More: Hillary Clinton Ready; Barack Obama Reckless

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton made a sensible proposal in the critical area of foreign policy, which Barack Obama immediately opposed:

Clinton also called for an independent, international investigation into Bhutto’s death, “perhaps along the lines of what the United Nations have been doing with respect to the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri in Lebanon.”

Obama said he doesn’t share that view.

“It is important to us to not give the idea that Pakistan is unable to handle its own affairs,” he said.

Obama proudly advocates a public policy of an attack on Pakistan by U.S. armed forces to root out “terrorists” if President Musharraf “won’t act”. But Obama opposes an investigation of Bhutto’s assassination.

Let’s repeat: Obama is advocating a public policy of military attack on Pakistan, but an “independent, international investigation into Bhutto’s death” Obama perceives as somehow unfair to Pakistan.

Why Obama thinks a military attack on Pakistan is at a lower threshold of Pakistan “unable to handle its own affairs” and therefore OK, but an “independent, international investigation” is violative of Pakistan ability “to handle its own affairs” is a mystery. Maybe it’s one of those “intuitive” foreign policy lessons Obama acquired as a six year old.

Hillary Clinton’s sensible proposal for an independent, international probe is consistent with respect for Pakistani sovereignty and interests:

“I’m calling for a full, independent, international investigation,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN.

“I think it’s critically important that we get answers and really those are due first and foremost to the people of Pakistan,” Clinton said.

The former first lady suggested the probe could be along the lines of the international investigation that followed the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005.

“I don’t think the Pakistani government at this time under President (Pervez) Musharraf has any credibility at all. They have disbanded an independent judiciary, they oppressed a free press.”

Obama meanwhile, presumably still not wanting to give the idea that Pakistan is unable to handle its own affairs called for imposition of his will on Pakistan:

Obama, campaigning in Williamsburg, Iowa, said Washington should cut military aid to Pakistan, until Musharraf embraced democracy, and said the US invasion of Iraq was a distraction from the “war on terror.”

“We’ve got to reverse policies, but we’ve got to see this in a bigger context which is that our invasion of Iraq resulted in us taking our eye off the ball,” Obama said.

“We should have been focused in Afghanistan, finishing off Al-Qaeda.”

While Democracy is a laudable goal, we don’t understand how forcing democracy on Musharraf and Pakistan by cutting off military aid is less intrusive than an independent international investigation into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Anyone? Can anyone explain how a cutoff of military aid, and a forced return to Democracy is less intrusive than an investigation?

Obama must have been off having a cigarette, or something, when his international relations class discussed Pakistan if he thinks a return to Democracy is as easy as he describes. We won’t even go into the ramifications of nuclear Pakistan left to go its own way if Musharraf decided to end the alliance with the United States.

Maybe Obama is not conversant with complexity, as a concept in general, or specifically with respect to Pakistan. Obama should be tutored that the military seized power in Pakistan in 1958, one year after it was founded. Pakistan’s problems are not due to Iraq. And Pakistan as a nuclear power (along with nuclear power India) cannot be ignored.

Several military dictatorships, only occasionally interrupted by civilian rule, have been the normal for Pakistan — General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s followed by General Musharraf, have ruled Pakistan for about 30 years. Benazir’s father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the civilian president from 1972-1977 (killed in 1979 by dubious court order and replaced by Zia-ul-Haq. Zia-ul-Haq was killed in an airplane crash in 1988 and replaced by Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif traded the presidency for about a decade. In 1999 General Musharraf assumed powers in a military coup).

Pakistan has the sixth largest population in the world as well as the second biggest population of Muslims in the world. Tensions with neighbors India and Afghanistan and Pakistan’s geographic position (Central Asia meets Middle East) add to the complex puzzle which is the region.

Perhaps Obama’s problem is that he needs tutoring not only in the history of Pakistan but possibly in the history of Lebanon. We won’t provide Obama his needed education here, but we will give a brief description of what Hillary was talking about when she proposed an independent, international investigation into Bhutto’s death, “perhaps along the lines of what the United Nations have been doing with respect to the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri in Lebanon.”

Rafik Hariri was the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998. On February 14, 2005 Hariri was assassinated. Much like the situation with Benazir Bhutto, Hariri was killed when explosives detonated killing him in his car. Again, like the Bhutto assassination there is a complex political situation with many suspects (Syria being a prime suspect) in the killing, a potential suicide bomber and a country wracked by years of turmoil. Immediately after Hariri’s killing there were all sorts of bogus government explanations and suspects.

Hariri’s killing, led to massive demonstrations in Lebanon, and eventually the politically forced withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. The killing also led to an international commission to investigate the assassination. The “Cedar Revolution” led to elections and some reforms. The “Cedar Revolution” continues to this day.

The point of this history lesson is that sensible people should support Hillary’s call for an independent international investigation of the Bhutto assassination. An independent international investigation could lead to a soft return to Democracy in Pakistan – not an American imposed, and soon to be resented, imposition of Democracy.

All sensible people should support the idea of an independent international investigation.

But, Obama is not sensible. Obama is reckless.

We need a sensible leader for a change.


309 thoughts on “More: Hillary Clinton Ready; Barack Obama Reckless

  1. obama contridicts himself all the time. anything hillary supports she will oppose. let hillary say she will feed the needy then obama will say no to that. pathetic punk.

  2. i mean he will oppose. getting tired. hillfans good night. i will come back on later in the morning. the wife and i have a lot of laundry to do.

  3. Wow Admin, no sirens or silver bells, but I knew something had happened because it knocked me off (the one I was typing in)

    Now I’ll go read the new “Lesson for the day.”

  4. Did anyone else see Obama is trying to buy air time the night before the Caucus? He says he wants 5 minutes on TV. I cannot understand why the MSM has not gone after Obama for Axelrod’s recent comments on Bhutto’s death. Matthews didn’t even mention it tonight, but did say Hillary has stop and started taking questions in Iowa.

    I really hope Whouley and his team are getting it done on the ground in Iowa because Hillary will receive no help from the Main Stream Media.

  5. OAndrewD, Hillary has already bought 2 minutes, I believe, on every station in Iowa, during prime news hour the night before the caucus.

  6. i thought there was much on msm about these axelrod remarks-cnn devoted a live interview with hilary on it and earlier gave obama no pass. abc tonight talked with edwards and he condemned axelrod and obama. bc obama wont renounce i expect this to continue-to hillary’s benefit. and illary will be on abc’s this week sun. so the story will live on. too bad the msm doesnt condemn obama for saying hillary sipped tea aroudn the globe. but i forgot-the messiah must never be questioned. he knows all and makes no mistakes. all hail thy savior! goodnight

  7. As much as I already can’t stand to listen to Obama, his recent comments about Bhutto and Pakistan validated my view even more. This is a just a boy playing grownup, which we already have had for the past seven years. Let’s get out of the toddler room, the world will certainly thank us for it!

  8. *Obama tried (and failed) to get 5 minutes live prime time in Iowa – he’ll have to settle for 2 mins. Now Biden and Edwards are getting 1 and 2 minutes slots Jan 2nd too. Follow the leader…..

    Obama Seeks Live TV Commercial on Caucus Eve
    Obama, Clinton Battle for Iowa TV Commercial Time Night Before Caucuses


    Dec. 28, 2007 — Not to be outdone by Senator Hillary Clinton, ABC News has learned that Senator Barack Obama’s campaign is buying advertising time on the night before the caucuses for a political commercial, to air statewide.

    The Obama campaign made the request Friday morning.

    On Thursday, Clinton’s campaign announced that she would buy a two minute block of time on every 6pm newscast in the state.

    Obama’s camp countered by requesting either a two or five minute window of time during the stations’ local newscasts, during the period between local news and primetime programming, or during primetime.

    And they tried to one-up Clinton — not only asking for more time, but asking if the Senator could make his pitch live via satellite.

    But finding five minutes of primetime television real estate for one presidential candidate on the night before Iowa votes is tricky, and potentially legally dicey, for local stations.

    And finding a way to be live simultaneously on multiple stations with multiple programming schedules proved too difficult.

    “Five minutes was impossible,” said Ray Cole, General Manager of the Des Moines ABC station, WOI. “There’s no way we can provide for a five minute request in any of those timeframes.”

    “After a lot of back and forth this morning, it appears that Obama is buying two minute spots on January 2nd in much the same way that Clinton did yesterday,” Cole said. “They have matched Clinton in this last-minute poker game, but they weren’t able to trump them in the way they might have liked.”

    ABC News’ Cedar Rapids, Iowa station KCRG also confirmed that Obama would have a two minute window in their 6 o’clock local news.

    “That’s a standard unit,” said KCRG National Sales Manager Steve Lake.

    Granting Obama five minutes would likely have drawn protests from other presidential candidates.

    “The great fear is that everybody else will want the same thing and particularly candidates who have not spent as much or been on the air as long as Obama,” Lake said.

    As for the live request, it proved too unwieldy.

    “Every station’s local news is formatted and timed differently. To sync up multiple stations for broadcast of a live political commercial, the challenge is daunting at best,” Cole said.

    And guess who else came calling on Friday? Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.

    The Edwards campaign is buying ninety second spots on the night of January 2nd. Cedar Rapids ABC viewers will see Edwards during the 5pm newscast.

    Joe Biden will have a full minute in the 6 o’clock news that night in Cedar Rapids.

    All total? If you watch the 6pm news on KCRG next Wednesday — 9.5 minutes of the half hour news broadcast will be devoted to political advertisements. That’s every single available ad space.

  9. you know what hillary ought to do? she ought to talk to the papers and radio, and say she is going to give up her two minutes, and give it to charities, or give it to military families or something like that…

    you know that people are really going to be pissed at the over saturation…

  10. Senator Clinton is very wise to call for an independent international investigation into the tragic death of Benazir Bhutto. Senator Obama is very foolish to oppose it.

    Furthermore, the rationale Obama offers for doing so, i.e. that he “does not want to give the idea that Pakistan is unable to handle its affairs” shows he has no grasp of that dangerous situation and no ability to handle the foreign affairs of this nation.

    If you watch the video of the David Frost interview of Benazir Bhutto which was conducted on November 2, you will see just how naive and uninformed Obama really is when he says that Pakistan is able to handle this.

    In essence, Bhutto describes how she went back to Pakistan to help restore democracy, and when she arrived at the Karachi Airport, there was a bomb blast that killed 158 people.

    She called for a police investigation into that bomb blast, requested international assistance from Scottland Yard and/or the FBI. She identifed a number of possible suspects, i.e. a warlord, the son of Osama Bin Laden, the Pakistan Taliban and a group in Karachi.

    She went on to say that there was a threat to her from within the Pakistani government itself and referred specifically to a government security officer with ties to specific terrorists who had murdered Americans like Daniel Pool and four tourists. And she confirmed that militants have extended their control over large regions of Pakistan including the Valley of the Swans.

    Under the circumstances, the only way to get to the truth is through an independent international investigation. It cannot be left to the Pakistani government because some of the prime suspects are within its ranks. It cannot be left to the Bush Administration because they have a clear incentive to blame al Qaeda to justify their own agenda. It must be an independent international investigation, and if the people of Pakistan want the truth, then it cannot be otherwise.

    With all that as a given, it is hard to understand why the junior senator from Illinois would oppose such an investigation? And it is harder still to know why would he worry about giving anyone the impression that Pakistan could not handle its affairs, when that fact is obvious to everyone but him? Perhaps it is the audacity of inexperience.

  11. I believe Hillary can handle dangerous and delicate situations with utmost ability. she certainly will make a president who can bring about understanding between the worlds conflicting elements.

  12. skmf12

    regarding the first in the nation primary. i believe the intent in NH is to provide a level playing field for anyone to participate in, regardless of means $$. it is a small state, easily transversed, thus allowing the door-to door touch and feel of all candidates.

    is it fair? i know if i were still living in NY, i would say no 🙂 however, NH is where i live today and i am taking full advantage of that (responsibility). for the record, i have always voted in the NH primary, but have never volunteered for any candidate, up until now.

  13. If expectations are important, then maybe the Rasmussen Markets website (Is it new?) may be interesting. I have no idea how it could be scientific, but it’s fun to look at.

    It shows both parties, and the top candidates. I’ll mention here just Hillary and Obama. I’ve rounded off numbers somewhat.

    According to that source, the expectations to win the nomination are:

    Nationally, Hillary 67%, Obama 24%

    Iowa, Hillary 39%, Obama 45%

    NH, Hillary 55%, Obama 44%

  14. allow me to continue my rant

    some people have suggested a “national primary day”. would we depend on the MSM for our information? perhaps timmy, tweety, mika and oprah could supply what we “need” to hear. without the one-on-one of the early primary states, there would never be the video of HRC in the fire-station in des moines, or HRC canvassing door-to-door in manchester, NH., nor would there be the video of BO showing his true colors with the “tea” remarks or his uh, uh, uh inability to put together a complete sentence or thought. bottom line, w/o the up close and personal events, we would only have the pre-packaged electronic versions of our candidates. sounds pretty scary to me.

  15. This morning CNN seems to be giving Obama a chance to tell his side of things without a rebuttal from either Hillary or JE. Actually what he is doing for Hillary is to accuse her campaign of being the one to politicize the assassination Bhutto. He said they started it and his side merely responded. I was under the impression the news media started it. That was the first I heard of anyone saying that event would help Hillary’s story that experience matters.

    Does anyone know anything different about this?

  16. Alcina, for what it’s worth, I agree with your views on a National Primary Day. Imagine the power that would give to the MSM.

  17. The debate should not be who start politicize the assassination first, the debate has the ability to lead the nation in this critical time.

  18. Sherm, if Obama’s on CNN saying that I would think it keeps the Axelrod story alive. I’m sure the Clinton campaign will have things to say in response later in the day.

  19. forgot to add…my take is that the Obama campaign is doing this to try to plant the smear somehow on Hillary. They know they made a serious mistake but are trying to shove it in Hillary’s face and say it was her. They have complete control of the media so it’s easy for them to do. I still think that one of the major stories of this campaign is the irresponsibility of the media for it’s complete lack of analysis of Barack Obama. I think that’s dangerous for our country..

  20. Good morning, Hillfans. First of all, checked out Fox News (groan) this morning early and caught segment on O’Reilly (no, he wasn’t there) in which the former Congressman (don’t know his name) discussed Axelrod and Obama and declared the whole mess the most disgraceful/distasteful thing ever. So, rest assured, MSM is truly loving this. The more BHO and surrogates want to draw attention to this the better.

    Also, Wes Clark is in Conway, NH today and in several central to North Country towns tomorrow, so I feel sure that he will be bringing this up and making voters aware of it as well. This is a good thing for those to whom he will speak who are unaware of what has transpired and what it means.

    Bill is here in NH today in Nashua, Portsmouth, and Dover, as well. I think NH will be well informed by the time both of them are done.

  21. Yes, it’s very obvious he is trying to smear Hillary again, and without having the MSM get on his case for it.

    I think everyone here agrees Obama has not been vetted, and I believe they feel frustrated about it. I certainly can’t guess why the media would give him a pass, unless it’s the amount of misogyny in the media. However, even female journalists are playing a role in that.

    Meanwhile, I trust Hillary’s organization in Iowa to put her over the top there. I just think her team is stronger than the others, considering some of the players and some of the reports on what they are doing. Once she wins Iowa, she will go on to win NH regardless of what a few polls now say. Then Obama is history or soon will be. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say those things.

    The game isn’t over, but I’m just very confident this time.

  22. BMerry, I am a worry wart by nature….do you think that this won’t be seen a a negative on Hillary? Since everything else has been stuck to her I worry that the whole flap will just be seen as another negative. However, I do see that it has the same potential to be a negative for Obama.

  23. I didn’t know Wes Clark was speaking out on this…that’s bringing in the big guns. I am confident people will believe what he has to say..

  24. Thanks Sherm for helping to dispell my morning “worry wartness” for the day..from all accounts, including BMerry, there is a tremendous on the ground effort in place for Hillary in Iowa. Probably unprecedented….and I too think that the surprise is going to be her victory against those others think are the frontrunners.

  25. AG, No, I don’t think that this is going to turn out a negative on Hillary. There is nothing anyone can do about those who want to believe BHO’s campaign spin. As Big Tent Democrat at MyDD replied yesterday, the BHO cultists will excuse anything and believe anything that they’re told.

    It was also interesting to listen to Howard Fineman, I think it was, mentioning the students back during the Howard Dean campaign in Iowa and at Dartmouth here in NH who tramped around in the snow wearing shower flip flops. They are so drunk with the Kool Ade nothing is going to dissuade them.

    Ben (hi Ben) at The Politico mentioned yesterday that even BHO-lover Lynn Sweet at ChiSunTimes blasted BHO for his stuttering act on teevee. So, even those who have been BHO devotees can see through all this. We are talking about a real foreign policy issue and international crisis not discussing Foreign Affairs 101 now and this is where the difference has obviously showed.

    As for Wes Clark, if you click on my name and type in “Barack Obama: Reaction to assassination of Benazir Bhutto” in the search space, it will take you to the article with all the media links. Near the bottom of the links are two or three about Clark.

  26. BHO knows bupkis about Middle Eastern affairs or US intervention there.

    You’ll have to scroll down this page nearly to the bottom to get the part about BHO, but Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviewed “British-Pakistani author and activist Tariq Ali in London” and asked him about Axelrod’s comments and got an answer about BHO’s position on Aghanistan/Pakistan. It’s quite interesting but not worth a long quote here.

    The short of it is this, though:

    “You have large-scale corruption with Karzai and his cronies getting rich, with Karzai’s brother actually in charge of the heroin trade and arms smuggling. That’s the problem, that the people they put in had—were feathering their own nests. So I think Obama is out of line on this. I mean, there is no guarantee that if he had sent twice or three times as many troops, that the situation would have been any better. It could have been worse.”

  27. Another “BHO the Hypocrite” moment about his foreign policy expertise (“international contacts” not as significant as his “a noun, a verb and a 5-year-old speech”).

    In the Middle Ages, you know, folks didn’t have surnames so they were known as Little John and Big John and so forth. Well, BHO the Hypocrite appears to fit quite well but feel free to create your own.

  28. For the record, I read every B. Merryfield post or blog I can find. They are very helpful. I wish I knew all of that stuff!

    Hillary was joined by many other Senators in her votes on the issues that have been talked about in this campaign. I know this is a bit premature, but after Obama fails to become the nominee he has to go back and face all of those he also publicly smeared every time he attacked Hillary on her Senate votes.

    I don’t know how much is forgiven by that body for what is said in a presidential campaign, but I have to think those people are human with human feelings even if they are politicians. I wonder if he thinks his “charisma” will soothe their feelings on the matter.

    I don’t stay awake thinking stuff like this, but it is a bit of icing on the cake in my opinion.

  29. msnbc pat b, peter fenn talking about obama made a bad error,with the tea and axelrod.big mistake they said ..they praised Hillary ..pat b said the voters will see this..pat b said that

  30. hillfans, was it possible to keep the 2 minute ad on caucus eve secret until the last moment or they had to alert the media before hand? just curious about the early anouncement.

  31. terrondt, I think that the cat would have gotten out of the bag as soon as any of the media reps for any of the campaigns made an attempt to schedule air time. You can just imagine Rep A trying to schedule air time for Candidate A and finding out what was already taken. Not only that, the station sales folks would use the scheduling of one candidate’s ads as bait to entice an ad placement. It’s all about money on that end and all about getting the best air time on the other. There was no way to keep this a secret. Besides, it’s just like the defense lawyers, prosecuting attorneys and judges attend the same cocktail parties. Everybody shares the info.

  32. Admin, excellent commentary. One small correction — both Bhutto and Sharif were Prime Ministers, not Presidents.
    Also, Obama misses the point (surprise! surprise!) — she is calling for investigation because in this case it is important to rule out the Musharaff or the military as being responsible for this assassination so that people will have an easier time of coming to terms with it and moving on the path to democracy.

  33. “The government comes up with the most bizarre, dangerous nonsense and it indicates that they are abdicating themselves of all responsibility by saying that she may have knocked her head or concussed her head against one of the levers on the sunroof”, said an aide of the deceased Benazir Bhutto, Sherry Rehman on CNN.

    This shows how prudently Hillary in the foreign policy is, and what a direct hit it is, to have a sort of an independent investigation into the death of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan for the Pakistan people. This also underlines just how wrong Obama and his henchmen are!

  34. I do not see how that would be possible to have kept it a secret. Any information reporters can find out they report so even if the Hillary Campaign quietly bought the air time on every local station I am sure it would have leaked out to the press.

    Obama’s recent attacks really speak to his desperation. Every has been talking about this Obama surge since Oprah, but the surge has got him either tied or down in Iowa polls. Obama needs a a win in Iowa everyone knows it and now that he is not the CLEAR frontrunner he has to attack. He has been attacking Edwards for the 527 ads and now he is attacking Clinton for meeting with foreign leaders. Obama is a candidate built on hype, but that hype has not surged him to a 12 point lead in the polls it has surged him to a virtual tie (and it recent cases ARG, Times a big loss). Of course Obama’s camp is worried they had the biggest celebrity endorsement of all time fill stadiums and yet they are not leading in Iowa or NH. So now they are attacking and Iowans do not like attacks, I only hope they realize he is doing it.

    It sickens me that Obama is sending newsletters that say the politics of Clinton attacking him must stop, but he has become the most negative campaigner of the Big 3. Again I hope Iowans can see that.

  35. “The government comes up with the most bizarre, dangerous nonsense and it indicates that they are abdicating themselves of all responsibility by saying that she may have knocked her head or concussed her head against one of the levers on the sunroof,” said an aide of the deceased Benazir Bhutto, Sherry Rehman on CNN.

    This shows how prudently Hillary in the foreign policy is, and what a direct hit it is, to have a sort of an independent investigation into the death of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan for the Pakistan people. This also underlines just how wrong Obama and his henchmen are!

  36. admin, I messed up and put a full link through. Help!

    pm, I’m not sure BHO is capable of getting the point! For his team it’s all about oneupmanship and working the opposite side of the street!

    No matter what Hillary says, BHO will up the ante and attack from the opposite position .. regardless of the issue.

    It’s just like his flip-flop-wearing Kool-Ade drinking cultist followers – there is no way that they will see anything other than the way he pitches it.

    I read somewhere this morning that his closing in Iowa is something like he’s offering Light where there is Darkness in Washington or some such nonsense. Last time I heard that message it came out of the mouth of some two-bit televangelist and the Kool-Ade-drinking zombies were passing around the collection plate.

  37. BTW, the Axelrod thing started with a reporter’s question to Axelrod about Hillary being helped by Bhutto’s death. It is highly dishonest on Obama’s part to say Hillary’s camp started this. He tried to create that same impression on Blitzer though vaguely. Discerning minds should be able to recognize that but since Hillary is an easy target they may be successful in sticking it to her.

    Somebody has to call on his other argument — he is the lone ranger trying to reform Washington? What has he done so far that sheds light on that. He has not even tried to use the tools there are to carry out his own agenda — like hold hearings in his subcommittee about NATO and Afganisthan, for example. So far he looks like a lazy bum to me who can say, and say it well (only the prepared speeches because he can’t think on his feet and stutters) what people want to hear. What makes him think that the whole establishment he so reviles will fall behind him to be reformed once he becomes the president. It is all so naive. Admin, this may be a good subject for a comment.

  38. B Merry:

    Read the wash. post editorial smack down of Obama. It is true. The only point I disagree with the editorial is that if it is prudent for a presidential candidate in middle of an election season to get on the phone with Musharaf in middle of a crisis.

    What Edwards did there was a stunt. He can make his statements on TV and elsewhere, but we have a president and a state department dealing with this. We don’t need all 10 or so presidential candidates jumping on the phone with him and make their election year pitches over the phone so that they tell phone how bold they are.

    However, I never expected any less of a stunt from this used car salesman. Hillary and McCain behaved like mature adults in this case. Biden and Dodd were close but they were too anxious to get on TV and show how experienced they are.

  39. See! I told you ARG polls are tainted. This just proves it. They include Hillary supporters in their sample. No wonder they are always so off the mark!

  40. yeah, hwc the nutkooks will say hillary supporters cooked the arg poll. they blast the poll everytime. they will BLAST any poll that does not favor thier candidate.

  41. only one time i thought i missed a poll call. just before the 2006 mid-term elecions i think a pollster called but my wife did not give them a time a day. i was in the next room and was annoyed she did not part in the poll or told me. i would have been glad to do it.

  42. Okay. The recording stated that it was going to ask 4 questions …

    1. Am I going to vote in the NH primary.
    2. Am I going to vote Republican (1) or Democrat (2).
    3. Which candidate I am going to vote for.
    4. Choose age group (18-24) (25-40) (41-64), etc.
    5. Choose gender.

    I count that as 5, but who’s counting?

    Okay. New TM post for you:

    BTW, just to make you all jealous, going to a GOTV meeting in about 40 minutes and to see BillC at 3:45.

  43. hillfans, rasmussen has the latest national numbers. hillary at 43% to the punk’s 23%. the events of the last 72 hours are just starting to be felt nationally. we will have to see the polling in iowa and nh in the next few days to see an effect there. the national numbers has always been good to hillary. those numbers will be key more on feb 5th.

  44. December 28, 2007, 9:15 PM
    A Refresher on Obama’s Senate Race
    Posted by Dean Reynolds| Comments28

    From CBS News National Correspondent Dean Reynolds, who’s covering the Obama campaign:

    Barack Obama likes to tout his electability before the large crowds he draws here in Iowa. The statement is supposed to draw a contrast with Sen. Hillary Clinton who, polls show, has very high negatives among the electorate. Obama recalls carrying some of the “reddest” districts in his Illinois Senate race back in 2004. While it is true that Obama won in a landslide, his opponents had a lot to do with it.

  45. ra1029, who the hell knows what ras is going to do. i have premium membership but he does not tell me crap. nothing on his site on when the next iowa and nh poll is coming out or tracking. i have to by chance catch him on sean haniity’s show to announce he is in the field in nh or iowa when he is polling. at least zogby let us know on his website what he is going to do. he is going to poll the super tuesday races in detail in mid jan(zogby).

  46. realist, obama is being misleading on his 2004 senate race. MY CAT jaspar would have beaten alan keyes(crazed rightwing nutjob that even his gop does not like him). obama practically went unopposed. the damn race was so easy, he was giving his campaign money away to other dem candidates all over the country(to get ious from people for his run in 2008 for pres).

  47. alan keys is like nader and kusinich. they run for office year and year just to get noticed. a sad rational to run for office.

  48. perhaps the media is beginning to see that Obama is just fluff and they they are messing with the country’s security and prosperity. plus they will have to splain a whole lot next week when he comes in last.

    he is fading like yesterdays dishwater.

  49. B. Merryfield, I was interested to see you call Lynn Sweet a “BHO Lover.” I had the idea she was not keen on him. I read her every day. Have I missed something?

  50. Alan Keys was appointed by the republican party as their candidate after their nominee Jack Ryan got out of the race due to a sex scandal. Alan keys packed his bags and moved from Mary Land. The incumbent republican governor George Rayan could not contest because he was indicted on corruption charges. It is joke when BO talks about electability. I am from Illinois and I voted for BO because I am a loyal Democrat.

    Here is a link:

  51. December 29, 2007
    Grading the Candidates on Pakistan
    Rick Moran
    It was an opportunity to look “presidential” and score points with the voters. The death of Benazir Bhutto which plunged nuclear power Pakistan into crisis and chaos was one of those unscripted, unexpected events during a campaign that reveals something important about the candidates; their ability to think on their feet and project an aura of knowledge designed to reassure voters in a time of instability for a major ally:

    Democrats Receiving an “A”

    Like McCain, Hillary Clinton highlighted her personal relationship with Bhutto and appeared “presidential” in her response. Her call for an investigation played well with Democrats.

    Joe Biden has been stressing the problems in Pakistan for weeks and spoke intelligently about the consequences.

    Democrats receiving a “B”

    Bill Richardson has also been touting the unrest in Pakistan recently but sounded a little off key calling for Musharraf to step down.

    Democrats receiving a “C”

    Senator Obama sounded the right notes of regret and warning of the danger but then inexplicably tried to tie the assassination to Clinton’s vote authorizing force against Iraq – something he was ridiculed for by some. Not a death blow to his campaign but it once again plays to Hillary’s theme of experience.”

    The whole article is here;

  52. with regret regarding Bhoutto’s death, it did give the American people a chance to see who has the “right stuff” to be the new leader. Clinton leads IMO and I wouldn’t mind seeing Biden as her veep.

  53. Some purported insight into the 2nd choice situation…

    Second-Choice Preferences

    My colleague John Judis (via e-mail) and commenter ilnoca both make a great point: Given the closeness of the race in Iowa, the difference may well be who supporters of Biden, Richardson, and Dodd migrate to if/when their caucus-groups are declared non-viable. (For those confused by terms like “non-viable,” Mike will be posting a piece on caucus mechanics in the next day or two.) John suspects that these people are headed Clinton’s way, given that they’re probably attracted to experience and Clinton, fair or not, has been labeled the most experienced of the front-runners. But I’ll be asking people explicitly about this when I’m at events this weekend and reporting back on what I hear.

    –Noam Scheiber


    Noam, on the Democratic side, there are different schools of thought about how second-choice votes might work. As you hinted, I’ll have more on this in a longer piece shortly. But two points to add. One is that Obama supporters say they don’t expect to see Hillary pick up many second-choicers. The rationale is that Hillary was the default choice in the race–being for or against her was the starting point for any voter’s decision–and if someone hasn’t backed her by now, they’re not likely to come around. (Not sure that I buy that, personally.)

    The other point is that, within the campaigns, there’s some division about how much this is going to matter. Some people say it could be decisive, but others think that Biden and Richardson and fizzling out fast, with Dodd a non-entity, and there’s just not many non-Hillary/Obama/Edwards people remaining out there.

    A related thing to keep an eye on is the emerging struggle between Biden and Richardson for fourth place. One of those guys just might be able to carry on into New Hampshire, especially if one should outperform expectations and John Edwards should underperform. That could set up a narrative of Hillary versus Obama with a sleeper on the margins. Not that I would want to be that sleeper….

    –Michael Crowley

  54. Alcina and Sherm

    Thank you for your comments earlier this morning. I probably should have responded to him but felt like I’d been smacked in the mouth and fell silent, cheeks burning. I never know how to deal with someone who has not educated themselves enough to carry on a debate, as opposed to delivering one way salvos that include so much buckshot information and misinformation that it’s hard to know where to start a real multi-position debate.

    I made the decision to just lurk, at least when I could see he was on board, but wanted to acknowledge your input.

    By the way, the state has been a caucus state for 101 years, and when the National Democractic Party was driven to reform the nominating process after the disasterous riots inside and outside the 1968 Chicago convention, one of their tasks was to throw out the old smoke-filled room method of insider nominations. States had more, and more equalized, power. They chose how they would handle their individual primary process including delegate selection. Iowa’s is as grass-roots as it could make it, relying on their proven caucus history. New Ham chose their town hall meeting plus primary method. I have a vague memory that one state uses, or used, town hall meeting plus straw poll method. Republicans here use county wide straw poll methods. So, given state’s rights beliefs, and party preferences every state uses the method that fits that state. Anything less would, I fear, lead to what you brought up: control by outside interests…that could be bought or taken over by other outside interests.

    I am also somewhat perversely comforted by the attack he laid out as United12, that OkieAtty so ably smacked down; same approach, same elitist, non-inclusive invective, i.e. at least I and my chosen roots are not his only target.

    Thanks again. I’ll lurk around til I heal, or can’t stand it and re-register.

    Nevada, stand proud for your new candidate selection method. You will learn so much from the candidates themselves, not just their media ads and Howard Fineman’s judgement about who you are leaning towards and what you will or should do.

  55. pm’s Washington Post link:

    THE ASSASSINATION of Benazir Bhutto presented U.S. presidential candidates with a test: Could they respond cogently and clearly to a sudden foreign policy crisis? Within hours some revealing results were in. One candidate, Democrat John Edwards, passed with flying colors. Another, Republican Mike Huckabee, flunked abysmally. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain were serious and substantive; Republicans Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani were thin. And Barack Obama — the Democratic candidate who claims to represent a new, more elevated brand of politics — committed an ugly foul.

    Ms. Clinton and Mr. McCain also endorsed Pakistan’s continued democratization. Each cited an acquaintance with Ms. Bhutto or Mr. Musharraf and opportunistically trumpeted their foreign policy experience — but both also offered some cogent analysis. Ms. Clinton rightly cited “the failure of the Musharraf regime either to deal with terrorism or to build democracy,” adding that “it’s time that the United States sided with civil society in Pakistan.”

    Mr. Obama similarly began by offering bland condolences to Pakistanis and noting that “I’ve been saying for some time that we’ve got a very big problem there.”

    Then Mr. Obama committed his foul — a far-fetched attempt to connect the killing of Ms. Bhutto with Ms. Clinton’s vote on the war in Iraq. After the candidate made the debatable assertion that the Iraq invasion strengthened al-Qaeda in Pakistan, his spokesman, David Axelrod, said Ms. Clinton “was a strong supporter of the war in Iraq, which we would submit was one of the reasons why we were diverted from Afghanistan, Pakistan and al-Qaeda, who may have been players in the event today.”

    When questioned later about his spokesman’s remarks, Mr. Obama stiffly defended them — while still failing to offer any substantive response to the ongoing crisis. Is this Mr. Obama’s way of rejecting “the same Washington game” he lambasted earlier in the day? If so, his game doesn’t look very new, or attractive.

  56. Regarding second choices – for a long time now we have termed Biden, Dodd, and Richardson supporters (Gore too) as being in parking lots before moving on to their ultimate destinations. When these supporters leave the Biden, Dodd, and Richardson parking lots, they drive straight to Hillaryland.

  57. BTW, Hillary hasn’t had a 20-point lead in Ras or been at 43 percent for over a month. Interesting development. Wonder if it’s Bhutto related.

  58. When Barack Obama opposes an independent international investigation into the assassination of Banazir Bhutto, because he does not want to give the idea that Pakistan cannot handle his own affairs, he demonstrate a profound igorance of foreign policy, a wreckless disregard for the truth, and a lack of capacity to be President.

    Prior to he death Bhutto was spoke about a prior attempt on her life which occurred at the Karcachi Airport, where 158 people were killed. In an interview with David Frost on November 2, she stated that information had been received from a friendly country which indicated that the most likely culprits were a war lord, al Qaeda, a gang in Karachi, or a government securitity official with ties to terrorists.

    Any one of these groups had motive and opportunity to commit this crime. Bhutto represented democracy and change in that troubled part of the world. When she took over before in 1992, Pakistan was on the verge of becoming a terrorist state with nuclear weapons. She reversed that, and inasmuch as the same threat has emerged once more within the tribal areas and more recently in the Valley of the Swan, there are a number of people inside and outside the government who had reason to want her dead.

    If we leave this investigation to the Pakistani Government as Obama suggests then we may never get to the truth. If one or more of their agents is culpable or complicit in this assassination, and that individual has ties to Mushareff or the military, then they have a clear motive to suppress that evidence. At the same time, they have a clear motive to point the finger at al Qaeda. This would justify the $5 billion which our own Administration gave them in recent days as a supposed ally in the war on terror.

    Nor is it possible to rely on an investigation conducted by our own government, sad as it is to say. The Bush Administration has the same incentive to blame al Qaeda, as opposed to the Pakistani Governent. And experience has shown that they are perfectly willing to suppress material evidence in order to achieve a political objective. And, it is passing strange that they have failed to comment on the statement made by Bhutto in that interview that Osama bin Laden has been murdered. It is imporant to remember that this Administration is guided at all times by the general themes of the neocon manifesto set forth in the Project for A New American Century and as with any ideology sooner or later truth becomes the casualty.

    The question for Mr. Obama however is this: given the fact that the country of Pakistan is now in a crisis, the most promising leader of this generation has been assassinated, the perpetrators may well be in the goverment itself, there are riots in the street, the Supreme Court has been disbanded, etc. why do you oppose an independent international investigation into the assassination, to find out who authorized it, who organized it and who financed it? Are not the people of Pakistan as well as the world entitled to know? How can you claim to be serious about fighting terrorism, if you are unwilling to get to the truth in this instance? And, why are you desperate to deny what everyone but you and Bush know to be true, namely that Pakistan in its current state cannot handle its own problems.

    The question is not whether Obama is ready for prime time now. The question is whether he will ever be . . .

  59. paula, ras has it at 43/24 not 43/23. so i had it 1 point off. within the margin of error so i got it right or yeah paula, the bhutto/national security thing is being felt another day or so the full impact should be felt nationally and in iowa/nh.

  60. No, on this site Right in the upper corner:

    Hillary Poll Leads:
    December 28, 2007 L.A. Times/Bloomberg Iowa poll: Clinton 31%, Obama 22%, Edwards 25%, Richardson 7%, Biden 6%

  61. OK, so she hasn’t had a 19-point lead in Ras for more than a month, lol.

    It’s obvious Obama is against an international investigation for the sole reason that Hillary is for it. He can’t be seen as agreeing with her, especially something that she came up with first.

  62. It’s obvious Obama is against an international investigation for the sole reason that Hillary is for it. He can’t be seen as agreeing with her, especially something that she came up with first.

    Hillary should mention when she goes on Sunday talk show this weekend that “earth revolves around the sun”. I bet you will hear from Obama on Monday that she has too much experience in Washington to know the truth and that actually “the earth revolves around him”.

  63. I bet you will hear from Obama on Monday that she has too much experience in Washington to know the truth and that actually “the earth revolves around him”.


  64. Obama will be on MTP and Hillary will be on ABC.

    By Monday, the pundits will be comparing their statements.

    You think Timmy will ask O about the tea and/or Axelrod comments? More likely than not, Timmy will probably be serving Obama tea.

  65. On Lynn Sweet:

    “This is the same reporter who worked out next to Obama at Chicago’s East Bank Club, and then expressed regret that she was unable to follow him into the men’s locker room.”

  66. Just got finished watching Hillary’s speech in Iowa. She was amazing! She made all her key points clear: health care, economy and the war in Iraq. She sounded so caring, so motivated; I can tell there is a spring in her step. She’s really figuring out how to soften herself with her tone of voice. I think the whole room felt connected with her and I loved her point at the end where she said she has 9 senators, governors and others who have been elected in tough Democratic areas and how they know how to beat the Republicans and win back the White House. I feel totally reassured and ready to make my vote. I can’t wait till Super Tuesday in New York!

  67. Just a suggestion for anyone in NH who can. Go to your town/city hall and absentee vote. Call/take anyone and everyone you know to absentee vote. These votes are money in the bank, especially here in NH where the weather can turn horrible on election day. Another benefit is once you absentee vote, the campaign phone calls stop!

  68. b merryfield, i agree on the absentee voting. my wife and i have our absentee applications ready to be mailed jan 14th. jan 15th absentee voting begins in ct. the weather could be horrible in feb here.

  69. You know, that is such a typical “obama” to respond to an unspeakable tragedy by sayin’ “I knew it all along and I been saying all along that they been having problems”. In other words, look first at “how smart I am” and then we’ll worry about Pakistan. People need to look at his motivation to run in the first place. That’s where he’s all screwed up (well, at least one of the places where he’s all screwed up).

    What I want to focus on is how well Hillary responded to the events of this week, and more than that, to say that I appreciate that this must be a very difficult time for her personally. I can only imagine what a tragedy like this one brings to mind. And yet she is doing what she does best: keeping a clear head, keeping calm, keeping her eyes and ears on the situation, and responding in a Presidential way. She is wonderful on the best of days. But when the stakes are high, as the events of this week underscore in our turbulent world, there really is only one choice and that’s Hillary. She is the best person in a crisis that I have ever known of. Bar none. That’s what I hope all Americans see here. There really is no other good choice for 44 when you have the very best stepping up to the plate and saying “send me.”

  70. jjk1957, i agree. he and his camp are now realizing the 527s are really hurting him. hell, they are needed becuase he is bussing many people from illinois plus maybe non-iowans illegally voting. he needs to stfu.

  71. Emjay for what it’s worth, you helped ME see things from a perspective I’d never considered before and I really appreciate the insider’s point of view. You guys who also responded with comments about how the MSM would deal with a national primary certainly gave me something to think about. I appreciate the insight on this. Don’t let one voice keep you from providing your informed and helpful posts.

  72. From National Review:

    “There’s a huge window here for Team Clinton, as this kind of what-the-hell-are-you-thinking argument completely cuts against Obama’s nice guy image. They can argue, with some justification, that hardship doesn’t develop character, it reveals it, and then when Obama’s in the highest-pressure situation, he isn’t purer, higher-minded, or anything special; he’s just another cutthroat politician.”

  73. It’s about time..

    Two new ads of Obama’s are being criticized in the MSM:

    Also, if you have Fox News, Iowa newspaper columnist Yepsin is going to be interviewed in a couple minutes.

  74. b merryfield, mustache axelrod is still a bumbling fool plus i heard the punk speaking in the background. HILLFANS, MORE POLLS. according to political arg has a new iowa poll, hillary 31%, punk at 24% and phoney at 24%. if you go to poltical wire, the poster already down played it as a “outlier”. translation, obama is not ahead so we will trash the poll. perdictable. im not good at linking so i emailed admin so they can relay the info.

  75. B Merryfield you are on a roll today. Must be that upcoming chance to see 42! He is so great. I am happy for all you folks that are gettin’ to see him and also the woman who will be 44. I watched the above referenced u-tube w/axelrid. What should the caption be? If you could bottle insincerity you would want to capture that little appearance of his and put a label on it. I’m thinkin another good caption for the video would be “this is your brain on kool aid.” Thanks for all the good work and writin’ you are doing! Hooray!

  76. yeah yepsen is talking very posittive of Hillary the want more of bill back and he is drawing the crowds..hes a definite plus for cacus time…..edwards is still in the hunk…he said…and obama its not true,,he does not have the momentum,its off and on,,,he said

  77. During the ‘McLaughlin Group’, Clarence Page was commenting about Obama’s response to the Chicago Tribune editorial board when they queried him about Rezko. John McLaughlin asked him:

    Is there more to come out about Obama on this ?”

    Page answered:

    No, nothing new or further on Obama

    McLaughlin quipped back:

    Don’t bet on it.

  78. 41 degrees on cacus night with sun all he said hillary older voters will be out and dont have to worry about broken bones..

  79. OB off the deep end…

    From NBC/NJ’s Aswini Anburajan
    Burlington, Iowa — His voice raspy and strained, Obama turned up the heat in his own stump speech in Burlington this morning, shouting into the microphone that no other Democrat besides him had a chance to defeat a Republican in the general election.

    “Those of you who are still undecided I know what you’re asking is, who can win in November?” he said. “Cause you don’t want to just elect a nominee, you want to elect a president. So I think you should take a look and see what the polls have said. Most recent polls, I am the only candidate who beats every single one of the Republican candidates. I beat Giuliani, I beat McCain, I beat Romney, I beat Thompson, I beat Huckabee, I beat ’em all. I beat them all,” he shouted into the microphone.

    Contrasting himself with his rivals, he said, “John Edwards doesn’t beat them all. Hillary Clinton doesn’t beat ’em all. And part of the reason I [would] because I am able to reach out and get the support of Independents and get the support of some Republicans who are tired of seeing their country waste away.”

  80. Are we in for “Son Of Scream”? Is OB about to follow in Howard Dean’s mis-steps, I maen footsteps? Sounds like it…

    “Obama also poked fun at Clinton’s latest message change in Iowa “Real Problems, Real Solutions – It’s Time to Pick a President.”

    “They seem to have a new slogan every week,” he said. “I can’t keep up with them.”

    Normally mild mannered on the stump, Obama has toughened his rhetoric and his tone in recent days, not afraid to shout and raise his voice on the stump. Audiences appear to be responding but the effect is having it’s toll. Obama joked with the crowd when he took the stage, “As you can tell, I’m feeling great, but my voice is just starting to go a little bit. So I’m gonna – I’m still going to shout and holler, but it may not always reach the back rows so I’ll try to keep the mic close.”

  81. arg iowa poll gives me my fix for now, but im really waiting for that dmr poll. hopefully it will be out tonite?

  82. shouting and hollering…wow, such a message of hope! I usually shout and holler when I’m getting bested by someone. He’s desperate and it’s showing. Saw there is a new ALqueda message .. will continue to highlight his weakness and the threats facing our country. Perhaps we will see another Dean scream…Clinton and Edwards are both showing their chops.

  83. dot48, like what is said in my african-american family”hootin and hollerin ain’t gonna get ya anywhere”.lol.

  84. frankly edwards is showing great life in iowa. they are fighting for the same vote him and obama. offcourse i want hillary to win there but if not a close second to edwards is fine by me.

  85. terrondt, the ARG polls and the L.A. Times poll are very similar. They have Hillary breaking 30% with Obama and Edwards in low to mid 20s.

    The two bits of good news are that Hillary is trending up in Iowa polls and that Big Media/Big Blogs are ignoring any good Hillary polls. This set of facts helps Hillary in the expectations game as well as the actual vote getting battle.

  86. I think Team Clinton knew that Iowa would be a big challenge and I admire them more for going for it. I think think this is valuable experience for her whole campaign. A win in Iowa for her is a big get, even close 2nd will be considered a coup. The beatings she has taken from the media and she’s still standing in good stead.

  87. terrondt: i would vote for your cat Jaspar before I vote for most of the yoo hoos in the field.

    Very tragically, it sometimes takes a crisis to see the real stuff out of which people are made. If you’ll remember how people respond to an emergency, people in your life, people in the local government as well as our national leaders, you get a sense of who they are – at there very core. Senator Clinton is quite simply in a class by herself. As we saw after the unfortunate events in New Hampshire with the person who got into headquarters that day and took hostages, Senator Clinton knows intuitively what to do when things start goin’ to hell in a handbasket. This “intuition” is not something born outta the blue. I think it goes way back–to a person’s upbringing, to how they’ve handled responsibilities in the past, to their core values, to the challenges in their life. She’s augmented this foundation in truly profound ways. She’s garnered experiences from being an active participant in social activism, political campaigns, grassroots organizing, working for NPOs, working in the legal arena, working inside government. In addition, she’s been an incredible mom, daughter, wife. People who can’t see past this are caught up in their own egos and insecurity and in some cases their own bigotry. We have to keep focusing on what we know about Senator Clinton and why she’s by far the only person who should be president in this country right now. I am so glad to see people from this site blogging and commenting in other venues. I hung out on dailykos last night and wrote comments on some excellent diaries and lord willin’ I’ll get over there with some words of my own if I can write somethin’ decent.

  88. emjay,

    i am not a man i am a woman, and i am sorry if i hurt your feelings, its okay to get on the blog and say so, i waited for you to come back on…
    i tried to say i appreciate your work for hillary, because i do…

    but the truth is, i’ve heard this debate a few times weeks ago, and you know, i dont like the caucus thing, i dont… is that okay with you?
    i’m not the only one here doesnt…

    but thats not my point, your post yesterday said we should all thank you for what iowa does for us, if you read your post, you will see what i took exception to, because i dont agree…

    and to be honest, alcina has just made the first argument to me that has ever made sense.. she said it was to give lesser candidates a fair chance to compete… i am a union committee person for the political arm of our local, and i love politics, and i understand the whole fairness issue. i never did think it was fair that a such a small population should set the tone, my thinking that they dont represent the masses, being from a conservative part of society… but again i can see what the deal is today…

    and as for smack down emjay, you dont know me at all, my birthday and hillarys are days difference, and i am as tough and determined and old as she is, and smackdown doesnt even enter my vocabulary…

    as for your feelings i apologize. its an open forum, its about debate and conversation. i belong to many many forums and express dissenting opinions. do you want me to stop, and just not express these things?

    anyway again i appreciate the work you do…

  89. Apparently Obama is the only candidate in Iowa that’s refusing to let people have their picture taken with him at events. Whatta heck is that about? I’ve known he’s full of himself, but this seems downright ridiculous.

    Both Chelsea and Hillary of course gracefully posed for pictures. (And our next President gave them a “Go Wellesley!” too.)

  90. you know emjay, i just reread your post, and found your information interesting.

    and again i apologize to you, i do…
    dont lurk okay, and dont change your id…
    i will promise to be supportive, and i am going to try and learn more okay?
    i am not a mean person, and am sorry i hurt you…

  91. fox for some some reason is having reports on the axelrod thing. they are having another one live in iowa in a minute. this cant be good for bo-this negative story still full steam the last weekend before caucuses. and edwards is railing on obama big time.

  92. Terrondt, Jasper is the only acceptable non-Hillary.

    DemAC, Obama also does not sign autographs. He is very churlish about that. He does have a table set up and he signs copies of his book but watch him at venues such as the Harkin Steak Fry, he actually argues with people who want him to sign things and pretends he does not have a pen.

    At first we saw the constant alleged lack of a pen as a sign of not running a proper campaign. Now we see it is a deliberate strategy. Obama on this matter appears to be an anal retentive (won’t discuss this further).

    It’s possible that Obama thinks he is so fabulous that any part of him is gold and will be sold on EBAY.

  93. The last two ARG polls and the Times one really makes me optimistic about Hillary’s chances in Iowa. I’ve liked the way the campaign has been going in the past couple of weeks, I LOVE that Whouley is leading the team there, and I am starting to see Obama really slipping up. Momentum is key and I think Hillary has it.

  94. MJ,
    It was broadcast on It was a speech she gave in Aldrige, Iowa this morning. I hope I spelled that right…

  95. Terrondt: my lil cat Lilly Hellman wants to talk w/Jaspar about the possibility of a running mate.

    When is our gal on CSPAN? Huckabee was just on from an Iowa forum.

  96. yeah, I’ve been watching cspan and would like to see it.

    The thing with the photos and such….there is no way he could work with our allies or enemies — he is all about himself. This country would be in dire straits with him

  97. i have been back and forth on cspan, still no hillary. i have to step out to the supermarket to pick up a few things. i will be on a bit later.

  98. Eriposte has another excellent post today.

    We take mild issue with the sentence in which eriposte links to our post of today (explained fully in our post State of Emergency, Part II – ).

    Eriposte writes this: “You may all recall how Sen. Obama said the U.S. should take unilateral military action against militants inside Pakistan if the Pakistani Government was unwilling to act – i.e. he made it clear that if Pakistan is unable to do what is needed, we should act.” (emphasis added)

    That is not what Obama said, that is what Obama tried to hornswaggle us all with.

    The distinction is between “unwilling” and “unable”. Obama’s policy is that if Pakistan will not do what Obama wants, Obama will attack anyway. Obama tried to change that to “cannot” – that if Pakistan “cannot” for whatever reason do what Obama wants, then Obama will attack – but that is not what Obama originally said. Obama later called Dodd a liar because Dodd was in fact telling the truth about what Obama actually said. Here’s David Shuster’s account of the matter:

    “The biggest point of contention in the debate last night came stemmed from an argument Obama made recently — the idea that he would take action against Al-Qaeda in Pakistan, if that country’s leadership won’t act. Several candidates criticized Obama on that point… and the fiercest exchange was over what Obama said in his recent speech.

    Dodd: “If you’re making a mistake today, you ought to stand up and say so. It was a mistake in my view to suggest somehow that going in unilaterally here, into Pakistan, was somehow in our interest.” Obama replied: “I did not say that we would immediately go in unilaterally. What I said was that we have to work with Musharraf”

    So, who is telling the truth? Judge for yourself. Here is what Obama said last week: “It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf will not act, we will.”

    Dodd was correct about what Obama said… Obama did not say he would work with Musharraf.”

  99. On the repug side of the world, I heard that Bork was endorsing Romney. Did I hear that right ya’ll. Ever body here remember ole Bork? You youngins might not. But one of the highights of my life watchin’ politics is when the late great Senator Sam Ervin looked at him across the table (Senate Judiciary Committee) and tellin’ him why he wasn’t supportin’ him for supreme court. I wish I had it on tape. Ervin wasn’t all good of course but he was head of Senate Judiciary Committee during Watergate and he was damn amazin’ in that role.

  100. I have to stop letting people and things pull me away from my PC, but it was great to get back on here and find so much exciting stuff. Good poll numbers, great posts, good people. I love this web site!

    Thanks, B. Merryfield, for that link. I will read a lot of that, but probably not 5 years of it. I like history, but I’m involved in “now” at this time.

  101. BO always tries to pull that when he gets caught shooting off his mouth in a damaging way. “Well, see, what I really meant was…”

    If you are president, it won’t matter, because do you think Pakistan or Iran or whoever is going to buy your lame excuse once you have already pissed them off??? NO! They won’t. You’ll cause a freakin’ international incident because you are not mature enough to know when to shut your big trap or at least be careful what you say.

    Trying to spin it after the fact might work in local politics, but it doesn’t work on the world stage once the damage is done. You don’t get to unring the bell once you have offended another country with your choice of words.

    Jeebus, what an idiot.

  102. This one’s for you ShermKader:

    Joe Conosen is back with “Obama’s European Problem” (we’ll have a bit on this ourselves soon).

    Doubts about Barack Obama’s presidential credentials have crystallized during the past two weeks over his stewardship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on European Affairs, which has convened no policy hearings since he took over as its chairman last January. That startling fact, first uncovered by Steve Clemons, who blogs on the Washington Note, prompted acid comment in Europe about the Illinois senator’s failure to visit the continent since assuming the committee post, and even speculation that he had never traveled there except for a short stopover in London.

    “I’ve traveled extensively in Europe … I love Europe,” Obama told the Iowa Independent Web site a couple of days ago. But as Clemons noted on the Washington Note, the Obama campaign has not provided much detail on his European experiences and itineraries so far.

    Those details are readily available, as indicated in a Chicago Tribune profile of Obama, which covered his 2005 senatorial trip to examine nuclear sites in Russia with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., then the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. That story, whose deeper theme was Obama’s tutelage in foreign affairs, mentioned that he had traded his blue tourist passport — “which he had taken across Asia, Australia and Africa as well as most of Europe” — for a burgundy-colored passport that identifies him as an official of the U.S. government.

    If Obama wants to show where he has been, he merely has to release his passport records. Then everyone would know that his boast about traveling extensively in Europe is true — even if this year he didn’t have time to convene a hearing on the momentous issues affecting our relations with that continent and the world.

  103. Taylor Marsh flags tomorrow’s Washington Post article by Reza Aslan. Obama’s incense burners will not be happy with this one:

    Every time I hear about how Sen. Barack Obama is going to “re-brand” America’s image in the Middle East, I can’t help but think about Jimmy Carter’s toast.

    It’s just this sort of blunder — naive, well-meaning, amateurish, convinced that everyone understands the goodness of U.S. intentions — that worries me again these days. That’s because a curious and dangerous consensus seems to be forming among the chattering classes, on both the left and the right, that what the United States needs in these troubling times is not knowledge and experience but a “fresh face” with an “intuitive sense of the world,” and that the mere act of electing Obama will put us on the path to winning the so-called war on terror .

    Mind you, it is not anything this new president says or does that changes their minds. As the conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan describes this imaginary scene in his recent paean to Obama in the Atlantic Monthly, it is Obama’s face — just his face — that “proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.”

    As someone who once was that young Muslim boy everyone seems to be imagining (albeit in Iran rather than Egypt), I’ll let you in on a secret: He could not care less who the president of the United States is. He is totally unconcerned with whatever barriers a black (or female, for that matter) president would be breaking. He couldn’t name three U.S. presidents if he tried. He cares only about one thing: what the United States will do.

    The next president will have to try to build a successful, economically viable Palestinian state while protecting the safety and sovereignty of Israel. He or she will have to slowly and responsibly withdraw forces from Iraq without allowing the country to implode. He or she will have to bring Iraq’s neighbors, Syria and Iran, to the negotiating table while simultaneously reining in Iran’s nuclear ambitions, keeping Syria out of Lebanon, reassuring Washington’s Sunni Arab allies that they have not been abandoned, coaxing Russia into becoming part of the solution (rather than part of the problem) in the region, saving an independent and democratic Afghanistan from the resurgent Taliban, preparing for an inevitable succession of leadership in Saudi Arabia, persuading China to play a more constructive role in the Middle East and keeping a nuclear-armed Pakistan from self-destructing in the wake of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.

    In their glowing endorsement of Obama, the editors of the Boston Globe noted that “the first American president of the 21st century has not appreciated the intricate realities of our age. The next president must.”

    True enough. But such “intricate realities” are not best dealt with through “an intuitive grasp of global politics” — Obama’s chief asset, according to the Globe — but through an intimate knowledge of those realities and of the nuanced responses necessary to address them.

    Obama may possess all the intuition of a fortuneteller. But as chair of a Senate subcommittee on Europe, he has never made an official trip to Western Europe (except a one-day stopover in London in August 2005) or held a single policy hearing. He’s never faced off with foreign leaders and has no idea what a delicate sparring match diplomacy in the Middle East can be. And at a time in which the United States has gone from sole superpower to global pariah in a mere seven years, these things matter.

    The main issue in U.S. foreign policy that the next president will face is repairing our image in the world. But in foreign policy, unlike advertising, image is created through action, not branding. Which is why one cannot help but sense a touch of shirking (not to mention a lack of short-term memory) in all this talk about “intuitive experience” and “re-branding images,” particularly when it comes from those who began the “New American Century” as ardent supporters of Bush’s wars and his self-advertised “gut” instincts.

    It is as though, rather than accepting blame for the mess and taking responsibility for cleaning it up, they would prefer to slap a new coat of paint on the problem and declare it fixed.

    It was “intuition” that made the mess in the first place. It will take more than intuition to clean it up. After all, we are not launching a new product. We are electing a president.

  104. Wow admin!

    Reza Eslan basically destroys Obama’s arguments about intuition and mocks Boston Globe’s reasoning for endorsing Obama. He also takes Andrew Sullivan and Matthews to wood shed. Most effective piece!

  105. Absolutely excellent article by Reza Eslan. Thanks, Admin. I’ve thought about Jimmy a lot in this primary season. He – Jimmy Carter — is a good man who has done a lot of good in this world, most of it post presidency. It cannot be said often enough: he ran on this platform of a different way of doin’ things. He told us “I will never lie to you.” He made people feel good and safe. But at that point in his life…he was not ready to be PResident, in my opinion. He was a one termer and more important, this set up the Reagan years. And god knows if we’ll ever recover from that. I want to reiterate that he’s done a lot of good post Presidency and Roselyn was a good First Lady who is still an absolute champion of mental health issues.

    But, the real message is this: BUYER BEWARE! When it comes to somebody who is naive about international relations. When it comes to somebody who says that they’d make a good President because they’re not “from Washington”. And if you are attracted to a candidate because they are such good people and make you feel good….they may be good but not ready for PResident.

  106. OH MY GOD!!!! The more Obama speaks, the more frightened I am that God forbid if he became president, what would happen to this country???? We might actually be missing Bush!!! LOL!!

    When Hillary speaks, you hear intelligent logic! When Obama speaks, you hear the voice of a naive, reckless person!!!

    HOW has he gotten as far as he has??? With the caucuses only days away I am living on pins and needles!!!! I am praying, PLEASE LET HILLARY WIN!!!!

  107. I beat Giuliani, I beat McCain, I beat Romney, I beat Thompson, I beat Huckabee, I beat ‘em all.

    wow, i wonder if that is on tape. and no you didn’t beat anyone yet barack. yelling out there on the stump is not such a good idea is it?

  108. mollyrichards, i do remember the bork nomination battle in 1987. i was 17 at the time and was just as involved with politics then as im am now. he is a rightwing nut that deserved to be rejected in the senate that year.

  109. Admin, that was a great blog about BHO’s “intuitive grasp”, etc. It’s good that the media is beginning to focus on some of that. It’s beginning, slowly, to look like they may have found some of these things in time for Iowa. If not, they will be in full swing before too many primaries have come and gone.

    Howard Kurtz, on Fox, said Hillary could lose Iowa, NH, Nevada, and SC, and still be leading in the polls nationally. I certainly hope she doesn’t try to do it the hard way though.

    As I’ve said before, I think she will win Iowa and then NH. After that it is all down hill.

  110. “I beat Giuliani, I beat McCain, I beat Romney, I beat Thompson, I beat Huckabee, I beat ‘em all…..YEEEAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!”

    It’s his Howard Dean moment.

  111. Look at some of our own troops… they mde some friends of iraqis by having tea with them!
    Obama has no sense of that “feeling” what happens we can sit down and conduct a cilivized conversation!

  112. And what is more.. by saying tea with ambassadors, he is not only insulting hillary BUT ALSO the ambassadors
    of those countries.

    This type of talk could spark international havoc!

  113. Just heard on CNN that Hillary is giving speeches today touting both her experience and electibility. No reports of any screaming….

    Obama’s really getting delusional if he using some polling numbers (probably from one pollster and probably not even recent) to try to say he is the most electible.
    I guess that’s all you can do when you don’t have any actual experience to make the case….

  114. hey there

    just returned from an afternoon of errands and our final GOTV meeting. cannot say too much about the meeting as there are too many prying eyes on big pink..don’t want to give away all our secret plans leading up to january 8, 2008 🙂 bottom line is..we’re ready to rock and roll.

    found the story about the “no photos, no autographs” business regarding our anointed-one astounding, and as one poster noted, so telling of his holier-than-thou attitude. in comparison, i have observed and participated in many events with HRC. she always goes out of her way to meet with everyone, sign autographs and have pictures taken..she even orchestrates the pictures so no-one is left out. i watched her work the lines after our fall kick-off rally on the state house lawn..we had over 4,500 people there and she took all the time necessary to meet-photo-sign anyone who wished to see her. for me, it is the highlight of seeing her, one-on-one with people. ( the best is when fathers bring their daughters or when the elderly ladies line-up )

  115. Interesting article from India on Hillary;

    “…The irony of Clinton’s call for a proactive role for India is that it is more than what the UPA government has so far been able to say or do over the developments across the border.

    Clinton spent most of yesterday travelling across Iowa manipulating voters — cynically, her critics would allege — into thinking that she is the only Democrat candidate who has the international exposure and experience to be in the White House during crisis time.

    “I have known Benazir Bhutto for more than 12 years. She is someone whom I was honoured to visit as First Lady when she was Prime Minister,” Clinton said at one meeting in a remark that was typical of what she said during most of yesterday.

    Hinting at Obama’s lack of experience and drawing a subtle comparison to herself as the inheritor of her husband’s legacy, Clinton said of Bhutto’s death: “Certainly on a personal level, for those of us who knew her, who were impressed by her commitment, her dedication, her willingness to pick up the mantle of her father, who was also assassinated, it is a terrible, terrible tragedy.”

    Obama, a mere one-time Senator, was forced to begin every one of his campaign appearances yesterday with a reference to Bhutto. Lacking in experience, he could not be personal, unlike Clinton, about the slain Pakistani leader…”

  116. From Politico (Hi Ben)

    Obama’s campaign is out with a sharp-edged robocall from an Ames physician, “Dr. Bob” (his last name isn’t clearly audible in this recording), pushing back on Clinton’s criticism of his health care plan.

    The opening: “Hillary Clinton and her allies have launched misleading attacks.”

    This call, recorded last night in Fort Dodge, is a sign of the fact that he’s waging an all-out, two-front war against Clinton and Edwards, with both of their allies amplifying their attacks. Some polls have cast him as the frontrunner, and those attacks reflect that dynamic.

    This call counters negative mailings and radio ads from AFSCME, the public workers union, which is spending heavily on Hillary’s behalf.

    “Clinton would force people to buy insurance, even if they can’t afford it,” he says.

    Rough transcript — the sound isn’t perfect — after the jump.

    My name is Dr Bob ???, and I’m a physician in Ames, Iowa.

    Hillary Clinton and her Allies have launched misleading attacks on Barack Obama’s.
    healthcare plan.

    Well it’s time to set the record straight

    Bill Clinton’s own secretary of labor looked at both of their plans and said that Obama’s plan will insure more people than Hillary Clinton’s.

    The key difference Clinton would force people to buy insurance even they can’t afford it.

    Obama says the reason people don’t have insurance is because it costs too much. His plan saves the typical family $2500 dollars per year.

    That’s how Barack Obama will cover everyone.

    Forget the negative attacks, just the facts at

    Paid for by Obama for America. 888-622-6242

    His campaign has chosen the perfect time to shoot itself in the foot…

  117. Here a first person report of a robocall (sounds like the same one reported by TheRealist) from today’s Des Moines Register online :

    “Speaking of positive as opposed to negative campaigning. Today I got a robo call claimed Obama’s health care plan was better than Clintons and that I should not believe Clinton when she says she has the better plan. (In fact she does.) The message said it was paid by Obama and referred me to his website and toll free number. I called. A polite and happy sounding lady said it was not our robo call because we do not do robo calls and further more we do not do negative campaigning. I asked if she agreed with the content of the robo call that Obama’s plan was better than Clinton’s she said yes and was eager to debate me on the relative merits of the two plans. Finally, I confronted her on her dishonesty and hung up. Sorry, I don’t buy pretend innocence. Hillary has my vote.”

  118. most people don’t listen to robocalls. There was a article out very recently about the use of robocalls. Alot of people are just annoyed by them and will hang up.

    BTW, the Obama crowds are getting pretty nasty on mydd. Well, there’re always nasty.

  119. THIS JUST IN:

    Hillary is 44!!!

    How do I know? Because I have an intuitive sense of the world.

    You can forget the robo-calls. They don’t matter.

    (I tried being a comedian once, but people just laughed at me.)

  120. That’s Dr. Bob Gitchell; knew him and his wife well when I lived in Ames. Didn’t know he was still practicing. Am staring at one of her recipes as I type.

  121. Emjay, Dr. Bob Gitchell might become the subject of a Paul Krugman column. Krugman supports Edwards but the robo-call attacks both the Hillary and Edwards concept for UNIVERSAL health care. Krugman cares about Universal health care and does not like Obama’s republican talking points lies.

  122. ra1029

    i am shocked, but delighted at the concord monitor endorsement. they have appeared soo obamaesque the majority of the time. perhaps the “hoopla” wore off.

  123. Thanks ra1029. This is hardly a slow news night. Tomorrow will be murder.

    Here is what the Concord Monitor writes:

    Clinton’s ambitious to-do list for her first few weeks in office gives us confidence that her priorities are right and that she would act swiftly to make a positive difference. She is the Monitor’s choice in the Jan. 8 Democratic primary.

    New Hampshire Democrats and independents are blessed with a strong field of presidential candidates at a time when a change of course is desperately needed. We have been impressed by Joe Biden’s pragmatic foreign policy and by John Edwards’s insistence that we pay attention to the poorest Americans.

    Barack Obama, more than most, has the power to inspire. The positive tone of his campaign is not a gimmick. He is a serious candidate with sober ideas. For reasons symbolic and substantive, he would also be a nominee Democrats could feel proud to vote for.

    But Hillary Clinton’s unique combination of smarts, experience and toughness makes her the best choice to win the November election and truly get things done.

  124. I have to disagree with this part: “The positive tone of his campaign is not a gimmick.”

    Uh huh. Blaming Hillary for Bhutto’s death, Hillary (D-jab), Hillary is Bush-Cheney-lite doesn’t seem all that positive to me.

  125. The Concord Monitor endorsement is great. Also noticing that McCain is really kicking ass when it comes to big endorsements.

  126. the “manchester Union Leader” is the DMR. however, the MUL only endorses republicans. this year, john mccain.

    concord monitor is pretty big in a small state like NH, representing the state capital. ABC national news just reported it.

  127. Thank goodness the republicans would rather nominate ANYONE else. He would be a truly formidable opponent for Hillary in the GE.

  128. Just thinking….

    With my midwestern roots and a short residence in Jakarta as a new bride and having lived on an island in the Pacific not unlike Hawaii…does anyone here think I have a chance to become a candidate for POTUS?

    My feet are freezing right now, so I’d accept an ambassadorial posting to Western Samoa, home of Aggie Grey [Bloody Mary to South Pacific fans] right now.

  129. McCain will IMHO be the hardest to beat. His insistence about Iraq now gives him a lot of credibilaty but that could change with one major event like this weeks killing.

  130. I have to disagree with you all. McCain’s age will be a very, very big issue. Not only that, his stance on illegal immigration and the Feingold-McCain Amendment has soured him to a lot of conservative.

    The most formidable is Giuliani. He’s still the national security guy. Still the 9-11 guy to many GOP who is more moderate on social issues.

    In fact, as Hillary started dropping in the polls, so too did Giuliani. The GOP think that only Giuliani can defeat Hillary.

  131. Hillary can beat Rudy. Everybody I talk to about Rudy feels he is BushII .. we’d be in worse shape than now (if that is possible)

  132. We can’t wait to turn our attention to the republicans. Each and every republican candidate has at least one FATAL flaw. Once Hillary is the official nominee we will relish the exploration of the republican nominee’s fatal flaw(s).

    BTW, Hillary’s fact check site has a refutation of Obama’s electability argument.

  133. It’s good that Hillary got the endorsement of the Concord newspaper. I’m happy for any endorsements she gets in that state considering the polls there are reported to be very close now.

    I know those endorsements don’t mean a lot in winning votes, but they help to show that Hillary is not alone in her pursuit for the nomination. They may help someone on the fence to feel better about supporting her.

    I don’t know how many newspaper endorsements BHO has beyond the Boston Globe. Following their explanation, the editorial staff of that paper is probably also being ridiculed by it’s readers. I find their explanation very ridiculous. I’m all for intuition, but not as a substitute for knowledge and experience.

  134. Just got an invite to meet Bill in Adair, IA Monday at noon. Can’t go…bummer. They are both still on the trail. What stamina!

    Now THAT’S the kind of Robo-call I like

  135. The importance of newspaper endorsements is that a smart campaign can use them as a powerful weapon in advertisements.

    That’s why we secretly (hush) give credence to the direction the ARG polls are showing. The Hillary Team took full advantage of the DMR endorsement with ads and a full court campaign with the “Hillary I Know” website and surrogates, the Hill-a-copter tour and a presence in all 99 Iowa counties. DMR endorsement was the starting gun for all the activity.

    Expect Concord Monitor ads on Monday or more likely right after January 3.

  136. I agree McCain would be the most formidable opponent, but there is one thing that would still work in our favor. No matter how nice a GOP candidate may be, no matter how favorable they are on some key issues, they would still be able to help that GOP minority in Congress (assuming there will still be one) to block everything the Democrats try to do. I believe not only the Democrats are tired of the Republican tactics but there are sure to be a lot of independents who don’t like it either. In the long run, we can still win against any GOP opponent.

  137. Peter Daou is making the blog rounds advertising the Concord Monitor endorsement. No sleep, no rest, till victory.

  138. beginning to feel like a caged animal. can’t wait to get this show on the road!

    question to you all the biggies come out tomorrow?

  139. DemAC

    I’ve a crush on him Always have. When he shakes my hand (4 times) he has always used both of his hands and my fairly big paw is just enveloped, it even looks more petite after the handshake.

    I, of course, am always very calm, cool and professional after wards. Ahhhhh……

  140. Speaking of polls, it looks like Romney may have retaken the lead in Iowa. Maybe Huckabee peeked too soon, like Obama may have.

  141. Re McCain

    Many many women will not forget his non-handling of the “so how do we beat the (opponent)” incident…I know many Repub women, and most are as aghast as we are. He really stepped in pig poo there.

    I know who she is too, and her address, tel # and husband’s name.

  142. Emjay, if we can get our gal through this primary, I really believe that a lot of Republican women will vote for her, even if they don’t necessarily admit to their husbands or pastor or whoever that they did. 😉

    Yep, I think quite a few of even the right wingers will just quietly pull that lever for a woman and keep their mouth shut.

  143. admin: “It’s possible that Obama thinks he is so fabulous that any part of him is gold and will be sold on EBAY.”

    Actually, a few years back, Orlando Magic’s “Shack” never signed anything and never took pictures with fans since his agent “owned” the rights. Maybe BHO is planning to run for the NBA next.

    No, I didn’t have a coronary but am surprised, as was alcina, at the CMonitor.

    Back from a wonderful BillC fix.

  144. As you may know, Dover, NH, is where Bill made his “comeback” and it was a nostalgia visit today, the fourth stop of the day, and he had a least one more to do in Portsmouth.

    Although it took awhile for him to get into the groove, he was totally on message regarding Hillary’s “international” credentials, relating story after story of her accomplishments abroad. He also spent a long time laying out her accomplishments from law school onward, including her bi-partisan accomplishments in the Senate with such illuminaries as Tom DeLay and John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

    It was nearly two hours of 100mph speechifying in front of a packed warehouse room at Salmon Falls Pottery. More than half of those attending were in SRO territory. Volunteers, fortunately, got seats!

  145. Bill is a lucky man, Hillary will make the better President and he’ll make a great First Gentleman. I look to forward to a new era with her at the big desk.

  146. Paula

    around here Huck was way up, some liked fact he’s a preachin’ man, some because he wasn’t one of the others, who all have something wrong with them.

    lLast week or more though, he’s looking like a gas balloon that’s got a pin-hole leak somewhere. Some say he’s nice, just doesn’t know enuf of what he should.

  147. The Bhutto assassination looks more and more like an inside job of Pakistani government to me.

    Obama already blamed it on Al Qaeda without having all the facts. Axelrod blamed it on Hillary Clinton. If more information comes out that points to some government official’s hand, is it fair to question Obama’s good ol’ intuition?

  148. Richardson asked the crowd to send a strong message for peace in Iraq in next Thursday’s Iowa Caucus. After his speech, his anti-war stance received support from many people who attended the event.

    I absolute agree. That’s what I wanted to hear him say today, said Meg Johnson of South Amana, a professional stage actor who plans to caucus for Richardson. She said she also concurred with Richardson’s observation that the U.S. can’t make progress on other key issues facing the nation until it deals with the Iraq war.

    Nick Maybanks of Iowa City, a prosecuting lawyer for the Linn County attorney’s office, said he had been thinking for a while about supporting Edwards. But Richardson’s speech Saturday reminded him that Democrats are fortunate to have a candidate with unquestioned foreign policy experience, he said.

    Firstly, I am glad Richardson pulled one of Edwards’s supporters into his group. Secondly, do these people seriously think Richardson can win the general to deliver all these promises? What exactly are these people thinking? Do they want to nominate someone who can win the general or someone who will easily become fodder for the republicans in the general?

    He can restore America’s image in the world,? Maybanks said.

  149. alcina:

    Bhutto’s personal assistant who was with her when she collapsed in the van says there was shrapnel in the neck. The doctors said they treated her for that. Now the interior minister is saying no bullets, just skull fracture. To top it off, the interior ministry spokesperson is opposing international investigation saying that they will do one of their own. Also, today morning MSNBC reported that an Al Qaeda leader claimed that they were not involved in her assassination.

    All these tell me that there is more to the story. Our Obama’s intuition is not that great after all. Axelrod’s is even worse. He cannot seem to see anyone beyond Hillary.

  150. ra1029

    BO’s immediate blaming of al qaeda reminds me of when he jumped at the debate, insisting he would sit down with enemy leaders w/o preconditions. again, he shows his naivete when it comes to international relations. he tries so hard to appear assertive and knowledgeable and then ends up looking like the little-boy that he is. he is way out of his league and he knows it.

  151. emjay — is Atlantic at 2 p.m. on Monday more convenient for you? That’s BC’s next stop 😉 Cobb County Community Center.

    On 2nd choices — one thing about Richardson is that his ‘gun’ supporters are pretty much Richardson only — no other Dem need apply.

  152. I saw the clip of Obama’s I beat Mccain, I beat Romney… I beat them all routine. It comes very close to Howard Dean’s scream.

  153. pm, was that on the NBC Nightly News? They showed a clip of Obama saying those things. Might be up at their website. I thought it really sounded over the top. I’m surprised the news picked that one for their broadcast.

  154. One can post polls in states taken by Survey USA in order to refute Obama’s arguments. He loses to Republican candidates in states such as MO, KY, VA, and he is locked in a statistical tie with McCain in MA. He also loses NJ and NY to Giuliani.

    Just review the polling data at Survey USA:

    Hillary outperforms Obama when matched with Republicans in every state but Kansas, which Obama still loses.

  155. Read the Howard Kurtz’s article in Washingtonpost about exaggeration and falsification in Obama’s ads about newspaper comments on his health care proposal. It is the first article in that link I posted above.

  156. AG, I think it was NBC News — it will make a good youtube video. Speaking of his claim, wasn’t there an article (link for it) on this chat about how the national poll numbers translate to electoral votes state by state and the conclusion was that Hillary outdoes Obama in the number of electoral votes. I vaguely remember reading that from here.

  157. MA – 21 DEC 2007

    Giuliani/Clinton 37/57
    Romney/Clinton 34/60
    Huckabee/Clinton 30/63
    McCain/Clinton 43/53

    Giuliani/Obama 41/50
    Romney/Obama 36/55
    Huckabee/Obama 28/60
    McCain/Obama 45/47 (statistical tie)

    NY – 21 DEC 2007

    Giuliani/Clinton 40/55
    Romney/Clinton 35/60
    Huckabee/Clinton 33/59
    McCain/Clinton 37/57

    Giuliani/Obama 46/48 (statistical tie)
    Romney/Obama 36/54
    Huckabee/Obama 36/54
    McCain/Obama 43/47 (statistical tie)

    VA – 20 DEC 2007

    Giuliani/Clinton 42/52
    Romney/Clinton 40/53
    Huckabee/Clinton 40/54
    McCain/Clinton 46/48 (statistical tie)

    Giuliani/Obama 45/48 (statistical tie)
    Romney/Obama 43/50
    Huckabee/Obama 42/51
    McCain/Obama 50/44

    AL – 20 DEC 2007

    Giuliani/Clinton 49/42
    Romney/Clinton 46/45 (statistical tie)
    Huckabee/Clinton 49/44
    McCain/Clinton 50/43

    Giuliani/Obama 52/36
    Romney/Obama 48/39
    Huckabee/Obama 52/37
    McCain/Obama 54/36

    KY – 20 DEC 2007

    Giuliani/Clinton 45/47 (statistical tie)
    Romney/Clinton 44/48 (statistical tie)
    Huckabee/Clinton 46/47 (statistical tie)
    McCain/Clinton 50/44

    Giuliani/Obama 50/40
    Romney/Obama 46/40
    Huckabee/Obama 51/38
    McCain/Obama 53/35

    Obama can discuss electability all he wants. But the polls reveal that Hillary and not Obama will win the general election.

  158. ok, I found it — it is on dailykos

    Obama v. McCain = Electoral Disaster
    by silver spring
    Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:43:04 PM PST

    It looks like Republicans may be coming around to their senses and may yet nominate their most “electable” candidate — John McCain. It’s not a done deal by any means, and anything can still happen on the other side, as their race is very volatile. A number of people on various blogs as well as political commentators have picked up on the McCain “surge” in recent days, and several have commented on how this affects the November 2008 general election. In several places I have seen national poll numbers cited to make the case that Barack Obama would be a better general election candidate than Hillary Clinton when faced with McCain as the Republican nominee. Indeed, if you look just at the national numbers, the Real Clear Politics average is Clinton 44 – McCain 49 and Obama 45 – McCain 45. National numbers, however, are useless in this case, as we all know that the election will be decided on a state-by-state basis (see 2000 election and electoral college).

    When it comes to polls from individual states, we can see that an Obama v. McCain matchup may be an electoral disaster in the making for us. I have compiled all the state polling from the month of December which includes matchups between Hillary and McCain and Obama and McCain.

  159. why doesn’t the Clinton campaign call him on that and cite those numbers. he shuld be called out directly on that. she can still stay positive and point that out.

  160. Americangal

    BO’s raspy screech is on msnbc find little blue note abt russert analysis, click and it takes you to politics videos–Its inside the “candidates battle for iowa heats up” one

  161. ok, I found it — it is on dailykos

    Obama v. McCain = Electoral Disaster
    by silver spring
    Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:43:04 PM PST

    It looks like Republicans may be coming around to their senses and may yet nominate their most “electable” candidate — John McCain. It’s not a done deal by any means, and anything can still happen on the other side, as their race is very volatile. A number of people on various blogs as well as political commentators have picked up on the McCain “surge” in recent days, and several have commented on how this affects the November 2008 general election. In several places I have seen national poll numbers cited to make the case that Barack Obama would be a better general election candidate than Hillary Clinton when faced with McCain as the Republican nominee. Indeed, if you look just at the national numbers, the Real Clear Politics average is Clinton 44 – McCain 49 and Obama 45 – McCain 45. National numbers, however, are useless in this case, as we all know that the election will be decided on a state-by-state basis (see 2000 election and electoral college).

    When it comes to polls from individual states, we can see that an Obama v. McCain matchup may be an electoral disaster in the making for us. I have compiled all the state polling from the month of December which includes matchups between Hillary and McCain and Obama and McCain.

  162. Hey hey HillLand Rocks !!

    Nice to hear from you

    How do you like our weather???

    Sorry, can,t make Atlantic either


    anything around Creston?


  163. And if that was not enough evidence to establish Clinton’s electability, we have an article from Rasmussen Reports entitled “North Carolina 2008 Presidential Election: Clinton Competitive in North Carolina.”

    CLINTON/giuliani 39/40 (statistical tie)
    CLINTON/romney 42/40 (statistical tie)
    CLINTON/mccain 40/45 (statistical tie)
    CLINTON/huckabee 39/46

    North Carolina is a reliably Republican state in Presidential election. But if Hillary is our nominee, the state may finally swing.

  164. pm,

    that diarist did not make a compelling case for hillary’s electability. indeed, many of the numbers that diary cites casts obama in a favorable light. and besides, the numbers i cite are more compelling. moreover, survey usa has a better track record than many of the pollsters cited in that diary.

  165. Dot

    in about 35 minutes give or take 5

    if things are as usual down at the DMR Building and out at the plant near the airport.

    don’t underestimate a town full of out of state reporters w/ nothing to do except stalk the analyst and the press guys and whoever they can find.

    BTW, Russert is looking BAD…like he is seriously sick or something

  166. amgal

    thanks for the link to the BO scream. he keeps yelling “i beat them all! i beat them all!”….well, not quite, cause you gotta beat hillary, first..

  167. alcina:

    That is what I find funny. Even Dodd, who can’t break 2% in the primaries is accusing Hillary of being unelectable! How funny is that?

  168. ra1029, don’t pay attention to my loopy sen. dodd. basically is living in iowa and neglecting ct. he will drop out after nh.

  169. Ah AmericanGal, we work so well together…I find ’em , you put ’em out here in little blue letters and then we all get to look at it. I don’t know how you do iy but when this is over, maybe you can give me a 10 min tutorial. (I’m a fast study. : )

  170. Emjay: weather

    You know, the LL Bean Trail long underwear I purchased before coming out here was a great investment. Yesterday I was outdoors (canvassing) all day long, and I was … toasty warm. Climbing over the ice is getting old, though. Brought a serious pair of hiking boots with me (that have optional snow chains!) — another good investment.

    I am certain Creston precinct was invited to Greenfield at 11:45 on Monday. I’m a little surprised you said Adair at 12:00 p.m. Could it be that you got a bogus robocall?

  171. Boy oh boy, if I had gone to get my BC fix and it was a bogus call, I would hunt the buzzards down and stompped them with my ice boots (that have Sharp pointy cleat things on them.)

    Them I’d come home and look at my Hillary and me picture til I stopped weeping…:)

  172. ra1029, u are right about lieberman. after the dems win more senate seats next year they should boot lieberman out of the dem caucus.

  173. I want Hillary to win badly.

    If BHO wins the nominee, Bloomberg will enter the race as an independent and he will win landslide. Maybe that is why so many people ( I don’t know who) try so hard to help BHO to destroy Clinton which is the first step to get Bloomberg into the race.

  174. Emjay, I find links quickly because basically I have no life and like to surf the net alot (LOL). Also, I’m off work until next week so I’ve got ALOT of free time right now.

    Glad to help out when I can…

  175. Emjay:

    How are you so sure that DMR poll will be out in next 10 minutes or so when they don’t even say a word about it on their front page? Just curious..

  176. terrondt:

    I forgot about him. He’s your senator too, isn’t he? So, how do democrats get in touch with Lieberman’s office if they want some help? He must be having some serious grudge, won’t he? 🙂

  177. let him scream…people will think he is nuts..

    emjay..whats wrong with russert…he drinks to much he has red nose and big belley…

    Hillarylandrocks you like working there the cold ..

    still photos come into cnn breaking news..

  178. Emjay — I think your call was probably legit — first of all, Greenfield was originally scheduled for noon but got moved back 15 min. Second, the actual location in Greenfield is the 4H Hall, which I think is in the Adair Cty Fairgrounds … so that would explain why your time/location sounds just a bit different. If your robocall made the Creston field office the point of contact, it all sounds ok.

    p.s. will send you an email via admin.

  179. ra1029, i won’t go to lieberman, and dodd is out to lunch in iowa so i will go to my 1st dstrict congressman john larson.

  180. Is tomorrow’s front page up?

    golly I hope I didn’t get folks hot and bothered for nothing…as I explained a couple weeks ago they are always in Sunday’s edition and since the caucus is this coming Thursday, and they usually have it last Sunday of the month…and they poll for three days crunch and analize on the fourth day and print on the 5th day, Sunday and they could fit that in this week even with Christmas and……………I’ve run out of excuses.

    I’m sorry if the right side of my brain lost it’s mojo.

  181. I just wanted to weigh in on the debate about whether Iowa’s caucus should have so much power. It seems to me that this is neither Iowa’s problem nor that of the party per se. In reality, shouldn’t the electorate wake up and make up their own minds based on facts? The process would be just fine regardless of primary and caucus order if each state just chose the candidate most suited to their own needs. This is partly why I am sad to see Michigan lose electoral points. So many citizens live their and their economy is in the tank.

    Also, have any of you ever done a google search for your pink screen name? Just for the heck of it, I did. One of the websites that was pulled up took a comment I posted here out of context:

    It makes it seem like I endorsed the video, when in reality I was literally talking about the comments on the youtube website.

    Many, those BHO supporters like to take things out of context. I guess they take their lead from the top.

  182. HillLand Rocks

    I don’t actually live in Creston. I was sort of hiding, ya know what I mean? My little town is so teeny tiny that we consider Creston the Big City of Bright Lights.

  183. her son is goning to take 19…Bbhutto and hillary look beautiful with the children….i bet bho see it and gets jealous everytime they show her and bhutto photo..she is on now b bhutto remembering her

  184. Wow Kentucky….I did a Google search and my pink screen name (which isn’t all that original) is used by many, many people…none of which is me, including someone who is a Ron Paul supporter! Yikes!

  185. from NY Times:

    December 30, 2007

    Candidates Digging for a Deeper Pool of Iowa Voters


    DES MOINES — Senator Barack Obama is on the hunt for Iowans who have never participated in the state’s presidential caucuses, including independent voters under 50 and students who will be 18 by the general election.

    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is searching for Iowans who have skipped the caucuses in the past and who, because of age, sex or other characteristics, seem likely to support her, starting with independent women over 65 and under 30.


    Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama are trying to expand the tiny universe of caucusgoers, a fundamental shift in the way candidates have approached the Iowa caucuses. Mr. Edwards is focusing mainly on voters who have reliably voted in the past.

    The developments reflect the tightness of the race — another poll Friday found Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama effectively tied — and the dynamics of an unusual contest where so few people vote: about 125,000 in the Democratic caucus of 2004. Aides to the candidates said this contest could be determined by a swing of as few as 1,000 voters.

    “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat who has not endorsed anyone in the race, said in an interview in his office on Friday. “The get-out-the-vote efforts are going to be the best ever.”


    Mrs. Clinton’s office here is filled with hundreds of new green snow shovels that were being strategically distributed on Saturday to precinct captains to clear the walks of older women who might be particularly wary of going out to the caucuses in bad weather. The campaign has printed doorknob hangers with caucus locations printed in extra-large type, also to accommodate these older first-time caucusers.

    “We have had a significant challenge here in that our people are older and mostly new,” said Karen Hicks, a deputy campaign manager for Mrs. Clinton. “But we’ve understood what our challenges were for a long time. This is not a problem you could have dealt with at the last moment.”

    Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has contracted with a local supermarket chain to deliver platters of sandwiches for pre-caucus parties at caucus sites late Thursday afternoon. The idea is to entice people to arrive early and thus give Clinton aides time to see who has not shown up and get them to the caucus before the doors close at 7 p.m.

    This city is teeming with Democratic strategists who are renowned in their party for knowing how to organize the caucuses or use sophisticated computer models and consumer data to find people who might not otherwise vote but could be open to backing particular candidates.

    Mrs. Clinton is banking on Teresa Vilmain, who has worked in Iowa presidential caucuses for over 20 years, and Ms. Hicks, a former national field director for the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards have similarly respected operatives running their caucus operation, including David Plouffe and Steve Hildebrand for Mr. Obama. Jennifer O’Malley Dillon is running Mr. Edwards’s Iowa campaign for a second time.

    Mrs. Clinton, of New York, and Mr. Obama, of Illinois, are betting that they can use computer-driven research to expand the relatively pool of caucusgoers. But all the Democrats have built large staffs, with members knocking on doors, making phone calls and keeping detailed records of which Iowans have pledged their support and which might be open to persuasion.

    Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, in particular, are spending lavishly on door-to-door canvassers, repeated and often elaborate mailings and novelty items to help hook potential supporters. The Clinton campaign has mailed refrigerator magnets marked with the caucus date to the women they have identified as first-time caucusgoers who might determine her fate. Mr. Obama has promised baby-sitting to any parent who needs it caucus night.

    “It is definitely the most highly organized caucus of all time,” said Michael Whouley, a veteran Iowa caucus organizer, who is supporting Mrs. Clinton but is one of the few major Democratic strategists who have not come to Iowa for this fight.

    As part of their effort to find first-time caucusgoers, the Clinton and the Obama campaigns have brought to Iowa the type of sophisticated voter identification models, using detailed demographic and consumer data, employed by the Republican National Committee beginning in 2002. Starting in the summer, the campaigns used that data to find Iowans who had not caucused before and who might be inclined to support their candidate.

    It was that kind of research that led Mrs. Clinton to determine, for example, that women over 65 were inclined to support her, in particular widows or married women, but only those married to a Democrat or independent. Using that model and state election records, they searched for Iowans who had voted in regular elections but had not caucused. Mr. Obama did much the same thing with, for example, independent voters under 50.

    They dispatched canvassers to make multiple personal visits to the homes of those people, a decision reflecting the determination by both campaigns that Iowa voters have been so deluged with telephone calls that they could not rely on telephone banks typically used. Because research conducted by her campaign found that many Iowans who supported Mrs. Clinton but had never caucused before found the process intimidating or baffling, her aides showed up at the homes of those voters with DVD’s that explained how the caucuses work.

    “It’s always hard to expand the base,” Mr. Culver said. “But if there was ever a year when we could have another 20,000 people turn up, this is it.”


    Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, in the first mailing to first-time caucusgoers who pledge to support her, includes porcelain lapel pins identifying them as Clinton supporters. Mrs. Clinton looks for women wearing those pins at her events and praises them for caucusing for the first time.

    Mr. Obama is focusing on younger voters, who have brought considerable energy to his campaign but who as a group have not tended to turn out to vote in large numbers in past presidential elections. As supporters walk into a campaign stop for Mr. Obama, separate lines are designated for high school and college students to receive specific instructions for caucus night. After his speech, he holds a brief meeting and photograph session with his young supporters who belong to a program called Barack Stars.

    Obama supporters of all ages receive a yellow slip of paper — a “Ticket to Change” — with directions to their caucus site and a telephone hot line (one for each of Iowa’s five area codes) to answer questions.

    To expand the universe of caucus participants, the Obama campaign hired Ken Strasma, one of the leading Democratic specialists in finding voters through microtargeting. Maps of Mr. Strasma’s efforts hang throughout the campaign’s state headquarters on Locust Street here, color-coded with shades of prospective pockets of supporters

    To find its supporters, the Obama campaign spent months developing models of who their likely supporters would be, focusing particularly on previous caucus voters as well as Iowans who voted in the 2006 governor’s race but had never caucused. Months ago, strategists saw one of the biggest areas of potential supporters to be independent voters under 50, as well as men registered as Democrats.

    “What’s the one thing that will determine this election? The campaign that does the best job of turning out the highest percentage of their supporters,” said Mr. Plouffe, the campaign manager for Mr. Obama. “We’re maniacally focused on that.”

  186. Yikes american gal…lol…one of rp supporter will come here and see your americangal…vote i get so sick of seeing that…

  187. geez hillary is going to have sandwhiches and everthing so they dont have to fix supper…that is very nice and even labled there signs big enough so they could see them..she thinks of everything…and she never forgets…

  188. wow, the get out the vote operation is going to be crazy. hillfans, it is going to be a long night thursday. lordy. it also looks like we will get only the 1st zogby iowa poll in the morning.

  189. KyMkt

    i agree the process needs to be worked on, and I bet after this year’s fiasco, it will.

    There are just so many political scientists who can’t figure out a good way to go about it. Personally I think we need to start w/ the allowable capaigning period..but then the argument is that the country is too big, geographicly and population to make that feasible. I went to a bi-partisan 3-day conference about this years ago. The parties know they need to restyle. Someday I’ll bring up the proposals and things we barnstormed and the arguments against them. Some we know, the Huckabee-Carter-Biden-Dodd problem…setting a $$ limit (freedom of speech problems there, believe it or not) and on and on and on. I’d love to have a French, or German system. But like the British system those can’t work here because of the parlimentary form of gov’t , etc etc,etc. We are really unique, where a candidate can come out of almost anywhere to be elected POTUS, and because of our size, we need to make room for that possibility somehow. That’s why we have wards, precincts, counties, districts and state meetings or conventions before going to the national. Other nationals shake their head in frustration as we do, but at the same time, envy our “everyman/anyman” potential.

    Enough. 🙂

  190. BTW Kymkt

    Florida and Michigan haven’t lost electoral votes; they have had allowed delegate numbers lowered for the conventions. The political wisdom is though that the presumptive candidate will weigh in, especially if most of the delegates, or a good number of them, are pledged to him or her. The weigh in will consist of a change of heart and the delegates will be seated. That whole situation is the result of the state breaking party rules, and the cascade of move-ups is what has created the mess. In 2 cases I know of the national party put enough pressure on the state party who put enough pressure on the stateofficials to at least slow down the tsuami.

  191. Here’s an interesting tidbit:

    Starting on Jan. 1, John Edwards is going to campaign for 36 hour straight. “Marathon for the Middle Class”. He’s going to outline 36 ideas to strengthen the middle class. Edwards will stop in 15 counties and wind up his epic all nighter with a rally in Des Moines with singer and supporter John Mellencamp.

    So, people are going to come out at 2:00 am to see him give a speech? He’s really into stunts…

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