Hillary Clinton in Last Iowa Debate With Richardson, Biden, Dodd, Obama, Edwards

[Don’t forget to track the great photos from Iowa we posted in the previous article – the great last elected president with Iowa students and other Hillary Clinton supporters. We need to support and thank all the volunteers working in snow, sleet and cold for Hillary. As Hillary said after the hostage situation in New Hampshire, all the volunteers who work so hard deserve praise for their hard work – even the ones we happen to disagree with at the moment. Someday we’ll be together – when Hillary secures the nomination.]

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The last Democratic presidential debate of the year will be held today at 2:00 p.m. (EST).

The debate will be televised on C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, and Fix News. The debate can be heard on XM Radio POTUS Channel 150, C-SPAN Radio and Fix News Radio.

The debate will also be streamed live on the internet HERE.

Dennis Kuchinich and Mike Gavel will not be at the debate.

Six Democratic candidates for president will take the stage at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Des Moines Register’s second presidential debate.

The candidates who will take part are Senator Joe Biden, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chris Dodd, Senator John Edwards, Senator Barack Obama and Governor Bill Richardson.

The criteria to establish which participants were invited to the Register’s debates:

1. Candidates must have filed an FEC Form F-2 “Statement of Candidacy” with the Federal Election Commission, and

2. Candidates must have publicly announced an intention to run for the nomination of the Republican or the Democratic Party for President of the United States, and

3. Candidates must have had a campaign office inside the State of Iowa as of October 1, 2007, and

4. Candidates must have employed at least one paid campaign staff representative to perform full-time campaign duties in the State of Iowa on behalf of the candidate since at least October 1, 2007, and

5. Candidates must have had at least a 1% support showing in the Des Moines Register’s October, 2007 Iowa Poll.

This is what happened at the last Democratic debate before the Iowa caucuses in the 2004 election cycle:

Democratic presidential candidates tried to slow the momentum of party front-runner Howard Dean with a litany of criticisms. Dean, the former Vermont governor, remained unruffled. In the first debate since U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein, Dean defended his claim that the United States was not safer with the former Iraqi leader in custody and said the Iraq war had set back the fight against terrorism. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry kept a focus on Dean’s lack of foreign policy experience. “We can’t beat (Bush) by being Bush-light, but we also can’t beat him by being light on national security, or light on fairness for working Americans,” Kerry said. Kerry went on to win the Democratic nomination; he lost to President Bush in the general election.

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Here we go:

Carolyn Washburn moderating.

Financial situation facing the country.

Washburn: Is balancing the budget a priority, how?

Obama: Economy out of balance.  Bush and Republicans to blame.  Costs of education and gas up.  Long term fundamentals must be done right.  End war in Iraq apply money to domestic needs.  Fight special interests.

Washburn: Priority or not?

Obama: We can’t do it in a few years.

Richardson: As a governor I have to balance budgets.  It would be a priority.  Constitutional amendment to balance budget.  Pay as you go policies.  Most importantly a balanced budget brings economic growth.

Biden: This is not and/or.  It’s about priorities.  Eliminating the war and top 1% tax cuts, and special military programs you can save $350 billion and bring down deficit by $150 billion. 

Dodd: Federal government is different that state governments.  We need to grow the economy.  Deal with underlying problems of higher costs.  Create jobs, the best social program.  End waste and war in Iraq. 

Edwards: Get rid of structural deficiencies in economy.  The reason for this is corporate power and greed.  Favor the middle class.

Clinton: In the 1990s we used fiscally responsible policies.  I will do the same.  The economy will grow when we do this.  The results will take a while.

Washburn: When are tax increases necessary?  Which of your priorities would you raise taxes for?

Richardson: Tax cuts for top 1% should be cut.  Improve education.  Fiscally responsible budgets are crucial.  Invest in companies of the future.

Edwards: Tax policies have been established by big corporations.  Get rid of tax breaks for wealthiest Americans and corporations.  Help middle class families.  College and child care.  Universal health care.

Clinton: Important to know how people feel.  A trapdoor.  Raise taxes on corporations and weathly individuals.  During the 90s familiy income rose by $6,000. 

———————–

Washburn: Military spending, how to use money from cuts?

Biden: Ripublicans to blame. They wanted to starve the government with wasteful spending.

Obama: Tax code.  End tax scams.  Restore fairness. Requires leadership.

Richardson: Need to improve our readiness militarily.

Dodd: What’s fair? What’s pro-growth?  Expand child credit. Lift people up.  Grow the economy.

Washburn: China as U.S. banker, how to manage China relations?

Richardson: Recognize China is a strategic competitor.  Get tough on human rights, worker protection.  Ban some toys and food.  But China is a major power.  Stop playing around with our currency. 

Dodd: China does not compete under the same rules.  China is more a strategic opponent.  Don’t get bellicose.  Americans are tired of business as usual.  China has restrictive trade policies.  Get tough.

Washburn: Too much money spent on entitlements?

Clinton: Its a problem with Medicare, not Social Security.  Costs of Medicare are going up.  Reign in excess payments to HMOs. A health care reform to bring down costs.  Social Security needs a commission to fix the problems.

Biden: Hillary touched on Medicare.  The combination of drug costs and modernizing the system is a problem, we can save a lot of money.  This is about action.

Obama: Prevention in cost savings.  Obesity rates must be brought down.  We need to change the way business is made in Washington. 

Richardson: Universal health care is a right.  Get rid of administrative costs.  Prevention is the key.  Lower junk food to bring down diabetes.  Stem cell research. 

Washburn: 30 second open statement:

Obama: Dr. King said “fierce urgency of now”.  We can meet the challenges.  We need courage to change.  Push back against special interests.  Caucus for me.

Edwards: What makes America America is at stake.  Corporate power must be fought.  I have been fighting these people all my life.  Start here in Iowa. 

Washburn: Human rights violations.  Trading policies.

Biden: Hold them accountable.  Trade agreements must have human rights in them. 

Richardson: Human rights is fundamental tenet of foreign policy.  Impose trade sanctions when countries violate human rights. 

Dodd: Human rights are fundamental important.  Restore our moral authority. 

Edwards: Human rights should be central.  Big corporations make big money in China. 

Washburn: Should NAFTA be scrapped/changed?

Clinton:  Should be changed.  There are winners and losers in trade.  I will review all trade agreements.  I will go to international communtiy on labor.  We won’t be trade patsies.

Obama: NAFTA needs to be amended.  Enforceable agreements. Guantanamo takes away our moral high ground.

Dodd: Last evening I authored sanctions on Darfur and it passed.

Washburn: statements

Biden: This is about action.  That is what I have been about all my career.  I will start by ending the war in Iraq.  Trust the American people. 

Richardson: I want to thank the people of Iowa for putting us through this process.  In the last debate the Iraq war was not discussed.  We need to discuss it because that is how we get our priorities done.  Our VA system is not responding.

Washburn: Energy independence has costs.  What would you do to turn it to a net benefit?

Biden: Won’t take long.  Increase mileage requirements.  Make it a fundamental priority. 

Richardson: Renewable energy.  Fuel efficiency standards must be increased.  Reduce consumption of foreign oil.  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Dodd: We are borrowing a billion dollars a day to buy foreign oil.  I’m the only one who proposes a corporate carbon tax. 

Clinton: Imperative we address this issue.  This will affect average American.  Auction pollution permits to cushion the costs to the American consumer.  We’ve got to enlist the American people like we did with the Apollo program.  This calls for a new form of American patriotism.  We cannot sustain the current energy profile.  Lift us up, reach for the stars here on earth.

Obama: A moral imperative.  I want my daughters to have a good planet.  You can make money with green technologies.  Wind turbines.  The next president has to tell the American people what they need to hear.

Edwards: The obstacles are the oil companies.  Ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war.  It’s a moral crisis.  A responsibility to future generations. 

Clinton: We believe in it and is a real problem.

Washburn: Senate voted to replace subsidies from crops – how would you have voted if you would have been there?

Dodd: I would have voted for it.  Encourage conservation. 

Obama: I made a centerpiece of my policy to lower subsidies.  Family farms are being squeezed.  Have to overcome agribusiness influence.

Washburn: voted yes or no?

Obama: for it

Biden: There are very few farmers.  How do you preserve family farmers. 

Clinton: The Lugar/Lautenberg bill.  Like Harkin I would have voted against.  There is much to do for family farms.  Open up markets.  Rural development.  Harkin keeps getting beaten back.  Our family farms are an endangered species.

Washburn: statements.

Clinton: I am touched by Iowa’s stories.  Some believe you demand change, some that you hope for it.  I will not rest until every child lives up to their potential.  Stand up for me and I will stand up for you. 

Dodd: I tried talking about positive ideas.  I’ve achieved my ideas for 26 years. 

———————

Washburn: Education?

Edwards: Change no child left behind.  Start early. We have 2 education systems.  Wealthy schools and poor schools.  One school system.

Richardson: Top priority.  Start early.  Full day kindergarten.  100,000 new science teachers. 

Obama: A lot of good ideas mentioned.  Give teachers more money and support.  Re-engage parents. 

Dodd: Single most important issue.  Education is who we are.  Our system of governance depends on good education.  I agree with Barack, engage the parents.

Clinton: I worked on behalf of education for a long time.  The president has a bully pulpit.  The federal government only funds 10% of education.  Federal government has to fully fund.  Classrooms today need to be bought into the 21st century. 

Edwards: The period post secondary education.  Pay for college and books.  Think in a visionary way.  Create an infrastructure. 

Biden: My wife is a teacher.  Start school earlier, smaller classes, 100,000 more teachers, pay access to college. 

Washburn: Needs vs. reality.  What can be accomplished first year?

Obama: End the war in Iraq.  Diplomacy.  #2 Review every executive order signed by George Bush.  Cover all Americans on health care.

Biden: I would tell the Joint Chiefs to implement the Biden plan.  Announce to the world we are abandoning Bush policies.  Take on interest groups.  Catastrophic child care in first year.

Richardson: End the war in first year.  Announce energy revolution.  Follow the constitution.  Restore the nation. 

Dodd: Change the discourse.  Stop the shrillness.  Healthcare.

Edwards: A lot of promises are being made.  We have huge challenges.  End the war, close Guantanamo etc.  But nothing will happen if we don’t take our Democracy back.  Corporate power and corporate greed. 

Clinton: I will be busy. Start quickly.  End war.  Declare the era of cowboy diplomacy is over.  End Bush executive orders.  Pass everything Bush vetoed.  Quickly.

Washburn: Character and leadership? Clinton are you too secretive?

Clinton: I learned a lot from the healthcare experience.  A strong communications strategy.  I helped create the SCHIP.  An open and transparent government.  Put things on the internet.  Work with the congress.  Also must end the revolving door of lobbyists.  Open and transparent government. 

Washburn: Biden you make verbal gaffes, are you uncomfortable talking about race?

Biden: I got in politics because of the civil rights movement.  The point I was making is that minorities start off with a disadvantage.  I speak bluntly.  No one doubts my committment to civil liberties. 

Obama: I do not doubt Joe Biden.  I’ll provide testimony. 

Washburn: Edwards you attack the same groups that get things done.  How will you work with these groups you’ve attacked?

Edwards: We have an epic battle ahead of us.  Everything depends on winning this battle.  I have fought big corporations in courtrooms and in public life all my life – and winning.

Washburn: Dodd, you still struggle with your father’s censure in the Senate?

Dodd: My father would do it all again.

Washburn: As energy secretary there were some problems such as Wen Ho Lee?

Richardson: In 25 years I have made mistakes.  The issue was to protect nuclear secrets.  I did not work hard enough.  I’ll stand behind my record.  Compensation for workers, portfolio standards, air conditioning 30% more efficient. 

Washburn: Obama, you have several Clinton advisors, how will you rely on so many Clinton advisors and still bring change?

Obama: I’ve talked about changing the mindset that got us into war.  There are a lot of good people.  Our military power is only one part of our power.  My advisors understand that. 

Washburn: Would you use signing statements?

Clinton: I would use them the way presidents before this president used them – to clarify the law.  Bush uses them as a form of veto.  Bush did this to my FEMA legislation.  Stop the constituional perversions. 

Edwards: As the way they used to be used.  We don’t have a king.  The White House belongs to the American people.

Washburn: New Year’s resolution?

Clinton: Multipart.  Personal sides, spending time with my family, exercise.  Resolved to do the best I can in this campaign.  Run a campaign all can support.  Ready to serve.

Edwards: To remember the glorification of the presidency that somewhere in America, fathers will lose their jobs, children will go hungry.  Will America be fine?

Dodd: Regain our stature in the world.  Our best days are ahead of us.  Iowans caucus correctly.

Richardson: Lose weight.  Same every year.  I wish the congress and the president would end their dysfunctional relationship. 

Biden: Same every year: remember where I came from. 

Obama: A better father and husband.  Remind myself this is not about me.  I bought a Christmas tree yesterday. 

Washburn: What are the lessons of Iowa?

Clinton: I’ve eaten my way across the state.  Relationship building.  I will never forget the people of Iowa. 

Edwards: Iowa caucuses is crucial because they see us close up.  Someone who is honest, sincere, who can be trusted.

Dodd: Enjoyed everything on a stick.  Love the independence of Iowans.  They make up their own minds. 

Richardson: You like underdogs.  You like to shake things up.  I’ve been enriched. 

 Biden: Iowa deserves to be first because they take things seriously.  You treat us with respect.  You deserve to be first.

Obama: The core decency of the American people.  Generousity of spirt.

ITS OVER. 

503 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton in Last Iowa Debate With Richardson, Biden, Dodd, Obama, Edwards

  1. as usual, Obama doesn’t answer the question.

    Richardson is very direct on the issue of balancing the budget.

  2. guys, the reviews about this modrater from the gop debate was bad, but i think she will have none of the attack gotcha from previous debates. she seem to have no ego and attention grabing theme.

  3. Carolyn has always been a strong writer and editor. If you watched yesterday, she is also very good at herding politicians, even Fred, tho that was a close call.

    Note that she has only had to do that with BO so far.

    So far, a bit bland

    or I’ve heard it all before

  4. the moderator is setting the pace of the debate wich maybe boring but staying on issues. this is good. but if a candidate attacks or the moderator asks tough gotcha to one candidate only then it makes problems.

  5. dodd, my senator(i hope congressman john larson replaces him in 2010) has this holier than thou attitude 2nd to bawak hussein obama.

  6. CJ

    That reference to the cement bldg on Grand Cayman is very sharp. There is one of the offices there, abt a 10 by 10 room, that is headqtrs to 682 companies !

    The bldg is only 3 stories, and not fancy, believe me, the last time I saw it.

  7. Hillary needs to hit that “space race” thing. The Race for Energy Independence should be approached with the same fervor and enthusiasm, and American “can-do” attitude, as going to space was.

    I hope her staff reads this blog. This is a GREAT theme for her. It’s positive, it’s upbeat, not a negative sounding “get us off the oil” approach.

  8. American Research Group national poll out today:

    Clinton: 41
    Obama: 22
    Edwards: 13

    Giuliani: 21
    Huckabee: 21
    Romney: 16

  9. YAY!! thanks for the arg poll scoop filbertsf. but the national numbers mean more just before supertuesday. the 1st primaries are getting a lot more attention now.

  10. our girl studies up! she watched the Repub debate (I hope in FF mode) and used humor to let all know that, and that she agreed with the point made by another candidate at that moment and made a joke…all in 20 seconds

    I almost raised my hand

    And in less than a minute, just made abt a half-dozen pts all at once

    you go girl !!!

  11. Very good opening statement. Shows the contrast with other candidates in a positive terms–we all want change-some want to demand it, some want to hope for it, I intend to work for it. And the connection with the voters: stand up for me and I will stand up for you,

  12. I’m glad she included Barack in her “props to the others ideas”, it was a nice touch, made her look gracious.

  13. she just put 3x more quality content in the education response than any of the others

    biden will do ok on this one

  14. Carolyn should ask

    “what would you do with the largest embassy in the world currently being built on top of the largest producing oil field in Iraq?

  15. Great answer – immediate team of bipartisan envoys to the world with a simple message: No more cowboy diplomacy.

  16. This is a good debate. Everyone is acting like a grownup. I’m glad to see the politics largely getting left out of this.

    Hillary is doing great. she’s as solid as they come.

  17. edwards has corrupted himself when he had a hedgefund in forclosed houses in new orleans after hurricane katrina. LOWLIFE!!!

  18. We have need to root for Edwards. If he continues to falter, some of his people will gravitate towards Obama. If he does well in this debate, it will energize his base and give them some hope. Go Edwards!

  19. How, Senator Obama, are you going to make a break with the past in foreign policy when you have so many Clinton advisers helping you out in foreign policy?

    Hillary laughs very loudly and says, “I want to hear that.”

  20. this question rox — he’s making a change from Bush argument — everybody offers that. Avoids that he’s using Clinton-era advisors.

  21. Obama really stumbled in his answer. Totally unprepared.

    I think Hillary’s laugh was meant to unsettle him. They have studied this guy.

  22. she laughed becuase is was very obvious. he claims to want to break from the 90’s but raided clinton’s advisors.

  23. The problem with these little jabs in a debate or a courtroom, is they send a double edged message. When BO says he is looking forward to Hillary advising him, that is a clear admission that he lacks the experence and insight required for the job, and will have to rely on experts. Not what he intended I’m sure but that is the plain meaning of his words, is it not?

  24. guys, look for that gop pollster luntz to come out with a so called undecided voters going into the debate and then all a sudden they are all obama supporters with 0 hillary supporters. do anybody agree with this?

  25. she may have started out tired, but roared right back

    I feel much better

    Biden really is a good guy

    BO–not about ME ! Who is he kidding ?

  26. Why do people say she sucks? I thought she was the best moderator yet! Business-like. Moved things along.

  27. CNN is only talking about Hillary and showing Hillary clips. Good so far. They just replayed the demand/hope for change, I work for change for you clip.

  28. Obama did not do well during the debate. Hillary, of course, answered all the questions with passion and conviction. I believe her performance will generate a last minute surge.

  29. Obama and Edwards sounds positively uninformed during the debate. It’s obvious that they don’t have the depth of understanding of the other candidates on stage. How some people don’t see that is beyond me? Both of them always go back to their talking points without expanding on the questions and Obama frequently goes off-topic when he’s in uncharted waters.

  30. Watching CNN–stayed out of the sewer (MSNBC)

    Thanks for the heads up BMerryfield/

    Good words for Hillary/

    John King said this I am working for you theme is reminicent of Bill Clinton–they are coming after me because I am working for you.

  31. For a while there it looked like Dennis Kucinich was in the debate, but it turned out to be Edwards. He probably was not helped today at all.

    Obama stumbled for words at times and his answers were somewhat vapourous. Dodd, Biden, Richardson got too much time.

    CNN is still mostly just talking about Hillary.

  32. Matthews must be killing himself that CNN is getting a jump on the analysis. MSNBC is still airing the debate. We suspect MSNBC went to the Mitchell report and is therefore behind.

  33. CNN had an undecided voter before the debate. He was stuck b/t Hill & Obama.

    He’s made up his mind -> Hill.

  34. I’m surprised they haven’t talked about that question to Obama about relying on Clinton advisors for ‘change.’

  35. This debate was a good psychic relief. I think we’re all so fed up with having politics shoved down our throat that this was a really nice break from that.

    Yesterday, I was reading James Fallows’ book from 1996 about the big media and politics and one of the things he talks about is that citizens ask pols “how” questions – how will you do X, Y and/or Z? The media asks political questions and shies away from the kind of information that people actually really want to know. This debate asked how questions over and over again. They framed the character questions as character questions, and there was only one of them – that’s a good thing.

  36. yup ra1029 every single debate luntz trumps up these focus group of supposed undecided then not one are for hillary in the end. i was shocked they found 1 supporter after the debate really.

  37. CNN (Mary Snow) interviewed one of the 23 voters who were part of their focus group. He told them he was undecided between Clinton and Obama before the debate and has now definitely decided that he will caucus for Hillary. When asked why he said because she focused on traditional democratic values like education, the economy and because her answers were SPECIFIC. In the real world, specificity trumps glittering generalities,

  38. Agree HillaryLandRocks on not showing the Clinton advisors clip. The CNN coverage has been good so far. What happened on Fixed News Terrondt?

    Hawk, things went well.

    It was sort of anticlimatic but Hillary had some good clippy answers. We imagine everyone was laughing with her when she laughed at Obama, saying she wanted to hear his answer. Matthews will burn her for this.

  39. cnn gave lots of post-debate chat to HRC. very positive so-far. will be interesting to see how tweety twists the debate into a BO landslide win.

  40. Hillary’s answer on education was the defining moment of the debate. Notice Obama and Dodd engaged in Reaganite victim blaming, when she discussed federal intervention into a system all of us know is funded by the local property tax index.

    Hillary’s true beliefs surfaced during this debate.

  41. ra1029, it wasn’t what they said about Hillary it was that CNN talked ONLY about Hillary. They eventually talked about others but in the context of Hillary.

  42. The Dodd campaign “talk clock” has Richardson getting 14:27 minutes, Obama 12:44, Hillary 11:35, Biden 11:22, Edwards 10:49, Dodd 10:06

  43. hawkeye

    snowing like hell. to top it off, we’re in for a nor’easter this weekend. i’ll have to canvass in snow-shoes.

  44. admin, the foxnews roundtable was for the most part fair except kondrakee complaining about hiilary’s chuckle on obama’s clinton advisors from the 90’s.

  45. Alcina, thanks for what you are doing. It’s real important and we all appreciate it. Same to all the field workers working in all states but particularly those in Iowa and NH (and yes, Nevada in the warm sun).

  46. terrondt, if that’s the worst they have to say, good. The whole thing about Hillary never being able to have a chuckle at her opponents who are constantly making jabs an jokes at her expense is tired out.

  47. terrondt

    it will be interesting to see if BO’s slap-back to that chuckle will be msnbc’s replay for the next three weeks.

    how did that appear to you?

  48. guys, where is kostner? i want his take on the debate. i am little peeved on no questions on the non-iowans being bussed in by the thousands by obama.

  49. Good job alcina, I hope all goes well. Here it is just ice everywhere. The snow that was on the ground is frozen solid and the tree branches are falling on lawns, streets and cars…

  50. Stephanie Cutter gives it to Hillary “anytime you talk about substance, Hillary wins”

    Brazile quickly agrees, but pivots to say that “all” were good.

  51. alcina, think it was fine. it flies in the face of obama’s conflicting farce of change but he raids former BILL CLINTON advisors. that is why hillary chuckled. and if obama wants hillary’s advise so much howcome he trashes her from the past? he makes no sense. he is all over the lot.

  52. I agree Alcina about BHO’s quip. Also, I think it will be flashed around, at least by Christ Matthews.

    She should have a surrogate ready to say that HRC thought it was funny. That she said something like, “the kid had a good one.” Or similar.

    When that quip gets played, there is an opportunity to bring it back to the point of the question. That is VERY telling for BHO. Feeds well into Hillary’s message.

  53. I have a feeling that soon even MSM will be tired of its Hillary bashing. You can’t keep bashing the same person again, again, and again. It gets boring after a while. Get me a new storyline.

  54. I think if they feature the bit from the reading of the question thru the end of the answer, Hillary profits.

    Both the question and response completely undermine BO’s “change” argument.

    1. Surrounded by Clinton ppl
    2. Defined change as change from Bush, not the 90s.

  55. Excuse me for the dumb question. Who is Stephanie Cutter? Is she a republican or democrat? Is she a TV strategist?

  56. ra1029, she is a dem thru and thru. cutter was communications director in the john kerry campaign in 2004. she is a tough cookie and partisan.

  57. She did win. This will be good for HRC, esp. the timing. Boost before Iowans tune out for Xmas.

    Stella got her groove back = )

  58. Hey, I thought our gal did great. She had to laugh at that advisor’s question to Barack. He’s just not ready for prime time. And wb you are right on. When he said to Hillary that he was counting on her advising him it was a) an admission that he’s not ready when it was really meant as b) an attempted put down. I missed the last two questions. What was Hill’s new year’s resolution and the other question? How did it end?

  59. Thing is, if they talk about Hillary laughin’ at the question posed to BHO they have to talk about why she was laughin’…in other words they have to repeat the question, which makes BHO look back not HRC.

  60. CNN focus group said Edwards did best (?) followed closely by Hillary.

    BUT — if were to vote today, Edwards, followed by Obama, then Hillary.

  61. Asian woman says Hillary did well but there’s something she doesn’t like Hillary, doesn’t believe her, feels she can trust Obama.

    Now someone who liked Edwards w/ Biden as a second choice. They exemplify “true statesmen.”

  62. sad news about billy shaheen. he is a great guy. will be strange not to have him around. very unfortunate turn of events.

  63. if all they talked about was HRC or others only in terms of her on CNN, why the Edwards, Obama, HRC ranking…

    sometimes i just don’t get it

  64. On the Fox dialfest, I noticed that the first time Obama opened his mouth, the dials zoomed out of sight. We used to do that dial thing (for TV pilots)
    If you start at 90+, you aren’t undecided exactly.

    Then Frank Luntz asked if Hillary’s question about Obama’s drug use was dirty pool, they all said yes.
    Of course, it wasn’t Hillary’s question. Also, it appeared in Obama’s book. So why is it dirty pool? I think that people think she revealed this.

    Nice message for the young. If you use cocaine or something else in college or high school or, in Bush’s case, till you’re 40 (?), it’s OK. You can still be president or anything you want and we will think it impolite to even bring it up. Light up, y’all.

    (Do you smoke it? Inject it? Eat it?) Whatever…you get the idea.

  65. No kidding, freckles. But people say what they think the moderators want to hear in televised focus roups. They are highly unreliable.

  66. abt Billy I agree. Too bad.

    sometimes i have black thoughts…like he didn’t fall on a sword just to get BO’s background out there front and center, right now.

    Did he?

  67. Guys, I encourage you all to go to major newspaper outlets and show why and what inspired you about todays debate and how you will vote. this is the LAST chance for us to have our voices heard.

  68. alcina Says:

    December 13th, 2007 at 4:27 pm
    i take the “undecided” business with a very big grain-o-salt. me thinks they already made up their minds.

    I agree with ya,they iowans in hearts and mind been made up.. by all the signs in yards farms,they fluff it to the end,money in the state.makes it a alott
    richer.undecided there is none…I believe that myself
    i imagine she can get some more who have never voted or cacus before.

  69. No way. He screwed up. Hillary runs such a tight ship. She doesn’t allow these things go. But, no way, no campaign wants to start this stuff.

  70. No way. He screwed up. Hillary runs such a tight ship. She doesn’t allow these things go. But, no way, no campaign wants to start this stuff.

  71. Another point that MSM is going to miss on the question to BHO about the Clinton advisers is that he wants to get past the boomer generation but needs the boomer generation to advise him. Explain that, would you please Barack?

  72. mj, I did go check BlueHampshire and looked at the comments about Shaheen. There was a huge outcry for him to leave the campaign, particularly among fears that JS’s campaign would be cut short.

  73. sorry CJ…this state has a 30 + year history of deciding, practically over dinner just before the 7pm caucus meeting, who they will support.

    Check out 1991 and 2003 for instance.

  74. mj:

    He should not have stepped down. If you look at the whole thing he said, he did not accuse him of selling drugs. We should be careful when we throw people who support Clinton and work hard for her, under the bus. Here is what he said, and it did not sound that offensive to me.

    In an interview, Shaheen said, he remains perplexed about why, at this fraught point in history, voters and the media are not giving more attention to experienced Democratic candidates such as Sens. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden and are instead elevating into the first tier alongside Clinton a pair of candidates with less experience in Washington, Barack Obama and John Edwards. Shaheen also expressed his personal misgivings about whether Obama or Edwards would be electable if they became the party’s nominee.

    Among his concerns about Obama as the nominee, he said in an interview here today, is that his background is so relatively unknown and that the Republicans would do their best to unearth negative aspects of it, or concoct mistruths about it. Shaheen, a lawyer and influential state power broker, mentioned as an example Obama’s use of cocaine and marijuana as a young man, which Obama has been open about in his memoir and on the trail.

    “The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight … and one of the things they’re certainly going to jump on is his drug use,” said Shaheen, the husband of former N.H. governor Jeanne Shaheen, who is planning to run for the Senate next year. Billy Shaheen contrasted Obama’s openness about his past drug use — which Obama mentioned again at a recent campaign appearance in New Hampshire — with the approach taken by George W. Bush in 1999 and 2000, when he ruled out questions about his behavior when he was “young and irresponsible.”

    Shaheen said Obama’s candor on the subject would “open the door” to further questions. “It’ll be, ‘When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'” Shaheen said. “There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It’s hard to overcome.”

  75. I was unable to watch the debate. I would like to thank all of you for the minute to minute commentaries.

    I think Iowans are pretty sick of all the candidates, the media and the pundits by now. I’m sure they’re look toward they end of this political frenzy.

  76. I know some of us thought this debate was a little dull, but she did fine. Let me suggest that if it was dull for us, that is because we have seen all the previous ones.

    But the real test is how did it come across to someone who is just now starting to tune in, and has not heard these answers before. I believe that that individual-the prototypical voter, would be very impressed by Hillary’s performance, just as the CNN focus group participant was.

    As for Luntz, the old computer principal is applicable: garbage in garbage out. Or, as the actuary joke goes: Q: what is 2+2. A: anything you want it to be.

    In sum, I think this debate was a victory for Hillary–right when we needed one.

  77. and sometimes we can change some minds thru “caucusing”, right there in our assigned corner of the high school gym, just before the first or second or third count.

    Repubs do it a little differently- they do a straw poll right off the bat…some see the handwriting on the wall and change their minds before the first count.

  78. mj: I’m bored to death by Barack.

    Hear, hear!

    wbboei: Agree. As far as the focus group stuff is concerned, they did the usual interview one ‘convert’ for each of the three frontrunners. I’m glad they started w/ the Hillary convert, because he appeared most serious and informed. The Asian woman was a professional Hillary-hater who was going for BO, regardless. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Hillary’s campaign should not waste any time trying to impress this segment. The third voter came across as a generic Iowan for Edwards.

    These people were probably plucked from a previous caucus-goers list — we do know that Hillary is relying on new caucus-goers more than the others.

  79. msnbc just opened the 5:00 news with the BO slap back. of course, leaving out the question / statement that preceeded it..

  80. Don’t watch it. Their market is probably the dkos bunch. This was a substantive debate, they are not going to report that.

  81. Not surprised alcina. Matthews will spin hard for Obama tonight. Check out the video we posted. Play it over and over. That video will haunt Matthews.

  82. ra1029

    I agree, but am also impressed by a point made earlier in this thread: Hillary needs to put in as little time as possible on these tempests for sake of her own campaign, and,

    Congress needs all the Dem Senate seats it can get, like the one JS will work to get.

  83. Appearing on The Situation Room a minute ago Democratic Strategist Stephanie Cutter said the resignation of Bill Shaheen today puts an end to the story about the Clinton campaign raising the point about Obama’s use of drugs. That is good news because it allows the campaign to move forward and speak to the issues that voters want to hear about.

  84. I’ve noticed that it’s always ‘drug use’ and nobody says COCAINE!

    (old Eric Clapton song running thru my head)

  85. now tweety is focused on the billy shaheen resignation and how everything was set up to out the drug story. the talking heads are gang-banging HRC and shaheen as totally setting up the whole thing.

  86. i am so glad i can only get PBS, CBS’s Up to the Minute at 3 am once or twice a week and CNN on the puter.

    Ive probably saved $60 this year in Tums.

  87. mj…i donno. must be like the car accident you can’t turn away from. i guess i was hoping they would shift the attack after HRC’s fine showing today..yup, i’m an idiot. it’s still the same old BO walkin’ on water.

    hhmm, time for a glass of chianti.

  88. Thanks Admin. That’s the one that said “sorry” to me. Was perhaps just getting a digital busy signal while we all went at same time to do your bidding. (not lol, but cackling ol)

  89. sorry. question was for MJ.

    I need not chianti, but a stiff bourbon. problem is sun is out (finally!) but not yet over the yardarm.

  90. I know the Clinton campaign has distanced itself for Sheehan’s remarks about Obama, but I honestly think that if anyone believes for a second that the Republicans won’t air a MILLION commercials, hammering Obama for his cocaine purchases, if he were to somehow get the nomination, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell them.

  91. Some idiot at Taylor Marsh is citing Barack’s discussion of his family’s christmas tree as a highlight of the debate. This is obscene, especially as Hillary was one of the only candidates who offered specific solutions to specific problems.

    Obama can have his christmas tree; I desire a competent President.

  92. I am referring to a user named keepitreal in a comments thread at Taylor Marsh’s blog. I hear Matthews is now attacking Obama. Is this true?

    Hillary’s performance today is exactly what her campaign needed. And she makes it look so effortless.

  93. I thought Hillary was fantastic in the debate!!! Why shouldn’t she be as she’s the BEST candidate!!! But to watch MSNBC, you would think Obama is the KING of the universe!!! I think Chris Matthews has a thing for him!! LOL!! Bragging about him constantly!

    Obama never did answer the question about using Clinton people for his campaign did he?? MSNBC even turned that around and said his reaction made him look strong and confident like a frontrunner!!! UGH!!! Hillary is STILL the frontrunner—she does have 30 points ahead of Obama!!!

  94. He was on Hardball being ganged by both Tripp and Axelrod. Penn did not do well. He needs to stick to polling and keep his trap shut.

  95. yeah penn was horrible. i will take wolfson duking it out with mustache axelrod and joe”wasted $50 million of dean’s money in 2004″ trippi anyday.

  96. Is everyone here afraid of MSNBC? It pays to know what the anti-Hillary media is spewing to be able to truth-squad it immediately. Matthews is a biased jerk, but that’s who he is. These jerks WIN when you shy away from their criticisms. You’re going to have to answer the media slam du jour if you want to defend Hillary or persuade others to support her and you’re not helping yourself by restricting yourself to, “friendly”, sites exclusively.

    I know some have called a sort of Boycott to, deny them business”, but Matthews has approximately one quarter to one fifth the viewership of my man Keith, so he’s not doing much, “business” anyway. He’ll be on the air whether you watch him or not. Like many unpleasant things,

    Matthews becomes easier to tolerate (though no less odious)
    with repeated viewing. Because he is so biased and so DESPERATELY
    anti-Hillary, he’s the best place to study up for the, “kitchen table”, debates every Hillary supporter here has probably engaged in. If they are
    watching, “Spitball”, they’ll have a lot of negativity about Hillary to counter, even harder if you don’t know what they’re hearing.

    This is crunch time. Chris Matthews is in the forefront of Big Media’s offensive against Hillary Clinton. As her most devoted supporters, we have to be willing to march straight into that maelstrom with our heads held high. It will be that much sweeter when he has to cover her nomination at the democratic convention, as by then he’ll probably be singing her praises, two-faced phony that he is.

  97. Anyone look at Yepsen’s page, it was sick. He said Edwards and Clinton had to be nice to bo today because they were going too negative before. He said obama is still ahead (not acc. to the latest poll, just the DMR’s) and said the lower tier candidates won.

  98. That’s odd that he came off as “elite” because he’s always saying only the elites focus on personality, the regular joe wants to discuss issues.

  99. mj, wolfson is very quick on his feet, unflappable, and rapid fire in debating the rival camp’s rep. he is that good.

  100. mj, don’t worry – Hillary was fabulous. But yeah, Penn needs to put a sock in it. He looked and sounded completely out of touch and petulant. What he was saying was true, and he was being ganged, but still, ick. I think Iowans will judge Hilary on her own merits, though, and Hardball is so discredited by now that I’m not worried.

    I wonder if the press pushing Obama as inevitable (because that is what they are doing now) is going to have a contrary effect on Iowans the next few weeks?

  101. He is wearing armani and coming on shows when a common man like me is wearing jeans and T-shirt and watching him. Its different when candidates come dressed, they are celebrities in their own might. But Mark penn, was not good at all. Infact, he should have killed the drug story. its out there doing its own work. He and Hillary need to distance themselves.

  102. I just don’t watch it anymore. MSNBC used to be my choice channel, but Matthews and Russert have ruined it for me. I love Keith Olbermann, but otherwise, it is terrible. It is currently on a level with faux news with me. CNN isn’t much better, but at least it is not constant Hillary bashing. I just watch CSPAN for the political junkie in me now. Otherwise, comedy central or HBO, and then I am too busy for anything else.

  103. What if she fired Penn? Seriously! Then, what if she came out and said that some people in her campaign were over zealous supporters. That the reason that she got into the race was to make people’s lives better. Then, introduces Bill Clinton as her new strategist.

    Bill – FIX this!

  104. Also, Billy Shaheen could have hurt his wife’s chances of election to the senate. This should be said over and over again by us on the blogs. Why would Shaheen hurt his wives chances? C’mon picking Hillary over his wife? Donna Brazile said on CNN that she knows Billy Shaheen and that he speaks like that. It seemed like she believes that Clinton didn’t have anything to do with it.

  105. hawk

    I have been surprised of late how YepYep has been handling the BO student-bussing furor.

    Face it – he has just reverted to form.

    I love Iowa Press on Friday nights, but am tempted at times to throw a slipper at the screen.

    Going to go listen to what our girl has to say.

    off for now

  106. Re: Hardball.

    Normal people know something is wrong w/ MSNBC. I’ve met Obama supporters who are nice people (not bloggerz) who think the anti-Hillary stuff is over the top.

  107. Penn is a brilliant campaign orchestrator but less so when it comes to public relations. He shouldn’t be doing interviews, IMO.

  108. Penn is a brilliant campaign orchestrator

    I’ve heard from a lot of people (and I agree) that they are turned off by his labeling of women, like “women with needs” or his comments about single women who “can’t find a man” and instead turn to exceling in professional careers. I’m very certain that the campaign has lost some of its natural base due to his very public comments in major newspapers like the WaPo and NYT.

    I think he talks to much and spends too much time promoting himself at the expense of the campaign.

  109. HillaryLandRocks:

    I think these micro categories sound like Penn doesn’t have a strategy other than one driven by polls. It sounds like he went to statistics class, learned factor analysis and how to apply glib titiles, and then left.

    Genuinely saddens me = (

  110. “Some people believe you get [change] by demanding it. Some people believe you get it by hoping for it. I believe you get it by working hard for change.”
    That’s my favorite line from the debate, and I think it should be a staple in her stump speech from here on in.
    Hard pragmatic work versus “pie-in-the-sky”, unrealistic hopes and petulant demands. It puts both BO and JE and their messages of hope in proper perspective.

  111. am on conf call version of hold, w/ world age funk for company

    can’t recall who exactly was interviewing B Shaheen at the time of comments, but seem to recall he struck a man-of-Quality respose in me.

    who was he?

  112. Wow.Obama has really smoothed out his debating skills. Almost like he had an advance look at the questions and had time or help formulating reasonable, glowing, responses. ::sigh::

    Hillary did well under the circumstances, considering the distraction of the Shaheen flap just yesterday. 😉

    Tomorrow will be a better day..

    Mrs. S.

  113. mrs smith

    which debate were you watching?

    my left ear is sore, had to plug in phone because the battery got used up and all i’ve talked to had a great response to Hillary today.

  114. but abc blasts everyone in general. their one of the biggest commentator george stephenopus is “soft” hillary supporter who exposed both Obama and Edwards after MSNBC debate.

  115. This is interesting…it’s a report of how Hillary apologized to Obama for the cocaine flap. The story comes directly from Axelrod. He said they have “no evidence” that anyone from the Clinton campaign coordinated the attack. Yet, tonight, on the NBC News, Andrea Mitchell ended her report saying that the Obama people think it was all set up by the Clinton camp.

    She also showed the Penn interview (must have been from Hardball) just to make him look bad. I’ve got to be honest..I think this woman is nothing but a female version of Matthews. She’s a disgrace to that nightly news broadcast.

    The details a la Axelrod: A Clinton campaign staff member approached Mr. Obama at Reagan National Airport, and said that she wanted to speak with him. Mr. Obama went over to her.

    The exchange lasted 10-minutes, in which – as is known now – she apologized. Mr. Axelrod, who was not there at the tete-a-tete although he said a few aides were present, said Mr. Obama made clear that a signal had to be sent from the top down of the campaign that these types of tactics are out of bounds.

    He said Mr. Obama expressed his concerns about these attacks – (Mr. Axelrod mentioned not only the remarks but the controversial emails circulated here in Iowa by Clinton volunteers that falsely claimed Mr. Obama was a Muslim and worse. (Those emails prompted resignations and admonishments, too.)

    Mr. Axelrod asserted that campaigns need to send a strong signal that these types of attacks won’t be tolerated, and that those engaging in such behavior should not remain attached to any campaign. (He made these statements less than an hour before Mr. Shaheen announced that he would resign as one of the Clinton campaign advisers. ) But asked whether Mrs. Clinton’s apology wasn’t enough, he merely said Mr. Obama had accepted her apology and that the Obama campaign was not calling for further punishment. That, he said, should be left up to the other campaign.

    He said earlier in the post-debate area that Mrs. Clinton told Mr. Obama she had not known that Mr. Shaheen would say that. Mr. Axelrod said he had “no evidence’’ that anyone from the Clinton campaign had coordinated Mr. Shaheen’s attack. Asked whether Mr. Shaheen’s expressed concerns – that Republicans would use Mr. Obama’s drug use against him and hurt the Democratic party’s chances – Mr. Axelrod said Mr. Obama had always been forthright about his drug experimentation. (He wrote about it in his book several years ago.)

    thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/13/obama-aide-clinton-advisers-decision-to-quit-the-right-thing/

  116. If Bill and Hillary were planning to shake up the campaign, this is a great excuse to do so. Do it on moral grounds.

  117. I present here my Intrade 2008Dem.NOM.Clinton chart technical analysis:
    Many chart analysis technical indicators, such as relative strength, stochastic and money flow, are showing bottoming actions and they
    October price high = 75

    July price low = 30

    December 11 price low = 58

    That was a perfect Fibonacci 38.2% price retracement ! 🙂

    Future markets prices cannot go up in a straight line. After a spurt up, it needs to consolidate the gain, usually retracing the prior gain by a fibonacci ratio (38.2%, 50% and 61.8%). A 38.2% retracement is usually the minimum.

    are beginning to show signs of turning up. Therefore, a case can be made that this price consolidation process is ending. It may need a test of December 11 price low. If this price low can hold, we can expect a return to an uptrend.

    A bullish financial price pattern usually takes a five-wave structure. Thus far, we have seen:

    9/06 to 11/06 — wave 1 up
    11/06 to 7/07 — wave 2 consolidation
    7/07 to 10/07 — wave 3 up
    10/07 to present — wave 4 consolidation

    There is another interesting recurring wave pattern in financial markets — wave 2 and wave 4 price alternation. If wave 2 is sharp and brief in duration, then wave 4 tends to be sideway and prolonged in duration, and vice versa. We saw a sideway and prolonged wave 2 in the Clinton price chart. Therefore, wave 4 is expected to be sharp and short in duration.

    My forecast:

    wave 4 consolidation is ending.

    I am forecasting a final wave 5 spurt to begin soon. This spurt should take the price to near the 100 mark perhaps as soon as the day after super Tuesday (Feb 5, 2008).

  118. Oops, my prior post was messed up a bit, I’m reposting it again below:

    I present here my Intrade 2008Dem.NOM.Clinton chart technical analysis:

    October price high = 75

    July price low = 30

    December 11 price low = 58

    That was a perfect Fibonacci 38.2% price retracement ! 🙂

    Future markets prices cannot go up in a straight line. After a spurt up, it needs to consolidate the gain, usually retracing the prior gain by a fibonacci ratio (38.2%, 50% and 61.8%). A 38.2% retracement is usually the minimum.

    Many chart analysis technical indicators, such as relative strength, stochastic and money flow, are showing bottoming actions and they are beginning to show signs of turning up. Therefore, a case can be made that this price consolidation process is ending. It may need a test of December 11 price low. If this price low can hold, we can expect a return to an uptrend.

    A bullish financial price pattern usually takes a five-wave structure. Thus far, we have seen:

    9/06 to 11/06 — wave 1 up
    11/06 to 7/07 — wave 2 consolidation
    7/07 to 10/07 — wave 3 up
    10/07 to present — wave 4 consolidation

    There is another interesting recurring wave pattern in financial markets — wave 2 and wave 4 price alternation. If wave 2 is sharp and brief in duration, then wave 4 tends to be sideway and prolonged in duration, and vice versa. We saw a sideway and prolonged wave 2 in the Clinton price chart. Therefore, wave 4 is expected to be sharp and short in duration.

    My forecast:

    wave 4 consolidation is ending.

    I am forecasting a final wave 5 spurt to begin soon. This spurt should take the price to near the 100 mark perhaps as soon as the day after super Tuesday (Feb 5, 2008).

  119. After careful consideration and visual inspection of the trend, I have concluded that you are a genious HG!

    It is intersting that you say Fibonacci sequence. 1.) This reflects nature, 2.) Human information processing seems to reflect natural patterns, and 3.) Evidence is strating to accumulate that at a macroscopic levels humans process in groups as they do at the individual level.

    Absolutely made my day. Thanks HG

  120. HG, I am a very active investor. However intrade fails in the sense that elections unlike market, have very little recollection of history if any. markets are based on historic trends, however elections are based on events like debate etc. if someone commits to a candidate, then they stick with them and waver very little, unlike market which is more cyclic in nature.

  121. kentucky

    my first post was about the markets.

    check out IOWA Electronic Futures at google. As I said then, a 20 year record of being on the money.

    with the research papers and published documentation to back it up. It’s sort of plain, but thorough (like academics and Iowans)

    Intrade, also online, is pretty, but any site that has Kudlow on it makes me wonder, if you remember what I mean. Since you are in mktng, you’ll have a ball w/ the stix on IEM.

    Don’t remember where orig posting is…maybe the 12th.

  122. I agree gladiatorstail. Intrade is largely driven by polls, and there’s no valid reason to forecast resistance levels in opinion polling based on profit-taking.

  123. Kentucky_mkt – I agreed w/ your first comment on Penn’s analysis.

    Emjay — I haven’t looked at IEF, but supposedly that’s a better example of a financial market w/ predictive power, i.e., using aggregate intelligence. Intrade just lags the polls.

  124. Ever since Hillary announced her candidacy, I have become a political junkie! I have MSNBC, CNN, C-Span on all day long. I love Keith Olbermann; especially how he talks about Bush!!! Love it!!! Do you all think he likes Hillary? I’ve never heard him say anything bad about her.

  125. Hi Kentucky_mkt,

    No, not a genius. It’s just that I have watched and studied financial market charts for a long time. Beside fundamentals, financial market prices are also influenced by human psychology and emotions. We often see prices going out of whack — bubbles that are completely out of line from the fundamentals. But, in the long-term, the fundamentals rule.

    In my opinion, Hillary Clinton has the strongest fundamentals of the three top candidates. I believe, the future price will eventually reflect such a fudamental.

  126. It’s also very interesting that upon touching 58 (Fibonacci 38.2% retracement) a couple of days ago, the Clinton Intrade price bounced up strongly and consolidating today.

  127. HillRocks

    the reason IEM is so accurate is because it IS a true market, people buy and sell, based on their research, gut feeling, news of the day..
    just like oil, hogs, gold and corn.

    It rocks, as long as one doesn’t need music and lots of colors to hold their attention…AND it is updated every 15 minutes.

  128. HG: But, in the long-term, the fundamentals rule.

    There is no long-term. How many cycles do you have? The daily tracking for the IA caucus will begin soon, which will drive the activity in the short-term. You are correct only if she wins, but it will have nothing to do with trend analysis. By definition, trend is drift.

  129. Actually, I wonder if Penn appearing on “Hardball” is a sign of his demotion. I mean, nobody watches that show.

    What did he say about the coke story anyway?

  130. Emjay — I’ve looked in on the discussion boards on Intrade; the bettors are way behind the curve on news/research.

  131. HillRocks

    You’re very smart. IEM is not for bettors, it”s for investors, for real. The Business College runs it and true political editors, managers, bankers AND futures traders follow it because as we all know, election results have tremendous impact on domestic and world wide mkts.

  132. Didn’t the Hillary campaign boycott “Hardball” for months? So they obviously don’t take the show seriously, meaning Penn appearing on there wasn’t exactly a plum assignment. I love Wolfson, though, and thinks he’s an excellent spokeman for the campaign.

  133. pulchritude: The name “keepitreal” of this poster on Taylor Marsh sounds a lot like something icebergslim on daily kos would say.

  134. I am not amused.

    We should really highlight the differences established during the debate. What is everyone’s opinion of the answers the candidates offered when questioned about education? Do we blame parents, or do we pursue the structural reforms Clinton outlined?

  135. from my reading of what goes on at the daily kos.. well, usual attacks on hillary, but a lot of pro-edwards lately, they’re more vocal and getting attention and the cumulative effect of obama supporters is often terribly negative. they take an attack line and beat it to death and it’s wearisome.

  136. pulchritude, I did not like the references to parental responsibility AT ALL. Yes, I have 4 kids, so I know that parental involvement is of course key. But how many times have we heard Republicans blame the parents as a way to deflect from their neglect of our educational system?

    Once again, Obama uses a classic rightwing attack frame to make his point. This is what the repugs ALWAYS say to avoid having to spend any money on education. What the heck is he going to say next? That the Dems just want to throw money at problems? Sheesh, he was channeling Newt Gingrich!

  137. Exactly, Hillary for Texas. This notion of parental involvement as a solution to a public school system with systemic problems is to me so much victim blaming rhetoric à la Ronald Reagan. This is why I believe an analysis of the debate is important, for the true ideological underpinnings of these candidates’ platforms is thrown into stark and palpable relief.

  138. I’m not laughin’ either.
    There’s enough of that damn trash elsewhere

    Good question Pulchritude: We have to look at structural reforms and we have to work with families and children. We have had eight years of nothin’ but no child left behind. There’s tons of work to be done in education, as in everything else that has been neglected under this incompetent administration.

  139. Let me clarify on my answer: I am talkin’ bout workin’ with children and families to support them, not to blame them. I hate all this crap about junk food and obesity. It’s Bush’s excuse for some kind of interest in health. It doesn’t look at all at socioeconomic and genetic factors. It’s totally victim blamin’

  140. MJ, I don’t think it’s really that big a deal, but I’d like to see an Ann Lewis or a Carville-esque spokesperson, who is a little less “insider-y” and wonkish than Penn is. Penn should be in charge of polling and messaging (which he is — he’s incredible at it) but there’s no need to stretch him thin by asking him to do TV interviews too. It just isn’t really his forte. Wolfson is fine.

  141. Users named truthteller2007, keepitreal and gqmartinez had the following exchange at Taylor Marsh’s site about the education question:

    Why is obama citing parental responsibility in a discussion about the structural problems with our education system? Why is he reiterating victim blaming rhetoric of Reagan?
    truthteller2007 | 12.13.2007 – 2:45 pm | #

    Hillary eviscerated them. She discussed federal dollars and their strategic use. The President enjoys a bully pulpit, and legislative efforts can be marshalled to acheive structural reform.

    Notice Hillary discussed her experience and concrete solutions. Obama and Dodd blamed parents and reiterated the Republican trope of the negligent parent.
    truthteller2007 | 12.13.2007 – 2:47 pm | #

    Engaging parents in the educational system is victim blaming, alrighty then. This is what every successful school in the inner-city is doing to get their student to achieve. I guess we should let them know how their blaming the victim and following Reagan.
    keepitreal | 12.13.2007 – 2:51 pm | #

    You invest in textbooks, special education programs, the expansion of after school activities, the increase of teacher pay, the rehabilitation of dilapidated facilities, the production of community outreach programs. To assume parents can reform systems that are entirely broken is simply counterproductive. And only federal dollars and legislation will address some of the structural problems I enumerate.
    truthteller2007 | 12.13.2007 – 2:55 pm | #

    that’s not what he said though. it’s a multilayered approach but doing all those things with strong parental and community engagement is not effective at all. obama is right to recognize that.
    keepitreal | 12.13.2007 – 2:59 pm | #

    Keepitreal, only Clinton provided specific legislative and federal proposals. And she was the only one who was specific about the federal government’s intervention into a system that is largely funded by the local property tax index.
    truthteller2007 | 12.13.2007 – 3:01 pm | #

    keep it real,
    Hillary wrote a whole book about the subject. Not that that matters to her detractors…
    gqmartinez | 12.13.2007 – 3:01 pm | #

    I’m happy she wrote the book and produced the legislation. I just made a point that advocating for parental engagement is victim blaming. hillary gets points on this issue no doubt.
    keepitreal | 12.13.2007 – 3:04 pm | #

    Notice keepitreal finally conceded that Hillary is the only candidate prepared to address the systemic problems beseiging public education. And truthteller is correct: federal intervention into a system funded by the local property tax index is the only manner whereby we address the inequalities in public education. Hillary is the only candidate who even mentioned the federal government’s role. Dodd and Obama, on the other hand, are bent on blaming the victims.

  142. Berkeley Vox, even Hillary’s supporters I know are going nuts about this. WTF would he open this wound again? She needs to retire him.

  143. i am listening to the debate rerun right now, i didn’t hear before, i was at work. obama so far sounds rather meandering and i have to ask, how he is going to reform nafta by calling up the leaders of canada and mexico and kindly asking them to reconsider? because that’s all he said he would do. someone has to ask that question, what if they just say no? i don’t think this will be effective in bringing about change. hillary gave a clear assessment of the situation and said exactly what she would do.

    i don’t know the big picture strategy here but what hillary sounds like to me is, she has a plan, she has points to make here and she makes them well. she was very clear about being responsible with money, cost saving, and making trade work for everyone. so far. im still listening..

  144. molly,

    and bush’s no child left behind is a program that places the burden on those who are the victims of a system that is beset with an unequal distribution of resources. teachers who are underpaid and children who do not enjoy equal access to power and resources are asked to perform to an arbitrary standard. and if they fail, they are punished. instead of paralyzing these schools with such standards, the federal government should supplement the funding these schools receive from the local property tax index. hillary understands this, and this is why i support hillary. unlike obama and dodd, she will not blame children or their parents. she will not even imply that parents are lazy or negligent, as she understands that parents cannot build new schools, purchase textbooks, install chalk boards, paint rooms, hire teachers, pay those teachers, create after school programs, draft new curricula and create incentives to attract educators to low income neighborhoods. hillary understands that the public school system’s skewed distribution of resources is a structural issue, not a problem created by the parents who were a product of that system of inequality. obama’s suggestion that parents are negligent is a sign of his misunderstanding of the institution of education and of the manner whereby it is funded. i found his answer insulting both for its Reaganite foundations and for its lack of knowledge of our country’s most important institution.

    hillary is 44

  145. another reader, BO’s explanation for how he will surmount any obstacle seems to be “I will wow them with the transcendence emanating from my person, and they will fall in line as if in a trance.” Yeah, right. Psssst! Obama! You are not a Jedi knight.

  146. Do we blame parents, or do we pursue the structural reforms Clinton outlined?

    I don’t blame parents, because of the preponderance of single-parent homes in underfunded school districts. The reality is that many moms are at work and also dead tired at the end of the day.

    Grades 7-12 I was a ‘latchkey’ kid because my mom went to college, all the way through grad school. My father wasn’t around much. I was responsible for my own homework; dinner; and if I wanted to take part in an afterschool activity, I’d have to walk home four miles.

    My high school has a very high rate of college attendance — it is in a county recognized for a well-funded, highly-rated public school system. This enables peer pressure — sufficent to promote excellence and do well — which kept most kids like me out of trouble. At the end of the day, you just didn’t want to be in the 8% loser group. We were goal-driven, and that’s what’s missing in schools where there are few/no prospects after graduation.

  147. another_reader, thats exactly what he is going to do. His first 100 days are going to be really busy – meeting heads of state. First Iran, then North Korea, then hop on to a plane to Venezuela. Then its Mexico and finally Canada. Then he’ll probably do the whole route again.

    Anyone who thinks that trade treaties can be negotiated by “kindly” requesting reconsideration is just way too naive and inexperienced to be President. I am surprised he was allowed to get away with that kind of answer. Shows his ignorance for sure.

  148. Well said. I agree completely on your assessment of Hillary’s perspective (from what I understand) and on Obama’s republican outlook. Hillary spent her early career working on behalf of children and families and the problems they face. She studied education reform early on as well. She’s also a disciplined learner. Hillary does her homework. She learns. She writes. She thinks about things. She listens to people. She puts good people to work for her. She’s there. She’s 44. I thought it was an excellent debate performance for her.

  149. HillaryLandRocks,

    I agree that the simulation of a competitive environment in districts with little to no funding from the local property tax index is important, and this is why federal funding is the only viable solution. johnathan kozol, the sociologist who has focused on inequality in public education, demands a reconfiguration of the funding mechanisms for this precise reason. for we can only create the programs and the curricula to create an environment of hope and of competitiveness if the resources exist.

    and yes, single mothers and blue collar workers do not reside in areas that generate large amounts of revenue from local property taxes. this is why federal intervention is necessary, and this is why hillary is correct and obama is wrong.

  150. The always perceptive Craig Crawford was on Olberman tonight and was asked about the Shaheeen story. He called it a murder/suicide in re. Obama/Shaheen. The net effect is Obama’s prior drug use gets repeated 3 times-first when Bill S. describes how Republicans would use it against him in the GE, second when Obama objects and Hillary apologizes and third when Bill S resigns over it. It is now in the public record for the 98% who did not read his book.

    Before Barack gets too worked up about this he would do well to recall the inflamatory stories his own campaign has circulated, re. senator from Punjab, innuendo re. Bill, 1984 video, $ 400 haircut. Did he know about those slanderous attacks? Did he prevent them? Did he apologize to Senator Clinton? If, as he claims, this is a matter of leadership, then where was he when we needed him?

    These things are bound to happen in a contentious campaign, with so many people involved, and inevitable vollies back and forth. This is the last thing Hillary wanted at this point, but it happened and like any good leader she has taken appropriate steps to address the situation.

  151. “Before Barack gets too worked up about this he would do well to recall the inflamatory stories his own campaign has circulated, re. senator from Punjab, innuendo re. Bill, 1984 video, $ 400 haircut. Did he know about those slanderous attacks? Did he prevent them? Did he apologize to Senator Clinton? If, as he claims, this is a matter of leadership, then where was he when we needed him?”

    Well said.

  152. She shelved all the salacious gossip and address the problems with which the American people are preoccupied today in Iowa. They can discuss Obama’s drug use all they want. But voters are more concerned with quotidian life, and Hillary offered real solutions to those concerns during the debate in Iowa.

    Yes, understand the traditional media’s strategies, but use the debate to underscore Hillary’s focus and command.

  153. BTW

    no one asked abt the conf call, but I’ll tell you anyway…

    Hillary is on her way to Shenandoah, where she could not meet w/ supporters a few weeks ago because of fog…plane was diverted all the way to Omaha and as she drove to meet us in Creston, she brought this winter weather with her. Temps dropped 34 degrees in 40 minutes!

    So there they were in Shenandoah, waiting waiting..and finally disappointed. She actually rescheduled it and the firehouse there tonight is packed to the rafters and sooo thrilled. She was so gracious to make such a promise, and even at the end of a tough week so honourable in keeping it.

    I have this silly smile on my face because I got to make a comment or ask a question on the call and she actually remembered me when I mentioned the topic of our discussion in Creston.

    She’s the only candidate who “gets it” about SOC SEC.

    It does NOT need an overhaul. It just needs to be paid back the money that is owed to the trust fund that the Repubs “borrowed.”

    Bill Clinton, Rubin & Co did it once. It can be done again. Remember Bill’s famous “pay Soc Sec first!” declaration at a State of the Union?

    Waves and waves of standing ovation applause. It went on so long, he was a little auh-shucks embarrassed.

    So when Dem candidates use the right-wing admonishments and promises of “fixing” Soc Sec, however they are going to do it, it makes me mad because they are aiding and abetting the ultra conservatives who, in reality, just want to starve the entire program and institute “personal accts.”

    Well, my SS IS my personal acct. I’ve put it in for 51 years and 8 mos, and I start w/drawls this month, paid one month later.

    And folks, by the time I and my junior cohorts are dead, 2055 will be the new year, and that horrible baby boomer bump will be gone. The Repubs won’t have us to blame anymore.

    And you know what? The first Clinton administration had paid back enough, that with interest earned the system would have been in the black for the entire time. Hillary agrees with me. All we have to do is pay the trust fund back, again.

    Listen to BO. He sounds like a Repub on this issue, with his $97.5K to $200K “doughnut hole”. He has no sense of history and no economic sense either.

    If he wants to fix something, let him research the Medicare problem and rural medical payments that are 1/2 the amt paid to doctors and hospitals and clinics located in urban areas. That should keep him busy, because he hasn’t even thought abt it. I know, because I asked him at the steak fry. Like a deer in headlights, he was.

    (Hope his loyalists don’t read this…wouldn’t want to give him any help at all, at least not til after Jan 8th. Course by then it will be too little, too late for him. He has no idea of what we want or feel or need and that’s going to sink him.)

    Lordy Lordy, what a good bourbon can do to the tongue. Better quit.

  154. mj – dont get too worked up about that “spitball” episode. Taylor Marsh has a post now on it and I saw the clip. Sure, Penn was awful in his attempts to ward of the gang-up but he was in a hostile situation of the kind he probably has never been in before. The campaign should never send him out again on shows like this. Matthews of course was the perfect a**hole that he always is – it was just disgusting to see him enabling the most wicked person in this whole election season – Trippi – and the duplicitous Axelrod to go after Penn. Penn was just warding off the attacks (he did not use the word ‘cocaine’ in any way that was unhelpful to the campaign) but he just couldn’t handle it well.

  155. I feel like I’m back in school sometimes when I am chattin’ with y’all. Victim blaming, jonathan kozal and ronald regan. We are readin’ off the same page, y’all, in lots of instances. Maybe this is one reason by Hill’s our gal.

    I heard that analysis on Olberman as well wb and I thought it was mighty interestin’.

    I really enjoyed watching Hillary today, especially when Obama got asked the question about using Bill’s advisors. I admit, I’d never thought about that one exactly like that. It was a good question. Hillary’s reaction was classic. Her timing was really good today with many of her comments, particularly how do you bring about change. It was just so good to see her do such a great job.

  156. kingsgrove at 8:04

    Eeeeuuuuuuu. You caused me to have to get out of my cozy comforter and grab a square of perfect dark chocolate to get the taste out of my mouth. Please don’t do anything like that again.

  157. Oh I enjoyed the pictures earlier of Pres. Clinton and volunteers and I want to just say a big thanks to those of you who are volunteering in the early states. We appreciate your extraordinary effort and it is only going to get more intense! Thank you on behalf of us all.

  158. oh btw, if you guys think we put in anything useful to other campaigns better not put it out here.. this one is for you emjay, caz looks like we are attracting lots of attention offlate especially after this recent spike in coverage of this site!

  159. npr commenter now pointing out obama’s reply to the question on the farm bill – some version that came up before that he would’ve voted for (had he voted) and one today against? or vice versa? this is an issue that matters a lot in iowa and he whiffed it. went right over the heads of big blogs and big media.

  160. looks like edwards won the debate. atleast thats the story. Hilary’s support hopefully is extremely committed. I saw it was around 80%. I hope she is holding on to it.

    If she gets the support she has, then I think it is a real possibility that she comes second, and Obama comes a distant third. atleast thats the way I see it. I will wait to see the polls.

  161. The narrative of Edwards winning is fine with me. I didn’t get a chance to watch the debate, but it sounds like Hillary did very well. Who is saying that Edwards won?

  162. Who is saying that Edwards won?

    The punditry (media and bloggerz) are just mimicing the focus group results.

  163. The “probably” hedging on this may be quite significant here –

    Obama:
    I have made as a center piece for my rural farm agenda that we lower the subsidies because too many of them are going to agribusiness. We’ve got folks in manhattan who are getting farm subsidies, fortune 500 companies who are getting farm subsidies, and as a consequence, family farms are getting squeezed out. This is something you hear about all across rural Iowa. So I would cap those subsidies. I think we have to have a structure that are provides protection for farmers if a drought or collapse in market prices, but we have to take that money that is saved, invest in conservation, invest in organic and alternative crops, invest in nutrition programs. Through that process we cannot only save the land, but we can also improve the economic engines in a lot of these rural communities, and that is something that I’m absolutely committed to doing as president of the United States, but it’s going to require overcoming the excess influence of agribusiness in Washington.

    So would you have voted for or against?

    There were elements of the proposal on tuesday that, I think, did not make the changes I would have approached it, so I probably would have voted against it. But there was a vote today that would have capped the subsidies so that it wouldn’t be going to these folks who don’t deserve it.

    Hillary:
    Well, I think you’re referring to the luger/lautenberg, Bill, and I have been following senator Harkin’s lead, so I would have voted against that, and then voted as I did today for the limit on subsidies. There’s so much we could do that would really help family farmers and help rural development. I’ve got a dozen or so of my family farmers from new york traveling around Iowa today talking about family — talking to family farmers about what I’m trying to do. So we do need a farm Bill, and tom harkin’s been working like a trojan to get it done, and he’s making progress, but he keeps getting beaten back all the time on conservation, on subsidy limits. When I’m president we’re going to finally make these changes because I believe that if we don’t, we’re going to see increasingly our family farmers as an endangered species. That’s not good for any of us, so I’m going to do everything I can to get to the point where we have a farm plan.

  164. I am excited! Hillary is coming back to town again! She is flying in on Monday on a Hill-a-copter, I am so thrilled. I just met Bill, this will be my 7th time seeing her and the 5th time I get to meet her. AHHH! This 99 county idea is good and I can’t wait.

  165. People thought she was strong and knowledgeable as always. She always does well, and there is no surprise there 🙂 Loved her points on education.

  166. =====================================================8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888ADMIN,

    kingsgrove, comment is still on the site, can you dump it?
    seriously uncool…

  167. i hosted a great team hillary meeting tonight. this time msotly new supporters my age in their 20s! age 18-50. great meeting-help is on the way in iowa and elsewhere . mention obama and there is great anger with this team hillary group tongiht! i mean furious.

  168. hawk

    even my teeth are green w/jealousy. Do you know anything more abt her Mon schedule ? Were you on the call this evening? Have you heard any feedback abt the Shenandoah gig?

  169. Hillfans another good news:

    Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski Endorses Clinton

    “At a critical time in our history, Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to restore hope and opportunity to working Americans and deliver the change America needs,” Kulongoski said. “No one is better equipped to repair the damage of the last seven years and repair our standing in the world.”

    Kulongoski was elected Governor in 2002 and reelected again in 2006, after spending nearly 35 years in public service. As Governor, Kulongoski has focused on education and economic growth, expanding opportunities for working class residents to attend college and obtain the necessary workforce skills, thus creating tens of thousands of new jobs. He continues to push for more investment in education as well as quality, affordable health care, especially for children, and to make Oregon the leader in promoting a healthy economy fueled by green, alternative energy sources. A Marine Corps veteran, no Governor has spent more time addressing the needs of enlisted and National Guard soldiers and veterans.

    Gov. Kulongoski began his career as a labor lawyer, helping author the landmark Oregon Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act. Since then, he has served in leading roles across all three branches of state government, including: State Representative, State Senator, Insurance Commissioner, Attorney General and Associate Justice on the Oregon Supreme Court.

    “Ted has devoted his life to serving the people of Oregon with integrity and distinction,” Clinton said. “I’m honored to have the support of such a fantastic champion for working people, and I’m delighted that he will lead our efforts in Oregon.”

  170. watched penn on hardball. i see it as.. it’s a show for political junkies where penn was putting out the message he wanted to get out there as far as hillary’s campaign themes as well as the fact that Obama DID start the negative attacks and announced it in the new york times that he was going to do it. meanwhile trippi begged to get attention (mostly unsuccessfully) and axelrod didn’t have a lot of good answers as far as anything specific obama would do. nobody is going to base their vote on what penn looks like on hardball thats for sure.

  171. Sen George Mitchell on Charlie Rose tonight, now.

    President Bill Clinton on for full hour tomorrow night (preview has Bill using MJ’s “agent of change” FOUR times !!)

    This is going to be a great !!! hour.

  172. The Oregon endorsement is exciting, as is the Philadelphia Mayor’s endorsement. The media, of course, will never focus on actual issues. I guess the volunteers and supporters will have to disseminate the message on their behalf.

    The Obama campaign has really debased this primary.

  173. Another Bill preview on Charlie… I swear, he’s wearing a blue enameled Hillary pin on his left lapel, right where the right wear their US flags.

  174. bill will be great-he will lay out the tone for the final weeks here. a must watch i think. what ever happened to the 32 ambassadors who endorsed hillary. i think she needs to have a presser with these guys with her. also-new ad-and great. not scripted-very heartfelt. we need more such ads..

  175. well i hate to piss everyone off here,
    but that agent of change thing needs to go…
    really really really bad idea…
    whos line is it anyway?
    source of great disdain and laughter since yesterday on the web…
    always behind the eight ball these days, instead of infront of it, whats going on?

    trying to talk in code…
    someone just said restrict our conversation, so dont want to complain…
    but really, most disappointing.

  176. united.. agent of change is the campaign theme. just like for bill its the economy stupid, for hillary’s campaign, its the change stupid. I think this was bills idea after the “shakeup”. Bill first released the slogan with an iowa speech. here is the article for that speech.

    thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/10/bill-clinton-calls-hillary-a-change-agent/

    keep listening on how many timees she will repeat the word change from now on all the way till elections. just in the debate, she used it atleast 20 times. she is going to hammer it again and again into voters head. change,change,change. on a sidenote, the new ARG poll has good numbers for our girl.

    The following results are based on nationwide telephone samples of 600 likely Democratic primary voters and 600 likely Republican primary voters (those saying they will definitely vote in a primary or participate in a caucus in 2008) conducted December 9-12, 2007. The theoretical margin of error for each sample is plus or minus 4 percentage points, 95% of the time.

    Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field. Clinton leads Obama 40% to 21% among men and 42% to 22% among women. Among Democrats (82% of likely national Democratic primary voters), Clinton leads Obama 43% to 21%. Among independents, Clinton is at 30%, Obama 26%, and Edwards 21%.

    here are numbers for comparison.

    Hillary : 41 (46)
    Obama : 21 (22)
    Edwards : 13 (11)

    she has lost some lead but that is expected since race tightens.

  177. Ok, Ben, that’s it. I’ve cited your articles and comments for the last time. Looks like you’ve drank the Oprama Kool Ade:

    *Obama uses Romney as a punchline (well, just because he is, is this really news worthy?)

    *Following in his mama’s mentor’s footsteps, just like Oprah, Obama is going to have a national book club (won’t he have a country to run or something like that? a book club?)

    *Obama broadens the trade question with some dexterity, saying that to win enforceable trade agreements, the U.S. needs a broader makeover. (His answer was that he was leaving on a jet plane and didn’t know when he’d be back again … as Pres he’s going to go mano a mano)

    *Hillary, in answer to a fiscal question, promises to “restore” the tax rates of the ’90s when, she reminds the audience, Iowans’ incomes rose.

    I was about to draw some contrast involving her harking back, rather than forward, though I notice that Obama also pledged “some leadership in the White House that restores that sense that we’re all in this together and we’re not on our own.”

    (See, Ben, you was already to snark on Hillary but your candidate’s alleged position caused you to do a mental flip-flop.)

    Need I go on?

    *”And here’s video of Obama’s best moment, a sign of his increased comfort on his feet and, perhaps, the increasingly real prospect (to him, to everyone else) that he could be the nominee.”

  178. B Merryfield,
    lol: Obama said he would: “We’re going to have a national book club. Like Oprah’s book club, the president is going to have a book club.”

    Actually, this is rich. Perhaps we should hold him to that and ask how he’s going to finance it and what extra bureaucracy will be needed to administrate it? Petty I know, but his intellectually dishonest, high minded, houlier-than-thou style really gets on my nerves. Like he’s the first person to discover that children’s culture is important.

  179. concord monitor NH poll is out. Hillary Obama and Edwards are in dead heat with Obama slightly ahead.

    Barack Obama 32% (25)
    Hilary Clinton 31% (33)
    John Edwards 18% (15)
    Bill Richardson 8% (7)

    Internals are a little skewed towards independents, but it has to be seen if they participate republican or democratic, depending on “huckaboom”. we need huckabee to win by a large margin to get more independents to break into republican IMO.

    When it came to those undeclared voters, Obama trounced his opponents: 40 percent of undeclared voters likely to vote in the Democratic primary backed Obama, compared with 23 percent for Clinton and 13 percent for former North Carolina senator John Edwards.

    Clinton, in contrast, won the support of more registered Democrats: 36 percent said they’d vote for Clinton, compared with 27 percent for Obama and 21 percent for Edwards.

    so the race hasnt really changed except that independents have broken by a huge margin towards Obama. I dont know how that will play out in the end. I think this is maximum for Obama, since this is after Oprahpulaza. momentum is with him though.

  180. On Obama supporters and the Blogosphere

    As the Shaheen comment amply goes to show Obama needs to be accurately, publicly and fully vetted. Ironically however I believe Obama will not be vetted in any meaningful way lest he actually wins the Iowa caucuses. Then perhaps, maybe, the media will start reconsider him. But as long as he’s perceived as some sort of starry eyed, wonder boy underdog – he’ll get away with, if not murder, at least drugs for the moment.

    What’s really interesting in this is the role of the Blogosphere, according to which Hillary Clinton can only be wrong regardless of what she says and does; especially when the Blogosphere wields its “spin-all-what’s-wrong-with-Hillary” in interaction with the Obama supporters who dream of him as a uniter, a compassionate liberal and an agent of hope and change and whatnot.

    These dreamy types probably sincerely believe that the press likes him too much to let anything evil happen to him. And they, probably equally sincerely, believe that the Republicans will play nicer this election as compared to 2004.

    Obama never once in his entire life has had to stand up against the Big Red Slime Machine. Perhaps because of this the Obama supporters confuses his inexperience with innocence, as in there can’t be anything there to make anything of. The logic of the Obama supporters is in many ways flawed. Apparently sincere they profess to believe that Obama can’t be harmed because all the dirt the Big Red Slime Machine will dig up will be either old (as in being once mentioned in a book) or untrue (as all things usually are with the Big Red Slime Machine).

    Their nice and cozy dream world however deflates quickly when Hillary Clinton is the subject. Even the dreamiest of dreamy Obama supporters then profess to be worried that there may be something there that the Big Red Slime Machine could make something of. Although we all know that whatever it is, it is either very old or very untrue and usually both at the same time.

    A double standard at work it is. A double standard, invented in the dream world and the Blogosphere, sustained in the media, designed to protect Obama’s candidacy. A double standard that, in the end, can only badly hurt the Democratic Party. Absent, as of yet, any realistic attitudes towards Obama’s candidacy, on Hillary’s campaign falls the entire burden of carrying the fight of the Democratic Party against the Republicans.

    In this election there is only one tested candidate that has gone toe-to-toe with the Big Red Slime Machine and who has come out on top.

  181. Here’s the 5-minute MSNBC/Scabby Joe “news” alert. Joe points out that MSNBC is going to be talking about BHO and drugs all day and a teaser for Scumball promises a full down in the gutter smearorama on Hillary. Stay tuned for more …. or not (which is my advice).

  182. Today’s Outside the Beltway:

    With that out of the way… on to predictions. I think the easy prediction to make is that the Democratic nominee is almost certain to be Hillary Clinton. While I think there are elements of the base that prefer John Edwards and Barack Obama, Clinton has the backing of the party establishment and has cornered many of the key endorsements that Obama would need to gain the backing of the African-American community in South Carolina and other states with good-sized black Democratic primary electorates (the presence of native son Edwards on the S.C. ballot is unlikely to help Obama either). Edwards’ failure to receive the unequivocal backing of the labor movement also diminishes his stature as a potential roadblock for Clinton, even though both he and Obama are probably better on the stump and viable general election candidates. The only other candidate with serious executive experience, Bill Richardson, has just failed to gain any traction with the voters despite a potentially appealing resume. I think the most likely Democratic ticket is Clinton-Edwards, with Clinton-Richardson a secondary possibility.

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/12/election_prediction_clinton_defeats_romney/

  183. I rarely read the Huffington post as it is so rabidly anti-Hillary but in checking it out today I saw that they have put a link on the front page of that website to an entry for Hillary Clinton in the “Dickipedia”. If you are unaware of this website it is an obscene satire of the popular Wikipedia. Putting the link on their site shows how juvenile, biased and beyond contempt the Huffington Post is. It IS NOT the journalistic website it pretends to be. It this what we will now see in the MSM? Are they that consumed by Hillary hatred?

  184. New New Hampsire Poll (taken 12/10-10/12)

    http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071214/FRONTPAGE/712140350

    Barack Obama 32%
    Hilary Clinton 31%
    John Edwards 18%
    Bill Richardson 8%

    In the Monitor’s July poll, 33 percent of likely Democratic voters surveyed chose Clinton, while 25 percent picked Obama. Edwards won 15 percent of the vote in that poll, while Richardson took 7 percent.

    The survey of 400 likely voters found Clinton leading among registered Democrats, 36-27, but trailing among undeclared voters, 40-23. There was very little difference between men (30-30) and women (Obama 34, Clinton 32) in the sample.

    The survey also asked for a preference if the choices were limited to two candidates. Those results:

    * Obama — 45
    * Clinton — 41

    * Clinton — 47
    * Edwards — 41

    * Obama — 46
    * Edwards — 39

  185. from the website:

    “Research 2000 used randomly generated telephone numbers to interview 600 likely voters. Those interviewed – 186 Democrats (31 percent), 180 Republicans (30 percent) and 234 voters who identified themselves as independents (39 percent) – reflect voter registration numbers. The interviews included 288 men and 312 women. The poll has a four percentage point margin of error, although that figure is higher for subgroups within the poll. “

  186. From what I understand, it isn’t the polls, the endorsements, nor the party establishment support that will determine who wins Iowa. It’s a combination of the personal campaigning and the campaign organization that will determine the winner. It’s very obvious Hillary can’t depend on the MSN nor the pundits for any help. Plus, there are sure to be plenty of dirty tricks used by others. Probably most of the undecideds will remain that way and not vote at all. All of that makes almost all of the traditional forces into a sea of opposition she has to beat. Since she is the most qualified and the best candidate in general, I hope she is able to do that. I would welcome anything anyone can say that would build more confidence for me that she will win this highly unpredictable state.

  187. Is it my imagination, Hillfans, or is Oprama stealing Hillary’s message?

    First, speaking yesterday, when asked “What can be accomplished first year?”

    Obama answered “End the war in Iraq. Diplomacy. #2 Review every executive order signed by George Bush. Cover all Americans on health care.”

    Sound familiar? If I could find the right transcripts (prior debate and this one), I guarantee you that his words are almost identical to what Hillary said before.

    Then, during yesterday’s debate, Hillary said that right at that very time she had familiy farmers from N.Y. meeting with Iowa farmers on what she had done about family farms in N.Y.

    This from yesterday’s Iowa Politics

    * iowapolitics.com/index.iml?Article=113123

    So, now, I come across this NHInsider item, where last night BHO hosted a conference call from Iowa with N.H. “voters” to roll out his urban agenda for family farmers.

    * nhinsider.com/press-releases/2007/12/14/ [space] sen-obama-campaign-unveils-rural-agenda.html

  188. united 12, sorry but I completely disagree. Forget the blogosphere. Agent of change is exactly what Hillary has always been, and it’s active. To just say I’m for change, or I am change rather than I’ll make change is empty.

  189. 10/23/07: Hillary on Bush and executive privilege:

    “I think I’m going to have to review everything they’ve done, because I’ve been on the receiving end of that,” she said. Ms Clinton stated it was “absolutely” conceivable that, as president, she would give up executive powers in the name of constitutional principle.

    “That has to be part of the review I undertake when I get to the White House, and I intend to do that,” she said.

    guardian.co.uk/uselections08/hillaryclinton/story/0,,2197233,00.html

    Although paraphrased by admin, does this not sound like what BHO said yesterday?

  190. I saw scabby Mornin’ Joe today for the first time and I swear I’ll never make that same mistake again. It just made me so sick.

    The shilling for BO has reached absurd proportions. They went on and on about how the drug thing was going to hurt Hillary and how poor BO has to deal with the evil Clinton campaign, the poor victim that he is , implying that she herself was behind everything starting from the hate emails , the kindergarten thing, and now this. No mention of the fact that he himself brought up his drug use to group of high school students no less, a few weeks ago. It wasnt resurrected from the book only.

    The new narrative – “he is comfortable in his front-runner status and has found his footing and is in control ” (meaning – he looks presidential) . They spin so hard and and then they shamlessly believe their own crap and devote the entire news cycle to pushing it. Now that they have brought him this far, they are making every effort to make sure he stays there and doesnt get knocked off. Their hatred of Hillary are his crutches.

  191. New CNN/Opinion research poll:
    Hillary: 42%
    Obama:34%
    Edwards:16%
    The rest had 3% or less.

    Link: politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/12/14/sc-poll-huckabee-bolts-to-top-of-gop-obama-cuts-into-clinton-lead/

  192. Has anyone lost Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and come back to win later primaries and become the nominee? Is the situation this year unique with the primary schedule and is that a new factor?

    I have seen various people on the internet suggest that if Hillary loses the three states listed about (which could happen) there is still “Super Tuesday” on Feb. 5 with 20 state primaries at once. Many of these are in states where she has a commanding lead. Also, by that time the media may actually have started to examine Obama. This along with people thinking over the intervening weeks about who we really want to be our nominee may play into Hillary’s favor.

    Is this all wishful thinking or is this something that is in the realm of possibility politically?

  193. AmericanGal, Dick Morris said in one of his editorial analysis pieces that could happen. And the poll was heartening to me as well…. Here is the link to Dick Morris’s piece: thehill.com/dick-morris/hillary-rudy-may-know-life-after-death-2007-12-05.html

  194. I didn’ realize it was Dick Morris (yuck). But, despite that, is something like he described politically possible? I haven’t followed primaries that closely before so I don’t have a sense of how these things can go..

  195. After SC, independents are taken out of the mix. In NH, Hillary’s still doing fine w/ Dems, it’s independents that are killing her. In IA, anyone can participate in the caucus and I believe SC is an open primary as well.

    Feb 5th states are mostly closed to Dems.

    So you’re looking at massive momentum (should Obama take the first 4 states) vs. buyer’s remorse by Dems, with independents kicked to the curb.

  196. It is possible IF the media vets Obama, who will get much more attention due to the wins in the early primaries. I don’t have much confidance with that, as Obama is the big media’s canidate.

  197. AG: I hate to ask this question but…it Hillary does not win Iowa, is it really over for her?

    I think if IA is close, NH will winnow out the top two, irrespective of the actual order in IA. I think a Gephardt -like finish would spell real trouble.

  198. He came in 4th, but the real point is that he lagged way behind and underperformed expectations. So what I mean is that if she comes in third, but the leaders are clustered, NH will sort out the top two, not IA. If she lags in third-place, things become very unpredictable.

  199. AmericanGal: remember the words of John Paul Jones when he was to surrender: “I have not yet begun to fight”.

    Thanks to whoever recommended the article by Robert Kennedy. It is a great weapon for us. I will post some comments on it tonight.

    Right now I am heading off to an all day seminar on ethics. I am confident that Bwak will not be the guest lecturer.

  200. My opinion is that the race changed the moment Obama decided to concentrate all his efforts in IA. Recall that up until about Sept-Oct, only Edwards had that strategy, and everybody laughed. The moment Obama adopted that strategy, we should have done the same. I agree w/ those donors in Oct who complained that Hillary was not spending enough time in the state. Just by virtue of IL next-door, the writing was on the wall.

    So it’s good that the campaign is now focusing on IA, but while naturally we’d like to win it outright, keeping it close is a reasonable expectation.

  201. AmericanGal: Dick Morris is not a good source for real information or opinions on Hillary.

    For example, those visiting here who think the RW doesn’t want to rid itself of that foul female vermin HRC, please explain why Citizens United (a.k.a. Dick Morris and David Bossie) is butting heads with the FEC to air tv commercials promoting its latest HRC smear project Hillary: The Movie.

    (BTW: I’ve had an article up about all these political smear campaigns and dirty tricks for a very long time now. Just click on my name then do a search for “Citizens United” and “Hillary Clinton: U.S. presidential election, 2008/political attacks”. It’s all there.)

    Also, could somebody tell me how many anti-Obama 527 PACS have formed to interfere with if not totally stop BHO’s campaign. I can tell you that answer – ZERO.

    How many PACS are out there to interfere with if not totally stop Hillary’s campaign? Several. For starters: Democratic Courage, Citizens United.

  202. HLR, which makes my point that BHO does not have an original thought in his head and we can thank the Trippi-Axelrod alliance for this. The duo are co-opting on BHO’s strategy along all lines. Too bad MSM just ain’t smart enough to figure it out.

  203. HillaryLandRocks: sound analysis. I think we got a little off course for awhile, Hillary discovered it and she has reboxed the compass. I am glad she is staying in Iowa today so she can continue to reach out to voters and make up whatever ground may have been lost in Oct.

  204. People, do not forget that Obama has had a huge advantage in Iowa’s ground game that he will not have in other states.

    The rest of the states don’t border Illinois. If he wants more feet on the ground canvassing, or bodies to pump the size of his rallies, he’s going to have to earn it there – not bus them in from next door.

  205. HLR, here in N.H. BHO does have another handy group of workers who have been canvassing heavily here — from Mass. They have also been coming up by the busloads, as have many from Conn. I posted links to those forum announcements weeks ago.

    N.H. has this little problem, which I think I posted yesterday, whereby if you don’t have identification of residency, you can fill out an affidavit, register on the spot as an undecided, and vote.

    Not saying it WILL happen but it COULD.

  206. I’m mystified. THe president says that baseball players shouldn’t take steroids because of the effect it has on youth. There is a hue and cry because of what these athletes did. They have been called out without much proof.

    OTOH, a man who talks about cocaine use as a youth is “smeared” if anyone discusses that problem. This is not a bad message for youth?
    Take cocaine, give it up at some point and run (and win) for president.

    I raised two youths who got involved with drugs.
    It permanently scarred both. Nothing I said about consequences deterred them. “Don’t worry, Mom, it’s no big deal.” It killed one of them and, even though he gave it up when he was still young, it permanently affected the other’s critical thinking.

    I don’t envy parents of teenagers today.

  207. Hi everybody, haven’t posted in a while but here it goes.

    I am somewhat concerned about what might happen in Iowa and NH, even if I think Hillary could still pull it out. I think we must brace ourselves for the possibility that Hillary could lose both states. The one silver lining to such a horrendous outcome might be that the media will finally shine its probing lights on Obama. The question will no longer be can Hillary lose, but can Obama really win this and go against the Repubs. And with the focus on him, I just don’t see how he can keep up this pretense that he is going to bring about change in a messianic almost miraculous fashion. He will be uncovered for what he is: just another politician. It just might take his winning a couple of early primary states. I truly hope not, but we could be in for quite the ride.

    BTW, I am puzzled by the ineptitude of the people surrounding Hillary. What was Penn thinking bringing up the drug issue yet again! Listen, when I first heard of this through Shaheen, I didn’t mind because I assumed that if they were going to start bringing this up, then they must have had some tantalizing evidence of serious wrongdoings on Obama’s part. I kept expecting for the other shoe to drop. But it never did. And so now we are left with articles like that on the Concord Monitor today framing this as a complete mistake on Hillary’s part. If they don’t have serious dirt on Obama then just stick to the positive message. The media will eventually shine their spotlight on him. No need to sully ourselves doing it.

  208. In the end I still have hope. The reason? There are different factors at play here than in 2004–the war, the mortgage situation etc. I have seen bloggers and columnists look at past elections to try to make sense of today but the situations are not identical. Also, there is so much focus on personality that perhaps everyone is missing the true thoughts of voters as they ponder who can best meet these issues. Daily events have an impact as well as comments and actions of the candidates themselves and this can change things in an instant. Nothing has been decided yet. No votes have been cast. There are stories yet to be told.
    Also, wasn’t Hillary the underdog when she ran in New York? I’m sure no one expected her to win but she did. I am not expecting someone with this much talent, power and savvy to come in last. I think she will fight for it and all the screaming headlines “Is it over” are vastly premature

  209. dulcinea, I’m mystified on this part of the Shaheen story … he’s a leading pol here in N.H. The N.H. press is talking about him like he’s a stranger. I don’t get that part at all.

  210. AmericanGal, considering we are dealing with the cult of personality and celebrity here, an underdog position is not bad at all. The inevitable we all know … but now that label has been usurped and the one wearing it has to be able to live up to it … since we all know that there’s no there there.

  211. Most of the comments have been negative about our prospects, and that’s fine. They’re based on the info filtered through the media, esp polls.

    Thing is, I could present just as many scenarios for a win.

  212. oh great – here’s the wyoming dem chairman (for obama):

    He cites her “liberal, big government” reputation and writes that if she is the nominee, “We will also be the target of the locker room jokes that rightfully belong to Bill Clinton.”

  213. dulcinea, I think Shaheen was thinking out loud. There was definitely no planning there. I mean, the MSM is saying raising the issue is a mistake but they also claim it was planned. They can’t have it both ways.

    I’m hoping that was rock bottom for Hillary and she’ll start bouncing back. After an awful month and a half, she’s due for a recovery.

    BTW, the media’s failure to vet Obama is great for him short term but bad for him long term. If they had been doing their job and he still won the nomination, he’d be a stronger GE candidate, because the GOP would have less ammo to use against him. But the media cocoon around him only means the Repubs will have more stuff to go after him with.

  214. Charlie Cook recently wrote that Hillary could survive a loss in Iowa, but it could be too much to overcome if she also lost in New Hampshire.

    I’m still hoping for a win in Iowa, somehow, but the possibility of a loss has crossed my mind. Who knows?

    The independents in New Hampshire could make the difference in whether or not she stays viable in the campaign. If she wins there, she currently has enough strength in the Feb 5 states to go on to victory.

    I realize I’m not telling anyone here anything new, but it feels good to be able to say the chances are still good in spite of my worries.

  215. My comment at 11:19 is with respect to IA.

    With NH, the principle issue right now is that independents are signaling participation in the Dem primary.

    She’s never lost a solid lead w/ Dems. We’ve been here before w/ close polls in NH (late spring/early summer), and for the same reason — independents breaking hard for obama.

    So if informational flyers are getting distributed on the mandate issue, I hope they’re going exclusively to registered Dems. Independents are likely to favor no mandate.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that polling right now reflects an Oprah/media frenzy bump. Let’s see if it’s sustained.

  216. I dont think the media is going to put the spotlight on O till after the Dem primary is over.

    If he does win Iowa, they will be giddy making predictions that NH is next. They will make sure he has that momentum. And with a win in NH, they will be gloating and predicting that Hillary is out of the race. That will be the intention. Get as much negative press about her out there, so she that either drops out or is seriously crippled. And SC will likely go for him after 2 wins. Which leaves NV. If he gets the Culinary Union endorsement too, then they will have written off her chances there too. Right now she is significantly ahead but after seeing whats happened in NH, I dont trust anything as being safe for her.

    Remember she has a national campaign and tons of resources and money. She is not going to give up inspite of the media onslaught against her urging her to drop out. Anyone wanna bet that Spitball and Russert et al are going to go all out urging her to drop out and “graciously” accept defeat ? But she wont and that will ensure that BO gets a free pass.

    Like stated in a comment earlier, the only way to prevent a BO nomination will be that regardless of the talk of momentum and glowing press for BO, DEMOCRATS wake up and start to seriously wonder about where this going and stop it.

    The media will mollycoddle Obama as long as Hillary is in the race.

  217. Exactly B. Merryfield. That’s the thing about Obama. There really isn’t much there. I must admit the first time I saw Obama speaking at the Democratic National Convention I thought wow, this guy is good, inspiring, presidential. But then the next time I heard him speak I realized that he is merely a very accomplished orator. He makes you feel good, but when you actually listen you realize he has very little substance to what he says. With Hillary, the more people see her the more they like her, especially because she comes across in a very positive light compared to the years of propaganda smears against her. I think when people really start listening to Obama the opposite will be true. There just isn’t much there but pretty words and some charisma. We’re not voting for American Idol but for the American president!

  218. I watched the new ad by Hill with Chelsea and her mum; it brought tears to me eyes.
    I miss my mom – she died over 20 yrs. ago!

    BTW: congressman from iowa – boswell endorsed Hillary.

    Also has anybody here read obama’s first book…. just curious! I am browsing it just for the record!
    Also has any friends of barack from his early college days (LA and Columbia)
    shown up anywhere?

    I have my own book club; i do not follow oprah’s and will not follow Obama.

    I guess Obama would not even know who is the most famous Africann writer
    and never read about the real africa!

  219. BTW: congressman from iowa – boswell endorsed Hillary.

    I predicted that here a couple of days ago 🙂

    and, desmoinesdem has a diary up right now saying that he won’t endorse …

  220. Hillary picked up an endorsement from Congressman Boswell in Des Moines today. Picking up endorsements of senators, congressmen, governors is important. Last time I looked Oprah did not have a seat in Congress. The President has to get her agenda through congress in order to be successful. Yesterday, Hillary picked up an endorsement of the Governor of Oregon, a very progressive state. Keep seeing the hopeful signs, too. It never hurts to get the impetus to work not just harder but smarter. Plans for a Presidency need to be grounded in reality.

  221. The more I hear about Obama, the more I am liking Condi!

    YES…Condi Rice. She has achieved quite a lot on her own merits!

  222. BTW, don’t hold your breath expecting Obama to be given the same frontrunner treatment as Hillary. The media deification of him will come crashing down at some point, but it may very well happen only if he wins the nomination and the GOP starts ripping him to shreds.

    And we’d better get used to the media gushing about how “presidential” he looks because they’re beginning to see him as the Dem nominee. Frankly, I’m surprised Hillary isn’t doing worse in the polls considering all that’s happened since that Philly debate. You get an idea what campaigns are made of when things aren’t going well. It’s gut check time for her now. If she pulls out the nomination after all this crap, I’m confident she’s winning the GE.

  223. I have to give lots of credit to people who are endorsing Hillary in the midst of she’s going through. Anyone can jump on a bandwagon; that takes zero political courage.

  224. another_reader, I came across the Wyoming article a short while ago and posted a Hot Topics on it at TaylorMarsh. taylormarsh.com/hot_topics.php#875

    Boswell got $9,000 in 2007 of BHO’s Hopefund money.

  225. paula.. to some degree i don’t think they are totally doing it out of political courage. it’s because they probably think it’s crucial that she will and believe she will win. people must be taking a hard look at obama. sure hillary’s campaign had a rough patch but there are stumbles and there are stumbles.. some are trivial in the scheme of things and some are absolute killers in the general election. obama’s errors fall into the second category is how i see it.

    for a good story listen to the iowans on npr news this morning! it’s a group of women listening to the debate and they like hillary and say they’re hearing she really comes across well in person there in iowa.. and another said what was the deal with oprah, and she got a robocall with an obama endorsement from.. um.. the person who made the butter sculpture at the iowa state fair? no im not kidding! 🙂

    http://www.npr.org/templates/

    story/story.php?storyId=17246518

  226. Put on your hip-waders, breath deeply, hold your nose, and wash and rinse thoroughly after you read Bob Novak’s most recent anti-Hillary pro-BHO hit piece.

    humanevents.com/article.php?id=23958&s=rcmp

  227. Here is what I wanted someone to ask Obama: How have you taken your message of working with the opposition to create consensus as a U.S. Senator? I want someone to press Obama on the fact that while he talks about reaching out to the other side and that he alone can bridge the differences amongst people, what has he accomplished in that arena as a U.S. Senator? Has he been able to go to the other side of isle and convince any Republican to vote for Democratic legislation – i.e SCHIP (has he voted on this issue); has he stood up and made any speeches about how we must pull the trooops out of Iraq NOW (not that I think that is necessarily a prudent thing); has he made any public speeches on the floor of the senate advocating any legislation sponsored by fellow Democrats. It seems to me that Obama has been running for president since his speech in ’04. I would like to know what he has accomplishished. Is there someplace we can go to look at his records. If the media doesn’t vet Obama is there a way for HRC supporters NOT affiliated with the campaign to do it? Of course she would get blamed but do we just sit on our hands. Does anyone have any ideas what we can do other than vent our frustration.

  228. Frankly, in my opinion endorsements won’t matter much in winning many votes. However, I put this one out there because he spoke so eloquently about her being the fighter for ordinary people. His endorsement speech was impressive.

  229. Hillary’s New Pitch: “No Surprises”

    Johnston, Iowa– Hillary just held an extraordinary press conference here after taping an interview with Iowa public television in which she introduced a provocative new theme to her candidacy: “[T]here are no surprises.” I didn’t catch the taping itself, only the presser, but Ben Smith has the money quote:

    “I’ve been tested, I’ve been vetted,” she said. “There are no surprises. There’s not going to be anybody saying, ‘I didn’t think of that, my goodness, what’s that going to mean?'”

    “I’m a known quantity,” she added at the press conference, at which she recieved the endorsement of Iowa Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell. “We need to nominate a candidate who can win.” This threw the media into a low-grade frenzy. Hillary smiled with the patience of a grandmother stuck babysitting bratty kids as reporters barraged her with breathless questions about whether Obama’s drug history is the sort of surprise she’s talking about and whether she thinks general-election voters might punish him for it.

    But Hillary wasn’t biting. “I am only talking about myself,” she insisted, looking unusually resplendent in a dark suit with a red blouse and multicolored necklace. Nor would she bite when asked by MSNBC’s David Shuster whether she would flatly declare that “a candidate’s indescretions as a teenager should not be an issue for voters.” After what I sensed was a moment of uncertainty she concluded, “It’s certainly not an issue in my campaign.”

    Hillary’s cool mien only really wavered once, when she was asked about her own experiences with drugs and–given that we already know she avoided them–the basis for her decision-making about them. A peevish look crossed Hillary’s face as her press secretary, Jay Carson, audibly chortled with disdain. Hillary said she had already answered those questions: “I refer you to everything I’ve said in the past.”

    We’re into very interesting territory here. After forcing Billy Shaheen out of her campaign, Hillary has now pivoted to a “no surprises” argument which at least seems to spring directly from the Obama-cocaine talk–and is certain to keep that talk alive. This also represents an important new campaign theme for Hillary. For most of the past year her candidacy has been premised on her experience. Now she’s making electability a central issue.

    Intuitively, such a pivot might seem dangerous, given that Hillary’s divisiveness has always troubled Democrats. But this week’s New York Times-CBS poll found that 63 percent of Democratic voters consider her the most electable candidate–a fact the campaign flagged in a recent conference call. Maybe Team Hillary now sees electability as their path back towards the nomination. Unfortunately for Obama, it could be an ugly one.

    Michael Crowley/The Plank/The New Republic, 12/14/07.

    blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_stump/ [space] archive/2007/12/14/the-freakshow-comes-to-life.aspx

  230. The last comment is my favorite line:

    Maybe Team Hillary now sees electability as their path back towards the nomination. Unfortunately for Obama, it could be an ugly one.

    You can bet on it.

  231. Here are my choices for president in 2008 and I have combined the republican and democratic candidates in the overall ranking.

    1. Hillary
    2. Huckabee
    3. McCain
    4. Biden
    5. Richardson
    6. Rudy
    7. Dodd
    8. Edwards
    9. Romney
    10. Obama
    11. Fred

    I am not including others because they are not credible in my opinion.

  232. Endorsements don’t matter a lot, but I really enjoyed listening to the one by Congressman Boswell. Thanks for the link, RA1029

  233. That lady is as tough as nails. A truly extraordinary woman who has survived and beaten back the worst of the worst.

    The more I see of her, the more obvious it is that she’s the only one who can sock a repub congress/opposition so hard they wouldnt know what hit them. I’d prefer that to Liebermanesq talks of “reaching out” and “hope”. Only a fool would believe that the repubs are all ready to make nice and reach out in “hope” to democrats.

    Go Hillary and GodSpeed !!!!

  234. ra1029, some endorsements don’t matter, but ones from people of power in the party (like congressmen) do, for the simple reason that they are all superdelegates. They all get a vote in the nomination process. Winning even half of the superdelegates is the rough equivalent of winning California.

  235. HillaryforTexas:

    They matter in the sense of them acting delegates themselves. They don’t matter in the sense that many of them do not fetch any new votes. Still it is better that they endorsed her than someone else. I said the same thing when Oprah was stumping for Obama.

  236. I see. Well, I have:

    1. Hillary
    2. Joe Biden
    3. Chris Dodd (even though I find him annoying, I think he’s sound, overall)

    (big gap)

    4. Bill Richardson
    5. John Edwards

    (another big gap)

    Frankly, I don’t find any of the conservatives acceptable — this includes BO.

  237. Sorry, ra1029, I would have to take the Law & Order DA before the real actor.

    That was a real close call for me B Merry. I can’t stand the arrogance of Obama. I see more lofty rhetoric and very little substance. At the same time, I don’t see any passion in Fred as to why he wants to be president. I like Fred in the sense that he is a simple guy and not arrogant like Obama. I just don’t know why Fred running. There is just zero passion in him.

  238. The immediate comments after the debate had pundits praising Obama for saying he would be looking for advice from Hillary. I thought he was admitting he will need it.

    He is beginning to sound so much like her in the things he says that she should somehow let it be known that he is already taking her advice and using it in his campaign. Probably a surrogate should say that.

  239. HLR:

    Clintons are what brought me closer to the democratic party. I liked the fiscal responsibility, moderate on social issues, and the foreign policy of the 90s. I believe balancing the budget is an absolute must for our government. I see a Hillary presidency as a return to fiscal responsibility. She is also the strongest democrat in the race on national security.

    I see Huck and McCain as moderate conservatives. I like Huck’s humility and moderation on social stances. I hope he is a fiscal conservative too. As for McCain, I like that he is a moderate republican, against pork spending, strong on national security. He dropped in my rankings this year because is talking like he is more of a hawk than Bush. I didn’t like it.

    As for Biden and Richardon, they are the other two democrats who behave like adults on a stage or elsewhere. There is no pettyness in them, although Biden runs his mouth a little too much sometimes.

    The reason for low ranking for Edwards and Obama is because:

    Edwards: Incredibly petty, changed his stance complete 180 on all major issues and almost always to a position that is popular at that time. Not only that, he criticises others on those same stances. Incredible hypocrisy, and comes across as a used car salesman.

    Obama: Incredibly arrogant. I cannot see someone in recent political environment who has so little experience. He is a media candidate in this race. If he has gotten the coverage what Hillary is getting now, he would have been in 4th place in the primary. Very little substance but very lofty rhetoric. Very weak on national security. Seems like he is running to satisfy his own ego than getting down anything for people.

  240. This is from Obama’s debate with Alan Keyes. I just can not see how obama could blame Hillary on her vote. I wish they could make a commercial of this. Obama giving Bush administration a vote of confidence.

    MODERATOR: Senator Obama, how would you handle the potential threat from countries like Iran and North Korea?

    OBAMA: Well, I think that we have to do everything we can diplomatically. I think that the Bush administration has done the right thing in ratcheting up the pressure on Iran, and attempting to ratchet up some pressure on North Korea to see if they will stand down with respect to the development of nuclear weapons.

    I must say that I am less optimistic about the threat, or, our ability to deal with the threat in Iran, in part as a consequence of Iraq. Because I think that the Iranians at this stage are fairly confident that it’s going to be difficult for us to mount any significant military strike there, but I would reserve all options. And I have said this publicly, that, you know, we have to have to have all military options reserved in order to deal with these potential nuclear threats.

  241. What was Penn thinking bringing up the drug issue yet again!

    I think the questions about drug use answer this question. The Clinton campaign WANTS the media talking about Obama’s cocaine problem. The Georgetown Social Club (Hi Ben!) may not consider a cocaine problem a big deal. After all, doing blow is still probably widespread at Georgetown parties.

    However, among regular Americans, the polling is crystal clear. 75% of Americans believe that a cocaine problem would make them less likely to vote for candidate.

    Maybe someone should ask Tim Russert or Chris Matthews when was the last time they did cocaine? Just another disconnect between he “elites” and “normal” Americans.

  242. My list:

    Hillary
    Biden
    Huckabee
    McCain
    Richardson
    Dodd
    Fred

    I do not care for sleezy sales type people like romney and obama;
    I dislike Edwards immensely but I love EE!

    And as for Wyoming: when did they vote for a Dem. pres?

  243. clintondem99:

    It is all politics. The only time it will matter is if the media picks up on what he actually said. They have decided they are not going to and that will not change now. So, it does not matter. I am going to stop complaining about the biased coverage from the media because it looks like a ground hog day, and I am sick and tired of complaining.

  244. ra1029 — Huckabee a moderate on social issues? You’d have to clarify what you mean by moderate on social issues.

  245. Obama was talking about potential nuclear threats from Iran in 2004 and now he is taken a position of convenience. Some body should expose his hypocrisy. In 2004 he was in agreement with bush policy.

  246. mp:

    I can understand your logic in those rankings. If few things change here and there, I might have gone that way too. I would have still put Huck and McCain over Biden, but I can see myself nodding with the rest.

  247. One more thing. If Gore was running, I would have put him either on par, or close second to Hillary. Mark Warner would have been a second too, if he was running.

  248. All that Penn did was use the word “cocaine” . Thats all that he did – answered a question saying the campaign was not behind the “cocaine” story.

    That according to the MSM and Obamabots and that completely distasteful jerk named Trippi is very wrong. Hush – dont use that offensive word. Even though Obama has himself used that very word when describing his indiscretions. But he is the saint – so that word is off-limits even though he had no problems using it himself.

    They expected Penn to say “cystalline tropane alkaloid” , didnt you know ?

  249. I love the Boswell endorsement. He is very respected here and is close friends with Tom Harkin.. 🙂

    Now that his wife and Boswell have endorsed Hillary, how bout’ big Tom?

    Anyways, I am sure Dave Loebsack is going to endorse b.o. His advisor was at the Glenn Hurowitz thing and he talked glowingly about b.o. It was disturbing. Anywho, can’t wait for the next good news story.

  250. I really like the “no surprises” theme. I also love this quote, which needs to be repeated ad nauseam:

    “I’ve been tested, I’ve been vetted,” she said. “There are no surprises. There’s not going to be anybody saying, ‘I didn’t think of that, my goodness, what’s that going to mean?’”

    BTW, hwc, your little parenthetical greetings to Ben Smith crack me up every time.

  251. I didn’t hear about Boswell before. Just saw him on that endorsement video, and I am impressed with him. He is a very accomplished man, having served the nation in the military for long, and for a long time in state and US congress. He doesn’t look like a man who can be easily duped by a celebrity.

  252. clintondem99, take the link over to Taylor Marsh and post a Hot Topics. She has picked up on a lot of links that I’ve posted there and incorporated the info in her posts.

  253. I don’t suppose that Russert and the party animals in the Georgetown Social Club (Hi Ben!) will ask Obama the obvious questions:

    a) When was the last time you used cocaine? When did you kick your coke habit?

    b) When was the last time you smoked marijuana? When did you stop being a stoner?

  254. One more time, Ben, you’re just so transparent with that clever little title on yesterday’s post-debate YouTube post “Hardball fun”. Yes, indeedy, it was fun watching those morons Trippi and Axelrod trying to hide the fact that they’re in cahoots with each other for that nice little Penn circular firing squad in support of the chosen “One”. Such fun. Why don’t you watch that video clip long enough to see all the smirking and wink wink, nudge nudge stuff going on. Sickening, isn’t it?

  255. ra1029 — Huckabee a moderate on social issues? You’d have to clarify what you mean by moderate on social issues.

    Some of the things he is saying now on social issues is to basically get past the others in the republican primary. I doubt he will anyway veer to the right on social issues like Bush did in 2005. In Arkansas, he has a much more populist streak, and he was able to peel away a good chunk of democratic vote.

  256. This election will be won on health care. Everything else, especially salacious gossip, will be irrelevant.

    Now we must make the differences between “universal access” and “universal coverage” clear to voters. “Universal access” is, of course, Obama’s attempt to make the failure that is his health care proposal palatable to low information voters.

  257. from Huckabee’s site, a sampler:

    I first became politically active
    when I helped pass Arkansas’ Unborn Child Amendment, which requires the state to do whatever it can to protect life.

    As Governor, I used that Amendment to pass pro-life legislation. The many pro-life laws I got through my Democrat legislature are the accomplishments that give me the most pride and personal satisfaction. I banned partial birth abortion, I required parental notification, I required that a woman give informed consent before having an abortion, I required that a woman be told her baby will experience pain and be given the option of anesthesia for her baby, I allowed a woman to have her baby and leave the child safely at a hospital, and I made it a crime for an unborn child to be injured or murdered during an attack on his mother.

    Anybody who pledges to defund Planned Parenthood is a nutjob in my book.

  258. That video clip is a total smackdown of Mark Halpern and the “Washington chattering class” (Hi Ben!) opinions he asks her about.

  259. SC

    H 42
    O 34
    E 16

    CNN/Opinion Research MOE 4.5

    politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/12/14/sc-poll-huckabee-bolts-to-top-of-gop-obama-cuts-into-clinton-lead/

  260. HLR, that IA poll you posted is from Research 2000. They are also showing O up by 1 in NH.

    Other polls conducted at the same time show H up marginally.

    I think it’s fair to say that it’s tight.

  261. all,

    I have mixed feelings right now. while I believe Hillary will win Iowa, I think it will be VERY close. the drug use thing was right thing brought up albeit accidentally.

    Lets see obama’s arguments in his speeches:

    I am not running because I own it
    insinuation: Hillary’s 20 year pact
    counter: kindergarden

    argument: I will not be run down by repubs by saying i voted for it and now am against it. i dont want to fight the battles of 90’s

    insinuation: I will be sleezy. look at the sleezy 90’s. repubs wont accuse me of being a flipflopper like they will accuse hillary

    counter: drug use. now every time he will go and say the words, voters will be reminded of, heck yeah they have drug use problem to go after you

    so, these are blunting instruments. my ONLY problem is, she should have done it earlier than now. its both good and bad. it throws obama off his message for short period of time. his core group of supporters will have to accept that they will be voting for a drug addict and cocaine user. he cannot bring up “dirty campaign” slogan because then, he will have to answer the question of if he has ever sold drugs. he just has to rely on his OWN POSITIVE message. till date press has never taken a look at his negative campaigning, now they will be forced. I think she is ready to lose both Iowa and NH, with this gamble, but will come back in super tuesday IMO.

  262. hwc:

    Russert won’t ask those questions.

    Nor will he or other press ask:

    c) did you do powder or crack?
    d where did you get the money from? (I did cocaine when I could afford it!)
    e) where and whom did you get the coke from?

  263. Chrish Matthews is doing essentially a slam show against Hill 2 nite.

    The vast majority of negative campaigning has been AGAINST Hillary Clinton this primrary, esp. by Obama. Isn’t there a college kid on this site that can create a viral video of that. Nothing dishonest. Something to remind people that he called Hillary the Sen. from India, called her Bush-Cheyney lite, attacked Paul Krugman, put out there that Bill Clinton might be toiling around, and the list goes on.

  264. I also couldn’t believe that quote from Joe Trippi when he called Mark Penn a liar for having the chutzpah to say Edwards and Obama were the ones who went negative first. Well, duh, of course they were first; Hillary was the clear frontrunner at the time, so she had a big bull’s eye painted on her.

  265. Sorry if anyone was offended over that TMZ post. I was just trying to lighten the mood. Everybody’s been soooo tense lately! I was making fun of the hoopla over Oprah’s endorsement.

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