would impose a royalty of 4 percent of gross revenue on existing hard-rock mining operations and 8 percent of gross revenue on new mining operations. The reform bill also would put new environmental controls on hard-rock mining, set up a cleanup fund for abandoned mines and permanently ban cheap sales of public lands for mining.

    Obama said the legislation, favored by environmentalists, “places a significant burden on the mining industry and could have a significant impact on jobs.” He also opposes the proposed fees.

    Obama’s statements are largely in line with the those of Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, a miner’s son who has long fended off significant reform and defended the industry as critical to the rural West. Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the nation and ranks behind only South Africa, Australia and China internationally.

    Vassiliadis, a longtime Nevada power broker, is a member of Obama’s Nevada steering committee and has contributed $2,300 to his campaign. He is a lobbyist for the Nevada Mining Association at the state level and the chief executive of the advertising and lobbying firm hired by two mining companies to lobby for them in Washington.

    Denver-based Newmont Mining Co., one of the world’s largest gold producers, hired Las Vegas-based R&R Partners’ Washington, D.C. office in January. The firm has represented silver and gold miner Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp., in Washington since 2006.

    Obama campaign spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said Vassiliadis has advised the campaign only on politics, never policy.

    “I have not had a single conversation, not one, with anybody in the Obama campaign about mining,” Vassiliadis said.

    Vassiliadis is not a federally registered lobbyist. His firm, R&R Partners Inc., generates most of its revenue from advertising and public relations, Vassiliadis said. It’s best known for developing the Las Vegas tourism tag line, “What happens here, stays here.”

    Obama regularly assails the relationship between special interests, lobbyists and politicians. He has called for more transparency in government and separation from lobbyists’ influence is a central tenet to his claims as the candidate of change.

    “If everything is out front, you know who is doing (lobbyists’) bidding and who is doing the bidding of the American people,” Obama said recently in New Hampshire. “And that’s the kind of politics we need to set up.”

    Obama does not accept campaign donations from federal lobbyists.

    Obama says he believes mining reform is necessary and has called for increased dialogue to forge a compromise.

    Dan Randolph of Great Basin Mine Watch said the senator’s position “implies that Senator Obama is really only listening to one side of the issue.”

  66. This just in from nbc:

    From NBC’s Mark Murray

    A new RT Strategies/Cook Political Report poll has both good news and bad news for Clinton. Let’s start with the good news: A whopping 78% of Democrats and Dem-leaning voters believe that she has as good of a chance as any Democratic nominee of being elected president. That’s up from 60% who thought that a year ago, and 46% who said that in August 2006.

    The bad news: She narrowly leads Giuliani in a head-to-head contest, 46%-43%, which is within the poll’s margin of error. Yet she trails him among independents, 37%-48%, which happens to be a crucial bloc of voters for Democrats. How crucial? In 2004, per the exit polls, John Kerry — who lost the presidential election — won the independent vote by just one point (49%-48%). But when they took control of Congress last year, Democrats won the indie vote by 18 points, 57%-39%.

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/11/14/46604

  67. I don’t believe Obama or Edwards are sexist. But they are pandering to sexism. The anti-Hillary thing is clearly pathological, and Obama and Edwards are feeding on it. It’s the only way to get their names in the paper. Same for McCain – I didn’t know he was still in the race.

    Look at the violent language on the blogs. Roger Simon said Hillary was ‘stabbed’ in the Philly debate. Huff ran a headlne “Wounded”. Obama talks about not ‘kneecapping” Hillary – as if he could. Nobody can tell me that’s about disagreement on the issues – we don’t even see language like that about Cheney. Obama and Edwards are feeding on a deep sickness in our society. I hope they pay dearly at the ballot box.

  68. I think MSNBC spin is irrelevant. They will spin anything to her negatives. Obama’s negatives have increased too. The independents are not paying attention. They still believe the cartoon Hillary, like what Bill says in speeches. Once they see real Hillary, they will eventually change their stance. Spin from MSNBC is like spin from right wingers. they have been running 15 years of smear against her. Once they any close attention to her in GE, I am sure she will have converts.

    Good. OJ simpson story broke out. thats end of story. now they have something “real” to talk about 🙂

    that said, I just sent feedback to wolf blitzer highlighting what I thought about this recent Hillary’s statement on illegal immigrants. I know they read it. I will also send an e-mail to jack cafferty so he reads it in cafferty report :). I hope some of us can put it out there too :). otherwise those CNN viewers and responders are lunatics and will bash anyone who has moderate stance on immigration 🙂

  69. Dodd’s a joke, he’s got like 5% of his own state. He was on George Steph’s Sunday and he looked like hell. i really don’t get why this guy’s running, maybe he’ll drop out soon. I was not real happy to see him join the Hillary attack club during the last debate. Wolf has got to be better than Russert. I hope this debate is fair, if so Hillary will kill it.

  70. Understanding your governor’s position on trying to address a complex issue related to national and state security which the federal government cannot address in a timely manner , WHILE NOT SUPPORTING is a perfectly valid, rational position.

    I understand many people’s positions on issues which I do not fully support….!!!!

    This is my own position:

    Look I did not support full comprehensive immigration when they were discussing this is the senate 2-3 months agao but I understood why they were doing it!!!

    Simple, clear and easy to follow!

  71. Marc Cooper
    The Huffington Post
    Hillary Racks Up Gambling Lobby Support
    November 14, 2007 04:25 PM

    LAS VEGAS — On the eve of the crucial Nevada Democratic Presidential Debate, set for Thursday night, candidate Hillary Clinton has racked up the public endorsement of some of the state’s most influential gambling industry executives and advocates.

    The Clinton campaign has unveiled the formation of the Nevada Business Leadership Council led by Jan Jones, a former Las Vegas Mayor and a current top executive of and lobbyist for national gambling mega-corporation Harrah’s Entertainment.

    Harrah’s operates more than two dozen casinos nationwide, including the landmark Rio in Las Vegas.

    Also prominent among the new pro-Hillary business group is Phil Satre, former chairman and CEO of Harrah’s and a veteran leader in the Vegas gambling industry. Vegas.com CEO Howard Lefkowitz, Henry Terry, Executive Director of Human Resources of Playlv Gaming Operations, and Punam Mather, a Senior Vice President at the casino-owning MGM Mirage Corp. MGM Mirage operates and own a series of mega-resort casinos including the Bellagio, Mirage and the MGM Grand.

    There was a time when gambling money could taint a political campaign, Las Vegas-based historian Michael Green told the HuffPost. But those days are long gone. ‘It was former Senator Paul Laxalt who once quipped that in Nevada turning down money from the gambling industry would be like refusing support from GM in Detroit.”

    “The larger gaming corporations are enormous industries that provide not only huge infusions of campaign cash but also votes,” Green said. “Their money buys you TV ads, campaign staff, and direct mail and while I don’t want to suggest a direct connection, let’s just say that thousands of casino employees suddenly become very aware of who their bosses would like you to support in the ballot box.”

    Clinton’s high-visibility foray into the gaming-dominated Nevada business community pairs up with the significant stack of endorsements she has already collected from the state’s Democratic political establishment. Her statewide campaign is led by Rory Reid, son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and current chair of the powerful Clark County Commission which encompasses the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area.

    The announcement of the new surge of gaming support for Clinton while significant doesn’t represent a necessarily unified view of the industry. The larger casino corporations have a tradition of spreading around their political contributions, effectively hedging their bets. Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire proprietor of The Venetian hotel and casino is a major supporter and funder of GOP causes and candidates. Elaine Wynn, wife of gambling mogul Steve Wynn and Director of the sparkling Wynn casino, joined the Barack Obama campaign last summer. In 1996, the gambling industry gave so much cash to Republican candidate Bob Dole that he became known as “Vegas Bob.”

    No question, however, that Senator Clinton — whose aura of inevitability in capturing the Democratic nominaiton has recently been dimmed– is escalating her efforts to line up key support groups here in the Silver State whose January 19 caucuses will be among the first three in the nation.

    “Business has been a cornerstone of the Clinton campaign, and Senator Clinton has been remarkable in terms of finding the balance between supporting organized labor and still recongnizing the importance of building a strong business community,” Harrah’s exec Jones told reporters in a conference call announcing the formation of the business council.

    Endorsement of organized labor, representing nearly 15% of Nevada workers, has also been zealously sought by the rival Democratic candidates. But to date, the two most powerful unions — the Culinary Workers and the Service Employees– have yet to give the nod to any single candidate,

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/11/14/say-what-mccain-trying-_n_72694.html

  72. I think it would be good to include discussion of the Mining Bill in the debate tomorrow night. I don’t think there was a single issue related (even distantly) to the environment that was raised in the last debate. I’d like to see the environment and its relationship to the economy get more discussion. mollyj

  73. I don’t have a problem w/ her debate answer. However, she did endorse Spitzer’s plan after the debate.

    I expect she’ll distinguish between federal and state issues tomorrow. Caution! There’s a bill in the house to make it illegal for any state to grant DL’s for illegal aliens.

  74. hwc – thanks for the hillary-caucus video

    btw, did senator clinton have her hand over her heart again while singing so sweetly?

  75. This refusal of licenses to illegal immigrants is a smart move by Clinton campaign. I would say brilliant move. ObamaEdwardo-dinglongs have already created an impression among the voters that she flipflops. That won’t impact her anymore negatively than it already did. However, giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants would alienate even some of her supporters. She can live with the flipflopping charge. That narrative was already created about her by the republicans long time ago. It won’t hurt her much in this instance. However, Obamadinglong has gone on the record specifically supprting it. Let him defend his position to the voters.

    She is back baby!

  76. No, she always said she supported him, not necessarily the plan. I hope she will not support that house bill. States have to make their own decisions.

  77. That is what she said to Nashua Telegraph editorial board anyway. She does not support it but she understood why Spitzer is trying to do it. Russert quoted her out of context as Nashua Telegraph editorial board said and he tried do a gotcha. She is now back to her original position which is, “She understood why governors are trying to do it, but she would rather do comprehensive reform at federal level.”

  78. mj:

    Mrs. Clinton’s aides said her statement was intended to signal that she broadly supported Mr. Spitzer’s goal of awarding driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

    thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/31/a-day-later-clinton-embraces-spitzers-license-effort/

  79. Later in the article it says she was not specifically endorsing any of his plans w/o studying them, but I think the above is clear in supporting the most contentious component.

  80. Smart move on the immigration issue. I think that she was clear (at least to me) that this is a complex issue that doesn’t translate easily to 30 second answers. The other thing to be clear on, as mj says re mining, is that there is a line to walk between states and the federal govn’t. I see it especially with respect to immigration where the states differ so much in the impact of it and what the response to it should be. A President has to work effectively with governors and I think that is what Hillary’s position reveals–that she would lead comprehensive immigration reform as President but also work with governors to address specific issues and concerns. mollyj

  81. complex issue that doesn’t translate easily to 30 second answers.

    100% agree. It’s already a quasi-federal issue as the feds are trying to standardize DL’s.

    If it comes up tomorrow, we’ll be getting super-parsed answers from all three of them. I’m guessing Obama will pivot away from a full embrace. The victory for Hillary will be in seeing the other two hmm and haw their way thru their answers.

  82. I’d like the storyline to move away from “Clinton evasive” to NEWSFLASH: All three of them are politicians.

  83. Not only that molly. Nashua Telegraph even chided Russert for asking a misleading question and even put a video showing what exactly she told them. It was very clear that Russert completely misquoted her. No doubt about it.

    My sense is that she and her team were a little iffy last two weeks after the debate because it was not her rivals who were bothering her but how her answer to this question somehow came across as pro-drivers licenses that was bothering her, her team, and Bill Clinton because they knew this was a general election killer. Now that they cleared this up, I expect her old confident self to show up tomorrow. She won’t be bothered by flip flopping charge because it won’t adversely affect her any more than it already did.

  84. As for that Cook poll, no Dem right now leads among independents vs. Rudy. There’s a lot the general public doesn’t know about Rudy, and should he become the nominee that will change. His negatives will go up quite a bit, I’m sure.

    Also, I know Hillary will be ready for the immigration question tomorrow. Count on it.

  85. Oh! and to top it off Obama still sticks to his pro-drivers licenses for illegals stand. There are a lot of people who will be okay with you if you flip-flop on this hot and divisive topic rather than stick to pro-drivers licenses position.

  86. I loved the “caucusing is easy” video. Funny and smart because many voters think caucusing is for experts and they don’t want to look stupid.

    I agree again with ra10(something or other) that I was hoping for Rudy because I think he’ll collapse when he’s alone in the spotlight. I think Mitt looks the part, making it harder to demonize him. But he’s the one dem pros are hoping for so I could be wrong (unusual but possible :))

    My other surmise is that the economy may get worse in which case that trumps everything but the war. Hillary will be the strongest by far on that issue — for the Reps, is there one who could restore consumer confidence? Or are we all going to be yelling at Wash. and the candidates, “It’s the economy, stupid!!!”

    As Hillary starts back to the high numbers of last month, it seems that if she has a good debate tomorrow, she will be all the way back.

  87. Paula:

    Rudy will be weakest candidate against Hillary that republicans can put up. Beleive me. He has so many skeletons in his closet that the republicans will not like one bit as they slowly start coming out. You have already seen the lawsuit that Judith Regan filed against him, Kerik, and fox news yesterday. As it unfolds more dirty laundry will come out. I was wishing that these things wouldn’t come out till general election.

    Ironically, the toughest candidate for Clinton among republicans would be McCain. Hopefully, he won’t get the nomination. I think she can beat the rest of them.

  88. ra1029,

    It’s going to be a killer for Obama. He was too high in chiding Clinton during that question period , he did not expect Russert would ask him his own position on this issue. He fell right into the trap in order to show he’s more principled than Clinton.

    Now, everything is coming back to bite him. Will he stick to his position? If so, he’s toast in GE, it’s not even popular among dems. Will he wiggle and waffle around, if so, he’s just politician as usual.

  89. You don’t know that, Kostner. People in MA overwhelmingly didn’t support that idea, but stil elected Deval Patrick, who supported it.

  90. That’s right kostner. That is what I mentioned on the debate night also. Russert was laying a trap for Hillary with a misleading question. In a zeal to prove she was flip-flopping he dived right into this explosive issue. How dumb could he be? Voters would rather you flip flop on this topic than stick to pro-drivers license position. It is a very very explosive topic. Flip flop charge won’t affect her one bit because it was already discounted by last 10 years of republicans making that charge.

    Note to democrats: Be smart enough to avoid these kinds of hot button topics if you want to win elections and implement your agenda. Otherwise you will have 8 more years of republicans in whitehouse. This is very very emotionally charged issue for many democrats too and you don’t want to be burned by it.

  91. mj:

    Last summer I have heard many callers to Ed Shultz show from south west belt (Arizond, New Mexico etc.) complain that they were hard core democrats for many years, and if democrats support any sort of comprehensive immigration reform they would switch parties and vote republican for the rest of their life. It is an emotionally charged issue even for democrats in these border states.

  92. ra1029,

    I think AZ governor, a democrat, seems to have handled the explosive immigration issue quite well. I don’t know any details, but she’s enjoying very high approval rating…

    Anybody cares to explain?

  93. Hillary does support comprehensive immigration reform, but she is one among the pack there, rather than exclusively having a different position. She has to be careful what she says because there are always vultures close by to take advantage any small slip up on her part. Nobody in the last 8 years was even remotely as closely scrutinized as she is today. She has to watch every word because she will be attacked by republicans, democratic rivals, and all various media outlets.

  94. I think she declared emergency which means they would get federal assistance in addressing this issue. I am not sure of more details.

  95. I watched a bit CNN earlier. One commentator was saying some Clinton advisors suggested to her that she could just go ahead an own this ‘immigration reform’ issue pretty much as her husband did to the ‘welfare reform’.

    I think it’s actually quite a good idea. In the closing days of this campaign, only a ‘controversial issue’ can garner significant national media coverage. If she can pull this off, lay out some immigration reform proposal, she may get another intensive coverage on issues pretty much as what she got on ‘healthcare’ issue.

  96. another day, we passed tip-gate, plant-gate, the storyline is still Hillary. The obsession is just too much…

    Realpolitics has a summary citing a number of articles…

    November 14, 2007
    Bracing For Vegas
    Posted by HEATHER WILHELM | E-Mail This | Permalink | Email Author
    Days after the Clinton “pile on” narrative began, it’s still running strong – just in time for tomorrow’s much-anticipated Vegas debate. Today, three notable female columnists take the theme and run with it – and the results are mixed.

    Kathleen Parker argues that the “woman as victim” meme may just help Hillary woo women voters. Camille Paglia asserts the opposite:

    Hillary’s much-vaunted “experience” has evidently not extended to the dynamic give-and-take of authentic debate. The mild challenges she has faced would be pitiful indeed by British standards, which favor a caustic style of witty put-downs that draw applause and gales of laughter in the House of Commons. Women had better toughen up if they aspire to be commander in chief.
    But perhaps the most interesting take comes from the queen of newsprint psychoanalysis, Maureen Dowd, who argues that Clinton is having a hard time because of the infamous, fragile male ego – she’s just trying to go about her business, and is just too smart and ambitious for men to stand.

    This would be more believable, of course, if the “pile on” and “poor woman” narrative hadn’t been birthed by Clinton’s own campaign. But it’s fascinating in its own right as a demonstration of how campaign narratives can grow, survive, and evolve – perhaps into territory that the campaign would rather not go. Given the Clinton campaign’s recently revealed preference for message control, one has to wonder where they’ll go from here. Thursday should be an interesting night.

  97. I think AZ governor, a democrat, seems to have handled the explosive immigration issue quite well. I don’t know any details, but she’s enjoying very high approval rating…

    Anybody cares to explain?
    ***********************************************
    Well, as one of those democrats who voted for a republican for the first time over driver licenses..Arnold Schwarzenegger, when Grey Davis signed that driver license bill over the objections of the majority.

    The Arizona Gov has sued the Federal government for reimbursing the high cost of illegal immigration, pushed for border protection and employers sanctions because her state got swamped after California built that fence which helped cut down crime and senseless death. It worked in a way but Arizona has a huge problem with this issue.

    In my opinion, the Arizona Gov has saved the democrat position on this by how she is handling this. It’s a mess and it costing states affected by this billions of dollars.

    California has been dealing with this for decades and I just couldn’t support the democratic posistion any more…the lack of fairness, exploitation, lawlessness, abuse and then arrogance on Mexico to circumvent our laws and saying their reclaiming their land speeches….

    Anyway, there seem to be this be disconnect with the elites of the democratic party and those on the east coast, with those states effected with this issue.

    Btw, it’s not just Mexico, but Canada, China all over…I want sane legal immigration that is open to all and not a few. I did change my posistion after reading Hillary DREAM position. I agree and support her on that…I trust Hillary on this issue more then anybody else to get it right.

  98. Hillary Clinton fights back — like a man
    By MARIANNE MEANS
    SYNDICATED COLUMNIST

    WASHINGTON — We all knew that gender would inevitably be the subtext of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But the surprise is that the issue has erupted so early, with so much venom.

    It may actually be a good thing to get it all out in the open right away. The candidate herself says she thinks her rivals are attacking her because she is the runaway Democratic frontrunner and therefore the fattest target — not simply because she is female. She is both accurate and generous. This is not a picnic. She cannot be patronized, the fate of previous female presidential aspirant such as GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C.

    Hillary Clinton is tough and must be confronted. And she fights back. Like a man.

    It all surfaced dramatically in an Oct. 30 Democratic debate, during which her male rivals and one of the moderators singled her out for attack, ignoring Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and other competitors on the stage.

    The men were over the top and their complaints about her vague answers not particularly useful. She muffed a question about a proposal of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer to grant illegal immigrants in New York a special class of driver’s licenses.

    It was not one of her better performances. But the political tempest! Nobody noticed that Obama, asked the same question later, didn’t answer it directly, either. The Republicans, of course, have no problem with this issue because they have no sympathy for illegal immigrants (except when they want to hire them, on the cheap) and are happy to deny them licenses, services and everything else.

    That set off a boys-versus-girls fracas. Clinton referred to the presidency as an “all-boys club,” perfectly accurate but not terribly politic. Her rivals and some whining females complained she was unfairly playing the gender-victim card. GOP candidate Mitt Romney, who is increasingly the meanest candidate in the game, put out a commercial claiming that Clinton was so inadequate she had never “run” anything like a business, a city or a state and would therefore be only an “intern” if she reached the White House again. He failed to mention she is a second-term U.S. senator.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the GOP class act, noted after the GOP’s latest debate that “what resonated most was going after Hillary.” But her husband Bill, who remains the most popular figure in the Democratic Party, wasn’t very helpful himself when he observed, “Those boys have been getting tough on her lately.” Men don’t like to be called boys, and women don’t like to be called girls. It is demeaning in both cases.

    The media and her rivals tried to make a big deal of the fact some Clinton staffers suggested questions that those attending Clinton rallies could ask the candidate. CNN, normally a sensible news outlet, labeled it “plant-gate,” slyly elevating it to Watergate-scandal proportions and feeding the perception that she just couldn’t handle unscripted questions.

    Oh, for pity’s sake! The Bush White House regularly controls those who get to see the president. He never goes anywhere that is not a military installation or an otherwise protected, pre-screened environment, and unexpected questions are never asked. Why doesn’t CNN call that coward-gate?

    The recent Newsweek issue has a long cover article about the success of women in a variety of powerful professional fields — especially high government positions — more governors, senators, legislators, university presidents, statewide officials, even police chiefs than ever before. Countries such as Germany already have strong female leaders. Only in America have we yet to test whether the road stretches all the way to the very top.

    There are several new books examining female leadership issues. One, “Through the Labryinth” examines the view that women are stuck with two labels — one is nice, inadequate and warm, the Laura Bush model, and the other is competent but unpleasant, the Clinton model. The former can never lead — the second can but at the price of seeming cold and uncaring.

    Another book, “Women for President” by Erika Falk, contends the male-dominated media is biased against female candidates. But things aren’t so bad, considering how far there was to go. When Jean Westwood became the first woman to head a national political party (the Democrats) in 1972, the Republican National Committee official newsletter dubbed her “national chairthing.”

    Well, that was a quarter of a century ago. So now, at last, we have come to Hillary. And her critics portray her just as the book predicts — chilly because she is professional, politically cagey and efficient. Just the qualities we look for in male leaders.

  99. What do you mean, own immigration reform? Latino’s are in her corner, she has a solid compassionate immigration record, if that it what you mean, fine.

  100. mj,

    Repackage immigration reform bill and tout it as some sort of major policy speech. Get national media to cover it just as she did on ‘universial healthcare proposal’…

  101. yeahhh kostner,

    you spoke my mind. I think at some point next week, she should do that. meanwhile, media today should focus on OJ. that son of a gun is going to trial :D:D media is funny.. lolll..

  102. gladiatorstail,

    it’s actually not my idea. CNN talked to some of her advisers, and I bet they were deliberating it. Some of her advisors were suggesting that she would use this opportunity to ‘own’ this issue, which means showing some leadership just as her husband did on ‘welfare reform’.

    Right now, dems want to dodge this hot potato issue, they only talk briefly on principles. I guess some of her advisers were studying the model her husband adopted in ‘welfare reform’.

  103. I wouldn’t do it. It’s a political hot potato. Also, she has alot of support among latino’s so I’m not usre where you see her positioning herself.

  104. mj,

    it’s just sth that’s under consideration. We’ll see …

    BTW, an interesting article from Boston Globe, if the analysis is correct, Clinton’s chance in NH is getting brighter…

    MANCHESTER, N.H. – New Hampshire’s huge bloc of independent voters, who can vote in either party’s presidential primary and had been expected to opt overwhelmingly for the 2008 Democratic contest, are taking a new look at candidates on the Republican side, according to a Boston Globe poll by the University of New Hampshire.

    more stories like thisIndependents are the state’s largest and potentially most crucial voting group, accounting for 44 percent of the electorate. Their support has been crucial to past winners of the New Hampshire primary, including Republican John McCain in 2000.

    This year, with competitive races on both sides, independents had been expected to vote heavily in the Democratic primary, with 72 percent in a UNH poll as recently as June saying they would take a Democratic ballot. In the Globe poll, released Sunday, 55 percent said they would take a Democratic ballot.

    The news that more independents are planning to vote Republican is most welcome to McCain, the Arizona senator who has said winning over independents is “vital” to his success. In 2000, he won overwhelmingly among independents, drawing votes away from Democrat Bill Bradley. This time, analysts said, McCain seems to be competing for independent voters with Democrat Barack Obama.

    “One thing I know about the independent voters . . . is that they don’t make up their minds until very, very late in the process,” McCain told reporters in New Hampshire earlier this year.

    The decrease in the percentage of independents who expect to vote in the Democratic primary appears to be the result of at least four factors, according to analysts: Some independents may have concluded that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic primary and would prefer to vote in the tighter Republican contest; some independents have shown strong interest in the antiwar candidacy of Representative Ron Paul, a Republican; McCain has ticked up in the UNH polls among independent voters; and Obama has not drawn as much independent support as some analysts had expected.

    Andrew E. Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, said independents are more likely to vote in the GOP primary “if they think the race is over on the Democratic side.”

    Brad Holt, 47, of Manchester is a registered independent who is undecided but open to candidates in both parties. He voted for Democrat Joseph I. Lieberman in 2004 and, due to growing concern about the Iraq war, is considering whether to support a Democrat this time. But he is also thinking about supporting someone in the Republican primary. He said he is taking a serious look at both Paul and McCain. “Being independent, I get a wider choice of candidates,” he said, adding, “And I don’t have to put up with so many harassing phone calls.”

    In the 2000 Republican primary, McCain beat George W. Bush among independents 61 percent to 19 percent, while he won among Republicans by a 44 percent-to-36 percent margin.

    Mary Rauh, who was the state cochairwoman for Bradley in 2000, said the Bradley campaign learned the importance of the independent vote the hard way. The former New Jersey senator narrowly lost to then-Vice President Al Gore partly because so many independents took a Republican ballot and voted for McCain. Today she is cochairwoman of the Obama campaign.

    Rauh said Bradley’s “real opponent wasn’t in the Democratic primary; it was John McCain.” Obama has learned from Bradley’s experience, she said. “From day one, this campaign has made independents an important focus,” she said. “All phone calls have included them, all mail pieces have included them, all door-knocking plans have included them. They are integral to the strategy.”

    But so far, Obama has exactly the same level of support – 21 percent – from Democrats as he does from independents. In order to beat Clinton, Obama needs to pick up far more independent support, analysts said.

    McCain, meanwhile, is likely to get a smaller percentage of independent votes in 2008 than in 2000, but those votes could mean more in a crowded field. The Globe poll indicated that McCain is supported by 20 percent of independents but just 15 percent of registered Republicans.

  105. Anyway, there seem to be this be disconnect with the elites of the democratic party and those on the east coast, with those states effected with this issue.

    Plenty of states on the east coast are dealing with this, believe me.

    mj: Latino’s are in her corner

    Latinos aren’t necessarily pro illegal immigrant. For example, when Ah-nuld vetoed the DL bill in CA, polls showed that 2/3 of the Latino population was in favor of his veto.

    I strongly disagree with AZ’s Legal Arizona Workers Act for the reasons stated here:

    http://www.aclu.org/immigrants/discrim/32769prs20071114.html

    esp:

    The private research corporation Westat found that one in ten legally authorized workers are initially categorized by Basic Pilot as ineligible. Foreign born workers, including naturalized citizens, are more than 30 times more likely than native-born U.S. citizens to be incorrectly identified as ineligible.

  106. I don’t think they are pro-illegal immigrant, but they are for compassionate reform, and some latino’s who own small businesses have to hire undocumented workers so lots of talk of coming down hard on employers doesn’t always work.

  107. what mj said, was perfect.

    hillary should say … ‘ to clarify this whole issue during, during the last debate, i supported the govenor, never said i supported the plan. and on that note, i can say i dont believe the liscense issue is the solution, after much consideration, i have decided that i shall make immigration reform one of the major concerns of my presidency….

    the main thing is please dont let her flip flop again…
    cause if you read the blogs, its amazing how many think her word is worth nothing…

    somebody, tell her that. k?

  108. united 12:

    The flip flopping charge won’t hurt her much in this instance. People took all that in to account and discounted that. As long as she stays confident and does not get flustered she is okay. They can acccuse her of flip flopping, double talk all they want. Wait, they already did it in the last debate. If she had to loose voters on that issue, she probably already lost them.

    Discount the big blogs. There are the blogs where Edwards gets 40%, followed by Obama at 35%, and hillary probably at the tail end of contenders at 5%. That is not the real world.

  109. She didn’t flip flop, but she does need to show some her conviction to the issues in this debate because Obama and edwards are working very hard to paint her as lacking conviction.

  110. I wish to see a Hillary that is less defensive on this debate – I hope she has enough time to prepare and good rest!

  111. That’s correct. Show conviction, confidence, and don’t get flustered by the attacks from others. The moderator will not be a debator this time around. He will not ask misleading questions or mischaracterize her quotes. That is all she needs. She can go 25 rounds with Edwards and Obama and not loose the debate.

    And yeah, she needs good rest and appear relaxed tomorrow.

  112. Conviction, conviction, conviction. Hillary’s at her best when she agressivel argue’s her positions. I also think she should smile, laugh, and wear some color. As long as she stays relaxed, she’ll do great.

    I hope the debate is on the issues Dem’s actually care about, like health care, the environment and jobs, not just a bunch of gotcha issues. I think Hill is the only candidate that talks alot about jobs, actually.

  113. i guess this isnt the place to say this, but i will,

    what really pisses latinos off wether they are for reform or not is this:
    latins,( who by the way are not latin) dont like being treated like they are begging here in this country. why?
    cause this used to be their country along with the indian nation,( who by the way are not indian…).

    being of both nations myself, i can tell you for a fact, if hillary clinton could talk to that issue respectfully when she talks about immigration, she could go along way to appealing to the latino vote on both sides…

  114. The big pumpkin Tim Russert last time was hell bent on derailing her. She wouldn’t have such distractions – she should relentlessly stay on message and not get off message for any reason. She should look amused when mad Edward-Obami team attacks her. She should wear a look that is dismissive of their attack whilst being amused at the same time.

  115. I agree with the bloggers who urge her to wear color. She looks great in pastels and I understand that it has already been remarked on that she is a woman so don’t camouflage yourself in politician black or even camel. Go for something they can’t wear. It makes a statement.

    “Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman.”

  116. on the elite tv website, they have the ‘lifetime everywomen thanksgiving poll’, which asked candidate most women would like to spend thanksgiving dinner with…

    hilllary clinton dem, and rudy guiliani rep, were the two top candidates women would invite to dinner with, and would trust to leave theyre children with,, barack came in after and then edwards.

    tried to put link but couldnt.
    on site move down page to entertainment.

  117. Hi y’all, On MedPage Today, an online newsletter for people in health related professions, there was an online poll for President. Hill has over 30% of the vote; all other candidates have much less. I don’t know how or even if they are controlling this poll, but I was struck with how far ahead of the pack Hillary is with both republicans and democrats. It’s a stunning visual…a bar graph. LOL. Her nearest contender is Obama but his support was under 15% and it’s equal to the other dems combined. Guiliana had support of about 15%, about equal to the other repugs combined.

    I write about this because every visual like that is a reminder to everyone who sees it that Hillary is more than just a strong candidate; she is on a strong and steady path to the White House. She’s got the best advisers, best campaign and best supporters behind her. She’s sharp as a tack and works very hard. I truly believe with all of my heart and mind that Hillary is 44. It will continue to be a hard fight; people will make things up, distractions will come up, there will be the occasional pile on, but she’ll get right back on message and keep on coming up with ideas and strategies for bringing about change in this country and the world. More people will learn what we already know: she’s got just the right mix, just the right combination of strengths for what this country needs right now.

    Everybody rest up, tomorrow’s a big day and we need to be there for our girl! mollyj

    mollyj

  118. “I don’t think they are pro-illegal immigrant, but they are for compassionate reform, and some latino’s who own small businesses have to hire undocumented workers so lots of talk of coming down hard on employers doesn’t always work.”
    ****************************************************
    That’s one of the problems by hiring undocumented workers you undercut those who do not have that advantage. It’s a matter of fairness and playing under the same rules to compete.

    what really pisses latinos off wether they are for reform or not is this:
    latins,( who by the way are not latin) dont like being treated like they are begging here in this country. why?

    Because this used to be their country along with the indian nation,( who by the way are not indian…).
    ****************************************************
    What about African Americans that where brought over here as slaves as for cheap labor?

    Or what about the Haitians that are returned to their poor country after being picked up out in the ocean…if they’re lucky?

    Or the South Americans who wait in line for years to get an opportunity?

    Or those Dow 500 businesses that hire undocumented workers knowingly to bust Unions or to keep Unions out and depress wages or all those government contracts to companies that have large undocumented labors…building the fences at the borders.

    Or Sanctuary cities that break the laws and still ask for Federal dollars

  119. Gail Collins with a humorous take on tonight’s debate;

    Op-Ed Columnist
    What Happens in Vegas …

    By GAIL COLLINS
    Published: November 15, 2007

    I’m sure you are excited about the big presidential candidate debate tonight. Nothing in the previous 25 dramatic clashes of the political titans this season can come close to it. Although we did like that moment when Dennis Kucinich revealed that he had spied a U.F.O. at Shirley MacLaine’s house.
    This time, it’s the Democrats — and Hillary Against the World! Everybody is talking about how, as Bill Clinton himself said last week: “Those boys have been getting tough on her lately.” Two thoughts on that matter.

    1) Who do you expect them to pile on? Mike Gravel?

    2) We have never had anything approaching a female presidential front-runner before. For much of our history, women were prohibited from even speaking in public. The first woman to run for president in this country, Victoria Woodhull, almost got castrated for her uppityness. The first woman to run for a major political party presidential nomination, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, was reduced to handing out her muffin recipe in New Hampshire.

    All of which is to say that Clinton doesn’t deserve any special sympathy as the political alpha dogs come after her, but give us a minute to adjust here, will you?

    Tonight’s debate will be held in Nevada, which was designated one of the four extra-special-first-in-the-nation-to-vote states at some point when our attention was obviously riveted on game show finales. This is a great honor, which appears to have done Nevada no good whatsoever. No candidate has moved his family to Nevada and enrolled the kids in school, like Chris Dodd did in Iowa. The people of Nevada do not wander around bragging, the way they do in New Hampshire, that they were treated to breakfast by Rudy Giuliani and had a prayer meeting with Mike Huckabee after Mitt Romney visited their workplace and watched them inspect widgets.

    All Nevada wants out of the deal, as far as I can tell, is to stop the government from putting used radioactive waste into Yucca Mountain. Too bad for what sounded like a pretty sensible idea to meet a pressing problem, yet little enough to ask from a first-in-the-nation state. At least they aren’t demanding that we make gasoline out of used poker chips.

    By the way, the position of the top three Democratic candidates on putting spent nuclear fuel inside Yucca Mountain are as follows:

    Obama: No.

    Clinton: Absolutely, positively, I-will-chain-myself-to-the-foothills no.

    Edwards: The fact that I once voted yes should not be interpreted as anything but a no. And do not call this waffling. There is only one waffler in this pack, and I don’t even like the way she dresses.

    Something weird is going on with John Edwards, who was cheerfulness incarnate when four years ago he was the moderate-Southerner-who-can-speak-to-the-Reagan-Democrats. Then he morphed into a sorrowful populist who thought we should vote for him because he cared the most about the poor. Now he’s running around like a rabid gerbil, telling people he should be president because he’s the angriest. Soon, he’s going to run out of adjectives to embody.

    Hillary has been having a rough couple of weeks. The campaign even got into trouble for prompting a college student to ask Clinton about global warming. If this is the worst thing her staff is up to, perhaps they could use their surplus time to collect canned goods for the poor. The candidates have already been to about a million talk-with-voters gatherings in Iowa and New Hampshire, and in 999,999 of them, a college student has gotten up and asked about global warming. College students do not generally care about Social Security or health care because they don’t really think they’re ever going to get old or sick. But they do expect to get warmed, and they do not need prompting to ask about it at every opportunity.

    The challenge for Clinton in tonight’s debate on CNN will be to prove that she can talk the straight talk. It’s a tricky business. How do you unwaffle? (“Wolf, you know how I said I wanted a study commission on Social Security? I should have mentioned that I intend to stack the commission with people who will come back with a recommendation to raise taxes. And those driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants? I was just being polite when I said the idea sounded reasonable. Really, I hate it. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.”)

    The only thing harder than unwaffling is being a mean unifier. Barack Obama sells himself as the new post-millennial candidate who hates petty partisanship. (So ’90s!) That makes it a little tough to go out on debate day and try to kneecap his opponent.

    The best thing that’s happened to Hillary recently was the news that John McCain had laughed when a supporter asked: “How do we beat the bitch?” Excellent way to rally hitherto uncommitted women to the Clinton cause, unidentified supporter! Maybe Hillary will get lucky again tonight and John Edwards will try to bite her on the ankle.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/15/opinion/15collins.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

  120. That is too funny! I am glad somebody has some other perspective on all of this today! Thank you, Realist. If the voting were done today, Gail Collin’s is a contender. LOL. Beats the hell outta the huffin’ and puffin’ over why’s she clappin! Reminds me of “why is this woman smilin.” Take care yall, mollyj

  121. clinton is great bc she learns from previous mistakes and corrects them. a master politician. she did pretty well last debate-but got hammered by media and the 6 opponents. i have a good feeling that today’s debate will be different. she knows fully well what could happen and has come up with new tactics to deal with these nitwits

  122. carbynew,

    what about them?
    whats your point?

    heres my point, when hillary discusses illegal aliens, suggestion…
    dont piss off the voting block…

    they’re sensitive…
    they work hard…
    mexicans, eskimo, southamericans, and native americans, belong to this continent of america… so guess what? they feel a little like its the white folks who dont belong here, not them…
    thats why they dont give a crap about the laws, its all there homeland. they have a different perspective…

    ‘americans’ dont get that, but i guess you’ld have to be indiginous to understand the concept…

    as for unions, i belong to the machinist union, we fight for all worker rights. and no 5 dollar an hour job ever appeals to us…
    we cant even fill a tank of gas on a days wages…
    infact, we go out of our way to try and organize them, and give them better wages…

    but back to hillary, if hillary says, something about respecting the culture and the native peoples to our north and south, and understanding their disire to join the economic, democratic blah blah blah…
    and says it must be done with great care so as to be fair to all people ect ect ect,,,
    she doesnt offend the voting bloc on either side…

    as for laws, well dont hear anybody talking about laws when it comes to other minority groups, coming in illegaly, buying business, buying big expensive houses, taking our high tech jobs, selling our sensitive information, buying america out from under us…

    no its apparently a big tent, just not for everyone.

    so when

  123. sorry! i dont mean to be MEAN…

    ofcourse your points are valid…

    hillary will say it right, she’s no dummy.

  124. This is the right move in my opinion. It acknowledges political reality, and allows her to introduce a comprehensive policy solution, as noted above. In addition, it innoculates her against substantive repub attacks, gives spitzer more cover than he deserves, and puts her primary opponents on the horns of a dilemma: if they move off their position as well they will be perceived for what they are– followers not leaders. If they stick to it they will pay a heavy price at the polls. And if they claim she is being inconsistent, she can remind them that a foolish consistency (like theirs) is the hobgoblin of small minds.

  125. good morning hillfans, ok night at work. looking forward to a good debate performance by hill. cross our fingers for fairer coverage and equal billing.

  126. You can expect the following at tonight’s debate based on TIME‘s reporting on the Spitzer drivers’ licenses decision:

    Clinton spokesman scores Obama for favoring licenses for illegal immigrants and adds, “nobody seems to know what Senator Edwards believes on the issue.”

    Meanwhile, rival campaigns pounce:

    *Edwards: “We’re dizzy.”

    *Obama: “When it takes two weeks and six different positions… it’s easier to understand why the Clinton campaign would rather plant their questions than answer them.”

    *Dodd: “It’s flip-flopping cubed.”

    Statement links on page (http://thepage . time . com/ 2007/11/14/spitzer-drops-illegal-immigrant-drivers-license-plan/)

  127. What we can expect tonight: (Repost – can’t get links past spam filter again). For details go to TIME’s The Page blog with 11/14/07 date: “FINALLY”

    Clinton spokesman scores Obama for favoring licenses for illegal immigrants and adds, “nobody seems to know what Senator Edwards believes on the issue.”

    Meanwhile, rival campaigns pounce:

    Edwards: “We’re dizzy.”

    Obama: “When it takes two weeks and six different positions… it’s easier to understand why the Clinton campaign would rather plant their questions than answer them.”

    Dodd: “It’s flip-flopping cubed.”

  128. Ben Smith at The Politico commented on this late last night:

    But this is, on a more dramatic scale, a central feature of Clinton’s campaign all along, and a Mark Penn dictum: that voters care about substance over process, substance over character.

    Clinton is, pollwise, on the right, and Right, side of this issue even for Iowa Democrats and Democrats nationally, though the theory in Obamaland has been that there would be a liberal backlash against pushing it. Still, anybody who’s spent time at Democrats’ events in the state has heard the anger over immigration, and Hillary is now adopting the same position that Edwards also found his way to after the debate. She takes the hit on character — I linked Dodd’s and Obama’s derisive comments above; the question is whether the contrast on substance with Obama — who she’s hit before for alleged softness on foreign and security policy — will make up for it.

  129. John Aravosis of AMERICAblog wrote 11/14/07 re St. McCain:

    The appropriate response when someone calls your opponent, a woman, a “bitch” in public, and you’re running for president, is to immediately say “okay, that kind of language really isn’t appropriate” and then you give a small lecture about how we’re all one country, etc. The appropriate response isn’t to make a joke back and say that it’s an excellent question. I mean, would John McCain have sat back and laughed if a questioner called Rudy Giuliani an asshole? Somehow I doubt it.

    The sad thing is that a week ago or so Hillary’s campaign was wrong to pull the woman card and say that she was being beaten up for being a woman. This week, that’s exactly what’s happening. Presidential candidates don’t get to sit back and tacitly agree with people who refer to other presidential candidates as “bitches.” It’s not just inappropriate, it’s not very presidential either. It’s not the first time McCain has had a “not very presidential” bimbo eruption, and sadly it looks like it won’t be the last.

  130. Jay Cost wrote at RealClearPolitics Horserace Blog 11/15/07 something that helps me, at least, understand “movement” in the polls (first his comments, then my understanding).

    (1) Voters do not have full information throughout the campaign about the “fundamental variables” that ultimately drive vote choices.

    – All the information is not immediately evident or available when a pollster calls. Things change throughout the campaign as do voters opinions.

    (2) Voters do use all available information to make their decisions.

    – When it comes time to vote, voters take all the information they’ve considered into account, then vote with that info in mind.

    (3) Voters do not rationally account for uncertainty during the course of the campaign.

    – Voters sometimes just go with their gut — not all decisions are rational ones.

    Likewise, candidates formulate their full position on issues as the campaign unfolds. Taking the correct position in the end is preferable to sticking to a bad one … and voters are smart enough to figure that out.

  131. If Pakistan is on Wolfie’s list tonight, you can expect Hillary to slap BushCo really hard. HRC foreign policy adviser Madeleine Albright slammed W hard yesterday. Speaking on Scabby Joes yesterday morning (11/14/07), she called W’s policy “incoherent”

    … Previously in the segment, Albright had voiced her support for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary and outlined how she believed the US could improve is image internationally.

    “Well, I think we have to restore our reputation, which has been deeply damaged by Iraq mostly, because we went into a war that we didn’t have the proper intelligence on and that certainly has turned out badly,” she remarked. “I think that what has to happen is the United States does have to be a major power, but I think we need to do things in cooperation with other countries. Mostly, we have to change the face of America that is viewed publicly, which is a country that is still identified with issues such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.”

  132. Why HRC willl be the best president ever:

    From WaPo’s Dan Balz The Trail blog (blog.washingtonpost.com / the-trail/ 2007 / 11 / 14 / clintons_advice_make_friends_n.html#more) “Bill Clinton’s Advice: Make Friends, Not Enemies”

    … It’s also clear, from things Hillary Clinton has said about the problem of polarization, that she and her husband have talked about what the next president — particularly one named Clinton — could face in terms of partisan resistance, and how to reduce it.

    The former president believes he would have been better served by spending more time in conversation with political leaders from the opposition party. Clinton was much more inclined to seek advice — and listen to the ideas — of Republicans than Bush has been of Democrats.

    But he told [Ronald Brownstein, author of “The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America”] “If I had to do it over again, I would block out significantly greater time… to just bring these guys in and let them say whatever the hell they want to say to me… I found that people that I ordinarily, superficially, would not have that much in common with would be quite helpful.”

    Clinton’s other proposals are more prosaic than provocative, and yet as a guide for the next president, they are worth studying. For starters, he recommends saying attuned to the opposition’s ideas and critiques of White House policy. In Clinton’s view, there is no particular reason to stay abreast of the continual partisan chatter or attacks. Screening those out is natural and useful. But in his estimation, when someone from the opposition — politician, strategist or thinker — offers an insightful criticism of what an administration is doing, the president would benefit by studying it.

    Another is to build trust before launching big reforms. Clinton now regrets that after the brutal budgetary wars of his first months in office, he immediate thrust his health care reform plan on the Congress (which then was still in Democratic hands). He wishes now he had taken up welfare reform, where he and the Republicans eventually found common ground.

    Confidence-building gestures are another way of reducing partisan warfare. Clinton believes that bipartisan cooperation can be habit-forming and he urged some of his advisers to look for areas on which the White House and conservatives could agree. Hillary Clinton has followed this strategy as a senator, working across party lines with any number of conservative Republicans on smaller, targeted proposals, whether on foster care with former House majority leader Tom DeLay of Texas or reducing sex and violence on television with former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

    Read the rest

  133. HRC will be ready on the drivers’ license question for sure. The following comes from the comments section in Taylor Marsh’s 11/14/07 posting on the issue:

    I just watched CNN’s discussion. The specifically brought up Obama’s position. They said Obama was on record of supporting granting drivers’ license to illegals, and that can be very problemic if he wins the nominee.

    Wolf was actually in the discussion, and Lou Dobb suggested him to ask questions tomorrow.

    If Wolf has any integrity, he should ask Obama exactly the same question. Will he still support the idea of granting illegal immigrants licenses?

    This puts him in a corner. If he stands by his position, he’s falling into the death trap; if he waffles, he has no right to accuse Clinton of doing the same.

  134. Oppo research if you’re watching, go to ”MyDD”, 11/14/07 (“Obamas position on Drivers Licenses”) to read that, while running for Senate in 2004, he campaigned in favor of granting drivers’ licenses to undocumented/illegal immigrants.

  135. WOW !!

    Sidney Blumenthal has left Salon to become a senior advisor for ….

    … ta da !!

    HRC’s campaign.

    FYI, SB was a BC asst and advisor 1997-2001. Lots of details in Wikipedia.

  136. Latest rasmussen daily tracking poll show about the same for Hill and very consistent with Obama, but check Edwards sudden drop!

    Clinton 42%
    Obama 20%
    Edwards 13% (drop from yesterdays 17%)

    I hope this is a pattern to come 😀

    Great news about Sidney B. Merry

  137. BP busted re “planted” questions/questioners by eriposte at ”The Left Coaster” (theleftcoaster . com / archives / 011334. php) (11/13/07)

    Gotta run .. been trying to get as much here as possible before phone banking today … Bill will be in NH North Country tomorrow.

  138. I was thinking about Sidney Blumenthal just a couple of days ago – as to why I hadnt seen anything from him regarding the attacks on Hillary. The Clinton Wars is no doubt the best book ever written about the witchhunts targetting the Clinton Presidency.

  139. heres my point, when hillary discusses illegal aliens, suggestion…
    dont piss off the voting block…

    they’re sensitive…
    they work hard…
    mexicans, eskimo, southamericans, and native americans, belong to this continent of america… so guess what? they feel a little like its the white folks who dont belong here, not them…
    thats why they dont give a crap about the laws, its all there homeland. they have a different perspective…

    ‘americans’ dont get that, but i guess you’ld have to be indiginous to understand the concept…
    ****************************************************
    I’m not white, I’m 67% African American, 25% Cherokee and 8% whatever. My great grandmother was a slave, my grandmother was a sharecropper who picked cotton, sold eggs, farmed in Texas and it wasn’t until the 1940’s that my mother was able to search for the American dream by going to California working for Lockheed as a janitor for 36 years, union steward to give us the opportunities of the working middle class.

    This is a sensitive issue but my point is this: I want legal immigration to be the norm and illegal immigration to be the exception. Only then do I see the injustice, abuses, exploitation and unfairness removed.

    The exploitation with the legal system with crooked lawyers and cons perpetration on the least, abuse by the powerful…just go to the Agri-business and see how some of the field workers lives in California.

    I want legal immigration to be open to all classes and not limited with those from middle to upper class while the poor are treated as temporary workers with no opportunity.

    I want to see the Federal Government doing it’s job and not pandering.

    I want to see this done with compassion but with respect to our laws.

    I want respect for all side and not schemes, cons and get overs. Those are some of my points.

  140. Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Senator Hillary Clinton’s lead in Iowa has fallen seven points over the past few weeks. This is consistent with the six-point slide measured in New Hampshire.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of the Iowa Democratic Caucus for 2008 finds Clinton on top with support from 29% of Likely Caucus Participants. That’s down from 33% in mid-October.

    Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards is supported by 25% and Illinois Senator Barack Obama attracts 21% of the Likely Caucus participants. For both men, those figures reflect a three-percentage point gain. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson also gained three points and is now at 10% in the poll (see crosstabs).

    Edwards now attracts 26% support from men while Clinton and Obama each earn the support from 24%. In the previous survey, Clinton had a four-point advantage over Edwards among male voters. Among women, Clinton is still on top, but her share of the women’s vote has declined from 39% in mid-October until now.

    There are many challenges to polling a caucus, primarily around the question of who will actually participate. Those challenges are magnified this year by the timing of the caucus on January 3 forcing candidates and their teams to explore tactful methods of contacting voters during the holiday season. When only voters who are “certain” they will participate in the caucus are included in the totals, the race is a dead-heat: 26% for Clinton, 26% for Edwards, and 26% for Obama (see discussion of methodology).

    Half of the Likely Caucus Participants say they could change their mind between now and January 3. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Clinton’s supporters say they are “certain” they will vote for her. Fifty-two percent (52%) of Edwards voters say the same while 45% of Obama’s supporters are that certain.

    Among those voters who say they might change their mind, there is no clear benefit to any of the top three candidates. Obama supporters who might change their mind are fairly evenly divided on their second choice between Edwards and Clinton. Edwards supporters who might change their mind are similarly divided between Obama and Clinton. And the same pattern holds true for Clinton supporters who might change their mind—they are primarily split between Edwards and Obama. Given the high numbers of voters who say they could change their mind, the race in Iowa remains very fluid.

    Nationally, Clinton has a commanding lead in the polls but the race has become a tale of two narratives. In one narrative, Clinton is leading everywhere and in the other her lead is declining. Both narratives have the virtue of being true and they will collide in Iowa. If Clinton wins the Iowa caucus, she will be a prohibitive favorite to win the nomination. It is not so clear what happens if someone else wins in Iowa (and much will depend upon the margin of victory).

    Eighty-four percent (84%) of Likely Caucus Participants have a favorable opinion of Edwards, 81% say the same about Obama, and 79% offer a positive assessment of Clinton. Richardson by 62%, and Biden by 52% and Dennis Kucinich by 34%

    Fifty-six percent (56%) of Likely Democratic Caucus Participants say that when police officers pull someone over for a traffic violation, they should routinely check to see if that person is in the country legally. Twenty-nine percent (29%) disagree while 15% are not sure.

    Forty-eight percent (48%) believe that if an illegal immigrant is discovered in this manner, they should be deported. Twenty-six percent (26%) disagree.

    Forty-seven (47%) believe that this approach might create a temptation for police officers to discriminate while 41% disagree. All of these responses are somewhat similar to the views of Democrats nationwide.

    Twenty-one percent (21%) believe undocumented workers should be allowed to get drivers licenses. Sixty-five percent (65%) disagree. Nationwide, 77% of all voters oppose drivers licenses for undocumented workers.

    All polling for caucus events presents challenges in determining who is likely to show up and participate. In conducting and analyzing this survey, Rasmussen Reports reviewed results for many possible levels of turnout. While the results varied modestly depending upon the turnout model, all showed Clinton losing a little ground compared to the prior survey. See information on screening questions and the sample used in this telephone survey.

  141. Jennifer Hunter wrote in today’s Chicago Sun-Times (“Obama wooing supporters of lower-tier Dems”):

    … I wanted to see if anything had happened to Clinton’s place in the Democratic presidential race after the negative reviews of her debate performance in Philadelphia on Oct. 30 and the revelation, last week, that her campaign planted a question during a campaign stop in Iowa.

    Instead of polls, I looked at the Iowa Electronic Markets, which as Salon.com notes are “consistently better at forecasting winners than pre-election polls.”

    The IEM treats presidential candidates as if they are hog futures. And they use real money. In the 2004 presidential race, IEM investors spent $400,000 betting on the outcome.

    On Oct. 28, just before the Philly debate, Clinton’s IEM price per share closed at 71.3 cents. Post-debate, on Nov. 1, Clinton shares closed at 71 cents.

    On Nov. 10, the day of the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Des Moines where Obama wowed the crowd, and the revelations about Clinton’s planted question were known, Clinton’s shares slipped to 70.3 cents.

    On Tuesday, the last day for which quotes were available at the time of writing, Clinton was at 71.6 cents.

    She went down, then up.

    On Oct. 28, pre-debate, Obama’s shares closed at 14.2 cents. Post-debate, Nov. 1, they closed at 14.8 cents. On the day of the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, they were 20 cents. (The market works 24 hours, and his bravura performance that evening could have had an impact.) On Tuesday, Obama shares slipped to 16 cents.

    The bets are still on Clinton.

  142. Hi,

    Regarding that Rasmussen IA poll. In the text portion, it says

    Clinton 29
    Edwards 25
    Obama 21

    But on the right hand, it shows
    Clinton 29
    Edwards 25
    Obama 24

    Anybody wants to clarify this?

  143. Don’t pay too much attention to Iowa polls. They are all over the map. We are just working like we are in third here so we get more done. We are consistently in first, by a little, but we don’t pay too much attention to that.

  144. 11/14/07 Narrative:

    In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, Senator Hillary Clinton is the top choice for 42% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters. Senator Barack Obama earns the vote from 20% while former Senator John Edwards attracts 13%. Bill Richardson is preferred by 5% and no other candidate tops the 3% level among Likely Democratic Primary Voters

    Likely Democratic Primary Voters (same as in daily comparison chart):

    HC 42 +1
    BO 20 even
    JE 13 – 4

    11/13/07

    HC 41
    BO 20
    JE 17

    11/12/07

    HC 43
    BO 20
    JE 16

    11/11/07

    HC 43
    BO 20
    JE 17

    11/10/07

    HC 42
    BO 20
    JE 18

    11/09/07

    HC 44
    BO 19
    JE 15

    BO’s October high was 29 (on 10/07) and he hasn’t passed 22 since 10/23

    JE’s high was 11/10 and he’s dropped steadily since.

  145. Hello all,

    I’m more interested in Richardson & Biden’s #s. It looks to me Richardson has regained some momentum, he’s now in 10-12% in the last two polls.

    I am sure Clinton campaign & Richard campaign are already in some sort of contact…
    If they can hammer out a deal to support each other’s goers when one can’t reach 15%, I’m wondering whether their supporters will follow such instructions?

    Kucinich’s supporters certainly helped Edwards’ campaign last cycle. I’m hoping for the same!

    As for Edwards/Obama tag team, it won’t matter much since both men will likely reach 15% threashold in many precincts.

  146. On 11/12, Rasmussen said:

    At the same time, there is no doubt that Clinton is a dominant frontrunner. Even after a tough couple of weeks, she attracts twice as much support as her nearest competitor and holds a double digit lead in New Hampshire. It’s hard to imagine a campaign anywhere that wouldn’t enjoy Clinton’s numbers at this time. So, while opposing campaigns can grasp some hope from the fact that it is possible for Clinton’s campaign to stumble, taking the nomination away from her will require much more.

  147. Let’s just see how this works out for them:

    Sen. Barack Obama began his campaign with calls for a less divisive kind of politics, but now he sounds a more partisan tone. John Edwards, after building a campaign in part around ending poverty, has begun to lacerate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as the perpetuator of a corrupt status quo in Washington.

    As Clinton (N.Y.), the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, seeks to solidify her position atop the race, her main rivals are reshaping the arguments for their candidacies and sparking a broader debate about the future of their party.

    WaPo: cbs.com / stories/2007/11/15/ politics/washingtonpost/main3504199.shtml

  148. I read Blumenthal’s note at the end of his Salon post. It is interesting. Read it below. He must be referring to “breck girl” and “Mr. Me”.
    ————————————–
    Now, on a personal note, I have reached the end of my critique of the Bush administration, having elaborated it for years. (In fact, my book on “The Strange Death of Republican America” will be published in April 2008.) As events continue to unfold there will undoubtedly be many more things to say about Bush, Cheney, their administration and the Republican field. But given the momentous stakes, I have decided that nothing is more important than committing myself wholly to the outcome. Therefore, beginning here, the tone changes.

    Readers know of my background in the Clinton White House. (See “The Clinton Wars.”) They are familiar with my long friendship with Sen. Hillary Clinton. When she recently asked me to join her campaign as senior advisor I felt I must accept, though not out of obligation but, rather, wholeheartedly. There will be other times and places for me to explain how I have seen her grow into the person I now feel is best qualified and suited to restore the presidency, an office I observed and participated in for four years and about whose nature, I know from working closely with her, she has a deep grasp.

    I believe that the reason the Republicans have promoted the talking point that Hillary is unelectable is that they fear that more than any other candidate she can create a majority coalition, win and govern. They fear more than loss in one election; they fear the end of the Republican era beginning with Nixon. They know that she has the knowledge, skill and ability to govern. They know that she has already taken everything they can throw against her and is still standing.

    Just as the disintegration of the Democrats brought about the rise of the Republicans, the collapse of the Republicans has created an opening for the Democrats. But the Democrats have been victims of their own false euphoria, sanctimony and illusions before. Now, only the Democrats can revive the Republicans. Nixon, Reagan and Bush were all beneficiaries of Democratic disarray and strategic incompetence. The Democrats have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory before and it can happen again, even under these circumstances, when history is turning the Democrats’ way.

    The Democrats at key junctures have been seduced by the illusion of anti-politics to their own detriment. Anti-politics upholds a self-righteous ideal of purity that somehow political conflict can be transcended on angels’ wings. The consequences on the right of an assumption of moral superiority and hubris are apparent. Their plight stands as a cautionary tale, but not only as an object lesson for them. Still, the Republican will to power remains ferocious. The hard struggle will require the most capable political leadership, willing to undertake the most difficult tasks, and grace under pressure.

    ——————————–

  149. Frankly, I don’t think Hillary ever had an 11-point lead in Iowa. A small lead, maybe. Besides, her support is firmer than Obama’s, and that’s pretty important. It’s still very much up for grabs, however. Iowa always is till the end.

    BTW, on the driver’s license issue, she knew she’d take some immediate hits for her statement yesterday. But I know she’ll be ready for tonight, with a few zingers of her own.

  150. I actually feel pretty good about those IA polls despite a slight dip of Clinton’s #s. Nobody is gaining real momentum from the polls I’ve seen so far. Edwards is catching up a bit, which is good. We need a 3-way race. It’s going to be very unpredictable if Edwards fades away in IA.

    ARG IA poll

    Clinton 27
    Obama 21
    Edwards 20

    92% of those saying they support Clinton say their support is definite.
    # 50% of those saying they support Edwards say their support is definite.
    # 41% of those saying they support Obama say their support is definite.

  151. “Immigration is the new affirmative action”

    Peter Brown has a very smart piece up on Politico now:

    Immigration is becoming for the 2008 election what affirmative action/racial preferences was 15 years ago — the kind of emotional wedge issue that offers Republicans a way to split rank-and-file Democrats from their leaders.

    Certainly, that’s the feeling on the ground in Iowa.

  152. DesMoinesRegister has a dark assessment on the college kids Team Obama is counting on…

    Ames, Ia. – Efforts to inspire, encourage and cajole young Iowa voters to attend the 2008 presidential caucuses have lost some – but not all – of their steam with the news that Iowa’s marquee event will occur when most college students are away on winter break.

    Young voter participation, on a long national decline since the Vietnam War era, had begun to perk up in 2004 and 2006. Advocates of youth voting had hopes of fanning the flame in a year with an open presidential race drawing large fields of candidates.

    Since the Iowa Democrats and Republicans have moved caucuses up from Jan. 14 to Jan. 3 to protect the event’s first-in-the-nation status, campus organizers have been working to adapt:

    – Students have started to push campuses to keep dormitories open for the Jan. 3 caucuses, a suggestion some campus officials embrace and others reject as too costly and unsafe.

    – Some students involved in voter mobilization efforts have shifted their focus to recruiting students who grew up in Iowa. That takes attention away from out-of-state students, who in past years would caucus as Iowa residents living on campus while school was in session. This year, they would have to travel long distances to caucus at their Iowa campus locations.

    – Students and professors who push for the youth vote are at odds over whether 2007 and 2008 mobilization strategies should include pitches on the Web and on cell phones or whether groups should spend more time gathering promises to caucus or support a particular candidate face-to-face.

    About 5,000 18- to 24-year-olds participated in the Democratic caucus of 2004 – about 3.9 percent of the 124,000 total caucusgoers that year, according to the Iowa Democratic Party.

    Republican Party of Iowa officials said they have no numbers of college-age participation in 2000, the most recent year Iowa’s GOP presidential caucuses were held.

    Candidates would be more likely to hear and consider the concerns of young Iowans if they turned out in greater numbers at the caucuses, advocates say.

    Young people in the 2006 midterm elections were more likely to disapprove of the war in Iraq than older voters, and more likely to be dissatisfied with the Bush administration, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

    The New Voters Project Iowa caucus mobilization effort, called “Rock the Caucus,” aims to recruit 5,000 young people to attend the caucuses. It will do that by enlisting 250 students deemed “rock stars” to persuade 20 of their friends to caucus, said Sujatha Jahagirdar, program director of the student Public Interest Research Group New Voters Project.

    Rock the Caucus also involves the Iowa secretary of state and Rock the Vote, a young voter mobilization effort founded in the 1990s by recording artists concerned about freedom of speech.

    Stacey Wilson, 19, is one of the caucus “rock stars” in charge or recruiting her classmates at Drake University to promise to show up on caucus night.

    She acknowledged that her new “rock star” status has come with disappointments.

    Some people tell Wilson, a sophomore, they don’t want to participate, because they would simply support anyone other than the current president.

    “It scares me – they think it doesn’t matter,” she said. “It’s a lazy thing that students are doing. … I know our generation is the first in history that is most likely not to do better than their parents. It surprises me people are not more concerned.”

    Wilson, from Appleton, Wis., has also backed off of recruiting out-of-state students from Drake to caucus, because most of them will be gone over winter break. A Drake adviser has told Wilson it would be really expensive to open campus during the caucuses, she said.

    “I’ve not heard anything back,” she said.

    Drake officials said this week they have recently decided to study how they would accommodate the housing needs of students who want to come back and caucus when campus is closed.

    Officials at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa said they would make space available for dorm-dwellers who want to come back, stay the night and caucus. Grinnell College also has plans to open a campus building, equipped with showers, for the 24-hour time period surrounding the caucuses, where students can camp out in sleeping bags.

    University of Iowa staff said they will not open any campus housing for caucusgoers, because it would be difficult to provide staff for a building with so few people.

    “We wouldn’t open the building and man that for one person,” said Carrie Kiser-Wacker, U of I assistant to the director of university housing.

    She added, “If we had empty space like Iowa State and UNI, and could consolidate them in one building, that would be terrific, but we just don’t have that.”

    Some campus party activists are also pulling back from recruiting their peers to caucus this year.

    Amanda Halfacre, an ISU senior from Dallas, Texas who is president of ISU Democrats, said group members have in past years spent the day of the caucus calling students urging them to show up. That won’t happen this year, because the students won’t know where to reach other students.

    She said the group will send out a mass e-mail letting students know they can register the day of the caucus.

    Some student activists are trying to overcome the disappointment of the new caucus date by pointing to the new power of the Web. Since 2004, Facebook has infiltrated Iowa campuses, and Internet fundraising and campaigning have advanced beyond a novelty for campaigns. The social networking site and others like it have also moved into the mainstream.

    Don McDowell, an ISU senior from Sheldon, said building up student interest on social networking Web sites like Facebook will be more effective in 2007 and 2008 than the past practice of handing out literature in central campus locations.

    “I think they have their iPod in their ears, their cell phone to their ear,” said McDowell, also co-chairman of Iowa Federation of College Republicans. “They are off thinking of their next class, the test they failed, or why their girlfriends just dumped them.”

    He said students interested in persuading their peers to vote could instead choose creative pitches on the Web, such as filming a video reminding them to vote and blasting it all over the Internet.

    He also said it’s not uncommon for students to check Facebook 10 times a day, a reality that could be used on Jan. 3, when potential voters could be barraged with messages about the caucuses.

    Other organizers still tout the value of old-fashioned, face-to-face networking.

    Jimmy Centers is the student chairman for Students for Rudy Giuliani at the University of Iowa, which has 200 members. He said the group hands out tiny pieces of paper campaign literature in an effort to enlist enough students to make the chapter the largest for Giuliani in the country.

    He said the tactic caters to the “fast-paced” college atmosphere, where students are on the go.

    That is in addition to messages the student Giuliani chapter sends out to its Facebook group, which he says also has several hundred members.

    Tim Hagle, a U of I associate political science professor and adviser to the Iowa Federation of College Republicans, said he is trying to persuade student groups supporting a particular candidate to be more visible on campus.

    Hagle recalled the 2000 caucuses, when he was the faculty adviser for the U of I student group supporting George W. Bush. He said clusters of students involved in the campaign gathered in a central part of campus.

    He would watch the group grow, as students would pull in friends from their dorm and other parts of their lives.

    The Bush student supporters even made friends with rivals: “We got along great with the (Bill) Bradley people,” Hagle said.

    “They know each other, so they can stand out and talk, kid us back and forth,” he said. “It’s that face-to-face communication that really gets the message out. I’m trying to get them out there a little bit more.”

    Those were the days when cell phones weren’t as prevalent, and for students to participate in a phone bank, they had to travel to Des Moines or Cedar Rapids, he said.

    Now campaigns have cell phone banks in Iowa City, staffed in part with students with flexible schedules, he said.

    “They are concerned with, ‘Make the calls. Make the calls,’ ” Hagle said. “One of the problems on phone calling is it’s very difficult to reach students. … Unless you get out there and meet people face-to-face on the Pentacrest and classrooms, it’s very difficult to reach out to those voters.”

  153. kostner, Hillary’s people are well aware of that, which is why they’re not interested in commiting GE suicide on the issue.

    BTW, I just double-checked that definite-support number on ARG’s Web site for the Iowa poll. If 92 percent support Hillary definitely, that number is absolutely incredible. I haven’t seen any poll anywhere with that kind of figure. She’s always been higher than the others, but wow!!!

    It seems clear that this crap over the last two-plus weeks has peeled off some soft support but hardened what’s left. That’s why she feels she can absorb some hits on the immigration thing; it’s worth any short-term price she’ll pay.

  154. Paula,

    ARG is sort of iffy, I won’t put too much stock in those internals. It is now clear that all three IA frontrunners have a ceiling of about 30%, that’s why Richardson & Biden are so critical… Richardson & Biden may well become the kingmaker in this state. I hope Team Clinton is on this and act fast… Both Richardson & Biden are much closer to Clinton than to Edwards & Obama, this may be Hillary’s best shot at winning IA.

    Obama is also working on this, per Chicago Sun Times…

    With less than two months to go until the Iowa caucuses, White House aspirant Barack Obama is personally wooing Iowans who have declared support for Democratic presidential contenders who stand little chance of winning the Hawkeye state.

    Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico are all cellar dwellers, poll-wise and support-wise, so it makes strategic sense for Obama to scoop them up before his rival Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) gets there.

    Obama isn’t really poaching support from these other politicians.

    It’s just that the Iowa caucuses work in an arcane way. A presidential nominee isn’t actually chosen at the caucuses; delegates who represent him or her are, and then the delegates go off to the county convention.

    If a caucus-goer supports Dodd, for instance, but there aren’t enough others in the room in his corner, the Dodd supporter may be induced to switch to a candidate who does have a big following. And the Dodd guy will be sweet-talked and his vote bargained for by every group in the room.

    So the Dodd supporter can switch to the Obama group or a Clinton group, and as an experienced caucus-goer, he is likely to have walked into that caucus with a second candidate in mind.

    Obama hopes he can become the second choice.

    On Tuesday, at 3:15 p.m., just after she had picked her four kids up from school, Karen Thalacker received a telephone call from Obama. Thalacker is a lawyer and Democratic activist in Waverly who is supporting Dodd.

    “Sen. Obama was extremely gracious and wonderful and said Chris Dodd was one of his best friends,” Thalacker relayed in an e-mail to me.

    “He also said that he hoped I would be his second choice, and I told him, ‘Absolutely.’ ”

    “Having a conversation with Barack Obama in my Suburban [SUV] with a car full of kids was surreal to say the least. I love living in Iowa!”

    And Obama no doubt loves it that Thalacker has promised to support him if Dodd cannot get enough delegates to be viable — which is likely unless Thalacker is so persuasive at her caucus that she turns people Dodd’s way.

    The Iowa caucuses, which are just meant to choose delegates, merely signal which presidential hopeful is picking up the most steam and is likely to become the Democratic or Republican nominee. But caucus-goers don’t always have their money on the right horse.

    In 1972, Sen. Edmund Muskie of Maine beat the other candidates in Iowa, but the senator from South Dakota, George McGovern, won the Democratic nomination. In 1980, George H.W. Bush, the president’s father, won Iowa but lost the Republican nomination to Ronald Reagan. Iowans are ornery voters; despite their erratic track record, they always like to think they’re the first to pick a winner.

  155. The new SurveyUSA poll of Ohio apparently shows Hillary Clinton to a more electable Democrat than Barack Obama in this key swing state:

    Clinton (D) 49%, Giuliani (R) 44%
    Clinton (D) 51%, Romney (R) 42%
    Clinton (D) 54%, Huckabee (R) 37%
    McCain (R) 47%, Clinton (D) 46%
    Giuliani (R) 49%, Obama (D) 41%
    Obama (D) 45%, Romney (R) 41%
    Obama (D) 48%, Huckabee (R) 38%
    McCain (R) 52%, Obama (D) 37%
    Other polls in Ohio have shown that John Edwards does better against the Republicans than either Hillary or Obama, perhaps due to his populist appeal

  156. A new Strategic Vision FL poll to come out tomorrow with trendline.

    Nov(Sept)
    Clinton 47(44)
    Obama 27(22)
    Edwards 8(12)

  157. There are some really dirty things afoot here in iowa that I can’t say on the forbidden zone, but it not only involves our democratic opponents, but the others too, all targeted at Hillary. This is scary, and all I can say is that we are going to have to have a lot more caucusers for Hillary that night. If you all know anyone in iowa, call them or email them and tell them to get as many people as possible to caucus on the 3rd for Hillary. Watch those f***in’ republicans.

  158. This comment from NYT’s Caucus blog is hysterical:

    I’m laying 7-11 that Hillary mops up the floor tonight in Las Vegas, with Edwards, especially Edwards, begging for mercy, and with Obama crying, “I didn’t have any idea that she could be so tough, and so much better informed than I, and, as even my $15,000-a-month advisers know, so much readier to lead than I, and so much more qualified than I.

    And the mighty, overworked, ubiquitous Wolfman, Mr. Situation, himself?

    He’ll be grim and steadfast.

    And defensive, too, about that silly, 19th Century beard of his, while he stares at Cameras 1, 2, and 3, as if he’s deserving of a million a year and is not among the CNN victims, including his exalted friends whom he daily, almost hourly, calls ‘the best political team on TV,’ victims whose continuing bottom-of-the-basemen ratings should be cause for shame if not retirement.

    He’ll also be accused by the Russert-Matthews alliance, in post-debate discussions, of having unfairly piled on Edwards and Obama; and of not having pummeled Hillary nearly enough with follow-up vindicteness like other always fair, more moderate, less biased reporters might have done.

    And, yet again, they will say America is still perplexed that she won’t give repetitive answers to NBC vacuities.

    As for Richardson, word is that he’ll come up with a current quote on Santa Fe Square turquoise; Kucinich will claim he’s taller than Napoleon; Dodd can take the night off—but Biden, ‘Happiness is a Thing Called Joe,’ Biden, again he will charm one and all with easy-flowing knowledge and unreheased poise—and further confirm that he’s a natural as Hillary’s Secretary of State.

    — Posted by Waldo Lydecker

  159. Political Buzz writes:

    We’ve seen Obama and Edwards perfectly content to lay off Hillary in the actual debate only to pounce on some innocuous comment from the event in the loads of spin generated afterwards. But as the calendar ticks closer to Iowa, HRC’s two rivals don’t have the luxury of taking the night off. They need to stick their necks out and continue with their Hil-bashing – “gender card” be damned.

    [snip]

    Obama and Edwards – They’re running out of time. Which means it could get explosive on the Vegas stage.

    COMMENT: I could go for a JE/BO explosion !

  160. celiff, Please e-mail the admin (using the confidential tips link) about these dirty tricks; I’m sure they would like to know – although, chances are, they already do. And do Hillary’s Iowa people know this?

  161. Yesterday we learned that Markos Moulitsas is going to be the “liberal” blogger for Newsweek’s coverage of the 2008 presidential race.

    Today we learn that “balance” will be provided by the ever-popular “conservative” bullshit artist writer Karl Rove.

    Hang on to ya’ knickers, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride !

  162. Hillary’s people know about it. It’s something not to be released to the media. So, although I adore Taylor, I won’t tell her, although she’s very knowledgeable so I am sure she knows of it. It has me, and our other Iowa people, very concerned, but we do know about it.

  163. UPDATE from The Nation ON ALLEGED “PLANTED” STORIES:

    Roya Soleimani, who asked about Iran, called me after speaking with Clinton’s New Hampshire staff today. She said her question was authentic and she attended several campaign events in New Hampshire as a volunteer for a project associated with ABC News. “It was a completely self-generated question because I wanted to know what her position on foreign policy with Iran,” she said, adding “I can unequivocally say that I had not discussed the question, or any of my policy areas of interest with the campaign in advance.” Soleimani, a 22-year-old events manager in Washington, D.C., says she currently supports Clinton.

    Jo Jensen says she did not speak with any Clinton staff today, but there is a reason her question looked practiced. As Executive Director for Students for Saving Social Security, Jensen has personally asked six candidates about Social Security. The 22-year-old posts the results at the organization’s YouTube account, SecureOurFuture, which currently features the question from the Salem event. Jensen, who is undecided, says her question “absolutely was not planted.” She added that she was excited about the Salem Town Hall. “The Clinton event was the first one they let me in to. Usually they’re invite-only and they don’t have students that are allowed to go,” she said.

    In this case, the questions raised on YouTube were largely answered on YouTube. But Clinton’s rivals think they can squeeze more out of the story. At 2:30pm today, the Edwards Campaign sent out a press release announcing a new web campaign, PlantsforHillary.com, inviting web activists to “plant” their own questions for Clinton, and a new YouTube attack ad about the “Politics of Planting.” Today the Obama Campaign piled on that point, saying Clinton’s immigration record makes it “easier to understand why the Clinton campaign would rather plant their questions than answer them.” As I previously noted in this space, Clinton does deserve credit for personally denouncing the fake questions. Tonight, all eyes will be on her to see how she answers the real ones.

  164. my comment about plantsforhillary …

    If Hillary took a 3-day vacation, the primary would come to a grinding halt as neither the Democrats or Republicans would have anything to talk about.

  165. Jennifer Skalka at Hotline:

    Plants for Hillary, Dirties Edwards?

    If anyone wondered if John Edwards’ campaign had milked the HRC question planting mini-scandal to death, ponder no more. Today, as the Nevada debate fast approaches and journos and pundits alike speculate about the answer Clinton might have to any official questions on the subject, Edwards’ team launched plantsforhillary.com.

    JRE’s campaign:

    “As part of the PlantsforHillary.com web site, potential plants can listen to testimonials from past plants, read the ‘Top 10 Questions Plants Should Never Ask Hillary,’ learn how to recognize other plants at Senator Clinton’s events, submit suggestions for planted questions, and purchase the soon to be released ‘Questions are hard…so plant them’ t-shirt.”

    From parsing to planting, Clinton is taking hit after hit after hit from Edwards since the Philly debate two weeks ago. But could Edwards, with such frivolous nastiness, be opening himself up for a backlash? It’s one thing to smack Clinton for waffling on the war, but could the plant talk soil (I couldn’t help it) Edwards’ chances with Iowa voters. Iowa nice, remember, JRE?

  166. Here’s another interesting statistic on Nevada fundraising (OpenSecrets.com):

    Mitt Romney $715,530
    Rudolph W. Giuliani $650,340
    Hillary Clinton $448,508
    John McCain $256,182
    Bill Richardson $228,235
    Barack Obama $174,085
    John Edwards $97,450
    Joseph R. Biden Jr. $82,000
    Ron Paul $64,619
    Fred Thompson $37,458
    Christopher J. Dodd $36,450

  167. Vegas betting odds (not expected to change after tonight’s debate):

    Hillary Clinton – 1/6
    Barack Obama – 12/5
    John Edwards – 8/1
    Dennis Kucinich – 20/1
    Joseph Biden – 30/1
    Chris Dodd – 40/1

  168. Mark Penn’s latest memo:

    What is the most important card in this race? The leadership card.

    That is the card that we see in poll after poll that analyzes why people are voting for Hillary Clinton.

    And so while opponents are strategizing and re-launching their campaigns with aggressive personal attacks on Sen. Clinton, one truth remains – running for president is not a qualification for president.

    The voters are looking for someone who has the strength and experience to lead, and little has changed in the last few weeks outside of the massive media coverage of the attacks.

    As Senator Clinton has said, change is just a word unless you have the strength and experience to make it happen.

    So let’s look at the ratings voters give the three leading candidates on the qualities they look for in a president.

    On the questions of who is best able to handle Iraq and Iran, Hillary Clinton is the runaway leader. More than half of Democratic primary voters say Hillary can best handle Iran (52%) and Iraq (50%) – more than twice the number for Barack Obama (23% on Iraq and 22% on Iran) and John Edwards (14% on Iran and 16% on Iraq) (ABC/Washington Post Oct 29-Nov 1).

    Senator Clinton also has an overwhelming lead among Democrats on being knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency (76% for Clinton and 41% for Obama), having the strong leadership qualities needed to be president (72% for Clinton and 55% for Obama), being inspirational and an exciting choice for president (64% for Clinton and 56% for Obama), being a good commander in chief (63% for Clinton and 43% for Obama) and bringing real change to the direction of the country (63% for Clinton and 52% for Obama) (NBC/WSJ Nov 1-5).

    Finally, as the polls come in, they show that Obama 2.0 isn’t working any better than the previous version. After shifting to a negative attack strategy, Obama remains stalled.

    For example, as the candidates prepare to meet in Nevada, a new poll there has Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama 51 percent to 23 percent with 11% for John Edwards. Clinton leads among Nevada likely caucus-goers on having the best chance of beating the Republican nominee in the general election (Clinton 63%, Obama 15%, Edwards 11%), being the strongest leader (Clinton 54%, Obama 21%, Edwards 14%), most qualified to be commander in chief (Clinton 51%, Obama 20%, Edwards 13%), most likely to bring needed change (Clinton 49%, Obama 28%, Edwards 11%), having taken clear positions on the issues (Clinton 42%, Obama 23%, Edwards 12%), saying what she believes rather than what voters want to hear (Clinton 41%, Obama 23%, Edwards 12%), most likeable (Clinton 40%, Obama 30%, Edwards 20%) and most honest (Clinton 37%, Obama 24%, Edwards 13%).

    In the national polls, five polls in the last two weeks show Hillary Clinton’s lead holding steady or increasing in the Democratic primary. The latest NBC/WSJ poll gives Hillary a 22 point lead, up 1 point from September, and yesterday’s Cook Political / RT Strategies poll puts Hillary 17 points ahead – up from a 13 point advantage in September. AP/Ipsos gives Hillary a 23 point lead, up 2 points since October, USA Today/Gallup has her 28 points ahead, compared with 29 points in October and according to Newsweek, Hillary now leads by 19 points, compared with 21 points in August.

    Hillary also leads Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney. She leads Giuliani by 3 points in the Cook/RT Strategies poll, 6 points in the USA Today / Gallup poll, 6 points in the CNN poll, 10 points in the WNBC/Marist poll (pdf), 4 points in the Newsweek poll and 4 points in the ABC/Washington Post poll. Her advantage widens against other Republicans – to 9 points over McCain, 18 points over Romney and 16 points over Thompson in the ABC/Washington Post poll.

    And the states show little change. We know it is a close race in Iowa and Hillary has a significant lead in New Hampshire.

    The latest Iowa polls all show a very close race – this week’s CBS/NYT poll gives Hillary Clinton a lead of only 2 points. In New Hampshire, Hillary has a double-digit lead (15 points in this week’s CBS/New York Times poll). Hillary leads by 10 points in South Carolina (Winthrop/ETV). And in yesterday’s Quinnipiac Ohio poll, Hillary’s 25 point lead is virtually unchanged from last month.

    Meanwhile in the general election, Hillary leads Giuliani in Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee – all states the Democrats lost in 2004. In fact, if the election were held tomorrow, Hillary would win 360 electoral votes compared with 178 electoral votes for Rudy Giuliani. And Hillary would beat Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mitt Romney by similar margins.

    But for all the negative personal attacks, this race comes down to one word – leadership.

  169. A supporter told me yesterday he got a push poll call from edwards and they told him “barack obama is a muslim” and the “pollster” brought up whitewater with Hillary. Yuck!

  170. Square the following, if you can, with what we have been “fed” about BO’s “same old dirtynew politics”:

    Obama, who has looked less steady going after his rivals, is only warming up, according to Axelrod. “[Obama] is happy to, and willing to, respond to any challenge. That’s been true throughout his political life,” said the strategist who cut his teeth in rough and tumble Chicago political circles. “He comes from a pretty tough political arena.”

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