Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Bill Clinton's Finest Hour; Barack Obama Takes the Torch

It was a moment for the ages as Bill Clinton joined Ted Kennedy in passing the torch to a new generation of Americans led by Barack Obama at a defining moment in history that will change the world. There was wisdom and generosity of spirit to Bill Clinton last night; the kind that Kennedy showed yet again in his courageous speech on Monday night.

It was a historic moment, not only for the first African-American presidential nominee, but for the dream that rises for women, for Hispanics, for the sons and daughters of steelworkers after eight ugly years of insiderism, cronyism, war profiteering, demeaning, division, wedge politics, greed, anger, torture, hate, smears and lies from a Republican Party with nothing left but negativity and its nominee, the man who used to be John McCain, with nothing left except the poisons that the Republican Roves teach him how to inject into the body politic.

The Great Pundit Cable Republican PUMA Fraud

Yes, indeed, one of the pundits with the latest "Hillary supporters will vote Republican" words admitted she was repeating the GOP talking points, which indeed she was, along with the jib-jab of the cable talkies and the flim-flam of the so-called experts who treat smears as truth and talking points as news.

The "Hillary supporters will vote Republican" myth is a fraud, a figment of the imagination of Fox News, a fantasy of the Hillary-obsessed pundit class, and a mirage that will be shattered when the PUMA Republicans are revealed for the fraud they are and more than 90 percent of the Hillary supporters will vote against more war, against overturning Roe v. Wade and against the economic royalism of the oil company party led by John McCain, who opposes equal pay for women while he would privatize Social Security for the elderly.

All That’s Changed

Hillary Clinton's speech was excellent — the words, delivery, the energy it brought to the convention. It should really help ... her.

I know I am repeating the GOP talking points here, that Clinton's endorsement of Barack Obama will do little to assuage her angry supporters and unite the party, but the Republicans are right. I won't quote the Hillary supporters who left the convention hall even more frustrated that she isn't the nominee or at least the vice presidential nominee. You have watched them all night and day on television or read their quotes in the newspaper.

What has changed? Little for Obama, who is now behind McCain in a poll taken DURING the convention! What has changed is now Clinton has endorsed Obama, asked her supporters to vote for him and mentioned his name more than a dozen times, and so therefore she cannot be accused in two months of helping him lose. That is all that has changed.

Summer Tea Leaf Reading

When it comes to politics, nothing is more fun or unproductive than reading the veepstakes tea leaves, as we have discussed on these pages before.

A cursory reading of the Democrat tea leaves made Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) the hands-down pick for Team Obama. He offsets the foreign policy deficiencies of Obama, and it was obvious they were hard-floating Biden's name leading up to his selection. It was a clean pick.

This week the tea leaf reading leaves an obvious VP pick as well. Recently, and quietly, the McCain camp has hired the press team that will shepherd around the new VP pick. Ben Porritt, formerly with the campaign of Mitt Romney as the sidekick of Romney spokesmodel Kevin Madden (you know I love you, Mad Dog), has joined in recent days.

Rightward, Ho!

Both Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama began their presidential campaigns as anti-establishment mavericks. Both secured their nominations by appealing to a public that is fed up with the status quo and cynical about politicians, especially Washington-based pols.

As is the case when presidential quests segue from primaries to the general election, candidates move to the right — often to the dismay of the core followers who were courted by and succumbed to the candidates’ more avid entreaties. Thus, John McCain moved from a conservative, if eclectic, candidate to a far right one, as was necessary for him to secure the nomination (George Bush taught him that lesson in 2000). In doing so, he has not persuaded all of the extreme right constituency whose votes he solicits, and he has lost his appeal to those independent voters who found the old John McCain appealing.

Hillary's State of the Union Speech ... And Why She Will 'Keep Going'

Hillary Clinton's speech last night was remarkable.

In what can only be seen as a State of the Union speech, Clinton offered a checklist of accomplishments and things still to be done — "from civil rights to labor rights," as she said, while also mentioning the Supreme Court, oil, home foreclosures and the rising costs of college, among other issues. Like a State of the Union speech, she recognized people in the "First Spouse's box" — in this case the widow of Arkansas Democratic Chairman Bill Gwatney, who was tragically gunned down recently, and the son of the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who died last week.

Hillary’s Tepid Endorsement

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech last night before the delegates at the Democratic National Convention was about as good as it gets when it comes to convention speeches. She managed to combine the rhetorical flourish of campaign oratory with the hard-nosed commanding presence of a general leading her troops into battle. She exhorted the crowd to help America get down to business; pass healthcare reform to cover the uninsured; build a world-class education system that is accessible to more Americans; and return America to the economic prosperity it enjoyed under the leadership of President Bill Clinton.

Furthermore, Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.) made it clear that electing John McCain would constitute a setback. Electing Barack Obama, she acknowledged, was the right thing to do, if only because leaving the country in the hands of Republicans for four more years would make us worse off. And, well, that was about it.

The Pathetic Retreat of Defeat

It's probably a good thing that some bent-out-of-shape Hillary Clinton supporters are departing Denver early. By boycotting Barack Obama's speech, they're taking the pressure off the airlines to get everybody out of town at once on Friday, in much the same way that disgusted fans can beat the traffic by leaving a football or baseball game early.

For them it doesn't matter that their little snit might play right into the hands of the opposing team. I wonder how many of them are taking their sour grapes and flying straight to the Twin Cities. That way, they can be right there as they play into the Republicans' hands.

They certainly do have some arguable complaints: about the coverage, for instance, Barack Obama got from so-called journalists who seemed to cut him a lot more slack than Clinton, actually both Clintons.

Hillary Clinton: Patriot

It is interesting to watch the parallels between John McCain and Hillary Clinton in their campaigns against Barack Obama. They both are clearly contemptuous of Obama. Neither thinks he can handle the job of president. And both wanted to run against the other, for the good of the country.

That Clinton and McCain respect one another is beyond doubt. That they both disrespect Obama and his Johnny-come-lately campaign is also beyond doubt.

It must give McCain special pleasure to use Hillary’s words against Obama. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Hillary gets a little smile from the ads herself.

Even in Denver, Clintonian Rhetoric Leaves Door Open

Two recent news items demonstrate the one-two punch the Clintons bring — and the tightrope they are walking.

The first, from Major Garrett's blog, The Bourbon Room (yes, you read that right), reports on a meeting led by Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager, Maggie Williams. The message? If, at the end of the day, Hillary Clinton has not convinced you that Barack Obama is the best candidate for president, i.e., better than Hillary, Clinton supporters should vote their conscience. You know that means: Vote for Hillary.