Hillary Clinton

Feminist Hero of 2008

Not even Nostradamus could have predicted that in 2008 the one woman on a major party presidential ticket would be a Republican, or Governor of Alaska, or mother of five, or a moose hunter.  Yet, today, we have all four in Sarah Palin.

Any betting American would have predicted Hillary Clinton as the “feminist” role model of the year.  Hillary Clinton, a product of the feminism of the 60s and 70s, where “femininity” meant weak and “motherly” a flaw.

Sarah Palin, the Republican Party’s new favorite daughter, is of the new breed of feminists, those who believe women have crucial roles as wife, mother, and nurturer, and because of that -- not in spite of it -- they can be powerful, and effective executives. (Note: The lipstick line) 

Last night, Palin gave the speech she needed to give and so much more.  She demonstrated why she was a superior choice for McCain vs. the other so-called "short list" VP picks. Not only is she smart, tough, articulate, and dynamic, but also feminine, compassionate, and real.
Some critics thus far have focused on the fact that she defied expectations because the bar was so low. Hogwash!

I ask them to watch or listen to Sarah Palin again. Her convention address would be considered enormous, even superior, by any standard. That she's a woman, a mom, from provincial Alaska, and was elevated to national player status less than a week ago, all make her showing on the campaign trail thus far all that more impressive.

The bar is now set so high that Palin faces an incredible challenge for the remainder of the campaign and her career: continue meeting the elevated expectations.

Yet, I’m confident Palin will do just fine.  As long as she holds on tight to her integrity – staying true to her values, her personality, her womanhood … as long as she emphasizes her strengths while acknowledging her weaknesses. 

In the primaries, American voters rejected candidates who appeared to “play” leader, rather than act like one -- hiding their true selves and letting the media bait them into running from their supposed flaws.

Palin brings the authenticity to politics that Americans demand more so in a YouTube, people-powered media environment, where everyone is the media and regular people become celebrities in an instant.

Almost every child dreams of being a star at some point, and the Internet makes that possible for more of us.  If you have what it takes, you don’t need to be part of an elite club or have required connections.  Be confident, set goals, reach your potential, stay true to yourself, take care of your community and there’s no limit to what you can do.  Read: Vice President, United States, Alaska Governor, Mom.     

Sarah Palin.  A new hero for women, and men, across America.

I love it: Democrats recycling strategies that failed for us already

In 2000, many Republicans thought they could defeat Hillary Clinton for the NY senate seat by calling her "shrill" 

 ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The head of the state Republican Party accused Hillary Rodham Clinton of being "an angry woman" driven by "blind political ambition"

It was the second harsh letter from Powers to surface in a week. The first had called the first lady "cold-blooded and hotheaded" and denounced her as a "shrill and scheming person."


Didn't work for us. But never mind, the Democratic party brain trust thinks this sort of petty charge will work against a Republican woman candidate.

Palin also took a swing at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the "current do-nothing Senate" for comments he made about McCain.

Reid's spokesman Jim Manley fired back, calling Palin's remarks "shrill and sarcastic political attacks."


I guess namecalling is a step up from cyberstalking pregnant teenagers, but, we're still at the playground level when the worst thing they can attack is the tone of a woman's voice.

A little advice to our unhinged lefty friends; The shrill is gone





The McCain Online Video Machine

Over the past month, John McCain's online shop has churned out video after video aimed at Barack Obama. Most are television ads, while others were made just for the Internet. All of them have hit their mark dead center.

Let's go to the tape for a recap:

-- July 21, "Pump": Asks who is to blame for higher gas prices and answers the question with background voices chanting "Obama! Obama!" The kicker: "Don't hope for more energy; vote for it."

-- July 26, "Troops": Criticizes Obama foreign affairs and defense policy record and blasts him for playing basketball while abroad but not visiting U.S. troops when cameras were banned. The kicker: "John McCain is always there for our troops."

-- July 30, "Celeb": Calls Obama "the biggest celebrity in the world," comparing him with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, but suggests he isn't ready to lead. The kicker: "Higher taxes, more foreign oil -- that's the real Obama."

-- Aug. 1, "The One": Internet video that mocks the messianic feel of the Obama campaign and Obama's own grandiose statements about being "a symbol of America returning to our best traditions." Moses imagery included. A sequel posted online Aug. 21 took a similar satirical approach to the Democratic convention.

-- Aug. 12, "Fan Club": A faux invitation to join the Obama fan club, with "amazing" perks that include higher taxes. The kicker: "We know he doesn't have much experience and isn't ready to lead. But that doesn't mean he isn't dreamy!"

And then came this flurry of ads over the past few days, right as Democrats gathered in Denver to nominate Obama:

-- Aug. 22, "Higher": Portrays Obama as a celebrity who doesn't understand the impact that new taxes have on the family budget. The kicker: "He's ready to raise your taxes -- but not ready to lead."

-- Aug. 22, "Joe Biden On Barack Obama": Resurrected Biden's criticisms of Obama right as word broke that Biden was Obama's pick for vice president -- and the praise that Biden bestowed on McCain. Great Obama reaction visual.

-- Aug. 22, "Passed Over": Accuses Obama of not picking Hillary Clinton as his vice president because she spoke the truth about him in the Democratic primary. The kicker: "The truth hurt, and Obama didn't like it."

-- Aug. 22, "3 AM": Borrows Clinton's much-discussed ad footage that suggests Obama lacks the experience to lead in an emergency. The kicker: "Hillary's right."

-- Aug. 22, "Debra": Loyal Clinton supporter vows to vote for McCain and tells other Democrats it's OK to do the same. The kicker: "Now [McCain's] the one with the experience and judgment."

-- Aug. 26, "Tiny": Highlights Obama's rhetoric downplaying the threat that Iran poses to the United States and Israel. The kicker: "Obama, dangerously unprepared to be president."

The latest Internet video was released yesterday. Dubbed "Remote Control," it shows scenes of dangers in the world as leading Democrats criticize Obama's foreign policy views and as Obama professes himself to be "a believer in knowing what you're doing." The ad is getting rave reviews.

Each video is powerful of its own right for different reasons -- the appeals to popular culture, the background chants of "O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma," the perfect timing, and the use of Obama's own words and those of his allies. But the videos are even more powerful as a package.

They are driving home a central theme -- that Obama isn't "ready to lead." Because he isn't ready to lead, the ads say, Americans can expect less national security, higher taxes, a continuing energy crisis, and a dangerous obsession with celebrity over substance.

The power of that message is evident in the polls: They tightened as the videos were released, and the traditional convention bounce has been slow to bounce Obama's way this week.

Obama's campaign hasn't exactly been silent as McCain's online machine churned out its videos. The Obama team, in fact, produced far more videos during the past month, and some of them have been equally good.

Obama has attacked McCain as a Washington insider, an economic ignoramus, an ally of the rich and powerful, and a yes man to President Bush. Obama has targeted narrowly focused issue ads at potential swing states. And his staff has fact-checked McCain's ads.

Like McCain, Obama also has been quick to pull the online video trigger for maximum impact. When McCain couldn't answer a reporter's question about how many homes he owns, Obama's team immediately released an ad titled "Seven" that pegs McCain as out of touch with the common man because he owns seven homes worth $13 million.

The ad closes with a picture of the White House and this message: "And here's one house America can't afford to let John McCain move into." A companion Obama Web video, meanwhile, asked Philadelphians on the street how many homes they would have to own before they lost track.

But McCain's online videos have packed more punch, created more buzz and forced the Obama campaign to play defense with counter-attacks. Even when Obama scored points after the flap over McCain's multiple homes, McCain quickly answered with an ad that turned the conversation to Obama's wealth and ethics.

And today, McCain took the high road, releasing an ad where he congratulates Obama for becoming the first black man nominated as a presidential candidate.

"Weirdly, McCain seems to have taken a lead in the rapid-delivery YouTube department," Instapundit Glenn Reynolds concluded after McCain released his "Remote Control" video. "I wouldn't have predicted that. The Obama stuff, meanwhile remains in this vein. It's well-produced and star-studded, but it's not hitting the key points."


The Key To Republican Success: One Of History's "Great" Presidents

Why is this woman


NOT the Democratic Party's 2008 nominee for president?

Simple. It is because of this man:


I cannot think of a single person I've spoken to who disagrees with this fact. I especially have never spoken to a single Democrat who disagrees. Bill Clinton's presidency was NOT one of the greatest in history, despite it having been described as such as he was introduced last night to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. A great presidency is never a liability to a successor, unless that successor is a gross mediocrity; and no one at last night's convention would countenance that Barack Obama is a mediocrity. But a bad presidency is a liability to  anyone closely associated with it.

It is reported that Hillary Clinton is quite close to that liability.

What I have heard said by many conservative pundits since John McCain won the Republican presidential nomination (presumptively) is that John McCain was the "media's" choice for the Republican post. Of course, this assertion is always issued with contempt, as the media are largely portrayed by the conservative punditry as a hive of leftists. In many senses this is true; the media do tend left. And it is also true that many on the left, including those in the media, are not uncomfortable with a McCain presidency. I recall diehard leftists -- among my friends and family -- during the 2000 election cycle telling me that they were impressed with McCain and that I should be, too.

But if the media created John McCain's presumptive place atop the Republican Party, it was the Republican machinery -- along with countless conservatives -- that put Barack Obama atop the Democratic Party. Let me put it this way:

Why is this man

enjoying his ascendant celebrity?

Simple. It is because of this man:

During the height of the Democratic primary season, former Democratic vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro drew much attention to herself when she asserted that Barack Obama was enjoying great success in his bid for the White House because he was black. Of course, the attention Ms. Ferraro drew from her leftist peers was largely filled with ire, though some in her party were quite sympathetic to her views. While it could be reasonably argued that Ms. Ferraro's observation has some merit, her reasons for saying what she did were really a type of cover. What I believe Ms. Ferraro was doing was concealing something about the candidate she was not only supporting but advising: She was concealing the fact that her candidate, Hillary Clinton, was losing NOT because Barack Obama was black, but because Bill Clinton was her husband. (Please note that I am in no way impugning Mr. Obama's obvious abilities and talents.) Instead of looking at the heart of the problem, Ms. Ferraro looked to alleged external causes for her candidate's struggles.

Last fall, I attended a Barack Obama event. It was very much a surprise to the local folks who know me who were also in attendance, as my conservatism often precedes me when I go to such events. What I noted afterwards was how many liberals came up to speak to me; all had one thing in common. They agreed with the (very conservative?) position that the Clintons were a bad choice for the 2008 nomination; they agreed that Bill Clinton was a liability to winning the general election; they agreed that the Clinton machine would destroy and digest any person who stood in their way; they agreed that the Clintons were motivated by power and avarice.

But to what were these liberals agreeing? That's right. They were agreeing with what Republicans had been saying about the Clintons since 1992.

Hence, the Democratic Party, staring directly at the very competent wife of "one of the greatest presidents in history" and a US Senator in her own right, took its cues not from itself but from the Republicans' "Anyone-but-Billary" meme. By the thinnest margin, Hillary Clinton missed a nomination because of too much baggage, with her husband being most of that baggage. Barack Obama might NOT be a better leader, legislator, or chief executive, but he isn't a Clinton, and has a better chance of winning the general election because he was not born  of such a pedigree; or so concluded many in the Democratic Party. Perhaps that explains why he did so well during his exploration process among the middle-aged white women comprising his earliest focus groups.

What I am saying is that the "vast right-wing conspiracy" has ultimately kept Hillary Clinton out of the White House... for now. But what I am also saying is this: The Democrats know where their party's weakest link is, and they don't want you to know it. Their weakest link is Bill Clinton. And it is for that reason that the Republicans should use all their muster to show why the Democrats don't really believe that Bill Clinton is the "greatest president" and why 9/11, the war on terror, and even the current housing crisis (or so they could argue) were all born during his presidency. Reminding voters of Bill Clinton's great national liability, and not Barack Obama's assumed weaknesses, is the key to Republican victory in November.

(One place to start: You know those "47 million uninsured Americans" who don't have health care and are being exploited by Democrats to foster sympathy for a nationalized health care system? Were they insured under Bill Clinton?)


Here's the calculus for a Republican win: Constantly remind the electorate that this man

is where he is because of this man,

and because the Democrats don't want Americans to recall what occurred on Clinton's watch, under his "great leadership" when, as even he said last night, he led "our nation to a new era of peace and broadly shared prosperity." That the Clintons have been pushed aside by many in their party proves that Democrats accept the Republican verdict on Mr. Clinton's presidency: it was not what he and his party think it was.

And the Democratic Convention's penchant for revisionism, a revisionism brazenly shaped in plain view, reveals the party must conceal Mr. Clinton's failures.

"Peace," Mr. Clinton? What peace? The peace of the World Trade Center bombing? The peace in Somalia, the Balkans? The peace which led to continuous military strikes against Iraq? The peace in 1998, when Osama bin Laden issued his fatwa in the heart of your presidency, calling for the murder of Americans everywhere, and that largely because of your abuse of Iraq? You mean the peace that led to 9/11?

You get the picture, and it's grim. It's no wonder the Democrats are revising history before our eyes in Denver. They are desperate for change.

Bill Gnade ©2008. All Rights Reserved.


Reading the Clinton Tea Leaves

Soren Dayton pointed out that the Clinton's have sounded a few odd notes and failed to sound a few other seemingly important ones in recent days.  A few more observations.

  • After almost a solid week of wall-to-wall coverage - after announcing his VP selection and in the very middle of the Democratic Convention - not only is Obama not getting a bounce....John McCain is.  That can't be comforting for Democrats right now.  This is their highlight reel.  If this doesn't give them a bounce, what will it take?
  • A number of top Clinton people are leaving town before the Obama acceptance speech, and while Hillary Clinton will attend the speech...Bill Clinton will not attend
  • Hillary Clinton spoke to a women's group on Tuesday and "urged attendees to back the Democratic Party", but "did not mention Barack Obama’s name once " during the event.
  • Suitably Flip notes an omission.
  • From Clinton's speech, as prepared Those are the reasons I ran for President. Those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons you should too.

     And as delivered: Those are the reasons I ran for president, and those are the reasons I support Barack Obama for president.

  • So, Hillary Clinton accepted a speech that had her calling delegates to vote for Obama (and released the text to the press)...but pointedly left that exhortation out at the last minute (when it's absence would be very noticeable)?
  • And now Hillary has released her delegates, but refuses to tell them to vote for Obama, saying "I am not telling you what to do."

What to make of all this?  I have two theories.

  1. Selfish - The Clinton's may simply be trying to hedge their bets.  Remember, before Hillary Clinton withdrew, she and her her team were making the argument - both privately to the Democratic establishment and delegates, and then publicly to the press - that only Hillary could win the general election.  "Obama really can't win the general election", they claimed. 
  2. The Clinton's still believe their vision for the Democratic Party is superior to the Progressive's viciously anti-DLC approach.  By not tying themselves too closely to Obama's success or failure, the Clinton's could emerge relatively unscathed and in a strong position to say "we told you so" to the Left.  This would give them leverage to re-establish themselves as the leaders of the Democratic Party. 

  3. Head Fake - Hillary's pointed refusal to encourage her delegates to vote for Obama is unusually conspicuous.  It's the sort of thing you do intentionally to focus media attention on the story.  Is Hillary trying to create a high-profile moment during the Convention in which she rejects the Republican PUMA storyline and encourages her supporters to vote for Obama?   I'm a bit skeptical - it's a very risky high-wire act - but it seems like the sort of theatre the Obama campaign might orchestrate.  (Bonus: Hillary gets to look like the hero)

 UPDATE:  As I post this, the news breaks that Obama has been officially nominated by acclamation...

Former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton asked the convention delegates to make it unanimous, the culmination of a painstaking agreement worked out between the two camps to present a unified front.


Hillary's lukewarm endorsement; Bill's dousing in cold water

CQ's Craig Crawford thought this about Hillary Clinton's speech last night:

Many of Clinton's supportive words seemed almost tacked on as an after thought. Several times Clinton listed various things she believed in, and then almost parenthetically noted that these were her reasons for backing Obama. In other words, she's for Obama because he agrees with her.

She basically said that Democrats should vote for Barack Obama because they agree with him. But here's what Bill Clinton said yesterday about "Candidate X" and "Candidate Y":

Suppose for example you're a voter. And you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver. For whom would you vote?

I have no doubt that Bill knew what was in Hillary's speech when he said that line.

As Ben Smith noted, "Clinton did little to sell Obama's personal characteristics, his qualities or ability as commander in chief."

There is still no audio-visual rebutal to Hillary's Not Ready" statements that she made in debates that has become the Republican communications rallying cry.

She and Bill did their duty as Democrats, but are leaving enough out that Republicans, Hillary supporters, and independents have something to chew on.

Democrats Hidding Behind Bush

Bill Smith, Editor: Congressional Democrat leaders attending the DNC 2008 in Denver are attempting to transfer their failures to President Bush in an effort to distract voters by claiming their candidate is running against the Bush/McCain or McCain/Bush ticket. America is not stupid. Bush is retiring to Texas. And, Sen. John McCain as a maverick has never been part of the Bush team. It is true that Bush and McCain have conservative principles on which they agree. However, McCain as a maverick never placed party line first and often reached across the Senate isle to work with Democrats on critical issues. McCain has a leading democrat backing him and even the current identified Democratic vice president said positive things about McCain's qualifications to be president. Allegiances are shifting everywhere but with the Democratic leadership in Congress

While the candidates carry out their campaigns as they determine best, the Congressional Democrat leadership hides their failures behind George Bush. They are pursing a "con" job on the voters. They are working hard to sell their head-in-the-sand approach to energy policy to the American people. This may prove to be difficult with the divisions in their party who are deciding whether to continue following the inept Democrat leadership's refusal to produce more American energy. Some are tired of their leaders' ineptness and are considering joining with Republicans and sensible Democrats in support for policies like opening more areas to offshore drilling. ABC News reports that Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) is concerned that Democrats’ lack of action on a comprehensive energy solution could cost them politically. Abercrombie has joined with his GOP colleague Rep. John Peterson of Pennsylvania to urge a vote on an offshore drilling proposal.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is paying attention. Pelosi has not been bothered by these situations and has even advocated for Democrats with competitive races to lie and side with the Republicans because she can still stall and control things back in Congress. Though she’s been saying that drilling could be part of an energy package, she refuses to commit to a specific vote. Reuters reports, “She criticized President George W. Bush and other Republicans for presenting offshore drilling as an answer to the recent rise in U.S. gasoline prices, saying expanded drilling would not affect prices for a decade and then only by a small degree. ‘I don’t think that's a good alternative. But if they can prove that it is, and they want to pay royalties to the taxpayer ... then we have something to talk about’. . .”

Non-leader Pelosi would rather deal in distractions than grasp the laws of supply and demand. She says that drilling is not in her DNA. She would do well to read today’s New York Times, which discusses the recent rapid increase in American natural gas production. The Times writes, “Domestic natural gas prices have already plunged 42 percent since early July, an even faster drop in price than oil or most other commodities, in part because the rapid supply growth has begun to influence the market. Price spikes remain possible, of course, but throughout the industry the shale discoveries are causing a shift in thinking about the long-term outlook.”

Although doubtful, Democrats who understand how supply and demand work will be able to use their time in Denver to convince Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to that a “find more and use less” approach to energy is the best way to lower gas prices and provide more energy to America. Republicans have put forward a number of serious plans to do just that. It begs the question, when will the wiser more reasoned Democrats stop being lead by people who are disgracing their positions and hurting the American people? Also, noticeable is that five Democrat senators put themselves forward as qualified to be President of the United States and yet, not one of them would lead the effort to replace an inept Harry Reid. Pelosi and Reid, democrat agents of "no" change!

It'll Be Clinton or Sebelius, Not BBK

By this time tomorrow, we should know. So it's time to hazard some final predictions.

I think BBK (BayhBidenKaine) is a smokescreen. They are overexposed. Bayh is a neocon robot to the base, acceptable in 2000 but not now. It is comical that Joe "Get off my grass. Now" is even being considered. Ditto for Tim Kaine. They are all underwhelming. We would have a field day with any of them. 

Obama has shown a tendency to do things big in this campaign. The stadium rallies. Berlin. Invesco Field. So, you'd think he'd want his VP to be the same way. And to set it up, leak out the most milquetoast names possible first.

To me, the most logical choice is still Hillary Clinton. Yes, the obstacles are myriad. Obama may have just outright ruled it out, given the bad blood from primary season. Hillary may simply have refused, figuring that if Obama could go down to McCain, best to let it happen and position for '12 rather than coming to the rescue. And then there's Bill...

But with the polls tightening, Clinton is the only one who can make the race not close again. That's something.

Sebelius would be a VP in the "change" mold, which is important to Obama, and wouldn't overshadow him. That's two points in her favor.

Final prediction? Since I usually regret not going with my bolder gut predictions, I'm going to say Hillary.

Bipartisan VP thoughts

Just some random thoughts that I have had watching this. I have been too busy to focus on blow-by-blow, which may or may not help for clarity.

First, the Republicans:

  • It really feels like the pro-choice thing is a hip-fake. One option is that it is a hip-fake for Mitt Romney. Another is that it is a way of telling moderates that McCain is thinking about them even if he is not capable of giving them something.
  • It sure feels like the Romney campaign is back in full gear. I mean, why today, of all days, does Mark Halperin have a link to something about Romney's healthcare plan? This is exactly the sort of tactic that the Romney campaign excelled at in the primary. Romney's problem is like Obama's. All the great tactics, etc., will only get you so far. In the end, "the dogs won't eat the darn stuff."
  • Thinking back to the 3 subgroups (see the POS presentation after the jump on these groups) that the McCain campaign thinks that they need to move, I wonder who helps. This feels like a list for Tim Pawlenty or Carli Fiorina, except for the 3rd:
    • Rehab Republicans. I think that they are mostly back. Mostly "the Mac" being "back" was enough to move the dial on them. Someone too convention probably is mildly repelling.
    • "Walmart Women" Who would do that?
    • Facebook Independents.
  • Wouldn't Joe Lieberman put the exclamation point on "old"?

Really only one thought on the Dems:

  • Perhaps Patrick was right. A very good source is telling me that multiple DNC members have told him that Hillary is the person. While not immediately intuitive, Clinton is the candidate who one can easily imagine helping with Barack Obama's numbers. Which seem to be ... in bad shape? Who else would fundamentally shift the numbers? You could see her bringing Democrats back home, etc., in a way that none of the other candidates could.
  • By the way, she would probably school most Republican VP candidates in the debates. And she and Bill know how to attack attack attack.

But what do I know?

EXACTLY what tapes is Mark Penn referring to?

Jen Rubin passes on a great little tibit from Jake Tapper on the document dump from the Atlantic. You want to read this one which contains Mark Penn's analysis just prior to the Iowa Caucus.

On page 8, in the scenario that Hillary Clinton comes in second behind Barack Obama, Penn recommends:

If it is a two-way race with Obama, on Friday we do a media interviews (sic) and basically say that he is unvetted, discuss his ever-changing positions. Release the tapes. Create immediate pressure that deprives him of oxygen

What tapes? If it is the Wright tapes, why did it take so long? If it is something else..., what tapes?

UPDATE: HuffPo's Sam Stein has a Clinton operative who argues that the tapes were flip-flop tapes.

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