Terry McAuliffe: "Nachos and Tacos"

This is so tacky and embarrassing. Here's Neustravoice, on Terry McAuliffe's new book.

In the illustrious 3 pgs devoted to Latinos he states the following:

"even with Bush out there saying "nachos" and "tacos" as often as he could, Al Gore earned 62 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2000. These were our people and we need them energized and exited about their future. (Page 296)"

"...our people"? Don't look now Terry but Gore did worse among Latinos then his Dem predecessors. 62% was down from 75%.. Yup you and Gore lost Latino market share to a guy that only said "nachos" and "tacos". That number alone says a lot about the hunger by Latinos for political attention and that lack of attention devoted to them by Gore, and the McAuliffe DNC.

Incidentally Latinos are excited about our future. We are energized and motivated. We are looking carefully at our political choices and asking questions. Questions like: how would Latinos fare under a DNC once again within the reaches of McAuliffe?

Hmm let me think about it over a plate of nachos and tacos.

Strike two for Terry.  I get that McAuliffe is something of a jovial fool who speaks in kind of a 19th century jargon regarding the horse trading of ethnic blocks in politics.  But still, how many times is the Clinton campaign going to have to distance itself from McAuliffe's nonsense?

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Wes Clark and Terry McAuliffe on HeadingLeft Radio today

HeadingLeft radio has two big shows coming up Thursday, February 22. My co-host James Boyce and I will have General Wesley Clark on at 1:30pm and at 4:00pm we'll have former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe Thursday.

Terry McAuliffe, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee and currently a major player in Senator Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign, will be talking about his new book, "What a Party." It's gotten some good responses:

The ex-Democratic National Committee chair and political super- fund-raiser lives up to his nickname Mad Dog in this boisterous memoir. McAuliffe is rabidly aggressive toward Republicans (whom he describes as "willing to lie and cheat any way they could"), savaging them on talk shows and facing them down in bristling social encounters. He relentlessly pursues donors, happy to wrestle alligators and sing karaoke for checks ("for $500,000 I didn't mind humiliating myself"). He golfs, dances and plays cards with his political masters Hillary and Bill Clinton ("the Babe Ruth of American presidents"), forever preening over the role his advice and prodigious fund-raising played in their success. Publishers Weekly

But also gotten some serious criticism:

McAuliffe taught Democrats that to win they had to learn to play with the billionaires. But there were, as the economists say, ''opportunity costs.'' In 400 pages of blow-by-blow, one momentous event passes with barely a whisper: the 2002 elections. Some hoped that President Bush's ties to Enron would make 2002 a Democratic year. Instead, Democrats lost the Senate. As the televised face of the party, McAuliffe got in some hard punches on Enron, but Republicans replied that he himself had made an $18 million profit from a mere $100,000 investment in the controversial communications company Global Crossing...The two Democrats most at ease around rich businessmen also happened to be the party's most effective economic populists: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. They were so at ease, in fact, they did what today's ''business friendly'' Democrats do not: demand, in no uncertain terms and to their faces, that they cease antisocial corporate practices. Rick Perlstein, New York Times

We'll try to get Terry's take on both the praise and the criticism on HeadingLeft radio tomorrow. Call (646) 652-4803 if you'd like to ask Terry anything. I've had multiple bloggers and one major reporter give me all kinds of hard ball questions to ask Terry but they were all too chicken to call and ask themselves. Are you afraid?

The next show with General Clark show promises to be even more exciting. We'll have General Wesley Clark on to discuss his new initiative StopIranWar.com. From his post on today's Huffington Post.

Surely, it is past time to urge President Bush to exercise leadership and start to work now to avoid a widening of the conflict in the Middle East.That's why today, I'm joining with Jon Soltz, Chairman of VoteVets.org, the preeminent organization representing Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, to launch StopIranWar.com.

Visit StopIranWar.com today and sign the petition to President Bush. War is not the answer.

StopIranWar.com is a one-stop resource for all Americans to help stop the looming conflict with Iran. With the latest news on Iran and online tools to contact President Bush, lobby your members of Congress, and write letters to the editor to local and national print media, StopIranWar.com will help us create the groundswell of support needed to stop another dangerous war in the Middle East.

Don't be shy, call (646) 652-4803 and ask General Clark about his new initiative.

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General Clark Discusses Iran on Blog Talk Radio - Thursday

Just a "heads up" that General Wes Clark will be appearing on Blog Talk Radio's "Heading Left" show this Thursday (2/22) at 1:30 PM eastern time.   The General and Jon Soltz of VoteVets.org will be discussing their new project, www.stopiranwar.com

Also, you can call in at (646) 652-4803.

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Scapegoating Immigrants in 2008

Racism is a real problem in this country.  I know a lot of people want to think that we've moved beyond race, but what does it say when Hillary Clinton's campaign Chair, Terry McAuliffe, has the following exchange on NPR about immigration.

CALLER: I'm one of those Republicans who helped change the political arrangement by sitting on the sidelines, and if you want to get 10 percent of the Republicans, right now, to vote for Hillary Clinton -- and I would be one of them, and I've been a Republican for 40 years -- you do the following things. You eliminate your support for NAFTA, that was Bill Clinton. Eliminate your support for amnesty and wide-open borders -- Bill Clinton, I've heard him say it many times, and I believe I've heard Hillary say it also -- and you start getting self-deportation of the 20 million illegal aliens here that are taking the jobs, the wages, and the working conditions, and destroying them for working Americans, which I always thought Democrats supported.

TERRY MCAULIFFE: I couldn't agree more. We've got to shut these borders down. These people shouldn't be coming in this country. We need to enforce our border protections. We have to do something for the people who have been here for years and have paid taxes -- you know, we're for the people who have been in this country and paying taxes and raising their family. But for the people who have not been here, who have been here illegally and have taken advantage of the situation, we need to have a plan to get them back to the countries they came from, and more important, which is the first thing John talks about, we have gotta shut these borders down. I couldn't agree more.

... I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican, we all agree you've gotta shut the borders down. People who are coming into this nation taking our jobs.

We've got to have a plan to 'get them back to the countries they came from'?  'These people'.  'Taking our jobs'.  This is straight up Jim Sensenbrenner racism, and an endorsement of the vicious attacks on immigrants we've seen for years (including a jump in KKK membership we're seeing).  McAuliffe is a multi-millionaire, having profited handsomely to the tune of $14M from the Global Crossing fiasco, to the detriment of American shareholders.  He's also a global elitist, hanging out with the Clinton's on a regular basis, as well as other world leaders.  So in his case, immigrants aren't taking his job.  In fact, it's a lot more likely that real immigration reform, which would address NAFTA and poverty, would cost him and his friends money.  Or maybe he's just a straight up racist.  Or maybe, as the caller indicates, McAuliffe believes that 10% of the electorate is composed of racist Republicans that will sit out a election where they have the opportunity to vote against Hillary Clinton.  I don't know which explanation makes McAuliffe come out worse.

Regardless, Hispanics moved dramatically to Democrats this election cycle, and every political strategist worth his or her salt knows that the party that captures this block of voters realigns the country to their advantage.  I hope that comments like these coming from campaign will see a quick disavowal from the Clinton campaign, and failing that, appropriate scolding from progressives and Hispanic leaders.  Racism and xenophobia from Hillary's campaign Chair are not ok.

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign got right back to me. Hillary Clinton says that McAuliffe speaks for himself.

“These comments do not reflect Senator Clinton’s thinking or her position on immigration.”

“America has been a beacon of opportunity to generations of immigrants and we need an immigration system that respects that heritage while also respecting the rule of law. Senator Clinton supports comprehensive reform that fixes our broken immigration system, strengthens our border security and sanctions employers who break the law. She has supported legislation that provides an earned path to citizenship while respecting the enormous contributions that immigrants make and continue to make to our country.”

McAuliffe says that he speaks for himself, but holds the same position as Clinton.

“My comments on a local radio program yesterday did not reflect Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s positions. Let me be clear, like the Senator, I support comprehensive immigration reform that respects our nation’s immigrant heritage and provides an earned path to citizenship, while maintaining strong, secure borders and respect for the law.”

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The Kicking Jackass

When the DLC attempted to move the Democratic agenda in favor of more centrist positions, prominent Democrats from both the centrist and conservative factions (such as Terry McAuliffe) assumed leadership of the party and its direction. Some liberals and progressives felt alienated by the Democratic Party, which they felt had become unconcerned with the interests of the common people and left-wing issues in general. Some Democrats challenged the validity of such critiques, citing the Democratic role in pushing for progressive reforms.

The 2004 campaign started as early as December 2002, when Gore announced he would not run again in the 2004 election. Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont, an opponent of the war and a critic of the Democratic establishment, was the front-runner leading into the Democratic primaries. Dean had immense grassroots support, especially from the left wing of the party.

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