Holiday’s End

In 15 days the first votes of the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination election cycle will begin to be cast.

As the last two weeks before voting actually begins approaches, the British newspaper The Telegraph is writing a series of articles on the American presidential race. The article, touted by Drudge, is called America Hates Hillary Clinton and Co.

As the title of that article indicates, the contents of the piece are a Hillary hate fest. The article does break some new ground in that it explicitly attacks the very idea of a woman as president.

Mrs Clinton might be the frontrunner in the polls, but almost everywhere we went people questioned her candidacy. Many stated bluntly that they did not want a woman in charge. “It’s a man’s world,” said Hugh Laflin, 62, a Kansas truck driver. “Would a Middle East sheikh talk to a lady president?”

A Vietnam veteran in Arizona and a Florida gun-shop owner were among those who made crude jokes about America “going to war every 30 days” under a female president. We never brought up Bill Clinton’s sexual dalliances, but many ordinary Americans did. “She couldn’t keep her own home together, so how can we trust her to manage America?” asked Micki Martinson, a housewife in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

Either The Telegraph found voters who actually think so backwardly or The Telegraph is pushing an undiluted, unmasked misogynistic line of attack against Hillary. In either case, we all need to be aware of what we are up against as voting days approach.

Also any doubters that Michelle Obama deliberately intended to attack Hillary with the line “if you can’t run your own house – you certainly can’t run the white house” should be removed as we see the poll tested message being repeated in The Telegraph.

The incense burners at the Obama temple should not rejoice at the unmasked misogyny nor the repetition of Michelle’s “family values” Ripublican style attacks on Hillary.

But the anti-Hillary mood does not necessarily translate into happy days for her Democratic rival, Barack Obama, or the Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney queueing up to take her on. Beyond the coasts and outside the college towns, Obamamania was difficult to find. His lofty, professorial manner has made it difficult for him to connect with ordinary Americans and he could well go the way of earlier “outsider” Democrats running on a platform of change, including Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas and Bill Bradley. Obama’s lack of experience was a staple of conversations about him.

Although few people cite Obama’s race as a negative factor, there are clearly worries about whether he is too exotic a creature for Middle America. Some openly speculated that he was a Muslim – the result of snippets from his background cited in emails that have dropped into inboxes everywhere.

A childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii and mixed-race parentage in some ways epitomise modern America. But voters are often most comfortable with the candidate they can best relate to – something Bush tapped into in 2000 when he played down his Yale education and chose not to reveal how often he had travelled abroad.

As the Thanksgiving holiday ends we are entering the two important weeks before New Hampshire absentee balloting begins.

The Christmas holidays will be upon us soon.

It’s time NOW to redouble all our efforts if we want a truly happy, new year.


85 thoughts on “Holiday’s End

  1. I had no idea absentee ballots begin in NH that early. Great. I hope she does well there, so the good news carries over here (:

  2. celiff – greetings from NH

    the big kick is underway. let’s do our best in the coming weeks to catapult our girl to the GE. i am getting nervous, but i guess that goes with the territory. keep making the phone calls, keep knocking on doors, keep planting signs..whatever it takes.

  3. Donna Brazille on Bill Clinton:

    “Do you really want Bill Clinton back in the white house?”.

    I’ll tell you. These consultants are like vultures and bottom feeders. I can’t wait for Hillary to get a broom and sweep all these consultants out of D.C. once she is elected.

  4. celiff:

    Welcome back. How is the weather down in your area? I heard that the weather was pretty bad out in some areas in Iowa during thanksgiving.

  5. It was shaky, I was in Davenport, so I was in eastern Iowa. It snowed a little, but nothing stuck. It is still pretty cold here, but not unbearable yet, this is nothing to what may happen later, January is the worst. I can’t wait. I am going in to the office tonight (:

  6. I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again; a lot of Hillary’s support is under the radar. Let people think she’s so hated she won’t win. She’ll surprise them all!

  7. mj, She doesn’t hate Bill Clinton, but she’s an Obama supporter. Enough said. She’s just channeling Karl Rove.

  8. BTW, the woman who said Hillary couldn’t keep her home together isn’t just full of crap (since when are women responsible for their husbands’ behavior?) but wrong. Hillary DID keep her home together, and her well-adjusted, smart, down-to-earth daughter is the beneficiary.

  9. liked james carville smacking down tim russert on Hillary Clinton experience issue, and how MSM is trying to have it both wats. when she was in office, they complained that she had more power, now they complain the experience doesnt count. I am trying to go back to 90’s articles that mention how media felt Hillary was involved to a great degree in issues, especially in foriegn affairs and domestic issues including health care, gun control so on and so forth.
    Doing a simple google is giving limited results, so I will go to some online library and search, but I hope we put it out there in kos and other blogs, where obama supporters simply dismiss her influence on policies when she was first lady.

  10. I like this line by Hillary against Obama.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made four stops in Iowa on Sunday. During an afternoon rally in Nevada, Clinton took a shot at rival Obama, who has said it’s time to “turn the page” and take the country in a new diretion. “You know, I don’t think we can talk just about change or change of direction. You’ve got to know where you’re trying to go. You’ve got to know which direction you’re headed,” Clinton said. “Our country has always understood that.”

    It smacks him right on. Let him explain what change in direction is he talking about.

  11. Perry, Ia.— Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told potential caucusgoers in one of the state’s most diverse communities Sunday that immigration reform begins with border security, broaching the issue only after she was questioned about it by an audience member.

    “I believe in comprehensive immigration reform, but it starts with homeland security,” she said. “You cannot move to comprehensive immigration reform until we have tougher, more secure borders.”

    The New York senator reminded the crowd of about 400 gathered in the Perry High School cafeteria that she voted for and supports stronger technological and physical borders, adding that 40 percent of those in the United States illegally are here because they have overstayed expired visas. Clinton repeated the sentiment to another woman who also asked her the question at an additional stop Sunday in Nevada.

    That said, it would be impossible to deport the estimated 12-14 million people who have entered the country illegally, she said.

    Clinton suggested instead that “everybody come out of the shadows,” and those found to have committed crimes will be immediately deported.

    Those who haven’t, she said, should register and pay back taxes, fines and learn English before joining the line to legalization.

    The answer was somewhat satisfactory to Julia Edwards of Redfield, who posed the question to Clinton in Perry and was somewhat surprised it wasn’t brought up in Clinton’s 35-minute speech that ran the gamut from global warming to health care.

    “That kind of made me wonder,” said Edwards, 61, who believes the country’s borders need to be secured. “I think it should be talked about more, and a lot of people agree. It’s a key issue, just like the war in Iraq.”

    Edwards said she was initially a strong Clinton backer, but withdrew her support when Clinton was accused of waffling on her stance at a debate last month about whether driver’s licenses should be issued to illegal immigrants. Edwards, who wore a Hillary sticker, said she’s edging back toward supporting Clinton.

    The Perry event was the first of three Sunday, followed by stops in Nevada and Iowa Falls. The crowd gathered in Gates Memorial Hall in Nevada waited an hour for Clinton to show up, where she promptly apologized after taking the stage, saying she lost track of time in Perry.

    The stop in Nevada hit an additional hitch when Clinton lost her voice mid-speech, yet she recovered, reminding the crowd that she’s equipped for anything the Republican party can throw at her after being in the public eye for 15 years.

    “I think my political experience of having been on the receiving end of so much incoming fire equips me for understanding you don’t take this personally. You can’t take it personally,” she said.

  12. Perry, Ia.— Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told potential caucusgoers in one of the state’s most diverse communities Sunday that immigration reform begins with border security, broaching the issue only after she was questioned about it by an audience member.

    “I believe in comprehensive immigration reform, but it starts with homeland security,” she said. “You cannot move to comprehensive immigration reform until we have tougher, more secure borders.”

    The New York senator reminded the crowd of about 400 gathered in the Perry High School cafeteria that she voted for and supports stronger technological and physical borders, adding that 40 percent of those in the United States illegally are here because they have overstayed expired visas. Clinton repeated the sentiment to another woman who also asked her the question at an additional stop Sunday in Nevada.

    That said, it would be impossible to deport the estimated 12-14 million people who have entered the country illegally, she said.

    Clinton suggested instead that “everybody come out of the shadows,” and those found to have committed crimes will be immediately deported.

    Those who haven’t, she said, should register and pay back taxes, fines and learn English before joining the line to legalization.

    The answer was somewhat satisfactory to Julia Edwards of Redfield, who posed the question to Clinton in Perry and was somewhat surprised it wasn’t brought up in Clinton’s 35-minute speech that ran the gamut from global warming to health care.

    “That kind of made me wonder,” said Edwards, 61, who believes the country’s borders need to be secured. “I think it should be talked about more, and a lot of people agree. It’s a key issue, just like the war in Iraq.”

    Edwards said she was initially a strong Clinton backer, but withdrew her support when Clinton was accused of waffling on her stance at a debate last month about whether driver’s licenses should be issued to illegal immigrants. Edwards, who wore a Hillary sticker, said she’s edging back toward supporting Clinton.

    The Perry event was the first of three Sunday, followed by stops in Nevada and Iowa Falls. The crowd gathered in Gates Memorial Hall in Nevada waited an hour for Clinton to show up, where she promptly apologized after taking the stage, saying she lost track of time in Perry.

    The stop in Nevada hit an additional hitch when Clinton lost her voice mid-speech, yet she recovered, reminding the crowd that she’s equipped for anything the Republican party can throw at her after being in the public eye for 15 years.

    “I think my political experience of having been on the receiving end of so much incoming fire equips me for understanding you don’t take this personally. You can’t take it personally,” she said.

  13. That is the thing about Obama, not much substance. He’s got all these platitudes about change but he doesn’t back them up with bold policies. Hillary has a clear policy objective. She has specific things she wants to accomplish as president.

  14. Amazing how a few hours can change the political picture! This morning after the Sunday shows, I posted in a previous blog about how the pundits saw this world so differently than I did.

    Then came the cancer sufferer — a Republican woman with 5 children — who painted her bald head with the Hillary logo. It went up on Daily Kos and was followed by several posts about other Republicans for Hillary. So much for polarization.

    Then came the Rasmussen poll showing Hillary way out in front after the first two states.

    Then came the phone call from Hillary HQ asking me to spend some time this week working for Hillary — when I said yes, she asked me if I would go to the Tropicana HQ – I said it was the only one I knew about and she said: “Oh we have two more but they are oversubscribed!!!!!”

    Now I’m new to Nevada, but I challenge NH and especially Iowa. We seem to get it — our problem is still getting people to the polls but, no matter how many times we’re told, we aren’t counting a 6-10 yr. old’s address as too relevant. 🙂

    I think it’s time to ask these starry-eyed college kids and others to look again at Obama’s electablity and wonder why they aren’t going for Dennis Kucinich — now that’s change! And probably the exact electabilty as Obama. As for the Ron Paul supporters, are they aware that he wants to get rid of SS, Medicare, the Education Dept. and pretty much everything else that government does? This seems to be an election of, for and about ignorance. So I’m counting on Hillary and her supporters to educate and lead.

  15. PERRY, Iowa (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton maintained Sunday that she’s the best candidate to win against Republicans, saying she has more experience battling the GOP than any other candidate in the Democratic field.

    “I believe that I have a very good argument that I know more about beating Republicans than anybody else running. They’ve been after me for 15 years, and much to their dismay, I’m still standing,” she said in answer to a woman’s question about her electability. “I’m leading in all the polls, I’m beating them in state after state after state.”

    Clinton has been widely criticized by her Democratic rivals who claim she’s too polarizing, and can’t bring the party together to win the White House.

    But she says she has support from around the country, including “more Democratic support from the so-called red states than anybody else running.” She told the crowd of hundreds gathered at Perry High School that she has more U.S. senators supporting her than her rivals, as well as other lawmakers from states that “Democrats have a hard time winning.”

    “I think they have looked at the field and figured out who can best beat the Republicans,” Clinton said.

    She added that when she ran for the Senate in 2000, a lot of people argued that she couldn’t win.

    “And I just got up every day, and I reached out to Republicans and Democrats and independents,” she said, adding that her opponents outspent her 2-to-1 and said “all kinds of unpleasant things.” She said voters didn’t believe them, and she ended up with 55 percent of the vote. At the end of her first term, she said, her support at the polls climbed to 67 percent, and “a lot of people who voted for George Bush in 2004 voted for me.”

    The woman who asked the question told Clinton that Republicans “never quit talking about you,” and that it’s almost as though the New York senator is another candidate on the stage at Republican debates because of how much they target her.

    Clinton elicited laughter from the audience when she admitted that “the Republicans have a core group that, I think is fair to say, are not my fans.”

    She was asked by reporters about her recent criticism of other Democrats, when earlier this year she called for her party to focus their attacks on Republicans.

    “I respect and admire all of my opponents, and I think that there are differences among us on issues and on qualifications and on experience,” she said. “When we finally choose a nominee, which I expect to be me, we are going to close ranks, and we are going to run against the Republicans and win.”

  16. freckles:

    The news channels spent lot of money shoring up reporters covering the many presidential campaigns. They need a horse race to justify their jobs, else they might not be needed if the race looks like it is over. So they are streching the facts as much as possible to justify their paychecks. All of a sudden they use a couple of polls to show race is tightening. I won’t be suprised if in a couple of weeks they cherry pick a poll and say that the national race is a statistical dead heat. LOL. Anything to save their jobs.

  17. Freckles-great posting. Those are the antecotal stories that resonate so powerfully with the electorate. I have no doubt there are many people out there who Hillary has helped, and the more of them come forward to tell their stories and show their support the better. Mollyrichards said this the other day, and it is undeniably true.

    RA 1029-I agree they stretch the facts to support the narrative to ensure a paycheck. But in doing so, they make a faustian bargain because the credibility they lose may affect future paychecks once this parade passes. And wouldn’t that be a shame.

  18. The final paragraph of the ra1029 (9:19) posting illustrates the high road Hillary has taken in this primary to maintain party unity. Unlike Obama and Edwards, she does not stoop to personal attacks, points out differences, responds to challenges and continues to focus her guns on the real adversary namely the Republicans.

  19. Admin., it would appear from the above article that those jackals at the Telegraph have never quite forgiven us for the Boston Tea Party, and still want to meddle in our politics. They must be Tories . . . . .

  20. Just got back from the office. A supporter wants a 4′ x 8′ sign in her yard across from a caucus sight (:

    And a GOTC worker in our office worked in rural Keokuk County tonight, with mostly farmers, and he said they were asking for something to sign to support Hillary even before he offered them a supporter card. I think the msm will be quite surprised on January 3rd, as a post said above, her support is not only under the radar, but it will come to glorious fruition that night, and I can’t wait (:

  21. yeah, there are nights where with windchill, the temps get down to 20 below zero. Especially along the Mississippi, where I am from.

  22. Just a note about the London Telegraph newspaper, it has a very conservative bias. One of the positions its noted for supporting is the “flawed” science of environmentalism and the lack evidence of human responsibility in global warming. They also tend to take the position that Americans are idiots.

    With a bias like that, is it any wonder that they found the some of the most regressive elements in our society to interview; the dark underbelly of conservatism.

  23. O-Bomb-A proclaiming himself successor to the civil rights movement is one of the most grossly offensive things he has said to date.

    Those of us who were there “in the day” see that BO has done nothing – NOTHING – to advance anything other than his own self interest.

  24. This guy is too much. He’s so grandiose about himself. He just strikes we as such a narcassist. MLK’s movement was about the people not about him personally.

  25. well now, lets not be hasty on this civil rtghts issue,
    obama may not be the SUCCESSOR, but he surely is the RECIPIENT of the civil rights movement, and ofcourse he has people like hillary and her generation to thank for that…
    can you just tell him that?

  26. When Obama claims to be the “successor” to the civil rights movement, the words of Platters came back to me, and now I can’t get them out of my head:

    Oh yes, I’m the Great Pretender
    Adrift in a world of my own . . . (and)
    I seem to be what I’m not, you see
    I’m wearing my heart like a crown

    -As Admin pointed out several months back.

  27. Stumbled across an article from December 5, 2006, posted on John Ashcroft’s very conservative Ashcroft Center “NoLeftTurns” blog. BO had just made a World AIDS Day speech and Joseph Knippenberg commented:

    Barack Obama spoke in New York yesterday, taking the opportunity also to meet with big potential donors. Assuming that he runs, there’s really little or no room for anyone other than HRC in the Democratic field. I suppose that someone could pick up the pieces after a “Mutually Assured Destruction” nuclear exchange between Obama and Clinton, but thus far they’ve been careful not to confront one another directly.

    In any event, both can’t occupy the “center” of the Democratic Party; it will be interesting to see who will be first in attacking the other’s left flank.

    [snip: a portion of the speech follows]

    Knippenberg writes: “Note the way [Obama] blends the spiritual and the pragmatic, the philanthropic and the governmental. Someone is going to have to make an extraordinary effort to pin him down.”

    In the comments section, a Dan Phillips wrote:

    The most serious issue of our time, the most serious issue confronting the whole world since the fall of the Iron Curtain, is the rise of jihadist islam, the war that GW inaccurately calls the war on terror. But this guy talks about everything BUT the great civilizational war going on. Thus I submit to you that Barack Hussein Obama is a lightweight, junior varsity, a well-spoken drone, with nothing to offer on the most serious issue of our time. How is it possible for a politician in the midst of this great and cataclysmic collision of cultures and civilizations, to remain completely silent on that war. It’s as if the war didn’t exist for Hussein Obama.
    I almost never post on irrelevant issues, Obama is precisely the opposite, he never speaks on serious issues. He shows up on Oprah and discusses truancy. And people actually deem this guy a heavyweight. I don’t have any respect for Hillary, but at least she’s spoken about the war. At least she said that if Tehran gets the bomb, the very structure of Western security would be “shattered to its foundations.” I don’t think Hillary has anything to worry about from another non-entity in the Senate. Recall McCain’s letter to Hussein Obama, where he just said “you’re all mouth, no action.” He saw through that fraud in about a nanosecond. That’s the type of ability you’re likely to get, when you spent a good chunk of your life in the Hanoi Hilton. You acquire an ability to cut to the chase.

    This is coming from an inner circle Republican think tank.

  28. well here is article on wash-post talking about “bribes” Obama is paying to local politicians for their support in early states in Iowa, NH and SC.

    Obama PAC Is Active In Key Election States
    N.H., S.C. Lawmakers Receive Funds

    By John Solomon
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, November 26, 2007; Page A06

    When Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) launched his presidential campaign in January, he stopped raising money for his Hopefund, the political action committee he used to raise millions for fellow Democrats in previous campaigns. But in recent months, Obama has handed out more than $180,000 from the nearly dormant PAC to local Democratic groups and candidates in the key early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, campaign reports show.

    Some of the recipients of Hopefund’s largess are state and local politicians who have recently endorsed Obama’s presidential bid. Obama’s PAC reported giving a $1,000 contribution, for instance, to New Hampshire state Sen. Jacalyn Cilley on July 25, six days before she announced she was endorsing Obama for president.

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    Likewise, state Rep. J. Todd Rutherford, a lawmaker from South Carolina, received a $1,000 contribution from Obama’s PAC on Sept. 24, a few months after he endorsed Obama.

    Cilley, who has traveled with Obama around New Hampshire and serves on the campaign’s steering committee, said that she decided to endorse him before getting the donation but that the announcement was delayed. She said she even considered sending the check back at one point to eliminate any concerns about appearances.

    “There were no negotiations about financial remuneration. No quid pro quo. I endorsed him because I believe in him and his policies,” the lawmaker said in an interview. “Obviously I was delighted that Senator Obama saw fit to donate to my reelection campaign. I come from one of the poorest districts in the state and I don’t collect a lot of donations.”

    In the first half of the year, there was little donation activity to state and local candidates, but contributions from Hopefund picked up in the past few months, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

    Obama spokesman Joshua Earnest said there was no connection between the PAC’s giving and Obama’s presidential aspirations. “Senator Obama long has been doing whatever he can to help elect fellow Democrats all across the country,” Earnest said.

    Fundraising vehicles known as leadership PACs, which can raise money in much larger chunks than candidates can for their own campaigns, have been a frequent target for criticism by watchdog groups. They argue that leadership PACs allow candidates to skirt campaign contribution and donation limits.

    Scott Thomas, a Democrat and a former FEC chairman, said “there’s probably no doubt” the PAC donations were aimed at increasing support for Obama’s presidential race. “But in my experience, the commission has not had the stomach to reach out and characterize those kinds of contributions as impermissible,” Thomas said.

    Kent Cooper, the FEC’s retired chief of public disclosure, said the commission, if it chose, could declare that Obama’s presidential campaign and PAC were “affiliated,” meaning some activities involving the PAC could be declared in-kind contributions to the presidential campaign that would exceed current donation limits.

    “At this stage of the race, for a presidential candidate, it is a brazen effort to use every avenue to influence an election,” Cooper said. “I can’t believe the Obama people can keep a straight face and claim these aren’t part of the presidential race.”

    The bulk of donations from Obama’s PAC to state and local candidates this year went to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. In addition, there were more than $60,000 in donations to national candidates in those same states, including $9,000 for Rep. Paul W. Hodes, the first member of Congress from New Hampshire to endorse Obama earlier this year.

    In addition to donating to individuals, Hopefund donated to several key Democratic groups in the battleground states, including $30,000 each to the Iowa House Truman Fund and the Iowa Senate Majority Fund and $15,000 to New Hampshire’s Friends of a Democratic Senate.

  29. I’m guessing that McCain letter referred to was about a private exchange between BO and JMc on lobbying reform in which Mc all but accuses BO of lying.

    See (remove space) archives/2006/02/an_outraged_sen.html

    This sort of thing would come back to haunt BO … and should now. He’s already left a path of destruction behind.

  30. Link below for BO’s Congressional endorsers.

    For example, NH’s Paul Hodes endorsed BO and what do you know? The Hopefund has given Hodes’ PAC $9,000 ($5,000 in June and $4,000 in September).

    Click on my name, then enter U.S. presidential election, 2008/Congressional endorsements in the search box. You can then scroll down to BO’s list of endorsers.

    I can do a diary early this morning, but it will take some time to piece together the donations, names, endorsements, and links to back it all up. The best thing for me to do is write up an article for SW, then cut and paste it into a diary. I will have to have all my ducks in a row to avoid the inevitable attacks that will follow.

  31. Merryfield,

    The issue has been widely discussed. Infact he was also asked a question by one of the audience regarding the same issue. there are plenty of videos on youtube talking about same issue. fox was all over him with lies including saying he attended madrasas. they will no doubt tear him apart. the moment he becomes nominee, rezko trial will start, and he will be all over the political spectrum, just like whitewater scandal. you would think everyone will play fair, but it isnt the case.

  32. The Congressional endorsement list may not be current. For example, John Yarmouth of Kentucky, one of the early states, is not listed as an endorser yet but received $2,500 in September.

    BO’s website should have a list of endorsers.

    I think that it would also be wise to check HRC’s endorsers vice a list of those receiving funds from her. That attack will come, as well.

  33. Carol Shea-Porter, the rep for my district, received $2500 from BO last November just prior to the election that put her in office.

    On the same exact day as Paul Hodes received his funds (6/15 and 9/27), Shea-Porter received the exact same amounts – $5,000 and $4,000.

    According to my HRC field office, Shea-Porter has withheld her endorsement of any candidate but I can see which way the wind is blowing. This is worthy of a letter to the editor here locally !

  34. I am going to dissect this supporter by supporter until I reach what I call critical mass … enough to reach the point of departure from “coincidence”.

    This can be a group effort and everybody here can jump on this band wagon and drive this story hard.

    1. Letters to the editor in these critical states.

    2. Diaries and blog postings wherever possible.

    3. Tips to major political blogsters on which we cannot post directly. Comments to blogs somehow end up sounding like sour grapes.

    Ok … working. Will check back here often to see what anyone else has found that I can incorporate and will drop off links.

    We’re gonna need news links to back up the endorsement list.

    There are also other PACs supporting BO that could also be dropping off dollars to help his “support”.

    It’s always follow the $$$$.

  35. BO’s Hopefund began contributing to Hodes’ campaign before the 2006 congressional election. He also contributed before the 2006 election to Carol Shea-Porter, N.H.’s other first time Congresswoman. When BO contributed $5000 and $4000 to Hodes on June 15 and September 27, 2007, he contributed the same amounts to Shea-Porter.

    Additionally, Hopefund contributed $5,000 to former N.H. Dem. Gov. Jeanne Shaheen’s congressional campaign on October 20th. This must be hedging his bets, because Shaheen’s husband, Bill Shaheen, is HRC’s NH and national co-chair.

    To be continued.

  36. On September 10, 2007, BO named Georgia co-chairs Sanford Bishop and Hank Johnson. On September 27, 2007, Hopefund contributed $4,000 each to Bishop’s and Johnson’s campaigns.

    To be continued.

  37. Washingtonpost has for a day taken a break from its Obama lovefest and removed its blinders if only for a day. Here is a good article by Fred Hiatt on the hypocrisy of Obama campaign.

    Calculation and Conviction

    By Fred Hiatt

    Barack Obama suggests that Hillary Clinton is guilty of triangulating, poll-testing and telling the American people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.

    Maybe so. But then it’s fair to ask: Is Obama telling the American people anything they don’t want to hear? More specifically, as he campaigns for votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, is he saying anything except what polls suggest Democrats there might want to hear?

    His campaign points to Obama’s traveling to Detroit to endorse higher fuel standards for automobiles, his preaching parental responsibility in black churches and his refusing to promise Iowa activists that he will cut the defense budget. He backs driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, not a crowd-pleaser this electoral season.

    But to the extent that Obama’s positions have shifted over the past several months, they’ve shifted uncannily to where middle-class Democratic voters happen to be.

    Obama still presents himself as the candidate who can rise above the tired old debates and tell everyone “what they need to hear,” as he said in an address on schools last week. But what he said about schools was what Democrats and the teachers unions want to hear: Schools need more money. Merit pay for teachers has morphed, in his plan, into a “professional compensation system designed with the help and agreement of teachers’ organizations.” And making sure schools teach all children, especially poor and minority children, to read and do math is derided as preparing children “to fill in bubbles on standardized tests.”

    In keeping with the pacifism of much of the Iowa caucus electorate, Obama now attacks Clinton for a position on Iran that is nearly identical to one he espoused a few months ago. On Iraq, he used to agree with her that some troops would stay to fight al-Qaeda and other terrorists, train Iraqi forces, and guard embassies. Now he says the anti-terrorist mission might be accomplished from outside Iraq, and recently on “Meet the Press” he dropped the training idea altogether.

    In September, he proposed $80 billion in tax goodies for middle-class earners, including a tax credit that wouldn’t be phased out until earnings reached more than $200,000.

    It’s true that he favors the tiny Peru trade agreement. But with polls showing increasing anxiety in Iowa about globalization, Obama has turned up the anti-trade rhetoric, opposing the more meaningful agreement proposed with South Korea and ignoring NAFTA’s record of raising living standards here and in Mexico.

    It’s also true that, more responsibly than Clinton, he acknowledges a fiscal challenge for Social Security. But where he used to accept that all possible remedies must be on the table to achieve a political compromise, he now opposes benefit cuts and proposes to solve the problem with, yes, a tax hike on the rich.

    You could argue that there’s nothing terrible or surprising in this. People who run for office, unless they’re totally quixotic, respond to voters’ views; that’s the point of democracy. It’s commonly accepted that Democrats “run left” in the primaries and then shift toward the center in the general election, while Republicans perform the mirror-image dance. A little cynical, maybe, but nothing new; by this reading, Clinton, as the front-runner, has just had the luxury of shifting a bit early.

    But campaigning does pose a test of character: Are there any principles that a candidate holds strongly enough to take an electoral hit — or to try to lead and bring the electorate along — rather than follow the polls? This year and over the years, we’ve seen, for example, that John McCain has some such principles: on Iraq, on immigration, on curbing the influence of money in politics. With the rest of the field, in both parties, it’s not so clear.

    The question is particularly acute for Obama, because of his line of attack on Clinton and because he built his candidacy on two foundations: that he can heal the nation’s partisan divisions and that he will lead “not by polls, but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction,” as he said in Iowa this month. Without those distinctions, he’s just a former state legislator from Illinois with a half-term, and few accomplishments, in the U.S. Senate.

    But when the first selling point left him stuck in second in national polls, he shifted, apparently without much difficulty, to attacking Clinton from the left. And at some point it’s no longer enough to describe yourself as courageous. Obama followed his not-calculation-but-conviction statement, in a speech generally credited as one of his strongest of the fall, by pledging to stand up to corporate lobbyists, end the war in Iraq and take tax breaks away from companies that send jobs overseas — not exactly bitter medicine for his Democratic audience.

    In the last Democratic debate, Obama again laced into Clinton for not providing “straight answers to tough questions,” but it seemed a bit half-hearted. Maybe that’s a good sign; maybe he’s not happy with how his campaign has diverged from what he promised it would be.

  38. Interesting article which does highlight Hillary in a favorable light.

    Negativity in the Democratic Campaign
    Kimberly Strassel had an interesting article on Friday that reviewed the weak spots of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It raised several points that I have wished to discuss for some time. She writes:

    Until recently, the biggest thing going for Hillary is that she has appeared “inevitable.” This is no accident. Mrs. Clinton may not be as naturally gifted as her husband, but she does have access to his playbook. One of Bill’s more brilliant strategies when he ran in 1992 was to campaign as if he were already the nominee. It gave an otherwise little-known governor the legitimacy to sideline his opponents.
    Mrs. Clinton has made this tactic a cornerstone of her campaign, and it had been working. During debates she frequently speaks on “behalf of everyone” on the stage. She chooses moments wisely to make statements no Democrat disagrees with (“George Bush is ruining this country”), leaving the competition nodding in miserable agreement. Her insistence that she and her Democratic colleagues should keep this race focused on their arch-enemy was equally savvy. With everyone piling on Dubya, nobody was piling on her.

    Add to this Mrs. Clinton’s stash of money, the vaunted infrastructure, the endorsements and her superstar status. The Clinton campaign has flogged all of these to leave the impression she’s the only player in the game.

    I agree with Strassel that this is what the Clinton campaign has done. I think that the strategy was a smart one. Research has shown that primary voters tend to view leading candidates more warmly because they are leading. They also tend to find reasons to support leading candidates. And so, campaigns have an interest in appearing to be in the lead. Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has been as good as any non-incumbent campaign in the post-reform era at creating this impression.

    Of course, I never thought much of the conclusion that Clinton was inevitable. It always seemed to me to require a false view of what those summer polling numbers really meant. It also seemed to be exactly the impression that Clinton campaign endeavored to create. Nevertheless, I was mightily impressed that it was able to construct such an artifice. It had most pundits convinced that a man who raised $80,000,000 was not even going to make it interesting. That was quite a feat.

    Strassel notes another tactic that Clinton has used to great effect. She has endeavored to diminish the perceptions of disagreement – between herself, her fellow candidates, and the Democratic electorate. This is a common ploy with frontrunner campaigns. The fewer areas of contrast, the fewer reasons voters have for switching their support from one candidate to another. So, research has shown – unsurprisingly – that front running candidates tend to offer fewer substantive policy proposals. Why give voters a reason to disagree with you? Clinton does something akin to this every time she agrees with her opponents and pours it on Bush. Rudy Giuliani has done a very good job of this on the Republican side. He has explicitly praised some of his opponents – Huckabee and McCain, for instance – and he has taken every opportunity to attack Clinton.

    What, then, should Clinton’s challengers do about her? Strassel has some suggestions:

    Mrs. Clinton’s opponents have also got wise to her “inevitability” game, and no one more so than John Edwards. His decision to unleash the big guns on her Iraq vote and “dirty” corporate money has already yielded him a victory. She’s deigned to acknowledge he’s actually on the stage and even answered some of his criticisms, which in turn has suggested to audiences that she views him as a threat. [Snip]
    Grateful as that nation is to Mr. Edwards for livening up the debate and unleashing some healthy Clinton criticism from other campaigns, we’re also just 40 days from Iowa. The long, gentle treatment by opponents allowed Mrs. Clinton to build up such a sizable lead the attacks might now come a little too late.

    They also may remain a little too little. Yes, Mr. Edwards is hitting Mrs. Clinton on foreign policy. Yes, Barack Obama is taking it to her on trade. But consider this: What none of her Democratic opponents has broached–what has so far been a super-off-limits-high-security-no-fly-zone–is any direct mention of Mrs. Clinton’s ethically challenged period as first lady.

    I disagree. Strassel fails to account for the fact that a negative campaign carries with it serious risks. It does. And so, when a candidate engages in negativity – he or she must be adroit. Richard Lau and Gerald Pomper – both of Rutgers University – have found, for instance, that incumbent senators who go negative in their reelection campaigns tend to lose support. This effect is independent of the competitiveness of the race. They conclude in a 2002 article on the subject, “A full accounting of the evidence suggests that, as often as not, attacking the opponent is a counter-productive campaign strategy to follow.”

    Note that Lau and Pomper track the effects of negativity in general election Senate races. We are talking about a presidential primary – and, so far as I know, this is a subject that has not been studied thoroughly. But that is all the more reason for candidates to be cautious. We know that going negative can be a double-edged sword, but we are not exactly sure when and where. So – the negative campaign is a weapon that should be wielded with a deft touch.

    Dexterity is especially required for an attack on Hillary Clinton – and it is not because she is a woman. It is because, among Democratic primary voters, she is well known and well liked. She has been in the public eye for about sixteen years. Voter opinions of her are not based upon a dearth of information. And, according to the most recent Fox News poll, Democratic voters like her. Clinton’s net favorable rating among Democrats is +58%. So, Obama or Edwards cannot just go after Clinton willy nilly. The attacks have to be subtle because they are directed at a public that knows of and is disposed toward her.

    What they should not do is make use of “Republican talking points,” which is precisely what Strassel suggests by exhorting Obama and Edwards to go after Clinton on ethics. Political scientists have found that negative advertising reinforces previous partisan dispositions rather than persuade the skeptical. And so, an attack on Clinton’s ethics might influence an electorate composed largely of Republicans. But, obviously, the Democratic primary will have few of them involved. There will be a lot of Democrats who participate – and I doubt they would buy such an attack, especially if it was predicated on something old. As a matter of fact, I could see those voters being persuaded by the Clinton rejoinder: stop calling shots from the GOP playbook.

    Personally, I like Obama’s line of attack on Clinton. It is subtle. It sets up a contrast without alienating voters. The average voter gets the gist of what Obama is hinting at, but is not turned off by it.

    A final point. Strassel suggests that Obama and Edwards waited too long to start drawing some distinctions between Clinton and themselves. I could not disagree with this more. This was a line that a lot of pundits were repeating prior to the Philadelphia debate – when Obama signaled that he was going to start to sharpen his rhetoric. Many said that he had waited too long. That kind of thinking rests on the false premise that voters pay as much attention to politics as pundits do. They don’t, which means that candidates have to save their sharpest, most effective stuff for when they begin to pay closer attention. On their last tour – (what’s left of) the Who played their new garbage in the middle of the show. They saved “My Generation” for the end. The same premise applies to campaigns.

    Obama would have been unwise to start drawing sharp contrasts in the summer. It’s all well and good that his reticence allowed “Mrs. Clinton to build up such a sizable lead” – but, as I have argued time and again on this blog, leads in national polls of summer and even fall are not worth much because voters are paying little attention. If having a lead in mid-November’s Gallup poll was Obama’s goal – then, by all means, he should have amplified his rhetoric in August or September. But his goal is to win Iowa and then New Hampshire – and ratcheting up the rhetoric 40 to 50 days before those contests is the right move.

    Remember that Giuliani just started advertising in New Hampshire. The Giuliani campaign is a smart operation – and those of us who pay an inordinate amount of attention to politics should take this “lateness” as a cue to change our timetable. Remember, we political obsessives have different levels of attention and information than the average voter. Successful campaigns are built around winning them, not us.

  39. You know, everyone always gives Obama a pass on attacking Hillary’s character. “It is subtle.” I see it as blatant. Obama just gets a pass because he’s supposed to be the nice guy.

  40. Yeah, I am sick of the guy. He is so unelectable in a general election. He’s swiftboatable, weak on immigration, he is a terrible debater, he speaks in constant “hopeful” generalities. He would be torn apart in the general. He hasn’t had a tough campaign in his life, he wouldn’t take a stand on Roe v. Wade in Springfield, or on other things as a senator, he is corrupt, and he wants to invade Pakistan. Wow.

  41. You nailed it, mj. This guy has an enormous ego. He thinks he is better than everybody else and he can’t even hide his ego.

  42. Ok. I’ve finished combing through BO’s FEC records for Hopefund and Congressional endorsements.

    I didn’t find any contributions to S.C. legislators, as Solomon states.

    Also, there is no information contained in these records regarding funds contributed to members of state legislatures.

    I’m up for suggestions.

    See where I am now by clicking on my name above and putting “Barack Obama’s contributions to campaign endorsers” in the search box.


  43. This is from Hillary’s website.

    Clinton Campaign Responds To New Revelations About Obama Campaign Finance Practices
    In response to a report this morning in the Washington Post revealing that Senator Obama’s leadership PAC has given the majority of its campaign contributions to officials and committees in the early nominating states, the Clinton campaign released the following statement:

    This morning, we learned that Senator Obama has been using his leadership PAC to give political contributions to officials in the early primary states. In fact, 68 percent of contributions from his PAC have gone to those in states that are scheduled to hold nominating contests on February 5th or earlier.

    It is our understanding that a candidate’s campaign is barred from using the candidate’s leadership PAC to benefit his or her campaign which is why we shut down HillPAC when Senator Clinton announced her run for the White House.

    On the campaign trail, Senator Obama is outspoken about his desire to reform the campaign finance system so it was surprising to learn that he has been using his PAC in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws. Considering how often Senator Obama talks about his efforts to be transparent, we presume he will answer the following questions regarding the behavior of his PAC:

    1. Who decided what contributions would be made by Hopefund?

    2. Did any presidential campaign staff, consultants or advisors participate in any discussions about Hopefund contributions? Who?

    3. Did the decision-makers know who was endorsing the presidential campaign? If so, how did they find this out?

    4. Who told Hopefund which Iowa and New Hampshire candidates and committees should get contributions?

    5. Are there any overlapping employees, consultants and advisors between Hopefund and the presidential campaign?

    6. The Washington Post article suggests that Hopefund was dormant earlier in the year. Who made the decision to start making contributions again and on what basis was that decision made?

  44. Excellent that HRC’s campaign picked up on this. Only wish somebody had been paying attention 10 days earlier. This would have been great to use THEN, although it is good news now.

  45. Obama barges into a church in Iowa and proclaims himself the “successor” to the civil rights movement, according to the above posting (snip). Whereas, Hillary points out in the debate that she, Obama and Richardson are in effect the beneficiaries of the civil rights movement without which none of them would be able to run as serious candidates for President.(snip)

    For what it is worth, I believe Obama chose the word “successor” carefully in order to convey different messages to very different audiences in a very calculated way, even though he wants you to believe that what you see is what you get.

    To middle age liberals he is saying if you support me you won’t have to feel guilty anymore. I may not have been a participant in the civil rights struggle myself, but I am the personification of what you fought for in your youth.

    To non-whites, he is saying you should support
    me not because of any specific policy that will help you–like universal health coverage, but because of the color of my skin. I am a symbol of your aspirations and hopes.

    To conservatives he is saying take a good look at
    me, I am wealthy, and well educated like you are. I understand your business interests and will not interfere with them with an aggressive civil rights agenda, or threaten your god given right to 15% capital gains.

    You may think this is alot to read into one little word, but if you think about it in the context of his overall campaign, it sure does fit. More imporant however it shows his campaign for what it really is– smoke and mirrors.

    As I see it, Hillary’s concept of the civil right movement is distinctly different. Hers is a message of gratuitude as opposed to hubris. It is a message of continuing commitment, backed by concerte policies rather than florid rhetoric. And, surely most people realize that Barack Obama is not the rightful successor to Martin Luther King.

  46. Yesterday when Hillary pointed out the differences between her Health care policy and his, he replied by saying that she was doing that because the polls in Iowa show her falling behind (implying that she was scared), that she was not being straight with the “american people” etc, etc, and ignored addressing the flaws that she was talking about.

    Thats what he does. Stoops to attack whenever anyone points out the holes in his arguments. He does not like being questioned. And what is so “subtle” when he attacked Hillary by saying that she had long term plan to be president ? He has attacked her character and credibility quite directly. He did it again today by saying that he does not consider his wife as competent to be a Senator just because she is his wife and directly saying that Hillary is unqualified to be running for President.

    Excuse me ? Hillary has an admirable record of public service going back to her days in Arkansas. This empty suit was nothing but a state senator ( part-time that too, can you believe that ! ), till 3 years ago. So what are his so called qualifications for the job ? Just that he can give a good speech and talk of hope ? When he says he took an “unpopular position” against the war in 2002 that just BS. He took a very popular position based on the sentiments at the rally he was addressing, the constituency he as running in and considering that IL was a solid democratic state .

    The guy is so full of himself that he’s getting to be more and more unbearable by the day.

  47. GT – is it true, i mean do you have some sort of proof that BO is bribing people on Daily Kos to post diaries in his favor? if so, someone HAS to research this. dkos has become toxic and is nothing at all like it promotes itself to be….progressive and using *facts* to make opinions.

    if it’s true, i think they ran a blitz last week or week before. it was crazy over there. troll rating got out of hand.

  48. i just read hillary’s press release on wow!!!, so much for mr. squeaky clean obama. mydd also has a diary on it. the punk is finally getting exposed!!!!

  49. Good one Hillary, Rapid Response at her finest! I am so tired of slippery BO…and his gauzy and vague rhetoric. The old pundits Shrum, etc were on Russert saying the campaign is about change and Obama’s the change candidate. Why doesn’t anyone ever ask what is the change he’s talking about? It’s all BS rhetoric, from a totally packaged candidate with NO substance.

  50. daily kos is really looking like hell RIGHT NOW!!! HRC’s campaign needs to research this!

    just got troll rated to hell and back for saying something positive about hillary. and it’s not just a couple people. it’s like a 20 or 50 people there. esp. right now. during office hours. seems kind of strange if you ask me.

  51. sanctimoniuos, loud mouth Obambi boomer:

    – campaign “boomer”
    – civil rights “boomer”

    What a prig!

    I dislike “preachers”

  52. The first report on this was 11/15 by the AP’s Jim Kuhnhenn, the date of BO’s Hopefund updated activity report to the FEC.

    Hopefund “gave $6,000 to Gov. John Lynch’s campaign war chest; Lynch has not endorsed in the presidential contest.”

    “Ten county Democratic committees in New Hampshire received $1,000 each from Obama’s PAC and the state Democratic Party received $5,000. The Iowa Senate Majority fund and the Iowa House Truman Fund, political groups that assist local legislative candidates, received $30,000 each from the PAC. Their New Hampshire counterparts received $15,000 each.”,4670,ObamaPAC,00.html

  53. Let’s hope the MSM will follow up on this. The issue was even raised by the Boston Globe in August, but apparently nobody was paying attention.

  54. Actually, I can’t figure out why nobody has jumped on this before. The ChiTrib reported in April 2007:

    Obama has distributed Hopefund’s dollars to Democratic organizations across the country, the Tribune’s analysis shows, including in the early presidential battleground states of Iowa and New Hampshire as well as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.”,0,6840029.story

  55. SouthernDem, I was at Kos too, just a bunch of feel good bullshit BO stories …I have been pummeled by Obamabots before, they just gang up on you and all TR you for nothing. There’s never a REC’d Pro-Hillary diary ever…it’s amazing. Before it was the Edwards posse, now many of those have moved to BO. Alot of idiots on that site bottomline.

  56. I have been banned from dkos, so I wont complain. I am glad MSM is finally digging in and Hillary campaign is counter punching. I think they have a bunch of teenagers/campaign staff, which responds to each and every article, in all major news papers. This is a an old strategy, but any reader online wont stop reading an article just after article finishes. he/she is bound to read comments, and thats why these comments are effective. I think hillary’s campaign should also have a group of 10+ volunteers working on this stuff ALL the time, so that whenever an article is posted for or against obama/clinton, they would be the first ones to respond. I do respond regularly to comments, but I have a day job 🙂 and cant keep on scrolling 24/7 for latest articles :). I hope someone passes off this message to her campaign staff, and I will send it as a tip too to hillaryhub.

  57. I am so sick of these people. Now they have a “Hillary, the politics of disappointment”. I can’t imagine anything more disappointing that Hillary not winning the primary.

  58. there is a recognizable, albeit fairly small, group of Hillary supporters at dkos, doing our best to keep on top of things and fact check as needed. (someone I met from that site assumed I was working for the campaign – which I’m not! – surprisingly some dKos people actually do believe in Hillary.)

    there have been a few pro-Hillary diaries on the rec list but generally at off-peak hours. I just take it as a given that anti-Hillary diaries will make it on there and try to drop in and present the facts as often as I can. I don’t know if this is a productive use of my time or not, but I assume that for every active poster, the site has many lurkers who just read, as well as mainstream media types who look at it.

  59. The disturbing thing that stood out for me in Obama’s speech in the AA church was that God was with him.

    He asked for the congregation to be strong and to back him because “God is walking with us”.

    Evidently, God has made his choice in the Dem primary. Now that’s the one endorsement that beats Oprah’s!

  60. O-Bomb-A pronounces himself successor of the civil rights movement and claims God is walking with him.

    In the upcoming ABC interview, he becomes the braggart over his “within the MOE” lead in the latest Iowa poll, and he taunts the Clinton campaign and the media at large, as if he has already won!

    Could we be witnessing the start of (yet another) of O-Bomb-A’s manic swings?

  61. i’m just waiting until obama actually comes out and says that he DOES believe in intelligent design and does NOT believe in carbon/global warming.

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