Clinton's Latest Metric

Several stories are making the rounds today, including the latest attempts by the Clinton campaign to move the goalposts of this democratic primary. With more time, I would love to search for the many quotes from the Clinton campaign regarding delegates, automatic delegates, big states, states that matter, popular vote, etc. However, I think this latest gem wins the prize (http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/200 8/05/2025-clinton-ca.html).

For weeks, the figure that the Associated Press, political reporters and the Democratic presidential campaigns have been citing as the minimum number of convention delegates needed to be the party's presidential nominee has been 2,025.

This morning, Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign made the case that the goal line needs to be moved further back and that the real "magic number" is 2,209. It also laid out a scenario that has the primary season ending on June 3 with neither major contender having reached the 2,209 mark. In that event, Clinton strategist Geoff Garin said, "the process" would continue -- a process that could see Clinton and Barack Obama taking their battle for the nomination to the floor of the party's late-August convention in Denver.

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So - following along with their push to seat the MI and FL delegates (even though the DNC voted to strip the states of their delegates), the new number to reach is 2209.

Imagine my surprise (I jest) to find that this new claim by Hillary is not exactly genuine...and that not too long ago, she held a different view (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OsYnegoV 28).

There are many reasons to support Hillary Clinton and to vote for her against John McCain in November - but I must admit her sincerity is not one of them.

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Hillary Clinton May Have Just Lost

....my vote in the GE.

For the last 7 years, democrats, republicans, independents, and everyone else in between has been forced to respond to a politics of fear in America. The Bush Administration and many of its most ardent supporters have used fear (the fear of others, the fear of terrorism, the fear of the ill-understood) to threaten us. GW Bush has applied this politics to every debate on Capitol Hill. XXXXX will make us safer. XXXXX will make us weaker. XXXXXX and the terrorists win.

Now Hillary Clinton - who shocked democrats (and others) - with her 3 am call, has once again found it necessary to lower the dialogue of American politics. Hillary is playing with fire. She is engaging in 'guilt by association' tactics that should make all of us cringe at our core. She is using 9-11 and Osama bin Laden as a way of drumming up votes. Many have noted her reference to Hamas in the debate and her newly-found desire to exploit 9-11...not just for her own purpose, but to hurt a fellow democrat.

For those of you who have forgotten...this is exactly why we fought in 2006 to win back Congress.  

She has not only played on the politics of fear. She has played the 'terror card'.

Mark Halperin has the story:
http://thepage.time.com/2008/04/21/clint on-up-with-new-tv-ad/

After 2004, I thought we were tired of this kind of politics. We used to think this was how Republicans campaigned. Now this is how Hillary is campaigning. She has sunk to a new low that I think will play into the hands of Republicans in the Fall. Moreover, I think she insults America (and our superdelegates) with this ad.

This is not about solutions to gas prices or foreclosures. This is not about a change in Washington. This is about her. This is about 'doing antyhing, saying anything'.

She will win PA...but if she manages to secure the nomination, she is in for a long, tough road to win back over democrats (and others) who are tired of being told that they should be afraid.

And to pile on, exponentially, the disingenuous rhetoric that her campaign has promoted over the last month or so...I leave you with one of the more memorable political quotes of the late 20th century:

"Now, one of Clinton's laws of politics is this. If one candidate is trying to scare you and the other one is try get you to think, if one candidate is appealing to your fears and the other one is appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope."

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*BREAKING* Obama Picks Up Delegate, Clinton Loses One

Hey, when you are fighting for every delegate (pledged, super, automatic, add-on, or whatever!)...then I figure this deserves a diary.

Apparently, with all votes counted in OH (absentee, provisional), Obama netted an extra delegate...cutting HRC's delegate win in that state from 8 to 7. New totals: 74 (HRC) to 67 (BHO).

At this stage, that is actually a net of 2 for BHO since he gains one while HRC loses one.

Some more info available here:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/4 /17/20252/2491/370/497954

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Another Obama Friendly Diary. Welcome.

On many levels, this has been a pretty crappy week. I will not (re)enter the debate about whether the rukus about BHOs comments is legit, but I do find it amazing that in roughly the same time frame so many significant endorsements have been rolled out for Obama.

Trolls, enjoy your time here, but for those interested and unable to keep up with all of the news over the last days, I offer you a summary. Additions welcome (in the comments) and I can try to update.

NEWSPAPERS

Scranton Times-Tribune
http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site/new s.cfm?newsid=19480144&BRD=2185&P AG=461&dept_id=418218&rfi=6

Allentown Morning Call
http://www.mcall.com/news/opinion/all-a. 6348993apr13,0,743721.story

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08107/873 625-35.stm

The Bucks County Courier-Times
http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/3 27-04162008-1519834.html

The Patriot News
http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/patri otnews/index.ssf?/base/opinion/120830012 7211570.xml&coll=1

SUPERDELEGATES

DNC Nancy Larson (MN)
Nancy Larson, of Dassel, a Democratic National Committee member joins eight other Minnesota superdelegates who are supporting Obama. (3 are supporting HRC, one uncommitted)
 http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iNxTA pa2sQRu0Xx99P3jt2bEXw7gD900UL7G0

Rep Andre Carson (D-IN)
André Carson was elected this year to represent Indiana's 7th Congressional District in the 110th Congress.
http://my.barackobama.com/page/community /post/samgrahamfelsen/gGC5pp

Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC)
Watt, a lawyer, was first elected in 1992. He is chair of a financial services subcommittee - a key post for his hometown - and is a past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
http://www.charlotte.com/209/story/58335 6.html

Rep. David Price (D-NC)
Price, a former Duke political scientist, was first elected to Congress in 1986. He is the most senior Democratic congressman from North Carolina and he chairs an appropriations subcommittee.
http://www.charlotte.com/209/story/58335 6.html

For those keeping count: among nationwide elected officials, Obama now leads or is even in all three categories(according to DemConWatch):
Governors (+3)
Senators (+4)
Representatives (even)
http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/01/ superdelegate-list.html

NON-SUPER - BUT STILL SUPER ENDORSEMENTS

Twenty-Five (of 35 total) South Dakota Democratic State Legislators.
Senator Julie Bartling
Senator Gary Hanson
Senator Scott Heidepriem
Senator Alan Hoerth
Senator Jim Hundstad
Senator Sandy Jerstad
Senator Tom Katus
Senator Frank Kloucek
Senator Ryan Maher
Senator Ben Nesselhuf
Senator Jim Peterson
Senator Nancy Turbak Berry
Senator Theresa Two Bulls
Representative Jim Bradford
Representative Quinten Burg
Representative H. Paul Dennert
Representative Richard Engels
Representative David Gassman
Representative Clayton Halverson
Representative Dale Hargens
Representative Larry Lucus
Representative Garry Moore
Representative Eldon Nygaard
Representative Bill Thompson
Representative Tom Van Norman
http://my.barackobama.com/page/community /post/samgrahamfelsen/gGC5pC

For South Dakota (which looks like it could be a big Obama win), these legislators are joining Superdelegates:  Former Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Tim Johnson, Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

Tribal Leaders from South Dakota (actually happened last week but seems to have been overlooked)
http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm ?id=1096417012

THE BOSS (deserves his own category)
http://www.brucespringsteen.net/news/ind ex.html

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A Slippery Slope

I have tried - quite unsuccessfully - to make the point here that those who defend HRCs incessant use of Republican talking points (most poignantly in the last few days) are either naive or disingenuous. No matter - the blinders are on here at MyDD and my only job is to jump in front of that bus every now and then and take a few shots. I am sure this diary will yield no less a result.

But I think that HRC has perhaps played her latest political game for a little too long. It reminds me of the SNL skits of the late 90s early 2000s...after the first 3 mins. they just werent funny anymore.

The latest evidence comes from her botched attempt to deal another blow to Obama during her address to the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

One would assume that this is a group that is somehow offended by Obama's honest, truthful assessment of economically-distressed voters (not just Obama's - but the majority of Dems, including Hillary, Bill, Carville, Webb, and I am sure others).

Well maybe not.

MSNBC First Read has the story. When democrats are getting booed by workers - one has to pause and wonder why? I hope this will be the sign HRC needed to return to her focus on issues.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2 008/04/14/888068.aspx

Before you blame MSNBC for being pro-Obama...watch and listen for yourself to the video - linked here:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/4 /14/12422/9915/877/495437

By the way - this is not the only embarassing story that illustrates why HRC is constantly on the wrong side of the fence. Apparently, a similar 'response' caused plans to change in NC. I wonder where all those bumper stickers are?

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2 008/04/12/882730.aspx

Do they not remember that this is a DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY and that most of the people listening are democrats. Whether you like it or not: this is a democratic party talking point.

Jim Webb
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/ feature.html?id=110009246

James Carville
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/040 8/9323.html
(and he has repeated this recently)

Bill Clinton
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/13 /bill-clinton-flashback-al_n_96433.html

Hillary Clinton
I am willing to bet that HRC has made similar characterizations about the relationship between the economy, social issues, and voting. I am sure its out there..... if you find it, put it in the comments for me.  :)

Whether it is elitist or not - it is an odd characteristic of elections that people will vote against their own economic interests in favor of social issues, if they feel the govt has forgotten them.

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Clinton Begs Gore to Endorse Obama

Several have commented, but I have not seen a diary focusing on HRC's comments about elitism and Gore/Kerry.  I bring them here to highlight a point about the differences between HRC and BHO.

Politico has the note: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0 408/Clinton_Out_of_touch_and_like_Gore.h tml

First Clinton. At the Compassion Forum this evening, in a disturbing attempt to paint Obama as elitist, she brings up the previous election cycles of Gore and Kerry.

"We had two very good men, and men of faith, run for president in 2000 and 2004," she said. "Large segments of the electorate concluded that they did not really understand, or relate to, or respect their ways of life."

Wow. She takes a swipe at Gore and Kerry in order to propagate her own talking point about Obama. Sounds an awful lot like the typical Republican talking points...and it feeds DIRECTLY into the Republican attack machine that has been waged against Dems since WJC ran in 1992. And dont think The Clintons are immune to the right-wing 'elitism' slam. Why on earth would she do that?

Now...how does Obama respond:

"Al Gore was mentioned earlier. I think Al Gore won," Obama said.

Now that is a Democratic talking point. Gore won.

Does HRC even remember which side she is on anymore - or has her tunnel vision propelled her to a point where she can no longer distinguish the good from the bad...the blue from the red, as it were. Her alignment with the McCain camp is equally distressing. She is attacking Obama ALONGSIDE McCain. Will she ever stop?  

I can tell you one thing...that Gore endorsement just got a little closer.

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Mark Penn Not Going Away, and Neither are America's Workers

Regardless of who you support, we should all agree that people like Mark Penn and his PR firm (who are not only spinning trade deals from Colombia, but also worked with folks like S. Berlusconi) do not belong anywhere near a democratic candidate (or the White House).

In an earlier diary (http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/4/4/16316 79816) I noted that Change To Win (a coalition of seven unions and six million workers) had called for the resignation of Mark Penn in the wake of his ill-advised meeting with the ambassador of Colombia.

Well, it appears that the lack of action on the part of HRC has fueled their anger.

TPM has the story:
http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsm emo.com/2008/04/obamabacking_unions_dema nd_hil.php

It surely can't bode well that HRC's own Paul Begala seems to echo the sentiment of both Change to Win and Obama.
http://thepage.time.com/2008/04/11/begal a-i-have-nothing-but-contempt-for-penn

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An Obama Friendly Diary...Welcome.

Obama Endorsements.

Not a bad week for the Senator from Illinois.

American Postal Workers Union
http://www.apwu.org/news/forthepress/pre ssrel080409_obama.htm

Charleston Gazette
http://www.wvgazette.com/Opinion/Editori als/200804070537

Portland Tribune
http://www.portlandtribune.com/opinion/p rint_story.php?story_id=1207603143729780 00

Former OR Govs. Barbara Roberts and John Kitzhaber (current Gov. backs HRC)
http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/regi onal/index.ssf?/base/elections-0/1207839 848150850.xml&storylist=orlocal

Utah Democratic Party Chair Wayne Holland (not a real surprise, but endorsement message is nice).
http://thepage.time.com/obama-release-on -endorsement-of-utah-party-chair-holland /

Montana Superdelegate Jeanne Lemire Dahlman (note other SD Campbell will probably support Obama but party rules have forced her to withdraw her official endorsement until after the primary)
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2008/ 04/08/news/local/news05.txt

Pennsylvania City and State Lawmakers (not quite Rendell/Nutter, but something!)
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/breaking/ news_breaking/20080410_Obama_to_receive_ Phila__endorsements_today.html

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The War We Need to Win

On August 1, 2007, Senator Barack Obama provided an intelligent, reasoned, and thought-provoking vision of how American foreign policy should advance in the 21st Century. Speaking to an audience at the Wilson Center in Washington DC (and introduced by Lee Hamilton of the 9-11 Commission), Obama contextualized his foreign policy approach within his own `9-11 experience'. The speech is impressive and wide-ranging in its scope and its message reflects Obama's ability to interweave complex issues with a message of change that is surpassed only by the substantial policy adjustments that accompany it. A full text of the speech can be found on Senator Obama's campaign website (http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/01/re marks_of_senator_obama_the_w_1.php)

In light of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker appearance before Senate Foreign Relation Committee this afternoon - I found Obama's 2007 policy message on Iraq, terrorism, and diplomacy, offered roughly 8 months ago, rather prophetic.

After commenting on his own experience during the tragic events of 9-11, Senator Obama skillfully addresses the need to reevaluate current policies and devise new strategies to meet the challenges of terrorism in the 21st Century and to build new alliances to help defend America and its citizens abroad.

The Senator begins his comments in this section with an eloquent statement of the relationship between fear, religion, and ethnicity and the need to turn the page on blind intolerance and uninformed saber-rattling. He writes:

Just because the President misrepresents our enemies does not mean we do not have them. The terrorists are at war with us. The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, but the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

Senator Obama's denouncement of ethnic stereotyping and his defense of Islam is not only absolutely correct, but it represents an approach to terrorism and foreign policy that has rarely been evoked by policy makers in Washington. Feeding fear and challenging patriotism have been the weapons of the current administration - as well as presidential candidates.

The Senator continues:

The President would have us believe that every bomb in Baghdad is part of al Qaeda's war against us, not an Iraqi civil war. He elevates al Qaeda in Iraq -- which didn't exist before our invasion -- and overlooks the people who hit us on 9/11, who are training new recruits in Pakistan. He lumps together groups with very different goals: al Qaeda and Iran, Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents. He confuses our mission.

And worse -- he is fighting the war the terrorists want us to fight. Bin Ladin and his allies know they cannot defeat us on the field of battle or in a genuine battle of ideas. But they can provoke the reaction we've seen in Iraq: a misguided invasion of a Muslim country that sparks new insurgencies, ties down our military, busts our budgets, increases the pool of terrorist recruits, alienates America, gives democracy a bad name, and prompts the American people to question our engagement in the world.

By refusing to end the war in Iraq, President Bush is giving the terrorists what they really want, and what the Congress voted to give them in 2002: a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

It is time to turn the page. When I am President, we will wage the war that has to be won, with a comprehensive strategy with five elements: getting out of Iraq and on to the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan; developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world's most deadly weapons; engaging the world to dry up support for terror and extremism; restoring our values; and securing a more resilient homeland.

The first step must be getting off the wrong battlefield in Iraq, and taking the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

What struck me today is how these statements from 2007 reflect the tenor of the current debate. The recognition of civil conflict, the problem of `lumping' groups together indiscriminately to cause confusion (a la McCain of late), and most importantly the recognition that we must change the way the world perceives America if we expect to accomplish our goals and help others reach theirs.

Beyond that, we also see very clearly articulated, Senator Obama's belief that the US has taken its eye off of real threats in the Afghan-Pakistan region. As I processed the various blurbs and clips from the proceedings today, Senator Joe Biden's (D-DE) confrontation with Ambassador Crocker was especially telling:

SEN. BIDEN: Mr. Ambassador, is Al Qaeda a greater threat to US interests in Iraq, or in the Afghan-Pakistan border region?

AMB. CROCKER: Mr. Chairman, Al Qaeda is a strategic threat to the United States wherever it is, in my view-

SEN. BIDEN: Where is most of it? If you could take it out? You had a choice: Lord almighty came down and sat in the middle of the table there and said Mr. Ambassador you can eliminate every Al Qaeda source in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or every Al Qaeda personnel in Iraq, which would you pick?

AMB. CROCKER: Well given the progress that has been made against Al Qaeda in Iraq, the significant decrease in its capabilities, the fact that it is solidly on the defensive, and not in a position of-

SEN. BIDEN: Which would you pick, Mr. Ambassador?

AMB. CROCKER: I would therefore pick Al Qaeda in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area.

SEN BIDEN: That would be a smart choice.

(As one colleague of mine put it...a smack-down!)

Senator Obama has consistently called for a re-focus of US counter-terrorism policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, during his 2002 statement against the war in Iraq, Senator Obama stated his opposition to Iraq because it was unwise and rash, but he made a point to contrast this with his support for the US-led efforts in Afghanistan.

As the US digs its heels down in Iraq and we continue to post counters tracking blood and treasure, I hope that Ambassador Crocker's response to Senator Biden, as well as Senator Obama's policy-leading statements on the significance of Afghanistan, will move our country forward.

More importantly, it is my hope that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (and not its Subcommittee on Europe, which rarely meets and would NOT be the appropriate place, despite recent, uninformed claims), which Senator Biden chairs, will begin debating policy and advocate turning the US's attention to Afghan-Pakistan border region and surrounding hinterlands.

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Change to Win Calls for Penn Resignation

It would appear that Penn's conflict of interest in meeting with Colombia's US Ambassador to talk about a bilateral free-trade is not going away.

While many have tried to argue that Mr. Penn was simply wearing a different hat, Penn himself has already admitted that his decision to meet with the ambassador was an "error in judgment". (http://thepage.time.com/mark-penns-state ment-on-colombia-trade-deal-talks/).

Change to Win - which involves seven unions and six million workers - is now calling for the resignation of Penn. Their statement has been posted on the Change to Win www site (http://www.changetowin.org/connect/2008/ 04/mark_penn_has_to_go.html).

I repost it here for convenience:

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