Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Alright, this post has been in the chute for a few days, and I've been unable to finish it off. It is now 10:30 on primary night, and Hillary is leading the N.H. results with like two-thirds of the precincts reporting. Supposedly the college towns have not reported, so Obama has a chance, but either way, it will be close, which is all Hillary needed. The press and polls had been predicting a blowout, so I'll be curious to see how they treat Obama now—is this a failure for him, and they all jump off the bandwagon? We'll know tomorrow...

Back to what I had planned, which is pretty much a reaction to the way the Clinton team and Hillary herself responded to getting their ass kicked in Iowa...the gloves are off and the Clinton Machine™ is set to "Dirty Politics."

Hillary keeps telling us how she can handle the Republicans better than Obama and the others...well, she ought to know, she's staying up late studying their playbook...

HuffPolitics the day after Iowa:
Obama faces the prospect of severe and hostile vetting from his primary opponents, however. Upon her arrival in New Hampshire this morning, Hillary Clinton signaled that she intends to play on Obama's as yet unexploited political weaknesses: "Who will be able to stand up to the Republican attack machine?" she asked at an appearance in Nashua.

Hillary's aides point to Obama's extremely progressive record as a community organizer, state senator and candidate for Congress, his alliances with "left-wing" intellectuals in Chicago's Hyde Park community, and his liberal voting record on criminal defendants' rights as subjects for examination.

Are you fucking kidding me? They are going after Obama for being too "progressive, left-wing and intellectual"...they better be done complaining about "right-wing memes."

[...] ABC reported that Clinton aides gave the network various examples, of Obama's controversial stands. The aides cited Obama's past assertion that he would support ending mandatory minimum sentences for federal crimes, pointing to a 2004 statement at an NAACP-sponsored debate: "Mandatory minimums take too much discretion away from judges."

Fuck. Her. Mandatory minimums are a goddamned blight on this country, and she is the Senator from the state with some of the most draconian drug-sentencing laws in the country. She knows better—this is a pure fear pander, and though the fact that Obama is black is merely incidental, this crap is designed to play on people's racism as well.

Clinton is going after Obama for straight-up run-of-the-mill Democratic positions as far as I'm concerned. If this reflects her positions, than the party is either worse off than I thought, or she's running in the wrong primary. This is beyond "going negative," this is going scorched earth, and she is attacking progressivism and liberalsm as much as her opponent. I'll be getting back to that "defendant's rights" part later...

Don't worry, she took time to get personal as well. [link]:
Inside a frigid airplane hangar in Nashua, N.H., Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., tried to reframe the choice before New Hampshire voters, asking them if they wanted "an untested man who offers false hope or a woman who's electable."

Clinton said, "Of all the people running for president, I've been the most vetted, the most investigated and — my goodness — the most innocent, it turns out."

Oh my...could she be referring to this? I don't know what else it could be. Then her staff busted out the gender card.
...Clinton advisers suggested that part of the reason for her showing at the polls in Iowa might have been Iowa's reluctance to support female candidates. They also pointed out that a victory in Iowa does not guarantee success on the path to the White House. There is, after all, no President Richard Gephardt.

They also threw Bill Richardson under the bus for the poor Iowa finish...

And the Big Dog is lying his ass off and making weak excuses here. Every time the Clintons try to claim Obama has "waffled" in his opposition to the war—and they will do it often—remember it's total bullshit.


That was the reaction/adjustment after one loss, what will they stoop to if she loses N.H. as well? Or, perhaps worse, if she wins, does this vindicate the strategy?


Toast said...

She won, but I don't think it had much to do with the Attack Mode stuff you outline. I think it was New Hampshire voters being ornery about Iowa, her public crying incident, and the fact that the youth vote didn't quite materialize in the Granite State.

Oh, and HRC's campaign never said a word about Obama using "right-wing memes". That criticism came from certain lefty bloggers. :-)

All in all, I think Hillary's win is a good thing. It's way to early for this race to be over. I'd like to keep things in play through Super Tuesday simply because this is the only chance our side of the electorate (and theirs, but who cares?) gets to have a sustained political discussion with mass participation. That's important.

michelline said...

Woohoo! Hillary won. Not that it really matters. These little states hardly matter at all in the general election. I'm kind of ticked off that the candidates are ignoring Florida considering the number of electoral votes we have. Maybe they're all assuming Florida will vote Rep again. I'm assuming that as well, but geez, don't write us off yet.

Smitty said...

It doesn't matter much to me if HRC won or lost based on her attack stuff. What matters most is that she's a Democratic candidate publicly trashing core Democratic platform principles. She doesn't deserve the nomination.

I think it was one of your posts a few days ago (or was it over at Balloon Juice...I get confused sometimes) where it was said that in essence the Republicans have completely thrown in the towel and said to not argue with intellectuals because they'll just out-argue you. Jeebus, now HRC is saying it too???

Mr Furious said...

Agreed, Toast. I think it had a lot more to do with the three factors you mentioned than anything I bitched about here.

As I said, most of this post was written over the weekend, when i was still expecting Obama to roll...

I don't want this to look like I (or Obama) can't handle a little hardball, but the Clinton camp is going farther than that.

As Smitty said, they are trashing core principles to tar Obama—I don't tolerate that shit. not intra-party, and not this early.

Mr Furious said...

Until Iowa, Clinton was supposed to romp in New Hampshire, so Obama's close second really shouldn't be viewed to critically. The media and those dumb bloggers (who, me?) are the one's who shifted the expectations...

The big reasons I think Hillary came back?

1. She was supposed to win here all along. Until this weekend, she always led here, and handily. I think in the Iowa afterglow, a lot of people flirted with the idea of backing Obama—and it was reflected in the polls—but once inside the booth, they switched back to Clinton.

2. Backlash. From women for the way Hillary was treated for the "crying" moment. She was unfairly lambasted for that, and there is no question in my mind that her strong rebound among women voters was due in part to that. To a lesser degree, the state as a whole didn't like being told who to vote for...

3. McCain. Obama rode a lot of independants to victory in Iowa, and those voters were already smitten with McCain here. He peeled some off, but not nearly enough.

4. Ground Game Obama's stand was Iowa, and Hillary's was N.H. so these results shouldn't be too surprising. Hillary's team is based out of Boston, and they worked N.H. much harder than Iowa, and the opposite is true for Obama.

The internet is all adither (like that, Ang?) over the fact that the polls were all wrong. The polls are always fucking wrong, or so it seems. Since the media is presenting them, they get far to invested in them. I don't doubt that given the excitement surrounding Obama's victory in Iowa, you'd answer affirmatively if you're a voter asked if you're considering Obama—but the hardcore Dems reverted back to their preferred candidate, and the independants stuck with McCain. Not so difficult to understand, really.

steves said...

I agree with your point, Smitty. It makes me cringe when a candidate trashes another from their own party, but this doesn't seem new. I am not trying to excuse it, but how is it different than any other election?

Mr Furious said...

steves, she's not just trashing Obama, she's using his support and votes for solid, progressive issues against him.

I understand they need to draw contrasts, and that there will be differences in positions, but if Hillary Clinton thinks videotaping police interrogations is a bad idea or too fucking left, she should come out against it, not just claim Obama is "liberal on criminal defendants' rights"

That's what she was referring to. The ironic thing is, and I will revisit this with another post, that looking closely at this example would backfire on her horribly. I hope she's stupid enough to try it on him in a debate.

S.W. Anderson said...

"They also pointed out that a victory in Iowa does not guarantee success on the path to the White House. There is, after all, no President Richard Gephardt."

In 2004, Gephardt suffered a heartbreaking, campaign-ending defeat in Iowa. He campaigned there long and hard, and Iowans just blew him off. He's a great guy and a fine Democrat. It had to be an extremely painful loss.

S.W. Anderson said...

It appears New Hampshire women over 40 had just about enough of the piling on to the only woman in the race, plus, N.H. people didn't want to me-too the Iowa vote and maybe make it a wrap this early. They love engineering upsets.

Hillary Clinton is my third choice, but I don't take her for the stealth right winger Mr. F. does. On her worst day she'd be about 1,000 times better than what we've got now.

One thing's for sure: she's not one to be counted out or written off. She's as smart and tough as anyone in the race.

Mr Furious said...

I DON'T think she's a "stealth winger" I just think she's surrounded by too many invested power players to be too boldly progressive.

Look at her campaign, she has surrounded herself with morons who deliberately turned her into an unappealing robot—as soon as she has an unguarded moment and is herself, people connect with her. The Clintons are surrounded by a circle of cronies, yes-men and bubble-enablers exceeded only by the Bushies.

The single biggest problem with her becoming the nominee is the motivation it hands a reeling Republican party. She might lose this thing.

The biggest problem with her winning (which of course is a thousand-fold improvement over a Republican, is that she will usher in all the same characters and problems from the 90s. Without the economic boom.

steves said...

While Obama has expressed opposition to the war in Iraq, he has consistently voted to fund the war.

From fact check.org's discussion of the NH Debate:

"flip-flopping on the war in Iraq, refers to his position on an $87 billion war funding supplemental bill that came to a vote in 2003. In a speech to the New Trier Democratic Party in Illinois in November of that year, he said he would have voted against it. Specifically, he told the crowd:
Obama: Just this week, when I was asked, would I have voted for the $87 billion dollars, I said "no." I said no unequivocally because, at a certain point, we have to say no to George Bush. If we keep on getting steamrolled, we are not going to stand a chance.
Four years later Obama attempted to add context to his New Trier remarks in this May 2007 interview on ABC’s "This Week," saying he supported $67 billion of the $87 billion since that money was directed to the troops:
George Stephanopoulos: But back in 2003, you were against supplemental funding for the war. You gave a speech where you said I would vote against the $87 billion.
Obama: That is true. … And the reason was because I was trying to establish a principle at that time and I said this at the time that for us to be giving $20 billion in reconstruction dollars in a no-bid process where money could potentially be wasted was a problem. But what I also said at that time was that the 67 billion that was needed for the troops was something that I would gladly vote for and I've been consistent in saying that as much as I think this has been if not the biggest then one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in history, I want to make sure that our troops who are on the ground who perform magnificently aren't caught in the political cross fire in Washington.
It’s true Obama had made the distinction, but we were unable to find any evidence that he made it in his New Trier speech or that it was as detailed as he claims. Neither the Obama campaign nor the New Trier Democrats could provide a transcript. He did make this distinction in an October 2003 NAACP forum, according to this report from The Hyde Park Citizen, a local Illinois paper:
Hyde Park Citizen: Obama said he would put more money toward the troops, but not rebuilding Iraq. "We need to make sure that every dollar that is spent in Iraq is spent at home," he said. "We could have had our allies paying for [their] building process and contributing to the troops."
But Obama has since voted in favor of Iraq war funding, as has Clinton, on at least 14 separate occasions. Those bills have included a number of line-items ranging from funding for Iraqi reconstruction – the type of funding Obama said he would vote against – to unrelated activities such as tsunami relief and Hurricane Katrina recovery.

The Obama campaign argues that Obama’s support for war funding has been contingent on the money being attached to a troop withdrawal timetable. This has been true for a majority of his most recent votes in 2007. But his earlier votes, dating back to 2005, came with no such caveat, and we found only one occasion prior to 2007 when Obama voted against a motion to push forward funding for the war. But that vote was immediately followed by one in favor of the underlying bill.

Score this one for Clinton, though it's not a home run."

It kind of sounds like he opposes the war, but is not willing to cut funding, which is the only real way that Congress can stop it.

Deb said...

And THIS is the behavior that has launched my distaste for her. I expect dirty politics, but at this stage, it's a little heavy-handed. Her campaign is panicking. That tells me there's more to Obama than meets the eye.

Mr Furious said...

Good comment, steves, I missed this one yesterday.

No, Obama hasn't been as effectively anti-war-unding as I would like—but NONE of them have, and I really don't want to hear any of this shit from the likes of Hillary.

Calling Obama out for "flip-flopping" on the war is pretty rich coming from a rubber stamp like HRC. At least he was on the right side at one point...

And, Deb, it was this kind of crap that really snowballed my anti-Hillary stance...