Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Respect

On Thursday I will be writing a front page post explaining how I have come to support Chris Dodd's campaign for the Presidency. I will be explaining how Dodd has won my support. I will not be critical of other candidates. However, I will be critical of candidates' supporters and the Netroots for the drift I perceive away from issues, political and substantive, in choosing who to support.

Hillary Clinton is my fourth choice in the race. Ironically, issues are not the main reason. The main reason is I believe she has the hardest road to hoe because of the high negatives she carries with the public. The next most important reason is I believe her drive to moderate her image in the Senate runs counter to the type of politics that I think Democrats need to run - one of strong contrast with the GOP. But issues are another reason. Her timidity on Iraq has been troubling in particular. But Hillary has earned my respect the past six months. I'll explain why on the flip.

First and foremost, to date, Hillary has proven herself the most proficient politician in the race. I thought it was Edwards at first, because of his brilliant flanking of the field on Iraq, overcoming his co-sponsorship of the Iraq War Resolution. And I still believe Obama has the most natural political talent and the greatest potential for greatness. But Hillary's political performance the last six months has been exceptionally good. She has reaffirmed her progressive bona fides on issue after issue and neutralized her potential weaknesses with smoothness and aplomb. She rarely makes mistakes. Her performances at the debates have been first rate. She has become a top notch politician.

At daily kos, Psi Fighter has taken to attacking Hillary in a diary series that is transparent in its hostility and unfairness. The following passage is illustrative:

In the end, that's what Hillary Clinton's campaign is: a media machine that has been able to misrepresent what she is - someone who entered Washington as an outsider but is now the consummate insider - and turn it into a front-running campaign that is long on rhetoric but short on ideas.

The notion that labelling someone an "insider" or an "outsider" is anything BUT rhetoric and somehow an engagement of ideas is simply ironic. Psi Fighter studiously AVOIDS substance in his discussion on Hillary Clinton. He is all buzzwords and nonsense.

There are strong political arguments for not supporting Hillary Clinton. But I believe there are few ISSUE positions that support the idea that Hillary is a significantly weaker choice than Edwards or Obama. Or even my guy Dodd. On why Dodd is my choice, I will save for Thursday, but to pretend, as Psi Fighter does, that it is issues that drive him from Hillary is simply disingenuous hooey. An attempt to feign issue substance.

I personally feel that political reasons can be just as, if not more, valid as reasons for supporting a candidate than issue reasons in this race. But let's argue those political reasons. Let's respect the fact that all of the candidates are pretty solid progressive Democrats.

Let's stop pretending that Hillary is a secret Republican operative. You merely come across, to me at least, as a blithering fool. Let's stop pretending that the fact that Edwards and Obama do not take money directly from lobbyists but do take money from spouses and CEOs and hedge fund managers means something substantively. It can mean something politically, but do not act as if you have an actual issue concern here.

Let's be honest. And falling short of that, let's at least not pretend we think Hillary or Edwards or Obama or Dodd are not progressive Democrats. You know they all are. Prefer who you prefer, but do so within the bounds a some decency and honesty.

Tags: Election 2008 (all tags)



Re: Say What You Will

My 2 cents.

Thursday, I'll get to put my nickel up.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will

Good diary.  I like to think your view is the view of the silent majority.

by Steve M 2007-08-14 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will

It needs to become the vocal majority. =)

Can't wait to read the entry, BTD.


by Tim Tagaris 2007-08-14 08:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will

The Dodd part. =)


by Tim Tagaris 2007-08-14 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Ok, Hillary has my respect. But that is far far from earning my vote.

by thenew 2007-08-14 05:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

She has virtually no chance of earning my support in the primaries.

I can not imagine a situation where I would suport her over Dodd, Edwards or Obama.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Let's watch how fast this turns into a Hillary bashing article

I first give you credit for being willing to admit that candidates you do not support are not intrinsically bad

And second my overall feelings about the Clinton hating. I think that for people with a certain ideological stance Clinton is not the best candidate. I think this is true of all candidates.

Because of this there are plenty of legitmate ways to express your dislike for Clinton. However this idea that there is a giant conspiracy that is responsible for all good things Clinton does as well as being responsible for everything bad that happens to your candidate is so damn childish.

There isn't a giant conspiracy against your candidate. Stop acting like it. Be straightforward like Big Tent . You don't need to lie or resort to buzzword bashing to promote your candidate.

by world dictator 2007-08-14 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will

In the thread? Well, certainly we will challenge them to back up the smack.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will

yay for analysis and warrants!

by world dictator 2007-08-14 05:38PM | 0 recs
May it become contagious

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

This was nice to read.  It's good to see some people at least giving her her due, even though they have legitimate reasons for them why they will not vote for her.  No, she's not the anti-Christ.

by reasonwarrior 2007-08-14 05:38PM | 0 recs
For me

Hillary's problems are she is carrying too much unfair baggage from the 90s. This problem manifests itself in two ways.

First the high negatives.

Second, the drive to appear moderate when, imo, we need a contrast candidate. Among the big 3, Edwards has best embodied the politics I think are the right approach for this cycle. But he has had more than his share of tactical blunders. And it is is clearly past time for Elizabeth Edwards to pull back.

There is no question that Obama actually has the best standing to run the type of campaign I favor coupled with the most politcal talent.

I thought in 2006 I would be an Obama supporter.

I like to blame David Axelrod for Obama's political failings, but in the end, the candidate is responsible for all of it.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: For me

I don't think this is true.  Yes, they will try to throw this "baggage" at her, but the american people have heard it all before.  I don't think there is any appitite for rehashing that stuff and I don't think it will stick.  I don't think Obama is the best standard bearer for the Party because he steers clear of defining the brand.  Instead, it's more about him as an individual and what he will do to shake up Washington.  I think that's a posture more than a platform, and it doesn't really appeal to me.  

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: For me

Disagree on Hillary in the sense that I do not think they will throw it out there, it just IS there.

Agree on Obama as I have written before.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: For me
Well, gee, if they don't throw it at her, it's even easier.  Didn't stop her husband from getting elected twice.
I think you underestimate how women will react if Hillary is the nominee.
by bookgrl 2007-08-14 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: For me

Actually, I have underestimated her strong support from women.

That is certainly a plaeasnt surprise for me.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: For me

Right, well, women make up 54% of the electorate.  Hillary's strongest supporters are single women 20's/40's.  This group still lags in coming out to vote even though they came out in record number for Kerry.  So, I think Hillary will bring out those Kerry single women and more, thus it is hard for me to see her losing.  Further, in some polls, when not pushed to make a choice, Hillary's unfavorables are only in the high 30's.  Also, someone just mentioned on another thread, the Republicans have been running against Hillary from the start, yet when they had their straw poll in Iowa very few came out to vote, much less than when Bush ran.  They are not very enthusiastic even when drawing a competitor for Hillary.

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: For me

This is an effective argument.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:17PM | 0 recs
Why thank you.

I actually made this argument to one of Obama's endorsers(not a politician) who endorsed Obama because he thought Hillary couldn't win.  He also thought it effective and projected a bit of buyer's remorse.  

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: For me

I totally agree.  There is this idea that the Repubs are pulling for Hillary because she will energize the base and improve their voter turn out, but I think it is the opposite.  I think people knew they were getting a fighter in Hillary the moment she went on 60 Minutes and defended Bill 92 campaign and they've been mad at her ever since.  She testified in front of Congress and took no prisoners.  Let's not forget the vast right wing conspiracy theory. She may have gotten a beatdown with her healthcare proposal, but that was partly orchestrated by the Democratically controlled Congress.  I think the the Repubs fear a Hillary candidacy the most, because she knows how to beat them at their own game.  Bill, who I think is much more conciliatory, also knows when to throw a punch.  Hillary is my first choice, and although I will vote for whomever is the Dem. nominee, I really haven't thought about a second or third choice.  She's my girl.

by Kingstongirl 2007-08-14 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: For me

Totally agree, and what an astute comment you make about the Democratic Congress re: UHC.  

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: For me

She may have gotten a beatdown with her healthcare proposal, but that was partly orchestrated by the Democratically controlled Congress.

True, but even more important are the things she learned from it.  She learned how to get things done on the HIll (and how not to do it), and she learned another lesson about not taking any crap from these thugs. That gives me hope that she would win the election (should she be nominated) and that she'd be able to govern effectively.

We've all hear the blathering about how much the Republicans want her to be the nominee, and plenty of sill conspiracy theories about how their secretly helping her.  But I think you;re right on the mark when you say her campaign would be a nightmare for them.  Can you imagine her in a debate with Mitt Romney? She'd crush that guy.

by Denny Crane 2007-08-14 07:42PM | 0 recs
I hope you are right, but

I think the lesson she learned is not to try to do anything too big or bold or progressive.

I see her as the Democrat least likely to make significant progress on health care reform. The pharmaceutical and insurance industries seem to agree, since they are giving her lots of money.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-14 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: I hope you are right, but

I think you're absolutely right about the lessons she learned; but in some ways that's just an issue of trust that Clinton and her supporters can't really address. (Like Edwards's voting mistakes are for him. I trust that he's changed, and frankly his record of making huge mistakes and then learning from them is one reason I support him. But that's not an issue I can back up with facts, simply intuition and personal preference; same with this re. Clinton.) She's also my fourth choice, but I'd work to get her elected and be proud to vote for her.  And not only because she'd be the first woman president, which makes me v. happy.

by BingoL 2007-08-15 01:03AM | 0 recs
IF she can turn out these women

more power to her.

I frankly doubt that these previously non-voting women will turn out in droves to elect Hillary.

I also think you underestimate the number of "traditional" women who prefer not to vote for women politicians.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-14 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: IF she can turn out these women

I was speaking specifically of her strongest base of support, single youngish women.  She's already winning in most polls without them(polling typically is of likely voters, i.e. voters who voted in the last presidential).  If Kerry brought records numbers of these women out to the polls, I have absolutely no doubt that Hillary will bring out more.  Further, her gains in the polls have been primarily among moderate women, so I don't think there is a large contingency of women who won't vote for a woman but would vote for some other Democrat when it comes down to it.  I think her gender is an underestimated plus.

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: For me

The problem with her baggage is she got two kinds of baggage. The 90s baggage which we all can defend her on against right wing nuts. But she has the 2000 era baggage which the Republicans can attack her on and we won't have her back  because of the IRaq war. How is she going to aggressively challenge the republicans on their biggest failing when she was part of promoting it. All this "if I knew then what we know now" bullshit won't wash in a general election. There is plenty her opponents will bring up to show the contradiction in her claims. We posted a sampling of that over the last few months. Imagine what the right wing hate machine could bring up.

Why did she try to initially avoid the LIbby controversy when Chris MAtthews brought it up? She didn't want the others to bring up the 90s baggage. Whether it is fair or not, the thing is Hillary will avoid some issues , even the ones she does not deserved to be attacked on, because she is afraid of bringing up old memories.

Also I have a distrust of bitter people. I think bitterness destroyed Nixon more than anything else. Hillary is not in the same league as Nixon, and she does not exhibit hate towards half of America like Right wingers do. But she does have some bitterness. All those smiles she exhibits when barraged with boos? That is years of training.

Dodd has been growing on me. I laughed when he initially joined the race because of my perception of him during the Lamont race. But he has been very interesting to listen to during debates without any of the fringe "what do i have to lose" factor.

While Edwards remains my first choice, I still get frustrated at how lightweighted he seems at times when he has to argue issues forcefully. But I feel like he is a lot more driven this time. I hate to say this. But I think Elizabeth's cancer might make him a more driven and sincere guy. So I will tkae that package, as crass as it may sound.

by Pravin 2007-08-15 06:35AM | 0 recs
Hillary Has Earned Some Respect

"Let's stop pretending that Hillary is a secret Republican operative."

Love this comment.

Good diary Big Tent.

by lonnette33 2007-08-14 05:39PM | 0 recs
Thank you

I do not know if I am the right person to say it, but it needed to be said.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:43PM | 0 recs
who says she is a GOP operative?

I don't think she is a secret GOP operative. I wouldn't call her a progressive, though. Of the Democrats running for president, all would probably appoint capable pro-choice Supreme Court justices, but I think Hillary would pick corporate-friendly moderates in the Breyer mold rather than progressives.

I also think that Hillary's desire to get back into the White House is so strong that she overlooks the great harm she would do to our down-ticket candidates in half the country.

Even if she managed to eke out a presidential victory, she would cost our down-ticket candidates a few points in the deep-red and purple states. We are going to need a solid Democratic majority in Congress to get anything done. I honestly think Hillary should not have run for president, in light of her very high negatives.

I know many people who share my views, but haven't heard any of them suggest that Hillary is some kind of Republican mole consciously trying to destroy the Democratic Party.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-14 09:17PM | 0 recs

it's probably rhetorical flourish or like george's contention that all obama supporters are conspiracy theorists...

by bored now 2007-08-15 05:02AM | 0 recs
Hillary bashing

Let's Hillary bashing get started. The more she's in the lead, the vicious the attack will be.

by areyouready 2007-08-14 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary bashing

You need to pull it back a whole bunch.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary bashing

let me know when she's at 80 percent, i'll drop the c bomb

by leewesley 2007-08-14 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary bashing

you would

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-14 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary bashing

you know it

by leewesley 2007-08-14 07:37PM | 0 recs
Good Diary

I will support Hillary Clinton, if she is the nominee, but right now she is a 5th on my list.  But good diary, BTD.

by iamready 2007-08-14 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Good Diary

Biden or Richardson?

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Good Diary


by iamready 2007-08-14 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

I have said it many times and I will say it again, she is a player, a badass politician that has sustained more scrutiny than I could possibly imagine. She is smart, ruthless and cunning. Which is why I think she would be a great senate majority leader

by leewesley 2007-08-14 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

Heh. Reid offered it supposedly.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:51PM | 0 recs
I saw that story too

Hillary ain't no Lyndon Johnson, that's for sure.

by andgarden 2007-08-14 10:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Ha ha nice one. But we have our eye on the biggest prize . I truly believe Hillary Rodham Clinton will be an extraordinary president.

by lori 2007-08-14 06:00PM | 0 recs
out of curiosity

what state do you live in?

Do you really think that Hillary would be such an outstanding president, so much better than the Democratic alternatives, that it's worth giving up a few close House and Senate races next year and in 2010?

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-14 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: out of curiosity

Again currently there is nothing to suggest that will happen. At most we can say it is a possibility for 2008. And I actually do worry about it.  But coattails are one subject we hardly know anything about. The few vague rules we thought we knew have all been recently overturned. To claim anything about coattails in a definite fait accompli is just without base. Certainly so when done so early.

by Ernst 2007-08-15 12:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Despite my distaste over her Iraq war vote in the senate, I have NO PROBLEM at all with Hillary becoming senate majority leader. She can only be an improvement.

by Pravin 2007-08-15 06:38AM | 0 recs
Nice diary.

Right now Dodd is my third choice, Obama my fourth, and Edwards my second.  However, I loook forward to your post.  Dodd keeps improving with me.  I think all of our candidates are progressive Democrats.

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 05:50PM | 0 recs
I am really curious

to see the reaction to it.

Folks who read me at Talk Left won't be surprised by it. I wonder if folks who do not will be surprised.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Nice diary.

Agreed bookgrl. I really like Edwards and Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a tough cookie. Dodd is also my third choice. Richardson is my forth. Biden is fifth. Kuninch is sixth. Obama is seventh.

by lonnette33 2007-08-14 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Nice diary.


by horizonr 2007-08-14 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Nice diary.

It' funny. THe only reason why I rank John Edwards #1 on the list at this point is only because of the package deal factor with Elizabeth.

Remember when Bill Clinton ran, it was a 2 for 1 deal(though in my opinion, Bill won it all by himself).

Well with the Edwards, it is a package deal for me.

by Pravin 2007-08-15 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice diary.

Totally agree. I've always liked Edwards (his life story is inspiring) and he has always been my second choice.

After Elizabeth was diagnosed with cancer, I was drawn to him by her even more.  The strength that she exudes is enormous. I love her personally and the way she stands up for her husband. She reminds me of Hillary in that sense. Hillary stood up for Bill a lot in the 90's. I truly think that Elizabeth and Hillary have a lot more in common then they would like to admit. Both are very strong, intelligent, and "tell-it-like-it-is" kinda women.

by lonnette33 2007-08-15 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

we all know who we each support, but this whole talk of "4rth on my list" and such has gotten me interested, what are everyone's lists???
personally im as follows.

3.gore (big if)
4.clark (bigger if)

by leewesley 2007-08-14 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

On that list, I am Clark, Gore, Dodd.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

My dream ticket would have been
Gore/Clark or Gore/Obama where Gore would teach Obama over the course of the next two terms the pitfalls of using old Dem consultants.

My feeling is that it would have been nicer if Obama was 4 years older and he ran in 2004 like Edwards to learn from his mistakes.

by Pravin 2007-08-15 06:43AM | 0 recs
That list would make my alliance
to Hillary difficult:
1.Gore/Hillary(Don't know how I would choose)
by bookgrl 2007-08-14 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: That list would make my alliance
truly it is a tossup between obama/edwards/clark/gore for me, frankly I am more concerned with having an administration with all 4 in the administration. Picture it, Prez Gore, VP Obama, Sec Def Clark, AG Edwards, Sec State Clinton.
Press Secratery Jon Stewart. (seriously he would rock that job.)
by leewesley 2007-08-14 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

1. Obama

  1. Dodd
  2. Edwards
3 1/2. Clinton
  1. Biden
  2. Richardson
  3. Kucinich
  4. Gravel

Gore would go after/next to Obama, Clark would go ?

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-08-14 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Whoa, the formatting on my list looks totally bizarre, sorry.

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-08-14 08:35PM | 0 recs
my list

Edwards, Gore, Dodd, Obama, Clark, Richardson, Biden, Clinton, Kucinich, Gravel.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-14 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res
I'd say a good 30% of democrats are strongly opposed to Hillary.
If the republicans put up a reasonable candidate the 2008 election will be very interesting.
by joachim 2007-08-14 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

Do you expect Hillary to only capture 70% of Dems? sorry, not going to happen that way.

She'll get 90%.

The issue is Independents and driving up GOP turnout. That is the Hillary issue politically.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:56PM | 0 recs

you mean, just under 90%?

in 2000, gore got 86% of the democrats who voted.  in 2004, kerry got 89%.  i'm not sure why you would think hillary would do better than kerry, given the unity that democrats had after nader in 2000 and the negatives that some democrats have towards the clinton dynasty.  

by bored now 2007-08-14 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

89% is your big gotcha?


by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 07:12PM | 0 recs

i was going for accuracy (plus, i assumed you didn't know that, since you clearly pulled 90% out of thin air).  next time i'll realize it's just a game...

by bored now 2007-08-14 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: gotcha?

Pulled ut of thin air?

What kind of pedantic bullshit is this? Gore got 86% with Nader pulling 3. Kerry got 89.


I hate this kind of bullshit.

Go fuck with someone else before I cuss you out.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: gotcha?

Whoa! Are we allowed to swear like this at people now? Cuz if we are I'm about to start...

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-08-14 08:37PM | 0 recs
so you rounded up...

which is what i figured, but thought it odd.  i must be more detailed-oriented.  the exact number is important in competitive elections.  i didn't realize that correcting you -- or trying to figure out why you used a wrong figure -- would set you off.  but i'll try to remember that next time you write something that's inaccurate.

cuss away...

by bored now 2007-08-15 05:03AM | 0 recs
Fuck off

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-15 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: gotcha?

correcting somebody on 1% is also a game. One of semantics. 90% is reasonable as the democratic voters have only further unified so far compared to 2004 when Bush still had some pull amongst democratic men. Now that could change dependend how much the next republican differenciates him self. But 90% seems reasonable for any candidate. Certainly for the candidate that is the most popular candidate in her own party.

by Ernst 2007-08-15 12:32AM | 0 recs
i'd have gotten that from areyouready...

or a poster like that.  i didn't realize that this poster did that.  now i know.  it's probably just the difference between academics and practitioners -- that 1% may be the difference between who wins and who loses.  if hillary pulls 90% of democrats, she definitely wins...

by bored now 2007-08-15 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: i'd have gotten that from areyouready...

You have a point there. I notice myself that I find it hard to remain exact here while discussing. Heavens knows that these sort sort of discussions aren't my forte and the usual discussion here makes it even harder for me to remain correct. It's tempting to cut corners here. I'm a couple of thousand miles away from the real action. I'm here for to relax, to have some fun, not to continue working in my down time.

by Ernst 2007-08-15 05:34AM | 0 recs
i was just surprised...

not playing a game, or gotcha, just needed clarification.  i was assuming that btd was more precise than he is.  my mistake.  i'll adjust accordingly...

by bored now 2007-08-15 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: i was just surprised...

Your disngenuousness is apoparent.

These are numbers from EXIT POLLS. The idea of precision is already shot.

What a pedantic ass you are Mr. Academic. Do you even know what an exit poll is?

What a prick.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-15 07:28AM | 0 recs
don't be so defensive...

i assumed something about you i shouldn't.  that's my mistake.  yes, those numbers are from exit polls, and there's no question that they are not a precise snapshot.  but they are as precise as we will ever get.

and i was referring to your p.o.v. as academic.  these numbers matter to me because i run gotv operations.  they are not as important to you, and that's ok.  as for your 'tude, that just goes to show...

by bored now 2007-08-15 08:15AM | 0 recs
I'm not being defensive

I am attacking your bullshit.

Don't get confused trying to be clever.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-15 05:01PM | 0 recs
look, asshole...

i made a mistake.  i had thought you were more precise in your comments.  i assumed that you would not round up.  it's not a big deal.  i don't know if you don't like being corrected -- you were factually wrong, but there's also no reason to assume that you would have KNOWN this -- or you have past issues that you are projecting onto this conversation.  whatever.  but your a complete idiot to escalate this, presumably in the hopes that i will tremble in my boots and not call bullshit on you the next time.  now i know.  and i won't make that mistake again (assuming that you care about precision).  but that doesn't mean i won't point out your mistakes, if i see them.  i just won't make a big deal about your lack of precision.  that's a completely acceptable form of communication, especially if you aren't that familiar with the subject matter.  so you don't know about campaign?  big deal!  i don't know anything about fashion...

by bored now 2007-08-16 04:02AM | 0 recs
Re: 89%

The Democrats who vote for Republicans for President are increasingly identifying as what they are: Republicans.  Thus the percentage of Democrats voting for the Democrat is rising. Fortunately, independents are being driven into what they now are "lean Democratic."

by David Kowalski 2007-08-15 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

I am as Anti Hillary as anyone in that group over here, and even I would not vote for the republicans.

I might write in a third party vote like Ron Paul just to show what a crime on our generation the iraq war was. The only area where I really disagree with him is on the abortion issue. But quite frankly, he has little chance of becoming President to appoint a justice to do the issue any harm.

Quite frankly, whoever the Dem nominee is, it will be a failure if they win by a slight margin. If there ever was a time to win big, this is the year. Third party votes and hanging chads should not even a be a factor this year. You should be able to win even if the Repubs pull out all their dirty tricks.
The key will be turnout, not percentage of partisan supporters among the party or even third party votes. Harold Ford doesn't get the message when he continues to tell Kos on Meet the Press that BUsh is our MVP sending America the message that Democrats rely on the other party fucking up to win.  Nader would have been a non factor in FL if Dems did a better job increasing their base turnout. With Hillary, I can see Republicans making it a big event like people rush to movies to see a big villain even if the movie lacks a big hero.

For those who bash third party voters, why don't you demand a runoff election in areas affected by third party votes if a repeat of 2000 occurs? It's a rare enough thing that costs would be a major factor.

by Pravin 2007-08-15 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

On further thought, I might write in Clark's name.  

I think just as important would be getting a bigger majority in the senate so they can kick people like LIeberman to the curb. I will be supporting Democrats in other areas.

by Pravin 2007-08-15 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Last time I checked She had 80% favourability and 13% unfavourable , the highest for any dem . So where did you get your 30% against if I may ask , that actually might be applicable to another top tier candidate.

by lori 2007-08-14 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

I think he was confusing it with Obama, who has indeed shown 30+ negatives with Democrats in several surveys.  

by georgep 2007-08-14 06:54PM | 0 recs
as opposed to the negatives in the 50s

for hillary in "several surveys"...

by bored now 2007-08-14 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: as opposed to the negatives in the 50s

You are making no sense, bored now.  This particular discussion centered around negatives AMONGST DEMOCRATS.  It would really help if you read for content.  

by georgep 2007-08-14 08:44PM | 0 recs

i understood the context of that comment.  i also understood your dig, using outlier polls.  i merely compared like to like.  given the fact that most of obama's recent increase in negatives is from people like you -- who swears you will support the democratic nominee, no matter -- it's hardly relevant.  it's a meaningless number, because it both demonstrates and stems from your loyalty to another candidate...

by bored now 2007-08-15 05:08AM | 0 recs
Hillary is better situation than Kerry

At this point of the primary season in 2003-4,  Hillary is in a better position than Kerry among netroots.

So Hillary should not worry.  Netroots and blogosphere will wholly support her as they did with Kerry when she gets the nomination.

by jasmine 2007-08-14 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is better

Very true, still more people in the Netroots now.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is better situation than Kerry

well that's not saying much. Give her more credit than that. Kery sucked.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is better situation than Kerry

Yes, Kerry is my senator, but he wan't the best candidate.

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is better situation than Kerry

I like Kerry overall but he really didn't  show until it was too late to win.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is better situation than Kerry

Mhmm, yes.  He should have just been himself all along.

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is better situation than Kerry

as my friend said- there is something fucked up in denmark where a war hero can be called unpatriotic by a guy one step above a draft dodger

by bruh21 2007-08-14 09:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is better situation than Kerry

incidentally if he had said that- he prolly would have won.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 09:57PM | 0 recs

She's not the GOP. Anyone who says that is full of shit. I disagree with her, but that's not the same as saying she's like them.

I respect her skill and abilities. However, she's the wrong person for this country at this point in history.

I feel she's wrong on many of the domestic issues. I am actually less concerned with most of our candidate choices on foreign policy. A little concerned aobut Iraq, but overall, I believe they will return to using both the carrot and stick.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 06:00PM | 0 recs

I agree with you about the foreign policy issue.

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 06:06PM | 0 recs
I agree with you.

I think I understand very well the support Edwards engenders. It entices me to a large extent.

I also understand the Hillary support. I thought it was largely a name recognition thing but I see that part of it is earned and part of it is respect for the Clinton political acumen. I think it is the wrong type of acumen now as you do.

I also uinderstand the Obama support. He has so much political talent. I thinkhe needs to realize that he is wrong onn the political style questions and, I think he needs to can Axelrod.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with you.

...[Obama] needs to can Axelrod.

Yes, yes, yes.

by horizonr 2007-08-14 07:40PM | 0 recs
Not so sure it is Axelrod.

This is one of the reasons I think Obama is allowing his handlers to control his campaign more than he should.  Axelrod did an excellent job running virtually the same campaign last year, the difference was Deval Patrick always controled his campaign.  How did Obama end up calling Hillary Bush-Cheney Lite?  This clearly isn't the way Obama operates, and it demonstrated a lack of control over the message.

by bookgrl 2007-08-14 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with you.

I've never really bought this name recognition theory. We all know that Hillary Clinton has practically (if not actually) 100% name recognition.  That's a given.  But I don't believe that, as the argument goes, the national polls are essentially meaningless because of this.  it was certainly true in previous elections, and will be again, but I just accept it this cycle, and here's why.

Edwards was the VP nominee 4 years ago, and he's been running for pres. ever since. People know who he is all over the country.  Obama has gotten enormous amounts of free press over the last 3 years, ever since that terrific speech at the convention.  And when he got into the race, he got even more. People know who he is.  They may not know Dodd and Richardson and Biden, but they know the "big three", for lack of a better term. The polls for those 3 have nothing to do with name recognition, as far as I can see.

Feel free to pick apart tis theory and tell me why I'm wrong.  I'm really interested to see what other folks have to say about my little idea.

by Denny Crane 2007-08-14 08:03PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with you.

There is no way that a VP candidate running 4 years ago has the same recognition as Clinton. It's not merely theory. Name ID is as good as money in politics. Its one of the reason that the power of incumbency is so hard to overcome.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with you.

Obama is running at 70%/90% (dependend on how the poll) for a couple of months now.

Edwards is below that but not much. (couldn't find the numbers in a quick search.)

Name ID is important in politics but in this case everybody that hasn't heard yet of the particular candiate must end up supporting him in order to overcome Clintons lead. Clearly that means that ID recognition is less a factor then it normally would.

by Ernst 2007-08-15 12:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with you.

Actually that's not true but for a lot of reasons. One the support right now which no one seems to get is mostly soft. Two still high number of underdecides. etc. So it can be a little here, and a little bit there- Clinton only has numbers in most states in the 30s or so. that mean it doesn't require a huge amount of shift to topple her.

by bruh21 2007-08-15 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with you.

Actually that's not true but for a lot of reasons. One the support right now which no one seems to get is mostly soft. Two still high number of underdecides. etc. So it can be a little here, and a little bit there- Clinton only has numbers in most states in the 30s or so. that mean it doesn't require a huge amount of shift to topple her.

by bruh21 2007-08-15 05:45AM | 0 recs
there are several different arguments here...

first, people argue -- and studies have shown -- that until campaigns begin (voters get mail, they complain about all the tv ads, phonebanks call and canvassers knock), voters make decisions based on name recognition.  they are going to vote for the person with whom they are familiar.  right now, that is hillary (and will continue to be until the campaigns begin; call this the invisible primary, the fund-raising primary).

but there's more to that with hillary.  hillary's unusual because there's never been a candidate who was not an incumbent who was universally known.  moreover, she is not just known, she is connected through politiking for her husband, senators and governors.  for democrats, hillary is a safe choice.  iow, she's already crossed the threshold for democrats voting for her, which is why i, and now others, call her the default choice for voters.  that doesn't necessarily mean that voters won't move away from her, but opponents have a higher bar to do that.

i consider this "parking" their vote.  we see this when people are forced by pollsters to choose.  in the past, voters have been more volatile in their choices because they didn't really know the candidates and they moved with the news of the week (or month).  there's more resistance to this because hillary is a safe choice for most democrats.

that argument is roughly correlating popularity with name recognition simplistically.  it's not hillary's name recognition that matters, but the name recognition of her opponents.  and it's not just their name recognition that matters, but also whether they've reached into voter's consciousness enough to make an impression.  hillary's raised the bar.  i agree with the statements that this is hillary's race to lose (in the primary) and i don't see anyone who's really prepared to wrestle the nomination away from her yet...

by bored now 2007-08-15 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: there are several different arguments here...

This is why her favorables/unfavorables are so much what this is about. Amongst Dems she is high, but once peo start thinking about electability this will cause some major probles for her. and so far, the only answer is she did well in NY.

by bruh21 2007-08-15 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res
She'll get 90% of the democrats who show up to vote.
If she gets the nomination and the republicans don't have a threatening candidate i can see some democrats give up on the system and stay home.
by joachim 2007-08-14 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

maybe you right , but I don't think most dems are that dumb . With the supreme court on the line and other issues , you seem to have it twisted most dems actually love Hillary Clinton , I think you are in a bubble of the netroots

by lori 2007-08-14 06:09PM | 0 recs
come on...

george isn't exactly an astute observer of campaigns.  he's a fierce partisan, he doesn't want to see another campaign do better...

by bored now 2007-08-15 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

I think there might be some marginal effect in that vein but nthing significant.

I think the larger concern is, to me at least, will she lose significant chunks of independents and, a bigger threat, will she energize GOP turnout.

The GOP is a deflated unenthised Party. What Rove is saying, imo, is the GOP can get its base out against Clinton IF it is close.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

You are not looking at it in terms of the electoral college , she wins all the states Kerry won , she wins NH , OH , FL or ARK  she is in the whitehouse , If the elections were held today She will be in the Whitehouse.

by lori 2007-08-14 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

I am not sure that is correct but just as importantly imo, the Congress is not selected by Electoral College.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

Even better, if Rudy is the nominee and Bloomberg gets into the race, she likely take ALL of those states (possible exception of Arkansas), plus Missouri. Either way, no matter who the nominee is, I think there's no way we lose Ohio again.  The mood there is still virulently anti-Republican.

by Denny Crane 2007-08-14 08:09PM | 0 recs
FL will be tough for any Democrat

I don't see Hillary having a good chance there.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-14 09:24PM | 0 recs
Say What You Will

I look forward to your post on Dodd. I like him a lot. His environmental position is absolutely the best and most progressive of all candidates. And I love the passion with which he speaks. He won't get the nomination but he deserves and has my respect.

by DoIT 2007-08-14 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will

Of course Hillary has earned some respect. I still doubt she is authentic.

by win 2007-08-14 06:17PM | 0 recs
Call me cynical

But looking for ACTUAL atuhenticity from pols is a fool's errand imo.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will

Heres my question about Dodd: What if Gore endorses him? I think this is a serious possibility (although the optimist in me hopes he will endorse edwads or obama). Is his candidacy a whole new sha-bang?

by leewesley 2007-08-14 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will

I doubt it.  I love Al Gore, but his endorsement didn't do anything for Howard Dean.  Gore's stature has continued to rise since then, but I don't think it would be enough for anyone to close the gap (on the strength of the endorsement alone), with the possible exception of Obama. At best, it might be worth 5-10 points, and I think that's being generous.  This is all supposition, of course.  Your mileage may vary.

by Denny Crane 2007-08-14 08:12PM | 0 recs
When You Talk About Negatives from the 90s

Are you talking about actual policies from the 90s or are you talking about the other stuff?

by Edgar08 2007-08-14 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: When You Talk About Negatives from the 90s

No, the other stuff. theoretically, the 90s policies will be a boost for her.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:19PM | 0 recs
I Didn't Want To Assume

A lot of her unfavorables come from the left, from people who are, for whatever reason, under the impression that Clinton's Policies aren't Progressive enough.

I think that tends to get grouped in with the Unfavorable Rating in and of itself allowing one to over-estimate the impact of the other stuff.

When you look at the number, 48% say they have already decided not to vote for her in the General Election, the Conventional Wisdom is to think that number is only comprised of Conservatives and Moderate Independents.

But when you take into account that 28% of the folks Blogging over at have also made a commitment not to vote for Clinton in the General Election, then it becomes apparenty that a large chunk of that 48% comes from Policy Oriented Leftist Independents.

So I always feel it would be great if Polling Agencies could ask Secondary Questions on the Issue.

by Edgar08 2007-08-14 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: I Didn't Want To Assume

A lot of her unfavorables do not come from the left. Some of you seem to just  make up arguments without much to back it up.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 08:50PM | 0 recs
How Else Do You Explain

Polls on a Blog like showing that 28% of those folks won't vote for her in the General Election?

by Edgar08 2007-08-14 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: How Else Do You Explain

uhm- daily kos? you do realize thats a blog right and that its unscientific.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 09:46PM | 0 recs
No It's Not Scientific

But's a good indicator.

Frankly, the idea that she gets unfavorables from that Demographic, or this Demographic, I don't see how that could be contested if only for the sheer amount of anecdotal evidence one can point to at any given moment.

by Edgar08 2007-08-14 10:03PM | 0 recs
Re: No It's Not Scientific

uhm- no its not.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 10:10PM | 0 recs
Can You Be More Conclusive

Do you think it's innacurate?

by Edgar08 2007-08-14 10:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Can You Be More Conclusive

It is. It has no screening for who participates. And the participation is dependend on the view point of the participation. No changing of the order of answers. No information on response rate. No screening for likely voters. etc, etc.

the scientific part of a poll is meant to make it acurate. And most of the times when it is scientific even then it can be highly innacurate. That is why we use averages and trendlines now.  If it's not scientific , it is not accurate.

The only useful information you'll get out of such a poll is that an X amount of daily kos users has said they won't vote for her.

by Ernst 2007-08-15 01:05AM | 0 recs
I Disagree

I'll agree to a wider margin of error, but I won't throw out such Poll results altogether.

And here's the reason why.   You two are truly whining about a fine thing, which is having a scientific Method towards gathering Data.

But neither one of you has found it possible to refute the findings.

2 to 3 participants on a Liberal Progressive Left Leaning Blog have decided (or at least have decided to tell people) that they will not vote for Clinton in a General Election.

Can you refute that statement?  What data(scientific or otherwise) would you have to support a conatradictory position?

If you think it's inaccurate, then make a statement that you think is more accurate regarding the issue.

Until then.  As long as I see those admittedly unscientific Polls consistently show roughly the same results, and as long as I tend to run into people on such Blogs who say they won't vote for Clinton in the General Election at a rate of 2 to 3 out of 10, then I will be more than happy to stand by my conclusion.

by Edgar08 2007-08-15 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I Disagree

there are somewhere around several hundred thousand members at D Kos. It's not even rep'ing D kos members much less anything else significant. You are reading too much into it.

by bruh21 2007-08-15 07:18AM | 0 recs
That's What People Keep Saying

But the Poll still says what it says, and I keep running into people onto these Blogs who say "I won't vote for Clinton in the General Election."

by Edgar08 2007-08-15 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: That's What People Keep Saying

We don't dispute that you walk into these people. But that the lack of scientific method makes it certain that the percentages are extremely of base.

And not with one not 1 or 2% but likely with 10, 15% or even more. Seeing both the traffic that daily kos gets and how the Clinton adversity is build up its very certain that you would keep running into people who won't vote for Clinton.

by Ernst 2007-08-16 04:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res
Already half the country does not vote. Don't assume that all those people are twisted. Those people know that your own initiative and drive will have a lot more to do with your success than Government and look at the partisan fights we have as a joke.
You have to give those people a reason to come out and vote. You have to inspire them.
by joachim 2007-08-14 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

You know you seem to think dems are not inspired by a hillary clinton presidency .You are living in a net roots bubble , she has an 80 % - 13% favourable/unfavourable ratio , that is approaching reagan like territory for the repubs , her closest competitor has a 66% - 30 % favourable/unfavourable in the dem electorate  according to Rasmussen , so I beg to differ . Its those other candidates that should be worried about inspiration.

by lori 2007-08-14 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

We really don't know how a Hillary Clinton candidacy will play out. It depends on who she's running against, and an essentially infinite number of other things. The only thing we can say is that the Republicans will turn out against her in full force, and yeah probably Democrats and women will turn out for her too. But it all depends on which effect is bigger.  

by Korha 2007-08-14 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

They will come out for all our candidates , none of them will have an easy track to the white house , Clinton is a fighter and knows how to win the others have faltered around a lot which doesn't give me much confidence

by lori 2007-08-14 06:46PM | 0 recs

i think you are confused by the fact that she's well known and liked among democrats.  here's another breakdown that will give you better insight into how voters actually feel about her:

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Neil Newhouse (R). June 8-11, 2007. N=approx. 500 adults nationwide. MoE ±  4.4

Date    Ver Pos    Som Pos    Neut    Som Neg    Ver Neg    DK/Not
6/8-11/07 18     24     15     16     26     1

obviously, this isn't just democrats, but it measures intensity.  i think you are confusing 80% approval to that percentage going over the plank for her...

by bored now 2007-08-15 05:35AM | 0 recs
I respect her, but not her campaign

I'm not a guy who really gets worked up about politicians, either way. I respect Hillary Clinton and what she's done. I just think she would be a significantly worse president than Obama or perhaps Edwards.

However, there is something to be said for putting our presidential candidates through the fire. I'm not interested in a primary where everyone makes nice. They should really be aggressively competing and fighting with each other for our support and our votes, in a substantive and issue-based fashion. So there's what I don't like about Hillary Clinton's primary campaign. Her whole strategy is about going around blurring real differences between herself and the other Democratic candidates while blustering on about being "ready to lead" and "didn't you like it when my husband was president?" Obviously, she's the frontrunner and it's a politically smart strategy, but it's not clear to me why I, as a voter, should respect that kind of strategy.

I guess what I want to say is that I respect Clinton as a person, but I certainly don't respect her presidential campaign. Sure, she's a "proficient politician," but so what? I don't consider that to be something particularly admirable--and it's not like the other candidates aren't proficient politicians, either. In terms of issues, for example, part of the reason there aren't many clear differences between the frontrunners is because Clinton is being deliberate vague and obfuscatory on that front. Take universal health care. Edwards has a health care plan. Obama has a health care plan. There are differences between them, which can and have been argued about. Clinton? She doesn't have one, yet. When it comes out, I'm pretty sure there will be important differences between that plan and the previously released plans. But until that happens, Clinton can float above the crowd telling us that universal health care is her #1 domestic priority while we don't actually have anything to judge that claim by (well, besides her record that is).

Of course, part of the problem is that Obama and to a lesser degree Edwards have declined to draw those issue-based differences with Clinton. Symbolic differences, like not taking money from federal lobbyists or negotiating without pre-conditions, will only get you so far. So my hope is that as the presidential campaign continues those differences will start to materialize--you're not going to beat Clinton but out-Clintoning her--and then we can have a more substantive debate on things, without having to go around and beat up our candidates on largely insignificant things for partisan political points.  

P.S. BTD, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on Axelrod in more detail. Why is he so bad for the Obama campaign, and what should Obama be doing now that he's not doing?

by Korha 2007-08-14 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I respect her, but not her campaign

For the almost 30 years I have followed Democratic  politics, us Democrats always had a distaste for Democrats bashing other Democrats.  It has been sort of an unwritten rule that Democrats want to see their candidates "play nice" with each other, but go after the other side with vigor.  That is different in the GOP.   So, you are calling for something that is usually not well liked in the Democratic realm.   Maybe this year is different than other cycles, but usually Democrats aren't very interested in and actually punish those who go after other Democrats more than, say, the occasional spat.  

by georgep 2007-08-14 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I respect her, but not her campaign

Who wants bashing? I said in my post that drawing symbolic differences between the candidates, like attacking Clinton for taking money from lobbyists or being a "Washington Insider," is not something I consider very productive. I consider that a political game. But I do think there are, or at least there should be, real substantive differences between the candidates. It's no surprise that Clinton, as the frontrunner, is trying to blur those differences and turn our attention to the Republicans instead. I wouldn't expect anything less from a smart politician. But I don't have to respect that strategy.

Maybe I shouldn't have used the words "play nice" (which was more directed towards the voters as opposed to the candidates). When Obama and Edwards get into a competition about the merits of their health care plans, and what the best strategy for passing universal health care is, that's not bashing. That's debate, and something we could use more of in the campaign. As for us democrats, it's incumbent upon us to hold our politician's feet to the fire a little bit, hopefully in an intelligent and substantive manner. We have a responsibility to appropriately critique all the candidates. Partisans who only boost their side, and tear down the other side, are both dishonest and uninteresting. It's the difference between, say, you and areyouready.

by Korha 2007-08-14 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: I respect her, but not her campaign

This segment drew my attention:

"However, there is something to be said for putting our presidential candidates through the fire. I'm not interested in a primary where everyone makes nice. They should really be aggressively competing and fighting with each other for our support and our votes, in a substantive and issue-based fashion."

I am not disagreeing with that sentiment per se, but I believe a majority of Democrats does.  It has been traditionally so that most Democrats do indeed want to see our candidates "make nice" and go after the other side, for the most part.  So, you really have to choose your battles to make it stick, or else a big number of Democrats will turn against you (that is, if that typical preference amongst Democrats holds true for this cycle as well.)    It is a very fine line that is very hard to not cross.  I believe Obama has fallen victim to such an overreach and has been paying a political price as a result.  

I have to disagree with you on the "issues."  I think the more they are being dissected, the more Clinton actually wins on them.  For instance, Edwards and Obama have been able to score points by claiming that they can just swoop into Congress and enact universal healthcare, which is entirely disingineous.  It will take a lot to get the system revamped and reworked, it will take years to get it done, and we will probably not be fully "universal" for some years thereafter.  Clinton has been very honest about that, and she has had to pay a political price.  Obama and Edwards make it appear like it is an easy undertaking, which it really is not at all.  The more this is discussed and understood, the more the erealistic approach Clinton has here will win the day.   Everybody can promise a "chicken in every pot."  Upon further scrutiny it does not stand up, so Clinton stands to gain from a "closer look."   In that same regard, how to pay for the initial rollout?  Rescinding Bush's tax cuts can go a long way in that regard, and Clinton as well as Edwards advocate rescinding those tax cuts immediately upon taking office.  Obama favors only sunsetting them, meaning letting them expire on their expiration date, which would keep the tax cuts with us until 2011.  Upon further scrutiny, the financing aspect of some of the proposals does not add up, because the "cash cow" of Bush's tax cuts won't be milked until mid-2011 if Obama gets his "sunsetting."

I think the same thing is bound to be true for "residual forces."  Clinton is taken to task for residual forces, because in the NY Times piece she outlined specific missions.  Obama has stated the EXACT same policy for residual forces in Iraq, the same "terror-fighting" missions envisioned as Clinton, but nobody has asked him anything about exact residual force troop size, exact missions, envisioned projects, length of stay in Iraq, etc.   So, Clinton is assailed because she has come up with some specifics (in that NY Times piece,) but Obama, who looks to be following the exact same plan, has gone unscathed, because nobody ever bothered to ask him for specifics about HIS residual forces missions.  

So, you see, I believe that Edwards and Obama have been able to do some "muddying" of their own, some whitewashing and "coasting under the radar."   Some closer scrutiny will flush that out, so I don't think this issue is as single-sided as you see it.  I am looking forward to Obama and Edwards having to put exact numbers up, get a little more specific on exactly how many troops, what type of missions, etc.

 I believe further scrutiny helps Clinton actually.

by georgep 2007-08-14 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: I respect her, but not her campaign

...and what should Obama be doing now that he's not doing?

Spending the years between now and the time he's in his early 50's building his policy chops, his instincts under the harsh glare of the national stage, and his networks within the Democratic establishment so that he can be a strong enough candidate to capitalize on his charisma and be elected the first African American President of the United States.

Great natural talent. Not enough big league experience. His ambition pushed him too fast...and may start to undermine his resevoir of good will.

by hwc 2007-08-14 08:18PM | 0 recs
Excuse me?

What's Hillary's policy chops?

Last time I checked, anyone over the age of 35 who was a U.S. born citizen can run for President.

So, he should lumber around in the Senate like Kerry and watch other up and coming Democrats run against him? Sorry, but last I checked, this is a free country and if he wants to run for President now, let him. Why should he be told by others to sit down and shut up until 2016? The nerve of some of you.

by Nedsdag 2007-08-14 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

Here is a start - link.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

This is a response to korha.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-14 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will,

lovingj is David Axelrod?

Based on what I've read, I have a fairly favorable impression of Axelrod. Now I don't think he is some amazingly brilliant strategist or whatever, but he has a good record, and it's not clear to me how exactly he's screwing up the Obama campaign. More the point, I think the Obama campaign is being run pretty much the way Barack Obama wants it to be run, and the departure of Axelrod's people isn't going to magically make him jump 10% in the polls.

I guess what you want is for Obama to be more partisan? More like Dodd? I confess I don't actually know that much about Dodd besides his appearances in the debates, so I look forward to your post on him later. Anyways, I personally like Obama's inclusive yet progressive rhetoric, but I grant that he could more be partisan in the general election. But why on heaven's earth should he be trying to build the democratic brand in the democratic primary? What he needs to do to win is take down Hillary Clinton, not the Republicans. Now maybe Axelrod isn't the right strategist to beat Clinton, but if so what do you think the right strategist/strategy is?

This is sort of a tangent from the main post, so I don't want to get that involved. But I've just been curious about the negative feeling towards Axelrod that has been expressed on some quarters of the blog here. It doesn't seem very justified to me--as you said, it all comes down the candidate, and Obama hired and is close friends with Axelrod.

by Korha 2007-08-14 07:20PM | 0 recs
I'm glad Axelrod is with Obama

Axelrod had Edwards run a campaign in 2003 that was too personality driven (son of a mill worker, first person in his family to go to college) and not enough about substance.

If Edwards had been running a different kind of campaign then, I would have ended up in his corner instead of volunteering as a precinct captain for Kerry.

I'm glad Axelrod is in the Obama camp.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-14 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Dodd is my second choice behind Clinton. My choices in order would be.

1.  Clinton

  1.  Dodd
  2.  Richardson
  3.  Edwards
  4.  Obama
  5.  Biden
  6.  Gravel
  7.  Kucinich

by robliberal 2007-08-14 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will

Excellent diary. You did a great job here, Big Tent.

by Denny Crane 2007-08-14 07:34PM | 0 recs
Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Well stated. Indeed she has earned respect. She has not been my first choice. But the primary campaign has made her a stronger candidate in my view and brought out her strengths.

by cmpnwtr 2007-08-14 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Fine.  I also agree that politically her team has done a good job of blurring the issues. However, I disagree that she is a progressive.  She can be a good Democrat and  I accept that under the Big Tent theory.  Now, substantively why has she not proposed a Health Care plan?  Why is she not will willing to take nukes of the table regarding non-state terrorist groups?  What is her plan to fight global warming?  Also, how do you explain the fact that she  said she has did not read the pre-war intelligence reports?  It seams to that if we are going to make a big fuss about George W. Bush's lack of interest in such matters we should be fair and apply it universally.  Finally, now that she has blessed all lobbyists, Democrats will not be able to make issue out of Fred Thompson's career in the general. Really, you are too liberal with the use of the words "substance" and "progressive".  

by jncamane 2007-08-14 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

I agree. She's clearly not a Republican, but she also quite clearly not running on a progressive plan for change either. Maybe under some dog whistle version of politics she's progressive. But one can not have it both ways. Those are two false choices. The GOP one by those who aren't capable of being fair to her, and the progressive claim by those who want to blur the line of what she has said on domestic issues.

No one can claim that any candidate running on NAFTA as a good thing for example is running as a true progressive with an economic message that really speaks to middle America. That's just to name one issue.  It simply seems to dilute the meaning of the word with regard to the way some here use it.

This doesn't mean she won't be a good Democrat, but this election has the potential to be a reallignment election as much as 1980. Good Democrat for the face of the party isn't good enough. Reshifting what Americans consider the middle- not by triangulating, but by having Americans coming to view the middle as progresive is the standard.

Shape the vision of what the Democrats (and the nation) represent for the next 20 years long after he or she has left office is the job description that I am expecting in a candidate.  

by bruh21 2007-08-14 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Now, substantively why has she not proposed a Health Care plan?

Because she and her strategists (inc. Bill Clinton) have mapped out a timeline to maximize the impact of their message between now and the general election in November 2008.

For maximum impact, she is releasing her health care plan in three stages that symbolize her political strategy on the issue:

1) Reduce costs

2) Improve quality

3) Extend coverage

Steps 1 and 2 are absolutely essential to building political concensus for step 3.

Health care will be a major issue in the general election and one that plays favorably to the Democrats. Hillary Clinton releasing step 3 of her health care plan will be a huge media event. She's smart to let the Republic Party candidates lay their cards on the table first and then slap an ace down on top.

by hwc 2007-08-14 09:08PM | 0 recs
out of curiosity

Why do you think the pharmaceutical and insurance industries are donating so much to Hillary?

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-14 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: out of curiosity

I wish Clinton could raise some more from them so she could keep up with the big money candidates in the race and maybe be able to afford to run an ad or two.


Pharmaceuticals/Health Products

Mitt Romney (R) $228,260
Barack Obama (D) $161,124
Hillary Clinton (D) $146,000
Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) $95,300
Christopher J. Dodd (D) $65,000
John McCain (R) $53,950
Tommy Thompson (R) $15,750
Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D) $10,450
Bill Richardson (D)  $9,750
Sam Brownback (R) $7,950
John Edwards (D) $5,650
Jim Gilmore (R) $4,200
Dennis J. Kucinich (D) $1,050
Tom Tancredo (R) $1,000
Ron Paul (R)  $900
Thomas J. Vilsack (D) $750


Christopher J. Dodd (D) $605,950
Mitt Romney (R) $459,625
Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) $370,100
Hillary Clinton (D) $352,700
Barack Obama (D) $269,750
John McCain (R) $156,200
Bill Richardson (D) $127,208
John Edwards (D) $81,750
Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D) $62,825
Mike Huckabee (R) $16,500
Thomas J. Vilsack (D) $9,000
Ron Paul (R) $6,401
Sam Brownback (R) $4,650
Duncan Hunter (R) $3,300
Jim Gilmore (R) $1,500
Tommy Thompson (R) $1,220
Tom Tancredo (R) $750
Dennis J. Kucinich (D) $500

by hwc 2007-08-14 09:52PM | 0 recs
Re: out of curiosity

you aren't helping your case to point out everyone does it.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: out of curiosity

Actually he's pointing out that they are not donating all that much to her. And that was your question.

You aked why are they donating so much to her and the answer is that the question is wrong as they aren't really doing that at all. Seems on point to me.

by Ernst 2007-08-15 02:06AM | 0 recs
Re: out of curiosity

actually that again assume this about comparators. The question was an absolute one. You think it answers the question because you are comparing it to "well what does everyone else do?" that's not my implicit point. It could be. but it isn't. My implicit point it that no one should be taking money from big pharma including clinton.

by bruh21 2007-08-15 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

not to rehash, but look, you aren't dealing with a naive or believe everything we hear public here. give us more credit by not throwing out the standard spin. here's the reason why no one believes what you are saying who isn't already a clinton supporter. yes, part of it is the lobbying money. i could forgive that although i think it stinks.  but frankly the true point at which I personally don't believe her is where she tells us she will try to implement this in her second term. Now either she has an over inflated view of herself or she  thinks her audience is too dumb to realize she's basically giving us the middle finger, but there is no way I believe she thinks she will really implement a major industry changing thing like healthcare reform in her lame duck years. she walks on the earth like the rest of us. no amount of political ability is going to make her walk on this water.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd

OT: Did you see Dodd's op ed in the Financial Times? I disagreed with his views somewhat, but it was interesting. Definitely comforting to know Dems are focused on the carrot more than bush ever was.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

Spot-on. I mark the decline of the Obama stock with his flippant remark of labeling Clinton as "Bush-Cheney Lite". And by stock I'm referring to his tradesport/poll swoon. He's got the money to come back, but has lost some momentum, like Edwards too, imo.

The money issue is a huge throwback to the 'money is evil' nonsense that liberals charged in the pre-netroots era. Money doesn't make corrupt policy, people do. And if those people let the money make their decision, then it's them, not the money, that is corrupt.

Is there a difference in the way Edwards and Obama each is raising money compared with Clinton? In degrees perhaps, but not substantively-- not in a way that's going to change votes in Iowa or New Hampshire, I don't believe.

It's not over, but the betting is now at over 60% for Clinton to win the nomination, an all-time high. She has run the best campaign to date. It continues to be her race to lose. Everyone that points to it coming down to Iowa again is right on. If Clinton doesn't get slowed down there, it is over.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-08-15 12:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

That might have marked Obama's decline, but his fundamental problem is that he isn't appealing to women the way Hillary is appealing to african americans.

I supported Obama because I thought that he would be the most effective at winning and getting progressive policy enacted, but Hillary is showing his weakness pretty clearly.  

by sterra 2007-08-15 04:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

As my friend said to me "this race is over in the political junkies mind, and that's about it."

by bruh21 2007-08-15 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res

I don't think Edwards or Obama have called Hillary's policy corrupt.  That would have legal consequences.  Rather they have state that she is influenced by money.  Yes, influential and corruption money are not the same.  However, influential money can be just as damaging and lead to inhumane treatment of people. By your standards Abramof's contributions on behalf of his Marianna Islands clients would be OK if congressmen or Senators did not break the law. In other words, women held as sex slaves in the Marianna Islands would be stuck in  that situation with out hope so long as their pimps had the hired the right lobbyist.  

by jncamane 2007-08-15 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Say What You Will, Hillary Has Earned Some Res
I'd imagine the supposed front runner would love to frame the election as being 'over'. And all the media pundits will help in that narrative.
These pundits have no shame that they'll be up making all sorts of excuses with a straight face the day Hillary looses Iowa and then NH.
This election is far from over and those pundits know it.
by joachim 2007-08-15 07:56AM | 0 recs
I agree with everything that you say

I don't have much of a problem with Hillary on the issues. My problem has always been her high unfavs and the risk of having negative coattails.

But I have been very impressed by her campaign so far. If she continues like this she will be acceptable to a vast majority of Americans. When watching all the Democratic candidates she is actually the one who should be most attractive to non-Democrats, I think. She is extremely tough, very competent and very experienced. She projects strength and confidence like no other (and without that slight arrogance she once had).
In many ways Hillary reminds me of a conservative person, except that her positions are center-left. If Republicans think that they will have a field day with her they should think again.

It will be interesting to see if her favs/unfavs ratio continue to improve as people see more of her, and the real her (not the right wing bogeyman). Right now I would be perfectly happy with any of our top three candidates.

Dodd seems like a nice guy to me, but isn't he too boring, aloof and uncharismatic to be a good candidate? He is a bit like Kerry without the military resume.

by Populism2008 2007-08-15 09:05AM | 0 recs


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