Clinton Followers Still Pose a Problem to Obama

August 14, 2008

Still sore from an epic primary battle, some of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supporters aren’t buying the unity theme planned for the Democratic National Convention.

They weren’t mollified when nominee-in-waiting Barack Obama gave prime-time speaking slots to Clinton and her husband, the former president. Instead, they’re itching for a fight and plan to wage one in Denver.

One group intends to paper the city with fliers, promote a video detailing what they contend were irregularities in the nominating process and unleash bloggers to give their take on the proceedings. Another group has purchased newspaper advertisements demanding that Clinton be included in a roll-call vote for the nomination. Obama and Clinton announced Thursday that there will be such a vote.

“I am a very realistic woman,” said Diane Mantouvalos, co-founder of the Just Say No Deal Coalition. “I don’t think that anything is going to change, but I do think it is important to be heard, and this is our way of doing it.”

Some of the disaffected Clinton supporters are open to supporting Obama; many are not.

Obama needs Clinton’s supporters to beat Republican John McCain. Polls show that he has won over most of them. But some simply don’t like Obama or still feel Clinton was treated unfairly during the primaries.

These groups are not affiliated with Clinton, who has endorsed Obama and campaigned for him. Representatives from the Clinton and Obama campaigns said they are working to unify the party because Obama will champion issues important to Clinton supporters, such as reforming health care, improving the economy and ending the war in Iraq.

“Senator Clinton understands and appreciates that there are supporters who remain passionate, but she has repeatedly urged her supporters to vote for Senator Obama,” Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a swipe at the Clinton diehards Wednesday.

“I think Hillary Clinton has been very gracious,” the San Francisco Democrat told Bay Area talk show host Ronn Owens. “I think some of her supporters have been less than gracious.”

Nevertheless, many Clinton activists plan to voice their discontent in Denver.

Mantouvalos, a Miami public relations consultant, said her network is renting a 5,000-square-foot loft in Denver for its bloggers. Another outfit called The Denver Group is planning a reception the evening Hillary Clinton speaks at the convention. The group has been pushing for Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination.

In announcing that her name will be placed in nomination, Clinton said she hopes the vote will unite the party and lead to an Obama victory in November.

Heidi Li Feldman, co-founder of The Denver Group, said the roll call vote is necessary for Obama to get her support. But, she said, it’s insufficient.

“The only way a Democratic Party will have the credibility to elect a Democrat in November is if the party uses a legitimate process to choose its nominee,” said Heidi Li Feldman, co-founder of The Denver Group. “We are not per se a Clinton support group, we are a Democratic Party get-your-act-together support group.”

The movement has grown on the Internet, where bloggers and readers complain that Clinton was cheated out of the party’s nomination. The Web site for Just Say No Deal links to dozens of other sites criticizing Obama or supporting Clinton.

Some accuse Obama of manipulating party caucuses for extra delegates while others complain that Clinton was the victim of sexist party leaders or was mistreated by the media. Many vent over the way the party divvied up delegates from the Florida and Michigan primaries, two states that were punished for violating national rules and holding their contests early.

With the agreement of all Democratic candidates, the states were initially stripped of all their delegates for violating party rules by holding early primaries. None of the candidates campaigned in the two states, but Clinton won the two primaries and thereafter tried to get all the delegates seated.

The national party reinstated the delegates in May, but gave each a half vote. And it awarded Obama some Michigan delegates, although he had taken his name off that ballot because of the party’s initial decision.

With the nomination clinched, Obama said this month that he would seek to give both delegations full voting rights.

At the very least, the activists want Clinton’s name put in nomination, with a full roll-call vote. Some won’t be satisfied unless Clinton is declared the nominee – an unlikely prospect. Others would be happy if Clinton were asked to run for vice president – also unlikely.

Feldman, a Georgetown University law professor, said she is a loyal Democrat who won’t vote for McCain, but Obama hasn’t won her support. Will Bower, co-founder of the Just Say No Deal Coalition, said he would only support the Democratic candidate if her name is Clinton.

“I have been voting Democratic for 18 years. I only voted for Democrats, from dog catcher to president and everything in between,” said Bower, who lives in Washington. “I will be voting for someone other than Barack Obama come November.”

Article by Stephen Ohlemacher

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Obama Rejects Ludacris Lyrics

August 1, 2008

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign says a new rhyme by supporter and rapper Ludacris is “outrageously offensive” to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Republican Sen. John McCain and President Bush.
The song brags about an Obama presidency being destiny. It uses an expletive to describe Clinton, calls Bush “mentally handicapped” and says McCain doesn’t belong in “any chair unless he’s paralyzed.”

The lyrics don’t spare the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who recently apologized for making crude comments about Obama. “If you said it then you meant it,” intones the rapper.

Obama’s campaign blasted “Politics as Usual,” which is on the “Gangsta Grillz: The Preview” mixtape with Atlanta spinner DJ Drama.

“As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to,” campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail statement Wednesday. “This song is not only outrageously offensive to Sen. Clinton, Rev. Jackson, Sen. McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics.”

Ludacris’ publicist and manager did not immediately return calls Wednesday for comment.

Article from Associated Press Staff

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Barack and Hillary’s Secret Meeting

June 6, 2008

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton met privately Thursday night at the Washington home of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a key supporter of Clinton’s presidential campaign, Feinstein said Friday.

She left them in her living room with nothing other than water and comfortable chairs for what she called a positive meeting. No one else was in the room, and no one is giving details of what was discussed.

“They talked. I went upstairs and did my work,” Feinstein said Friday. “They called me when it was over. I came down and said, ‘Good night, everybody, I hope you had a good meeting.’

“They were laughing and that was it.”

The meeting began at 9 p.m. and lasted about an hour, Feinstein said.

“I think the opportunity to sit down, just the two of them, was positive,” she said.

It was the two Democratic candidates’ first meeting since Obama became the party’s presumptive nominee on Tuesday.

“They talked about how to come together and how to unify this party and move forward because what we have at stake in November is so important,” Robert Gibbs, the Obama campaign’s communication director, said Friday on CNN’s “American Morning.”

For the rest of this story, go to CNN.com

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Barack Obama – Presumptive Nominee

June 4, 2008

Barack Obama makes history as the first African-American to become a major political party nominee for the position of President of the United States. We have come a long way from the back of the bus to the head of the country. Whether or not you choose to vote for Obama in November, we all must respect what he has accomplished. He was the underdog, behind in the polls only a year ago. Hillary Clinton despite her loss has also accomplished so much. The laast woman to come close to her position was Geraldine Ferraro, but I believe Hillary has surpassed even her. This election has been historical, leaving us with something to be proud of after the complete fiasco of the previous two election cycles. I enoucrage people to nevertheless read all the candidates records, listen to their speeches, and judge them individually. My own mother wanted to vote for Hillary because she was a woman. My friends wanted to vote for Obama because he is NOT white. This is far to grave of a situation not to take it very seriously. Vote on the issues. Not on color or sex. In the end, as long as we do not vote in the same of Establishment we have had (not only for the last eight years but truly for the last 16-30 years), we will be fine. Our country can only go up from here, right?

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Impossible Math, Hillary, Give Up Already

June 2, 2008


Most of the 17 Democratic senators who are uncommitted superdelegates will endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president this week, sources told CNN Monday.

The lawmakers will wait until after the South Dakota and Montana primaries Tuesday before announcing their support for Obama, two sources familiar with discussions between Obama supporters and these senators told CNN’s Gloria Borger.

Obama supporters have been “pressing” for these superdelegates to endorse early this week, but according to one source, “the senators don’t want to pound Hillary Clinton, and there is a sense she should be given a grace period.”

A series of meetings on the topic have been facilitated at different times by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. Durbin and Daschle are Obama supporters, while Harkin is uncommitted.

Obama is now 46 delegates short of the 2,118 needed to clinch the Democratic nomination, while Clinton needs 202. There are 31 pledged delegates up for grabs in the Tuesday contests, and 202 superdelegates have yet to commit to either candidate.

Obama has the support of 331 superdelegates to Clinton’s 292.

Superdelegates are party elected officials and activists who are free to vote for either candidate.

Following Sunday’s Puerto Rico primary, Obama picked up two more superdelegate nods, and Clinton received one.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will remain uncommitted until Clinton officially drops out of the race, sources told CNN’s Candy Crowley, but that isn’t stopping the two party heavyweights from using their clout to bring the primary battle to a hasty end.

Pelosi told the San Francisco Chronicle last week that she is prepared to intervene if the presidential race does not resolve itself by the end of June.

“I will step in,” Pelosi told the paper in an interview. “Because we cannot take this fight to the convention. … It must be over before then.”

A senior Democratic aide in Congress also told CNN on Friday that Pelosi is already calling uncommitted superdelegates and pressuring them to back either Obama or Clinton by the end of this week. Pelosi is collaborating with Reid on the effort.

In an interview with a San Francisco radio station last week, Reid said he spoke to Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. “We all are going to urge our folks next week to make a decision very quickly,” Reid said.

Throughout the process, Dean has been pressing for superdelegates to make up their minds after this week’s contests.

Facing an insurmountable lead among pledged delegates, Clinton is now counting on the remaining superdelegates to push her over the finish line, a proposition her campaign admits is a tall order.

“Is the road steeper than it was several weeks ago?,” Clinton adviser Harold Ickes remarked on CNN’s “Late Edition” on Sunday. “The answer is yes.”

Still, Clinton told reporters after her primary win in Puerto Rico on Sunday that given her support among key demographics in swing states, she has proved she will be a stronger nominee than Obama against John McCain.

“I think it’s only now that we’re finishing these contests that people are going to actually reflect,” Clinton said on her campaign plane Sunday, referring to the uncommitted superdelegates. “Who’s our stronger candidate? And I believe I am, and I’m going to make that case, and at some point it will either be accepted or it won’t be, but I feel strongly about making it.”

Clinton argued that even superdelegates who have committed to Obama are free to “change their minds” — a suggestion the Obama campaign declined to comment on.
Despite the odds against her, Clinton continues to pick up support even as Obama grows his lead among superdelegates.

Original posting was found @ CNN.com

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Change the Rules When You Need To

May 28, 2008

I highly recommend reading this blog entry from Aimster Blog about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, class in the presidential race, and the future of the democratic party and its nominee.

READ THIS: Aimsterblog

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Hillary Suggests RFK’s June Assassination Is Reason Not To Drop Out

May 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton, who has had secret service for 16 years, should know better than talking about assassination in reference to Obama, who also currently has Secret Service detail due to death threats. She is a politician, a wordsworth, and she should have known better. This was even lower and more classless than even what Mike Huckabee said in front of a conventon of National Rifle Association members. Watch the video. It seems like she suggests that RFK’s assassination in June s enough to believe anythng could happen, and therefore she should stay in the race. It seems like the only assassination here is Hllary’s assassination of her own future and career.

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Hillary Clinton’s Right Hand Is Even For Obama

May 20, 2008

A top strategist for Barack Obama has reached out to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s former campaign manager about joining forces for the general election, the latest sign of political reconciliation between the two rivals as Obama begins consolidating his position as the likely Democratic nominee.

Obama strategist David Axelrod and former Clinton aide Patti Solis Doyle confirmed they had had informal conversations about how she might help the Illinois senator if he secures the presidential nomination as expected. The conversations were first reported on the Politico Web site.

“When the time comes, if we’re the nominee, we’re going to want to work with talented people across the party including those who worked for Senator Clinton,” Axelrod said. “Patti’s a good and talented person, and we all have a high regard for her.”

He added, “No specific offers have been proffered, and none has been accepted. This is not an official entreaty from one campaign to another.”

Solis Doyle hails from Chicago, Obama’s home turf, and met Axelrod 20 years ago while working in city government there. Her brother, Danny Solis, is a Chicago alderman.

A longtime Clinton loyalist, Solis Doyle began working as Hillary Clinton’s scheduler during her husband’s 1992 presidential bid and stayed with her through two terms in the White House. She helped manage the former first lady’s first New York Senate bid in 2000, and began laying the groundwork for her presidential bid shortly thereafter.

In February, Solis Doyle stepped down as campaign manager after Clinton’s third-place showing in Iowa and disappointing performance in the 22-state “Super Tuesday” contests Feb. 5. Maggie Williams, Clinton’s former White House chief of staff, replaced Solis Doyle.

Clinton has vowed to stay in the race through the final primaries June 3 even as she trails Obama in the popular vote and among pledged and superdelegates. She has also pushed for a resolution of disputed primaries in Michigan and Florida, whose results were voided after the states violated party rules by moving their contests to January.

Obama is expected to secure the majority of pledged delegates Tuesday after primaries in Kentucky and
For her part, Solis Doyle said in an interview that her status has not changed.

“I’m for Hillary, I have been for 17 years. This thing isn’t over,” Solis Doyle said. “But I’m a Democrat and if Obama’s the nominee, I will do whatever I can to get him elected and make sure the party is unified.”

The orignal article was found @ Yahoo News

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The Polls Going Into Tuesday’s Primaries in OR and KY

May 19, 2008

New polls show Sen. Hillary Clinton with a commanding lead going into the Kentucky primary, while Sen. Barack Obama holds a comfortable one in Oregon.

Those two states, which hold contests Tuesday, are expected to do little more than illustrate the divide between Democratic voters in selecting a presidential candidate.

Clinton leads the latest CNN “poll of polls” — an average of multiple polls — in Kentucky, 58 percent to 28 percent. Kentucky is dominated by working-class voters, which has been a source of support for Clinton throughout the prolonged primary season.

Obama’s base of support — young and higher-educated voters — are better represented in Oregon, and a poll of polls there reflects that demographic: The senator from Illinois holds a 50 percent to 40 percent advantage over Clinton.

The former first lady is campaigning Monday in Kentucky, while former President Clinton and daughter Chelsea are on the trail in Oregon.

Obama spoke Sunday in front of what his campaign called his biggest audience to date — 75,000 people on the banks of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.

Obama will campaign Monday in Montana, which, along with South Dakota, will hold the last contests of the primary season on June 3. Democratic voters in Puerto Rico will cast their ballots June 1.
Clinton on Sunday told voters in Kentucky that she’s “running for the toughest job in the world.”

Speaking in Bowling Green, the senator from New York said it was a “treat” to have the whole state to herself since Obama would not be returning there.

Clinton has faced calls to drop out of the race since she trails Obama across all fronts — in pledged delegates, superdelegates and the popular vote.

Clinton recently has argued she has a lead over Obama in the popular vote, counting the Florida and Michigan primaries. Video Watch why Clinton says she’s ahead »

But the Democratic National Committee stripped Florida and Michigan of their delegates for scheduling their primaries too early, and Clinton was the only top-tier candidate whose name was on the ballot in Michigan.

Clinton’s campaign also excludes caucus states in its popular vote count.

Obama leads Clinton in total delegates, 1,904 to 1,717, according to a CNN survey. A candidate needs 2,026 to clinch the Democratic nomination.

Clinton on Sunday encouraged her Kentucky supporters to vote, saying, “If we get everybody turned out, it’s going to send a great message to our country that you don’t stop democracy in its tracks.”

She said, “You don’t tell some states that they can’t vote and other states that have already had the opportunity that they’re somehow more important.”

In considering which candidate to vote for, she told the crowd to “think about this as a hiring decision.”

“Come out and vote for me on Tuesday. I’ll work my heart out for you,” she said.

Meanwhile Obama, who’s been campaigning in Oregon, focused his attacks on Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Obama on Sunday suggested that McCain hasn’t received the kind of scrutiny that he’s received throughout the campaign.

“It is very understandable that the press focus has been on myself and Sen. Clinton because this has been a pretty exciting race on the Democratic side. I would expect that the press will submit him to the same scrutiny that they are submitting me,” he said at a senior center in Gresham. 

Obama also detailed his plans to strengthen Social Security. Part of his proposal includes eliminating income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 a year.

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Obama made low-key campaign stops this weekend, hitting a street festival in Keizer and stopping for ice cream in Eugene.The last time Oregon carried much weight in the primary season was in 1968, when Sen. Robert Kennedy campaigned for the Democratic nomination.

This story found @ CNN.com

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Hillary’s Defeat is Still a Complete Triumph

May 19, 2008

A front page story in today’s New York Times wonders whether Hillary Clinton’s flagging run for the presidency is “a historic if incomplete triumph or a depressing reminder of why few [women] pursue high office in the first place.”

Let me quickly weigh in with an unequivocal vote for “historic if incomplete triumph.” And the only thing I find depressing is that the answer is even in doubt.

I have regularly criticized Clinton over the course of her campaign (and long before it, starting with her vote to authorize the war), but there is no question that she has forever altered the way women running for president will be viewed from here on out. In the words of the Times, Clinton has established “a new marker for what a woman can accomplish in a campaign — raising over $170 million, frequently winning more favorable reviews on debate performances than her male rivals, rallying older women, and persuading white male voters who were never expected to support her.”

She has also forever demolished the question mark hovering over the issue many (wrongly, in my opinion) have felt would be a woman candidate’s biggest weakness: the ability to be seen as a plausible commander-in-chief.

It is to her great credit that very shortly into the ’08 race, when you saw Clinton on television, you didn’t think, “Oh, there’s the woman running for president.” That is no small feat for a woman trying to break into a male-dominated arena. So the next time a woman — or two or three — runs for president, it won’t be seen as a novelty act. Because Hillary certainly wasn’t.

But the greatest triumph of Clinton’s campaign — a complete triumph — is the example she has set for the next generation. And not just for young women; her dedication, perseverance, and indefatigable drive make her a role model for young men as well.

Much has been made of the generational divide in the Clinton-Obama battle, with older women rallying to Clinton and younger women drawn to Obama. But the impact of her candidacy transcends this division. I’ve seen this very clearly in the reaction of my oldest daughter.

She voted for the first time in this year’s California primary, casting her ballot for Obama. Yet hardly a day passes without her speaking with admiration, almost awe, about Hillary Clinton — how she manages to get up every morning, no matter how hard things get for her, and keep following her dream.

I’ve written a lot about fear and fearlessness, and how fearlessness is not the absence of fear — it’s the mastery of fear. It’s all about getting up one more time than we fall down. Has any public figure embodied this more powerfully and compellingly than Hillary Clinton?

The rest of this article can be read @ The Huffington Post

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