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Dear Obama Supporters: Define “Negative”

I’ve been reading all day about how negative Hillary has been towards Obama. MSNBC had a question from their exit poll asking who ran a more negative campaign in PA and 67% of all voters thought Hillary had. And if the media says it, it *must* be true, right? Of course, it might also be the case that people are predisposed to believe what they want to hear. I was on the ground in PA and I have to honestly say that I didn’t see much negativity from the Clinton campaign staffers or volunteers. They complained mightily about being soaked through while canvassing in the rain. But other than that, zip. But maybe I’m biased.

So, I am giving you Obama supporters a chance to set the record straight. Please define the term “negative campaigning” with regard to Hillary Clinton. Parameters:

  1. You may not use an example where the candidate compares or contrasts herself with Obama.
  2. The offense must be an overt and deliberate attack on Obama’s personality or character.
  3. Outperforming Obama, for the purposes of this exercise, is not considered negative campaigning.
  4. The negativity can not have been initiated by a media source.
  5. Please back up your examples with citations.
  6. Rude, obnoxious or obscene comments will be deleted.

Conflucians, sit on your hands and let the Obama supporters answer this without critiques, responses or comments of any kind. Go to the Open Thread below instead.

74 Responses

  1. Riverdaughter…since we have an overabundance (yea!) of HRC supporters here…can you post this question at some other sites to see if we really get any answers?

    It’s a great question and you’ve stated it so well – it would be interesting if we get some input.

  2. I am now fighting mad! Talk about negative! Picked this up on the Politico site:
    Obama: Problem is older voters

    Carrie Budoff Brown reports that Obama was asked about the exit polls at an avail (his second this week) in New Albany, IN.

    “I have to say if you look at and I know my staff has talked about this: If you look at the numbers, our problem has less to do with white working class voters, the problem is to the extent there is a problem is with older voters. … They have a track record of voting for Sen. Clinton,” he said. “We need to make sure on issues that are important to them (they are aware) that I have a good track record on those issues. If we do that effectively, which we have tried to do all the states, then we will end up doing well in this state.”

    He was also asked about the criticism that he can’t close the deal.

    “The way we are going to close the deal is by winning. And right now we are winning,” he said.

    Also, a bit of bravado in response to suggestions that he’s not tough enough:

    “I know that people like to talk tough and use a lot of rhetoric about fighting. I have always believed that if you are tough, you don’t have to talk about it,” he said.

  3. Naughty Conflucians. You’re scaring them away. Now go directly to the Open Thread

  4. “The Low Road to Victory” New York Times Editorial – April 23, 2008

    It takes the oblivious to ignore how nasty & republican ur candidate is. & to ignore the race is over, Billary ain’t got no chance at all.

    Y’all should be ashamed, but then, you have none, do you?

  5. Sorry – can you cut and paste our comments…I can’t do it from my computer.

  6. You have provided very narrow parameters for negative. Maybe she at some point said something that would qualify (to me) as being negative (by those criteria.) I suppose that I am in that 67% and it is hard to be wrong about something so subjective. Obviously it is just as hard to be “right”, as you pointed out.

    Both of their campaigns could stand to use more “positive” tactics (like attacking McCain! Kidding.) It would of course be silly to suggest that canidates should not make comparisons to their rivals. That is part of the point of a primary. A comparison is certainly capable of being negative.

    Like you brought up several times in your original question, biases are really hard to pin down. They are so odd, the more one tries to expose them, the more subtle they become. I just kind of sit around listening to other people reminding myself that they might be right. I have no clue if it is working.

  7. To clarify: can you cite an instance where Clinton’s campaign has tried to destroy Obama’s reputation or character with accusations of impropriety?
    Consider this: If it is true that Clinton is relentlessly negative and wants to win at any cost, why didn;t she roll out the Rev. Wright videos before Super Tuesday?

  8. Loomisnews: you didn’t provide any examples of your accusation. Could you please stick to the rules and provide examples of Hillary’s Republican tactics.

  9. RD: Clinton is clearly adopting Republican tactics. They oppose Obama’s presidential ambitions, and so does she. What more evidence could you want?

  10. Rich in PA: are you for real? Let me rephrase.

    Obama is clearly adopting Republican tactics. They oppose Sen Clinton’s presidential ambitions, and so does he. What more evidence could you want?

  11. Ryan, I think you bring up something about the subjectivity. But I want to be sure I’m getting your point.

    Are you saying that given RD’s guidelines, people may not be able to pinpoint anything specifically negative from Sen. Clinton, but instead just feel or think she’s negative?

    If so (not trying to straw man, just following the little choo-choo of my own thought), could it be a bias against a woman who refuses to protect or run away from or yield to a man? For exmaple, at the last debate, some people were angry with Sen. Clinton because she didn’t protect Sen. Obama from some of the questions that were asked.

    That’s a ridiculous thing to be upset about–it’s not her job to protect him. he should protect himself. But I definitely read that response.

    (For the record, I think even “stupid” questions are not so stupid because how the candidtae responds is what’s being judged. A good candidate will pivot from an issue into something he or she wants to talk about and will do it well. But that’s me.)

    Sorry RD if I’m hijacking your thread. I’d really like to know Ryan’s thoughts on this. Thx.

  12. JSky: I don’t know what to say. Maybe someone can step in and handle this for me. Auxilio! (I’ve been watching Dora the Explorer, don’t you know.)

  13. JSky, Rich was joking. He’s a jokester.

  14. Let them have their say. I am still waiting for examples of Clinton’s negativity. What *specifically* did she do in PA that was negative towards Obama? I’m sure there must have been something. Otherwise, what are we basing this allegation on?

  15. oh, sorry Rich. my apology. i’m new here. i thought you’re one to the disciples of baby jesus.

  16. JSky- No problem. Ohio basically answered your question- I’m kinda not for real 🙂 I may be a shade less Obamaphobic than some people, but in the end it’s about whether you prefer Obama or Clinton, and from the start I’ve considered that question laughable. It says a lot about Obama and McCain (and none of it good) that it takes me, as a man, much less of an imaginative leap to see Clinton as president than either of them.

  17. Ohio, some of the things people write are insane. Obviously it is not either of the candidates jobs to protect the either. To a degree they may even benefit from “vetting” each other. It feels like they are both going at each other too hard lately.

    The short answer to your follow up question is yes. I am not sure how much some people are disappointed when Hillary fails to live up to their “nurturing” expectation. The too nice, or too mean, but never just right perception has got to be at work here to some degree.

    I think we may be, more or less, in agreement. It seems that this whole campaign has risen to a crazy (negative?) level. Picking apart who is most responsible; it just kind of feels like playing the blame game (fruitless).

  18. I think Dean is the one responsible for the negativity.

    If I were him, I would establish some ground rules, then shame every Dem alive into backing those ground rules. And both candidates would know where the line is, and that the entire party will stinkbomb them if they go over that line.

    But that would mean drawing a line between legit criticism vs. character attacks – which means giving up the char. attacks even when it suits your personal favorite. And I don’t think Dean is willing to do that.

  19. Ryan: Let me take you back to the 2000 primary between George Bush and John McCain when a shadowy group made push poll calls about McCain having fathered a black child and given his wife a venereal disease, plus Cindy was a recovering from addiction to pain medication. THAT’s negative. Have you seen or heard of Clinton doing any such thing to Obama?
    And although we are not officially affiliated with Clinton’s campaign, we have been invited to her campaign conference calls like other members of the press. Wolfson and Singer have never engaged in character assassination since I’ve been listening in.
    However, the media has been very negative and it could be easy to confuse who is delivering the negative message.
    It hasn’t been the campaigns doing the mud slinging for the most part although, if I were the Clintons, I’d be pretty upset that my life accomplishments healing the racial divide were trashed.
    But in any case. I’m still looking for the negativity on Clinton’s part. If you have any good examples let us know.

  20. RD, another exit poll completely disputes this one.

  21. You want specifics from these people?

    Obamatons won’t be able to come up with any specific negative attack by Hillary just like they can’t come up with any specific accomplishment of WonderBarry.

    They can only recite campaign talking points and detailed examples aren’t provided.

  22. I saw the NY times editorial today and couldnt believe it. What is funny is seeing the clip Taylor Marsh has up on her site of Olbermann quoting the Times calling Clinton negative. I think irony escapes pundit land.

  23. Ryan, yes, we’re in agreement.

    The whole thing feels so weird.

    I need a drink.

  24. New Orleans: As Clinton’s supporters, we have an obligation to look at the whole picture, her good and bad parts. So, if we’re missing something, they need to tell us what it is.
    Let’s give them a chance to tell us what that something is.

  25. http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/012366.php

    Everyone has eriposte’s lists of Obama’s negative actions/campaigning toward Hillay and Bill Clinton bookmarked, right?

    (I just knew I would remember where it was–now I have it bookmarked!)

    Almost of year of negativity, babeeee.

  26. RD, I guess I was just saying the campaign kinda of ‘feels’ negative at this point. The example you brought up in the 2000 McCain/Bush primary certainly fits your original criteria.

    I don’t think there is anything close to approaching that, thankfully. I think it would be pretty asinine to suggest there is.

  27. The ad mentioned in the NYT editorial is by no means negative. The ad the Times cited only extolled Hillary’s virtues and at no time mentioned Obama. Also curious that the Times is in effect suggesting that Democrats should ignore National Security. They’ve forgotten that many people consider National Security a Democratic weakpoint. Implying that National Security is off limits is recomending deliberate electoral disaster.

    It seems to me that ANY Clinton campaign activity is considered negative by Obama supporters simply because they can’t tolerate the fact that there is a contest that can actually involve policy and issues.

    That these people like to refer to themselves as the party’s intellectuals is still a claim I find amusing. They’ve really become the party’s foolish set.

    There, now that’s a negative impuning the intellect of Obama supporters but It’s not a negative attack on Obama and it didn’t come from the Clinton campaign.

    The Obama campaign”s complaints about negativity are IMO a Rovian style attack. Blaming the other party for what you’re doing.

    Seems strange that we can cite Obama negativity chapter and verse but Obama people can’t dredge up a single example.

  28. watching the campaign from afar (i live in Israel), our impression of it is certainly less negative than what it looks like in these brutal state-by-state battles between Clinton and Obama. It seems that everyone will breathe a sigh of relief when Bush leaves, no matter who takes over.

    The Clintons have high positives almost everywhere outside the US, a black man would look good for the US, and even McCain has a reputation for integrity. I can’t help but think that a Clinton-Obama ticket would be the best for all concerned, if they can put all this alleged negativity behind them. Having Hilary run the country and get healthcare going, while sending both Obama and Bill out to restore America’s tarnished reputation abroad, would be the best case scenario.

  29. I am not an Obama supporter but I will say that politics is a very specific language and Hillary is very negative. The fact that she has not got out in the interest of the party is negative to race and gender in America. You can shoot someone without saying a thing and I would have to call that negetive.

  30. All though Hilliary may not initiate some of the negativity put out by the media towards Obama she is certainly willing to jump on the band wagon. It is one thing to compare and contrast herself with Obama but quite another to allow the media (which only points out the negatives in candidates) to dictate what the subject of comparison is.

  31. The media does not only point out the negatives in candidates – I have read many positive stories about each candidate.

    Why don’t we all stop assuming that every, single person in the opposing camp is ignorant? There are intelligent people supporting each candidate. If not, they would not have come this far in the race. Just think – if Hillary does not win, who will you support, Obama or McCain? How will you support Obama with a clear conscience after all of the ugly talk? Would you prefer another four years with a Republican in office?

  32. groundedartist: I will not have a guilt trip put on me for not voting for who I consider to be an illegitimate candidate. It is not my job to keep the country from falling into Republican hands. It is the Obama supporters job to make sure he is acceptable to me and worthy of my vote.
    I’m picky.

  33. Thank you, Riverdaughter, for this because last night on Larry King, I was ready to throw tomatoes at my TV. Bill Richardson repeatedly said that Hillary was running a negative campaign but neither Carville nor Larry asked him to give examples. This “negativity” is a Rovian tactic used by the Obama campaign. Remember to repeat ad nauseum a lie and eventually many people believe it as true. And the Obama campaign is doing this very effectively. People actually believe Hillary is running a very negative campaign.

  34. I apologize. It was not my intention to put a guilt trip on anyone.

  35. A bit of reality, courtesy of the NYT via DKos:


    ” Exit polling and independent political analysts offer evidence that Mr. Obama could do just as well as Mrs. Clinton among blocs of voters with whom he now runs behind. Obama advisers say he also appears well-positioned to win swing states and believe he would have a strong shot at winning traditional Republican states like Virginia.

    According to surveys of Pennsylvania voters leaving the polls on Tuesday, Mr. Obama would draw majorities of support from lower-income voters and less-educated ones — just as Mrs. Clinton would against Mr. McCain, even though those voters have favored her over Mr. Obama in the primaries.

    And national polls suggest Mr. Obama would also do slightly better among groups that have gravitated to Republican in the past, like men, the more affluent and independents, while she would do slightly better among women.”

  36. To the point: the better more presidential prospectives were passed up, ending up with these two demo candidates(billary/de’ bama). Although, all humans have skeletons in closets, these demos are “St. Valentines Day Massacre” examples. This is for the president of the United States, not talk show host candidates. It seems humans are subliminally suicidal as a population. Choosing a human leader based upon 80% image, rheteric or connection of some sort. A large majority of Obama’s constituents are on the, “END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS” (end- being history change; youth, future utopia mode) and Hillary is a familiar face (two face), both with obvious dirty laundry from the start. Note: no president has been squeaky clean, but a 90% clean check list should be the baseline. Neither demo candidates have that.
    The future of this society (U.S.) cannot have history (past,present, future) bringing us to our knees (Hillary’s history ; Obama’s connections). History must always be remembered and preached. Just like good has a push and shove with evil, bad history must include the good efforts by all, to this moment. Thrashing BAD in the face of followers with no rebound good (except a ball of anger and suggested , “nothings changed without vengence ball of flame”). The final note especially of preachers, influential speakers should be – the help which has been received for the present positive history to be made. Go from this moment forward with extra over ride effort to enhance/promote something like brotherhood, not gang talk.
    Just like an electron returns to its natural state, human nature will still bounce back to its semi-confused mode operen-dum(mode of usual-shoot self in foot). Say no to Obama Pojama Party and Hill-of-dung-clinton. Old school is better than chaos.

  37. http://huntingdonpost.wordpress.com addressed McGovern (earlier than others) and is worth a read. Also he addressed the unity issue as the end of the party. I was persuaded he’s right, but I don’t want a unity ticket. I don’t like Obama. But if Hillary is at the top I will vote for her. I have come to distrust Obama immensely lately, and I didn’t feel that way before. The more I learn the more I worry he could be an embarrassment. I think he still has his Kenyan citizenship, and if so he ought to renounce it. I know he didn’t apply for it or anything, but the president should be 100% a US citizen. Dual citizenry is OK for anybody but the POTUS.

  38. “It seems to me that ANY Clinton campaign activity is considered negative by Obama supporters simply because they can’t tolerate the fact that there is a contest that can actually involve policy and issues.”

    This is narcissism in action. The narcissist needs to see himself as omniscient and omnipotent, and becomes enraged at any questioning of his inflated views of himself. Obama clearly is a narcissist, and one of the most troubling characteristics of his candidacy is the way it’s brought out the narcissism in his followers. (Another characteristic of narcissists is their need to identify with “perfect” people, and woe betide the fool who questions whether these precious are in fact perfect.)

  39. @Phoenix Woman

    Call me retro, but I’m actually more interested in doing this the tried and true way–the way that we know works–rather than using this election to test surveys and hypotheses.

  40. You are asking for a specific example of ONE specific kind of negative campaigning — character assassination. Here is the logical flaw in your presentation. You are setting up a classic either/or fallacy. You are saying that EITHER Hillary Clinton has engaged in character assassinatin OR she hasn’t engaged in negative campaigning. Unfortunately, the logic breaks down when you examine the full range of negative campaigning.

    Essentially, this challenge is identical to the type of negative campaigning Hillary prefers. She sets up an impossible tasks with insinuation that if the task isn’t accomplished she has proven something. This kind of negativity is much more subtle and much more enduring. Because character assassination is falsifiable, whereas the impossible challenge is not. And the logical fallacy is hidden.

    Take for example the challenge from Hillary and her campaign for Barack to release his emails regarding the Rezko case. Since there ARE no emails regarding the Rezko case, the task can not be accomplished. And since the task can not be accomplished, the Clinton campaign jumps on ‘issue’ (completely manufactured though it is) to make a point about Obama not being ‘completely vetted’ — a self fulfilling prophecy.

    It is NOT the same as the character assassination rules that you laid out. It’s actually much, much worse.

    I’ve seen many, many posts from Clinton supporters (read SUPPORTERS … not from Sen Clinton herself) talking about how they were too wise to be ‘fooled’ by the smooth talking Sen Obama. Instead they are allowing themselves to be fooled by fake logic and insinuation.

    To sum up. I can’t name an example of character assassination. I can name many, many examples of negative campaigning through manufactured issues and insinuation.

  41. Please do let me help you out with a few examples of the HRC campaign’s negativity.

    1) The instance when one of her staffers sent out photos to Matt Drudge of Obama dressed in the traditional garb of a Kenyan ( or was it Somali) tribe. Now you can claim innocence all you want, but that played directly into the hysterical rumours that were running rampant that Obama is a ‘secret Muslim’ and the fear of the ‘foreigness’ of Obama.

    2) When, TWO FULL WEEKS after the Wright scandal had flared up and Obama had addressed it in his race speech, Mrs. Clinton attempted to stir it back up by volunteering that ‘he [Wright] would not have been MY pastor’. It was a clear attempt to distract from the sniper brouhaha that had just started to get going.

    3) When, after Obama’s victory in South Carolina, Bill Clinton attempted to dismiss it and marginalise Obama as just the black candidate by comparing it to Jesse Jackson’s win. Doing this, knowing full well what a negative response many white Americans have towards Jesse Jackson and also knowing full well that Jackson and Obama’s campaigns are completely different. Jackson ran to prove a point. Obama is actually viable. The only thing they share is that they both have black fathers- from different sides of the Atlantic. But Bill Clinton deliberately drew tha tenuous link.

    4) When HRC surrogate Bob Johnson (BET founder) clearly tried to drag up Obama’s confessed past drug use as a divisive tactic by speaking about Obama ‘doing whatever he was doing back in the day- I won’t say, but it’s in his book’. In the next breath he also tried to divide Obama from the black community and paint him as less than black by comparing him to Sidney Poitier – which for many black people brings up unpleasant thoughts of the kind of black man who is ‘safe’ and ‘inoffensive to white people’ and the racist piece of crap ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’.

    5) When HRC fundraiser and surrogate Geraldine Ferraro tried to diminish Obama’s candidacy by saying that he is only succeeding because he’s black. As if being a black man with a name that rhymes with you-know-who is some kind of ADVANTAGE in the USA instead of the automatic handicap it is!

    Do you want more?

  42. She is not being any more negative than a republican, the issue is that if she continues with her no shot campaign she will take time and money away from Obama. Her actions are hurting the party more than anything.

  43. Oh, and if you need any more examples, please do check the exhaustive list at the Clinton Attacks wiki provided by Jack and Jill Politics. The link is:

  44. Those perimeters you set up kind of narrow things, so how specific can you get. Politics is a dirtly business plain and simple. This Democratic Primary has been the nastiest I have ever seen. I could care less what Rev. Wright said as much as I could care whether somebody was being shot in Bosnia. However, it is what it is. At this juncture from all media outlets the perception is out there that Mrs Clinton has been more negative of the two. Lastly, I really cannot remember a time when Obama was not defending himself about some issue since this process has sarted.

  45. And for those who will want to jump in my skin and say that Ferraro’s comments are ‘oh so true’, I have two things to say to you.

    1) Try being black in the United States and see how much of an advantage that gives you. It may do something for you with a few guilty white liberals but the majority of people voting for Obama are not doing so to assuage their white guilt. Most white people in the Western Hemisphere feel no sense of guilt for the sins of the past nor do they realise that it affects the present. So the argument is bunk.

    2) By that same token, Hilary Clinton is only where she is at because she stayed married to Bill Clinton. Real talk. But if you said that…if you pointed out that a junior senator from New York who is uncharismatic, wonkish, has few legislative accomplishments to her credit and voted for an unpopular war…would not even have a chance if she was not riding her husband’s coattails…people would rise up in indignation.

  46. I have found it hard to convince supporters of Clinton of the negative tone of her campaign generally. An obvious lie like her version of landing in Bosnia under “sniper fire” is definitely negative. Saying Obama demonstrates change you can “xerox” is negative. Using Osama bin Laden and other national tragedies in a campaign commercial is worse than just negative, it attempts to get us fearful.

    The last is a tactic of a demagogue (“a leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace”) and those of us with a high school education should declare this to be unacceptable behavior instead of trying to paper things over as being ‘high-spirited campaigning’ and declaring it to be beneficial to the party.

    The racial elements injected into this campaign have been mind-boggling: President Clinton’s comments after Obama’s SC victory, Geraldine Ferraro’s statement that if Obama weren’t black he wouldn’t be where he is today. Lately, we’ve had President Clinton complaining that the Obama campaign “played the race card” against him, then denying his own statement the next day.

    Senator Clinton is an individual with very little experience in elected office who is backed by a man who finds it very easy to lie to the American people. Yet, she has found a way to get the media concentrated on statements by Obama’s pastor, a decorated ex-Marine who probably doesn’t hang with Obama as much as Senator Clinton’s husband does.

    If you doubt what I’m saying–and I was shocked by the level of racist shenanigans committed by President Clinton in the past–take a look at my blog at: http://www.rationalpsychic.wordpress.com.

    I will vote for whatever Democratic candidate emerges. But, if it is Clinton, I think that our goals are short-sighted and we will have selected one of the most divisive candidates we could. That hasn’t been good for the US over the last 8 years, I don’t know why we should think that a Democratic stamp on that kind of divisiveness will make things any better.

  47. Phoenix Woman: Sorry to disappoint you. I canvassed those neighborhoods. The residents told me that the lawns with the Obama signs on them were Republicans who had no intention of voting for a Democrat in the fall. The exceptions were Republican women who reregistered to become Democrats, my sister was one of them, in order to vote for Clinton. My sister told me her Republican women friends had made her county Clinton Country but I didn’t believe it until I saw the map for myself. It’s a heavily Republican area. So, you will get a lot of women to turn out (and even some R men I canvassed who were following their wive’s lead) if it’s Hillary but the Obama Republicans will vote for McCain no matter who the Dem nominee is. That’s because they are not pro-Obama, they are *anti* Clinton. And if that’s the case, what has the party gained?
    One other thing: take anything that comes out of the Obama campaign with a grain of salt. They have an interest in misinterpreting the exit polls and passing that misinterpretation on. Hillary is much more likely to get the votes than Obama.

  48. rationalpsychic: Ahhh, now we’re getting somewhere. Concrete examples. Except the Bosnia gaffe was on herself. And the xerox remark, although it fell flat, was fairly accurate. Obama had lifted entire passages from Deval Patrick’s speeches and did not give attribution at the time he used them. They were word for word. So, that’s not exactly character assassination. That’s calling attention to someone’s inauthenticity. Would it be fair for Obama to do that to Clinton? I think we can all agree that it would be fair.
    Cite other instances where she has lied.
    Have you read ronkseattle’s expose on the race baiting? (Try his link to the left of the page) Because it defies logic for Clinton to alienate a segment of the population that she has worked for her entire life just when she needs them most. I’m not saying it isn’t true. i’m just asking you to consider whether it makes any sense for a savvy politician to want to piss off African-Americans just before the South Carolina primary.
    But let us take a second look at the question of race. It turns out that quite a few white voters voted for Obama in the PA primary, while 90% of AA’s voted for Obama over Clinton. Does this make AA’s racist? I don’t know but one could reasonably conclude that race played a factor in their decision while something else was going on with white voters.
    As for experience, you will have to judge her on her debate performances next to his to be able to decide who has more experience. And if she has little, then he has less.

  49. […] pm From: http://crosspolemics.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php.  In response to a posting on https://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/645/:  “Dear Obama Supporters: Define Negative”.  (Neat blog called The Confluence that I […]

  50. CLionesse: You have not provided any examples of Clinton’s negativity. You have only told us why you don’t like her. Besides, if all of the AA females suddenly turned white overnight, their lives would not improve appreciably. I think you know this intuitively but if you need further proof you only have to turn on MSNBC where it is never acceptable to make a racial slur (eg Don Imus) but it is OK to call a female senator ‘babe’ and hope that someone takes her into a room and coereces her to concede.
    Please try again and provide examples of Clinton’s negativity. You are going outside the boundaries of the exercise.

  51. scratchatary: Has Obama been the only one who has had to defend himself? If so, please cite the things that he has had to defend himself against. Who brought these things to our attention?
    Please cite concrete examples where Hillary has been responsible for spreading character assassination and lies about Obama. Comparing and contrasting with Obama is not negative campaigning. That’ is giving the voters reasons to vote for you and not the other person. Like an argument with premises and conclusions. Otherwise, they would be identical in all ways and we would vote on the basis of their resumes.
    Please provide concrete examples.

  52. You Can’t Have it Both Ways –A Glaring Look at the Neurosis of Hillary Clinton. http://crosspolemics.wordpress.com/

    As Mr. Obama has stated on multiple occasions to Hillary: “You cannot have it both ways, Mrs. Clinton.”

    My article is not about attacks that fall into the “negative” category. Thus, I have changed the rules. Hillary supporters are very familiar with changing the rules anyway, so they should find the nature of my diatribe consistent with your candidate’s mode of operandi. My argument is based on my belief that Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be commander-in-chief because she might very well be mentally ill, and is outright deceitful.

    Hillary has every right to fight until the end. However, the arguments that her camp is making along the way are utterly inconsistent and illogical. Her gall and intellectual dishonesty has become wearisome, as is her blatant pattern of playing both sides of nearly every issue.

    CHANGING THE RULES – Hillary and her surrogates continue to claim that Michigan and Florida votes should count. Hillary agreed before the primary that the votes and delegates from Michigan and Florida would NOT count. One of her advisors, Harold Ickes, was on the committee that made this decision. They are twisting an ABC News story that she’s winning the popular vote – but Hillary’s’ camp is counting Florida and Michigan in their popular vote argument. Yet they are even inconsistent in that regard. Terry McCaullife asserted on MSNBC “it’s the popular vote stupid.” When pressed about a scenario where Obama wins the popular vote, Mr. McCauliffe did the Clinton shuffle and said their main goal is to obscure the idea that the Dem primary rendered a clear verdict. Am I in the twilight zone? http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/04/hillary_adviser_terry_mcauliff.php

    My father heard the best analogy from a pundit that illustrates this illogical mindset Tuesday night: It’s like one baseball team about to clinch the division, and the other team suddenly wants to count spring training games. Jake Tapper from ABC put it in stronger terms: “Someone who conducts a campaign like this is likely to govern like this. After what we have gone through with the Bush administration, we do not need a president who repeatedly does not tell the truth.”

    BOSNIA – Her sniper fabrication meets the medical definition of schizophrenia: “psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental illness characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality, most commonly manifesting as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions or disorganized speech and thinking in the context of significant social or occupational dysfunction.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

    Sinbad said the toughest thing they faced on that trip was figuring out where to eat next. I think the Bosnia story disqualifies her for the Presidency, and is worse than the Wright scandal by a factor of 100. She repeated the sniper assertion on at least three different occasions that are well documented. I honestly wonder how anyone can vote for her after this incident. To quote Dr. Frasier Crane: “What color is the sky in your world?”

    BITTER – Attacking Obama about the bitter comment makes sense. But is disingenuous if you are a Clinton. Bill and Hillary are on record as stating similar sentiments throughout their political careers. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/13/bill-clinton-flashback-al_n_96433.html

    GUNS – Gun control has been a cornerstone of the Democratic platform for years. Hillary Clinton has never fought for the rights of gun owners. Suddenly becoming a gun-nut is asinine and dishonest. I wonder if Hillary’s claim of daddy teaching her to shoot a gun behind the shed as a young girl is another Bosnian-like machination.

    CRYING – When Obama gets tough or “negative” Mrs. Clinton cries. That is not tough. That is pathetic and duplicitous. There’s no crying in politics. She cried and won New Hampshire. Obama is in a no-win situation.

    EXPERIENCE – Hillary cannot continue to co-op Bill’s record in the White House and only get credit for his accomplishments, and then distance herself from issues like NAFTA. The number of union jobs lost in Clinton’s jobless recovery is amazing. But when these issues come up, her number one surrogate Chelsea, comes out of nowhere to say that mommy disagreed with Bubba. Spare me.

    RACE – Clinton accused Obama of playing the race card. My oh my. Bill’s calling Obama Jesse Jackson in South Carolina proves they will play the race card when convenient. Their main supporter in Pennsylvania, Governor Rendell said that he doubts white middle class voters will vote for a black candidate and that’s how he beat Lynn Swann. Wow.

    DEFENSE – You cannot present yourself as the one more qualified to answer the phone at 3 A.M. and be tied to an administration that could have eliminated Osama bin Laden on 9 occasions – according to the leader of the “bin laden” unit of the CIA in a book called “Marching Towards Hell.” The Bosnia incident rears its ugly head – and it frightens me. What if she imagines America is under attack by aliens and tries to launch missiles into space?

    My main point is that I truly believe Hillary Clinton is unfit to be President. But it is not because she is negative. It is because she might possibly suffer from delusional disorder. I am familiar with mental illness – I suffer from bipolar disorder myself, and those who seek proper medication and professional help can overcome these maladies. And Hillary has not. But Americans have a right to use mental wellness as a factor in choosing their President. And I shall. I don’t want my kind in the White House.

  53. CLinesse: Please provide concrete examples where Clinton intentionally defamed the character of Senator Obama.
    BTW, there’s nothing wrong with Kenyan garb. We couldn’t understand what was wrong with it.

  54. Clionesse: BTW, there is a similar site that has all of Obama’s negative attacks on Clinton. If someone has the link, please share it with CLionesse.

  55. Edmund: If Obama is so confident of winning, why is he campaigning so hard in the remaining states? And if that is an indication that he feels he needs them, then surely he doesn’t mind if the voters confirm them as their choice. His actions and those of his supporters confirm rather than deny the assertion that she is still a viable candidate. So, the voting will continue until the voters of all 50 states are counted.

  56. Umm, folks, Ferraro’s comment was nearly word for word what Obama said after he began his US Senate term. An interviewer asked him about all the attention he was receiving, and he said he realized he would not be getting a big book deal and be gathering the media attention if he wasn’t black. He said he would be just another freshman senator that no one would be paying attention to. Doesn’t sound racist to me, just realistic.

    And anyone who thinks Clinton has a thin legislative record is truly drinking the Kool Aid. What she’s done for sick and disabled children alone is worth some respect. Her record of working with Republicans on meaningful legislation is far greater than Sen. Obama’s. And until this campaign, she has been lauded for her stands and actions in support of civil rights for people of color and women.

    I wanted Edwards and was depressed when left with these two. I support Clinton only because I consider her flawed record to be superior to Obama’s flawed record, and I think she’s closer to being right on healthcare, which is a big deal to me. I don’t think he’s the devil incarnate, and I don’t appreciate anyone’s efforts to paint him as an inhuman, uncaring villain. I don’t understand why this seems necessary in regards to Clinton, either.

    I lived through the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s. I remember what happened in the past because I was there and it made an impression. (By the way, if you think this is a negative campaign, you have no memory or you just haven’t been paying attention for very long.) Bill Clinton was not a great president, but he was so much better than Bush Sr. and Reagan that it’s astounding to hear him trashed or his administration equated to theirs in any way. Simply astounding. I’ve watched Sen. Clinton go from being an idealist, clueless, unsophisticated political figure to one who paid some heavy dues and grew into an effective Senator from my state. There are things about her that I don’t like, that’s for sure. But when the government said our NYC emergency workers couldn’t blame their illnesses on the ‘satisfactory’ air at Ground Zero, it was Clinton who called ‘bullshit’. When Bush reneged on giving us the federal aid he had promised right after 9/11, it was Clinton who worked her relationships furiously and pinned Bush to the wall until he coughed up what he had promised us.

    Don’t tell me this woman has done nothing and that she’s only here because she’s married to Bill. And don’t tell me she’s evil and is the root cause of everything bad you can think of. Clinton and Obama are two people, two good people with lots of flaws, and definitely two politicians. Any other picture you’re buying about either one is just another shade of the propaganda that dehumanized Jews, black people, Catholics, Japanese people and many others over the years. It is not necessary, it is stupid and ugly, and it is wrong.

    I know this will get jeers from some Obama supporters, but those people have a lot of growing up to do before they’ll be reachable. But I also know that there are millions of Obama supporters out there who haven’t gone around the bend and can still be in his corner without hating Clinton. Maybe some are old enough to remember what the 90s were really like after the dark days of Reagan and Bush, and recall how much better they did with Bill in office. Perhaps you understand how crazy it is to trash this part of our Democratic legacy and set the right-wing’s talking points about it into stone.

    I’ll argue for Sen. Clinton and I’ll criticize Sen. Obama’s experience, record, and positions, but I’ll be goddamned if I’ll stop being a Democrat and believe either one of these people is Satan him or herself. That’s how this party is going to self-destruct. Not by letting all the states vote and then seeing what’s what.

  57. The only way for Hillary to win is if :

    A) The super delegates do not listen to the will of the voters


    B) Florida and Michigan are counted but no re-vote is sanctioned (since Obama’s name wasn’t even on the ballot)

    The democratic party loses my vote either way. (And I’m from NY and even I realize that Hillary has done nothing but run on her last name)

  58. riverdaughter, it seems pretty presumputous to say that if all AA women turned white overnight their lives wouldn’t be improved. Might be true, but how about if they were born white? You don’t think a significant percentage might have had a more advantageous start? Hey, I’m not black either, but I’m guessing they might.

    As to negativity, – well, this isn’t about Clinton, but it’s about the chatter that surrounds her candidacy. I’m an Obama supporter and you know what I call Clinton supporters? I call them “Clinton supporters” or “Clinton voters” . As soon as I made my decision I learned that to Clinton voters I’m an “Obamatons”, I’ve been fooled, I’m a cult member, etc. I’m probably old enough to be the grandmother of a lot of the people who use that kind of rhetoric and have been following politics longer than they’ve been alive. Frankly, it really pisses me off. Particularly the cult thing.

    I know that there’s stuff coming from Obama supporters that’s just as bad. I don’t think it does a damn thing for anyone (except possibly Republicans) for either camp to engage in it. Just thought I’d mention.

  59. HRC’s campaign is “negative” because she can’t seem to make an argument for why she is best qualified for the job without somehow stating that Obama is not. Instead of focusing solely on her own merits and what she plans to do, she has made this into a campaign of why Obama is unelectable, for which she really has no basis for.

    Hope that answers your question.

  60. Lisa R: No it doesn’t answer the question. What you term negative is the very definition of why people campaign in the first place. To win an election you have to make an argument for why you are best qualified while also telling the public why the other guy is not as qualified as you. Otherwise, you have to rely on their resumes and Clinton would win.
    Also, I recommend you go back to the video of the last debate (it was ABC). Skip all of the gotcha questions and go straight to the second hour. She talked extensively about issues and plans. Compare/contrast with Obama’s answers to the same questions. Then, come back and tell us who won.
    Please provide concrete examples of negative campaigning as in character assassination. What you have given as an example does not qualify.

  61. Edmund:
    a.) The only way Obama wins the nomination is if he gets more superdelegates than Hillary. Neither one of them have enough delegates to win outright. What’s good for the goose and all that.


    b.) While it is regrettable that the party *might* lose your vote, it is almost guaranteed that the party will lose Florida and Michigan in the fall if the matter is not settled in a manner that influences the selection of the nominee. All votes should count and principle would be put above rules in this case, especially for FL which had no choice in the matter. All 50 states must count. If Obama wants to win them in the fall, he should either agree to waive the rules now so they can get over their anger or agree to a revote. If Hillary is willing to put her wins on the line in order to make the states count, why not Obama? The voters take precedent over the candidates.

  62. I’m now more convinced than ever that my vote for Clinton today (in NC) was the right one.

  63. The people in Michigan and Florida brought it upon themselves. If you can’t follow simple rules then maybe you shouldn’t be voting to begin with.

    Plus by the logic of everyone here : the democrats in both states will vote for the party choice no matter what, so the states aren’t lost if we punish them.

    And there is no *might*.

  64. Riverdaughter – I mistakenily attributed a quote in my previous article: “You Can’t Have it Both Ways –A Glaring Look at the Neurosis of Hillary Clinton”

    This Quote:
    “Someone who conducts a campaign like this is likely to govern like this. After what we have gone through with the Bush administration, we do not need a president who repeatedly does not tell the truth.” WAS NOT SAID by Jake Tapper of ABC. It should be attributed to Ron Chusid from the “Liberal Values” blog. There was a link to Mr. Tapper’s article and I made a mistake in cutting and pasting. I apologize to Jake and everyone reading the blog.

    Ron Chusid

  65. mhughes3500: Please cite an example of a lie. Not a fish tail or a slight exaggeration. I mean a lie about an important subject.

  66. randyinsing: what I’m saying is that every campaign contains that has ever been run from the beginning of time has contained a compare and contrast phase. A candidate has to present him/herself as being better than the other candidate. At times, this can be perceived as negative. And it is, for the candidate on the receiving end. When Hillary says, “I’ve got a record of accomplishments (SCHIP, Healthcare for Reservists and National guard, pariticpation in foreign policy by providing backgound info to her husband’s negotiation teams) and my opponent has no such accomplishments.”, that is factually correct and it is also negative for Obama. Or when she says, “He wouldn’t have been *my* pastor” after a direct question, there is nothing overtly negative about that. She shouldn’t feel guilty about the fact that he had a pastor whose mouth sometimes got away from him. In fact, one might say that the fact that she didn’t use this information before Super Tuesday is an indication of her *not* using character assassinating negative campaigning tactics. The Deval Patrick thing was totally fair though. Obama was lifting his main message whole from Patrick’s old speeches. It needed to be pointed out.
    But if she said, “He lies all of time. He has a habit of dissembling. He’s dishonest about X. He has a problem with the truth.” and if she said it repeatedly and exaggerated little misstatements into full blown felonies, that could be character assassination. Pretty soon, he could get the reputation as a liar and a fraud even if there is no proof. Or if she said, “He has an illegitimate child from the time when he was a drug user in Chicago.”, *that* would be negative campaigning.
    Do you see the difference?

  67. I really agree with almost everything John M said, the only difference is I prefer Obama to Clinton. It also sounds like I like both Clinton and Obama a bit more (as I was never an Edwards fan).

    I still stand by the statement that they are both taking potshots of dubious importance at each other. Cable news (which I do not watch) probably amplifies this. Going back to that McCain/Bush 2k ex; neither is close to that yet. I can see why somebody would really like Clinton, same for Obama. It is no surprise then that the Xerox comment is seen by me as “negative” and as a fair point by another.

    I like the point John M brought up that neither of these campaigns are too bad, in a historical sense. I think what is different today, is us (America). I read a Kristoff piece that we are losing $5,000 every second in Iraq. The economy lost 80k jobs in March. Many 3rd world nations’ are becoming more and more chaotic, over a lack of food. The scientific community is becoming more concerned about global warming. We are making progress in alt. energy but we do not really see how we are going to resolve it.

    Is that Clinton stock market, terrorism, etc video negative… yeah. Is comparing our current situation to some of our nation’s worst periods intellectually dishonest… No. Was the Obama response of handing out 1992 Gore/Clinton vote hope fliers negative… yeah. Obviously these are my opinions. I prefer to take the hope for the best plan for the worst approach (not that Obama is that).

    I am not saying those problems cannot be solved. It’s just that the stakes are higher than they have ever been before (mid 20s here). How you act and treat people when you are well rested, well off, well fed, etc… It is incredibly more difficult to get along when under stress. I think that explains a lot of what goes on between Obama/Clinton supporters. If you take a look at the Gallup polls it is pretty clear this is the case (the stress part). 86% think the economy is getting worse, almost half rate it as poor; people are hedging their bets (in CDs) and pinching their pennies.

    I still have confidence that the democratic candidate (whoever) is going to win this fall; maybe that keeps me from getting too agitated over this whole mess.

    As far as gender/race “block” voting goes, I like to think of it in terms of the sociology concept, homophily. There is a whole body of literature on it. I could probably summarize it (well, what I have read) by saying, people are more likely to listen to others who have a similar appearance as themselves. It probably is not worth talking about whether it is a good or bad thing. Personally, I am tickled that I do not get to vote for a candidate that looks like me, and a whole bunch of people who never have before get to.

  68. I reject the premise of the question. Your narrow definition redefines what we traditionally consider negative campaigning in this day and age. Even LBJ’s “Daisy” ad in 1964 or Bush’s “Willie Horton” ad in 1988 wouldn’t qualify under your guidelines. After all, the “Daisy” ad doesn’t meet criterion 2 and the “Willie Horton” ad violates criterion 1.

    Even the notorious 2000 Republican push polls smearing McCain fail to be “an overt and deliberate attack” as they were done through innuendo and the shady practice of push polling. Even if you accept that they “overt and direct” you then have the trouble of actually pinning them to the Bush campaign. Most reasonable people (including you and even unreasonable people like me) conclude it was very likely the work of Rove with Bush’s consent. However, I doubt very seriously that you’d concede such a point on similarly shaky ground if it were Hillary under scrutiny. I suspect you’d demand an iron clad paper trail with video or audio evidence to back up such a claim. For example, the Obama Somali garb photo is rumor with similar support on its face. In fact, the Clinton campaign only formally concluded that they didn’t condone such behavior from staffers, but couldn’t definitively deny they had been the source of the photo. Coming as it did, after a Clinton staffer was fired for passing on the “Obama is a Muslim” meme, this type of hard-to-pin-down innuendo certainly has as much circumstantial evidence as the Drudge Somali garb photo. Now, I’d support your decision to give Hillary a pass on this. However, if you’re willing to ignore this, you do undermine your certainty in claiming that the 2000 McCain smears are “negative” by your overly narrow criteria. This isn’t meant to use the Obama Somali garb as an example of a smear, but rather to show that if your criteria reject this, then they will similarly have trouble with the McCain smear. In other words, one of your best examples doesn’t even hold up under your criteria.

    So, you have created a strawman that you can lash all day long with impunity and you have invited the more credulous Obama supporters to watch. But I wouldn’t derive too much pleasure from preying on Obama supporters using a logical fallacy, as your argument has little weight.

  69. LwPHD: You are correct. I am defining negative campaigning as that which is design to destroy character or reputation. I would disagree that the Willie Horton ad doesn’t fall into this category. The purpose of the Willie Horton ad was to associate violence of a recidivist african american male with Michael Dukakis. The purpose was to undermine Dukakis’ character by associating him with irresponsibility, carelessness, and criminal behavior.
    The Daisy ad was fearmongering. I would consider that negative campaigning by stirring up voters feelings of fear of mortality.
    Hillary’s ad in PA was not negative. It was a realistic appeal to rationality. There were images of crises and images of strong leaders. It showed Depression, it also showed FDR. Actually, it was a positive ad for her. It associated troubled times and coming to grips with troubled times. It finishes with Truman’s kitchen quote which is a response to an earlier accusation that she couldn’t take the heat, to Obama’s “kitchen sink” accusation and a reference to her own ability to take the heat and emerging stronger than ever. Unlike a typical Republican ad where fear is used to put voters into a panic, her ad was used to reflect on how we’ve survived past disasters.
    As for the Muslim stuff, I’ve done volunteer work for Clinton and I’ve sat in on conference calls. And from *my* perspective, that’s just not the focus of her campaign. There is no reason to go in that direction with Obama because it’s trivial and destructive. She’s got more than enough positive qualities that she doesn’t have to resort to that. There are a few maverick staffers and volunteers. I canvassed with one and had to rein her in when she started going negative. Hillary did the right thing by firing people who did stuff like that.
    But so what if Obama was a Muslim? As liberals and progressives that are very open and tolerant to diversity, should we get all bent out of shape about that? If he were the right candidate for the job and he took a Kennedyesque approach to his religion, I could see myself voting for a Muslim. It’s no big deal who a person worships or doesn’t. And if it is true that Muslims are now personas non grata because of 9/11, is Muslim bashing the kind of thing a progressive Democrat should engage in? It’s time we acknowledged that the 9/11 highjackers were no ordinary Muslims. They were extremists. I live and work with Muslims and I guarantee, they are normal people who just want to mind their own business. So, why the big deal about Muslims? I’d have had more respect for Obama if he’d just said, “So?” It would have blown over in a matter of days. But now the Muslim bugaboo has the potential to come back and haunt him in the general. Put the blame where it belongs.
    As for strawmen, the negativity between the campaigns has been tame compared to previous elections. There hasn’t been anything like the Willie Horton ad except for Obama’s Harry and Louise ripoffs. Let’s be realistic here. Just because the media says it, doesn’t make it true. Haven’t Dems learned anything in the past 15 years?

  70. riverdaughter: in response to your question:

    QUESTION POSED BY RIVERDAUGHTER (regarding hillary clinton’s lies).
    Please cite an example of a lie. Not a fish tail or a slight exaggeration. I mean a lie about an important subject.

    DEFINITION OF “LIE”: (1) tell an untruth; pretend with intent to deceive (2) a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth.

    Hillary lied about the following. Hillary herself has admitted to a few of these:

    1. Coming under sniper fire on her trip to Bosnia – I will not go into detail on this one. I hope you do agree with me. Is this one not black and white?
    2. Hillary lied about her and Obama’s voting records on Iraq. She said she was against Iraq before he was, and that her voting record was the same as Barack’s. Both statements are patently false.
    3. Hillary lied about an uninsured pregnant woman in Ohio that she used as an example on her stump speeches. Hillary stated this on a few occasions. The woman she referred to did receive hospital care AND was insured.
    4. Hillary lied about supporting NAFTA. She said she did not while campaigning in Ohio, yet her First Lady White House records prove she absolutely did.
    5. After New Hampshire primaries, she stated unequivocally that Florida and Michigan broke the rules and their votes should not count — 11 consecutive losses later, Hillary claimed it was unfair not to count Florida and Michigan.
    6. Hillary lied about 9/11 (now she went out of her way to lie about his one). She claims Chelsea was jogging near the towers that morning and was nearly “in peril.” Chelsea herself totally debunked this myth.
    7. Hillary lied TO Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first man to climb Mt. Everest. She claimed that her mother named her Hillary after Sir Edmund. Only problem- he didn’t make news climbing anything until 5 years AFTER Clinton was born.
    8. She negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia (who were released the day before she got there).
    9. Hillary lied about firing White House employees in 1993. There are hard facts and documentation on this one that is very hard to deny or excuse. This lie has even been wikipediaized: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_travel_office_controversy
    10. Hillary lied about being instrumental in bringing Peace to Northern Ireland. (see First Lady’s own records). She may have brought tea and scones into the room on occasion during breaks, but that’s about it.
    11. Hillary lied about being ahead in the popular vote. She is not ahead in the popular vote.
    12. She announced on national TV: “I’ve always been a Yankees fan,” as she neared election to NY Senate. She grew up a Cubs fan. Now baseball is serious stuff! You can’t lie about that!! (Although I do not blame her for trying to hide the fact that she was EVER a Cubs fan).
    13. Hillary lied about being the first U.S. Senator to call Darfur genocide
    14. Hillary lied about learning in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market. (It did not cover the market back then.)
    15.She didn’t know about the FALN pardons.
    16. She didn’t know that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that Clinton granted.
    17. She urged Bill to intervene in Rwanda.
    18. She played a role in the ’90s economic recovery.
    19. She had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons (after they voted for her 1,400-12 and she attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons).

    I believe these issues are very important.

    riverdaughter: Does this pathology of deceit make you question Hillary’s character at all? Don’t we have a right to be concerned about all this? Can we not argue that she is unfit to govern based on valid facts such as these?

    I am very interested in your feedback.

    Mike H.

    Other sources:

  71. Mike H, I can’t answer all these, in part for lack of time. Bosnia: ever make a mistake, esp. with your memory? The pilot said he had announced there were problems on the ground. Re: Edmund Hillary–maybe Clinton’s mom told her that story? Is it relevant? Obama lied in his book about remembering something when was 9 about an article in Life magazine that never existed. So? I don’t even call it a lie. It’s just nothing. She lied about always being a Yankees fan? Another get real, but OK–have you never been a fan of two teams (National League, American League?). The bulk of your list of lies are meaningless statement, and both candidates have these kinds of “lies” if you want to call them that. Obama’s alleged Kenyan grandmother who was his father’s something else. It doesn’t matter.

    One can be critical of NAFTA (her words) and yet have supported her husband’s decision to promote it. A lot of liberals did support it. Her work in Northern Ireland is accounted for by many women in N.I. It seems just some men don’t remember.

    This idea that she lies was planted a long time ago by Republicans and it has just been picked up as a mantra, but Republicans never proved any of their charges against her, even though they had legal masterminds like Ken Starr, et al. doing all they could to get her.

  72. couldabeen: Both candidates are guilty of stretching the truth and I concede that she is human, and might have made honest mistakes. What is alarming, however, is the quantity and nature of Hillary’s list of mistakes that should cause Democrats great consternation. It contains more destructive fodder for Republicans than any candidate in recent history. These types of mistakes she made as first lady helped lead to the election of the Newt Gingrich Congress in 1994. Thus, they are extremely relevant.

    Carl Bernstein, a person no one would accurse of being a Republican, confirms that her track record points to deeper character flaws and psychological issues. See entire article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-bernstein/hillary-clinton-truth-or_b_93523.html. It is not the “mistakes” themselves that are most relevant, rather – it is what they reveal about Hillary’s psyche.

    Excerpt from Carl Bernstein’s column:
    “Since her Arkansas years [I wrote], Hillary Rodham Clinton has always had a difficult relationship with the truth… [J]udged against the facts, she has often chosen to obfuscate, omit, and avoid. It is an understatement by now that she has been known to apprehend truths about herself and the events of her life that others do not exactly share.”
    “Almost always, something holds her back from telling the whole story, as if she doesn’t trust the reader, listener, friend, interviewer, constituent–or perhaps herself–to understand the true significance of events…”

    Mr. Bernstein even praises Mrs. Clinton in the same article that I must cite in order to be honest:

    “Almost always, Hillary has stood for good things. Yet there is a disconnect between her convictions and her words and actions. This is where Hillary disappoints. But the jury remains out. She still has time to prove her case, to effectuate those things that make her special, not fear them or camouflage them. We would all be the better for it, because what lies within may have the potential to change the world, if only a little.”
    “The jury — armed with definitive evidence like the CBS tape of Hillary Clinton’s Bosnian adventure — seems on the verge of returning a negative verdict on her candidacy.”

    To close on a slightly different topic, I must vent what frustrates me the most about many Hillary supporters — and I have no idea if you fall into this category of Clinton supporter, couldabeen. It is not that Hillary supporters fight for her regardless of her track record, it is what many of them promise to do should Hillary lose the battle. 28% of Hillary Clinton supporters would vote for McCain if Obama were the Democratic candidate. Hillary herself said that would be insane. Although I would not be happy if Clinton were the nominee, I would still vote for her over McCain. If McCain won, based on his record and current proposals, he would accomplish the impossible: a presidency worse than the failed administration of George W. Bush.
    For a group of people who argue that strength of character is the reason their candidate’s the best — by voting for McCain, potentially one out of every three Hillary supporters would be showing none.

  73. I would not vote for McCain. And if I were you, I wouldn’t believe those polls. First, this has become a bitter fight, and in the midst of it, people say things. Maybe some will vote for McCain. She isn’t responsible for who supports her. Some of Obama’s supporters will vote for McCain. I think one reason so many say that is that the DNC seems to be ignoring a whole group of longtime Democrats who can’t seem to get through to it on so many levels. I don’t mean about who wins, but on issues like the delegate count in MI and FL, etc. People try calling the DNC and if you say you’re a Clinton supporter they will HANG UP. I am not kidding about this. The other aspect of Clinton supporters saying they’ll vote for McCain: She IS bringing in Reagan Democrats. They might vote for McCain but it’s not out of spite. They lean that way for whatever reason and Obama is too radical for them. There has been bad behavior on the part of Obama supporters too, spamming Hillary sites, etc. but I don’t think we say that’s Obama’s fault. We can let the media’s polls distort things. We have to look at who can win in November. I believe that’s Hillary and you don’t.

  74. couldabeen-

    Either candidate will beat McCain once he is vetted, so the argument is about who will be the best President, and the Bush and Clinton dynasties have ruled the country for too long.

    I think people are getting carrier away – especially on my side – Obama supporters need to relax. The current process is healthy for both candidates – see Frank Rich article in NY Times today. Neither candidate will have as many skeletons by the time the general election comes around. McCain is getting a reprieve right now. Then, when the fall rolls around the timing will be perfect for peeling the onion and exposing Bush part deux. See my article on Neo-McCainism. He is a scary man.


    I think Reagan Democrats will come around – there is no difference between Hillary and Obama as far as plans to fight for their rights. It’s a perception issue – and she is winning that battle. There is a surprising amount of Republicans who would vote for Obama who are anti-McCain according to polls, I know a handful myself, which is hard to believe because he’s the most liberal member of the Senate (which I love – although not the greates political asset). Most Republicans I know just cannot vote for a Clinton because of what happened while Bill was in office. Some say they just won’t vote at all. So it nets out. Bottom line is, the America people aren’t dumb enough to vote for Bush II, perpetual war and unbalanced economic growth. The middle class suffered under Reagan, and Mondale was unable to point that out. The income of middle class Americans grew twice as much during Democratic administrations over the course of the past 60 years vs. Republicans. The income of the working poor grew by a factor of 6 under Dems vs. Repubs. The real choice will be clear in November. Hillary and Obama are not John Kerry. No one on either side should fret.

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