Obama Takes a Swing

Three swings, actually -- quick, economical, precise. And he doesn't even break a sweat.

Obama was in Chicago last night for a campaign fund-raiser. A Chicago Sun-Times political
reporter caught up with Obama, then wrote up his notes from the chat for today's paper.

Let's just say Obama's got game.

...the South Side Democrat wasn't going to let anyone suggest the senator and former
first lady was more qualified to hit the ground running as president than he is.

"The only person who would probably be prepared to be our president on Day 1 would be
Bill Clinton -- not Hillary Clinton," Obama said when asked about unnamed Clinton backers
questioning Obama's experience.

"I think that we're all very qualified for the job," the freshman senator said. "The question
is who can inspire the nation to get us past the politics that have bogged us down in the
past. That was true, by the way, in the '90s as well as more recently."

It was an obvious dig at the political divisions of the Clinton years.

Clinton's campaign officials declined to respond.

Tags: 2008, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, president (all tags)

Comments

87 Comments

interesting

strategy to separate Bill from Hillary..

I like it, it would be interesting if he follows up on this?

"you're no Bill Clinton"

by TarHeel 2007-06-26 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

Yeah, that would go over REAL well.  

by georgep 2007-06-26 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting
It also would crystallize the doubts of many people who liked Bill Clinton but can't
quite put their finger on why they're less enthusiastic about Bill Clinton's wife.
by horizonr 2007-06-26 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

Obama's got to do it and he's got to make a tacit agreement with Edwards to corodinate the effort.

1)shes an insider's insider
2)shes running on a name
3)she's republican-lite

reinforce those things and she goes down.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-26 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

He does have to do it. I agree. But, he doesn't need Edwards help. Obama can focus on Hillary all by himself. Edwards should start focusing on Richardson. That's his biggest threat right now.

by BlueDiamond 2007-06-26 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

That actually WOULD go over quite well. I love Bill Clinton. I hate Hillary Clinton.

My position is undeniably, pretty mainstream.

by BlueDiamond 2007-06-26 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

I dont know about "your no Bill Clinton"

But I would like him, or anybody to say a couple things to Hillary...

"Mrs. Clinton it is doubtful you will have a second term if you dont give all Americans access to Health Care in your first"

"Mrs. Clinton have you ever held yourself about the bare minimum of campaign ethical standards"  "If so, give an example"

"Mr. Clinton you have blamed the intel community for bad information going into Iraq, you have blamed the Bush administration for Bad management, and you have blamed the Iraqi people for not governing themselves - you say you supported diplomatic efforts, yet you voted against them 2 hours before you voted for the war - at what point do you accept blame for your vote...and, since you still believe you were correct in the poor decision, how can we trust you to make good diplomatic choices in the future?"

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

You guys are amazing.  If Obama followed your advice, he would sink like a rock within days.

"Mrs. Clinton have you ever held yourself about the bare minimum of campaign ethical standards"  "If so, give an example"

by georgep 2007-06-26 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

why don't you reply to the comments George?  there is not reply that is why - especially on Iraq.

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

let him stay on his talking points.  when he tries to reply to the actual comments, he has a tendency of making up what people argue for them (aka strawman arguments).  i think people will be happier if he just parrots what he's supposed to and doesn't stray too far into independent thought...

by bored now 2007-06-26 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

I am replying to comments, and you know it.  It is you who disappears when you run out of cogent arguments, which happens quite often.    

by georgep 2007-06-26 11:21PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

Well, is Mrs. Clinton going to tackle healthcare in her first term?  There is question that she is NOT.  So, what is wrong with answering that question.  I know it is important to me, other Americans with the outrageous cost of healthcare in this country.  And I saw a pre-screening of SICKO and what are all these candidates going to about these insurance companies who are so up the politicians asses, they don't give a damn about the average worker out here trying to make it.  So, I do want to know what she will do?  

by icebergslim 2007-06-26 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

I think it raises the question of why is business behind her? Does she intend to offer Health Care at all (she has no plan now, although her camp consistently attacks Obama for having no substance).  And, she is the first person I've known to be making promises for her second term before winning her first.  Does she know she is not entitled to either term?

Personally, I don't want to wait 4-8 more years for some government help in my Health Care.

George, we are finally raising policy issues with Clinton - rather than the personal attacks you so disdain - And, it turns out she is wrong on the top three issues that matter to the electorate Iraq, Ethics, and Health Care.

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

Really?

Barack Obama says it all the time.

"I will have UHC by the end of my first , not second, but first term. There's no need to wait for a second term."

The crowd just goes WILD!

by BlueDiamond 2007-06-26 05:57PM | 0 recs
I am unsure about that.

But would be interesting like, "Sir I've known John Kennedy and sir you are no John Kennedy."

Would be useful if she called Obama or Edwards out during the debate.

by lovingj 2007-06-26 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: I am unsure about that.

"Sir, I know Bill Clinton, and you're no Bill Clinton" - to which Edwards could reply, "Yes, I'm faithful to my wife." and Obama could reply "Yes, because if I cheated on my wife first she'd castrate me...and then divorce me."

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-26 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: interesting

Thank god he started.

1)Insiders insider
2)Running on a name
3) not a liberal

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-26 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

Most people think of Hillary and Bill Clinton as one item.  In a way that is bad for her, as some of his "baggage" gets on her.  But here Obama misses the bus.  If Bill Clinton is "ready to hit the ground running from Day 1" that is so the more a reason to vote for Hillary Clinton.

by georgep 2007-06-26 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

Bill is far more of an asset than a liability. And I don't want Bill to hit the ground running. I want the President of the United States to hit the ground running - and that will never again be Bill Clinton.

by LandStander 2007-06-26 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

Misses the bus?  Of course Bill Clinton would be ready, that's what everyone thinks and attaches to Hillary.  Obama needs to make the separation.  You don't try to deny the obvious, you embrace it and then demythologize it.

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-26 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

This is the running on her name.

She isn't Bill. (Bill is a fond memory)

How he can do it in a debate, i dunno but he's gotta do it.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-26 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

speaking of not being friends with logic -- or perhaps you are unaware of bill and hillary's relationship...

by bored now 2007-06-26 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing


Quite wrong. Hillary is not even prepared to be U.S. Senator much less a President.

. She voted for the Military Tribunals Act
. She voted for the "National ID Card"
. She voted for the U.S. Patriot Act
. She voted to authorize pre-emptive War
. She agreed that torture was sometimes "necessary".

In short, Hillary Clinton has clearly failed to uphold the most basic principles of our U. S. Consitution and way of life as a Senator.

Who is their right mind could ever believe that she is going to provide the proper judgement now as President?

She doesn't even have the tiny amount of "truth to power" fortitude that Bill Clinton had .. and Clinton only applied that during his first 3 years before caving into his own wasteland of "school uniforms",  the 1998 bombing of Iraq to appease the same PNAC now in power, and lack of any progressive vision.

Hillary Clinton is nothing but Joe Lieberman in a dress.  That is what her U.S. Senate record tells us.

Anyone who cares about this Country knows that this moment is too important to waste it away by voting for Hillary Clinton.

We need someone who has a better track record than this and is not just cynically trying to re-invent themselves at the 11th hour to trick and fool progressive voters.

THIS IS THE REAL HILLARY CLINTON:

. She voted for the Military Tribunals Act
. She voted for the "National ID Card"
. She voted for the U.S. Patriot Act
. She voted to authorize pre-emptive War
. She agreed that torture was sometimes "necessary".

JUST SAY NO to h.r.c.

by DerekLarsson 2007-06-26 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

Not when half the nation hates her husband while the other half hates his wife.

by BlueDiamond 2007-06-26 06:00PM | 0 recs
"Having game: is great for sports,

but not worth much for leading a nation.  Smackdown comments do impress young people.  They do not solve problems.

by littafi 2007-06-26 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: "Having game: is great for sports,
Debating is a sport.
by horizonr 2007-06-26 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: "Having game: is great for sports,

I encourage the spine Obama is showing. He can't allow Hillary to go into the summer without facing off against her.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-26 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: "Having game: is great for sports,
Inclined to agree with this point.
by horizonr 2007-06-26 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: "Having game: is great for sports,

there's no reason to implicate young people in your castigation of Obama's statement... thanks.

by ctnewbie18 2007-06-26 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: "Having game: is great for sports,

Wasn't you one of those people recently complaining that Obama did too few smackdowns?

by Populism2008 2007-06-26 12:50PM | 0 recs
Good diary horizonr.

Obama is the ultimate counter puncher and smackdown king.

by lovingj 2007-06-26 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Good diary horizonr.

Right -- it's a big mistake to underestimate Obama.

Of course, the canned debate formats play to Clinton's strength of relentlessly plugging
in her own canned talking points. Her "responsive" intelligence -- the way she responds
in debates -- is very computer-like, in that respect. It's a learned skill.

Obama is more naturally intelligent -- quicker on his feet; better able to make insightful,
relevant connections, on the fly. The quality of intellect you actually want in a president.

I don't think there's any doubt that, in a free-form, open-ended debating conversation,
Obama would wipe the floor with Clinton.

by horizonr 2007-06-26 12:58PM | 0 recs
Agreed.

by lovingj 2007-06-26 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Good diary horizonr.

it's not just that he is more naturally intelligent, he's a deeper thinker than hillary.  by comparison, she's just not very bright.

i'm not sure that america wants an intelligent president, though.  dumber seems to be more electable...

by bored now 2007-06-26 06:20PM | 0 recs
Dateline

"Senator Barack Obama has declared a cease-fire in the American Culture Wars"

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

What I find astonishing is that the Obama pets think the Republicans to play nice with him.

His Senatorial waffle is High Broderism is going to be a signal for the Stormtroopers of the right to walk all over him.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-26 12:08PM | 0 recs
Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

I don't know. The two times Obama has tried to take a swing at Hillary, he's gotten decked. The smackdown on the "Punjabi" punch was brutal, culminating in Clinton raising $2+ million dollars at an Indian American fundraiser over the weekend.

I think it is perfectly understandable for Obama to be a little gunshy. Most likely, he'll stick with little jabs.

Frankly, his best strategy is probably to focus on knocking down Edwards and try to get to the point where it's a race with Hillary against not-Hillary, with Obama as the not-Hillary candidate.

I don't think it will work. He's still got the pesky little problem of a 9% to 66% poll rating deficit on "most experienced to be President. However, it would at least allow him to consolidate the non-Hillary vote.

Hillary continues to benefit from a three-person race. I'll think she'll stick to her Rose Garden strategy of acting Presidential and attacking the Bush administration on behalf of all Democratic candidates.

by hwc 2007-06-26 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

Actually she raised $3 million from Indian Americans and that was just the first fundraiser. That smear may cost Obama many millions in contributions.

by robliberal 2007-06-26 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

It's been reported as $2M

by Jalenth 2007-06-26 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

There was a story on it on MyDD last night. It came out to $3 million or maybe even more one of the largest fundraisers any candidate has ever held.

http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/6/25/2327 /89760

by robliberal 2007-06-26 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

It is absurd to think the 2 or 3 million came as a result of the Punjab memo.  Her ties to that community is what the memo was about.  I think the memo was a stupid thing by Obama's staff, not he himself, but let's get real.  She bought that donation a long time ago.

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-26 01:04PM | 0 recs
Extremely well said
Thank you.
by horizonr 2007-06-26 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

I think his best shot it to attack her on the policy - where she is week - Healthcare, the war, and ethics.

maybe then people ill see her for the untrustworthy politician she is.

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

Healthcare is a terrible issue to attack Clinton. She has the high ground of realism and the voice of experience. Anyone promising "universal health care" in three years is simply pandering. You know that she's got a special punch just waiting for that one.

Ethics is a bad issue for Obama...at least until he figures out a way to explain Resko purchasing one third of his house with that little sleight of hand involving dividing up the property to sell Obama the house at a discount and Resko the yard at full price.

Seriously, I think Obama is doing exactly what he should do and not get involved in a slugfest with the Clintons. He's only 45 years old. Truth be told, he doesn't really have the big league experience to be President, yet. He'll be in his early 50s in 2016. Looking at it long term, he's better off taking the high road. He's got a very promising future. Unlike Edwards, it's not the end of the road for him if he fails to get the nomination for '08.

Even people, such as myself, who aren't supporting Obama this year have a generally favorable view of him. He needs to nurture that.

Plus, he's kind of tied his own hands with his public promises of staying above the fray and not going negative. His halo will slip if he gets down in the mud.

by hwc 2007-06-26 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

I think somebody ought to attack Clinton on this...I don't think passing legislation to provide Health Care for all Americans is an unreasonable goal for three years.

While Obama does have the Rezko problem - he has also released all his earmarks and in a number of areas has self-imposed ethical bench-marks.  He is also the author of the Senate Ethics legislation.  Hillary has done nothing in the way of ethics.

And we all know her history on the war, and how it compares to him.  She wanted to look like a hawk for political reasons and it backfired, now she has to pay the political price.

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

Universal health care in three years is a terrific campaign promise...that will go the way of every campaign promise.

You can't accomplish it without building concensus. Clinton is absolutely right in framing the issue as critical to American business competitiveness. The way she earned the endorsement of the Morgan Stanley CEO (as described in the Fortune Magazine cover story) by focusing on the need to address health care costs is right on point.

There may be room to out-pander her in the primary race, but she's staked out the kind of realistic approach to the issue that a President will have to follow, even if he or she lacks the experience ("the scars") to see it or not.

I guarantee that Clinton is well prepared to parry any thrust on healthcare that she might face in a debate setting. She was the one doing the Obama/Edwards pandering 15 years ago.

by hwc 2007-06-26 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

It only suggest that she is not going to offer any health care package by waiting until her second term, when she is no longer accountable.

15 years ago it was pandering.  But, today there is enough political support for a plan like Obama's to get it done.  Especially if the Dems pick up more votes in the house and the Senate.

But, the war is my major concern with Clinton.being that I have a brother in the army.  How am I to trust her in making correct choices?  She has had 5 years to correct herself on Iraq and failed to do so.  Ted Kennedy calls the vote against the war the best in his 4 decades long career - and, Hillary dismissed it?  

Why did she not vote for diplomacy?  And, then she had the gall to get up and suggest she advocated diplomacy at the time.  

Why does she blame the Iraqi people, the Bush administration, the CIA - yet not herself?  

If a point ever comes that we are going to confront Iran, how do I know she will make a good choice?  What if she is feeling especially hawkish that day?  She has shown no penchant for good choices in matters of war and peace.  In fact she has been trying to be a hawkish as possible without upsetting too many democrats.

Hillary is the one pandering here, her history on the war runs about two days behind public opinion.  It is time for brave new leadership - not political games especially when our soldiers lives are in question.

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 01:28PM | 0 recs
That's not at all what she has said

"It only suggest that she is not going to offer any health care package by waiting until her second term, when she is no longer accountable."

That's a complete misrepresentation. She has focused heavily on the need for universal health care in her campaign. It has been a key part of every campaign appearance I've seen.

What she has said is that she has set a goal of achieving universal health care by the end of her second term: an ambitious, but at least plausibly realistic goal.

Obama has tacitly acknowledged that his "plan" wouldn't actually achieve universal coverage.

The real difference is that Clinton knows that universal health care will never be achieved by a President trying to ram a package down the throats of Congress and its constituencies. She's been there; done that. The real task is one of selling and concensus building -- concensus building that will have to extend far beyond the left wing of the Democratic Party. Heck, if convincing the Democratic base were the issue, you could just go with single-payer like Kucinich is proposing. Getting elected President doesn't nullify political reality.

by hwc 2007-06-26 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not at all what she has said

Obama's package is designed to pass though Congress. It does not force all American's to have health care.  I think that is appropriate, after all we don't really need to pay for Health Coverage form Christian Scientists and others who reject medicine.

The point is, you have to start somewhere...with some form of proposal.  That is the was legislation works.  For generations Presidents have been getting legislation passed - not by just saying they would like to get something done.

What if that was Johnson's view on the Civil Rights Legislation, or his War on Poverty, or Roosevelt came to office and said "you all really need to do something to get out of this depression?"  She needs a proposal - you can design proposals to gather consensus, and adjust, like Obama's.  Here 90's proposal was way to extensive down to the letter, which is never going to pass.

But, she refuses to offer one (and) she presumptuously says we'll get something done by my second term.  There is no heart there - just rhetoric. Just like her war positions.

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 01:54PM | 0 recs
Designed to pass through Congress

Yeah. That's what they all say...until they start trying to count up 60 votes for cloture in the Senate!

by hwc 2007-06-26 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not at all what she has said

Hillary Clinton is the only person who has ever been able to expand UHC in many decades. In the 1990's she led the fight for CHIPS which has expanded UHC to tens of millions of children. She did so as a single payer government program without going through the healthcare and insurance industries.

UHC for everyone will not come overnight. There are not enough votes to do it. It will take time and it will take an approach that various sectors find acceptable.

The point is, you have to start somewhere...with some form of proposal.  That is the was legislation works.

by robliberal 2007-06-26 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not at all what she has said

Even her own advisors say she screwed up with UHC in the 90s...she tries to micromanage the issue.  She didn't raise the debate, she scandlaized so noboby would touch it for another 15 year.

And, please - respond to her record on the war- Why is she trustworthy?

Also, respond to her record on ethics - what has she done?

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not at all what she has said

Her record on the war is the same as the other top tier. Edwards was a stronger supporter than Clinton and actually co-sponsored the resolution. Obama has voted the same as Clinton since he entered the Senate in 2005.

by robliberal 2007-06-26 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not at all what she has said

except Edwards apologized - and Obama was right in 2001.

Hillary apperntly would go to war all over again if given the choice.

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 03:19PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not at all what she has said

I'm not so sure Edwards wouldn't do it again since he's never said why he's apologizing.  The speeches he made prior to the vote are just too extreme to let go without an explanation on why he voted like he did.

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-26 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not at all what she has said

That's is fair - and I am not an Edwards supporter.

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not at all what she has said

this is bullshit.  hillary clinton refused to participate in her church's efforts to make the president aware that invading iraq was immoral and lacked the necessary components for a just war.  she had "seen the intelligence."

obama never saw the intelligence, but instinctively understood that invading iraq was immoral.  hillary doesn't have a moral compass and that's disconcerting to both the right and the left.

the fact that hillary now votes like obama could just as easily be attributed to obama's leadership in the senate, since hillary has clearly changed course on the war.  obama never flipped flopped or voted for the war before he voted against.  hillary's support for the war is one reason why we are in the mess we are in with iraq...

by bored now 2007-06-26 06:17PM | 0 recs
noboby would touch it for another 15 years

Not exactly. The Clinton administration passed SCHIP in 1997 -- a program that added health coverage for millions of children of families above the Medicaid cutoff, but without insurance.

More importantly, SCHIP provides a framework for state-based programs, some of which extend coverage even higher up the income ladder.

The basic framework of the SCHIP programs is what the johnny-come-lately candidates are building upon with their "plans".

Hillary can recite the health care encylopedia, chapter and verse, from memory. Obama or Edwards should attack her on health care at their own great peril.

by hwc 2007-06-26 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: noboby would touch it for another 15 years

It will be interesting if they do attack her on it.

by robliberal 2007-06-26 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

There is no way anyone in either party is magically going to bring about UHC. They can promise that but it will not happen.

by robliberal 2007-06-26 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

drawing distinctions in policy proposals is not mud.  Hillary simply doesn't have progressive principals. And, I guess Hillary Supporters (such as George) stand by her lack of a health care plan, her lack of an ethics plan or ethical action, and her history on the war.

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

i doubt you'll find that the rezko thing has legs.  sure, i know that the clinton outfit may want to make a big deal out of it, but obama paid a sixth of the cost of the land for a sixth of the land.  rezko is by by no means clean, but you will have to show some actual benefit from obama here -- and paying market value for a piece of land isn't it...

by bored now 2007-06-26 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

And Obama gets the use of the adjoining land, paid for by Rezko.

Not to mention that Obama got the big discount on the piece of the property he bought, while Rezko paid the full asking price for his piece. In other words, Rezko subsidized the lower price for Obama.

This was never two separate parcels. It was only divided up to make it possible for Rezko to help Obama buy the house. The seller insisted that both parcels close on the same day.

It is what it is.

by hwc 2007-06-26 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing (and gets hammered)

feel free to document any usage of the adjoining land.  i haven't seen evidence of that, just speculation about it.  my understanding is from local reportage is that rezko intends to sell it or develop it, but you obviously know more about this than the locals!

yes, obama bought the land for less than the owner's asking price.  who would have thought?  the buyer negotiated!  that certainly reflects badly on obama!  you're hatred is trying to make obama out as duke cunningham, and it's more like market prices in hyde park fluctuate greatly -- especially because of the surrounding (black) neighborhoods.  a two flat very close to this property has been on the market of $180,000 for quite awhile.  it's an outlier for gentrification, and everyone is speculating -- including you!

rekzo did lots of these kinds of deals with area politicians.  politicians are like celebrities in chicago, where politics is a blood sport.  had you cared for the facts, it was rezko's following up the land deals with requests for favors that make him a shady character.  until you have evidence of a favor being extracted from obama (and please post that with your evidence of obama usage of rezko property), you're just slinging mud through innuendo...

by bored now 2007-06-27 05:07AM | 0 recs
yes, obama bought the land for less than the owner

It's not quite that simple.

Suppose I have two cars I'm selling for $20,000 each asking price. But, I'm willing to take $17,500 each.

A politician and his crony come in and agree to pay $35,000 total. But, the crony pays $20,000 and the politician gets his car for $15,000.

That's the little shell game that Rezko and Obama paid. Rezko subsidized Obama's discount.

It's not illegal. But, let's not put a halo on Obama and pretend it's squeeky clean. He's a southside pol.

by hwc 2007-06-27 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, obama bought the land for less than the o

hmmm, you're a complete moron if you think i've put a halo on obama or think that any politician is squeaky clean.  i merely pointed out that obama did nothing wrong here, although it doesn't look good.  there's not a damn thing wrong with being a southside pol...

by bored now 2007-06-27 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

My guess would be it is not a wise move to bring up the experience issue. He knows it will come up and may be trying to preempt it but it will not be an easy sell for him. That is one of the reasons Clinton is 4 to 1 ahead of him in some groups now.

by robliberal 2007-06-26 12:32PM | 0 recs
Cheney is experienced

And?

Experience does not guarantee anything.

And - more important - it does not get you elected. Americans have always voted for the most likeable and charismatic candidate regardless of "experience". Too bad low info Dems haven't got that yet.

by Populism2008 2007-06-26 12:53PM | 0 recs
False dichotomy: Experience vs. Likeability

IMO, that dichotomy misses the mark. The real question is whether a candidate can cross the threshold "Presidential gravitas".

There is no way to win the election without crossing that threshold. For example, failure to cross that threshold is why Howard Dean crashed and burned.

Clinton is the only top-tier candidate in the Democratic race to have already crossed that threshold. Obama has not yet done so and that's why he's hit a ceiling at 25%, putting aside the issue of whether race is an issue (I hope not). This is the fundamental challenge for Obama and it's a tough one for him. The reality is that he is two years removed from being a statehouse hack. I can't remember a successful Presidential candidate two years removed from a state legislature.

by hwc 2007-06-26 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: False dichotomy: Experience vs. Likeability

In American history neither political party has ever nominated a candidate without a good level of experience. It will not happen in 2008 either especially after the disaster of George Bush.

Obama was sworn in to office in 2005 and started running for president in 2006. Howard Dean had I think 12 years as Governor and Lt. Governor and experience was one of the factors that hurt his campaign.  We are about halfway through the year and the press has not touched the experience issue yet but you can be 100% certain they will in the next 6 months as Iowa and the other states who begin voting right after the holidays approach.  

by robliberal 2007-06-26 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: False dichotomy: Experience vs. Likeability

I believe there was a nominee in 1860 who didn't have much experience.  In fact I do believe he went on to be the president!  Damn, it is too bad I can't remember his name...

by Obama08 2007-06-26 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: False dichotomy: Experience vs. Likeability

Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. Unless my calculator has failed that would be 17 years before he ran for president.

by robliberal 2007-06-26 03:19PM | 0 recs
Re: False dichotomy: Experience vs. Likeability

You are partially correct.  He was elected to congress in 1846 and served for 2 years.  He left politics until 1854 when he is elected to the Illinois legislature.  Then after a term in congress and 6 years in the State Legislature he is nominated to run for President.  At least I believe that timeline is generally correct.  If I made a major mistake please correct me.

by Obama08 2007-06-26 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

The times you're referring to about swinging at Hilary was when his staff said something he wouldn't have.  Then he had to apologize.  He'll stand behind his own comments and swing back again.  He doesn't back down.  He only backs down when his staff speaks for him.

by Jalenth 2007-06-26 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing
Important point.
by horizonr 2007-06-26 12:39PM | 0 recs
Don't be so damned nuanced

It's more fun to hate.

by Populism2008 2007-06-26 12:54PM | 0 recs
If he can't control his campaign staff...

...what does that say about his ability to keep the entire Executive Branch disciplined and on message?

In a very real sense, that's the most important way that the grueling campaign gauntlet is valuable exercise in prepping a candidate for the Presidency.

by hwc 2007-06-26 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: If he can't control his campaign staff...

He showed himself to be immediate, to the point, and I'm sure if it happens again someone will be fired.  If Hillary wants to bring that up it will get thrown right back at her with her camp offering the press a hit memo but only if it was anonymous when they were asked to comment on Obama releasing his earmarks.  No one can outflank Obama on Ethics reform and the Punjab memo is just proof how ingrained it is in our political culture with Obama standing above it and separate even from his own staff.  It plays to his strength because at the end of the day everyone knows politics is a dirty business but the question remains: Why hasn't Hillary released her earmark requests as Obama and Rahm Emmanuel have?

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-26 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: If he can't control his campaign staff...

better yet, why hasn't Hillary taken one step above the ethical minimum?

by gb1437a 2007-06-26 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: If he can't control his campaign staff...

actually, it says very little.  i've staffed or consulted six presidential campaigns, and very few of the people who worked on the campaigns actually got presidential appointments.

more to the point, politics (campaigns) and governance are completely separate things.  we have seen very good campaigners (bush and clinton) who failed miserably as presidents (at least, if you judge by the goals they set for their campaigns).  to imagine that hillary will be able to keep the entire executive branch disciplined and message is both absurd and scary.  george bush did this, and it got us into much trouble.  while i take great comfort in the fact that hillary won't be president (so i won't have to worry about this), i am glad to know that the executive branch will no longer be cowed by a president and will not be disciplined or stick to the president's message when it is so obviously wrong...

by bored now 2007-06-26 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

The thing I like about Obama's smack-down is they always have the truth to it.  That's why when his staff counter attacks without his input they come across as petty and it's not how he address attacks. The reason the recipient of his returns cannot counter back is because he speaks the truth and they have nothing to return.  I think the rest of them and even the re-pugs will get a wallop of their own truths if they attack him.

by Jalenth 2007-06-26 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

I think the Clinton campaign's approach is just about right: Ignore Obama. Obama does not have a killer instinct though I'll admit he's good with sarcastic put downs, like the elegant writer he is,  but still, he does not have Bill Clinton's lethal talent for sniffing out an opponent's psychological weak points and using words to gently chip away. I remember how Clinton would taunt George W. Bush  with references to his rich daddy in that friendly contemptuous drawl that Southerners have. Bill Clinton's seemingly harmless remark was a red flag for Bush. Pity Gore never let Clinton out more.

Anyway there is just no point in the Clinton campaign worrying about Obama. It is a totally pointless and distracting exercise at this part of the campaign. Obama will no doubt step up his retorts in an effort to gain traction, but the Clinton campaign must ignore and fight like the Marine Corps Slient Drill Team.

by superetendar 2007-06-26 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

Don't get too carried away.  Most likely Bill doesn't get elected if it wasn't for Perot.

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-26 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing
Great catch.
by horizonr 2007-06-26 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

Clinton was elected 2 terms as president solely because of Perot?  I doubt. The Perot thing is bit of a  red herring, which Republicans like to use to diminish this Democratic president's achievement.

by superetendar 2007-06-27 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

i've never heard a republican blame perot for bush I's loss.  usually when republicans analyze that election, they talk about george bush the first's going back on his "no new taxes" pledge and how that depressed the conservative vote in 1992.  perhaps you have a counter-example, because this is always been a shot across the bow warning for conservatives -- don't keep your word and we will abandon you.  i find it incredibly odd that you would think republicans blame perot for bush's loss...

by bored now 2007-06-27 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Takes a Swing

Headline in the Washington Post:

Obama Questions Hillary's Experience

Funniest damned thing I've seen in a long time.

by samueldem 2007-06-26 04:27PM | 0 recs

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