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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Too Far.

Look, Clinton supporters, here is your candidate.
“I think that since we now know Sen. (John) McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.

Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a “distinguished man with a great history of service to our country,” Clinton said, “Both of us will be on that stage having crossed that threshold. That is a critical criterion for the next Democratic nominee to deal with.”

She effectively just endorsed McCain over Obama.

She's willing to trash the Democratic Party's chances at the presidency on the slim shot that she might somehow damage Obama enough that the superdelegates will overturn the pledged delegates.

She's willing to try to win through a bloody convention that will rip the Democratic party apart and leave just two months to try and put it back together before the election. (Not to mention the use of racist and gender based levers several times over the last few months.)

And all of this on a candidacy that is best described as mathematically nearly impossible.

Later: Here's more from yesterday.
"Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, I will bring a lifetime of experience, and Senator Obama will bring a speech he gave in 2002," a derisive Clinton said yesterday to the retired military officers at the Westin in Dupont Circle.


  • If not Obama then his surrogates have to ride this right into the ground.

    I still think Obama can be the candidate for positive change while railing against examples of all that is wrong with politics as usual. In fact he must or he will be seen as weak. Weak as a candidate... weak as commander in chief.

    Perceptions. It's all about perceptions.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:40 PM  

  • Yeah, I kinda overblew here.

    And, the potential fallout I see is among the superdelegates.

    Her entire candidacy rests on the supposition that she can garner a significant superdelegate gap while still going so negative.

    He got two more today. She's still at -5 since Wisconsin.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:46 PM  

  • Well, I wouldn't have put it quite that way. Even if she gets the nomination, she's gonna be sorry she said such nice things about McCain. But her point is basically sound:

    National security/terrorism will be an important issue.

    McCain has credibility on that issue.

    The Democrats had better nominate a candidate who also has credibility.

    She believes she's that candidate.

    By Anonymous tg, at 2:26 AM  

  • I agree with your second line.

    That's why a top Dem like Clinton saying McCain is qualified and the likely Dem candidate is not is such a big deal.

    She's just given McCain a weapon. Now it will be, not only does National security Joe Lieberman support us, but even Hillary Clinton prefers our candidate.

    Even if she believes she's that candidate, there's line you don't cross, and that line is somewhere around the point that you actually start helping the other party.

    I want you to step away from your own pro-Clinton stance, and imagine if the most prominent Dem in the heat of the 2004 Bush/Kerry had repeatedly praised George Bush for his stance on terrorism and said that John Kerry wasn't ready.

    I'm not talking a Zell Miller. Imagine if Al Gore had left a string of quotes saying Bush is awesome on terrorism and John Kerry is "a risk."

    You're telling me that would have been a good thing?

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:22 AM  

  • First of all, I don't consider her comments an endorsement for McCain. I do consider the number of Obama supporters who say they will vote for McCain over Hillary if she is the nominee to be an endorsement. Do you think that might contribute to the break up of the Democratic Party? (oh, I forgot - only Hillary's actions count because Obama is above all of this).

    If Obama cannot survive the "damage" that Hillary causes him, he most definitely will not survive the Republican challenge. He needs to stand on his own two feet and stop playing the victim. (He lost Texas and Ohio because Hillary said bad things about him and some of those "ill-informed" voters believed her. And those races didn't matter anyway because there was no net gain for Hillary.) I'm not too worried about Obama except for the "fact" that Hillary has the devil on her side!

    By Blogger Ptelea, at 7:38 AM  

  • Mike - you might also want to step back from being an Obama supporter once in a while. I think you are seeing demons sometimes where they don't exist.

    By Blogger Ptelea, at 7:41 AM  

  • Okay, we're gonna get nasty?

    Clinton has tried to use racism in this campaign. She has tried to lever gender.

    You can cloak it in the belief that she thinks she's the better nominee, but every other candidate on both sides did not cross this line of praising the opposition over their own fellow candidate.

    Did Giuliani praise the democrats? Did Romney? Did Huckabee? Did Dodd, Biden, or Edwards praise the GOP?

    Can you find me a parallel example from anywhere in the past several elections?

    (By the way, putting words in my mouth, ("He lost Texas and Ohio because Hillary said bad things about him and some of those "ill-informed" voters believed her.") is a pretty crappy way to argue.

    Show me where I said anything like that.

    Should I do the same to you?

    Ptelea said, "Obama can't win because blacks aren't fit to be president."

    Sorry, but that pisses me off.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:49 AM  

  • Look. The demon is damaging the likely nominee.

    It's that simple.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:51 AM  

  • Later:

    And if you think I'm the only one who finds these statements outrageous, read around the blog world.

    The sentiment against this is already growing.

    Maybe, since I'm not the only one complaining, you need to step back from your Clinton support to appreciate that THIS IS ACROSS THE LINE.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:56 AM  

  • How about Olberman's program last night?


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:59 AM  

  • Or how about this one from ABC:

    Some Democratic officials fear that Clinton now seems willing to do whatever it takes to defeat Obama, regardless of the risk that she may be irreparably harming him if he is the eventual Democratic nominee.


    Yeah, I'm the only one.

    It must be that I'm blinded by bias, right?

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:06 AM  

  • I've never mentioned the word bias - that is an outgrowth of your own charges against Hillary.

    And my statement about Obama failing in Ohio and Texas (by the way he won Texas) because of the bad things Hillary said is all over the news and blogs. I mentioned the part about "ill-informed" voters because you harp all the time about how Hillary is pandering to different segments of voters or dismissing others. Yet Obama is "targeting" and that is somehow different and better.

    I am beginning to think that the blog world is not the best and only place from which to discuss this.

    It seems to me that you are getting down and dirty but can't tolerate anyone else doing the same.

    Why do you call Hillary the likely nominee ?- I certainly don't see it that way. And finally, some of my comments are obviously in response to your commenters - so don't think I am putting words directly into your mouth. You take offense at my "extreme" comments and chastise me for them but you rarely tell your Hillary bashers to back off. So it is hard to know where to draw the line with you.

    By Blogger Ptelea, at 8:39 AM  

  • One merely need to look at bill's wife's webpage to determine her overall policy:
    "I'm in it to win it"


    what will win it for her:
    Lying (against nafta)
    Pandering (get out our brooms girls!)
    Racebaiting (darker images of OB in mailers)
    Tears ("I'm trying so hard to work for you, sniffle-sniffle")
    Steal (ask superd's to vote against will of their state)

    and worst (best?) of all:
    SCORCHED EARTH/do anything to win (endorse McCrazy over OB; Claim Executive office exp by being married to bill; FEAR)

    I am an OB supporter but if were behind I would not condone any of these tactics for him to try to win. That is what (imo) seperates true Democratic supporters from her supporters. Will I vote for her? less likely everyday since she has decided to WIN AT ALL COSTS. She obv has decided that even if she practically destroys the party, the 4 or 8 years in office she can make people forget that and better yet she will win --- and remember...she is in it to WIN IT...

    I don't want OB to win at all costs and to destroy part of the base or to resort to dirt and lies. What would seperate him from the GOP then? Nothing! And at the end of the day what seperates her from the GOP? NOTHING!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:45 AM  

  • If you are running to be the standard bearer of one party you simply don't promote the standard bearer of the opposing party as being more desirable than your brother party member. Period.

    By Hillary's logic, GWB has more foreign policy/commander in chief experience than anyone running. The problem, of course, is one of competence, not long you've been around.

    Hillary simply is not as interested in having a Democratic president as she is in being president. She, or her campaign, have explicitly compared Obama to Karl Rove and to Ken Starr, and she herself has implicitly suggested Obama is on par with GWB with regard to being competent to step into the presidency.

    I've not heard any Obama supporters say they would actually vote for McCain if Hillary is the nominee, but I have heard several left-of-center independents say they would see no real reason to show up at the polls in November.

    If Hillary is the nominee she will get my vote for one reason, and one reason only: supreme court nominees. And even there I'm going to have to go on hope and not faith.

    But I really don't see how the Dems win if she's the nominee. Despite her claims, she has more baggage than Samsonite.

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:05 AM  

  • All comments are directed to:Anonymous (bill's wife version)

    if what you say is true - then Obama should just give up now. After all, he is not in the race to win - and she is going to steal it anyway.

    Do you seriously believe that she darkened the color of Obama's skin in ads as a form of race baiting?

    How is Hillary's so-called endorsement of McCain any worse than your vow to VOTE for him?

    By Blogger Ptelea, at 10:06 AM  

  • It would be interesting to ask Hillary precisely why she thinks McCain would make such a good commander in chief.

    By Anonymous anon2, at 10:13 AM  

  • -epm

    I actually agree with you on many of your points here. I am looking forward to Obama making her back up her statements about experience, etc. But I have heard MANY Obama-supporters vow not to vote for her - that she is just too odious, etc. Anon (bill's wife version) just said so. My perspective is that I have always seen Obama as a great candidate and I am not under his spell. Even if he comes out swinging against her, I will be happy to vote for him. I expect him to defend himself.

    I also agree that she has a lot of baggage and Obama has very little that we can identify. Maybe he has none - that would be fine with me. I say we are getting too mired in the contest. Let them duke it out and see who comes out ahead. I really don't think Hillary will win on dirty tricks. Her "dirty tricks" haven't gotten her ahead in delegate count. I guess I think the process is working just the way it should.

    By Blogger Ptelea, at 10:18 AM  

  • Ptelea, sorry, you just hit a hot button on me.

    And I think I saw an accusation of "bias" in this, "Mike - you might also want to step back from being an Obama supporter once in a while. I think you are seeing demons sometimes where they don't exist."

    Regarding chastising one side and not the other, there's one commenter that commonly goes way past what I consider normal discourse. I choose not to engage because it only makes it worse.

    (Frankly I would encourage you not to engage either. You are not likely to convince that person of anything, and you will gain nothing but frustration.)

    I respond to rational arguments, so, as you are very rational in your comments, I tend to engage you.

    I'm also very curious to see how she handles the questions on this today, too. She could put all of this to bed in a snap.

    ONE MORE POINT. I don't have too much of a problem with her attacking Obama. I got wound up when she effectively said the likely Democratic nominee wasn't fit to be president, but the Republican nominee was the most fit of all.

    (And standing here now, I would likely vote for Hillary Clinton if she won the contest, but that could be changed with a nasty convention.

    If she's going to win on superdelegates, it needs to be done in June. She needs to get those supers to come out and endorse early. We can't have that kind of convention two months before the election. The convention has to be about coming together.)


    EPM, Again, standing here, I think Clinton could win the presidency if she wins the nomination (with the convention caveat from directly above.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:38 AM  

  • Mike, you may be right, but I think the American public has shown it's willingness to fall for the fear factor. In a McCain v Clinton, I think selling fear of Clinton will be easier than selling fear of McCain to a broader number of American voters.

    In current national polls (which won't mean squat within weeks) McCain v Clinton is roughly 50-50, giver or take a few. Which way this breaks will depend on the independent, swing voters... and I think they break for McCain. McCain will shed he's wingnut-hugging ways and become the "independent maverick" (which the press loves) by the time we get into the general.

    I don't see Clinton, with her baggage (some fair, some not) pulling a win over McCain. I just don't. Especially given how she's positioned the election as one of "experience" and hawkish readiness. That is Johnny Mac, and on stage, side by side, I don't think Americans see a middle-aged woman in a red pant suit as more experienced and ready than John McCain, USN (retired).

    The way I can see Obama pulling it off is by pointing out that repeated the same failed policies of McCain/Bush have made us less safe, etc, etc,. The need for new ideas and new blood to re-invigorate the American message abroad... But Hillary's already (and repeatedly) gone pretty Lieberman on the war. That's been her voting record and even, to some degree, her campaign rhetoric.

    By Blogger -epm, at 11:16 AM  

  • Mike - you don't need to appologize. I wouldn't keep coming back if I didn't respect you and think that you have a right to voice your feelings (and it is your blog LOL). I knew my comments would piss you off but I said them anyway because I believe in standing my ground. You are right about engaging those who are way out there. I try not to but sometimes I just can't help myself and I have noticed on other sites that occasionally the lack of response seems to embolden them. I'll try to do the right thing in the future...

    I hope things settle down before the convention - I just volunteered to help out since it is in my home city. I hope we don't all need bullet-proof vests!

    By Blogger Ptelea, at 11:22 AM  

  • I can see that argument, but I still see such a Dem friendly environment, that I think a decently run campaign beats a weak candidate in McCain.

    I think the Clinton path against McCain would be heavy economic.

    The trick would be if she can echo the economic good times of the 90's and leave all the other stuff out.

    (Again, assuming she can manage a unified Dem party.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 11:23 AM  

  • my comments towards bill's wife cannot be disupted. Instead you attach me for vowing to consider not voting for her (not nec vote for McCrazy). ahhh, ignore the facts and instead deflect the argument to something else..."so OB should just drop out since he is not in it to win it"..in the words of Mr. Dean to Mr. Matthews..."ah, thanks for taking me out of context"...such a common fall-back position of the clinton machine...she learns well talking to bill after all those phone calls and in-between tea and crackers with China and Ireland...

    Of course darkening Ob is racebaiting. Time caught all kinds of hell doing it to OJ...and rightly so...

    anyway, let them have it but I'll be prepared to hear how "soft" OB is becuase he doesn't get "dirty" like bill's wife. He'll let his surrogates do it - something far more classy than she is capable of.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:42 AM  

  • "I think the Clinton path against McCain would be heavy economic."

    Yeah, that's what I was thinking. American's are certainly ready to hear that debate, but they're also too easily distracted by the fear factor, as recent events have shown. While it may be "the economy stupid," unlike the pre-Bush years we have this whole Fear Factor thing that seems so effective in distracting the American electorate from reason.

    Was W. really the stronger candidate in the 2004 election? I think it was fear mongering, not the strength of the candidates policies that won the day. Why would this be different in 2008?

    The antidote for fear isn't reason. It's hope.

    Hillary may be able to unify the Democratic party, but that's not the question. The question is: can she unify the people that voted in the Democratic primaries/caucuses? This I think she cannot do.

    By Blogger -epm, at 12:05 PM  

  • You know kids, I came here looking for some rational discourse and instead what I am seeing repeatedly is bashing. It's a shame really, but what I expected. What you have all forgotten is that we are all AMERICANS and more and more often, if you wish to learn what that really means, you must look outside the moment. It is our responsability to define what america becomes not only within the confines of our borders, but the rest of the world. We are, at this point, getting the government we deserve as your previous comments indicate.indicate.

    By Blogger Comicbook Guy, at 1:05 PM  

  • Anon, I've seen the case made on the "darkening" thing, and I'm not sure I believe it. I've seen the photos on Kos or Americablog and their explanations, but at the same time, I think when you're doing all the manipulation necessary to put those pictures there, I can't really trust those images enough to make that charge.


    EPM, Bush was perceived as the stronger candidate on nat'l security and they managed to frame the election in those terms, but we have to remember where that was, Iraq was still being played as a success in the mainstream media, and they still trumpeted all the baseless terror threats.

    And, I think Clinton can do it if she has enough time. (And, frankly, the same for Obama.) Time is the key. Given enough time and marketing, Dems will back their candidate against McCain.

    But that assumes people have enough time to get angry and get better.

    If Obama were to win only at the convention I think you'd have a similar, but lesser, problem trying to rally the Clinton supporters.

    Plus, we have the problem that the two groups of supporters are growing increasingly antagonistic the longer this goes on.

    The sooner this is decided, the better for Dem chances in November.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:15 PM  

  • Agreed all around.

    By Blogger -epm, at 1:24 PM  

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