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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

As Long As We’re Holding Candidates Responsible for Every Single Thing Their Supporters Say

posted by on March 11 at 16:52 PM

Let’s have a look at some statements some prominent Obama supporters (most of them official campaign advisors, unlike Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro) have made lately.

Obama LGBT leadership council member Maxim Thorne, dragging up the 10-year-old Lewinsky scandal:

At 3am, Hillary said she and Bill were in bed and she knows of all the calls a President gets at different times of the day and night. Really? So much involvement - so much togetherness. Where was she when Monica was having sex with Bill? …They settled with Paula Jones for the full amount of her lawsuit. I haven’t forgotten and none of us should.

Key foreign policy advisor John Brennan, on telecom immunity:

There is this great debate over whether or not the telecom companies should in fact be given immunity for their agreement to provide support and cooperate with the government after 9/11. I do believe strongly that they should be granted that immunity, because they were told to do so by the appropriate authorities that were operating in a legal context, and so I think that’s important.

Key foreign policy aide Samantha Power:

Clinton is a monster … You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh’. But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.

Power, again, on Obama’s promise to pull one or two combat brigades from Iraq per month, until all combat troops are gone by the end of 2009:

What he’s actually said, after meeting with the generals and meeting with intelligence professionals, is that you – at best case scenario – will be able to withdraw one to two combat brigades each month. That’s what they’re telling him. He will revisit it when he becomes president.

Chief economic advisor Austan Goolsbee: Obama’s anti-NAFTA statements have been “more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.”

Obama foreign policy advisor Susan Rice: “both” Clinton and Obama are “not ready to have that 3 am phone call.”

To say nothing of the time Obama himself referred to Clinton as “D-Punjab,” mocking her efforts on behalf of Indian-Americans.

None of this is to say Ferraro’s comments weren’t outrageous. They were, and she should retract them and distance herself from the campaign. But Ferraro is a Clinton supporter—not, as Eli’s post below flat-out says, a member of the Clinton campaign. If we’re going to hold the Clinton campaign’s feet to the fire over a statement made by a Clinton supporter—well, why not Obama?

RSS icon Comments


Ferraro is a member of her finance committee.

Posted by Doesn't that count? | March 11, 2008 4:54 PM

cool. now do the same thing for hillary.

Posted by brandon | March 11, 2008 4:54 PM

ECB, be sure to take some Advil for the strained muscles. please describe what the fuck NAFTA, telco immunity and national security have to do with the price of rice?

though predictable, you're just so in the weeds on this. what are we to think about your local reporting??

Posted by ho' know | March 11, 2008 4:56 PM

Because Ferraro's statements are much more offensive than those examples? Because Clinton hasn't said anything about them? Because they do, in fact, echo statements and impressions that Clinton has given? Because they sound like concerted efforts to undermine the opponent on dark, lizard-brain prejudices rather than policy arguments -- which has been a theme of Clinton's from the beginning: not "my ideas are better" but "my opponent is untrustworthy"? I don't know, maybe it's one of those.

As long as you're dredging up crap from the bottom, why don't you tell us about the anti-gay ads that Clinton's hubby ran on Christian radio in '96?

Posted by Fnarf | March 11, 2008 4:57 PM

Yay! Everybody sucks!

Posted by CG | March 11, 2008 4:58 PM

Sounds like pretty good sound bites to me.

Where's the controversy?

If you were Barack would you have sat on your hands this long without taking out the gloves?

Billary has tried throwing the kitchen sink at Obama, and he has consistently taken the high road, save a few minor out of character exchanges from "advisors"

Billary on the other hand has consistently gone out of her way to fling shit at every opportunity.

She is sounding so pathetically desperate to a majority of voters.

It's sad ECB that you don't see the trend. You are blind to her ambition and overzealous meniacal self centeredness.

Hillary has simply gone too far, and her minions are now needing to pick up the pace for her, lest she appear completely raving mad.

It's sad to think what might have been had she gotten into office.

Ferraro simply represents the same type of female politician that Hillary is. Many people see a strong connection that Geraldine = Hillary, and thus she does represent Hillary more than some moron staffer for Obama.

Posted by Reality Check | March 11, 2008 4:58 PM

Um she's a finance chair for clinton. You really need to read more before you post things.

Maxim Thorne was asked to resign right away and we all know Samantha Power already did.

I really want to know if you are just this dumb and post this stuff without and self awareness.

My hope for you is that you do this on purpose just to mess with people.

Posted by cbc | March 11, 2008 5:01 PM

I agree with you ECB, in that the candidates should not be held entirely responsible for the conduct of their supporters, but who was it that brought this to the forefront, if I remember it was Mrs. Hillary "you must reject AND denounce" Clinton...if dems' the rules then dems' the rules

Posted by WA | March 11, 2008 5:03 PM

Ferraro's comments are outrageous. Are they true? Are they false? Do news accounts, magazine articles, ..., that talk about the historic nature of a contest pitting a woman vs. a black man not notice that Obama is black? Do the 80-90% of black primary voters who've voted for Obama not notice he is black? If he were unblack would he get the same coverage and the same votes?

Posted by umvue | March 11, 2008 5:04 PM

on the topic of telecom immunity, John Brennan wrote:

I do believe strongly that they should be granted that immunity, because they were told to do so by the appropriate authorities

They were not told to do so by "the appropriate authorities" -- that would have been a court. They were asked to do so by people within the federal government who were acting illegally.

The best explanation of what happened that I have yet to read comes from Brad Templeton of EFF. See his February 17 post, "Whose call is it to say what's legal?".

Apologies for the long quote, but it's really important for people to understand this issue. Templeton wrote:

In the USA, the government is designed with a system of checks and balances. This is most important when the bill of rights is being affected, as it is here. The system is designed so that no one branch is allowed to interfere with rights on its own. The other branches get some oversight, they have a say.

So when the NSA came to the phone companies, asking for a new type of wiretap with no warrant, the phone companies had to decide what to do about it. The law tells them to say no, and exacts financial penalties if they don’t say no to an illegal request. The law is supposed to be simple and to not ask for too much judgment on the part of the private sector. In this situation, with a new type of wiretap being requested, the important question is who makes the call? Who should decide if the debatable orders are really legal or not?

There are two main choices. Phone company executives or federal judges. If, as the law requires, the phone company says “come back with a warrant” this puts the question of whether the program is legal in the hands of a judge. The phone company is saying, “this is not our call to make — let’s ask the right judge.”

If the administration says, “No, we say it’s legal, we will not be asking a judge, are you going to do this anyway?” then we’re putting the call in the hands of phone company executives.

That’s what happened. The phone companies made the decision. The law told them to kick it back to the judge, but the White House, it says, assured them the program was legal. And now that lawsuits like ours are trying to ask a different federal judge if the program was legal, the Senate has passed this retroactive immunity. This immunity does a lot of bad things, but among them it says that “it was right for the phone companies to be making the call.” That the pledges of the administration that the program was legal were enough. We’ve even be told we should thank the phone companies for being patriots.

That the Senate would allow this to happen and the House may still lay down and allow it makes me want to throw in the towel and move away. I just don't know where to go.

Posted by Phil M | March 11, 2008 5:08 PM

Here's another thing you can add to your compendium: "Nobody respects your opinion because you're not really a journalist."

Posted by Ziggity | March 11, 2008 5:14 PM

ecb is right on this one. also, those calling 'race war' are being drama queens. i think she was trying to make a legitimate point about the way the media is picking our candidate rather than the other way around, and it got twisted. how many of you actually heard the whole interview, or did you just freak out? just saying...

Posted by keren | March 11, 2008 5:14 PM

Might be the worst pro-Clinton post from you yet, ECB, and that is saying something. Do you honestly believe that you have a point here? You don't.

If you honestly believe Ferraro's comments are anywhere near the same planet as these examples (many of which were unequivocally rebuked and refuted by the Obama campaign long ago), you have truly jumped the shark.

Obama is running a cleaner campaign. Anyone with eyes and a functioning cerebral cortex can see that!!

Posted by Matthew | March 11, 2008 5:15 PM

Oh man, if this keeps up is Old man Mccain in da house!

ECB makes a valid point, but it doesnt matter it's already out there, the sound bite is what most people care about. Its going to be on HRC unless she asks for Ferraro's crazy old head. Obama was smart, he asked crazy ass Powers to resign before he got tainted.

Keep it up Dems, Im sure old man Mccain already has made that call to lieberman for VP. ,

Posted by SeMe | March 11, 2008 5:16 PM

Oh goodness. Many of those people you mentioned, Erica, actually stepped down. Sweet lord. Oh, and Geraldine is a total part of the campaign regardless of how blinded you are by your cultish devotion to Hillary.

Posted by Michigan Matt (soon to be Baltimatt) | March 11, 2008 5:18 PM

12 - she said the same thing a couple weeks ago on a radio show. then she says it again today. when asked to clarify, she says it yet again.

it's pretty obvious she's trying hard to provoke a response. and there has been a consistent pattern of clinton supporters and campaing staffers - and, well, clintons - using race as a wedge issue. it may not be a 'race war', but it's pretty disgusting for people in the alleged party of civil rights and social justice.

Posted by brandon | March 11, 2008 5:20 PM

@12: Why do you Democrats let the media pick your candidate? Seems silly.

Posted by CG | March 11, 2008 5:20 PM

So, ECB, do you think what Ferraro said was fine, or was it objectionable?

Posted by marie | March 11, 2008 5:29 PM

@ 18

read the post, before you make a culo out of yourself. she already answered your question.

Posted by SeMe | March 11, 2008 5:33 PM

1. Thorne: Left the campaign over this comment.
2. Brennan: Disagrees with the candidate (and pretty much the entire party) on the issue -- so what?
3. Power: Left the campaign over this comment.
4. Power: Spinning a comment made by the candidate and refusing to make a commitment that future circumstances could render impossible -- so what?
5. Goolsbee: The Clintons supposedly said the same thing to Canada.
6. Rice: Said something negative about the candidate she supports on a legitimate issue -- a gaffe, but it wasn't like she conceded that Hillary was ready.
7. I thought it was never confirmed that it came from Obama himself so much as the campaign as an organization. (He should be reviewing it, but who knows how closely he scrutinized it.)

So, that's two remarks which were clearly over the line and where the people left the campaign over the remark. Two other legitimate gaffes (one of them months ago,) one where Clinton is just as guilty as Obama, and two "so what?"s.

Posted by DJL | March 11, 2008 5:35 PM

This is all about playing for the racist vote in Pennsylvania. Hillary's top supporter in the state has already noted there is a significant group of white democrats there that won't support a black. And now Hillary and crew are going, strongly, for their vote. I will not support a racist. That only leaves me two possible choices in the coming election. Obama and McCain. It's really that simple.

Posted by Mike in Iowa | March 11, 2008 5:46 PM

How is the finance chair *not* a member of Clinton's campaign? That's some serious verbal gymnastics.

Posted by thefacts | March 11, 2008 5:53 PM

@21 are you saying McCain is not a racist?

Posted by vooodooo84 | March 11, 2008 5:54 PM

It's sickening and disturbing just how much Clinton supporter have been bullshat by her spin doctors and their GWB-play-book tactics. There was a Clintoid at my precinct caucus, who railed on about how he didn't care about anything but union labor, and how they couldn't get Obama to come talk to their union because, you know, there's other groups that need attention too.

I think the Village Voice put it best in 2000:

They would have dropped their forks if they had heard that Hillary served for six years on the board of the dreaded Wal-Mart, a union-busting behemoth. If they had learned the details of her friendship with Wal-Mart, they might have lost their lunches.

What do we know Wal-Mart for? Let's see:

* Union-busting
* Denying healthcare to its workers
* Selling cheap crap manufactured overseas.

Yeah. Hillary Clinton, the workers' saviour. Not.

What sucks the most about the past week is that I agree completely with Samantha Power. There's really no response of substance from the Clintoids over what she said.

Posted by K | March 11, 2008 6:00 PM

As if the vagina-crew jumping up Hillary's skirt is any better....

ECB did you even read the article you posted about D-Punjab? Here's some choice quotes for you:

Obama's campaign sparked controversy by circulating a memo accusing the former first lady of pandering to the Indian American community by referring to her as 'Clinton (D-Punjab)'

Obama quickly made amends by apologising for the 'Punjab jab' as the Indian-American community took umbrage, denouncing his memo as 'the worst kind of anti-Indian American stereotyping'.

Posted by Ed | March 11, 2008 6:01 PM

@23 Look at McCain's adopted daughter for your answer.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | March 11, 2008 6:13 PM

Why Ferrarro was worse than all these: She's using identity politics and race, where as none of Obama's supporters did. You'd be outraged if one of Obama's supporters said she's only there 'cause she's a girl. There's a big difference, Clinton is worse, this isn't even close to the first time, and you're already discounting it.

Posted by Mr Me | March 11, 2008 6:13 PM

did anyone else watch the frontline piece on karl rove on pbs the other night?

this ferraro shit is right out of that playbook.

if you missed it, you can watch it online for free.

after watching that program, you look at what hillary's "kitchen sink" strategy consists of and it gives you pause.

Posted by some dude | March 11, 2008 6:16 PM

ECB, will you just shut the fuck up already?

You give people with vaginas a bad name.

Posted by Andrew | March 11, 2008 6:21 PM

@5, I don't know if it is anything to cheer about, but yes, everybody sucks, and a white man will be our next president, the sooner every one accepts that fact, the sooner the SLOG can get back to pit bulls and "every child deserves..."

While I voted for Clinton in the meaningless primary (which she lost by a much smaller margin than the caucus BTW) I find ECB's posts somewhat tiresome.

Bureau of Intellectual Titans Crushing Hypocrisy

Posted by Epimetheus | March 11, 2008 6:23 PM

Could one expect less from the campaign of a cracker form Arkansas? Really, if anything, its more dignified than one has right to expect. At least the didn’t “flat-out” call him “uppity”… you have come along way baby… (What a monster.)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | March 11, 2008 6:45 PM

@30: It's got to be something to cheer about. I mean, both sides seem to be putting so much effort into the fight, it wouldn't make any sense if it wasn't a good thing. Right?

Posted by CG | March 11, 2008 8:02 PM

Ferrarro's comment was far more absurd than anything I have heard said in the race, and I am totally shocked by the amount of support she still has. And from The Stranger, no less.

Posted by Todd | March 11, 2008 8:24 PM

I think DJL @20 pretty much blew everything ECB said out of the water. Except as I'm sure ECB knows, the Canadian PM's Chief of Staff said Clinton was the one who reassured them not to worry about Hillary's anti-NAFTA comments. Which fits Hillary's long record of pro-NAFTA support. Obama's been speaking against it for years.

After Hillary's comments stating that McCain was ready to be President but Obama was not, and that Obama was using tactics "that are right out of Karl Rove's playbook." Ferraro's comments are simply part of the Clinton slash-and-burn strategy, and fits into writing off the black vote and trading it for a larger white vote. The Clintons only care about the Clintons, and they will destroy their base if it gets her elected.

Posted by Ebenezer | March 11, 2008 8:26 PM

Yeah ECB is truly lame. When are you guys at the SLOG going to give her the boot so she can pursue her true calling in traffic reporting?

Posted by NCapHill | March 11, 2008 8:43 PM


She's not from Arkansas.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 11, 2008 8:53 PM

@35: No, like for real.

This shit is getting out of hand. Not only is this nonsense getting real old real quick, but most of it is absolutely and positively FALSE.

I get it, ECB supports HRC. We all get it. Give it up already. You do nothing but hurt your cause when you resort to antics like this. The SLOG is not your crazy Daily Kos diary.

ECB, you make me ashamed to have a vagina, ashamed to call myself a "feminist."

A true feminist votes for women because they are qualified, because they are the best candidate, not just because they have a pussy. A true feminist believes in their candidate and doesn't have to resort to lies, slander, and misrepresentation to get their "point" across. A true feminist knows that voting with your vagina is an anti-feminist act.

There are plenty of amazing, strong, and powerful women that I would be proud to elect to the highest office in the world. HRC is not one of them.

She doesn't represent me or my causes. I find her attack politics disgusting and abhorrent. She's old school. She's the status quo. She's corporate America. She's lobbyists and scandal and Wal*Mart. She's an opportunist. She is NOT a feminist.

These constant fallacy-filled posts not only make ECB look like the faux-journalist that she is but they also dumb-down the Stranger.

Will I ever read another article by ECB with out questioning the content? Can we believe anything that she writes, or is it all tainted by her personal opinions and biases? How many of her stories are twisted, taken out of context, or straight up lies?

Seriously, Dan et al, make her shape up or ship out. Take away her posting rights. Do something. Her babble is destroying the credibility of the Stranger.

Eli is the only journalist on the staff covering this campaign with honesty and ethics. You should be proud to have him-- I just feel bad that's he's got to go around cleaning up ECB's messes.

Posted by I hear Real Change is always looking for "reporters." | March 11, 2008 9:25 PM

i vote for obama, just because i causually see a pic on a site named he helped a poor girl come from africa. i think he will be the winner. hope he won't become the 2nd Spitzer

Posted by sue | March 11, 2008 9:37 PM

Erica, it is too bad that are able to see sexism but you miss racism completely. This blindness to racism means that you cannot be a *full* feminist. If you are blind to racism agaisnt a black man, you are blind to racism agaisnt women of color. When women of color are oppressed there isn't equality for all women. I sincerly hope that you will look into this. It is all connected.

Posted by Papayas | March 11, 2008 10:45 PM

ECB, why are you so positioned for a destructive candidate like Hillary? It's getting really old.

Posted by once more | March 12, 2008 12:42 AM

I agree with #40.

This primary became nasty thanks to Clinton. It's staying nasty because of Clinton. Stop supporting this hideousness. She has no chance in hell of winning and still she persists.

Much like you, ECB.

Posted by doctiloquus | March 12, 2008 2:37 AM

could we put poster at 37 on the feminist beat? I'd really like to read feminist opinions that are interesting and complex like those expressed in that comment. that comment said more about feminism than the past year of erica's posts. combined.

Posted by some dude | March 12, 2008 9:23 AM

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