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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hillary Clinton

posted by on March 13 at 20:41 PM


I’ve escaped most of the battles at the office and on Slog by shrugging and saying, “Clinton, Obama—I’m for either or both. Whoever gets the nomination.” I’m afraid I can’t say that anymore. Some Clinton supporters are so dug in they can’t see the real damage Clinton is doing to the Democratic Party and any chance the Dems might have of re-taking the White House this fall if Clinton isn’t the nominee.

Twenty-five percent of Clinton supporters say they won’t vote for Obama in the fall if he gets the nomination25%. Says John at Americablog:

Someone in the party (and the media) needs to ask Hillary what her plan is to get those 25% back should she not win the nomination. Hillary can only tell Democratic voters so many times that McCain is more qualified to be president than Obama before her supporters (and lots more Americans) end up listening to her. Or is that her plan after all? If Hillary can’t win, then no Democrat deserves to win?

Positions are hardening as the Clinton campaign continues to poison the well and baldly but effectively play the race card. Now I’m sitting here feeling like I won’t be able to support her if she does manage to wrest the nomination from Obama using tactics like these. (But I will, I will.) I feel like I’m being blackmailed. “Support me even though I have fewer delegates, I’m trailing in the popular vote, and I’ve taken fewer states than the other guy—or I’ll destroy any chances that the other guy has of winning this thing out of sheer spite.” (Check out this great post by Kos about how Clinton is losing by every available measure—states won, money raised, delegates taken.)

Clinton seems less like a candidate with each passing day and more like a suicide bomber intent on taking the Democratic Party out with her. I’m beginning to feel embarrassed for having voted for her husband.

UPDATE: Clinton’s totally unhinged interview on NPR today—link here, courtesy of Chris in comments—is one of the things that pushed me over the edge today.

I’m struggling to put my finger on just how I’m feeling after this depressing, distressing week, but… when I watch Hillary campaigning now I feel like I’m watching a replay of Joe Lieberman campaigning for reelection after he lost the Democratic nomination for the Senate in 2006 in Connecticut. It’s galling. Only now instead of watching Lieberman destroy the Democratic Party in teeny-weeny Connecticut, I’m watching Clinton destroy the Democratic Party nationally. So history is repeating itself—but in this case the first time was farce and the second is tragedy.

And, hey, does anyone know what Lieberman is up to lately?

RSS icon Comments


Amen. Hillary has become a true disgrace. She was on NPR today and it was hard to even hear her talk. She's looking more like Dubya by the minute. Don't know how worthwhile it would be to vote her over McCain. More and more it seems like a vast conspiracy.

Posted by ZwBush | March 13, 2008 9:05 PM

words of reason on slog. i'm happy to see them. keep them coming.

Posted by some dude | March 13, 2008 9:07 PM

Agreed. I've lost count of my friends who are ordinarily very active in politics but are so disheartened by this.

I can't help but wonder what the flipside of that stat you quoted was. How many Obama supporters wouldn't vote for her?

Posted by Chris B | March 13, 2008 9:07 PM

The 'won't vote for the other guy' numbers have been floating around for a long time now and reflect less on what actual voter patters will be in the general than where voter's attention lies currently (on the opponent - oh, they're so bad!). In the same vein, many Obama supporters used to post here alll the time, way back after the WA caucus, about how they would never vote for any candidate but Obama. It's a childish 'let me win or I'm taking the ball and going home' tactic and not of great significance, especially from people who are more driven by party loyalty (and self-identification as Democrats or (bourgeoise) liberals) than by real political positions.

That said, no one should ever be allowed to use the phrase 'playing the race card' ever ever again. If you can't think of a better phrase for 'manipulating racial politics' than that tired old cliche, you're better off not speaking.

Posted by johnnie | March 13, 2008 9:08 PM

The same poll says 10% of Obama supporters would defect. One tenth versus one fourth is a huge difference.

She did warn us for years that she was going to fight dirty. Guess we should have realize she meant it.

But if it fails, then maybe that will be the last nail in the coffin of this kind of politics, and maybe even the end of Clinton power. Well, not really. But at least it would prove you don't have to be one of those to win. Or on the other hand, maybe she will win, and a McCain presidency won't be so bad.

Posted by elenchos | March 13, 2008 9:10 PM

I feel a little like you, Dan, "either or both," only I feel that way towards Hillary and McCain. I will not be voting for Obama this year. Period. If that's "Hillary destroying the Democratic Party," then so be it. I see it more like "Obama destroying the Democratic Party."

Posted by Nobody In Particular | March 13, 2008 9:11 PM

I too have been in the either-is-fine-with-me camp, but I was jolted from the blissful middle while listening to Hillary on NPR this morning. She was arguing that it was "fair" to leave the results of the Florida and Michigan primaries where they now are because Obama decided to withdraw and that was his choice. While a do-over might be reasonable, her idiotic insistence that the current results are fair is beyond the pale. Count me as one more in the Obama camp.

Posted by avatar | March 13, 2008 9:12 PM

I'd much rather Obama was answering the red phone in the middle of the night than HC or JMcC.


Posted by Gertrude | March 13, 2008 9:15 PM

Blackmail, totally.

She's playing chicken with this, and has thrown her steering wheel out the window.

You have to hear the NPR interview to believe it. It's insane:

Posted by chris | March 13, 2008 9:18 PM

@7 - Of course it's not fair; it's what's best for her campaign. Nor is Obama denying representation or an (unelected) 50-50 split fair. Neither campaign is arguing for what is right or what is fair. They are arguing for what is most beneficial to them. So let's not be surprised here, and let's certainly not affect moral outrage.

Posted by johnnie | March 13, 2008 9:18 PM

The margin of error on the Democratic registered voter sample of the poll is 5.5. So the difference in defection rates is statistically significantly different but the absolute difference may be much less or greater than the 15% reported.

Clinton defection 25 +-5.5 (19.5, 30.5)
Obama defection 10 +-5.5 (4.5, 15.5)

There's nothing in the data to tell us this but it's not hard for me to imagine that the supporters of the candidate who is behind would express more of a bunker mentality. Still 3 millennia until the general election...

Posted by umvue | March 13, 2008 9:23 PM

dan, it was ok to call her shrill. it's ok with me if you kept it up. ok?

Posted by cochise. | March 13, 2008 9:24 PM

Well now that just does it! Where's my apron?!

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 13, 2008 9:25 PM

Did no one hear of Obama's pastor today?

Even if and when Obama -- whom I voted for in CA -- gets the nomination, the footage of the pastor's vile "sermons" all with the tacit approval of the Senator is fatal. The Republican machine will destroy him and the only people left to vote for Obama will be the far left who agree with the pastor and black people who just can't pass up a chance to vote for a black man.

Even me, I am very very disappointed in Obama with this. He's a tithing member of this church. For the last 20 years. This pastor is an adviser in his campaign. He performed the wedding ceremony for he and his wife. He baptized his children. And surely his children have had the misfortune of listening to the good reverend's venom.

Obama can't have it both ways -- he can't be a transcendent of race and all that good stuff AND belong to an extremist church that thinks America is THE problem in the world and that we deserved 9/11, and that "white America" is still as vile today as they were during slavery.

Come on. I'm going to need a fantastic explanation for this Barack. You're breaking my heart!! Argh!!!

Come the convention, and Obama is ahead by say 200 pledged delegates, will the party have any other choice but to award the nomination to Clinton if the polls show that Obama has lost the center and independents? I think that this is so damaging that McCain would now easily crush him 60% to 40%. If Clinton is polling more around 50-50, then it would make sense to, alas, nominate her instead.

Let's just give it to Al Gore! :)

Posted by Phil | March 13, 2008 9:26 PM


Thank you Dan.

If anyone still supports Billary after hearing this latest NPR taping, they deserve to be thrown in the loony bin.

Billary is such a goddamn disgrace as an AMERICAN let alone a Democratic nominee.

The level she is willing to stoop to in order to steal the election is astounding, and the collective Democratic party should be crying for her head.

What a lying, deceitful, spiteful, ego obsessed bitch. I warned everyone over 2 months ago that she was FAR worse than anyone imagined. She is a complete wolf in sheep's clothing. I cannot imagine how anyone could trust her presidency after watching and listening to her in the past week. She is completely throwing the election to the Repugs.

Get ready folks. 4 more years of Republican rule.

Like I said 2 months ago.. you heard it from me first!

(And yes I was one of those who stated I would vote R and not D if she was the nominee)

Isn't it ironic and interesting how many are now considering the same thing...

Reality Check folks. MANY of you need one!

Posted by Reality Check | March 13, 2008 9:31 PM

Thank you, Dan, for those wise words, and for stepping off the fence to add your voice to the growing chorus of "CEASE FIRE!" at the circular firing squad that my beloved Democratic party threatens to assemble.

Though since the early days of his campaign I've been an Obama supporter (not Obamaton-- there are passionate people who aren't unquestioning Kool-Aid chuggers), I've always told Hillary supporters that should their candidate earn the nomination instead of Barack, I would be a loyal Democrat and support Senator Clinton.

I didn't realize at the time I would have to qualify such statements with "should she follow the rules" or "so long as she didn't tear the party to tatters to get it" in my assurances.

I think that resolve to party loyalty started to dissolve over the last few weeks, but really fizzed when Hillary insisted on seating delegates in a rule-breaking primary where the names of Obama (and Edwards) weren't even present on the ballot. Even Putin in Russia didn't do that.

But it's not gone. With six of the nine Supreme Court Justices being older than 70 years of age in Jan 2009, this next election is about more than four years of governance. I can't possibly support a Republican (even a supposed "Maverick") choosing new Justices. The two that Dubbya got to pick are nightmarish enough, hell forbid the GOP stack the court with more anti-choice/anti-privacy/pro-corporate shills.

But if Senator Clinton's campaign tactics are any indication of what a Clinton Administration 2.0 would be like... I shudder to think...

Posted by Andy Niable | March 13, 2008 9:33 PM

Sorry to dim your spotlight, @15, but there have been plenty of people saying this for much longer than 2 months.

Posted by some dude | March 13, 2008 9:34 PM

RC - You say that the primary complaint Dan gives in his post, that a quarter of Hill supporters won't vote for BO, plus her somewhat bland NPR appearance, make her a "lying, deceitful, spiteful, ego obsessed bitch" then go and say the following:
("And yes I was one of those who stated I would vote R and not D if she was the nominee)

"Isn't it ironic and interesting how many are now considering the same thing..."

It seems that the numbers are swaying the other way, but yes, it IS ironic. Unfortunately, I feel the irony is lost on you.

Posted by johnnie | March 13, 2008 9:36 PM

some dude, reality check is just doing a droll Rush Limbaugh impression. Rush likes to fill in dead air with stock phrases like "you heard it here first, folks" no matter what "it" is. It's one of the ways you know not to take him seriously.

Posted by elenchos | March 13, 2008 9:38 PM

@14: you say:

"Come the convention, and Obama is ahead by say 200 pledged delegates, will the party have any other choice but to award the nomination to Clinton if the polls show that Obama has lost the center and independents?"

Read the data in the PEW poll that Dan gets the 25% migration number from, and you'll find this:

"Obama has much greater personal appeal to independent voters than does either McCain or Clinton. Fully 63% of independents rate Obama favorably, nearly twice the percentage expressing an unfavorable view of him (32%). The balance of opinion toward McCain also is favorable, but by a much slimmer 51% to 38% margin. The share of independents with an unfavorable view of Clinton is substantially higher (50%), while just 45% view her favorably."

Posted by Andy Niable | March 13, 2008 9:41 PM

Oh my goodness. So 25% of people don't want to blindly follow party lines if the candidate they like best doesn't win the nomination, and this is Hillary's fault? Why isn't it Obama's fault for not winning them over?

Posted by mm | March 13, 2008 9:43 PM

I wonder how Aravosis contributes to the atmosphere of "my way or the highway" Democratic politics?

Hillary's campaign issues aside - does a blog like his contribute to the debate between O or C or is his rampant and obnoxious harangue against her for the past month only helping to draw a deep dark line?

If people weren't bullied into a point of view by hot head asswipes like that middle class gas bag at AMERICAblog maybe the division wouldn't be growing as fast as it seems to be.

Posted by patrick | March 13, 2008 9:44 PM

Just yesterday Obama supporters were citing the following reasoning to SUPPORT Obama: that more pro-Obama Dems would vote for McCain than would vote for Hillary if Hillary took the nomination.

I repeat: just yesterday you were all claiming that MORE Obama supporters would vote for McCain than would vote for Hillary. So this worked in Obama's favor.
Yet now that the "polls" claim the opposite is true, somehow it STILL works in Obama's favor?
The cognitive dissonance is deafening.

Posted by onion | March 13, 2008 9:44 PM

Don't blame Bill for the fact that his wife has become a scheming, low-blowing backstabber. She made the choice to act this way. It didn't have to be this way.

Posted by Gomez | March 13, 2008 9:45 PM

Clinton reminds me more and more of a Republican. Not in her policies but in her style.

Like her claims that it was perfectly reasonable to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates. I'm listening to this wondering if her sense of fairness is really that off-kilter or if she realizes it's unfair but just doesn't care.

Then she says, after she signed a pledge not to compete in the Florida and Michigan primaries, that in essence it was Obama's fault, because he was stupid enough to follow-through on his pledge.

It makes me sick and reminds me of Bush and company. And this is when she's trying to be appealing and get votes, imagine the games she'd play if she was in office!

Posted by mrobvious | March 13, 2008 9:47 PM

Not at all.. The real irony is how far she is willing to tear the Democratic Party apart.

I predicted that she would stop at nothing to gain the nomination. I had some pundits on here mocking that claim at the time. Little did they realize the extent of the depths on how truly crazy Billary's obsession could be. She still has not reached bottom yet.

I truly shudder at how she has convinced herself that she is the best nominee. She is losing in every major category, has her advisors playing as dirty as they can possibly be, speaks openly on NPR claiming that the current Michigan/Florida mess is fair, and would rather watch the Democratic Party dissolve into shambles, and alienate staunch Dems into voting for her rather than gracefully bowing out. All of those are excellent reasons to use all those descriptors in my previous thread.

Billary supporters making a claim they won't vote for BO is simply a retaliatory tactic for many of us making that claim month's ago. The problem is, that Hillary is the devisive candidate... Barack will get moderate votes she couldn't possibly get. She and her supporters are just blind to the obvious.

The irony is my friend... that Barack doesn't need those Billary defectors nearly as much as Billary desperately needs them.

Ohh and some dude... nope you didn't dim my bulb. You just didn't get the point I was trying to make by saying that. Context buddy ... context.

The irony is that people like Dan are now questioning how the hell they are going to rationalize their vote if Billary somehow miraculously wins the election with her current tactics.

Nice try though.

Posted by Reality Check | March 13, 2008 9:49 PM

17 isn't me. but then again we don't have accounts so sock puppetry is inevitable. and if this was threaded i wouldn't have to reference the post number to make this make sense.

but carry on.

Posted by some dude | March 13, 2008 9:49 PM

Onion -

The problem is you're only looking at the Clinton voters vs. the Obama voters in the primary election. There are also the independent voters, who very well may not have voted in the Democratic primary, as well as Republicans who might cross-over.

So while a higher percentage of Clinton voters would vote for McCain than Obama, Obama brings over more independents and a few Republicans to make up for it.

Posted by mrobvious | March 13, 2008 9:51 PM

Yep. Thank god someone's finally laid it all out. D A M A G E.

Great entry Dan. Thanks for saying it.

Posted by David K. | March 13, 2008 9:51 PM

johnnie @ 4,
I've said this before, but some of Obama's supporters are not Democrats and do not agree with Obama or Clinton on policy, but will vote for Obama over the Republican nominee based on his character, integrity, and willingness to listen to all Americans. They are justified in supporting him but making the claim that Sen. Clinton will not have their vote.

When Democrats who support Sen. Clinton refuse to support Sen. Obama even if he has more support at the convention, however, that just looks like sour grapes and not an ideological conflict.

Democrats like me, however, will by and large vote for Clinton if she is the nominee, even as her campaign grows more desperate (after Mississippi, Obama's lead is greater than it was before Ohio) and threatens the Democrats' chances in November. We support the platform of both candidates and will continue to support it, even if our choice of candidate isn't the eventual choice of the party.

Also, @6, you are the first person I've ever heard suggest that Obama is "destroying the Democratic party". Why do you think that? To most observers, he appears to be taking a high road-- avoiding ad hominem attacks or drawing attention to Clinton scandals, and instead stating repeatedly that she is a good candidate, but he believes he is a better one.

The common argument is that by making such vicious attacks and staying in a race when she is increasingly unlikely to have more delegates than Obama, she is forcing an ugly competition on multiple fronts and weakening our chances. Obama has not been in any way more vicious than Clinton, and he has the lead in delegates and the popular vote. What are we missing?

Posted by V | March 13, 2008 9:52 PM

@ 19 Elenchos you seriously are a tool.

Do you know what that means?

LMFAO nice try. Don't take me seriously then... I could really care less. Sometimes you are so full of yourself that you too have shit coming out your ears.

Have a nice night.

Posted by Reality Check | March 13, 2008 9:53 PM

I am appalled by the Clinton campaign. I can't imagine voting for her in November.

Posted by MidwayPete | March 13, 2008 9:53 PM

@ 27 Good to know..

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't think it could have been you... this place really has to get a system with registered Nick's

Posted by Reality Check | March 13, 2008 9:55 PM


What those claims aren't true? Do Rush listeners really get their news from any other source?

Posted by keshmeshi | March 13, 2008 10:01 PM

@6-- You may have the right to believe "Obama is destroying the Democratic party" but you cite no evidence.

It would be nice if we compared the number of people Barack Obama has brought IN to the Democratic Party, and compared them to the number who left it because of him...

And after this week, looked at the number of NEW Democrats that Hillary Clinton brought to the party, and compared it to the number who have or are now likely to leave the party because of her...

I'm just sayin...

Posted by Andy Niable | March 13, 2008 10:01 PM

I'd just like to know what Edwards is thinking now. Supposedly he was going to make an endorsement awhile make. Now he's probably just sitting around and shaking his head is disbelief.

Posted by stinkbug | March 13, 2008 10:07 PM

@30 - please explain to me how Obama-only voters are 'justified' while Hillary-only voters are 'sour-grapes.' While one camp might think that Obama has integretity and character, others are certainly valid in saying that he does not. I, for one, think that the hope and change platform Obama was (what happened to that, eh?) espousing is little more than pure bullshit marketing, especially given his policy positions and voting records, and am certainly justified in a no-way-Obama vote as any no-Hillary voter. (Though, that said, I may or may not vote for either of them come November.)

Posted by johnnie | March 13, 2008 10:09 PM

Dan, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. The lead sentence from the section of the article where you quote the "25%" says this:

The vast majority of Democratic voters say they would support either Obama or Clinton over McCain. But in an Obama-McCain matchup, 14% of Democratic voters say they would support McCain, compared with 8% who would do so if Clinton is the nominee.

That is a sign of Obama's relative weakness among Democrats as a whole, not a sign of some kind of right wing bent from Clinton's supporters.

If the stats were reversed, all of you who say Clinton is a hated figure would be busting a nut crowing about how this proves your point.

Posted by Big Sven | March 13, 2008 10:16 PM

One could argue that it is Obama who is supporting a scorched earth policy by trying to prevent FL and MI do-overs- two important (though admittedly not absolutely essential) states to a Democratic win the fall.

But it's OK- if you insult the voters in those two states enough for the failures of their REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURES, I'm sure you'll shame them into voting for your candidate.

Posted by Big Sven | March 13, 2008 10:23 PM

Big Sven -

The difference is that Obama has made it clear that while he thinks he's the better candidate, he also says Clinton would be a good President.

On the flip side you have Clinton saying Obama is *not qualified* to be Commander-in-Chief because of his lack of experience (even though of course there's no clear indication that more experienced politicans make better presidents).

Posted by thefacts | March 13, 2008 10:25 PM


Because Obama isn't a lying, manipulative, mendacious sack of shit.

Posted by AMB | March 13, 2008 10:28 PM

Big Sven, Obama is just saying what many in Florida (including the Florida congressional delegation are saying) are saying, that there's not enough time to organize a new primary. Blaming Obama is silly when the Florida and Michigan democrats voted to move their primaries knowing full well what the consequences might be.

Posted by mrobvious | March 13, 2008 10:30 PM

I should clarify, I'm talking about the FL/Minn Democratic officials and Democrats in the FL/Minn legislature, not the unlucky Democratic voters in those states (who should make their displeasure known by voting those idiots out of office).

Posted by mrobvious | March 13, 2008 10:34 PM

Dan, since you asked what Lieberman is up to, here's one answer -- he's off to Iraq with John McCain for some photo ops in secure zones to highlight how wonderful the surge has supposedly worked out:

Posted by Peter F | March 13, 2008 10:36 PM

Sigh. I meant Michigan, not Min. I give up for tonight, time go to sleep.

Posted by mrobvious | March 13, 2008 10:37 PM

I have yet to decide who I support - day by day the contest is ongoing. Maybe I just feel that hysteria about your "team" in a tie game is so very stupid.

Both are very excellent candidates. Both are fighters and fund raisers and determined to win.

Obama wins the appeal game, Clinton the experience and hard as nails niche.

No poll, NO POLL, at this point is any more than vague speculation. People who are basing all their decisions on some media paid for hack poll this early are stupid. And both racism and sexism will be hard to measure as people lie on those topics.

John Mc Cain is a warmonger. He will lead the word to utter ruin, and he is not even coy about it.(see The Nation) I share, as do many people around the world, read all the blogs, that he will use nukes. He is unstable, has anger problems, and is sounding old and feeble. His dying act will be to assert American military super power to the whole world.

YOU want him as president - that is your problem.

Under no conditions will I desert the Deomcrat nominee, Hilary or Barak. NEVER will I support the BUSY-CHENEY-MC CAIN war machine. Never.

You all need to get grounded, months to go, and it is all up for grabs. And still neck and neck.

After all the conjecture about Fla. and Mich., that is getting worked out. Divide the delegates in Mich. and new primary in Fla. OK by me, let Florida vote.

By the way, Washington state is very blue when it comes to electing presidents in recent elections. The Democrat , eith/or, will win this state without you. And in politics the perfect does not exist, it seems we deal with what is on the plate and push hard for our issues once they are elected.

Bad system, well, no big changes in sight in our lifetimes.

(And if the banking system melts down, as is possible, America will be at bottom of the pit, not seen since the 1930ies..... what will that mean in the BIG picture)

Posted by Adam | March 13, 2008 10:39 PM

Dan, I just listened to the Clinton piece on NPR. None of it seemed remarkable. She's got weird laugh, it's true, but what part did you consider "totally unhinged"?

Posted by Big Sven | March 13, 2008 10:42 PM

Speaking of Al Gore, one of the reasons you respect the guy is that when he lost a tight election, he accepted it for the good of the country.

In 2000, he could've filed lawsuit after lawsuit, in state after state, disrupted the presidential transition, made the US look like a banana republic.

Instead, he saw that he was beaten, unfair as it was, and accepted it.

I understand Clinton's unwillingness to accept this loss. Even though Obama is ahead, it's by the slimmest of margins...statistically, the thing's practically a tie.

But there are no ties in politics. Someone has to win, and someone has to lose. Clinton can't pass Obama in delegates. She has lost.

She can walk away with integrity, like Gore did, and go on to be a respected voice in her party and internationally.

Or, she can continue her campaign of party-immolation, lose anyway, and have "Hillary" become a synonym for "sore loser" the world over.

Posted by Seth | March 13, 2008 10:43 PM

Every time I think the Dems can't top themselves in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, we get a week like this one.

McCain is sooooo winning in November.

Posted by brent | March 13, 2008 10:43 PM

Clinton seems to be betting the farm that she'll win in Pennsylvania. And her not too subtle message is that Pennsylvanians are so racist, that they'll never vote for a black man.

I grew up in Wyoming and went to a high school with only 6 black students out of 1200. I never would have believed they would vote for Obama, but they did. The same will be true of Pennsylvania.

It angers me that the in the weeks leading up to the Pennsylvania primary, Clinton is going to go all trash all the time. We Democrats are not Republicans and we don't do dirty tricks. I fear Clinton will tear this party apart and hand the white house to McCain.

But until that happens, I'm going to send another $100 to Obama.

Posted by montex | March 13, 2008 10:47 PM

Reading the Do-Over this morning and my husband reminded me of a certain Simpsons episode. Lisa wrote to Bill Clinton complaining about the unfair use of glow sticks in the band competition.

"Bill Clinton: Thank you, Lisa, for teaching kids everywhere a valuable lesson: If things don't go your way, just keep complaining until your dreams come true.
Marge: That's a pretty lousy lesson.
Bill Clinton: Hey, I'm a pretty lousy president."


Posted by EdnaK | March 13, 2008 10:52 PM

Yeah, the trip from relative indifference to groaning at Hillary to being actively angry at her has been painful indeed.


Posted by tsm | March 13, 2008 10:53 PM
Posted by skye | March 13, 2008 11:24 PM


Gore wimped out

Think what it has cost America

He got rolled on his patrician belly and fucked by the Bush team, one at a time

He ran a horrid campaign, then went limp when he needed to stay hard, he needed some inner hilary stuff

Al as enviro maven is very OK, but Al as candidate was shit

Posted by John | March 13, 2008 11:28 PM

Hillary is an egomaniac. If McCain is elected, I will hold her personally responsible. She's running the politico game like a Republican, and it does not sit right with this American.

Posted by B'town Gabe | March 13, 2008 11:50 PM

I had a conversation in the cafteria today with a co-worker who supports Hillary. I always thought of him as intelligent and reasonable... until today. I mentioned in a friendly manner, thinking that I was speaking to a brother-in-arms, that Hillary should not have subtly implied in her 60 Minutes interview that maybe Barack is in fact a Muslim. He responded in a non-joking manner that we have no proof that he is not a Muslim and that in fact he may be. I was blown away. He is so committed to Hillary that now he is drinking the Kool-Aid. And this got me thinking that lots of other seemingly sensible people are also buying into this race-baiting and flat-out lying. Good grief!!

Posted by tco | March 13, 2008 11:56 PM

johnnie @37, you may think of a "hope and change" platform after the last eight years is "pure bullshit marketing", but I'll assure you that many Americans do not. Cynicism appears to be strong among Clinton partisans. Giving angry and frustrated people hope for the future and empowering them to do something about it is a key strategy for community organizers, and it seems to be working even at the national level.

Also, if you think that I said that "Obama-only voters are 'justified' while Hillary-only voters are 'sour-grapes'", your reading comprehension is terrible. Rather, I gave an explanation that I hear often for Obama supporters who do not care for Clinton, and said that I have yet to hear such reasoning and logic from the converse.

I am interested in why anyone would think Obama a person of less integrity than Clinton. Though I like Sen. Clinton's platform and support many of her goals, her financial connections to lobbyists and questionable contributions trump any Rezko allegations, as do Sen. McCain's dubious dealings with lobbyists and corporations.

And Sven, I know you get frustrated with Slog for being overly partisan. I love your enthusiasm and I apologize for the rudeness of partisans on both sides. But I have to point out that, @38, when you claim that the statistic Dan cited is evidence of "Obama's relative weakness among Democrats as a whole", you are forgetting that both the delegate count and the popular vote are evidence of Clinton's weakness among Democrats as a whole.

It is quite possibly evidence that Obama has still not properly made his case to all Democrats (while Clinton has been making a negative case for him), but it could also be testimony to the reason and sensibility of Obama supporters. I'd hope for the latter, but expect a little of both.

Posted by V | March 14, 2008 12:08 AM

@ everyone.

I'm 38. I've been voting for 20 years now, and I couldn't wait to have the chance. Too bad a draft card came the same year as my voter registration, good thing I burned the right one.

I actually voted for Perot...twice.

I'm registered independent and always will be, but Obama is the best fucking viable candidate I've seen in the last 20 years...

Posted by B'town Gabe | March 14, 2008 12:26 AM

The weird part is, I think I feel the worst for Keith Olbermann.

Posted by brent | March 14, 2008 12:27 AM

I rarely agree totally with Dan.

I agree totally with Dan.

The circular Democratic Party firing squad proceeds apace...Would it be too much to ask that we stand in a line and point our rhetorical and ideological muskets at the Republicans, now?

Posted by Mr. X | March 14, 2008 12:41 AM

I am more and more convinced that we are going to see the party leadership lining up behind Obama if not soon, then before the PA primary. At this point there's just no logical way that Hillary can win this, let alone the general.

Posted by quilsone | March 14, 2008 12:50 AM

@48 and 54: Gore took his best argument to the Supreme Court. Where should he have gone next, The Hague? For a wimp-out, see Nixon in 1960.

@39: The DNC punished FL and MI because the Democrat officials of FL and MI supported the early primary dates. It is absurd to suggest that state legislature Republicans control how the DNC allots delegates. The DNC isn't that stupid.

Posted by CG | March 14, 2008 1:08 AM

fuck you Hillary Clinton.

How's that?

Posted by markinthepark | March 14, 2008 1:11 AM

I think #6 actually has a point in that Obama is the one who put the party at risk first. It has been his goal from the beginning to upset the old Democrat coalition that has been struggling since at least 1976 (remember Bill never won a majority). He's not the first to try it (Hart, Brown, Dean), but he may be the first to succeed. If Obama gets the nomination the Democrats will be counting on a new coalition, and that is risky. If it works it will be great for the Dems (Reaganesque) and if it fails it will be catastrophic (McGovernesque). Nominating Clinton and hoping for 50+1 would have been a safer bet.

Three months later, and now Clinton is also messing with the party. But she's just burning it down instead of trying to rebuild it as something greater.

Posted by CG | March 14, 2008 1:28 AM

Sven, like a lot of Clinton's fans, is trying to promote the idea that the Florida and Michigan primaries were moved by Republicans as a dirty trick, and therefore the Democrats there shouldn't be punished.

In fact the Democratic parties in both states were overwhelmingly in favor of the move, I believe the number of Democratic votes in the legislatures against the move was in the single-digits in both states.

Posted by tellthetruth | March 14, 2008 1:31 AM

If Obama doesn't get the democratic nod, I swear on the graves of 4,000* dead soldiers I will vote for McCain.

*approximate number.

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | March 14, 2008 1:40 AM

this interview is absolutely ridiculous. david trimble of northern ireland came out about a week ago and said that hillary was there with her husband, but she didn't do jack shit for the good friday agreement.

Posted by jayme | March 14, 2008 4:40 AM

Wow, so many trolls.

Dan, don't vote for Hillary if thats how it comes out. If this is how she runs her campaign, thing of how she will run the country.

Maybe there is an indie that will float your boat? If McCain is an inevitable win, why not go for someone else?

Posted by Just Some Guy | March 14, 2008 5:15 AM

1. HRC critiques are patty cake, of course she's going to exaggerate her experience and of course BHOs going to exaggerate his ability to cause change (still waiting for any change he caused in South Side, btw). Its a fucking contest -- a fight -- no more divisive than any other -- LBJ had Connolly tell Democrats that JFK had a terminal disease for gods sake.

2. Plenty of disgusting statements on both sides, here on Slog joking HRC has no cock. WTF?? Not not condemend, but spread and promoted. WTF??

3. Right now in America there are real civil rights violations like no DC representation and no representation for FL and MI voters in the Demo convention. This lack of voting rights affects about over one million African Americans and many of other races, too.

On the Fl MI issue, Obama says in effect, "tough shit," fuck em, they dont get to vote, and HRC is saying take the vote we had or have a re-vote. Obama: for excluding millions of voters. HRC: not.

That outweighs all this bullshit outrage about who said what and words like GFs where in any case (a) Obama supporters over and over pointed to his race as part of his appeal, then (b) condemned GF for saying the same freaking thing.

All this outrage over words and feelings when 4 million Democrats in Florida DON'T HAVE A VOTE THAT COUNTS and Obama is just fine with that. Gee, what a civil rights leader.

4. Meanwhile here on Slog when folks say "hey, um, we its fairly close, yes Obama likely is the nominee for Pres, but HRC has about 48% on most measures, hey how about unifying the party by offering her VP? the collective Obama side response is "fuck you you Republican troll!!!!!"

Then she floats the same idea on national TV and the collective Obama response is the same. It was a huge olive branch and Obama folks took the olive branch and slapped Clinton in the face with it.

5. So: duh, duh, the lack of unity is caused by acts of both sides.

6. Steps for change, hope and unity:

We need to calm down drop the outrage and focus on McCain.
Obama should say "Florida counts as is!" & look all presidential and gracious. On MI say let's have a re-vote. He's still going to win in delegates. (But if not, then tough shit, that's democracy).
They should both say they will both look at all qualified candidates for VP and yes the toher one is on that list, too.

Takes two to tango, two to heal, two to unify, etc. It takes being realistic too. Not imagining your side is all right and the other side all wrong. Just like with your partner, you know?

Here's some reality Obama doesn't see, nor his supporters: Some people just don't like Obama, just like some just don't like HRC; he has some huge negatives, too, just like HRC. He's not going to blow out the electoral map shit in the usa survey he ekes out vitory by 10 ECVs.

That the story arc of hey David is winning against Goliath! always is followed up with "David is now the new Goliath -- but wait, there's news! The mighty is falling from grace!

The most important reality is they both do about the same in national head to heads and on the Survey USA head to heads (tiny 4-ECV vote difference is totally statistically insignificant).

On Real clear politics site today they are the same head to head against McCain each just 1.5 points up.

There are also statistically the same in PA and Ohio and HRC does statistically better in Fl. (Gee, wonder whyk what with Obama telling 4 million democrats there to fuck off).

Yet another reality is yes, there's going to be more begative shit on OBama because he hasn't run for national office before. Today 90% of MSNBC moprning joe show is about Obamas pastor and spiritual advisor who blamed 9-11 on the USA.

Talking reality is not trolling for the GOP its trying to fucking win. We know all the negatives on HRC. They are there, yes. But when Obama folks see only negatives on the other side and none on the Obama side of the equations, and refuse to countenance reality, we can end up divided, and the result will be like in 1972 and we will see another decade and a half of Bush-Cheney-McCain doctrines.

And the blame? Itll be on Obama, on Clinton, on you, and on me. Because it takes everyone to get unity. Calling a candidate who has about 48% in a hard fought contest a disgusting racist who cannot be stomached?

Not going to lead to unity.

Posted by unPC | March 14, 2008 5:34 AM

I've been amazed at how many people are calling for HRC to drop out.

I'm kind of wondering:
If the roles were reversed, and Obama was trailing 1480 to HRC's 1611 in delegates (which is 48-52%, by the way, hardly overwhelming), would people be calling for him to drop out of the race?
I don't think so. I think there would be a call to allow him to stay in, that "this is democracy". And it is democracy.

And by the way, even if you only count pledged delegates, we still have 47-53%. I get my numbers current from CNN.

Posted by kmonkey | March 14, 2008 6:12 AM

Thank you. She doesn't give a damn about the Democratic Party or the United States.

Posted by MyDogBen | March 14, 2008 6:22 AM

@70, Obama would have dropped out by now if the rolls were reversed. Clinton would have pressured him and Obama is not a power hungry Clinton.

The reality is that the party HAS split and is beyond repair for the next several elections cycles.

For the first time in recent history we see the REAL possibility of an incumbent party WINNING the general election in the middle of a recession and in the middle of an unpopular war. This is going to knock the Democrats out of not just the White House for at least 4-8 years but it will cost us the Washington State Gov's mansion, and some US congressional seats as well.

The implications on a political point of view for the damage to the Democrats is much much worse than anyone realizes. We will alienate many first timers who just got involved and active in politics and definately those who Howard Dean brought in during the 2004 race. Those people will leave the Democratic party for good. And I think it is a forgone conclusion that the Dems will loose the Black vote with Hillary and Bill's race baiting they keep playing.

You think the Democratic Party COULD split ? It already has people, wake up and smell the bacon; it has already broken up.

Brace yourself for at least 4 years more of GOP rule and enjoy Govenor Dino Rossi. I think it is time we move to Canada.

Posted by Andrew | March 14, 2008 6:25 AM


i just wanted to thank you for writing this. i have an extreme dislike for hrc that i've had every since bill took office. but, we're all supposed to play for the same team, right?

thank you again.

Posted by alm | March 14, 2008 6:29 AM

Kos did a bang up job on that Ned and Lieberman contest too. Just nailed it. Had his numbers and expert political analysis and prediction just so dead on.

Posted by Bob | March 14, 2008 6:30 AM

@70 If Obama was behind Clinton in all measurable statics, with no hope of winning the nomination save subverting the popular vote, then I would have no problem asking him to drop out.

Posted by Lou | March 14, 2008 6:37 AM

Dan Savage, elder statesman with extra Gravitas. Why did the original headline disappear without a trace?

Posted by collie | March 14, 2008 7:12 AM

I won't vote for McCain in Nov. if she is the nominee (court appointments & all), but I will change my party affliation from Democrat to Independent. I'm a snob and I like to feel like I'm a member of the "smartest" party. With the Republican Party splintered, Bush's negative ratings, and all these post-Baby Boom voters finally mattering, the Dems had a once-in-a-generation chance to "rebrand the product". Like Reagan did in 1980 by getting all those blue-collar white voters and rural voters. Like FDR did in 1932 by transforming the Democratic Party from a Southern niche party into a populist one. If the Dems missed this opportunity they deserve to lose and I want to affliation with that party even if on policy I'll probably still vote for them 8 times out of 10.

Posted by AMyK | March 14, 2008 7:21 AM

The Clintonian "me or nobody" tactic shouldn't be that surprising, although my personal hunch is Hillary never thought she would have to "go there" because she thought Super Tuesday (if not earlier) would wrap it up.

I was an Obama supporter from the beginning and his book is not just a repudiation of the Bush years but a repudiation of the 90s as well. An Obama presidency would not be doing a huge PR campagin to make Bill Clinton's 8 years look like a Golden Age. I think both Clintons are honestly gobsmacked that 8 years of Bush didn't create an automatic response to go scurrying back to the 1990s.

Posted by Jason | March 14, 2008 7:31 AM

Politics is and always has been a dirty business. Primarys focus on differences within the parties so the people can vote on what and how their values are best represented in the general election. Anyone who takes the primarys turmoil and disagreements as an excuse for supporting (by not voting) McCain will ultimately get what they deserve. Four more years of Bush policies. It's self destruction for the left AGAIN! It will result in digging in deeper in Iraq. It will continue our slide on the world stage. It will be the final destruction of a fair and just Supreme court. And it will be because of a childish petulance that the left seems to revel in at each election time. Get over it!

Posted by Vince | March 14, 2008 7:31 AM

I want to add my thanks to Dan for spelling out my thoughts on the issue so eloquently. Now I can simply cut and pasted and let my friends know how I feel. (Yes, I'm lazy!) But thruthfully, for me you hit the nail on the head. I will now probably vote for McCain if Hillary is the nominee, she has totally turned me off.

Posted by Suz | March 14, 2008 8:23 AM


It seems many of the responses here are saying "if Clinton is the nominee, I'll vote for McCain" which strikes me as a vote based merely on personality or emotional response to campaign tactics instead of a consideration of the issues. (Are these voters honestly considering voting "for" the GOP's platform on abortion rights, civil rights, privacy, the "War On Terror," judicial nominees--or are they just wanting to punish Hillary and her staff for making such a mess of the campaign and the party?)

I don't read in your article any indication of support or indication to vote for McCain, more of a hand-wringing discomfort over your inability to support Clinton based on her and her campaign's behavior--but no mention of what you WOULD do as a result. (Perhaps that's a way of staying "agnostic" as you have put it.)

But I ask--would you not vote at all? Would you lodge a protest vote for Nader or some other third party? Would you write in Obama as a protest?

After the above articulate expression of your personal reaction to recent events, I look forward to reading how that might translate into your actions... should you be willing to put that out there yet.

Posted by Andy Niable | March 14, 2008 9:24 AM

Dan -

What took you so long?

To Phil who is heartbroken about Obama's church membership:

Until you have lived as a black person in this country, until you have been followed by police for no reason, been followed in department stores, been denied opportunities, been called names based on the color of your skin, watched your grandmother come dragging in at the end of the - dead tired from cleaning some white woman's house, because she was denied educational opportunities because of the color of her skin, until you have watched your mother sit in fear a few nights when her son is late getting home - because she fears for his life (a fear validated by the frightening statistics of the mortality rates of young African-American men in this country), unless you have lived in this country - lived with the myriad ramifications of this country's treatment of your people (and you don't have to go all the way back to slavery - go to Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia in the 50's and 60's when the "greatest generation" held the line trying to hold on to Jim Crow, using fire hoses and police dogs, billie clubs and tear gas ... Go to Texas not that long ago when a black man was dragged behind a pick up truck -Until YOU and YOURS have lived through and lived with what we have had to endure ----- perhaps you should thank God there is a Reverend Jeremiah Wright helping African-Americans vent their frustrations in church, where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is also part of the message, rather than in the streets and suburbs all across this country.

Perhaps you should not listen as a white person, but listen as a human being. Perhaps if you were a minority, you would be able to listen to the underlying in his message. It is VERY difficult to live in this country for those of us who are not of the white majority. Things you never have to even think about happen in this country to black people EVERYDAY, from the tiny slight to the deadliest situations. All you can think about is slavery is over. My God.

Posted by Stella | March 14, 2008 9:40 AM

Dan - thanks for posting this. Last week I came to this conclusion as well. There is nothing the Clintons won't do to satisfy their egos. My big ole gay husband and I have several teenage sons, and we just don't trust her with our lives or our sons' lives.

Posted by jackseattle | March 14, 2008 9:52 AM
84 do you know that Obama would have dropped out by now? Did he say that? Or is it because you know him so well?

Do you think Obama is not the least bit opportunistic and power hungry? Not even a little?

As I said before, give him another fifteen years in the spotlight and his image will be just as tarnished and controversial as the Clintons.

Posted by sugamama | March 14, 2008 10:03 AM

I indicated in my post that I would support Hillary, if she's the nominee. I'd vote for a mass-murdering Dem over just about any possible R at this point.

And I titled the post "Hillary Clinton" when it went up, changed it to "Shrillary Clinton," and then changed it back. Because I have the record of service and experience to make change.

Posted by Dan Savage | March 14, 2008 10:27 AM

Can't say I agree with you, Dan. I'm a die-hard Democrat and want us in the office. However, I do not want a "bad" democrat screwing things up for us. Not sure that Obama's "bad"; but we all know that Clinton's abilities are good (even if you DO hate her). We really know nothing about Obama's legislative abilities; he has only one piece of legislation and the head of his campaign couldn't even bring that to mind when asked by Chris Matthews. Now is not the time for "hope"; now is the time for action. In my opinion, Obama's drive to gain this Presidency (when even HE knows he's not he best choice; only "popular") is what is driving a wedge in the Party. I fully support Hillary to do everything in her power to win. If she does not; I'm for McCain.

Posted by derwood | March 14, 2008 10:33 AM

While I do find Clinton's recent tactics unpleasant, and possibly damaging come November, I suggest that the reason 25% of her supporters would go for McCain over Obama is that she is, overall, a somewhat more conservative candidate.

Posted by butterw | March 14, 2008 10:49 AM


What legislation does Hillary have, other than getting post offices named after dead soldiers?

Posted by keshmeshi | March 14, 2008 11:18 AM


That coalition has hardly been working well. Counting on Obama to change things is a gamble, but 50+1 is dangerous as well, probably more dangerous. 50+1 is close enough for the Republicans to steal.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 14, 2008 11:24 AM

To #88: See, you can't name any accomplishments of Obama, can you? That's why you're throwing the question back to me. The logical term for what you are doing is called Tu Quoque; and it represents a false argument. Answer my question first about Obama; and then I'll drive Hillary's accomplishments down your throat! Oh, and so you don't have to go on Wikipedia to find the word, here's a link:

Posted by derwood | March 14, 2008 11:45 AM

Andrew - you're a shrill douchebag. I'd say move to Canada, but I actually like that country.

To unPC: Thank you.

To Democrats: In 2004, the party went with the "electable" candidate instead of the one willing to fight. Why are we making the same mistake?

Posted by Donolectic | March 14, 2008 12:20 PM

Reality check.

What Clinton is doing is child's play compared to what the Republicans will do. Nothing her campaign has done is below the belt. If you don't like the heat, then quit following politics.

And don't blame the candidates for the failures of the Democratic party. Slapping Fla & Mich on the wrist was cowardly and stupid. Caucuses are lazy, cheap and unrepresentative of general election dynamics. If the Dems lose this election, it will not be Hillary's fault. It will be the fault of the party leadership and the blue bloods who thought it would be a good idea to make a play for the primary with no regard for the general election.

It's 1972 all over again.

Posted by mydquin | March 15, 2008 12:59 AM

To Derwood (#86) - can't let you get away with the factual errors in your post. It wasn't "the head of his campaign" who couldn't name Obama's accomplishments on Chris Mathews' show. It was a Texas state senator (Kirk Watson) who came on to discuss Texas issues and froze under TV pressure. Second, Obama has more legislative experience than Hillary, if you count his experience in the Illinois state senate, where he sponsored or co-sponsored close to 800 pieces of legislation. Regarding his time in the U.S. Senate, this bit from a column on Huffington Post by Bob Geiger ("To Those Who Question Obama's 'Legislative Accomplishments') is instructive:

"No doubt, Watson -- and anyone acting as an Obama campaign surrogate -- should be able to rapidly list the important issues that the Illinois Senator has championed. This includes the Lugar-Obama legislation that has helped decrease the threat of old nuclear, biological, and chemical weapon in the former Soviet Union and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 which Obama co-authored and that led to, which keeps Americans better informed on government spending.

"Obama has also been very active in legislation to end the Iraq war and the much-heralded Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act, which passed in July of 2007 and addressed the hideous treatment received by Veterans under the Bush administration, began its legislative life as the Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act, introduced by Obama earlier in the year.

"But here's the thing that any person going on television to represent Obama should repeat without end -- and that should also be a part of the Obama campaign's standard playbook: No Democrat, including Senator Hillary Clinton has been able to do one hell of a lot that meets the accomplishment benchmark of "passed legislation" in a time of unending, record-setting Republican obstructionism.

"Obama has been in the Senate for three years, two of which were spent with a Republican majority that would not even let legislation sponsored by Democrats reach the floor for a vote and, on the few occasions where Bill Frist granted such a luxury, Republicans shot down most Democratic initiatives with extreme prejudice."

Posted by Lorna | March 15, 2008 6:50 AM

I disagree strongly with you Mr. Savage. Hillary Clinton is not destroying the Democratic is the Obama Supporters who have been making this personal and although I don't like the fight...I will defend myself.

Accusations of Racism, over exaggerations and half truths have been the sword with Obama supporters and they have struck hard.

I still respect you. I still enjoy your stuff.......but I strongly disagree with you on this sir! Strongly!

Posted by MarkMiller | March 18, 2008 10:07 PM

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