Obama Poisoning the Well

For those familiar with my history here at MyDD, it should be clear that I am no fan of Hillary Clinton.  I have long held that Barack Obama is my second choice for the nomination, behind John Edwards.  I saw him as the next best hope for moving beyond the polarization the Clintons offer.

John Edwards and Barack Obama are ideological allies.  They are both reform-minded outsiders running against the system.  Stylistically, they are very different, but the heart of what they want is (I thought) the same.  But lately, Barack Obama has been poisoning my well of good will.

When Barack Obama decided to go negative on Edwards, who remains in third place in both national and Iowa polls, rather than continue his attacks on Clinton, who remains in first place in both national and Iowa polls, he made his biggest mistake so far.

Let's take a quick gander at the hypocrisy for a moment.  Obama has lately been attacking Edwards for apologizing for specific votes in his record.  Obama apparantly doesn't believe it's OK to change your mind in politics.  But he does believe that it's OK to vote "present" so you don't have to take a stand on the tough votes, or to not vote at all when it comes to major votes like Kyl-Lieberman where he DID have a chance to walk the walk in addition to talking the talk.  As it stands now, we have to take his talk on the matter at face value, which up until now I have done.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/120 7/7546.html

"Nobody's got a more progressive track record in this race," Obama said Sunday morning. "I'm not the one who has to apologize consistently for votes."

Never mind that his voting record, when he shows up, is almost identical to Hillary Clinton.  He wants you to believe that the other candidates simply aren't progressive.

Then we move on to his attacking Edwards for the 527 issue advocacy groups that are spending on his behalf.  Never mind that Edwards denounced the issue ads, and never mind that Edwards is the only major Democrat participating in the "clean elections" matching funds program, and never mind that Barack Obama has spent upwards of $10 Million in Iowa alone.  Obama is attacking Edwards for non-affiliated groups airing ads, yet has done nothing to stop the "Vote Hope" campaign in California, which serves essentially the same purpose as a 527 by encouraging Californians to vote early for Obama.  Not a peep about the corrupting influence of that organization.

Finally, we move on to the "Harry and Louise" ads being run by Obama.  Coverage mandates are an essential part of the Edwards-Clinton health care plan, and indeed the first step toward true universal health care.  And don't forget, the Obama plan doesn't cover 15 Million Americans.  That's 15 Million uninsured people, yet he still claims the coverage is "universal." On top of that, he mocks people like me who are insulted by his non-universal health care plan:

"Fifteen million sounds like a lot," he said. "But what they're really saying is I'll have 3 percent of the population -- I'll have 97 percent covered." http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1 207/The_healthcare_argument.html

The "Harry and Louise" ads are remeniscent of the 1990's era insurance company-backed ads that killed Hillary's health care plan.  They feature a man and woman talking about mandates and their impact:

Have you seen or heard about the radio ad that Obama is running in Iowa about health care?
It has a man and a woman talking, with the man leading off saying that health care mandates "force those who cannot afford health care insurance to buy it, punishing those who don't fall in line." http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12 24/obama-goes-harry-and-louise

What has always bothered me about Obama is his style.  Is he willing to screw the party and screw our principles so he can get elected?  It's the same thing that's bothered me about Hillary Clinton.  I think she is so centrally focused on her personal ambition and development, and like her husband would run against and away from the Democratic Party and "big goverment." 

But at least with Hillary I know what to expect, and know where she stands.  Obama is still a question mark, and I don't want to get buyers remorse.  And the more he attacks the true populist, progressive, anti-establishment top-tier candidate in the race, the more I'm going to grow to distrust him.  As things stand now, I'm an inch away from Hillary moving back into a distant second place.

Tags: Barack Obama, campaign finance, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, progressive (all tags)



Re: Obama Poisoning the Well
AFSCME is striking back, this time without invoking Edwards name:
AFSCME Healthcare Ad Transcript: Woman's Voice: Healthcare. It's a confusing topic. Especially lately. Everyone's got a plan. But who can make sense of it all? Universal health care where everyone is covered and costs are controlled is within our reach. With all these plans there is one fundamental difference, either everyone is covered or some are left behind. CBS News reports Obama's plan, according to independent experts, leaves as many as 15 million uninsured. The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes: Obama's plan would lead to higher premiums by rewarding the irresponsible who don't get covered. The column goes on to say that there is a quote "uncomfortable sense among some health reformers that Mr. Obama just isn't that serious about achieving universal care." Call Senator Obama at 202-224-2854. Tell him we need universal care, not his plan that leaves 15 million behind. Man's Voice: Paid for by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFSCME dot org. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. AFSCME is responsible for the content of this advertising.
http://thepage.time.com/afscme-radio-ad- against-obama/
by benny06 2007-12-24 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well


by truthteller2007 2007-12-24 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

That's why I don't understand his newfound focus on Edwards rather than Clinton, who presents a real danger to him.  Edwards has not attacked him with anything near the viciousness that Hillary and her supporters have.

by Vox Populi 2007-12-24 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Can you provide the text or a link to the "negative" ads you claim a union pro-Edwards group was going to run? Thanks

by ProgInFL 2007-12-24 09:57AM | 0 recs
I don't buy your speculation

presumably Obama's internal polling at other times this year showed Edwards in third place--yet he only started criticizing Edwards by name last week.

Also, you can't really believe Obama will finish fourth in Iowa.

by desmoinesdem 2007-12-24 03:19PM | 0 recs
Obama's tanking on Iowa intrade

So I think you have something there.

by okamichan13 2007-12-24 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: obama is right

so what is the problem? john is trying to stay away from this 527's that means obama was right

by redtime12 2007-12-25 02:29AM | 0 recs
That doesn't make sense though

because none of the ads run by 527s that favor Edwards have been negative towards Obama (or Clinton for that matter)

by okamichan13 2007-12-24 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well
Responding only to the first paragraph and completely ignoring your 'different color' dog whistle...
My take on this is that he is looking to push Edwards even futher down in the race than he is.  The campaign needs to see Edwards finish low.  They want to see him in a distant 3rd place so that he realizes that this isn't going to happen and drops out.  Or, Edwards can stay in and we can look forward to the headline "Edwards Stops Obama From Stopping Hillary" and then watch another Repug finish the work that W started.
Merry Christmas, btw.
by blandon70 2007-12-25 01:19AM | 0 recs
Is this another of your false statements?

Please provide some evidence that a 527 was about to run a negative ad.  Your track record for truth is poor.  

by TomP 2007-12-25 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Is this another of your false statements?

That's a PAC, like Emily's List, not a 527.

by Vox Populi 2007-12-26 05:14AM | 0 recs

Thanks for this important diary.  Obama's new ads are way over the line.  He will stop at nothing to try to get elected, even if it means setting back the struggle for universal health care.

I very much hope that Edwards and Clinton supporters back each other as second choices in Iowa.  They are the only two of the top tier candidates who will fight for our needs.

by markjay 2007-12-24 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: thanks

You're kidding, right?!

Clinton would do ANYTHING to get herself elected. She is the biggest backstabber in politics today, and thinks she has some sort of mandate to be the democratic nominee.

by mattmfm 2007-12-24 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: thanks

can you back up any of that mindless Clinton-hate with facts?

by MollieBradford 2007-12-24 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: thanks

Frankly I think "undeclared" would be a better option, but at least with Hillary I won't get my hopes up and might be surprised once or twice.

by Vox Populi 2007-12-24 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Vox: I hear your concerns on BO.

Upto now I have been a strong Hill supporter and still am.  At one point BO was my 4th, Edwards never on the list.  

After this shenanigans - and worse party division - by BO, I am ready to back Edwards if he proves to be the one be top beat BO!

for me it is now ABO.

by pate 2007-12-24 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

I just don't get it.  The administration & Congress can't even pass SCHIP expansion and Democrats -- all of them -- are quibbling about details of a health care plan that, under the best possible scenaro,  won't even be considered for something like a year & a half?  

I'm supporting the candidate I think would be the best leader and whose values are the same as mine.  The rest is just fluff.  It's like the 2000 campaign with the jabber about the "lockbox."  Anyone want to have a blog argument about the policy differences concerning  the lockbox?

by howardpark 2007-12-24 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

I'm glad that Obama attacking Democrats and attacking universal health care is "fluff" and mere "quibbling" to you.

by Vox Populi 2007-12-24 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

I hope we just recognize the reality that this discussion is about December 2007 and has little to do with the discussion in January 2009.  Hillary had her chance to reform health care and she botched it.  If she has another chance, I hope she will do a better job.

The biggest issue in one of the 1960 debates between Kennedy & Nixon was about two islands off the coast of China named Quemoy & Matsu.  It was silly.  The difference between the two was leadership and judgement, not some line out of a position paper.

by howardpark 2007-12-24 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Again, if his leadership and judgement is that attacking the most progressive candidate and universal health care, I don't want what he's offering.

If I could ask him one question, I would ask him who shouldn't be covered under his plan.  Which people don't deserve to be covered?

by Vox Populi 2007-12-24 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

I hate to be a wet blanket, but I find it very interesting that your objection is not that Obama is attacking other Dems, but that he is attacking your candidate (Edwards), and not attacking Hillary. So are you saying you want him to attack, but just not in your direction?  That's what you find unacceptable?

I don't know why Obama has turned his fire on Edwards, unless he has some internal polling that says he should, but that's just me speculating. I don't much care for either of their positions on 527's,  but in Obama's case it's disingenuous at best, considering that he refuses to say he won't accept their help in the GE, but thinks they should stay out of the primaries.  What kind of bull is that?  At least Edwards has been consistent about it, although I think he's wrong.  I'd take all the help from Emily's list I could get.

by Denny Crane 2007-12-24 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

If Edwards or Clinton were out there attacking coverage mandates with the same "Harry and Louise" ads used to kill Clinton Care in 1993, I would be most unhappy with that too.

As far as attacking my candidate, I guess I'm looking at it from a different perspective.  Hillary must be thrilled at the idea of Obama and Edwards getting in a scuffle, because it takes the heat off her.  And for the moment, I want either Obama or Edwards to represent me so yes, I would prefer they focus on Clinton.

by Vox Populi 2007-12-24 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

I'm absolutely with you on the Harry and Louise bullshit, but it doesn't really surprise me, sadly enough.  Obama was my #2 choice for quite awhile, but he lost that with the Donnie McClurkin fiasco.

by Denny Crane 2007-12-24 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

I read this diary and came to that conclusion as well Denny Crane.  Vox appears to be annoyed because Obama went off script and decided to aim fire at Edwards instead of Hillary for a while.

by Kingstongirl 2007-12-24 12:33PM | 0 recs

Well, Bush's policy of taking the trust fund surplus for granted was an almost immediate deficit disaster. So yes, we would all have been better off if people had taken Gore's lockbox argument seriously. It is Obama's, and his supporters, waving off of policy details that convinces me he would be a poor president. Better than any Republican, but worse than most of the Democratic choices.

by souvarine 2007-12-24 10:54AM | 0 recs
why hasn't Obama been leading

on defunding this war? The one he called a "dumb war," as he and his supporters have reminded Iowans 1,001 times?

I am not seeing a lot of leadership in Obama the senator.

by desmoinesdem 2007-12-24 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

simple- presidential leadership. if you want those things to change- paul rosenberg just had a great  line over at open left--

spend a year saying "we want medicaid for all and we want to cut your healthcare bill by at least 30 percent." that's a progressive statement even if we disagree with the details. attacking others for their progressive ideas IS NOT leadership of the Democratic Party. He's doing what has been done by Lieberman and otehrs for well over 20 years now-attack by going right. How about attack by going left for once?

by bruh21 2007-12-24 11:31AM | 0 recs
Obama is lightweight and he looks it.

This latest little skirmish is just another minor bit of evidence. If you look at the fundamentals of all the polls that's broadly what Democrats think too. His numbers on all the issues questions are beyond anaemic.

by ottovbvs 2007-12-24 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Voting for Kyl/Lieberman is what closed the sale on Hillary for me. The resolution was just a sense of the Senate that stated that the IRG was a terrorist group providing material support to the insurgents killing our troops in Iraq. Hillary agrees that this is so, and voted accordingly.

Which is what separates her from the rest. Discarding that little freak from Ohio, Obama, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson and Biden all agree that the IRG is providing support to insurgents in Iraq, yet they all came up with half assed bullshit excuses to keep from saying so. Obama has been pushing this "rush to war"crap, which was so important, he couldn't put his national ambition above our national security. Biden cited a potential rise in oil prices.

Hillary is taking the tough stands because they are right, and she knows it. The others are pandering to the loony left because they want to think they are right, and Obama and the rest knows it.

by ThinkingDem 2007-12-24 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

The Kyl-Lieberman resolution is one of the things that makes her untrustworthy to me.  She didn't learn her lesson the first time.  She voted to declare part of a foreign government a terrorist organization.  I'm not having this argument again.  She was wrong on that vote and won't even acknowledge it.  The heiffer still doesn't say she was wrong to vote for war with Iraq.  How is that trustworthy?

by Vox Populi 2007-12-24 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well and good

so we suppose let that go i dont think so and thats why obama will win iowa

by redtime12 2007-12-25 02:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Actually...the hits on Edwards are taking a toll and discrediting the 527 attacks and shadowy groups...pretty smart!

by mcdave 2007-12-24 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

What about Vote Hope in Cali?  Obama has said shit about them.

by Vox Populi 2007-12-24 12:30PM | 0 recs
Then why is Obama tanking

on Iowa Intrade?

http://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/contr actSearch/

by okamichan13 2007-12-24 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

"They want him to win so they can bring him down"

Do you know how paranoid that makes you sound?

by mcdave 2007-12-24 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

do you know how naive you are not to understand that this is how the republicans play?  You think they DON"T have complicit media helping to write the storyline?

by MollieBradford 2007-12-24 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

well - u sound so much tougher in ur diaries than what u really are hehe ;)

by sepulvedaj3 2007-12-24 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

And you would know that how?

by Vox Populi 2007-12-24 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

merry christmas

by sepulvedaj3 2007-12-24 08:40PM | 0 recs
I see how it is

Saint John has been called out on his dirty trick, so now it's time to attack Obama for being the one to do it. "Denouncing" the very ads that attack your opponent is the same crap the Bush campaign pulled on John McCain in 2000. Don't try to put lipstick on a pig. Edwards is letting others do his dirty work for him. Everyone does it, just don't attack Obama for telling the truth.

When Edwards attacks others = He's passionate
Others attack Edwards = He is being picked on.

by RandyMI 2007-12-24 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I see how it is

Has Obama relinquished all the bundled donations he has received from special interests?  Has he denounced the activities of Hope PAC?  

by truthteller2007 2007-12-24 05:14PM | 0 recs
Except the ads don't attack Obama

kind of a fly in your ointment there.

by okamichan13 2007-12-24 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I see how it is

Your nuts. I am attacking Obama because he attacked Edwards for something Edwards can't control. However, the main reason I have lost all faith in Obama is his unwillingness to fight, his spreading of a Republican myth on SS, and mostly his attack on unions. In my Democratic Party you don't attack those who defend the American worker and get any kind of nomination. Maybe we are in two different parties. Mine is the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party and Edwards is our only champion. Obama doesn't get it, and evidently never did. His constant pandering led by his DLC advisors will further poison our party. Maybe by 2016 he will be mature enough to consider. His antics the last couple of weeks made him lose any chance of me voting for him in the primary, and make it hard for me to vote for him in the general. I really hope anyone but him gets the nomination now.

by RDemocrat 2007-12-25 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I see how it is

The way I feel now is that Edwards will win, I have faith in that but now if he doesn't I would support Clinton over Obama, instead of the other way around!!

by RDemocrat 2007-12-25 08:47AM | 0 recs
More of the same...

...obamanation of hope.

by demwords 2007-12-24 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Very good diary Vox.

I'm not sure we've seen anything yet, though.  If Obama ends up getting smoked in the primaries - which might happen, or it might not - the screaming from his loyalists about how it was all due to a "Southern strategy" will make all the well-poisoning to date seem like small potatoes.

by Steve M 2007-12-24 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Unfortunately you may be right. They have shown like Hillary on gender that they are not above using the most crass version of politics and identity to win. I hope you are wrong.

by bruh21 2007-12-25 10:13AM | 0 recs
I never thought it would happen

but if Edwards ends up not making it, Hillary is my second choice. I've lost faith in what Obama stands for.

My hope is that these last minute negative attacks will have same effect on Iowans as well and turn them away from him. He ran on hope and change before but this is so far from that and just so unnecessary.

by okamichan13 2007-12-24 05:45PM | 0 recs
Can we rename this site? i think Edwards4America

Edwards4America would be a more apt name.

by zoopnfunk 2007-12-25 02:20AM | 0 recs
i think Edwards4America

How original.

by Vox Populi 2007-12-26 05:09AM | 0 recs
by zoopnfunk 2007-12-25 02:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

That was pretty funny, the guy runs through nearly 50 years of Clinton's adult life and hardly mentions a single one of her public accomplishments. Somehow all he can focus on is that she is a wife and mother, curious.

by souvarine 2007-12-25 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Obama is a phony.  He is catering to 20 somethings (SS is in trouble) because they don't have the experience to see through him. Obama beat Alan Keyes - big whoop.  I could beat Alan Keyes.  The Republicans are going to eat him up and spit him out.  

by dkmich 2007-12-25 02:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Calling obama a phony when you have edwards and HRC in the field is rich. Oh, those two are the real wealthy ''populists'' in this top tier.

Edwards and HRC voted the bush line for war..and now say ooops.. right

Edwards voted with bush's people most of his last few years in the senate and now he is the great ''populist''? Very convenient..in 04..a moderate, in 08 - a populist.. this guy looks for a niche and then changes his message to fit it.. now that is a phony.

HRC at least voted progressive outside of AUMF and Kyle/lieberman..more than edwards anyway. She is negligent just like edwards for voting to invade iraq without even bothering to read the NIE.. what a shame both of them could not take time out of their schedules to walk downstairs and read the intel that compelled Bob Graham to change his vote to a no and then implore his colleagues to read the NIE before voting for this debacle.. but no.. Edwards and HRC either were too lazy to do their homework before voting to send 4000 americans to their deaths or they simply looked at the polls and wanted to run for president so they put their careers ahead of those 4000 guys and the 80,000 wounded and said screw it..my career is more important than this little war. ... oh yea, these are really high character candidates here...LOL>

by hawkjt 2007-12-25 08:23AM | 0 recs
they show up to vote

and don't vote "present" to cover their asses on difficult legislation.  

by MollieBradford 2007-12-25 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

I moved into Biden being my distant second and Dodd just behind him in third. I will support Edwards no matter what. Obama's antics the last couple of weeks have dropped him down to tied with Hillary for my last place. I believe in unions and the work they do and you simply don't attack unions and keep any kind of support from me. After being my distant second behind Edwards, I now see no difference whatsoever between Obama and Clinton.

by RDemocrat 2007-12-25 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Unfortunately i find myself falling into that category. Pretty much Edwards, some second tier candidates like Biden, then Obama then Clinton for me.

by bruh21 2007-12-25 10:15AM | 0 recs
I've now got Dodd and Biden

as my second and third choices too--didn't think that was gonna happen at the beginning of the year.

RDemocrat, seeing you here reminds me that I got a nice letter from a DFA member in Louisville, KY with the initials NB. He was asking me to participate in the caucuses and encouraging me to support Edwards. No problem, NB!

by desmoinesdem 2007-12-25 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Poisoning the Well

Your 2nd choice is Biden? Biden, who's amazed when a black person is "clean" and "articulate"? I friggin' work for a bank in Delaware, and even I'm shamed by Biden's bankruptcy bill - talk about anti-poor. Biden is the complete opposite of John Edwards. Edwards is my second choice because he'd fight corporations and help the poor. Biden might as well be Evan Bayh on economic issues, and he has a habit of uttering gaffes on a fairly regular basis.

FYI, My support goes Obama, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson, Clinton, Biden, Kucinich, Gravel.

I don't mean to slam Biden, but seriously, other than foreign policy experience, Dodd is a huge improvement over Biden.

by X Stryker 2007-12-25 07:35PM | 0 recs


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