HRC meets with Geller day before lawsuit filed

via Sun-Sentinal Blogs itics/broward/blog/2008/05/steve_geller_ meets_with_hillar.html

State Sen. Steve Geller was asked to attend a private meeting with Hillary Clinton this afternoon after her Broward campaign speech. Still an undeclared super delegate, the Senate Democratic Leader from Cooper City was expecting a full court press to win him over to the Clinton camp.

Surprisingly, he said he has not received the same invite from Barack Obama.

"If I had gotten an invitation, I certainly would have gone," he said.

Geller tomorrow has scheduled a press conference at his law office to announce a "significant development expected to have national impact."

No, he is not announcing his endorsement in the presidential race. And he probably won't for some time.

you think they discussed the lawsuit at the meeting?

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HRC the Wealthy Wonk v. HRC the Scrappy Populist

Remember the good old days?:

Nearly $100,000 went for party platters and groceries before the Iowa caucuses, even though the partying mood evaporated quickly. Rooms at the Bellagio luxury hotel in Las Vegas consumed more than $25,000; the Four Seasons, another $5,000. --NY Times

VIA Glenn Thrush at Newsweek

Hillary Rodham Clinton began the campaign in pearls, assembling a team of fundraisers that included luminaries from New York's financial services industry.

She's ending it in pickup trucks, Dairy Queens and fire stations, taking a 2-by-4 to "Wall Street money brokers" and vowing to break up oil-rich OPEC.

No development in the 2008 campaign is quite so striking as Clinton's transformation from a front-runner policy wonk with deep pockets to a cash-starved populist staking her hopes in Tuesday's North Carolina and Indiana primaries on a promise to lower gas prices.

"If I were president, I would be jumping up and down in the White House" to cut gas prices, she shouted to a crowd of several hundred supporters at firehouse here in the northwest Indiana suburbs.

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Obama Brings Peace to Niger Delta?

Fully article at reuters KL0444578520080504

notable passages:

Rebels who have stepped up attacks on Nigeria's oil industry in the last month said on Sunday they were considering a ceasefire appeal by U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has launched five attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta since it resumed a campaign of violence in April, forcing Royal Dutch Shell to shut more than 164,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).

"The MEND command is seriously considering a temporary ceasefire appeal by Senator Barack Obama. Obama is someone we respect and hold in high esteem," the militant group said in an e-mailed statement.

Granted MEND is a militant group, but I think any time there is  a potential cease-fire in violence, thats a good thing. I think this only buttresses the argument that Obama has more worldly appeal, something we desperately need at this point in time.

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HRC's Awesome Gas Tax Holiday Plan Has No Expert Support

via huffpost /expert-support-for-gas-ta_n_99474.html

Some notable passages...

Over the past several days, some of the nation's leading economic and political pundits have weighed in critically on the proposal of both Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain to institute a gas tax holiday this summer.

Paul Krugman of the New York Times said on Tuesday that Clinton's idea, while less "evil" than McCain's, was still "pointless" and "disappointing."

One day later, Tom Friedman, also of the Times, called the idea "so takes your breath away."

And Jonathan Alter of Newsweek piled on: "Hillary Clinton has now joined John McCain in proposing the most irresponsible policy idea of the year -- an idea that actually could aid the terrorists."

Surely, however, there must be someone out there not associated with a politician or a candidate who supported the idea of a gas tax reprieve -- especially if, as Clinton suggests, it would be paid for by an excess profits tax on oil companies.

I emailed Howard Wolfson, Clinton's spokesperson, asking him to put me in touch with an economic or environmental analyst who favored his boss' plan. He never wrote back.

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HRC blasts Bush for not stopping a project Bill approved

via McClatchy

It's a story Hillary Clinton loves to tell, about how the Chinese government bought a good American company in Indiana, laid off all its workers and moved its critical defense technology work to China.

And it's a story with a dramatic, political ending. Republican President George W. Bush could have stopped it, but didn't.

If she were president, she says, she'd fight to protect those jobs. It's just the kind of talk that's helping her win support form working-class Democrats worried about jobs and paychecks, not to mention their country's security.

What Clinton never tells in the oft-repeated tale is the role prominent Democrats played in selling the company and its technology to the Chinese. She never mentions that big-time Democratic contributor George Soros helped put together the deal to sell the company, or that the sale was approved by the administration of her husband. "Hillary Clinton must have been hoping we Hoosiers have short memories," Ed Dixon of Valparaiso said in a letter to a local newspaper after a recent Clinton visit. "Her husband was president at the time and allowed this to happen."

Clinton's ad airing in Indiana:

"Right here, over 200 Hoosiers built parts that guided our military's smart bombs to their targets," the New York senator says.

"They were good jobs, but now, they're gone to China. And now America's defense relies on Chinese spare parts. George Bush could have stopped it, but he didn't. As your president, I will fight to keep good jobs here, and to turn this economy around. I'm Hillary Clinton and I approve this message because American workers should build America's defense."

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Gov. Easley Bashes Gays

per abc

ABC News' Eloise Harper Reports: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton received the endorsement of North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley Tuesday morning in Raleigh, NC. After touring a bio-manufacturing training center, Gov. Easley, First Lady of North Carolina Mary Easley and Clinton held a ceremony at NC State University. The Governor formally expressed his support saying that there was "nothing I love more than a strong powerful woman." Easley concluded his remarks saying Clinton -- "makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy".

a pansy?, really?, you stay classy hrc campaign

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HRC's Threat to Iran

I know I may be criticized for bringing up "old news", but that's fine with me because I think the seriousness of such a threat warrants more discussion. (and I know certain diarists here, who shall remain nameless, who have posted essentially the same diaries under different titles numerous times, so frankly i don't feel bad about repeating this story)

As all of you know HRC essentially stated that the US would be in a postition to totally obliterate Iran should they wage a nuclear attack on Israel. Before the ramifications of such a serious threat are discussed, I want to first provide what Clinton had to say when Obama stated he would pursue bin-laden (if there was actionable intelligence he was in a certain area) in Pakistan if Pakistan would not:

Hillary Clinton summed up the basic criticism that she, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden have been directing at Obama. "I do not believe that people running for president should engage in hypotheticals," she said. "You should not always say everything you think if you're running for president, because it can have consequences across the world."

Hillary should have followed her own advice because the Saudi-based paper, Arab News, issued a scathing editorial calling Clinton's comments "the foreign politics of the madhouse". The editorial continued:

It demonstrates the same doltish ignorance that has distinguished Bush's foreign relations. It offers only violence where there should be negotiations and war where there could be peace. At a stroke, Clinton demonstrated to everyone in this region that if she were the next occupant of the White House, Iraq-like death and destruction would be the order of the day.

Glad to see HRC is winning some new friends in the Middle East during a time when we need them dearly.

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, a ranking British diplomat, also criticized the comments:

While it is reasonable to warn Iran of the consequence of it continuing to develop nuclear weapons and what those real consequences bring to its security, it is not probably prudent ... in today's world to threaten to obliterate any other country and in many cases civilians resident in such a country.

An editorial in today's Boston Globe offers some insight as to the consequences of Clinton's statements:

The Saudis are not always sound advisers on American foreign policy. But they understand that Rambo rhetoric like Clinton's only plays into the hands of Iranian hard-liners who want to plow ahead with efforts to attain a nuclear weapons capability. They argue that Iran must have that capability in order to deter the United States from doing what Clinton threatened to do.

While Clinton has hammered Obama for supporting military strikes in Pakistan, her comments on Iran are much more far-reaching. She seems not to realize that she undermined Iranian reformists and pragmatists. The Iranian people have been more favorable to America than any other in the Gulf region or the Middle East.              

It is threats like these (along with her support for the war in Iraq and the kyl-lieberman amendment on iran) that has me concerned that HRC equates "toughness" with use of miltary force. I, along with the Boston Globe agree:

A presidential candidate who lightly commits to obliterating Iran - and, presumably, all the children, parents, and grandparents in Iran - should not be answering the White House phone at any time of day or night

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Stop Pretending FL and MI is about "Democracy"

It is getting a little frustrating reading diary after diary about how FL and MI is all Obama's fault and how he hates democracy and doesn't care about people's votes yada yada yada. Yes, the FL and MI situation is extremely unfortunate for the voters of that state, but the fact of the matter is that those states knew the consequences of moving their states forward and they did it anyway. Is stripping all of the delegates away a harsh penalty?, one could argue that, but both states were well aware of this harsh penalty. In fact, when the Rules and Bylaws Committee voted on August 25, 2007 that Florida was in violation of its rules, they gave the state 30 days notice to change the date of its primary. Florida did not believe they would strip the delegates and carried on as planned. The Clinton campaign of all people should know this because Harold Ickes voted as a member of the DNC to strip Florida and Michigan of their delegates

A typical argument is (as one diarist put it) "This is America, it is a Democracy, and we count votes". I couldn't agree more with that statement. This is America, we have a democratic system and we do count votes. However, we are also a nation of laws and rules. When rules are broken, there are consequences. Can one argue that these particular consequences are excessive? Sure. But everyone was well aware of these consequences, it wasn't a surprise.

Another argument may be that the campaigns were not involved in the decision to strip the delegates and that they agreed only not to campaign in the states. I would agree with his, however, why was HRC's campaign not voicing their dismay with the extreme passion that they are now, back in August 2007? Was it because they thought she was still the inevitable candidate and those states wouldn't even matter because she would wrap up the nominaton very early? If this is a matter of "democracy" why didn't the Clinton campaign say anything back then?

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HRC's Single Digit Victory

Congratulations to HRC on a nice victory in PA. Special congrats to Ed Rendell and Mike Nutter who prevented Philadelphia county from being a complete wash (it was still 30 point win for Obama, but it could have been worse).

That being said, absolutely nothing has changed in this race. HRC has officially lost the pledged delegate count and it is nearly impossible for her to overtake the popular vote count (even though it is a meaningless metric). She will probably net around 10-12 delegates and approx 200,000 in pop vote. Obama's probable win in NC will essentially cancel out the very small gains HRC's win in PA gave her and Indiana will probably be close. After May 6, HRC will be no closer to Obama's lead than she was before PA (maybe eben further behind) and it would be difficult to argue that she should be the nominee. I know HRC and her supporters will point to the fact that she was greatly outspent by Obama and still won. While true, it is nothing more than spin to marginalize Obama's fundraising prowess and downplay the fact that HRC has been in debt the last couple of months and the "inevetibale" candidate can't compete financially with the young rookie.

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(Great) Expectations and Electability -- A Response

As far as Pennsylvania's concerned, Obama's outspent Hillary in the Keystone State by a margin of 3 to 1  (he spent $3.5 million in the past week alone!).  A lot of money's getting pumped into the state.

Now its clear Obama's not spending that kind of money in PA to help boost the state's economy folks.  He's going for a knockout punch despite his seeming lack of interest in the state a few weeks back.  He's outspent Hillary in PA alone by over $7 million on ad buys alone, and (in all likelihood) still won't be able to put this state in his win column.  As Howard Wolfson noted in a press conference call earlier today, he's not aware of any superdelegates who'll say `Obama outspent you by $7 million and you were only able to beat him by __ points?'

This is typical Clinton campaign spin that tries to turn Obama's fundraising prowess into a negative. The reason why Obama is spending all of this money is because he has so much god damn money to spend. If I didn't see an Obama every 15 minutes I be a little pissed off and wonder what hes doing with all of that money. It's not his fault that the arrogant Clinton campaign has no damn money and can't keep up with him and will not be able to keep up with him in later events. In response to the king of spin Howard Wolfson's quote, I would ask, how has the "inevitable" candidate now come to be in a position where she is being outspent by $7 million dollars by a candidate 'with no experience'.

I mean think about it - other than Illinois, Obama is 0 for 5 in winning big states which our nominee will need to win in order to win the general election. He lost Florida. He lost California. He lost New York. He lost Ohio. He lost Texas. That's more than half the electoral votes right there. How's he gonna win in November if he's only the second best Democratic candidate in all these big key areas? How much of an advantage is the Democratic Party willing to give McCain by putting their second string on the field?

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