“‘She’s no longer campaigning for president,’ said Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee. ‘She’s focused on her work in the Senate, campaigning for Senator Obama and other Democrats.’” With the Dems back on the same team, the Clinton campaign scrubs its website of anti-Obama material from the primary era. As such, this seems as good a time as any to definitively put to rest these Penn-inspired primary fictions as well:
So R.I.P., goofy primary reasoning. You won’t be missed.
“Mr. Band, who declined to comment, is hardly alone in tallying those considered to have crossed the former candidate or the former president in recent months by supporting Mr. Obama. As the Obama bandwagon has swelled, so have the lists of people Clinton loyalists regard as some variation of ‘ingrate,’ ‘traitor’ or ‘enemy,’ according to the associates and campaign officials, who would speak only on condition of anonymity.” They’re making a list, and checking it twice… Via Blackberry, Clinton flunkies draw up a post-primary enemies list. It ain’t politics without grudges, I guess.
If that’s your man, then tag him in… The dirt off their shoulders, Sen. and Michelle Obama share a brief and touching moment onstage before the nomination-clinching speech on Tuesday. I must say, I greatly prefer this presidential show of affection to this one (or to the Gore make-out session, for that matter.)
America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.
The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment — this was the time — when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
“There is reason to believe that Clinton, who never made more than $35,000 a year as governor of Arkansas and left the White House about $12 million in debt, has had his head turned by his ability to enjoy his post-presidential status; that the world of rich friends, adoring fans, and borrowed jets in which he travels has skewed his judgment or, at a minimum, created uncomfortable appearances of impropriety. There is ample evidence that his eight-year absence from a political workplace that has changed radically in the interim has left him conspicuously rusty at the craft of which he was once a master. There are those friends who worry that Clinton has never been the same since his quadruple-bypass surgery, in 2004, and the unexpected follow-up operation six months later to remove accumulated scar tissue on his lung…It is also possible that all these influences have combined to make the cavernous narcissism that has always driven Clinton, for better and worse, at last consume the man almost completely.“
As the primary season draws to a close, former White House correspondent and longtime Clinton watcher Todd Purdum tries to ascertain what’s happened to Bill Clinton since 2001 (and takes another look at some of his recent questionable dealings.) “Perhaps more than anything, Clinton, whose audiences in recent years have tended to be adoring crowds who hang on every word of what those who have heard his standard speech say is a rambling tour d’horizon of world problems, has simply lost a step.“
Update: “Most revealing is one simple fact: President Clinton has helped save the lives of 1,300,000 people in his post-presidency, and Vanity Fair couldn’t find time to talk to even one of them for comment.” Suffice to say, Pres. Clinton didn’t like the piece.
Whatever President Clinton’s recent issues, he’s still a much-loved figure down in Puerto Rico, as Sen. Clinton’s large victory in the island territory today partially attests. (We’re at 68%-32%, with 98% reporting.) Too little, too late, of course — particularly as Puerto Rico currently doesn’t count in the general election — but at least Sen. Clinton got a chance to go out with a bang.
Update: Some interesting math via Rural Votes: “Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico, obviously, is a place where Limbaugh has no significant listenership, and this provides us a yardstick with which to measure Limbaugh’s actual impact on English-speaking state primaries. In Kentucky for example, on May 20, a full 19 percent of Clinton’s voters said they would not be satisfied with her nomination. On May 13, an equal number – 19 percent – of her own voters in West Virginia said they wouldn’t be satisfied with her nomination. But only five percent in Puerto Rico were in that category. This suggests that 14 percent of Clinton’s vote in recent mainland state primaries consisted of the Limbaugh ‘chaos’ voters.“
You know, just when I thought Sen. Clinton realized she had been decisively beaten, and thus that it was time to beg off and let the healing begin, we get garbage like this: With West Virginia and Kentucky on the docket (and no more sizable African-American populations left on the calendar), Clinton toys dangerously with the race card yet again. “‘I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,’ she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article ‘that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.’” Uh, riiiight. Because, as we all know, black Americans aren’t hard-working at all, but rather “shiftless” and “indolent.” “There’s a pattern emerging here.” That there is, Sen. Clinton, and your campaign seems to be on the wrong side of it.
I get it — She was probably trying to make the same old point about her support among the white working class, and for whatever reason it came out disastrously wrong and inadvertently (I hope) conflated white and hard-working. But, even allowing for an unfortunate gaffe, this riff further illustrates the Clinton campaign’s troubling penchant for denigrating African-American votes as less important than those of white folk. Simply put, they’re not — a vote is a vote is a vote, and Obama has more of them, eggheads, African-Americans, you name it. Nor do I agree with the dubious contention that white working-class voters who have backed Clinton in the primary will go for McCain in the general en masse. As I said here, when it comes to primaries and generals, we’re talking apples and oranges. Past performance is no indicator of future success, or failure.
If you live in North Carolina or Indiana, please consider voting for Barack Obama today. (And to the Tar Heels: my home state of South Carolina went for Obama by 28: If you can’t represent at least somewhat similarly — and right now the polls are saying single-digits — I consider the contest between us closed.)
“I don’t think it’s brilliant economics; unfortunately, it may be good politics. The smart people say ‘It’s stupid,’ and the people who aren’t as schooled say ‘At least it will do something for me,’…I don’t know that anyone connects the dots: that there have been a series of politically expedient decisions…that have added up to an economic picture that is not at all rosy and in fact fairly disastrous.” In an A-1 story this morning, the WP joins the recent general calumny against the Clinton-McCain gas tax cut (which Clinton is now campaigning heavily on in IN and NC — Obama is now pushing back on TV.) “‘You are just going to push up the price of gas by almost the size of the tax cut,’ said Eric Toder, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in Washington.” Indeed, it’s apparently such a dumb idea that even diehard Clinton cheerleader Paul Krugman is forced to concede thus. Of course, the reality of the situation hasn’t stopped Bill Clinton from entering full-Pander Bear mode on the issue.
Her 41 supermarket moment? As if I needed another reason not to vote Clinton: Though she may knock back boilermakers like us regular joes, the Senator has in fact never heard of Red Bull, the fantabulously addictive breakfast beverage which more often than not constitutes the best moment of my day. (This also means Clinton has lost another excuse for voicing her obliteration-happy nuclear ambitions last week…It wasn’t the taurine talking.)
In other key findings: “Her fantasy date would be with President Abraham Lincoln [to which Sybil says back off!] She refused to choose between comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, said she likes both wine and beer, and wouldn’t select either ‘American Idol’ or ‘Dancing With the Stars’; she said her mother — who lives with the Clintons — keeps her up to speed on both programs.” (The answers, as everyone not running for office knows, is Fey, beer, and neither — both are garbage, not that I’d expect someone who prefers Grey’s Anatomy to The Wire (as per Obama) and spends her free time trying to ban Grand Theft Auto to pick up on that.)
“I feel that those citizens who say that have never heard my sermons, nor do they know me. They are unfair accusations taken from sound bites…I served six years in the military. Does that make me patriotic? How many years did Cheney serve?” I haven’t watched the Sunday shows yet, but, if today’s press is any indication, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is the big story in the news, after he delivered remarks in several venues aimed at defending himself against the recent media throng, as well as horrifying attempts by the like of George Stephanopoulos to McCarthify him on national television. (As I said here, we seem to have entirely skipped the rails when kindly ole Mike Huckabee is the biggest voice for tolerance and historical understanding in the conversation.)
At any rate, the return of Obama’s Angry Black Preacher-Man prompted tut-tuts of electoral worry from Clinton-leaning concern trolls like like Salon‘s Joan Walsh, and the usual waiting for the other-shoe-to-drop from breathless political blogs like War Room and Ben Smith. What I haven’t seen yet today, amid all the puttering from the press on the subject of Wright, is any attempt to put the Reverend’s remarks in context of this weekend’s highly dubious acquittal in the Sean Bell case. To wit, New York City cops shoot an unarmed black man and his friends 50 times and end up getting off for it, and, outside of Harlem, there’s barely a shrug, including in the news media. Meanwhile, when it comes to anything and everything involving the fates of Natalee Holloway, Laci Peterson, and any other white damsel in distress, the press drone on about it endlessly, funnelling info to us months or even years after the cases have gone cold. But, as they say, this ain’t Aruba, b**ch.
Is Rev. Wright angry? At this point, and as this weekend’s fiasco makes clear, he has every right to be. Perhaps the press and the punditocracy could investigate more thoroughly why black America may be less inclined to think well of our nation at times, rather than working themselves into yet another holier-than-thou froth about occasional intemperate remarks, and/or endlessly fretting about their potential impact on the electoral whims of the white working class. God forbid these media asshats break out of their echo chamber bubble once in awhile and do some honest-to-goodness reporting. Heck, I’d be happy just to see a few of ‘em think for themselves.
Hey all. As promised, I’ve been working on other things over the past few days, and thus haven’t really been following the election news as closely as in recent months. I’d heard that Sen. Obama had basically restated the thesis of What’s the Matter with Kansas? at a fundraiser in San Francisco, and thought that, lordy, it was a slow news week. So, imagine my surprise when I settled in for the Sunday shows to discover that I was supposed to be outraged — outraged, I tell you! — at the import and tenor of Sen. Obama’s remarks. Across the board, the Washington punditariat had ratcheted up the pique to 11, lambasting Obama for being elitist and out-of-touch because he argued a case for the appeal of cultural conservatism in economic bad times that’s been made all over the place, not the least by the Clintons themselves. (By the way, this televised uprising of the pundit proletariat included several people I dealt with personally during my previous sojourn in DC and, well…let’s just say I wasn’t buying their newly-discovered blue-collar bona fides. Not. One. Bit. (and I’m not talking about Carville & Matalin, although they were in the mix on Sunday too.))
Enter Sen. Clinton, shameless as ever. Apparently seeing “Bitter-gate” as her last, best hope for the nomination, she’s plumbed new depths of self-parody this week, not only calling Obama an elitist but trying to recast herself as some kind of working-class hero. (I guess she assumed we’d all just forget that she made $109 million over the past seven years, has been running around with a Secret Service detail for nearly two decades, and has had people otherwise waiting on her since 1978. Springsteen, she’s not.) Nope, now she’s banging back boilermakers, attacking Obama like he’s the Second Coming of John Kerry (to the point of getting booed for it) and conjuring up this ridiculous ad of small-town folk aghast by Obama’s words.
Well, I guess I’m an out-of-touch elitist too, because, frankly, I’m just not seeing it. Not only does this entire brouhaha seems like a completely media-manufactured (and Clinton-prolonged) event to me, but I’d be highly surprised if the vast majority of people Obama was referring to take any offense whatsoever. In fact, if anything, I’d bet the people who are supposed to feel so put upon here may well end up feeling more condescended to by Clinton and the mass media for trying to tell them they should be ticked off. Just a hunch…I could be very wrong. With fifteen years and counting in BosWash, it’s been awhile since I’ve had my finger on the pulse of the Heartland. Still, I’m willing to bet that the white working-class Americans who are theoretically insulted by Obama’s words are smarter, and made of sterner stuff, than Clinton et al would give them credit for. And this too shall pass.
Update: Speaking of Springsteen, the Boss endorses Obama, in part due to Bitter-gate. “At the moment, critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man’s life and vision, so well described in his excellent book, Dreams of My Father, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.“
“Houston is filled with promise. Laredo is a beautiful place.” With 88% reporting (56%-44%), Barack Obama has officially won the Texas caucus, and by extension the Lone Star State. What was that Bill Clinton said about Texas again?
“Barack Obama’s speech on the financial crisis was a remarkable breakthrough…I wish I had written the speech. It is this kind of leadership and truth-telling that is the predicate for the shift in public opinion required to produce legislative change. A radical, appropriately nuanced, and deeply public-minded description of what has occurred, the speech was Roosevelt quality: the president as teacher-in-chief.“
The American Prospect‘s Robert Kuttner praises Obama’s economics speech of yesterday, and calls out Paul Krugman for his blatant partisanship: “Unlike some of my friends, I have not fallen in love with Obama…But Krugman, ordinarily an ornament of fair-minded progressive economics commentary, writes almost as if he has become part of the Clinton campaign. His latest characterization of Obama’s proposals in commenting on the New York speech — ‘cautious and relatively orthodox‘ — was preposterous.“
Sen. Obama picks up a Pennsylania superdelegate in Senator Bob Casey, who had previously pledged to stay neutral. “Obama strategists hope that Casey can help their candidate make inroads with the white working-class men who are often referred to as “Casey Democrats.” This group identifies with the brand of politics Casey and his late father, a former governor, practiced — liberal on economic issues but supportive of gun rights and opposed to abortion.“
“I think the race has been determined, anyway, at this point. I think it’s very difficult to imagine how anyone can believe that Barack Obama can’t be the nominee of the party. I think that’s a foregone conclusion, in my view, at this juncture given where things are. But certainly over the next couple of weeks, as we get into April, it seems to me then, that the national leadership of this party has to stand up and reach a conclusion.” Senator and former presidential candidate Chris Dodd makes the case that the Democratic race shouldn’t go past May 6 (i.e. North Carolina and Indiana.)
Update: “There is no way that Senator Clinton is going to win enough delegates to get the nomination. She ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama.” Sen. Patrick Leahy reaffirms Dodd’s position on Vermont public radio. He later clarified with a written statement: “The bottom line is that…Senator Obama continues to hold a lead that appears to be insurmountable…Senator Clinton has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate for as long as she wants to.“
“The good news is that an ugly convention fight is highly preventable. The one advantage of a scenario that’s both completely hair-raising and utterly foreseeable is that everyone has an incentive to stop it. The bad news is what’s not preventable: a contest that rolls into June. Even without a messy convention, the current trajectory of the primary campaign could easily destroy the party’s White House prospects.” TNR‘s Noam Scheiber grimly surveys the Democratic endgame. I actually think it’ll be over sooner rather than later, given that [a] the press finally seems to be internalizing the math, [b] the Clinton campaign seems to be running out of money, and [c] the Richardson endorsement would seem to indicate that the supers are losing patience. Still, worth a read, and the Clinton-Obama hybrid pic (now gracing TNR’s cover) is just about the creepiest thing I’ve seen all day.
“One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning.” Following the lead of Chuck Todd and the NYT, Politico‘s Jim Vanderhei and Mike Allen make the staggering realization that the Democratic primary is over. “[S]he has only one scenario for victory. An African-American opponent and his backers would be told that, even though he won the contest with voters, the prize is going to someone else. People who think that scenario is even remotely likely are living on another planet…In other words: The notion of the Democratic contest being a dramatic cliffhanger is a game of make-believe.“
This is all true, of course, and it’s good to see MSM outlets — Jon Alter notwithstanding — finally say as much. Still, it’s more than a little irritating that, [a] not only is the press getting wise to this fact almost three weeks after it became patently obvious, but [b] when they finally do, the story isn’t “the race is over” but “look, the press is covering the race like it’s not over.” Please, quit the collective navel-gazing and do your jobs, people.
Update: TPM’s Josh Marshall has his own moment of clarity…sort of. “The obstacles in the way of Hillary Clinton are virtually insurmountable…Everyone in the press, probably including us, should be much more candid about that.” “Probably”? Oh, good grief.
“My affection and admiration for Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton will never waver. It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting amongst ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall. The 1990′s were a decade of peace and prosperity because of the competent and enlightened leadership of the Clinton administration, but it is now time for a new generation of leadership to lead America forward. Barack Obama will be a historic and a great President, who can bring us the change we so desperately need by bringing us together as a nation here at home and with our allies abroad.“
Big news this Good Friday: Governor Bill Richardson will endorse Sen. Obama today. In his letter to former supporters, Richardson specifically cites Obama’s speech on Tuesday. “Earlier this week, Senator Barack Obama gave an historic speech. that addressed the issue of race with the eloquence, sincerity, and optimism we have come to expect of him…Senator Obama has started a discussion in this country long overdue and rejects the politics of pitting race against race. He understands clearly that only by bringing people together, only by bridging our differences can we all succeed together as Americans.” Mr. Richardson, your position is a messenger pigeon.
“As she campaigns now, Clinton says, ‘I have been a critic of NAFTA from the very beginning.’ But the White House records confirm that this is not true. Her statement is, to be precise, a lie. When it comes to the essential test of the trade debate, Clinton has been identified as a liar — a put-in-boldface-type “L-I-A-R” liar.” Shame on you, Hillary Clinton? The Nation‘s John Nichols argues Sen. Clinton’s credibility is in the tank after ABC News discovers that, contrary to her more recent statements, she was shilling for NAFTA quite a bit back in 1993. (By the way, Nichols is not alone in this assessment of Sen. Clinton.) Moreover, it seems venerable Davos boogier David Gergen helped enable her lying about the record by conveniently forgetting that he emceed a private pro-NAFTA event held by Hillary.
FWIW, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has offered the most plausible reckoning of Clinton’s NAFTA view so far: She was never against NAFTA, per se, only that the timing might interfere with her health care fiefdom. Update: Clinton and NAFTA, Youtubed.
A belated happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and yours.
“Barack is qualified. Personally, I want to know what qualifies Hillary Clinton to be the next president. Is it because she was married to the president? If that was the case, then Robin Givens would be the heavyweight champion of the world.” Tina Fey had her say. Now, it’s her 30 Rock co-star Tracy Morgan’s turn. I think you can guess which side I come down on.
At the Iowa county conventions today, as a result of Edwards and other candidate delegates switching their support, Sen. Obama picked up six additional delegates on Clinton (or, to be more exact, 7 to her 1.) “Edwards dropped 8 delegates to 6. Those six will be up for grabs, perhaps, at the Iowa Democratic Party state convention in June.” Update: Reports emerge that Obama’s Iowa take today could be seven delegates, or even as many as nine. That’s an Ohio-sized haul. Update 2: We’re going to need a bigger boat: Now, it’s Obama +10. Update: Also, +3 in California.
“U.S. Sen. Barack Obama waited 16 months to attempt the exorcism. But when he finally sat down with the Tribune editorial board Friday, Obama offered a lengthy and, to us, plausible explanation for the presence of now-indicted businessman Tony Rezko in his personal and political lives. The most remarkable facet of Obama’s 92-minute discussion was that, at the outset, he pledged to answer every question the three dozen Tribune journalists crammed into the room would put to him. And he did.“
After Obama sits down with Chicago journalists on Friday afternoon, the paper deems itself satisfied with regard to the Tony Rezko story. (By way of TNR.) “Less protection, less control, would have meant less hassle for his campaign. That said, Barack Obama now has spoken about his ties to Tony Rezko in uncommon detail. That’s a standard for candor by which other presidential candidates facing serious inquiries now can be judged.” (Previously, Glenn Greenwald surveyed the Rezko coverage and explained why there’s no there there.)
Update: Sen. Obama also spent 80 minutes in the Land of Ebert, answering any and all questions held by the Chicago Sun-Times on Rezko. “I don’t think anybody at this newspaper can make the claim any longer that he hasn’t answered our inquiries after an exhaustive 80-minute interview session Friday evening. I won’t.”
“‘If you have a single ounce of self-preservation, you’ll vote no,’ implored Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) last night.” The House creates a new independent ethics panel, 229-182. As the WP notes: “Even with two House members under indictment, two others sent to prison, and several others under federal investigation, nearly half the House did not want to submit the body to the scrutiny of a panel not under its control.” Nevertheless, ethics watchdog groups seem pleased with the bill. Said Common Cause‘s Sarah Dufendach: “For the first time in history, you have nonmembers able to initiate investigations. They’re doing oversight. They’re the new police.” (And to tie everything back to the current theme, Sen. Obama advocated an similarly independent Office of Public Integrity for the Senate in his ethics reform package. Sen. Clinton, someone with considerably more than “a single ounce of self-preservation,” voted against it.)
“What we’ve tried to do is steadily make sure that in each state we are making the case about the need for change in this country. Obviously the people in Mississippi responded.” Sen. Obama takes Mississippi handily, winning 60%-38% (with 99% reporting.) This means a probable pick-up for Obama of five more delegates (19-14).
And now, mainly because pundits seemingly can’t do math and the Clinton campaign has proven itself utterly shameless in defeat, we’re in for six misbegotten weeks of ruthless campaigning until the next test in Pennsylvania. Sen. Obama is up by approximately 160 pledged delegates on Clinton, meaning Clinton has to win every state ahead — including states she’ll be lucky to even come close in, like Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota — by 67-70% — margins she has yet to accomplish anywhere but Arkansas. If, for some reason, we want to play by the Clinton metrics, Obama’s popular vote lead is at least 680,000 votes in the official tally, but that doesn’t include several of the caucus states. Add them and Obama’s lead becomes 830,000 votes. And, of course, Obama has won twice as many states.
Now, I for one think there’s a good bet Sen. Clinton will win Pennsylvania by an Ohioesque margin. Guess what? It won’t matter. It’s over. But because the Clinton campaign refuses to face the reality of their situation, and because neither the supers nor the media seem to be inclined to inform them of thus, expect six more grueling weeks of needless intraparty bloodletting.
Sigh…between this and Spitzer’s meltdown, it’s Christmas in Spring for the GOP right now. Update: In a bit of good news for Sen. Clinton, she gets her own version of the CA recertification bounce, picking up four delegate in Colorado and one in New York as those results become official. Of course, she’s still down 155 or so, but I’m sure the Clinton campaign will take solace where they can find it.
“I think that the Clinton administration (sic) has fairly ruled that out by proclaiming that Senator McCain would be a better Commander in Chief than Obama. I think that either way is impossible.’” Sinbad aside, you really don’t want to tick off Speaker Pelosi. Calling a joint Obama-Clinton ticket “impossible” in an interview with New England Cable News today, Speaker Pelosi makes her displeasure obvious with the Clinton campaign for hyping McCain over the Senator from Illinois. “I wanted to be sure I didn’t leave any ambiguity.” Play with matches, Sen. Clinton, you were due to get burned. Update: Lest anyone missed the import, Pelosi says it again: “I do think we will have a dream team, it just won’t be those two names…Take it from me, that won’t be the ticket.”
So, if you’re of the mind that GitM has degraded in quality and become obsessively single-minded since the election season began in earnest, and that I should really just head out to the movies and chill, I apologize. There’s a link about the The Dark Knight just above, and I’ll try to keep the coverage somewhat broader in the weeks ahead. Alas, although the electoral math would seem to make it clear that the race is over — former Clinton flunky Dick Morris is the latest to call it — it would also seem the Clinton campaign is not getting the message, and they’re more than willing to commit the party version of fratricide out of pique. Case in point, this new interview with Newsweek, in which Hillary Clinton actually floats (again) the nuclear option: stealing Obama’s pledged delegates. (“Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to.“) Uh, what? (And caucus delegates are elected delegates, but nice try.)
So, I’ll be the first to admit that the election season has become more than a little tiring and draining at this point, and the idea of at least seven more weeks of this until Pennsylvania does not bring a smile to my face. But, it’s apparently time to take Fight Club up a notch. When Hillary Clinton and her campaign lie incessantly about her experience, cozy up with hatemongers for cash, try to change the election rules in mid-stream, spew forth readily disprovable idiocies in what seems at this point to be an attempt to hide some ill-gotten gains, and begin pushing John McCain over the presumptive Democratic nominee, she’s going to get called on it. When a guy like Joe Conason, who made a career out of arguing (correctly) that there was really nothing much to Whitewater, then turns around and tries to use the exact same pattern of half-assed insinuation to smear Obama with Tony Rezko (a media tic his Salon colleague Glenn Greenwald had savagely picked apart just two days before), he’s going to get called on it.
And this talk — by the candidate herself! — of stealing pledged delegates is the last straw. In short, these people need to go. Since the Clintons are not going gracefully, since they seem hell-bent on refusing to respect the rules in this contest, and since, in the naked pursuit of power, they have effectively decided to obliterate their legacy in the Democratic Party and salt the earth around its smoldering remains, there’s nothing else to be done. It’s time to cry havoc, and let slip the blogs of war.
As Ambinder notes today, the Clinton campaign dropped a $100,000 donor over the weekend, one Mehmet Celebi, apparently upon discovering he’s been making anti-semitic movies (about Jewish doctors harvesting organs from Muslims.) Said Clinton flunky Ann Lewis two days ago: “We were unaware of Mr. Celebi’s involvement in this film and we obviously do not agree with it.” That would seem to be a bit less forceful than Clinton’s “reject and denounce” blathering regarding Farrakhan at the Ohio debate, wouldn’t it? In any case, Ann Lewis is lying. The New York Post contacted the campaign about Celebi over a month ago, when they had no comment.
As for Farrakhan, WP columnist Colbert King notes that the Clintons were singing a very different tune on him until very recently. “Post-White House Clinton found no fault with Farrakhan’s leadership. There was no mention of Farrakhan’s ‘malice and division’ during the interview. [in 2005]” As always, the rules would seem to change whenever it fits the Clintons’ convenience.