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Nice guy(s)

Clinton, surrounded and forced to give up her delegates on the floor of the Democratic Convention 2008.

If you’re wondering if the reports of bitterness between the Obama and Clinton camps are real or not, consider the fundraiser that Obama held with his donors a couple of days ago to help retire Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign debt:

Four years ago, the Obama fund-raising machine worked to bury Hillary Rodham Clinton. Now his contributors are opening their wallets for her.

Obama campaign officials have asked the president’s elite donors and fund-raisers to donate to Mrs. Clinton’s defunct presidential campaign committee, with the goal of retiring $245,000 in debt left over from her 2008 White House bid. As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton is barred from engaging in political activity or actively fund-raising for herself.

People familiar with the effort said the campaign’s outreach grew out of discussions with Mrs. Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, who has agreed to headline a series of major fund-raisers for Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign, including one this Sunday at the Virginia home of Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Clinton has also been approached to help raise money for Priorities USA Action, a “super PAC” founded by former Obama aides that has had difficulty attracting donors.

But wait, you say, wasn’t there a deal struck back in 2008 that Obama donors would help Hillary retire her debt?  That’s why the campaign was only suspended, not ended and that it’s a common practice and courtesy and good for unity?  And anyway, Hillary hit the campaign trail with Bill and worked her heart out to help get Obama elected.  Surely, that was worth helping her retire her debt.

Apparently not:

It is not unusual for victors to help their former opponents pay down campaign debts: Mitt Romney and his family made contributions this year to the campaign committee of Tim Pawlenty, for example, after Mr. Pawlenty dropped out and endorsed Mr. Romney.

But Mrs. Clinton’s debt has in the past been a point of contention between her supporters and those of Mr. Obama. She ended her White House bid in 2008 with $20 million in debt and loans, and while Mr. Obama asked his top donors at the time to help defray it, many of them — still fuming after the contentious primary fight between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton — refused to do so.

Ahhhh, it’s all coming together now.  So, back in 2008 when Clinton donors had maxxed out their contributions to Hillary, they expected that Obama donors would step up and do the right thing.  But the Obama assholes from Wall Street and the “creative class” donors weren’t satisfied with the ritual humiliation of Clinton on the convention floor where they staged a phony roll call vote and forced her to fork over her delegates on live TV.  Nope, they threw all of that loyalty stuff out the window and had a little tantrum because she had the nerve to continue winning after they told her to stop running in February of 2008.  18,000,000 voters and winning all of the major primaries meant nothing to them.  They did not feel obligated to honor their promises, because that just the kind of Democrats they are.  Nice.

That $20,000,000 debt, by the way, was on top of her own money.  They were loans that she had to take out to fund her campaign because the party juggernaut wanted her out even as the voters still wanted her in.  For the last four years, she’s been dragging this giant debt around, unable to do her own fundraising to retire it while the Obama donors watched.  It has taken them four years while she’s been working her ass off to do what was expected of them.  What is wrong with these people?

So, now, the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak.  The Clinton donors hold the cards.  They don’t have to give a penny to Obama for his run in 2012, that is, not until Obama’s donors pay up.  I’d say the split is very real and could be a significant factor in this year’s election.  It goes beyond the donors.

No wonder why Hillary isn’t going to go to the Convention this year.  Besides the fact that she works round the clock as Secretary of State, why the hell would she want to return to the scene of the crime?

Obama and his donors are definitely not scoring points this year.  Loathsome isn’t descriptive enough.

Update: The AP has a new article on the detente between the Clinton and Obama camps.  As is the norm these days, it is trying to make the completely unrealistic expectation that Hillary will run in 2016 look believable.  But anyway, just ignore all that stuff about them being frenemies.  They’re all kissy-kissy now and meeting at Terry McAuliffe’s house tonight to swap checks.

I almost thought this was lifted straight from the Obama campaign spin office until I got to this nugget:

When Obama’s health care bill was in trouble, he and his staff, which included several veterans of the Clinton White House, called on the former president for help. In late 2009 and early 2010, Bill Clinton went to Capitol Hill to rally support and worked the phones with wary Democratic lawmakers.

After the Democratic party was battered in the 2010 elections, Obama called in Clinton for an Oval Office meeting. Afterward, the two made an impromptu appearance in the White House briefing room to talk to reporters. When Obama had to leave for a holiday party, Clinton stuck around, relishing in the attention and the give-and-take with the press.

That day in the briefing room underscored what some Democrats see as their one major worry in pairing Obama with Clinton too often. The ease with which Clinton connects with a range of audiences can call attention to the challenge Obama sometimes faces in doing the same thing.

But that certainly hasn’t stopped the Obama campaign from seeking Clinton’s help in winning a second term, and Clinton has made it clear he is ready and willing.

Wait! Wait!  I thought Obama’s angelic rhetoric inspired swooning in some of his audience members.  Wasn’t he supposed to be so extraordinarily politically gifted that potential enemies would melt on their first encounter?   

{{snort!}} Too funny.

I can just imagine what that fundraiser is going to be like tonight.  Kissy-kissy may very well turn into kissing asses.  Oh, to be a fly on those walls.

**************************

More details about John Edwards’ campaign life came out this past week.  He is on trial for illegally using campaign funds to pay off his girlfriend, Rielle Hunter, during the 2008 campaign season.

I was an Edwards fan until I actually saw him in action in 2007 at the YearlyKos meeting in Chicago and had a Malcolm Gladwell Blink! moment.  I had a similar reaction to George Bush Sr. when he made an appearance at Pitt a long time ago.  They both made my skin crawl.

Anyways, his one time campaign aide, Andrew Young, went above and beyond the call of duty to protect Edwards going as far as claiming paternity for Rielle and Edwards’ daughter, Quinn.  But there are other unsavory details as well.  Young’s nickname for Elizabeth Edwards was Ursula after the evil sea witch from The Little Mermaid.  I have mixed feelings about Elizabeth Edwards.  She seemed like the Lady McBeth type, extremely ambitious but projecting all of that onto her smarmy husband.  But she was also a human being with her own tragedies and triumphs and she didn’t deserve to have all the crap she went through in her last four years dumped on her while she was undergoing treatment for a terminal disease.  A little kindness and attention towards her might have gone a long way.

Anyway, John Edwards is still a louse and a narcissistic PT Barnum of a politician and all of us who thought he could have sincerely done something about The Two Americas should seriously get over it like a bad high school crush.

32 Responses

  1. I will always believe that the two arseholes who wrote “Game Change” helped put Elizabeth Edwards into an early grave.
    I remember an excerpt in a magazine, portraying E. E.-in cartoon- as a shrieking harpy, replete with raptor claws.
    I think she lost the will to live.
    Here’s hoping she’s haunting them, her husband and Rielle.

    • Sue, EE said of Hillary that she had to act like a man to get where she was. She also said that she, EE had been happier in life because she made different choices. At the time she was referring to Hillary’s marriage to promote her husband’s bid for the nomination. I never really like the woman, though I did feel sorry for her.

  2. According to this AP article which is appearing in papers around the country, Bill Clinton is all set to be a “fundraising juggernaut” and “top surrogate” for Obama on the campaign trail.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ihJVgJl4YPpUyGx8WEml68czVO9A?docId=0f5d27d24c2447cf822d0198104b8207

    Roz in NJ/NYC

    • Yeah, I just saw that and updated my post. It doesn’t change anything. I think the two halves of the party hate each other with a white hot passion but they’re playing nice for the cameras.

      • But if Clinton actually goes out and does major fundraising for the Obama effort, doesn’t that mean that Clinton actually wants Obama to be President for non-personal reasons even if the personal hatred is white hot?

        And if Clinton’s massive upcoming fundraising effort for Obama does indeed mean that the Clinton party-half wants Obama to win the election for impersonal reasons, what would those impersonal reasons be?

        • the impersonal reasons would be that Bill Clinton is a loyal democrat who honestly believes the country is better off with democrats in charge.

          • That raises the question of whether the Democratic Party is still worthy of Bill Clinton’s loyalty . . . or of yours or of mine. At least at the National Level. If indeed Obama is determined to devote his second term (if he gets one) to destroying Social Security and Medicare; then what is Bill Clinton helping to achieve by helping Obama get re-elected? Is Bill Clinton like so many good Democratic voters still unable to see or believe the social upper class aggressionism which motivates Obama?

  3. The two halves of the party can go rock-climbing together up the Half Dome for all I care. The current Misogynist-in-Chief is never getting another dime or another vote from me, and the same goes for any downticket Dem who doesn’t show by actions, not speeches, how solidly progressive they are.

    Part of me, the principled part, is still very disappointed Bill Clinton is such a good soldier for that jerk. And I really, really, really hate to see Hillary donating her talent and smarts to his success, which he should never have been able to steal to begin with.

  4. The two halves of the party can go rock-climbing together up the Half Dome for all I care. The current Misogynist-in-Chief is never getting another dime or another vote from me, and the same goes for any downticket Dem who doesn’t show by actions, not speeches, how solidly progressive they are.

    Part of me, the principled part, is still very disappointed Bill Clinton is such a good soldier for that jerk. And I really, really, really hate to see Hillary donating her talent and smarts to his success, which he should never have been able to steal to start with.

    • I agree with everything quixote said. I still will always support the Clinton’s but do not understand why Bill is doing the fundraising.

      • How could they possibly want such a racist man to do their fund raising?

      • Quixote and Eriezindian, the Clintons seem to be always motivated by one thing, what is best for the country. If they think they can do good, they will take it on. It is, in my opinion, why Sec Clinton took the SOS position.

  5. Elizabeth Edwards had some serious ambitions of her own, way more than her husband IMO. She left a scathing tape in which she tried to bury (figuratively? literally?) her husband, all the while knowing that such a tape is rank hearsay. Yes, he treated her terribly, truly terribly. But who the hell knows what there relationship really was. I sure don’t.

    Regardless, this prosecution against John Edwards is completely devoid (IMO) of any merit whatsoever. it’s a novel interpretation of the law (combining a former Republican U.S. Attorney and the always-ready-to-get-even-in-the-true-Chicago-way Obama) and relies primarily on the testimony of Young, who has admitted on the stand that he himself took most of the $1 million alleged payoff. He is a consummate crook and a liar. If Edwards is convicted of any of the charges, it’s because he is a cad, not a criminal.

    Obama was determined to drive Hillary into the ground. That’s what he does to those who dare to defy him (see Edwards, above). How dare that bitch not worship at his feet? Now he’s desperate. But neither Hillary nor Bill have the ability to bring me back into the “Democratic” fold with Obama at the helm. Not gonna happen.

    • Don’t you remember when John Edwards endorsed Obama? It was the day that Hillary won a couple of importatant primaries after she had been declared the loser by the media and half the bigwigs in the DNC. Obama has no reason to want revenge on Edwards after Edwards helped him deflect the attention from Hillary’s really significant, late-in-the-game victories.

      What politician’s wife is not ambitious in this day and age? It’s a requirement for anyone who runs for high office because the family is dissected just as the candidate is. As for a tape that reveals her anger toward her husband, I’d be pissed, too, if my husband took up with, let alone impregnated, another woman when I’m battling cancer at the same time I’m campaigning for him.

      I was one of the people who, early on, was taken in by Edwards’ talk of Two Americas and his supposed respect for his wife. I got over it. It’s not the first time that I’ve been taken in and it won’t be the last

      • I disagree. Edwards eventually endorsed Obama, sure, but Obama still wanted to punish him. That’s who Obama is. A man with an incredibly weak ego (after all, both his parents dumped him and he never, as far as I can discern, sought help to overcome his childhood feelings of abandonment). That’s how I see it anyway. There is no legitimate reason in the world for this prosecution to have been brought, much less to be continuing. And Obama could have stopped it if he wanted to.

        My belief is that Elizabeth was more ambitious than John. She was the driving force. He seemed so weak in the debates (and he was originally my guy). I believe she was campaigning for herself, not for him. Which is fine, only she should have been the one running. There can be a lot of tension in a relationship when one partner is much stronger than the other. But I don’t know the facts. That’s just my take.

        And I am NOT excusing his behavior, but we simply do not know the nature of their relationship. I am interested in understanding what happened, the dynamic that led him to massive self-destruction, not in saying she was a completely innocent victim. He’s gross and pathetic, but she does not deserve my respect simply because she had cancer and a cheating husband. I feel terribly sorry for her and she had some good things to say, but I don’t like kicking a dog when he’s down.

        • I disagree about Obama never getting over his abandonment. The dude went to a nice, private school in Hawaii and joined his social stratum early. If he felt bad about his parents, he got over it quickly once he was on the fast track.
          He thinks rather well of himself.

        • BTW, that down dog tried to cover up an indiscretion that would have got him creamed in the general election. The Democrats would have lost big.
          Regardless of the charges against him, let’s not lose sight of the massive self delusion, carelessness and selfishness that would make a guy pursue a political goal he had no chance of winning and all of the damage it would have caused.
          It sounds to me like he was in on it. Sorry. I don’t think that’s kicking someone when their down.
          More likely, we just dodged a bullet.

        • The only person Obama ever really viewed as competition was Hillary, imo. He even picked one of his competitors as VP. I suppose that he could have stopped this prosecution but it may well be that the U.S Attorney who charged Edwards is a Republican. It would look pretty bad if it came out that Obama had sent word down through the ranks to go easy on Edwards.

          I’m not suggesting that Elizabeth Edwards was an innocent victim. She knew that John had been unfaithful and she still hit the campaign trail with him after her recurrence of cancer when that would have given him the perfect excuse to withdraw from the race.

          The ultimate “down” is death. A stint in prison sucks but a fed joint is head and shoulders above the grave. I have no sympathy for John Edwards at all.

  6. Early Edwards supporter here, too. Ended the day I awoke to the news that he, Obama, and several others had removed their names from the ballot in Michigan. That day, I called his campaign headquarters (message machine only) and wrote to his campaign, asking for a refund of my small donation (yeah — that was going to happen!), and vowed never to vote for any of the craven a**hats who decided to screw over the people of my state. I will never break that vow.

    Of course, never say never — I vowed a lifetime boycott of P&G because of their legal tactics of calling the Rely tampon victims sluts, but here I am 30-some years later buying Charmin because I WILL NOT support the Koch boys (why is that you have no choice but to think of right wingers every time you wipe your butt?). So, maybe I will vote for Obama in 2045, if he’s running and I’m still alive. Edwards? Never, for sure.

    • I use a TP made from recycled paper. Can’t remember the name of it, threw the package away. Pretty good stuff. It doesn’t have to be extra soft for me.

      But yeah, that was a blatant attempt to game the system and unfortunately, it worked. Which makes me wonder why Edwards want to screw Hillary too. Was it a tag team? What did Edwards hope to gain?
      Or was it something I’ve seen all too often over the years, guys who really resent the idea that a woman might be in charge and not them?

    • Who owns “Northern”? I remember reading that “Northern” is supplied with pulp by some kind of co-op type association of many New England smallish landowners who grow pulp-trees for “Northern” toilet paper.

    • And by the way, who or what owns Scott Towels brand toilet paper?

  7. I recall the rumor that the Obama campaign supplied Hunter to Edwards and clued the Enquirer into the affair.

  8. Don’t you remember when John Edwards endorsed Obama?
    never forget. 👿

  9. I like to think that Kucinich knew some kind of conspiracy was involved in the dropping out of the MI primary by Obama/Edwards/etc.
    I like to think that is why he waited till a day past the deadline to “accidentally-on-purpose” file his withdrawal papers too late to be able to get his name taken off our ballot. That is why I was able to vote for him in the MI primary.

  10. I know that Riverdaughter has told us that “friends don’t let friends vote Republican”. But I am really beginning to wonder whether the particular Obama-Romney election might require setting aside that general rule? I have offered my tinfoil suspicion that the Democratic Officeholders share Obama’s desire to destroy Social Security and Medicare but that they also want to preserve the “brand value” of the Democratic Party to preserve its effectiveness as a velcro-decoy sticky-ball-trap roach motel for liberals and progressives. If Obama is elected, the Democratic Officeholders will think they can have both the brand value preservation and the fruits of successful Simpson-Bowles Catfood Conspiracy against Social Security and Medicare. Whereas if Romney becomes President, then the Democratic officeholders will have to choose between party brand value or helping the President destroy Social Security and Medicare. Under a President Romney, there is a chance ( only a chance) that the D officeholders would feel compelled to pretend to defend SoSec. Whereas under Obama, they would feel no need for such pretense. ( One can see a mini-demonstration of this behavior by studying Joshua Mica Marshall of Talking Points Memo. During the Bush attack on Social Security, J M Marshall devoted his blog to pressuring and embarrassing D officeholders into defending SoSec. During the ongoing Obama subterfuge against SoSec, J M Marshall has supported the D officeholders non-opposition to all of Obama’s unfolding conspiratorial actions. For example, J M Marshall lifted not one finger to try organizing opposition to the Obama plot to defund SoSec by seeking a “payroll tax holiday” which Obama hopes to make permanent . . . with J M Marshall’s silent approval.)

    Boy! I sure said that in a long and clumsy way, didn’t I? I found a much shorter and more graceful statement of the same basic thing, written by Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism, way down in the comment thread of a recent Matt Stoller guest post on NaCap. I will open up a subsidiary reply-reply to cutpaste Yves Smith’s comment.

    • And here it is . . . “Yves Smith says:
      April 29, 2012 at 3:38 am
      In case you missed it, Obama told a group of conservatives at a dinner at George Will’s house less than two weeks into his first term that he intended to “reform” as in cut Social Security and Medicare as soon as the economy was stabilized. The conservatives were very happy with what they heard.

      Obama plans to cut Social Security and Medicare as soon as he gets into office next term. Stoller’s point is that if Obama tries that, the Dems will fall into line, but if the Republicans do, they are more likely to fight, as they did under Bush. Remember, only Nixon could go to China, and it is highly likely that only a Democrat can gut Social Security and Medicare.

      You really don’t like to see that Obama is not on your side, do you? You need to get real as to whose interests he is defending, and they are not yours. It is not clear that he is the lesser of two evils. He is just a different evil.”

    • And here is the blogpost that threadbit came from:http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/matt-stoller-obama-as-neoliberal-ideologue.html

  11. So . . . given Obama’s deep and abiding economic Romneyism . . . and given the fact that Obama would advance the Romney agenda more effectively than Romney himself could . . . because the Democratis in the House and Senate would have to pretend to oppose Romney . . . perhaps voting for Romney is really the less functionally Republican choice next November than voting Obama? If the election is looking dangerously close and voting Third Party is not itself enough to defeat Obama in 2012, should we vote for Romney just to make sure?

    I know Joe Cannon has recently said that Romney has revealed himself as an open Ryanite by embracing the Ryan budget. But if Obama is a secret Ryanite agent, would Obama be better able to advance the Ryan budget with Democratic connivance than Romney would be able to advance it in the rubber teeth of Democratic pretended opposition? I think I may have to consider voting for Romney to be sure of destroying Obama . . . while voting Democratic for every other election choice downticket.

    For this above all: Obama delenda est. (Did I get that Latin right?)

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