We're Not Stupid, Howard

Count me among the confused as to why Sen. Clinton hasn't helped define Sarah Palin more forcefully. And not just because Palin's a woman, or because McCain's gained among white women since choosing Palin - but instead because Palin has repeatedly cited Hillary Clinton's groundbreaking campaign explicitly, laying unauthorized claim to its legacy of 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling.

So this explanation from Clinton aide Howard Wolfson is almost insulting:

I have been asked repeatedly over the last several days to respond to the idea that Hillary Clinton will soon be dispatched by the Obama campaign to "take Palin on."

The questions are fair, but what undergirds them is an obsession in our popular culture with the "cat fight," an offensive term that describes the spectacle of two well known women fighting with one another.
Secondly, and most importantly, Democrats are running against John McCain, not Sarah Palin. Running against Gov. Palin instead of Senator McCain would be a mistake -- ultimately voters will make their assessments based on the strength and weaknesses of the top of the tickets.  If anything, Democrats should be talking about McCain-Bush, not McCain-Palin.  Every day we are focused on Palin is a day we are not amplifying the Obama campaign's message that Senator McCain simply represents four more years of President Bush.

Palin hijacks Clinton's historic campaign legacy by name, but if Clinton responds or comments forcefully in reply, it would immediately constitute a "catfight?" Talk about internalizing the stereotype.

Second, let's make something clear: Barack Obama is running against John McCain. Just because our campaign's principal shouldn't engage Palin doesn't mean our surrogates can't or shouldn't.

And of course Democrats should focus on McCain-Bush. But as McCain-Palin rallies continue to draw thousands and attract roadblock cable news coverage, it would be, let's say, naive to ignore her.

Wolfson says Clinton "is at her best staying positive and contrasting with her opponents on issues" and while "some might enjoy the spectacle...don't expect Hillary Clinton to play along."

Strange, I tend to remember Hillary Clinton at her best when she speaks truth to power, like when she unabashedly stood up to Bill O'Reilly in defense of true progressive economic policy.

Hillary is free to do whatever she wants. She's been gracious to Obama and his supporters and deserves thanks for campaigning on behalf of the Democratic ticket. But everyone, including her, deserves better than Wolfson's thick spin. We're not stupid.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, Howard Wolfson, Sarah Palin (all tags)



Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

wolfson is right.  Every day that Obama focuses on Palin is a day that the message is not "McCain=Bush".

Attacking Palin is not a winning route to take, it only gives her the spotlight to counter and drag the emphasis and focus on how McCain will just be more of the same failed policies, actions and war.

Letting Palin move the debate to her only benefits her and McCain and let's them make the days news cycle what they chose.  Not Obama.

by TxDem08 2008-09-08 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

No one is saying Obama should focus on Palin. False dichotomy. His surrogates, however, should call her out.

by Josh Orton 2008-09-08 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

By allowing his surrogates, HE is doing the dirty work.  If it's that necessary to do, Obama should be doing it.

That said, taking the target off of McCain and putting it elsewhere allowing the REpublicans to shift and divert attention is not a winning strategy.  The focus has to be on McCain=Bush.

Anything else is a waste of resources and time.

by TxDem08 2008-09-08 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard
Why can't Obama attack McCain and his surrogates attack Palin?  Why can't Joe Biden atack Palin?  Why should her platform based on hipocracy be left untouched and un-outed?  Why is an attack on Palin = no attacking on McCain?  Cant we do both?
I agree the focus should be on McCain but I don't think that has to exclude attacking Palin on her record and flip flops.  She is already in the spotlight, she is the lightning rod that has brought life back to the Pubs, we know the base wont stop supporting her but what about undecideds and indies?  Her radical stance on policies should be ingrained into the voters heads.  Same with McCain's inability to develop a rational economic plan.  We can do both
by KLRinLA 2008-09-08 04:46PM | 0 recs
Taking the heat off of McCain/Bush doesn't help

First of all Josh was aksing why hasn't Hillary done more to attack Palin.  That's a mistake.

Second, as I said if an attack does need to come it should come from Obama or Biden.

Third, however if you don't think the Repblicans are ready for this attack, on the issues and topics they are putting out there, you haven't been paying attention to the last 8 years.  They want us to attack on these distracting and non-issue topics.  They want to argue and debate semantics on these static issues.  These are the issues they can win.

They can't win McCain=Bush.  They can't win on the economy.  They can't win on the environment.  They can't win on Iraq.  They can't win on energy.  They can't win on women's rights, the constitutionality of executive power, cleaning up congress, securing America's future, making America respectable again.

But they can win on static issues.  Issues like she comes from a small town.  She ran on pork-barrell spending as mayor-it's what mayor's are supposed to do, get outside funding for your city.  Bridge to Nowhwere, that might be an opening, but is it worth it to spend a week maybe two on defining what 'is' is????  There are only 56 days left until 4 Nov.  The Republican's only have to tread water until then.

Taking our eye off the prize, only helps them do so.  The race is back to a dead-heat.  Letting them get us off message only gives them and Bush breathing room.

by TxDem08 2008-09-08 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

By allowing his surrogates, HE is doing the dirty work.  If it's that necessary to do, Obama should be doing it.

That said, taking the target off of McCain and putting it elsewhere allowing the REpublicans to shift and divert attention is not a winning strategy.  The focus has to be on McCain=Bush.

Anything else is a waste of resources and time.

by TxDem08 2008-09-08 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

I have to say that I have been giving this some thought....

It is time for the gloves to come off.  I applaud Gov. Rendell for calling her out today.  He was respectful but forceful.  He hit her with the truth.  The Republicans DIDN'T think a mayor of a smaller city and Governor for a short time equaled experience when Gov. Kaine's name was being floated... but now they do with Palin...?  She WASN'T against the bridge to nowhere....  She WASN'T against earmarks.  

Allowing Gov. Palin and McCain to define her with crickets on our side is not a good strategy.  It is not a winning strategy.  Even if Obama is not the one to point out the inaccuracies in the invented biography of Palin, the surrogates HAVE TO.  Otherwise, the invented biography takes root.

by JenKinFLA 2008-09-08 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

Taking the gloves off is great.  But how and when is another subject.

Palin is a distraction 'Palin' and simple.  She is there to get us off message.  Spend time rolling in the mud of her life, so as to stop the McSame drumming he has been suffering.

Palin only intensifies the more we give her attention.  Like a pimple that you keep picking at, it only gets more red, but doesn't go away.  They want us to get bogged down and caught up in fighting the daily cycle of her, not McCain=Bush.

As mentioned above, it's only 56 days until 4 Nov.  If they can distract that long, they win.  If they get nailed hard on McCain=Bush, they lose.  It's really that simple.  If you want to use Bush's words to frame her, that works.  You now have Cheney's words also.  Make her the same as McCain...Palin=Cheney.  Princess of the Sith.

But to focus on her only let's the Republicans keep doing their dismemberment on our government and allows Bush cover to attempt to survive his last few months in office.  It also allows McCain to not have to defend his own policies and votes, but just say 'Sarah' and we go off message.

Doesn't translate into votes.

by TxDem08 2008-09-08 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

What translates into votes and works is to attack both of them together. "John McCain and Sarah Palin are liars". There. Clear and simple. Does not let them define her. Attacks McCain.

That's the messaging we need. "John McCain and Sarah Palin lack judgment". "John McCain and Sarah Palin are not mavericks". "John McCain and Sarah Palin are more of the same".

We lose by ignoring her. We lose by being obsessed by her. We win by defining her on our terms (which also happen to be the truth, which is convenient). We win by lumping them both together as awful for the nation. We win by not letting voters think "well, McCain's kinda awful, but Palin seems ok, I guess I can get behind her".

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-09-08 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

Clear. Simple. Works.

I like it.

by TxDem08 2008-09-09 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

I totally agree with Howard.  He's spot on.  

by Tolstoy 2008-09-08 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

Me too!  

by anya109 2008-09-09 08:11AM | 0 recs
historic campaign legacy by name

Hillary Clinton ran for president because she thought she was the best person, man or woman, for the job. Her campaign is historic because she is a woman, but as she pointed out today that legacy is for all women, not just for her.

Sarah Palin is a candidate for Vice President who is a woman, her claim to be following in the footsteps of Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton's is legitimate.

Hillary Clinton is happy to attack Palin's policies, but the idea that she should attack Palin for breaking ground as a woman is perverse.

by souvarine 2008-09-08 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name

I'm not saying HRC should attack Palin for "breaking ground as a woman." But if you go back to Clinton's speech endorsing Obama, I think it's pretty clear that there's a lot of substance to her legacy - and her explanation about why people who supported her should back Obama was more than powerful.

by Josh Orton 2008-09-08 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name

It is not Hillary Clinton's legacy, it is women's legacy and ultimately a legacy for everyone. Hillary Clinton can't and won't knock down Sarah Palin's claim to that.

Hillary Clinton is pointing out Sarah Palin does not stand for the things that she and Barack Obama stand for, and that those things are what will improve the lives of "those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years." Sarah Palin does not stand for what Hillary Clinton campaigned on. But that is different from the historic legacy of Hillary Clinton's campaign.

by souvarine 2008-09-08 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name

Can I eat a "historic legacy?"  Can it help pay my medical bills or loan payments?  Will a "historic legacy" get us out of Iraq faster?  Ferraro proved in 1984 that a woman can be a credible VP, and Clinton proved in 2008 that one can be a credible President.  I would be very surprised if there isn't at least one credible female contender in 2012 or 2016, but I don't see much added value in one being actually elected this time around.  And the price of years of fundie rule is not worth paying.

by username 2008-09-08 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name

No, you can't eat an historic legacy. But if surrogates use this legacy to attack a woman candidate they will drive yet more women voters to McCain. Consider that next time you post about it.

by souvarine 2008-09-08 05:15PM | 0 recs

That's the whole point of "the legacy."  On the one hand, Sarah Palin no longer has to be "the woman" when running for VP, just like a woman running in 2012 or 2016 doesn't have to be "the woman" running for President.  On the other hand, women should now expect (mostly) the same treatment as men when running for President, i.e. dehumanizing bullshit.

I'm guessing you're female (I'm not).  How important do you consider "being a woman" relative to supporting various other policy positions you think are important?

by username 2008-09-08 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Ugh.

Nah, I'm a privileged white guy.

Sarah Palin is still "the woman" because "we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time." Palin is the next opportunity.

Personally I "pledge once more to march into the future" with Barack Obama. But I don't deny the appeal of shattering the glass ceiling, I'm just not one of those cracks for Sarah Palin.

Other people rank positions differently, and according to the CBS/WaPo poll many women have decided to support the Republican ticket after McCain selected Sarah Palin and the media decided to try to tear her apart.

Since we lose if we can't win white women I think we should avoid alienating them by attacking another woman's attempt to shatter the glass ceiling. We can win them by drawing a clear contrast between the effects of Barack Obama's policies and the effects of John McCain and Sarah Palin's policies, we lose them by attacking Palin for her achievements.

by souvarine 2008-09-08 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Ugh.

Same, but your feminine-sounding username fooled me.

I guess at this point I don't see electing a female VP as that big of a deal.  We've already had serious Pres and VP candidates, the current Speaker of the House is a woman, and there are plenty  of female governors and congress... folk.  VP's not that hard, or noteworthy.

Besides, we've only truly gotten past sexism when gender no longer matters.  So voting for Palin because of her gender rather than her positions on the issues seems like sexism.

by username 2008-09-09 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name
Nobody is denying Clintons "Historic legacy"..but it's something that she EARNED..not a title  she was annointed with.Don't insult anyone ESPECIALLY women, by saying that Palin is part of some historic legacy.BULL..SHIT!!.McCain decided he needed a distraction and a diversion. So he chose someone who just HAPPENED to be of the ssame gender as Hillary??WELL.. what a fucking coincindence.Would you look at that. So I suppose going by your reasoning ANY woman,despite what she's done in her life,is qualified to pick up that "Historic Legacy " baton and run with it?
Palin shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as Hillary Clinton. They have ONE thing in common..and that is it!!! Sarah Pain /Historic Legacy ( as decided by McCain?)  Don't make me laugh.
by Lodgemannered 2008-09-08 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name

We should all be proud of Governor Sarah Palin's historic nomination, and I congratulate her and Senator McCain, while their policies would take America in the wrong direction, Governor Palin will add an important new voice to the debate.

Hillary Clinton, August 29th 2008.

We won't beat McCain be belittling Palin's achievements. We can beat McCain by highlighting the damage his policies will do.

by souvarine 2008-09-08 07:51PM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name

Did anyone suggest that "she should attack Palin for breaking ground as a woman?"  Because that's a pretty silly concept.

by auronrenouille 2008-09-08 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name

The point is that Palin is not breaking ground. That was done by Ferrara twenty years ago. So why all the hoopla?

by MainStreet 2008-09-08 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name

Well, Palin isn't 'breaking ground as a woman'...not even close.

I don't think anybody was suggesting that Clinton attack Palin for breaking ground as a woman...just for being a lying, manipulative douche.

by lojasmo 2008-09-08 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: historic campaign legacy by name

"just for being a lying, manipulative douche."

Why did you have to add the last word?  Lying and manipulative is enough to get your point and you add a derogatory comment that is obviously sexist (no, men are not associated with that).  This is exactly why white women have moved to Palin - the unrelenting sexism and misogyny permeating the MSM and the so-called "progressive" blogs.

For the record, I find Palin scary on her ideas that are anathema and antithetical to what I believe in.  

by anya109 2008-09-09 08:18AM | 0 recs
Howard is 100 % right

I think the decision of Clintons to not go negative against Palin is very good. It will help since that allows her to
a) go after McCain
b) explain to her supporters why Palin/McCain are bad for them.

Going negative is important of course; but that is Biden's job (afterall did we not hear that was an important qualification of a VP nominee). Clinton can play good cop while Biden plays bad cop.

The beauty of this is that McCain/Palin cannot go negative against Clinton since afterall Palin pick was in part to get disaffected Clinton supporters. So not going after Palin is a good  move in my opinion.

by ann0nymous 2008-09-08 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Howard is 100 % right

That's just why Clinton should go after her. And why she should bring to the fore their differences.

by MainStreet 2008-09-08 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Howard is 100 % right

The more Obama and his surrogates go after Hillary for not doing enough to combat Palin the more Obama looks wimpy perpetuating the backboneless weak democrat that avoids battles at all costs.

McCain/Palin is Obama's obstacle to the whitehouse - get out there and attack on her NOW on her politics instead of whining about Hillary.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-08 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Howard is 100 % right

Obama and his surrogates aren't going after Hillary, there is no rift.  I think Hillary is doing a good job but  some see that attacking Palin on her stances by Hillary would help, she is one of the most popular dems in the Country and her voice carries a lot of command.  

by KLRinLA 2008-09-08 04:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Howard is 100 % right

On the contrary involving Hillary might not help as the spotlight narrative becomes Palin versus Hillary and why is this battle going on as Hillary's not running for anything - again making Obama look weak.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-08 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Howard is 100 % right

Yep, the proponents of Hillary "taking on Palin" completely overlook this point.

by anya109 2008-09-09 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Howard is 100 % right

I have not heard word one from Obama or his surrogates regarding Clinton on this...  I have heard from the blogosphere because they're worried about the spin from the Republicans not being countered and from the media since they love a good battle...

by JenKinFLA 2008-09-08 04:58PM | 0 recs
Clinton should point out

that Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton. She doesn't have to be mean about it. She doesn't have to go on the attack. She just has to point out that Palin does not equal Clinton.

That would actually segue very nicely into Palin = Bush and McCain = Bush and McCain/Palin = Bush.

That is the method that should be used here. It would also send another clear message to her supporters and women in general.

by JDF 2008-09-08 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton should point out

That makes no sense. She can't say "You're no me". That's not the way that line works.

On the other hand, Joe Biden is in perfect position to say, "I've known Hillary Clinton for over 20 years, and let me tell you, Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton".

Now THAT would be the way to cut down Palin, point out her lack of experience, remind women that the Democratic party stands for them, and make Obama-Biden look like they are taking on the opposition and fighting for this election, all while complimenting Hillary. A win-win-win scenario for team Obama. For anyone to think this is something Hillary should do is absurd.

by LakersFan 2008-09-08 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton should point out

She doesn't have to use the line (which is overused anyway)

She just has to prove it. Talk about her record. Talk about her policy. Compare HER policies, and DEMOCRATIC policies to what Palin wants (like for rape victims to have to pay for rape kits.) Let the public draw its own conclusions about who Sarah Palin is.

by JDF 2008-09-08 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton should point out

Clinton is doing every thing that you say, except she is comparing to McCain(as she should).

by anya109 2008-09-09 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

Howard's right.

Unfortunately Palin is like that old childhood taunt, "I'm rubber and you're glue.  Everything you say bounces off me and stick on you."

Send Hillary to attack McCain and boost Obama and completely ignore Palin.

And Palin's right.  She would not be where she is if it weren't for Senator Clinton's primary race.  But it's only half right.  If Obama had chosen Clinton as VP, I wonder whether Palin would  be on the McCain ticket at all?  I doubt it.  I bet McCain would have picked someone else, perhaps an African American woman.

by LIsoundview 2008-09-08 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

Unlikely - they don't have any African Americans on their bench, and when they DO use them that way it's to win over white people.  Black voters are more cohesive as a general rule, and consequently more sophisticated than the average voter - you wouldn't have scores of them moving to McCain for the sake of a token.

"Oh look - it's Clarence Thomas again" is about the response you'd get.

by Jordache 2008-09-09 12:08AM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

Cohesiveness does not equate sophisticated. I have seen and not just in Obama's case, black voters go lock step for a black in office.  Sometimes this turns out to be good for the black community, other times it turns out that candidate was just a Republican in "Dem's clothing".  

by anya109 2008-09-09 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

Actually, the point would be not to win over African American votes, but to keep McCain from being attacked as a racist.

by LIsoundview 2008-09-12 12:08PM | 0 recs
Be MAD at Obama not at Hillary or McCain!!!

Why is it Hillary's job to attack Palin? HELLOOOO Obama BY-PASSED HER FOR VP, remember?

THIS is Obama's fault and he has to live with his decision to snub Hillary Clinton (and her supporters).

Had he chosen Hillary for VP, it would make perfect sense for her to attack the other VP - but that is Biden's job. Hillary's job, as stated by her CM, is to attack McCain (and palin) on the issues. Period.

I am glad she will not be used as "bait" by Obama. He is the one that made the POOR decision to keep Hillary down and off the ticket for VP.

You should be MAD AT OBAMA.

Obama is denying ALL DEMOCRATIC WOMEN who supported Hillary Clinton the opportunity of having the first woman vice president. Something McCain is offering to Republicans (and they are, apparently, ecstatic). Obama COULD HAVE made history twice and the democrats could have had a historic woman vice president - but he chose the guy who brought NOTHING to the ticket - no excitement, no bounce, no votes. Why?

Obama must answer all Hillary Clinton supporters and tell us WHY he snubbed her and by-passed her for VP. That is HIS JOB if he wants OUR votes.

by nikkid 2008-09-08 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Be MAD at Obama not at Hillary or McCain!!!

You know, I'm tired of this garbage... Hillary and Obama would have been disastrous together... They have completely different working and campaign styles... it would have been like mixing oil and water...  It would have been a nightmare both on the campaign trail and in the White House...  Obama had to pick someone that he could work with in symmetry...

I'm sure he would have loved to pick Hillary, but, there was no real way to make it work.... sorry...  practical considerations have to override emotional ones.  Hillary

So, if you want to have a woman president that bans your access to birth control, medical care, and the right to choose, go right ahead... I realize that Hillary's candidacy was historic... but, let's not forget that Obama's was historic, too!

Give him some credit, OK?

And if Hillary really wants to be the first woman president of the United States,president Obama is her best shot at that goal...

by LordMike 2008-09-08 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Be MAD at Obama not at Hillary or McCain!!!

And the rural, religious voters would have had NO problem voting for the "black guy and a gal" ticket.

The GOP convention would have spent NO time ridiculing "sniper fire" and "Hillarycare."

The "what if" game is tiring. I can go through Red State's archives and find all the praise they gave Obama back when he wasn't yet a credible threat to Hillary. And then, of course, when the shoe was on the other foot, they all showered praise on Hillary, the same person they've demonized for 16 years.

Had he picked Hillary, we would've had complaints that the average white guy wasn't comfortable with the ticket. Or that she was too polarizing and could cost us Iowa, Colorado, etc. Or that Bill was too much of a free-lancer or was hogging the spotlight, or that the media focused incessantly on every slip of his tongue.

Just stop already with the second-guessing and armchair quarterbacking. Obama had sound reasons for picking Biden, and if you've noticed, he's caused nary a moment of controversy since his selection. Yes, Hillary would've been a great VP, but you're deluding yourself to think that Obama would be running away with this thing if he had.

Ugh...such a bunch of mopes around here.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-09-08 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Be MAD at Obama not at Hillary or McCain!!!

Saying "I'm so bored of these mopey people" is the same as saying.....

"I'm so bored that the democratic party is split and Clinton voters wont vote for Obama and we will probably lose an easy election to John freaking McCain and some of these people may never come back to the democratic party and this is a tragedy."

by coolit 2008-09-08 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Be MAD at Obama not at Hillary or McCain!!!

yeah, because the handful of deadenders here is like totally representative of the Democratic party. Obama's already got as much Democratic support as Kerry did, so try again.

You've manage to succinctly embody the exact type of person to whom I was referring in my previous comment. You best get inside before the sky falls on you, and let those of us who aren't shitting our pants over Palin-mania get back to work.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-09-08 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Be MAD at Obama not at Hillary or McCain!!!

I'm just a regular person who used to vote democrat.  You can call me names all you want.  I wont be disappointed when Obama loses, you will.  I just think you should know why it's gonna happen.

But keep covering your ears and yelling LALALALALA, that should work.

oh yeah, and be sure to blame everyone else after it happens.

by coolit 2008-09-08 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Be MAD at Obama not at Hillary or McCain!!!

I feel much better knowing that you "used to vote democrat" and "won't be disappointed when Obama loses," because now I don't feel bad for not giving a shit what you have to say.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-09-08 10:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Be MAD at Obama not at Hillary or McCain!!!

Oh for crying out loud.

He already has my vote...  he could've bypassed everyone for Veep and chosen the Easter Bunny an he would have my vote.  I don't dislike McCain... I FEAR a McCain Presidency.

by JenKinFLA 2008-09-08 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Be MAD at Obama not at Hillary or McCain!!!

JFC. Are you never going to let this go? Obama does not need to explain to anyone why he chose Biden instead of Clinton or Dodd or Kaine or Richardson or Bayh or Clark. He did it for the same reason Hillary would have made her VP choice - because it's the person s/he wanted to work with.

His job - if he wants your vote or my vote - is to explain what he wants to do as president..the things he will fight for and the things he will fight against. You and I will decide if we want him or McCain to be our president. If you need something more from him than that, you should just go ahead and do what you clearly want to do: vote against him.

And every time you and people who believe the way you do keep writing things like this and think if Obama loses you can get Hillary elected in 2012.. you won't be angry, will you, when - at that time - the other 18 million of us remind you how divisive you were in 2008 and how you kept Obama from being elected. Support for Hillary then? Ha.

by royce 2008-09-08 05:09PM | 0 recs
Leave Britney (and Hillary) Alone!!!!!!!!!

Like you said at the end of your post- Hillary HAS been very gracious.  I heard her say today "No McCain, no Palin".  That's enough.  Hillary Clinton is so far above Palin that attacking her is like lowering herself to the level of this inexperienced woman JUST because they're both women.  Clinton has played Obama's sock puppet enough.  Let him fight his own battles at this point.  He chose to not vet Clinton and pick Biden as his VP- so be it.  Live with the consequences. I love hearing the same people who couldn't stand the Clintons in the primaries- now plead/ demand that they come to save them from big bad Sarah Palin.  Enough already.  As a wise man once cried on Utube (wearing a blonde bob and lots of mascara), "Leave Britney alone!  Leave her alone!!!!!!!!!"

Sorry, but that's how I feel.

by easyE 2008-09-08 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Leave Britney (and Hillary) Alone!!!!!!!!!

Wow, pedestal much?  I take what you said to mean that she's so majestic that she doesn't involve herself in the politics of mere mortals?  Because I think the next two months will show that she can throw a political punch just like the rest of the mortals.

You know, people complained that Obama supporters are a bit on the worshipful side, but no, I'm sure Clinton does not think that she is above campaigning against McCain's VP pick, no matter how unqualified or inappropriate for the Presidency that pick is.

I tend to think that Clinton is personally offended that McCain is basically mocking Clinton by picking such an incompetent reactionary candidate for VP and then trying to shoehorn that pick into Clinton's shoes.

by auronrenouille 2008-09-08 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Leave Britney (and Hillary) Alone!!!!!!!!!

Hillary's so personally offended that she says she wants to stay on the issues with respect to Palin and even had her surrogates say "don't hold your breath" as she has many commitments booked already like getting other dems elected to the house and senate.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-08 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Leave Britney (and Hillary) Alone!!!!!!!!!

Source?  Or imagination? ;p

by auronrenouille 2008-09-08 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Leave Britney (and Hillary) Alone!!!!!!!!!

Have been accused of having an imagination at times but not in this case.   Don't expect a Hillary Rodham Clinton-Sarah Palin battle and the NYTimes here Obama Camp Turns to Clinton to Counter Palin actual quote "noting that she had other commitments this fall, like campaigning and raising money for Senate candidates".

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-08 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Leave Britney (and Hillary) Alone!!!!!!!!!

He chose to not vet Clinton and pick Biden as his VP- so be it.  Live with the consequences. I love hearing the same people who couldn't stand the Clintons in the primaries- now plead/ demand that they come to save them from big bad Sarah Palin.  

spite over victory, eh?

I'm not suggesting she needs to be on 24-hour Palin duty on the campaign trail, either. But considering how HER name is being misused by Palin herself, Hillary has a bit more at stake here than simply being some generic female anti-Palin.

It's a two-way street. If you think Hillary will endear herself to  Obama supporters and Democrats in general if she's perceived to be sitting on the sidelines, you can forget 2012 or 2016. I'm not saying she would ever do that, but you seem to have a cavalier attitude toward whether she needs to put in as much effort as other surrogates.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-09-08 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

What exactly does your headline have to do with your diary anyway...

You seem to be suggesting or attributing something sinister to him and indirectly to Clinton but you fail to spell it out , since most people would not dispute what he said...

If you can get over yourself you would probably realize he is right...

by lori 2008-09-08 04:02PM | 0 recs
Wolfson is right on

You want Hillary Clinton to address the fact that Sarah Palin has "hijacked Clinton's historic campaign legacy by name". Why? To what purpose?

Like it or not, the FACT is that Sarah Palin was nominated as the VP candidate. Hillary Clinton is not the Democratic nominee and she was not given the VP slot. Yes, Sarah Palin has taken over the mantle of the historic moment of a woman being on the ballot for the White House.

Seriously, what do you want her to say exactly? You want Hillary to kick and scream about that?

She's damned if she does and damned if she doesn't! If she were out there complaining that Sarah Palin stole her thunder and gets to be the VP nominee, Obama supporters would be ranting and raving about that. You'd all be calling her a sore loser and blaming her for undermining Obama's VP pick.

by twinmom 2008-09-08 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Wolfson is right on

You want Hillary Clinton to address the fact that Sarah Palin has "hijacked Clinton's historic campaign legacy by name". Why?

Because Palin's claim of Clinton's legacy is an insult. She stands for none of the principles Clinton does.

by Josh Orton 2008-09-08 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Wolfson is right on

But it's NOT an insult to Republican Women. Palin thanked HRC for "paving the way" and for her efforts. The fact is, as Hillary pointed out, it will now be "unremarkable" for a woman to run.

Had Hillary not run, it is doubtful Palin would be VP - McCain was smart and strategic in choosing her and in doing so, he has energized the base of the party. Never before has a Republican had a woman on the ticket - if Palin makes history as the first woman VP that is Obama's FAULT (not McCain's or Hillary's) - because Obama COULD HAVE put HRC on the ticket with him and the 2 could have made history together.

Why did he snub her (and her supporters)? THAT is the REAL question.

The one person that would have GUARANTEED Obama votes AND the blue collar votes needed to win - was Hillary. WHY DID HE NOT CHOOSE HER?

He MUST answer that question.

by nikkid 2008-09-08 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Wolfson is right on


I realize that you, yourself, cannot let go of the idea that Hillary was snubbed, but many others never entertained the idea.  My best friend was a rabid Clinton supporter... she is now all Obama all the time.  Same with 5 women in my office.

Had Hillary, in fact, been snubbed as rudely as you imply, I doubt that would've escaped coverage in legitimate media.  In fact, it would have been harped upon.

He need not answer the question... it need not be asked...

by JenKinFLA 2008-09-08 05:06PM | 0 recs
On Hillary as VP

Well, I think the point above is this - had Obama chosen Hillary as VP, we would have had the "dream ticket," a thoroughly unified party, and a historic campaign that simply embodies "change."  Sure, he can choose whomever he wants for VP.  But the subtext of his choice is that his personal animosity or discomfort with Hillary overcame his political sense.  Does he want to be elected as much as he wants to be in charge?  Didn't Hillary bring with her not only roughly the same number of Dem voters as he had in the primary, but also inroads with rural voters, high-school educated blue collar workers, Appalachia, parts of the deep south, Florida, and the largest voting bloc in America - women.

When he chose not to put a woman on the ticket, he said "now is not the time for a woman VP."  You may not see it if you're a man, but imagine the converse - Hillary prevailed in the primary, and told the African American base of our party "wait your turn."  Not picking Hillary absolutely opened the door for McCain to say "unlike the Dems, we DO think it's high time for a woman VP."  The whole game-changing nature of the Palin pick, the celebrity of Palin, it was all made possible because the Republicans very cagily saw an opportunity to pick up the baton of "change" and a historic ticket, and make it their own.  They completely changed the narrative.  The idea that the Dem ticket is historic is now torpedoed.  Each ticket now = one historic candidate + one old white guy.  It deflated part of the idealism of the Democratic campaign and the message of change.

Honestly, this was a legitimate threat from the outset of our campaign - we had the most diverse slate of candidates, and that sparked a lot of hopes, dreams, and ultimately frustrations, a kind of backlash at hopes being dashed after coming so close.  If you're not a woman, maybe you don't understand the frustration of being told "not now, wait your turn," while a younger, less experienced man takes your place.  Particularly a man who promised that he would not run for the presidency in his first term in the Senate.  One of the big problems with our party is that we don't have much of a bench or a pipeline, we don't have obvious future successors.  Hillary made her intentions known a decade ago, and here comes this young guy not willing to pay his dues.

At any rate, the Palin celebrity, the Palin problem, it was created by Obama, made possible only by his choice of Biden as VP.  It was a politically very tone-deaf move, and it created an opening that allowed a brilliant checkmate by McCain.  

Moreover, Hillary putting herself out there visibly probably just stirs up the resentment many still feel when they see her and think we nominated the wrong candidate.  Don't be so sure that a more visible role for her would help.

by milton333 2008-09-08 05:53PM | 0 recs

Very well said. Thank you.

by twinmom 2008-09-08 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: On Hillary as VP

Spot on!

by anya109 2008-09-09 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Wolfson is right on

Mydd is increasingly tiresome because there are all these folks here going on and on about Hillary not being picked.

What a bore -- and completely meaningless to going forward.

by politicsmatters 2008-09-08 05:35PM | 0 recs

Mydd is increasingly tiresome because there are all these folks here going on and on about how Hillary isn't doing as much as she should be to help Obama win.

What a bore -- and completely meaningless to going forward.

by twinmom 2008-09-08 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Well

Why?  What's the point of having a political party if it isn't A GIVEN that all the members pull for the nominee?

We can debates strategy on this.  It may not be a good idea for Hillary Clinton to engage with Sarah Palin.  But getting Barack Obama elected is absolutely her responsibility.  Mine too.

by Jordache 2008-09-09 12:15AM | 0 recs
That is exactly what she is already doing

This diary is wondering why Hillary Clinton won't take on the additional role of specifically targeting Palin for some affront or insult to her personally.

Again I ask, exactly what would you like Hillary Clinton to say that she is not saying? What do you want her to do that she isn't already doing? She's campaigning for Obama, she's clearly outlining the differences between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin. She could not be more clear who she supports and why... or why we need a Democrat back in the White House.

by twinmom 2008-09-09 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Wolfson is right on

Bullshit.  It is a lie.  Clinton did not pave the way for Palin.  Walter Mondale did with his pick of Gerry Feraro as VP candidate.

Clinton paved the way for REAL female candidates to run for president.

Palin needs to be smacked down hard for this hubris.  If Clinton won't do it, Mondale should.  If he gave one of his balls to Clinton....never mind.

by lojasmo 2008-09-08 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Wolfson is right on

What pray tell, is a "REAL female candidate"?  Is Obama a "REAL male candidate" and McCain a fake one?

This is a totally ridiculous and sexist comment.  Again, this is the type of mentality that is infuriating women and demonstrates one of the main reasons in the huge swing to McCain/Palin.

by anya109 2008-09-09 08:38AM | 0 recs

And that is the point which Wolfson is making... that Hillary Clinton should focus on the agenda and differences between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin on the issues, on policies, on tone.

Exactly what else would you have her say? How would you like to see her respond to the "insult"? Do you want her to attack Palin personally? Not going to happen... as Wolfson said.

Do you want her to whine that she "deserves" to be on a ticket more than Sarah Palin does? She'd certainly get a whole lot of sympathy for kicking and screaming about that... but all that would do would reopen the primary wounds, frankly. The question of why Obama didn't tap Hillary as VP would loom even larger.

Is it worth rehashing all that simply because McCain made a calculating historic pick of his own?

by twinmom 2008-09-08 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Wolfson is right on

Clinton's legacy was to open up more opportunities for women to be heard and elected to higher office, not to promote herself and her own political beliefs.  The glass ceiling is hopefully a little more open for all women, not just Clinton.  You don't quite understand the whole concept of what women do for each other when they do something for themselves.  Men have always had the luxury of doing something for their own benefit, and to be in competition against each other.  Women can't afford to have that kind of attitude.  We try to lift each other up.  That doesn't mean we have to accept each others values or issues, but we do need to pull for each others right to express them.

by Scotch 2008-09-08 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Wolfson is right on

People's right to express themselves?  Where did that come from?

by Jordache 2008-09-09 12:17AM | 0 recs
This seems like a weird attempt to blame Clinton..

I was no Hillary fan, never have been, and I was relentlessly critical of her during the primary, but I really can't understand posts like this.

Okay, sure, Wolfson is wrong on some counts, but let's not set up some situation where we expect Hillary to swoop in and save Obama from Palin. Hillary and Palin do not have the same constituency.

I would like Hillary and Bill to campaign more with Barack and Michele, but it's not in any way a cure for Palin. Only the truth is a cure for Palin, and more hard ads like those from Obama today are needed. Tons of them. He needs new punches every week.

by Siguy 2008-09-08 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

"Count me among the confused as to why Sen. Clinton hasn't helped define Sarah Palin more forcefully."

By "help define" you mean "attack." If Hillary goes negative on Palin she will be burning her own political capital for Obama. Instead she is going to campaign and fund raise in Senatorial campaigns around the country for candidates who will then be indebted to her if elected, thereby increasing her political capital.

I am not sure what is so confusing.  Unless of course you are amazingly naive.

by dMarx 2008-09-08 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

The confused line is smokes and mirrors masking true thoughts and feelings .

by lori 2008-09-08 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

I don't want an "attack." But I could go for a "not so fast...we've worked hard for x,y,z. I didn't travel all across this great country for more of the same, etc. etc." I won't hazard an attempt at what should be said about the legacy of woman candidates.

by Josh Orton 2008-09-08 04:45PM | 0 recs
Obama/Bill Clionton Lunch -- Topic number 1.

Hillary is watching her chance to be President go Bye Bye.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-09-08 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

There is nothing to be won by asking Hillary to directly attack Palin.  No matter what she would say, the media would play it as one woman attacking another.  In order to respect women in politics, you have to stop acting like they are women before people and before equal candidates, and that there is special treatment, special ways to approach them, special people who should address them.  Beside the fact that Obama has always used surrogates to talk to women including Oprah, various senators, the Kennedy women to name a few.  When is he going to get up the courage to address us himself, or show that our votes are something he needs.  He needs to ask for them himself.  He needs to address the Palin threat himself, instead of once again pushing it off on another woman because he is too uncomfortable with it, himself. It's his campaign.  It is his problem and Hillary shouldn't have to take the responsibility of doing it for him.  

by Scotch 2008-09-08 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

Does it strike anyone else as strange that the same people who brought us a neck and neck race in a year we should have been blowing the GOP out are giving Hillary Clinton advice?

If Hillary was so icky ick in the primaries why is Obama begging for her help through this guy now?



by dtaylor2 2008-09-08 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

First of all, Obama didn't author this diary, so your comment is absurd...

Second, what in God's name do you mean that "the same people that brought you the neck and neck race, etc"....?

Oh wait... you think that if Hillary had been nominated, she would be up by triple digits.... is that it?

My God people... can we let the sour grapes wither on the vine for a moment and focus on getting a Democrat elected to the White House for a change?

by JenKinFLA 2008-09-08 05:09PM | 0 recs
Yes, you're right.

If it was Clinton vs. McCain this would be over.  

It's not Clinton/Obama or even Obama/Clinton, it's Obama/Biden.

McCain wouldn't have a chance in hell against Clinton

by coolit 2008-09-08 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

Oh, FFS.  Can we please just kick this troll and move on to dtaylor3?

by username 2008-09-08 05:32PM | 0 recs
Perhaps HRC is taking

the right approach with Palin; I don't agree with it right now but she knows a lot more about politics than I do.

The biggest problem is that her not engaging Palin is getting news; that's the news story, that HRC won't hit Palin.  It's an attempt by the media to try to recreate the narrative that there are "issues" between Obama and HRC and the reason why she won't Palin is because she has nefarious motives.

There's no evidence that Obama has asked her to hit Palin and that she refused his request.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-08 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Perhaps HRC is taking

I can't imaging the Obama campaign would expect HRC to wait for the green light after Palin practically delivered the Hillary Clinton documentary narration in her first national speech last week.

by Josh Orton 2008-09-08 04:47PM | 0 recs
Orton bro

Palin has uttered HRC's name once since that moment.  She has stopped talking about HRC; you talk more about HRC than Sarah Palin.

Listen I was in agreement with you HRC hitting Palin; now, I'm not so sure.  Think about it, if she did go after Palin's jugular, the media narrative would be all HRC v. Palin.  While all of us meatheads woudl probably thirst at the prospect of a "catfight" as Wolfson notes, I'm not sure if that would be favorable for Obama.

The media would almost certainly portray HRC as a bully given that Palin wouldn't respond to her and even worse, the media would say that Obama sent her to do his dirty work.  I think I'm going to trust HRC's instincts on this one.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-08 04:56PM | 0 recs
McCain is the target

Hillary Clinton in Florida today: "Asking the Republicans to clean up the mess they made is like asking the iceburg to save the Titanic."

Look.  Going all misogynist on Palin with Clinton won't work.  
Palin is "one of them".  She is not "one of them" because she is a woman.  She is one of them because that is the narrative they have rolled out for her.  Housewife.  Union husband.  Angry at government.  Woman does not matter.  Yes, some women were supporting Hillary because of the first woman deal.  Many men were supporting Clinton because they want a return to the Clinton economy that Obama lacks the grace to embrace.

Some people will vote for Palin because they think Palin shares their values.  The message Obama has to sell is that McCain Palin do NOT share the most important values about jobs and the economy.  The Clintons can help on the economy.  But Bill will be more help there than Hillary.

by bakho 2008-09-08 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain is the target

"Asking the iceburg to save the Titanic" is an awesome line!   I found a clip of part of her speech in Florida on HuffPo, but do you have a link to the rest?  From what I saw, she looked exhausted, but genuinely supportive.  She won't be the first woman President, but she has done a great service to all women.

by username 2008-09-08 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain is the target

"She won't be the first woman President"

Don't be so Cocksure my young whipper snapper friend, at the rate Obama's going if he can't turn around this ship - 2012 will be the year Hillary takes the white house.  She'll wipe the floor with any rethug woman or man.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-08 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain is the target

Ah, I forgot I was dealing with the "we're doooomed!  haha!" wing of the Democratic party.  See you in November.

by username 2008-09-09 05:02AM | 0 recs
Is Hillary's debt paid yet?

If not why should she lift a pinky to help Obama? Bill and Obama are meeting privately Thursday. I think the price has gone up.

by ineedalife 2008-09-08 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Is Hillary's debt paid yet?

Country First!

by Josh Orton 2008-09-08 05:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Is Hillary's debt paid yet?

How is Hillary's debt Obama's problem...?  Never have heard an answer to that one....

by JenKinFLA 2008-09-08 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Is Hillary's debt paid yet?

It's his problem if he wants something from her. She has a full-time job representing me in the Senate. I can excuse her doing fund-raisers to pay down her own debt. It would free up alot of her time to work on behalf of Obama and other Democrats if she didn't have to do that.

by ineedalife 2008-09-08 06:32PM | 0 recs
Sorry to disagree with you, Josh.

This is not about Clintons any more. We have our ticket Obama/Biden going up against McCain/Palin. HRC, I'm sure HRC is doing what Obama/Biden's campaign is asking her to do. Those who are going with Palin are hardly likely to be influenced by Clinton.

by louisprandtl 2008-09-08 05:55PM | 0 recs
Josh Orton's favorite scapegoat

Hillary Clinton has been spectacular since she withdrew her candidacy ... yet Josh Orton's consistent dislike for her leads him to blame Hillary yet again, this time for Palin's apparent success in connecting with the electorate.

Obama won, it's Obama's campaign, Hillary did everything imaginable-- even going to the floor and putting Obama over the top, in such a show of grace.

Yet Hillary hasn't done enough, to Orton's eyes.  If Obama loses in November, I predict that Orton will blame Hillary as one of the factors for the loss.

by Sieglinde 2008-09-08 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard

I am sick of blog boys blaming Hillary for Barack's failure to communicate.

by Coral 2008-09-08 06:39PM | 0 recs
I'm with you

With too many Blogger Boys it feels like I have fallen backwards into the rabbit hole and woke up in 1959  with the old catholic school mentality.  It's always some girl's fault.....girls are supposed to be there to support the boys, take the fall for them.  Girls have the power to take on the "bad" girls....but when things go wrong, when there are sins committed it's the girls fault....because boys can't help themselves.

Hillary took the heat for anytime her surrogates messed up AND whenever Obama screws up.  Sheesh....

by Jjc2008 2008-09-09 04:28AM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Stupid, Howard
Strange, I tend to remember Hillary Clinton at her best when she speaks truth to power, like when she unabashedly stood up to Bill O'Reilly in defense of true progressive economic policy.

I remember Hillary at her best when she's trying to win an election for herself. I know she's being gracious but I don't believe her heart is in helping Obama win the presidency.

by Becky G 2008-09-08 07:04PM | 0 recs

Vote for Hillary if you want her to win this election for the democrats.  Vote against her if you want Barack to.

But don't vote for her to go home and then ask her to win the election for him.

You all got your wish.  You banished the Clintons and their followers.  You didn't care if it split the party.  Now deal with the consequences.

Vote hope/change

by coolit 2008-09-08 07:28PM | 0 recs
Why would Obama want a racist

defending him?

by usedmeat 2008-09-08 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Why would Obama want a racist


Nicely done

by coolit 2008-09-08 07:35PM | 0 recs
Clinton isn't the candidate, Obama is.

His lame responses are the real problem. If you want Clinton to fight and win this battle, you should have elected her. But she isn't on the ballot. And she's right, concentrating on Palin is the wrong strategy. The VP slot only plays a very remote role in voter's decisions. McCain is running for president, and he's the wrong choice in the first place. That's what has to be hammered into voters' minds, again and again.  

by Gray 2008-09-09 01:39AM | 0 recs


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