The Democratic Wing Of The Democratic Party

Updated: With added video from General Wesley Clark and an AFSCME ad airing in Iowa.

In the 2004 election cycle Howard Dean declared himself the representative of “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party“. Dean promised to fight the Ripublicans and to provide flacid Democrats with a backbone to oppose Ripublicans.

This election cycle John Edwards is running as the Naderite wing of a Naderite party – NOT a Democrat. Edwards, in his newest advertisment states

“And we can say as long as we get Democrats in, everything is going to be OK. It’s a LIE. It is not the truth!”

Edwards lately has been battered by Dennis Kucinich who continues to highlight the non-Democratic, non-Progressive Edwards voting record in the Senate. Edwards was a DINO [Democrat In Name Only] in the Senate. Edwards is a PINO [Progressive In Name Only] now that he is outside the Senate. Edwards is NOT running as a Democrat.

Likewise, earlier this year Obama was running as a tentative Naderite. Now Obama has crossed over, in imitation of his mentor Joe Lieberman, and is running as the representative of the Ripublican wing of the Chicago Democratic Party. Recall this Obama Bush moment:

“Part of the problem here is not just George Bush and the White House,” Obama told a crowd of hundreds gathered at a park in Cedar Falls. “We can’t just change political parties and continue to do the same kind of things we’ve been doing. We can’t just go about business as usual and think it’s going to turn out differently.”

Obama absolves Bush of the mess the country is in. Obama wants to blame Democrats too. But of course, Obama who styles himself, without evidence, as a constitutional authority, thinks Bush has not done anything impeachable.

I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breaches, and intentional breaches of the president’s authority,” he said.

Impeachment as a tactic, is open to argument. Some arguments against impeachment are: there is little over a year in Bush’s term so why bother; impeachment might help the Ripublicans paint the Democrats as crazed; impeachment and a Senate trial could turn into a major diversion from discussion of important issues.

But, while Democrats can argue about the wisdom of impeaching either Bush and Cheney or both of them there is no argument that Bush and Cheney have committed impeachable crimes and that they have committed intentional, grave breaches of presidential authority.

Impeachment is equal to an indictment which then proceeds to a trial in the Senate for determination of guilt or innocence. The violations of Buch and Cheney’s oaths of office to protect the constitution, violations of law in spying on Americans, questions on torture and Iraq – all reach the constitutional threshold of impeachment and trial in the Senate.

Obama attacks Democrats, wants Democrats to share the blame, but protects Ripublicans and Bush from the full responsibility they deserve.

Keith Olberman back in August discussed Obama’s Ripublican turn:

OLBERMANN: The last time a politician claimed to be a uniter and not a divider, it was George W. Bush. Better luck next time. Our fourth story tonight, our “Countdown” to 2008, and since the uniter title is available, Barack Obama is picking up the theme. The Illinois senator saying one of the reasons he decided to run for president because Hillary Clinton is too divisive to get the country out of what he calls our ideological gridlock.

Senator Obama telling the “Washington Post”: “I think it is fair to say that I believe I can bring the country together more effectively than she can. That is not entirely a problem of her making. So of those battles in the ‘90s that she went through were the result of some pretty unfair attacks on the Clintons. But that history exists, and so, yes, I believe I can bring the country together in a way she cannot do.”

Ironically, it is the same line of attack on Senator Clinton used by the White House after a new campaign ad said the middle class and even the troops are invisible to President Bush.

Democrats need a viable counterattack and a solid leader to roust the Ripublicans and inspire independents. Hillary is that leader.

Obama? AWOL – Obama is never there when you need him.


81 thoughts on “The Democratic Wing Of The Democratic Party

  1. At the Wes Clark event today, we had a good surprise. The event ended and there was only myself, Liz (an FO), and a precinct captain left in the coffee shop in Solon, Iowa. A man walked in. He was one of those manly man type of guys. He was middle aged, and drove a big truck, owned a business in Solon. He was chatting with the barrista about politics, and we overheard him say he was probably going to “jump the tracks” this year. Liz talked with him and he asked for a yard sign and said he owned a business in town on Main Street, on a busy corner, and wanted a 4’x8′ sign. He told us he is a registered republican, but is going to reregister and caucus for Hillary. This is why I am sick of people spreading the lie that she can’t be attractive to repubicans. I totally disagree. Remember the lady from Sioux City that painted her head for Hillary, who was a staunch republican. And the lady in the JJ dinner video that is a registered republican. Then the report by Mark Penn about the 24% of republican women that would vote for Hillary in the general. Now this guy too. I don’t see republicans coming out for Obama in honesty. The ones who are are attempting to stop Hillary, but there are not many. John Edwards does not attract any that I am aware of. We’ll see how this plays out when we win this caucus.

  2. i mean, listen to his JJ dinner speech, i would like to know just which democrats in that room were voting like george bush republicans?

  3. I am making phone calls for the campaign in Caifornia and I’m encouraged by the number of women I’m talking to who are strongly for Hillary I think women are going to make the difference in this state and across the country.

  4. Oh, I think some Republicans will come out for Obama. It’s the narcissism thing. I think Obama is a malignant narcissist in that he fans the flames of narcissism in others. Bush definitely is a malignant narcissist. I think others who are drawn to narcissitic personality types will be drawn to Obama and Republicans have really encouraged that kind of behavior – you know, just their physical being is so precious that civil liberties are minor compared to any threat to their body. Bush voters would make many of the founding fathers (Not talking about you, Mr. Adams, even if you are a Unitarian) roll over in their grave.

    Here’s an interesting article on Bush as a malignant narcissist. I think you’ll see a bit of Mr. Obama in there as well.




    Broken up so it won’t take five hours to post.

  5. This post sorta reminds me of the Aaron Tippin song “You’ve Got to Stand for Something.”

    Hillary’s the father in the song. Bwak’s the “puppet on a string.”

    What other songs can we bring up here showing a difference between the two? 🙂

  6. Here’s why I believe the current IA polls are not predictable at all. Remember the huge swing in IA in the final week in 2003/2004 caucus. It’s not because people are really jumping from Dean bangwagon to Kerry/Edwards bangwagon, it’s because ‘mainstream’ voters generally do not answer polls… The current IA polls can only measure the intensity of ‘diehards’. Diehard partisans are easily manipulated by MSM.

    I predict the same big swing in the final week of December.

    Here’s some tidbits from Zogby who briefed some journalists about his IA/NH polls earlier today…

    Tracking what voters think about Oprah and other topics is getting harder for pollsters. “The biggest challenge is … that people aren’t answering the telephones,” Zogby said. “The national and statewide response rates are low – some as low as 16 to 17 percent… That is often what I get. Some [other pollsters] are reporting 6 or 7 percent response rates…. When I started in the business in 1984, it was 65 percent.”

    While the national “do not call” list does not apply to pollsters, Zogby said it has empowered those contacted by polling firms to refuse to answer questions. His poll was conducted Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 in Iowa, and Dec. 1-3 in New Hampshire.

  7. If Zogby can only get 16% response rate, he has to do 3,000 to 4,000 call to poll IA caucuses… Those who refuse to answer polls, I bet you they’re not particularly keen on talking about whom to support.

  8. I read online that the Clark ad was only in NH but that’s not true. They just showed it here in SE Minnesota which means it’s airing in Iowa as our stations are on cable there. Great ad by the way!

  9. Hi everyone,
    I just want to take stock of things. Media’s perception and storyline is irritating and it’s getting under my skin. They have Hillary losing momentum, Obama closing in on polls, her attack on Obama backfiring.
    If I don’t read the news, I wouldn’t have assumed any of the story line the MSM is pushing. Why can’t we change the story line?

  10. okieatty

    i’m an oldie. how about pat benatar’s “hit me with your best shot” for hillary and the platters “great pretender” for BO.


    wes clark…you’re not kidding, extremely easy on the eyes..

  11. Secret, We can’t. They want to make it a horserace, remember. And there’s no evidence her “attacks” are backfiring because it’s too early to tell.

  12. secret

    i’m afraid we just have to let the “obama rising hoopla” run its course with the MSM. soon, the real numbers and facts will over-ride any MSM spin.

  13. We could have a moment of silent prayer for the many limosine liberal “hoopla” campaigns that have come before: Howard Dean, Bill Bradley, Bob Kerry, Paul Tsongas, Gary Hart, Gene McCarthy.

  14. alcina, good ones. how about “I’m Still Standing” for Hillary?

    Secret, the MSM does this every election cycle. They’re doing it to Rudy right now with Huckabee. Okay, so they’re going after Huckabee now withe serial rapist/murderer thing, but the meme is the same.

    Buck up, Hillary’s got it under control. The primary isn’t about 2 states, it’s also 2-5-08 where a bunch of states are voting. And the GE is a 50 state push. She’s ahead of that game and the money game, too.

    [edit by admin to add video – good song for Hillary]

  15. Newer music does not do it. Obama’s tricks are as old as old politics. That’s why we still go with

    The Great Pretender:


    Is That All There Is?

    Lyrics to great pretender which are deadly close to Obama’s character:

    Oh-oh, yes I’m the great pretender
    Pretending that I’m doing well
    My need is such I pretend too much
    I’m lonely but no one can tell

    Oh-oh, yes I’m the great pretender
    Adrift in a world of my own
    I’ve played the game but to my real shame
    You’ve left me to grieve all alone

    Too real is this feeling of make-believe
    Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal

    Yes I’m the great pretender
    Just laughin’ and gay like a clown
    I seem to be what I’m not, you see
    I’m wearing my heart like a crown
    Pretending that you’re still around

    Too real is this feeling of make-believe
    Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal

    Yes I’m the great pretender
    Just laughin’ and gay like a clown
    I seem to be what I’m not, you see
    I’m wearing my heart like a crown
    Pretending that you’re still around

  16. I hate where I live. lol. everyone here is not only extremely biased for their love of Obama, but they are blind and ignorant too. Everyone here is still in the belief that he has Iowa in the bag and cite that one poll from a week or so back lol.

    they’re like “hillary is getting creamed in the polls!”

  17. Bob Kerrey was the darling of the Starbucks latte wing of the Democratic party. He may not have been a limosine liberal, but his supporters were.

  18. they’re like “hillary is getting creamed in the polls!”

    Good. They will be less likely to show up on caucus or primary night.

  19. Ok, I don’t even watch the news these because for months it’s been nothing more than a Hillary bash fest. What’s going on? Didn’t they give Hill any good coverage today with the wallstreet thing?

  20. No. The Wall Street speech was about real issues facing real Americans. The Georgetown Social Club doesn’t concern itself with trival stuff like that. They have fingerbowls to polish and scented geraniums to tend to.

  21. OMG…well, this is why I don’t watch. But, I really fear our democracy if these people are not actually reporting the news from the trail rather than the daily smear barrage against Hillary.

  22. The next debate is Dec. 10.

    BTW, there’s an interview with Hillary on the CNBC Web site ( Click on the news link to the Reuters article, and the video is there.

  23. Secret, check out wikipedia. I type in “Democratic Debate” and it takes me to the page with all the scheduled debates.

  24. i really don’t think it much matters what the mainstream media is reporting. it’s the issue-by-issue way hillary is winning over voters that will work. people don’t vote on media garbage if real issues are at stake for them. and if they don’t really feel like anything connected to their life is at stake, why the heck will they go out to caucus on a freezing night in january? again, most folks are not tuned in to the daily smear barrage. msnbc’s ratings are tiny.

    i have to say, the oprah thing looks like possibly the most boneheaded move i could imagine for obama. i can not think of a way this turns out to be a positive for him. a big pep rally with a popular talk show host, i hear the argument is to.. get publicity? but there’s not enough time after that to close the sale. and it’s so unpresidential.

  25. This article from The Hill deserves our undivided attention:

    I quote:

    Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a 2004 presidential candidate who is now a supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), said Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), is to blame for the recent volley of barbs between the candidates.

    “I was at the debate in Philadelphia,” Clark said in a Wednesday conference call with reporters organized by the Clinton campaign. “That’s where it really started, and I think it started with Barack advertising that he was going to go on the offensive and start attacking.”

    Clark said that October night in Philadelphia was when “the tone of the campaign started to change.”
    “I think it is clear who started the attacks and why,” Clark said.

  26. I think Hillary should keep hitting Obama on the present votes re abortion legislation. If he was a man of conviction, he would have stood up for the right to choose. It doesn’t matter if his heart is in the right place, as he claims, because a man of conviction stands for what is right. Can we really trust him to defend our rights when it really counts, to nominate a reliably pro-choice Supreme Court Justice? Can we trust someone who folded like a cheap chair in a state legislature to stand when the stakes are highest, when we know Republicans will fight tooth and nail? Will he then stand up and be counted or choose political expediency? We know the answer: All talk and no action. We need someone who will stand for us through thick and thin. We need Hillary.

  27. Heads are going to explode online because of that quote. But it’s hard to argue with him. Obama’s team announced to the country he was going to sharpen his critique of Hillary. It was odd. Even the press noted it was not typical to say such a thing.

  28. re: obama attacking first, sure, he did in october after his own donors and advisors pushed him into it, so i guess he finally ditched the hopeful thing. trouble is, they pushed him and he went along with it too late, they threw everything and hillary’s still got the same lead she did when it started. go to the New York Times site and find article headlined:

    Obama Promises a Forceful Stand Against Clinton
    by adam nagourney.

    Mr. Obama’s vow to go on the offensive comes just over two months before the first votes are cast for the Democratic nomination, and after a long period in which his aides, donors and other supporters have battled — and in some cases shared — the perception that he has not exhibited the aggressiveness demanded by presidential politics.

    In an interview on Friday that appeared timed by his campaign to signal the change of course, Mr. Obama said “now is the time” for him to distinguish himself from Mrs. Clinton. While he said that he was not out to “kneecap the front-runner, because I don’t think that’s what the country is looking for,” he said she was deliberately obscuring her positions for political gain and was less likely than he was to win back the White House for Democrats.

    Asked if Mrs. Clinton had been fully truthful with voters about what she would do as president, Mr. Obama replied, “No.” “I don’t think people know what her agenda exactly is,” Mr. Obama added, citing Social Security, Iraq and Iran as issues on which she had not been entirely forthcoming.

  29. i don’t really know if the press is making a deal of bill’s comments, if they are it’s on a small scale. i just remember getting one of those The Note emails saying basically “bill got a press secretary, it’s about time” and pointing to the speech where he made this point about the media reporting on stuff that nobody remembers five days later and has nothing to do with real issues in people’s lives.

    so i went and read the article and thought, well, what bill said was perfect common sense and everybody knows it, what exactly do the Note people have a problem with?

  30. I hope Hillary gets some good media. This is getting pathetic. She’s laid out plans for combatting AIDS and ending deaths due to malaria(at saddleback no less), and for reducing the mortgage crisis, which she took right to wallstreet. She’s had more union endorsements, great new ads, new endorsements from people like RFK jr, and still she gets nothing but trashed by the press. Meanwhile, she’s astutely pointed out that BO is all talk no action. And, yet, not one day of rational media coverage.

  31. alan needs to get more enthused than hannity,take the glare off him thats is the problem right there hannity is crazy,i hope one day he says something and gets fired

  32. You know that thing that is really occuring to me over at Kos is that the people there who support Obama really are children. The level of genuinely uninformed rhetoric is astonishing. One poster did a diary the other day comparing the healthcare plans of the top tier candidates. The only problem being that she actually knew nothing about any of the candidate’s healthcare plans. it’s like she called the Obama headquarters and talked to a 14 year old volunteer who gave her the quick and dirty on each plan. She did not know the essential of how clinton and edwards’ plan worked. she knew even less about how Obama’s plan worked.

    And when she got called on her fairly profound ignorance, she had a really ugly temper tantrum.

    Right now someone has a dairy up about Kyl Lieberman and managed to write an entire diary around an early draft of Kyl Lieberman – the one with the hardcore rightwing rhetoric in it. He didn’t even know that that draft didn’t pass.

    But that’s what I expect from obama supporters. They aren’t terribly well informed.. They’re deeply involved in congratulating themselves on being wonderful enough to support Obama and they literally are scared to death of Hillary.

    It’s a very bizarre situation.

  33. here is the shit Novak is writing:

    Democrats: The race has finally gotten interesting, both in the closeness of polls and in the escalation of rhetoric.
    Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has gone on the attack against Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), and she has not reacted well. Clinton’s poor reaction last month to a series of attacks in a debate, and her attack on Obama’s “ambition” for wanting to be President in grade school draw out one concern among many Democrats—that she is creepy. Along those lines, she told CBS’s Katie Couric that she “never considered” the possibility she could lose the election.

    Obama leads in the latest Iowa polls, and a victory there would set up a legitimate one-on-one between him and Hillary. It’s will be difficult for Hillary to recover in the last month. The question now is: Will she beat former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) for second place in the caucuses.

    Despite a slip in the polls by front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.),
    Republican confidence about winning the presidency actually has declined. The reason is the dispiriting performance put on by the Republican candidates in last Wednesday’s debate in St. Petersburg, Fla. We have had several Republicans tell us that after watching that affair, they wondered not only about the outcome of the ’08 presidential election but also the long-range future of the GOP.

    With time running out for the year, Congress is off to a very slow start following the Thanksgiving recess. Instead of preparing during the recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was leading a congressional delegation to Latin America. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is off this week to the global-warming conference in Bali. Nothing much is expected to be done this week. Republicans are blaming Democrats for further delays in next year’s tax refunds by failing to promptly fix the alternative minimum tax (AMT).

    Junior conservative Republican senators fear that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is about to cut a deal with Majority Leader Reid for a compromise omnibus appropriations bill. They want McConnell to hold fast and force a continuing resolution that would set spending for the rest of the year at the level proposed by President George W. Bush.

    The CIA’s new report claiming that Iran ended work on nuclear weapons two years ago was an enormous embarrassment for President Bush that he tried — but failed — to make the best of in a press conference Tuesday. It raises new doubts about the CIA, where the desire to undercut Bush cannot be denied.

  34. A thought on BO’s supporters forcing him to go negative … NOT!

    BO didn’t need anyone to force him to go negative. The happyhappy clown act was just that. He always planned to go negative. Evidence? You can see that nasty side just below his very thin facade.

  35. Clinton stocks ‘kitchen cabinet’ in Iowa

    MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa — In another era, it might have been a Tupperware party: 30 women sitting in an Iowa living room, snack plates resting on their knees.

    But this group, young and old, gray haired and ponytailed, wearing outfits ranging from American flag sweaters to Juicy Couture, came to talk politics.

    They wanted to elect Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as the first woman president, yet they first needed to psych one another up about the Iowa caucus.

    “The whole campaign, especially in Iowa, is about women finding confidence in themselves to go to caucus,” Christie Vilsack, the wife of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, told the group.

    “It is not about her. It is about us. It is about whether we can walk into the door, whether we can stand up for women.”

    Clinton’s hopes to win Iowa, and ultimately the White House, rest on the women in this Victorian farmhouse and thousands like them — working-class mothers, veterans of the women’s rights movement and grandmothers born before their mothers and grandmothers received the right to vote.

    There is power and peril in the strategy. Clinton’s historic candidacy creates an undeniable rallying point, but Iowa is one of only two states that has never elected a woman governor, senator or U.S. representative.

    And despite numerous polls that show Clinton ahead among women nationally, there are signs of slippage in Iowa.

    A poll released last weekend by The Des Moines Register found Illinois Sen. Barack Obama winning support from 31 percent of women likely to attend the caucuses, compared with 26 percent for Clinton.

    In October, Clinton was favored by 34 percent of women caucus-goers, compared with 21 percent for Obama.

    But Clinton continues to pursue women in a disciplined, tested and methodical fashion with a plan that mixes elements of multilevel marketing (think Amway), Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” (relationship webs spun by community “connectors”) and down-home Iowa (personal attention from the candidate).

    Using microtargeted direct mail, phone calls and in-home visits, the campaign is also carving niches with veterans and fans of President Bill Clinton.

    But women, by far, form the foundation of Hillary Clinton’s Iowa outreach.

    The caucus may be organized by precinct, but women’s lives are not, Clinton aides often say.

    So in addition to the traditional method of gathering votes by neighborhood block, the campaign combs membership lists of the Junior League, the Garden Club, Planned Parenthood and the Red Hat Society.

    The force behind the strategy is Teresa Vilmain, Clinton’s Iowa campaign manager.

    The Iowa native earned her reputation in 1988, as a 28-year-old organizer who helped propel Michael Dukakis from little-known Massachusetts governor to Democratic nominee.

    Vilmain wakes up at 5 a.m. without an alarm clock, reads six sets of news clips on her Treo before stepping out of bed and leads three conference calls by 9 a.m.

    On most days, she orders in lunch and dinner at her Des Moines office, where a list of the campaign’s seven “core values” hangs on the wall: discipline, integrity, family, positive attitude, leadership and conviction.

    Clinton’s campaign is regimented and requires staffers to undergo a daylong training. Among the directives: 1) Only talk positively about Clinton and her opponents, 2) Never talk to the media and 3) Appearance is important. No flip-flops and no dirty desks.
    The candidate’s field staff members can’t leave at night until they submit a report of the day’s progress. If a Clinton volunteer locks in a voter over the phone, a field organizer follows up with a home visit to get the voter’s support in writing.

    Clinton got off to a late, somewhat bumpy, start in Iowa.

    Her husband skipped the Iowa caucuses in 1992, and Clinton rarely visited Iowa as first lady or senator.

    And she suffered a major PR blunder when an aide argued in a memo, leaked to the media, that Clinton should skip the Iowa caucus. Clinton said she had never considered it.

    Some report, however, that she is still racing to catch up.

    “There was some concern because she got here late,” said Kitty Green, a Sioux City volunteer and Morningside College professor who said she didn’t notice a significant ground operation in conservative western Iowa until late August.

    Like other presidential candidates, Clinton routinely reaches out directly to notable Iowa figures for their endorsement.

    A message left with former Iowa Secretary of State Elaine Baxter offers a glimpse into Clinton’s strategy.

    “You have been a pioneer in being an elected woman here in Iowa,” Clinton said in a voice mail, according to Baxter, who served from 1987 to 1995. “It would be a benefit to have your knowledge and experience.”

    Baxter came on board, but only after she heard from Bonnie Campbell, the state’s first female attorney general and a member of Clinton’s Iowa “kitchen cabinet,” which talks every Wednesday by phone to assess her progress.

    “We are acutely aware that women are supporting her in larger numbers,” Campbell said. “Naturally, we do try to direct attention to women.”

    Women occupy the top leadership ranks of Clinton’s Iowa campaign, introduce her at almost every campaign stop, stand behind her at press availabilities and cheer loudest when she talks about making history.

    “This is what women have always done anyway — networking, going to other women’s homes to chat about things,” Campbell said. “This is something that is very special, and I also feel very confident that this will pay off.”

    The campaign sees an emotional appeal but also a practical one.

    Aides cite the statistics: Women accounted for 54 percent of Democrats who attended the 2004 Iowa caucuses.

    More women than men are registered as Democrats in Iowa.

    More women than men participated in last year’s primary in Iowa.

    The courting of women, Clinton supporters say, is not at the expense of men. And being a woman does not shelter her from sharp questions by women.

    “She seems extremely scripted and not very spontaneous,” one woman piped up from the back of the room at the Mount Pleasant event. “Tell me about her warts. How human is she?”

    Christie Vilsack tried this one: After Clinton marched in a Fourth of July parade in Clear Lake, she said to Vilsack: “This is the first parade where everybody waved at me with all five fingers.”

    All the women laughed, and Vilsack wrapped it up: “She has a great sense of humor, but when she displays it, it is reported that she has a cackle. It is very, very hard to do what she is doing.”

  36. I am just sick and tired of MSM’s story line of Hillary. I will not read any newspapers for a couple of weeks.

  37. MSJ — where is that “Hillary is fading” zone?

    You can answer — if you feel like it — “Yup, she’s dropping back into first place”. There is no state that she isn’t leading in, except for IA where she’s pretty much in a tie. (and probably IL, Obama’s home state)

    You can also ask — “Do you think Obama can win CA? (HRC – 50%) or NV? (HRC- 45%) or FL? or NY or OH or MI or TX? ANY big state?

  38. ra1029 (did I get your number wrong?)

    In case you didn’t read through 350 posts in the last blog, here’s the culinary workers union answer again:

    They aren’t endorsing until early Jan. Our caucus is Jan 19 — but it seems they’ll be too late for IA.

  39. Boston Now, 12/05/07:

    According to the Times, Barack Obama is the only presidential candidate without a slogan and specific signature issues identified. For example, John Edwards’ slogan claims “the campaign to change America” and Rudy Giuliani claims “Strong leadership. Proven results.” While all presidential candidates have identified specific signature issues to include health care, poverty, terrorism, taxes, opposition to gay marriages, entitlements, and support of Iraq, Obama best effort states “turning the page on the old ways in Washington…”. I guess Obama is not experienced enough to realize that this should be his slogan and select any of the above topics as signature issues important to Americans. Again, Obama shows his lack of experience that goes well with his TV host and Hollywood supporters.

  40. Syndicated writer, Ellen Goodman, “Dems need a fighter,” 12/06/07:

    In his stump speech, Obama says, “I don’t want to spend the next year or the next four years refighting the same fights. … I don’t want to pit red America against blue America.” Neither do I.

    Sometimes, I approach politics like a parent watching her children: “I don’t care who’s right and who’s wrong; just stop fighting.” But of course I do care who’s right, who’s wrong, who’ll win. What if red America is pitted against blue America?

    Obama is a notoriously uneven performer. Alone on a stage, he is often eloquent and inspirational, if I may use an Oprah word. But on the debate platform with his opponents, he is, well, less impressive. Temperamentally he prefers to be above the fray. But the campaign against any Republican will take place in the fray.

    Gitlin, author of “The Bulldozer and the Big Tent,” says, “In a family situation, we need a healer.” But in an era of ugly politics? “We don’t need healing but resounding defeat. … The bulldozer can’t be kissed into submission.”

    Maybe I am suffering from too little “audacity of hope.” Or an excess of experience. The Democratic nominee won’t have the luxury of a do-good campaign. Even a post-polarization candidate would face a polarized politics.

    There’s still a difference between being an icon of change and an agent of change. And there is a difference as well between being a fine philosopher king and a strong presidential challenger.

  41. Mort Kondrake re Iran and the new NIE, RealClearPolitics, 12/6/07:

    Among the Democrats, only Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) sounded as though she got the point — although her campaign could not resist declaring that the NIE’s findings “expose the latest effort by the Bush administration to distort intelligence to pursue its ideological ends.”

    Clinton, at National Public Radio’s Iowa debate, said that the NIE should impel Bush to “engage in serious diplomacy, using both carrots and sticks” because, as the NIE said, “pressure on Iran does have an effect.”

    The other Democratic candidates offered nothing but carrots and tried to use the NIE as a stick to beat both Clinton and Bush.

    Most outrageously, the normally sensible Sen. Joseph Biden (Del.) charged that when the Senate passed the nonbinding Kyl-Lieberman resolution declaring Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization — with Clinton’s support — “every one of our friends, from Iraq to Pakistan, felt they had to distance themselves from us because it appears to be a war on Islam.”

    If that’s so, why were Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Arab League all represented at the late November Annapolis conference on the Middle East?

    As Biden full well knows, Arab nations in the Gulf region are terrified that Iran menaces them.

    And, of course, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard do spread terrorism around the Mideast — notably, through Hamas and Hezbollah, as Clinton noted.

    Among her rivals, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) proposed only carrots for Iran — World Trade Organization membership and normalized relations with the U.S. — while former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) implied that sanctions do not constitute “diplomacy” and that the primary goal of Democrats should be to thwart Bush, not Iran.

  42. Where the hell are Reed and Murray and a number of others who voted against AUMF but for Kyl-Lieb? Why arn’t they defending themselves?

  43. Ask The Expert
    MIT’s Jonathan Gruber is among the leading health economists in the country. He’s worked extensively with candidates of all stripes, was a prime architect of the Massachusetts plan, and has conducted an unsettling amount of the most used, most respected, current research in the field. He’s asked me to post this response to Kit Seelye’s atrocious article on the various Democratic health plans, in which he dives into the misuse of the research on auto insurance, explains what’s actually going on in Massachusetts, and gives what is the consensus view on mandates and coverage. I’m happy to do so. His full letter is below the fold.

    Read More…
    I was surprised and somewhat offended by the lack of balance in the article by Katharine Q. Seelye in today’s Times (“Clinton Attack on Obama Overlooks Some Realities”). The health plans of Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama differ in a number of respects, but most important is the fact that Clinton includes a requirement that individuals purchase insurance. Virtually every health expert in the nation would agree that such a requirement is necessary for universal insurance coverage within our private insurance-based system. As a result, Clinton correctly pointed out that Obama’s plan would leave the nation far short of universal coverage. The 15 million estimate that she used was validated by myself and other experts, as detailed in Jonathan Cohn’s recent post on the New Republic’s web site. In recent days advisors to the Obama campaign have made a series of incorrect attacks on the claim that Clinton’s and John Edwards’ plans would cover more Americans than theirs. Ms. Seelye’s article simply parrots these incorrect attacks.

    She first points to the figure from the Insurance Research Council that states that 15% of drivers are uninsured. As detailed in research by J. Daniel Khazzom (paper available at here), this figure clearly overstates the rate of uninsured drivers by computing this rate as the share of accidents in which the driver did not have insurance. But since uninsured drivers are typically from groups that are more accident-prone, the share of accidents involving the uninsured will clearly overstate the share of drivers that are uninsured. Moreover, state reforms to improve compliance with auto insurance requirements have been very successful, with the rate of uninsured drivers (measured appropriately) in Georgia recently falling to 2%.

    She then cites the experience of Massachusetts, where I serve on the Connector Board that is implementing our ambitious health reform passed in 2006. She correctly points out that, as part of a compromise last year, we exempted almost 20% of uninsured adults from mandated coverage. But half of these are low income individuals offered employer insurance who can be covered as part of the law, but for whom we have not yet had time to design an appropriate subsidy program. The other half are individuals above three times the poverty line who are excluded from subsidies through a compromise between then Governor Romney and our legislature. If subsidies were extended further, exemptions would have been unnecessary. Candidates Clinton and Edwards have said that under their plans all individuals would be subsidized so that no one has to pay an unaffordable amount for insurance. She has laid out no specific plans for mandate exemptions, and there is no reason why she should be tarred by what we have done under the constraints of our Massachusetts law.

    As Ms. Seelye highlights, the 15 million figure is not a precise estimate. But the general point should not be lost in the debate over the numbers: a plan with an individual mandate will cover millions more individuals than a plan without an individual mandate. There can be legitimate debates over whether a mandate is necessary or not. I personally feel that it is necessary to prevent free riding in our health care system, to ensure fluid functioning of insurance markets, and to ensure that all citizens are protected against health risk. At the same time, I can also respect, while disagreeing with, Candidate Obama’s decision to exclude a mandate. But there can be no debate over the fact that a mandate is required to bring us to universal health insurance coverage in the United States, and that a plan without a mandate will leave us far shorter of that goal than any plan with a mandate, proper subsidies, market reforms, and sensible enforcement rules.

    All done!

  44. The Democratic Race Appears Static
    A Commentary By Douglas Schoen

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Several recent polls and the Real Clear Politics Averages have suggested that Hillary Clinton no longer leads the Democratic race in Iowa, raising questions about her inevitability as the Democratic nominee. Based on the polls that have been released recently, the race has certainly tightened, but Senator Clinton maintains a clear advantage over the field – an advantage that continues to be quite considerable. An examination of the five most recent polls shows that the race began within the margin of error in Iowa, and remains within the margin of error in Iowa.

    This weekend, The Des Moines Register released their new Iowa poll of likely caucus-goers, and for the first time in the Register’s poll, Barack Obama leads with 28%, followed by Clinton with 25% and John Edwards with 23%. An ABC News/Washington Post poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers released last Tuesday shows Obama at 30%, Clinton at 26% and Edwards at 22%. And a poll just released by the American Research Group has Obama at 27%, Clinton at 25% and Edwards at 23%. These polls were taken by many in the media that Hillary Clinton had slipped. Earlier polling shows that the race in Iowa is still within a margin of error.

    In the two most recent polls conducted by Strategic Vision and Rasmussen Reports, Clinton is either tied with Obama or ahead. The Strategic Vision poll has Clinton and Obama tied at 29%, while Edwards trails at 23%. The most recent Rasmussen data shows Clinton at 27%, Obama at 25% and Edwards at 24%. The Real Clear Politics average of the latest polls shows effectively a statistical tie with Obama at 27.5%, Clinton at 27.2% and Edwards at 22.3%. This is the best approximation of where they stand.

    What does all of this mean? Not much.

    In the first three polls – the Des Moines Register’s poll, the ABC News/Washington Post poll and the American Research Group’s poll, Obama’s lead falls within the margin of error of the surveys. Obama and Clinton are essentially in a statistical tie in Iowa, which in effect confirms what we have known for a while: that Iowa will be a very close race.

    All of this media hype should not allow us to overlook the fact that Clinton still has a strong lead in national polls, other early states like Michigan and Nevada, and a very solid lead in the February 5th “Super Tuesday” states. Real Clear Politics averages show Clinton leading Obama 50% to 20.7% in New Jersey and 48% to 20% in California. In New York, Clinton leads Obama 50% to 20% and in Arizona, she leads 44% to 14%.

    However, her lead in the New Hampshire primary is also thinning, although it is still outside the margin of error. The most recent Rasmussen poll shows Clinton at 33%, Obama at 26% and Edwards at 15%. This is the first time her lead over Obama has shrunk to single-digits in this state. Thus, the Democratic primary race could well be tightening, but Clinton has not suffered any serious erosion despite what has been reported. The race is still Hillary Clinton’s to win.

  45. What do you mean the race is still Hillary’s to win? It’s Obama’s to win now; didn’t Mr. Schoen get the memo? (sarcasm alert)

  46. BTW, comcerning Bill Clinton’s comments on the media: Of course the media didn’t like them – they were the target, lol.

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