Hillary or Obama?

Hillary or Obama?

Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama
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Postby Nik » Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:52 pm

I actually wanted Hillary to get the nomination because I think McCain would have an easier time beating her. I'm not saying this because I like McCain at all (I'm a pinko commie bastard after all) but because I really don't see a fundamental difference between the Republicans and Democrats like Clinton and Obama. Putting a female or black face at the head of the American empire is not going to change anything. Not when they're both corporate whores and they're both committed to defending the status quo (i.e. middle class and white privilege). And why root for Hillary or Obama (a Republican lite) when you can have the real thing like McCain? Seriously. Kucinich is out, Edwards is out, I'm voting Green. Neither Hillary nor Obama is much better than McCain.

And anyway, Hillary's hideous campaign tactics could actually help the Left if it serves to fracture her party and -- since Clintonism did nothing but pull the Democrats even more to the Right -- there could emerge a real Left movement in the party, bitter and angry now at the Clintons. I think that's worth four/eight years of McCain (OK I have to go shower now).

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Postby Steph2 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:37 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:A politician that opposes the Patriot Act yet votes for its reauthorization?

Now THAT'S what I call a "new politician"!

Kind of like a voter who opposes the Iraq war but endorses the politician who helped authorize it?

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Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:59 pm

Akash wrote:Shouldn't he be PROUD of opposing the Patriot Act and supporting a ban on handguns??

A politician that opposes the Patriot Act yet votes for its reauthorization?

Now THAT'S what I call a "new politician"!

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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:38 pm

He's pretty much the only Times columnist worth reading these days.

March 1, 2008
A Nominee? Or a Debacle?

When does a dandy fight become an ugly brawl?

For the Democrats, perhaps on Tuesday.

If Barack Obama wins in either Texas or Ohio, the race for the nomination will effectively be over. At that point the Clintons, if they have any regard for the fortunes of the party, will be duty-bound to graciously fold their tents and try to rally their supporters behind a candidate who will be stepping into a firestorm of hostility from the other side.

If Hillary Clinton wins both Texas and Ohio, the Democrats will need a trainload of aspirin and a shrink.

The superdelegates currently sprinting toward Obama would suddenly look over their shoulders and wonder what happened to his O-mentum. The Clintons would declare themselves (yet again) the Comeback Kids, although they would still be behind in delegates. They would continue their push to have the Michigan and Florida delegations seated. They would step up their attacks on the Obama forces with understandable glee. And they would use whatever persuasive powers they could muster to push the idea with party regulars that Senator Obama is unelectable.

That is a scenario guaranteed to infuriate the Obama true-believers. If Senator Clinton managed to secure the nomination under those circumstances, it would open deep wounds in the party that would be very difficult to heal.

There is a third scenario: Senator Clinton wins just one of the big ones on Tuesday but decides to hang on rather than gracefully step aside, hoping that some blunder, or some other unforeseen force — a news event, a scandal — causes the Obama effort to implode. That would also cause bad feelings that would be difficult to assuage.

(If Senator Obama wins Ohio and Texas, there’s nothing more to talk about. He’s the nominee.)

The Republicans, who had nothing going for them in this election, who had a weak field of candidates and were on the wrong side of virtually every major issue, are beginning to feel a bit like Lazarus. Democratic voters were courageous enough to put two candidates at the head of their line of potential nominees who have built-in political disadvantages. Party unity and a strong message are essential to overcoming those disadvantages. The longer the Clinton-Obama fight goes on, and the more bitter it gets, the better it is for the G.O.P.

In recent days both Clinton and Obama supporters have been predicting a long and possibly brutal fight if Senator Obama does not lock up the nomination on Tuesday. A Clinton advocate, who asked not to be identified because he didn’t want to be seen as wavering in public, said: “I don’t see how this gets resolved if she wins both Ohio and Texas. She needs blowouts to overcome Obama’s lead in delegates, but I don’t see that happening.

“On the other hand, she has a case to make if she heads toward the convention having won New York, California, New Jersey, Texas, Ohio and maybe Pennsylvania. But if she’s still behind in the delegates, how do you give her the nomination?”

The danger for the Democrats is a standoff steeped in rancor. The Republicans, assuming Senator Obama will be the nominee, are already having a field day. Those claiming the high road are mocking his foreign policy positions while the lowlifes are making sport of his name, suggesting he is unpatriotic, inferring that he is a Muslim and trying to drive a wedge between him and Jewish voters.

Mr. Obama seems at the moment like someone standing alone against the attacks. Since he hasn’t secured the nomination, he doesn’t have the biggest names in the party rallying to his defense. His supporters are busy battling the Clintons. (The same would be the case for Senator Clinton if she were the front-runner but hadn’t wrapped up the nomination.)

A further complication for the Democrats is the possibility that the results in Texas — which has a ridiculously complex primary-caucus setup — will be unclear. If Senator Clinton wins Ohio and there’s a battle royal in Texas (both sides are prepared for a legal fight), the McCain forces will pop the corks on another round of Champagne.

Democratic voters are tremendously excited about this presidential election. In addition to the obvious concerns about war and the economy, voters in both the Clinton and Obama camps believe that some of the fundamental values of the United States are at risk. They are worried, for example, about the undermining of governmental checks and balances, the erosion of civil liberties and the makeup of the Supreme Court.

Tuesday’s elections may decide the nominee. But if they don’t, the wisest heads in the party will be faced with the awesome task of preventing a train wreck that would ruin what was supposed to have been a banner year.

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Postby Akash » Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:18 am

The Huffington Post
February 28, 2008
Hillary: ‘Ready to Lie From Day 1 About Venezuela
by Robert Naiman

Mark Penn might try out this new sound bite for Hillary Clinton: “Ready to lie from Day 1.”

Exhibit A, as noted in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal: this week she claimed that Venezuela is a dictatorship.The Journal reports:

In a major speech yesterday at George Washington University, Sen. Clinton drove the wedge [with Sen. Obama] deeper: “If I am entrusted with the presidency, America will have the courage, once again, to meet with our adversaries. But I will not be penciling in the leaders of Iran or North Korea or Venezuela or Cuba on the presidential calendar without preconditions; until we have assessed, through lower-level diplomacy, the motivations and intentions of these dictators.”

So, according to Senator Hillary Clinton, the leader of Venezuela is a dictator.

It’s hard to imagine that Hillary is so uninformed — and has such incompetent foreign policy advisers — that she doesn’t know that President Hugo Chávez and his government have won multiple elections that were characterized as free and fair by international observers. But if she knows this, then she is lying.

For example, this is what the Carter Center delegation said about the 2004 presidential recall referendum:

“On Aug. 15, 2004, Venezuelans came out in record numbers to participate in the first popularly mandated presidential recall referendum ever to be held. In doing so, the Venezuelan people voted not to recall President Chávez from office, with 59 percent of the population voting for Chávez and 41 percent voting against him. It is the opinion of The Carter Center that the Aug. 15 vote clearly expressed the will of the Venezuelan electorate.”

Indeed, here’s what the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs wrote last October about the elections in 1998 and 1999 - this is on the State Department’s web page:

“In December 1998, Hugo Chávez Frias won the presidency on a campaign for broad reform, constitutional change, and a crackdown on corruption…Chávez’s argument that the existing political system had become isolated from the people won broad acceptance, particularly among Venezuela’s poorest classes, who had seen a significant decline in their living standards over the previous decade and a half. The National Constituent Assembly (ANC), consisting of 131 elected individuals, convened in August 1999 to begin rewriting the Constitution. In free elections, voters gave all but six seats to persons associated with the Chávez movement. Venezuelans approved the ANC’s draft in a national referendum on December 15, 1999.”

On January 31 of this year, the Miami Herald reported,

“Human Rights Watch on Thursday said Venezuela does not belong to a group of nations like Pakistan and Russia that use the veneer of democracy to mask autocratic rule…’We did not include Venezuela in the list of closed countries because it is not,’ Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said, unveiling the organization’s 2008 World Report, which highlighted leaders who claim to be democratic but take autocratic measures…’There are serious problems in Venezuela, but we shouldn’t pretend that Venezuela is a closed society,’ he said. ‘There still is significant political competition, and indeed the best evidence of that was the fact that Chávez just lost his referendum.’ “

You’re entitled to your own opinion, Senator Clinton, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.
Robert Naiman is National Coordinator of Just Foreign Policy, a membership organization devoted to reforming U.S. foreign policy to reflect the values and serve the interests of the majority of Americans. Naiman edits the daily Just Foreign Policy news summary.


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Postby Akash » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:59 am

Shouldn't he be PROUD of opposing the Patriot Act and supporting a ban on handguns??

February 29, 2008
Obama Gets a Taste of the Coming Battle

WASHINGTON — When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton goes after Senator Barack Obama these days, she presses him on the details of his health care plan, criticizes the wording of his campaign mailings and likens his promise of change to celestial choirs.

But if Mr. Obama becomes the Democratic presidential nominee, he is sure to face an onslaught from Republicans and their allies that will be very different in tone and intensity from what he has faced so far.

In the last few days alone, Senator John McCain has mocked a statement Mr. Obama made about Al Qaeda in Iraq. The Tennessee Republican Party, identifying him with his middle name as Barack Hussein Obama, suggested that his foreign policy would be shaped by people who are anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.

The Republican National Committee issued a statement on Wednesday invoking a questionnaire Mr. Obama filled out when running for Senate in 2004 to show that he once opposed cracking down on businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

Without using Mr. Obama’s name, President Bush, at a White House news conference on Thursday, assailed his willingness to meet Cuba’s new leader, Raúl Castro, without preconditions, saying that to do so would grant “great status to those who have suppressed human rights and human dignity.”

For much of this year, Mr. Obama has been handled with relative care by Mrs. Clinton and, before they dropped out, the other Democratic candidates. They generally do not have huge policy differences with him, and they have been wary of making a particularly harsh attack that winds up in a Republican television advertisement this fall.

Yet the shifting tone offers a glimpse of the Republican playbook as the party adapts to the prospect that it will be running against Mr. Obama rather than Mrs. Clinton.

It is a reminder that should Mr. Obama win the nomination, he will be playing on a more treacherous political battleground as his opponents — scouring through his record of votes and statements and his experiences before he entered public life — look for ways to portray him as out of step with the nation’s values, challenge his appeal to independent voters and emphasize his lack of experience in foreign policy and national security.

Some of this will almost certainly take the shape of the Internet rumors and whispering campaigns that have popped up against Mr. Obama since he got into the race, like the false reports that he is Muslim. Others will no doubt come from the types of shadowy independent committees that have played a big role in campaigns in recent years.

But others will simply draw on Mr. Obama’s voting record and speeches, interviews and debate appearances. Mr. McCain’s aides said their first line of attack would be to portray him as a liberal, and they have already begun pointing to a rating in The National Journal, based on his votes, of Mr. Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate.

Though Mr. McCain has vowed repeatedly to wage a tough if respectful campaign — he chastised a conservative talk radio host this week for disparaging Mr. Obama and invoking his middle name — his aides have left no doubt that they will draw sharp distinctions with him on issues that Mrs. Clinton has never been able to use. Foremost among them is Iraq.

“Her fundamental problem is, in a Democratic primary, she can’t make an issue contrast against him,” said Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain. “On the Republican side, we’ll have a very significant issue contrast against him. When you look at issues — taxes, spending, judges, health care and national security — there is a divide as deep and wide on those issues as the Grand Canyon.”

Mr. Obama’s record is not as long as Mrs. Clinton’s, or as potentially rich, for an opponent looking for damaging votes or quotes. But there is still plenty to work with. Some cases are simple let’s-go-to-the-video moments, like Mr. Obama’s statements that he would support giving drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens or would support raising taxes to shore up Social Security, lines of attacks that Republicans are already employing.

Others — like a suggestion that Mr. Obama opposed the USA Patriot Act or supported a ban on handguns — might be subject to dispute by Mr. Obama, who would argue they were yanked out of context or did not take into account the subtleties of shaping legislation. (Nuance is usually a weak defense in political campaigns.)

Should Mr. Obama win the nomination, his candidacy could well be a test of whether these tactics still work or whether, used against a candidate who is trying to cultivate an appeal that transcends policy specifics, would fall flat this time. The fact that Mr. McCain felt compelled to rebuke some critics of Mr. Obama over the past few days suggests he might see a danger in attacking too aggressively.

But Mr. McCain clearly will not control all of the voices that could oppose Mr. Obama, from bloggers and talk radio hosts to other elected officials. Even parts of the Republican Party apparatus can transmit messages that the presidential nominee cannot or will not.

After the Republican National Committee rebuked the Tennessee Republican Party for a news release this week using Mr. Obama’s middle name and a picture showing him in a traditional African outfit — Mr. McCain also expressed his disapproval — the state party removed the middle name and the picture.

But for at least some period of time, it left the text of the release on its Web site, seeking to link Mr. Obama to the views of some of his most controversial supporters, including Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.

David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, said tactics used effectively against Senator John Kerry in 2004 and Vice President Al Gore in 2000 would not work against Mr. Obama.

“They will try to rerun old races and battles and divide along traditional lines,” Mr. Axelrod said. “I think the country is eager for something else. And I think the country is not going to be so easily distracted. We are prepared to deal with whatever they offer.”

“I understand very, very well how facts can be manipulated,” he said. “I’m not going to get into specifics, but I know his record well, we know his record well, and we understand the areas that they might try to exploit. But I also am very, very confident that we can parry those kind of tactics effectively and show the same appeal with independent voters and some Republican voters that he has in Illinois.”

Mrs. Clinton has been arguing for months that she would be the stronger opponent against the Republicans than Mr. Obama because her record is already well known and his is not. This is part of the case Mrs. Clinton has been making to Democratic superdelegates in the final stand of the campaign.

“He regularly goes out there and says he’s the person who can beat John McCain,” said Mark Penn, Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategist. “But the truth is, if he is ever in a general election, a lot of positions he took in 2003 and 2004 will come back to haunt him in a big way and a lot of the vetting that didn’t happen will happen. The independent and Republican support that he has had will evaporate really quickly.”

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Postby Steph2 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:41 pm

Thank you for stating the obvious, Criddic. I don't know what we'd do without your talents. Is that the best comeback the Right has? "Yeah well...it sure won't be easy, wait and see!", "It's not over yet, anything can happen between now and the election!" Why don't you just say, "Don't forget, it's going to be a Democrat versus a Republican for the Presidency!" It would be equally as obvious as your last post.

But then it was also "obvious" to you how beloved Rudy G was, and how well he would do in the election, and well, look how that turned out.

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Postby criddic3 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:34 pm

Obama is clearly the more likable of the two, but even Democrats have to admit that his lack of experience - and more important, lack of foreign policy clear-thinking - will hurt him in the general election. I've seen the Frank Luntz focus groups, where Democrats say this precise thing: they like Obama, but they don't think likability is enough. They will probably vote for Obama against Hillary, but a few of them might switch to McCain in the general. So be careful what you wish for. If you nominate Hillary, you galvanize Republicans and split the Democrats and if you nominate Barack Obama you still have plenty of problems. Don't count on Democrats winning just yet. I know the mantra is that it's the year for them to win back the White House, but it's not going to be a walk in the park.
“If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it,” Donald J. Trump (May, 2004)

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Postby Damien » Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:48 pm

Sabin wrote:She didn't end her campaign on a note of grace. She ended it like Blanche DuBois at the end of 'Streetcar'. Just babbling to herself.

ROTFLMAO! That may be the best comment I've heard about any of the debates.
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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Postby Sabin » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:31 am

I was amazed by Hilary. She's at the end of her rope. Everybody I know says "Oh, well she's just tired. It's a lot of work." Bullshit. Barack Obama makes every debate look like the tail end of a restful three day weekend with the crossword.

Her comments about rejecting Farakhan's endorsement shed new light on her egotism. It's not about defeating the Republicans, the image that she had crafted for herself in the second half. It's about winning and burying the sonofabitch by her side at any cost. She just drove some Jews to McCain for no reason other than bitterness.

She didn't end her campaign on a note of grace. She ended it like Blanche DuBois at the end of 'Streetcar'. Just babbling to herself. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't give her the wrong address to the next debate.
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Postby Steph2 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:03 am

Akash wrote:go home to your decidedly more charming but equally war-mongering husband. I know some people thought you guys were just staying together to secure you the Presidency, but after this campaign, it's more clear than ever that you two really deserve each other.

Unless Bill is already preparing divorce papers. You know, change you can actually Xerox.

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Postby kaytodd » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:54 am

I agree her campaign has been incompetent and ineffective to say the least. The prospect of the first woman U.S. President is every bit as exciting and revolutionary as the prospect of the first black President. I know, unlike Obama, Hillary has been a famous person for a long time. And she has a good point about the value of experience. But it seems her campaign did not realize, and still does not realize, that Democrats are hungry for something fresh and exciting. It should have been obvious a long time ago that making an issue out of Obama's youth and inexperience was getting her nowhere. Perhaps many Democrats, taking a look at how things are going in Washington, think Obama's lack of experience was a point in his favor. Hillary and her campaign are completely tone deaf.
The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living. Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Postby Akash » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:19 am

My god, the woman is pathetic. She came across as whiny, petulant, straining to be funny -- and from the looks of it, the audience was not won over. She needed to score big last night and she just made it even easier for Obama instead. Hillary please. Save yourself some dignity. Call it quits now, return to the Senate, and go home to your decidedly more charming but equally war-mongering husband. I know some people thought you guys were just staying together to secure you the Presidency, but after this campaign, it's more clear than ever that you two really deserve each other.

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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:19 am

I watched the last twenty minutes or so and saw sound bites of the earlier part. Her opening comments about always being asked the first question but liking it anyway was just bizarre. A quick check of the facts by Tim Russert after the debate showed that she was asked the opening question six out of ten times, not all the time, but this seems to me where she does her best. A lot of the time all Obama can do is agree with her.

It's a shame, but it's looking more and more like a year from now her campaign will be fodder for a TV movie and probably not a very good one at that.

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Postby Johnny Guitar » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:53 am

Did anyone bother with the debate last night? Didn't see the whole thing, but Clinton was just routed in terms of image and composure (which is all these ridiculous debates are about, and as the frontrunners themselves know full well). Her advisors should be put to pasture at the end of this campaign. Even if something completely bizarre happens and she ends up somehow getting the nomination, she's run a pitiful campaign.

Have we shared this on the board yet? - http://barackobamaisyournewbicycle.com/ ... one of my favorite tongue-in-cheek manifestations/parodies? of the Obama personality cult.

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