Clinton Campaign Shakeup? Mark Penn Out, James Carville In????

Political Night Train has learned that James Carville may be joining Hillary Clinton’s campaign in an effort to move her back to “front runner” status.  Carville hinted of a Clinton campaign shake up, coming at about the time of the Iowa caucus.  There have been recent rumors that Mark Penn may be on the way out as he has not been able to maintain Hillary in the lead on a state-to-state basis.

Developing . ……

Mark Penn Fired From Hillary Clinton Campaign?????

Hot Rumor!  Political Night Train has picked up on a story that Mark Penn has been fired, or has quit the Hillary Clinton campaign over his continuing remarks about Senator Obama’s cocaine use.

Developing . . . . .

Hear Hillary Clinton’s Fake Souther Accent

Listen to Hillary’s fake Souther accent at the following link and you will realize the woman has no moral compass.

Dennis Kucinich, Hillary Clinton, Oprah, Larry Flynt and Who Got Whom

Hello America! That’s right. You heard me correct. The Porn industry endorses me, Dennis Kucinich. Especially Hustler’s founder Larry Flynt. Larry Flynt loves the Dennis! He had a party for me and everything. Yes, Elizabeth showed her tongue ring for that one … and the other ring. You figure it out.

Yes, Obama got Oprah. Hillary has Bill, but really what choice does he have? But, I have the coolest. The porn industry America! Oh what a party. No, the press was not invited. But, when you’re re-enacting Caligula you don’t want Hannah Strom there judging.

Now America, I need to clarify. The Larry Flynt presidential endorsement marked the culmination of everyone in the industry getting on board. What do I mean?

Ron Jeremy was sticking to Hillary for a while because of some moment they had in a toilet stall in New Haven with Bill in 1972.

Katie Morgan wanted Alan Keyes. So did Jenna Jamison, Stormy Daniels, Tawny Roberts and Peter North … because it’s true.

Dustin Diamond wanted Mike Huckabee. Yes Dustin Diamond had to be included.

And finally, Paris Hilton got on board after we told her George W couldn’t run again.

I got the Porn Industry America!

This has got to be one of the best political spoofs of the season.

Why Does Barack Obama Associate With Black Bigots?

Another great article by John Ridley

 This one concerns Obama’s support by a black minister who is openly anti-gay.  Oh Liberals, where forth arth thou rage? Among the great advice my father gave me as a child — besides never buy tires at full price — was that the only thing lower than a car dealer is a used car dealer, and car dealers are scum of the earth.

To paraphrase — the only thing worse than a bigot is a black bigot…

And to take it a step further would be to include a black bigot who drapes himself in the cloth and hates in the name of the Lord.

And, yet, there is Donnie McClurkin who’s planning an SRO three day stand with the brother who would be president, Barack Obama.

A lot of folks are calling McClurkin anti gay or a gay hater or a straight out homophobe ’cause he says that he’s in a “war” against homosexuality, and homosexuality is a choice and gays can be fixed.

A lot like, I’m sure, Ann Coulter would tell you Jews can be perfected — and while we’re on the subject of the absurd, the Patriots can be beaten because their passing offense really can be stopped.


With Obama coming under fire for including a hate monger in his Compassion and Unity tour, McClurkin shot back at all the anti-hata haters and said that his comments were taken out of context.

A lot like, I’m sure, Bill O’Reilly will tell you his comments are often taken out of context.

McClurkin feeling that gays can be perfected does not come from nowhere. According to McClurkin, as a child he was raped by a male family member, which so affected him, he “became” a gay man for some 20 years before religion helped “straighten” him. I want to stress very, very emphatically that a young person being molested by ANYONE is beyond humorless. It is sick and depraved.

But as far as McClurkin becoming gay as a result, then later having ministry cure him, well…

A lot like, I’m sure, Ted Haggard would tell you a little church can cure you of the need to have your gay masseuse sell you a little meth.

According to a piece in the Chicago Trib, McClurkin now says he is straight and that his ministry is open to those who say they no longer want to live as a gay person. What he doesn’t do, he says, is crusade against homosexuality.

And for the record, my house is open to all people who no longer want to be redheads. If you’re a redhead, then get the F out! But I’m certainly not crusading against redheads.

And this is the guy Obama’s gonna share a stage with?

In an official statement Obama has said that he “strongly disagrees” with Reverend McClurkin’s views, yet he still intends to share a stage with him.

But, Barack, you can’t say you strongly disagree with the head of the Klan, then invite him on stage just ’cause he knows his way around a Johnny Cash song (no disrespect to the late Johnny Cash or his family, just the first singer who popped into my head). 

Why Are Liberals So Afraid of Baby Jesus?

By John RidleyHe was America’s first born again president. He was deacon of a Baptist church that — during his bid for presidency — he had to sever his membership with because they would not allow blacks to become members.Shades of Huckabee.Shades of Romney.But I’m talking about Jimmy Carter who was then, as he remains now, a hero of the liberal fringe. The far left has no problem with Carter’s faith, and never feared that he would be more of a theologian than politician.And yet…Huckabee runs a Christmas-themed ad. The liberals see a floating cross, and believe that alone make the man unfit to be president. Instead, I think that makes some on the far left too paranoid to trust with a vote.The floating cross as subliminal imagery of Christ? How about that huge Christ – mas(s) tree sitting over Hukabee’s shoulder as actual imagery of Christ? You know, just like the tree that sits at the White House in Washington where all the government offices are shut down on Dec. 25 — the day we celebrate as the birth of baby Jesus.And yet, despite the fact the majority of us acknowledge Christmas in some way, in typically liberal fashion the fringe uses the censorship of political correctness to turn “Merry Christmas” in a verboten phrase.What’s particularly galling is the left’s selective prosecution of religiosity. There is, as first mentioned, Jimmy Carter and his faith which causes no liberal ripples. And few liberals batted an eye when Barack Obama launched his Embrace the Change tour with black ministers — despite the fact one was (and still is) a homophobe. When Harold Ford Jr. ran a political ad filmed in a church there wasn’t a word of derision spoken from the left as they knew such an ad would pull votes for Mr. Ford in Tennessee. And during their presidential runs no one on the left accused the reverends Jackson or Sharpton of being too tied to the cloth.As a cohost of MSNBC’s Morning Joe I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Governor Huckabee on a couple of occasions. He’s no zealot. I don’t agree with Huckabee on every issue. But, then, I don’t agree with any candidate on every issue. Huckabee does agree that Jimi Hendrix was probably the greatest guitarist ever which is not a reason to vote for him, but certainly a reason to at least give a listen to what he has to say. And during his tenure as Governor Huckabee didn’t exactly turn Arkansas into a theocracy.If I could give the Governor one tip to quiet his critics, it would be to run an ad somewhere acknowledging the start of Kwanzaa on Dec. 26th.By the way, how many of you liberals even knew on what day Kwanzaa began?If the far left were smart, instead of continuing to make religion a wedge issue, they would — as Obama has smartly tried to do — take religion off the table by displaying their faith. The majority of this quadrennial’s Republican candidates have already proven what an empty phrase “family values” is. By taking away religion, it leaves the Republicans the battlefield of the economy, Iraq and foreign policy on which to fight for the presidency.
And that’s a field on which the Democrats could certainly win.

When Is No Experience, Experience? With Hillary of Course

Hillary Clinton casts herself as the Democratic candidate with the most experience, at least more than Obama.  Yet on close examination, as Patrick Healy writes in the article below, this is a case of no experience that is equal to experience.  As Healy points out, Hillary held no security clearance, thus could not and did not attend any classified briefings related to foreign affairs.  With no security clearance, she could not receive daily briefings, nor could she read any classified reports, even those classified as “Confidential”, one of the lowest levels.  A typical Army private would have a “Confidential” clearance, and many have access to Secret documents.  An National Security Information would never be allowed in her hands.  How, without this vital access to top level classified information did she form any informed opinions regarding international affairs, military planning, even the most mundane communications to and from a US embassy?  How, during the times when she was not speaking to Bill Clinton did she influence his policy decisions?  The answers are very simple, she didn’t acquire the level of experience she now touts.  The sous chef in the White House had a higher clearance than Hillary.As first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton jawboned the president of Uzbekistan to leave his car and shake hands with people. She argued with the Czech prime minister about democracy. She cajoled Catholic and Protestant women to talk to one another in Northern Ireland. She traveled to 79 countries in total, little of it leisure; one meeting with mutilated Rwandan refugees so unsettled her that she threw up afterward.But during those two terms in the White House, Clinton did not hold a security clearance. She did not attend National Security Council meetings. She was not given a copy of the president’s daily intelligence briefing. She did not assert herself on the crises in Somalia, Haiti or Rwanda. And during one of President Bill Clinton’s major tests on terrorism, whether to bomb Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Clinton was barely speaking to her husband, let alone advising him, as the Lewinsky scandal dragged on.In seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton lays claim to two traits nearly every day: strength and experience. But as the junior senator from New York, she has few significant legislative accomplishments to her name. She has cast herself, instead, as a first lady like no other: a full partner to her husband in his administration, and, she says, all the stronger and more experienced for her “eight years with a front-row seat on history.”

On Hillary, Bill Clinton, Larry Flynt and Impeachment

Joseph A. Palermo provides the following interesting blog post regarding Bill Clinton’s Impeachment, one of only two to ever occur to a US President.  Democrats are forgetful when it comes to Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and Republicans are reluctant to mention it.  The question voters need to be asking themselves is, “Do you really want Bill Clinton back in the White House?”  Now I know many Democrats, especially the Bill-lovers can think of nothing finer.  Some how they believe things were better, and will be better again, with Bill standing in the wings to advise and lead Hillary.  Sort of like a Democratic Chaney.  But ask yourself this, “Will Hillary tolerate being upstaged by Bill?”  Once in the White House will Hillary even allow Bill to be present?  Right now we are getting a good look at what a Hillary administration would be like.  She will be surrounded by the likes of Ann Lewis, Mark Penn, and others directly involved in her campaign.  At the same time, Bill has his own staff of advisers and shills, but they are not part of Hillary’s campaign, they in fact are the outsiders, looking in.  And the fact is, the Hillary staffers loath the Bill staffers.  What does Bill have to loose?  He’s been impeached, but now he can’t be removed from office.  He says anything he wishes, even things that Hillary’s staff have to go back and clean up.  No, I don’t expect Bill will have a role in a Hillary White House.  And Political Night Train also predicts, if Hillary can win the general election, she will be the second Clinton impeached. 

Nine years ago, on December 19, 1998, the House of Representatives impeached President William Jefferson Clinton. On that day, amidst the holiday decorations and office parties, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, with Tom DeLay leading the charge, voted to approve two out of four Articles of Impeachment that the Judiciary Committee had sent to the House floor. Article I, perjury in the grand jury, passed 228 to 206; Article II, perjury in the Paula Jones deposition failed, 229 to 205; Article III, obstruction of justice, passed 221 to 212; and Article IV, abuse of power, lost 285 to 148. All of the articles of impeachment directly related to Clinton’s consensual sexual relationship with a woman who preferred to keep it private, and who had not accused him of sexual harassment.

Bill Clinton Rescues Hillary’s Campaign

As Political Night Train predicted, Bill Clinton is riding to the rescue.  Hillary Clinton, unable to manage her own campaign now needs Bill to step in and take control.  Will this happen if she gets elected President?  Will Bill be the de facto Vice President?  How much influence will he have?

DUNLAP, Iowa — When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign advisers laid out their new political strategy in a private conference call with allies last Tuesday, Bill Clinton was not on the line. He did not need to be. The message being delivered was his.A day earlier, Mr. Clinton had unveiled the campaign’s new talking points at rallies in Iowa. His wife was “a change agent,” “a proven agent of positive change” and “a lifetime advocate of a change agenda.”The “change, change, change” phrase, as some advisers call it, was coined by Mr. Clinton after he told campaign officials that the old strategy of running like an incumbent front-runner was not enough, advisers said. The Clintons had to wrest the message of change from Senator Barack Obama.On the conference call, the campaign’s chief strategist, Mark Penn, reinforced the idea. “Let me go through the basic message frame,” he said; a reporter was given access to the call by two participants on it. “If you want to have change in this country, if you want a new beginning, then how about electing someone who has a lifetime of making change?”Mr. Clinton is not running his wife’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. But less than three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, and with polls showing a tight race, he has become the most powerful force in her political operation besides the candidate herself. He is shaping strategy, challenging advisers on their assumptions and acting like a vice-presidential candidate in a general election — attacking rivals so Mrs. Clinton can stay positive much of the time.

Inside The Hillary Clinton Campaing: Fear, Loathing, Backbiting, & Bill

Here are some Political Night Train insights as to what is going on inside the Hillary Clinton Campaign 

CHRIS MATTHEWS had this to say about the Hillary Campaign: What he (Bill Clinton) ought to do is get Paul Begala to come back and work in the campaign. She’s got a lot of hard-hitters around her but no one with any heart. The appeal of the Clintons over the years and the reason why the Democratic Party is in love with the Clintons is that the Clintons, with all their flaws and perhaps arrogance, care about the regular person in this country, the regular middle-working class family with all their problems of health care and raising their kids. Hillary Clinton, especially, cares about those things. It’s obvious she does. It’s not a fraud. They’ve gotta go back to why they’re running. What it now looks like and based upon your questions, and by the way they’re the questions everyone’s asking, how she gonna hit Obama next? They’ve gotta change the question from, “How are the Clintons gonna whack Obama?” to “Why do the Clintons continue in their public life?” And they’ve got to answer that question. If I were Bill, I’d go around with Hillary, introduce her both in the same room, big town halls, answering all kinds of questions about people’s real life needs. That’s the way Bill Clinton won in New Hampshire back in 1992. They’ve gotta get out there and talk about people’s needs and stop talking about Obama. They gotta stop acting like it’s the last minute in an NBA game and they gotta foul the other guy to get the ball back. They gotta end this sense of desperation. It’s either Mark Penn, Mandy Grunwald, somebody in that campaign keeps teaching them fear. Fear is killing the Clinton campaign.What is Team Hillary Thinking?Something that doesn’t quite make sense regarding the last back-and-forth between Hillary and Obama, regarding William Shaheen, co-chairman of Mrs. Clinton’s national and New Hampshire campaigns, raising Barack Obama’s past drug use. (Riehl says this is a sign Hillary’s toast.) The team around Hillary Clinton is supposed to be among the best, the sharpest, the smartest in Democratic politics. Or so we’re told.As Jonah notes, there was, indeed, a time when the Clintons could have a surrogate go out and make an attack on a Clinton rival, and then have her or her husband say, “no, no, I don’t stand by that, I don’t believe in the politics of personal destruction, I disavow it,” etc. Back then, the candidate seemed high-minded and above the fray, but the negative attack still got into the media’s bloodstream. But it’s a different era, everybody in the press knows how that game is played, and so when somebody comes out and says, “oh, she had nothing to do with this, her campaign had nothing to do with this issue being raised,” nobody believes her.The thing is, Mark Penn, Patti Solis Doyle, Howard Wolfson, James Carville — these people have to know nobody’s going to believe that she had nothing to do with this. The Clintons don’t get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this stuff.But I wonder if the Clintons themselves think that they still do. And we know who has the final say in those internal discussions. If Hillary’s convinced that the public will believe her denials, who around her can convince her otherwise?  CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – A top campaign adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton resigned Thursday, a day after suggesting Democrats should be wary of nominating Barack Obama because his teenage drug use could make it hard for him to win the presidency. Clinton herself apologized to Obama as they waited to fly to Iowa for a debate. Bill Shaheen, a national co-chairman for Clinton and a prominent New Hampshire political figure, had raised the issue during a Wednesday interview, published on “I made a mistake and in light of what happened, I have made the personal decision that I will step down as the co-chair of the Hillary for President campaign,” Shaheen said in a statement released by the campaign Thursday. “This election is too important, and we must all get back to electing the best qualified candidate who has the record of making change happen in this country. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.” Shaheen, an attorney and veteran organizer, had said much of Obama’s background is unknown and could be a problem in November 2008 if he is the Democratic nominee. He said Republicans would work hard to discover new aspects of Obama’s admittedly spotty youth. “It’ll be, ‘When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'” said Shaheen, whose wife, Jeanne, is a former New Hampshire governor and is running for the U.S. Senate next year.

 DES MOINES – On the eve of the final Iowa debate before the Jan. 3 caucuses, Clinton campaign insiders are increasingly questioning the cautious, poll-driven approach taken by Mark Penn, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s top political aide, sources familiar with the situation say.

With Clinton barely holding her own against Barack Obama and John Edwards in Iowa, dissatisfaction is growing with Penn, who some say has mistakenly run Clinton as a de facto incumbent.

“There are two people who have come up with this strategy – one Hillary Clinton and one Mark Penn,” said a top Clinton ally, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Mark wanted to run her, basically, for re-election, and we are seeing what happened.”

Bill Clinton To the Rescue? Will Bubba Cure or Kill Hillary’s Campaign?

There was more evidence today that the Hillary Clinton campaign is in serious trouble.  Hillary has a reputation for being a control-freak and her campaign is no exception.  Her strategy to run as if for re-election, as if she is the anointed one, to run a national campaign rather than a state-by-state campaign has failed.  The problem is, and Bill Clinton had a similiar problem, is that none of the top campaign officials will speak out and tell Hillary she was, and is wrong, not even Bill.  Top staff are all pushing and shoving for any favors they can get out of Hillary, from face-time, to good campaign jobs for their friends and relatives.  Even Bill Clinton will not directly confront Hillary.  He tries to use back channels within her campaign staff to effect changes, but to no effect.  If things don’t turn around soon, and Political Night Train predicts they won’t, Hillary will have no choice but to shake up her staff, bring in some of Bill’s friends.  Now ask you this, “If Hillary cannot keep her campaign staff in order, how will she run her administration staff, especially since it would be staffed with the same people as are now on the campaign staff.  What you see now is a good indication of how she will run her administration.  And, if Bill Clinton must come to the rescue, save Hillary’s campaign, what will he do when Hillary is President and gets into trouble? 

WASHINGTON – Bubba to the rescue!Alarmed by his wife’s slide in the polls and disarray within her backbiting campaign, a beside-himself Bill Clinton has leaped atop the barricades and is furiously plotting a cure – or coup.“She’s in big trouble and he knows it,” a top Democratic operative and Hillary Clinton booster told the Daily News.Sources familiar with the ex-President’s thinking say he doesn’t believe his wife’s situation is desperate. But he’s unhappy with her operation – once hailed as a juggernaut – and concerned she could lose the Democratic nomination without major alterations in strategy and staffing.Bill Clinton is mulling “a lot of different ideas and a lot of different scenarios to fix this,” an official who regularly speaks with him said. “He will come up with literally dozens of ideas. The trick will be to figure out the most important one or two to get her out of this downtrend.”Another Democrat with close connections to the Clinton campaign describes Bill Clinton as “very engaged and very agitated. He’s yelling at [chief strategist] Mark Penn a lot.”Penn laughed off the idea that he’s on the hot seat. “That’s funny,” he said. “I’ve been working with Bill Clinton through thick and thin for 10 years, exchanging views.”A source close to the former First Couple criticized recent campaign ads as lacking focus, faulting Penn the most for failing to fine-tune the message: “The key problem is not the spots, but what they’re saying.”Sources close to the former President say he and the candidate are talking constantly but sharing very little of what they’re discussing with subordinates.Several other Hillary Clinton partisans, however, aren’t so shy about critiquing the performance of her campaign – and predict a major staff purge is inevitable. Campaign officials and a source close to both Clintons flatly denied the head-rolling buzz. “Can this change by the end of the week? Yes,” the source said. “But at this point, everyone’s on solid footing.”Another Hillary Clinton operative told The News, “Nothing will happen until after Iowa,” referring to the Jan. 3 Hawkeye State caucuses. The candidate last night rejected the scuttlebutt.“These stories are false. I have the best staff in the country, and I have total and complete confidence in them,” she said.Campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle is the biggest target, sources said. She recently took over personal command of the Iowa operation, and a Clinton defeat there could damage her future.As Barack Obama has steadily narrowed Hillary Clinton’s once-impregnable lead, friction inside her headquarters has flared. One post-Thanksgiving meeting erupted into finger-pointing over the loss of her advantage.“They all want to kill each other,” said a source aware of the closed-door meeting.The backstabbing involves several high-level people in the campaign, including Penn, Mandy Grunwald, Ann Lewis and Howard Wolfson, sources said.Penn maintained, “It’s a totally false story.” Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s campaign abruptly shifted gears Tuesday, arguing Obama can’t beat a Republican. Until now, her attacks targeted Obama’s experience, not his electability.Pouncing on a report that revealed Obama staked out stridently liberal positions in a 1996 candidate questionnaire, Hillary Clinton’s campaign argued his past record is easy ammunition for the GOP.Obama spokesman Bill Burton fired back, “For a candidate who 50% of the country says they won’t consider voting for, raising questions about electability is a curious strategy.”

It will be very tough to boot Ann Lewis off the team.  Patti Solis Doyle has been part of the Hillary team for a long time, but with what is shaping up as a 3rd place finish in Iowa, she is likely to get dropped, and soon.  If support in Iowa keeps going south, look for her to go, and soon.  A 3rd place finish in Iowa will likely result in a Friday night purge.  Gone will be Mark Penn and his cronies.  There’s some bad blood between Bill Clinton and Penn and other top Hillary staffers.  The trouble with the staff is 1) too many hormones at work, creating a bickering, back-biting, cat-fighting working environment.  Hillary stays aloof and out of contact with the personnel issues, she’s too busy plotting and micro-managing campaign strategy and interpeting polling results.  Hillary’s problem has always been that she believes she is smarter than anyone else in  the room, including Bill Clinton.  If Bill Clinton rides in and saves the campaign, how will it look?  If Hillary can’t even run a decent campaign, how can she run the country?

Tension in Hillaryland Grows as Plan Goes Awry: Albert R. Hunt

Political Night Train believes the following analysis by Albert Hunt is one of the most revealing about Hillary Clinton.  This is a must read . . . 

Tension in Hillaryland Grows as Plan Goes Awry: Albert R. Hunt By Albert R. HuntDec. 10 (Bloomberg) — To appreciate Hillary Clinton’s fundamental political problem, consider the 11 Democrats from Philadelphia who gathered last week to discuss the U.S. presidential race, almost all of whom would vote for her in a general election. The focus group was moderated by an expert on such forums, Democratic pollster Peter Hart. The participants were informed and enthusiastic about their party’s prospects, had no interest in the Republicans or third-party candidates, and were about equally balanced between front-runners Clinton and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. When Hart pushed the group during a two-hour conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of the two candidates, a different picture emerged. Obama, they worried, can’t win the nomination; voters aren’t ready for an African-American president (a point expressed most directly by the two black women participants), and he may not be sufficiently experienced. A couple of victories in Iowa and New Hampshire would cure most of those problems. The concerns about Clinton, 60, a New York senator, are that she is devious, calculating and, fairly or not, a divisive figure in American politics. Those are a lot tougher to overcome. It was revealing, too, when Hart pushed them to envision these senators as leaders of the country or, as he put it, their “boss.” Obama, they say, would be inspirational, motivating, charismatic and compassionate. After praising Clinton’s experience and intelligence, they say she would be demanding, difficult, maybe even a little scary. Driven by Polls Candor and authenticity were repeatedly cited. “I don’t feel like I look at her and see someone who’s telling me the whole truth,” says Allison Lowrey, a 30-year-old human- resources consultant. “I’d like to see her approach a problem without the polls” helping her make her decision, says Andrew Alebergo, a 39-year-old tanning-salon operator. Even strong Hillary supporters acknowledge the electorate’s deep-seated concerns. “She is walking a fine tightrope now, because she is such a divisive personality,” says Lynda Connelly, a thoughtful 58-year-old Red Cross manager. She plans to vote for Clinton while fearing that, if elected, “the right- wing noise machine is going to do everything it can to derail her.” This isn’t an anti-Hillary crowd. She gets high marks for her experience, intelligence and toughness; these qualities, they suspect, are what voters demand. Their hopes and dreams, though, are with Obama, 46. If he can dispel misgivings about his electability or experience, the formidable Clinton forces may be powerless. Crying Out for Obama After the session, Hart, who has done scores of these focus groups across America this year and directed major polls, summarized the challenges facing the front-runners. “Obama fits the year in terms of aspirations and hopes,” he says. “When these voters talk about America today, they want a picture that almost cries out for Obama. But post-9/11, these voters may not be willing to take a chance. They need reassurance that Obama will be ready from Day One.” Conversely, Clinton, in trying to get to the top of the mountain, Hart says, “has only looked at one face of the mountain — her experience, the emphasis on strength and toughness. She hasn’t recognized the other side of the mountain; she hasn’t allowed voters to see who she is and her personal dimension.” Evaporating Lead The Clinton camp has similar research; things are tense in Hillaryland these days. Her once-commanding advantage over Obama in Iowa and New Hampshire — the two critical initial contests — is evaporating. She has gotten the worst of recent exchanges over Iran and health care. There are also political strains with her greatest asset and surrogate, Bill Clinton. The former president was quoted last month as saying he had really opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning; he later claimed he was misquoted. Top Clinton campaign officials were privately furious at the former president, saying he had revived the complaint that the Clintons lack credibility, unfairly tarnishing his wife in the process. For his part, the former president, one close associate says, has been bouncing off the walls at the campaign’s ineptitude in the past few weeks. (It is not known if the Clintons shared any of these sentiments with each other). The anxiety being felt by Bill Clinton, America’s most skillful politician, is understandable. Hillary’s campaign is off-balance. Turning Negative After falling behind in the Iowa polls, Senator Clinton, who earlier condemned attacks by other Democrats, turned negative on Obama. Fair enough. Except her attacks were neither focused nor effective. This strategy raised more questions about her than Obama. And her campaign has a near-obsession with what it perceives as a hostile press. They were incensed at a New York Times story that reported skepticism about Hillary’s contention that her proposal to overhaul health care would help a lot more people than the plan of her rival. The best advice to them: Get over it. It’s a good bet that Clinton, encouraged by her husband, is weighing a shakeup, such as bringing in former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta to direct the overall campaign. The question is whether it’s too late and too awkward before those first contests, which are to be held in 3 1/2 weeks. Plan A Failing The Clinton organization had a clear plan A: It envisioned the candidate, as the choice of the party establishment and natural heir to the presidency, to so dominate 2007 that she would be able to corner, not have to capture, the nomination. It worked perfectly for most of the year. The strategy has imploded. In a similar situation, Bill Clinton would have changed plans on a dime — he could have gone from B to E during a rest stop. Hillary has all the strengths cited by those Philadelphia Democrats and much more discipline than her husband. If she can’t adjust and rise to this challenge, however, she may well finish third in the Iowa caucuses and lose to Obama in New Hampshire. In the past 30 years, no candidate has lost both these tests and won the nomination. (Albert R. Hunt is the executive editor for Washington at Bloomberg News.) To contact the writer of this column: Albert R. Hunt in Washington at .

Panic In the Hillary Clinton Camp

 Just as Political Night Train predicted, the Hillary Clinton campaign is sensing a terrible loss in Iowa.  Internal polls show Hillary coming in 3rd, behind Edwards.  Their “crash and burn” plan is to step up the attacks on Obama, but this will only lead to greater loss.  The key is to attack Edwards, draw off his supporters.  A second place finish in New Hampshire, where Hillary has a good organization would spell significant trouble.MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton’s backup plan if she falters in Iowa can be summed up in two words: New Hampshire.

Clinton’s Democratic team is preparing television ads here criticizing Barack Obama’s health care plan and working to build what campaigns call a firewall. If the Obama presidential campaign ignites in Iowa, she wants to be ready to cool him off in a state where her organization is strong and her support has proven durable.

This past weekend, the Clinton campaign already had volunteers going door-to-door with fliers criticizing Obama on health care, and possible TV ads against him were screened for focus groups.

Advisers to the New York senator acknowledge there’s been uneasiness as Obama has risen in national and several early state polls, including Iowa and New Hampshire. But they insist their master blueprint – emphasizing Clinton’s experience, toughness and ability to withstand Republican attacks – remains sound.

“This is ultimately going to come down to two questions for undecided voters: Which is the Democrat best positioned to win in November, and which one is best qualified to start from the very first day give the country a fresh start,” said Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa Democratic governor who serves as national co-chair of Clinton’s campaign.

Still, with the former first lady locked in a tight three-way contest in Iowa with Illinois Sen. Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, her campaign is working on two tracks: reinforcing her support there while creating a “Plan B” should she come up short in the state’s Jan. 3 leadoff caucuses.

Clinton advisers believe she can survive a loss there to Edwards, who is running well in Iowa but has smaller campaign organizations in the other early-voting states.

Edwards’ campaign, meanwhile, hopes for a repeat of the Howard Dean-Dick Gephardt scuffle in Iowa that resulted in John Kerry’s nomination four years ago. The former North Carolina senator is hanging back and hoping Clinton and Obama destroy each other.

Placing second in Iowa to the well-funded, well-organized Obama, the Clinton people acknowledge, could be a much more severe blow.

That’s why New Hampshire, which crowned Bill Clinton the “comeback kid” when he first ran for the Democratic nomination in 1992, has emerged as a prime target for his wife this time. The state holds its primary Jan. 8, just five days after the Iowa contest.

“The only thing you can do to insulate yourself is to make sure your organization is airtight and to make sure the people who are with you are with you through the end,” said Clinton’s New Hampshire director, Nick Clemons.

To that end, the Clinton campaign ordered focus groups in New Hampshire last weekend to test television ads against Obama on his health care plan, which does not mandate universal coverage as Clinton’s does. Her New Hampshire volunteers have begun going door to door with literature arguing his plan could leave as many as 15 million people uninsured.

Asked Tuesday about the Clinton campaign’s literature, Obama said he hadn’t seen it but believed it was “entirely legitimate” to compare candidates’ positions on health care and other matters.

Hinting at Clinton divisiveness, Obama said of overhauling health care, “The issue really is how are we going to get it done because there are all kinds of 10-point plans out there that are gathering dust on the shelf because no one was able to actually pull the country together to deliver.”

Voters in Iowa received a similar Clinton direct mail piece this week, signed by Vilsack. He and other Clinton strategists reject the notion that such an effort is negative.

“It’s an important distinction, not negative at all. Iowans want everyone covered,” Vilsack said in an interview.

Indeed, Clinton has toned down her sharp criticism of Obama, just days after raising questions about his character and accusing him of peddling “false hope.” Her advisers say she had needed to set the record straight after absorbing months of criticism from her rivals, but they have since concluded her barrage didn’t work.

Even so, Clinton’s tongue-lashing of Obama laid the groundwork for a story line her advisers believe will serve her well over time: that little is known about the young Illinois senator, and that his record bears considerably more scrutiny and vetting.

For her part, Clinton has a very different challenge: winning over voters who believe they know her too well.

With her long record in public life, her advisers are searching for ways to cast her as an agent of change in a political environment where voters – especially Democrats – say they are eager for a new direction. The campaign has sought to reframe the issue, painting Obama as someone who talks about change while Clinton actually makes it happen.

“You’ll see us continue to sharpen the message and illustrate that this is a very serious election,” Clinton’s lead strategist Mark Penn said. “The voters have a choice about who would make the best president, and every time it comes down to that choice, she comes out on top.”

Huma Abedin & Hillary Clinton Rumors Just Won’t Stop

Hillary Clinton lesbian gossip gets some fresh fuel over her stunning “traveling” chief-of-staff Huma Abedin.

Rumors have been circulating…that Hillary Clinton is having a lesbian affair. Her alleged paramour: a beautiful aide named Huma Abedin. As you can see from the photo, if Hillary is having an affair with Abedin it would not be evidence of her lesbianism as much as of her common sense and sound judgment.The hard-to-credit rumor of Hillary’s Sapphic excursions is being stoked by right-wing bloggers. They suggest that this supposed romance shows the candidate is not only a lesbian but consorting with terrorists, given that the Michigan-born Abedin is reportedly from a family brimming with known Muslims.

Oprah Sounds Black in South Carolina, Oh My!

Oprah gave a rousing intro for Senator Obama in South Carolina this past weekend.  She wowed the crowd and probably generated enough new support for Obama to put, and keep him in first place in South Carolina.  But in the process, Oprah did something  she has not done on her TV program, and it just might loose Obama some of his support.  In South Carolina, before a largely black and female audience, Oprah sounded black.  This seemed to be very natural for her, given that her TV audience, both live in the studio, and at home, is largely white.  Political Night Train predicts that this is the first and last time anyone will see Oprah give the kind of performance she gave in South Carolina.  When we next see Oprah, her talk will be back to her carefully scripted TV image.  Sort of like Hillary speaking Southern when in South Carolina.

Hillary Should Worry – Iowa, New Hampshire, SC – GONE!

Clinton No Longer Should Worry Just About Iowa

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2007 8:50 AM by Chuck Todd

From NBC’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro

As Political Night Train predicted days ago, Hillary Clinton is in serious trouble in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.  Polls are just now beginning to show just how much trouble she is in.  The problem with most of the public polls are that they are measuring trailing indicators, and as such are probably 3 – 5 days behind actual public opinion.  Clinton, Obama and Edwards are all running their own internal polls and focus groups and measuring leading indicators, those that predict where public opinion is headed.  And for Hillary, most of those indicators are bad news.  Here’s some further interpretation of the MSNBC/McClatchy/Mason-Dixon polls reported below. None of the public polls takes into account the “Oprah Effect”.  In Iowa, Oprah most likely is good for 8-10 points, and they will largely come from Hillary’s women.  This is enough of a push to give Obama a win with 32-24% of the caucus vote.  The big question for Hillary, will she finish 3rd behind Edwards.  A second place finish for Edwards would energize his campaign going in the short days following Iowa.  Right now, the only way for Hillary to finish second is to go extremely negative on Edwards.  Going negative on Obama may be seen by women as going negative on Oprah.  Hillary cannot be seen as getting into a cat fight with the “O”.  Trotting Bill Clinton out probably is not of much help in Iowa as his real strength is with black women. In New Hampshire, Obama is very likely to finish first, but by only a few percentage points ahead of Hillary.  If Edwards can gain some ground in New Hampshire, he could finish in a statistical tie with Hillary, and thus a win in the Edwards camp.  It’ll be tough for Edwards, yet if he can break 15% in New Hampshire, he stays alive. Popular wisdom is that Bill Clinton will carry black women in South Carolina for Hillary, but this is only with the over 50 group of black women.  The under 35 group of black women are better educated, less tied to a church, and more likely to embrace Obama’s focus on change.  The under 35 group of black women may also be Oprah fans.  Prediction for South Carolina, Obama by 30+ %, Hillary at no more than 28% and Edwards at 25%, although Edwards could match Hillary and thus claim a win over her.   This just in . . . . 30, 000, mostly black, mostly young at Oprah event in SC.  Pay particular attention to how the Obama (na Oprah campaign) campaign effectively used the audience to gain attention through text messaging.  This is a technology very well understood by the under 35, and especially under 35 black female crowd.  You would not expect this from a Hillary crowd of over 50 women, black or white. The Oprah Effect In High Gear In South Carolina The majority of the crowd who attended was black. Among the white voters who attended, many appeared more reserved about openly embracing Obama because of Oprah or that Oprah would in anyway influence their vote. However, two young women did say that they were definitely more open to Obama because of Oprah’s endorsement.   

The campaign attempted to organize that enthusiasm by asking the crowd to text their cell phone numbers to the campaign. Jeremy Bird and Anton Gunn, the campaign’s field and political directors, took the stage to ask the crowd to text their phone numbers to Obama’s campaign. They also broke a Guinness World Record by conducting the world’s largest phone bank, 36,426 people in the audience called four names of South Carolinian voters listed on the back of their tickets and asked them to support Barack Obama.

According to the Obama campaign, 18% of the first 8,500 people who signed into the event said they wanted to volunteer. Sixty-eight percent of people who got tickets online to the event had never been contacted by the campaign before. With just 24 days to go before Iowa, it appears the race for the Democratic nomination is no longer a tight 1-state contest, but a truly competitive race across the country.

In three new MSNBC/McCLATCHY/Mason-Dixon polls of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the national frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, leads in all three states but her lead is not outside the margin of error in any of those states. Her largest lead is three points, statistically insignificant. Her leading challenger, Barack Obama is nipping at her heels, trailing in Iowa by 2 points and trailing in New Hampshire and South Carolina by just three points.

John Edwards is a major factor in Iowa and South Carolina but trails badly in New Hampshire.

Iowa: Clinton nabbed 27%, followed by Obama at 25% and Edwards at 21%. No other candidate scored double-digits, including Richardson who came in at 9% and Joe Biden who rec’d 5%. As for the all-important second-choice category, all three Dem frontrunners are tied, with 30% picking Obama, 29% naming Clinton and 27% selecting Edwards.

New Hampshire: This is the tightest result for any New Hampshire Dem primary poll this year. Clinton gets 30% to Obama’s 27%. Edwards barely cracks double-digits with 10%, with one in five primary voters undecided.

South Carolina: Clinton gets 28% to Obama’s 25%. Edwards is a competitive third at 18%. [Note: An earlier version of this post accidentally reprinted the results from N.H.]

A few more macro observations about the surveys:
— Bill Clinton is still VERY popular among Democrats, in most cases, more popular than all of the actual contenders, though Obama matches the FPOTUS in FAV rating in New Hampshire.
— Hillary Clinton wins the experience issue by a landslide in all three states, while Obama wins decisively on change.
— Hillary Clinton’s support is what you’d expect: women, folks over 50 and union members.
— Obama does very well among Democrats under 50. In fact, the biggest demographic gap is generational, not gender.
— And here’s a trend line the Clinton folks might want to worry about, in all three states, she’s seen as having run the most negative campaign to date.

Let’s get into the weeds of these Dem state polls, all of which were conducted Dec. 3-6. Each survey is of 400 likely caucus or primary voters with a margin of error of 5%.

Don’t write off John Edwards. Of the big 3 candidates, the former North Carolina senator has the highest FAV rating, trailing only Bill Clinton in popularity. This could bode well on the second choice front.

Clinton is seen as the least honest and trustworthy and the candidate who least represents change. That’s bad news for her because those are the two top things that Iowans are looking for. Her advantage is on issues and experience, a category in which she leads by a whopping 52% to 14% margin over Richardson.

How much progress has Obama made in this state? He’s now the Democrat with the highest FAV rating (matching Bill Clinton).  

Like Iowa, Hillary leads among women, but a quarter of women are undecided. Can Oprah make a difference for Obama here? Obama’s support is overwhelmingly among independents and those under 50.  

Also of note, we tested potential 2-way Dem primary matchups between Clinton and Obama and then Clinton v. Edwards. Edwards voters break overwhelmingly for Clinton in New Hampshire, while Obama voters break nearly 3-1 for Edwards. If Clinton and Edwards are sharing some supporters, doesn’t that signal that those two may begin going after each other more so than Obama, gambling that the Illinois senator’s support is younger and less likely to vote?

Looking at what voters most want in a candidate, Obama leads overwhelmingly on change and is seen as more honest than Clinton. That’s good news for him, because those are two of the top three things voters are looking for in a candidate. Issues, though, is No. 1 and Clinton leads that by 12 points.

Obama may have dispelled those doubts among black voters, as he leads Clinton by 16 points among African-Americans. But among whites, Clinton leads by 16.

It’s the same story here as the other two states, Hillary is seen as the least honest and trustworthy and doesn’t represent change. Obama leads in both of those categories. Clinton leads overwhelmingly again on experience, but as in the other states, experience doesn’t appear to be all that important to voters. She is seen as most right on the issues, which is important.


First Reactions To Oprah In Iowa

Was it me or was Oprah yelling?


She (Oprah) should stick to daytime gab fests instead of stumping for candidates — she is not good at it.


Her (Oprah) speech was not as good as the expectations that the campaign had built up.


I was left a little disappointed.


It also seemed that everyone in the audience was more interested in hearing Oprah and not Michelle or Obama.


What a flop! Obama’s speech afterward was so disjointed that I hope people did not watch.


For all the hype, I was not impressed. I hope they retool Oprah’s speech or scrap her appearances altogether.

 Are we so culturally degenerate that we need a talk show hostess (Oprah) to tell us who’s best qualified to run this once-great country? ” I am so tired of Politics.” Why then is she (Oprah) involved up to her eyeballs in it?  Good speeches by Michelle Obama, Oprah and Barack himself. As Michelle Obama’s been telling people on the campaign trail, “the game of politics is to make you afraid so you don’t think… We’re asking you, please *don’t* base you votes this time on fear. Base it on hope.”  

Bill Clinton Blacker Than Obama, So Says Andrew Young

ATLANTA (AP) – Civil rights icon Andrew Young says Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is too young and lacks the support network to ascend to the White House. In a media interview posted online, Young also quipped that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has her husband behind her, and that “Bill is every bit as black as Barack.” “He’s probably gone with more black women than Barack,” Young said of former President Clinton

Edwards, Hillary,Obama – 3-Way Tie In Iowa

Edwards’ Internal Poll Shows Three-Way TieA new internal poll for the presidential campaign of former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) shows the race in Iowa a three-way dead heat with just 27 days left before that state’s crucial caucuses.The survey, which was completed by Edwards pollster Harrison Hickman on Wednesday night, shows Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) leading among likely caucus participants with 27 percent, followed by Edwards at 24 percent and Sen. Barack Obama with 22 percent. The race is even tighter when only definite caucus participants are included — with Clinton at 26 percent, Edwards at 25 percent and Obama at 23 percent.“When sampling error is taken into account, support for the top three candidates is so close that it is impossible to distinguish among them with the commonly accepted level of statistical confidence,” writes Hickman in the polling memo.The poll, which was included as part of an email sent by Edwards Iowa director Jennifer O’Malley Dillon to supporters in the state, is consistent with other recent results. The Post’s own Iowa poll showed Obama leading with 30 percent to Clinton’s 26 percent and Edwards’ 22 percent. The Des Moines Register survey, conducted by highly respected pollster J. Ann Selzer, had Obama at 28 percent to 25 percent for Clinton and 23 percent for Edwards.The conclusion to be drawn from this mass of data is that — in the words of Dan Rather — it is “tight as a tick” in Iowa. As we wrote this morning in the Line, the idea that Iowa is or will be a two-person fight between Clinton and Obama is simply not born out by the available data. While Edwards doesn’t enjoy the level of support he did prior to the entrance of Clinton and Obama, he has maintained a solid and loyal following in the state that seems unlikely to defect from him in the final days of the race.Remember that polling over the next 27 days will show Iowa results all over the map. We urge you — if you haven’t already — to go back and read our discussion of the difficulty of polling the Iowa caucuses.

Why Liberal Women Hate Hillary

They are like her, but they don’t like her.

Such is the curious phenomenon of many educated, professional, liberal women of a certain age when it comes to Hillary Clinton, the Los Angeles Times reports. In fact, upper-middle-class women on the left are “historically her toughest crowd,” the paper reports.

Why is this? The Times offers a handful of possibilities:

1) They’re not as worried about job security as their more blue-collar peers (who are more pro-Clinton), so they feel free to judge the New York Senator as a peer.

2) They’re disgusted by the fact that, while they struggled to break through barriers in the workplace, Clinton hitched her star to her man and followed him to the top.

3) They’re disappointed by her support of the Iraq war and the fact that she has recreated herself as a centrist.

4) Women hold each other to an unrealistic standard.

5) She’s trying to act too much like a man.