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Saturday, January 5, 2008

OK, Now Hillary’s Pissing Me Off

posted by on January 5 at 18:39 PM

It’s one thing to direct reporters to a well-reported story about Obama’s “present” votes in the Illinois state senate. It’s another thing to send voters a histrionic mailer that blatantly distorts the facts.

The mailer:



Text: “Hillary Clinton has fought efforts by far-right Republicans to limit or overturn Roe v. Wade. An original co-sponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act—federal legislation that would guarantee the right to choose for every American woman. Secured FDA decision on the over-the-counter sale of Plan B emergency contraception.”

Yes, good job, HRC, especially on the emergency contraception pressure (kudos to our very own Patty Murray, too). That was awesome. Not quite so awesome: turning on your pro-choice allies.

Text: “Barack Obama. Unwilling to take a stand on choice. Seven times he had the opportunity to stand up against Republican anti-choice legislation in the Illinois State Senate. Seven times he voted ‘present’—not ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but ‘present.’ Being there is not enough to protect choice.”

As the New York Times reports, these present votes were part of a strategy devised by Planned Parenthood to protest Republican pressure tactics on Ds representing conservative districts:

In at least 45 instances, Mr. Obama voted [“present”] with large numbers of fellow Democrats as part of the tactical skirmishing with Republicans over the budget.

Seven other times, he voted that way as part of a broad strategy devised by abortion rights advocates to counter anti-abortion bills.

Pam Sutherland, president of Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, said Mr. Obama was one of the senators with a strong stand for abortion rights whom the organization approached about using the strategy. Ms. Sutherland said the Republicans were trying to force Democrats from conservative districts to register politically controversial no votes.

Ms. Sutherland said Mr. Obama had initially resisted the strategy because he wanted to vote against the anti-abortion measures.

He said, Im opposed to this, she recalled.

But the organization argued that a present vote would be difficult for Republicans to use in campaign literature against Democrats from moderate and conservative districts who favored abortion rights.

Lisa Madigan, the Illinois attorney general who was in the Illinois Senate with Mr. Obama from 1998 through 2002, said she and Mr. Obama voted present on the anti-abortion bills.

Its just plain wrong to imply that voting present reflected a lack of leadership, Ms. Madigan said. In fact, it was the exact opposite.

Taking marching orders from Planned Parenthood now counts as being anti-choice? Hillary, please find another issue on which to distinguish yourself from the new frontrunner. (I hear the ladies are against nuclear power.) Obama has a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Lay off it.

PS: Remember “sad, even tragic”? Not so long ago, really.

RSS icon Comments


You and Erica should have phony scripted debate. It would be more real than your stupid alternating posts, and more like the phony presentation that every media outlet presents us with about these elections.

Posted by Jaded Joy | January 5, 2008 6:53 PM

This has nothing to do with Erica. She likes Edwards. I'm arguing with Josh.

Posted by annie | January 5, 2008 6:58 PM

Annie, thank you for posting this, I hate fact distortion. I had no idea about the "present" strategy. Very interesting!

Posted by joey | January 5, 2008 6:59 PM

erica likes edwards? i guess that happened when i wasn't looking. i remember defending him in a post where she thought he was creepy...or something. go, erica!

Posted by ellarosa | January 5, 2008 7:21 PM

Dear Annie,





No. Really. You're brilliant.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 5, 2008 7:23 PM

COMMENT DELETED: Sock-Puppetry or Spam or Off Topic

We remove comments that are off topic, threatening, or commercial in nature, and we do not allow sock-puppetry (impersonating someone else)or any kind of puppetry, for that matter. We never censor comments based on ideology.

Posted by annie | January 5, 2008 7:28 PM

any idea what happened to eli's liveblog? does the app max out at 4 hrs?

Posted by josh | January 5, 2008 7:31 PM


Posted by okthen | January 5, 2008 7:53 PM

Annie great counter post to all the rhetoric about Obama from the naysayers. And please everybody stop with the
"we need a president who can battle the Republicans, because the republicans will slander them and make them look like Kerry booohooo hoo?"
All three candidates Obama preferably will more than enough be ready to contend with the republican onslaught. Even McCaniacs know that.
I'm not putting any more faith in this bandwagon that some dolts in the Blogosfear have about Republicans cheating, slandering, and negative campaigning our Democratic leaders. Stop with the nonsense and grow a pair people. get out there and vote for who you will believe in , not because they will be better running against the republicans , but because they can move America into a better world.
Obama all the way. He knows how to handle himself and does not resort to petty tactics to outshine himself amongst the others. they do that for him. and the republicans will to when they face him with the best vitriol they got.
This is 2008 and the swift boat is not around to get Obama. I don't think anyones going to sit quietly and watch any of the candidates get hammered like Kerry did. And I hope someone has the balls at the stranger to piss on McCains parade if he ends up takeing the lead over the other republicans cause trust me that nut loves the American war machine of the Reagan and Bush years and is not going to be wearing the rainbow pin on his way to the whitehouse. Just like a lot of republicans are starting to root for Obama, democrats are rooting for McCain. makes you wonder wtf?is going on. change indeed.

Posted by westcoastfan | January 5, 2008 9:24 PM

Pissing you off? - Hillary's bad. I'm assuming she neglected the idea that pleasing you never occurred to her. Wondering - but really only rhetorically wondering - how could she make it right for you? Try to understand that Hillary is not running for Prom Queen. Gaffes and gaucheries will be made - some certain to offend the Fourth Estate's stranger sensibilities; you should make deeply noble efforts NOT to inject your whiny feelings into the news cycle.

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | January 5, 2008 11:35 PM


Can you smell the desperation from the Clinton camp?

Even in the debates last night she seemed angry, frustrated and desperate. She has no idea which "persona" to show her public.

What a fake.

Reality Check

Posted by Reality Check | January 6, 2008 8:10 AM

I understand it all now.
Another great thing is with Obama or Edwards we will finally have a president that we can reach as a populace together and help them make decisions and policies that we need. The republicans and dems could, with the ideas of the new generations of voters at heart and movers and shakers rich or poor, can unite and have a bit of oversight on the doings of our leaders. Now we have real reprisentation once again in our democratic hopefuls who will not back down and be puppydogs for the special interests( mostly who support the religious war machine. The industrial military complex is the icing of this cake.)
That is something this country lost when some of our elders, who thought they had the nations best interest at heart, invited the GOPistapo
in to lead our affairs.
That lead to our nation being divided and no real reprisentation because of all the special interests divided on so many issues. And the wall that the Gop and Reagan / bushes put up. It was like the whitehouse became a military base and no one was aloud a voice if they were left thinking. Or centrist.
I believe that is not what the White House was meant for. We have the Pentagon for that. And somehow the two got mixed up with who was really in charge of our country.
I can see why everyone is going Democrat this time and especially Obama.
Because we were all sick and tired of Rumsfeld like characters wispering sweet nothings of war into our presidents ears.
If there is a seperation of Church and State, there ought to be also a seperation of Soldier and State. Not saying that religous people be ignored, or the military(I am ex military by the way), I am saying they should butt out of the business of guiding our presidents policies and leadership in the whitehouse. If the President says all gays should be married and grants Civil Rights to all People then he should do so. If he knows an act of War is wrong he should do so. Because he listened to the peoples voice and opinions and thought them out. And instead of just speeches of what they will do, ask the people what they want.
'For the people, by the people.'
That was not a policy either, it was an Ideal. And like those Presidents and leaders during the 1700s, I think Obama and Edwards deliver.
Policies don't make amends. Ideas do. and thats what this country needs. No more partisanship.
After reading more on Obama and Edwards, I no longer only trust them on face value but also I also trust the ambition and belief of the voters voting for him. And that is a lot of people from all walks of life. Not only in this country, but for the world as well.
Change is good especially when we can all watch instead the stockmarket going upward because of all the goodthings happening in the world, and not because of the bad things.
When I watch CNBC analysts and the Market people get doey eyed and upset because we will not trade with corrupt nations or because some war(Iraq) or strife(Darfur) is not going on somewhere, I feel so ashamed for our country. The Market does not own the couyntry, and Americans, especially the young, are getting tired of investing in paranoid old crony strategies from tired old crony policies.

Posted by now I see the light. | January 6, 2008 10:04 AM

Srry misspelled country with couyntry.
Country. Cointree.
"This is not a Cointree. This is a Country!
I like that. I'd make a bumpersticker out of that.

Posted by now I see the light. | January 6, 2008 10:11 AM

I think Hilliary has a point. She stuck her neck out for pro-choice, Obama didn't. "I wanted to but it was part of a broader campaign?" Sounds like Cantwell when she defends the vote-for-war vote. I say we hold Obama to a higher standard.

Posted by YoYoYou | January 6, 2008 11:07 AM

Wrong. Planned Parenthood devised a strategy so that Ds from conservative districts (not Obama) could get the political cover from safe-district Ds (Obama) to defect from the "yes" vote on anti-choice legislation. Voting "no" would have helped Obama in his heavily pro-choice district--which is probably why he resisted at first. He decided to vote present because pro-choice activists convinced him that it was a more effective strategy in eroding support for anti-choice legislation. It's complicated, but Obama absolutely stuck his neck out. Implying otherwise appeals to the worst in voters, and it's disappointing.

Posted by annie | January 6, 2008 11:34 AM

YoYoYou @14:

I say we hold Obama to a higher standard.

A higher standard than cooperating with Planned Parenthood to protect choice? Like... what? Voting no to satisfy his own vanity at the expense of choice in the long run?

Ok, that last bit was rhetorical. It's pretty clear your real meaning is just, "I like Hillary and/or hate Obama, and I'll back any argument that fits my bias."

Posted by lostboy | January 6, 2008 12:23 PM
there ought to be also a seperation of Soldier and State. Not saying that religous people be ignored, or the military(I am ex military by the way), I am saying they should butt out of the business of guiding our presidents policies and leadership in the whitehouse.

Thank you. I'm sick of the inordinate amount of worship given to members of the military. It's gotten to the point where people running for public office try to base their entire campaign on their service in the military. (I'm talking to you, Paul Hackett.) You know what kind of system gives a member of the military the expectation that he automatically gets a seat in government? A military junta. I'd like to think that our government hasn't devolved into one of those.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 6, 2008 1:35 PM

@17: Oh, it's far, far too late for that. Our very first president was also a retired general.

Posted by Greg | January 7, 2008 9:37 AM

The nice thing about having military people run though is that if you get the right one they can call bullshit on the defense establishment. Eisenhower did this numerous times when he was president, and since the man was a five star general who had commanded the Allied forces in Europe it was impossible for anyone to criticize him for being weak. Eisenhower was the one who kept us out of Vietnam in the 1950s, who didn't back the Suez invasion and who called bullshit on the military industrial complex when he left office. He was also the man, who, even though he didn't agree with Brown v. Board of Education, sent federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce the desegregation in the schools there.

Of course if you get the wrong ones, like Jack Kennedy, you end up fucking around with abortive invasions of Cuba, sending military advisers to Vietnam, lying about a missile gap with the Soviets and bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | January 7, 2008 11:50 AM

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