Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Inside the Barack-Hillary Fight

The Hill's Associate Editor, A.B. Stoddard, answers viewer questions about Hillary's standing in the democratic race and the New York Times' McCain article.


A Question for Pundits Blog Readers, About the Dark Side of Dirt

Here is a question that is not hypothetical, but real:

Assume I receive e-mails from certain people of some public visibility that are an attempt to dish dirt, smears and falsehoods about a candidate.

Assume that these e-mails include clear attempts to play race-based politics, to be deliberately divisive, and to spread false accusations.

Assume that these e-mails were indiscreet and named individuals associated with a certain candidate who knew about, were participating in, or were themselves dishing dishonest dirt in ways that might surprise people, considering who they are.

What's at Stake?

There are many in the conservative sphere who have concluded that I'm supporting the senator from Illinois for president. Now, obviously, if you listen to my daily commentaries and recent writings, it's fair that one could draw that conclusion. But in no way am I supporting Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) or anyone else in this race.

In many ways this presidential campaign is about how Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) ran a shockingly bizarre and out-of-touch campaign and eventually lost the nomination to an upstart, neophyte politician. No one could have seen this coming a year ago. It's fair, when people complain that the media is giving Sen. Obama a pass and we're still clueless as to how this man would govern as president. It's very possible that if the media and the public take a serious look at candidate Obama and compare his record fairly with the senator from Arizona, McCain could win this election by a landslide.

No Way HRC Can Win

Armstrong Williams says there's no way that Hillary Clinton can win the Ohio and Texas primaries as well as the democratic nomination.


Wrong Again!

I thought Hillary Clinton was going to park her sarcasm at home before the debate last night, but apparently she just couldn't help herself. Her frustration even boiled so far over that she chided the moderators for asking her the first question all the time and made reference to a "Saturday Night Live" skit — at a debate! Raise your hand if you cringed.

Later on Clinton did her usual "This is too important!" declaration, which she always does when she wants to have the last word, and it worked again and again. Last night's debate looked just like the previous ones did, with the two candidates looking quite the bickering married couple. The wife always gets the last word as the beleaguered husband shakes his head in disbelief.

Hillary, Barack, Randy, Paula and Simon

For this I missed "American Idol"? It's time to be honest. Last night's Clinton-Obama debate in Cleveland made me wish Hillary had really meant it when she said she wasn't going to show up.

Come to think of it, it would have been much more compelling had they folded it into the "Idol" show.

Can't you imagine it? Hillary finishes her rendition of that Ohio favorite "My Nasty NAFTA Man" and now it's time to face the judges.

The Devious Sen. Clinton

Watching last night's Democratic presidential debate makes us realize that no matter whom Mrs. Clinton's challenger was, in the end she couldn't win — either the primary or the general election.

For the past several years the Clinton brand has been sold as genius, superior, unstoppable, and it seemed virtually inevitable she'd be elected president of the U.S in 2008. As more people get to see the real and uncensored Clinton, the more they dislike and lack trust in what she says. She's constantly on the defensive in these debates, always wants to be right and shows no regard or respect for the time and rules of the debate.

If Barack Obama Had Lost 11 in a Row

I am not prone to quoting Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, but to follow her logic and raise her one:

Imagine if Barack Obama had lost 11 races in a row without winning even one during this period.

Imagine if Barack Obama had lost most of these races by 20 points, 25 points, 30 points in what can only be described as landslides and debacles.

One is the Loneliest Number

Hillary Clinton, on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," implied today that she has been treated differently in this campaign because she is a woman. While I know sexism exists and is a sad part of our society, I challenge the notion that somehow it's easier for an African-American candidate than a female one.

There are 14 female U.S. senators: Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). There is a single African-American senator, Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who is only the third elected since Reconstruction.

This Is Not Your Older Brother’s Democratic Party

Pundits are already at work analyzing the campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and making comparisons, mostly negative, with the two successful campaigns of her husband, President Bill Clinton. Most focus on things such as charisma (he has it, she doesn’t), the “vision thing” (he had one, she doesn’t) or the unique difficulties facing a woman running for president (Ellen DeGeneres chimed in on this yesterday). Whatever validity these reasons have, there is one thing that is undeniable: The Democratic Party of 2008 has moved far to the left of the one that Bill Clinton conquered in 1992.

Bill Clinton confronted a Democratic Party in shock from three consecutive presidential shellackings in the 1980s. He preached a centrist politics that foreswore ideology in favor of interest group-friendly economics and , for a Democrat, a strong focus on national security concerns. As such, he supported the first Iraq war, though his reasoning left something to be desired, and even chose Al Gore as his running mate primarily because of his vote in favor of the war. He strongly supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in a pitch to win Big Business, and was even willing to stick a finger in the eye of the most radical elements of the Democratic Party by publicly criticizing rapper Sister Souljah.