Categories
politics

Sex, Drugs and Bill Clinton

Sounds like the perfect task for former President Clinton: he seems to genuinely love campaigning, kissing babies and shaking hands. The Democratic Party would be foolish not to give Clinton free reign to create a Never-Ending, Traveling  Campaign Circus. Give him a bio-fuel bus like Willie Nelson, and send him around the nation…

V O T E

[Bill] Clinton is getting credit for helping to resurrect the candidacy of Congressman Kendrick Meek, who gave up his safe seat to bid for the Democratic Senate nod. Meek was the presumed nominee for months, but then he got hit with a free-spending challenge from real-estate billionaire Jeff Greene, who made his money by buying credit default swaps that rose in value when subprime borrowers defaulted on their home loans. The “meltdown mogul”—as Meek dubbed him—pumped roughly $25 million into television and radio ads and mailings to likely primary voters. Not surprisingly, he surged in the polls.

Greene’s spending overwhelmed Meek and it appeared that another wealthy newcomer—like California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman, California Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina and Connecticut Republican Senate nominee Linda McMahon—might beat a buy a nomination that had been expected to go to a candidate with more experience but less money.

When Meek was at his weakest point, however, Clinton stepped in to campaign for the congressman, stumping in a state where the former president remains extremely popular with Democratic voters.

Then came a series of revelations about wild parties on Greene’s former home in Los Angeles—complete with appearances by boxer Mike Tyson and Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss—and intoxicated romps aboard the billionaire’s private yacht.

The combination of Clinton’s campaigning—the ex-president attended five fundraisers for the congressman, sent two fundraising e-mails on his behalf, and then appeared at rallies in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties—and the sin-at-sea stories swirling around Greene shifted the dynamic of the race at the close.

 

(click to continue reading Sex, Drugs and Bill Clinton: Florida’s Ugly Senate Primary | The Nation.)

Clinton was never my favorite Democrat, but nobody can deny he is good ((usually) at campaigning.

Categories
politics Suggestions

Clinton Vs. Starr Et Al revisited in new book


“The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr” (Ken Gormley)

I’ll admit to remembering, with somewhat guilty pleasure, that I read every word of the Starr Report and related texts when it was dominating the American news back in the late 1990s. Seems like so long ago, but it really wasn’t. The show trial was so obviously partisan even Republican rubes in the office I worked at during this time admitted as such. We still talked about it a lot during our “water cooler” moments.

At the end of “The Death of American Virtue,” Ken Gormley’s tough, labyrinthine account of the legal nightmare that beset Bill Clinton’s presidency and led to his impeachment trial, Paula Jones takes stock. Ms. Jones, the woman who accused Mr. Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, of sexual harassment and saw her lawsuit snowball its way to the Supreme Court and take on constitutional ramifications, complains about “the mud they’d drug me through” and about being called trailer-park trash. “I never lived in a trailer in my life,” she says.

In a book that will surely rivet those willing to revisit such byzantine material, the legal handling of Ms. Lewinsky emerges in a new light. Mr. Gormley provides a detailed account of her initial entrapment by investigators from Mr. Starr’s office and raises serious procedural questions about how she was treated. Lured to a mall for a lunch date by Linda Tripp, who in this book sounds even more troubled and delusional than she used to, Ms. Lewinsky was ambushed by agents and essentially held hostage in a hotel room while they tried to extract information from her. The book provides participants’ accounts of this showdown and describes the agents’ efforts to dissuade Ms. Lewinsky from calling a lawyer. The agents would later insist they had not tried to frighten or browbeat her.

“So if I was allowed to call a lawyer, why didn’t I?” the sharp-sounding Ms. Lewinsky now asks Mr. Gormley. “Period. End of story. I’m not that stupid.” This book startlingly claims that a report critical of the conduct of the agents, who were eager to discuss the minutiae of Ms. Lewinsky’s sexual behavior, has been withheld from the public for reasons of privacy — their privacy. It contains many a bombshell of that magnitude.

[Click to continue reading Books Of The Times – Ken Gormley’s ‘Death of American Virtue’ – Clinton on Trial – Review – NYTimes.com]

So will I read this book? Probably yes, eventually, though I’ll wait until it comes out in remainder bins first. The whole affair was so juvenile in retrospect, especially when contrasted to the lack of impeachment proceedings against George Bush for much worse crimes than lying about receiving a blow job or two.

This book’s readers will quickly think of water. Facts overwhelm you like Niagara. And when you’ve finished reading about President Clinton and special prosecutor Ken Starr, you may want to take a long shower. Gormley, a professor of law at Duquesne (Archibald Cox), reviews the entire sordid business of Clinton’s foolishness and his enemies’ efforts to bring down his presidency. It’s not an edifying tale. Very few of the book’s cast come off well, except for Secret Service officials and a judge or two. If there’s a sympathetic character, it’s Susan McDougal, who refused to rat on her friends. Starr makes error after error and confuses vindictiveness with duty. While not altering the basic story in any way, Gormley gains much from effective interviews 10 years after with participants and his use of newly available documents. While his book is too long, Gormley remains in control of the details, and this riveting first look at events that only future history will put into full relief shows how affairs of sex and enmity can become affairs of state. 24 pages of b&w photos.

Ten years after one of the most polarizing political scandals in American history, author Ken Gormley offers an insightful, balanced, and revealing analysis of the events leading up to the impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton. From Ken Starr’s initial Whitewater investigation through the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit to the Monica Lewinsky affair, The Death of American Virtue is a gripping chronicle of an ever-escalating political feeding frenzy.

In exclusive interviews, Bill Clinton, Ken Starr, Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Susan McDougal, and many more key players offer candid reflections on that period. Drawing on never-before-released records and documents—including the Justice Department’s internal investigation into Starr, new details concerning the death of Vince Foster, and evidence from lawyers on both sides—Gormley sheds new light on a dark and divisive chapter, the aftereffects of which are still being felt in today’s political climate.

Categories
politics

I’m not a racist…I’m a Democrat.

I’m glad I’m not the only who was bothered by this statement uttered by President Clinton1

Romans Discussing Motor Scooters 1993

But the part of the interview that worries me comes next, when President Clinton said,

“While I have devoted my life to getting rid of racism, I think this [health care] is a fight that my president and our party — this is one we need to win on the merits.”

This statement required a double take. President Clinton said that he has devoted his life to getting rid of racism? And no one challenged this assertion?
President Clinton has a very checkered past involving racial innuendo, stereotypes, and racialized political strategies. When he first ran for President in 1992 Bill Clinton attacked hip-hop artist Sister Souljah during his speech to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. He likened her to former Klansman David Duke. After the 1984 and 1988 defeats of Democratic candidates, Clinton knew he needed to signal his independence from Jesse Jackson and the racially progressive wing of the Democratic Party. His unprovoked attack on Souljah was part of that active distancing. But, Clinton’s strategy was complex. During that same election, he also appeared on the Arsenio Hall show where he played the Saxophone. Clinton has always been masterful at both embracing and pushing away from black communities, black voters, and black interests based on his own political needs at the moment

Clinton used welfare reform and crime legislation to cement his position as a moderate “new” Democrat. Clinton’s policies made life substantially more difficult for poor black mothers and led to the incarceration of tens of thousands more black men. Repeatedly during his presidency Clinton found his way to the center by ignoring the material needs of black communities. He refused to fight for his nominee and law school friend Lani Guinier who was viciously and inaccurately labeled a “quota queen.” And when his wife was battling Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination last year, President Clinton’s own voice sounded shrill in precisely the same ways as some of Obama’s current opponents.

Despite his office in Harlem and his efforts in Africa, I am unconvinced by President Clinton’s assertion of a lifetime commitment to battling racism.

[Click to continue reading I’m not a racist…I’m a Democrat.]

An opportunist politician, in other words. Not claiming Bill Clinton is a racist, don’t misread me, but not deserving of the laurel he awards himself either.

Footnotes:
  1. in italics below []
Categories
Links Photography

Reading Around on September 21st through September 23rd

A few interesting links collected September 21st through September 23rd:

  • ejshea.com » Blog Archive » Why You Should Protest That Tucker Max Movie – “Earlier today, I made a comment that we all should ignore Tucker Max and the movie adaption of his book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell.

    The very spot-on Whet Moser corrected me over Twitter, as soon as I said it, and he backed his reasoning with this post:

    Tucker Max Hates Fun.

    You all should read it right now.

    And after I finished reading it, I realized what a horrible, stupid, unreasoned response I made, thinking that the right response to misogyny is to be quiet and hope it goes away. It doesn’t and it never has and it never will. I have known that since I was a teenager, and discovered feminism, and identified as such”

  • lust Monster 1965.jpg
    [Lust Monster, 1965]

  • Inside Google Books: LIFE magazine now available on Google Books – starting today, visitors to Google Books will be able to search and browse even more magazines on Google Books. We’ve partnered with Life Inc. to digitize LIFE Magazine’s entire run as a weekly: over 1,860 issues, covering the years from 1936 to 1972. Most of us are familiar with the term “American Century,” but chances are few of us have been able to read Henry Luce’s defining editorial in its original context, a 1941 issue of LIFE. You’ll be able to find and read Leonard McCombe’s iconic cover and photo essay on a Texas Cowboy and Richard Meryman’s famous last interview with Marilyn Monroe. You can find a 1968 cover story on Georgia O’Keeffe
  • First Draft: Party On, Boris – He [Clinton] also relayed how Boris Yeltsin’s late-night drinking during a visit to Washington in 1995 nearly created an international incident. The Russian president was staying at Blair House, the government guest quarters. Late at night, Clinton told Branch, Secret Service agents found Yeltsin clad only in his underwear, standing alone on Pennsylvania Avenue and trying to hail a cab. He wanted a pizza, he told them, his words slurring.
  • Pinup_WWII.jpg
    [WWII pinup]
Categories
Links Music

Reading Around on June 3rd through June 6th

A few interesting links collected June 3rd through June 6th:

  • Paying For Coffee by digby This post… – Those coffees and the Lincoln Bedroom were among the stupidest of the Clinton scandals — The DOJ said that the two events were unrelated, but that’s very hard to believe. If you were around during that time, we were in the grip of an hysteria not sen since the Salem Witch Trials. As far as the Village was concerned those coffees were worse than Watergate. I don’t believe for a minute that that the withdrawal of Tiller’s protective service was related. The prevailing narrative was that anyone who contributed to Clinton and attended those coffees had no legitimate claim to government services. It was automatically corrupt.

    You can’t blame Tiller’s assassination on this, of course. It was over ten years ago. But it underscores the fact that the culture wars are inherently political and that you can’t separate the conservative movement from the fringe. It’s a seamless system.

  • MenuPages Blog :: Chicago: Kevin Pang And The Infinite List Of Dick Jokes – [Pictured: Not the penis pho at Tank Noodle; rather #47; swanksalot / Flickr]
  • Pho - Number 47 and Rice Number 125

  • Thomas lawyer: court must ban all MediaSentry evidence – Ars Technica – “MediaSentry found Jammie by (1) using KaZaA to request a file transfer from Jammie’s computer to a MediaSentry computer; (2) using a separate program or programs to intercept the Internet packets being sent from Jammie’s computer to the MediaSentry computer as a result of this request; (3) reading the IP address of Jammie’s computer from these packets; and (4) tracing this IP address back to Jammie. This kind of investigation of network traffic is lawful only after certain procedures are followed: when there is prior approval by a court and when the person conducting the investigation is properly licensed. When these procedures are not followed, such investigation constitutes criminal wiretapping and the illegal collection of evidence by an unlicensed private investigator.”

Categories
politics

Why Clinton Lost

I read Howard Wolfson’s confession last Sunday, and burst out laughing. No wonder Clinton lost, Drudge is no longer relevant, if he ever was, but Wolfson and Penn et al, were still obsessed with Drudge’s nonsense.

Imperial Men's Wear

By the end of the campaign, I was seeing the Drudge siren in my sleep. As people in politics know all too well, Matt Drudge, the Internet provocateur who runs the Drudge Report Web site, posts a flashing siren whenever he wants to alert readers to major campaign news or rumors. The siren haunted my dreams and was always in the corner of my eye — except when it was in plain sight, on my computer screen, signifying success or, more often, terrible failure and impending doom. As soon as that siren started flashing, instant messages would pop up, just below the siren, one after another — each one beginning with “Seen Drudge?” until my entire computer screen was filled with instant-message boxes illuminated by the light of Drudge’s siren. It might have been beautiful if it hadn’t been so frightening.

HOWARD WOLFSON (communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign)

[From The Screens Issue – Moments That Mattered – NYTimes.com]

Clinton deserved to lose, in other words.

Categories
politics

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

More on the point of Clinton’s alleged baggage: after all the concern trolls1 in the media gnashing their collective teeth over Clinton and his conflicts of interest, turns out to be not worth concern.

Barack and Hillary wonder about Swank Franks

Whether Obama’s appointments make sense can only be judged when those he has chosen have an opportunity to perform — a caveat that applies to Clinton along with all the others, from Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff to Eric Holder as attorney general. But it should now be clear that the president-elect does not share the jaundiced view of the Clinton administration — or the Clintons — held so insistently by some of his own supporters.

For one thing, it should be plain that the exhaustive “vetting” process brought to bear on Bill and Hillary Clinton, and especially on his foundation and his business dealings, must have revealed nothing of grave concern to the Obama transition officials assigned to examine him. If it is true, as reported, that he will no longer accept certain speaking engagements that might pose an appearance of conflict with his wife’s position, that would be appropriate. It is equally likely, however, that the good work of his foundation will continue, since the Obama administration could scarcely wish to deprive a million or more impoverished people of the medicine and care that the former president has brought to them.

It will be interesting to see whether those who have raised the darkest suspicions about the former president will accept the benign assessment conferred on him by Obama.

[From Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Get over it, Clinton haters | Salon ]

Yeah, don’t hold your breath.

Footnotes:
  1. a term referring to those who pretend to worry about an issue, but are actually arguing from the other side. Explained more fully here []
Categories
politics

When did experience become a flaw?

Lest we forget, the national media will be looking for any controversy to build their coverage of the new administration around. If there isn’t any drama, they will manufacture it.

Jamison Foser of Media Matters writes:

Midway through Bill Clinton’s first year as president, Time magazine reported that among the new president’s problems was “a staff that has almost no White House or executive experience,” pointing to then-political director Rahm Emanuel as a prime example.

Fast-forward 15 years: President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Emanuel to serve as his chief of staff. With years of high-level White House work under his belt, not to mention the connections and clout that come from having been one of the most powerful members of Congress, it would be quite a stretch to say that Emanuel lacks the experience to effectively serve Obama. So this time, some in the media have a different complaint. As CNN’s Anderson Cooper put it, Emanuel is “probably the ultimate Washington insider. … [T]he critics will say, well, look, if Obama is talking about change, why is he having a Washington insider?”

So: Emanuel was insufficiently experienced to serve as political director in 1993 — and now we’re to believe that he’s too experienced in Washington to serve as chief of staff? What gives? Was there a brief window in 2003 in which Emanuel’s level of experience was just right? Or is there something strange about the media’s assessment of President-elect Obama’s staffing decisions?

That Time assessment of Emanuel in 1993 was not unique. For 16 years, there has been near-universal agreement that the Clinton administration’s early struggles (real and perceived) were in large part due to a lack of White House and Washington experience on the part of Clinton’s staff.

[Continue reading Media Matters – Media Matters: When did experience become a flaw?]

Just like the public vetting of the Clintons, which turned out to be mostly based on allegations that there was dirty contributions to Bill Clinton, any little angle will be relentlessly hyped. Is it too soon to write off the corporate media?

Categories
politics

Hillary Diehards in the Media

Slightly more on the Hillary-Heads, from today’s Altercation:

this story from Scott Lindlaw at the Associated Press was headlined “Pelosi admits Democrats not yet united.” Here is the entirety of Pelosi’s quotes in the ensuing story:

  • Asked by reporters about female voters’ comfort level with Obama, Pelosi said women show a strong preference for Obama in public opinion polls. A “gender gap” in Obama’s favor had emerged “even before the convention, and even before the complete reconciliation that we need,” she said.
  • “The nomination is decided, we have a vice president, we’re going to work together and go forward,” she said.
  • “But to stay wallowing in all of this is not productive,” she said. “So we can talk about this forever, or we can talk about how we’re going to take our message to the American people, to women all across America, to see the distinctions” between Obama and Republican candidate John McCain.”
  • You know what? This is like a yesterday room,” she told the reporters. “We are going into the future. What did I walk into, a time capsule?”

[From Media Matters – Altercation by Eric Alterman]

Seems as if the Hillary Diehards are either a Republican concoction, a media concoction, or both. I love the final Pelosi response, I hope it becomes a meme for this election season.

Categories
politics

The Hillary Diehards


“What Liberal Media?: The Truth about Bias and the News” (Eric Alterman)

Eric Alterman doesn’t think much of the Hillary Diehards, nor much of the media idiots who keep interviewing the pathetically small minority of Hill-Raisers who would even consider voting for John Anti-Choice McCain. Dr. Alterman writes:

Personally, I think that people who are “still angry” about Hillary Clinton and are considering “withholding their support” from Obama are moral and political idiots in exactly the same vein as those people who voted for Ralph Nader in swing states in 2000 were. More so, actually. The Democrats had a primary, and Obama won it fair and square. He didn’t cheat. He didn’t do any of the things that Hillary Clinton diehards are are so angry about. He just won and she lost. That’s how these things are supposed to work.

These Hillary diehards act as if they are making some sort of point, but the only point they are making is that they would prefer to see John McCain be President–and run a government that is opposed to everything they say they favor (here’s where the Nader comparison comes in) because they think politics is a form of therapy rather than a matter of compromise, coalition and, ultimately, victorious combination.

If you talk to one of these people for more than two minutes, they immediately cease to make any sense. But the press doesn’t talk to them for more than two minutes at a time because all they need is that one self-serving, conflict-building quote to give them what they need to support their big–and, right now, virtually only–story line. What’s more, the Obama people are under orders–quite understandably–not to anger these nut cases, because, sad to say, you can’t win an election without stupid people voting for you. So nobody says it aloud, but everyone says it privately. And that, rather than what you hear on your TVs all day, is the real news of this place, so far. And so the charade continues until we have some real news

[Click to read more The Hillary Diehards]

WCIU-TV 26

All I can add is thank pasta for CSPAN, otherwise I couldn’t stand to watch more than 3 minutes of the Democratic National Convention. Those fact-free yammering television commentators are nauseating.

Categories
politics

Bill Casey and Abortion

I didn’t realize this myself. I had read so many times that Bill Casey was refused a speaking platform at the 1992 Democratic Convention for his anti-abortion views that I assumed this was not in dispute. I was wrong.

For the past 16 years, news organizations have been repeating an obvious falsehood about the 1992 Democratic convention. According to countless news reports — in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, ABC, NPR, Time, Newsweek, CNN, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, and on and on and on — then-Pennsylvania governor Bob Casey was denied a speaking role at the convention because he opposed abortion rights.

That’s false. And it’s obviously false.

Here’s all you need to know in order to know with absolute certainty that Casey’s views on abortion were not the reason he was not given a speaking role: that very same Democratic convention featured speeches by at least eight people who shared Casey’s anti-choice position, including Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley Jr., Sens. John Breaux and Howell Heflin, and five governors.

[From Media Matters – “Media Matters”; by Jamison Foser]

The reason Casey was not afforded a prime time speaking position was that he refused to endorse Bill Clinton, and wanted to do a Zell Miller spew-fest, trashing the Democratic Party for various reasons, mostly having to do with abortion. Strange how that got twisted.

People involved in planning the 1992 Democratic convention have long maintained that Casey was not given an opportunity to speak because he refused to endorse Bill Clinton, who was to be nominated at the convention. That’s what they said at the time, too. The Washington Post’s first report on Casey’s request for speaking time included a quote from the Democratic National Committee’s press secretary: “anyone who is speaking at the convention will have endorsed Governor Clinton by the time of the convention and Governor Casey has not.”

It should be noted that it wasn’t merely that Casey hadn’t gotten around to endorsing Clinton. He was arguing that Clinton had only a “flyspeck” of support and that the party should consider nominating someone else at the convention.

Of course, only those involved in the decisions about who would speak at the convention know for certain if Casey’s refusal to endorse Clinton was the reason he wasn’t given a speaking role. But we do know that as soon as Casey asked for one, the Democratic Party publicly indicated that his failure to endorse Clinton would prevent him from speaking. If the convention organizers were making a bluff, Casey could have called it by simply endorsing Clinton. He chose not to. Instead, he began denouncing the party for having a “radical, extreme position” in favor of abortion rights and claiming it was bowing to “the radical far left.” Members of his own delegation were quoted saying he was “being a jerk” and said they were considering removing him as head of the delegation.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Casey didn’t merely want to speak at the convention. He wanted to devote his entire speech to opposing the Democratic Party on a single issue. After the convention ended, Casey released the text of the speech he would have delivered had he been given the chance. The speech ran more than 1,000 words — and not one of those words was “Clinton.” Nor was the word “Gore” mentioned. Casey’s speech did not include a single word of praise or support for the ticket being nominated at the convention he wanted to address. Instead, it accused the party of being “far out of the mainstream and on the extreme fringe” on abortion. That’s what the entire speech was about: disagreeing with, and insulting, the Democratic Party on abortion.

Barack Obama had better vet Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton’s speeches pretty carefully. Pretty damn carefully.
Jamison Foser continues

Categories
politics

McCain and his Budget Whopper

John McCain wants desperately to preside over George Bush’s third term. And Hillraisers consider supporting this schmuck? That’s nothing but a spit in the eye to one of Bill Clinton’s undeniably positive legacies – balanced budgets and budget surpluses. Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, writes:

George W. Bush took the largest budget surplus in history and transformed it into a giant deficit. McCain’s economic plan, announced today, will to even worse. McCain says he’s going to balance the budget by the end of his first term (actually, he didn’t literally say that – he just “demanded” it – implying that a Democratically-controlled Congress would be ultimately responsible if it didn’t happen). And then McCain came up with numbers that will blow the deficit into the stratosphere.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that the budget deficit will be $443 billion in 2013, the end of the next president’s first term, if Bush’s tax cuts are made permanent (which McCain pledges to do). So start with this $443 billion hole. Now add in McCain’s promise to cut corporate taxes by a hundred billion a year ($4 billion of this for American oil companies, more than a billion for Exxon-Mobile alone). Then add in McCain’s promise to get rid of the Alternative Minimum Tax, designed to ensure that the very rich pay at least a minimum percent of their income in tax. Obama would properly index it to inflation but McCain will let the rich pay as little as they can get away with. Non-partisan tax experts put the ten year cost of this at $1 trillion. All told, McCain promises more than $650 billion of new tax cuts per year. (That doesn’t even include McCain’s promise to allow corporations to immediately expense all their investments – which, he asserts, would add nothing to the budget deficit at all!)

Who gets all these cuts? Mostly, the very rich and big corporations. The non- partisan Tax Policy Center estimates that 25 percent of McCain’s cuts would go to people earning over $2.8 million a year (the top one-tenth of one percent). Each would get an average tax cut of $269,000, over and above what George Bush gave them.

[Click to read the rest of Robert Reich’s Blog: McCain’s Budget Whopper]

John McCain’s base (the national media) wring their hands re: Obama and tax increases, but John McSame is proudly an economic idiot, willing to destroy the American government any way possible, taking the rest of us with him.

Categories
politics

Hillraisers Still Toxic

There continues to be rumbling from certain high profile Hillary Clinton supporters that they would rather put a Republican in the White House (an anti-choice, anti-environment, pro-war Republican at that) than support the presumptive Democratic nominee. I haven’t decided if there are real delusions among the Hillraisers, or if this is a propaganda ploy promulgated by the McCain/Murdoch/Rove Axis of Evils, and given prominent space by the Wall Street Journal.

the effort involves dozens of the roughly 300 Clinton “Hillraisers,” individuals who raised at least $100,000 apiece for her campaign.

The Clinton holdouts are typically most angry about what they say was the media’s sexist treatment of Sen. Clinton during the campaign. And though few, if any, blame Sen. Obama directly, they fault the Illinois senator and other party leaders for what they say was failing to do enough to stop it.

Susie Tompkins Buell, a Hillraiser from San Francisco, said, “What really hurt women the most was to look back and see all this gender bias.” Ms. Buell said she hasn’t decided whether to vote for Sen. Obama and plans to skip the August Democratic convention.

[From Obama Faces Resistance From Top Supporters of Clinton – WSJ.com]

Why is Obama being blamed for the media coverage of the primaries? Don’t the Hillraisers realize the corporate media is Republican, by and large, and the national media is geared towards supporting their candidate, John McCain? The coverage was often sexist, sure, but it also was quite ridiculous towards the Obama campaign1.

The McCain campaign is pressing its case with former Clinton donors. Roughly two dozen big Clinton backers are looking to meet soon with Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive who is avidly supporting Sen. McCain. The idea, said one person familiar with the campaign’s plans, is to pluck disaffected independents, and especially women, from the ranks of former Clinton supporters. A similar meeting occurred last month in Ohio between Ms. Fiorina and Clinton supporters, the McCain campaign said.

The Democratic fissures come as evidence is mounting that Clinton supporters aren’t falling easily into the Obama camp. A poll released Friday by CNN and Opinion Research Corp. found that nearly a third of those who voted for Sen. Clinton in the primaries said they would stay home in November rather than vote for Sen. Obama. A similar poll taken by the two organizations in early June found only 22% expressing that sentiment. In the latest poll, only 54% of Clinton voters said they were planning to back Sen. Obama.

Really, there are stark differences between Obama and McCain. There are only minor policy differences between Obama’s platform and Clinton’s platform, why would any sane person make such a leap? Maybe this is a simply a Democratic version of Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos?

[Non-WSJ subscribers use this link to read the entire article)

Footnotes:
  1. Rev. Wright, fist bumps, yadda yadda. []
Categories
politics

Clinton Primary Debt

Seems to make sense to me, why not allow her to balance her books? There are lots of small vendors probably still waiting to be paid off.

Hillary Clinton has $24 million she collected for a general-election campaign she now won’t run. With debts of about $20 million to outside vendors and to herself, it seems she could easily balance her books.

Campaign-finance-law experts say it isn’t so simple. The seeds of the quandary lie in the way Sen. Clinton chose to raise money when she began her presidential effort in January 2007. Individuals can give a maximum of $2,300 to a single candidate for a single campaign. Sen. Clinton asked big donors to give $4,600 for both the primary and the general election. That allowed her to claim big-money totals as she sought to establish her reputation as the prohibitive front-runner.

Campaign-finance rules say only money collected for the primaries could be used for bills amassed in the primaries. Money collected for the general election can only be used in a November race.

But there may be an out.

Some campaign-finance experts say Sen. Clinton could be allowed to take the $24 million and, with permission from the donors, redeploy it to her Senate campaign account. She is up for re-election in 2012. She could then ultimately pay back the vendors from that kitty, the lawyers say.

[From Clinton Primary Debt Poses Quandary – WSJ.com]

Or she could do like Dennis Kucinich, and sell Hillary Gear at 50%

With her concession, Sen. Clinton joins the ranks of other failed 2008 contenders such as New Mexico Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who maintain Web sites asking supporters to help them retire debt.

Mr. Giuliani, a Republican, was $3.6 million in the hole at last reporting. He recently accepted about $60,000 from the McCain campaign to pay for a charter flight to a joint political event and unload some surplus office equipment from his failed effort, according to federal records and the McCain campaign.

Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who is still whittling away at the $450,000 debt he amassed from a presidential run in 2004, added $718,000 to his debt total in 2008, federal records show.

The campaign no longer takes Internet donations but is running a 50%-off sale on Kucinich gear, which includes, among other things, original voting machines from Palm Beach, Fla., the scene of the 2000 voter recount.

For $219 plus shipping, purchasers receive the machine, “actual chads,” a replica of the infamous “butterfly ballot” from that vote, and a signed letter from the Ohio congressman decrying the bungled election.

Categories
News-esque

Infighting Among the Dems

Bob Herbert is irritated with the fractious Democratic Party, their goofy nomination process, and their self-centered campaigning.

Talk about self-inflicted wounds.

The Democrats may finally be stepping away from their circular firing squad. It took them long enough.

There are so many things that the Democrats need to do to have any chance of winning the White House in November, and it’s awfully late in the game to begin doing them.

Only now is the party starting to rally around Senator Barack Obama, who has been the likely nominee for the longest time. No one knows how long it will take to move beyond the fratricidal conflict that was made unnecessarily bitter by Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The cry of “McCain in ’08!” at the Democratic rules committee meeting in Washington over the weekend came from a supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton.

It reminded me of Bill Clinton’s comment that “it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country.”

He was talking about Hillary Clinton and John McCain. The former president’s comment played right into the sustained effort by opponents of Barack Obama to portray the senator as some kind of alien figure, less than patriotic, not fully American, too strange by half to be handed the reins of government.

[Click to read more Bob Herbert – Infighting Among the Democratcs – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com]

If McCain wins the election, I wouldn’t be surprised to see rioting in the streets.