Hillary Clinton’s Backbone

The backbone is an important feature of human anatomy. Vision, muscles, connective tissue, strong heart, powerful brain, locomotive legs are important too. But the backbone is what keeps us standing up.

Today the Boston Globe examines Hillary Clinton’s political backbone. This is not the political backbone of courage and fight which our plucky heroine demonstrates every day, today, and for the past 35 years. The Globe is writing about the political backbone that keeps Hillary standing – women – blue collar women:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is capitalizing on an overlooked strain of feminism in blue-collar women – nurse’s aides, factory workers, farmers, and single mothers – to help fuel her strength among the Democratic candidates for president.

Even many working-class women who have spent their lives in traditional roles at home and work have been animated by Clinton’s effort to shatter what she has called “the highest, hardest glass ceiling.”

In recent interviews, some of these Clinton supporters say that they have been impressed enough by her advocacy for healthcare and children to jettison their previous views of her as a brash, ambitious lawyer and politician. Some said a female president would do things not just differently, but better.

“We need to have a woman president,” said Honey Davis, 64, of Onawa, Iowa, a longtime nurse’s aide who has diabetes. “A woman would be a little more tender-hearted toward the people, and knowledgeable about family issues.”

In addition, Davis said, because of Clinton’s experience watching the wheels of power grind while she was first lady, the New York senator “will have some ways of getting around the old-boy type of thing.”

Clinton is viewed more favorably in general by women than men. Increased support among college-educated and professional women – her peers – helped fuel a late summer surge that nearly doubled her lead in the national polls.

The finger bowl courtesans of Washington are upset that Hillary does not invite them to tea. The finger bowl courtesans complain to their Big Media husbands about mean ol’ Hillary. The finger bowl courtesans start websites and write columns and get the vapors just thinking about that, that, that… Hillary. That mean ol’ Hillary would rather listen to those other… women… than the finger bowl courtesans.

But the backbone of her support, going back to her first US Senate race seven years ago, remains among those who resemble her the least – blue-collar and working-class women, as well as black women. Analysts say she connects with working-class women emotionally by presenting an image as a fighter who has overcome obstacles in her life, and appeals to them politically by offering proposals that would help their pocketbooks. As the most recent polls show her neck-and-neck with Barack Obama in Iowa and the gap closing in New Hampshire, one constituency she consistently wins hands-down is working-class women. A Boston Globe poll this month of likely primary voters in New Hampshire suggested that Clinton has higher support among Democratic women without a college degree than among better-educated women. Several national polls have shown the same trend.

Clinton’s campaign has tried to exploit this advantage with several events geared toward working-class women, including a series of evening telephone calls called “The Dishes are Done,” when Clinton gets on the line to speak with groups of undecided New Hampshire women. [snip]

Last month, she regaled an audience in Manchester, N.H., with stories about how awkward it was at her Little Rock, Ark., law firm when she became visibly pregnant, and how she didn’t know what to do when baby Chelsea was crying inconsolably. [snip]

The Globe poll found that New Hampshire Democrats of both genders consider healthcare the biggest issue facing the country, ahead of the war in Iraq. Clinton has campaigned proudly on her bid to enact universal healthcare in the early 1990s, despite the fact that she failed. She also speaks often of how her first job out of law school was at the Children’s Defense Fund.

“My guess is it’s a combination of her experience on healthcare, and being a woman,” said Schildkraut.

Ann Lewis, Clinton’s top adviser on women’s outreach, attributed the candidate’s success with blue-collar women to her history of working on healthcare and children’s issues, as well as her personal story.

“They know she’s been a good mother, and that’s very important to them,” Lewis said. “Here’s someone who’s juggled a job, raised a family, and volunteered. That’s what they think people should do.”

This backbone vote has to be roused in Iowa and the early primary states.

Democratic women in Iowa who haven’t participated in caucuses in the recent past will be targeted by a national group seeking to boost Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The campaign by Emily’s List is called Iowa Women Vote and comes as part of an intensifying effort to reach out to particular groups of new voters who could be key to success for the winning candidate in Iowa.

The initiative includes both a new Web site at www.yougogirl.com and eight-page, how-to-caucus booklets to be sent to Iowa women who didn’t caucus four years ago. About 100,000 Iowa women will get some kind of mailing.

“Caucusing can be fun! See for yourself!” announces the Web site, where women share stories about caucuses they have attended and a step-by-step guide explains what happens at a caucus. [snip]

Maren Hesla, director of the women’s vote program for the group, said Tuesday that an estimated 80 percent of active registered Democratic women in Iowa did not attend the 2004 presidential caucuses. “So there’s a large universe of women we can be targeting,” she said.

An October online survey commissioned by the group showed Clinton leads among women who were somewhat less likely to caucus, Hesla said. The survey also identified a need to “demystify the caucus process,” with a majority of respondents saying it would be helpful to have a Web site with caucus information, she said.

The Associated Press surveys the current state of the Democratic presidential race and Hillary’s backbone support:

The campaign’s first voting state has become so vital that all the Democrats are focused on it. It’s where front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton hopes to begin a no-stumbles sprint to the nomination, and it’s the one place her opponents have a chance to slow her.

Most state and national polls indicate Clinton is strong, but her opponents see reason for hope in just the past couple of weeks. [snip]

Yet if Clinton can win Iowa, she seems headed toward the nomination. She has comfortable leads in the states that follow and tens of millions of dollars to continue a vigorous fight.

First she must get past Iowa, which she has called her “toughest state.”

The state of play in Iowa with 45 pledged delegates:

State polls show a tight race among Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards with the rest of the field lagging behind. But polling is notoriously difficult among potential caucus participants, making the true state of play very difficult to gauge.

Clinton’s strategists believe a key source of potential strength lies with women who have never attended one of the state’s 1,784 precinct caucuses. The campaign is building a “buddy system” to match experienced caucus participants with the novices, and is offering transportation and child care.

The Obama campaign has a similar strategy with young voters, connecting them with veteran caucus goers. The “Barack Stars” are high school seniors supporting the Illinois senator – they can vote in caucuses if they’ll turn 18 by the time of the general election Nov. 4 – and he has strong support among college students.

Edwards is concentrating on a strategy that served him well four years ago when he finished a close second in Iowa – bringing out the reliable caucus goers, particularly in rural areas. He’s the only Democratic candidate to have visited all 99 Iowa counties, and the 2004 vice presidential nominee has gotten some key labor support here.

The state of play in New Hampshire with 22 pledged delegates:

Clinton’s once-commanding lead in New Hampshire has diminished somewhat in recent weeks, but it’s still in the range of 11 to 15 percentage points. Her strategy here is to build a New Hampshire firewall that would withstand an unpredictable outcome in Iowa.

Clinton has traveled to each of New Hampshire’s 10 counties and has secured the backing of most of the Democratic establishment. The campaign has made more than 250,000 phone calls to voters.

Obama has started advertising in New Hampshire and is courting Democrats as well as the independents who can participate in the party’s primary. His campaign stages house-to-house canvassing and phone banks every night and weekend, with 800 people knocking on doors one weekend in November. “When people begin to decide, we’re going to be at their doors,” said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.

Edwards is in a distant third place here. He has more than 60 staff on the ground and bought air time touting his health care plan in commercials that were already airing in Iowa.

The state of play in Michigan with 128 pledged delegates (Hillary pretty much has won this state already because most of the other candidates have foolishly insulted Michigan and pulled their names from the ballot):

The parties wanted a state-run primary on Jan. 15, and the Michigan Supreme Court gave the go-ahead this week. It could be irrelevant to the candidates, however. They’ve signed a pledge to skip the state if it goes ahead and holds the contest that early -against the early-primary rules of the national party.

The state of play in Nevada with 25 pledged delegates:

Clinton is far-and-away the leader in Nevada with double the support of Obama in a recent poll.

The Clinton and Obama campaigns have been working with experienced Iowa caucus organizers, developing a precinct-by-precinct system similar to Iowa’s. Edwards moved staff from Nevada to Iowa over the summer, but recently has added organizers back to his Nevada operation.

The campaigns are awaiting a coveted endorsement expected in early December – that of the 60,000-member Culinary Union, which represents most employees on the Las Vegas strip.

The state of play in South Carolina with 45 pledged delegates:

Clinton holds a wide lead in most polls, and the campaign is working to reinforce her position in South Carolina amid an expected strong challenge from Obama. He is running to become the first black president, and blacks make up about 50 percent of Democratic primary voters in the state.

Campaign officials note two major advantages for Clinton in the state: her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and her strength among older voters and women, no matter what skin color. Former President Clinton remains popular among blacks and has campaigned extensively for his wife here.

Obama has been advertising on three dozen black radio stations across the state – the most recent spot features him talking about growing up without his father.

Edwards, who was born in South Carolina, won the state’s primary in 2004. But he’s been polling a distant third this time. Last week he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to advertise on South Carolina television, touting his roots.

The state of play in Florida with 185 delegates (Hillary has pretty much won this state already too. Hillary is very far ahead in the polls and none of the candidates can campaign in Florida.)

Florida falls under the candidates’ pledge not to campaign in states that violate national party rules in scheduling their nominating contests. Florida plans to hold a primary a week earlier than allowed.

The candidates have not been holding campaign events in Florid, but still have been aggressively raising money there.

The Super Duper February 5, 2008 25 states with minimum 1,370 delegates:

With 370 pledged delegates, California remains the biggest prize. Clinton maintains a wide lead in California polls, and has launched “Hillcorps,” an extensive volunteer outreach effort. Obama is holding “Camp Obama” training for volunteer organizers in California and in other Feb. 5 states such as Georgia, Missouri, Alabama and Illinois, his home state.

Clinton is expected to cruise in her home state of New York and neighboring New Jersey. Besides the large delegate states, Obama’s campaign is focusing on caucus states like Colorado and Minnesota where local organizations are necessary for victory.

Edwards does not have staff in Feb. 5 states, banking that a win in Iowa can propel him to victory elsewhere, particularly Southern states such as Arkansas and his home state of North Carolina.

Richardson is counting on strong support in New Mexico and other Western states, including Colorado, Arizona and Wyoming. But he’ll have to beat expectations elsewhere to make it that far.

Things look good with 40 days until the first voting date (remember those absentee ballots though, Hillary Team).


76 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton’s Backbone

  1. The responsibility factor is huge with women. Dealing with their jobs, children, dinner, school, homework, doctor and dental apts, transportation, after school child care, sport schedules, juggling 7 or 8 balls in the air all the time.

    Obama and Edwards insinuations that they are more honest than Hillary casts a long shadow on all women. For all that Hillary has accomplished in helping women and children, knowing what it takes to keep the family dynamic running smoothly day in and day out. Edwards and Obama need to be brought to task on this issue.

    Mrs. S.

  2. I read somewhere that Hillary’s campaign in California is working hard on absentee ballots. They hope to have the outcome in California wrapped up before February 5.

  3. DC yes..

    The goal in California is to Encourage Hillary supporters to vote absentee this year. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  4. hi hillfans, im spending a quiet day at home this saturday. slow political news though. like the diary above, i think the hillary team is thinking and getting ready for the big super tuesday voting on feb 5th. she will end this primary run most likely there. the wife and i are thinking of voting absentee for feb 5th to help out the caimpaign here in ct. jan. 15th we start the absentee voting 3 weeks prior to the big vote.

  5. i really like absentee/mail in voting. the wife and i voted absentee in 2006. we don’t feel rushed,studying the ballot, check referendums and very convient. the problem here you need a excuse to vote absentee. i wish we were like ca,oregon, and washington state where you have the no-excuse mail-in vote.

  6. Howard Kurtz, “Clinton Team Is Quick to Bat Down Rumors,” WaPo, 11/24/07

    Good rehash pointing out rapid response team’s ability to smack things down and nip them in the bud.

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/ 2007/11/23/AR2007112301659.html

  7. SUSA Kentucky:

    Clinton (D) 48%, Giuliani (R) 44%
    Clinton (D) 54%, Romney (R) 39%
    Clinton (D) 55%, Huckabee (R) 36%
    Clinton (D) 48%, McCain (R) 47%
    Giuliani (R) 52%, Obama (D) 38%
    Romney (R) 44%, Obama (D) 43%
    Obama (D) 44%, Huckabee (R) 42%
    McCain (R) 56%, Obama (D) 34%

    surveyusa.com/client/ PollReportEmail.aspx?g=8d04025f-3b99-41fd-b488-a470924222b1

  8. Ok. Stay with me here. I’m retracing some of my old favorite blog sites and was reading today’s Rude Pundit in which the Rude One (formerly of Daily Kos) linked to an article he had written August 20, 2007, after Karl Rove had appeared on three Sunday talk shows.

    The Rude One wrote that it seems only Fox News’ Chris Wallace had managed to get under Rove’s skin. Note the language (ok, I highlighted the key words):

    “Yes, Wallace was irritating the shit out of Rove, and finally, the flesh mask melted away for a moment, revealing the voracious, scabby visage that’d make Medusa say, ‘Goddamn, wrap a scarf around that shit or something.’ When Wallace pushed on the attorney firings, Rove’s contempt for all those who would question him leaped to the fore: ‘I know you don’t understand you’re being an agent of Congress when you ask me that question, but you are.’ Got that? Chris Wallace of Fox ‘news’ is just a tool of those f..kers in Congress who would dare question the White House.

    “Wallace, in a line that would be laughable in most other contexts replied, ‘I like to think I’m an agent of the public, not the Congress.’ Rove would not back down, saying to Wallace, ‘Well, in this instance, you’re an agent of Senator Leahy and Congressman Waxman.’ So to even question the notion of executive privilege is to be named an enemy of the administration. And you see that language – ‘an agent’, doing their ‘bidding’.”

    Does this not have the now-familiar ring of Bob Novak’s smear?

    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.”

    It has been speculated that Rove and Novak were in on this together and this phrasing leads me to the distinct possibility that it is true.

    And, if you recall, it was Rove who leaked information to Novak back during the George H.W. Bush era and got fired for his efforts.

    The link for the rest of the Rude Pundit article follows. In the article, the Rude One was actually addressing Rove’s attitude/campaign against Hillary.

    rudepundit.blogspot.com/ 2007/08/beelzebub-meets-sunday-press-testament.html

  9. Let us remember that Republicans ran and financed Al Sharpton’s campaign. Now I like Sharpton a lot – he’s a smart guy and I think he did well by himself in his run so I’m not complaining here. The point is that Republicans hoped to disrupt the Democratic primary by sponsoring Sharpton.

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Obama is running this time out. Who would encourage a guy with only two years in the Senate and a breezy campaign against a mentally defective, and recently transplated to Illinois, Alan Keyes to run for the presidency. It occurs to me that Republicans would encourage him to run. And so if he is in cahoots with Rove and Novak on this, that does not surprise me. The whole thing seemed awfully coordinated to me.

    I think the GOP has managed to infiltrate his campaign.

  10. Terrondt,

    You seem up on things so I’ll ask you and the rest of this literate board. Am I the only one who just recently learned a bunch of stuff about Obama? (Rezko, drugs, voting record) I’ve talked with friends and they didn’t know most of it.

    Is this another case of terrible reporting on a candidate? I don’t even want to list my questions because I don’t want to imply anything but does everyone but me know the basic facts like the source of his wealth?

    On another front, are people still saying “I don’t know anyone who is for Hillary”? Because I don’t know anyone who isn’t. My work is done.

  11. The reporting hasn’t been indepth on any of the candidates. Look at how few people have a genuine awareness of how Clinton has voted – much less any of the other candidates. The news media feels no professional responsibility to investigate any of the candidate’s because it might complicate their efforts to smear them.

  12. B Merryfield (2:50): good research and good detective work.

    There is strong circumstantial evidence that Novak and Rove conspired to create this rumor. Their long term association, the Plame precedent, Novak’s evasiveness, the common motive and now the idiosyncratic use of the word “agent”.

    I bet those two sit back and laugh when big media prima donas like Pumpkin head and Mad Man Matthews swallow it hook line and sinker. It plays well to their double standard.

    And then there is candidate Obama. Did he fall for it, did he pursue it for opportunistic reasons, is he using it to fend off more damaging inquiries like Rezko, was he complicit- or all of the above?

  13. freckles, the stuff is out there but the so called msm will not report obama’s “problems” becuase it will complicate thier democratic primary battle and give nothing for them to talk about ubtil the dem convention. this blog and very few other sources are the only places to get the scoop on obama and his rezko problem. they will not report it. period.

  14. It is good to see our girl standing up to China on dangerous defective toys they are exporting to our country, and not letting them get away with it. This is reflective of her long term commitment to children, and to smart trade which works in favor of the American People and holds nations who violate trade rules accountable.

    Can you think of one single instance where Bush stood up to China? The only time I can recall was when he went looking for the men’s room and couldn’t find the door.

  15. Clinton digs in on toxic toys after China’s ‘slander’

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton Friday slammed China for calling her criticism of made-in-China toys “slander,” and urged Washington to take “immediate, decisive steps” to protect US children.

    Clinton’s statement came a day after China railed against her warning Tuesday of a dangerous tide of Chinese-made gifts, saying that “any slander or exaggeration of facts is irresponsible.”

    “This is the same government that just this month revoked the licenses of more than 750 of its toy companies because of quality control problems and ordered another 690 to renovate or improve their facilities, even as it asserted that 99 percent of toy exports met quality standards,” Clinton said in her statement.

    “And the Chinese government’s watchdog agency reported earlier this year that 20 percent of the toys made and sold in China pose safety risks. That is unacceptable.”

    Clinton also took up China’s claim that the majority of problems with Chinese toy exports were due to “design faults by (foreign) importers and designers.”

    The New York Senator said US companies “have to do a better job at every stage of the process … to make sure that the toys they are bringing into this country — and profiting from — do not pose risks to children.”

    “As the holiday shopping season begins,” Clinton said, “our government should be taking immediate, decisive steps to ensure that the toys we are importing from China and other countries are safe.”

    China is the world’s top toy exporter, selling 22 billion toys overseas last year, or 60 percent of the globe’s total.

    Chinese-made products ranging from seafood to car tires have been targeted in a spate of overseas safety recalls this year, with toys in the spotlight in recent months.

    In one high profile case, US toy giant Mattel recalled 18 million toys in August, including Barbie Dolls and Batman action figures, amid concern the toys had been made with toxic lead paints and magnets that posed a choking risk to children

  16. A couple of comments from a first-time poster. I think this site is very insightful and interesting to read. While I do not agree with every HRC action or position (does anyone?) I do believe that she offers the best chance for a Democratic victory and the start of undoing the unimaginable wrongs that have been perpetrated by her fellow Yale alum over the past 8 years. The debate regarding electability is fascinating to me. HRC is THE ONLY Dem who would win a national election no matter who survives the GOP internecine warfare. Obama is one of the “Not Ready For Prime-Time Players”. Edwards talks like a populist Dem but acts like anything but. Richardson would make a good VP, as would Biden (the plagiarism thing is played out). Dodd can be in HRC’s Cabinet, and Kucinich can become head of NASA so he can hook up with those aliens he’s spotted.

    When the delegates are counted, HRC will be the nominee. Nobody has a perfectly smooth ride to a nomination, but any battles will strengthen her and her team for the general election and the lowball tactics sure to be unleashed by her opponent and the 527s.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  17. Thanks for your post, westhouse.

    “Nobody has a perfectly smooth ride to a nomination, but any battles will strengthen her and her team for the general election and the lowball tactics sure to be unleashed by her opponent and the 527s.”

    Excellent point.

  18. welcome aboard westhouse. i am guilty of the ups and downs, twists and turns of the caimpaign. i have to settle down and look at the big picture. team hillary is built for the longhaul.

  19. Speaking of ridiculous quotes, check out David Brooks from the Lehrer News Hour, during ‘Shields & Brooks’ on Friday:

    “And I think Obama did himself enormous credit in the last debate when he really looked coldly at Hillary Clinton. You got the sense they really do not like each other. And whoever did well in the words of the debate, the body language was frigid, and I think for a lot of people who are suspicious or uncomfortable with Hillary Clinton, but want somebody to really stand up and show them how to be uncomfortable with her, he did that with the language.”

    WHAAAAAT ???

    Obama stood up to Hillary by “being uncomfortable with her” ?

    Does Brooks buy his own stupid pills or is someone providing them to him for free ?

  20. BTW, leaking that stuff to Novak is Rove’s MO. I’ll bet he did it. Since the whole point was to make Obama AND Hillary look bad, it seems more and more likely he was involved. Hillary’s campaign probably knows it, too. And Rove/Novak figured Obama would take the bait, which he did.

  21. BTW, here’s what our girl was up to today:

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday pledged to help autistic families by boosting funding for research and education to $700 million a year.
    “Driven by their love and devotion, mothers and fathers across the country have raised awareness, demanded funding, and opened our eyes to the needs of so many children,” she told a crowd of hundreds gathered at the Jesse E. Marshall Boys Club of Sioux City. “It’s up to us to reclaim the future for our children, and ensure that every child can live up to his or her God-given potential.”
    She said when it comes to autism, “we don’t know how to cure it, and we don’t even know the best ways to treat it.”
    “I think it’s time we had a government and a president who recognized the seriousness of autism and addressed it head-on,” Clinton said.
    The number of autism diagnoses has risen from one in 10,000 in 1993, to one in 150 in 2007 — or about 25,000 children diagnosed with autism each year, Clinton said. She called the disorder a national health crisis, saying it costs the nation at least $35 billion each year.
    Clinton outlined her years helping children with autism, including co-sponsoring legislation called the Combating Autism Act in 2006, and earlier this year the Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act. She criticized President Bush for refusing to fully fund such efforts.
    If she’s elected, Clinton said she would also take other autism initiatives including:
    — Expanding research to identify the causes of autism, including potential environmental reasons.
    — Improving education and early detection and intervention, including creating a task force to investigate autism treatments and services.
    — Training for teachers to instruct children with autism.
    Lee Grossman, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America, said the investment America makes in early identification, services and support “will create opportunities for these individuals to contribute meaningfully in our society — as is their right.”
    “Senator Clinton’s plan is a very important step in that direction,” Grossman said in a statement provided by Clinton’s campaign.
    Clinton used the opportunity to talk about health care. She said families dealing with conditions such as autism find that “often times insurance is so expensive you can’t afford it, or the insurance doesn’t cover the very thing you need it for.”
    The universal health care plan she’s proposed would help all families, including those dealing with autism, to afford quality health care — as good as what members of Congress are getting, she said.
    “Parents will no longer be burdened by unmanageable premiums just because their children have autism,” Clinton said.
    At a firehouse later in Sac City, a woman asked Clinton about relations with Iran.
    The New York senator defended her vote earlier this year to dub the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. She said the vote was made to kick-start diplomatic talks and drive economic sanctions against the guard, which she said “is deeply involved in all of the commercial activity in Iran.”
    Clinton has been criticized by some of her rivals for her support of the resolution, which they said could lead to war. Clinton said that’s not the case.
    “It’s very important that we prevent President Bush from trying to take this country to war against Iran,” she said.
    She said that since the sanctions were imposed, talks have resumed with Iran and the Iranians have curbed sending agents and explosives into Iraq.
    “I believe a contributing factor to the Iranians backing off is getting tougher on the economic sanctions agenda against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard,” she said.

  22. Thanks for the responses here. I just read a Michael Kinsley column which mystified me completely. It opened by talking about Hillary’s comment about not hiring a president-in-training and Obama’s comment that Hillary wasn’t the treasury secretary. Kinsley thought that the “wit went to Obama”.

    We are no longer living in the same world. It was wit to Kinsley, inanity to me.

    The column went on to equate their experience (6 or 8 years in the state senate with 6 in the U.S. senate!?) and to negate her 8 years in the White House. This is the second time I’ve heard this, the first time because she didn’t have an official title. Am I the only one who finds this preposterous?

    No vice president has ever been called inexperienced and no vice president has ever been as close to all aspects of the presidency as this First Lady. When Eisenhower was asked what Nixon had done as VP, he said, “Give me a week and I’ll think of something.”

    Hillary was certainly involved in and learned all about picking good people for the administration.
    That alone is worth a tremendous amount as we can see from this administration which is completely missing this gene.

    Finally, can someone as aware of politics as Kinsley, think that voting for Obama is not as hopeless as voting for Nader was? The only reason he gives for his support is that he likes the way Obama thinks about his answer as he gives one. He doesn’t mention that he comes up with the wrong answer too many times. (See Pakistan, invading)

    It is tough to keep a clear head when, all around you, people have lost theirs.

  23. Apropos of the first entry above, won’t it be grand when we have someone in the White House who is competent, caring, dependable. Namely Hillary.

    When it comes to the job of President, those qualities are far more important than likeability. Surely, the disasterous Bush presidency has taught us that much.

  24. freckles —

    The WP Kinsley article mystified me. It attempts to legitimize time in Indonesia at 6 years old as foreign policy experience.

    It also attempts to reduce Hillary’s WH experience to “pillow talk.”

    Hillary Clinton, who saw it all — well, she apparently missed one key moment — and shared in all the big decisions. Every first lady is promoted as her husband’s key adviser, closest confidant, blah, blah, blah, but in the case of the Clintons, it seems to be true. Pillow talk is good experience.

    The “apparently missed one key moment” is intended to degrade as well.

    A final comment on the following:

    More profoundly, some people see her as having used her marriage as a shortcut to feminism.

    Anybody else getting really tired of this meme from sexist journalists? Fact is, both Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama served as the “breadwinners” while their husbands pursued elective office. Why isn’t anyone bitching about the shortcuts the men took by virtue their married status?

  25. Who is this ass? He sounds like a sexist fool. Well, few people take editorials to heart. Remember McCain was the media darling in ’00.

  26. For whatever reason, the WP has been carrying Obama’s water for this entire primary season. I suspect that if you look at the board of the WashPostCo, you’ll find a lot of Obama supporters/donors.

  27. I’m with you, HillaryLandRocks. It looks like Obama boosters are grasping at straws to denigrate her experience and overinflate his. Besides, Hillary talks about fighting for issues she cares about for 35 years, which encompasses a lot more than her Senate career and stint as first lady.

    And, yes, the sexism is quite obvious.

  28. mj, Kinsley is a well-known, left-leaning journalist. But I don’t care what he thinks. We all know the Georgetown Social Club, as hwc calls it, and other Beltway types love Obama and despise the Clintons. But the voters have the final say, don’t they?

  29. Paula, the elite editorialist dispise Hillary and adore Obama. The right wing editorialist just don’t want Hillary to win. The average voter, doesn’t care mush what either thinks.

  30. I also find it odd that the press never mentions her education and health care work as AR’s First Lady. It formed the basis for Bill’s Gov re-election!

  31. Freckles, I am less bothered by Kingsleys comments than others. If he tells the reader up front that he is an Obama supporter, then the reader is on notice and can logically assume that he is not a truth teller, but an advocate for a particular point of view. The reader can then weigh and discount his comments accordingly.

    For example, if he is talking about experience as it relates to the job of President, and fails to consider what Hillary was exposed to and learned as a highly intelligent and very engaged First Lady in a successful two term administration, then his bias, motive and interest are obvious, and his opinion can be discounted accordingly.

  32. The other thing about Kingsley is that he is an intellectual, much like Obama. Thus, his affinity for Obama is hardly surprising. William Buckley brought him on Firing Line in the late 1960’s to provide a liberal counter point. And, I think he was on the msnbc payroll at one point. His analysis has never been terribly impressive. I doubt it carries much weight.

  33. Kingsley has outbreaks of assholery – this is nothing new. He was in on ridiculing the idea that the election was stolen from Gore. He can be breathtakingly insightful or a total joke – I have no idea how someone can be so inconstant.

  34. i read a comment today that honed in on the one other thing i think would help beat back obama on-focus on hillary the conscience on the bill clinton whitehouse. she fought the bankruptcy bill-kept it from becomming law. she resisted elements of welfare reform etc. hillary is a real progressive. not bush lite. i think its time for reminders on that. this would work on many levels for her i think-help her in he primary and help distance her enough from some of bill’s darker days in the white house.

  35. wbboei: You are quite right — as are the many responders — to my Kinsley questions. I am just astonished at the turning of white to black and up to down from people who have a general, in the ballpark, view of life as I do.

    I just read a column from a Ms. Strassler (?) in, I think, the WSJ. Now you don’t expect much from this source but she was writing about the problem with Hillary as opposed to the “squeaky clean Obama”. It leaves two possibilities: she doesn’t read newspapers or anything else, or she has investigated this man and does not consider monetary gifts from a slumlord under investigation and now indicted to be any sort of blot on Obama’s copybook. Even Obama has admitted it was a “mistake”.

    The press should stop obsessing about Hillary’s faults and start worrying about their obvious and enormous shortcomings.

  36. You know, I just avoid most editorials about Hillary. The press despises her. If it helps any, they also hated Bill.

  37. hillary hits her highest natl numhttp://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/29123/democrats_2008_hillary_52_obama_29bers:

  38. Here’s interesting good news/good news from David Yepsen via FauxNews: Edwards is collapsing and Richardson is moving up to take his place, leaving a three-way race. BO came have Iowa, Hillary comes in a strong second, and Richardson third. Edwards falls back to fourth or less. Then on to NH, where it is Hillary in the lead, Edwards out of the picture, Obama still in the running, but Richardson doesn’t have a presence here. Richardson might pick up some of the Edwards’ support but I doubt that Obama will and Hillary surely could. Anyhow, here’s what Yepsen had to say:

    Yepsen: “I think if you’re John Edwards, you’re thankful this is going to be over with on January third. John Edwards has not been doing well lately, he’s slipping a little in these numbers. That’s not a good trend line for him. He’s got to get this thing over with fast.”

    Yepsen said he fears Edwards could fall so far that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, currently running fourth, could slip into third place — and would therefore be most thankful for that.

    “I think one of the things that could happen is that Edwards could collapse, sag, fall apart, not do well,” Yepsen said. “And that leaves Richardson in real striking distance of third place. Richardson has run a good campaign. He’s got some support here. If I were Edwards I’d be worried about sagging so far it could enable Richardson to take third place.”


    Yepsen doesn’t see Clinton falling here. “I see Clinton as flat.”

    Of the current political trends among Democrats, Yepsen is also cautious.

    “People like to be undecided,” he says. “They are almost professionally undecided. It’s frustrating for campaigns because they can’t get commitments nailed down. Voters can and do change their minds.”


  39. Although I have not yet found a Novak-Obama connection, you must keep in mind that Novak IS from Chicago … as is, obviously, Obama. For whatever reason, nobody has mentioned this in the MSM that I have seen. Did not anyone think that it is possible they have (or have had) some kind of relationship?

  40. We can count Wonkette! in Hillary’s corner (or at least in the not-Obama corner). This will make you smile. (remove space)

    wonkette.com/politics/the-face/ barack-obamas-technology-plan-sleeper-hit-of-2007-322819.php

  41. 09/17/07 “Novak hosts Rove at secret breakfast” (the “Evans-Novak Political Forum on September 25, 2007 in Washington D.C., for only $595.”)

    radaronline.com/exclusives/2007/09/ novak-hosts-rove-at-secret-breakfast.php

    Maybe, while sniffing brandy and twirling cigars, the Rove-Novak duo hatched up a plan?

  42. From Obama to Novak to Drudge:

    Matt Drudge, who gets the lowdown and posts it on his website before just about anybody else, posted a link to a Novak “Townhall.com” item from January 13, 2007. So, we have another Novak-Drudge scoop …

    Drudge link (remove space): drudgereportarchives.com/data/ 2007/01/15/20070115_052655.htm

    Novak info (link follows):

    “Sen. Barack Obama informed a major Democratic financial contributor that he probably will announce formation of a 2008 presidential exploration committee this coming week, which starts with Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday.

    “A political source close to Obama told this column he was not sure the exploratory committee would be named that early but added that probably would happen during the next three weeks. Actual announcement of his candidacy would come later.”


  43. We know that the alleged Hillary smear found its way from Novak’s column to Drudge’s website to MSM. I’d feel pretty confident in placing a bet that the whole thing started within Obama’s campaign, in exactly the same way the “leaked” announcement for his exploratory committee did: Obama to Novak to Drudge to MSM.

  44. The Obamafest continues on Meet the Press. The pundits brought up the ABC/Washington Post poll and are praising Obama to the skies (basically saying Obama has flipped the momentum). Oddly, Mary Matalin strongly defended Hillary! She says shes a real fighter and comes back from mistakes. She also says losing Iowa would be a plus for her as she could become the “comeback kid” in other states. Amazing…

  45. AmericanGal:

    I agree with terrondt. I don’t watch these pundit shows on TV anymore. Lot of bloviating, most of it is anti-hillary, pro-Obama love fest.

  46. i know it is funny coming from a die-hard dem but watch foxnews roundtable. they are much more fairer to ALL candidates.

  47. I agree with you terrondt. I have to break away from that show given their bias, then again, it just fires me up to work harder for Hillary. It was worth it to see Mary Matalin support Hillary so strongly though. That has to be a first…

    On another note: I also watched the ABC morning show. Nightline is doing a report this week on how Obama is pulling ahead. What is the deal with one poll coming out and because of that the press has annointed him some kind of juggernaut? I mean, I know there is the MSM bias but this gets into the ridiculous. One pundit on the morning shows today took time to point out that the ABC/Washington Post poll wasn’t all that different from ones before. This after the others had gone on and on about it as being so significant.

    Surely there will be new Iowa polls this week. They may show Hillary ahead or they may show her slightly behind. My opinion is that if Hillary is shown to be a little bit of an underdog that’s just fine. It will work to her benefit. As someone did point out on MTP this morning, there are still four debates between now and the primaries and this has the potential to impact Obama in particular. Also, my own opinion, who knows what Hillary has up her sleeve for this last big push (and I don’t mean dirty tricks or smears). She has a first rate campaign team and this is the time to really take it on the road. I doubt they are just going to coast and do the same campaign they have over the past few months until Jan. 3. If the pundits really think she is going to fade and Obama will suddenly be the frontrunner they will surely be disappointed.

    I agree with one of the pundits this morning. You can’t take this race and compare it to the past. There are too many new factors and unknowns.

  48. AmericanGal:

    I agree with one of the pundits this morning. You can’t take this race and compare it to the past. There are too many new factors and unknowns.

    That pundit is Mary Matalin on MTP.

  49. Terrondont–its been said here before, and some of us will never accept it for reasons I respect, but independent of everything else I believe about Fox, Hannity et. al. they are approaching the point where they have MORE credibility than MSNBC, and I must tell you that before this election season, and the toxic partisanship of Pumkinhead and Mad Man Matthews, if someone had tried to tell me that I would have said the were crazy. Today, I no longer think so, but this could still change,

  50. ra1029, I didn’t realize it was Mary Matalin. I think she said that because of the issue of Hillary potentially being the first woman president, an aspect of this race which is incredibly ignored by the media. I’ve actually heard Matalin defend Hillary on other shows for this reason (I think she appreciates Hillary being the first to make the attempt despite her party affilliation). I guess we will find out during the actual primary but I can’t believe that this issue will not be a factor in the voting (both positive and negative). Same for Obama being African-American (both positive and negative).

  51. Freckles, I had the exact same reaction as you did to the Stassel WSJ article. A recent graduate of Princeton seeking to climb the corporate ladder by saying what the old boy school wants to hear, we have all seen the movie.

    During the 1990’s the WSJ waged a relentless campaign against Bill Clinton. This was the grist of their op ed column. Their problem with him was not based on policy. Instead, it was a matter of their own cultural elitism. They could not accept the fact that a man from Hope Arkansas could be President, and people like them with their fine pedigree were not.

    On July 8, 1992 WSJ Publisher Peter Kahn wrote an article discussing the mortal sins of contempary journalism and the cures. He admonishes his staff to seek fairness (including an open mind and an honest effort to seek sundry points of view).

    Viewed from that perspective, Stassel deserves an F, in my opinion.

  52. Mary Matalin is right about that. I think the subtext of that conversation is whether people will turn out and vote for Hillary in the numbers they say they will, or whether, once in the voting booth, they’ll chicken out from voting for a woman. Poll numbers are frequently higher for African American candidates than actual turn out. People are more likely to tell pollsters they’re going to vote for an African American candidate and then not vote for him, then they are for white candidates. But Hillary is different from any previous candidate in so many ways, that it is hard to project what’s going to happen on caucus/primary day.

    When all is said and done, Republicans say nice things about Hillary because Democrats use their supportive words against her, and it’s something they can do to maybe help prevent her from winning the nomination. Look how loony it gets over at Daily Kos whenever they praise her. There are fifty diaries warning us not to vote for her because she is the Republican’s favorite candidate. That’s why Matalin and the others do it. They’re hoping Dems are less likely to vote for a candidate they like. They’re angling for another Gore/2000 situation, where the rhetoric from the Dems is so harsh against the Democratic candidate that it gives them manuevering room to steal another election.

    Unlike Gore, Hillary is not under the impression that what happened to them in the 90s was their fault. She won’t nominate a joker like Lieberman and she won’t back down if challenged. I think that Tom Petty song ought to be her campaign theme. LOL

    One of the reasons I am backing Hillary is that I think she has the chutzpah to get through this situation with more aplomb and skill than any other candidate running.

  53. There he goes again.

    Russert is riding that WASHPOST/ABCNEWS poll around like a hobby horse. If the poll had shown Hillary ahead, he would have drug out a bunch of other polls to try and nullify it, but he showed one poll and ONLY one poll.

    That’s OK, Timmy will be cryin’ in his beer soon enough.

  54. The funny part of media reporting is based on the recent washingtonpost poll.

    Obama leads Hillary 30 to 26 with a MOE of 4.4%
    Romney leads Huckabee 28 to 24 with a MOE of 4.4%.

    Based on the press reporting, in the first case it is Hillary falling, Obama rising. Based on their reporting in the second case it is Huckabee now in a statistical tie with Romney. The same difference in poll numbers with same MOE. Different interpretation of results by the big media. No wonder no body trusts their reporting.

  55. Its like the line by actor Claude Raines in the movie Casa Blanca “I am shocked, shocked that there is gambling going on” in Rick’s saloon (casino).

    By the same token, I am shocked, shocked that Big Media would ignore the moe to support their narrative. To its credit Washpo was more restrained on this than usual, whereas ABC was careless and transparent.

  56. LOL, gop fred “freddie krueger”thompson is claiming foxnews is biased against him. the ironic thing is the media hyped him up so much as the gop savior but found out how much a lousy candidate he is. LOL.

  57. A new poll from Kentucky released this morning by SUSA shows Hillary Clinton winning all four of her match-ups in a state Bush won by 20% in 2004:

    * She is ahead 48% to 47% against McCain, 48% to 44% against Rudy Giuliani, 54% to 39% against Romney and 55% to 36% against Huckabee.
    * Obama polls much more poorly, losing 52% to 38% against Giuliani, 44% to 43% against Romney, and a massive 56% to 34% against McCain. He does edge out Huckabee 44% to 42%.

    There have been many polls of Kentucky at this point in the past few months, and all have shown a very similar result. The first poll that had Clinton had seemed like an outlier — but it has since been confirmed, and cannot be easily dismissed. However stunning it might be, Republicans will have to prepare for Kentucky and its eight electoral votes emerging as a very unlikely battleground state in 2008.

    A lot of this is due to the local situation in Kentucky, which is more toxic for the GOP than in other places due to the ethical trouble the state party was in that led to the ouster last month of Governor Fletcher. Now, Senator McConnell is feeling the heat — and Democrats are sure to go after him with everything they have if Republicans continue to appear this strong.


  58. On MTP, (pardon the expression), not one of 4 pundits thought that Obama was too inexperienced to win. One said he had “passed the threshhold” of experience and was now winning on “change”. Nobody could articulate how he had passed it or what that change was — they mentioned that his health care proposal was short by 15 million people (at best)…

    Shrum — Obama’s guy on the show — did worry twice that in the next 4 debates, Obama could make a mistake. Gee, I wonder why. And when they were criticising a Republican for bad views on immigration, nobody bothered to mention that Obama is for drivers’ licenses for illegals.

    But then none of these geniuses mentioned that at least one of those debates is unlikely to happen because of the writers’ strike. Maybe more.

    I like it that Hillary is now considered in 2nd place — even though that is ludicrous. But this theory that a well-publicized loss in Iowa is going to convince NH to change their vote or that Nevada is going to make a radical switch is a bit daft. (Notice how Nevada, #3, is never mentioned) It will focus people on Obama and make people worry about him as a candidate. As for the Feb 5th states where HRC is almost at 50%, half of them will switch? Anything is possible but not anything is probable.

  59. freckles

    don’t worry about NH. with all due respect to iowa, we stubborn yankees don’t like to be told who to vote for. i don’t know if any of you posters have any historical data out there, but my guess is NH rarely follows iowas lead.

    btw, finished an afternoon of planting hillary yard signs. we’re outnumbering BO 2 to 1.

  60. He hasn’t passed the experience threshold. He totally lacks political seasoning. You guys need to stop paying so much attention to the chattering class.

  61. Hey all, I am back from Thanksgiving break. Hope everyone had a great holiday. I am hopeful. There are so many yardsigns everywhere and we are doing very well.

  62. You should see the people defending Obama on daily kos. They are arguing he is right not to shoot for universal health coverage and making social security out to be a crisis. It’s so funny. They sound like total Republicans.

  63. While I respect everyone’s desire to keep their blood pressure in check, I think it is useful, if not important, to watch/read as many of the prominent outlets as possible for their campaign coverage. Their group and individual leanings or biases are well-documented by now, so what I find interesting is when you can detect a shift from the conventional wisdom regarding the proclivities of a particular show or commentator. I’ve seen the leading candidates of both parties fawned over one week and slammed the next week on many shows, and I suspect that is likely to continue. Sometimes I think the hosts and pundits imagine that if they were consistent in their opinions, over time people would become bored and stop watching them or their shows. So, you’ll have Chris Matthews yelling “Can anyone stop Hillary?!” one week, followed by “Can anyone stop Hillary’s free-fall?!” the next week. Let’s not forget that no matter how these shows are positioned as credible, they are still entertainment products designed to attract ratings, which are used to attract advertisers. If you want pure, unadulterated campaign coverage where you are essentially forced to develop you own opinions, you need to watch C-Span.

    Also I agree with Freckles that no result in Iowa will “derail” the nomination of HRC. Too much support in too many other states, and a stronger campaign team with a better candidate.


  64. Today, Big Media “agents” fraudulently seek to minimize the relevance of Hillary’s experience as First Lady, and promote the fiction that Obama has crossed the experience threshold.

    Yet, if you go back and read what Big Media was saying back then, it was very different. Then the narrative was not that she had too little clout, but that she was the most powerful First Lady in history, and they worried that she had too much clout in the Administration. . .

    And because that Administation knew how to manage the economy, manage a war, deliver a surplus so that all boats could rise with the tide, they are now inclined forget things a bit, and be dismissive of the key role she played.

    If the issue here is memory loss, not partisanship then the best prescription for Big Media’s malady is to do what that estimable rw publication Newscom recommends: Eat fish and drastically reduce the senior moments.

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