On Winning and Dignity

By Paddy McGuire of Portland, Oregon. Paddy is a former executive director of the Democratic Party of Oregon, a former Clinton Administration appointee, and a former deputy Oregon Secretary of State. On November 3, 2004, he contributed "Five Simple Rules for Coming Back".

By any measure, today Barack Obama is leading the race for the Democratic nomination. To Obama supporters: congratulations. Your guy has run a great race. Since I support Hillary Clinton, I hope that changes tonight (or at least begins to change), but that is looking less likely all the time.

It’s cool to win and it sucks to lose. This has been and will continue to be a tough race, but no one knows for how long.

If the goal here is to win the nomination, fine. You’re doing great. If the goal is to win the White House, starting to show a little grace to the supporters of the people behind you in the race might be a good strategy. Criticizing Steve Novick for saying something nice about Hillary Clinton while endorsing Senator Obama, is to me a recipe for not broadening your base.

When you are winning a race, I was taught early on that it’s unseemly to turn around and make fun of the people behind you. Again, it’s fun and I am sure feels good, but you may need us very soon.

The message I am getting from a lot of Obama supporters is that as a Clinton supporter I’ll never be welcome in the Obama camp because I was not there on day one. That’s okay with me because there are a lot of other things to work on. There is no doubt I will vote for the nominee of my party. But I do believe that your guy will be missing out on a share of experience in presidential politics in Oregon if I devote my time and effort elsewhere.


  • Katy (unverified)

    I just fell off my chair.

    Is this really what I think it is? I post in support of Hillary Clinton on Blueoregon?

    Thank you Paddy McGuire!!!

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    While I'm not a Hillary supporter at this point, I think this post speaks to a larger issue that we should all be concerned about. I am quite inspired to work for Obama, and wouldn't feel so enthused about doing so for Hillary. Obviously, Paddy, you wouldn't feel so great working for Obama. Also, there have been many things said that have been not so complimentary about Obama and his supporters (i.e., we're just believing in some phantom dream) that may turn folks like me off of Hillary.

    Regardless, can we all just make a deal that no matter what, we will swallow our differences and pound the pavement, pick up the phone, write the checks, etc., come the fall? Can we agree that no matter who the nominee is, we need to end the reign of Republicans in Washington? I'll start with a pledge to do whatever I can (not that I'd make some huge difference) to get Hillary elected if she's elected.

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    Thank you Mr. McGuire!

    I've been trying to spread the same message through comments on other posts. Vilification, smugness and divisiveness are not going to bring us together as a party. How you win matters; in the words of Plato, "The measure of a man is what he does with power."

    Hillary Clinton is a great candidate and a great woman, and whatever happens with her campaign this year she's earned millions of lifelong fans and supporters. And on policy that matters for Oregon - environment, economy, health care, LGBT issues, women's choice - she's the best. She's certainly closer to Edwards on most of those issues, and she's shown a willingness to stick with her positions even when the chips are down.

    Neither Hillary nor her campaign has ever urged any other candidate to drop out of the race. With all of the misogyny and media slant against her it's been amazing to see her poise and graciousness. She earned a good reputation in the Senate for humility and hard work and has continued that in her campaign amid countless slings and arrows; I will root for her until the end.

    Go Hillary!

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    Woops -- I meant "elected if nominated."

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    At least it hasn't gotten as bad here as in Pennsylvania:

    NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Montgomery County authorities say a man stabbed his brother-in-law during an argument over who should get the Democratic nomination for president. What's more, Jose Ortiz, 28, who's charged with felony assault, is a registered Republican. District Attorney Risa Ferman said Ortiz supports Hillary Clinton and Sean Shurelds supports Barack Obama. She told reporters Monday that the two got into an argument in a Collegeville home Thursday night and Shurelds tried to choke Ortiz. She says Ortiz then stabbed Shurelds in the abdomen. Shurelds was taken to a hospital in critical condition, but is expected to recover.
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    I absolutely pledge not to stab anyone for supporting Obama. OMG that's funny.

  • Sue Castner (unverified)

    I started to write a long, measured, supportive post for Paddy's sentiment and thought my time would be better spent on the phone to TX. And besides, I wouldn't want to be accused of coordinated pro-Hillary postings. As far as other things to work on, Paddy's correct. There are lots. And if asking about supporting a candidate other than your own, I see nothing wrong with taking Michelle Obama's stand: "I'd have to think about that."

  • joel (unverified)

    When is Rodney King going to make a cameo appearance?

    "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?...It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice....Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out."

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    The message I am getting from a lot of Obama supporters is that as a Clinton supporter I’ll never be welcome in the Obama camp because I was not there on day one.

    I hope you're hearing that from young folks new to the process. This is assuredly NOT my view. To me, this is a family discussion about who we want to take on the baddies. There's no sense of "welcome"--it's all the same family!

    (BTW, as editors, we've been trying to get people to write pro-Clinton pieces here, and allow me to encourage folks to guest post one if they wish. Make it interesting and keep it clean and we'll post it.)

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    Paddy McGuire: Criticizing Steve Novick for saying something nice about Hillary Clinton while endorsing Senator Obama, is to me a recipe for not broadening your base.

    Well, that's certainly true Paddy. And if the thrust of Kevin's criticism been directed at Mr. Novick because he said something nice about Hillary, I would have probably agreed.

    But the truth is that the post you linked to said nothing anything near to the way you mischaracterized it. Kevin criticized Mr. Novick for giving such a (in his words) "tepid" endorsement of Barak Obama, it nearly amounted to damning him with faint praise.

    After reading the actual text of what Steve wrote, it is a criticism with more than a little merit. Here. Judge these words of "praise" by Mr. Novick of Mr. Obama yourself: "I’m voting for Barack Obama largely because I wonder whether Hillary Clinton is willing to take the political risks she’d need to take to act on what she knows." "[E]ven if I might ultimately be disappointed, I'd rather be disappointed in new ways, rather than the same old ways".

    Wooo. Go..... Obama?

    Paddy, while your overall point on not piling on is well taken, you'd do yourself a favor to closely read what was written before you use it as an example to critique.

  • John Mulvey (unverified)

    One of the most discouraging things about this election for me has been that many liberal voters have bought into the FOX narrative of the Clinton administration.

    Famously, Hillary Clinton was mocked for the phrase “vast right-wing conspiracy,” but the reality was that there was an orchestrated strategy by the right wing to bring down Bill Clinton. I won’t belabor it --folks can google all they want about the subject --but I believe it was real.

    Yet the smear that Bill and Hillary Clinton are so slimy that even liberals shouldn’t support them persists among people who are, in my view, uninformed.

    Disclaimer: I was not a big fan of Bill Clinton in the 90s. I think his facile “triangulation” strategies saddled us with NAFTA, welfare “reform,” bombings of African aspirin factories and a whole laundry list of other bad policies. But I also don’t discount his thousands of choices, big and small, that were the right ones, and they demonstrate a bleak and sorry contrast when one looks at the thousand wrong ones of the current administration.

    Of the “scandals” of his administration, the one that I’d give the most credence to is the slimy pardons in 2000. Shitty political paybacks. Okay. But the rest were cooked-up BS.

    The man lied about getting a blowjob, in a legally suspect lawsuit brought by political enemies... and then was prosecuted for it by people who were supposed to be finding wrongdoing in the Whitewater thing --which turned out to be nothing. Since that time, many of these crooks have moved on to become federal judges.

    (By the way, watching the MSM lately, you’d never know that there’s a constitutional crisis brewing in Washington right now over continued White House resistance to Congressional subpoenas. I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers the right-wingers howling when Clinton tried to assert executive privilege over the blowjob question. Well, apparently they take a much more expansive view on the subject when it’s a Republican President. Someday when we can get some of these crooks under oath, they'll be lying about a lot more than a blowjob.)

    Anyway, my point is that when Obama’s supporters continue to cite the Roger Ailes version of history --that there’s this airy, ill-defined “slime” around Hillary Clinton --they don’t seem to realize how much they’re setting back the very real fight we’re in against the vast right wing in this country.


  • BCM (unverified)

    Oh, how the cookie crumbles...

    This past summer the same could be said about the Clinton campaign, but exacerbated by orders of magnitude. It was, in fact, the Clinton campaign that said to the Democratic establishment: 'you're either with us or against us.' That you join us now or we will remember your mutiny once we reclaim the White House. Obviously, the consequence of that threat seems to have been neutralized. Others who weren't met with this ultimatum, chose to jump on the bandwagon to curry favor (Ted K.), prematurely as it turns out.

    I'm not saying you are one of those people, Paddy. But, you must concede that the Clinton campaign has reveled in the establishment of which you are a part. They used it to project their aura of inevitability. So for someone in the establishment to claim that the supporters of the up-start candidate are exclusive is haughty to say the least, confirming the suspicions of aloofness at the worst.

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    BCM - When did the Clinton campaign say "you're either for us or against us?"

    I have been on the campaign's mailing list since last April and no message of the sort ever came to me. It has been remarkably and, I'm sure, very deliberately inclusive and respectful of the whole Democratic field and the whole range of potential voters.

    I was on Obama's mailing list the whole time too and saw negative content and insinuation about Hillary there long before her camp started to respond. I have also been connected with local grassroots supporters for months, hosted house parties and debate-watches, and they have never expressed the attitude you expreess. We've felt battered on the blogosphere and in the media, we have never had the smug assurance or exclusive tone that you imply.

    And let me remind you that your candidate - Obama himself - is the one who had the gall to stand up in front of the cameras and say he thought he'd get all of Hillary's supporters but she wouldn't get all of his. What a juvenille and divisive thing to say. Hillary never said anything comparable; at worst she just asserted that she was going to win (as if anyone in this race would assert otherwise), but has always deferred to the decision of the voters.

    I have seen countless blog entries like yours that accuse the Clinton campaign of being that way. To me, that's an attack on us, Hillary's supporters. Sorry, you can't justify the virulence of the anti-Hillary crowd by pinning it as a reaction to imaginary behaviors of the Clinton campaign invented by the anti-Hillary crowd.

  • genop (unverified)

    If Obama is the candidate, he will need all the support of the Democratic party and more. Please do not abandon the party to punish his opposition to your favored candidate. Her endorsement of McCain as superior to Obama in the experience/wisdom realm was pretty desperate. The wisdom exemplified by his campaign organizational skillz alone convince me that he has the chutzpa to take us where we need to go.

  • LT (unverified)

    I agree with Steve M.'s basic message.

    Also, with today's filing news we have a new contested primary in Oregon.


    Knowing both Kurt and Steve, and being an admirer of Joe Trippi, I have great hope that this will be the intelligent issue debate which has been lacking in some of the more contested primaries.

    And to some of my critics: I have been involved in successful campaigns where lawn signs made the difference, and others where they weren't the deciding factor. Same with ads--sometimes a "conversation piece" ad does not always spark positive comments. The attitude "you've seen the lawn signs and the ads, therefore you will vote for our candidate" does not have a 100% effectiveness rate, no matter what some folks may think.

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    And let me remind you that your candidate - Obama himself - is the one who had the gall to stand up in front of the cameras and say he thought he'd get all of Hillary's supporters but she wouldn't get all of his. What a juvenille and divisive thing to say. Hillary never said anything comparable; at worst she just asserted that she was going to win (as if anyone in this race would assert otherwise), but has always deferred to the decision of the voters.

    That's not surprising since Obama has a large number of Independents and Republicans who support him, but will not vote for Hillary. There are a lot of people who are coming out and supporting him because they really like him - not because they want a Democrat in the White House. With Hillary, people who support her typically really like her and they want a Democrat in the White House. If she loses the nomination, they're more than likely still going to vote for Obama since their ultimate goal is a Democrat in the White House.

    As far as deferring to the decision of the voters, that part honestly made me laugh. If that was true, she wouldn't have been trying to push her plan of having the super delegates give her the nomination even if Obama has more pledged delegates. That's not deferring to the decision of the voters.

    If Hillary wins, I'll be right there supporting her and voting for her. After all, even though I disagree with her on many things, she is still 100% better than McCain. She's still there with me on the bulk of the issues, I can trust her when it comes to Supreme Court appointments, etc.

    If my candidate, Obama, wins, I'll welcome with open arms every Hillary supporter. We can't win if we're divided. As soon as the nomination is decided, it doesn't matter who you originally supported - we're all supporters of the nominee. We can't afford to be divided over who the nominee is the way that many Republicans are right now. This election is way too important to get into a "I supported him/her first" battle.

    It's sort of like the '06 primary. Many of us were Sorenson or Hill supporters. But the moment the polls closed and it was evident that Kulongoski won the primary, we were all Kulongoski supporters. And we all worked together and put in a ton of hours to ensure he defeated Saxton. It was just way too important to do otherwise.

  • BCM (unverified)

    Posted by: Chris Corbell | Mar 4, 2008 5:38:42 PM

    BCM - When did the Clinton campaign say "you're either for us or against us?"

    Chris, that was the Clinton message to the party establishment, which you are clearly not a part of despite being on the mailing list.

    The Politico didn't seem to think these Clinton tactics are imaginary:

    "“You’re with us or you’re against us.” Get all the party’s top operatives and fundraisers either working for you, or at least voluntarily sitting on the sidelines. The rise of Obama has complicated that effort by giving the party’s key political and financial players -- perhaps most famously, former Clinton supporter David Geffen -- another place to go.

    Others are sprinkled through the ranks of lower-tier campaigns, which for the Clinton camp’s purposes is about the same as sitting on the sidelines. Clinton allies made clear to contributors and fundraisers that they were watching closely who went where -- and that the Clintons would have long memories should she win the presidency.

    This message sinks in with more than money people. It also works with the ideas people. If you are sitting at a Washington think tank, and hope some day to sit at the State Department, you must think twice before working for another candidate or being quoted saying something less than complimentary about Clinton.

    Speaking of think tanks, Clinton allies populate the upper ranks of at least two Washington thank tanks that were started with her active support. That willingness by the Clinton team to invest in intellectual and policy infrastructure has helped create an air of expectation and momentum around her candidacy."

    BCM: 1 Chris: 0

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)

    Anybody from a Democratic campaign who'd tell a supporter from the other side they're somehow unwelcome is an idjit, politely put. This is one of the results of rhetoric, but since we're there, how about "it's 3:00 AM" for exactly that kind of rhetoric.

    I've made no secret of my distaste for Hillary Clinton from the time of her first Senatorial campaign. Not before. I'll give her my vote in a General, as an anti-Republican vote, but I won't offer up $0.05 or 5 seconds. I have other things to do and better candidates to spend scarce time and money on.

  • Katy (unverified)

    BCM: 1 Chris: 0 ??????????

    Thank you so much for your "winning with dignity" attitude.

  • BCM (unverified)

    Katy, please spare us the red herrings and stick to the issue of Clinton hypocrisy.

  • Katy (unverified)

    Um, I was under the impression that this post was entitled "On Winning With Dignity." I didn't realize that McGuire had changed the subject of his post mid-thread. I guess I need to pay closer attention? Silly me. hahaha.

  • Chris (unverified)

    Let's not make too much of the bickering between the Obama and Clinton camps. Necessity does a great job of healing wounds - even deep ones.

    Back in 2000 the Republican primary got so nasty that a Bush pollster insinuated in a push poll that John McCain had an illegitimate child in Vietnam. People predicted that the closer-than-expected primary would fracture the party and stamp Al Gore's ticket to the White House. What happened? The party got over it, came together, and led itself to a disastrous victory in November and now Al Gore is making PowerPoint presentations.

    In the end the differences between the candidates are less than earth shattering. The primary differences are this: Obama supporters think that Hillary it too divisive and lacks a certain gravitas. Hillary supporters think that Obama isn't experienced enough and is a bit naive. Come November, however, every blue-blooded Democrat will see our nominee as a true visionary ready to lead this country out of the darkness of the Bush Debacle.

    Now, I am an ardent Obama supporter - to the point that I have pledged to drop my grudge against the state of Texas for one month if Obama wins there. That said, if Hillary is the Democratic nominee I will enthusiastically support her in every way possible. She would be a great president.

    In the end, in August Democrats of all kinds - Clinton, Obama, and even a few Edwards folks - will descend on Denver for one giant pep rally. We'll eat together, we'll cheer together, and we'll have a few adult beverages together. In the morning, when we wake up and shake off our collective hangover, we'll be united again and ready to make history in November.

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    Katy is right, BCM; you're the one who's off-topic here.

    Keep on keeping score for yourself as long as you want, you're not scoring any points on me.

    Citing an opinion piece slanted against Hillary does not prove anything about Hillary's campaign or personal ethics. Did you notice that piece is laden with unattributed quotes? They're hypothetical statements, "as if" that's what the campaign is thinking. What a sham! It was the media, not her campaign, that rolled out the "inevitable" label. I have no doubt that all politicians work back-room pressure for support and I'm sure her camp did as well, but that's power negotiotion for you; Obama does the same.

    After all, Obama pressured other Democratic candidates to remove their names from the Michigan ballot and so ensure those voters would be disenfranchised there (there was no need to do so under DNC rules, except that he felt he couldn't win). He used heavy-handed legal tactics to force grassroots Democratic candidates off the ballot against him in 1996.

    I know of at least 850,000 Democrats in Florida who don't see the final score quite the way you do right now, and who see Howard Dean and the Obama camp as the establishment who disenfranchised them. That's probably why the latest poll there is McCain 53%, Obama 37%. Hillary doesn't edge out McCain there yet but would at least be within 5 points and have a shot at fighting it out. Nader certainly won't matter in the Obama-McCain scenario.

    We can do this until November if you like; keep lobbing your anti-Hillary grenades and I'll keep defending her, and the party will most certainly lose.

    Final score: I claim (in solidarity) one point for every American who caucuses or votes for Hillary this year. Maybe at the end of the season that will indeed less than Obama and he'll be the party nominee, but how many of those Hillary points are you willing to burn and still expect to win? I believe that that was the original point of Mr. McGuire's post.

  • BCM (unverified)

    I've already dispatched Paddy's premise. You can't have it both ways. The Clinton campaign is knee deep in the swamp; throwing mud in the form of the native dress picture, leaving open the assertion that Obama is a Muslim, and conspicuous fear mongering with that phone ad.

    So for Paddy to come on here and assert that Obama supporters have no 'dignity' strikes me as hypocritical and pompous. What, your candidate can throw mud but we can't? Please.

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    I'm flattered that you took notice of little ol' me, what with you being an accomplished politician to my being a college drop-out and recovering addict with a life-long fascination with politics. But I confess to being perplexed by your characterization of my comment on a previous post which you linked to.

    Here, let me quote what you said so that there's no confusion about what I'm getting at here.

    Criticizing Steve Novick for saying something nice about Hillary Clinton while endorsing Senator Obama, is to me a recipe for not broadening your base.

    Surely someone with your advanced level of education and (presumably) much larger number of still-functioning brain cells could have used that double-whammy advantage to scroll down to the very next comment in that thread. You know... the one that I also posted a mere three minutes after the one you cited and in which I pointedly, if sarcastically, revealed precisely what I was criticizing Steve Novick for.

    To avoid confusion I'm going to quote it here too.

    Posted by: Kevin | Feb 25, 2008 6:31:34 PM Oh wait... I get it now. Novick's trying to be on both sides of the issue. Gee, don't we already have a Senator who tries to be on both sides of an issue?

    Both of my comments there, taken together or apart, are mere child's play compared to the hardballs that Hillary Clinton is slinging at Barack Obama. Yet you single my comment out as somehow being an example of bad grace while Hillary, the candidate that you profess to support, continues to zing hardballs and surely will continue to do so?

    I don't get it. I really don't. But then again, I dropped out of college and destroyed plenty of braincells in the stupidity of my youth. Maybe I'm not just capable of understanding what your real point was with this post.

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    since both of your points were idiotic, it's hardly surprising that Paddy did not put a lot of time into analyzing them separately.

    But the quality of your comments has nothing to do with your level of education or history of recreational substance use. It has to do with your blind hatred and resentment of Steve Novick. Unlike your allegedly misspent youth, THAT is actually something under your current control. Personally, I wish you would get the hell over it.

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    It's now clear that things are not going to be over tonight.

    I'll respond to a couple of points above. First, I am not happy with every tactic of Hillary's campaign and am certainly unwilling to accept responsibility for those decisions. I also doubt that Obama supporters are willing to take responsibility for everything done and said by his campaign. All I can do is accept responsibility for what I do and say and what I was hoping to do here is get some of those that post here regularly to turn it down a notch. It's great to see the enthusiasm surrounding the Obama candidacy, especially among young voters. However time and time again what I see here on BO is Barack is great and Hillary is terrible. I just don't think that some repeating that mantra over and over is very helpful to winning in November.

    To BCM, although you have apparently already "dispatched" my premise, I used a modifier like "a lot" or "some" in referring to Obama supporters not having dignity and I stand by that.

    To Kevin, your last comment just underscored my main point. It's great that you support Jeff Merkley. I just don't understand why you have to equate Steve Novick's endorsement of Obama with Gordon Smith wanting to have it both ways.

    Finally to John Mulvey, that was great. I remember eight years of peace and prosperity during the first Clinton Administration pretty fondly.

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    (LT, thanks for the tip. The news about Steve Marks now has its own post.)

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    I don't harbor blind hatred of anyone, not even Tom DeLay or Ann Coulter, nor do I see any reason to resent Mr. Novick.

    Wherever do you get these notions from, Stephanie? Is there some kind of manditory "conspiracy theory" class in college which I missed out on?

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    Paddy: To Kevin, your last comment just underscored my main point. It's great that you support Jeff Merkley. I just don't understand why you have to equate Steve Novick's endorsement of Obama with Gordon Smith wanting to have it both ways.

    You're changing your tune, Paddy. First it was that I'd criticized him for saying something nice about Hillary and now you're accusing me of something entirely different.

    Look, for what it's worth I think your overarching theme here is valid. But it would have been helped a great deal by being a bit more... honest about who bears responsibility. As you now belatedly concede (sorta), Hillary has, is and will continue to throw darts at least as bad as we have here. It seems pretty clear that you've been willing to overlook that reality, even if you say that you don't fully agree with it. So why does she and her supporters more or less get a pass on it but I and other Obama supporters get called out? Is it not because you filter through your own biases just like the rest of us do?

  • BCM (unverified)

    To BCM, although you have apparently already "dispatched" my premise, I used a modifier like "a lot" or "some" in referring to Obama supporters not having dignity and I stand by that.

    Paddy, my point was that the Clinton camp can easily be classified as having no 'dignity' using your thinking. The Clinton camps ties to the release of the Obama in Kenya photo being the case in point. Your charge can be leveled both ways, which creates something of a double standard.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Campaigns are a revelation of character. Back when I worked under your direction as a volunteer for Clinton in the '92 primary, Paddy, a lot was made of the Clinton character, and we pushed back on that. Paul Tsongas warned Democrats about Bill Clinton's character. Character does matter, I have come to appreciate. When Bill Clinton put his sexual addiction over the well-being of his presidency and the nation, it inflicted a horrible wound on the country and undermined everything good he had tried to do. It laid the groundwork for Gore's loss in 2000 and put a mad-man in power who brought us into a terrible war. Character matters!

    Now we have Hillary and Bill back, trying to reinstate the dynasty. Considering that Bill Clinton dedicated part of his presidency to racial healing, we now have Bill and Hillary, the co-candidacy doing everything possible to marginalize Obama based on race. He is the "Jesse Jackson" candidate. When they start colorizing campaign ads to make his skin darker than it actually is, that crosses the boundary. When they encourage these whispering campaigns about him being a Muslim, that crosses a boundary of character. When Hillary says publicly that Obama is "nothing but a speech given in 2002" and endorses McCain over Obama, that says something about character. There is no path to the nomination now for Hillary through pledged delegates. If she wants to destroy the party, and the slate of party candidates by winning with the party supers, then that says something about character. As a former Clinton supporter, I can tell you, I will not vote for McCain, but I will surely abstain rather than vote for a candidate who will use racial division as a means of political.

    And do you really believe that African Americans are going to turn out for a Hillary who used racial division to win? We've been there and done that! Hillary has shown that she can be as mean and nasty and divisive as the Rovian textbook prescribes. I'm not impressed and I won't put help to put a person like that in the oval office regardless of what party they are in. In a year when there was an opening for a new direction for this country, I see the party's potential capitulation to Clinton ambitions as a death spiral. I am still hopeful that doesn't happen.

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    SO this AM all is well once more in DLCville. The heiress-apparent for the past year has managed to ride out a few bumpy weeks of backtalk from the upstart.

    I'm absolutely positive that she and her partisans will exhibit the behavior that they've counseling for others during their long agonizing month in the wilderness.

  • joel (unverified)

    Let's all take a deep breath and try this again:

    "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?...It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice....Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out."--RODNEY KING

    I've found myself with a couple of important personal relationships teetering on account of excessive political partisanship in the Clinton/Obama mixup. Time for a time out for me. Maybe for some of you, too, cuz I guarantee we're in for a long, wild ride.

  • John Mulvey (unverified)

    The "Clintons are racists" smear is the swift-boat of 2008.


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    John Mulvey: The "Clintons are racists" smear is the swift-boat of 2008.

    Certainly Hillary's "It took a President to pass Civil Rights" wasn't racist at all. But Bill bringing up the 20 year long gone candidacy of Jesse Jackson in South Carolina (who he clearly chose due to the color of his skin) came very close to the line. And then the question becomes, what exactly is a Democrat doing even coming close to the line?

    Let's just say it wasn't Bill's best moment, and fair-minded Hillary supporters should agree.

  • LT (unverified)

    Joel, you are right.

    I've been involved in some hotly contested primaries. Some were based on issues/voting record and philosophy (for example, "Oh, you were for Bobby Kennedy 40 years ago? I was for Eugene McCarthy" ) and later become a basis of shared experience. Some (1982, the first 5th District primary, for instance) were the sort of issue debates which should make every Democrat proud, but I was there at some of the debates and saw the candidates fight about issues on stage and be cordial and bantering off stage. Some allowed graciousness: Someone supporting Gore in 1988 who met Pauline Gore at the Platform convention could say to someone giving away Dukakis bumper stickers, "sorry I just met Pauline Gore and was impressed" and then have no trouble supporting Dukakis after Gore dropped out. Especially given the excellent outreach the Dukakis campaign did to supporters of those whose candidates had dropped out. Don't forget Dukakis was the first Democrat to carry Oregon for President since LBJ.

    However, I have also lived through the sort of primaries where friendships have to be re-knitted afterwards and in some cases those friendships were never the same.

    4 months from now, our primary will be over and if the presidential nomination is not decided it will be a lot clearer than it is now---or there will be lots of behind the scenes discussions (hopefully with Dean, the DNC, and the candidates, not just candidates pressuring superdelegates).

    So let me present this thought experiment: On ANY primary, if you are fighting over it with someone you knew prior to 2008, imagine seeing that person at a 4th of July event. Do you want to enjoy the event with that person? Do you want to be friends with that person? Do you want to say "they were on the wrong side of the primary, I don't want to talk to them"?

    That is a decision for each individual to make. It can be tough, it can take time for wounds to heal, it can require soul searching. But unless you will never see anyone on the "other side" of a primary after the nominations are decided, you'll need to think about this eventually.

    A long time ago I was involved in a primary where Ruth and Larry were running against each other. I backed Larry (and yes, some wondered why I was a woman campaigning for a man). It was admirable to see Ruth and Larry argue issues tooth and nail onstage and banter offstage. There was a unity press conference the day after the primary. Because there hadn't been the nastiness between Ruth and Larry that we have seen in some more recent primaries, Larry was able to be witty at the press conference and say he supported "Ruth, Justice, and the American Way".

    My point is this: call me any name you want. Say I don't understand that your candidate is the greatest candidate ever and I'm blind if I can't see that. Say the opponent has slammed/insulted your candidate. But is that keeping your eyes on the prize?

    <h2>I thought the goal was to win the general election, and having peace after the primary makes that a whole lot easier, no matter who wins.</h2>
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