Thursday, May 22, 2008

More On Clinton's Poisonous Turn

Al Giordano over at The Field (which is, as I've mentioned numerous times, the BEST politiblog of the season) posits that Clinton's latest ratcheting up of poisonous rhetoric is due to sour grapes:
The Field can now confirm, based on multiple sources, something that both campaigns publicly deny: that Senator Clinton has directly told Senator Obama that she wants to be his vice presidential nominee, and that Senator Obama politely but straightforwardly and irrevocably said “no.” Obama is going to pick his own running mate based on his own criteria and vetting process.
And that is all that anybody needs to know to understand the childish and wounded behavior of Senator Clinton yesterday, grandstanding hypocritically to senior citizens in Florida, telling them they should consider themselves under sniper fire in Bosnia, er, Zimbabwe, aggrandizing herself as some kind of civil rights leader (MLK? or LBJ? She didn’t say this time) and attempting to corner 30 members of the DNC’s Rules & Bylaws Committee that will meet on May 31 to resolve the disputes over whether, and, if so, how, delegates from Michigan and Florida might be seated at the convention in August.
There are more good reasons why an Obama-Clinton ticket can’t, shouldn’t and won’t happen than the dozen offered by my old friend, ad-maker extraordinaire and political wise man Dan Payne so cogently via today’s Boston Globe.
Now that Time magazine has put the Clinton gambit out into the open, we are likely to witness, in the coming weeks, an extremely sad spectacle for Senator Clinton, whose spouse just can’t help himself and obviously is not helping her. Through being so indiscreet about his obsession with getting near the levers of state power again that the first major media confirmation of the Clinton vice presidential aspirations involved a report that he’s the one who wants it most, he has definitively reinforced that the “nightmare ticket” is deservedly off the table, and created a monstrous distraction that impedes Senator Clinton from consolidating all she has built for herself this year in the short term.
So now, when the Clinton surrogates continue to advocate that Obama choose Senator Clinton as veep, everybody will know: It’s Bill, and not Hill, stoking the fire. When New York political insider Mark Green’s Air America sent an email blast this morning to its entire mailing list featuring the milquetoast, boring and Arbitron-ratings neglected Thom Hartmann’s plea - “Obama: Ask Hillary First” (and this Air America subscriber summarily unsubscribed from that list this morning upon receiving that piece of corporate-paid advertising), everybody knows: the ventriloquist behind these Muppets is Bill Clinton.
And it’s not even about the vice presidency. For Bill, it is about wrestling back “the Clinton brand” from his spouse. How’s that for petty? Arianna Huffington wrote a compelling essay last week listing the triumphs of Senator Clinton’s campaign, paving the way for other women in politics, and noting that, “she has redefined and taken over the Clinton brand… she is the Clinton who will now be most relevant to the country’s future.”
Not so fast. “The Clinton problem” today is not: what will the Democratic Party or Barack Obama do about Senator Clinton? It is: what will Senator Clinton do about that loose cannon of a former president?
You shall know the politically inept among us by those that continue to advocate for The Disaster Ticket now that Bill has pushed himself so unnecessarily into the photo, confirming that he is the most compelling reason why an Obama-Clinton ticket will never happen, and you shall know them also even by those who oppose it but who worry, fret and gnash teeth aloud that somehow it could be forced to happen after this latest development.
The nightmare has died. Smile and get over it.
Here's Josh's take at Talking Points Memo:
But Sen. Clinton is doing much more than this. She is embarking on a gambit that is uncertain in its result and simply breathtaking in its cynicism.

I know many TPM Readers believe there is a deep moral and political issue at stake in the need to seat these delegations. I don't see it the same way. But I'm not here to say they're wrong and I'm right. It's a subjective question and I respect that many people think this. What I'm quite confident about is that Sen. Clinton and her top advisors don't see it that way.

Why do I think that? For a number of reasons. One of her most senior advisors, Harold Ickes, was on the DNC committee that voted to sanction Florida and Michigan by not including their delegates. Her campaign completely signed off on sanctions after that. And there are actually numerous quotes from the Senator herself saying those primaries didn't and wouldn't count. Michigan and Florida were sanctioned because they ignored the rules the DNC had set down for running this year's nomination process.

The evidence is simply overwhelming that Sen. Clinton didn't think this was a problem at all -- until it became a vehicle to provide a rationale for her continued campaign.

What she's doing is not securing her the nomination. Rather, she's gunning up a lot of her supporters to believe that the nomination was stolen from her -- a belief many won't soon abandon. And that on the basis of rationales and arguments there's every reason to think she doesn't even believe in.
Here's Jonathan Alter at Newsweek:
But Clinton has continued with one claim that could have a pernicious effect on the Democrats' chances in November. While she knows that the nomination is determined by delegates, Hillary insists on saying at every opportunity that she is winning the popular vote. And she has now taken to touting the new HBO movie "Recount," which chronicles the Florida fiasco of eight years ago. Everyone can agree that the primary calendar needs reform. But popular-vote pandering is poison for Democrats. For a party scarred by the experience of 2000, when Al Gore received 500,000 more popular votes than George W. Bush but lost the presidency, this argument is sure to make it harder to unite and put bitter feelings aside.

Oh, and it's not true.…
Read his complete debunking of the popular vote total canard here.


Just think, five short (okay, really loooooong) months ago, the Clintons were relatively respected in most Democratic circles. Some still respect them, obviously, but they've more than lost the respect and support of most thinking liberals. It's ever more apparent that the right wing wack jobs were right about the Clintons all along…just for the wrong reasons. What a sad turn of events. The sooner their cynical, Janus-faced asses are ushered from the stage, the happier I'll be.

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