"Craven and Narcissistic"

Simon Rosenberg of NDN (I have no idea what it stands for as they left the explanation out of their page "about NDN") has some pretty harsh words about Hillary Clinton's opportunistic grandstanding in Florida - a game she clearly would not have played but for her immediate necessity.

Like many I wish the Democratic Party could have found a way to let the votes of the people of Michigan and Florida be counted. Unfortunately the rules were the rules, all the candidates agreed to them, and - for the most part - have stuck by them.

So what exactly is Hillary doing by going to Florida to declare victory, pushing her way into whatever is the big Republican story tonight? Somehow given the events of the last few weeks this move just feels wrongly timed. Too many questions are being raised about the Clinton's integrity, their willingness to do whatever it takes to win, even sacrificing long held values and beliefs in the process.

Having worked on the New Hampshire primary and in the War Room in 1992 for the Clintons, I was present at the creation of the famous "rapid response" campaign style and fierce fighting spirit of the Clinton era. In the very first meeting of the famous War Room James Carville warned us "that if you don't like to eat sh-- everyday you shouldn't be in politics." So I understand as well as anyone that this is a tough game, not for the faint of heart.

But there is a line in politics where tough and determined becomes craven and narcissistic, where advocacy becomes spin, and where integrity and principle is lost. I am concerned that this Florida gambit by the Clinton campaign is once again putting two of my political heroes too close - or perhaps over - that line. So that even if they win this incredible battle with Barack Obama they will end up doing so in a way that will make it hard for them to bring the Party back together, and to lead the nation to a new and better day.

Now maybe she didn't mean to promise not to campaign in Florida, and I guess in the most technical sense she didn't.  But her insistence that "we need to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates" comes completely without any comment on the situation which brought the party to this point.  Sure, the mostly white and relatively conservative states are protecting their privileged January spots and feel a sense of entitlement to their power to decide whom the rest of us get to vote for.  But it's more than that.  The primary season gets earlier every time.  Pretty soon we'll be holding December primaries.  Then November.  And every state will be jockeying for the front positions sans some kind of central directive.

Did the DNC handle it well?  No.  But Clinton took a position with the DNC, and basically reneged on it.  And now, without addressing the underlying issue, she simply says the obvious "the delegates should be seated." Of course she wants that.  They're almost all hers.  Seating her delegates is all she cares about now.  She offers no solution to the underlying conflict.  That's not her concern.  If she was to offer a solution it might be in something like rotations of January primaries among the states.  But that would piss off Iowa and New Hampshire, and so she prefers the patented Clinton ability to be something for everybody and adequate for nobody except themselves.

She took advantage of the principles of her opponents who have held to their agreement.  And many of the Florida voters support her as their savior, because they too don't care about the broader good.  They want their delegates seated.  Period.

Obviously the Republicans don't care about it and their literal half measure is even more stupid than the DNC's.  Some accommodation will have to be made to Michigan and Florida or the Democrats will lose in November.  If they make the Republican compromise then the Republicans would have no advantage with the voters unless they caved as well.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping that the voters of Super Tuesday will react to the Florida and Michigan demands, and Hillary's pandering to them, the same way people in a grocery line would react if the manager allowed his girlfriend to cut ahead of them.

Tags: campaign, DNC, Florida, Hillary Clinton, obama, Primary (all tags)

Comments

24 Comments

Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

NDN is the New Democrat Network.

His name is actually Simon, not Steven.

I honestly have no clue what his agenda was with this item.  It doesn't seem productive.

by Steve M 2008-01-29 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

But there is a line in politics where tough and determined becomes craven and narcissistic, where advocacy becomes spin, and where integrity and principle is lost. I am concerned that this Florida gambit by the Clinton campaign is once again putting two of my political heroes too close - or perhaps over - that line.

His agenda seems pretty clear to me. He is concerned for his heroes the Clintons, lest their craven and narcissistic ways should eclipse their heorism. I try not to call people names, cough*ConcernTroll*cough, but sometimes it takes a concerted effort on my part.

I don't know much about Simon Rosenberg, except I believe he ran for DNC chair against Howard Dean. Right?

by itsthemedia 2008-01-29 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

Craven and Narcissistic" describes Rosenthal to a T.

He's Joe Trippi's boy.  Thats what this is all about.

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-30 03:58AM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

Such sour grapes.  If Obama had been the winner, not only would he would have been there, he would had the Kennedy Clan in tow behind him.

by reasonwarrior 2008-01-29 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

Except that Obama could not be the winner because he keeps his word.

Unfortunately, the Florida voters are not King Solomon.  The baby would be torn apart in Clinton's hands.

by Drummond 2008-01-29 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

He violated the pledge when he advertised in Florida.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-29 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

Good lord!  Obama broke a pledge by advertising in FL.  Someone living in FL posted that he had seen Obama's ad running repeatedly while he was watching CNN And MSNBC.

Hillary came to FL AFTER the polls have closed.  The pledge ended after polls are closed.

Even Robert Wexler, Obama's supporter, conceded as such.

by FilbertSF 2008-01-29 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

He ran ads on cable, nationwide.  That's not campaigning.

Yes, she came after the polls closed, and after several days of grandstanding and pandering.  Technically she didn't campaign.  "No controlling authority" and what does is mean?  I know.

by Drummond 2008-01-29 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

Good.  I'm glad you concede that you were lying.

by FilbertSF 2008-01-29 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

Reread the post.  

On second thought, don't bother.

by Drummond 2008-01-29 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

No.  I won't bother.  You conveniently ignore facts to suit your needs.  Whatever.

You don't really matter to me.

by FilbertSF 2008-01-29 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

I doubt anyone matters to you but you.  The perfect Clinton fan.

by Drummond 2008-01-29 09:03PM | 0 recs
by world dictator 2008-01-29 11:45PM | 0 recs
Stop revising History please...

Obama was THE FIRST to break the pledge, which included ADVERTISING in Florida, not just campaigning.  It wasn't until AFTER Obama broke his promise that Hilary decided to go to Florida.  

Hillary followed the rules and DID NOT advertise nationally like Obama did.  Doesn't matter though. Hillary still won in Florida without the advertising anyway.

I am sure Hillary would have liked to advertise on CNN and MSNBC like Obama did.  It would have been beneficial for her.  But she signed a pledge and kept it.  Shame on Obama for breaking his word!!   And shame on the Obama campaign for trying to SPIN this as though it was HIllary that did something wrong.

by Sandy1938 2008-01-30 02:23AM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

To be perfectly honest, yes, it is campaigning.

The pledge references the DNC's official definition of campaigning, and the ads fit.

I don't think anyone has made a big deal out of that, but if you want to get all cute about the (self-defined) spirit of the rules, your guy already violated the letter.

by Steve M 2008-01-29 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

So, let me get this straight:  Obama KEEPS HIS WORD (although he ran ads on CNN which just happened to fall into the Florida market, something Hillary did not do) and therefore he lost here by almost 20%?   He lost here big because Clinton supposedly "broke" the pledge by flying into Florida AFTER the votes had been cast?  

Are you not seeing how contradictory and downright nonsensical your contention here is?  

by georgep 2008-01-29 09:08PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

I doubt anyone matters to you but you.  The perfect Clinton fan.

by Drummond 2008-01-29 09:03PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

This man knows the Clintons,obviously, and even loves them, but he has nailed them with the perfect description.

Just what we want in the white house..craven and narcissistic leaders to tackle the challenges.

Oh joy.  America, come to your senses and nominate the opposite of this..Obama.

by hawkjt 2008-01-29 09:55PM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

Craven and Narcissistic" describes Rosenthal to a T.

He's Joe Trippi's boy.  Thats what this is all about.

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-30 04:01AM | 0 recs
Re: "Craven and Narcissistic"

I hope this becomes a moot issue by the time of the convention. But coming out of the convention, (and trying for a moment to ignore who has how many delegates from MI and FL), can we agree that it would look a lot better for the GE if our nominee gets the winning votes by the convention voting to seat the delegates, than if our nominee is only able to secure victory by disenfranchising millions of primary election voters?

Do a thought experiment and switch the names around on the delegate totals from those states. Does your answer change if Obama has the most to gain by seating the delegates? Mine doesn't. I want the Democrats to win the WH, and we need MI to be solid and FL to be in play. If that means my first choice candidate has to be out, then so be it.

(Actually my first choice was Dodd, so I know whereof I speak.)

by itsthemedia 2008-01-29 09:56PM | 0 recs
Your memory is better than mine

But Clinton took a position with the DNC, and basically reneged on it.

Refresh my memory on when Clinton supported the DNC's actions re Michigan and Florida.  Please.

by Trickster 2008-01-29 10:40PM | 0 recs
Great adjectives to describe

Hillary Clinton...LOL!

by puma 2008-01-30 12:05AM | 0 recs
he sounds bitter
so do you.
In fact more people voted for Clinton than McCain yesterday.  In fact more people voted in the democratic primary yesterday than in all of the democratic primaries held to this point.
Keep saying that doesn't matter and you are craven.
by MollieBradford 2008-01-30 02:08AM | 0 recs
Re: he sounds bitter

People voted yesterday?

For what, their bowling team?

by Drummond 2008-01-30 06:54AM | 0 recs

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