Gov. Richardson on campaign attacks: "I'm not going to get into the gutter like that"

Charlie Burr

New Mexico Governor Richardson endorsing Barack Obama in Portland Friday:

Responding to Richardson's announcement, Clinton strategist Mark Penn attempts to marginalize the endorsement his own campaign aggressively sought:

“The time that he could have been effective has long since passed,” [Penn] continued. “I don’t think it is a significant endorsement in this environment.”

Gov. Richardson speaking later to CNN had this to say:

"I resent the fact that the Clinton people are now saying that my endorsement is too late because I only can help with Texans — with Texas and Hispanics, implying that that's my only value," the New Mexico governor told CNN's John King.

"That's typical of some of his advisers that kind of turned me off."

According to The Oregonian, the time for the endorsement to affect the race hasn't passed at all. From the article "Richardson's support of Obama could sway Latino voters in Oregon":

"The fact that Bill Richardson came to do the endorsement in Oregon, where we have a large number of farmworkers, gives us more reason to believe we are moving in the right direction," said Francisco Lopez, a Latino vote organizer with VOZ Hispana who backs Obama.

Not to be outdone by Penn, Clinton advisor James Carville gets more personal one news cycle later:

“An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.

Responding to the comments, Gov. Richardson had this to say:

[Longer clip here.]

What do you think of the Clinton campaign's reaction? Given such a significant endorsement in our backyard, will Clinton's response affect our May primary?


  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    This is an unfortunate news cycle for Hillary, first the whining about the Richardson endorsment and now the revelations about her trip to Bosnia. I think her surrogates would serve her much better by not taking such a "sour grapes" approach in public.

    There is something to be said for humility, doing the right thing, being gracious, congratulating your opponent, and being genuine. For some reason, Mark Penn and whoever else is advising her and her surrogates seem to not understand this.

    The consequence is an appearance of contempt and arrogance, and by golly Americans have already received a steady diet of that from the White House that for the last 7 years.

  • joeldanwalls (unverified)

    I doubt the endorsement will matter much. However, Richardson is already getting slammed on the same blogs that regularly slam Obama. Some word or two of Richardson's will get lifted out of context and twisted around. Sad.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    This is more of the "kitchen sink" strategy. Richardson's comments about the entitlement to the presidency are on target. When you look at Penn and James Carville it speaks volumes about the Clinton vision of governance and politics. How far down will the Clintons drag the party and its prospects in the General Election in this death struggle for their ambition? As far as the party lets them, I suppose. Right now we're headed for the cliff, not just for this election but for decades ahead, with the destruction of the historic Democratic coalition and the disaffection of a whole generation of new voters.

  • Bob (unverified)

    Mark Penn is right, with a caveat. He's correct in saying it is too late for Richardson's endorsement to make a difference with voters.

    That's because it's too late for ANYTHING to make a difference with voters. When the convention rolls around, Obama will have the lead in pledged delegates, the popular vote, and states won.

    The only way that Hillary pulls ahead in any of those categories is if Barack Obama's name vanishes from the ballot in all the remaining states. Even then it's unlikely.

    Where Mark Penn is totally wrong is that Richardson's endorsement is a HUGE signal to superdelegates that it's OK to turn against Bill & Hillary -- even if you have Bill to thank for your entire political career.

    I suspect Richardson just opened the floodgates for superdelegate defections. You may not hear it publicly, but be ready for a whole lot of "unnamed sources" popping up in political gossip columns this week telling Hillary that her time is up, and she can't count on their vote at the convention.

  • (Show?)

    Yes, Carville was his usual over-the-top self, again.

    But the far bigger issue than Carville's tiresome routine was the Obama-Richardson flip-flop on the biggest issue left out there if Hillary continues to win big states (and I think she will) -- the role of superdelegates. How, exactly, did most of the media fail to point out that, contrary to the lofty promises and heated rhetoric, once again, the Obama campaign says one thing and does another?

    "In a February interview with The New York Times, Richardson discussed how superdelegates should vote. 'It should reflect the vote of my state, it should represent the vote of my constituency,' he told the newspaper at the time."

    New Mexico went for Hillary. That didn't seem to faze Sen. Obama one bit. He welcomes the support of this superdelegate, and it's a safe bet he will use him to try to persuade other superdelegates to follow suit.

    And that, in a nutshell, is why the Obama "it's over" talking points fail. They fail precisely because the Obama campaign acts like they know it's not over. After Pennsylvania, it will be far, far from over.

  • ws (unverified)

    The Obama campaign better not act like it's over. Overconfidence is always dangerous. Despite Obama's great speeches, there are plenty people still seriously considering a vote for McCain because Hillary is a woman and Obama 'hasn't got enough political experience', is black, and a former(?, because they're not sure it's 'former')drug user.

    Obama sounded good here in Portland, but he's going to have to keep it up if he's going to persuade people accustomed to voting for the old standby type candidate to vote for him. I don't know so much about Richardson, but my impression so far, is that he's generally a good guy, and that for him to endorse Obama is important towards establishing the confidence of people having doubts about considering a vote for him rather than McCain or Hillary. The petty sniping by Hillary's campaign doesn't help sway people away from a vote for McCain.

  • Ally (unverified)

    Investors who are putting cold cash on the candidates seem to disagree with the preceding commenter about Clinton's chances. At, an Obama share will set you back $80. Hillary Clinton shares are currently trading for $19 and change. Even during two weeks of bad press, Obama shares never dipped below $70. Clinton shares never broke $30.

  • (Show?)

    Actually, I've seen plenty of news reports that talk about superdelegates and New Mexico.

    Richardson pointed out that there was one half of one percent (0.5%) difference between Hillary and Obama in the vote in his state.

    And I'm sure that folks like Richardson will end up balancing out governors who are Hillary supporters, but govern states that go for Obama. Oregon may very well be one of those states.

  • Oliver Twisted (unverified)

    I was impressed with how tanned up and ethnic Richardson was looking.

  • LT (unverified)

    Josh, is every Iowa superdelegate campaigning for Obama?

    Comments like "the Obama campaign says one thing and does another?" and mentioning "talking points" sound like a political staffer out of touch with the lives of ordinary people. How many of the folks at the Medford Obama rally know someone who is unemployed, can't sell a home or had one foreclosed, or otherwise is financially struggling? And you think the big issue is superdelegates? Will Hillary go to Medford? Does she understand the situation there?

    First of all, anyone who was born the year the Hunt Comm. created the current superdelegate system has been old enough to vote for about a decade now. Maybe it is time to rethink the whole system.

    Secondly, the 1984 national convention was a lot more contested (over things like whether the delegates had been selected fairly, along with the platform and some other things) than the outside world ever knew, which is why the time between 1984-88 featured such hard work on rewriting delegate selection rules. People like me involved in that process are once again making use of all we learned then about rules.

    It seems we have a debate here on the role of superdelegates. It was my sense (having been one of a small group of people who actually worked on rewriting rules) that superdelegates were to exercise their own judgement.

    What a superdelegate has said publicly about the process shouldn't matter much. What should matter is the general election and the future of the Democratic Party (not to mention the impression residents of Denver might have of a disruptive convention).

    Hillary is on my list of people I might have supported before the campaign started but they ran a lousy campaign. When people ask if I am supporting her as a woman her age, I say no--she is running the Mondale campaign and I was not a Mondale delegate in 1984 but for one of the insurgent candidates.

    The decision will have to be made, just as it was in 1968. Is this about a process that looks fair to first time voters/activists? Or is it all inside baseball and ordinary folks don't matter? The "party elders" of 1968 backed Humphrey (and apparently LBJ had a lot more control over the process then than anyone has now) and the rules then were a lot different.

    A party stays alive when the new people are welcomed in and made to feel part of the process. If Obama ends up with more elected delegates and more total contests won, but Hillary tries to game the system the way Mondale did, why should those first time activists campaign for her if she gets the nomination? If they vote for her but say they have other ways to use their time than campaigning for her, how will she win the election?

    It appalls me as someone who was a Eugene McCarthy college student (and knew some Bobby Kennedy supporters)how my generation seems to have forgotten what that felt like. Hillary ran as the inevitable candidate (whose turn it was?) who was going to have the nomination locked up on Feb. 5. When that did not happen, she had no more Plan B than Bush had in Iraq after the looting started. Yet someone who couldn't plan ahead for undexpected campaign events should be considered "ready on day one" and able to deal with whatever situation arises?

    I would rather see this decided by the Rules or Credentials Comm.(or DNC chair Dean and maybe some "party elders" sitting down with the candidates) than have any more discussions of the back and forth between the campaigns about talking points and whether anyone is poaching anyone else's superdelegates.

    As I understand the system, if every superdelegate who has announced a preference were to get into a room together and say "this has gotten ridiculous--let's find a civilized way to resolve this", they could decide to do anything they wish to do including not voting on the first ballot and seeing how the pledged delegates voted. They can do anything they want.

    In 1984, Mondale had the nomination but not enough support to prevent rules and platform changes he might not have liked. Hart and Jackson had 1600 delegates of the 1968 needed and negotiated an agreement to have some rules changes pass on the first day, and Mondale declined to contest a popular minority platform plank so there wouldn't be a floor fight. Those 3 men resolved things like adults.

    If some of the well known supporters of the 2 candidates want to fight this out in public, how are they helping their candidates? Or is this nomination battle not about voters, but the same "team A vs team B" nonsense Minnis et. al inflicted on us in the legislature where voters were just bystanders?

    In Jan. 1998, as I am sure Josh remembers, Gordon Smith treated voters as things to be acted upon, rather than as intelligent adult voters. His "we're all real tired of.." ad did NOT win him that special election---but it did cause people to say "I'll show him what I'm real tired of--his campaign!"

    I don't want a disruptive convention in Denver. The 7 year old niece I bought a birthday present for in SF while I was a convention delegate is now a young wife and mother living outside Denver and raising my grandnephew. I'd like her to see mature adults at the Denver convention.

    And I am afraid that if this nomination is not won in a way which convinces people of my niece's generation that it was won fair and square, it could alienate them from all politics (or from partisan politics) the way 1968 did to people of my generation.

  • (Show?)


    If that's your problem with Richardson's endorsement, how do you feel about superdelegates such as Delaware governor Ruth Ann Minner who endorsed Hillary despite Obama winning the state's primary (one of many similar cases on both sides I'm sure)? Should Hillary be held to a different standard than Obama?

  • (Show?)

    "After Pennsylvania, it will be far, far from over."

    Man, can she even GET there Josh? She's running painfully low on money; most of it is tied up as general election funds. She's got a month to try to cling to a lead in a state where Obama is going to be running ad after ad and putting together the same amazing organizational team down on the ground as in every other state he's had time to blanket. He nearly won Texas in about 2 weeks, and you think he can't pull within in a few points at worst in PA?

    And let's say she wins big, twenty points. That's what, 60-62%? That doesn't get her bupkus in extra delegates, that would compensate for Oregon and NC and likely Indiana.

    Every delegate over 53% of the remaining pledged delegates, or every currently uncommitted super, is one delegate closer to 60. That's all he needs to win on the first ballot, that he doesn't already have in his corner: 60. He's that close, Josh. He could almost do it with just extra pledged delegates, but +60 seems out of reach. But there over 250 uncommitteds.

    Her own aides admit she's got a 10% chance. I'm not sure whether I'm more shocked that they'd say it, or that they're that optimistic.

    And as for big states, I think Kos did a decent job explaining that among states Democrats could win or lose depending on the candidate, Obama actually does better (in March SUSA polling) in the biggest states.

    I actually greatly fear the primary won't matter in the end; she may well drop out after PA for lack of money or a strong enough showing. The media are finally catching on to how hopeless it all looks. May 20 is a long way away, if you don't have much money and are staving off collapse. That's not a healthy fundraising environment.

    Somehow I hardly think Gov. Richardson will be flouting anyone's will at the convention. Sen. Obama will be well-supported presidential nominee.

  • joeldanwalls (unverified)

    I'm absolutely sure that this bickering and giving out hypocrite-of-the-day awards is of vital interest to about 0.1% of the electorate.

    The Democratic Party set up a nomination process. We're seeing it play out in an unprecedented way. OK, next.

    If the process is now seen as screwed up, then change it.

    I don't want to see calls for one candidate or the other to drop out. What I want to see is a clean race. What I DO NOT want to see is all the dumb stuff about what this or that "surrogate" said about the other candidate.

    Folks, if occasional hypocrisy and stupidity were illegal, there would be precious few people walking free.

  • Charlie Burr (unverified)

    It's not just James Carville. Mark Penn's spin here is typical of what we've come to expect from the Clinton campaign. It's actually a lot like many of the states she's lost: Hillary competes and fights for it with everything she's got, then immediately discounts its significance once things don't know her way.

    I wouldn't say this is "far, far from over." It's exactly 80-percent over. With just ten more states to go, Clinton can win each state with 60-percent and still trail in pledged delegates. But of course Obama's going to fight until it's 100-percent over. To not would be to repeat the mistakes of the Clinton campaign and their failure to plan beyond Super Tuesday. That type of thinking doesn't help you win the primary and sure won't help you beat John McCain.

  • (Show?)

    I'll respond, but will, as usual, leave the last word to my Obama friends.

    Jenni, a few reports did factually and briefly include that element into larger stories. I did not see it covered in Oregon, but if it was, it was covered as an aside and not addressing the real issue which is his campaign saying one thing and doing another. The issue is the Obama campaign's sponsored meme, which most of you have picked up on, about not letting party insiders overthrow the will of the people. Don't get me wrong: the political operatives at Obama central would be committing malpractice if they failed to put out these talking points. What the media failed to cover is how the Obama line is only supposed to extend one way.

    Of course Obama has every right to woo superdelegates (as he attempted to when he was in Oregon by offering special access), but it's, shall we say, intellectually inconsistent, to suggest there's something nefarious about Hillary doing the same, only doing it better earlier.

    And Jenni, you may well be right that "Richardson will end up balancing out Governors who are Hillary supporters" and there's certainly a chance that, as you put it, Oregon "may very well be one of those states." Obama obviously starts the race here with a good lead.

    Oliver Twisted, I grew up with a lot of racists like you. I know I shouldn't acknowledge you on this blog, but I want you to know how badly I feel for you. I hope you grow into that body of yours, some day. You will be a far happier person, I promise.

    LT (and Nick), that's my point. Yes, there are Iowa superdelegates who remain for Hillary, just as there are superdelegates from Clinton states who remain for Obama. My point is, get over it. Your guy does it, my candidate does it, it is part of the process. Quit using it as a way to attack another candidate when your candidate does the exact same thing.

    Further, LT, your personal attack on me is pretty disappointing coming from someone who has been around and done as many good things in politics as you have. It is precisely because of my twenty years in politics that I can recognize "talking points" and am fully aware of the tactics employed by both sides that are sometimes, once again, intellectually inconsistent (I'm being nice here). I was saying that another big issue regarding Richardson was the double standard, not that superdelgates are the big issue of our day. Please quit twisting my words for silly advantage.

    For the record, LT, by day, night, and weekend, as an "out of touch political staffer" I primarily work to end the war, end funding for the war, reduce the gap between the haves and have nots, regulate markets that have preyed consumers, recruit jobs and retain jobs in Oregon, extend universal, affordable health care, enact sustainable, green energy policy, and protect Oregon's natural resources. As for Hillary, she spoke first and in far more detail about what she will do to address the millions of people hurt by the economic downturn and mortgage crisis than any other candidate. There is a reason she leads Obama significantly with low income workers, and it has nothing to do with superdelegates.

    As for your point, LT, that we need to change this preposterous process, amen to that. But for now we are stuck with it, and Obama is properly conducting his campaign within the current rules, as evidenced by his embrace of Richardson, Kennedy, Kerry, and other superdelegates from states that he lost.

    As for my friend, torridjoe, yes, it is unlikely she can win without superdelegates given the disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan. What's funny to me is to hear you, of all people, spouting campaign finance numbers as if Obama's fundraising lead should be dispositive in a Democratic contest. You had better hope that's not the case for our friend, Steve Novick. Yes, TJ, I am willing to stipulate that Sen. Obama is the establishment candidate with a significant fundraising lead (mostly as a result of very large contributions, not because of his impressive list of smaller donors).

    For the record, again, I think Sen. Obama is a great candidate and great Democrat, and should he prevail over Sen. Clinton, I will proudly support his candidacy. And LT, if that should come to pass, I'm guessing that his campaign would probably lower themselves and grudgingly accept my out of touch services! But that's a long way off, and there are races for Hillary to win in PA, Indiana, Kentucky, and then it's on to Oregon. May the best woman win.

  • (Show?)

    I'm just exhausted by the meta conversation about attacks (on both sides -- see Samantha "Monster" Power and Bill "McCarthy" Clinton, both good people) and wish that we'd start to talk about the issues.

    As much as I've spent way too many nights discussing such things over beer with my friends, I don't think average voters give a rip about whether Mark Penn discounted the Richardson endorsement.

    A nice piece about the distractions.

    Let's move on, and talk about why Obama and Clinton and McCain are all talking about expanding the military when it's already a third of our federal budget and equal to the rest of the world's military spending combined. Let's talk about why, in that context, people get away with saying we can't afford to take on climate change because it's too expensive.

    I'm thrilled Richardson made his choice, and think average Oregon voters don't even know it or care about it.

    Anyway, my two cents.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Josh Kardon-"And that, in a nutshell, is why the Obama "it's over" talking points fail. They fail precisely because the Obama campaign acts like they know it's not over. After Pennsylvania, it will be far, far from over."


    Of course it isn't over until Clinton concedes or until the convention happens. But the logic of the remaining primaries and delegate math say it is not within the reach of Clinton to win this with pledged delegates. The (Jim Vandahei and Mike Allen) says this: "One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning.

    Her own campaign acknowledges there is no way that she will finish ahead in pledged delegates. That means the only way she wins is if Democratic superdelegates are ready to risk a backlash of historic proportions from the party’s most reliable constituency."

    And Al Giordano of The Field has this observation: "If, on the other hand, superdelegates converge for a coup d’convention to steal the nomination from the leader in pledged delegates, the Democratic Party of the United States will not recover for decades to come. Again, even though (in my opinion and that of millions more) Senator Clinton keeps rattling sabers that she’ll battle all the way to the convention with no objective chance of a legitimate victory, most superdelegates really aren’t so stupid as to go along with her on that."

    Penn. is a natural given for Clinton as a border state to NY. Her starting point is 20 pts. She isn't going to do better than that and that would net her 27 delegates. That is not a game-changer. She is likely to lose NC and Ind, win KY and WV, and lose OR and MT. Likely outcome, same spread of 150-170 delegates. -As Nancy Pelosi has pointed out, the party is not going to change the rules for Clinton, and the supers are not going to over-rule the super spread unless they want to go over the cliff.- The Clintons keep using their "kitchen sink" strategy of doing commercials for McCain, questioning Obama's patriotism, and making phone calls to the supers poking at the Wright issue. They have trashed their historic relationship with the AA community and a good part of the remaining progressive community. For the party insiders like yourself to pull off a coup, would spell the end of the party. It looks to me like the Clinton strategy is to poison the well. And your strategy as well.

    This from the "Count Novakula" and Political Wire: Quote of the Day "They will do anything -- anything -- to get nominated."

    -- A "longtime associate" of Bill and Hillary Clinton, quoted by Robert Novak.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    On Josh Kardon and the Clinton Campaign's gaming the process and trying to change the rules:

    Common sense from TPM's Josh Marshall:

    The system is based on pledged delegates and super-delegates. Period. There's a set of rules everyone agreed on. The wisdom of those rules is irrelevant at this point. The Clinton campaign is entitled to do whatever it wants to get superdelegates to come over to her side to even out the pledged delegate deficit. My take is that whatever the arguments, the superdelegates aren't going to go against a clear pledged delegate leader. And I think they'd be extremely ill-advised to do so. But the superdelegates do have this power under the rules. But these constant efforts to say the rules aren't fair are just silly, and truth be told I think they're more undermining of the Clinton campaign than they realize.

    --Josh Marshal

  • Lani (unverified)

    It's ironic that the Clinton campaign is happy to break the rules for Michigan and Florida but wants everyone to follow the rules for superdelegates--whatever it takes to win.

  • (Show?)

    have to respond to my good friend josh, who must not have anyone to spin these days and is getting rusty. I never said finance SHoULD be dispositive; I said it likely will be--not because she doesn't have enough to win the state, but that she can't likely win it big as she needs, because she's so far behind on cash.

    And then the gratuitous swipe at Novick, tsk tsk! Maybe if Merkley had 10x the cash on hand, instead of 40% more at last check, you'd start to have a point. Or if Merkley had way more late money, and Steve's donors were legally tapped out like Hillary's are. As for Obama's money sources, he has far more individual donors, a lower per donor rate, no lobbyist money, and a huge group of new donors to politics. Let's be honest here, Josh.

  • joeldanwalls (unverified)

    The New York Times item linked above by Evan Manvel includes the following pithy remarks about the "surrogate wars"--remarks that seem entirely sensible to me:

    "In politics, and in much of the rest of life, being held responsible for your own words comes with the territory. Once you’ve opened your big mouth, others have a perfect right to ask, 'Do you really mean that?' or 'What did you mean by that?' or 'If you say that, would you also say…?' (a question that usually has you frantically disassociating yourself from Hitler). But why should you be held responsible for words spoken by someone else, even if that someone else is a person you work with or share a bed with? I frequently say things that make my wife cringe, but whatever blame attaches to my utterances certainly should not be extended to her, and it would be entirely inappropriate to ask her to denounce me or to fault her if she didn’t...Yet this is the position we routinely place our public figures in...."

    So let's put the BS about "surrogates" to bed, please.

    In the real world, I expect there is in fact a path to the nomination for Hillary Clinton that involves none of the devious schemes imputed to her by various folks: as the economy goes south, if she can make the case for being best equipped to guide us through a turn-around, she'll win. I was just listening to part of Obama's Q&A in Salem last week (on KOPB), responding to someone who wanted to know why undecided voters should choose him instead of Clinton. And he answered in rather general, lofty tones about bottom-up democracy. How would Clinton answer? If she blathered about being ready on Day One, well, big yawn. But what if she answered by talking about concrete steps toward economic recovery? I suspect that would impress a lot of people who do not find rhetoric about bottom-up democracy to be terribly compelling.

  • (Show?)

    too late joe, she can't make up the deficits she has.

  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)

    Mrs Clinton had a huge head start, boatloads of money, the campaign infrastructure, name recognition for good or bad, the support of the party establishment and an army of high priced consultants..........if all that is not enough to win, she should bow out gracefully. Unfortunately, nothing Bill or Hillary Clinton ever does is graceful or classy.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    I am inclined to think that Josh is a pretty good guy despite his involvement with the "evil empire." What is depressing to me though, is the lack of awareness or concern that party insider persons associated with the Clinton regime, who make common cause with tactics of the Clintons in making the ridiculous assertions to disqualify Obama as commander in chief or questioning his patriotism, and covertly picking at the race wound and the Wright issue.

    The audience right now is the supers since they can't win under the rules of proportional allocation of delegates,and the only path forward seems to be to tarnish or destroy an opponent who is loved by a large portion of the Dem. party and who has demonstrated great skills and vision, drawing new voters into the process and motivating them. This tactic, especially if it were successful, (I believe it will not be.) has long term profoundly damaging consequences for the party. The effort right now should be to unify the party rather than run it over the cliff, to find a way to make an alliance with the Obama wing. Their tactics have ruled out any unified ticket, especially if they want the front runner to be the VP.

    If the Clintons still want to remain in the race and make their impossible case, then let them do it in a way that brings credit to their own cause and not set fire to the whole house, thus bringing a right wing victory to the presidency and all the way down the ticket. The outcome of this may be the destruction of the Dem. party and the birthing of a genuine Progressive Party. Some say she has her eyes on 2012 and wants to ensure an Obama defeat. I would like to think better of her and Bill, but it's getting difficult.

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)

    Josh is just upset because his main squeeze, Clinton doesn't have a chance at clinching the nomination. He decided that being Wyden's Chief of Staff was not glorious enough for him so he decided to head up Clinton's push here in Oregon and now things aren't looking so hot.

    This highly likely Clinton loss will not likely be appearing on his resume. He will hope that you will forget about that.

  • Lani (unverified)

    Hillary started the campaign with a 166 Super Delegate lead. This was before anyone had a chance to vote.

    Is she going to tell the ones in states that voted Obama to switch?

    Her lead with the SD's has dwindled since February 10. Nothing she can do will change that and the increasingly hyperbolic and hysterical tone of her campaign doesn't help anyone but the Republicans.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Addendum to the above. The Clintonites, like Josh, are definitely playing with fire and don't seem to appreciate the damage they are doing now and later, which will redound not only on the Clintons but on their own futures as well. Here is the take from Kos (Daily Kos), referencing Josh Marshall:

    <hr/> Sundering the party by kos Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:11:18 PM PDT

    "Josh is right, of course. ......

    The Clinton campaign has realized that the rules don't work in their favor, that if we follow the rules as agreed upon before the first caucus vote was cast in Iowa, that they have no chance of winning. Part of me is bitter about this, since I've been railing against our stupid primary system (and the caucuses) for years, but that never mattered to the Clinton camp at the time. It only mattered after she lost the election based on the rules. The media narrative is finally starting to reflect this reality.

    Again, as I noted before, the only way Clinton can win this race is with a coup by superdelegate, which would necessarily create civil war in our party.

    And of course, Hillary Clinton doesn't care.

    That's the bottom line. All the other noise in this contest are just ex post facto justifications for that coup attempt."

  • (Show?)

    Lunch break - here's my response.

    TJ - You are right - you certainly never suggested that Obama's money lead was dispositive. I was just having fun by tweaking you because it's so much fun (and rare) to be on the side of the underdog when you're with the big money candidate. But then you twisted my words back (how dare you!) and suggested I was dissing Steve Novick. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact I was attempting to place Hillary on Steve's formidable coattails by pointing out that, despite both Steve and Hillary being the underfunded underdogs in this race, both have the audacity of hope to think they can compete and win.

    Bill R., many thanks for the benefit of the doubt, and how right you are . . . about me being okay. ; ) I'm a lot nicer than TJ -- okay, bad comparison. Seriously, for the life of me I don't understand how healthy political competition has devolved into trashing people simply for supporting an opposing candidate. I don't have the luxury of hating on Obama people because half of my family and, I'm guessing, over half of our (Wyden) staff are leaning the other way. I hope they give the Clinton campaign a chance to change their minds over the next couple of months.

    And speaking of hating, Liberalincarnate, (if that is you, my oldest daughter, get off of the computer and practice your guitar) I actually joined up with Hillary despite knowing full well the sizable deficit Hillary would start off with in Oregon. Polls have consistently shown Obama with a formidable advantage, including when I signed on. Win or lose, however, I will be proud to list Hillary on my resume, though the real work will be done by Clay Haynes and the other paid campaign staff. As for my motivations, they included my firmly believing that Hillary is the best prepared for the job AND enjoying involvement in campaign politics at this level. I wasn't aware that was a crime, particularly at BlueOregon.

    And for the record, TJ is a very nice guy . . . when not blogging.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Josh K. "..Obama people because half of my family and, I'm guessing, over half of our (Wyden) staff are leaning the other way. I hope they give the Clinton campaign a chance to change their minds over the next couple of months."


    Thanks for taking the time for a friendly response. I would have appreciated a response regarding the Clinton tactics and end-game. To repeat, you or the Clintons will not win anyone over going around the country, telling people that the only two candidates who are patriotic and qualified to be commander in chief are Hillary and John McCain. Makes for a great campaign ad for McCain when he's running against Obama in the GE. You will not win anyone over by calling up the super-Ds and telling them they better be really afraid of nominating someone who is friends with that scary black preacher, or who has all those "other problems," like ethnicity, as Bill Clinton so delicately put it.

    And as for the end-game, your scenario is a recipe for disaster. No other way to put it... Daily Kos calls it "civil war," and "coup de superdelegate." No exaggeration there.. You and the Clintons may take it lightly, but be warned!

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)

    There are Clintonites and there are Clinton supporters, Josh is a political professional, messianic thinking is real rare in that group. He is in the position of advocating for his candidate and noting that candidate's short comings are scarcely part of strategy. In a good clean campaign you certainly tout your candidate's winning points, ignore or minimize their shortcomings, and graciously allow the opponent to be "wrong." Now, Josh has done that.

    He's complained about some crass behavior, and I agree with him and I have just enough regard for Hillary to vote for her versus McCain, barely. If you think somebody could be CoS for Ron Wyden and be a political Neanderthal you live in a strange world. That's a mean rough world and if you don't believe you'll be crazy in short order.

    Regarding super delegates, Hillary going to war with DNC is a stupid calculation and with McAuliff and Dean in the balance I have an idea how that plays inside DNC. I don't know Terry McA personally but his management and political philosophy leave me cold and I'm not alone in that. The super delegates were designed to vote their consciences, that includes a whole lot of issues they are not ignorant of, like popular vote, delegate lead, electoral college, etc, etc. I think Josh is backing the wrong horse and I'm pretty rough on Hillary, but I see little to be gained from losing political friends, like Josh.

    Political campaigns spin, Josh called the Obama campaign on a spin. That is the danger of spinning, for anybody. Not quite in the same league with a hot landing under sniper fire... A person kind of has to clear their throat to say, "spin," on that one. I have a better word.

  • Lani (unverified)

    Everyone here realizes there's only about 2 months from the convention to the election in November.

    Will we be able to heal these divides and run an effective Presidential campaign if Hillary stays all the way to the end? If the Clinton campaign continues with their slash and burn political attacks against Obama?

    You know, the POINT of the super delegates were to avoid this kind of fight. The third that's left are all sitting on the sidelines waiting to see which way the wind will blow.

    This might be the best reason for getting rid of the SDs. More than 166 signed up to the Clinton camp before a single vote was cast. Obama's collected a bunch more but now it's stalled.

    Richardson's one of the few super delegates with the courage to face down the nasty Clinton attacks with grace and integrity. The Clinton supporters' spite is almost beyond belief.

  • Charlie Burr (unverified)

    on the side of the underdog when you're with the big money candidate...

    Here we are the richest country on earth but even in our own community, we have a major presidential campaign having to choose between putting food on the table of its pollster and funding direct mail hit pieces for last minute attacks. It's just about the saddest thing I've ever heard. :)

  • (Show?)

    Charlie, perhaps a April 1 telethon is in order? Might some of Edelman's civic-minded clients be willing step in? Think of the children!

    BTW - You and TJ need to get on the same page. He says our relative cash deficit is fatal and we may not get through PA. You guys are trying to confuse me, aren't you? Knock off the dirty campaign tricks. ; )

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Lani:"Richardson's one of the few super delegates with the courage to face down the nasty Clinton attacks with grace and integrity. The Clinton supporters' spite is almost beyond belief."


    The Clinton campaign has been a revelation of the depths of cynicism in the Democratic party. It is revealed as standing for nothing, committed to nothing, and largely about the personal ambition of the Clintons. They even make up stories about Bosnia it seems to embellish the "experience" card. The disillusionment is palpable among young and progressives, in the AA community, and independents and Rs who are fleeing the Bush years are now running into a wall of crud. An historic opportunity for a realignment is passing by quickly.

    The consensus on Hardball pundit roundtable today... the Clintons can't win but they are playing to destroy Obama's chances in the fall so they can have a clear field in 2012. A number of people are calling it that way in the blogosphere and on Air America. It's looking like a plausible interpretaton.

    Meanwhile the professional class of Josh Kardon and company will just move on to the next election and the next candidate who hires.

  • paul g. (unverified)

    Bill R., nice conspiracy theory and popular among the talking heads and bloggers but too clever by far. This is HC's first and I expect only shot. She'll have no chance in four years. You think if people are tired of the Clintons now they'll be just raring for a Clinton presidency in 4 years?

    For all the problems I have with the campaign tactics, I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton wants a Democrat in the White House in 2008, and if Obama wins the nomination, she'll fight long and hard for his victory. She's sincere when she says she's been working 35 years for progressive causes.

    Look at her behavior once she entered the Senate--for that matter, look at her marriage. She knows how to be a good soldier.

  • (Show?)

    "BTW - You and TJ need to get on the same page. He says our relative cash deficit is fatal and we may not get through PA. You guys are trying to confuse me, aren't you? Knock off the dirty campaign tricks. ; )"

    Had it. Spent it. Poof.

  • (Show?)

    Bill R.--

    I take a pretty dim view of the campaign Hillary's run, but to a person, I don't know a single Hillary supporter who'd rather see McCain elected over Barack Obama. As far as Josh "moving on to the next campaign", he's a volunteer for Hillary -- albeit a high-ranking one -- and is doing this work despite an appreciation for the deficit she faces here. The general election candidate -- and I fully concede that Hillary has a ten-percent chance of securing the nomination -- will need the help of people like Josh and everyone else who cares about electing a Democrat to the White House.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Paul G.:"She's sincere when she says she's been working 35 years for progressive causes."

    Paul, I would like to believe that, but when I heard her statement as a board member of Walmart that she was so proud of their policies (child labor sweat shops, union busting,no health care for employees) it made me question those wonderful 35 years, just like her statements about her heroism in Bosnia have come back to haunt her.

    Charlie Burr: "I take a pretty dim view of the campaign Hillary's run, but to a person, I don't know a single Hillary supporter who'd rather see McCain elected over Barack Obama. As far as Josh "moving on to the next campaign", he's a volunteer for Hillary -- albeit a high-ranking one..."

    Charlie, I believe my comments were pointing to the motivations of the Clintons themselves. Personal loyalty can certainly apply to many of the Clinton supporters. But they seem to be quite happy with these tactics, don't have a problem with it.

    As for chances, David Brooks now puts them at 5% after this week. Presumably he doesn't have a dog in this fight, here's his column in the NY Times which addresses the very same question marks that I and so many others have. One may make the argument that Clinton loyalists don't wish the party ill, but when you support the tactics that undermine the foundation of the party and its alleged principles, you are the problem and not the solution. The tactics are not changing and Josh is not speaking against them, so he gets to be tarred with them to the detriment of his credibility and his professional class. In reading this I have to imagine Brooks and his Republican colleagues have to be a bit gleeful at the self-destructive impulse of the Dem. party committing suicide for the sake of Clinton ambition.


    The Long Defeat By DAVID BROOKS Published: March 25, 2008

    "Hillary Clinton may not realize it yet, but she’s just endured one of the worst weeks of her campaign.

    First, Barack Obama weathered the Rev. Jeremiah Wright affair without serious damage to his nomination prospects. Obama still holds a tiny lead among Democrats nationally in the Gallup tracking poll, just as he did before this whole affair blew up.


    Last week, an important Clinton adviser told Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen (also of Politico) that Clinton had no more than a 10 percent chance of getting the nomination. Now, she’s probably down to a 5 percent chance.

    ..... For three more months, Clinton is likely to hurt Obama even more against McCain, without hurting him against herself. And all this is happening so she can preserve that 5 percent chance.

    When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness.

    Why does she go on like this? Does Clinton privately believe that Obama is so incompetent that only she can deliver the policies they both support? Is she simply selfish, and willing to put her party through agony for the sake of her slender chance? Are leading Democrats so narcissistic that they would create bitter stagnation even if they were granted one-party rule?" ...

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    More of the Clinton/Josh Kardon tactics guaranteed to unite the party:

    from Political Wire: Quote of the Day "Pledged delegates in most states are not pledged. You know, there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody."

    -- Sen. Hillary Clinton, during a meeting with the Philadelphia Daily News editorial board.

  • LT (unverified)

    "from Political Wire: Quote of the Day "Pledged delegates in most states are not pledged. You know, there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody."

    -- Sen. Hillary Clinton, during a meeting with the Philadelphia Daily News editorial board."

    Anyone who would say that has no clue about the peer pressure at a convention even the slightest bit contested (like 1984).

  • Truth seeker (unverified)

    chapter 14 page 293 he talks about setting in church and listing to write preach about "Hiroshima' hm sounds familiar and also talks about how he agreed with the church creed page 284, I think he is still not being honest. I have the book and read it myself. Dreams from my father

    Obama lied read and compare to todays news..Speech on Race

    There’s a lot of folks in America right now who have heard that. And I want to ask you why you have been listening to this pastor and close to him for nearly 20 years?

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, Anderson, you know, I strongly condemn the statements that have been shown on the tape.

    I have to confess that those are not statements that I ever heard when I was sitting in the pews at this church. This is a church that I have been a member of for 20 years. This is a well-established, typical, historically African-American church in the South Side of Chicago, with a wonderful set of ministries.

    OBAMA: And, as I said, Anderson, if I had heard any of those statements, I probably would have walked up, and I probably would have told Reverend Wright that they were wrong.

    But they were not statements that I heard when I was in church.

    COOPER: So, no one in the church ever said to you, man, last week, you missed this sermon; Reverend Wright said this; or...

    OBAMA: No.

    COOPER: I mean, I think I read in your books that you listened to tapes of Reverend Wright when you were at Harvard Law School.

    OBAMA: I did.

    COOPER: So, you had no idea?

    OBAMA: I understand.

    I did not. Well, I want to be clear that, when I ran for president, some of these statements started surfacing.

    COOPER: I mean, you may not have been there, but have you -- you must have heard that he had said these things.

    OBAMA: You know, I confess that I did not hear about this until -- until I started running for president.

    And then there was a story that was issued in which I strongly objected to these statements and condemned them. But what I also understood that was -- was Reverend Wright was on the verge of retirement and that a new pastor was coming in. The church family was one that was very important to me. It's where my wife and I got married. It's where our children were baptized. And, so, my belief was that this was something out of the ordinary. Obviously, some of these statements indicate that this was happening more frequently.

    But I also want to say this, Anderson. This is somebody who was a former U.S. Marine, who is a biblical scholar, who's preached and taught at theological seminaries all across the country, and has had a reputation as a preeminent preacher in the country.

    And, so, I have to strongly condemn the statements that were made. They do not reflect my views or Michelle's views, or probably the views of many people in the church.

    On the other hand, you know, Reverend Wright is somebody who is like an uncle or a family member who you may strongly object to what they have to say, but, as he's about to retire, I have no intention of leaving the church itself.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
    <h2>Truth seeker, you fit a family relative's law of advertising. That which you advertise is what you are not! Going from thread to threat doing multiple postings of this drivel will not win anyone over I suspect. If you had an ounce of courage and responsibility you would post your true name, "truth" seeker... (big laugh).</h2>

connect with blueoregon