Archive for February, 2008|Monthly archive page

The Edwards Endorsement Question

Word has it today Senator Obama has met with John & Elizabeth Edwards at their home in Chapel Hill, NC.  Senator Clinton met with them on Feb. 7 prior to the Potomac Primaries.  Both are seeking Edwards’ endorsement, but what will they gain?  Should Edwards endorse at all during the primaries?  What would Edwards gain from his endorsement?

Edwards relevance to the campaign has diminished since he suspended his candidacy last month.  He holds 26 delegates, which isn’t really saying much, considering how many more are still out there in states yet to primary.  Unions are supporting Obama in larger numbers than Clinton, providing endorsements that hold more sway over more people.

Many Edwards supporters would not welcome a Clinton endorsement- after all, if they were Hillary fans, they wouldn’t have been Edwards supporters in the first place.  Edwards would lose the respect of those supporters, and would undermine his anti-corporate government stance.  Edwards made both candidates “promise” to further the cause of reducing poverty in America,  Obama’s plan to do so is much more prominent than Hillary’s- buried in her website.

Edwards decision could hinge on what role he wants to play in the next administration.  If I were him, I wouldn’t touch a VP slot under Hillary with a 10-foot pole.  He’d be marginalized as Gore was under Bill, and would have to compete with Bill for everything.  Lots of folks talk about the Attorney General job for Edwards, which could be a good match.  After all, with Edwards records of going after unethical corporations and Big Pharma, making the prior Bush Administration accountable for their actions will be a piece of cake.

The main reason Edwards would choose to endorse now are:

1)  To play kingmaker for Obama.  The Edwards endorsement would be widely viewed as further legitimization of Obama’s candidacy for real change in America.  An endorsement for Clinton would have a net negative effect on her campaign, and could further reinforce the view of some that Edwards’ is not genuine.

2) To secure a particular position in the next administration.  If this is really his goal, I would be disappointed.  Edwards has many opportunities to continue his anti-poverty work, and if he gets asked to the dance after the election, so be it.  He shouldn’t be using the endorsement chip for this purpose- it only makes him look like an opportunist.

The best thing Edwards could do is stay neutral until after the convention.  He should consider taking the high road with Gore, and work to see that the Democratic Party listens to the voters and doesn’t allow the superdelegates to give the store away to whoever will best serve their own personal interests.  After all, someone has to be there to balance out Howard Ickes.  Plus, by staying neutral, Edwards avoids endorsing a possible losing candidate- a position that would make him less relevant and less savvy.

Welcome CNN Readers & Commentors!

Imagine my surprise to find all these hits and comments on my blog, which previously hit it’s biggest day at 21 views last month!  Come to find out it’s all from you kind CNN folks following a link from their website to little ol’ me.

This appears also to be the reason why most of the commentors aren’t actually responding to my actual post, and more to the story about Chelsea and her media avoidance.    That would also explain the mysoginist accusations I’m getting from Hillary supporters.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to change my opinion about this issue.  I firmly believe that someone as well-educated and poised as Chelsea could certainly speak up for herself if she were permitted.  She can stump for Mommy all she wants, call all the superdelegates Penn tells her to.  It doesn’t change the fact that she’s clearly being restricted by someone, be it the campaign or her parents long arm of control.  Surely all you so quick to call me a traitor to women for my post can see the value in separating oneself from parents/controlling people/past dependent habits.   Maybe this is the real Chelsea.  Maybe she was raised to be as mechanical and unreachable as her mother.

I’d just like to see if she let’s loose once in a while.  Wouldn’t you?

Even CNN agrees with me about Chelsea Clinton

In an article on CNN’s website, “Campaign Role Ups Pressure On Chelsea Clinton to Talk to Media”, written mostly by the female reporters on the political beat, CNN declares that Chelsea’s arm’s length avoidance of the media can’t go on much longer.

The article points out Chelsea’s refusal to respond to anyone in the media, including a fourth-grade reporter from Scholastic News.  This distrust of the media has been ingrained in Chelsea since she was born, as evidenced by her parents’ treatment of the media.  Hillary hates answering questions that aren’t part of a scripted interview, and avoids media on the campaign trail in terms of interpersonal interactions.  The closest she gets is serving brownies on her campaign bus, complete with her trademark frozen smile a la mode.  Daddy Bill will outright argue and shake his famous finger at reporters when they head down a line of questioning he doesn’t approve of.

If Hillary is elected, can we expect the Clinton’s treatment and access to the media to improve?  Can we expect any less “spin” from them than we have from the Bush Administration?  The real truth lies in the hiring and continued employment of Mark Penn, Hillary’s senior strategist who really wants to be the Karl Rove of the Democratic Party, but just isn’t sharp enough.  Penn, you’ll recall, is the genius who decided that all the states Obama has won essentially “don’t count”.   Penn is responsible for the negativity Clinton has embraced in her campaigning, and while he is dividing her camp internally, Clinton continues to support his anti-everything message.

It’s time for all of the Clintons to grow up, and engage as real people rather than the monsters of spin they have become.  If they still remember how be real, it could be the thing that saves their campaign by reminding us why we liked them in the first place all those years ago.

Chelsea Clinton vs. MSNBC’s David Shuster

When I first read about David Shuster’s comment about the Clinton campaign “pimping out” daughter Chelsea as celebrity-phone-caller-in-chief, I figured Shuster would get taken to the woodshed, but I never thought things would reach this fevered pitch.

Let’s break this down, piece by piece, and you tell me if people aren’t jumping out of windows over this for nothing.

1. David Shuster’s exact comment was, “Doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?”, framed to highlight the differences between the Clinton’s prior fierce protection of Chelsea, and their current clear willingness to employ Chelsea to get the campaign message out.

2. The definition of “pimping” has changed considerably in the last 10 years.  Pimping now refers to making something cool or better in some way (i.e. Pimp My Ride), rather than exclusively referring to those promoting prostitution.

3. The people jumping out of windows over this are saying Shuster effectively called Chelsea a whore.

4. The Clinton campaign has stated they may not participate in debates hosted by MSNBC, and is using this occurance to paint the entire network as being anti-Hillary.  Clinton’s campaign communications director Howard Wolfson called Shuster’s comments “beneath contempt” and “disgusting”.  Yet they continue to cozy up to Fox for coverage and debate hosting.

5. Chelsea Clinton is no longer the twelve-year-old girl she was when Bill entered the White House.  She is a grown woman of nearly 28 years with a Stanford degree in history and a graduate degree from Oxford in international relations.  I’m quite certain she can hold her own against misogyny when she’s subjected to it, and can make that judgment herself without her parents riding to her rescue.

6. Comments made about Chelsea have not garnered this much attention in the past- feature John McCain’s terrible “joke” told at a 1998 GOP fundraiser: “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?  Because her father is Janet Reno.”  Media commentator Howard Kurtz wrote about Chelsea’s being fair game to the media after that. Despite McCain’s horrid sense of humor, and lack of apology to Chelsea,  I’m certain Clinton will share the debate stage with McCain in the event she becomes the nominee, rather than refuse to participate due to a slight by a boor against her daughter.

7. Parents have the right to take a certain amount of umbrage when their child is disrespected.  However, the extent one can take that umbrage for an adult child is limited.  Does this make Bill and Hill helicopter parents, who can’t let their progeny take flight independently?  After all, Chelsea is working for Avenue Capital, an hedge fund that is a heavy contributor to Hillary’s campaigns.

8.  Was the statement really against Chelsea at all?  Would it not be more appropriate to say Shuster was showing concern by calling out the Clinton campaign for using Chelsea so publicly, when she has been protected for so long?  Was Shuster really saying the Clinton Campaign Machine was the “pimp” in this case, while Chelsea has fallen victim to her parents’ personal ambition? This in itself does not make Chelsea a “whore”, it would make her manipulated, but only if she’s not truly choosing to be part of the campaign on her own.   It does call in to question the decision to use Chelsea in this capacity.  McCain’s daughter Meghan is 24 years old, and serves a role in her father’s campaign to engage young voters, and she is not subject to the level of criticism Chelsea is for her role in the Clinton campaign.

9. My take: Shuster said something not well-thought out.  It’s wasn’t calling Chelsea a “nappy-headed ‘ho” nor was it calling for her lynching in a back alley.  Shuster is a well respected journalist and does not deserve to be fired over this incident.  If that were the case, Joe Klien and Bill Kristol would have been unemployable years ago.  Ahh.. what a dream…

10. Everyone needs to calm the F down.  Shuster has apologized, repeatedly, and Chelsea will certainly live to phone another day.

Help Heather Ryan (KY-01) get Exxon Eddie out of office

Heather Ryan  is running for US House in KY-01 against one of the most good-for-nothings Mitch McConnell could dredge up for his puppet show, Exxon Eddie Whitfield.  Eddie has shown up for so few votes during his tenure that there’s little to show for support of the people of Kentucky.  Like when Ed voted NO on SCHIP last fall. In fact, he voted against SCHIP 5 times last year- I think we’re pretty clear Exxon Eddie isn’t a “family values” supporter.

How about when Exxon Eddie voted NO on renewable energy and energy conservation, NO on the Clean Energy Act, but a resounding YES for Dick Cheney’s gift to the oil companies.   And don’t forget Eddie’s vote to allow mining companies to continue the irreversible act of mountaintop removal.  Not really showing the love for the planet, is he?

Ed thinks it’s OK for gay and lesbian Americans to be discriminated against and beat up in hate crimes.  He thinks it’s OK to deny women the right to choose.  Ed votes against the Arts. He votes for Alberto Gonzalez-style hiring at DOJ.  Eddie is anti-stem cell research, anti-science.  Boy, Eddie, hope you don’t wind up with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s someday.

He’s voted consistently since 2002 to send US jobs overseas.   Eddie has supported Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform group 95% of the time he’s been in office.   There’s just so much wrong about what Eddie thinks is right, I just don’t have enough room to describe it.

There is a way to change KY-01.  Support and VOTE for Heather Ryan.  It’s going to be a tough battle- Eddie’s got nearly $1M in the bank from his oil/mining/deforestation cronies.  Heather’s got us.  But there’s a lot of us, and if we can get past the 19+ points Eddie won on in 2006, and focus on the fact that KY-01 is 63.59% Democrat registered, we can help change a place where change has been needed since 1994.

14 years of cronyism is long enough.  Bring the future to Kentucky.  Bring on a new generation of leadership.  Bring on Heather Ryan, Democrat & agent of change.

Donate to Heather’s campaign at Act Blue.