A President can't vote "present"

I support Hillary Clinton because, for all of her adult life, she has had the courage to stand up for issues and principles that are the backbone of the Democratic Party. Issues like civil rights, equality, choice, health care, children, and so much more. Against all odds, even when the entire country was against her, she stood up for these issues, even when it meant getting boo'd. Fighting for these issues, when her opponents weren't even involved in politics.

Thirteen years ago in Seattle:

She's taken her lumps and kept on fighting. Not running for cover on tough votes.

Hillary's speech today says everything that needs to be said about the difference between a true leader and a candidate who is all rhetoric and no action:

Hillary Clinton's Remarks Today on Her Experience and Vision for a New America

Hillary Clinton delivered remarks in Clear Lake, IA today about her experience and vision for a new America. The following is an excerpt from her speech:

"A couple of my leading opponents, directly and through surrogates, have spent months criticizing me without having to answer any of their own questions. They've been attacking my character. As I have said repeatedly, I really would prefer to attack the problems of the country and let my opponents run their own campaigns.

"But I have to set the record straight. Because often what you don't know can be far more important than what you do know. The people of Iowa, I know, are good people who are trying very hard to make the right decision in this caucus. But people can only act on what they know. And I've heard a lot of talk about turning the page, but what about the action to back it up?

"When it comes to health care, one of my opponents believes it's acceptable to leave out 15 million Americans. That would be 100,000 here in Iowa. Leave them out from his health care plan because universal coverage might be too hard to achieve. I disagree. I don't think we should start by giving up on 15 million Americans. That's why my health care plan covers everyone

"When it comes to Social Security, one of my opponents uses the Republican talking points and has been open to raising the retirement age and cutting benefits. Now he says he is for lifting the payroll tax, which would be a trillion dollar tax increase. Again, I disagree. I don't think we should fix Social Security on the backs of our seniors and the middle class. I have always fought for Social Security, I have always stood up against privatization, and as President, I will restore fiscal responsibility so we can keep Social Security as a sacred promise to our seniors.

"When it comes to Iran, I took a stand for aggressive diplomacy. One of my opponents made a different choice: He didn't show up for the vote. He didn't speak out during a presidential debate that night. And finally, he decided to play politics and claim that the vote he missed - a vote for diplomacy - was really a vote for war. Well if he really thought it was a rush to war, why did he rush to campaign and miss the vote?

"Now, there's been a lot of talk about yes or no answers to complex questions. But most people don't know that for legislators who don't want to take a stand, there's a third way to vote. Not yes, not no, but "present" - which is kind of like voting "maybe." Well, in the Illinois State Senate, on issue after issue, my opponent voted "present," instead of yes or no. Seven of those votes were on a woman's right to choose. Two of those votes were on measures to protect families from gun violence - one of which was a measure about firing guns on or near school grounds.

"A President can't vote "present." A President can't pick and choose which challenges he or she will face. My opponent's campaign said that voting "present" was a strategy to provide political cover. The Chicago Tribune said the present votes were the equivalent of taking a pass. Instead of looking for political cover or taking a pass, we need a President who will take a stand and stand there and do whatever is necessary for their country.

"Standing up for America's values and protecting our country and our people is the first job of the President. Bringing us together to end the war, fixing our economy, and taking on big challenges like immigration, health care, energy independence, climate change and so much else is what I will do.

"A President can't dodge the big fights, can't find political cover, or have words speak louder than actions. A lot of words we have these days aren't matched by action. And much of the actions I see, I simply disagree with. I have a very clear record on all of these issues. A record of 35 years of fighting for children and families, fighting for working people, fighting for our future - and as President, I will keep on fighting. But I'm running on more than just my record and my experience. I am also running on my vision and agenda of a new beginning for America.

"We need a new beginning on health care. We need to stand up to the drug companies and the insurance companies and provide health care for every single man, woman and child, at a price that people can afford and we're going to give them the help to do that."


Update [2007-12-3 18:0:10 by hwc]: The NYTimes adds some additional quotes from Clinton's speech:

“Now there is a funny argument in fashion these days – it goes something like this — those of us who have been fighting and winning these battles are not the right ones to push our country forward. The argument suggests that people like me, and Governor Richardson, and Senator Dodd and Senator Biden, are somehow disqualified from making the changes that American needs, even though we’ve been doing that for decades.”

“The idea goes that, if you want change, you need to get someone with less – not more – experience in actually making change happen. Well, I respectfully disagree. Experience and change are not opposing values. I think they go hand in hand – it takes strength and experience to bring about change.”

“I don’t think people want a lot of talk about change; I think they want someone with a real record, a doer not a talker. After eight years of incompetence, they don’t want false hopes, they want real results.”

“So you decide which makes more sense – to entrust our country to someone who is ready on Day 1 to make the decisions and the changes we need, or to put America in the hands of someone with little national or international experience, who started running for president as soon as he arrived in the United States Senate. How did running for president become a qualification for being president? Well, this is not a job that you can learn about from a book.”

Tags: Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, president (all tags)

Comments

80 Comments

What Hillary didn't

say was the Planned Parenthood called those 7 votes a false choice, and issued a statement praising Obama for voting present.  She is really distorting his record here.  Hillary is stooping pretty low here, then again that is where the Clintons dwell.

"ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: When Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., voted "present," rather than "yes" or "no" on a handful of controversial abortion votes in the Illinois state senate, he did so with the explicit support of the president and CEO of Illinois Planned Parenthood Council."
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/ 2007/07/obama-abortion-.html

Also, The NSE released today that Iran hasn't been pursuing Nuclear weapons since 2003... Kyl-Lieb?  Then again, Hillary probably doesn't care since she doesn't read the estaments.

by CardBoard 2007-12-03 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: What Hillary didn't

I'm sure that, with his lofty rhetoric skills and fashion magazine charisma, Barack Hussein Obama can explain his pattern of ducking tough votes in the Illinois State House and the US Senate.

by hwc 2007-12-03 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: What Hillary didn't

IT'S BECOME a fad among some conservatives to refer to the junior senator from Illinois by his full name: Barack Hussein Obama. This would be merely juvenile if it weren't so contemptible. Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers, on "Hardball," was one of the early adopters of this sleazy tactic. "Count me down as somebody who underestimates Barack Hussein Obama," he said. Radio host Rush Limbaugh, demonstrating his usual maturity, got a chuckle out of the senator's allegedly oversized ears, calling him "Barack Hussein Odumbo." And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council issued this e-mail alert: "Joining an already glutted field of hopefuls, Sen. Barack Hussein Obama (D-Ill.) announced his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic nomination yesterday."

...

Mr. Obama has never tried to hide his past or his family name: He has written about being educated at a predominantly Muslim school. His father, a non-practicing Muslim, was Barack Hussein Obama Sr. His grandmother is Sara Hussein Obama.

The senator, however, does not use his middle name. Those who take pains to insert it when referring to him are trying, none too subtly, to stir up scary images of menacing terrorists and evil dictators. They embarrass only themselves.

link

You want to keep using the "it's his name" defense just like Rush Limbaugh does, be my guest, but I'm going to keep giving you a zero every time I see it.  God, what a disgusting tactic.

by Steve M 2007-12-03 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: What Hillary didn't

Why? Is there something wrong with using his full name?

I don't understand? Nobody complains when Hillary Rodham Clinton is called by her full name. Hell, Barack Hussein Obama didn't even say anything when that woman in SC called her "that bitch". Oh, but wait...that would have required taking a principled stand.

by hwc 2007-12-03 12:25PM | 0 recs
You're fooling no one, Rush.

You've even played the 'madrassa card.'

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-12-03 12:29PM | 0 recs
Link for proof of your racism:

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2007/11/29/ 22191/017/17#17

"Probably because I didn't have the opportunity to learn about foreign policy and properly appreciating America while studying in madrassas elementary school in Indonesia."

You should be banned.

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-12-03 12:36PM | 0 recs
A President can't vote "present"

I just hope that his teachers in Indonesia elementary school marked him "present" for all those classes on foreign policy. I would hate to think that he was ever marked "absent" (before the Kyl-Lieberman vote, that is).

by hwc 2007-12-03 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

The true reason he missed the vote on Kyle/Lieberman resolution:

Obama DID SHOW UP, but Harry Reid tabled the vote indefinitely (We've all read the official record). Obama leaves town. Next morning, Reid changes his mind and gives Obama only an hour to hop on a plane and make it back. Unable to make it, Obama made an official statement that same day on his position against the amendment. Not to mention, Harry Reid's son works for Hillary's campaign.

See congressional record

by BDM 2007-12-03 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

No. Obama did not show up. He wasn't there on Monday. He wasn't there on Tuesday, when Reid tabled the vote. He wasn't there on Tuesday night when Democratic leaders were negotiating new language. And, he wasn't there on Wednesday when the vote occured.

Barack Obama needs to stop lying.

by hwc 2007-12-03 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: What Hillary didn't

Look at the company you're in.  You should be ashamed.

by Steve M 2007-12-03 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: What Hillary didn't

I'm waiting for Robert Gibbs to start cryin' about using Barack Hussein Obama's full name.

by hwc 2007-12-03 12:52PM | 0 recs
How do racist trolls like you

get to FP on a Democratic site?

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-12-03 12:19PM | 0 recs
A President can't vote "present"

You left out this part, where the head of the Illinois Planned Parenthood made it clear that the "Present" votes were intended to provide political cover avoid taking tough stands.

As Obama also did issues like guns in schools and votes on Iranian policy.

"A 'present' vote was hard to pigeonhole which is exactly what Obama wanted."

"What it did," she continued, "was give cover to moderate Democrats who wanted to vote with us but were afraid to do so" because of how their votes would be used against them electorally. "A 'present' vote would protect them. Your senator voted 'present.' Most of the electorate is not going to know what that means."

While Sutherland was happy to give Obama latitude in voting "present," rather than "no," she was quick to note that "it's also not a 'yes' vote."

Hillary Clinton has never ducked a pro-choice vote.

A President can't vote "present".

by hwc 2007-12-03 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Hillary Clinton has never ducked a pro-choice vote.

Nor a pro-war vote.

by antiHyde 2007-12-03 04:07PM | 0 recs
Hillary should be proud

After voting for an invasion to stop a non-existent weapons program, this time she only voted for "aggressive diplomacy" to stop a non-existent weapons program.  Maybe she should learn how to vote present.

by John DE 2007-12-03 11:51AM | 0 recs
A President can't vote "present"

Or maybe Hillary could follow the leadership of fashion magazine candidates and learn how to skip town in order to duck tough votes on Iran policy.

by hwc 2007-12-03 11:55AM | 0 recs
A President can't vote "present"

You also left out this quote from the same ABC article:

"Nothing quite says principled and strong leadership like a 'present' vote on a controversial issue," RNC spokesman Dan Ronayne told ABC News. "Apparently the rookie didn't take all his at bats in the minors."

by hwc 2007-12-03 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

So you are proud of the fact that your candidate is parroting a right wing talking point?

by Benstrader 2007-12-03 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Actually, I believe the right wing is parroting my candidate's talking points.

That's OK. I'm sure that Barack Hussein Obama can use his eloquence to explain why he skipped batting practice in the minor leagues to avoid having to give the kind of "yes" or "no" answers he has been demanding throughout the campaign.

His campaign motto should be "Do as I say (in a big speech or one of his two autobiographies), not do as I do."

by hwc 2007-12-03 12:07PM | 0 recs
No, you racist troll, you

are spouting the same rhetoric they did in July.

But nice try.

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-12-03 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

You really have lost it....

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

So, what is Obama's position on a woman's right to choose?

by hwc 2007-12-03 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I'm not even an Obama supporter. But I am sick of the garbage being spewed on this blog and others from Clinton supporters. Is this what we are going to have to deal with everytime she is questioned? And Obama is purely pro-choice. Any attempt to try and discredit it is a testament to how desperate Hillary and her supporters are.

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Purely pro-choice? He didn't vote pro-choice in the Illinois state legislature. In fact, he voted "present" on at least seven different occasions.

A purely pro-choice candidate VOTES pro-choice instead of waffling to avoid political heat.

by hwc 2007-12-03 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I'm sorry. But unlike the dense people that Hillary surrounds herself with I don't look at just record. Someone's legislative record and trying to tie it to their principles is an intellectual fallacy. If you actually stepped back, and gave up your partisan huffing and puffing you would realize that according to Obama's principles it would make pro-choice. The way he speaks, his belief of the place of government. His belief of privacy. This is just another hit piece that every Hillary supporter on this blog denounces so loudly when it is her on the recieveing(sp?) end.

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

And how this garbage and you are on the FP is beyond me.

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I see. So Obama is pro-choice, even though he doesn't vote that way?

Would he be pro-choice in the White House, even though he wouldn't appoint pro-choice Justices?

Can a President just say "Present" when a bill from Congress comes to his desk for signing?

by hwc 2007-12-03 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Well first off, you are making the assumption that he can even win the GE. Which by the way I don't think he can. Hillary has a better chance of winning the GE than he does.

Secondly, abortion is not a black and white issue. The Rethugs and the Right Wing Conservatives have made it that way. You are merely aiding them in making this a black and white issue.

Thirdly, you are making the assertion and assumption (wrongly I might add) that he would appoint pro-life judges. Democratic ideology is pro-choice because we believe in PRIVACY. Which I am sure he holds that position. Which by default would make pro-choice.

Was he a fighter for choice? Probably not. Would  he appoint judges to protect Roe v. Wade. Absolutely.

For you to make that far stretch is very same kind of character destruction you were complaining about when Edwards called her a "Corporate" Democrat (which she is by the way).

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Of course you don't want to look at voting record.  It wasn't a good one for Edwards, and Obama's voting record, especially when legislation was up where his vote really counted, is dismal, to say the least.

by georgep 2007-12-03 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I know, though I support Edwards, his voting record and his rhetoric from 4 years does give me pause. But you have to look at the bigger picture. Even if Obama or Edwards don't completely clean up government, at least they are bringing it up to the forefront, and making a very public stand against it. Whereas, Hillary is just fine with laying in bed with the same old crowd.

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I don't know who is served by "blowing up the government."   Government is not "bad."  It is actually good.  I think the rhetoric that condemns the "way Washington does business" and condems Washington establishment (to portray self as a Washington outsider, which is far from the truth in either case) actually plays into the right-winger's hands, as they want as little government as possible.   Blow it up?  Fine with the right-weenies.   I actually LIKE that Clinton does not resort to that type of rhetoric, as our government (despite the warts) has served us well, and we need to expand on the programs we have and come up with new ones, which is the track Clinton is on.  This notion that government (the "Washington establishment") is the problem and that like Perot someone like Edwards would swoop in and tell Congress what to do is way too much hyperbole, IMO. I doubt Edwards does not realize this, he seems to be pandering to the "government sucks" crowd.  Even his claim that he would force Congress to lose health care if they don't get going on UHC smacks of Perot-like ignorance of reality, in fact is unconstitutional in the first place.

by georgep 2007-12-03 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Edwards doesn't mean to demonize government per say. I would argue the way government does business does suck now days. We have strayed a very far way from the birth of the Republic. Yes, politics was dirty then. But at least they were able to get something done.  Today people are blinded by the lobbyists, radical ideology, and specifically our party's leaders with no back bone to stand up for our principles. They are either bought out, crazy extreme, or completely unable to stand up for themself. Money has poisoned our system. That's why we should have mandatory publicly fund General Elections. Allow people to raise their own money in the primaries. This would drastically reduce the price to campaign. IN this way we take back our government from the rich. These are the things that Edwards is talking about. That is just one general idea. Edwards recognizes that our Democracy is in danger. And our Constitution has been shot at with target practices from both parties. We the people need to take back what is ours. If you can not see this crises you do not see bigger picture. Why do you think unbelievable crap like the Iraq war happen in the first place. We the common people could not even have a seat at the table. We have for the most part allowed both parties to ascend us into an oligarchy. Yes there are good Democrats, and (they are dying off like flies) Republicans.  

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 09:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Kyle/Lieberman vote

We all know what happened. Obama DID SHOW UP, but Harry Reid tabled the vote indefinitely (We've all read the official record). Obama leaves town. Next morning, Reid changes his mind and gives Obama only an hour to hop on a plane and make it back. Unable to make it, Obama made an official statement that same day on his position against the amendment. Not to mention, Harry Reid's son works for Hillary's campaign.

Clinton voted for this resolution allowing Bush to go to war against Iran just like she did on the AUF.

by BDM 2007-12-03 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Kyle/Lieberman vote

That's a lie from Obama.

He didn't "leave town" the morning of the K-L vote. He was never in Washington that week at all. He missed votes on Monday. He missed votes on Tuesday. And, he missed votes on Wednesday when the K-L vote took place.

Obama was at fundraisers that week. He's lying. He's a serial liar.

by hwc 2007-12-03 08:40PM | 0 recs
You, HRC, and the RNC.

Three peas in a pod.

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-12-03 12:19PM | 0 recs
on the NIE

Yeah, no duh, the whole point of Kyl/Lieberman as passed was to strengthen the hand of the doves in the administration. Notice that Iran has ramped down their Iraq meddling and Gates was able to knock this NIE free.

Or did you think Obama's principled absence from the Kyl/Lieberman vote strengthened their hand?

by souvarine 2007-12-03 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I appreciate what Hillary had done in the past. My problems with her candidate are threefold:

1) the vicious attacks on her, the past 15 years, by the RW slime machine have had their effect - she has sustained such high negative ratings over time that any misstep by her in the general would cause her to lose (this is not her fault but rather a cautionary tale for progressives on the need to contain the RW howlizer).

2) partially because of these RW attacks & partly because of Bill's influence, she has become a triangulator. At a time when Americans are receptive to a progressive agenda, she is running as a centrist candidate.

3) she adds nothing to the ticket in terms of presidential coattails. A strong Democratic candidate would produce congressional/senatorial pickups in the Midwest, border states & the West. She would only detract from our ability to pick up vital congressional/senatorial seats.

That said, I honor Hillary for all her work in the past. She's a fine person that has had an unbelievable amount of mud slinged at her, none of which she has deserved

by carter1 2007-12-03 11:48AM | 0 recs
A President can't vote "present"

A "triangulator" is a politician who casts aside principle for political expediency in casting "present" votes.

by hwc 2007-12-03 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

But should have judgement and courage. Clinton did not in the most important vote of her life. The AUF VOTE WHICH AUTHORIZED BUSH TO INVADE IRAQ.

by BDM 2007-12-03 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

BTW, this is not about the past. This about electing a President of the United States.

Do we want a President who has made a career of ducking tough votes and issues or a President who has made a career of standing up and fighting for our core beliefs, even when it is unpopular?

A President can't vote "present".

by hwc 2007-12-03 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

"BTW, this is not about the past. This about electing a President of the United States.

Do we want a President who has made a career of ducking tough votes and issues or a President who has made a career of standing up and fighting for our core beliefs, even when it is unpopular?"

Isn't that contradictory?

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

In other words. A politician who has made a career of ducking tough issues in order to polish his image would, we can certainly assume, continue to duck tough issues as President.

For example, is there anything in Barack Hussein Obama's legislative career that suggests he would be a strong advocate for a woman's right to choose? What if appointing a pro-life Supreme Court justice meant taking some political hits? Would he vote "present" again?

by hwc 2007-12-03 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

No, you said this isn't about the past. Isn't his record of "ducking" votes the past?

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Well done Hillary:

This was needed!  

by pate 2007-12-03 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I like this strategy because she calls Obama a talker not a fighter. In a tacit she's saying that Obama talks about bipartisanship because it's what he likes and that's easy, and he has no real plans to put up a fight for healthcare or anything else he's promising.   It's so snide in the,"Do you like his speeches, they are really nice speeches, but don't expect more than those pretty speeches, why you ask, well just look at his record of ducking important votes".  Sweet.  I can't wait for the response.

by Kingstongirl 2007-12-03 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Good post.

Those of us in Chicago know of Obama's fondness for "present" votes.

by BigBoyBlue 2007-12-03 12:00PM | 0 recs
wow, hwc is dogmatic!

scary. very scary.

by zoopnfunk 2007-12-03 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

As I've said before in my own diaries on this site, America does not need a part time President who constantly ducks out on tough issues because someone might get upset at the decision that is made.

Leaders lead.  

Once again, I'm reminded of the words of Gov. Zell Miller (D - GA):

"Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are. How you vote tells people who you really are deep inside."

Barack Obama talks about bringing a new style of politics to Washington because he wants the American people to think that he is a new style of politician.  However, Barack Obama's record tells us whom he really is deep inside.  

Deep inside, Barack Obama is your typical "old style" politician.  He's your typical old style politician who will skip out on the tough issues.  He's your typical old style politician who will stick his finger in the wind and go wherever the popular winds tell him to go.  He's your typical old style politician who finds it easier to criticize someone who had to make a tough decision that he didn't have to make.

Quite frankly, Barack Obama is an "uh-oh, better get Maaco" politician.  Obama is an old style politician with a fresh coat of new style political paint.

When it comes down to it, it's about your record and not your rhetoric.  And folks, Barack Hussein Obama's record doesn't match up to his rhetoric.

by Andre Walker 2007-12-03 12:27PM | 0 recs
Wow, the Hillscum

are really out in force here.

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-12-03 12:33PM | 0 recs
A President can't vote "present"

I see that none of Obama's supporters are too eager to explain his pattern of ducking tough votes and tough issues.

What was his position on choice in state legislature? Let me guess, he probably claims to be pro-choice in his two autobiographies, right?

by hwc 2007-12-03 12:39PM | 0 recs
100% Lifetime rating

from Planned Parenthood.

Even you can do that math.

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-12-03 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

You really could find a better person to quote for that proposition than Zell Miller, I'm thinking!

by Steve M 2007-12-03 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Yeah - the same Zell Miller who spoke AGAINST John Kerry at the REPUBLICAN convention.  

Not the person I look to for political advice.

by paida 2007-12-03 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Great speech by Hillary!  This so very much needed to be said and I hope Hillary repeats this same speech every day that she is campaigning in Iowa and NH.  

I only wish she had been doing it right from the start!

Go Hillary!

by samueldem 2007-12-03 12:43PM | 0 recs
use the "below the fold" option

please.

by Carl Nyberg 2007-12-03 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Hillary Clinton can not, and will not win the GE. Get over it.

by SocialDem 2007-12-03 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I wonder if Iowa voters know how Obama voted on Illinois Senate bill SB 609 in 2001:

A bill to restrict the location of buildings with "adult" uses (meaning pornographic video stores, strip clubs, etc.) within 1,000 feet of any public or private elementary or secondary school, public park, place or worship, preschool, day-care facility, mobile park or residential area.

Yep. Obama took a courageous stand and voted "present". Guess he didn't want to offend the strip club owners in his state.

Do strip clubs have state lobbyists?
 

by hwc 2007-12-03 01:28PM | 0 recs
don't expect any Obama

supporters to respond to your fact based questions about his voting record.

About the Barak Hussein Obama name usage though - you muddy the argument needlessly. Why give his supporters any reason to denigrate you? I am a huge Hillary fan and I would never use his full name. I know full well that it is a not very subtle attack on him. Same goes for any comments about his schooling in Indonesia. Obviously he did not go to a  Madrasa school. Why even insinuate that he did?

by SF Bay 2007-12-03 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: don't expect any Obama

I agree SF Bay, I also think hwc is doing just that down thread in pointing out the various bills that Obama present on.

by Kingstongirl 2007-12-03 03:18PM | 0 recs
agreed

The campaign and Hillary's supporters are too good for this kind of attack. It's beneath us.

I do like the hard work and research hwc puts into the facts of the argument. The facts alone make the case.

by SF Bay 2007-12-03 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

What crap! A Republican "God & Motherhood" bill. Why stop at 1000 feet? 1005 feet is OK? So Obama should vote "Aye" and continue polluting the Illinois code with this junk? Or vote "No" and give the R's leave to say (like you) that he supports strip clubs next to schools? Have YOU stopped beating YOUR wife?

This constant stream of sewage from her campaign convinces me to never vote for her, not even in the general. I don't want a Bush with a bush in the White House.

by antiHyde 2007-12-03 04:23PM | 0 recs
Hillary does have a wonderful, progressive

record, and has always stood up for what she believes in.  I will never forget when I saw her speak in Wisconsin in 1992, while campaigning for her husband.  She brought up healthcare reform then,  investing in the middle class,  and creating jobs.  Everything she talks about today, and has talked about ever since,  has proven that she was serious back in 1992.  

As first lady, Hillary helped creat SCHIPS, helped to create legislation for foster children and families.

This is why the majority of Democrats have never stopped supporting her.  This is also why the majority of Hillary supporters wouldnt even consider voting for any of these UPSTARTS in the primary.  

We have already picked the winner.

by Sandy1938 2007-12-03 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary does have a wonderful, progressive

"As first lady, Hillary helped creat SCHIPS, helped to create legislation for foster children and families."

Read your Constitution.  First Ladies do NOTHING. They are not even mentioned. For all we now, Monica Lewinsky helped created SCHIP.

by antiHyde 2007-12-03 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I wonder if gay and lesbian Democratic voters know how Obama voted on Illinois bill #HB 581 in 2003.

A bill specifying that domestic partners to be allowed to assume the rights of a spouse or survivor with regards to pension benefits under the Chicago Teacher's pension system.

Obama didn't vote on this one. He probably check with McClurkin and decided it was too risky to take a stand.
 

by hwc 2007-12-03 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

I wonder if Iowa voters know how Obama voted on Illinois bill HB 2000:

To establish a zero-tolerance drug-testing policy for Department of Corrections Employees.

Wow. This must have been a tough issue. Obama voted "present". The cocaine dealers lobby must have twisted him arm.
 

by hwc 2007-12-03 01:36PM | 0 recs
A President can't vote "present"

Let's be real. I don't know who I will vote for in the NY primary but she has driven many of us liberal New Yorkers nuts, e.g.

1. The vote authorizing the Iraq war despite the fact that the majority of New Yorkers opposed it.

  1. The too cutsey by half attempt to criminalize flag burning.
  2. Her vote for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment.
  3. Her chiding of the pro-choice lbby in her famous speech on abortion.

She can attack Obama's policies, byt please nor his character. There are too many stones in her bag of tricks.

by NYWoman 2007-12-03 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

The President has to have the character to take strong positions on issues. A President can't vote "present".

by hwc 2007-12-03 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"
"even when the entire country was against her"
The important thing is partizan posters do not dwell in the valley of hyperbole.
by nogo war 2007-12-03 01:54PM | 0 recs
Thanks for the diary

I enjoyed watching that old youtube link.

If I were Patti Solis-Doyle and running HRC's campaign, I would make the argument that a president needs to multi-task regarding Obama's no-show for the L-K vote. Remember in the last debate, BO said that he was campaigning and missed the L-K vote? As an extension to the argument that HRC is presently making, she should also say that the future president will have a lot of issues on her plate. She will have to be well-organized to be on top of all these issues. It's not a good sign that Barack already can't keep up his schedule of campaigning along with performing his day job. Right now his responsibilities are rather limited. If he became president, how would he handle the job with all of its responsibilities?

But again, I wouldn't start this line of the argument until after she got through with the present argument against Obama's present voting pattern....

by ademption 2007-12-03 02:14PM | 0 recs
a question

There were some 10 pretty important votes in the Illinois State Senate that Obama did not take a stand on; i.e. he voted present.

Why do you think he did that, and do you think it was evidence of leadership? One bill in particular, the vote to increase penalties for the use of a firearm within 1000 feet of a school passed by a vote of 52 to 1 with 5 voting present. It's clear that this bill was massively bipartisan. What reason could Obama possibly have had to vote "present"? I just can't figure it out.

Couple this with his work with Miner, Barnhill & Galland from 1993 to 1996, where he represented community organizers, discrimination claims, and voting rights cases; these types of bills should be a no brainer for him. What's up?

by SF Bay 2007-12-03 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for the diary

she didnt vote to authorize war. you're buying into campaign rhetoric and its total bullshit.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-12-03 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Solid proof that Obama has a very unimpressive voting record and the disturbing tendency to not vote on tough legislation that may make his record "controversial" (a good centrist politician keeps his options to both sides wide open, I guess) comes in the form of progressivepunch.org, a progessive site measuring Congress members voting Congress records for progressive bonafides.   Obama fares terribly.

On a review of his entire Senate voting record he comes in a rather disappointing 24th, meaning that out of 49 Democrats he is the 24th progressive in    the Democratic caucus, a somewhat middle-of-the road  record no progressive can be happy with.

http://progressivepunch.org/members.jsp? search=selectName&member=ILIII&c hamber=Senate&zip=&x=37&y=8

 However,  very telling is Obama's record "when the chips are down," meaning Obama's voting record when the votes are actually VERY close, could go either way, which is the voting record that really  counts, as anyone can pad their progressive resume   with votes that don't mean much (where it is already a landslide win or defeat for legislation anyway.)   When the chips were down, Obama's voting record identifies him as the #44 on the progressive scale.   Out of 49 Democrats TOTAL.  #44.

http://www.progressivepunch.org/members. jsp?search=selectScore&chamber=Senat e&scoreSort=current_close

   So, when the chips were down and it came to voting on legislation that was going to be very close, within 3 or 4 votes, Obama either voted the wrong way or did not show up for the vote, many times to have his cake (not to vote on tough legislation, thereby not having to make those tough decisions) and eat it, too (=able to tell people he DID not vote for that overly left-wing bill or tell people that he would have voted for it, had he just been present for the vote,) the classic politician's politician.    Being ranked #44 out of 49 Democrats on the progressive scale on the measure "Voting record when the chips are down," which is really the only voting record that counts, is an embarassment to progressives everywhere.   IMO Obama is not the  progressive he makes himself out to be.  You don't rank 44th out of 49 Democrats on the progressive  meter in the one metric that really COUNTS and are considered a true progressive.  It does not compute.    

Obama has a very weak voting record from a progressive point of view, but for him to time his absences to coincide with the tough votes (the ones that could go either way and where his presence is of vital importance) shows what wood he is carved on.  I am not at all impressed with a record that plays it safe and "middle of the road" to the extent Obama does.   #44 on the progressive richter scale is ample proof of my assertion here.

by georgep 2007-12-03 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

You should diary this georgep.

by lonnette33 2007-12-03 03:10PM | 0 recs
thanks--I will send this info

to some undecided people who are considering Obama.

It's a valid point.

by desmoinesdem 2007-12-03 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Let's face it.  None of these people has lived up to the standards we ought to expect at times of outstanding need for leadership.  The Democrats by and large have aided and abetted the horrible excesses of the Bush administration, having voted to go to war and having voted to fund the war continually.  Our traditions of civil liberties going back to King John's capitulation in the Magna Carta have been shredded with support of the Democrats.  So, we can snipe back and forth about whose triangulations have been worse than who else's.  So, the argument, no matter who is nominated, will be whether enough people can be convinced to hold their noses against the moral stench and to vote for the Democrats and against the Republicans in the next election.  Don't talk to me about the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Ain't none of that been going around either party recently.  Shame on the Democratic candidates for their shameful performances over the past 6 years.  No heros here.

by downtown democrat 2007-12-03 04:27PM | 0 recs
What is Obama's position?

I didn't see the forum. Does Obama support prisoners being let out retroactive that used crack cocaine? It sounds fair to me.

by SF Bay 2007-12-03 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: What is Obama's position?

He supports retroactivity while Clinton does not.

by BDM 2007-12-03 06:04PM | 0 recs
How about it Obama supporters

Why do you not defend his present votes on their merits? You obviously don't have a problem with it. Why not? If another candidate, any candidate running for president had the same record of "present" votes I assume that wouldn't bother you either.

by SF Bay 2007-12-03 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

Why is a racist/sexist doing front page posts?

by Progressive America 2007-12-03 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: A President can't vote "present"

A brilliant fusillade from Hillary, especially  since everyone is protecting Barack like a wunderkind "child prodigy," as Maureen Dowd so patronisingly called him, Hillary must continue to draw contrasts.

by superetendar 2007-12-03 07:16PM | 0 recs

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