Friday, March 21, 2008

Dem Party Civil War

The Democratic candidates are having fun tearing each other to pieces lately. Obama is accusing Hillary of being a lying, vindictive, and manipulative woman with numerous examples and evidence included!

Hillary is accusing Obama and his campaign of disenfranchising millions of voters and not caring about principles, using dirty tactics, and being nothing more than lofty words with nothing of substance to back it up.

Meanwhile McCain is working:

All in all, a good week to be a McCain supporter who appears to only be benefiting from what ABC and others are referring to as a "Civil War" in the Democratic Party:

In this civil war, Clinton supporters trash the "Obamabots" and Obama supporters bash the "Clintonistas."

Last week, a Clinton supporter was so upset by the venom toward Clinton on Daily Kos that she called for Clinton backers to boycott the site.
Who Has the Power to End the Clinton-Obama Race?

Founder Markos Moulitsas was not moved.

"It is Clinton, with no chance of victory, who is fomenting civil war in order to overturn the will of the Democratic electorate," he wrote. "As such, as far as I am concerned, she doesn't deserve fairness on this site."

Of course, Clinton supporters give as good as they get.

On the more Clinton-friendly site,, posters yesterday said Obama's association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright made his candidacy untenable.

"Obama is ruined for the general election. The entire country is laughing at those who voted for an unvetted, unqualified candidate whose background is just now being explored," one said.

And that's just the web! The real problem is the same resentments are spilling over to the electorate generally:

Evidence is emerging of just how damaging the split might be to the Democrats.

Exit polling during the Ohio primary found that 51 percent of Obama voters would be disappointed if Clinton was the nominee. And 57 percent of Clinton supporters said they would be disappointed if Obama was the nominee.

The carryover to the general election? A survey by the Pew Research Center found that one in four Clinton voters said they would back Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., over Obama, while one in 10 Obama voters said they would vote for McCain if Clinton were the Democratic nominee.


The following are the press releases/memos sent out by the Obama and Clinton campaigns in their entirety, letting America know, in no uncertain terms, how badly both suck (and amazingly enough, not paid for by the Republican Party):

Obama tears Hillary a new one:


TO: Interested Parties
FR: Obama Campaign
RE: A history of misleading voters
DA: March 20, 2008

Senator Clinton likes to claim that she’s been vetted. But there is a salient theme emerging that has not been examined at all in this race: Senator Clinton has consistently made political calculations to deliberately mislead the American people and the voters have noticed. A new Gallup poll shows a staggering figure: far fewer Americans think Clinton is trustworthy than think she isn’t, by a margin 44-53 percent. And in the exit polling from the most recent primary, Clinton was viewed as honest and trustworthy by only 52 percent of Democratic voters.

For too long, the media has failed to live up to its historic obligation of holding candidates accountable for their contradictions on the campaign trail, and it’s time that Senator Clinton be questioned aggressively about this pattern of misleading voters.

A general election liability

Honesty is a crucial metric in this race because the Democratic nominee is going to be running against John McCain, who is viewed by voters as one of the most trustworthy politicians in America. In the same Gallup poll, McCain scored 67-27 on honesty (with Obama’s honesty rating at 63-29). After eight years of an untrustworthy President, can we really expect that a candidate who is viewed as so much more dishonest than McCain will somehow be able to beat him?

A history of misleading voters

Senator Clinton’s newly released White House schedules—showing a lack of candor on her NAFTA Record, her role in passing FMLA, and her role in key foreign policy decisions—are just the latest in what has become a legacy of misleading voters. On issue after issue, Clinton says one thing while her record says another.

  • Her Iraq vote. Clinton says she voted for diplomacy, while on the Senate floor at the time she said she was casting a “vote that might lead to war” and doing it “with conviction.”
  • Foreign Policy Experience. Clinton claims that she’s been “tested” on foreign policy and that she’s experienced in handling foreign crises. But her White House records show that she was consistently absent when critical decisions were being made, and that her trips abroad were largely ceremonial.
  • The Michigan and Florida primaries. Back when it suited her political purposes she said the Michigan primary “didn’t count for anything” and that she wasn’t leaving her name on the ballot to try to legitimize the results. But now that she desperately needs more votes, she’s doing just that. And despite her pledge not campaign in either state, she held two campaign events in Florida.
  • Fully vetted. Clinton openly tells voters that she’s been fully “vetted,” choosing to obscure from them the fact that she won’t release her tax returns, earmark requests, or the donors to the Clinton library.
  • Her position on NAFTA. Clinton tells Ohio voters that she has “been a critic of NAFTA from the very beginning.” Yet her own schedules show that as First Lady she attended at least four meetings to advocate for its original passage.
  • Her role in passing the Family and Medical Leave Act. Clinton credits herself with “helping to pass” the Family and Medical Leave Act as First Lady. But the 11,000 pages of schedules don’t contain a single mention of her involvement in the issue.
  • Obama’s religion. In a “60 Minutes” interview, Senator Clinton refused to confirm that Senator Obama is a Christian, even though she knows the facts.
  • Reverend Wright. Even though it has been reported yesterday that Clinton is pushing Senator Obama’s association with Reverend Wright in attempt to rattle superdelegates, Clinton refused to give a straight answer. She would only say that their campaign “has been making the case that I am the most electable” before shrugging and prompting the next question.
  • 35 Years in Public Service. The oft-repeated Clinton claim that she has 35 years of public service experience is simply false. Fifteen of those years were spent at a law practice.

Lingering questions

It’s time for Hillary Clinton to explain these inconsistencies—and to put an end to the dishonesty. As she campaigns in working-class areas of Pennsylvania, will she finally admit to workers that she was one of the chief proponents of NAFTA? Will she admit to even a basic understanding of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002? Will she drop FMLA from her list of accomplishments?

And if she won’t, will the press call her on it?


Washington Post Fact Checker Debunks Clinton Claim That She Voted Against Limiting The President’s Authority To Attack Iraq Because She Didn’t Want To Give The U.N. Veto Authority. Clinton, on why she voted against three other important votes during that time period to limit the President’s authority to attack Iraq said “Well, I also voted, Tim, to limit the president’s authority to a year. That was another one of Senator Byrd’s amendments which I strongly supported. It was not successful. I have seen, obviously now, what has occurred by this president’s use of the authority that he was given, and I regret the way that he used authority. But I think it’s important to recognize that the United Nations is a very important tool in international diplomacy, in peacekeeping to bring the world together. But I do not want to give the United Nations a veto over actions taken by any president.” Washington Post fact checker: “There are arguments on both sides about whether the Levin amendment ceded authority to the United Nations. But Clinton is also going too far when she claims that passage of the amendment would have had the effect of subordinating ‘whatever our judgment might be going forward to the United Nations Security Council.’ There was always an escape clause.” [“Meet the Press,” 9/23/07; Washington Post, 2/1/08]


There Are No Mentions Of The Family And Medical Leave Act On Clinton’s Schedule Before Bill Signing It Into Law Even Though She Gives Herself Credit For “Helping To Pass” The Bill. “One notable absence in the 11,000 pages of the former First Lady’s schedule from the National Archives released today — any mention on her schedules of the Family and Medical Leave Act before her husband signed the bill into law. That’s interesting, because in speeches and on her website, the Clinton campaign repeatedly gives Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, credit for “helping to pass” the Family and Medical Leave Act.” [ABC News, 3/19/08]


Clinton Claimed That She Was A Critic Of NAFTA From The Beginning, But Clinton’s Schedules Show That On NAFTA She “Promoted Its Passage” And She Supported NAFTA In 2003. “Clinton now argues that the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to be renegotiated, but newly released records showed on Wednesday she promoted its passage.” Clinton, at the Cleveland debate, said “You know, I have been a critic of NAFTA from the very beginning. I didn’t have a public position on it because I was part of the (Clinton) administration. But when I started running for the Senate, I have been a critic.” In her memoir, Clinton wrote: “Creating a free trade zone in North America—the largest free trade zone in the world—would expand U.S. exports, create jobs and ensure that our economy was reaping the benefits, not the burdens, of globalization. Although unpopular with labor unions, expanding trade opportunities was an important administration goal. The question was whether the White House could focus its energies on two legislative campaigns at once [NAFTA and health care]. I argued that we could and that postponing health care would further weaken its chances.” [Reuters, 3/20/08; AP, 2/26/08; Living History, 182]


Clinton Campaigned In Florida And Held Two Events After Signing A Pledge Not To Campaign In Florida. “Hundreds of thousands of people have already voted in Florida and I want them to know I will be there to be part of what they have tried to do to make sure their voices are heard,” said Clinton before jetting to Sarasota and Miami for events on Sunday. The Clinton campaign claims that the senator from New York is abiding by the no-campaigning pledge because Sunday’s two Florida events were technically closed to the public. But the stops were treated as major news events in a state where many Democrats have expressed anger over the absence of the party’s presidential candidates during a period when Florida is overrun by Republican contenders. The truth of the Clinton strategy was writ large in a memo from top strategist Howard Wolfson, who announced on the day of the campaign’s dismal showing in South Carolina that, “Regardless of today’s outcome, the race quickly shifts to Florida, where hundreds of thousands of Democrats will turn out to vote on Tuesday. Despite efforts by the Obama campaign to ignore Floridians, their voices will be heard loud and clear across the country, as the last state to vote before Super Tuesday on February 5.” Her arrival is Sarasota was timed so that she could be photographed with palm trees behind her. “It is a perfect day here in Florida,” declared a bemused candidate who officially was not campaigning in Florida as she posed for the classic Florida campaign photo. [The Nation, 1/28/08 ]

Clinton Said Michigan Results Were Fair And Should Be Honored—After Saying It Was Clear That The Michigan Primary Did Not Count For Anything. In March, Clinton Said The Results Of The Michigan Primary Were “Fair And They Should Be Honored.” “Sen. Hillary Clinton on Wednesday warned that millions of people in Florida and Michigan ‘are in danger of being excluded from our democratic process’ if their votes are not counted. … ‘The results of those primaries were fair and they should be honored,’ Clinton told a breakfast gathering hosted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Washington.” In October, Clinton said “Well, you know, people in Michigan are flat on their backs. They have the highest unemployment rate in America. They are now grappling finally with what they are going to do with the auto industry. 1 in 10 jobs in America is tied to the auto industry which is – the American auto industry, which as we know is centered in Michigan. You know, it’s clear this election they’re having isn’t going to count for anything. But I just personally didn’t want to set up a situation where the Republicans are going to be campaigning between now and whenever. And then after the nomination we have to go in and repair the damage and be ready to win Michigan in November 2008.” [CNN, 3/12/08; NHPR Interview, 10/11/07]

FOREIGN POLICY? “The Public Record Of Her Actions Shows That Many Of Clinton’s Foreign Policy Claims Are Exaggerated.” “On March 6 Hillary Clinton claimed that, unlike Barack Obama, she and likely Republican nominee John McCain have ‘cross[ed] the commander-in-chief threshold.’ In a CNN interview the day before, Clinton had listed five foreign policy accomplishments. We can’t determine how much behind-the-scenes work Clinton did while first lady, and she certainly took an active interest in foreign policy when her husband was president. Moreover, her time as first lady plus her longer Senate career do give Clinton more foreign policy experience than Obama. But the public record of her actions shows that many of Clinton’s foreign policy claims are exaggerated.” [, 3/13/08]

FOREIGN TRIPS: Clinton’s “Sanitized, Ceremonial Trips Abroad” Were “Hardly Preparation” For Foreign Policy Duties Of Presidency. Hillary Clinton highlights her “extensive travel to more than 80 countries as First Lady and her 1995 women’s rights speech to the U.N. to demonstrate of her foreign policy experience. “But these sanitized, ceremonial trips abroad are hardly preparation for the middle-of-the-night call from the Situation Room.” [Newsweek, 8/6/07]

NORTHERN IRELAND: Irish Policymakers, Fact Checkers Debunk Clinton’s Exaggerations. Clinton’s activities ‘helped bring peace to Northern Ireland.’ Irish officials are divided as to how helpful Clinton’s actions were, and key players agree that she was not directly involved in any actual negotiations.” “Clinton claimed that she ‘helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland.’ That’s the kind of thing that Mitchell, Hume or Trimble could accurately say. But based on our interviews and research, it’s a stretch for Clinton to say so. Although she played a role, especially with women in Northern Ireland, her statement leaves the impression that she was more involved than she was. We find her statement to be Half True.” “The road to peace was carefully documented, and she wasn’t on it,” says Brian Feeney, an author and former leading Belfast politician. “Hillary Clinton had no direct role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and is a ‘wee bit silly’ for exaggerating the part she played, according to Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister of the province. Washington Post fact checker: “Hillary is making a lot more of her Northern Ireland role on the campaign trail than she did in her memoir “Living History.” […] her stories of bringing Protestant and Catholic women together have become more dramatic with each retelling. The claim that she brought Catholics and Protestants together “for the first time” seems dubious. This would not be the first time that she has mixed up her chronology.” [Washington Post, Fact Checker, 1/10/08; AP, 3/8/08] [, 3/10/08;, 3/13/08; Telegraph, 3/8/08]

KOSOVO: Washington Post, On Clinton’s Role In Kosovo: “The Record shows That [Clinton] Took An Intelligent Interest In All These Issues, Addressing Conferences And Meeting With Victims Of War, But Did Not Get Involved In Diplomatic Negotiations In An Meaningful Way. Her Role Was More Symbolic Than Substantive.” The Clinton campaign has provided various news clips to support Hillary Clinton’s claim during last night’s debate about “negotiating with governments like Macedonia to open their border again, to let Kosovar refugees in.” The news articles make clear that Clinton visited Albanian refugee camps in Macedonia on May 14, 1999, during the NATO bombing war against Serbia. Macedonia had closed its borders the previous week, in order to stem the flow of Albanian refugees from Kosovo. The Macedonian government reopened the border on May 13, the day before Clinton toured the camps. According to this CNN report, only a few stragglers crossed the border. Clearly, Clinton’s visit to Macedonia helped focus even more international attention on the country and the refugee crisis that resulted from the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Albanians from Kosovo by the Serbian authorities. According to a May 16 Chicago Tribune report cited by the Clinton campaign, Clinton announced the “release of the first $ 2 million in a $ 21 million economic development package for Macedonia” at a meeting with Macedonian government leaders. The question is whether Clinton personally negotiated the deal with the Macedonian government–or U.S. diplomats used her forthcoming visit as an additional incentive to persuade the Macedonian authorities to re-open the border. The sequence of events–first the border reopening, followed by Clinton’s visit to the camps and her meeting with Macedonian government leaders–points to the second scenario…Her role was more symbolic than substantive. [Washington Post, 1/31/08]

RWANDA: NY Times Rebuts Bill And Hillary Clinton’s Claims That Hillary Clinton Asserted Herself On Rwanda. During a brief question and answer period with the audience [in Newton, Iowa], the former president was asked about times during his presidency in which the Clinton’s disagreed and which he now acknowledges she was right. One instance, he said, was in not moving quickly to send U.S. troops to fight the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. ‘I think she would have clearly done that,’ he said, noting at the time he had concerns about military activities in Bosnia and that no one knew how bad the situation in Rwanda would turn out to be.” On This Week, George Stephanopoulos asked Hillary Clinton if she had urged Bill Clinton to intervene in Rwanda and she agreed with her husband’s remarks. The New York Times reported, “During those two terms in the White House, Mrs. Clinton did not hold a security clearance. She did not attend National Security Council meetings. She was not given a copy of the president’s daily intelligence briefing. She did not assert herself on the crises in Somalia, Haiti and Rwanda.” [NYT, 12/26/07] [Baltimore Sun, 12/10/07; ABC, This Week, 12/30/07]


Clinton Claims To Be Fully Vetted But Does Not Release Tax Returns And Cites Presidential Privilege On Information Related To Her White House Years, Drawing Criticism Even From Allies. Clinton’s “gates-drawn stance raised concerns that shadow her presidential bid today — that she reacts with a siege mentality under pressure, retreating behind a restrictive wall of presidential and attorney privilege. ‘There’s no question that her first instinct was to protect herself and the president,’ said former Clinton chief of staff Leon E. Panetta.” Roger Simon wrote, “Take the matter of her tax returns. Obama has released his, and Clinton won’t release hers, she says, until after she is the Democratic nominee. Why? She gives no reason. She says she files an ethics statement with the Senate, which is true, but so does Obama, and yet he also has released his tax returns. Clinton refuses to do so until after the Democratic convention. Does this make sense to anybody? If she is going to do it eventually, why not do it now, while Democrats are still voting on her? Keeping the returns secret just raises doubts and suspicions and kicks a hole in the case that she has been fully vetted.” The New York Times editorial board wrote, “Of the leading contenders, so far, only Senator Barack Obama has released his full income-tax returns — a level of disclosure once routine for candidates after the political corruption of Watergate. Release of the tax returns should not be made conditional on winning the nomination, as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has made it.” [Los Angeles Times, 11/27/07; Politico, 12/14/08; Editorial, NYT, 2/15/08]

Hillary Clinton Won’t Release Her Earmark Requests, Says She’s Proud Of The Pork She’s Secured For New York. “Hillary Clinton, by contrast, often seems to operate by the maxim that silence is golden. When asked whether she would release a list of her earmarks, her spokesman dodged the question, while declaring that she is ‘proud of the investments in New York that she has secured.’ But for now, at least, not proud enough to let voters know what they are. This exercise in secrecy is part of a Clinton pattern that grows more worrisome all the time.” [Editorial, Chicago Tribune, 3/16/08]


Clinton Claims Of 35 Years Of Experience Omit 15 Years At Rose Law Firm, Repeatedly Emphasize Mere One Year At Children’s Defense Fund. “She routinely tells voters that she’s “been working to bring positive change to people’s lives for 35 years.” She told a voter in New Hampshire: “I’ve spent so much of my life in the nonprofit sector.” Speaking in South Carolina, Bill Clinton said his wife “could have taken a job with a firm … Instead she went to work with Marian Wright Edelman at the Children’s Defense Fund.” The overall portrait is of a lifelong, selfless do-gooder. The whole story is more complicated — and less flattering. Clinton worked at the Children’s Defense Fund for less than a year, and that’s the only full-time job in the nonprofit sector she’s ever had. She also worked briefly as a law professor. Clinton spent the bulk of her career — 15 of those 35 years — at one of Arkansas’ most prestigious corporate law firms, where she represented big companies and served on corporate boards. Neither she nor her surrogates, however, ever mention that on the campaign trail. Her campaign Web site biography devotes six paragraphs to her pro bono legal work for the poor but sums up the bulk of her experience in one sentence: “She also continued her legal career as a partner in a law firm.” [Matt Stearns, McClatchy, 2/3/08]

Hillary's Response:

MEMO: Obama Campaign: Just Words

To: Interested Parties
From: The Clinton Campaign
Date: March 21, 2008
RE: Obama Campaign: Just Words

At this point, it’s no secret that the Obama campaign is in political hot water given the news stories of the last few weeks and is desperate to change the subject.

The ground is shifting away from them and their response?

First, disenfranchise voters - Prevent new votes in Florida and Michigan. Stop voting in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, Kentucky, South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia and Indiana.

Second, peddle photos of President Clinton shaking hands with Reverend Wright less than 48 hours after calling for a high-minded conversation on race. Well, President Clinton took tens of thousands of photos during his eight years as president. Stop the presses.

Third, accuse our campaign of having something to do with Senator Obama’s passport file being breached, a reckless charge that has zero merit.

Fourth, continue attacks on Senator Clinton’s character in an effort to implement what the Chicago Tribune called a full assault on her ethics.

Fifth, stonewall the press: no tax returns, no state records, no answers about the inconsistencies in the Rezko story.

So it’s not a pretty sight - it’s all part of a pattern of just words.

Senator Obama talks about voter participation while actively disenfranchising millions.

He calls for high minded debates while practicing lowdown politics.

He promises a different kind of campaign while attacking Hillary’s character.

He promises transparency while hiding basic info and stonewalling the press.

It’s no wonder that Americans are coming to see that for all of his lofty rhetoric, Senator Obama’s candidacy is really just words.

It’s no surprise that Americans are expressing serious doubts about his ability to answer the 3am call.

It’s no wonder that top journalists are calling the Obama campaign desperate, saying that it’s amateur hour in Chicago.

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