Obama Money Questions Pile Up

Today the Washington Post described the difference between Obama’s flowery words and what Obama actually does. Apparently Obama, the denouncer of insider Washington is using all sorts of Washington insider financial tricks to salvage his campaign. Experts in the campaign finance field are not amused.

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 Hillary Clinton campaign responded to the latest Obama hypocrisy:

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?

These are excellent questions. So far no answers.

We’ve listed questions before – so far no answers.

We will post more questions this week. Rezko, Michelle, Obama – lots of questions remain unanswered.


97 thoughts on “Obama Money Questions Pile Up

  1. Just so this conversation and my data carry over to this posting, here is my Congresspedia/SourceWatch article link (remove space):

    sourcewatch.org/index.php? [space] title=Barack_Obama%27s_contributions_to_campaign_endorsers

  2. tpmelectioncentral.com/polltracker/pres_08/

    Hillary-49 Rudy-44
    Hillary-50 McCain-44
    Hillary-54 Mitt-38
    Hillary-53 Fred-40

    OB-45 Rudy-45

  3. watched about this on msm today! hillary will psuh this one big an dhas to-and so will I. this is what Im talking about-reduce obama’s positve ratings. I just wish more hillary surrogates would do some of the attacks-and hillary has the best pitbulls-bill, cong. jackson lee, clark etc..

  4. BM, thanks for the great writeup. I will post the article link on mydd, nytimes, and all other major news outlets. I will also e-mail lots of political analysts. It might backfire with Obama leaning reporters, but atleast, they would be aware that we are aware.

  5. hi,

    I’m popping in occasionally… still sticking to my super superstition. lol. Hope everybody is fine.

    Some obscure but netherveless very good news from Michigan.

    In the wake of last week’s ruling reinstating a January 15 Michigan primary, state legislators in Michigan today will try to force Democratic presidential candidates to participate.

    They’re passing a law today that will finalize a ballot, adding the names of those Democrats who opted out of the earlier incarnation of the primary.

    That means that, absent a legal challenge, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden’s names will once again be on the ballot, joining Chris Dodd’s and Hillary Clinton’s. (The DNC won’t budge: Michigan will not be allocated any delegates).

    This is quite significant. By forcing Obama,Edwards etc’s names on the ballot, when these losers lose big time, they can’t claim they are not losers. So basically there are two solid firewalls NV and MI before SC. Just assuming the worst, worst scenario Clinton loses both IA and NH, two straight wins in NV and MI will certainly muffle MSM’s noise machine to certain extent.

    I think Clinton campaign has made a right call to fight relentlessly in Iowa even if they might lose there in the end. By fighting in IA, Clinton has basically frozen the battlefiield in other states, so even Obama wins IA, I doubt there’s much time and groundwork being laid for him to ride on the momentum.

    In one word, Clinton may lose one battle, but she will win the war.

    MSM is in frantic overdrive, I can’t wait to see them cry like baby again.

  6. Per Politico:

    Ex-Taliban spokesman also ex-Obama Facebooker

    Here’s an odd tidbit from the Facebook data stream, via a friend who is Facebook “friends” with Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, the former roving Taliban Ambassador now studying at Yale.

    Rahmatullah was, until recently, a member of the university’s Facebook group for Obama supporters; he left the group November 19.

    “I had no political intentions when joining the group; and I left it because some friends objected to my being in the group,” Rahmatullah wrote me in response to a message sent through Facebook. He said he had joined because a Facebook friend invited him.

    He also said he didn’t know much about Obama, but doesn’t have high hopes.

    [G[uessing from my experiences in America I don’t think he is going to be a strong leader who could bring important changes. Because, I think as a black man, with a muslim name that is similar to Osama, and a foreign born father he is not going gain the confidence of the core white Americans. I know some liberals support him. But liberals are usually shaky–not– die-hards as the conservatives.

    An Obama spokesman said Rahmatullah hasn’t actually been active with the campus Obama group, and that the group’s leaders were surprised to learn that he’d joined their Facebook group.

    Rahmatullah became the subject of some controversy after a New York Times Magazine profile made his presence at Yale widely known.

    He has, reportedly, come quite a long way from the Taliban’s intolerance. His Facebook page lists him as a member of the group “Jews and Muslims at Yale,” as well as of the group “I scored higher in my SAT than George W. Bush.”

  7. This is again from Hillary’s site.

    Obama Campaign Fails to Deny Campaign Finance Violations
    The Clinton campaign issued the following statement from Deputy Communications Director Phil Singer in response to the Obama campaign’s failure to address the key question raised by a new report out today regarding its leadership PAC:

    “The Obama campaign’s failure to deny that it committed campaign finance violations speaks volumes. Instead of launching irrelevant attacks, Senator Obama should answer a simple question: Did Obama campaign officials direct the Hopefund to make contributions to officials and entities in states holding nominating contests? If the answer is no, they should just be direct and say so.”

  8. I distinctly remember when Obama spoke in NH when Paul hodes endorsed him…

    He said something along the following lines:

    “I have not been in washington long enough to return favors”

    I guess this meant he had fewer endorsements because he had not contributed enough but looks like he knew what to do pretty well…..

    It is all talk but with little or no walk…if it is a walk it is done in circles…round the Obama merry-go around!!!!

    no giant leap here!

  9. mp – you should look for that quote. Remember what Jung said – that which is not resolved is projected.

    BTW, no one has diaried this over at Daily Kos. Somebody really ought to.

  10. unlike the obama trolls over there, we hillary supporters have OTHER full time jobs and have to work. i guess the obama trolls actually get paid to do what they do. although i’m sure i make more money than they do.

  11. TV ALERT (Tonight):


    Exclusive tonight: Katie Couric interviews Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

    * Watch the broadcast at 6:30 p.m. EST weekdays

  12. Did any of see this new Zogby poll?

    9,150 likely voters (conducted 11/21 through 11/26) finds:

    National General Election Match-ups:

    Huckabee 44%, Clinton 39%
    Thompson 44%, Clinton 40%
    McCain 42%, Clinton 38%
    Giuliani 43%, Clinton 40%
    Romney 43%, Clinton 40%

    Obama 47%, Thompson 40%
    Obama 45%, McCain 38%
    Obama 46%, Huckabee 40%
    Obama 46%, Romney 40%
    Obama 46%, Giuliani 41%

    Edwards 45%, Thompson 42%
    Edwards 44%, Romney 42%
    Edwards 44%, Giuliani 43%
    Edwards 43%, Huckabee 42%
    Edwards 42%, McCain 42%

    Can I get some comments on this? It’s an online poll, and it covered two days of the Thanksgiving holiday. The numbers are not good, to put it mildly.

  13. This is an online interactive poll. It’s crap. I’ve yet to see an established pollster who has Obama outranking Hillay AND Edwards. They’ve got Hillary losing to Huckabee? Come on.

  14. paula, its an ONLINE poll. the only people who vote on these polls are kos and other netroot activist. you can put up a poll between guiliani and hillary in dkos and still, the race will be very close IMO. net polls are pretty much useless IMO.

  15. HillaryHub is touting this Gallup poll:


    November 26, 2007
    Democratic Candidates Look Good in Latest 2008 Trial Heats
    Hold significant leads over Thompson, Romney; slim edges over McCain

    PRINCETON, NJ — A new Gallup Poll finds Sen. Hillary Clinton with a slim but not statistically significant advantage over both former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain in head-to-head matchups for the 2008 general election for president. Clinton has much more substantial leads over former Sen. Fred Thompson and former Gov. Mitt Romney. Sen. Barack Obama also has significant leads over Thompson and Romney, but essentially ties with Giuliani and McCain.

    The poll of 897 registered voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 11-14, 2007.

    Clinton — the dominant front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination — would appear to have at least a slight advantage over any Republican candidate among registered voters if the election were held today. She has a five-point edge over Giuliani (49% to 44%) and a six-point edge over McCain (50% to 44%), but neither lead is statistically significant. Clinton runs much more strongly against the lesser-known Thompson (53% to 40%) and Romney (54% to 38%).


  16. The Obama supporters here have kept mum on this subject. lol.
    though i did get a “well, Hillary takes money from lobbyists” comment from some of them when i mentioned it, lol.

  17. I wish Hillary would just let the press look at this campaign finance issue. I think she needs to stay above the fray.

  18. I think Hillary should try to get back above the fray. She has alot of things going right right now, she got in a few punches. I don’t think she should keep engaging Obama.

  19. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/26/eveningnews/main3540666.shtml

    (CBS) With the Iowa caucus just more than a month away, CBS News anchor Katie Couric sat down for an exclusive interview with Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton.

    She’s the woman on everyone’s mind right now. But polls in Iowa are showing the race could shape up to be very close. Couric asked Clinton if she’s lowering her expectations as the primary approaches.

    “I never raised them, you know when I got into race at the beginning of the year. I wasn’t even in double-digits. I was so far behind in Iowa it was embarrassing,” Clinton said.

    Her campaign instead is “encouraged” she said, because “we’re making progress – but I take nothing for granted, this is going to be a tight race.”

    “I think everybody should just take a deep breath and say ‘let’s just go to the finish line,’ which will be probably be midnight West Coast time on Feb. 5,” she said.

    Couric asked Clinton: “Many of Barack Obama’s supporters were urging him to be more aggressive and to fight back a little more when it came to your candidacy. It seems as if in recent days you’ve returned the favor; you’ve taken off the gloves a bit. And some people are interpreting that as your campaign being pretty nervous…”

    “That’s not the case at all. Campaigns have rhythm. And we’re now down to end. We’re going to have a mad dash to Iowa caucuses, turn around and have a mad dash to New Hampshire and then keep going,” she said.

    Has the Clinton campaign gotten more aggressive?

    “It’s time. I have absorbed a lot of attacks for several months now – my opponents have basically had a free reign,” she said. “After you’ve been attacked as often as I have from several of my opponents, you can’t just absorb it, you have to respond.

    “But a lot of the attacks have been quite persistent, shall we say,” she said. “Hardly a day goes by when I’m not attacked.”

    Clinton said she wants voters to know how her plans – particularly health care – stack up against those of other candidates. She named Obama’s plan particularly.

    “I figure it’s about time now for me to draw contrasts, which I think are pretty important,” she said. “And that’s what I’m going to do.”

    It was announced Monday that Oprah Winfrey would be campaigning with Obama in three key states. “How do you feel about that?” Couric asked.

    “I think it’s great … I’m proud to have a lot of very distinguished Americans [supporting me],” Clinton said.

  20. mj, I think she will stay above the fray. we have to see the interview today and get a glimpse of what she thinks about it. i think she will say campigns make mistakes and they recover and move on and stuff like that, but then everyone understands that this is a bad spot to be on for Obama.

  21. I can’t see Obama winning and he won’t. even if he does win, Hillary could easily run as a third-party member. The fact is, if Obama runs, he will be eaten ALIVE.

  22. http://www.boston.com/news/local/politics/primarysource/2007/07/obama_i_wont_ge.html

    Obama: I won’t get as many endorsements because I haven’t traded favors

    Obama said he was proud to have Hodes’ endorsement, but conceded he would not have near the number of endorsements that other candidates, like Hillary Clinton will have.

    “We haven’t been in Washington all that long and we haven’t traded that many favors,” Obama said.

    Obama appeared more fired up than he has been at other New Hampshire events lately and much of his fire was aimed at Clinton, his chief rival for the Democratic nomination.

  23. Ah, must be the URL


    Obama: I won’t get as many endorsements because I haven’t traded favors

    Obama said he was proud to have Hodes’ endorsement, but conceded he would not have near the number of endorsements that other candidates, like Hillary Clinton will have.

    “We haven’t been in Washington all that long and we haven’t traded that many favors,” Obama said.

    Obama appeared more fired up than he has been at other New Hampshire events lately and much of his fire was aimed at Clinton, his chief rival for the Democratic nomination.

  24. Paula:

    Another note on Zogby. Don’t trust his polls at all. Depending on who is funding the polls, he will produce the results they like. He cannot be trusted.

  25. Hi, A newbie here with a note on Zogby online polls. From 2004 until last year, I was one of the people regularly polled by Zogby online. My experience is this is not a valid poll at all but it could be easily manipulated to deliver any result.

  26. IOWA – Among Likely Democrat Caucus Voters:

    25% – Clinton

    23% – Edwards

    22% – Obama



    Anybody want to wager that Russert spends half his next show on THIS poll ?

  27. Hillary needs to get back above the fray. I don’t understand the thinkinh here. She’s elevating Obama. I hope she just goes back to her positive message and just hits back when attacked.

  28. mj, Hillary hasn’t said anything about this; I’m not sure what you mean. Her campaign has released a couple of statements, but that’s it. Obama’s been attacking her regularly. Just see what he said today.

  29. I think when she talks about her health care plan she should differentiate herself from all of the candidates, not just Obama. I this contribution stuff, her campaign asked a series of questions, I think they should just let the media sort it out. I really think direct engagement elevates him. Why do that? Also, a number of her supporters online want to hear her get back to her positive message for the country. Again, I do think she should make distinctions between herself and the field, but I don’t want to see her elevate this guy.

  30. mj:

    I agree with what Hillary is doing. Staying above the fray when your opponents are constantly hitting you with republican talking points (questioning character) reinforces the opinion in people’s mind that she is corrupt while her opponents are squeaky clean. There are other advantages as well which I will not reveal here now because this is a forbidden zone.

  31. Cannan,

    The Hopefund flap is a trap. Hillary needs to stay away from it. They are already flapping their jaws about Vilsak and Lynch. As soon as I saw Romey as the sterling example..the *clue phone* rang loudly.

    Mrs. S.

  32. i agree with mj ,you are right she is elevating him ,so let the media figure it out,Dick morris said if she looses,iowa and nh its a 50 sate race then and she will be president i cant imagine him that he said that,alan was happy to hear it..

  33. What did this ap poll show? Someone said that should tell Hill to lay off the attacks. I hope she just gets back to the posititive.

  34. yep she needs to get back on her issues,policys and forget him,only if she gets attacked bad then she can respond back,and bring out the differnces on her opponets all of them…not just him…but for now get to the voters,she can bring out 20 million who have not voted forever.

  35. mj:

    She will be fine. Don’t worry. Someone should challenge Obama on his stances and his “holier than thou” attitude. Edwards “Obama’s lap dog” isn’t doing it. When people are asked about honesty and integrity Obama is ranked highest and Hillary lowest. Why is that? Nobody has questioned his integrity. The media keeps talking about his character in glowing terms while trashing Hillary as calculating. In the meantime, he is telling people that you should not just look at experience, but also look at character and judgment when electing a president. He needs to be challenged on his character. He has too many skeletons in his closet for such a short political career.

  36. Her campaign appearances always focus on issues, and in her CBS appearance today she didn’t mention anyone else by name.

    I have no idea if Hopefund is a trap, but I assume her campaign people would be smart enough to know if it were. Admin obviously doesn’t think it is.

  37. Obama’s her biggest rival; that’s why the focus is on him. He’s already elevated as it is. The MSM has done its part to accomplish that.

  38. Zogby should have been embarrassed to publish those results without a disclaimer of significant length. HRC unites all the people who have been neglected or worse by the current occupants of 1600 Penn. Ave. and will be victorious by winning all of the historically blue states and capturing a surprising number of historically red states. If the GOP nominee is Rudy or Romney, the evangelicals will stay home in protest or run a 3rd party candidate. If the GOP nominee is Fred T, he will be lucky to win his own state (though things would be much different today had Al Gore won Tenn. in 2000). Huckabee is devoid of charisma, and now even some Republicans are turning against him because of his tax policies as governor of Arkansas. McCain might hold on to more of the middle-aged white male vote, but has little appeal to anyone else. It’s illegal to discriminate against someone in hiring because of age, but we aren’t hiring them, we’re just voting for them. RealClearPolitics, a Republican-edited site, lists 45 different polls with head-to-heads of the leading candidates in each party. Of those 45 polls, the Democratic candidate is leading in 37, 4 are tied, and the GOP candidate is leading in 4. HRC will be the one making that final speech at the convention next year when the balloons and confetti are released. I used to work in thoroughbred racing -it’s what we would call a “power steam lock.”

  39. mj:

    Again, I do think she should make distinctions between herself and the field, but I don’t want to see her elevate this guy.

    Hillary, herself is not doing personal or character attacks like Edwards or Obama. She is attacking Obama on issues. If Hillary attacks the field, she will get a collective response from the field. It will be the whole field vs. her. Obama will hide in that field and still get to attack Hillary. This way she picks him out of the field and smokes him out to come clean on issues like healthcare so he can’t say his healthcare is universal. This way the field will not defend him. He has to defend his issues himself and explain why his healthcare won’t cover 15 million people.

    She also does not want to pick a fight with the whole field when she knows her only competition is Obama.

  40. Also, notice that Tim Russert and the rest of hack-media always mention how Hillary fumbled the immigration question in the Philly debate. They never mention that Obama fumbled it in the next debate inspite of knowing very well that there would be questions on illegal immigration. The media will never do its job. Also, if Hillary did not smoke him out, not many people would have known that his healthcare plan is not universal even though he says it is. The time is ripe to smoke him out on all his positions and force him to explain them in depth because the media will not do its jobs and other candidates are only interested in going after Hillary.

  41. That should be “because the media will not do its job and other candidates are only interested in going after Hillary.”

  42. CONCORD, N.H. — Barack Obama may be gaining in Iowa, but Hillary Clinton touched down here yesterday to issue an implicit reminder: when the race moves to New Hampshire, she’ll have the Machine.

    That may be an overly harsh word to describe the New Hampshire Democratic establishment — state legislators, retired officials and lawyer-lobbyist types who tend on the whole to be as personable as most of their small-state neighbors. But there was no mistaking the show of Establishment force at the historic carriage house here where Clinton came to pick up yet another high-profile Democratic endorsement, from Susan Lynch, the wife of the state’s popular governor John Lynch. Clinton was introduced by the speaker of the New Hampshire House, Terie Norelli, and the relatively small audience packed into the room included the president of the state Senate, Sylvia Larson; an influential veteran senator from Manchester, Lou D’Allesandro; and at least a dozen other state legislators from the Concord area.

    Larson said the local establishment backing for Clinton is a reflection of legislators’ belief that she is better prepared for presidency than her rivals. “She’s the experienced, capable candidate who’s ready to go to work on the first day,” said Larson. “Those of us who’ve worked in the field all these years recognize that it takes time to make things happen, that you need that background to succeed.”

    Just how much weight the local poobahs’ backing will carry come the Jan. 8 primary remains to be seen. Al Gore had a similar lineup of support in 1999 and 2000 and barely eked out a victory in New Hampshire over Bill Bradley. In 2004, the establishment was more splintered among the Democratic candidates.

    The Clinton campaign is hoping that Susan Lynch’s endorsement, for one, could pack some real punch. It will be seen in many quarters as an implicit blessing from her popular husband, who is officially remaining neutral, much as John Kerry benefited from the endorsement of then-Gov. Tom Vilsack’s wife in Iowa in 2004, and as Clinton benefits in New Hampshire from the backing of power broker Billy Shaheen, husband of New Hampshire’s former governor Jeanne Shaheen, who is officially remaining neutral as she prepares to run for Senate. In addition, Susan Lynch, a pediatrician, is well-liked and respected in her own right, and her word may carry some extra weight given that she has generally shied from politics.

    “As a first lady, pediatrician and most importantly, a mother, I do not take my endorsement light heartedly,” she said today with Clinton at her side. “But I truly believe that Hillary Clinton is the right person to lead our country.”

    After the event, former state representative Carol Burney said Clinton may be getting such particularly strong establishment support in New Hampshire because that establishment includes so many women leaders. “We got women running the state here,” she said. “It’s wonderful so many [establishment Democrats] support her because it says our New Hampshire machine is in the process of getting her elected.”

    Confirmation of this theory was provided a moment later when Mary Louise Hancock, a former state senator and the unofficial grand dame of New Hampshire Democrats, called Clinton to her wheelchair to give her a Susan B. Anthony coin that Hancock had won as part of a women’s leadership award. The coin was a good luck charm, Hancock said, to be returned when Clinton became president. “If you’ve been a legislator then you understand government,” Hancock said, later explaining her strong support for Clinton. “What people don’t understand is that politics is about government. Because she understands government, she’ll be able to run the country.”

    After Clinton left with the coin, Hancock was swarmed by television crews asking her to elaborate on the moment. The significance of the blessing of the 87-year-old Mrs. Hancock — a longtime fixture of the Concord scene — was lost on some of the Secret Service agents looking on. “Can I ask you a question?” one of them asked a reporter. “Who is she?”

  43. If you saw the Keith Olberman show tonight and listened to his interview with Craig Crawford, then you probably know that one or both of them addressed some of the issues discussed above.

    Neither of them felt that Oprah would be a signifircant help to Obama in the primaries.

    They agreed that Hillary’s adoption of a more assertive posture okay.

    However, Crawford did suggest that she focus on Edwards as well, to ensure a 3 way race.

  44. please the elevating line, is just crap…
    if the campaign thinks there is a trap somewhere here, than fine, its their job to watch for these sorts of things, and she should stay away…

    but that whole staying aboved the fray thing, is a double edged sword,
    she needs to stand up for herself when they lie about her, and show some guts, and deny deny deny out of her own mouth…

    people think she doesnt defend herself cause she cant. they think she’s guilty…
    who in the world does not want a troubling rumor cleared up, when you hear it?

    hillary is not dumb, she knows its time to defend her position, no, she knows its CRUCIAL lest the rumors get in the way of her last push…

  45. Wow, alegre just posted on dailykos about Hillary talking health care in NH. We need this woman. Who are these idiots who don’t trust her? I trust her more than anyone running, or even her husband. She’s a wonderful person.

  46. Paula,

    “Is the CBS poll new?”

    They showed it on Monday night’s Evening News, right before Couric’s interview with Hillary. I can’t imagine it would be a month old.

    BTW, Obama is making an ASS out of himself on Nightline right now. When pressed on his assertions about Hillary, he’s doing a lot of stammering.

  47. mj,

    Clinton needs to be aggressive. O-bomb’s only virtue left in this race is his ‘clean’ image. If he’s unmasked and being dragged into the mud he belongs to, there’ll be little left for him. It is no time to ‘stay above the fray’.

    Clinton campaign needs to focus on O-bomb like a laser beam… Do not get distracted by Edwards. It’s actually a better scenario if Edwards squeezes out a win in IA.

  48. Oh, ok. Well, I just think this particular story they should leave to the press. I admit, some of the Hillary supporters on mydd freaked me out a bit.

  49. mj,

    the press won’t do their work if Clinton campaign does not push for it. It is just as simple as that. Right now, there’s no need to worry about ‘negative campaign’… A successful ‘negative campaign’ is to drag your opponent to the ground while keeping yourself just a little above ground.

    IMHO, Clinton campaign had waited a bit too long to go ‘negative’.

  50. Ok, that’s fair. But I think she should lay her punches and then get back to the issues, I don’t have any problem with direct attacks on the issues. I do see your point. This guy is a hypocrite and needs to be exposed.

  51. I really liked the CBS interview.
    What struck me about it was Hillary saying several times that she just gets up every day and does what she does. It’s.. I don’t know how to say exactly.. but I like that it subtly really makes the connection between being out there as candidate and as president, just getting up and doing what you do every day, and the way a lot of people live their lives. especially made me think of family of mine who work demanding jobs, they just get up every day and do them – no complaints.

  52. PRINCETON, NJ — A new Gallup Poll finds Sen. Hillary Clinton with a slim but not statistically significant advantage over both former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain in head-to-head matchups for the 2008 general election for president. Clinton has much more substantial leads over former Sen. Fred Thompson and former Gov. Mitt Romney. Sen. Barack Obama also has significant leads over Thompson and Romney, but essentially ties with Giuliani and McCain.

    The poll of 897 registered voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 11-14, 2007.

    Clinton — the dominant front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination — would appear to have at least a slight advantage over any Republican candidate among registered voters if the election were held today. She has a five-point edge over Giuliani (49% to 44%) and a six-point edge over McCain (50% to 44%), but neither lead is statistically significant. Clinton runs much more strongly against the lesser-known Thompson (53% to 40%) and Romney (54% to 38%).

    Gallup previously tested these same matchups in June (Clinton versus Giuliani, McCain, and Romney) and July (Clinton versus Thompson). Since then, Clinton’s standing against Giuliani, McCain, and Romney has remained about the same, while she now fares much better against Thompson. In July, 48% of registered voters preferred Clinton and 45% Thompson.


  53. Interesting discussion. I think that Hillary needs to counter the pervasive misquoting from Obama and his minions.

    For instance, he did NOT say that his life abroad as a 6-10 year old broadened his view, or gave him a different perspective, or any of the other rewrites. He said it was his “foreign policy experience” — to which Biden responded that yes that was his best foreign policy experience.

    He often says that Hillary wants to keep the troops in Iraq until 2013. No she doesn’t.

    And someone, not Hillary, needs to question the “squeaky clean” image he has presented while he attacks her.

    So many of Hillary’s supporters who can get airtime are Democratic officeholders who don’t want this intraparty squabble. But an unelectable poseur has to be answered.

  54. HRC’s Phil Singer on BO’s experience:

    “Considering that Senator Obama was a state senator just three years ago, he is the last person to be questioning anyone’s experience. If he is elected, he would have less experience than any American president of the 20th century.”

  55. Mark Halperin, “Why Oprah Won’t Help Obama”

    “To win the Democratic nomination for President, Barack Obama still needs the same thing he has needed all along — for voters to see him as ready to be commander in chief by January 2009. So now the question is: Will appearing at weekend campaign rallies with Oprah Winfrey help him achieve that goal?”


  56. i saw an article today with obama saying that hillary’s endorsees were bought. have any of u seen this? i just read it now cant find it-if u find it please post….

  57. No. Haven’t seen that one. But the new king of spin will come up with just about anything now that he’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

    Update. The Hopefund Inc.’s November 15, 2007, filing with the FEC is available but has not yet been broken down and posted as individual returns.

    You can read the full report here (add http://). herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/dcdev/forms/C00409052/310776

    An interesting factoid from the report is this. One of the two South Carolina pols who received $1,000 on September 24, 2007, is S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers, who has, coincidentally, endorsed Obama.

    It was revealed on November 6, 2007, that Sellers was one of two prominent Obama supporters who “pressured the state Democratic council to keep Stephen Colbert off the primary ballot” in South Carolina. (Wikinews).

    That’s a lot of mojo for $1,000.

  58. Repost (spam blocker) ..

    Update. The Hopefund Inc.’s November 15, 2007, filing with the FEC is available but has not yet been broken down and posted as individual returns.

    An interesting factoid from the report is this. One of the two South Carolina pols who received $1,000 on September 24, 2007, is S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers, who has, coincidentally, endorsed Obama.

    It was revealed on November 6, 2007, that Sellers was one of two prominent Obama supporters who “pressured the state Democratic council to keep Stephen Colbert off the primary ballot” in South Carolina. (Wikinews)

    That’s a whole lot of mojo for $1,000.

  59. texan4hillary,

    This is old “news” and just keeps popping up. In fact, it has been a recurrent theme at HuffPo (add huffingtonpost.com to the following links) among others since at least February.


    A prime example is Columbia, S.C., pastor Darrell Jackson. Hillary got the endorsement, which raised an endless flurry of critical articles. What is not reported, of course, is that BO was “personally” in negotiations for Jackson’s endorsement as well.

    And on conservative blogs:


  60. b merryfield-
    thanks for these. i swear obama had a statement today saying hillary had purchased her endorsements or soemthing. and yes these other articles have been used by obama folks for a while-but today was crazy for obama to assert this. i wonder hwat her endorsees think of this? these are repsected people and for obama’s camp to say this is an insult to them. attack of the hillary endorsees?

  61. texan4hillary,

    Unfortunately, something that is bugging the heck out me is the half-truths and near-truths being bandied about. BO, JE and others (and their high-paid handlers and down-right stupid pundits) are getting away with this. Partly because MSM is too lazy to check facts and partly because it boosts their ratings and sells product, which is why HRC’s rapid response/Fact Hub is proving to be so valuable (but it won’t work to retro anything already said/done). The problem also comes from the fact too many folks just want to believe whatever smears/lies and Repug talking points they hear. Being told what to think is easier than actually having to think for oneself. This has worked quite well for Clinton bashers in the past and it is unlikely that we will see it stop in the future. In fact, I expect it will get far worse before (or if) it gets better.

    The good thing is, for the most part, the anti-Clinton crowd is incestuous .. they’re swapping the same old lies with each other (with BO and JE now wallowing around in the gutter with them), getting that self-satisfied “feel good” that boosts their egoes and justifies their wretched existence.

    However, they cannot be totally ignored. Gore, Kerry and many others have learned that lesson to their detriment. Hillary is doing this the right way — addressing lies and distortions with facts. Those who want to see this as Hillary on the attack or “going dirty” are going to see it that way no matter what. Those folks will not have their minds changed with facts and no amount of arguing will change their opinions. No sense to waste time on lost causes.

    Rant of the day! Move along … nothing more to see here.

  62. Watching msnbc- an interview with an Iowa Indy. She is in the Medical profession. She was asked what is the most important issue to Iowans. By far, It
    is the “THE WAR.” Health Care, she said is important, but secondary.

    I believe on the stump, Hillary can hit both of those issues. Begin with Health Care and by the middle of her speech segue into Health Care for returning soldiers and finally finishing up with Ending the War!

    Now there is a winning program sure to hold Iowa’s attention..and translating into poll numbers..

    Mrs. S.

  63. SC endorsement today…

    Monday, Nov 26, 2007 – 08:05 AM Updated: 05:39 PM

    Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign says her bid for The White House will receive an endorsement during a trip to Spartanburg on Tuesday, while a Democratic rival hopes some star power will gather some support this weekend.

    Clinton will announce the endorsement during an appearance at the Marriott at Renaissance Park on Tuesday. Senator Clinton also has appearances scheduled during the day in Aiken and Bennettsville.

    Senator Barack Obama will have talk show host Oprah Winfrey with him for four campaign appearances, including one in Columbia on December 9. Its part of a two day campaign swing from Iowa to South Carolina and New Hampshire for Obama and Winfrey.

    Both the Clinton and Obama campaigns say their events are open to the public. Click Here to get Free Tickets to the Obama Event

    Our exclusive Survey USA poll, presented on News Channel 7 less than two weeks ago, showed Senator Clinton with 47 percent support of voters surveyed to 33 percent for Senator Obama.
    Rudy Giuliani led Mitt Romney by six points (26-20 percent) among GOP contenders in the same survey.


  64. Clinton endorsed by S.C. ministers amid faith fight with Obama
    By Jim Davenport
    Associated Press


    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton picked up endorsements from dozens of black ministers Tuesday in South Carolina, an early voting state where she and rival Barack Obama have been courting the critical black vote.

    The clergy were drawn to the New York senator for her views on health care, jobs and other issues, said a state representative who helped organize the endorsements. “They felt this was the best candidate addressing their concerns,” said state Rep. Harold Mitchell, a Democrat from this northern part of the state.

    Nearly half of South Carolina’s Democratic primary voters are black, and ministers can play a huge role in shaping the political direction of their congregations. At least four dozen ministers had gathered at a hotel for the endorsements, and the campaign said 80 were expected by the time the candidate was to speak shortly before 10 a.m.

    The endorsements came as Clinton tries to widen what one recent poll showed was as much as a 10 percentage point lead over Obama, an Illinois senator.

    “This is just the beginning,” said state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a Columbia minister working for Clinton. Similar announcements are in the works in other regions of the state, he said.

    Obama has pulpit endorsements of his own. He’s visited churches in the state and his campaign has organized forums on faith at churches and community centers. It also sponsored a recent gospel music tour.

    In October, Obama stood in front of the pulpit of a Greenville church and told a mostly full, 4,200 seat sanctuary that faith was everything to him. “It’s what keeps me grounded. It’s what keeps my eyes set on the greatest of heights,” he said.

    Clinton’s husband remains popular with blacks in South Carolina, and the former president apparently helped get the support that was announced Tuesday during a visit to the state last month.

    Don Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, said courting the pulpit is key for the black vote here.

    “The church and individual members play an extremely important role in black politics,” Fowlers said in an interview last month.

    “There’s very stiff, intense competition for the hearts and minds of the African-American clergy,” he said. “Collectively, they have huge influence.”

    Obama’s campaign had no immediate reaction to Tuesday’s endorsements.


  65. A David Corn post on MotherJones yesterday really ticked me off. Here and just about anywhere “Hillary haters” can be found BO’s PAC money tactics are excused, often with “well, Hillary does it”, referring to Hill PAC.

    Let me tell you once and for all. Hillary DOES NOT do it, too. I just read through more than 100 pages of Hill PAC’s Jan-Jun 2007 filing and there is NOT ONE $ given to any candidate. NOT ONE.

    See for yourself if you don’t mind getting all squint-eyed in the meantime. I will be going over the next set of records and don’t expect to find anything different.



  66. Actually, HRC changed Hill PAC’s reporting dates since it is not in campaign mode. The next report won’t be until the end of the year (12/31/07; report due by 1/31/08).


  67. Well, if someone says, “Hillary does it, too,” then just respond with this: “Then I guess Obama is just as bad as she is, right?” That’ll shut ’em up.

  68. Here is the best rebuttal of the Zogby poll:

    Here is the link: http://www.pollster.com/blogs/zogby_internet_poll_trial_heat.php
    Zogby Internet Poll Trial Heats are Odd


    A new Zogby Interactive poll, conducted using volunteers over the internet, has produced some odd results for trial heats involving Senator Clinton against all four top Republican opponents. What makes this especially odd is that the results are not equally unusual for Obama.

    This poll was reported by Reuters’ John Whitesides, who also reports on the Reuters sponsored polling Zogby does by conventional telephone methods. The similarities in the reports make it hard to tell, but apparently these results are not part of the Reuters-Zogby polling partnership, but are independent work by Zogby Interactive. Likewise Zogby’s website posts the results without mention of who sponsored the work, so presumably Reuters did not.

    The Zogby poll was conducted 11/21-26/07 with 9150 respondents who had agreed to take part in Zogby’s online polling. This is not a normal random sample of the population. More on the technical issues below.

    The hugely surprising result is that the Zogby poll finds Sen. Hillary Clinton losing to all four top Republicans in head-to-head trial heats. What makes that surprising is that Clinton LEADS all four of those Republicans in the trend estimates based on all other polling by between 3.8 and 11.6 points. Zogby also has Clinton losing to Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee by 5 points. There are too few Clinton-Huckabee trial heat polls from other organizations for me to compute a trend estimate for that comparison.

    The chart above shows all the trial heat data from national polling and the estimated trend lines for each pairing. The data points for the new Zogby data are indicated in the charts as “Zogby Inet” in blue for Clinton and red for each Republican.

    What is immediately clear is that the Zogby Clinton numbers are well below the estimated trend for Clinton in each of the four comparisons. Clinton is consistently 8-10 points below her trend estimate based on other polling.

    In contrast, the Republican results are quite close to the trend estimate in most cases: Giuliani is at 43 in Zogby, with a trend of 44. Romney is 43 in Zogby, 38.3 in trend; Thompson is 44 in Zogby, 41.3 trend, and McCain is 42 Zogby, 42.7 trend. Those Republican numbers are about the kind of normal noise we see around the trend estimate, so don’t seem out of line.

    Why then is Clinton so far down in comparison to other polls? The Reuters story doesn’t note that these results are far from other polling, and instead uses the theme that Clinton is declining to frame these Zogby results:

    The results come as other national polls show the race for the Democratic nomination tightening five weeks before the first contest in Iowa, which kicks off the state-by-state nomination battles in each party.

    Some Democrats have expressed concerns about the former first lady’s electability in a race against Republicans. The survey showed Clinton not performing as well as Obama and Edwards among independents and younger voters, pollster John Zogby said.

    While this is certainly a theme of recent reporting, boosted by a pre-Thanksgiving ABC/WP poll showing Obama leading Clinton in Iowa, it is striking that no other poll has found recent results as far from the trend estimates as are Zogby’s results and that the Reuters story fails to note that fact.

    One answer to why Clinton does so badly MIGHT be that the poll has too few Democrats and thus biases its results. But if that were so, we’d expect Obama to also underperform his trend estimates. That doesn’t happen, as the chart below makes clear.


    The Zogby results for Obama are all quite close to his trend estimate from all polls:

    Zogby has Obama at 46% vs Giuliani, while the trend puts him at 44.3. Against Romney Zogby has Obama at 46%, while trend says 46.6. Against Thompson Zogby has Obama at 47, while trend is 47.0, and against McCain Zogby has Obama at 45 while trend puts him at 43.4.

    This is clearly not consistent with a general anti-Democratic bias in the Zogby Internet poll. It is also clear from the graph that the Obama pairings find Republicans doing quite close to the trend estimates as they did against Clinton.

    (Trial heats against Edwards are not very common recently, so the Zogby results for him lack much polling for comparison.)

    And so we are left with a puzzle: What is it about these respondents that so strongly affects Clinton support but no one else?

    We can probably rule out one easy explanation: That Clinton has suddenly collapsed and Zogby is just the first to find it. The reason is internal to the Zogby result. If Clinton really has suddenly become 10 points less attractive, we’d expect all four Republicans paired against her to do BETTER than their trend estimates when facing her. But what happens is Clinton goes down and they don’t do any better. That is hard to reconcile with a real change in Clinton’s support. (A tortured version would say Clinton must have collapsed among Dems who now say they are undecided while refusing to move towards any of the Republicans. But that isn’t usually what happens in real data when one candidate declines sharply. Usually the other moves up at least a bit, drawing not only from unhappy partisans but especially from independents who now are disenchanted with the former front-runner. So while you could make the math work with this story, it doesn’t seem very well supported by the data.)

    The Zogby Internet polling has a questionable track record in statewide races for Senate and Governor in 2006, where they often far over-estimated the competitiveness of races compared to conventional phone polls taken at the same time. One way to make sense of those problems turns out not to help much here. It is reasonable that the people who volunteer to take political polls over the internet are considerably more interested in politics (and likely more strongly partisan) than is a random sample of likely voters. That should be expected to lead to fewer people with “don’t know” responses as better informed and more partisan respondents are likely to both know more about the candidates and to have made up their minds sooner than a proper random sample. That helps explain why Zogby’s 2006 internet polls looked as they did.

    But this does no good in Clinton’s case. What we see is that MORE internet respondents are undecided about their vote between Clinton and four Republicans than the trend estimates based on less involved and partisan phone samples show. The Zogby undecided rates for the Clinton pairings are 20, 17, 17 and 16% (plus 17% undecided in the Huckabee comparison.) The comparable undecided rates based on the trend estimates are 8.2, 12.8, 9.0 and 10.6. That is an average undecided rate of 17.5 in Zogby vs 10.15 in the trends. Likewise the undecided rate is slightly lower for Obama pairings than it is for Clinton: 17, 13, 14, 13, and 14 for Huckabee. How could it be that a sample that is almost certainly more involved, knowledgeable and partisan can be LESS decided about Cinton, the single best known figure in the race? Again, a tortured story might be constructed, but I think a simpler explanation is that this result is not consistent within the Zogby data itself, or in comparison with outside polling.

    Where does this leave us? Puzzled. If these results came from voting machines, I’d suspect that something in the ballot design or the recording mechanism caused a modest but consistent undercount of the Clinton support. The effect seems confined only to that one candidate, and not to any others, Democrats or Republicans. And there was no boost in support for the Republicans paired against Clinton. In this case, I’m similarly inclined to wonder if there is the possibility that the Zogby online survey had a glitch that caused a systematic “undervote” for Clinton. Certainly if my research assistant brought me these results, I’d want to check the software for mistakes before I published it.

    Let’s assume the Zogby organization has checked for any such possible mistakes or glitches and has ruled that out. (One would assume they were as surprised by the data as anyone and since their reputation is on the line, would have checked very carefully before releasing the data.) Is there any reasonable model of how candidate preferences are evolving that might explain this result, and the stability of Republicans paired against Clinton AND the stability of Obama support and that of his Republican pairings?

    Without access to the raw data it is impossible to test any speculation here. But here is one possibility: Internet polls, presumably including Zogby’s, use weighting to adjust for non-representativeness in their volunteer respondents. (There is a huge debate about whether this, and more sophisticated approaches, can produce generalizable population estimates with good statistical properties, but we’ll leave that for another day.) Clinton has more support among women and somewhat older people. Both those groups are likely to be underrepresented in any pool of internet respondents. As a result the responses of those with these characteristics who ARE present in the sample are likely to be weighted up quite a bit to reach population proportions in the weighted sample. If the relatively few older women who are in the sample are ALSO atypical in other ways that both make them volunteer for internet surveys AND be less disposed to support Clinton than are non-internet volunteering older women, then weighting these respondents up won’t properly capture Clinton’s support and will lead to a systematic underestimate of her support.

    That could do it, but it sounds pretty tortured to me.

    I’d check the software one more time.

    And based on the large outliers the Clinton results produce, I’d hold off on the Reuters headline until I saw some confirmation from other polls.

    Cross-posted at Political Arithmetik.

    — Charles Franklin

    November 27, 2007 in Divergent Polls

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