Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Clintons Get Owned

There is a lot of philosophizing and hand-wringing going on right now about race, gender, and political fair play. These are tangential issues, however. The big story coming out of South Carolina is that Barack Obama proved that he is a much more capable politician than Hillary Clinton, and maybe Bill Clinton, too. In short, the Clintons got OWNED (or if you prefer, PWNED).

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Obama 55%
Clinton 27%
Edwards 18%

That’s a 2-to-1 margin, my friends. Leaving aside the issue of whether the Clintons fought dirty, there is no question that they fought hard. And in the final analysis, they fought dumb. They came at Obama with all the grace and subtlety of a charging bull, and he handled their attacks with the skill of a matador. Or maybe like one of those kung fu masters in the movies who flings his giant opponent over a ledge by using his own strength against him.

This is part where I need to say, “To be sure,”— To be sure, there are plenty of contests left. Look for Obama to chip into Hillary’s once massive lead in Florida on Tuesday. If Clinton wins by less than 15%, he beat the spread. On the Republican side, I see Mitt Romney squeaking out a win here in the Sunshine State.

Posted by Woody Mena at January 27, 2008 4:16 PM
Comment #244018

The Clintons were neither more or less subtle in playing hardball politics than before. What changed was the sensitivity and tolerance level of the public in S.Carolina for such tactics.

You are right. Obama has a much better read of that altered public sensitivity and tolerance than the Clintons and the vote proved it in part (of course other variables were in play as well).

I would look for the Clintons to attempt the same tactics again, only in a more subtle fashion, and shooting themselves in Hillary’s foot, yet again. For them, the problem is not deceptive and distorted tactics, but, how subtly they are employed like staging nearly all African Americans behind Hillary in Tennessee as she offered congratulations to Obama on his win in S.C. They think that was a subtle psychological message saying Hillary had Black support in S.C., when the exit polls demonstrate that she lost it in a huge way. In fact, it was deceptive and seen as such or had no impact at all. Which on net, is a failed tactic, though the Clintons believe it was clever and shrewd.

The Clintons are playing yesterday’s political handbook of hardball politics, while Obama is playing from the new handbook that acknowledges the public is fed up with the old way of doing things. Though Obama was mightily tempted to revert to the hold handbook there for a short while in the debates 2 weeks or so ago. But, he caught himself and put himself back on track with the new handbook in S. Carolina, and just in time.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 27, 2008 7:18 PM
Comment #244030


Basically agree. I can only add that it has been amazing to me how destructive Bill has been to wife wife’s campaign. Even before this racial thing blew up, he was saying things that were tactically stupid. Like claiming out of the blue that he was against the Iraq War all along. Why even bring that up?

If Hillary knows what’s good for her, she’ll exile Bill to somewhere with no reporters. Nothing he says helps her.

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 27, 2008 8:43 PM
Comment #244033

It does not matter much what Bill does. He will be attacked and used to attack H. no matter what. Romney is already talking about how awful it would be to have Bill Clinton in the Whitehouse with time on his hands in an apparent reference to the Lewinsky affair. We can look forward to attacks questioning wheter or not HC will appoint Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court etc.If HC does get the nod we will have to work hard to remind people just how good the country was run under Bill. We will also get the same nutball hate historic revision crap.

Posted by: BillS at January 27, 2008 9:10 PM
Comment #244039
whether or not HC will appoint Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court etc

Seems a silly suggestion considering he has been dis-barred…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 27, 2008 10:52 PM
Comment #244041

The Sunday morning talk show pundits were claiming that both party primaries are now 2 person races, Clinton and Obama, and Romney and McCain. The races should be decided on Super Tuesday.

The only one of the primaries on our side that is predictive so far is New Hampshire. South Carolina will be voting for the Rpblcn candidate if it was Dog the Bounty Hunter. The big story is the voter turnout for the Democratic primaries. Registration is easier than ever before in history. You have to actually not want to vote not to be registered in Illinois.

If the pundits are right, that leaves four possibilities:

Clinton vs McCain
Clinton vs Romney
Obama vs McCain
Obama vs Romney

I think Romney is the easier candidate for the Democrats to beat, but McCain would be the oldest candidate ever.

Posted by: ohrealy at January 27, 2008 11:33 PM
Comment #244043

i don’t believe you have to be a lawyer to be on the supreme court.
earl warren wasn’t and he was chief justice.

Posted by: albert at January 28, 2008 1:36 AM
Comment #244044
that leaves four possibilities

You leave out two candidates… Oh yeah, they’re third party candidates so they don’t count.

Except that they will both be pulling voters away from the two media darlings of the Dem and Rep parties, so it might be wise not to dismiss the topics they bring up for fear of losing enough voters to swing the election the other way…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 28, 2008 1:38 AM
Comment #244045

Earl Warren was a District Attorney and the Attorney General of California…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 28, 2008 1:39 AM
Comment #244046

I don’t think there is any realistic possibility that Bill will be appointed to Supreme Court. He has been disbarred from even appearing before it. If Hillary appointed him he would probably have to recuse himself when she (that is, the US government) was involved in a case. The whole idea is just a GOP scare tactic.

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 28, 2008 6:21 AM
Comment #244048

Basically, if Bill was on the Supreme Court the verdict could hinge on whether Hillary granted his “writ of habeas nookie”. (I cycled through a few more vulgar words before I got to that one…)

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 28, 2008 6:28 AM
Comment #244055

What about the theory that the Clintons intentionally pushed the black vote to Obama in a strategy to bring the White vote to her on Super tuesday?

I will say that the fact that she is now being referred to as “The Clintons” is going to be her downfall.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 28, 2008 9:53 AM
Comment #244059

I’m still trying to figure out this past weekend’s primary here and what it means. Some random notes:

This was as fair a Democratic (and probably GOP too) primary as I’ve ever seen in SC. With the voting held on Saturday I just knew the fix was in. Quite the opposite, once the Clintons gave up the weekend before, and once Clyburn announced he was sitting it out, there was no organized effort by the party to throw the votes one way or the other. What you have are the results of an SC popularity contest.

Obama won SC by winning Iowa then finishing respectfully in NH. Had that not happened I do think the party here would have actively propped up Clinton. She might not have won, but the race would have been much closer.

The Kos crowd will be abandoning Edwards shortly. SC is the only State he won in 2004, and by choosing to “stay above the fray” he also stayed out of the media spotlight. The only thing he can do is stay in and help Clinton, and that’s against his supporter’s interests.

Here’s a quote from the GOP side. I think they are already setting up McCain (experience) v. Obama (inexperience) for Nov.

“It was no surprise to see Democrat primary voters in South Carolina today settle for Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Although Senator Obama is one of history’s most inexperienced presidential candidates, his opponent Senator Hillary Clinton abandoned her liberal candidacy here because our voters have never backed a Clinton - and John Edwards was too out of touch and too negative to defend his 2004 win on his own home turf.
-Katon Dawson

Posted by: George in SC at January 28, 2008 10:21 AM
Comment #244062

More than his victory in S. Carolina is Caroline Kennedy’s “like my father” endorsement. I now think Barrack has a real chance of winning the Democratic candidate spot.

Yes, there is still a lot of Clinton’s machine yet to fight, but it is now his to lose.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 28, 2008 11:09 AM
Comment #244065

Looks like Toni Morrison and the Kennedys (Ted, Patrick and Caroline) are endorsing Obama.

Read it here.

Posted by: Jim T at January 28, 2008 11:31 AM
Comment #244071

The Clinton duo, comprised of the smartest man and woman in the world, are about to be relegated to the trash heap of history. They have worn out their welcome among Americans who desperately want new and fresh leadership in Washington. The nominees of their respective parties will be Obama and Romney, both with no ties to the old guard and both with fresh ideas. I believe Romney will have the advantage of proven private and governmental experience and successful leadership. Obama has the advantage of a naturally appealing nature and friendliness. It will be a monumental battle between these two candidates. What will be decisive is governing policy and platform. Will voters demand more of government or less? Will voters demand experience or exuberence? At this point it looks like a toss-up to me.

Posted by: Jim M at January 28, 2008 12:41 PM
Comment #244072

“You leave out two candidates… Oh yeah, they’re third party candidates so they don’t count.”

Don’t forget that wack job Ron Paul, pulling votes from both directions ( Red and Blue States.

Is he REALLY a republican, or a politicoterrorist?

Posted by: angrymob at January 28, 2008 12:50 PM
Comment #244075

Woody M:

“PWNED”? please forgive my ignorance, I don’t get this one. Please explain.

I think your kung fu analogy is very apt. He will need to do this constantly to have a chance at winning. But I think he will eventually fall under the shear weight of the Clinton machine.

“On the Republican side, I see Mitt Romney squeaking out a win here in the Sunshine State.”

Not if the media have anything to say about it. McCain is still their darling, don’t you think?

“If Hillary knows what’s good for her, she’ll exile Bill to somewhere with no reporters. Nothing he says helps her.”

he will stay there only if distracted, may I suggest the Cadillac Ranch? :)

“I don’t think there is any realistic possibility that Bill will be appointed to Supreme Court. “

I agree, here. Do you really see Bill sitting still in one place as long as necessary for the Supreme Court. He will never accept if nominated. He is too restless a soul and would never be happy there. His is the type of ego that needs constant attention and stroking.

“Basically, if Bill was on the Supreme Court the verdict could hinge on whether Hillary granted his “writ of habeas nookie”.”

Good one. ;)


“But, he caught himself and put himself back on track with the new handbook in S. Carolina, and just in time.”

Correct, but see above, I think his effort is for nought, unfortunately. But I would much prefer him over Hillary.


“Seems a silly suggestion considering he has been dis-barred…”

Wasn’t his disbarment only for one year? I may be mistaken on this but I think he is ellegable. (Spelling?) Anyone out there know this for sure? Mere speculation on my part but I seem to remember something along those lines.


“I will say that the fact that she is now being referred to as “The Clintons” is going to be her downfall.”

Double edged sword, both her strength and her weakness. If her name was not Clinton, would we ever have heard of her? If she did not have her husbands baggage as well as her own, would she be better off? Time will tell.

Jim M:

“The nominees of their respective parties will be Obama and Romney,”

I hope you are right but still too early for both to celebrate. Remember, the Clintons will never give up and don’t count out Rudy, too. I remember an analysis of Hillary and Rudy. It was suggested that Hillary would easily be able to get her party’s nomination due to her liberal views but very hard for her to get elected for the same reason. Rudy on the other hand, would have a tough time getting his party’s nomination, but once accomplished, it would be easier for him to get elected because of his cross-over appeal. Remember, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are winner take all for delegates and this is Rudy’s home field.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at January 28, 2008 1:45 PM
Comment #244076

Beirut Vet,

I wouldn’t worry about Rudy. His performance in every primary to date has been humiliating. He isn’t even a shoo-in for New York.

Some references on owned/pwned

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 28, 2008 1:56 PM
Comment #244080

Woody M:

Of course I was over thinking it. Thanks, and GREAT PICS, TOO!

Posted by: Beirut Vet at January 28, 2008 3:16 PM
Comment #244110

Clinton Disbarred From Supreme Court

By Anne Gearan
Associated Press Writer
Monday, Oct. 1, 2001; 10:48 a.m. EDT

WASHINGTON –– The Supreme Court ordered former President Clinton disbarred from practicing law before the high court on Monday and gave him 40 days to contest the order.

The court did not explain its reasons, but Supreme Court disbarment often follows disbarment in lower courts.

In April, Clinton’s Arkansas law license was suspended for five years and he paid a $25,000 fine. The original disbarment lawsuit was brought by a committee of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

There are no fines associated with the Supreme Court action. Most lawyers who are admitted to the Supreme Court bar never actually argue a case there, but the right to do so is considered an honor.

Clinton agreed to the Arkansas fine and suspension Jan. 19, the day before he left office, as part of an understanding with Independent Counsel Robert Ray to end the Monica Lewinsky investigation.

The agreement also satisfied the legal effort by the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct to disbar Clinton for giving misleading testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case.

The Supreme Court followed its standard rules in the Clinton case, which include suspending Clinton from practice in the court and giving him 40 day to show why he should not be permanently disbarred.

The court order did not mention any vote by the justices.

“Whenever a member of the bar of this court has been disbarred or suspended from practice of any court of record, or has engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the bar of this court, the court will enter an order suspending that member from practice before this court,” Supreme Court rules say.

Julia Payne, a spokeswoman for Clinton, referred calls to his lawyer, David Kendall, in Washington. Kendall did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Posted by: Jane Doe at January 28, 2008 10:35 PM
Comment #244116

Jane Doe. Good. I believe in one law applicable to all regardless of station or position. Now, let’s move on to impeaching Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 29, 2008 1:53 AM
Comment #244118

Woody, even with Bill out of the picture, I think Hillary and Obama are neck and neck. She has the machine. He has the message. And his message is both subtle and powerful contrasted with hers.

Hers is: “I will work for you from Day 1”.

His is: “We will have to work together to make a brighter future possible.”

Which is more likely to actually bring about change? His view strikes a note of truth with the public, and that note is, those in government are not going to do for us what we won’t do for ourselves. He says we the people have to work for that future, sacrifice for that future, take responsibility for that future. And deep down, we all know he is right.

Deep down, we also all know Hillary can’t do it for us by herself. But, that is her promise.

Subtle, but powerful difference. It strikes a chord of truth in Obama’s favor.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 29, 2008 2:01 AM
Comment #244161

I’m undecided about who & which party I’m voting for, but found this great article called “Black Voters and a Twist of Bias” on the BlogZine SAVAGE POLITICS.
WOW- all I have to say!
Here is an excerpt: “Last Saturday’s South Carolina Democratic Primary produced the widely expected result of a Barack Obama victory. From the beginning of the week, it was the ethnic composition of the State in question which was amply discussed by both the Media and it’s multiple pundits. It was here and through other sources that we discovered that 55% percent of Democratic voters in South Carolina were African American. An interesting number when you consider the “coincidence” that Obama actually won the election by exactly the same margin: 55%. Of course, many in Clinton’s campaign have used this demographic reality to spin their defeat, vociferating that they had always expected to loose from the start. It should be noted that it has been this exact attitude which they have ridiculed Obama’s camp for, insinuating that they had proved to be “sore losers” by not admitting their own failures in stating their case to the American People. As we all know, in modern politics, no campaign is free of idiotic childishness, sadly resurfacing the reality that our current political existence is dominated by whining imbeciles of the lowest ilk. Nevertheless, the Clinton Campaign’s affirmation (victory based on a unified ethnic constituency) is valid, especially when we consider the data.
The Primary’s exit polling, presented by all major networks, were utilized by analysts to determine how was Obama’s, Edwards’, and Clinton’s support spread throughout different social markers. Their results indicated that 80% of the Black vote, and only 20% of the White vote, went towards Barack Obama. Regarding most White voters in the State, you could easily identify their split between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. The significance of this racial division is crucial in understanding the fate of Barack Obama’s campaign, and the Democratic Party, if they chose to face the General Election with him at the helm.…” Find the rest of the article at

Posted by: Elsylee at January 29, 2008 1:50 PM
Comment #244223

I think in order for Obama to beat the “Clintons” Machine, he needs Kathleen Sebelius to be his right wing women. If he was to win the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination, and had a choice to pick his vice president, Kathleen is the best choice he needs to lead the country. Her Democratic State of the Union Address touch home and that Americans need to be refreshed with the help of the government in the financial, job, health, and social security sectors before looking out to lend a hand to save other countries from tyranny.

Posted by: Duke Nguyen at January 30, 2008 4:31 AM
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