Obama – The Grinch That Stole Hillary’s Christmas

 Looks like the Hillary attack machine is going full force against Obama as he gains more and more support and she drops like a rock.  Hillary will go extremely negative over the next several weeks as she first loses ground to Obama, then surprise, she loses ground to Edwards, finishing an awful 3rd in Iowa.  Will Obama steal Hillary’s Christmas? CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton suggested Monday that Barack Obama has too little experience and perhaps too much ambition, pressing an increasingly aggressive campaign against her chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Both candidates were in Iowa, one month before the nation’s leadoff caucuses with new polls showing Obama had whittled away her early lead and they were virtually tied among Democrats in the state.

“So you decide which makes more sense: Entrust our country to someone who is ready on day one … or to put America in the hands of someone with little national or international experience, who started running for president the day he arrived in the U.S. Senate,” Clinton said.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton retorted, “The truth is, Barack Obama doesn’t need lectures in political courage from someone who followed George Bush to war in Iraq, gave him the benefit of the doubt on Iran, supported NAFTA and opposed ethanol until she decided to run for president.”

WANTED: YouTube Questions

Political Night Train is seeking input some of those 5000 YouTubers who submitted questions for the CNN Republican debate.  What we need is the text of the “Original” YouTuber question, and the text of the version presented by CNN.


Robert Reich: “Hillary is Irresponsible”

The following from a true liberal’s liberal, Robert Reich, former Clinton cabinet member, asking why Hillary is stooping so low.  Reich should know, he took orders from HRC for several years during the Bill Clinton years. 

Monday, December 03, 2007

Why is HRC stooping So Low?

I’m becoming increasingly concerned about the stridency and inaccuracy of charges in Iowa — especially coming from my old friend. While I’m as hard-boiled as they come about what’s said in campaigns, I just don’t think Dems should stoop to this. First, HRC attacked O’s plan for keep Social Security solvent. Social Security doesn’t need a whole lot to keep it going – it’s in far better shape than Medicare – but everyone who’s looked at it agrees it will need bolstering (I was a trustee of the Social Security Trust Fund ten years ago, and I can vouch for this). Obama wants to do it by lifting the cap on the percent of income subject to Social Security payroll taxes, which strikes me as sensible. That cap is now close to $98,000 (it’s indexed), and the result is highly regressive. (Bill Gates satisfies his yearly Social Security obligations a few minutes past midnight on January 1 every year.) The cap doesn’t have to be lifted all that much to keep Social Security solvent – maybe to $115,00. That’s a progressive solution to the problem. HRC wants to refer Social Security to a commission. That’s avoiding the issue, and it’s irresponsible: A commission will likely call either for raising the retirement age (that’s what Greenspan’s Social Security commission came up with in the 1980s) or increasing the payroll tax on all Americans. So when HRC charges that Obama’s plan would “raise taxes” and her plan wouldn’t, she’s simply not telling the truth.

I’m equally concerned about her attack on his health care plan. She says his would insure fewer people than hers. I’ve compared the two plans in detail. Both of them are big advances over what we have now. But in my view Obama’s would insure more people, not fewer, than HRC’s. That’s because Obama’s puts more money up front and contains sufficient subsidies to insure everyone who’s likely to need help – including all children and young adults up to 25 years old. Hers requires that everyone insure themselves. Yet we know from experience with mandated auto insurance – and we’re learning from what’s happening in Massachusetts where health insurance is now being mandated – that mandates still leave out a lot of people at the lower end who can’t afford to insure themselves even when they’re required to do so. HRC doesn’t indicate how she’d enforce her mandate, and I can’t find enough money in HRC’s plan to help all those who won’t be able to afford to buy it. I’m also impressed by the up-front investments in information technology in O’s plan, and the reinsurance mechanism for coping with the costs of catastrophic illness. HRC is far less specific on both counts. In short: They’re both advances, but O’s is the better of the two. HRC has no grounds for alleging that O’s would leave out 15 million people.

Yesterday, HRC suggested O lacks courage. “There’s a big difference between our courage and our convictions, what we believe and what we’re willing to fight for,” she told reporters in Iowa, saying Iowa voters will have a choice “between someone who talks the talk, and somebody who’s walked the walk.” Then asked whether she intended to raise questions about O’s character, she said: “It’s beginning to look a lot like that.”

I just don’t get it. If there’s anyone in the race whose history shows unique courage and character, it’s Barack Obama. HRC’s campaign, by contrast, is singularly lacking in conviction about anything. Her pollster, Mark Penn, has advised her to take no bold positions and continuously seek the political center, which is exactly what she’s been doing.

All is fair in love, war, and politics. But this series of slurs doesn’t serve HRC well. It will turn off voters in Iowa, as in the rest of the country. If she’s worried her polls are dropping, this is not the way to build them back up.


Chris Matthews On Hillary’s Dropping Poll Numbers

Chris Matthews explains why the Hillary campaign may write off Iowa in the last weeks before the caucus.  Internall, the top Hillary staffers know she tanked the last Democratic debate, and that Obama and Edwards are gaining while Hillary is losing ground. 

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I always assume that the professionals inside a campaign know more than I know. I have to assume that during the Philadelphia debate six weeks ago, Mark Penn and Mandy Grunwald and the other brains behind Hillary were looking at a focus group or looking at some kind of joy buzzer somewhere, and they’re watching their candidate crash. And they came out of there and they blamed the moderator, they blamed Russert, Tim Russert, coming out, then they blamed the opponents, then they blamed the third, the unaffiliated groups. They were attacking every single person in a way that made you think “my God, did Hillary do that bad that night?” 



Interesting Background on Rapper Common, One of Obama’s Pals

Rapper Common is one of Obama’s pals.  Here are some interesting background facts.   

Common is father to 10 year old Omoye Assata Lynn (named after exiled political prisoner and former Black Panther Party member, Assata Shakur – a woman whose life story also inspired Common to write the song “A Song For Assata” from his album Like Water for Chocolate).

Common is a supporter of animal rights and PETA. He recently appeared in a print advertisement for PETA titled “Think Before You Eat”.  Common is also part of the “Knowing Is Beautiful” movement which supports HIV/AIDS awareness.

Common has been quoted as saying, “When you see dreadlocked dudes with white girls that’s like they going against what the dreadlock’s purpose was.”

Common was accused of making bigoted statements during a concert at Emory University in 2006, when he rapped about  his certainty that "damn niggers from Duke lacrosse" had raped a "black princess," a reference to Crystal Gail Mangum,  who had accused three white Duke University lacrosse players of rape.  The charges were dismissed before the case went  to trial. Despite his comments about the Duke Lacrosse Case, Duke University invited him to play at their last day of classes  on 25 April 2007.


Obama’s new website, http://hillaryattacks.barackobama.com/

The Obama campaign has one-upped the Clinton campaign, with a website that, lists Hillary’s attacks, days since she last said she would not attack, days spent attacking.  This is a great site and one we will keep linked here on Political Night Train.

Clinton Release: “Sen. Obama Rewrites History, Claims He Hasn’t Been Planning White House Run…Senator Obama’s comment today is fundamentally at odds with what his teachers, family, classmates and staff have said about his plans to run for President,” Clinton spokesperson Phil Singer said. ‘Senator Obama’s campaign rhetoric is getting in the way of his reality.'” [Clinton Press Release, 12/2/07]Washington Post: “Losing Ground In Iowa, Clinton Assails Obama.” “With a new poll showing her losing ground in the Iowa caucus race, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) mounted a new, more aggressive attack against Sen. Barack Obama.” [Washington Post, 12/3/07]Des Moines Register: “Clinton Begins To Swing Harder At Rival Obama.” “Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ramped up her criticism of rival Barack Obama.” [Des Moines Register, 12/3/07]New York Daily News: “Hillary Clinton Attack On Barack Obama Comes After She Loses Iowa Lead.” “Hours after a new poll showed her falling behind for the first time in Iowa, Hillary Clinton launched a blistering personal broadside on rival Barack Obama.” [New York Daily News, 12/3/07]Chicago Tribune: “This Clinton Attack On Obama Could Boomerang.” “The Clinton people are citing a kindergarten essay by Obama as evidence against him in a presidential campaign. Good thing he was born before widespread pre-natal ultrasounds. Who knows how they might’ve used that against him? Clinton’s people have thrown similar jabs before at Obama but it hasn’t fazed him. So their seems to be a little more fury behind the punches as now that Obama’s may have taken the lead in Iowa according to the Des Moines Register’s most recent poll.” [Chicago Tribune, The Swamp, 12/3/07]