Ambassador Joe Wilson stumps for Hillary in Portland

By Casey Moffett-Chaney of Portland, Oregon. Casey is the director and senior minister of The Portland Center for Spiritual Growth, and the author of several self-help books and publications.

"Valerie Plame's Husband"

That's how he introduced himself to me when I walked into the room. Several of us who blog regularly were invited to meet with him face to face during his visit to Portland, Oregon on Hillary Clinton's behalf.

"Him" is Joseph C. Wilson, IV, or "Joe" Wilson as he prefers to be called. Wilson, formerly a United States Foreign Service diplomat posted to African nations and Iraq, also served as Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton, and as Senior Director for African Affairs on the United States National Security Council. Today Ambassador Wilson is the CEO of JC Wilson International Ventures, consulting in the field of strategic management and international-business development. He joined Jarch Capital, LLC in January 2007 as vice chairman, to advise in areas of Africa considered politically sensitive.

Joe Wilson's "claim to fame" as he referred to it was his op-ed published in the New York Times, four months following the invasion of Iraq, titled "What I Didn't Find in Africa," referring to his 2002 CIA investigation into the purchase or attempted purchase, by Iraq, of uranium yellowcake from Niger. He concluded that the George W. Bush administration tweaked intelligence to "exaggerate the Iraqi threat," implying quite clearly that Bush lied us into the war in Iraq. This did not set well with "W" and "Dicky."

One week following the publication of his article in the NYT, Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a covert CIA operative, was outed by Robert Novak in his Washington Post column. Scooter Libby was subsequently charged and found guilty of 4 out of 5 federal crimes relating to the leak of Plame's identity. His prison term was commuted by W, though the ongoing civil suit, Wilson v. Cheney, which was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, is still on appeal.

I found him to be friendly, down to earth, humble, and willing to take as many pictures with us as we wanted. Most of all, I felt I was in the presence of a man who intimately understands international politics, and who recognizes those leaders who can work effectively within them.

"Why support Hillary?" we asked.

His response was swift and certain. "Experience matters; no other way around it." He went on to say that she is "easily" the "better candidate based upon an entire generation (that is, a lifetime more than Obama) working with all matters of government," including health care, education, international politics, the economy "and more." Using a military example, he said, "You don't hire a 20 year old to run a platoon."

Ambassador Wilson told us that her "enormous amount of time at the top (meaning her eight years of experience in the White House)" has prepared her for Presidential leadership. Wilson went on to give the example of his own area of expertise, Africa. Referring to Bill Clinton's highly successful 11-day trip to six sub-Saharan African nations in March-April of 1998, Wilson says, "Bill's trip was Hillary's doing." Hillary, he said, had traveled there first to look the situation over, meet with leaders, and visit more than 80 countries. She came back and told Bill in no uncertain terms that he "must go there." Using the strength of her international political understanding, savvy, and influence, coupled with the relationships she had formed while there, she convinced Bill that she was right; he made the trip, and the trip made history.

Wilson emphatically insists that her talent and finesse working with legislators on both sides of the aisle have been greatly understated. He talked about Hillary, the person, the woman he and his wife came to know, trust, and rely upon. When the CIA incident occurred, the stress, exhaustion and fear almost led them to give up the fight. Had it not been for Hillary's personal support and conviction, this country and world "might never have understood what actually happened" (referring to Bush lying us into the war in Iraq). "She said to us, 'You have to stay in this fight because it's not about you.' Our country understands now (about Bush's lies), but wouldn't have if we had given up." He says that Hillary's support and encouragement led them to push through it. "She taught us something very important about not letting our anger get in the way. She said to us, 'Let go of your grievances, keep focussed on the goal, and be prepared to keep arguing for your cause.'"

Concerning Iraq, Wilson says he's been "advising her about Iraq for years," and that she understands precisely what's at stake in getting us out. He told us that Hillary has said we must get out of Iraq because the war is illegal, and we have a broken army--morale, equipment, operations and personnel. She knows we must:

- continue our awareness of the war on terror as we move troops
- guaranty the security of Israel
- secure petroleum while working toward less need of it
- hold the Iraqi government to their agreements and responsibilities
- watch the international political process - they are involved as well
- sustain Presidential leadership
- engage the senior Presidential envoy

She was the one US Senator asked by the top US "brass" to participate in a meeting held to determine a way to fix our broken military. "They said she is the 'best prepared of any politician they know.' She understands the arcane details of how to move troops, how to maintain her leadership within the process, and how to remain in her own power when dealing with other countries and making hard decisions."

Wilson knows first hand what the Right Wing machine can dole out, and he says, because of her having dealt with this machine so successfully, she is the best candidate to deal with it and win. "The Republicans have 350 million dollars that they will use to define Obama, and they will use it to define him in ways he can't even imagine."

Regarding Hillary as a Progressive Democrat, Wilson says Hillary has always stood for and fought for progressive programs such as healthcare, education, early childhood education, pro-choice issues, etc. He states emphatically that Hillary is "a fighter who does not get bored with the necessity of getting up every day to win this nomination. Over the years, she has been an exceptional leader, empowering others, and teaching us all how to stay in the ring. There is no evidence that Obama has done anything of major consequence in his Senate experience that makes him any different from any other average politician."

Concerning his personal relationship with Hillary, Wilson states that she has been an amazing friend and strong support to both he and his wife. "When we get together, the first thing she mentions are our kids; we talk about them for a while before any campaign conversation even comes up. She takes Valerie aside for pep talks. 'Don't give up, push through this' she'll say. It would be easy for us to walk away from the campaign and the constant barrage of attention we still get. But we're in this for her because she is the right candidate, and we won't give up."

Comments

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    There are many reasons to have lots of respect for Joe Wilson, but many of us who have gone through past debates on "experience" are unlikely to have our minds changed even if we hold Wilson in high regard. Experience that includes malpractice has to be suspect. Experience didn't keep Hillary from her monumental blunder in voting for the current monstrous disaster in Iraq. Nor did it keep her from insulting the intelligence of the American people, exclusive of Hillary and McCain supporters, with her BS about dodging sniper fire in Tuzla.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    He told us that Hillary has said we must get out of Iraq because the war is illegal, ...

    Millions of people knew such a war would be illegal before Hillary voted for it AND Senator Byrd warned the entire Congress, including Hillary, that senators and representatives would be failing to live up to their Constitutional responsibilities if they voted to give Bush authorization to use military force against Iraq.

  • Casey (unverified)
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    You know, it is a dilemma. A lot of good progressive democrats like Kerry and Edwards also voted with Hillary. All of them, including Hillary regret the decision because it was abused and used illegally. When Obama has more years under his belt as a Senator, I'm sure we will see poor voting choices on his part as well. Even the Saints were imperfect, and there has to be a point where we move forward from the "yeah, buts..."

    Now we are faced with an important choice: Do we elect a person who might have made the right decision in the first place, but who does not have the experience, political savvy, confidence or support of our military leaders, or long history of personal connections to know the way out of this mess; or do we elect a person who goofed once at the beginning, but who has not goofed since, and who has all of the qualities I listed?

    I'll go with Hillary, thanks.

    PS. I spoke out against the war from the beginning. Vote for me! {{:-}

  • james r bradach (unverified)
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    Did Byrd or Clinton have more experience as a US senator?

  • Casey (unverified)
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    Don't know about Byrd, but Clinton had 10+ years as a state governor. I consider that better experience for a Presidency than that of a state senator.

  • Robin Ozretich (unverified)
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    Senator Barack Obama may be new to Washington, but he's not new to civic life or public service. To compare him to a 20-year-old is inappropriate and insulting, and I doubt it will change many minds.

    Obama is winning because he offers a new perspective and a new politics. Clinton and McCain both offer more of the same (although McCain also offers some frighteningly new directions in foreign policy - a new cold war and several hot wars as well).

  • genop (unverified)
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    "Do we elect a person who might have made the right decision in the first place, but who does not have the experience, political savvy, confidence or support of our military leaders, or long history of personal connections to know the way out of this mess; or do we elect a person" who took over a political machine but can't seem to muster the support needed to win the primary? I'll go with change, his campaign success alone underscores more astute skillz. I want a leader who has a positive outlook on our future, not a negative fall back when the chips (delegates) are down.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Someone remind me, please, how Clinton's years of experience at the Rose law firm in Little Rock factor in to her qualifications for the 3 am phone call. Let's have an answer from Joe Wilson.

    Actually, I think the experience argument favors McCain, who was rotting in a POW camp before Hillary Clinton's so-called 35 years of experience even began.

    Even better: let's resurrect Ronald Reagan. Now there's some experience for you.

  • james r bradach (unverified)
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    I am tired of the Hillary, Bill and Joe experience. It has been very unpleasant!

  • OregonDemocrat (unverified)
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    Hillary is the right choice based on experience. She's been working in American politics for Americans for decades. Hillary is the right choice for America. Unfortunately, Republicans have dragged her through the mud in retribution for her participation in Nixon's impeachment. Sadly, Obama supporters have now joined the Republican chorus and are similarly dragging her through the mud. People wonder what is wrong with America. One huge problem in America is that meritorious individuals such as Hillary are no longer rewarded for their efforts. Americans now like their McPoliticians such as Obama even though there are better, more deserving candidates such as Hillary. Fortunately, Obama has nowhere near the stamina and tenacity that Clinton has. Hillary '08

  • Ashlander (unverified)
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    So, is Mr. Wilson on board with Sen. Clinton's promise to "obliterate" Iran if it should ever attack Israel?

    Yes, that's what she said quite clearly last week. It alarmed serious people who were paying attention, but too many others were busy worrying about Obama's pastor, flag pins, etc.

    "Rambo rhetoric like Clinton's only plays into the hands of Iranian hard-liners," said the Boston Globe in an editorial response to her comments. "She seems not to realize that she undermined Iranian reformists and pragmatists."

    For more on this, see the Globe's April 27 editorial ("Hillary Strangelove," at Boston.com).

  • RichW (unverified)
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    After 75 more Super Delegate declare for Obama, he will be our nominee.

  • james r bradach (unverified)
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    Persons of self supposed merit are the problem in this county! We are trying to have a Democracy here!

  • Eric Ramon (unverified)
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    Casey, you said this:

    "Don't know about Byrd, but Clinton had 10+ years as a state governor. I consider that better experience for a Presidency than that of a state senator."

    That was Bill Clinton, of course, not Hillary Clinton. If Bill is running then he's in violation of the US Constitution, which prohibits more than two terms. If Hillary is running then she can't count Bill's experience unless we want to assume all spouses get credit for whatever their husbands/wives do.

    You also said "When Obama has more years under his belt as a Senator, I'm sure we will see poor voting choices on his part as well."

    Was that compared to Sen. Clinton? She has four more years than Obama in the US Senate but less experience overall in a legislative body.

    This isn't to say she's a bad candidate, just that she is NOT Bill Clinton.

    And one more thing, thanks for the writeup of your encounter with Joe Wilson!

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    What is experience supposed to do for a person? It's supposed to give them judgement. It's supposed to provide an internal marker to guide a person towards the right choice. It's supposed to give them a context for the appropriate decision.

    While I agree that Senator Clinton does have some experience, it hasn't done for her what it is supposed to do...

    Obama has the judgement and reasoned approach that I want in the next president.

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    Folks, can we stop trashing Hillary Clinton here? I don't question her claim to have experience. I don't even begrudge her vote on the war--many Democrats voted that way (though I know many feel differently).

    What I do question is the claim that Obama does not have experience. It is not at all unreasonable for many voters to evaluate the resume of Barack Obama and conclude that the choices he made and the experience he has accrued is more that sufficient to qualify him for president.

    Most specifically to Wilson's claims, Wilson completely discounts Obama's decision, upon leaving law school, to pursue community organizing and community action rather than the much easier (and lucrative) choice of corporate law.

    Those years count and to some, trump Clinton's years of experience where she chose a very different path.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    A lot of good progressive democrats like Kerry and Edwards also voted with Hillary.

    All three voted for political reasons. Bob Shrum, a Democratic political analyst advising John Edwards, stated in his relatively recent book that he persuaded Edwards to vote for Bush's blank check to make him a viable presidential candidate. This was apparently against Edwards' better judgment and his wife's anti-war arguments. Something similar applied to Kerry. I'm not able at this time to find my source on this, but this will give you an idea of how this "good progressive Democrat" functioned on the war. As for Hillary, her excuses for voting for the war have been ridiculed completely.

    Unequivocal fact: They all committed a monumental blunder that should make a case for impeachment - not higher office.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Hillary Clinton is a smart, capable woman; when I saw her on TV in 1994 initially promoting health care reform, my response was, why isn't SHE president? But the fact is that the "experience" she touts is to a significant extent inextricably linked to her spouse's experience. I have a helluva time teasing them apart.

    I REFUSE to base my vote in 2008 on whatever BILL Clinton did, and whatever HILLARY Clinton MAY have done in association with him.

    The flip side of that coin is this: if Hillary Clinton wants to run on the record of her spouse's administration, she can damn well take the blame for the screwups as well as credit for the high points.

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    Paul,

    I don't see how distinguishing experience from judgement is "trashing" Hillary...I don't agree with her and I'm hopefully allowed to say so...right?

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    paul,

    Straight out of law school, Hillary went to work for the Children's Defense Fund. Her corporate work came later in life when her husband was earning $26,500 a year as Arkansas Attorney General and then $30,000 a year as Governor.

    And as this LA Times story points out, Senator Obama's clients were both corporate and civil rights, including defending an investment company landlord against its tenants for not providing heat.

  • backbeat, woman (unverified)
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    Mr. Wilson, please give me a link to the citation of Senator Clinton stating that this invasion was illegal. She has said nothing of the kind in public, choosing to spit on MoveOn and "Democratic Activists" with whom, in her own words, she disagrees on iraq/iran. She needs a Hail Mary to stand any sort of chance. Giving a major speech on the illegality of this invasion, the fact that funds for the "war" in Afghanistan were illegally diverted to iraq before congress approved, and/or the fact that we've trashed the Geneva Conventions might be the Hail Mary she needs.

    Maybe.

    50 state strategy coast to coast

    Obama/Schweitzer '08

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Straight out of law school, Hillary went to work for the Children's Defense Fund. Her corporate work came later in life when her husband was earning $26,500 a year as Arkansas Attorney General and then $30,000 a year as Governor.

    Obama was a community organizer in South Chicago. Sort of sounds like a wash with HRC and the Children's Defense Fund as far as EXPERIENCE is concerned. And then she and Obama both provided legal representation for corporate clients. Gee, radical difference in EXPERIENCE here.

    I guess if we want to disqualify corporate lawyers from holding public office, we're going to need a new crop of candidates.

    As I noted elsewhere, if one wants to flog YEARS OF EXPERIENCE as an indispensible qualification, we'd better just roll over for John McCain.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Mr. Wilson, please give me a link to the citation of Senator Clinton stating that this invasion was illegal. She has said nothing of the kind in public, choosing to spit on MoveOn and "Democratic Activists" with whom, in her own words, she disagrees on iraq/iran. She needs a Hail Mary to stand any sort of chance. Giving a major speech on the illegality of this invasion, the fact that funds for the "war" in Afghanistan were illegally diverted to iraq before congress approved, and/or the fact that we've trashed the Geneva Conventions might be the Hail Mary she needs.

    If Hillary Clinton had simply done what John Edwards did--admit that he screwed up on the Iraq war authorization vote--SHE WOULD BE THE NOMINEE NOW. But she didn't make such an admission. And she doesn't get to go back and recant her vote now and re-run the primaries. Life is tough, and it's tougher when you're too damn arrogant to admit a mistake.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Mr. Wilson, please give me a link to the citation of Senator Clinton stating that this invasion was illegal. She has said nothing of the kind in public, choosing to spit on MoveOn and "Democratic Activists" with whom, in her own words, she disagrees on iraq/iran. She needs a Hail Mary to stand any sort of chance. Giving a major speech on the illegality of this invasion, the fact that funds for the "war" in Afghanistan were illegally diverted to iraq before congress approved, and/or the fact that we've trashed the Geneva Conventions might be the Hail Mary she needs.

    If Hillary Clinton had simply done what John Edwards did--admit that he screwed up on the Iraq war authorization vote--SHE WOULD BE THE NOMINEE NOW. But she didn't make such an admission. And she doesn't get to go back and recant her vote now and re-run the primaries. Life is tough, and it's tougher when you're too damn arrogant to admit a mistake.

  • Casey (unverified)
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    Eric, sorry it took so long to get back to you. I do work during my day! You replied to me:

    That was Bill Clinton, of course, not Hillary Clinton.

    When you asked about Byrd and Clinton, I thought you were talking about Bill, and comparing his experience with Obama's. Mea culpa. Don't know why you included Byrd in this.

    Let's not forget the two terms Hillary has in the US Senate, and the reputation she has there. NY voted for her twice, and again to be the Presidential nominee. And Arkansas seems to think she'd make a capable President as well. She must have done something during her years there besides bake cookies {{:-}

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    NY voted for her twice

    and they voted for Chuck Schumer, sponsor of Michael Mukasey for Attorney General, several times. Majorities in the United States voted for Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes to be president. The majority may decide who wins but not necessarily who is the better or best candidate.

  • (Show?)

    Hillary Clinton did not visit 80 countries in Africa. Africa has 53 countries if you count the island nations like the Commoros. That also includes the five Arabic speaking North African countries that for most policy purposes are treated as "Arab" and hence part of "the Middle East."

  • james bradach (unverified)
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    If Bill ran for President on his experience as the governor of the great state of Arkansas he would not even merit a mention in Who's who of America's governors. The man had vision and ideas when America was thirsty for such things. If Hillary and her experience leads us to more of the same as we have recently had...NO THANKS! Give us some good ideas Hillary!

  • John F. Bradach, Sr. (unverified)
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    Sending Joe Wilson is the first thing the Clinton Campaign has done, which has me thinking through my support for Barack Obama.

    I respect the courage of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame.

    Congress did not stand up to these scoundrels, but Wilson and Plame did. The little we know about the pre-invasion manipulation of information to set up the pretext for the War is a result of their efforts.

    I had the oppurtunity to talk with and have dinner with Joe, when my sister Lynn received the Eleanor Roosevelt award at the DPO 2005 summit, for her Adopt-A-Minefield service and anti-war.

    Wilson's speech that night was a roadmap for impeachment.

    It did not happen, because those who voted for the War were unwilling or unable to admit having been fooled. It is because they were not fooled. They just thought we would get off cheap: just a few dead kids, just a few hundred billion dollars. It hasn't turned out that way.

    The person writing above as Joe Dan Walls is right on the spot. Hillary could have recanted her vote to give George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld a blank check, but she did not. When all is said and done, we will find out that the roots of the decision to take out Saddam on the pretext of WMD and an Iraq 9/11 nexus were in the Clinton administation, and fully appreciated by many of both parties who voted for it.

    See what Hillary told Cindy Sheehan and my sister Lynn, when they were in her office in late September 2005, at Bradach Blog, The War on Error, http://john.bradach.net/

    Hillary did not lead, she followed public opinion (slowly, as kids died), to reach a point of advocating full withdrawal. But, her position will wilt under McCain's continuing push to support the troops and carry freedom and democracy to every nook and cranny of the Middle East. She has no moral standing to resist. We will never get out, if we elect Hillary.

    God Bless Joe and Valerie Plame.

    When the dust clears, I hope they can support Barack Obama.

  • (Show?)

    With all due respect to Ambassador Wilson, a man I both respect and admire, the statement "You don't hire a 20 year old to run a platoon" clearly shows he doesn't have a clue about the way militaries operate in wartime. During most of America's wars, from the Revolutionary, through the Civil, up at least until WW2, it was not uncommon at all to find 20 year olds "running a platoon".

    Often uncommonly well.

    Not, of course, that this has anything to do with Barak Obama.

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    one thing i'm really tired of and it's the indiscriminate use of the word "progressive" as if simply being for good policies means you're a progressive. if anyone truly thinks John Kerry is a progressive, please explain that logic to me. Hillary Clinton is no progressive -- unless you mean the kind from a century ago.

    what Hillary means when she calls herself a progressive is "please god don't call me a liberal." for her the word is a dodge, a way to escape that evil L-word she and those stuck in the last century still fear so much.

    progressivism begins, not with policies but with process: grassroots activism. liberalism is about using the institutions of government first and foremost; not a bad thing, just different than beginning with people out around the country. the reason liberalism's time is passing is not because its policy goals are wrong -- they are still right and still best for America -- but because how they get to those goals will not work. what does work is what we saw beginning with the Dean campaign in 2003, the Bus Project, and the movement for Obama that was not orchestrated by a Beltway braintrust but decided, person by person, that Obama was their candidate and so they would work with him to build a campaign.

    Hillary, as we know all to well, expected to squash her opponents on Super Tuesday and end the campaign with minimal fuss. now that she's been forced to campaign to the entire nation, she finds herself unable to do that without resort to negative ads and personal attacks -- including her own use of Rev Wright. that is not how progressives approach politics. it's how people unfit for office do.

    the reason Obama is the most progressive candidate in the entire race is not that he's got the most liberal, left-wing, Kos-friendly platform. it's because his entire career, beginning in college in California and demonstrated at every step in his life, is to involve everyone. he knows he's got leadership skills, but he knows those mean nothing without making those he leads an equal partner. Hillary never really got that, and so she's on the brink of defeat. she's hoping enough crap will be slung around, particularly regarding Rev Wright, that she'll scrape enough votes to scare enough SDs. but it's not going to happen. because Obama's not dependent on what the media say; he's dependent on what the people say. and the people are saying, and continuing to say, they want him as our next president.

    Hillary? progressive? she's the one who told Joe Trippi, no thanks, i don't need to raise money from the voters; i'll get all i need from my big donors.

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    Paul, re "I don't even begrudge her vote on the war--many Democrats voted that way (though I know many feel differently)." That is just an indictment of those Democrats and is utterly unimpressive as an argument that someone has superior judgment now. If she was stampeded by an uncritical media echo chamber and put political calculations ahead of the national interest then, why should we think it won't happen again?

    The claim at the time was that "everyone knows" Iraq has Ws of MD. Actually there was substantial opinion and evidence to the contrary, but a lot of people who should have known better, including Hillary and the other Democrats you mention, defined those people as "nobodies". The perpetuation of that error of judgment into the past tense, "everyone believed," and incredibly, sometimes "everyone knew" (not "wrongly thought thought they knew") appears to reflect a propensity to exclude critical voices again in the future.

    Casey, Byrd is relevant because he is the longest serving member of the Senate. Who has indeed made many mistakes and just been plain wrong over the years. But that didn't keep him from being right on the war powers resolution, when it was transparently obvious that Bush was lying in his teeth about diplomacy and was on a march to war.

    Bill Bodden's point about the role of political calculation about constructing "hard-nosed-on-foreign-policy" "willing-to-use" force cred with with the beltway media echo-chamber is exactly right, and it represents the downside of Hillary's "experience" -- the experience of doing the politically expedient, the experience of being a partner in triangulation against other Democrats.

    Ashlander, BlueOregon actually has a good post of its own by Dan Petegorsky, with a nice Reuters link, on Hillary's moment of channeling General Jack D. Ripper. He points out that Clinton's position on Iran resembles McCain's.

    Hillary's overheated rhetoric on Iran provides evidence that she hasn't learned from her 2002 "experience," but remains willing to let hysterical questioning about highly unlikely hypotheticals from the media roll her, for the sake of political expedience and an image of "toughness".

    Inability to distinguish real threats from made up ones -- Iran has no nuclear weapons, the premise of the question she was answering, while Israel has its own nuclear deterrent -- does not reflect toughness.

    The genocidal threat to "obliterate" another country reflects terribly bad judgment.

    Actually, it reflects judgment so bad it should mean obvious unfitness to be president, if it were a sane world.

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    Paul, re "I don't even begrudge her vote on the war--many Democrats voted that way (though I know many feel differently)." That is just an indictment of those Democrats and is utterly unimpressive as an argument that someone has superior judgment now. If she was stampeded by an uncritical media echo chamber and put political calculations ahead of the national interest then, why should we think it won't happen again?

    The claim at the time was that "everyone knows" Iraq has Ws of MD. Actually there was substantial opinion and evidence to the contrary, but a lot of people who should have known better, including Hillary and the other Democrats you mention, defined those people as "nobodies". The perpetuation of that error of judgment into the past tense, "everyone believed," and incredibly, sometimes "everyone knew" (not "wrongly thought thought they knew") appears to reflect a propensity to exclude critical voices again in the future.

    Casey, Byrd is relevant because he is the longest serving member of the Senate. Who has indeed made many mistakes and just been plain wrong over the years. But that didn't keep him from being right on the war powers resolution, when it was transparently obvious that Bush was lying in his teeth about diplomacy and was on a march to war.

    Bill Bodden's point about the role of political calculation about constructing "hard-nosed-on-foreign-policy" "willing-to-use" force cred with with the beltway media echo-chamber is exactly right, and it represents the downside of Hillary's "experience" -- the experience of doing the politically expedient, the experience of being a partner in triangulation against other Democrats.

    Ashlander, BlueOregon actually has a good post of its own by Dan Petegorsky, with a nice Reuters link, on Hillary's moment of channeling General Jack D. Ripper. He points out that Clinton's position on Iran resembles McCain's.

    Hillary's overheated rhetoric on Iran provides evidence that she hasn't learned from her 2002 "experience," but remains willing to let hysterical questioning about highly unlikely hypotheticals from the media roll her, for the sake of political expedience and an image of "toughness".

    Inability to distinguish real threats from made up ones -- Iran has no nuclear weapons, the premise of the question she was answering, while Israel has its own nuclear deterrent -- does not reflect toughness.

    The genocidal threat to "obliterate" another country reflects terribly bad judgment.

    Actually, it reflects judgment so bad it should mean obvious unfitness to be president, if it were a sane world.

    [sorry for the repetition but it was the only way to fix my error in leaving the refernce link open. At least, I hope it will do that.]

  • (Show?)

    TA,

    Wow -- I don't remember when a comment on a blog actually got me to tear up --

    "The reason Obama is the most progressive candidate in the entire race is not that he's got the most liberal, left-wing, Kos-friendly platform. it's because his entire career, beginning in college in California and demonstrated at every step in his life, is to involve everyone. he knows he's got leadership skills, but he knows those mean nothing without making those he leads an equal partner. Hillary never really got that, and so she's on the brink of defeat. she's hoping enough crap will be slung around, particularly regarding Rev Wright, that she'll scrape enough votes to scare enough SDs. but it's not going to happen. because Obama's not dependent on what the media say; he's dependent on what the people say. and the people are saying, and continuing to say, they want him as our next president."

    While I am happy to care so much about a presidential candidate, I share the middle of the night fears and wish that our country was not at a place where I so desperately, totally, unendingly cared about who our nominee was.

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    Casey, thanks for this article. It's great to see people like Joe Wilson coming to Oregon to share their perspectives; thanks for conveying so much of what he had to say.

  • Ashlander (unverified)
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    Thanks to Chris Lowe for Clinton/nuke link. It shocks me that this story got so little coverage inside the US.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    I've had about enough

    Whitewater wasn't a Republican invention - they just exaggerated it out of proportion - it stunk without help

    Walmart board is not an invention

    Travelgate was an example of autocratic screw you employment practices

    AUMF - pure political calculation with others lives

    flag burning amendment -WTF?

    sniper fire in Bosnia - either an outright lie or a symptom of an unbalanced mind

    shotgunning little girl? now I am insulted

    Lying about Move on and Afghanistan? Lets piss off the grass roots, pointlessly. And they once protected you.

    Poor victimized Hillary?? give me a break, please reality intrude, not once by the Obama campaign, and there's plenty to use and I'm showing it to you

    Experience?? In elected office she's the inferior, who she slept with...well, since Obama should've dumped his pastor, what do blow jobs count as? You think it's rude? Who is the disposable rat bastard in this equation, Rev or Bill? I forgot, Bill's a meal ticket...unlike a Pastor. She played it, you like it now?

    Obliterate Iran? Who is it exactly that doesn't know we have nukes? And we use them. I just love people who scream instead of talking, it is ever so productive and Bushian.

    I'll give you another reason not to vote for her, NY did, that should be an Oregon disqualification in itself. You think NY knows what it is doing? Move there. Why are you in Oregon? I don't want to live in NY, I am as far as I can get from it in the continental US, geographically and culturally. Please, I like Ron Wyden, he's ours, Chuck Schumer is theirs. (and Hillary)

    You all want to play it that way, there you damn are and those are facts. If it plays that way I'll back your rat in the general, but chalk that up to McCain and not her. You Hills play stupid games with the truth and bury your candidate's junk under Republican junk and excuse it and throw haymakers at the opponent driving both's negatives up as though there's no General Election. If Joe can't see past the crap then he's less smart than his reputation. Obama hasn't smacked your candidate on anything, I just did. And I just barely like him.

    Your candidate is so vulnerable on so many fronts her behavior would be incomprehensible except that the target, Obama, can't climb down in the mud with her without blowing his broadest appeal in the campaign, no such dissuasion for Hillary is there? You think the Republicans don't know what I just mentioned? Cripes. They've got years of good oppo intel and plenty of scurrilous lies to go with the truth.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
    (Show?)

    If that seems like a rant, it is. I'm sick of the one way mud slinging. Hillary could've played this straight, she almost started to, until it wasn't working out. I've had a lot to say about Novick and Merkley people keeping their heads, that was because the candidates were. This Hillary mud slinging is garbage, the General Election counts and picking a Party representative on the basis of crap is nonsense. Hillary has been left alone, she could have done it also, she chose this path. I hit back, not for Obama's sake, because I'm tired of lies and hypocrisy and profit from them. If Joe Wilson can endorse that after what happened to himself and his wife, I do not understand and I lose a lot of respect.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    This is from an article linked to by Talking Points Memo: "Some have also questioned the ties between Women's Voices operatives and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton. Gardner, for example, contributed $2,500 to Clinton's HILLPAC on May 4, 2006, and in March 2005 she donated a total of $4,200 to Clinton, according to The Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org. She has not contributed to the Obama campaign, according to the database."

    The full story on Women's Voices and their sleazy tactics is here.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    (Show?)

    From Common Dreams: The Clinton Smear Campaign Against Obama.

    While the Hillary campaign talks about guilt by association check, for one example, Friend of Bill, George and Dick

  • (Show?)

    Paddy, we are on the same page here. I am personally identified as an Obama supporter, but I'm not going to engage in Clinton bashing.

    I think Joe Wilson is over the top, however, in comments he made here and he's made in other venues.

    Clinton and Obama both have, in my opinion, sufficient "experience" to be president. In my opinion, Clinton's war vote does not disqualify her (though it does for good people whom I respect).

    I am for Obama because he promises a transformative candidacy and presidency of a sort that I have not witnessed in my lifetime.

    I am not for Clinton in this primary because I did not think the 90's ended particularly well, I don't particularly trust their very close ties to Wall Street, and I just don't resonate to Hillary Clinton's completely political personality.

    The recent gas tax debate typifies this to me--this is total political pandering and very, very bad public policy. I can't get behind a candidate like this, not after what we've experienced in the last ten years (and yes, I mean TEN years, back to 1998).

    But I'll happily work for and vote for Daisy Duck is she's the Democratic standard bearer in 2008.

    By the way, we really are interested in inviting President Clinton to Reed, just in case you're talking to the guy every day.

  • (Show?)

    Whoops! Last comment. Didn't mean to imply there that Hillary Clinton = Daisy Duck. Just trying to be gender neutral. I'll vote for Batman if he's on the ticket. Or Iron Man. Or Wonder Woman. Or a cow. Or whatever.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Ha, ha! I like the angry Chuck Butcher.

    All this reminds me, I don't particularly like either Clinton or Obama. I like Clinton less, though.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I'll try closing the italics.

  • (Show?)

    A key quote from the Boston Globe:

    "A presidential candidate who lightly commits to obliterating Iran - and, presumably, all the children, parents, and grandparents in Iran - should not be answering the White House phone at any time of day or night." http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2008/04/27/ hillary_strangelove?mode=PF

    That sums it up for me -- the more she blabs, the more she resembles McCain. I'm not going to argue with Joe Wilson and the rest of the Plame family. They are stuck on the "experience" argument. But after Obama wins the nomination, I'm betting that they will come around and support him.

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