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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fallout from Clinton remark continues


The hits keep coming.

Newsday:
Al Gore's 2000 campaign manager Donna Brazile, an uncommitted superdelegate who has been complimentary to Obama, told Newsday: "I am numb."

[...]
Houston Chronicle blog:
So she has to hang around just in case Barack Obama gets shot? I tell you, the lady has completely taken leave of her senses.

[...]
Rolling Stone:
If there’s an innocent explanation for this, it escapes me.... And of all the weeks to be invoking dead Kennedy’s. She’s got a touch of Michael Savage in her, this one.

UPDATE: Clinton apologizes… to the Kennedy’s. Not Obama... All class.

[...]
Goodwin:
SICK. Disgusting. And yet revealing. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in the event some nut kills Barack Obama.

It could happen, but what definitely has happened is that Clinton has killed her own chances of being vice president. She doesn't deserve to be elected dog catcher anywhere now.

Her shocking comment to a South Dakota newspaper might qualify as the dumbest thing ever said in American politics.

Her lame explanation that she brought up the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy because his brother Ted's illness was on her mind doesn't cut it. Not even close.

We have seen an X-ray of a very dark soul. One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way. Otherwise, why is murder on her mind?

The picture tells the story


Clinton knows she f*cked up...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Olbermann offers scathing "Special Comment" on Clinton/RFK remark


The video speaks for itself...

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on Senator Clinton's "assassination" remark to the editorial board of the Argus-Leader newspaper of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Once again, it was this:

Asked if her continuing fight for the nomination against Senator Obama hurts the Democratic party, she replied, quote... "I don't. Because again, I've been around long enough. You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the
California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in **June** in California. You know, I just don't understand it. You know, there's lots of speculation about why it is. "

The comments were recorded and we showed them to you earlier and they are on-line as we speak.

She actually said those words.

**Those** words, Senator?

You actually invoked the nightmare of political assassination.

You actually invoked the spectre of an inspirational leader, at the seeming moment of triumph, for himself and a battered nation yearning to breathe free, silenced forever.

You actually used the word "assassination" in the middle of a campaign with a loud undertone of racial hatred -- and **gender** hatred -- and **political** hatred.

You actually used the word "assassination" in a time when there is a fear, unspoken but vivid and terrible, that our again-troubled land and fractured political landscape might target a black man running for president.

Or a white man.

Or a white woman!

You actually used those words, in **this** America, Senator while running against an African-American against whom the death threats started the moment he declared his campaign?

You actually used those words, in **this** America, Senator, while running to break your "greatest glass ceiling" and claiming there are people who would do anything to stop **you**?

You!

Senator -- never mind the implications of using the word "assassination" in any connection to Senator Obama...

What about **you**?

You cannot say this!

The references, said her spokesperson, were not, in any way, weighted.

The allusions, said Mo Uh-leathee, are, quote... "...historical examples of the nominating process going well into the summer and any reading into it beyond that would be inaccurate and outrageous."

I'm sorry.

There is **no** inaccuracy.

Not for a moment does any rational person believe Senator Clinton is actually **hoping** for the worst of all political calamities.

Yet the outrage belongs, not to Senator Clinton or her supporters, but to every other American.

Firstly, she has previously bordered on the remarks she made today...

Then swerved back from them and the awful skid they represented. She said, in an off-camera interview with **Time** on March 6th...

"Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June, also in California. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing
particularly unusual. We will see how it unfolds as we go forward over the next three to four months."

In retrospect, we failed her when we did not call her out, for that remark, dry and only disturbing, in a magazine's pages.

But somebody obviously warned her of the danger of that rhetoric:

After the Indiana primary, on May 7th, she told supporters at a Washington hotel:

"Sometimes you gotta calm people down a little bit. But if you look at successful presidential campaigns, my husband did not get the nomination until June of 1992. I remember tragically when Senator Kennedy won California near the end of that process."

And at Shepherdstown, West Virginia, on the same day, she referenced it again:

"You know, I remember very well what happened in the California primary in 1968 as, you know, Senator Kennedy won that primary."

On March 6th she had said "assassinated."

By May 7th she had avoided it.

Today... she went back to an awful well.

There is no **good** time to recall the awful events of June 5th, 1968...

Of Senator Bobby Kennedy, happy and alive -- perhaps, for the first time since his own brother's death in Dallas in 1963...

Galvanized to try to lead this nation back from one of its darkest eras...

Only to fall victim to the same scurge that **took** that brother, and Martin Luther King...

There **is** no good time to recall this.

But certainly to invoke it, two weeks before the exact 40th anniversary of the assassination, is an insensitive and heartless thing.

And certainly to invoke it, three days **after** the awful diagnosis, and heart-breaking prognosis, for Senator **Ted** Kennedy, is just as insensitive, and just as heartless.

And both actions, open a door wide into the soul of somebody who seeks the highest office in this country, and through that door shows something not merely troubling, but frightening.

And politically inexplicable.

What, Senator, do you suppose would happen if you withdrew from the campaign, and Senator Obama formally became the presumptive nominee, and then suddenly left the scene.

It doesn't even have to **be** the 'dark curse upon the land' you mentioned today, Senator.

Nor even an issue of health.

He could simply change his mind...

Or there could unfold that perfect-storm scandal your people have often referenced, even predicted.

Maybe he could get a better offer from some other, wiser country.

What happens then, Senator?

You are not allowed **back** into the race?

Your delegates and your support vanish?

The Democrats don't run **anybody** for President?

What happens, of course, is what **happened** when the Democrats' Vice Presidential choice, Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri, had to withdraw from the ticket, in 1972 after it proved he had not been forthcoming about previous mental health treatments.

George McGovern simply got **another** Vice President. Senator, as late as the late summer of 1864 the Republicans were talking about having a **second** convention, to withdraw Abraham Lincoln's re-nomination and choose somebody else because until Sherman took Atlanta in September it looked like Lincoln was going to **lose** to George McClellan.

You could theoretically **suspend** your campaign, Senator.

There's plenty of time and plenty of historical precedent, Senator, in case you want to come back in, if something bad should happen to Senator Obama.

Nothing serious, mind you.

It's just like you said, "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California."

Since those awful words in Sioux Falls, and after the condescending, buck-passing statement from her spokesperson, Senator Clinton has made something akin to an apology, without any evident recognition of the true trauma she has inflicted.

"I was discussing the Democratic primary history, and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns both my husband and Senator Kennedy waged in California in June in 1992 and 1968," she said in **Brandon**, South Dakota.

"I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That's a historic fact.

"The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy. I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive, I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever."
"My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to and I'm honored to hold Senator Kennedy's seat in the United States Senate in the state of New York and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family.

Thanks.

Not a word about the inappropriateness of referencing assassination.

Not a word about the inappropriateness of implying -- whether it was intended or not -- that she was hanging around waiting for somebody to try something terrible.

Not a word about Senator Obama.

Not a word about Senator McCain.
Not: I'm sorry...

Not: I apologize...

Not: I blew it...

Not: please forgive me.

God knows, Senator, in this campaign, this nation has **had** to forgive you, early and often...

And despite your now traditional position of the offended victim, the nation **has** forgiven you.

We have forgiven you your insistence that there have been widespread calls for you to end your campaign, when such calls had been few.

We have forgiven you your misspeaking about Martin Luther King's relative importance to the Civil Rights movement.

We have forgiven you your misspeaking about your under-fire landing in Bosnia.

We have forgiven you insisting Michigan's vote wouldn't count and then claiming those who would not count it were Un-Democratic.

We have forgiven you pledging to not campaign in Florida and thus disenfranchise voters there, and then claim those who stuck to those rules were as wrong as those who defended slavery or denied women the vote.

We have forgiven you the photos of Osama Bin Laden in an anti-Obama ad...

We have forgiven you fawning over the fairness of Fox News while they were still calling you a murderer.

We have forgiven you accepting Richard Mellon Scaife's endorsement and then laughing as you described his "deathbed conversion."

We have forgiven you quoting the electoral predictions of Boss Karl Rove.

We have forgiven you the 3 A-M Phone Call commercial.

We have forgiven you **President** Clinton's disparaging comparison of the Obama candidacy to Jesse Jackson's.

We have forgiven you Geraldine Ferraro's national radio interview suggesting Obama would not still be in the race had he been a white man.

We have forgiven you the dozen changing metrics and the endless self-contradictions of your insistence that your nomination is mathematically probable rather than a statistical impossibility.

We have forgiven you your declaration of some primary states as counting and some as not.

We have forgiven you exploiting Jeremiah Wright in front of the editorial board of the lunatic-fringe Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

We have forgiven you exploiting William Ayers in front of the debate on ABC.

We have forgiven you for boasting of your "support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans"...

We have even forgiven you repeatedly praising Senator McCain at Senator Obama's expense, and your **own** expense, and the Democratic **ticket's** expense.

But Senator, we cannot forgive you this.

"You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California."

We cannot forgive you this -- not because it is crass and low and unfeeling and brutal.

**This** is **un**-forgivable, because this nation's deepest shame, its most enduring horror, its most terrifying legacy, is political assassination.

Lincoln.
Garfield.
McKinley.
Kennedy.
Malcolm X
Martin Luther King.
**Robert** Kennedy.

And, but for the grace of the universe or the luck of the draw, Reagan, Ford, Truman, Nixon, Andrew Jackson, both Roosevelts, even George Wallace.

The politics of this nation is steeped enough in blood, Senator Clinton, you cannot and must not invoke that imagery! Anywhere! At any time!

And to not appreciate, immediately -- to **still** not appreciate tonight -- just **what** you have done... is to reveal an incomprehension of the America you seek to lead.

This, Senator, is too much.

Because a senator -- a politician -- a **person** -- who can let hang in mid-air the prospect that she might just be sticking around in part, just in case the other guy gets shot -- has no business being, and no capacity **to** be, the President of the United States.

Good night and good luck.

Clinton foresees Obama's assination as a reason to stay in the race!?!


WTF is Clinton smoking? Does she know something about Obama's near future...
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton quickly apologized Friday after citing the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as a reason to remain in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination despite increasingly long odds.

[...]

"I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever," the former first lady said.

The episode occurred as Clinton campaigned in advance of the June 3 South Dakota primary.

Responding to a question from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader editorial board about calls for her to drop out of the race, she said: "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know I just, I don't understand it," she said, dismissing the idea of abandoning the race.

Clinton said she didn't understand why, given this history, some Democrats were calling for her to quit.

After the Obama campaign pounced on her remark, the Clinton campaign offered this so-called "clarification"
Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said the senator was only referring to her husband and Kennedy "as historical examples of the nominating process going well into the summer and any reading into it beyond that would be inaccurate and outrageous."

Ah...yeah, right.

After realizing that the excuse wasn't going to fly, Hillary tried to do damage control again.
"I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns of both my husband and Senator (Robert) Kennedy waged in California in June in 1992 and 1968 and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That's a historic fact," she said.

Yeah, but what does this "historic fact" have to do with you bringing up Kennedy's assignation with the context of her entire original comment? And oh yeah, your reference about your husband Bill is WRONG as the '92 campaign was effectively over IN MARCH of that year!

Please, please, please go away Hillary...please.

UPDATE: Sweet! TPM has the video footage...



UPDATE 2: The rounds of condemnation is spreading across the blogs.
The Political Carnvial:
Done. I'm done with her.

MyDD:
This must now end.

Over the past weeks, many have called for Clinton to end her campaign based on metrics. But with the infrastructure-building the primary keeps delivering, I've been reasonably comfortable waiting until June for closure.

But this is unacceptable.

The United States has a history of profound political violence - and the use of violence to oppress and coerce. And while I'm not quite willing to accept that Clinton spoke maliciously - it doesn't matter. There is no excuse for flippantly referencing assassination, especially given the historic nature of Obama's campaign and our nation's grim history of racial oppression through violence. When Hillary Clinton speaks of our history, she is not reflecting academically or only in a vacuum - her words and influence are real. To act otherwise is negligent, at best.

No context can save her. She must go.

Daily Kos
The willingness to say such a thing in a cheap effort to sway superdelegates is disgusting.

Oliver Willis
Seriously, who says this sort of thing? Your average person doesn’t say it, let alone somebody running for president. Hillary Clinton didn’t lose this race because she was a victim of sexism. She lost this race because people are tired of her clawing for power and running over everything to do it.

..and for her excuse that she had Kennedy on her minds because of his current, illness, can someone from her campaign explain her similar remarks she made to TIME magazine back in March?
TIME: Can you envision a point at which--if the race stays this close--Democratic Party elders would step in and say, "This is now hurting the party and whoever will be the nominee in the fall"?

CLINTON: No, I really can't. I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.

Oh, I'm praying for an Olbermann "Special Comment" tonight.

UPDATE 3: Rachel Maddow offer her two cents...


Eugene Robinson on Clinton's non-apology apology

My interview with Congressman Joe Courtney

In light of his endorsement of Barack Obama for President, earlier today I conducted a interview with Congressman Joe Courtney where we talked about his decision to back Obama over Hillary Clinton. We also touched on other subjects such as his support for the new G.I. Bill (which the President has threatened to veto) and his thoughts on being a first term congressman for the second congressional district.

You can hear the full interview right now over at My Left Nutmeg.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back from Baghdad, Congressman Larson again calls for a timetable



Back from his visit to Baghdad, Congressman John Larson issued the following statement regarding the situation in Iraq.
Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a trip to Iraq this past weekend. The delegation met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Larson confronted al-Maliki with the reality of America’s waning patience with the War in Iraq and the government’s performance there.

Congressman Larson said, “Having spoken with Prime Minister Maliki, I am even more convinced of the need to establish a timeline for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. The American people have supported the Iraqi government with life, limb and treasure. Now, it is time for Iraqis to stand up and take responsibility for their own future. It is time for Iraq’s neighbors and the Arab League to help create a stable and secure Iraq. It’s incumbent for Iraq’s neighbors and the international community to step up. It seems obvious to me they are content to see this administration go it alone.

“Americans at home are wondering why our troops are paying the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq, caught in the midst of a sectarian war. The United States is going deeper and deeper into debt to rebuild Iraq while the Iraqi government is running a surplus.

“Iraq’s government must demonstrate to the United States and the world that it is capable of building a strong coalition to lead their country to stability and security. We have yet to see that sort of leadership from them.

“This continues to be one of the worst foreign policy decisions in our country’s history, the scope of which is eclipsing the Vietnam War.”
Personally, at this point, I think we're long past eclipsing the policy decision in Vietnam.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Courtney backs Obama

Today, Congressman (and super-delegate) Joe Courtney made his decision and endorsed Barack Obama for President.

Today, I am pleased to announce my endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.

Our country has experienced a remarkable contest for the Democratic nomination with a field of unprecedented talent, including Connecticut's senior Senator Chris Dodd whom I originally endorsed. The race has boiled down to an historic choice between the nation's first African American or woman president, and the party, and our nation, are richer for this contest.

The results last evening from Oregon have clarified that Barack Obama will be the nominee for our party. As John McCain continues to act with a free hand in the Republican contest, it is clear that we must unite and rally around a nominee to give the nation a strong alternative in the Fall. With our economy languishing and our foreign policy in tatters, the last thing our country can afford is a third Bush term, which I believe John McCain would deliver if elected President.

While I am making this endorsement, I want to take the time to recognize Senator Clinton for her contributions to this contest and to our nation. Hers was a gutsy effort, and one that spoke to the economic anxiety that so many in eastern Connecticut and across the nation are feeling after eight years of George Bush's rule. As the father of a young daughter, I was also heartened that we took a step closer to the long overdue day when we elect a woman to serve as President. Senator Clinton has been an important leader of our party and will continue to play a key role in the years ahead.

I am enthusiastically endorsing Barack Obama because I believe that he can lead this nation and bridge the partisan divide that has hindered progress in our nation over the past eight years. Barack Obama has demonstrated leadership in pledging a new direction to drawdown our forces in Iraq and end our disastrous engagement that has stretched our military to the breaking point, damaged our economy, and diverted our attention from terrorist threats in Afghanistan and across the globe. Senator Obama's economic vision would revive our sluggish economy and invest in our middle class which has been so neglected in the Bush era. The power of Barack's words is matched by the force of his ideas.

In addition, by endorsing Senator Obama I am keeping faith with the new and young voters who helped propel me to a razor-thin victory in 2006. At UConn and on campuses across eastern Connecticut and the nation, Barack Obama has inspired new voters to engage in the political process and make their voices heard. A torch has been passed to a new generation to help solve the serious challenges facing our nation.

Our country is in desperate need of change in the White House. Today, I endorse Barack Obama to deliver that change in January after victory in November.