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Entries in the Clintons (81)

Monday
Dec012008

Sheeeeee'ssss Baaaaaaaaaa-aaaaack!

The not-quite-South-by-the-way-of-Illinois-by-the-way-of-New York HAS RISEN AGAIN! She told you she'd be back! Like the Terminator. Only this time she's working for the O-Team. And since the saga over her possible appointment has been going on and on for more than two weeks now no one is surprised.

Every day President-Elect Barack Obama's potential cabinet keeps looking one-part "Team of Rivals" and one-part "Justice League." Could the names be any bigger? Could the egos surpass that girth? All I want to know is who is Batman and who is Superman and is Batman carrying his emergency kryptonite to keep Superman in check? Inquiring nerds want to know!

My thoughts on Clinton for Secy. of State? I'm ambivalent and bemused and fascinated. I want to see this play out. While it's obvious that Sen. Clinton really, really, really wanted to be sworn in herself come Jan. 20th, I don't think this is necessarily part of some Machiavellian plot to destroy the Obama Administration from within. By hitching her wagon to the Great Hopemongerer, she's now completed her transformation as "ride or die" Obama. As in, if Obama fails in his foreign policy she will feel that same stiff, cold wind that occassionally blows at the backs of Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell for their roles in the many fiascos of the Bush Administration as Secys. of State. This is make or break time.

As in, she needs to make this work for the good of the country and her own reputation.

In the end, as a politician (or as anything for that matter) all you have is your name. Once that goes, you go and there's no amount of wishful thinking (see, Bush, George W.) that will make a giant turd of a presidency blossom into wildflowers.

Clinton has chosen not to play passive in this and I'm not surprised. This is the first Democratic administration since her husband's and it's so damn historic presidential historians are having preemptive orgasms anticipating every ounce of minutae they will collect and preserve for prosperity. I half expect Doris Kearns Goodwin to pass out from a case of the vapors.

The only thing that's sticking in my craw is my beloved blowhard of MSNBC, Chris Matthews, who's foot-n-mouth disease knows no bounds. Last week I had to endour the most moronic conversation on Hardball where he (and strangely enough, other pundits who should have known better) batted around the notion of Bill Clinton running for Hillary's senate seat.

Bill Clinton. William Jefferson Clinton. Former president of the United States. Former "Leader of the Free World." Former Commander-In-Chief. Former HNIC and it's all about me, me, me where they played "Hail to the Chief" when he entered a room and everywhere he went was like TV's "Cheers" -- everywhere he went everyone knew his name. Bill "I'm a Rhodes Scholar with no impulse control who could not stop chasing tail because Prince's 'Pussy Control' was about me, man. The pussy is in CHARGE! I just follow the smell wherever it leads me. Don't tell Hillary! But it doesn't matter because I beat every mutha fucker who tried to impeach me! I am untouchable, the slickest of the slick and my dick is bigger than Gods!" Clinton.

That Clinton to run to be a junior senator from New York.

Seriously.

Bill will give up his charity for his wife's potential appointment, but after being president being senator is being Pope and choosing to go back to being a postulate and Bill is no longer the student. He is the teacher, you philistines! And the ego's on fire -- the Comeback Id would rather kick it with his Billionaire Boys Club wingman Ron Burkle for the next four to eight years, picking up chicks in Prague. Debating things like who would beat who in a fight -- Sam Jackson as Mace Windu from Star Wars versus Sam Jackson as the Octopus in The Spirit? Ruminating on all the girl's he's loved before.

I always saw Bill as being Henry Hill from "Goodfellas," the real life gangster who moved up within a crime family but was brought down by his own excesses. When the party was over he griped that he had to live like a regular "schnook."

Senator Bill Clinton ain't happening because Big Willie ain't gonna be nobody's schnook. He's not about to return to Washington, DC only to be Sens. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer's bitch. He'd rather kill himself. Or them. Hell, that's probably one of the reasons why Hillary bounced from the senate anyway. Ted Kennedy was cock blocking her on health care reform because it was his baby first. So the Clintons like to win and Hillary's decided to take her toys and go join the winning team.

Unfortunately, there will be drama, real and imagined. I put a big emphasis on "imagined." The main accusation and criticism of the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, is that their ambition is wild, ever reaching and starkly naked. While it is true, they know how to play the game better than most and can manipulate the press with the best of them -- all politicians are flagrantly and brazenly ambitious.

Barack Obama's ambitious. He's just a master of his own domain. He has slayed his dragons. He is in control of whatever demons he may possess, or perhaps he vanquished those demons long ago. He is not a man starved for sex, affection and approval and he is not a woman married to that mess, dealing with her own self-doubts and calculations.

He's in "control." If there were ever a salacious, unhinged, kinky scandal surrounding the O-Man I would be the first one calling "bullshit," only to be followed by shock and horror. But if Bill Clinton gets caught playing "grab hands" with Kim Kardashian tomorrow I'm not going to feign indignation.

Barack is in control and he's in control of this selection of Hillary Clinton.

She knows the drill. He's her boss. The Secy. of State's job is the execute the president's vision. Yes, she can offer insight, but as Colin Powell will tell you, even if you think the president is really taking an "L" there, you have to either get on board or resign.

Very few resign.

And if for some reason she doesn't know the drill and the media circus, Matthews, et al, becomes too much it will be up to Obama to say he's had enough of life under the big top.

Either way. I really don't think folks should spend too much time worrying about it. Obama's got this.

Friday
Aug082008

Obamas Going On Vacation, Heading to Hawaii

Nothing like a little break before the convention. And don't the all just look adorable per usual? These pictures were taken by The Associated Press at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Hawaii's going to throw a little welcome home bash for their quasi native son.

I'll keep my eye out for additional pictures of the Obamas in Hawaii and post them as I find 'em. If you find any, send them my way!

This is a good time for a breather. It's August. It's dull. The cable news and its punditocracy are so bored they're back to getting a woody over every fart and gurgle coming out of the Clintons' mouths.

Honestly, I just don't find what Hillary says to a small group of her most hardcore supporters captured on a cell phone news, especially since we all know she isn't going to do jack crap. This "Showdown at the OK Corral" speculation is just that -- speculation. I didn't even find Bill's inability to be all "rah, rah, sis cum bah" for Barack in that ABC interview very relevant either. Mostly because their passive-aggressive moaning means absolutely nothing.

Unless the two plan to immolate themselves in front of Invesco Field during Obama's acceptance speech I just don't give a fahrvergnügen. MSNBC's Chuck Todd just can't make me care just because Mike Barnicle is chanting "Fight! Fight!" while they guestimate what Bill is thinking based on facial ticks and voodoo.

But they have nothing to say when no one actually fights. When the Clintons throw out some faint praise. When Obama plays it all down and dismisses it all, pundits balk. Surely this is trickery! The media wants a repeat of the primaries, agitation for the sake of agitation. But no one will give it to them therefore the hype must be manufactured.

Everyone speculates that Obama will squeeze out the Clintons' roles at the convention and then news leaks that Bill Clinton will speak in the Wednesday slot. As if the last two term, popularly elected Democratic president, no matter how big of a douche he's been lately, was going to be boxed out of the convention. What? And give these morons MORE to speculate about?

At the end of the day, they'll still be up there, skinnin' and grinnin', because they both are party people ... Democratic Party people. And no one's throwing a party where they're not invited. All those cameras and pomp and circumstance. Bright lights. Big city. And he's a former president for Jeebus sake! Why was it ever a debate whether or not he'll be there? George W. is toxic and he'll be at the RNC convention. Probably not near McCain, but he'll be there.

Normally I try not to blame the messengers, but it seems like the messengers want to spin their way into some DNC disharmony hoping for any controversy during the convention when I doubt there will be any.

Why can't we just call the Clintons drama queens and move on? Why the over analyzation. It's not that complicated.

Monday
Jun302008

Can We Still Be Friends?

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have retired their daggers to turn their eyes towards the November election, but a happy reunion may be a bit harder to weather for some Clinton supporters

The announcement of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama's joint stumping for his campaign June 27th gave the pundits and Kumbaya-lovers what they'd been asking for -- a grand Hollywood ending featuring the two political heavyweights. Beaming, standing astride each other and full of praise they were. Even if critics said it wouldn't be sincere and would take the negotiating techniques of an attorney to pull off, they still wanted it and they got their show.

All applause. All smiles. All over.

Once Obama became the presumptive nominee many Democrats were ready to put away the ammo and move on to the next challenge, all except some who'd fought hard and lost.

While a lot of Clinton supporters are choosing to back Obama, some are having a harder time getting excited about the senator. Others are still steadfast against voting for him.

Out of curiosity and a desire for better understanding, I reached out to some Clinton supporters to better understand what were the issues that caused them to view the Democratic Primary the way they did and why they would or would not support Barack Obama for president. Two female bloggers, Red Queen and Redstar who post at The Hillary 1000 blog, responded, answering my questions about how an individual can go from seeing the primary's two biggest stars as a double-positive to a negative net loss.

Both women, strong progressives with Liberal leanings, picked Clinton over Obama because of her mental toughness, age and experience with Redstar admitting that because of the candidate's similar stances Clinton's gender was a deciding factor. But in the beginning both women liked the candidates.

"I, like many, thought a Clinton/Obama ticket could set us the Dems up nicely for 16 years," Redstar wrote. "(A) female candidate and a person of color candidate? AWESOME. I sent them both $100 in July 2007, and proudly wore a Clinton pin and Obama sticker at the Congressional Black Caucus annual conference in September 2007."

"I was excited," Red Queen wrote. "(OMG a black guy and a white women- how freaking awesome is that!) Even though I was an Edwards supporter."

Redstar wrote on her blog favorably of both Clinton and Obama's agendas for families, but as the campaign wore on she preferred how Clinton "tacked pretty hard to the left" and "emerged as the more progressive of the two candidates." She also liked the fact that Clinton relentlessly attacked the Bush Administration "no holds barred," adding that she has "always preferred (Hillary's) partisanship to Obama's message."

"I’m a partisan animal, and want justice, retribution, payback and aggressive partisan leadership after the Bush oligarchy," Redstar wrote. "Seriously, our world is a TOTAL mess and I cannot for the life of me imagine playing nice with the GOP.

Late last fall, Redstar felt herself becoming disenchanted with Obama. His message of unity, hope and change fell on deaf, cynical ears.

"Post-partisan/bi-partisan rhetoric NEVER worked for me," she wrote. "Obama lost me in part because I felt set up, i.e., his rhetoric didn’t match up with his record as a politician (all his “present” votes, for instance didn’t leave me with a lot of faith in his leadership potential).

"Furthermore, and I think this had a big impact on me, the ethnic/gender compositions of the Presidential campaign staffs were released (for Dems and GOP). Clinton’s staff was majority female and majority non-white. Obama’s in comparison was 80% male and 60% white. I think I just fell out of love early on with him as another typical (politician), and likely in part because he was running as an atypical (politician)."

For Red Queen it was also Clinton's fighting spirit that inspired her.

"In late December I saw a clip of Clinton on Wall Street Week where she laughed in the face of Maria Barteromo," she wrote. "When Clinton started talking about plans for the helping people in foreclosure, I remembered why I liked her. The more I heard her plans and saw her speak, the more I liked."

Both were disappointed by Clinton's loss. Redstar has decided to begrudgingly support Obama, struggling to get excited about the campaign.

"He’s the nominee. And I keep reminding myself that I would have been excited to vote for him if I hadn’t gotten so excited about Clinton," she wrote me in an e-mail exchange. "I may still be excited on Nov. 4th, who knows. I’m also ninety-five percent sure I’m going to vote for him, but there’s still a part of me that wonders if in the privacy of the voting booth I won’t.

"I doubt it, but there’s a nagging voice in my head that I should be taking a stand over the misogyny leveled by the media and tolerated by the (Democratic) Party and used to advantage by Obama. I’m honestly conflicted over this, but I can’t really imagine not voting for Obama. I’d really like to see his family in the Oval Office more than I’d like to see him govern."

The level of sexism in the media and the trench warfare of the primary was a huge issue for both bloggers. Both were surprised how insults lobbed at her were tolerated. Red Queen, who said she would not vote for Obama, could not get past a statement he made about women "periodically feeling down" in reference to Clinton. She felt it was code for women being too emotional.

"The misogyny in that statement made me start questioning," Red Queen wrote. "The more I looked into Obama and the less I liked him.

"Had he come out and apologized for it, I might not have gone through the trouble of looking more closely into his views and campaign tactics. But once I did, I knew there was no way i could ever vote for him."

Red Queen felt her views and concerns were being shoved aside for Obama's political ascension, leading her to not support him as a protest of the Democratic Party's silence, and to her, endorsement, of sexism.

"(I)t is against my own best interest to support a party that uses misogyny as a campaign tool," she said. "I have been stalked and harassed and called more sexist insults by Obama supporters than any Republican. Then there is the classism. I'm a poor working class white woman. Obama has made it clear that the only thing the Dems have to offer me is threats and insults if I refuse to vote the party line."

Redstar, while working to get over the loss, also repeated the same themes of shock and disappointment over the party's lack of defense for Clinton.

"My biggest source of ambivalence about voting for him in the fall is less about him and more about the way the (p)arty apparatus lined up around him and stood too silently about Clinton’s treatment in the media ... (E)ven a few participated – Steve Cohen, for (example)," she wrote.

"All of this post-Clinton suspension discussion of the sexism during the campaign, and her role as a sacrificial ground breaker for future women is really salt in my wounds. Right, now it’s safe to talk about misogyny and gender. Spare me. I really think the Party has calcified and is headed in the wrong direction with politics generally in this country, and Obama hasn’t brought any new faces or ideas into the mix, from what I can tell, other than young voters."

Asked if there was an issue or an action Obama could partake to win them over, Redstar said she would, "really love to have him reach out to the most angry, entrenched Clinton supporters who don’t plan to vote for him."

"I’ve seen nothing to indicate that he’s paying attention to these voters, and that he considers them anything other than fringe, emotional lunatics (and women) who need some time to cool off," she wrote.

"His campaign gives off the impression that this is either a) Clinton’s responsibility or b) not necessary because he doesn’t need these votes to win. I think this is hard-headed and irresponsible. Would it honestly take so much to schedule a conference call with these diehard supporters? If McCain can do it (shamelessly), can’t Obama?"

But while Redstar can bridge the gap, for Red Queen there's nothing Obama could do to win her over, writing that "(a)t this point, that ship has sailed. I don't reward sexists, racists or classists with my vote -- ever."

"I'm voting for Cynthia McKinney of the green party. I've always liked the Green platform and I thought McKinney was a fiery and awesome presence in the house," Red Queen wrote. "I don't feel that a vote for McKinney is wasted (or a vote for McCain). Strong, progressive leaders need to be rewarded with our votes, even if it doesn't lead to their actual election."

In this primary things went from politics to personal and while the winners can hold their heads high in victory, the longer race cannot be won with members of the Democratic coalition divorced from the process.

If healing is to begin the concerns and feelings of the former opposition can not be dumped aside with the reasoning that time heals all wounds. All wounds could turn to old wounds that fester and become sore with every poke and provocation. The sexism that attacked Clinton yesterday has its sights set on Michelle Obama today. The party made a fatal error in seeing sexism as a phantom menace because of Clinton's political potency.

It is a relief that the Democratic Primary is over. And while the Kumbaya moment of Clinton and Obama together may have settled some concerns, no matter what is said on TV we are still some way to go before love conquers all.

To read Redstar's full statements on Clinton and Obama click here. To read Red Queen's full statements, click here. What do you think of the views of Clinton supporters struggling to support Obama?