Patterico's Pontifications

9/15/2008

Clintons Call Obama “Dead Man Walking” — John Harris Says So Over At Politico

Filed under: 2008 Election,Current Events,Media Bias,Politics — WLS @ 6:55 am



[Posted by WLS]

This is an amazing piece of political journalism jujitsu by John Harris at Politico.

Make no mistake about it, Bill Clinton on Thursday turned the first shovel of dirt in burying Obama’s coffin in the campaign graveyard.  He then turned to Harris and made the first “We told you so” claim to the Democrat party.

The subject of the article is the meeting Thursday between Clinton and Obama, and what “advice” Clinton might have given Obama in their time together.  Of course, Harris points out that the meeting was closed, and he doesn’t know what Clinton really said, but based on his 16 years of covering Clinton, and the two books he wrote about him, he gives Politico readers his “educated guess.”

One thing he doesn’t do is say that Clinton aides didn’t give him a rundown of how Clinton feels about Obama and the campaign — which they clearly did because Harris quotes them in the piece. 

The Obama people in seeing the piece must have said to each other: “Great, we have a private meeting with him, and he then sends out his close associates to tell the world how it is he thinks we are screwing up the campaign.  Whose side is he on?” 

Like they really need to ask.

But what really got my attention was this passage from the article:

But [Obama] errs if he thinks the former president does not still have resentments toward Obama, and that those resentments might not surface at unwelcome times, in the view of many former aides. 

This is a quite poorly crafted sentence.  But what is clearly suggested is that “former aides” are saying to Politico that Clinton has no reluctance about speaking up even on matters that hurt Obama’s chances.  He is not going to censor his views based on the needs of the Obama campaign. 

That is extraordinarily bad news given the press attention he commands, and the portion of the electorate that is most attracted to him.

But so are the critiques that Harris “guesses” Clinton would have at this time — peppered with quotes from current and former Clinton aides;

1.  “Politics of Biography” is a losing hand in the end.

Clinton is always skeptical of politicians who try to win races on the basis of their life story or supposed personal virtues…. They just don’t care that much about you. They care about themselves and what you will do for them. 

“What Bill Clinton always told me is, ‘If we make this about their lives instead of mine, we’ll be better off,’” recalled Paul Begala, who served as strategist in the 1992 election and the second-term White House. “It’s always about the voters, never about the candidates.”

Clinton thinks Obama has erred by putting too much focus on himself and on his supposedly transformational brand of politics — it’s too airy, and it puts him at risk of being branded a hypocrite when, as inevitably happens, he needs to play rough.

2.  Don’t forget there are 60 million POTENTIAL votes intending to vote for the other guy.

Most Democrats, Clinton believes, spend too much time enjoying the cheers of the home crowd — and not enough trying to persuade people who do not already agree with them.

Successful politicians, he believes, look for opportunities to speak to skeptical audiences. 
Obama’s convention speech in Denver was a spirited performance that thrilled Democrats, but did not have enough passages aimed at people who don’t already support him. What’s more, Obama has not taken enough positions that make clear he is not a standard-issue Democrat.

3.  Hillary’s supporters extended beyond NOW and Emily’s List.

Obama’s strategists believed that they did not have to worry that much about Hillary Clinton’s female backers, because they figured that most of them were liberal, abortion-rights supporters who will vote for the Democrat even if the nominee was not their first choice. 

That was probably true for about two-thirds of those voters, according to one Clinton strategist’s appraisal of polling data. But another one-third of Clinton’s women supporters were more conservative-tilting, working-class women, who were drawn to Clinton because they admired her pluck — and these voters are now a key target group for McCain-Palin. 

4.  Obama may have brought a knife to a gunfight.

….Obama has acted as if he were on a glide path to a relatively easy victory. 
Clinton knows this attitude is delusional…. Obama has never faced a serious race against a Republican. His important victories in Illinois and this year have all been against other Democrats in nomination battles. 

Some Clinton allies say this may tend to warp his perspective about how politics works and what kind of issues and stories matter in a presidential context. Bottom line: it does not matter who is getting better coverage in the New York Times. 

“This is a new experience for Obama — facing a Republican who will do and say things far different from the Democrats he has faced. Republicans don’t care what Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd or establishment media has to say about them,” said Penn.

There’s more in the piece than I’ve put in here.

— WLS

44 Responses to “Clintons Call Obama “Dead Man Walking” — John Harris Says So Over At Politico”

  1. Granted, the Clinton’s are murderous scum. That being said what did Obama expect after dragging them through the mud? Thats Barry’s big campaigning flaw, he doesn’t plan ahead. Hillary would much rather run against McCain or better yet Palin next election than knock herself out of the box. She wants to be the first woman president and the Clintons are known to do what ever it takes.

    BrentF (e6db0a)

  2. Your math on Hillary’s women supporters seems a little off. If she had the support of 1/2 the party, you overlook that some portion of that support is male. Let’s just call it 1/2. THEN you can apply your 1/3 estimate and would arrive at the conclusion that maybe 1/12, not 1/6, of Dem voters may be in the “conservative tilting, working class women” category. Still plenty in a tight election!

    Ray (b39472)

  3. What can one say about this completely unsurprising reaction from Clinton and his team: BWAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!

    Bambi acts clueless about that entire concept of “triangulation” as well – also not a big surprise, given his extreme arrogance on just about anyone outside of his inner circle attempting to give him some advice. This reminds me a lot of Jimmah Carter, who had no one in his inner circle that had the stature to tell him when he was full of sh-it. Pride goeth before a fall, Messiah.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  4. No surprises here. Looks like New York may even be in play per Hotair.com. Happy Day. Do you hear that sound dems…… sounds like a freight train, no its not a freight train, its a bloody avalanche!!! Watch out, Landslide Ho!!!

    J. Raymond Wright (d83ab3)

  5. Most Democrats, Clinton believes, spend too much time enjoying the cheers of the home crowd — and not enough trying to persuade people who do not already agree with them.

    This is entirely true…and odd when one considers it comes from the crowd typically given to championing the importance of dialog, the nuance of diplomacy, and most likely to slap a “COEXIST” bumperstickers on their cars.

    Kurt (5a6552)

  6. Clintons Call Obama “Dead Man Walking” — WLS Says So Over At Patterico.

    McCain Today: “The Fundamentals Of Our Economy Are Strong”
    THOUGHT OF THE DAY
    The man most responsible for the financial services and banking deregulation that made today possible, fmr. Sen. Phil Gramm, is the man John McCain wants to put in charge of the whole economy.

    Don’t get me wrong, McCain may pull this off, but that’s the only way to describe is, as a con. What principles does he represent at this point? And I’ll ask the same, again, of the authors of this blog

    JAR (6b0755)

  7. The man most responsible for the financial services and banking deregulation that made today possible, fmr. Sen. Phil Gramm, is the man John McCain wants to put in charge of the whole economy.

    Gramm beats the Senator from MBNA any day of the week…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  8. JAR questioning anyone regarding principles is akin to Bill Clinton lecturing a women’s studies class on sexual harassment.

    At the risk of thread hijacking, did anyone see this story yet? It would appear that Bambi’s visit to Iraq may have crossed the line into treasonous actions:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/09152008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obama_tried_to_stall_gis_iraq_withdrawal_129150.htm

    If true, this would rank right up there with Tip O’Neill attempting to negotiate with the Russians without Reagan or congressional knowledge.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  9. How do you spell panic ?

    Hillary for VP.

    Amazing. I’m still skeptical and convinced that the debates are the deciding events for the election, the first presidential debate and the VP debate. Still, this is simply astonishing.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  10. “He’s already dead, he’s just not smart enough to know it.”

    mojo (8096f2)

  11. Lehman bet on Obama, Countrywide bet on Obama & Dodd, what does that say about their judgement.
    On the aftermath of the Clinton/Obama summit, that looks like the Michael vs. Solozzo & the police captain.

    ian cormac (c36902)

  12. JAR,

    If we would have listened to Gramm, we also would have a balanced budget. Just saying.

    otcconan (8b7d8d)

  13. Boy, I am glad I was nowhere near that Clinton/Obama meeting. With those two egos, it would have been like watching the super collider spliting atoms.

    But I don’t think that the Clinton’s have short memories and Obama was not out to defeat Hillary, he was out to destroy her. To remove any remaining loyalty that Democrats had to her and her husband. In Obama’s mind, Hillary was Marie Antoinette and Obama was the guillotine. But along comes Betsy Ross so he has to go to the throne and beg for forgiveness for past sins. Not a good place to be.

    And Hillary is not going to be his attack dog. She has too much at stake. In order to run in ’12, she has to keep her image of being for all Americans, especially women. We may see her on the stump, but she will not help his with his “slash and burn” tactics.

    Obama is the candidate. But he felt it necessary to go to the mountain. The mountain did not go to him.

    That should tell you all you need to know.

    retire05 (a7ead8)

  14. Check out Obama’s money handling skills. I live in Chicago and have taken pictures of Obama’s $150,000 gazebo scam. I made a quick/rough web page on a domain I own. Scroll to the bottom to see pics. http://www.nine0210.com

    BrentF (e6db0a)

  15. This election is sooooooo entertaining.

    JD (5f0e11)

  16. Read Dmac’s link at #8. It’s also on Drudge and plenty of other sites. It shows Obama for a two faced liar on his signature issues: his opposition to the war, and setting a time for US troops to withdraw from Iraq.(A separate thread perhaps?)

    This is the basis for his claim to superior judgement and for his anti-war credentials. Both are smashed beyond repair, unless you close your eyes, cover your ears, and suck down a tidal wave of kool-aid, it’s impossible to reconcile his words here while on the campaign trail, and his efforts with Iraqi leaders to delay agreements for troop withdrawls.

    This man, Obama, speaks with a forked tongue. He isn’t worthy of the trust and support of the American people. He’s disgraced himself. If he had any courage or integrity he would withdraw, but he’s not man enough to face his own treachery.

    Ropelight (921f6e)

  17. I wonder what Obama’s side dish vs. Clinton’s side dish was at their lunch?

    We can make an educated guess on that too right?

    Divide and Conquer, good strategy WLS.

    Oiram (983921)

  18. 14- merely chicken feed. what did he and ayers do with that $100 million plus Annenberg Challenge money? Perhaps Sullivan, Maureen Dowd and Dan Rather will sort it all out? Oh, I forgot it is more important to vet the gop vp selection. Did you hear, air america dipwad rhodes says sarah has sex with teen boys?

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  19. Maybe JAR would care to expound on the effects of congressional pressure on lending institutions to stop redlining questionable borrowers. Trying to make lemonade out of the situation led bankers to do stupid things they wouldn’t have otherwise.

    rhodeymark (4f2403)

  20. Wow, Obama is going to have yet another bad, really bad week. But, what the media isn’t talking about, with regard to the Clintons, is that Obama virtually stole the nomination from Hillary Clinton, via massive caucus fraud. Although she filed reports with the DNC about this despicable Obama campaign activity, the DNC turned a blind eye. Now, Hillary supporters & caucus workers have put together a documentary video & huge report. Please, everyone, check out these links & notify everyone. The means should never justify the end, when election fraud is involved.

    http://wewillnotbesilenced2008.com/

    http://www.lynettelong.com/caucusfraud/

    eebaltimore (dcfd25)

  21. Hi,

    I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed:

    “Impeach Senator Barack Obama”
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/obamaimpeachment?e

    I really think this is an important cause, and I’d like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It’s free and takes less than a minute of your time.

    Thanks!

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/obamaimpeachment?e

    WillNotBeFooledByObamaNATION (c62648)

  22. Here’s another NOBAMA petition that’s been going for months. Please sign it & keep the momentum going:

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/pledge-to-vote-against-obama-in-the-general-election

    eebaltimore (dcfd25)

  23. #2 – Ray

    — If this site starts giving out “silliest post of the week” awards, yours would be a strong contender.

    Icy Truth (33a0bd)

  24. Sign a petition against Obama? You’ve got to be kidding…remember what FDR said..”a conservative is a person who has two perfectly good legs, both of which don’t know how to walk forward.”

    With the stock market crash we are back to 1932….de ja vous all over again.
    Better get your money out of the bank and deposit it in your mattress….McCain says there is nothing wrong with the economy….

    What a crock you wingers are…

    Sag (bc6fda)

  25. Sag-nuts scribbled: With the stock market crash we are back to 1932….de ja vous [sic] all over again.
    — Let’s see, the market is down 500 points; that’s bad, no doubt about it. The market lost 4.4% of its value; that’s not good either . . . except when you realize that it retained 95.6% of its value, and that it is at just below 11,000 points. No crash.

    McCain says there is nothing wrong with the economy….
    — Does lying about McCain make you feel better about the economy?

    Icy Truth (db1823)

  26. Better get your money out of the bank and deposit it in your mattress

    What a timely and hilarious reference, saghag – what’s your next contemporary analogy, something along the lines of the Revolutionary War?

    Dmac (e639cc)

  27. “….except when you realize that it retained 95.6% of its value, and that it is at just below 11,000 points. No crash.”
    Comment by Icy Truth — 9/15/2008 @ 2:03 pm

    It’s what the Dems do. Ever since FDR the Dems try to drag the economy down in an election year when they are the “out” party.

    I wonder if Barry was wearing a blue dress when he met with Clinton?

    C. Norris (1f4402)

  28. Many of the comments posted in this field are for McCain Palin. It’s a shame that people don’t realize what they are in for if they vote Republican — more environmental decay, natural disasters, a terrible world war III and America on the economic downslide. It’s the beginning of the end for this Empire and your grandkids will feel the brunt of it.

    Eddaguy (938469)

  29. 28~

    — more environmental decay, natural disasters, a terrible world war III and America on the economic downslide.

    Oy, stupidity sure travels about a lot faster with the Internet to help spread it.

    Eddaguy~

    Never mind. There is so much Concentrated Stupidity® in that statement that I just don’t even want to waste my life trying to address it.

    EW1(SG) (dd1b99)

  30. Many of the comments posted in this field are for McCain Palin

    Your powers of prognostication are duly noted – what gave you the first tip – off here?

    Dmac (e639cc)

  31. Eddaguy, your comments are completely false, hilariously so. Do return to reality.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  32. a terrible world war III

    — Compared to a kinder, gentler WWIII under Obama bin Lyin’?

    Icy Truth (7b38bb)

  33. With the stock market crash we are back to 1932 – an 89% devaluation from the peak of 1929.

    and Per Icy: The market lost 4.4% of its value

    That’s approximately a 20-fold difference. Confusion over those two sets of figures shows an extreme lack of judgment, like most on the left.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  34. “The man most responsible for the financial services and banking deregulation that made today possible,”

    Hey, JAR-head, the fact that banks can buy investment houses SAVED MERRILL LYNCH today.

    The housing bubble had zip,zero, nada, nothing to do with the banking bill of 1998 that was signed by President Clinton. And Gramm has been retired for years.

    What you have is a reflexive hate/distrust of markets, so when something goes wrong, your first instinct is to blame the markets. Wrong move.

    The recipe for this has many parts:
    – The Fed overinflated earlier in the decade, and the govt *over-regulated* companies, making investments move into certain assets, hard assets like commodities and real estate.
    – the bubble was fed by lax lending standards. the Fed govt incited this with CRA and other incitements for lending, spiking the punchbowl
    – private lenders and private hedge funds who got hooked on the returns and the leverage of these risky subprime loans put themselves into a risky situation, ignoring or mis-modelling the risk
    – when the bubble burst, the Democrats were in control of Congress … and what did they do? Did they do the smart thing and make the Bush tax cuts permanent, thereby stabilizing the investment community and putting the economy on a solid footing? NO!!! They kept threatening more tax increases!

    Pelosi Democrats in Congress, Greenspan’s Fed of 2003-2005, private CEOs at Countrywide and elsewhere, Federal regulations, all played a role in where we are today.

    Blaming one retired senator who got a good bill passed 10 years ago is laughable partisan stupidity.

    The only case whoe one senator is really to blame for a bank failure is Chuckie Schumer’s words causing Indymac bank to fail.

    Freedoms Truth (cfa2f1)

  35. Honestly, the advice that Clinton gives is reasonably good. if Obama didnt have the hubris to not follow it, he’d be a tougher candidate.

    But the Plouffe memo “we start fighting today” is exactly a different approach. Obama’s been selling vaporware for 19 months, he cannot suddenly retool in the last 5 weeks to be a different candidate and a different campaign. The big theme time was the convention speech. The time to realize the general election electorate was different was when he won the primary. etc.

    Clinton has managed to give him exactly the right advice about 3 months later than he really needed it.

    It’s like that second before a car crash impact and you know its going to happen but its too late to stop it. … “uh oh”.

    Clinton will be at the crash site saying “I tried to help him, honest I really tried my best. What a shame. Nice man. Bright, clean, articulate, Biden was right about that. Too bad he cant ever be President.”

    Freedoms Truth (cfa2f1)

  36. “11- Lehman bet on Obama, Countrywide bet on Obama & Dodd, what does that say about their judgement.”
    More importantly, Obama used FANNIE MAE CEO JOHNSON as his original VP vetter. and his VP vetting team then picked the 36-year-incumbent-tied-to-MBNA as his VP.

    36 YEARS OF CODDLING FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND BIDEN DIDNT SEE THIS COMING? DIDNT MAKE ANY MOVES TO STOP IT? DIDNT CALL ON FANNIE MAE TO REFORM?

    WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?

    (I mean, other than the total complete and utter cluelessness of leaders on all sides in DC when it comes to arcane matters of finance, and their willingness to simply grab whatever partisan stick they can to beat for their favored approach irrespective of the lack of data to support it. It also speaks volumes of the capacity for Democrats for double-dealing, to publicly berate CEOs while privately shaking them down for donations and favors.)

    Freedoms Truth (cfa2f1)

  37. “14- merely chicken feed. what did he and ayers do with that $100 million plus Annenberg Challenge money?”

    Obama and Ayers accomplished … nothing. That’s the point.

    Freedoms Truth (cfa2f1)

  38. #29-31
    Okay. Why don’t you guys simply say “we disagree with your comment.” and leave the name-calling?

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  39. Scene: The Titanic. North Atlantic. It’s just hit an iceberg called (it’s a long name) Unmitigated Greed Due to Politically Arranged Deregulation, Cronyism and Corruption trying to pass as the Holy and Sacred Free Market of Saint Ronald Reagan.

    There’s two guys on the bridge discussing it:

    Democrat: The ship lost 4.4% of its hull; that’s not good…

    Republican: Except when you realize that it retained 95.6% of its hull.

    Democrat throws Republican overboard.

    The End

    Peter (e70d1c)

  40. Obama has acted as if he were on a glide path to a relatively easy victory.

    Well, yes, which was exactly how he won the Democratic nomination: he built up a big, early lead, and the math and party rules then locked it in, in his favor, by the end of February. But even after his win became inevitable, Mrs Clinton won the clear majority of votes after March 1st, and, depending on the counting rules uses — shades of the Sunshine State! — won the plurality of all votes cast in the Democratic primaries.

    The male Dana (3e4784)

  41. BearStearns is an agressive Republican sort of place…so they got bailed out with tax payer’s money. Kind of obvious where our money is going.

    Gramm’s bill destroyed the Depression era regulations that would have prevented the over-financialization of our economy. Gramm then got a huge payout for his destruction with a lucrative no work job at USB. McCain’s got how many houses?

    The worse financial shock since the Great Depression and you defend the scum that caused it. Phil Gramm is numerial one. And who’s he ‘advising’? McSame.

    btw, Bush vetoed an attempt to close Gram’s enron loophole and refused any Democratic attempts to reregulate Wall Street.

    Bush/McCain caused this (and admittedly some Democrats made money off the Deregulatd Leveraged markets seeing the loopholes there). Levers of 60 times are often used in Hedge funds…..and that’s where Republicans have left unregulated gambling to occur where now the nonproductive Financial sector has much more (‘play’) money than all of the industrial sector combined. A huge Bubble caused by McCain/Bush/Gramm is now going bust.

    datadave (eb12a5)

  42. It’s a shame that people don’t realize what they are in for if they vote Republican — more environmental decay, natural disasters, a terrible world war III and America on the economic downslide.

    Hysterical often?

    Bush/McCain caused this

    Evidence, please. I know, silly concept. It is easier to just assert things.

    JD (41e64f)

  43. A huge Bubble caused by McCain/Bush/Gramm …”

    Complete fabrication which shows a wilful ignorance of the way that deregulation of the financial industries has been bipartisan in nature.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  44. SPQR – You will note that dataless tends to make up his own version of reality as a matter of practice.

    JD (41e64f)


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