Sara Whitman

Obama Goes For Dirt

Filed By Sara Whitman | April 23, 2008 7:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: 2008 Presidential Elections, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Democrat primaries, election 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Pennsylvania, scandal

According to the Washington Post today, and "anonymous" source in the Obama campaign said they are going to rehash all the old dirt on Clinton. You know, Whitewater- the investigation that cost millions of taxpayer dollars to find she did nothing illegal- and of course the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Or will he? Or will the anonymous sources leak the possibility, set the media on a frenzy about Clinton and then Obama campaign sits back and giggles, claiming again how they would never go so negative.

Um... we're onto that game. Been going on since Muskie in 1972.

What is Obama without all the promise of a new hope, new politics? Because "leaking isn't new, that's old style, mud slinging, Boss Tweedy stuff. What is Obama? Will all those young people keep ignoring the dirty play and keep coming out to vote?

I find it fascinating the different titles today across the news. "Clinton Clearly Outduels Obama in Pennsylvania" (NYTimes) "Clinton Stays Alive With Victory" (Wall Street Journal, "Clinton Keeps her Hopes Alive" (Boston Globe)and my favorite, "Desperate Dems" (Huffington Post).

I have been amused by the endless comments everywhere about how it wasn't all that impressive, it wasn't that much, she needed to win by 20 to make a point- the ever moving target of success feels awfully familiar to me as a woman. No, do it this way, no you didn't do this, wait your forgot this... all games played by people who can't stand to acknowledge success.

My guess is, if she won by 20, they would have said it was expected. No big deal. He still had more money and more delegates to date. It's the same logic my twelve-year old employs when I put his cell phone in time out.

I still have my iPod.

When I take that too, he finds one more thing he has to point out how he's still standing.

The reality is, Obama can't beat Clinton. If he was so much the popular vote, if he had such a clear mandate from the people, the race would be over.

It isn't.

As Maureen Dowd wrote today- someone who has been no fan of Clinton's- "His subtext was obvious: Why can't I just be president? Why do I have to keep eating these gooey waffles and answering these gotcha questions and debating this gonzo woman?"

Now the dirt comes out. I'm fine with the dirt. Clinton stood up to it before, she will again. Playing the "anonymous" leak game is a page right from Rove's playbook.

But remember... there is nothing about "change" or "hope" in that.

In the meantime? Clinton is on track to raise 10 million dollars in the 24 hours since winning Pennsylvania with a record 50,000 new donors.

Ultimately, since he cannot beat her even when he outspends her, why doesn't he quit?

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"The Intemperate Candidate"

"Who Is Hillary Fighting For?"

"Last Night Clinton Won the Pennsylvania Primary, but Lost the War for the Nomination"

"Did Race Win the Race for Hillary?


"Pennsylvania & the Persistence of the Race Chasm"

"The Rules of Clintonball"

"Clinton Camp Misrepresents ABC News Report"

And since we are referencing Maureen Dowd's column :

"The time has come. The time has come. The time is now. Just go. ... I don’t care how. You can go by foot. You can go by cow. Hillary R. Clinton, will you please go now! You can go on skates. You can go on skis. ... You can go in an old blue shoe. Just go, go, GO!" ( with apologies to Dr Seuss)

Uh, yeah, Beloved, Dowd wrote that because all Obama can do is sing a song into his wilting waffles because he cannot beat her any other way.

Not with a speech
Not with a peach
Not with a gallon of hope
not with the blessing of the pope

he cannot win, there is no way
not tomorrow, not next week, not even today

(with apologies to dr. seuss)

Wow, ride that wave a little harder.

The reality is, Obama can't beat Clinton.

He can't? That's a strong declaration about a candidate who leads in the popular vote, pledged delegates, and number of primaries won. I'd like to borrow your crystal ball.

Clinton still faces an uphill battle. The momentum has swung in her favor after PA, but the idea that she can't be beaten by Obama is beyond ridiculous. Most every analysis of the remaining primaries says she can't pass him in delegates or the popular vote, meaning her ultimate task will be to convince the superdelegates to vote against the results of these primaries. That's another longshot, given it risks alienating black voters and reducing the record turnout the Dems have seen.

Im just stitting back and wacthing this one looks like Denver is going to be fun to watch!

Carry on

One year ago, she did say,
"Inevitable, it will go my way!
I will be President of this land.
So lobbyist you'd better kiss my hand.
And give me Dough, for which to spend,
So presidential I'll look to the end!"
But a bitter wind grew across the land.
For the Netroots decided to take a stand.
"We do not want our White House Fair,
To be up for bid, to get her there!"
So by Twenty Fives and Fifties dollars flew,
to a man people barely knew.
He aspired to hope, he called for change,
and his message grew and burned the range!
Until what was once inevitable,
Became a huge pile of Bull.
"To the mud," the woman cried.
"Lets bury Hope, in a land slide!"
But the mud she threw, just could not slow.
That voter current which became an under tow.
Though some wins came her way,
She was gradually pulled out and washed away.

Sportin' Life | April 23, 2008 10:48 PM

Is there anything positive to say about Clinton and her candidacy? Most of the arguments I've heard supporters make on her behalf seem to be variations on, "Well of course the presidency is rightfully hers." Simply not very convincing.

What is the point of this post, anyway?

"he can't beat her" ????

He beat her in Iowa

He beat her in Nevada ( in delegates won)

He beat her in South Carolina

He beat her in Alabama

He beat her in Alaska

He beat her in Colorado

He beat her in Connecticut

He beat her in Delaware

He beat her among Democrats Abroad

He beat her in Georgia

He beat her in Idaho

He beat her in Illinois

He beat her in Kansas

He beat her in Minnesota

He beat her in Missouri

He beat her in North Dakota

He beat her in Utah

He beat her in Louisiana

Ne beat her in Nebraska

He beat her in the Virgin Islands

He beat her in Washington

He beat her in Maine

He beat her in the District of Columbia

He beat her in Maryland

He beat her in Virginia

He beat her in Hawaii

He beat her in Wisconsin

He beat her in Texas in total votes cast (primary and caucus) and total delegates won

He beat her in Vermont

He beat her in Wyoming

He beat her in Mississippi

He beat her in total contests won

He beat in in total delegates won

He beat her in the popular vote

He beat her in funds raised

He beat her in the number of donors to his campaign

Yes, it is true, he cannot beat her when it comes to doing and saying ANYTHING to win

He cannot beat her on her sky high negatives among the general electorate

Nor can he beat her in her ability to divide the party, tear down the likely nominee, and damage the Democrats chances in November

It is true , when it comes to negative campaigning, race-baiting, the politics of personal destruction and basic dishonesty he cann not come close to the Clintons

As for the 10 million dollars her campaign has supposedly raised since yesterday, that should just about cover the current debt to countless vendors large and small - many of whom have been stiffed by the Clinton campaign

"One hundred and nine million wasn't enough cash
Bill sent out Hillary, pompous and brash
To tell the country, she's just like us
while they hid their loot in an offshore Trust

She'd prove she had what it took
By cheating and lying and acting the crook
Make believe snipers, and crying on cue
Pretending she's just like me and you"

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 23, 2008 11:29 PM

Sara didn't you have enough fun yesterday being a "10" woman? As I said, whomever loses must now be treated with the greatest respect or we shoot ourselves in the foot.

And you buy your kid too much stuff...

I suggest a "time out" And cultivate the garden or
a "time out" And wash the dishes etc.

Perhaps in that way you will be a little more relaxed... Obama cannot rehash old Clinton muck without bringing attention to his own. He still has Rezko to explain as far as I am concerned.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 23, 2008 11:42 PM

Also, no matter what, how many reliable Democratic Blue States has Obama carried? I would be the first to scrap the Electorial college if I could, but it is there. It is real and it, not a voter, chooses who is president of the Republic. He can get no where by winning Alaska and Mississippi my dears.

I believe that is what Sara meant by her assertion
"the reality is that Obama can't beat Clinton" for obtaining a final victory or the candidacy itself given the Democratic Party Rules which should also go in the ashcan after the Electorial college.

The EC keeps the small population states in the mix and if a candidate never even got on there state ballots then opps they could win with out some of us getting even to vote for or against them.The only way that would work is if there was a national ballot just for president with all canddates on it or we would have several states that could very well if there in the same region to once again raise the ugly mantel of leaving the union. So there you go that is why the EC was created to give a voice to all the states.Not just a few of them.

I don't think Hillary is the cleanest policitian in town. For example, remember the $1,000 investment she made in the cattle futures market that she parlayed into $100,000 (that's a 10,000 percent return on her investment) -- we all should be so lucky.

And remember when she was the billing partner for the Rose Law Firm -- a ten year stint during which she sat on the boards of several corporate boards including WalMart -- and when Hillary was later subpoened for those Whitewater records which she had taken with her to Washington D.C. she claimed that she could not find them but then 18 months later claimed they just mysteriously were sitting on her White House desk and she had no idea how they got there? You're right: she was not indicted but she was not cleared, and very easily could have faced obstruction of justice charges.

And what about all the tens of thousands of dollars she has accepted from indicted class action law firm Milberg Weiss which goes to trial this August? Four of the firms partners already have pled guilty on various charges, including racketeering, and yet Hillary has failed to return any of their campaign contributions.

She's not as clean as you think she is.

If Obama wants to go after her dirty laundry, there's a lot to air.

crescentdave crescentdave | April 24, 2008 5:15 AM

I'm always amused when folks buy into Clinton's sole spin strategy: the states I win are more (fill in the blank):
more important,
more presidential,
more symbolic,
more democratic,
more representative,
than all the states & delegates Obama has won.

That's why it doesn't matter Obama has won the popular vote so far. That's why it doesn't matter he's won more states. That's why it doesn't matter he's won more delegates.

They're just not as important as Clinton's wins. Why? Because we say so. And Maureen Dowd, god's gift to political hackery and ad hominem, pop-psychology drivel is being cited? Perfect illustration of a mindset in search of a mind.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 24, 2008 5:56 AM

I do not understand number 10 comment at all. The sentence is so run on as to be indecipherable. Cathy, is giving primacy to a state, over an individual voter and refrencing a possible recreation of the civil war? Please dear, it is in the Constitution, and was the creation of an agrarian society, that worried about "big" states like Maryland overwhelming "small" states like Rhode Island. If a president is elected by the people, rather than by states, everyone in every state can feel invested in the candidate. (Notice cathy how commas and shorter sentences clarify)

Be that as it may, the electoral college is the reality, and requires 270 to elect a president. That is the present reality of our Republic (not democracy).

California 55 electorial votes, Alaska 3. New York 31 electorial votes Alabama 6. Understand?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 24, 2008 7:15 AM

Oh, and Beloved Dear, Pennsylvania 22, Virgin Islands 0

I find it surprising that this post is both apparently against sexism and is also quoting Maureen Dowd's attacks on Obama, whose narrative on him has been that he's too feminine to be president.

Maureen Dowd has to be one of the most sexist columnists at any mainstream publication. Remember when she said that Al Gore was so feminine that he was "lactating"? Or called John Edwards "the Breck Girl"? Or called Elizabeth Edwards out for speaking out of place? Or how she refers to Obama's campaign as too feminine to win in November? Or how she portrays Hillary as too masculine a partner for Bill?

Honestly, she's just horrible. And her observations about political substance are just as asinine. Her only goal, it seems, is to tear down Democratic politicians.

Also, I have to ask the same question SL did - is the point of this post that someone anonymously said something's going to happen that hasn't yet? Usually that makes it into the blog world only if we have no other way of knowing. But if Obama does what this person says he'll do, we'll all see it.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 24, 2008 8:59 AM

I think Randi Rhodes said it best in reference to her show vis a vis Limbaugh. "We are both in the
entertainment business." So is Maureen. Have you seen her hairstyle? She really lives in Mayberry.


I would like you to answer a couple questions for me, please.

If your resturant catered a function for Hillary Clinton and the outstanding $30000 balance went unpaid for 2-3 months, would you still feel the same way, how would that affect your small business?

Do you think the managing of her campaign is indicative of anything beyond poor planning and a sense of entitlement? Why or why not?

If it were Obama:
down in fundraising (dollars and donors)
down in states won (27 to 16)
with an insurmountable deficit in pledged delegates and more than likely the popular vote
operating more than one million in the red
do you think the people, as well as the DNC would be calling for him to exit the race?

Several people are complaining that the longer this drags on the worse it is for Democratic candidates. I disagree. Any publicity is good publicity and the entire nation is hearing Democratic talking points daily anymore. While McCain still gets covered, the sheer amount of Democratic face time on TV news, etc has to be overwhelming him.

The longer this drags out though, the more likely there will be a shotgun wedding before the convention. After all, no one wants to see a floor fight at the convention. Live on TV? They'd all rather die first. I see both sides threatening to take it that far, but hopefully neither are willing to push the red button.

oh my. where to start...

Matt, first, because I can see your questions without scrolling- if I were a restaurant looking for my 30K? I'd be upset but I would have also received a lot of free advertising by doing a fundraiser for Clinton. If I did business without getting any kind of deposit then it's my bad. (My wife ran a small business for years and there were times she did not get paid for over a year. don't get me started about this being status quo.)

I AM calling for Obama to leave the race. Didn't you read that?

Maureen Dowd... I found it interesting because she's been so anti-clinton along the line. that's all. I don't think of her as a basis for reality. just interesting.

the point of the post is that Obama is getting down in the dirt and slinging mud. and if he doesn't do it, his loyal fans are doing it. it's the whisper of we will... it's enough. Mr. Clean isn't so clean. Enough with the bullshit about him being so much different and a new kind of politician.

it's not true.

Um... I buy my kid too much stuff? Hello? Have you heard of grandparents?

Is there anything positive about Clinton? well, not if you are an Obama supporter, I guess. I see a lot of positives about her, personally. But I'm not going to list 900 links for you to go read because my guess is, you won't.

gay bars- you don't know anything about commodity trading, do you? it's not only possible, but it's also possible to lose every penny. it's a high stakes gamble and you can win big. or you can end up with a heard of cows delivered to your home (not kidding). Whitewater? C'mon. been there, done that, she came out clean. try again.

nhs- don't agree but a great piece!

I don't think Obama can beat Clinton. My opinion. I think he's stumbling big.

Ultimately, since I cannot bear either of them especially since neither of them have an ounce of respect for me, why don't I quit?

I will.

I realize you are taking some heat for this post, however, we will have to see what happens with all the "smearing" Obama could be doing in the future, maybe.

Your quick retorts didn't actually answer 2 of the 3 questions I asked. Honest answers would be great, without spin, without proselytizing, but with true analysis.

And you have to admit, asking to remove the front runner from the race because he outspent his opponent, but didn't win, isn't even a valid retort.

"...following the Pennsylvania Primary, Senator Obama once again showed his commitment to our community by including us in his address to the nation. Senator Clinton, speech, once again, did not include us, and it brings up the issue that hers never do...

Obama mentions us in his speeches, a lot. And yes, Hillary will say those are just words. But you know, Obama was willing to chastize his own community for their homophobia in a speech given on Martin Luther King's birthday in MLK's own church to thousands of black leaders. Those are words that matter. Here's to hoping that Hillary can find it in herself to utter the word gay (and even lesbian) in a setting that isn't limited to a gay audience. "

Hello Robert
Yes you make light of my writing style so be it I didn’t run it through spell check and grammar check so big deal I have seen worse here. BTW I earned my C's and D's in English thank you kindly.

Now on to the EC yes I know all about how the numbers are picked one per congressional district and 2 per Senator. I also know a thing or two about politics look at Hillary she is going for the big state wins. That’s the big delegate states and opps that for the most part also equals the EC big states. Unlike the primaries the EC is winner take all with very few exceptions!

Now on to Regionalism I live in a region that went to war over regional issues as much as slavery. I grew up in the Missouri and Georgia and have family in Vermont many in those locations don’t exactly care to be called flyover sates. Or for that matter be treated badly from folks who move in and never do try to get along with there new neighbors. I lived in Down East Maine friendly enough people but if your from "away" no matter how long you live there your never will be one of them. Yes if the politicians chose to ignore these small population states there are indeed small groups who would love to remove there self’s from the union. A simple Google will show you what I mean here no not all are happy being ignored and have if they don’t want us lets leave mentality. The only thing that is keeping them is check is the fact most folks still feel that they are getting something out of there National leaders and that’s also why many Democrats really want this contest to move on till June 3.It's hey my vote is actually being counted this time around! Georgia voted on Super Tuesday look what we got adds on TV and events in Atlanta none of the candidates even made it to the Gnat line let alone crossed it into South Georgia.

Sara, you are right: I know little-to-nothing about commodoties trading; however, my question is how did Hillary learn so much about commodities trading in the late 1970s? Her trade was a one-time event -- it's not as if she were a sophisticated, regular participant in the markets -- that was a rather remarkable return by any metric. Was it simply beginner's luck? Why did she suddenly that one day just decide out of the blue to plunk down $1,000 that conveniently parlayed a $100,000 return? Obviously Hillary did not have time to learn the twists and turns of the commodities markets because she was too busy being a tireless advocate on behalf of women and children during those years (at least when she wasn't busy performing billing duties for the Rose Law Firm and sitting on the board of WalMart in that 10-year period).

And what about her (and her husband's) strong ties with indicted racketeers from Milberg Weiss many of whom have pled guilty in recent weeks and months. The trial of the firm itself is scheduled for August this year, and the refusal of the MSM to cover these substantial ties may only open Hillary up to attacks by the Republicans in the November election should she be the nominee. Isn't it important that we vet her on this issue now?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 24, 2008 1:46 PM

Sara, surely you keep a line of communication open with grandparents and advise them of what your child should and should not receive. You are a good mom, I am sure.

Beloved, "Might makes Right" it is a Christian Thing

Gaybars, I do not care if Hillary is super clean. I want MY kind of thief in the White House.

Matt, the City of Chicago was a customer of mine. They had to prepay for everything.

Cathy, I am just the son of a railroad worker. I do not use grammar or spellcheck. I just could not understand what you are exactly saying. And I really still do not, but I will say that the electoral college works against Obama and for Clinton. Is that not clear to you? It is a holdover from a time when the Constitution was first written and a Black person was worth two thirds of a white person. The electoral college is the one thing that separates us from truly being a Democracy.

Lastly, Respect, and thank whomever loses the race for the Democratic Nomination. We have enough enemies without creating more.

Enough with the fake metrics

"As Clinton's prospects dim, her preferred metrics grow more rococo. The Democrats, Clinton now argues, can't afford to nominate someone who can't carry the big, industrial states that matter in the Electoral College. Never mind that, after the 2000 election, Clinton said the Electoral College should be abolished (she never followed through, alas), or that in the midst of an economic recession, it's hard to imagine Clinton supporters in hard-hit places like Ohio and Pennsylvania voting for the party in power. Obama's on the ropes, Clinton argues, because he spent three times as much as she did and still lost Pennsylvania to her by 10 points. But that's just another way of saying that Obama's campaign is flush and Clinton's is strapped for cash. And anyway, as long as we're being arithmetic, Clinton did not win Pennsylvania by the much-fetishized target margin of 10 points. She won it by 9.2 points, which rounds down to nine, not up to 10...This isn't arithmecracy. It's arithmetic idolatry—the worship of irrelevant numbers. One can only assume that Clinton has decided the real numbers are too depressing."

Hmm Robert
What part didn't you understand per say?Not knowing what part of the country your from its hard to see how one feels about regionislism and if your vote will count. There is a startagy that says if you get the most votes where most of the people live then you win.This btw is what Hillary is doing.

Now to carry this over to the EC Vermont's 3 EC memebers count as much as Georgia's do.The parties and independents must be on all the state ballots. that is if they whish to have all the people be able to vote for them.

However if we go to a popular vote but still leave it to the states as to who is allowed on the ballot for President then there are people who will not get to vote for all candidates.
If a candifate gets on 40 ballots they could very easily win the Presidency with just those states alone if that is where the bulk of the people are.That is why we must then have it so any candidate who files with the FEC is automaticly placed on the ballot so everyone can vote for or against them.

carry on

robert? open line of communication with grandparents? of course. and I say no no no. and poof, in comes the gift. are you a granparent? if so, perhaps I can arrange a swap.

Matt, I appreciate you wanting more- I will write a blog on it. sometimes you all answer with a higher word count than me. That's great but not my role. stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel.

but please, I will always be accused of spin unless I spout someting pro-obama and I don't believe they are handing out ice skates in hell yet.

as far as the heat? I am asking hard questions, pushing big buttons. I expect the heat. totally fine, part of the job. I don't take it personally.

when my son looked at me on the deck the other day, sunbathing, and said, You know we have neighbors, right? THAT, I take personally.

gaybars... it's not some PhD program to understand commodities. you're take made me realize you had no idea what they are. I spent a bunch of years working in the investment industry. all I can say is... it's not a crime. you can save the world, change diapers and make money all at the same time.

my point- go for something else to toss mud about. you are way off base with that one.

what about obama/rezko? at least whitewater was investigated for 8 years. we don't know much about mr. obama, his 4 MILLION dollars a year of income and Rezko, now do we?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 24, 2008 10:28 PM

Beloved, Beloved, Beloved. It is not Hillary's job to single handedly alter the constitution, nor could she.

Cathy, your a lovely person, but you have just described the government of Italy. The only country where you can have three people and five political parties in one meeting. Perhaps government by coalition would be an excellent future course for battleship America. It would be worth it to attempt any change. I am sure that a mechanism exists so that all candidates can be available. By the way (btw left me guessing for a while) I left the freezing city of Chicago after twenty seven years to mould for a brief five in Florida. America is also the most mobile country in the world, but I understand love of a region. Inbreeding bothers me though.

Sara, having a grandparent must be revenge for all the crap you did as a kid. No, I have not been "blessed" with chill Dren and I remain amazed by those who are willing to have them. I mentioned Rezko above because I bought the house the alderman built in 1926 on a park front (built with bricks and tile roof identical to the park building across the street being constructed at the same time). Land is a major area of corruption in Chicago and a time honored one. I hope that Obama addresses his relationship with Rezko completely, as I do believe Obama is a good honest man. In Chicago he has a lot of street credibility for his work on the south side of the city. He, like Hillary, has done much good and I hope his reputation is never tarnished as much as I hope Hillary's is not tarnished additionally. I long for a president who can be effective. Someone you can point to when you instruct that spoiled kid of yours and say: "Look, we are Americans, and that president is our face to the world." Then your kid would groan and return to his Blackberry. Yeah, I would make a great father
PSYCHODAD. Enjoyed your post.

Oh Robert
Bingo there ya go you finally got the meaning of my posting. My cousins and family members did not fight a war and sign on the dotted line of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to allow the rule of the mob which is what the popular vote would be. I personally am in favor of keeping the EC and as people like Ross Perrot and John Anderson have proven you can get yourself on the ballot using the current method.

History of Gay Bars | April 24, 2008 11:03 PM

Sara, if I send you $1,000 what are the odds that you could turn it into a $100,000 for me in the cattle futures market? I don't even think Warren Buffet gets 10,000 percent annual returns on his investments.

And just out of curiosity: given your years in the investment services industry, what percentage of individual retail investors do you think have parlayed a $1,000 investment into a $100,000 in a single trade in the absence of insider trading or market manipulation? I don't think it's as easy as you make it sound notwithstanding my ignorance of the commodities markets.

I'm not saying what Hillary did was illegal; rather, I'm saying that I am raising an eyebrow because Hillary's investment was a one-time event, she did not previously or subsequently invest in the commodities markets, and could it have been more than just a fabulous stroke of coincidental beginner's luck?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 25, 2008 5:38 AM

I still want MY kind of thief in the White House.