Archive for the ‘campaigning’ Category

Obama, Clinton Schizoid Relationship

November 11, 2008

They have needed each other.  They ran against each other.  They love each other.  Or do they all hate one another?

By Amie Parnes
Michelle Obama wasn’t always an admirer of Hillary Clinton, but last Wednesday the soon-to-be first lady dialed up the former first lady for pointers on protecting her two young daughters from the media maelstrom of the White House.

“Michelle may not have loved the senator, but she always respected how the Clintons raised Chelsea,” said a person familiar with Clinton’s end of the call. “They need to talk. There just aren’t too many people who have shared that kind of experience.”

An aide briefed on Obama’s side of the chat said she was “grateful” for Clinton’s “pointers” on “raising children in the public eye.”

It’s the latest phase in the ruling-class soap opera that is the Obama-Clinton alliance, where the two first families negotiate new personal relationships as Hillary Clinton wrestles with her own ambivalence about Michelle Obama’s husband, a man she once ridiculed as too callow to govern, and then worked tirelessly to elect.

These tensions have created a somewhat schizoid relationship between Clinton and the Obamas – warm on personal matters, warier on political ones, and downright frosty on the still-unresolved issue of Clinton’s mountainous campaign debt, which Barack Obama had pledged to help reduce.

Senator Clinton did not just check the box for Obama – she went all out for him, which says an awful lot about how important she felt this election was, what kind of character she has, and the positive state of their relationship,” said Chris Lehane, an aide to both John Kerry and Al Gore during their presidential bids.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., campaigns for Democratic ... 
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Monday, Nov. 3, 2008, in St. Charles, Mo.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Since the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton headlined about three dozen rallies and fundraisers – working rope-lines where well-wishers often lamented her exit from the race. 
Bill Clinton, who once called Obama’s Iraq policy “a fairy tale,” hosted about 20 events for Obama after the Illinois senator paid homage to him with a mid-September visit to his Harlem office.

Obama responded by lavishing praise on the pair – after months of questioning the legacy of the Clinton White House. More importantly, he embraced much of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s domestic agenda, especially her health care and green jobs proposals.

Yet a half-dozen Clinton insiders told Politico they are disappointed that Obama’s vaunted fundraising operation hasn’t reciprocated by planning new events or an Internet campaign to help Clinton pay off the $7.9 million she owes to vendors. (Clinton has already written off the $13 million she loaned the campaign during the primaries, aides say).

“I don’t think there’s a whole lot of hard feelings, it’s more like mild annoyance,” said a former Clinton aide on condition of anonymity. “There’s just not a lot of expectation they are going to lift a finger for us.”

Added another longtime Clinton adviser: “She killed herself for them, did a hundred events, went anywhere they pointed – so it’s disappointing they aren’t helping… But it’s not a big deal at this point.”

One former Clinton fundraiser took a more cold-blooded view. “In a few months, when he’s really struggling, he’ll come to her for support,” he said. “That’s when she should ask him for money.”

An Obama spokesman didn’t comment but didn’t rule out a debt retirement effort down the road.

Clinton is expecting a warmer reception from Obama on legislative issues.

People close to the New York senator say she is still struggling to define her role in the Senate following a jarring and unexpected loss. But she’s sure of one thing: she desperately wants to play a major role in crafting the health care reform Obama has pledged to introduce.

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U.S. rights campaigner denied entry into Russia

February 20, 2008
By Conor Sweeney

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The head of a New York-based human rights group accused Russia on Wednesday of “bureaucratic harassment” of civil groups critical of the Kremlin after he was denied a visa to travel to Moscow.

The comments by Human Rights Watch head Kenneth Roth came two weeks before a presidential election opposition groups say furnishes Vladimir Putin‘s chosen successor with blanket media coverage. Europe‘s human rights watchdog, the OSCE, has opted not to field observers, citing lack of official cooperation.

Roth had been due to present a report in Moscow that said new laws on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were being used to crack down on groups the Kremlin does not like.

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Advocating Change, Hillary Saddled With Relic Bill

January 5, 2008
By NANCY BENAC, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – In a presidential race where the Democratic candidates are competing as agents of change, Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s most reliable campaign prop is something of a political relic — her husband.

With Bill Clinton, it’s a far more complicated dynamic than simply that of the supportive husband.

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, ...
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea, left, acknowledge the cheers of supporters after Sen. Clinton addressed the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s 49th annual 100 Club dinner in Milford, NH., Friday night, Jan. 4, 2008. New Hampshire’s first in the nation presidential primary is Tuesday Jan. 8, 2008.

Bill Clinton Stumps for Hillary; No Mention of “Character”

January 2, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 2, 2008

Former President of the United States Bill Clinton now says the gloves are off. He is 1000% behind his wife Hillary, the Democratic Presidential Hopeful.

Yet in November 2007, at one speechifying event, the former president made only seven references to his wife and used the word ‘I’ 94 times.

Note to Hillary: It is all about Him.

Also note that the media’s nickname for Bill and Hillary is “Billery.” Not “HillaBill.”

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)(L) is joined by her daughter Chelsea (C) and her husband former President Bill Clinton at a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, December 31, 2007.


So I listened with great interest to Former President of the United States Bill Clinton’s speech on New Year’s Eve.

Bill’s speech highlights Hillary’s greatest failure during the Big Guy’s presidency: health care. According to The Guardian newspaper in the UK: “Failure is not usually an attribute used to sell American presidents but that is how Bill Clinton is pitching his wife to Iowa voters in the final days before the state caucuses. Hillary Clinton has a crucial quality for an occupant of the White House, the former president argues: the strength to carry on after getting it wrong.”

Well, isn’t that special.

The former president’s speech about his wife is an hour-long lesson on the challenges of the White House and his wife’s accomplishments.

What the former president does, mostly, is to emphasize his own greatness as president even as he tears down the current occupant of the Oval Office, who is, by the way, at war. Hillary, it seems to some observers, is just the tool to draw a crowd.

We also noticed the many things Big Bill doesn’t say. There is absolutely no mention whatsoever of the words “character,” “ethics,” “morality,” or “standards.” While the Republicans insist that “character counts,” you can’t count Bill Clinton saying the word once.

And what is “character”?  Dictionaries define the word as “the pattern of behavior or personality found in an individual or group; moral constitution.”

Interesting. But no surprise that in a Clinton speech this kind of word is avoided.

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