Pearls Before Swine

Update, Update: Hillary tells Edwards to stop the mud slinging and the Ripublican Talking Points:

Debate highlights video:

——————

Amidst all the mud slung last night in Las Vegas, there was one shining, sparkling, glittering, dazzling, gleaming object – a pearl – our Hillary.

Slinging mud on the debate stage last night — Barack Obama and John Edwards — the big losers.

The other big losers, not on stage last night, were Tim Russert and the Ripublicans.

* * *

Moderators Wolf Blitzer and John Roberts did a good job. They asked tough questions of all the candidates. Hillary was asked about the “gender” card, “polarizing”, all the attacks leveled at her by Obama and Edwards. Obama was asked tough questions too, including his failure to vote on the Kyl-Lieberman resolution. Along with Dennis Kucinich and Hillary Clinton, the moderators finally explored, in front of a national audience, John Edwards’ voting record – which is so dramatically in conflict with Edwards’ current rhetoric.

Blitzer and the CNN team, unlike Russert/Williams, did not lead the charge against a single candidate. Tim Russert and the NBC/MSNBC team are today complaining about the audience booing Obama and Edwards but Russert/NBC had nothing to say when Hillary was booed in the CHICAGO (Obama’s home town) debate several months ago. Russert still has not apologized for his misrepresentations targeting Hillary at the previous Democratic debates.

Ripublicans, already behind Hillary in the polls, now know for absolutely sure that Hillary is Texas Tough and most difficult to beat.

* * *

How Bad Was Obama?

Paul Krugman discusses, in today’s New York Times, Obama’s position on Social Security. Krugman labels Obama a “sucker” and a “fool”. Krugman labels Obama’s “transcend partisanship” whine “neither possible nor desirable”:

Lately, Barack Obama has been saying that major action is needed to avert what he keeps calling a “crisis” in Social Security — most recently in an interview with The National Journal. Progressives who fought hard and successfully against the Bush administration’s attempt to panic America into privatizing the New Deal’s crown jewel are outraged, and rightly so.

But Mr. Obama’s Social Security mistake was, in fact, exactly what you’d expect from a candidate who promises to transcend partisanship in an age when that’s neither possible nor desirable. [snip]

As Peter Orszag, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, put it in a recent article co-authored with senior analyst Philip Ellis: “The long-term fiscal condition of the United States has been largely misdiagnosed. Despite all the attention paid to demographic challenges, such as the coming retirement of the baby-boom generation, our country’s financial health will in fact be determined primarily by the growth rate of per capita health care costs.”

How has conventional wisdom gotten this so wrong? Well, in large part it’s the result of decades of scare-mongering about Social Security’s future from conservative ideologues, whose ultimate goal is to undermine the program. [snip]

That should have been that. But what Jonathan Chait of The New Republic calls “entitlement hysteria” never seems to die. In October, The Washington Post published an editorial castigating Hillary Clinton for, um, not being panicky about Social Security — and as we’ve seen, nonsense like the claim that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme seems to be back in vogue.

Which brings us back to Mr. Obama. Why would he, in effect, play along with this new round of scare-mongering and devalue one of the great progressive victories of the Bush years?

I don’t believe Mr. Obama is a closet privatizer. He is, however, someone who keeps insisting that he can transcend the partisanship of our times — and in this case, that turned him into a sucker.

Mr. Obama wanted a way to distinguish himself from Hillary Clinton — and for Mr. Obama, who has said that the reason “we can’t tackle the big problems that demand solutions” is that “politics has become so bitter and partisan,” joining in the attack on Senator Clinton’s Social Security position must have seemed like a golden opportunity to sound forceful yet bipartisan. [snip]

We all wish that American politics weren’t so bitter and partisan. But if you try to find common ground where none exists — which is the case for many issues today — you end up being played for a fool. And that’s what has just happened to Mr. Obama.

Hillary nailed Obama on Social Security for all the reasons Krugman appropriately labels Obama a fool. Politico has more:

She gave as good as she got. And those who tried to kick her, stubbed their toes. [snip]

But when it came to a real stumble, Clinton left that to her chief opponent, Barack Obama. [snip]

At one point, Obama said he would sit down and talk to the leaders of rogue nations such as Iran.

“Hillary and I had a disagreement on this,” he said. “I said I would meet with not just our friends but also with our enemies.”

But Blitzer pointed out that Obama had missed a key Senate vote on Iran.

“This is true and it was a mistake,” Obama said. “This is one of the hazards of running for president.”

No, debates are one of the hazards of running for president.

Though often accused of not being clear on what she would do to save the Social Security system, Clinton was very clear during the debate about one thing: She was against Obama’s plan to increase Social Security taxes on some people making more than $97,000 a year.

I do not want to fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle-class families and seniors,” she said.

“If you lift the cap completely, that is a $1 trillion tax increase. I don’t think we need to do that.”

A visibly upset Obama responded: “Understand that only six percent of Americans make more than $97,000 a year. So six percent is not the middle class. It is the upper class!”

Then he lashed out with his strongest language of the evening. “You know,” he said, “this is the kind of thing that I would expect from Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani, where we start playing with numbers.”

But Hillary had scored exactly the way she wanted to: by raising the electability issue.

It is no secret the Republicans intend to come at the Democratic nominate on the issues of immigration and raising taxes.

And Obama has now given them plenty of ammunition on both.

How Bad Was Edwards?

Bad, very bad. Relegated to the sidelined space usually reserved for the equally moribund Mike Gravel, John Edwards launched wet noodle attacks against Fortress Hillary.

LAS VEGAS – New York Sen. Hillary Clinton responded to weeks of increasing criticism from her rivals at a debate here Thursday night with a rhetorical show of force of her own.

She accused former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards of “throwing mud” and said Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is being too modest in his plans for healthcare and too aggressive in aiming to raise Social Security taxes.

Clinton was cheered — and her rivals’ criticisms were, at times, booed — by an unusually raucous crowd made up of students, labor union members, and Democratic activists at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

“I don’t mind taking hits on my record on issues, but when somebody starts throwing mud, at least we can hope that it’s both accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook,” Clinton said. [snip]

But after an unusually tense opening 10 minutes, Clinton’s two chief challengers seemed to lose momentum.

Asked whether she was guilty of playing the “gender card,” Clinton had one of the evening’s top applause lines.

“They’re not attacking me because I’m a woman,” she said. “They’re attacking me because I’m ahead.” [snip]

Edwards, meanwhile, seemed to back off some of his campaign’s criticism of Clinton after she fired her own shots in his direction.

Besides the charge of “mud-slinging,” Clinton criticized Edwards’ record on health care, saying that in his 2004 campaign, he didn’t support universal coverage.

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register, in Iowa, praised Hillary in his article That’s Why The Lady Is The Champ.

Give Thursday’s debate to Hillary Clinton. [snip]

The evening gave her rivals a chance to trip her up some more.

They blew it. Barack Obama had only an average night, and on a couple of questions he seemed flummoxed. On the question of driver’s licenses for immigrants here illegally, his answer was as nuanced and fuzzy as Clinton’s was a couple of weeks ago. Moderator Wolf Blitzer underscored Obama’s fumbling by reminding him the question “is sort of available for a yes or no answer.”

By contrast, Clinton gave the answer she should have in the last debate: “No.”

Also, Obama got booed when he accused Clinton of using logic worthy of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. (That did seem a little canned. His handlers need to provide him some fresh material.) He also needs a more cogent answer for what he proposes to do with all the nation’s nuclear waste until someone invents that new processing technology he wants.

John Edwards should have stayed home. Clinton took the wind out of his sails early in the evening by implying he was “throwing mud.” He never seemed to bounce back from that slap, and he also got hooted when he talked about her as a corporate Democrat. Edwards also had a poor night because for the first time, the differences between his votes as a U.S. senator and his talk now came into clear focus. He voted for the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and using Yucca Mountain as a nuclear-waste disposal site. Those votes are at odds with the populist rhetoric he serves up today, and it will undermine the credibility of his message.

Other observers scored the night a big Hillary win:

DAVID GERGEN – HILLARY CLINTON SHOWED SHE IS ‘PASSIONATE ABOUT WANTING TO BE PRESIDENT.’ “You’ve got to be hungry for this, and Hillary Clinton is clearly hungry. She’s passionate about wanting to be president. You don’t have a sense that he [Obama] wakes up every day saying I’m going to take this away from her and I’m going to be president. You just don’t have that sense of inner fire, that fire in the belly that we like to talk about in politics.” [CNN, 11/15/07]

TIME’S MARK HALPERIN GAVE HILLARY THE BEST GRADE OF ALL THE CANDIDATES. [Time’s The Page, 11/15/07 ]

THE ATLANTIC’S MARC AMBINDER: HILLARY ‘GAVE HER MOST COMMANDING PERFORMANCE TO DATE’: “Tonight’s debate will probably stop the talk of a huge momentum swing away from Hillary Clinton… Clinton had the most at stake tonight, and she arguably gave her most commanding performance to date.” [The Atlantic, 11/15/07 ]

NBC NEWS’ CHUCK TODD – ‘THIS DEBATE WAS ABOUT CLINTON EFFECTIVELY FIGHTING BACK’: [First Read, MSNBC, 11/15/07 ]

TALKING POINTS MEMO’S JOSH MARSHALL – HILLARY ‘CAME OUT AGGRESSIVELY, AND BASICALLY KNOCKED OBAMA AND EDWARDS BACK:’ “She came out aggressively, and basically knocked Obama and Edwards back.” [Talking Points Memo, 11/15/07 ]

AMERICAN PROSPECT’S GARANCE FRANKE-RUTA – ‘SHE’S BACK’: “Clinton is back in business, and she’s feeling fine.” [Tapped, American Prospect, 11/15/07 ]

CNN POLITICAL ANALYST JC WATTS – ‘I THINK SHE DID VERY WELL’ [CNN, 11/15/07]

HOTLINE’S JENNIFER SKALKA: ‘CLINTON HITS THIS ONE OUT OF THE PROVERBIAL PARK:’ “Clinton hits this one out of the proverbial park. No doubt. … ‘I’m not exploiting anything at all. I’m not playing, as some people say, the gender card here in Las Vegas. I’m just trying to play the winning card.’ ‘They’re attacking me because I’m ahead.'” [Hotline Blog, 11/15/07 ]

ABC NEWS’ RAELYN JOHNSON – ‘I’M HARD PRESSED TO THINK HOW SHE COULD HAVE ANSWERED THAT BETTER.’ “Again Campbell Brown gets to ask Clinton the tough question — the gender card…I’m hard-pressed to think how she could have answered that better.” [ABC Political Radar, 11/15/07 ]

Hillary is a pearl. Obama and Edwards? They were in the mud.

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251 thoughts on “Pearls Before Swine

  1. Some inside regarding that UAM ‘endorsement’ from Atlantic online:

    In Dubuque, Iowa today:

    (0) Sen. Barack Obama won a straw poll of UAW Region 4 locals. Region 4 includes Iowa.

    (1) 48% of the voting members of UAW’s Region 4 came from Illinois. Barack Obama comes from Illinois.

    (2) 22% of the voting members come from Iowa. It turns out that, in today’s straw balloting, John Edwards won twice as many Iowa locals as Obama did.

    But the strength of Obama in Illinois overwhelmed Edwards (and Clinton).

    (3) What happened today in Dubuque was not an official endorsement — it was a recommendation to endorse — the UAW technically hasn’t given its regional council permission to endorse.

    (4) Obama probably will get the UAW endorsement in Iowa… and it’s certainly a helpful endorsement…. but it should not be treated as a surprise… nor should it technically be treated as an endorsement just yet.

  2. Another thing Obama said that was funny:

    “We should set up schools in muslim countries – teach them math and science”

    LOL…we need math/science in the US schools first……

  3. MP, the attacks will not end. We have yet to hear the venom from Matthews. MSNBC is trying to start nonsense about the booing, ignoring when Hillary was booed at the Chicago debate.

    We have all learned not to be complacent. The effects of last night’s debate should keep the momentum going and growing until the next debate in mid December.

  4. kostner,


    (1) 48% of the voting members of UAW’s Region 4 came from Illinois. Barack Obama comes from Illinois.

    (2) 22% of the voting members come from Iowa. It turns out that, in today’s straw balloting, John Edwards won twice as many Iowa locals as Obama did.

    This is what I was talking about two posts back. I doubt the Iowans involved w/ flip their support based on getting bossed around by Illinois.

    Another thing is that I would expect low turnout from UAW in IA. The rank-and-file is pretty much demoralized by Dems due to local issues involving the Deere plants.

  5. Russert was on the today show this morning trying so hard to find ways to make her look bad. I can only imagine what chris matthews will be spewing today. CNN did a much better job at hosting a debate than msnbc. They did it objectively, not rediculously skewed like msnbc. Dennis Kucinich did well pointing out edwards’ lies and flops. Blitzer did a god job dealing with obama on kyl/lieberman, and I hope the media will finally begin scrutinizing someone else other than JUST Hillary. No one deserves it less. She was amazing, she has always been amazing, and I hope Iowans and South Carolinians, and “New Hampshirites” watched the debate. She was awesome. She said things helpful in the general election too, that were correct. Edwards just killed his chance in the general by saying he wants to get rid of nukes, as has obama. The republicans will jump all over this and say we are soft on defense, which is false.

  6. CNN has an MSNBC analyst on named Joe Watkins on this morning. He’s a repug analyst. He said the audience was “stacked” for CLinton. As if. She’s got a commanding lead in the state. mollyj

  7. Exactly. That debate in IL was stacked for Obama. People in NV are strongly for Hillary o why is this a surprise. I hope they are admitting she won and not just talking about how much the audience liked her.

  8. Overall, though, this morning show was very favorable. They showed some of Hill’s big moments and quotes so people who didn’t see the debate saw some great highlights. They showed Obama make his mistake on the social security tax increase and Edwards getting called on mud slingin’ from the Republican play book. So good coverage this am.

  9. Pumpkinhead was on Scabby Joe this morning whining about how CNN’s debate was run and how MSNBC would never allow the audience to control the debate.

    I’ll give Joe props for saying HRC won. We’ll have to wait for the transcript late tomorrow for quotes (quit listening when Russert’s heavy breathing started).

    Mika had her dad on and turned tv off so as to have to listen to the BO rah rah sessin.

  10. I think the thing about the comin’ attacks is to make sure that we know about them before they hit and start the counterattack; the fact hub will help. The rapid response is key and keepin’ eyes and hears open.

  11. For anyone in NH or upstate VT, Bill will be in Sugar Hill and Whitefield noonish and in Manchester later this afternoon. The reservation links are at hillaryclinton.com/nh

  12. I wish the media showed Kucinich “Trial lawyer” hit on Edwards and his response to it and then Kucinich follow-up with product liabilities…still my favorite comment of the night…LOL

  13. An IVR poll from TX. Nothing special, but it truly showed you how clueless those media guys were. Even amid the media feeding frenzy of a ‘faltering Hillary’, she for the first time cracked 50 points… These polls can be used to gauge her strength in Southern states…

    On November 7-8, I polled 510 Texans with history of voting in Democratic primaries on their preference for presidential nominee. While attention to the recent debate has trimmed Clinton’s lead in some early state polls, that is not the case in Texas, where she received her highest percentage in the BurntOrangeReport.com series. Edwards received his lowest percentage so far, Richardson received his highest so far and Obama received his lowest since June, though these candidates’ numbers have generally stayed within the margin of error. Clinton scored especially well among Latinos, who gave her 65%, followed by Richardson at 16%. Clinton’s support among Latino men raised her overall male support to 50%.

    Clinton 51%
    Obama 17%
    Edwards 11%
    Richardson 10%
    Kucinich 2%
    Biden 1%
    Dodd 0%
    Gravel 0%
    Undecided 8%

    Pollster’s comments:

    Below is the latest installment of the Texas Primary Tracking Polls conducted by IVR Polls commissioned on behalf of Burnt Orange Report. IVR Polls correctly predicted the TX-10 race within a margin of 1 point in 2006.
    While Clinton begins to stall nationally, Hillary is the first candidate to break the 50% mark in Texas. I have been saying this entire cycle that her ceiling was around 45%, but her total domination of the field is surprising.

    Obama sits in a distant second at close to 17% and Edwards is statistically tied with Richardson with 11.4% and 9.5% respectively.

  14. There is gnashing of teeth going on at Daily Kos. The Obama and Edwards supporters claim that it was the booing that won the day for Hillary. Moreover, they claim the booing was unfair. Some Kossacks are proposing that the Clinton campaign coached Hillary’s supporters to boo; I saw one person express hope there is a memo they can find that will expose this nefariousness. Other Kossacks blame CNN for not running a tight ship that kept these interferences out of the debate. None of the Obamwardians seem prepared to say their candidates simply blew a great opportunity. No, Hillary had to cheat somehow. Though no one talks about it, the real subtext is, Hillary won, and this particular win is surely very significant.

  15. DCDemocrat — in other words, they know they lost 😉

    They’re like the buzzing of annoying flies. I think it was just a shock to their system to see that people … like … Hillary. They should get used to it.

  16. Ignore those losers’ noise, it just makes their candidates more like whining baby boys.

    I think going forward, we need to hammer home the disastrous platform Obama is running on suggested by hwc.

    1) driver’s license for illegals.
    2) huge tax increases on middle class.
    3)waffles on national security.

    This platform is disastrous for GE and primary… Typical liberal tax-and-spending, weak on defense

  17. Don’t forget personally meeting with all dictators in the first year of his presidency without any pre-conditions.

    That is the “new kind of politics” he is talking about. 🙂

  18. Daily Kos is getting to be a joke. I wonder what those haters are going to do when she gets the nomination. For the last 7 years, the site survived because of Bush. From now on, it will be the favorite meeting ground for Hillary haters – she is the new enemy that they need and who will keep that site going.

    Ironic, considering that it touts itself as a partisan democratic website that is dedicated to electing democrats. When Kos ran that frontpage post accusing the campaign of lying about that “tip”, that was it for me. And its a travesty that Markos is contributing to Newsweek is (just as Rove is but that’s another story).

    The DK is not the real world. They have a really heightened sense of self-importance. Hillary would be last in the polls if anything on that site remotely reflected the reality of the election campaign season.

  19. I’m wondering whether those dailykooks start to call CNN a ‘racist’ network? lol.

    Boys, they can dish, but they can’t take.

  20. Let us also remind voters of the riot in Pakistan Obama’s comments precipitated. And what will Obama say now that major newspapers reprinted the Associated Press story wherein his equivocations and prevarications about his records from the state Senate are exposed? Obama may have escaped the debate with minor scars last night, but I know I will remind everyone of Rezsko, of the state senate records, of his ties to mining lobbyists and of Michelle’s deep ties to Wal-Mart and to the University of Chicago hospitals during the next two months. All this has to be unloaded now, for this Democrat cannot watch his party be bamboozled by a corrupt politician from the Chicago machine whose campaign is a mere extension of the Republican National Committee.

  21. dt:

    Ironic, considering that it touts itself as a partisan democratic website that is dedicated to electing democrats. When Kos ran that frontpage post accusing the campaign of lying about that “tip”, that was it for me.

    That did it for me as well.

  22. But Kos is also a businessman, and he will realize that his business philosophy will have to change when Hillary is nominated if his website is to generate the revenue on which he and his family rely. And believe me, Kos will do anything in order to earn money. Remember he was a Henry Hyde supporter and a Republican precinct captain during the Clinton years. Now he fashions himself as a Democrat.

    Some people will do anything for a few dollars.

  23. Senate Republicans just made sure BushCo owns the war in Iraq. McConnell offered competing bill to Dems and neither got passed in Senate.

    As sad as this is, and as terrible the immediate consequences for bringing the troops home, it cements the idea that Dems will get nothing done and the Repugs own the war.

  24. According to Marc Ambinder (via Ben Smith, ”The Politico”):

    Every single question asked during the debate by the audience had to be approved by CNN,” writes the “diamonds or pearls” woman.

    – I was asked to submit questions including “lighthearted/fun” questions. I submitted more than five questions on issues important to me. I did a policy memo on Yucca Mountain a year ago and was the finalist for the Truman Scholarship. For sure, I thought I would get to ask the Yucca question that was APPROVED by CNN days in advance.

    On the other hand, [Smith wrote] hard to see how it matters.

    marcambinder. theatlantic.com /archives/2007/11/diamond_v_pearl_student_blasts_1.php

  25. So now should the new “scandal” be that CNN “staged” a friendly, “planted” question to Hillary ? LOL :-))
    I can see the haters tearing their hair out at this one …. Maybe Edwards is already registering a domain name to highlight this atrocity 🙂 !!!!

  26. Thosse Daily Nutjobs are always whining..it’s always someone else’s fault why their candidates do poorly. The CNN debate was a fair one, unlike the MSNBC disaster. I think overall Wolf does a pretty good job. Gergen said that Obama just can’t translate his speech ability to the debate format. He can’t answer a bloody question…he gets lost in his verbage. Hillary knocked it out of the park. Edwards looked like the slimey ambulance chaser he is, his old lobbyist and corporatist lines are really getting old.

  27. Was’nt it Edwards who waged the fight not to go on Fox at all due to some Ann Coulter stuff?…..now he and his probably wants to ban dems going on CNN too…….

    He will just appear on Timmy and Matthews shows only….

    BTW:…this may not have any connection to the campaign but I believe his daughter was an intern at PBS – under Nina Totenburg too! Nina throws in her Hillary jabs as well from time to time.

  28. Actually, I’m pretty sure Hillary would’ve hit the Yucca Mountain question out of the park, too, lol.

    As for ratings, CNN ranks above MSNBC, I think. Both trail Fox.

  29. “Pumpkinhead was on Scabby Joe this morning whining about how CNN’s debate was run and how MSNBC would never allow the audience to control the debate.”

    That’s because MSNBC doesn’t have an audience.

    More people show up for one of Mrs. Timmy Russert’s Georgetown Social Club dinner parties (with or without fingerbowls) than watch MSNBC.

    Most Americans think MSNBC is the abbreviation for a sexually transmitted disease.

  30. It is clear to me that Russert was upstaged by CNN last night, and that is why he was critical of their format. Russert is a bitter partisan in this process, and a promoter of the msnbc narrative at the expense of the facts and the truth.

    I have more to say on this but have to go now to visit a friend in the hospital who just had a stroke. Trust me, it had nothing whatsoever to do with what is happening in the political world.

  31. pulchitrude: And believe me, Kos will do anything in order to earn money.

    From Matt Bai’s book:

    Markos had other ideas about a second act. He was already making six figures, but whenever Markos talked about his future, it seemed to involve more serious wealth. He wanted to buy a condo in Chicago, where his brother lived, along with season tickets to the Cubs. He had just bought a turbo-boosted Subaru sports car, along with the first house he and Elisa had ever owned, and he talked about installing room-to-room stereo system with iPod docks throughout the house.

    My prediction: he will transition to the disloyal opposition pose. The Hillary-haters at his site are his bank.

  32. “That’s because MSNBC doesn’t have an audience.
    More people show up for one of Mrs. Timmy Russert’s Georgetown Social Club dinner parties (with or without fingerbowls) than watch MSNBC.
    Most Americans think MSNBC is the abbreviation for a sexually transmitted disease.”

    LMAO!

    On a more serious note, I hope your friend recovers, wbboei.

  33. He’s not going to do that. At the end of the day, those people want a Democrat. Hill may not be thier first choice but you’ll be surprised how quickly most will come on board.

  34. Let’s hope this works:

    The Scoreboard: Wednesday, Nov. 14
    25-54 demographic: (L +SD)

    Total day: FNC: 222 | CNN: 158 | MSNBC: 100 | HLN: 111

    Prime: FNC: 380 | CNN: 326 | MSNBC: 218 | HLN: 224

    5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:

    FNC
    BigStory: Hume: Shep: O’Reilly: H&C: Greta: O’R
    169 241 333 484 295 360 422

    CNN
    Blitz: Blitz: Dobbs: OutOpen: King: Coop: Coop:
    169 201 237 262 416 301 194

    MSNBC
    Hard: Tuck: Hard: Count: Abram: Investig: Rprts:
    112 85 149 313 161 180 171

    HLN
    Prime: Prime: Beck: Grace: Beck: Grace: Showbiz:
    112 92 134 296 169 220 137

    mediabistro.com/ tvnewser/ratings/default.asp

  35. mj,
    I so want to believe you and I hope thats true but the indications are not good. I dont recall so many derogatory and disparaging attacks on any primary candidate during the last election. I mean, a republican can attack her on that site and get applauded. That is the place where the far left has moved so back as to form a perfect circle with the far right.

    And it is bothersome only because of how much hate Hillary has to face from people who claim to belong to the same party. Its like the prosperous 90’s never happened, Bill Clinton was a bad president, all the witchhunting was justified and if the right wingers can take her down, so be it. But the fact that Hillary is still ahead and standing inspite of this all, only proves what a champ she is.

  36. I’ve been wondering what was up with the rowdy crowd in Las Vegas last night, and a number of readers have e-mailed to ask why it was such a noisy, pro-Hillary group.

    According to people inside the hall, the noise was more organic than organized, and started when a man in the balcony, early on, yelled out a demand that other candidates than the front-runners be allowed to speak.

    That seemed to open the floodgates for cheering and booing, centered in part around the Sheet Metal Workers — who are backing Clinton — and AFSCME’s national chief Gerry McEntee, who was a noisy Clinton cheerleader.

    “It was not an organized thing at all — it was just an out-of-control crowd,” said a neutral source in the auditorium.

    The bottom line seems to be that it’s a pretty pro-Hillary state, especially when it comes to the elected officials and dignitaries. More broadly, you get the sense that activist Democrats in Nevada like her. I got shushed pretty energetically by a Clinton supporter for talking to a colleague during her speech later that evening.

    Officially, said Nevada party spokesman Jamal Simmons last night, “There are 2300 seats. They are filled by UNLV students, CNN guests, political activists, organizers, party members, labor members, Western leaders.”

  37. Taylor Marsh has a post up on the Axelrod / Trippi spin

    Axelrod was whining about BO’s answer on the DL was same as 3 weeks ago and Trippi was delusional for thinking it’s a good thing for JE since his status has elevated because HRC “attacked” him.

    taylormarsh.com/ archives_view.php?id=26563

  38. I am going to a Hillary event this weekend…..

    Finally I get to meet her face to face! Hopefully I will get ask a question…I AM NOT A PLANT!!!! 🙂 🙂

    Admin: do you think I should pass on that lovely zinger from Kostner to her assistant

    “somethinng along the lines on fixing the SS hole before throwing some stuff in”…

    I am so excited….

  39. mp,

    please do…

    I’m excited about this line, i’ve been thinking about thsi for a long time… I understand exactly what she means, but she needs to relate to voters why it’s a bad idea to simply raise cap, raise retirement age…

    How about this,

    ‘I’m not going to throw money into a fiscal black hole until we can fix this hole!’

    Black hole is key here! I hope many people understand this…

  40. mj — Were you around in ’04? Lots of whining about Kerry. The bunch who oppose her now will get on board while “holding their noses.” At least one third will write endless diaries about what she has to do “to get my vote.” I plan on paying no attention to them.

    In any case, I was actually thinking about the Hillary administration w/respect to disloyal opposition 🙂

  41. mp,

    or maybe

    ‘I’m not willing to simply increase taxes on middle class’ back and throw money into George Bush’s fiscal black hole until we can fix his hole!’.

  42. damn,

    I just posted a lovely Richardson-Clinton ‘dancing’ photo post debate… The spam filter failed me again…

  43. Isn’t it interesting how those who want to kick HRC when she “stumbles” can come up with zingers like this? .. The Politico’s Roger Simon, that is, who said:

    “When it came to a real stumble, Clinton left that to her chief opponent, Barack Obama.”

    Glad ya’ noticed …. and thank you very much !

  44. Hey folks! Is there anybody here who hasn’t been “Banned” – ie- censored from Kos? if so, could you post my myDD diary over there at Daily K? Pretty please?

    Its a compilation of all the positive press reviews of Hillary about te debate. Its complete and its vital that everyone see ow overwhelming the positive reviews are from the chattering class.

    I go by the moniker “Holden Caulfield” over there – cause I hate phonies – and the piece is called

    “Diamonds AND Pearls: Hillary shines in Vegas!” – I got the idea from someone here last night!

    The url is: http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/11/16/108/26039

    and it starts like this:The last question of the Democratic debate Thursday night in Las Vegas was from a young woman, a student at UNLV. She asked Senator Clinton what she said was a “fun question”…”Which do you prefer: diamonds or pearls?”

    “I know I’m sometimes accused of not being able to make a choice,” Clinton said, laughing. “I want both.”

    Of course, Hillary critics on the blogs would soon be ridiculously accusing the Senator of “even parsing that question”, but the young student “Running Rebel” had the last words of the evening when she responded to the Senator’s funny one liner by cheerfully saying that Hillary was …

    “The only thing shining up there.”

    Hillary did shine in Vegas, that there is no disputing.

    It wasn’t just the neon lights of the Strip glittering in Las Vegas last night, such was the performance of “our girl”, Hillary Clinton.

    ————-

    The reviews are in, Senator Clinton turned in an excellent debate in Vegas and showed why she is leading all of her rivals for the nomination by double-double digits and why she is our Party’s strongest choice to take on the GOP in the election next November.

    Lets look at the early response to the debate…

    VIVA LAS VEGAS BABY!

  45. The top-rated and utterly outrageous diary by LV Pol Girl at Daily Kos begins, “I am so disappointed with the Democratic Party of Nevada. These folks are not Democrats, they’re Hillary supporters.” What an outrageous and supercilious comment.

  46. The mistake the Edwards and Obama (to a lesser degree) have made is attempting to run against her as if she is the GOP. They have lost sight of the fact that she is a Democrat with strong Democratic support. And Dems don’t like watching Dem candidates attack other Dems. It is a simple fact. It may make Edwards’ partisans happy, but it makes the undecideds and partisans of other candidates unhappy.

  47. What did they expect? They call her corrupt, neocon, Mitt Romey blah.. blah… blah and don’t expect to be called out on that by democrats who have seen her for over a decade? Let them whine.

    MSNBC is sour grapes. Russert/Matthews head might explode any minute. They are getting so desperate that now they are attacking CNN. Russert is loosing all his credibility, and he is loosing it pretty fast, especially since last two weeks. It now appears to everyone that they have put whole of MSNBC’s reputation at stake to desperately smear her with anything and everything they can.

  48. Taylor Marsh (taylormarsh.com/ archives_view.php?id=26567)

    Funny how no one complained when Obama bought out over one-third of Iowa’s Jefferson Jackson dinner recently, which both Mike Lux and Chase Martyn talked about on my radio show this week. Then Obama’s supporters raised the roof for their candidate. Everyone went out of their way to compliment Obama on his amazing speech, which was well deserved. He knocked it out of the park last weekend. You didn’t hear Clinton supporters bitching about it, now did you?

    As for Edwards people, whose candidate was declared the “loser” last night, they bitch about everything. Instead they should try to do the same. Question is, why aren’t they? Or maybe an even better question is why can’t they? It’s not like anyone is stopping them.

    But after the CNN Las Vegas debate some sour grapes supporters are complaining about Clinton’s people being in the audience. Awwwww.

    It’s not like I haven’t been warning everyone. Many times I’ve talked about Rory Reid’s power in the state of Nevada because of his father, Harry. The son is running Clinton’s state organization. Edwards was hoping to win here because of his union support, but he’s getting his clock cleaned instead.

    News flash for amateurs: this is the way the game is played. Obama got it and worked it in Iowa recently.

    Cue the CNN Las Vegas debate, which is now leaving everone shocked!, shocked!, I say that politics was played in the Silver State.

    Wake up.

  49. BTW, I learned last night that my brilliant and brilliantly well-informed 29 year old son has volunteered for the Clinton campaign. I had no idea. What a thrill.

  50. “MSNBC is sour grapes. Russert/Matthews head might explode any minute. They are getting so desperate that now they are attacking CNN. ”

    Russert and NBC are desperate and here’s why:

    a) They know that the Clinton machine is ferocious.

    b) They know that the Clinton machine and their supporters have made Russert the villian.

    c) They know that they will be shut out by both Clintons during the general election. The next time Hillary does the “full Ginsberg” (as the Democratic nominee), it will be four Sunday talk shows with Meet the Press conspicuously absent. Brian Williams knows that the other network anchors will get the Clinton interviews, not NBC. They know that NBC is a pariah to the Clintons, not just during the general election, but during the historic inauguration of the country’s first woman President.

    To have tried to take her down and failed is their nightmare scenario and they know that payback is a bitch with the Clintons.

    Plus, imagine the ass chewing Timmie must be getting at home as Mrs. Timmie Russert figures out that she and her gaggle of Georgetown Social Club hostess probably won’t even get invites to inaugural parties. Timmie’s probably sleeping on the couch for screwing up Mrs. Timmie’s access for the next eight years.

  51. hwc: This summer I was at a Nationals game at RFK. I looked over a few rows, and there were Carville and Russert enjoying the game. If they’re baseball buddies, I bet Russert can get Carville to get the Russerts invitations to inaugural events. The rest of the analysis is priceless. I hope NBC appreciates what its indiscreet anchors have accomplished.

  52. hwc, Right on, as usual. The Clintons are already freezing out Chris Matthews, so even even before that debate debacle they clearly weren’t happy with NBC/MSNBC.

  53. hwc: nice job.

    You will not have to wait long for Russert to figure out he
    is screwed. I look for Keith Olbermann to be moved from
    MSNBC to NBC before the convention. He will get the
    interviews reserved for Russert and Williams. He is the
    only one that has been fair. Sometimes critical but fair.

    I’m certain Hillary is singing…”its a wonderful day in the
    neighborhood…Johnnie and Bo, wont you be my friend?”

  54. Yes, but just imagine the insult of MRS. TIMMIE RUSSERT having to go to a low-life Cajun like James Carville to get the best social club invitations! Oh, the shame. I mean, I doubt that James Carvelle has fingerbowls with scented-geraniums when he entertains and that wife of his is hardly a “proper hostess”. My god, she’s a political operative, too. A woman. Mrs. Timmie’s idol, Nancy Reagan, would hardly approve of that.

  55. Someone at dailykos is flouting a Iowa poll that shows Obama as the strongest GE candidate. No offense, but what the heck is in the water in Iowa? He’s had a series of flubs. He lacks political seasoning. I honestly can not believe Iowans can’t see that. He’s made alot of those mistakes IN Iowa.

  56. mj: when was that poll taken? It doesn’t agree with the New York Times/CBS poll released earlier this week that clearly showed Iowan Democrats believe Hillary is the most electable.

  57. DC, I don’t know. I refuse to read the diary. That’s the title(“Iowan poll shows Obama strongest in GE”). If that were true, we’d be in trouble. Honestly, this guy has alot of gaffes.

  58. In regards to both Mister’s Matthews and Russert, adding insult to injury, don’t be surprised to see both their names suddenly appear on every “No Fly List” in existence should Hillary become Prez! :>)

  59. hey can anyone post my compilation of all the positive press reviews at daily kos?

    my name at my dd is holden caulfield and the diary is called
    “diamonds AND pearls: hillary shines in vegas”
    and i think we gotta get all the positive press pushed before the next story gels..and it is thorough…

    i would put the url here – but ive tried twice and the spam blocker has stopped my comment.. the post begins with:

    UPDATE: THE LATEST COVERAGE HAS BEEN PLACED AT THE TOP OF THE LIST OF PRESS REVIEWS OF THE NEVADA DEBATE

    The last question of the Democratic debate Thursday night in Las Vegas was from a young woman, a student at UNLV. She asked Senator Clinton what she said was a “fun question”…”Which do you prefer: diamonds or pearls?”

    “I know I’m sometimes accused of not being able to make a choice,” Clinton said, laughing. “I want both.”

    Of course, Hillary critics on the blogs would soon be ridiculously accusing the Senator of “even parsing that question”, but the young student “Running Rebel” had the last words of the evening when she responded to the Senator’s funny one liner by cheerfully saying that Hillary was …

    “The only thing shining up there.”

    Hillary did shine in Vegas, that there is no disputing.

    It wasn’t just the neon lights of the Strip glittering in Las Vegas last night, such was the performance of “our girl”, Hillary Clinton.

    ————-

    The reviews are in, Senator Clinton turned in an excellent debate in Vegas and showed why she is leading all of her rivals for the nomination by double-double digits and why she is our Party’s strongest choice to take on the GOP in the election next November.

    Lets look at the early response to the debate…

    VIVA LAS VEGAS BABY!

  60. i cant post at kos – cause jerks “gang banned” me because they said I was the hated “areyoready” which I am not…thats why I cant place it there myself..please folks, a lil help…

  61. i donnt know- but i was banned in like one hour – he used to be at mydd – he was a strong supporter of hillary – so all the haters really hate him – can you post this there?

  62. I looked at the poll. It’s legitimate … SUSA.

    Bottom line — the problem is men in IA voting against Hillary.

    Men:

    Giuliani 50
    Hillary 38

    Giuliani 42
    Obama 49

  63. Do you think alot of these Iowans are just Obama supporters saying they won’t vote for her because they want to make their guys look good?

  64. great news, admin, on the ratings. btw, listening to chris mathews..almost every discussion pro-hillary so far. fun discussion regarding “body language” noting BO’s invasion of her space, posture, eye contact, etc.

  65. mj,

    stop worrying about IA. There’s That poll is also very problemic. Obama is polled among all adults, Clinton is polled among registered voters.. It’s simply apple to organge.

    There is no reason to speculate what’s going to happen one way or the other in IA, there’re lots of things we just can’t control. Clinton is running a 50 state campaign, and I doubt IA will do her in…

  66. Kostner: I ran over to Gallup to check it out. Thanks for update. The poll had this useless but very interesting bit of trivia:

    “If former Vice President Al Gore were to enter the race to win the Democratic nomination — something he has repeatedly said he has no plans to do — he would be tied with Obama for second place.”

    Hillary 42
    Gore 17
    Obama 16

  67. Great poll, DC. Somehow I don’t think that will make it to the rec list at gallop. Notice Kos has not said one thing about the debate aside from the jab at CNN. I guess the verdict is in. Hillary won.

  68. is it convenient for u to post email here, or u need somebody else to forward your email to me? I think I have dc’s email…

  69. mj: re – IA poll.

    Most polling on adults vs reg voters have shown similar results, so I don’t buy into ‘apples and oranges.’

    1. Obama does well in midwestern states like IL, IA, MO. Remember that a chunk of IA gets the broadcast news from IL, so he has high name recognition. Also remember that a lot of people responding probably aren’t invested in the matchups. Most of the GOP opposition practically unknown to them as well.

    2. Polling was done during low point in Hillary favorables in IA with gender card/plant/waitress nonsense in full swing. From that pov, I consider her numbers pretty good, actually.

    Finally — let’s state the obvious. For all of the whining about Hillary – gender card, Obama’s been playing it as well. Think about that whole introduction w/ announcers like pro basketball. This is a whole ‘one of the guys’ sports spiel.

    It’s no big deal — we’ve seen numbers fluctuate all year long, and Obama does have a midwestern regional advantage (except for OH), She has a coastal and southern advantage, which frankly, is far preferable.

  70. Notice Kos has not said one thing about the debate aside from the jab at CNN. I guess the verdict is in. Hillary won.

    kos is all about ultimately winning. I suspect that he realizes that just about all of them are bad GE candidates except for Hillary, not that he will ever say anything positive about her.

  71. so this dec 10 debate in la is the last one till the primaries? it looks like they hae a bunch of debates in january-but im wondering if most of these will be cancelled after iowa goes. i hope there will be no one to debate.

  72. December 1, 2007: The 6th Brown & Black Forum for Democratic
    Presidential candidates from Des Moines, Iowa

    December 10, 2007: Democratic presidential debate hosted by CBS News
    in Los Angeles, CA

    December 13, 2007: Democratic presidential debate sponsored by Des
    Moines Register and IPTV, Johnston, IA

    December 17, 2007: CNN and Politico.com host a Democratic presidential
    debate at the Kennedy Library in Boston

    I also read there will be a forum in NH on global warming moderated by Al Gore.

  73. HillaryLandRocks,

    I agree with your analysis. SurveyUSA varies a lot. Clinton polled better than Obama in prior months. Obama camp is grasping at straws…

    He has zero chance in winning GE, IMHO.

    I’m glad for the ratings news…

    Still too many debates in Dec. I’d rather Clinton camp cut back on some… I’ll take CA one though.

  74. Maybe it’s just Obama/Edwards supporters saying they won’t vote for her because the primary(and her leading) has them hyperpartisan.

  75. CNN seems to be very very happy about the ratings… Per NYT

    The CNN debate last night was the most-watched debate this primary
    season on either a broadcast network or cable channel, drawing 4,036,000 viewers, according to CNN; Nielsen has verified the numbers.
    The ratings also broke the record for all primaries ever shown on cable television, Christa Robinson, a CNN spokeswoman, said.
    “It was quite a pop!” said Jonathan Klein, president of CNN. “I guess people are getting interested in the presidential campaign.”
    It seems likely that the plight of Senator Hillary Clinton drove viewer interest. There was intense news coverage over the last two weeks about her performance at the previous debate, broadcast by MSNBC in Philadelphia, with analysts constantly asking if she could regroup for last night’s forum, held in Las Vegas.
    “The sub-plot certainly helped bring viewers in, at least in the beginning,” Mr. Klein said. “But I like to think what kept them there was that we got into a wide range of issues, not a single-topic. There were no gimmicks, no speed round.”

    He added that he had had “low expectations going into this debate because there have been so many so far,” _ nine Democratic debates and eight Republican _ “so we put extra energy into figuring out how to make it worth the viewers’ while.”
    David Bohrman, CNN’s Washington bureau chief and senior vice president of CNN, attributed the heightened viewership to a transition in the campaign as the first voting approaches on Jan. 3 in Iowa. “We’re transitioning from a period of intellectual debate to people knowing that they are going to start voting,” he said. “Voters are starting to shift gears and realizing they need to make a decision.”
    In a departure from other debates, this one opened with a sports-quality feel to it as the players _ er, candidates _ bounded on stage one by one as analysts discussed the show to come.
    Mr. Klein said that there is usually “massive tune-in at the top of the hour” and that CNN wanted to give viewers a chance to settle in. If they were a minute or two late to the start, he said, they would see that they hadn’t missed anything.
    The introduction took about eight minutes before the questioning began. But Mr. Klein said the debate ended up being a full two hours because it ran about eight minutes after 10 p.m.
    “That’s the beauty of a 24-hour news network,” said Mr. Klein. “I don’t have to call Los Angeles and talk to the entertainment people to get permission to eat into Letterman.”

  76. Obama at a global warming debate moderated by Al Gore would be the nail in his campaign’s coffin, especially if Richardson and Clinton remind Obama that renewables and not coal and nuclear are the answers to our energy crisis. I am sure Gore would agree with Richardson and Clinton.

  77. hehe.. clintons machine is a bitch.. they never forget :).. I am sure NBC has realized it and are making amends. In fact, I used to watch MSNBC hardball every evening for past 3 years, but after this hillary bash slugfest, I stopped watching it. I am sure there are quiet a few who are doing the same. I wonder how women are even watching this guy. His anti-hillary comments about her are so sexist IMO. Oh btw I stopped watching MTP too :). Keith Obermann is my fav. He has been good to clintons. no wonder, both she and her husband give interviews to him on regular basis.

  78. mj, kostner — I have quiet confidence that IA Democrats will do the right thing. Remember that the hyperpartisans (that includes us) we see online are not representative of the majority of voters. In IA, the campaigns have already picked off the lowest-hanging fruit. Right now, the most important people are the 40%-50% of so who have not made a hard decision. These types of voters are not going to examine polls online or read blog diaries — they will go with their gut. While Hillary sometimes suffers from ‘GE mode’ in day-to-day Dem infighting — it will pay off in the long run as people realize she is best positioned to take back the WH.

  79. Matthews was disgusting. He was saying that Hillary was so scripted. He said her answers were written by mandy grunwald, like she knew what the questions were gonna be. He just can’t accept the fact that Hillary did awesome in the debate, and she’s going to win. With him bragging about George Bush’s “package” in the flight suit on the mission accomplished ship, he might be uncomfortable having Hillary as president. No “package” to brag about. He always talks about Fred Thompson as macho, and fatherly like Reagan. Well, he has some thing with women in power, and he has a problem with women in general. He got in trouble for hitting on a business anchor from CNBC. He is so weird.

  80. anybody watched Matthew’s show today? care to tell us some tidbits?

    Was he doing his usual Hillary-hate fest and Obama-love fest?

  81. About the best that Mathews could come up with was saying that Clinton was too perfectly scripted and that she is still playing the gender card.

    His guests pretty much shot him down except for Ed Schultz who was practically drooling on himself to pimp how well Mad Dog Edwards had done and how poorly Hillary had done.

    BTW, Wolf Blitzer had Wolfson, Axelrod, and some pasty-faced chubby guy from Mad Dog’s campaign on. Axelrod looked like he had a rough night. Everytime they asked Wolfson a question about drivers licenses, he just said, “There are clear differences on this issue. Senator Clinton opposes giving drivers licenses to undocumented immigrant; Senator Obama supports it.”

    I was right in my hunch yesterday afternoon. Clinton is going to beat Barry over the head like a baseball bat on this issue. She’s giving him a big FU over his attacking her for trying to finesse the issue in way that would have been good for Democrats.

  82. Oh, I forgot. Axelrod tried to say that voters will respect Obama for taking the unpopular position of supporting drivers licences for undocumented immigrants.

    I’m thinking, “yeah, about 21% nationally…..”

  83. hwc,

    What’s up with Ed Shultz? What has gotten to him? He was giving very good coverage for Bill and Hillary last year. He never cared much for Edwards then. What has gotten to him?

  84. How the hell has she played the gender card now? Is she supposed to pretned she’s actually a man, you know, start wearing old spice and stuff?

  85. Tonight’s “Hard Ball” was fairly pro-Hillary actually. Every panelist supported tonight’s narritive that Hillary won and successfully “turned the corner”, as Matthews kept calling it, in getting the Clinton Express back on track. The aforementioned “scripted comments” segment was perhaps the most critical one but even that one wasn’t directed solely at Hillary as they showed some of these pre-planned applause lines for Obama and Edwards as well.

    In another segment, they discussed the new fiesty/counterpunching Hillary style and they all felt that that approach suited her better.

    The most interesting segment was the one with a “communications” expert that detailed how facial expressions and body language played a role in hillary’s great performance last night. He highlighted examples that showed that Obama was somewhat intimidated by Hillary’s “don’t take any crap” facial expressions and body language.

    Overall a surprisingly positive show!

  86. Hi Everyone,
    I lovvvvvvvvvvved watching the debate last night. I mean wasn’t it great? I watched over and over and over the entire debate. I only slept for abouut 3 hours and got up with heaps of energy! Oh what a day!!

  87. Hillary supporters are special indeed
    ————————

    DES MOINES, IOWA — At the Varsity Theater in Des Moines, a crowd of Hillary Clinton supporters are munching on popcorn and eagerly awaiting Clinton’s performance in tonight’s debate. Before the start of the show, state campaign officials unveiled the much-touted “Caucusing is easy” how-to-video to great applause and laughs from the 200 or so supporters seated in front of the big screen.

    One thing that’s telling about Clinton’s campaign philosophy — it’s all about making Hillary fans feel special. When I arrived, I was greeted by throngs of Clinton volunteers cheering for me and for each new arrival at the end of a long red carpet. They even had some faux paparazzi taking the pictures of each supporter as he or she strolled in the door. So a lot of elderly Iowan ladies have already felt like Beyonce tonight, and the debate has barely begun.

  88. Celiff, did you see the iowa independent list of whoe they think will win the Iowa caucuses? Hill comes in third. I am starting to think iowa has a sexism problem. There’s a woman who blogs there an on mydd and she suggested Hill will do better if guys stay home to watch some game on tv, and yet she insists iowa isn’t sexist. Rather she blames the women for having it wrong. They are only endorsing her because she’s a woman. I mean, give me a break.

  89. mj,
    Were you asking abt my article? It was on MSNBC – I was rather surprised myself. But, that sounded fun. Imagine taking pictures and making them feel special. That is really good.

  90. Fox had that pollster Frank Luntz on Hannity and Combs tonight. He surveyed a group of voters after the debate (1/3 identified as Hillary supporters) and the vast majority of the group said she had won! They described her as presidential. This is the first time I’ve seen post debate analysis favoring Hillary by Luntz. He practically raved about her. He also showed line graph real time responses when Obama and Edwards talked (the lines went down whenever they were on the attack). People in the group afterward thought Obama didn’t seem prepared and had unrealistic ideas. I can’t remember what they said about Edwards but it wasn’t positive. Hannity was still trying to smear Hillary about the driver’s license issue of course…

    It’s so odd to hear positives about Hillary on Fox News. I usually do not watch that network due to their obvious bias but lately, for some reason, they’ve had moments of good Hillary coverage…weird..

  91. Thanks Paula. It is a tough situation. But he knows he has friends. Sometimes that is half the battle.

    Wolf Blitzer trumped Russert. Why? Because he asked Obama questions that Russert refused to ask, questions that were important to the truth, questions that contadicted the msnbc narrative, questions like: why did you fail to show up for the Iran vote and criticize those who did it later?

  92. Wolf nailed Hillary too. He forced a direct answer on NAFTA. He forced a direct answer on Iran. He wasn’t easy on her he was just even-handed. I think all the hand wringing for MSNBC is just to rehabilitate Russert’s ego after all his bs at the last debate.

  93. I think Wolf was very fair. He was extremely good. He nailed everyone and went after everyone. Unlike the pumpkin Russert – what a pig he was. He just went after Hillary and was egging everyone to do the same for the whole bloody 2 hours. It was insane.

  94. Hiller Instinct: Democratic debate in Las Vegas

    Democratic candidates squared off Thursday evening in what seemed to become “Everyone versus Hillary Clinton.”

    The Democrats’ Debate was Hillary Clinton’s “Does She or Doesn’t She” debate, as in “Does she or doesn’t she bounce back from the last debate,” which was the low point of her campaign.

    In the end, the questions Thursday night came down to just one: Is Hillary inevitable or in trouble?

    Sen. Clinton jumped right in, saying, “I’m happy to be here tonight. My pantsuit is made of asbestos tonight.”

    She knew what she was in for when she got dressed — enough criticism and attacks to start a political fire, and her top two challengers led the charge.

    “What the American people are looking for right now is straight answers to tough questions,” said Sen. Barack Obama. “That is not what we have seen from Senator Clinton on a host of issues.”

    Sen. John Edwards added that Sen. Clinton says she is bringing change to Washington but continues to defend a broken, rigged, and corrupt system.

    But this time Sen. Clinton was prepared.

    “The most important thing is to level with the American public,” she said. “Sen. Obama’s healthcare program does not cover everyone.”

    She added, “I don’t mind taking hits on my record on issues, but when somebody starts throwing mud at least we can hope it’s accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook.”

    Gov. Bill Richardson took a shot at all three.

    “Edwards is engaging in class warfare, Obama was trying to start a generational war and Clinton, with all due respect,” he said, “Her plan on Iraq doesn’t end the war.”

    He said that all he wants to do is “give peace a chance.”

    Sen. Clinton, on the other hand, focused on her own chances.

    “They’re not attacking me because I’m a woman,” she said. “They’re attacking me because I’m ahead.”

    So did she — or didn’t she — recover?

    I’d say she did.

    Hillary Clinton won this debate by holding her ground and by rumbling, not stumbling. She was simply too tough to rough up.

    Which makes all the other democrats losers. They’re all running out of time to catch her and are unable to.

    In the last debate, Clinton gave her opponents an opening. But on Thursday night, she closed it.

    (Copyright 2007 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  95. MJ, Secret you are right on the money. I am suggesting, as you are, that Wolfe was fair and Russert was not. As Hillary supporters, that is all that we ask.

    By the same token, look at the newspaper headlines. Take David Yepsen. No one could accuse him of being a Hillary supporter, but at the end of the day he is objective. His headline today: The Lady Is A Champ, and his article gives the reader who did not watch the debate a fair sense of the equities. Compare this to the USA Today headline: More Fire Aimed At Clinton.
    That article is more of a distortion intended to support a pre-existing editorial narrative.

    The other night I was with Lou Dobbs. Yes, me–and 120 other people. I happen to like him myself because I think he has proven to be a canary in the cave for many of the problems in our society. Others disagree. He described himself as an advocacy journalist, and for him it seems to work. But when the concept is expanded to the limits of its logic, the media narrative rather than the truth becomes the story.

  96. “I am starting to think iowa has a sexism problem. ”

    Ya think? It’s the only other state besides Missi-frickin–ssippi that has never elected a woman to a major office (Congress, Senate, Governor). The “progressives” there, like Desmoinesdem, are ready with every excuse in the book, at the same time they are lining up to vote for the white dude.

    Like Bill Belichick says, it is what it is.

    BTW, the reason the Georgetown Social Club keeps cryin’ about “the gender card” is because they know that the female majority in the electorate gives Clinton an advantage in this race and they don’t like it. You don’t think the all boys club (including their female members) are going to give up easy after a 230 year exclusive on the White House, do you?

    Wait ’til the Women’s Voices, Women’s Vote and Emily’s List ads start running (next week I think). That’s going to really drive ’em over the edge.

  97. Yeah, this state does have problems. Problems that can be fixed if apathetic voters caucus! Iowa has never elected a female statewide for congress or governor, and I have actually twice had a person on the phone that said “we don’t like women in charge around here”, and the sick thing is that these 2 people were women.

  98. Nothing a great effort by our Iowa team can’t fix. They didn’t hire a bunch of idiots to take on Iowa for Hillary. Teresa Vilmain, JoDee Winterhof, the Vilsacks, and Ruth Harkin. These people are not amateurs. The FO’s here are the sharpest, nicest people you’d ever meet.

  99. LA Times is very hostile towards Clinton this cycle. Remember those Hsu stories? They also write lots of hostile stuff on their blogs.

    BTW, it seems the 4 million # is indeed quite big compared to previous debates.

    Well, the folks at CNN have to be happy campers this morning. They’re reporting that more than 4 million people tuned into last night’s Democratic debate from Las Vegas — which they say is a record for a primary debate aired on cable. Previous debates this season have been in the 1.7 million to 2.4 million range.

  100. celiff,

    be nice to Richardson! Biden! I posted a nice Richard & Clinton ‘dancing’ photo after debate. Unfortunately, the spam filter did not let it through.

  101. i agree with some here-5 mroe debates for december? good grief. there is only so much value to these debates-especially after 9. the only one i knew of was the one on the 10th hosted by cbs in ca. how many do we need? i want hillary campaigning as much as possible in iowa ind ecmber-but 5 debates as well? i cant imagine much viewership in the dead of december anyway. just a thought

  102. Hillary is a fine dancer. The video clip posted at gettyimages featuring her and Bill dancing in 1992 proves that. It’s Richardson I’m unsure of. And thanks to the spam filter, we may never know.

  103. Don’t be surprised to see Biden apply for Federal matching
    funds in December. There has been some talk in the
    Wilmington News Journal. The momey will help him from being
    a door mat and give chance to gpong after Edwards. Biden
    would not knox Edwards down. It would keep him in the game
    against BO. Keep Edwards wounded and a lived in Iowa.
    Hillary then can go head to head and toe to toe with Bo.

  104. I still thought Hillary should have worn a red/white and blue
    Gropiers jacket. Then the media, the pols and the public will know
    she is playing for keeps in this high stakes process. Her campaign is passionate; ever indicating she really wants to be President.
    Its not just a silly exercise. I love it, I love it.

  105. YES. If anyone from Hill’s camp ever stops by, Hill needs to go back to wear more color. I understand it is the fall, but i love her in color.

  106. Hello Guys,
    It was 4:00 AM where I am when the Las Vegas debate begun but I didn’t miss it.

    I am glad I didn’t miss our lively Hillary clearly telling everyone that she is the only candidate who qualifies for the job. And she did so without calling names or without retaliating to the attack she faced from her opponents. She was gentle and civilized; she focused on what is most important throughout.

    Now something is getting clear; the mud throwers have run out of ammunition, none of their attack could do any harm from now on.

  107. The Obama/Edwards campaign has a very difficult strategic decision to make. It is quite possible that their mud slinging will start drawing some boos on the campaign trail. They had their spokesmen on CNN today (Axelrod from the Chicago office and some idiot from the North Carolina office). It doesn’t appear that either branch of the Obama/Edwards campaign intends to ratchet down their attacks.

    Axelrod looked rough. He had a long night. The guy from the North Carolina office (Chris Karfoulis? or something) clearly wasn’t Presidential campaign caliber. A real amateur. I think his biggest gig previously has been down with Walmart protest marches. He was really embarrassing for the North Carolina office of the Obama/Edwards campaign.

  108. OMG, I am arguing with someone at dkos who keeps wanting to imply that Edwards, obama, and even Romney are more serious about UHC than Hillary. No serious people believe that. Christ, Dick Armey, Tom Delay, and Bob Novak see the righting on the wall, Hillary is planning on enacting a euro-style coverage system. Tom Delay told a crowd in Europe that just last week and they cheered, but these drones are convinced it’s not going to happen. I am so effing tired of it. She’s a health policy epert. She helped start SCHIP. But they are so convinced of their own bs, they can’t see reality.

  109. Thanks Kostner for the picture of Hillary and Richardson.
    It did show up, it just takes a long time, so go back up to see posts that didn’t make it the first time around, posted now.

    And in the future, post the link, just cut away the htt p: // stuff, this is what makes it a link, and stops the post from being posted right away.
    At least this way, we can see the post tight away, and we’ll just have to live with copying and pasting. here is the link.

    images.politico.com/global/hrcrichardson.jpg

  110. Vermin DeLay has been staging a comeback for revenge since before the end of 2006. On 11/15, he and former Ohio SecState Ken Blackwell launched Coalition for a Conservative Majority to “help conservatives better convey their message to voters and take back control of Congress.”

    I have an article up on this at SourceWatch. Just click my name, then enter Coalition for a Conservative Majority in the search box.

    This will definitely get ugly based on DeLay and company’s history.

  111. I guess in my first attempted post, which I see now there will be a delay on, but it, when posted, will get back in line where it was intended to be. did not get posted, I guess I managed to make a link as I was trying to explain how to avoid making a link, and at the same time, post the link, haha, tongue twister…

    anyway, just post the link, but leave out the: h t t p : / / part, this creates the link and prevents it from being posted right away.

    (and if it seems like I’m repeating myself, then you must have been reading these posts after the first one that got cought in the spam filter has now been released 🙂 )

  112. SUSA also released an Ohio poll at the same time as that Iowa poll, and Hillary does way better than Obama in Ohio. Don’t see the Obama supporters on DailyKos trumpeting that. If Hillary wins Ohio in the GE, she wins the election.

  113. Does Hillary have some DIRT on Obama??!!! hehe, I love this stuff, Robert Novak writes this:

    humanevents.com/article.php?id=23467

    Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party’s presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it. The nature of the alleged scandal was not disclosed.

    This word-of-mouth among Democrats makes Obama look vulnerable and Clinton look prudent. It comes during a dip for the front-running Clinton after she refused to take a stand on New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s now discarded plan to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

    Experienced Democratic political operatives believe Clinton wants to avoid a repetition of 2004, when attacks on each other by presidential candidates Howard Dean and Richard Gephardt were mutually destructive and facilitated John Kerry’s nomination.

  114. And another little story on how Obama is trying to be ‘cute’, considering the story I just posted above, Obama is picking a fight with the wrong people!!! And as always, I love the response from the Clinton team!

    LAS VEGAS – Barack Obama is starting to slip into his speeches a disputed account of a secret 20-year plan for both Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton to win the White House.

    “I’m not in this race to fulfill some long-held plan or because it was owed to me,” Obama told a gathering of Nevada Democrats after Thursday night’s Las Vegas debate.

    That was a veiled reference to an account by biographers Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta that the Clintons sealed a “secret pact of ambition” to both win the presidency – which has been vehemently denied by Clinton advisers.

    Asked if Obama was referring to the pact, a spokeswoman replied, “Barack Obama has not been mapping out his run for president from Washington for the last 20 years like some of his opponents.”

    Clinton spokesman Blake Zeff responded, “This is an odd statement, considering that the number of people who say Sen. Obama talked about running for president as a youngster seems to grow daily.”

  115. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/AR2007111601202.html

    EXCELLENT QUESTION
    The B-Word? You Betcha.

    By Andi Zeisler
    Sunday, November 18, 2007; Page B01

    When you work for a magazine called Bitch, the phone tends to ring a lot when the word pops up in the news.

    When the New York City Council announced a symbolic ban on the word several months back, the phone rang. When New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas defended his use of the term toward Anucha Browne Sanders, a former Knicks marketing executive who won a sexual harassment suit last month, it rang some more. And since one of Sen. John McCain’s supporters used the B-word to refer to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in a question last week, it has been ringing like crazy.
    People want to know whether it is still a bad word. They want to know whether I support its use in public discourse. Or they already think it’s a bad word and want to discuss whether its use has implications for free speech or sexual harassment or political campaigns.

    The other thing about working for a magazine called Bitch is that you really can’t cop to being totally sick of having this conversation. But I am. Still, I’ll continue to say the same things I always say, partly because talking about the word is an occupational responsibility/hazard and partly because, despite the fatigue, I believe them.

    So here goes: Bitch is a word we use culturally to describe any woman who is strong, angry, uncompromising and, often, uninterested in pleasing men. We use the term for a woman on the street who doesn’t respond to men’s catcalls or smile when they say, “Cheer up, baby, it can’t be that bad.” We use it for the woman who has a better job than a man and doesn’t apologize for it. We use it for the woman who doesn’t back down from a confrontation.

    So let’s not be disingenuous. Is it a bad word? Of course it is. As a culture, we’ve done everything possible to make sure of that, starting with a constantly perpetuated mindset that deems powerful women to be scary, angry and, of course, unfeminine — and sees uncompromising
    speech by women as anathema to a tidy, well-run world.
    ad_icon

    It’s for just these reasons that when Lisa Jervis and I started the magazine in 1996, no other title was even up for consideration. As young women who had been bombarded with the word for, say, daring to walk down the street in tank tops, we knew what kinds of insults would be hurled when we started publishing articles on sexism in consumer and popular culture.

    When Lisa and I were on tour with a 10th-year anniversary anthology, men wandered up to us after several readings to ask, nervously, whether we hated men — or whether men were “allowed” to read the magazine. We always told them the same thing: If you actually read the magazine — which includes everything from essays on racism in the modeling industry to columns on the marketing of the HPV drug Gardasil — you’ll find that it’s not about hating men but about elevating women. But too many people don’t see the difference. And, at least in part, that’s why the B-word is still such a problematic term.

    In fact, we hoped that we could reclaim it for mouthy, smart women in much the way that “queer” had been repurposed by gay radicals. As Lisa wrote in the magazine’s mission statement, “If being an outspoken woman means being a bitch, we’ll take that as a compliment, thanks.”

    I’m guessing that Hillary Clinton, though probably not a reader of our magazine, has a somewhat similar stance on the word. After all, people who don’t like Clinton have been throwing the slur at her since at least 1991. So everybody else in the room laughed knowingly when a woman at a campaign event in South Carolina last Monday asked McCain, “How do we beat the bitch?”

    In fact, the most surprising thing about the whole dust-up (available on YouTube for the world to see) is that something like it didn’t happen sooner. Sure, it was disrespectful of McCain to laugh off the insult. (Rather than admonishing the questioner, he called it an “excellent question,” then added, “I respect Senator Clinton.”) And sure, the woman who asked the question was transparently courting sound-bite fame. (Congratulations, faceless woman! Stay classy!) But for Clinton, this episode has to be pretty much a case of another day, another insult.

    These days, the people hurling the term at Clinton are her direct opponents: Republicans, social conservatives, assorted Schlafly-ites and Coulter-ites, and that sludgy, amorphous pool of across-the-board woman-haters.
    Their hatred for Clinton has nothing to do with whether she fits the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition: “a malicious, spiteful, or domineering woman — sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse.” It certainly has nothing to do with her stance on particular issues. When these people call Clinton (or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or Sen. Dianne Feinstein or former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro) a bitch, or even the cutesier “rhymes-with-witch,” it’s an expression of pure sexism — a hope that they can shut up not only one woman but every woman who dares to be assertive. Simply put: If you don’t like Clinton’s stance on, say, health care or Iraq, there are plenty of ways to say so without invoking her gender.

    Plenty of people are lukewarm on Clinton, for a variety of reasons: her support for the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, her ham-fisted attempts to put forth a clear position on Iraq, the fear that she would be just as beholden to corporate interests as her predecessor. Then there are the women who chafe at the idea that they’re expected to vote their sex rather than their specific politics. But very few of these people seem to worry that Clinton isn’t warm enough, or that she’s too dowdy or mannish or whatever can’t-win descriptor is lobbed her way daily.
    So the word remains as incendiary as ever. (Sorry, Sen. McCain.) Back in 1996, a time when the word was just barely squeaking past the censors on network TV, I would never have thought it could get any more loaded. (Same for the word “feminism,” but that’s a whole other story.) But the rise of the first serious female front-runner for the presidency has proved me wrong.

    On the street, in music and in the boardroom, it’s the word that won’t go away. Isiah Thomas’s somewhat bumbling claim during his sexual harassment trial that casual, off-the-cuff usage makes the term less problematic when done within the black community didn’t fly with the judge, and it doesn’t fly with plenty of other folks.

    A few years ago, the New York Times reported on the phenomenon of men using the term to describe other men, a use that has roots in the social dynamics of prison populations but has since spread to the realms of sports, rap music and junior high schools everywhere. The article reasoned that the term was becoming, if not respectable, then increasingly no big deal. I disagree — it’s simply another way to denigrate women.

    I’m all for a lively discussion of how the word is used in daily life: by men, by women, in jest, in earnest. But I don’t foresee that dialogue taking place in a political arena that considers mere femaleness a deficiency. Talking about the use of the word — against Clinton, Browne Sanders or everyday women everywhere — just isn’t helpful if we don’t also address the many unsaid words that follow in its wake.
    My own definition of the term being what it is, I can confidently say that I want my next president to be a bitch, and that goes for men and women. Outspoken? Check. Commanding? Indeed. Unworried about pleasing everybody? Sure. Won’t bow to pressure to be “nice”? You bet.

    And guess what? I’m not even sure that person is Hillary Clinton.

    My own definition of the term being what it is, I can confidently say that I want my next president to be a bitch, and that goes for men and women. Outspoken? Check. Commanding? Indeed. Unworried about pleasing everybody? Sure. Won’t bow to pressure to be “nice”? You bet.

    And guess what? I’m not even sure that person is Hillary Clinton.

    My own definition of the term being what it is, I can confidently say that I want my next president to be a bitch, and that goes for men and women. Outspoken? Check. Commanding? Indeed. Unworried about pleasing everybody? Sure. Won’t bow to pressure to be “nice”? You bet.

    And guess what? I’m not even sure that person is Hillary Clinton.

    andi@bitchmagazine.org

    My own definition of the term being what it is, I can confidently say that I want my next president to be a bitch, and that goes for men and women. Outspoken? Check. Commanding? Indeed. Unworried about pleasing everybody? Sure. Won’t bow to pressure to be “nice”? You bet.

    And guess what? I’m not even sure that person is Hillary Clinton.

    andi@bitchmagazine.org

  116. Hehe, I liked that article, and I want the next President to be a bitch too.

    But it all comes down to how the word is used. In the setting it was, it was a very offending way of using it, and I did not think McCain did a very good job handling it, it was bad!

  117. Wow, glad to see Hillary up 8 over Rudy in Missouri. That’s an important swing state that went twice for George W. Bush.

  118. Gorto, FactHub just updated with this bit on Obama:

    On the campaign trail, Sen. Obama is repeating a discredited claim from the failed Hillary Clinton biography, Her Way. Newsday reports:

    “I’m not in this race to fulfill some long-held plan or because it was owed to me,” Obama told a gathering of Nevada Democrats after Thursday night’s Las Vegas debate.

    That was a veiled reference to an account by biographers Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta that the Clintons sealed a “secret pact of ambition” to both win the presidency—which has been vehemently denied by Clinton advisers.

    Asked if Obama was referring to the pact, a spokeswoman replied, “Barack Obama has not been mapping out his run for president from Washington for the last 20 years like some of his opponents.”

    The claim repeated by Sen. Obama and his campaign has been completely discredited by the alleged source, Taylor Branch. The Washington Post reports:

    They cite two people, Ann Crittenden and John Henry, who said Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and close Clinton friend, told them that the Clintons “still planned two terms in the White House for Bill and, later, two for Hillary.” Contacted last night, Branch said that “the story is preposterous” and that “I never heard either Clinton talk about a ‘plan’ for them both to become president.

    It’s odd that Sen. Obama would choose to perpetuate this claim about Hillary since there is a long list of people who report that Sen. Obama has aspired to be president for practically his entire life.

    His kindergarten teacher:

    Iis Darmawan, 63, Obama’s kindergarten teacher, remembers him as an exceptionally tall and curly haired child who quickly picked up the local language and had sharp math skills. “He wrote an essay titled, “I Want To Become President,” the teacher said.

    His third grade teacher:

    Fermina Katarina Sinaga, Obama’s third-grade teacher, “asked her class to write an essay titled ‘My dream: What I want to be in the future.’ Obama wrote ‘I want to be a president,’ she said.” [The Los Angeles Times, 3/15/07]

    His law school classmates:

    [A]ccording to those who know him, he has been talking about the presidency for more than a decade. “It was clear to me from the day I met him that he was thinking about politics,” says Harvard Law School classmate Christine Spurell.

    His brother-in-law Craig Robinson:

    …Craig [Robinson] pulled him aside [in 1992] and asked about his plans. “He said, ‘I think I’d like to teach at some point in time, and maybe run for public office,’ recalls Robinson, who assumed Obama meant he’d like to run for city alderman. “He said no — at some point he’d like to run for the U.S. Senate. And then he said, ‘Possibly even run for president at some point.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, but don’t say that to my Aunt Gracie.’ I was protecting him from saying something that might embarrass him.”

    11/17/2007 10:47:27 AM #
    Obama Campaign Falsely Claims That One Year Ago Hillary Said NAFTA Was ‘A Boon To The Economy’

    The Obama campaign claims that just a year ago, Hillary said NAFTA was a “boon to our economy.” Here’s their chief strategist David Axelrod:

    On this issue of NAFTA, just a year ago Senator Clinton said it was a boon to our economy and one of the great achievements of the Clinton administration. [CNN Situation Room, 11/16/07]

    An Obama campaign memo attributes the “quote” to the September 11, 2006 edition of Newsday. But that article does not quote Hillary saying that. It just asserts what Hillary “thinks” without any substantiation:

    Clinton thinks NAFTA has been a boon to the economy, but voted against the Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, saying it would drive jobs offshore. [Newsday, 9/11/06]

    Sen. Obama lamented this kind of politics in his book, Audacity of Hope:

    For that is how most of my colleagues, Republican and Democrat, enter the Senate…their words distorted, and their motives questioned. [Page 133]

  119. Michigan 11/16/07

    The Democratic presidential race here is growing increasingly lopsided.

    Clinton is breaking away from the Democratic field — even though she and the other Democratic candidates refuse to campaign here, because the state ran afoul of national party rules by scheduling its primary ahead of other states.

    She now is favored by 49 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in Michigan, up from 40 percent in the Sept. 1 survey. Second-place candidate Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who had 21 percent of the vote in late summer, now stands at a very distant 18 percent. And former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is stuck in the mid teens despite support from union leaders. Edwards and Obama had their names removed from the potential Michigan ballot.

    Sarpolus said Clinton “is in a very strong position. She’s got phenomenal support among Michigan women.”

    According to the survey, 60 percent of female voters prefer Clinton with Obama a distant second at 18 percent. Among men, however, Clinton’s support drops to 32 percent, still tops in the field. Edwards has 21 percent support while Obama received support from 19 percent of the men.

    Barbara Goryca, a Dearborn Heights activist with the League of Women Voters, said she hopes the Democrats unite behind someone who can win the general election.

    “Right now, (Clinton) is the one,” said Goryca, who participated in the poll.

    “Unless something unexpected comes up, I’m positive she could win. Barack might not have enough experience and Edwards would be my second choice.”

    Dorothy Beaker, a Trenton grandmother of five, agreed.

    “I think Clinton has good ideas and I don’t support her just because she’s a woman. I think she knows what’s going on, has the experience and it’s not like she just decided to jump in to the first woman,” Beaker said.

    Former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard, who is a co-chair of Clinton’s campaign in Michigan, said he was encouraged by the poll results.

    “I still think the race for president is fluid, but I would rather have my candidate gaining ground than losing ground,” he said.

    “But we have a long way to go to carry Michigan, get the nomination and win the White House. We’re going to be working real hard at it.”

    Some have said union leaders, many of whom favor Edwards, would prefer to have a party caucus vote rather than a primary, because that format — which only involves about 140,000 Democratic activists — would give their candidate a better chance to capture the state.

    But the poll shows Edwards fares only slightly better among union households, where Clinton is favored by 41 percent, Edwards is at 21 percent and Obama at 17 percent. In non-union households, Clinton is favored by 53 percent compared to 18 percent for Obama and 11 percent for Edwards.

    detnews.com / apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071116/POLITICS/711160347

  120. Follow-up on the Novak rumor;

    November 17, 2007
    Read More: Barack Obama

    Obama on Novak on Clinton on Obama

    Here’s a novel move: Obama himself has a statement out in response to Robert Novak’s vaguely-sourced meta-report that Clinton has nameless, killer dirt on Obama:

    ““During our debate in Las Vegas on Thursday, we heard Senator Clinton rail against the politics of ‘throwing mud.’

    “At the very same time, in Washington, Robert Novak was publishing a column in which he reported the following: ‘Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party’s presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama…’

    “The item did not identify these ‘agents,’ nor did it reveal the nature of the charge. It was devoid of facts, but heavy on innuendo and insinuation of the sort to which we’ve become all too accustomed in our politics these past two decades. If the purpose of this shameless item was to daunt or discourage me or supporters of our campaign from challenging and changing the politics of Washington, it will fail. In fact, it will only serve to steel our resolve.

    “But in the interest of our party, and her own reputation, Senator Clinton should either make public any and all information referred to in the item, or concede the truth: that there is none.

    “She of all people, having complained so often about ‘the politics of personal destruction,’ should move quickly to either stand by or renounce these tactics.

    “I am prepared to stand up to that kind of politics, whether it’s deployed by candidates in our party, in the other party or by any third party.

    “The cause of change in this country will not be deterred or sidetracked by the old ‘Swift boat’ politics. The cause of moving America forward demands that we defeat it.”

    This is a bit unusual both because it gives Novak such credence, and because it seems to return Obama to a holier-than-thou definition of “the politics of hope” that he’s been trying to get away from while running a, basically, normal campaign that includes the occasional outlying moment of reportedly pushing for coverage of the Clinton marriage.

    By Ben Smith 11:46 AM

  121. Desperation time…reverse psycho babble time. Knowing Novak that information could have came from pumkinhead…JMHO folks

  122. I gotta say, as much as it pains me, my initial reaction to the Obama campaigns response to the Novak story, is good!
    This is a clever way of trying to lurk out the ‘on the attack’ side to the Clinton camp, or just exposing a failed strategy.

    If the Clinton camp backs down tho, they have just handed Obama a good story to repeat everywhere. If they say nothing, my guess is as long as the ‘rumor’ is out there, he’ll keep pushing for an answer.

    And if they claim this ‘rumor’ is false, Novak may have some explaining to do, and isn’t he a respected reporter? I guess it depends on the ties between Clinton and Novak as to where this story might go…..

    Paula thanks for the heads up. Yeah I gotta say that this Fact Hub site was one clever invention. 🙂 I keep wondering how soon the other campaign will take to set up one of their own, but then again, they wont need one, as Hillary is the only one NOT attacking.

    The fact hub is simply there to defend and point out the silliness of the attacks.
    Although I guess they wouldn’t mind putting up attack sites, just as the ‘Planted’ site by Edwards, however as he slowly realized this story was going nowhere, he wisely pulled the plug. 😀

  123. Novak is a tool. However, I think Clinton will move with political brilliance in this issue, just like the on she did in drivers license case. she and her campaign are known for blunting any opposition with a sledge hammer, and I think they are blunting his innuendo to return to her personal life as an attack tool with this information. I think she will take a stance for or against it at the right time when Obama get no more political mileage on it 🙂

  124. Obama: Don’t ‘Swift boat’ me

    By: Mike Allen and Ben Smith
    Nov 17, 2007 12:54 PM EST

    Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) took the rare step of issuing a statement in his own name on Saturday to call attention to a report by columnist Robert D. Novak that New York Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is sitting on “scandalous” information about Obama.

    The information was not described and there is no proof it exists.

    Obama accused Clinton of “Swift boat’ politics” and vowed he will not be intimidated.

    “I am prepared to stand up to that kind of politics, whether it’s deployed by candidates in our party, in the other party or by any third party,” Obama said. “The cause of change in this country will not be deterred or sidetracked by the old ‘Swift boat’ politics. The cause of moving America forward demands that we defeat it.”

    Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s campaign communications director, said she has “no idea” what the item is about. “Once again Senator Obama is echoing Republican talking points, this time from Bob Novak,” he said in an e-mailed statement. “This is how Republicans work. A Republican leaning journalist runs a blind item designed to set Democrats against one another. Experienced Democrats see this for what it is. Others get distracted and thrown off their games. Voters should be concerned about the readiness of any Democrat inexperienced enough to fall for this. There is only one campaign in this race that has actually engagedin the very practice that Senator Obama is decrying, and it’s his. We have no idea what Mr. Novak’s item is about and reject it totally. Instead of pointing fingers at us, Senator Obama should get back to the issues and focus on what this election is really about.”

    The dual objective of the Obama claim is clear. First, he wants to try to tie the clockwork-like Clinton campaign to something sleazy, evoking memories of past accusations against the Clinton machine. Secondly, the statement is an attempt to try to inoculate Obama against damaging allegations or information that might emerge, which is always a possibility for any candidate.

    In 2004, the presidential campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) was damaged by television ads trying to undermine his military record, paid for by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

    Obama may seize on the column item, true or not, in speeches and television ads to accuse Clinton of engaging in what his campaign likes to call old, Washington-style politics.

    In the statement, issued at 11:39 a.m. Eastern, Obama calls on Clinton to renounce the report or disclose the information, and twists the knife by adding: “She of all people, having complained so often about ‘the politics of personal destruction,’ should move quickly to either stand by or renounce these tactics.”

    Novak reported in a column published Saturday: “Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party’s presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it. The nature of the alleged scandal was not disclosed.”

    The column is a notebook-style weekend feature that does not run in The Washington Post, like Novak’s weekday column. But it was widely circulated on the Web, including a red-letter link on the Drudge Report.

    The column adds: “This word-of-mouth among Democrats makes Obama look vulnerable and Clinton look prudent. … Experienced Democratic political operatives believe Clinton wants to avoid a repetition of 2004, when attacks on each other by presidential candidates Howard Dean and Richard Gephardt were mutually destructive and facilitated John Kerry’s nomination.”

    The Obama statement begins: “During our debate in Las Vegas on Thursday, we heard Senator Clinton rail against the politics of ‘throwing mud.’ At the very same time, in Washington, Robert Novak was publishing a column in which he reported the following: ‘Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party’s presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama…’ ”

    The statement continues: “The item did not identify these ‘agents,’ nor did it reveal the nature of the charge. It was devoid of facts, but heavy on innuendo and insinuation of the sort to which we’ve become all too accustomed in our politics these past two decades. If the purpose of this shameless item was to daunt or discourage me or supporters of our campaign from challenging and changing the politics of Washington, it will fail. In fact, it will only serve to steel our resolve. But in the interest of our party, and her own reputation, Senator Clinton should either make public any and all information referred to in the item, or concede the truth: that there is none.”

    Politico’s Ben Smith points out about the Obama statement: “This is a bit unusual both because it gives Novak such credence, and because it seems to return Obama to a holier-than-thou definition of ‘the politics of hope’ that he’s been trying to get away from while running a, basically, normal campaign that includes the occasional outlying moment of reportedly pushing for coverage of the Clinton marriage.”

    So now the Clinton campaign can launch a counter-counterattack, asking Obama what happened to the “politics of hope” that he so memorably lauded in his national debut, at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1107/6949.html

  125. mj:

    What makes you think they did?

    Just because Karl Rove’s official spokesman, Bob Novak, says so? The same Novak that Scooter Libby approached to out Valerie Plame.

    Hello!

  126. Obama’s advisors have made a real blunder by responding to Clinton instead of Novak, and Clinton’s camp has already seized on tying his response to, “inexperience”. If Novak has nothing, Obama looks like a fool. If there really is dirt on Obama and Clinton HAS been holding it back and this forces it into the open, Clinton can blame Novak for his role (and tie it to the outing of Plame.) and Obama can blame HIMSELF for insisting that the info be released.

  127. mj:

    Obama and his folks are really naive. They are so ready to repeat the right wing talking points. If you are using a fraction of your brain , it is not hard to figure out what is going on.

    Hillary attacked her rivals of throwing mud in the last debate. So a right wing guy (Novak) comes up with a story on a right wing magazine (human events) to kind of lob a softball to Obama to go at Hillary saying that she was the one throwing mud. So, he comes up with this vague and general stuff like “Agents of Hillary” and “spreading rumors among democratic circles” etc. Obama falls for their strategy again and uses that statement to attack Hillary.

    Remember one thing. If there is anything to attack Hillary on her character and damage her come general election time republicans will do it. What better way to do it than have a democrat repeat those charges? Nice way to start a intra-party conflict and people like Obama keep falling for it every time. This is the reason he is not ready to win the nomination. He will not know what will hit him come general election because he thinks all that the wingnuts say is truth.

    BTW, see Howard Wolfson’s statement below:

    “Once again Senator Obama is echoing Republican talking points, this time from Bob Novak. This is how Republicans work. A Republican leaning journalist runs a blind item designed to set Democrats against one another. Experienced Democrats see this for what it is. Others get distracted and thrown off their games. Voters should be concerned about the readiness of any Democrat inexperienced enough to fall for this. There is only one campaign in this race that has actually engaged in the very practice that Senator Obama is decrying, and it’s his. We have no idea what Mr. Novak’s item is about and reject it totally. Instead of pointing fingers at us, Senator Obama should get back to the issues and focus on what this election is really about.”

  128. This is BS – Obama is trying to blunt a damaging story that’s about to come out by blaming it’s release on Clinton. It’s classic obfuscation.

    I believe there are plenty of damaging stories about Obama to be dug up. I could be wrong about that. What I don’t believe is that if Clinton has a damaging story on Obama, Novak knows about it. There is no way in hell that the Clinton campaign is going to let something like that leak out through Novak. If they have their coup de grace in hand, they aren’t going to let it leak out through Novak.

    This is simply an attempt to innoculate Obama against any damaging story by blaming it’s release on her. Drudge must have something. While else go to Novak to trash Hillary?

  129. The Realist, thank you for your assessment on this, your analysys is spot on, I see I was caried away with this. I’m not very experienced with this.

    And you make a good point with saying Obama made a big mistake with responding to Clinton and not to Novak!!

    I guess he was desperately looking for a fight, since he didn’t find one during the debate the other day. And if this turns out to be nothing, he has made a fool out of himself. And I very much liked Howards response tot his. Once again linking Obama to inexperience! 😀

    Obama can be using this as en attempt to attack Hillary disguised as Hillary attacking him…. he’s looking for smoke….

  130. Hillary-in-trouble storyline unravels
    Sheldon Alberts, National Post
    Published: Saturday, November 17, 2007

    WASHINGTON -Hillary Clinton is back. What, you didn’t notice she was gone?

    Neither did most Americans. But in the tiny, incestuous circle of political strategists, Washington reporters and bloggers who hang on every word uttered in the Democratic presidential race, the real Hillary had been MIA from the campaign trail for the better part of November.

    According to the conventional wisdom, Clinton’s campaignhas been tumbling since a debate in Philadelphia on Oct. 30, when rivals John Edwards and Barack Obama finally screwed up the courage to point out what most folks know already. That Clinton is easily the most cautious, poll-driven, sometimes evasive, two-sides-of-a-coin candidate currently seeking the presidency.
    Clinton’s biggest debate mistake was in praising, while carefully not endorsing, a plan by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer to provide driver’s licences to illegal immigrants in his state.

    As political stumbles go, it was more like stepping off a curb than off the observation deck atop the Empire State Building.

    But combined with a subsequent ham-fisted attempt by Clinton to play the “gender card,” and an ill-conceived campaign decision to plant audience questions at a town hall meeting, and the media had its new storyline. Clinton the inevitable nominee suddenly became Clinton the vulnerable.

    The Reporters Who Cover Politics have been eager for a horse race narrative ever since Clinton and Obama declared their candidacies last winter. What they got was frustration, as Hillary made ever-expanding gains at her younger opponent’s expense.

    Obama’s belated decision this month to challenge Clinton’s experience, character and political style has been somewhat effective. Almost coincidentally to Clinton’s unsure performance in Philadelphia, the gap between her and Obama began to shrink both in national polls and in early-voting states like Iowa.

    But reporters (this one included) often have short memories. One or two slip-ups by Clinton, and suddenly everyone expected her to become unhinged like Howard Dean in 2004.

    Clinton put that notion to rest at a much-hyped debate on Thursday night in Las Vegas. Just as at every other all-candidates’ forum, Clinton was coolly efficient as she went about repairing the damage of two weeks ago.

    Her few attempts at humour were focus-group funny, which is to say the punch lines were purely functional. “This pantsuit is asbestos tonight,” Clinton said by way of explaining she could take the heat from her opponents.

    As to whether she thinks her male opponents are being sexist in their criticisms of her, Bill Clinton himself

    couldn’t have parsed the answer any better: “I’m not playing, as some people say, the gender card here in Las Vegas. I’m just trying to play the winning card.”

    Beyond that, Clinton was back to being Clinton. A former fan of NAFTA, Clinton now says she wants a “trade timeout” to evaluate every trade agreement. Given two weeks to mull over the matter of illegal immigrant drivers, Clinton finally came up with a simple answer when asked if they should have driver’s licences. “No.”
    And no one can so convincingly make equivocation seem like a political asset.

    Asked by an audience member if she preferred diamonds or pearls, Clinton smiled and said: “I want both.”

    There was no better prepared candidate in the room.
    Both Obama and Edwards seemed to realize they were outmatched, retreating from harsh criticism after the pro-Hillary crowd booed and Clinton herself accused them of “throwing mud.”
    Too often loquacious in settings that demand digestible sound bites, Obama got tongue-tied when asked his own views on illegal immigrant drivers.

    The overwhelming sentiment among the chattering classes yesterday was summed up in this headline from the online magazine Slate: “Clinton’s Winning Fight Night.”

    That the campaign press corps so quickly abandoned its “Clinton-in-trouble” narrative must be maddening for Obama and Edwards, who had seemed on the cusp of convincing reporters they could sustain pressure on the frontrunner.

    Almost a year since the campaign began, and they can’t win two in a row.
    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=b275fd69-2474-4522-86e6-9b0b18e6eb71&p=2

  131. I also believe there are many damaging stories about Obama out there, a guy with this kind of a personality, and with such a huge ambition as noted perfectly by the fact hub (of him wanting to be President since birth!!) there has got to be something out there.

    And that was a rookie statement by Obama camp by the way, claiming he doesn’t run on a 20 year old plan to be President, when in fact statements from kindergarten teacher and 3rd grade teacher corrects him, with basically showing he is running on a 40 year plan to be President!!! Since we are talking about rumors, anyone herd any bad ones? Just rumors??

    The most damaging rumor I’ve heard about came through a comment section after an article. When someone wrote about Obama pushing a previous girlfriend to get an abortion…….Imagine if this was true…….

  132. Picking up velocity;

    HALPERIN’S TAKE ON BOB NOVAK’S CLINTON-OBAMA REPORT

    Obama’s fast and aggressive response statement is a truly striking move. Instead of ignoring a weekend item by a conservative columnist, the campaign decided to create another moment in which it forcefully challenges Clinton and her association with the “old” politics of Washington. It is a tough call-to-arms for his supporters.

    The Clinton campaign’s lightning-quick response demonstrates that they, too, are in full-battle mode. Also notice that, like any smart campaign, they’re using the opportunity to put their most devastating frame on Obama, by raising the issue of his inexperience.

    Still, there are several questions begged. Who gave this information to Novak? Why did they do it? Why now? And, of course, to what does the “scandalous information” allegedly refer? These are the topics that will be lighting up the blogosphere (left and right) and, if the weekend remains quiet, will likely animate Rush Limbaugh’s show and other talk radio venues on Monday.

    This story is, rest assured, already the talk of the Chattering Class and will surely get plenty of attention in the green rooms of the Sunday morning programs. Novak has a few pretty good sources in Clinton’s world, and they will come under some scrutiny. And/but there are those who will say that Novak has produced some copy with his eyes more on mischief-making than fact-finding.

    In the near term, the most important point to keep front of mind is this: Along with the Romney negative phone call story, and now this, we are hitting a hyper-intense final period of two colossal nomination fights, and the press is going to have to rise to the occasion or the Freak Show political-media culture will define who wins. There is more of this kind of thing on the way. Obama, apparently, is prepared to take it all on. And so is Clinton.

  133. And they continue to shoot themselves in the foot…

    UPDATE:Another round from Obama spokesman Bill Burton:

    “The ‘experience’ America’s looking for today is not the practiced Washington art of evasion and deflection. Once again, the Clinton campaign refuses to answer two simple, direct questions:

    Are “agents” of their campaign spreading these rumors? And do they have “scandalous” information that they are not releasing?
    “Yes or no?”

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

  134. LOL!! I love that article, it sort of slaps Hillary on her hands, and praises her at the same time! 😀

    My favorite sentence:

    “Almost a year since the campaign began, and they can’t win two in a row.”
    So true, so true…

  135. LOLOLOLOLOL…..that’s gutsy coming from the Obama campaign: Yes or NO!!!!!! hahahaha, what did we all see on Thursday???

    Wolf saying to Obama that this is sort of the question which is eligible for a Yes of No answer!!!!! He should not get up on his high horse on that one!! No Sir! hahaha

  136. “Another round”….. is this going on right now? Are they waiting for each other to comment right now? Or has this happened earlier today?

    I love this stuff, they must be having fun in a way, almost like sending a letter or telegram, waiting for it to be delivered, so they can reply, hehe.

  137. More inexperience/incompetence From the man who DID say that you could judge what kind of president he would be by the way he ran his campaign (into the ground?);

    Some supporters of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama were grumbling Thursday after they stood in line for more than two hours outside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Wednesday night and still didn’t get in to the Illinois senator’s raucous campaign rally.

    “It was unbelievably frustrating,” said Kurt Davis, who traveled with his daughter from Placerville (El Dorado County) for the Obama event, which priced tickets at $30.

    The crush of people trying to get into the rally overwhelmed the security efforts, said Debbie Mesloh, a spokeswoman for Obama’s California campaign.

    “We expressed our concern to the Secret Service over the problems our supporters, who had bought tickets to the event, were having getting in the door,” she said. “But the final decision on security is made by the Secret Service,” which has been assigned to protect Obama.

    At 6:30 p.m., when the doors opened for the event, the queue outside looked like a summertime line at Disneyland. Thousands of people waited, mostly patiently, in a line that wrapped around the building, then crossed Polk Street.

    When Michael Clarke walked from his office at Davies Symphony Hall to the auditorium, he joined a line with an estimated 5,000 other Obama supporters.

    “I stood in this line for over two hours and advanced about 100 feet,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle.

    The bottleneck was a security system that included just four metal detectors for a crowd the campaign estimated at 6,000 people. One by one, people would empty their pockets, walk through the detectors and be screened again with handheld magnometers if the metal detectors buzzed.

    As the line crept along, about the only solace for the waiting throng was the surprisingly warm November evening.

    “I was surprised at how patient everyone was,” Davis said. “It wasn’t an angry or an ugly crowd, although the wait did start to get old.”

    Despite spending $30 for tickets – $15 for students – people started wandering away, convinced that they would never get inside the hall to see Obama.

    When the senator arrived in San Francisco from a Peninsula fundraising event about 8:30 p.m., the arena was only about a quarter filled, with section after section of vacant seats in the balcony. But by about 8:45 p.m., the Secret Service took down the metal detectors and let the crowd stream in unchecked.

    When Obama took the stage shortly after 9 p.m., the hall was almost filled with an enthusiastic crowd that roared its approval throughout the candidate’s half-hour speech.

    But the experience left Davis disillusioned about the competence of the Obama campaign.

    “I’m a big supporter,” said Davis, who has given $1,000 to Obama’s campaign. “But I wonder if they have this much trouble organizing a single event, how organized the entire campaign is.”

    E-mail John Wildermuth at jwildermuth@sfchronicle.com.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/11/16/MNP7TDB7F.DTL

  138. Thank god Krugman called Obama a fool and a sucker. We can quote him without getting TR’d. LOL I know Krugman was talking about SS but geeez, I can’t believe this.

    I really do think something is coming down the pike on Obama. he’s trying to get a hold of a story before it hits. I wonder if he’s in cahoots with Novak on this?

  139. “Are “agents” of their campaign spreading these rumors? And do they have “scandalous” information that they are not releasing?
    “Yes or no?””

    Baa waaa haaa haaa!

    The Clinton campaign should answer:

    Question 1: No
    Question 2: Yes

  140. DES MOINES, Nov. 17 — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has nearly doubled the size of her staff in Iowa and has substantially increased her advertising here as her campaign reinforces its effort to prevent Democrats from coalescing around a single alternative to her candidacy.

    In the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mrs. Clinton, whose campaign has been on the defensive lately because of her own missteps and increasingly aggressive attacks from her rivals, is expected to double or triple the amount of time she has spent here in recent months. Seldom will a day go by, aides said, when either she or former President Bill Clinton will not be on some patch of Iowa soil trying to solidify her support and win over an unusually high number of uncommitted voters.

    “We’re going to begin using all the assets we have,” said Tom Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa who serves as co-chairman of the Clinton campaign. “We haven’t been bashful about asking for the moon here.”

    The Iowa caucuses, the opening contest in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, remain a spirited fight, with Mrs. Clinton struggling to turn her lead in national polls into an advantage here. Worried that Senator Barack Obama of Illinois or former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina could slow her candidacy in the state, Mrs. Clinton is taking steps to fortify her campaign.

    But even as the three leaders wage an intensifying battle — often trying to win over the same voters — the campaigns of Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Senators Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut also have the potential to sway the race.

    In the final seven weeks of the race, all campaigns are increasing their efforts here, placing new advertisements and investing more resources. To fight the new push by the Clinton campaign, rivals also are planning to spend nearly all their time in Iowa in December.

    On Jan. 3, voters will gather in 1,784 precinct meetings to openly voice their support for a candidate. If one does not reach a 15-percent threshold in each precinct, caucus attendees will pick a second choice, a procedure that Mrs. Clinton’s supporters fear could complicate her efforts.

    With the final seven weeks of the race interrupted by two major holidays, campaigns are preparing their closing arguments, final television advertisements and organizational drives earlier than ever before.

    While the Obama and Edwards campaigns have been gradually building for months toward this moment, the Clinton campaign has bolstered its activity here in recent weeks, hiring 100 new workers to concentrate on a person-to-person drive to explain the quirky process of the caucuses, with a goal of having 50,000 in-home visits concluded by Christmas.

    More than 60 percent of those who have identified themselves as Clinton supporters, senior strategists say, have never participated in the Iowa caucuses. It is a far higher share than the campaign had been anticipating, suggesting that many of the reliable rank-and-file Democrats have chosen another candidate. So the Clinton campaign is working to expand its universe of supporters to women who have never participated.

    “No one is going to give Hillary Clinton this nomination,” said Terry McAuliffe, the national chairman of her campaign, who has traveled to Iowa nearly once a week for months. “She’s going to have to earn it.”

    By this week, the Clinton campaign had completed opening 34 offices across the state, arriving in many cities more than two months behind the local operatives for Mr. Obama or Mr. Edwards. Last week, the Clinton campaign’s national headquarters sent a top communications operative to Iowa, hoping to fight back on more than a week’s worth of news coverage about Clinton aides planting questions with voters at campaign events.

    The campaign also began running radio advertisements and significantly increased its television commercials, spending $360,000 last week compared with $260,000 two weeks ago.

    At the same time, Mr. Clinton is playing an increasingly larger role in Iowa. After never competing in the Iowa caucuses during his own presidential races, Mr. Clinton has sought to learn the nuts and bolts of the system.

    Mr. Clinton was sent last week to the western Iowa towns of Onawa and Glenwood, where he created a stir and drew a large crowd of local Democrats.

    “Clearly they weren’t all there because they support Hillary,” said Kenneth Mertes, the Democratic chairman in Monona County. “But he is a very persuasive speaker and can sway the voters who come to see him just out of curiosity.”

    A New York Times/CBS News poll this month found that 38 percent of Iowa voters who are likely to participate in the caucuses said the former president’s involvement in the race would make them more likely to support Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. But 55 percent said it would make no difference in deciding which Democrat to support.

    Mr. Clinton is expected to concentrate on rural areas and smaller cities, where campaign aides believe that Mrs. Clinton needs a boost. (A sign on the office door of Teresa Vilmain, the state director of the Clinton campaign, says: “Hillary is needed in rural Iowa.”)

    With growing anxiety about the race and its outcome, the Clinton campaign sent several senior operatives to Iowa earlier than they had intended. Campaign strategists fear that a poor showing in Iowa would erase a sense of invincibility about Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy.

    When Mrs. Clinton returns to the state on Monday, aides said, she will trade large rallies for intimate sessions with voters who remain unsure of her viability.

    “At the beginning, she didn’t understand the whole notion of relationship building,” said Mr. Vilsack, who often travels the state with Mrs. Clinton and introduces her to voters. “She now gets it. She now understands the psyche of this process.”

  141. Something doesn’t smell right here. Why would Novak report about a story where he doesn’t even know what the allegations are? It’s the biggest non-story of all time. Let’s say I’m a DC insider, and someone tells me, “hey, you know, Hillary has some dirt on Obama but I can’t tell you of what nature and I’m not going to give anymore info than that because she’s not going to release it.” Frankly, the insider is not going to buy that. Either Novak is just trying to make things interesting or there is something missing from this story.

  142. “Obama, apparently, is prepared to take it all on. And so is Clinton.”

    Obama with these statements and this kind of aggressiveness is showing he is aware that his campaign is going down the drain. He now is showing everyone he has nothing to loose.

    But once again, he is indeed showing his inexperience when thinking he has a shot in hell on going after anyone named Clinton!!
    She is ready, and I’m sure, pleased with the chances Obama is giving her and her campaign team the oppurtunity to warm up, before the real challenges appear in the general election!! 😀

    Bring it on Obama!!! Give it your best shot!!!!

  143. MJ

    The story is a two-fer for the Republicans. It sets Democrats off at each other now. And if a bad story is released, it allows Obama to smear Hillary with it’s release. The top two candidates get hurt rather than just the one in second place.

    There is a chance that there is a story coming down the pike. If that’s the case, then this could also be Obama trying to get out in front of it. If he is shouting “Hillary, Hillary, HIllary” now, when the story gets out there – it’s birth gets laid at Hillary’s feet and Dems don’t like that.

    Personally, I think Drudge has something on him. And the fact that someone on Hillary’s staff has friendly relations with him means that the story can be blamed on her.

    But basically, this is one more Hillary scandal du jour that everyone will forget about tomorrow.

  144. Obama does not needs addtional scandals to be used by GOPers, he has plenty already.

    He still can’t explain why, when, how he puts his hand over heart.
    He has to explain wher he took off flag pin to protest the war.

    All sorts of his muslism heritage stories(not even rumor!) will doom his already flimsy chance in the South.

    He is a disaster.

  145. There is no logic to Clinton’s camp leaking anything to Novak. Axelrod and company may wind up shooting themselves in the foot for taking Novak’s bait and impugning Clinton based on his story.
    What do they say it it turns out that Novak has nothing?
    What do they say if there is something, and their public statements MAKE it surface without any CONNECTION to Clinton?
    The one thing that they have accomplished is to keep this story filling the newshole for the next cycle or two. How that benefits their candidate is anyone’s guess.

  146. Either that, or the rightwing is throwing an assist to Obama by starting a rumor so that he can get back on offensive after a miserable outing last week.

  147. Clinton Camp Says It Has No Dirty Secrets About Obama After Columnist Bob Novak Suggests Alleged Scandal
    Hillary Clinton’s campaign insisted Saturday it is not sitting on any scandalous information about rival Barack Obama, after conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote that the Democratic frontrunner was holding on to a secret that could wound Obama’s campaign.

    Novak wrote in a three-paragraph item Saturday that “agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party’s nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it.”

    Novak wrote that the nature of the alleged scandal is not known but “this word-of-mouth among Democrats makes Obama look vulnerable and Clinton look prudent.”

    Click here to read the Novak article.

    Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said “we have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. … We have no contact with Bob Novak; we have no idea what this column is based on.”

    Asked if the campaign had any secret information about Obama, he said, “No. No, we don’t.”

    Carson also scolded Obama for “walking right into a Republican trap,” after Obama personally challenged Clinton to come forward with any scandalous information she has about him — or admit she has nothing.
    “The (article) did not identify these agents, nor did it reveal the nature of the charge,” Obama said in a written statement. “It was devoid of facts, but heavy on innuendo and insinuation of the sort to which we’ve become all too accustomed in our politics these past two decades.

    “If the purpose of this shameless item was to daunt or discourage me or supporters of our campaign from challenging and changing the politics of Washington, it will fail. In fact, it will only serve to steel our resolve.

    “But in the interest of our party, and her own reputation, Sen. Clinton should either make public any and all information referred to in the item, or concede the truth: that there is none. She of all people, having complained so often about the politics of personal destruction, should move quickly to either stand by or renounce these tactics.”

    Obama even described the alleged smear as “old ‘Swift Boat’ politics,” a reference to the negative ads questioning presidential candidate John Kerry’s military record in 2004. Interestingly, Bill Clinton made the same reference during a speech in Las Vegas in early November in describing attacks on his wife with regard to her position on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

    The atmosphere among the Democratic candidates has been tense in recent weeks, as Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards have sought to chip away at Clinton’s gaping lead in the national polls.

    Clinton stumbled after giving a confusing answer about the driver’s license question at a recent debate in Philadelphia, but at the following debate on Thursday in Las Vegas Clinton turned the tables back on her opponents, challenging their records on health care and other issues, as well as accusing them of “throwing mud.”

    The sniping has led Republicans to criticize the Democratic race.

    Carson said Saturday that Obama chose to “parrot Republican talking points” in his statement on the Novak article.

    “Bob Novak is a Republican columnist … a Democratic candidate should be smart enough not to fall into a trap he’s set for Democrats to go after each other,” he said. “If you don’t know how to avoid that in the primary, how are you going to avoid it in the general (election)?”

    FOX News’ Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.

  148. This is why we need a change!!

    When things stay the same for too long, as it now has with Iowa and it’s importance, people end up thinking they are too important to care, (with several exceptions of course) and they stop doing their job as voters.

    How difficult is it to make up their minds??

    I still haven’t gotten over the many independent registered voters in ’04 whom up until the election day STILL hadn’t made up their mind between Bush and Kerry!!! I mean some people REALLY shouldn’t be allowed to vote!

  149. Now what if there is dirt about BO, but it was coming from some OTHER source? Clinton says we have nothing, the dirt comes out and who CAN OB blame now? Novak may have played his people for, “Krugmans”, and left their candidate totally exposed for a damaging piece of information that I would wager is going to surface this week.

  150. This is becoming THE story and snowballing even on a weekend day;

    Column by Novak Inspires ‘Swift’ Obama Reaction

    By E&P Staff

    Published: November 17, 2007 3:20 PM ET

    NEW YORK A throwaway item in a Robert Novak online column inspired a strong reaction from Sen. Barack Obama today — and then a putdown of Obama by a top campaign aide to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

    Novak had suggested that Clinton was sitting on “scandalous” information on Obama but had not made it public. The columnist did not say what the info was or his source for this claim.

    It opened: “Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party’s presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it.”

    Rather than just let that sit out there and possibly fade away, Obama brought it center stage with a strong rebuttal. He said in a statement, “The cause of change in this country will not be deterred or sidetracked by the old ‘Swift boat’ politics. The cause of moving America forward demands that we defeat it….

    “I am prepared to stand up to that kind of politics, whether it’s deployed by candidates in our party, in the other party or by any third party.”

    He called on Clinton to release the alleged information — or renounce the whole thing. He added: “She of all people, having complained so often about ‘the politics of personal destruction,’ should move quickly to either stand by or renounce these tactics.”

    According to a story at Politico.com, Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s campaign communications director, said she has “no idea” what the item is about. “Once again Sen. Obama is echoing Republican talking points, this time from Bob Novak,” he said in an e-mailed statement, according to Politico.

    “This is how Republicans work. A Republican-leaning journalist runs a blind item designed to set Democrats against one another. Experienced Democrats see this for what it is. Others get distracted and thrown off their games. Voters should be concerned about the readiness of any Democrat inexperienced enough to fall for this. There is only one campaign in this race that has actually engaged in the very practice that Sen. Obama is decrying, and it’s his. We have no idea what Mr. Novak’s item is about and reject it totally. Instead of pointing fingers at us, Sen. Obama should get back to the issues and focus on what this election is really about.”

    Politico also reported Obama campaign manager David Plouffe replied in a statement that Wolfson’s comments represented the “Washington art of evasion and deflection.” He asked: “Are ‘agents’ of their campaign spreading these rumors? And do they have ‘scandalous’ information that they are not releasing? Yes or no?”

    http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003674430

  151. Gorto, my point is, these Iowans don’t even have Hill as their second choice? Hello, Democrat all over the country want her for the nominee. Can they respect any other voters?

  152. The aggressive reaction from Obama campaign seems to suggest two things:

    1) Their internal daily tracking # in key early states is slipping away;
    2) There really is some explosive stuff on Obama, and they know it.

  153. Carson said Saturday that Obama chose to “parrot Republican talking points” in his statement on the Novak article.

    “Bob Novak is a Republican columnist … a Democratic candidate should be smart enough not to fall into a trap he’s set for Democrats to go after each other,” he said. “If you don’t know how to avoid that in the primary, how are you going to avoid it in the general (election)?”
    ****************************************************
    ROTFLMAO!!!

    So glad he they it right back in Obama’s face. Why would he do that unless he trying to bring all the Hillary hates to his team?

    What a idiot! Obama is letting his ambitions override his judgement. The over riding goal is to get a democrat in the White House and all these distractions doesn’t help.

    At least Edwards is getting face time by doing his “look for the union label” walk with the WGA, that’s an issue and smart but this Bullshit Obama doing over a known conservative journalist…..puh-lease.

    What is he thinking…I smell a rat and Obama has my nose twitching.

  154. Try living here MJ. Quit complaining and help us out here. Do something. Anything you can to help us out out here.

  155. I hate hate hate hate Iowa. I reset the fact that they get to make the first decision. Why should a single state be given such a privilege? It’s unfair! I hope that Hillary wins in Iowa. It is a herculean task.

  156. I’m sorry, celiff. It is just so frustrating. I’m curious, do Iowans just dismiss the rest of us who overwhelmingly support Hill? How do they percieve the fact that nearlly half of all Dem’s want her as the nominee?

  157. Secret, I know we are upset, but let’s not hate Iowa. That’s not going to win us any votes. I am baffled that they ignore all of us so easily. What is thear reasoning for how many dem’s support her nationally?

  158. Oops! Sorry Celiff – didn’t mean to be discouraging. I will shut up about Iowa – as you are doing something constructive in the state for our victory. No point whining and complaining – as you say just get on with it!

  159. I know mj, I can’t for the sake of reason understand what is going on in Iowa. It can certainly make you wonder if sexism is in play, although I hate to throw that out there…..but……..
    This is why I am saying there needs to be change, when they get to be so arrogant, as to almost deliberately go the other way, just to be a**holes and show how ‘powerful’ they are. It’s just stubbornness and wrong. I mean, she is doing great in a state like Texas, COMMON!??!!?!

    Kostner I hope you are right, and I chose door number 2!!!

  160. MJ,
    I would have imagined that Iowans will get swayed when nationally there is such overwhelming support for Hillary. Because you always will wonder – wow – what is it that this person has that so many like her to be the nominee. I am gobsmacked that Iowans don’t see it that way. I find their superior outlook a bit off-putting! Can’t be helped. This is the system we have and we need to know how to work it!

  161. They have the obama campaign tactics topic now on the facts hub. They list all the dirty tactics adopted by Obama campaign.

  162. “when they get to be so arrogant, as to almost deliberately go the other way, just to be a**holes and show how ‘powerful’ they are”

    You are spot on Gorto!!!!

  163. This is a hoax. That’s my guess. I read once that Obama was the one who started the madrassa story so he could get the jakarta stuff out early(mind you, that doesn’t bother me at all, I’m not a racist), and at the same time, pin the story on Hill. This seems like a ploy to take attention away from Hill’s debate victory. Maybe it was his own people who planted that bug in Novak’s ear.

  164. I don’t give a damn who the majority supports and neither should Iowans. Don’t sweat it. Hillary has her firewall in place in new Hampshire.

    Clinton went into this race knowing that Iowa would be tough for her and she built her strategy around that. For that fact, Edwards and Obama went into this race knowing it would be tough for them – that’s why Edwards started camping out there a year and a half ago.

    She’s running the smartest campaign I’ve ever seen. It’s going to be fine.

  165. Basement, my point is we’ve been through an intense primary. I live right outside of a primary state so I’ve seen this close up, and I don’t understand why she doesn’t have more support atleast as second choice there. I find it disheartening. But, I agree, there is nothing we can do.

  166. See, this was a lifeline for the Obama camp. He probably planted this story himself. This way people are not talking about Hillary’s victory in NV.

  167. This will NOT help Obama. here’s Talk Left’s take;

    “…Sen. Obama is striking back, not at Novak, but at Hillary, whose campaign has said they have no idea what Novak’s talking about.

    Obama accused Clinton of “Swift boat’ politics” and vowed he will not be intimidated.

    More…

    Even though Novak published it today, it seems dated, like something he has been sitting on:

    It comes during a dip for the front-running Clinton after she refused to take a stand on New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s now discarded plan to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

    That period was weeks ago. It also sounds Republican-generated to me. What Democrats talk to Novak? One problem with Republicans is you can’t trust the description of them as sources. Remember when Scooter Libby told Judith Miller to refer to him as a hill staffer when using information he provided her?

    Novak has zero credibility on this and Obama should know better.”

    leftword.blogdig.net/archives/articles/November2007/17/Novak__Obama_and_Hillary__Don_t_Fall_for_It.html

  168. Judgment is one of the qualities Obama is running on. Overreacting to this story and aiming his fire in the wrong direction will have the chattering class questioning his JUDGEMENT.

  169. Whatever/whomever is behind, it will be interesting to see what Novaks response to this will be. Will he defend himself and his story?? Or back off and find and excuse??

  170. hey there celiff…greetings from NH
    thought i’d let you know i’m on your side and truly appreciate the hard work you’re doing in iowa. sometimes it is not easy being one of the early states as the entire nation descends upon you and micro-anal-yzes your every move. people should understand, as we well know, that the HRC campaign staff is the best and the brightest. i am confident they will do what is necessary in iowa to win. we are all in this together with our eye on the prize.

  171. He’s going to sit back and bask in the spotlight for awhile before he reveals anything, he’s been persona-non grata since the PlameGate case broke, and he walked out, cursing, in the middle of an interview on CNN a couple of years ago.
    Think of how stupid the Obama camp is for not back-channeling the Clinton campaign for attribution, and rushing to attack not the author (Novak), but the OTHER person (Clinton) being smeared by the item.
    That the item did neither one any good should have been a red flag, if not the SOURCE.

  172. Celiff, I hope you know I adore you, and I am totally thankful you are in Hill’s corner. It’s just frustrating that more Iowans don’t like our girl.

  173. Let’s ask ourselves – if there is truth to Novak’s charge that there is a bad story out there on Obama, who would want it to come out BEFORE Iowa?

    Hmmmmm…..

  174. Hey all. Maybe we are the “agents”. Remember when there was talk of rumors. I think Kostner said something all the lines of I hope they have something on Obama and lot’s of us were like even if they do they won’t use it. So we know the media comes around here. So maybe Novak just wanted to stir the pot a little. Hehehe.

  175. By Mark Felsenthal

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top Democratic rivals for president tore into each other on Saturday after a conservative columnist asserted front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed to have damaging information about Barack Obama.

    The Clinton campaign denied the accusation, saying Obama’s reaction to the vaguely worded column by Robert Novak played into Republican hands and showed the Illinois senator’s lack of political savvy.

    Obama’s team later said they took the Clinton campaign at its word but bristled at the idea they fell for Republican tricks and should not have fought back against “smear politics” in the race for the presidency in the November 2008 election.

    Clinton, a senator from New York and the wife of former President Bill Clinton, has been the target of frequent attacks by Obama and some of the other Democratic contenders for the White House over her ability to deliver straight answers.

    Novak, a syndicated columnist, wrote: “Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party’s presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it.”

    Novak did not specify the information or give more details about its source.

    Obama, a first-term senator seeking to portray himself as an alternative to traditional Washington politics, seized on the article and said Clinton should either come forward with any information she has or repudiate Novak’s column.

    “She of all people, having complained so often about ‘the politics of personal destruction,’ should move quickly to either stand by or renounce these tactics,” Obama said in his initial statement.
    He called the column “a shameless item” aimed at smearing him through “innuendo and insinuation.”

    Clinton’s camp quickly fired back.

    “A Republican-leaning journalist runs a blind item designed to set Democrats against one another. Experienced Democrats see this for what it is. Others get distracted and thrown off their games,” Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a statement.

    “We have no idea what Mr. Novak’s item is about and reject it totally.”

    IOWA BATTLE LOOMS

    The sharp exchange reflects the rising intensity of the campaign seven weeks before Iowa opens the state-by-state battle in each party to pick nominees to run for president.

    Clinton leads Obama and former Sen. John Edwards in national polls. But in Iowa, the race is much closer.

    At a debate among the Democratic hopefuls in Las Vegas on Thursday, Clinton — seeking to rebound after what was seen as a lackluster performance in a prior debate — unveiled a more aggressive tone, charging Edwards with “throwing mud.”

    The war of words was criticized as divisive by two of the other Democratic hopefuls, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden.
    “Let’s stop this mud-slinging,” Richardson said during Thursday’s debate.

    Novak, the columnist, drew wide attention in 2003 with an article divulging the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of a prominent critic of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    Lewis Libby, a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, was later found guilty of lying and obstructing the investigation into who blew Plame’s cover.

    (Additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by John O’Callaghan)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN1743072420071117?pageNumber=3

  176. I am positive – that “I won’t be swiftboated” moment is created by Obama. This is done so people will forget the debate.

  177. I just read that Obama came out and said “Hillary” should tell what she has about me. This is insane. Why on earth is he doing this?

    What does anyone think about this? Is this a tactic to put our campaign on the backfoot? Will it work? Anyone??

  178. A tense back-and-forth erupted between two top Democratic presidential candidates on Saturday as Sen. Barack Obama accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of spreading rumors that her campaign is in possession of potentially damaging information about her rival.

    Robert Novak wrote in his syndicated weekend column that “agents” of the Clinton campaign had been “spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent.” Novak did not offer any further details about what the allegedly negative information might be.

    The Obama campaign lashed out at the report, saying it was “devoid of facts, but heavy on innuendo and insinuation of the sort to which we’ve become all too accustomed in our politics these past two decades.”
    The Obama challenged Clinton’s campaign to either make the negative information public “or concede the truth: that there is none.”

    Clinton campaign aides, in turn, denied any knowledge about what led to the Novak item and accused Obama of “echoing Republican talking points,” and falling prey to a conservative columnist’s attempts to pit Democrats against each other. Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, responded to that by accusing the Clinton campaign of evading the question of whether she was behind it.
    “The Clinton campaign refuses to answer two simple, direct questions: Are ‘agents’ of their campaign spreading these rumors? And do they have ‘scandalous’ information that they are not releasing?” Plouffe wrote.
    Escalating the exchange further still, the Clinton campaign again mocked Obama for betraying his promise to implement a “politics of hope” and said he was wasting his time on insubstantial matters.
    “It’s telling that the Obama campaign would rather spend the day throwing mud in Bob Novak’s sandbox than talking about the issues,” Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman, wrote. “Our statement was crystal clear: Democratic voters should be concerened about any presidential candidate inexperienced enough to fall for Republican talking points. The Clinton campaign has nothing to do with this item.”
    None of the parties involved — including Novak — specified what the rumors might be. Novak wrote that Clinton had “decided not to use” the material.

    “This word-of-mouth among Democrats makes Obama look vulnerable and Clinton look prudent,” Novak wrote, in the brief, three paragraph item.

    –Anne E. Kornblut

    blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2007/11/17/clinton_obama_feud_over_novaks.html

  179. I think this is just showing his inexperience. The Clinton camp gave him his chance to walk away gracefully when announcing they had no dirt on him and had nothing to do with this article.

    If what you say secret is true, and he still continues this after Clinton camp denounced this, it is only showing his inexperience, and he is clearly grasping for straws.
    It think it will backfire on him, maybe not amongst the people, but the media, and before he realizes his mistake, it will be too late.
    He tried to score on this, but he chose the wrong battle.

  180. Well, if this thing is over, haha, it was fun tho, then Obama certainly jumped the ship with this latest attempt at trying to build some credentials by fighting ‘the old political system of fighting’.

    I don’t know, I’m biased, but still, this didn’t exactly make him look any good, nor experienced, 😀 What do you guys think? What will the media, and their words of wisdom spread?
    Was it a wise move by Obama? (I find it hard to believe)

  181. I don’t know what the media will think. I found it all very bizarre. Maybe they just wanted to divert attention from her good showing in Vegas.

  182. The thing is kind of amusing. Obama hyperventilating because Hillary wasn’t going to reveal something she claimed she didn’t have.

    I’ve done a lot of stuff in my life I don’t want people to know. I can imagine that were someone to say he or she had the goods on me, my mind would race to several dark corners and wonder whether that was what she or he had. My guess is that Obama got scared.

    Another alternative is that “LA Times” rumor we heard a few week back was true, and Obama panicked it was about to break.

  183. I don’t know, I still think he maybe just didn’t like Hillary’s vegas performance sucking all the air from his campaign.

  184. I’m with Secret. This was likely created by Obama as a distraction from the debate. The timing is highly suspicious. Besides, if Hillary had stuff on Obama, her “agents” wouldn’t be telling the world they had it now, would they? This is the most leak-free campaign in history, remember?

  185. Hehe, as always Taylor Marsh is all over the lastest developments:

    “I guess after Thursday’s pounding, Mr. Obama and his team are ready to grasp at anything. We’ve now entered the moment where leading Democrats would rather listen to right-wing rants than give the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination the benefit of the doubt. Not very impressive on Mr. Obama’s part, I must say.

    The guy who dropped a dime on a covert CIA operative is back and Mr. Obama is buying into his baloney. The conservative cauldron is sure bubbling today. Question is why is anyone paying attention to this guy? “

  186. Robert Novak has made a staple out of claiming that his “well-placed Democratic sources” tell him something or other, almost always that the front-runner or nominee is very troubling to the ‘pros’ in the party. I think it is possible to replace “agents of HRC” with “Karl Rove”.

    Iowa is a. atypical but more important is b. highly motivated to keep their verdict confidential so that they become so important. In fact, the CW is that we can ignored Hillary’s huge leads in about 47 states because it all depends on Iowa where her lead is small.

    Which brings me to the last point. Let’s start a blog, inviting Hillary supporters to write in if a loss in Iowa would prompt them to change their vote in NH, CA, NV or anywhere else. How many people would agree? How far woud she drop from 50%?
    It’s hard for me to envision: “Gee, Maude, I’ve changed my mind. Hillary didn’t win in Iowa where we hoped she might tie. Let’s switch to Barry O’Bammon — maybe he’s the winner.” But I could be wrong. Let’s hear from you ready-to-switch supporters.

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