Hillary Clinton is a Disciplined Campaigner

Every word is focus-group tested for her target market - Dem activists. It is revealing what she said and did not say about Moveon.org’s attack on General Petraeus. Her research tells her that Dems do not know the difference between attacking politicians running for office and attacking career military officers serving their country. Maybe they even think it is good. Is she right?

Hillary is impressive. Nothing moves her off message. No matter what anybody asks, she brings things back to her focus-group approved talking points. With her you CAN parse every word because every work has been already parsed, molded and approved by her excellent professional campaign team. When I listened to her this morning I realized that the Dems are really far gone. She is talking to them and she cannot bring herself to condemn unequivocally that horrible movon.org attack on the integrity of the U.S. military. Instead, she brings up other attacks. She brings up John Kerry. In her mind and evidently in those of the Dem target market, making partisan attacks against a candidate running for president is the same as making partisan attacks against a career military officer running a war.

Do any of you NOT see the problem with this logic?

Hillary - it is easy. All you need to say is that the moveon.org attack on the general was unjustified. Then put a period on the end of the sentence. After that, if you feel so inclined, you can get to the focus-group approved talking points. Say that John Kerry got a bum rap and whatever add whatever else you think appropriate to defend your party's candidates and your friends. You can say that you disagree with the course of the war. But recognize that these are separate things.

I believe that leading Dems running for president are smart people. They certainly do not believe all that crap you find on radical webpages such as moveon.org or daily Kos. I understand their need to pander to the providers of money and campaign muscle, but I think they can stand up to them at least in a little way. Remember Bill Clinton and Sister Soulja? It doesn't hurt to kick the weirdos in the kiester once in a while. They need it. Otherwise they get out of hand.

The scary thing about all this is that among all the Dems running for president, Hillary is probably the one who is most supportive of our military. If she has to speak in the proper code to satisfy the moveon.org money providers, what are the others willing to tolerate? And imagine what those moveon.org supporters really think and what they would really do if they did not have to worry about American public opinion.

Posted by Jack at September 23, 2007 3:19 PM
Comments
Comment #234070

Jack, first, MoveOn, questioned the integrity of Petraeus’ report forthcoming. Which implies they were also questioning his motives, being hand picked by GW Bush as were Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Gonzalez, Meiers, and many others given the boot or resigned.

Questioning authority is what our Founding Fathers participated in, in challenging the British rule in the Colonies, all military men, and King George. That’s right, our colonialists and founding fathers had the audacity to question the authority of their military.

That said, I commend you implied advice to voters. Question not just what public figures say, but, what they hide by what they say. It is illogical for a candidate to speak the whole truth about themselves, their policies, their thinking - that would be self-defeating.

Hence, voters should take it upon themselves to listen with an open mind to ANY candidate’s critics, for it is from their critics, that the whole knowable truth about a candidate, can be learned. Not that critics will be completely open and objective either, but, to the extent that critics provide verifiable critique, voters would make better election decisions if they examined objectively a candidate’s critic’s commentary and fact base.

When Hillary makes insuring the uninsured a major campaign issue, it immediately comes to my mind, that she is dodging the more fundamental and threatening issue for insured and uninsured alike, that of spiraling health care inflation, which threatens not only our health care system, but, through Medicare and Medicaid, the soundness of our entire economy in less than 2 decades.

Similarly, when Guiliani speaks of not allowing Iran’s Ahmadinejad to speak, I have to question his willingness to protect and defend the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

It is not what political candidates say that voters should listen to and ponder, but, what they avoid saying or talking about, that will give a truer picture of what kind of government leader they will make and how much potential harm they will be capable of.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2007 4:59 PM
Comment #234071

How much more will the War in Iraq tear this country apart? Is there any low to which the Bush administration will not stoop?

They could not convince the country to invade Iraq in 2002, because while @ 90% of Americans agreed Saddam Hussein was bad news, only @ 28% thought an invasion was justified.

And so, the Bush administration lied. Everything Powell told the UN turned out to be wrong. Bush claimed Congress had the same information as he did, yet the White House never informed Congress that they had an informant on the inside, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, and that Minister said there were no WMDs. There were no SCUDs. There were no drones for delivering biological weapons, no biological warfare program, no nuclear weapons program. There was no connection with Al Qaida.

There was the incompetence, the corruption of the CPA…

Dead enders.

“Ex” Baathists.

No insurgency.

Turning the corner.

Last throes.

In 2006 alone, Bush stated we were “winning” fourteen times. “Unquestionably winning.”

It was a lie.

And now, Petraeus betrays the trust of the American public by telling us the surge is working. Ambassador Crocker was more honest, but so boring, nobody paid much attention.

In Baghdad, before the surge, 7% of the city was pacified. Because of the surge, 8% is now pacified. That is according to a Major General. Roughly 44% is completely out of control, including Sadr City.

Having no credibility, the Bush administration has relied upon General Petraeus to prolong the war. And now, because of the politicized testimony of the general, the military itself will lose credibility.

This happened in Vietnam, with disastrous results. Thanks to Bush, thanks to Petraeus, and yes, thanks to MoveOn.org, it is happening again.

Perhaps tearing the country apart will make Republicans happy. We will find out in November 2008.

Posted by: phx8 at September 23, 2007 5:16 PM
Comment #234074

phx8, good post. I agree with everything you wrote, except for your blaming Moveon.
They aren’t the ones who are politicizing the military. That outrage can only lie at the feet of Bush, and of Petraeus for allowing himself to become Bush’s mouthpiece because the CINC now has zero credibility. Moveon is entirely justified to begin commenting upon Petreaus’ character, and upon the fact that since he has allowed himself to stand in place of the president, wrongly politicize the military in the process, he immediately became fair game for their pointed political commentary.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 23, 2007 5:49 PM
Comment #234078
Her research tells her that Dems do not know the difference between attacking politicians running for office and attacking career military officers serving their country.

OK, I’ll bite. I don’t think there’s a huge difference between attacking a politician and attacking a military officer. Attacking a military officer is worse, but it is a matter of degree.

It was bad to slime Kerry and it was bad to slime Petreaus. We could analyze the similarities and differences all night, but both were bad things to do.

Posted by: Woody Mena at September 23, 2007 7:15 PM
Comment #234079

Adrienne,
Thanks. I wonder what the line will be next summer, when troops are forced to draw down from their extended deployments, and the surge fails once and for all. Petraues gave long odds on the chances of the surge working in the first place, because it was supposed to create breathing space for political development, and as Ambassador Crocker testified, political rapproachment is not happening in any way, shape, or form. No doubt there will be some new propaganda offensive.

It is simply amazing, how much the current situation resembles Vietnam.

Tearing apart the military is only one similarity.

The economic repercussions of the disastrous policies of the Bush administration will haunt us for a long time. The $9 trillion dollar debt now consumes 9% of the federal budget, due to interest payments which must be made. The Federal Reserve dropped the short term rate by 50 basis points, which is good- they had to do it, hoping to stave off recession. But with a tanking dollar, and soaring oil/food prices driving inflation (that is, if everything works out, & we avoid recession), it will take high long-term interest rates to convince others to fund out debt… the trade deficit, the budget deficit, the national debt… And shades of the 70s. Oh well.

Borrowing to fund a war is a terrible idea.

Nah. Let us talk about an advertisement instead. Anything to avoid the consequences of the Republican War.

Posted by: phx8 at September 23, 2007 7:16 PM
Comment #234080

Jack
This particular red herring is getting a bit old,don’t you think? I realize it is easier to keep useing it than defend Bushco’s veto of a childrens healthcare expansion or the continued bad news from Iraq but I have faith in your ability to put a rosy spin on those turds.

Posted by: BillS at September 23, 2007 7:17 PM
Comment #234081

phx8 and Adrienne,

The “Bush lied” line has been effective but it was always false and remains false today. In many cases it has been possible, paricularly in facts uncovered in the Valerie Plame affair, to show that people in the media have made continally false statements to us.

This has been a long sordid affair in which there were significant intelligence failures and numerous instances of people within the intelligence community actively undermining the sitting president they have sworn an oath to serve. We know beyond a shadow of doubt, for example, that Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson contrived his ‘report’ about yellowcake Uranium to intentionally embarrass the administration in the pages of the New York Times. He never delivered a written report on the same information within the agency, as one might expect simple professionalism to demand, but instead made an oral report that people familiar with it said contradicted his own editorial published in the Times.

None the less, from that point on media reports universally referred to reports of Saddam’s efforts to purchase yellowcake uranium, reports British intelligence stands by to this day, as “discredited”.

That has been the level of effort applied to discrediting the president on the decision to go to war. There has been a whole lot of lying going on.

The matter of whether Bush expects inappropriate levels of support from his generals is a separate, and open, question. I know of an instance where the kind of support he wanted from a general was questionable, but my information is second-hand. I want to hear of it in person before I say more. I will tell you this, though, we are talking about honorable people in military service. In the instance to which I refer the general retired rather than do something that person felt to be a compromise of values.

I fully believe Petraeus would do the same if he felt his own values were being compromised. Furthermore, I believe the Senate Democrats who voted unanimously for his installation as commanding general in Iraq believed the same thing of him and still believe that of him, no matter what they say.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 23, 2007 7:21 PM
Comment #234082
Hillary - it is easy. All you need to say is that the moveon.org attack on the general was unjustified.

Why is it necessary for her to say anything about the ad at all? She had nothing to do with it. Can she demand that Giuliani denounce Rush Limbaugh whenever he says something that people find offensive?

Posted by: Woody Mena at September 23, 2007 7:31 PM
Comment #234086

Touche’ Woody.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2007 8:02 PM
Comment #234090

phx8:
“It is simply amazing, how much the current situation resembles Vietnam.

Tearing apart the military is only one similarity.”

Indeed. Petraeus has put himself in the role formerly played by Westmoreland.

“shades of the 70s.”

Uh huh. Ugh.

“Borrowing to fund a war is a terrible idea.”

Yet the hard right of the GOP sees nothing wrong in this, and want it to continue, indefinitely.

“Nah. Let us talk about an advertisement instead. Anything to avoid the consequences of the Republican War.”

Right, exactly. Btw, did you by any chance see Real Time with Bill Maher this week?

Salmon Rushdie was on the show, and he put it this way:

The Republicans, in order to not talk about the war—any excuse to not discuss the actual war, means that you attack people who talk about the war in ways they don’t like. So you talk about ‘talking about the war,’ instead of talking about the war.

Lee,
Instead of attacking other people who talk about the war in ways that you all don’t like, let us cut the crap, and talk about why we should continue this war, or how we should end it, okay?
Everything else is just absurdity.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 23, 2007 8:37 PM
Comment #234094

Jack,

I watched her on TV this morning…she said all personal attacks are in poor taste and unjustified…words that effect. She brings up the same lack of response by Bushco to the Swiftboat attacks. Illogical? Your bizarre deafness and blindness to the parallels, maybe.

Are you saying Hilary is smart and Bush is just stupid?

OK, Agreed.

Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 23, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #234110

kinda reminds me of how Bush resoundly denounced the “swift boat” BS.

I didn’t think he should have had to do it and neither do I think she or any democrat has to denounce something they didn’t put together. It’s a free speech thing. I think saying you don’t agee with personal attacks is good enough.

I suppose it’s different when the shoe is on the other foot for many folks, though.

Posted by: Tom L at September 23, 2007 10:45 PM
Comment #234113

Jack,

We’ve already been down this path. According to you, you had no argument with any of the facts presented in the moveon.org ad. You just object to Patraeus being referred to as “Betray us” in the ad’s title.

Did you know that English generals have been calling him General Betrayus in ads for a long time now? With no objection from anyone? In a country that doesn’t even have free speech?

The moment Bush picked general Petraeus to defend his Iraq strategy he chose to politicize his command. This means people are free to question his motives. No one’s questioning his integrity on the battlefield, just in his defense of his boss’s plan.

Hillary is not popular with the far left. They’ve attacked her moderate stance on pulling out from Iraq. They’ve campaigned against her. She’s hardly their tool. This is obviously a questoin of free speech and our right to question those defending the surge.

I think it’s despicable the way your party hides behind the flag rather than discussing the issue. Your made Kerry looking French into a soundbite. You elected a president with a slogan that he’d be a great guy to have a beer with. Don’t make this into more than it is.

Defend Patraeus’ arguments fair and square. If you have a problem with moveon.org, take issue with the facts they presented, not some soundbite title.

If this guy is being anything less than honest with us about how well the surge is working, than I can think of a lot worse things to call him than a betrayer.

Posted by: Max at September 23, 2007 11:41 PM
Comment #234114

I’m surprised to hear so much about the grave wrongs done by Bush in regard to the Swiftvets…

Although he certainly should have been out there loudly condemning them when right before the election they tried to smear his opponent’s military record with forged documents. Does anybody else remember the details of that?

Petreaus’s great crime is that when asked about the details of the military campaign which he is leading, he answered them without first checking his answers against the Democratic Party’s 2008 election plan. How dare he present facts and figures without first clearing them with Howard Dean and Chuck Schumer?

The complaint is not that his remarks were political (because they weren’t). It’s that neutrally presented facts and figures cause problems for the Democrats and their attempts to grab political power.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 23, 2007 11:44 PM
Comment #234115

Lee,
“The “Bush lied” line has been effective but it was always false…”

Intelligence was fixed to support the policy. Intelligence provided by the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Niji Sabri, stating there were no WMDs, was disregarded because it did not support the policy. It was never included in the NIE, prior to the war, and although Sabri was a on the CIA payroll, this information was never reported to Congress.

Reliable information which contradicted the policy was minimized or ignored. Information supporting it, no matter how dubious, was presented as certain to the American people.

I suppose one could argue Bush never personally donned cloak & dagger, infiltrated Tikrit, and checked for himself. But a president delegates authority, not responbility. In addition, Bush apparently found the suppliers of his information acceptable. In the aftermath of the invasion, no one was fired.

That is pretty amazing, when you think about it. A country goes to war. The justifications prove false. And no one is fired. Not one person.

Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense of Policy, eventually was asked for his resignation. He did not leave the Office of Special PLans until August 2005.

But let us move on, shall we?

Last year, Bush stated 14 times that we were “winning” in Iraq. “Unquestionably winning.” Those statements were baldfaced lies, contravening well known, documented trends in Iraq. It took the November 2006 midterms for Bush to stop lying like this.

Posted by: phx8 at September 23, 2007 11:59 PM
Comment #234117

Phx8, whether Bush thought we were “winning” or not is neither a “lie” or a “truth.” It is an opinion.

If we go on to either succeed of fail in Iraq, those who predicted whichever outcome we see won’t be those who told the “truth” about what they believed what would happen and what was happening. They will be those who followed through and made their vision for Iraq a reality. For Bush, this is a stable and democratic Iraq. For Democrats, this is a genocidal hell ruled by Al Qaida and a defeat for the Armed Forces of the United States that can be pinned on their domestic political enemies and milked for votes.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 24, 2007 12:15 AM
Comment #234118

LO,
“… Neutrally presented facts and figures…”?

Hardly. An independent source might be neutral. The NIE, GAO Report, and the Jones report all contradicted the picture painted by General Petraeus. He has a vested interest in presenting the surge as successful. And, he has a history of claiming successes in his previous position- overseeing training for Iraqi security forces- which proved to be untrue.

“Helping organize, train and equip nearly a quarter-million of Iraq’s security forces is a daunting task. Doing so in the middle of a tough insurgency increases the challenge enormously, making the mission akin to repairing an aircraft while in flight — and while being shot at. Now, however, 18 months after entering Iraq, I see tangible progress. Iraqi security elements are being rebuilt from the ground up.”

“The institutions that oversee them are being reestablished from the top down. And Iraqi leaders are stepping forward….there has been progress in the effort to enable Iraqis to shoulder more of the load for their own security, something they are keen to do.”

Petraeus wrote this in a WaPo op-ed 9/26/04, six weeks before the election. His claims of success were wildly wrong, and it would certainly be fair to question his political neutrality, given the timing of the infamous editorial.

This article from WaPo goes into considerable detail about doubts over the information provided by the General this time around:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/05/AR2007090502466.html

Posted by: phx8 at September 24, 2007 12:20 AM
Comment #234128

Lee Jamison-
Well, as it turned out and contrary to what many Republicans allege, the Wilson’s didn’t out themselves, and administration figures were involved in disseminating that information. They seem to have done so on purpose. They weren’t prosecuted, but outing a covert agent should be considered a bad idea whether one gets prosecuted for it or not.

This has been a long sordid affair in which there were significant intelligence failures and numerous instances of people within the intelligence community actively undermining the sitting president they have sworn an oath to serve.

Check the actual oaths these people take. It’s not the president they swear loyalty to. Why would you think they’re supposed to be loyal to him? They’re supposed to be loyal to the constitution.

You claim to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Joe Wilson intentionally contrived the report to undermine the President. Joe Wilson, though, worked for his father, and for Reagan, and in fact had no problem with taking out Saddam. He made a name for himself by responding to a threat by Saddam to execute him if he didn’t turn over staff by showing up at a news conference with a rope around his neck saying that if Saddam made good on his threat, he’d bring his own f-ing noose.

He did brief the people in the CIA on the matter, and it was their report to write up, and it would be more than a year before he would speak up, and only after Bush made his dubious claim.

And yes, it was dubious. The letter was a forgery. Whatever spin Republicans like yourself put on it, documents experts looking at it practically laughed at it, it was so bad. Claims that the White paper by the British backs it up neglect one important fact: the White paper was based on the letter. There never was a deal, and never could be, as Wilson’s information about the mines would confirm. You could confirm interest, but the letter confirmed commerce, a breach in the armor of the containment of Saddam Hussein. It says something that the CIA was taking out that information before Bush took it to the SOTU address, and that his people were reinserting it over the CIA’s objection.

These are documented facts. If anybody’s lying or misinformed, it’s those who are contradicting them, years after they came to light.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 24, 2007 8:48 AM
Comment #234139


Jack: are you really that scared of Hillary? Don’t you have confidence in the ability of the Republican slime machine to take her down? Do you think the Republicans should draft Petraeus in 08 to go against her or wait and let him announce his candidacy in 2012? Considering the quality of the Republican candidates, it might be in the party’s best interest to draft him now. After all, his surge has worked so well and we are so close to success that even a mediocre general can mop up.

Posted by: jlw at September 24, 2007 11:41 AM
Comment #234148

Jack,

I don’t think it is a matter of being ok or not ok to speak out and disagree with a military officer that is the issue here. I think we are all just numb with all the liberal hate we have been constantly bombarded with for the last few years!!!!!!! Every time we disagree with the bush crime family we are called traitors!!!!!!!! So it is not out of the realm of possibility that bush is using a military officer as a political pawn!!!!!!!

This is just another cheap trick by bush to keep things the way they are until he his gone!!!!!!!!

I can not honestly think of one thing that bush and cheney have done that has not been a crime, or a give away for his corporate welfare program.

This Petraeus thing is just one more wing nut smokescreen to keep us from addressing the blood for oil program the bush crime family is running!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Outraged at September 24, 2007 12:13 PM
Comment #234149

To get this thread back on target…

Yes, Hillary will be the next Democratic presidential nominee. Her very carefully scripted comments by very professional handlers makes her unbeatable. No commitments, no errors, no mistakes and no faux pas. She’s a shoe-in. Then, in November 2008, for the very same reasons as above, Hillary will be our next president.

It’s a done deal. Get used to it.

Posted by: Jim T at September 24, 2007 12:20 PM
Comment #234162

Done Deal?

Jim T, the political make up of the country just doesn’t support that optimism.

The democrats will most likely vote for her. The republicans will vote for the republican candidate.

It will be the independants, libertarians, greens and others that will decide. And I can tell you that it is NOT a done deal concerning those individuals. In fact, the spectre of ‘Bush - Clinton - Bush - Clinton…’ may be too much for them to stomache.

And, it may be that optimism you display that turns out to be her downfall.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 24, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #234164

Rhinehold, my guess is Jim T is engaging in reverse psychology. Sentiment toward Republicans is overwhelmingly negative, therefore, if Republicans say Hillary is a shoe in, get used to it, voters tired of Republicans dictating things, may consider Obama or Edwards instead, just to stick it to Republicans. But, I could be wrong. However, the Republican media is singing the same tune as Jim T, so, maybe I’m not.

When Republicans get on a talking point, there’s usually a strategy behind it somewhere, Rovian or otherwise. But, Jim T said she would be the nominee. Though the polls at this point go in that direction, there are some shifting sands within those polls that may prove quick for Hillary come January.

You are absolutely right about the third party and independent voters determining the President in November ‘08. And they are leaning hard toward the Democrats as of current polling. But, we are a long way from ‘08’s November, and as you say, a one party government is not a preference of Independent voters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 2:53 PM
Comment #234173

This is a derail, and I apologize in advance. However, it was brought up so….

**DRUDGE EXCLUSIVE**

President Bush, for the first time, is predicting that Barack Obama will be defeated in the Democratic presidential primaries by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“She’s got a national presence and this is becoming a national primary,” Bush tells author Bill Sammon in the bombshell book, EVANGELICAL PRESIDENT, set for release Monday. “And therefore the person with the national presence, who has got the ability to raise enough money to sustain an effort in a multiplicity of sites, has got a good chance to be nominated.”

Breaking his vow not to play “pundit-in-chief” in the 2008 presidential race, Bush tells Sammon that Clinton ultimately will be defeated in the general election by the Republican nominee.

“I think our candidate can beat her, but it’s going to be a tough race,” the president predicted in an Oval Office interview. “I will work to see to it that a Republican wins, and therefore don’t accept the premise that a Democrat will win. I truly think the Republicans will hold the White House.”

MORE

Current and former Bush advisers sounded less certain. “It’s going to be a very close election,” said Karl Rove, who until this month was the president’s top political strategist. “We are at this very narrow divide in politics.”

The election “could go either way,” Vice President Cheney told Sammon, senior White House correspondent for the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, which will begin running excerpts from the book Monday. “Right now, we’re sort of in the area where we’re pretty evenly balanced on both sides.”

As for Obama, a senior White House official said the freshman senator from Illinois was “capable” of the intellectual rigor needed to win the presidency but instead relies too heavily on his easy charm.

“It’s sort of like, ‘that’s all I need to get by,’ which bespeaks sort of a condescending attitude towards the voters,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And a laziness, an intellectual laziness.”

Wow - A Bush official calls OBama intellectually lazy? Whoah! I don’t know what’s going on either - maybe Bush is just stating the obvious as far as Hillary is concerned, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some strategy behind the remarks either. It seems like there always is one…

Posted by: Max at September 24, 2007 4:15 PM
Comment #234176

I’m not using reverse anything.

It’s a fact of life that we, as conservatives, are going to have to live with. Hillary is going to be the next president of the U.S.

I don’t see her making any mistakes OR making the Nixonian mistake of “looking bad” on TV.

Her centrist (whether heartfelt or not) stances will hit the “sitting on the fencers” right where they live and it will be all over but the crying.

Voters will reject Rudy for several reasons (divorces not being the least of them) and Thompson will run out of gas and enthusiasm in the home stretch.

Just get used to it. President Hillary Rodham Clinton. Start practicing it.

Actually, it might be the best thing for the conservatives of this country. Her presidency will unite them and crystalize their sence of purpose. After all, when you make a sword, you have to forge it in fire. It could be just the thing conservatives need and deserve.

Posted by: Jim T at September 24, 2007 5:34 PM
Comment #234179


Jim T: After watching a composit of Hillary’s performance on all the talk shows yesterday, I think you are absolutely right about her chances of being President. I think she is going to be appealing to a broad spectrum of voters without alienating the left.

No matter which of the candidates the Republicans choose to go against her, he will not be able to compete with her as the candidate which most represents a change in direction for the country. Although he didn’t endorse her, even Brett Hume at Fox said he was impressed with her performance and that she was going to be a formidable candidate.

There is still a ways to go and a lot can happen before the primaries as well as the general election.

If Clinton is elected, her performance will determine how long the Republicans will have to wait for another opportunity at the Presidency and control of the Congress. If she gets her health care plan passed and gets Congress to become more fiscally responsible, It could be a generation before Republicans get another opportunity to run the country. Also, if she gets a half decent outcome in Iraq and is able to withdraw most if not all of our troops she will get all the credit for rescuing George Bush’s failed policy.

Posted by: jlw at September 24, 2007 6:39 PM
Comment #234184

The left is already alienated.

Divorces are not a big problem, I seem to remember Reagan being a divorcee…

Everyone ignores the baggage that she carries and while many might want to see their representatives be progressive, they demand the CIC be tough foreign policy-wise.

As for losing to Guiliani, she would have during her first run at the Senate if Guiliani hadn’t pulled out of the race. And this was before 9/11…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 24, 2007 7:53 PM
Comment #234189

Jim T, I am an Independent, and I will not vote for Hillary. In the absence of a third party or independent candidate my vote will go to Obama, Biden, or Richardson in the Primary, not Hillary. I don’t believe candidates should be able to buy the media as the primary means of winning election.

I also think, Clinton turned out to be a competent president according to Democrats precisely BECAUSE he had a moderating Republican Congress. I look back and try to picture where our country would be today if Clinton had a Democratic Congress, and I don’t like what I envision.

Which for me, raises fears of a Hillary Clinton Presidency, given that the Congress will remain in Democratic Control. Insuring everyone without first hammering down health care costs, is a prescription for national bankruptcy. Hillary absolutely has this backwards.

I may be forced to vote for the Republican candidate in the absence of any other option but Hillary, provided that Republican candidate will not be looking for a war to call his own. I may be an extreme minority independent in my thinking, time and the election will tell.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 8:37 PM
Comment #234192

DR
If W. Clinton had a Dem congress we would have national healthcare by now. There is a lot more that could have been acomplished.

Posted by: BillS at September 24, 2007 8:55 PM
Comment #234200

Bills,

And we would be more bankrupt now, not to mention criminalizing doctors and paitents who attempted to work outside of the system, that it would make our current financial distresses seems trivial.

There is a difference between everyone having access to healthcare (which they do now) and everyone having health insurance (which should be a personal choice, not law).

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 24, 2007 9:51 PM
Comment #234204

Woody

Thanks for the honest answer. I believe there is a difference between a soldier trying to do his job and a politician trying to convince people that he is the man you should vote for over other candidates.

When Kerry and Bush competed, both were victims of smears. Dems mention swiftboats; Republicans remember RaTHergate. This is politics. Politics is personal by its very nature.

General Patreaus took an oath to support the Constitution. President Bush is his commander in chief. He is bound to obey any lawful order. It would not be a lawful order to lie to Congress, which is what moveon.org says.

There are many opinions about Iraq. The situation is changing very rapidly. Many points of view could be correct, depending on exactly when and where you look. As recently as a couple of months ago, Moveon.org’s account probably was right. Today, not so much.

General Patreus gave a balance account that detailed the pros and cons. Moveon.org had already formed a more politically correct opinion and disliked the corrective. The General based his opinion on what he saw. Moveon.org based its opinion on what they read that others had heard based on what somebody claimed to have seen. The General understands war. Moveon.org understand hype and hate. Everybody can choose who to believe.

BillS

Clinton had a Dem Congress for the first two years. Hillary care was one of the things that wiped them out.

Posted by: Jack at September 24, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #234210

Attacks against “same-sect civilians,” U.S. forces, the Iraqi government or Iraqi security forces “are excluded and not defined as sectarian attacks.” So even though Sunni insurgent groups loathe the Shiite-controlled government, insurgent attacks on it aren’t considered sectarian violence.

That doesn’t sound right, does it? The president gave this man a political appointment to defend his case - he can be challenged, questioned, and criticized. This is America.

Posted by: Max at September 24, 2007 10:22 PM
Comment #234211

Max

He can be challenged. He should be questioned. Everybody is subject to criticism. Moveon.org moved on to personal attacks with a childish rhyme on top of it. They have no honor.

Posted by: Jack at September 24, 2007 10:42 PM
Comment #234215

Jack

Hillary need not apologize for Move On. She had nothing to do with the ad. I also am not aware of her supporting Move On.

To date I don’t recall the neo-con movement as having attempted to change our right to free speech. Only our ability to keep it private. The condemnation of that ad was sickening and in all fairness it was a stab at our freedom of speech liberties. Imo congress overstepped its bounds in the interest of politics. I see that action as much more disturbing than the move on ad itself.

In light of the past I fail to see how the party of sleaze can have the balls to raise their ugly heads and cry foul with any conviction. You speak as though Petraeus is some sort of God. This is not Rome and he certainly is no Julius Ceasar. He has the misfortune of serving under a CIC with no credibility and a horrible track record of knowingly appointing only those who are willing to serve his strict agenda and represent only his views. Because the latter is very well known it is easy to understand why most approach anything this president, his staff, republican congress and generals do or say with apprehension. I have said it before and I will say it again. Bush has not earned nor does he deserve our trust. He and his arrogant, incompetent, power motivated cronies squandered it all away long ago. As a result those who cater to him are also naturally suspect.

Posted by: RickIL at September 24, 2007 10:50 PM
Comment #234225

BillS, one party government under Democrats or Republicans leads to excesses and abuses of incredible proportion. Have the last several years not been ample evidence of that? If not, then return to the LBJ years or Carter years. One party government, given these two are the only parties in play, is very bad for America. Now, if there were a Common Sense party sharing power, such that no single party had majority control of Congress, pragmatism and common sense would be found in greater abundance in the halls of our Federal government as checks and balances against excesses would be restored closer to what they were intended to be, before the advent of political parties (George Washington’s term of office).

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 25, 2007 12:10 AM
Comment #234226


The first person to refer to General Patreaus as General Betrayus in a public forum was Rush Limbaugh in January 2007. If the add about Patreaus was an attack on the military then so to was the attack on Kerry. The military investigated the insidents in which Kerry was wounded before giving him the Purple Hearts.

Only a Bushite would dare compare Bush’s military exploits with Kerry’s. Bush used his father to bump someone off the TANG list to open a slot for him. As a pilot, Bush was a total wash out. It was a big waste of taxpayers dollars. It takes a lot of money to train a pilot.

Posted by: jlw at September 25, 2007 12:14 AM
Comment #234244
General Patreus gave a balance account that detailed the pros and cons…The General based his opinion on what he saw.

Jack

“The level of incidence” General Petraeus reports were reduced to June 2006 levels. Which is perhaps an accomplishment for General Petraeus, but it points out the total failure of Bush’s previous policies. We have to remember this surge was not the result of the President’s dissatisfaction with what was being achieved. The surge was in response to the voters increasing dissatisfaction with Bush’s handling of the war.

I see tangible progress. Iraqi security elements are being rebuilt from the ground up.
The institutions that oversee them are being reestablished from the top down. And Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country …

By David H. Petraeus
The Washinton Post, Sunday, September 26, 2004

Are these the words of a person who we are expected to trust without question? Especially when one considers he wrote these words three years ago. To suggest General Petraeus should be immune to political attack is ludicrous. Since when does being in the military give someone immunity to critique? Since when does somebody who writes Op Ed. not subject to political scrutiny? Since when has the position of being General and Commander of a multinational force not in part political?

The Congress and the President made Petraeus’s position even more political by requiring him to come and make his report in front of Congress. General Petraeus made the political rounds on different TV shows because of the political nature of his position. He seems to understand what is expected of him, and it is only the Republicans and the President who wish to hide behind his coattail that seems to have a problem. If they don’t want to make Petraeus a target, they should step out from behind him. The MoveOn add had a “?” behind the words “Betray Us.” It is the Republicans who are replacing the “?” with an “!”.

Posted by: Cube at September 25, 2007 4:10 AM
Comment #234245

Jack,

A fine point: I wouldn’t exactly call Gen. Petraeus a “soldier”. That is rather like calling the CEO of General Motors an “auto worker”. He is giving orders, not going house-to-house with a rifle.

Posted by: Woody Mena at September 25, 2007 7:48 AM
Comment #234247

Woody,

The CEO of General Motors may go weeks without seeing an unfinished automobile. General Petraeus sees what is happeneing in Iraq up close. He is as much or more a target of the enemy in-country as Iraq’s civilian leadership. De-humanize his position as commander if you must for your psychological comfort, but doing so does not help anyone understand the situation in Iraq any better.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 25, 2007 8:58 AM
Comment #234248

Lee, now, it has been a long time since I was in the military, but, back then, the military ordered Generals and the like, to protect the taxpayer’s investment in their generals, and CIC’s didn’t ask their top Generals of like mind to take unnecessary chances.

Perhaps today’s military squanders the millions spent on Generals by asking them to take forward positions along with expendable Lieutenants and Captain’s who cost far, far less and who have vastly less time in service and experience. The Pentagon has no problem wasting taxpayer’s dollars and investments in countless other ways.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 25, 2007 9:05 AM
Comment #234249

Cube quoted:

I see tangible progress. Iraqi security elements are being rebuilt from the ground up.

The institutions that oversee them are being reestablished from the top down. And Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country …

Sounds like everything up to this point was a failure and Petraeus is saying we are starting over from scratch. If this were a house he were talking about, that would be the implication of his words, new foundation and designs from the top down for the rough framing and floor plan layout.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 25, 2007 9:09 AM
Comment #234250


General Patreaus has political ambitions. Because of this the general has injected himself into the political forum. He is fair game.

Posted by: jlw at September 25, 2007 9:09 AM
Comment #234296

I find it amazing you can say the content of the ad, that the general has distorted the numbers of those killed in Iraq before, is of no issue to you, but the stupid rhyme on top of the ad is. The honorable thing to do for the Republican party would be to address these claims, not make a red herring out of the title.

Posted by: Max at September 25, 2007 1:47 PM
Comment #358749

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