Sunday, August 24, 2008

Shuffletown Players

With Kevin Drum moving over to Mother Jones and Steve Benen moving from Carpetbagger Report to take Kevin's place at Washington Monthly's Political Animal, I'd thought I'd update the links on the side and see what they had to say about O-biden. First, Kevin's new digs:
This is just bizarre. Has any presidential candidate ever before run an ad mocking his opponent for not choosing a particular running mate?

I think the folks running McCain's war room are getting cabin fever or something. But who knows? Maybe an attack ad this transparent will be just the thing to finally get all those ex-Hillary supporters fully on board with Obama. Sort of the way trash talk from the Yankees ends up on the front page of the Boston Globe and fires up even fair weather Red Sox fans. That's pretty much how it would affect me, anyway.
Point taken. This whole thing may backfire and blow up in everyone's face.

And at PA, Steve's still working his magic as he takes on Bill Kristol's lovefest for poor Hillary:

As part of Kristol's "argument" -- I use the word loosely -- the Weekly Standard editor insists that it's outrageous Hillary Clinton wasn't considered for the ticket, especially given that she and Biden "have basically comparable foreign policy 'experience.'"

The transparently shameless stunt here is for far-right Republicans to incite as much intra-party tensions among Democrats as humanly possible. Indeed, it's not just Kristol. Republicans are hoping, desperately, to drive a wedge between Hillary Clinton's supporters and the candidate Hillary Clinton agrees with, enthusiastically endorsed, and continues to campaign on behalf of.

A few thoughts. First, it's fascinating to see Kristol suddenly become a feminist. He's never expressed any interest in gender equality before, but I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

Second, given Kristol's new-found interest in feminism, I'm sure he'll devote another column soon to decrying Republicans' aversion to promoting women into positions of political power.

And third, James Joyner notes, "Stoking the lingering resentments of the Hillary camp is probably smart politics, although doing it so brazenly could backfire and cause more of them to realize that they're playing into the Republicans' hands."

And so it goes. Good to have both of them still around...we're going to need them as we head into the heart of darkness ahead.

So It's Live And Let Live From Clinton, Right?

The 800-pound plaid hedgehog in the room that nobody's talking about is "What will Hillary's supporters do about O-biden"? Will they accept the ticket and work to help it win, or will they go to the dark side and put McSame in the White House in order to give Hillary a shot in 2012?

It seems like an unusually cynical and downright cruel thing to ask. After all, Hillary's a Democrat. But the fact remains only about half of her supporters are behind Obama right now. And there's increasing evidence that the Clinton camp and their supporters are going to make O-biden pay.
Evan as Hillary Clinton praised the newly-minted Democratic presidential ticket Saturday, some in her circle are furious Barack Obama did not appear to give the New York Democrat serious consideration for the No. 2 spot, or even ask for her consultation on the matter.

"Set aside that Obama said she'd be on anybody's short list, set aside anybody's feelings on whether she was deliberately snubbed and the pros and cons of whether it should be her," a former Clinton strategist told CNN's Candy Crowley. "Focus on the politics of it and you have about a quarter of Clinton loyalists still not joining the caravan…for God's sake, not to even make a show of taking her seriously is flatly stupid."

A top Clinton advisor also told CNN they were "outraged," over how the process was conducted.

"You can't put [Obama VP vetters] Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy on an hour plane ride to Chappaqua just to check the box? They should have done it just for the optics," this person said. "Barack never even said to her, 'Here's how I envision the job'– not one discussion with her about [the position]."

"They thought her supporters were mad before? They are really mad now," this person also said. We knew it was never going to happen but you would have thought they might at least make a show of it."

What the hell is going on here? Do the Clinton surrogates have no sense of shame or even political propriety? And while Hillary herself is solidly behind Joe Biden and Barack Obama, some voters are most certainly not.
"This is a voter's revolt," said Darragh Murphy, who founded Puma PAC, a pro-Clinton political action committee whose acronym stands for People United Means Action.

Polls suggest Obama's narrow national lead is all but disappearing amid attacks from a newly aggressive and disciplined McCain campaign. One reason for this appears to be that barely half of Clinton's supporters plan to vote for Obama, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last week. With the last two presidential elections decided by a small number of voters in swing states, Obama needs a unified party to win in November.

Puma PAC is among a multitude of pro-Clinton groups that formed online to protest a variety of issues, including perceived media bias and flaws in the primary process. In Denver, Murphy's group plans to show the premiere of an unfinished movie, "The Audacity of Democracy," and is cosponsoring a protest and candlelight salute to Clinton tomorrow. Another group, PUMA 08, will coordinate communication between its members and the press, and provide a home base for bloggers who support Clinton.

A separate organization, 18 Million Voices Rise Hillary Rise, is calling on Clinton supporters to join a march and gathering celebrating Clinton's achievements and the 88th anniversary of women's suffrage on Tuesday.

Democratic analysts downplay the significance of the demonstrators because Clinton's top aides and prominent supporters have shunned them. But analysts are aware they could be a distraction.

"I think the vast majority of the Hillary folks did fall in love with Hillary - and now are certainly falling in line with Obama," said Democratic strategist Chris Lehane. "Having said that, there's going to be the largest gathering of press outside of Beijing in Denver this week, with all of them on a hair-trigger for the slightest sign of dissonance and conflict. . . . It has all the elements of a tinderbox environment."
The goal for O-Biden at the Denver convention tomorrow is to bury the hatchet with these voters, but it's going to be a tightrope walk. The Village will be looking for any excuse to make the Democrats seem inept, broken, and weak. They always do. And the GOP is already making the pitch to disaffected Hillary voters.
In a blistering new ad, John McCain’s campaign accused Barack Obama of passing over Hillary Clinton as his running mate because she pointed out his flaws during the Democratic primaries.

Obama announced Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential pick Saturday, following reports that Clinton was not even vetted for the job.

McCain’s ad capitalizes on the lingering tension between Obama and Clinton’s supporters, with just one day remaining until the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

“She won millions of votes. But isn’t on his ticket. Why? For speaking the truth,” the narrator in the ad says.

The ad then quotes Clinton criticizing Obama for being vague and “increasingly negative.”

“The truth hurt. And Obama didn’t like it,” the narrator says.

The subtext, as subtle as a 20-pound sledgehammer to the privates, is "Screw O-biden! Vote McSame!"

Let's get one thing perfectly straight, folks. This is an organized effort from the beginning to sink Obama. The Clinton camp allowing this kind of stuff to air publicly on the weekend before the convention is proof enough for me that Hillary Plan 2012 is on...and the speed at which these pro-Hillary groups have organized for Denver all but locks it down as the plan all along. As the Clinton people say, they knew it wasn't going to be her from the start. They made no effort to disabuse the Village or their voters of the hope that she was going to be Obama's pick. Hillary could have put an end to it, but chose not to.

So instead of Hillary Clinton being the bridge to unite the party behind O-biden, now Hillary Clinton will become the wedge the GOP hopes to drive into the heart of the Democrats in 2008 and split off enough voters to give McSame a fighting chance in November. The Villiage may be aiding and abetting the GOP's tactics...but so is Hillary.

She's working for the other side now. She has been since became clear she wasn't going to win back in early May. The Clintons will make no real effort to help O-Biden. Surrogates will continue to attack Obama in front of the Village while Hillary professes her undying support. The GOP will continue to feature her in attack ads. It's the same tactics we'd expect the GOP to pull. Any attempt to denounce Hillary will only draw further attacks from not the Clintons, but the Village talking heads and the GOP coming to her defense.

Hillary knows she has a shot in 2016. But she knows she has a better shot in 2012. All she has to do is screw over America to get it. Strap in, kids. It's gonna be an ugly week. You need a scorecard to keep track of the good guys and bad guys, and Hillary falls directly into the latter.

Cross-posted at BooMan Tribune.

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