Engaging Hillary Will Bring Down Her National Lead

The Exchange

There was this one point this summer when Barack and Hillary engaged in a weeklong exchange over Barack's saying he will meet with adversaries. That exchange was good for him. His national numbers started going up.

Now that chance is here again. Hillary has decided she can no longer afford to act like her primary fight is with Bush. She is finally ready to enage. And that is good news for us.

She has set up a war room to offer daily rebuttals to Obama. That is manna from heaven for us.

We must engage her to the fullest extent of the law.

The best way to make inroads into the over 60 crowd is to engage Hillary in detailed talk on Social Security. We have a clear edge on her on that one. We have a better plan to fix it.

Someone who refuses to make tough choices for Social Security can not fix Social Security.

And Barack's decision to eliminate income tax for seniors making less than 50,000 is another feather in our cap. We must flaunt it at every opportunity. That was a masterstroke.

Obama's Masterstroke: Eliminating Income Tax For 22 Million Seniors

In ignoring Barack she was able to make it sound like this primary season was for making a choice between Coke and Pepsi, and that was hurting us. Now, through engagement, we can make our distinctions clear. Barack and Hillary are like night and day.

Draw Distinctions, Work The Fundamentals
Coke Gatorade, Not Coke Pepsi

Repetition is the mother of success. We have to boil it down to making a maximum of five points and we have to keep making it over and over again.
  1. Barack will responsibly end the dumb war in Iraq that should never have been authorized in 2002.
  2. Barack will engage Iran from a position of strength.
  3. Barack will put Social Security on a sound footing.
The wording can be much better. I am not in a great mood right now.

Her third quarter good performance can be attributed to one phrase, strength and experience. She has turned that into a brand. We need a counter phrase. And we have to hit with it on a near daily basis.

Barack: Judgment And Leadership

Barack: Still The Politics Of Hope

Barack has not strayed one bit from the politics of hope. We still very much hope Hillary loses the nomination fight.

In The News

Clinton, Obama and the Experience Question Washington Post currently taxed at 6 percent, but only on the first $97,000 of a person's income. ..... Obama has been criticizing Clinton for not offering a detailed proposal on Social Security, which she argues has been overstated as a crisis.
Obama's campaign has a new wrinkle Los Angeles Times While young Democratic voters have gravitated to his presidential campaign, seniors have stampeded to Hillary Rodham Clinton's. ..... is making urgently needed inroads into the over-60 set as he struggles to catch up to front-runner Clinton. ..... he is also reaching out to older voters with events tailored to their interests. He is, alone among the Democratic candidates, making a high-profile issue of shoring up Social Security. He has proposed abolishing the income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 a year. And he is recruiting older Iowa Democrats to teach new voters about the state's arcane caucus system. ........ the New York senator with support of 48% of voters 55 and older, while Obama was backed by 15%. ....... In New Hampshire, a recent Marist poll found that among men over 45, Obama leads Clinton 24% to 22% -- a big swing since October, when she led by a 20-point margin. ........ In Iowa, an October Hawkeye Poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers found Obama garnering support from 24% of those over 60, nearly double his August showing. ....... 64% of Iowa's Democratic caucus voters in 2004 were over 50. ...... "If the greatest generation can teach today's generation anything, it's that a greater America is still possible," said Obama, who called for expanding volunteer opportunities for seniors. "I believe that Americans of all ages are still willing to serve this country in ways big and small." ..... His proposal is particularly appealing to retirees, because it would not cut their benefits; instead it would raise the tax burden on wealthier workers. That proposal -- to raise the $95,700 cap on income that is subject to Social Security tax -- drew enthusiastic support at the round-table discussion. ...... Her son said he was flabbergasted when Collins told him that, after years of voting for Republicans for president along with her late husband, she was supporting Obama. "I'm sure my husband is twirling in his grave," Collins said.
Obama Iowa The Associated Press A new Washington Post/ABC poll shows Obama with 30 percent support among likely Democratic caucus-goers. Clinton has 26 percent and Edwards 22 percent. Significantly, the poll showed that about half of Clinton's supporters and 43 percent of Obama's supporters said they had never attended a caucus. The voters considered the most reliable caucus participants are those who have caucused in the past.
Making the most out of a few poll points Los Angeles Times Obama ran slightly ahead in the new poll, with 30%, followed by Hillary Clinton (26%), John Edwards (22%) and Bill Richardson (11%). In the summer survey, the breakdown was Obama 27%, Clinton 26%, Edwards 26% and Richardson 11%. ..... the results on caucus night could dramatically reshape the contest. ...... "Obama is running even with Clinton among women in Iowa, drawing 32% to her 31% ..... 55% reported that a 'new direction and new ideas' are their top priority, compared with 33% who favored 'strength and experience.' That is a shift from July, when 49% sought change and 39% experience ....... the strength he showed as the second choice among the likely caucusgoers. Obama led in that category, with 34%, followed by Edwards (28%) and Clinton (15%).
Obama edges Clinton in key state NEWS.com.au
The Daily Five: A New Phase
Atlantic Online Obama leads 2-1 on trustworthiness/honesty questions...and Clinton runs third among men. ....... A new phase: Clinton campaign will begin daily, on-the-record rebuttals to everything Barack Obama says...John Edwards's words will be paid attention to occasionally.... A rival campaign aide writes: "Our ID calls are showing softening, with people saying they have increasing doubts about[Hillary's] conviction, etc. not a ton, but significant." ....... RNC interlude: HRC is debating with herself, and she's gonna raise taxes. ..... Obama campaign today: Clinton is beginning to lose this thing, so she's turning desparate.
Iowa Still Up For Grabs CBS News Iowa's January 3 party caucuses will be make-or-break time for many campaigns and will set the trajectory for the early, unrelenting primary season to come. ....... characterized the 2008 contest as the "most open presidential race in generations." There is no incumbent or vice president running, and both sides are stocked with qualified candidates ...... Democrat Monica McCarthy of Creston, who says she will sit down with a friend over a pitcher of beer around Christmas time to "make our lists and decide." ..... Clinton, the national front-runner, has been weakened in recent weeks by her opponents' stepped-up attacks. ....... The race promises to get even nastier. With little to define them on big issues, the Iowa contest has become one of small increments--daily victores ...... the brickbats Edwards took for saying he didn't know if he'd support Clinton if she were the nominee. ...... That strong Iowa sentiment--don't try to buy my vote, and don't try to tell me who the winner is until I vote--promises to play out in a big way come January.

Court Upholds Musharraf Election New York Times
Living abroad best experience for future president: Obama
Obama: Takes Terrorism ‘Deadly Serious’
New York Times
Clinton Says Economy Needs Experience
The Associated Press
Rudy Giuliani A NASCAR Fan?
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Giuliani Promotes Virtual Fence
The Associated Press
After Lalu, Nitish, Paswan wants Bihar
Indian Express the seniormost of the trio — Lalu, Nitish, Paswan — in the state, the Dalit leader ....... He is projecting his forthcoming “Sankalp Rally” on November 28 as the beginning of his campaign to claim Bihar. ..... the LJP is welcoming all kinds of leaders in its fold in a bid to strengthen the party.
Asean Steps Up China Free-Trade Talks as Deal With India Stalls Bloomberg
India's government upbeat over US nuclear deal
‘India can host 2020 Olympics’
The Statesman
Why the Left blinked on the N-deal Sify they feared that because of the nuke deal New Delhi was willing to put itself firmly in the US' strategic orbit in Asia -- in other words, become "America's policeman" in the region. .... the Left's stand seems a brave attempt to get an honourable exit from a tight spot. ..... Even in the best of times, the debate over the nuke deal was limited to sections within the urban populace of India. ..... close Indo-US relations were not being done at the cost of New Delhi's traditional allies as it continued to strengthen ties with China, Russia, the European Union, and many other key international players. .... Of the 45 countries that form the Group, at least eight to 10 countries are reluctant to give their nod of approval to change the guidelines for India. They range from the Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark to even those like Ireland and New Zealand. ...... Even countries like Brazil and Argentina, who have not been able to get their own enrichment programmes approved, appear extremely diffident to allow India, a non-signatory of the Nuclear non Proliferation Treaty, to get these "privileges."
UPADTE 1-ASEAN calls for democracy in Myanmar, bars UN envoy Reuters
China Exclusive: Tiger eats tiger in NE China zoo
Xinhua "I was shocked, particularly as the five tigers, who were the same age, had been living together for five years. This kind of thing has never happened before" ..... "An adult tiger eats about 20 pounds of meat a day, but the tigers here can barely get a chicken to quench their hunger every one or two days" ...... One ravenous elephant angrily smashed through the wall of its compound last year. .... The park has started to exercise birth control on tigers and feed them with less expensive chicken instead of beef.
Olmert and Abbas Try for Joint Text New York Times of the 10,000 or so Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, no more than 500 meet the current government criteria for early release
French protests intensify, strike extended Reuters
Sarkozy gives strike the silent treatment in France International Herald Tribune
Google-funded company wants to uncover your dna's secrets
Google builds very own Ethernet switches
Industry panel writes off wimax, says HSPA is now broadband status quo
The Line (subscription)
Miss Sri Lanka to act opposite Big B
Times of India
Call for Iraqi soccer stars to return home
Sydney Morning Herald
Outlook: The Futility of Food Banks
Washington Post
As Thanksgiving Nears, the Cupboards of Millions Are Bare PNN
Enough About Kindle 1.0. What About Kindle 2.0?
New York Times the first physical product from the Seattle-based Internet retailer ...... One way Amazon might lower the costs and subsidize its content: turn the Kindle into an advertising platform.
Broadway Strike Threatens to Take a Toll on City New York Times
"Beowulf" slays bees at weekend box office Reuters The medieval battlefield epic "Beowulf" ushered in a new age at North American movie theaters, opening at No. 1 with almost half the ticket sales for the new box office champ coming from 3-D theaters. ....... "Beowulf" was the largest release in modern 3-D history, playing in 742 theaters across North America ....... the potential of what 3-D can be in the future

US commission schedules 2008 presidential debates Washington Post three debates beginning on September 26, 2008, which would feature extended discussions and the chance to directly address each other ....... University of Mississippi in Oxford ..... October 7 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and the third on October 15 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. ....... vice presidential contenders is scheduled for October 2, 2008, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri ........ Third-party candidates who average 15 percent support in polls will be invited to take part ...... The first presidential debate would focus on domestic policy, and the third would focus on foreign policy.
Obama Finds Help in Iowa With a Focus on New Ideas Contest Close in Iowa, Obama Mounting Strong Race Against Clinton .....
A growing focus on fresh ideas coupled with lingering doubts about Hillary Clinton's honesty and forthrightness are keeping the Democratic presidential contest close in Iowa, with Barack Obama in particular mounting a strong race against the national front-runner. ........ Most Democratic likely voters in Iowa, 55 percent, say they're more interested in a "new direction and new ideas" than in strength and experience, compared with 49 percent in July -- a help to Obama, who holds a substantial lead among "new direction" voters. ...... Obama beats her by 2-1 as the most honest and trustworthy candidate. Her advantage on experience, while substantial, has softened since summer. She has notably less support in Iowa than nationally in trust to handle a variety of specific issues -- on Iraq, for example, Obama now runs evenly with her. And she's third in Iowa among men. ...... 30 percent in Iowa support Obama, 26 percent Clinton and 22 percent Edwards, with 11 percent for Bill Richardson ........ Forty-three percent say there's a chance they could change their minds by the Jan. 3 caucuses; 20 percent say there's a good chance of it. ..... Fifty-three percent of likely caucus-goers are following the race very closely, more than double the level of attention among all Democrats nationally. ...... Eight in 10 of those likely to attend a Democratic caucus say they've received a phone call from one or more of the campaigns. Just more than half have attended a campaign event. More than four in 10 have visited campaign Web sites. And a third say they've personally spoken with one or more candidates, or shaken his or her hand. ....... Six weeks before the 2004 caucus, 34 percent said they'd attended a campaign event. That compares with 52 percent now. ...... among the 45 percent who don't see Clinton as forthright, her support's in the single digits. ..... Among those "new direction" voters, 43 percent prefer Obama, while just 17 percent go for Clinton ........ both Obama and Edwards lead Clinton in honesty and trustworthiness, and in empathy ....... in trust to handle the situation in Iraq. In this poll 26 percent of likely caucus-goers pick Obama on that issue -- up by 9 points from July -- while 23 percent take Clinton, down by 6. ....... Iowa Democrats cite Iraq as the single most important issue in their choice (33 percent), with health care a close second, cited by 26 percent. ....... Among women, meanwhile, Clinton and Obama run about evenly ..... Most Iowa Democrats say the fact that Clinton would be the first woman president doesn't directly influence their choice ...... The edge turns to Obama among the most highly educated voters, a reliably high turnout group; he has 37 percent among those who've done post-graduate work (a fifth of all likely caucus-goers) ....... Among those age 65 and over, just 18 percent now support him, down from 36 percent in July. Among seniors -- another normally high-turnout group -- Clinton now leads.
Clinton and Obama Talk About Economy, Each Other New York Times Obama, who was also campaigning in Iowa, pushed back swiftly and with humor, saying he did not know “exactly what experiences she’s claiming” ...... employment, mortgage foreclosures, and rising oil, gas, and energy bills as the winter approaches. ........ each of the three searching for issues and a message to break ahead of the Democratic pack. ....... ideas to create 5 million new jobs through energy research ...... her campaign’s strategy to take on Mr. Obama in Iowa ..... Rudolph W. Giuliani or Mitt Romney, who attack her by name on an almost daily basis.
FBI: Reported Hate Crimes Up in 2006 ABC News

Ex-Army captain works the phones for Barack Obama campaign New York Daily News Bonifacio, 27, served in Iraq five days short of a year, beginning in December 2005. Based northwest of Baghdad ..... "Got shot at a few times. Got exploded at a few times," Bonifacio said nonchalantly. ..... Bonifacio said he was "very much on the fence" regarding President Bush's decision to invade Iraq. But after serving, he said, he learned firsthand the "huge disconnect" between what was happening in Iraq and what politicians back home were saying. ..... "It just made me extremely cynical, I guess, about what politicians can do and, I think, that's when I first realized how I voted and how I convinced others to vote would affect [policy]," he said. ...... Bonifacio said he's supporting Obama because the Illinois senator had "the courage and judgment" to propose a hard date for withdrawal from Iraq and because of his commitment to intensify training of Iraqi troops. He also cited Obama's leadership opposing the war in 2002 "before it was popular to do so."

Obama: Foreign Family Experience Helps The Associated Press Obama contrasted that with tightly controlled congressional trips overseas. ..... "You get picked up at the airport by a state convoy and a security detail. They drive you over to the ambassador's house and you get lunch. Then you go take a tour of some factory or some school. Children do a native dance." ...... Obama said foreign policy decisions are rooted in an understanding of foreign cultures, and he argued he has a much keener perception than his rivals. ..... Obama said community colleges are often a forgotten link in the nation's education system. ...... Obama said he would streamline a student aid program that he argued is so complex that as many as 1.5 million eligible students a year don't bother applying. .... families will just check a box on their tax form to determine eligibility
Clinton, Obama spar over experience MSNBC "My understanding is that she wasn't Treasury secretary in the Clinton Administration."
Obama expected to propose free college plan DesMoinesRegister.com Community college would cost nothing for most students under a plan that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will propose today in Fort Dodge. The plan calls for a $4,000 refundable tax credit, which Obama said would make community college completely free for most graduating high school students. The plan also calls for making it easier to apply for financial assistance.
ANALYSIS: Clinton's rivals in need of thunder Kansas City Star with fewer than seven weeks to go before the voting starts, neither Obama nor Edwards has yet found an argument that crystallizes Democrats' concerns about Clinton and shifts large numbers of votes to one of them. ....... the Democratic frontrunner has been straddling tough issues, such as the future of Social Security and U.S. policy toward Iran. ..... few say that she's too corporate. ..... the act of nominating a woman to be president would hardly seem to represent an automatic acceptance of the status quo. ...... the visceral animosity she generates among Republicans and some independents, an animosity that raises questions about her electability and her prospective ability to govern. ......... Whites said that his chances of winning would be hurt by his lack of national experience, while African Americans said that his being black was a liability. The poll was not limited to Democrats. ...... "It seems John wants to start a class war," said candidate Bill Richardson during the debate in Las Vegas. "It seems Barack wants to start a generational war." ....... Unless Obama or Edwards can make a more effective case against Clinton's candidacy - and for his own - the skirmishing likely will end before a real war can get started.
Obama on Clinton claim of best economic experience: "You weren't ... Baltimore Sun ''There is one job we can't afford on-the-job training for --our next president. That could be the costliest job training in history,'' Clinton said ........ "I think she's a capable person. She's been a senator, like I have," he added. "But rather than just assert experience, if she has specific differences with me with respect to economic policy, I'm happy to have those debates. But this general notion of experience based on longevity in Washington I don't think is sufficient."
mccain Says He's the One to Lead--And Beat Clinton Washington Post McCain said. "She and I disagree over America's direction, and it is a serious disagreement. But I don't doubt her ability to lead this country where she thinks it should go." ....... a series of bright and highly unflattering distinctions between the two of them -- in their worldview, in their approach to government's role in health care and the economy and especially on two of the most difficult issues likely to face the next president, Iraq and Iran. ........ he was scornful of Clinton's position on Iraq. He implied that she had voted for the 2002 resolution authorizing the war because of polls and that she has abandoned that position because the war has become highly unpopular. ........ I would rather lose an election than stay silent and watch my country lose a war ...... On Iran, he suggested that Clinton is mostly confused. He asserted that she once ruled out unconditional negotiations with the Iranians but now is willing to talk without preconditions. ....... "She won't address seriously the fiscal crisis of Social Security and Medicare or if she does she'll let congressional Democrats convince her to raise your taxes." ......... Clinton favors universal coverage that would include a mandate for all individuals to purchase insurance. McCain said he would make health care "more accessible by making it more affordable." ........ Should he succeed, he might yet have the opportunity to demonstrate whether it is possible to run both a courteous and vigorous general election campaign.

Clinton and Obama split over 'slur' Guardian Unlimited after Obama's team condemned as "slime politics" a reported personal slur from the Clinton camp. ..... "The cause of change in this country will not be deterred or sidetracked by the old 'Swift Boat' politics," he said in a written statement. ..... and said Obama had been lured into a pointless spat. ..... "I realise that changing your position to suit the politics of the moment might be smart campaign tactics, but isn't the kind of strong, principled leadership America needs right now."
Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Britain is a US client state and should not forget it, says the neocons' oracle Dirty Tricks Ratchet Up as Caucus Gets Closer ABC News dirty tricks — nasty information, sometimes false, often spread anonymously. ..... It's a murky world and often tough to tell what's true, what's false and where any of it is coming from. ..... "I really value my reputation and my character and my family," Obama said Sunday in Marion, Iowa. "In the era of the blogosphere, we have seen what happened with John McCain in 2000, what happened with John Kerry in 2004. If you don't get on this stuff quickly, then it starts drifting around, and that is not something I am going to accept." ............ "we are letting Democratic voters know, we are letting Republican operatives know, and we're letting other people know that we will respond swiftly and forcefully when there are untruths being floated out there." ...... the mudslinging in the 1800 race between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. .... mysterious push poll phone calls, which sound like polls at first but are intended to push negative information about candidates. ........ whether he knew that Mormons baptize people into their faith posthumously and have a history of discriminating against blacks. ....... a push pollster asked her, "What was the best reason not to vote for John Edwards?" "Either he was too liberal to win a general election or he continued to campaign instead of staying home with his wife who has cancer, which I found offensive," Belin said. ........ bogus e-mails about Obama being a Muslim operative. Obama jokes that would be news to his pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ. ....... As Mark Twain once said, a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. And that was long before the Internet.
Nepal PM faces tough fight NDTV.com The battle in Nepal's parliament that started over King Gyanendra's fate is now threatening to unseat Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and topple the interim government as the winter session starts on Monday. .... Bhattarai also warned that if Koirala failed to implement the two demands in the winter session, his party would start a new protest movement. .... Challenging Koirala's assertion that if the Maoists chose to stay away, he would hold the twice-postponed constituent assembly election without them, Bhattarai dared the government to go ahead and do it. ....... If the winter session can't resolve the deadlock, the fragile peace process will take another blow. A fresh election date would become impossible and with the festivities over, the Terai plains in the south would become restive once again. One of the strongest parties from the plains, the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, has threatened to start protests from this week if the government failed to implement the commitments it had made almost two months ago.

For Bush, Fortunes Finally Improve Washington Post
Students defy Myanmar protest ban at ASEAN summit
Myanmar Overshadows ASEAN Efforts RTT News
Southeast Asians finalize landmark constitution that will set up ... International Herald Tribune a landmark charter that will create an agency to review the region's human rights — though it contains no powers to punish notorious violators like Myanmar. ...... the ASEAN Charter ..... a rules-based legal entity ..... "I'm not sure if it will have teeth but it will certainly have a tongue" ...... Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
New book on China raises a storm the world's most important remaining one-party dictatorship ....... what conservatives in the Bush administration regard as a looming military threat from China, a threat that a lot of experts (including Mann) believe to be largely imaginary. .... the past decade, where a middle class of perhaps 200 million to 300 million people has come into existence enjoying a degree of personal autonomy that would have been unthinkable 15 or so years ago. ...... Mann overestimates the centrality of the United States to political developments in China, that if democracy takes hold there it will be because of developments in China itself, not because of pressures from outside.
Bihar issues red alert Hindu the 48-hour bandh call given by the CPI(Maoist) in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and Chhattisgarh from Monday
Obama addresses Novak report at press conference Baltimore Sun
Obama Criticizes Clinton on NAFTA
The Associated Press
Edwards Criticizes Clinton Over Iraq
The Associated Press
Obama's transformative powers
San Francisco Chronicle Hillary Clinton didn't win Thursday's CNN Democratic presidential debate so much as Barack Obama and John Edwards lost it. ...... what did Clinton's top rivals do in Las Vegas? They out-parsed her. ....... I have long suspected that Obama, the senator from Illinois, is the only Democrat who can win the nomination in 2008. The other senators in the ring voted for the war in Iraq before they were against it. While that flip-flop may play with Democratic primary voters, it is a loser in a general election. After all, U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians don't get a do-over. ........ The Obama I saw at Google headquarters in Mountain View on Wednesday, unlike the Las Vegas debate Obama, seemed direct and appealing. He hit a chord with the audience when he argued, "Democrats lose when they are not clear about what they stand for. Democrats lose when they are attacked, and - because they don't know where they stand - they end up getting defensive instead of going on the offensive." ........ Obama is the only top-tier Democrat who says what he means. ...... Osama bin Laden planned the Sept. 11 attacks when Bill Clinton was president ...... outside American borders lurks a hostile world.
Clinton Is New to Nafta Criticism, Obama Says New York Times Clinton was a cheerleader for Nafta for more than a decade. As of a year ago, she was calling it a boon to the economy,” Mr. Obama told reporters here today. “It seems to me that the only thing that has changed in the last year is that it’s now election time.” ...... “The fact of the matter is that we are letting Democratic voters know and we’re letting Republican operatives know and we’re letting other people know that we will respond swiftly and forcefully when there’s untruths being floated out there,” he said. “The political environment has changed. Something gets on the Internet and it’s half way around the world before you blink an eye. We need to be very clear about how we’re not going to tolerate this.”
Bezos has lofty ambitions for Kindle CNET News.com


In a perfect world, everyone would realize already that Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to lead the nation, but apparently there's a lot of sheep in this country.