Hillary's Attacks: She Could Destroy Her VP Chances
There has been a direct correlation between Hillary's dramatic slide in the polls - first in Iowa, then in New Hampshire, and now nationally - and a strident turn to very personal attacks on Obama from her camp and from her. At one level I understand it. From being very inevitable all year, you are suddenly looking very vulnerable. That can take some adjusting.
But I think it helps her to go back to the positive tone. Or she is going to miss the boat. First, some reality check. Her lead was never real. It was based on her name recognition, especially her last name, and the fact that people - voters - were not paying attention at all.
February To September: Little Change
I still think she is a strong, smart, pragmatic woman. She is a progressive icon. I like it that she is a woman. She sure has been an excellent Senator. But in taking the nosedive towards negativity, she is doing two things. She is hastening that slide. And she is diminishing her chances of ending up on the ticket. If she is a strong, consistent second in January, she will be a strong, consistent second on February 5 by default.
John Edwards is dropping out after Iowa. So is everyone else. And all that support will get transported over to Barack. But I don't see Hillary dropping out before February 5. She will have too much money left.
If she ends up a strong second, Barack will be hard pressed to overlook her and go pick someone else to be running mate. Parallels from history are George H W Bush in 1980 and Lyndon Johnson in 1960, both of whom fought hard in the primary.
But is she goes too negative, she might come across as a Dick Gephardt to Obama 2008. Barack will be too clever by two to take the bait. But he might do a Bill Clinton and ignore all his primary opponents when it is time for him to pick a running mate. He can. His nomination victory will be so clear, he will be able to afford to pick anyone.
Hillary is a competitor. Competing is legit. But going negative is not legit. Not in the Barack era of a new kind of politics, the politics of hope. She can try and make the case that she is more experienced. She can try and make the case her policy proposals are better. But going negative and personal, that's a no no.
Draw Distinctions, Work The Fundamentals
Terry McAuliffe: E=mc^2
Picking a running mate is a deeply personal decision for a nominee to make. I have no idea who Barack will go for. But if I were Hillary, I think I would want to maximize my chances.
In The News
The Humbling Of Eliot Spitzer The New Yorker still remote, in the way of capitals, like Brasília or Canberra ....... Albany is the arbiter in New York’s ceaseless upstate-downstate tug-of-war, which simultaneously pits rural Republicans against big-city liberals, and Rust Belt Democrats against supply-side suburbanites. ...... Albany is home to what may be the most dysfunctional state government in the nation. ....... promising to put an end to that dysfunction. ..... Albany has in many ways become more dysfunctional than ever. The addition of an aggressive personality with an ambitious agenda has, perversely, gummed up the works. ........ a progressive’s Rudy Giuliani ... a front-runner in the first-Jewish-President race ...... Lou Dobbs spent a month ridiculing him on CNN. ...... only twenty-five per cent ....... Spitzer doesn’t have the collaborative temperament or the tactical elasticity to be a governor. ....... He unfolded a tattered highway map. “I’ve had this in my briefcase going on nine years now. It’s from back when I was driving myself around, campaigning for attorney general, in ’97, ’98.” ...... The map was dense with gubernatorial significance and opportunities for Spitzer to demonstrate a prodigious grasp of policy detail. ........ deep-set eyes whose intensity can give the extremely mistaken impression that he wears eyeliner. ....... fidgety, in keeping with his reputation for impatience and hyperactivity ..... acuity for brisk small talk: sports, kids, Bruce Springsteen ...... He had recently looked at his State of the State speech from last January and concluded that he’d accomplished three-quarters of what he’d hoped to do. ....... Like politicians everywhere, he seemed frustrated that the media was so focussed on the tumult—that his message wasn’t getting out. ....... a fast and thorough absorber of information. He remains the capable and diligent student he was in school. (His sister remembers him doing his homework with his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth.) On television, he speaks in long, complex sentences and hews to a rigorous line of logic, and when you tell him things he remembers them. ........ learn when to let an opponent take a round, when not to antagonize people, when not to act as though he needed to prove that he’s the smartest man in the room. ........ “ ‘Ignore most of the advice we’re giving you.’ ” ...... Ignore all the politics. Ignore the screaming and shouting. ....... Eight other states had similar policies. ...... immigrants’ vital information would be added to the Department of Motor Vehicles database, an essential investigative tool for law enforcement. ....... “Even Joe Bruno, of all people”—as Spitzer put it on NY1—said that he could see the merits of it at first, as did the editorial boards of most of the newspapers in the state. ......... characteristic display of excessive rhetorical aggression ....... “He is wrong at every level—dead wrong, factually wrong, legally wrong, morally wrong, ethically wrong,” at which point the story moved to the fore. ........ Spitzer seemed to be relishing the opportunity to re-state the virtues of his proposal ....... James Tedisco ..... “Osama bin Laden is somewhere in a cave with his den of thieves and terrorists, and he’s probably sabering the cork on some champagne right now, saying, ‘Hey, that governor’s really assisting us.’ ” ....... “If it’s right, it’s right. We’d done the work; let’s move on it.” ....... literal-minded ...... A close friend suggested that he bring more “poetry” to governing. ...... “Well, I’m not sure if the poetry is the speech, or if the poetry is the reality that suddenly Stewart Airport is open and transportation from there will permit business to thrive in the Hudson Valley.” ...... Alexander Hamilton, Theodore Roosevelt, and Al Smith .... invest, the way Hamilton did; make sure the rules are enforced, the way T.R. did; and make sure everyone has a chance to play by those rules, which is what Al Smith stood for ........ make the workings of Albany more transparent ...... “Spitzer lunges. He seems not to be a person of strategy. ...... “Politics is like trench warfare. Defense wins. We don’t have the political equivalent of a tank that lets you roll over the opposition. The question for Spitzer is, can he develop the tank?” ........ a lawyer, a logician, a tactician, a policy fanatic, but not a deep thinker or a self-doubter ........ “Let me ask you: is my life much more boring than people presume? And don’t you think most lives are?” ........ His stock “stupid story about missing class” ...... he is a bully, which encompasses not just professional aggression but also what many regard as a preening rectitude and a tendency toward intellectual arrogance. ....... He gets up at five in the morning to jog ..... His first thought upon waking each day, he says, is a wish for two more hours’ sleep. ........ Bernard built a half-billion-dollar real-estate empire, consisting primarily of residential apartment buildings in Manhattan. ....... The Spitzer clan is eccentric only in its heightened devotion to attainment and argument. ...... During a dispute at a conference several years ago, the California attorney general challenged him to a fight, saying, “Let’s go—I’m from Oakland,” to which Spitzer replied, “Come on—I’m from the Bronx!” ........ demanding father, and he expected his children to come to supper with a topic for debate and a well-researched argument. “Conversation was a competitive sport” ...... (The potential first Jewish President was not bar mitzvahed.) ...... a lesson in tactics over strength ...... As a sophomore, he won, precociously, the presidency of the student government, but he has always claimed that he was not interested in politics—just policy. ....... While at Harvard, Spitzer met Silda Wall, a fellow-student, on a ski trip to Vermont. Wall was from North Carolina and had recently been divorced, after a brief marriage to another law student. ........ They live in one of Bernard Spitzer’s buildings, on Fifth Avenue at Seventy-ninth Street, a half block from the home of Michael Bloomberg ........ (Spitzer established a fake sewing shop in Chinatown, as a front). ....... spent the next several years travelling around the state in a mini-van, cultivating support for another run. ....... Spitzer’s tenure as a state attorney general may be the most heavily chronicled of any in America’s history. He reimagined the office ......... With great gusto, he went after big polluters, pharmaceutical companies, gun manufacturers, and, most notably, the financial industry, where various harmful and fraudulent practices had taken root—insincere equity research, shady market timing, bid rigging. ....... Spitzer’s modus operandi was to build a case against his targets, then push the most egregious allegations in the media, which put unbearable public pressure on the targets to settle. And settle they almost invariably did. ........ the widespread public disgust engendered by their greed. ....... —the regulatory turf battles, the legal dekes and dodges, the mutating rationales— ....... one cog in a sprawling and intransigent political mechanism ...... “Day One, everything changes. Day Three Hundred, nothing moves.” ....... squalid statehouse wranglings ...... fits of pique worthy of “Mean Girls” .... a web of purpose and allegiance that can be hopelessly complex ....... the State Senate—which they have controlled for all but one of the past sixty-nine years ........ The Republicans, therefore, are desperate, and in their desperation they have apparently settled on a sand-in-the-gears strategy. ...... resolved to depict him as angry and unstable ....... the entrenched Democrats are uneasy, too. Spitzer has made them so, both in his challenge to the status quo and in his mishandling of his relations with them. The political system in Albany favors stasis ...... They dole out what are known as “lulus,” or payments to legislators for extra duties that can be, let’s say, undemanding. ...... seeing to it that incumbents win more than ninety-five per cent of their races. ....... determinedly stubborn and patient. His modest manner disguises a canny parliamentary style. The contingencies can get so intricate and self-annulling that very little gets done. ......... Spitzer’s first hostile act as governor ... “Like Rip Van Winkle,” he pronounced, “New York has slept through much of the past decade while the rest of the world has passed us by.” ..... Bruno and Silver, the presumably somnambulant collaborators ..... comportment was not high on Spitzer’s priority list. To break the stagnant culture of Albany, he intended to do away with the rhetoric, as well as the practice, of accommodation. He would relish the disjointing of noses.
Bush Says Iran Still a Danger Despite Report on Weapons New York Times
Romney: Religion address won't be 'a JFK speech' CNN
Will Clinton's Obama Attacks Backfire?
Why Venezuelans Turned on Chavez a president who, in nine years, had never lost an election ..... thousands of university students, who, dormant until this year, clogged the streets to protest the reform in the weeks leading up to the vote ..... an abstention rate of 44% suggests some of Chavez's traditional support base didn't show up to vote .... a man whose political raison d'etre is defined by alleviating poverty. ..... Most chavistas who celebrated early in front of the Miraflores presidential palace abandoned the party when the voting results were announced at 1 a.m., leaving a sparse crowd with long faces milling about in a sea of empty rum and beer bottles. ....... a giant projection screen showing the president conceding defeat. ....... did Chavez sacrifice measures that could have helped the poor because he insisted on a political power grab? ....... they hit the streets in advance of the referendum, leading tens of thousands to protest in Caracas and thousands more in other cities throughout the month of November. ...... he and his allies still have wide-reaching powers that include control over the legislature, the judiciary, the state oil company and nearly every state government
Putin's Reaganesque Victory Putin's party appearing to have won two-thirds of the vote. ..... Putin's managed election victory has caused so little public discontent ...... Putin remains the overwhelmingly popular leader in Russia today. ....... In Chechnya, the breakaway province bombed and bludgeoned into quiescence by Putin since taking office in 2000, some 99.4% of the vote went to his party. ....... few doubt that United Russia would easily have won even if the election had been free and fair. ....... a majority of voters appear ready to give their president a blank check. ....... in the sense that he has made Russians feel good once again about their country, his appeal is Reaganesque. ....... Reagan's own popularity — even among many Democrats — owed less to his specific policies (tax cuts, arms buildup) than to his overall success in restoring Americans' national pride and optimism. ......... Yeltsin is remembered at home for ushering in an era of economic and social catastrophe, rampant kleptocracy and a series of geopolitical humiliations at the hands of the West. ....... Putin has had few reservations about standing up to the West
Facebook grooming us for intrusive marketing?
Clinton aide says the reference to Obama's kindergarten essay was ...
Most 'Superdelegates' Remain Uncommitted
Clinton vs. Obama Washington Post Clinton has launched a more aggressive and personal attack against Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) after a new poll shows her losing ground to him in the Iowa caucus race. ........ the character problem is with Clinton ...... "the military still largely deals with mental health issues in an ad hoc way, often relying on the judgment of combat-hardened commanders whose understanding of mental illness is vague or misinformed." ......... Hillary isn't going to win the battle for "good character" -- any more than she'll win for being the nicest person in the race ..... "Clinton take my advice. The last thing you want to do is challenge someone's honesty especially when you are the public face for dishonesty in a politician... Hyprocrisy thy name is Clinton and it won't play in Iowa." ....... While certainly not an Obama supporter; I would opine that Obama has more character and integrity in his little finger than Mrs. Clinton has in her entire body." ....... why she is wasting her time in Iowa
With One Month to Go, the Battle Lines Are Drawn
from Paramendra Bhagat
to Barack City
date Dec 4, 2007 1:21 AM
subject Let's Deliver NYC to Barack on February 5
Goal: Deliver NYC to Barack on February 5.
He has to have a good January for NYC to be able to deliver. But then
we focus on things that are in our control.
Method of communication: I think this is the best way. Some of the top
40 volunteers and staffers are on this private list. If any of you
feel like I need to add more people, email me their email addresses
and a brief sentence on why. Anyone can send a message to all 40
(keeps it non-hierarchical) by sending an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org but members receive only one digest email
a day, so no flooding. The group is online at
http://groups.google.com/group/barackcity Archives can be accessed
only by members. I think this is the most efficient way to
I am under no illusion that 40 or 400 volunteers will decide whether
or not Barack will carry NYC on Feb 5. Most people who will vote for
him on Feb 5 will do so owing to the larger drama that will unfold in
January, and the ensuing media coverage. Most people's direct and sole
contact with Obama 2008 will be through BarackObama.com. So I am not
saying we are Da Bomb. But I do think we will be the straw that breaks
the camel's back. Besides, my gut says February 5 will be the day he
will seal the nomination. We have put so much work into this for over
a year now. Why will we want to not reap the reward, the reward of
being able to say we were there not just on the first day, but also on
the final day!
I think meeting people in the city one on one is key. Winter is no
excuse. Do it underground. Come to think of it, that is the only true
public space in the city. I want a small, attractive, colorful flyer
that has only three things on it. (1) February 5 NY primary. (2) Vote
for Barack Obama. (3) Visit BarackObama.com. The downtown Manhattan
office should keep stacks of them. Neighborhood team leaders should be
able to come and pick up a whole lot of them. Local volunteers should
be able to get them from the local team leaders. 20 seconds per person
to make small talk and hand over the flyer.
Can we set up at least one neighborhood group for every township in
the city? Can we create visibility? How many volunteers can we get out
for this? 5,000? 25,000? How many of those flyers can we give out?
50,000? 150,000? 500 volunteers giving out 50,000. That is so
realistic. 100 per volunteer. The best way would be to spend a minute
or two to actually connect with the potential voter.
This is in addition to all that we are already lined up to do, like
phoning voters most likely to vote. That is a whole different
operation. Talk about calling people up, is it possible to be able to
"outsource" it? Why can't people call up from home in the evenings
after work? Why does it have to be from the office?
Plus, how can we make it easier for people to find out where to go on
Feb 5? What location?
Winter has set in. But still, why are there so few NYC events on MyBO?
We should have a victory party for each January victory. That is when
the top volunteers bond.
Looking forward to hearing from you. After all, we were responsible
for the largest rally in US presidential campaign history. We did it.
We can do it again on Feb 5.
Like my fellow Buddhist Richard Gere would say, One Small Human Being