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February 12, 2008

Sympathy for the Clintons
Posted by Teresa at 06:17 PM * 164 comments

It’s grieved me to see the Clintons behave poorly. I figure they’re going to behave worse before the election’s over, and have years to regret it afterward. But right now, they’re in the middle of a political campaign, and their job is to fight. (Y’all have more than once gotten angry at candidates in that position who haven’t fought when they should.)

The political commentariat knew Obama would be a candidate. Some of them thought he’d be a remarkable one. But what the whole Obama thing has grown into, what it may yet become—that, they didn’t foresee. Did anyone, with the possible exception of Barack Obama? So we’re all astonished. The difference between Hillary and the rest of us is, we haven’t bet everything we have on a different outcome.

Hillary Clinton is a good politician and a good candidate, but she’s getting run down by a historic freight train. It’s a strange and tragic thing that she and her husband should both get hit by those. In her case, it’s coming from within her own party. And right now, it’s not her job to see that what’s bearing down on her is a different kind of power.

She and Bill will at times behave gracelessly while it’s happening. We’ll all regret it. But if those two didn’t fight back and keep fighting under pressure, very little of the good they’ve accomplished in their political lives would ever have happened.

Lots of things get called tragedies that don’t really qualify. This one does. Consider taking a break to be quiet and watch.

Comments on Sympathy for the Clintons:
#1 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:10 PM:

When the dust from the 2000 election settled, I had hoped that Hillary Clinton would be the candidate in 2004. I hoped that again after the Kerry campaign turned into a defeat -- after Bush pulled out all the stops on the theme of terror, and made it seem as if he was the only alternative to a worldwide victory for Osama bin Ladin. Over the past year, I've moved from seeing Hillary Clinton as the inevitable Democrat, to seeing Barack Obama as the candidate who best represents hope for a future world of honour and decency. That does not mean that I do not have respect for her as a woman and as a politician.

#2 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:11 PM:

Hillary's historical moment came in 2004 when she decided not to run. She took a pass, maybe because she didn't feel she was experienced enough, or probably more likely because she didn't think she could beat Bush. But when you're a politician there's really only one moment, and I think Hillary is going to regret taking a pass. The Clintons are great in the moment, parsing and taking the pulse of America, but they are extremely bad at seeing the future. They just didn't see Obama (or someone like him) coming.

In 2004 maybe we did need a Clinton to mop up after another Bush. In 2008 we're just hoping for something new and fresh and possibly amazing.

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:22 PM:

Nathan: Sure. I can go along with that. I'm saying that no one else saw the future any better than the Clintons, and they're out there on the point of happening history where it really hurts.

Proverbially, all political careers end in tears. Part of that is being unable to know when the blow will fall. The other part is knowing when it will fall, and not being able to do a thing about it. If neither of those conditions is met, it's not over, and the crying is still to come.

#4 ::: Evan Goer ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:37 PM:

You really think it's over already? Speaking as someone who has been pleased to see Obama's recent string of victories, I remain unconvinced that Clinton's moment has slipped away. She still has a number of states coming up where she is very popular and Obama is not. She still has the superdelegates. And she's still holding the Michigan and Florida Thermal Detonator.

#5 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:37 PM:

I keep getting phone calls from people wanting money for me to help fund Clinton and Obama duking it out. What I want to fund is defeating REPUBLICANS.

#6 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:43 PM:

I've been swamped at work and don't have much time to see the news.

Is this in response to some particular incident, or just general goings on?

#7 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:44 PM:

I'm screaming with frustration here.

I really do think Obama is the most-likely-to-get-elected candidate in this race. I've been seriously underwhelmed by Clinton's record as a legislator.

And today the Senate voted on the telecom bill and Clinton abstained from voting while Obama voted to keep the telecom immunity provision and extra added spying goodness.

That strange new pop song you hear wafting through the ether is the sound of me screaming while I rhythmically beat my head into the desk.

#8 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:45 PM:

I voted for Obama today, and NBC has just called Virginia for him. They say it's too close to call between McCain and Huckabee. The interesting part of the Democratic poll was that more women, more independents, and more Republicans voted for Obama (according to polls).

DC will almost certainly go for Obama, but it and Maryland haven't closed polls yet.

#9 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:49 PM:

I'm apparently also screaming in stupidity. I didn't double-check sources. Neither Obama nor Clinton voted today, but Obama had previously voted against telecom immunity.

#10 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:52 PM:

She's bet everything?

Isn't she still a US senator, even if she loses? At least for the next four years? And even if she loses that seat, won't she still have a lucrative career ahead of her as a lobbyist, or a speaker? Won't she still be able to write (or maybe even have ghost-written and just sign her name on) a book and get an advance that's more money than most of us will see in our lives?

And won't she and Bill still have enough wealth and connections to work powerfully for political change outside of the DC Beltway, as Al Gore did?

If that's failure, who needs success?

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:56 PM:

Zak: Good correction, though Patrick says Obama did vote today. I'm curious: what was your source?

Jim Macdonald and I have been exchanging notes on the waves of misinformation you see when you're moderating a major site.

#12 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:57 PM:

I don't know if this belongs here, but I would like to note one oddity. We got a mailer today, urging us to vote for Hillary Clinton in the February 5 primary. This is the third, post-primary mailer we've got from the Clinton campaign. Either the United States Postal Service is doing a more than usually sloppy job, or the Clinton campaign machine has been slipping.

#13 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:58 PM:

Avram, I don't require full martyrdom for anyone outside the current administration.

#14 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 07:59 PM:

I think '04 was too soon for HRC to run. Democrats needed to show that Clintons weren't all they had to offer, and Gore had first dibs anyhow. If Gore had won in '00, I don't think we'd have seen Hillary try to run at all.

#15 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:01 PM:

Teresa, surely you don't mean to imply that anyone in the current administration would be martyred when they get their just deserts, if they ever do?

#16 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:01 PM:

"Neither Obama nor Clinton voted today"

Zack, you're still wrong. Obama voted today, and he voted against telecom immunity.

How many people will now have read your 100%-backward first comment, but neither your followup nor mine? How hard would it have been to look up the facts before you propagated a complete whopper?

#17 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:02 PM:

Evan, I don't think the campaign for the Democratic nomination is over yet. The Democratic electorate, so far, is too evenly split between the two of them. However, I can't imagine that the superdelegates will commit themselves such that they swing the result away from the popularly elected result. (I can only only imagine them choosing to make a difference if Clinton and Obama are effectively tied in the delegate count.) I also have a hard time imagining that Clinton would detonate the FL and MI time bombs. She's too smart to win the nomination in a way that would doom her presidential campaign.

Having said that, I don't think the Democrats can afford to write off FL and MI. The bad will generated from not seating those delegates will hurt whoever becomes the Democratic candidate. A Washington Post commentary suggested that they vote again in June. (I'm not sure that's really any better...)

(Of course, as I wrote this, washingtonpost.com called VA for Obama...)

I totally agree with Teresa about the Clintons though.

#18 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:02 PM:

It looks like Obama was a non voter, only one of 3 along with Clinton and Graham.

#19 ::: Ulrika O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:02 PM:

Yes, it's a fair point that Democrats want fighters, and pols who won't fight are not what the party, or the country need right now. But being a fighter isn't enough. Picking your fights and conducting them well is at least as important.

And I don't agree that it's not Senator Clinton's job to spot what's in front of her, however unprecedented. The difference between a Chamberlain and a Churchill is just the ability to see what exactly is going on around you, precisely when it is unprecedented.

In 2002 I knew with better than 80% certainty that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction in any meaningful sense, that Iraq was not a threat to US national security, and that George Bush would rush to war given the tiniest glimmer of opportunity. The facts were available, even to a private citizen, with no staff. Hillary Clinton had staff, better tools to sift information, better sources of information, and far better and more personal reasons to fact-check the hell out of any claim coming from a Republican, yet still claims not to have known that Iraq was not a threat to the US, or that George Bush would take the authorization of force as a functional declaration of war. I see that as a failure of due diligence, a failure of clarity, and a failure of vision. This woman wants to be President of the United States. It damn well is her job to see and evaluate the facts on the ground and make good choices based on them. It certainly is her job to do due diligence.

Instead, she has a pattern of not doing it when it matters crucially.

Also, I don't notice Obama or Edwards getting a buy on graceless behavior under pressure. Why Clinton?

#20 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:03 PM:

Regarding the rassen-frassen telecom vote (starting to catch up on news sites), Susie Madrak writes:

I read early this morning that Hillary Clinton would be available for the FISA vote "if it was close." It wasn't, not even a little bit. So she did what the candidate who's trailing always does - she campaigned today. Nothing unusual or sinister about it, and no slap in the face of the Constitution. She would have been there for the vote if it mattered.
John Kerry did this all the time when he was running. The only people who complained about it were Republicans.

#21 ::: Elmer ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:05 PM:

Obama voted for the amendments to improve FISA, then missed the last vote which went 68-29. You can see the roll calls here; the final vote is #20 and the amendments are farther down. If your senators voted the wrong way consider giving them a call to state your displeasure (even if they are Republicans). Actually in previewing this I see it's already been corrected, but check out the votes and give your electeds a piece of your mind, it never hurts.

#22 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:05 PM:

I cross posted with you Patrick. There were two votes today, one on the amendment and one on the bill itself. I posted the results regarding passage of the bill not the amendment. Sorry for any confusion.

#23 ::: annalee flower horne ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:06 PM:

I just hope that Clinton has the grace to step aside when the freight train reaches the crossing. If she doesn't--if she tries to get the super-delegates to countermand the public will--it's going to be extremely messy. Messy enough, possibly, to derail the train, and leave one John McCain behind to pick up the pieces.

I'm not inclined to go ripping into her every ten minutes the way that some other Obama supporters are--If she wins the nomination, I'll happily vote for her. But if Obama has a majority of the pledged delegates and the super-delegates hand it to her over their heads, I'm worried that the bad aftertaste of the 2000 Florida fiasco is going to have a lot of people too busy spitting to show up at the polls.

#24 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:07 PM:

It's proper that Hillary fights for the Democratic nomination. I've been impressed at times with her spirited offense and defense during the debates. The problem, however, is how she fights. Tactics that alienate more voters than they attract obviously serve her poorly. Given the difficulty, sans hindsight, of knowing what works and how it'll be perceived by the electorate, perhaps the wisest tack is to act like a statesman, with grace, wit, and consideration.

#25 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:09 PM:

Teresa: Wired News on both counts.

It looks like the article was updated. Plus I'm starting to think that I got the incorrect version from a commenter somewhere. I read it first thing after getting out of bed and it was something of a spike to the forebrain.

Direct quote from the article:

"Neither Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York) nor Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) voted on the bill, though Obama did vote earlier in the day to support removing telecom immunity."

#26 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:11 PM:

I don't think this is a tragedy. This is a fight that will end with handshakes and (likely) her stumping for him or (unlikely) him stumping for her.

It's a campaign. Mean things get said. The Clintons aren't growing fangs and spitting venom, they're playing (fair, within-the-rules) hardball. Obama isn't exactly sitting back beatifically either.

#27 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:15 PM:

Patrick:

Consider me well and truly shamefaced over it. It was extra dumb on my part, and dumb in a way I've specifically been trying to address in my political views.

#28 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:15 PM:

Here's the full tally of roll call votes today on the wiretap bill; there were a bunch. Obama voted on all but the last one (which was the one to actually pass the bill). McCain voted on all of them. Clinton didn't vote on any of them.

Feinstein Amendment:
To provide a statement of the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance and interception of certain communications may be conducted.

Obama: Yea; McCain: Nay; Clinton: Did not vote.
Motion failed, 57-41. (60 votes were needed.)

Feingold Amendment:
To provide safeguards for communications involving persons inside the United States.

Obama: Yea; McCain: Nay; Clinton: Did not vote.
Motion failed, 35-63.

Dodd Amendment:
To strike the provisions providing immunity from civil liability to electronic communication service providers for certain assistance provided to the Government.

Obama: Yea; McCain: Nay; Clinton: Did not vote.
Motion failed, 31-67.

Feingold Amendment (another one):
To modify the requirements for certifications made prior to the initiation of certain acquisitions.

Obama: Yea; McCain: Nay; Clinton: Did not vote.
Motion failed, 37-60.

Specter amendment:
To provide for the substitution of the United States in certain civil actions. (I gather this means suits would be possible, but would be redirected to the US govt instead of the telcos.)

Obama: Yea; McCain: Nay; Clinton: Did not vote.
Motion failed, 30-68.

Feinstein amendment (another one):
To provide for the review of certifications by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Obama: Yea; McCain: Nay; Clinton: Did not vote.
Motion failed, 41-57.

Cloture motion:
To end debate and bring the bill as a whole to a vote.

Obama: Nay; McCain: Yea; Clinton: Did not vote.
Motion carried, 69-29. (60 votes were needed.)

Finally the vote to pass the bill:

Obama: Did not vote; McCain: Yea; Clinton: Did not vote.
Motion carried, 68-29.


Source: The US Senate "recent votes" page at

http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/a_three_sections_with_teasers/votes.htm

(Hit "more" to see past the latest 2 votes. You can also see how your own state's senators voted.)

#29 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:16 PM:

For what it's worth, I voted for Obama, mostly because Michael Chabon told me to. "Change" is the big buzzword for this election, and even John McCain represents a change from the current dysfunctional administration.

But the Republicans need to be dislodged from their infectious niches. Even with Bush gone, his agenda would continue to propagate.

I have been trying to avoid the fine points of distinctions between Democratic candidates because then I would have to tell you what I think is wrong with them. The Democratic party is just not going to deliver me a candidate wholly to my liking. In rough outline, both Obama and Clinton are about equally acceptable.

But to recycle a phrase in a different context, their issues are not the issues. Matters like military privatization should be central issues to this campaign, but past a certain point, no one wants to talk about that because using PMCs is so expedient, and no one wants to completely ditch that option. Getting us out of this war is considered radical enough.

This isn't to say that the candidates have taken no positions on this subject. Obama, for example, has apparently said that the presence of "contractors" in Iraq raises the risk to US troops, something I agree with. But it is possible that I could have asked around my household and elicited that opinion from my 10 year old son. I was hoping for something more advanced.

I am not impressed by the rumor mongering that Clinton is in bed with Blackwater via her campaign strategist because I am familiar -- through a completely bizarre connection -- with the PR firm. But neither am I satisfied that she won't make a lot of use of PMCs.

But the key point is that I am not the audience for either candidate.

Now, superficially it might seem like there is really very little difference between candidates, but I don't really think that is the case. But I have my priorities.

#30 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:16 PM:

Aha, two different votes.

#31 ::: Eric Scharf ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:19 PM:

Hillary Clinton is a good politician and a good candidate, but she’s getting run down by a historic freight train. It’s a strange and tragic thing that she and her husband should both get hit by those.

Forgive my density, but I'm genuinely uncertain what "historic freight train" you consider hit Bill Clinton. I can't think of anything remotely comparable to the groundswell of support for Obama.

#32 ::: which_chick ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:19 PM:

I've been voting in presidential elections since 1988 (George Bush Sr. presidency). This is the first election in which I have actually *wanted* to vote for a candidate. Assuming Mr. Obama makes it to the general election in November, I will vote for him.

I am not the same color as Mr. Obama. I am not the same gender as Mr. Obama. I do not believe in the God that Mr. Obama believes in. I do not even belong to Mr. Obama's political party -- I'm the loyal opposition. But if he makes it to the ballot in November, I will vote for Mr. Obama. He sold me with the speech he gave some time ago on the role of faith in public life. (It's here if anyone's interested.)

#33 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:21 PM:

BSD @26: That was a lot of bullshit for such a short post.

Name me three political figures who, once positioned as an enemy, Hillary (not Bill) has subsequently allied with again. I'd settle for two even...

I'd also be very surprised to find many people who think the race baiting, attempted delegate jury-rigging in MI/FL, and religious rumor-mongering is "fair, within the rules hardball".

I guess maybe if your viewpoint has only been shaped by the last two election cycles this one could be deemed "fairer" than those.

#34 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:22 PM:

FWIW, I'm still interested in what prompted the descriptions of Clintons "behav[ing] poorly" and "behav[ing] gracelessly"

That said, a quick language note:
When talking about the Senators/candidates, it's really only equitable to refer to them as Clinton and Obama or Hillary and Barack. Both first names or both last names.
At least one commenter referred to Hillary and Obama, which is... disempowering to the woman by treating her more familiarly.

It's a tough habit to break, particularly given media coverage, but it's also an insidious bias.

#35 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:24 PM:

Zak, I just read your last comment to Patrick. He unbent, laughed, and said "Hard to argue with that."

Chris, I meant that I'd require full martyrdom, bank balance and all, and done for the right reasons, before I'd call anything that happened to members of this administration a tragedy.

I'm sure George has long since decided that he's a tragic hero. I can live with that. It's part of his individual pattern of brain damage.

#36 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:29 PM:

analee #23: That's my take, too. If Clinton or Obama (not likely) wins because superdelegates override the vote of the actual elected/caucused delegates or some system-gaming involving fighting to get the dropped delegates seated, that will leave a *lot* of Democrats, including the many folks that Obama appears to be bringing to the polls anew, staying home or voting Nader/Green/someone but Hillary on election day.

Now, the fact is, she'll still get my vote come November, because I'd rather not plan on sending my (currently very small) boys off to hold down the glorious empire in Iraq. But right now, Democrats are getting a lot of turnout and Republicans aren't, largely (I think) because Republicans are disillusioned by the way their party has governed for the last seven years, many feel alienated by the party, and the candidates don't really inspire a lot of them. Disillusioning a whole bunch of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents with that kind of gaming of the nomination decision sounds like a hell of a good way to hand the white house back to the Republicans for four more years.

#37 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:29 PM:

Eric (31), what I have in mind in Bill Clinton's case is the extra-Constitutional power grab -- attempted coup, really -- staged by the Right.

Lance (33), legit points, but there's no need to state them that harshly or adversarially.

#38 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:30 PM:

Teresa @ 35... George has long since decided that he's a tragic hero

From a Greek Tragedy, or from Molière?

#39 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:36 PM:

Serge @ 38

You think George would knowingly associate himself with anything French (except Sarkozy?)

#40 ::: Eric Scharf ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:42 PM:

What I have in mind in Bill Clinton's case is the extra-Constitutional power grab -- attempted coup, really -- staged by the Right.

Okay, thanks. I was thrown by the gross dissimilarity in popular support between the attempted impeachment and Obama's run. Given that the coup failed, I wouldn't describe it as "historic" so much as "operatic."

#41 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:44 PM:

Lis Riba (#34): Since they are campaigning as "Hillary" and "Obama", I don't think it's unreasonable to refer to them each in that way. (I tend to believe that "your name is what you decide your name is".)

#42 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:44 PM:

Teresa: point taken, I'm sorry for getting out of line.

BSD: The tone and tenor of my comments were completely unwarranted. I apologize for the character of my response. I have no desire to spark a flame war so please don't let my comments affect your future posts in any negative way.

#43 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:49 PM:

Since you've allowed me to introduce the topic, Bill is a man of wealth and taste...

#44 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:50 PM:

Serge #38: Let me beat you to the pun...ch

Bush obviously views himself as a tragichero "traj-er-chair-o", a tex-mex treat known for it's malleable doughy texture and dull yet tongue-numbing flavor.

#45 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:55 PM:

Teresa, I'm not asking for martyrdom for anyone, just pointing out that the loss Hillary Clinton is struggling so desperately to avoid is still a position of considerable wealth and power -- what most of us would consider a breathtaking victory if we had it.

#46 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 08:56 PM:

Boy, I'll tell ya'. I'm not prepared to assume anything is likely to happen in the most interesting election year I have ever seen. Here's one scenario that I can't see actually happening, but at this point, in this election year, I wouldn't bet against it: Senator Clinton takes absolute control of her campaign, she uses heretofore unforeseen star power political skills to wrench her fight for the nomination back on track, she wins, fair&square, without embittering the rest of the party.

Don't see how, actually. But I wouldn't bet against it. And I am an Obama supporter.

It's that kind of year.

#47 ::: David Bilek ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:08 PM:

I agree with Evan Goer. If Clinton wins Texas and Ohio, and it appears likely that she will, the question becomes whether she is willing to set off the Michigan and Florida nuclear bombs to secure the nomination for herself.

If she does set that bomb off she will have validated some of the bad lust-for-power things people have said about her. It would be a naked anti-democratic power grab. I hope she will choose the higher road and prove her worst critics to be the gibbering monkeys I suspect they are.

#48 ::: Another Damned Medievalist ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:08 PM:

Hey, at least we all still get to vote ...

#49 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:20 PM:

Having now read up on Texas's bizarre primary-plus-caucus system, I really wouldn't bet that either Clinton or Obama is a lock to take the majority of that state's delegates. Actually.

#50 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:24 PM:

I'm a bit more concerned that the whole USA is running itself down with the "historic freight train", or maybe washing its brains with my badly mixed metaphor. Every so often, it seems to me, we elect a President who we think is a visionary, and give them their head. The results, historically, have been a mixed bag: the last was Reagan, the one before JFK, the one before that FDR. Obama, though talented in his own right, is carried by that historic impulse, or perhaps bearing its banner. And with what result?

#51 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:29 PM:

Lis Riba: Since her website refers to her as Hilary, and his doesn't make the same push for Barack...

You know what I'd like to see either of them do... the sort of thing which would make me a stronger believer that they understand the sort of fight we need to have?

I'd like to see them force real filibusters. This, "60 votes are needed to pass" bullshit, needs to be dragged into the light.

It doesn't have to be a complete stoppage, but everytime they want to pull this crap, make them hold things up for 24 hours. Because right now, the republicans aren't being made to stand up and be counted. They get to win all the fights, and blame the Democrats for it; accuse them of not doing anything.

#52 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:33 PM:

I'd say it's a bit early to be writing Clinton's political obituary. She still has roughly 50% of pledged ordinary delegates, is widely believed to be favored by the party activists who get chosen as superdelegates, has at least some chance of getting the Michigan and Florida phantom delegates, might pick up some of Edwards's delegates if Edwards endorses her, and is heavily favored in Texas and Ohio polls. I don't think I'd call Clinton the frontrunner anymore, but it doesn't look to me as if anyone is getting run over by trains just yet.

(FWIW, I voted for Obama but I'd be happy with either Obama or Clinton as the nominee.)

#53 ::: David Bilek ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:47 PM:

Having now read up on Texas's bizarre primary-plus-caucus system

Interesting, I wasn't aware it was so arcane. I'll have to read up on it. Thanks.

#54 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:49 PM:

John Mark #28:

So, what is the result? From what you showed, it looks like the bill was passed, giving retroactive immunity to the telecoms. Am I missing something?

(Perhaps we should nationalize those companies next year. On what basis would they complain? That we weren't following the rule of law? That we were letting political expediency override peoples' rights?)

#55 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:53 PM:

Senate Approves Telco Amnesty, Legalizes Bush's Secret Spy Program

I have no pertinent comment to add except for [glyph of 1.3 terabytes of bellowed obscenities].

#56 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 09:59 PM:

On second thought, I do have a comment: every senator who voted for that bill, or who didn't show up to vote against that bill should be impeached for violating their sacred oaths to defend the Constitution. I can only hope that the EFF finds the wherewithal to file a SCOTUS suit to have the law struck down as unconstitutional after the President also violates his oath to defend the Constitution when he signs it in to law.

#57 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 10:12 PM:

Well, thank God we have a Democratic majority in congress, so we can retroactively approve both turning Echelon on US citizens and ensure the telecom companies who were "just following orders" that they won't pay any price for their actions. (Just like all the folks involved in kidnapping and torture while "just following orders" w.r.t the secret prisons will face no consequences.)

As the old joke goes, if you don't like this policy and would like to let the NSA know, just pick up the phone, dial your mom, and tell her how you feel.

Of course, all this will change with a Democratic president, and a larger Democratic majority in Congress. What could possibly raise any doubts about this in my mind?

#58 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 10:13 PM:

You know, if there's one thing that strikes terror into this old heart of mine, it's hubris. But I do have to say...

On MSNBC tonight, we cut from Senator Obama's soaring speech to an arena full of 17,000 of the young and young-at-heart, to Senator McCain sing-songing his speech to what seemed like the Rotary Club gathered in the banquet room down there to the Holiday Inn off the interstate.

Okay, it means nothing. I keep telling myself that. It means nothing. It means nothing. It means nothing.

#59 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 10:14 PM:

In reality, whatever the result, the consequence is this POTUS campaign is a more than billion dollar media boondoggle of smoke'nmirrors, distracting us all from what is really going on, still, all the time.

Nobody's dragging anyone out to be tried for treason, war crimes, corruption -- nothing.

Whoever sits in that Oval Office isn't going to make a single effort to turn back the incroachment upon Constitutional rights (and anyone who dreams that HRC of all people will do that, puleeze go and look at her own record of behavior when Bill was sitting in that office).

And Edwards -- he's mia -- guessing, to hark to another topic here -- his wife's health.

If we're lucky, the best we're gonna get is Obama with Richardson as VP.

I know a lot more about Richardson up close than I do Obama. But it's pretty clear from the broadcasts that about now the Big O's starting to believe his own hype. Time for the Fall.

Love, C.

#60 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 10:31 PM:

Avram @ #45:
just pointing out that the loss Hillary Clinton is struggling so desperately to avoid is still a position of considerable wealth and power -- what most of us would consider a breathtaking victory if we had it.

These things are relative. If I were to become a Hugo-award-winning editor at Tor, my life would be such an abject failure that I would probably have considered suicide before succumbing to such a fate.

To be a more-than-reasonable presidential candidate with a real shot at winning and have it slip away...that would be torture. Especially with all that burden of history.

Pointing out that children are starving in Somalia etc. may be very reasonable perspective, but it probably wouldn't help Hillary feel better in the short term over the failure of a lifelong dream.

#61 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 10:35 PM:

Teresa, fair enough about martyrdom, though I continue to think that the term isn't warranted if any of these so-and-sos get their comeuppance, with the possible exception of Colin Powell. They made their Procrustean beds, let them lie in them and get dealt with as appropriate, I say.

#62 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 10:41 PM:

Yes, I'm cringing at the endgame of the Clinton / Obama fight.

I hope that a President Obama can find a good job for Bill. There are a lot of posts where he'd kick ass.

Wesley Clark as veep could give the Democrats serious appeal to the rightier variety of independents, as well as military folks disgusted with Bush.

#63 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 11:01 PM:

In 2000, while running for the Senate for the first time, Hillary Clinton said that she would serve her full term as Senator. By running in 2004, she kept that promise, and I respect her for that.

I thought digby had some very important things to say about the superdelegates here. She points out that it is very hard to determine the will of the people if you're a superdelegate. e.g. Do caucuses count - they're rather undemocratic?

As for FL and MI, I don't think Clinton broke the rules she'd committed to - she didn't campaign in either state. And there's nothing wrong with asking to seat the delegates. If she wins the nomination, the delegates are moot. If she loses it, her opponent will not ask for them to be seated.

#64 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 11:06 PM:

Lis Riba @ 39... True. Maybe George is the tragic hero of an Italian opera - one directed by Bugs Bunny, which makes George into Elmer Fudd.

#65 ::: Darth Paradox ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 11:21 PM:

Does anyone recommend a handy link for the Texas primary/caucus system? I've found some conflicting information so far.

#66 ::: anaea ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 11:49 PM:

Did anyone, with the possible exception of Barack Obama?

About a year ago I was with friends in Hyde Park, Chicago, when somebody mentions that this local guy everybody loves was probably running for president. I'm not originally from Chicago and I didn't ever get into the local political scene while I was there, so my ideas about who he was were a bit vague. Two weeks later I knew a lot, and in front of the same group of friends went, "You know, I'm disgusted by both major parties, and I've been disgusted by the democrats longer, but I'd actually cast a vote that matters if he's at the top of the ticket."

"But you don't agree with his policy," says a friend.

"I don't care. I'm not going to get a candidate with a policy I agree with. I like his style, I approve of his methods, and at this point, I'm willing to vote for style and methods."

A room full of people started nodding and agreeing. Other people, other rooms, more head nodding. "But he'll be running against Hillary Clinton," somebody points out. "Nobody outside of Illinois knows who he is."

So I call my parents, life long Republicans from Virginia who quit voting when the party went south, and mention that I'm thinking of hopping into the mainstream to support a local guy nobody's ever heard of. "You mean Barak Obama? Lot's of people know him. I've been thinking about him too."

People knew. It's been a really fantastic year for those people.

#67 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2008, 11:59 PM:

anaea #66 -- Lots of people noticed Obama's speech at the convention in 2004. (See here, for instance.)

#68 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:02 AM:

I was struck this evening by the difference between Obama's post-vote speech and McCain's post-vote speech. McCain's speech was about to put me to sleep, and I noticed everyone behind him in the camera's view seemed to be all white and mostly gray-haired; tehy were very quiet until he finished and then broke into fairly-well-organized cheering. Obama's speech was oratory, with a side of charisma, and people weren't listening quietly until he finished, they were clapping and cheering; those in the camera's view were not all white and all grey-haired. (He also wasn't promising four more years of the same stuff as the last seven. I'll vote for not having four more years like the last seven, and cheer if and when we get it, too.)

#69 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:08 AM:

Serge @#64: Elmer Fudd is loveable.

#70 ::: David Bilek ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:09 AM:

Nancy #63: If she wins the nomination, the delegates are moot. If she loses it, her opponent will not ask for them to be seated.

You're missing the problem. What if, as seems quite possible, the MI and FL delegates are enough to swing the delegate lead from Obama to Clinton. Sure, it doesn't matter if the delegates are seated if the margin between the candidates is large but if it's small enough, those delegates are the difference between victory and defeat.

#71 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:21 AM:

Mary Dell @ 69... True. How about George as Yosemite Sam?

#72 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:26 AM:

#63: "In 2000, while running for the Senate for the first time, Hillary Clinton said that she would serve her full term as Senator. By running in 2004, she kept that promise, and I respect her for that."

You might want to consult (1) the U. S. Constitution, for its provisions about the term of U. S. Senators, and (2) the historical record of exactly what year in which Hillary Clinton ran for re-election.

#73 ::: Rafe ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:40 AM:

Well put.

#74 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:01 AM:

Susan (60):

"These things are relative. If I were to become a Hugo-award-winning editor at Tor, my life would be such an abject failure that I would probably have considered suicide before succumbing to such a fate."
What a good thing, then, that life has spared you having to endure anything even vaguely approaching that fate.

#75 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:07 AM:

One of my Senators (Inouye) voted in favor of immunity, and I wrote him about it. I asked him how he could have served on the Watergate Committee lo those many years ago and have voted for wiretapping today.

#76 ::: cherish ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:18 AM:

Wesley Clark as veep could give the Democrats serious appeal to the rightier variety of independents, as well as military folks disgusted with Bush.

Wesley Clark for SecDef.

#77 ::: annalee flower horne ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:22 AM:

Regarding referring to Senator Clinton by her first name: as others have already noted, she's running as Hillary--that's what on all of her campaign literature.

I think the fact that Hillary is originally a surname makes a difference here. If you stick it in the middle of a list of candidates-- McCain, Obama, Huckabee, Hillary, Romney, etc-- it doesn't look out of place. That's probably why most people aren't even thinking about it. It's just 'right, Hillary, that's her name.' If her first name were Emily or Samantha, I'm guessing it would be an entirely different story.

#78 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:37 AM:

PNH @ 72: Just speculating, but I expect that the error was simply that a "not" was omitted from "running in 2004". And that it referenced a [lack of a] run for president, not a run for reelection as senator.

#79 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:41 AM:

Patrick @ 72-

I think that Nancy @ 63 left a "not" out of her last sentence: "By _not_ running in 2004, she kept that promise, and I respect her for it."

That makes more sense as a reply to Nathan @ 2, who gave 2004 as HRC's optimal time to run and speculated as to why she didn't.

Of course, I could be wrong.

#80 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:41 AM:

Teresa @ #74:
It's hard to tell these things without tonal cues, but if you're being sincere, then thank you, yes, it is quite a good thing. If you're being sarcastic, I think perhaps you may have missed my point about conventional definitions of success.

#81 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:42 AM:

Teresa @ #74:
It's hard to tell these things without tonal cues, but if you're being sincere, then thank you, yes, it is quite a good thing. If you're being sarcastic, I think perhaps you may have missed my point about conventional definitions of success.

#82 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:47 AM:

Christopher, #41: Okay, I keep seeing that argument being made, and I'm going to address it here so that I can link back later when it comes up again (as I'm sure it will).

I believe that Sen. Clinton has made a serious error by choosing to campaign under her first name, for exactly the reason stated by Lis in #34. By encouraging the press, and hence the populace, to use her first name while the other (male) candidates are addressed by their last names, she is running up against a well-entrenched cultural stereotype: higher-status people get last-named, while lower-status ones get first-named.

This is not just a gendered issue. It comes up in any situation of hierarchal power -- teachers vs. students, doctors vs. patients, execs vs. employees, anyone vs. service workers. Like it or not, in our culture there is still a very strong meme to the effect that calling a person who you don't know well by their first name is putting them in a one-down position.

In particular, it lends itself to Verbal Attack Patterns which are impossible for the victim to object to without looking unreasonable -- things like the tone of voice which says very clearly, "Don't worry your pretty head about that, little lady." Every woman knows that tone, and knows how difficult it is to raise a fuss about it... because after all, he didn't SAY anything like that, so why is she upset?

Perhaps more to the point: our actions are not constrained by what the media does. It doesn't matter whether the newscasters call her Hillary and him Obama; we can set a better example. And I think it behooves us to do so.

#83 ::: Greta Christina ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 02:31 AM:

I'd think the Clintons would be more graceful about this one. After all, Bill Clinton was an unstoppable force of nature in much the same way Barack Obama is.

#84 ::: Jamie ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 02:45 AM:

I believe that many people still think of Bill first when they hear the name Clinton. I do. I imagine that if Hillary did not share her last name with such a recent president she might have chosen to use it, rather than her first name.

#85 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 03:02 AM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 35

Tragedy? He thinks he's a character from Sophocles or Aeschylus? Yeah, right; the man's straight out of Aristophanes. A frog, not a prince, nohow.

#86 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 03:36 AM:

Lee:

In every job and workplace I've had since college, everyone in the office was on a first-name basis, from the summer interns to the most distinguished researchers to the boss, unless there was strong reason (usually namespace collisions or unpronounceable-to-English-speakers first names). So while this pattern exists, I wonder if it has the same impact across different groups/people.

Do you think Ike or Honest Abe were also putting themselves below their opponents verbally?

One of the more interesting things going on in this election is that there are people who won't vote for a black guy or a woman for president. It's interesting to ask whether that set of people will be large enough to cost the Democrats the election, which centers mainly on what fraction of those voters would have voted Democrat in any event, and how many more voters the first serious black or female candidate for president will bring in.

Just as an aside, whatever happens in this election, my older son (6) is absorbing the idea that you don't have to be an old white guy to run for president. He doesn't know what the presidential race means with any detail, but I recall pointing out the campaign signs to him at a parade, listening to a couple speeches on the radio, etc. This will happen with lots of kids throughout the country, and it will have a huge impact on the future.

#87 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 05:59 AM:

Susan @ #80:

Even without the tonal cues, I'm inclined to suspect that Teresa was employing Irony.

Certainly that's what I would do, if I were a Hugo-award-winning editor at Tor and somebody wrote the sentence you wrote.

#88 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 06:00 AM:

Eric Scharf @ #40: Given that the coup failed, I wouldn't describe it as "historic" so much as "operatic."

How about "histrionic"?

#89 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 07:13 AM:

TNH #74: I am reminded, irresistibly, of the answering machine message of a friend of mine 'I will waste no time in answering your call.'

#90 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 07:46 AM:

Paul @87:
Even without the tonal cues, I'm inclined to suspect that Teresa was employing Irony.

It actually sounded pretty nasty to me, which I find an odd response to being used (at one remove, anyway) as an example of widely-respected success.

#91 ::: Another Damned Medievalist ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 08:06 AM:

Susan @ 90 and other places ...

Sorry, but I read your comment as very nasty, rather than sarcastic. It doesn't make sense as sarcasm. Given your tone AND the words, I think Teresa's response was nicely measured.

#92 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 08:44 AM:

ADM @91:

Yeah, uh, just a guess, but it seemed to me that if Susan wanted to make a "point about conventional definitions of success", and wanted to actually have that be the point people took away from her remarks, she might have picked something better than what would obviously be taken as a personal dig at one of the hosts of this place. Something like, I dunno, winning Miss Congeniality or something.

#93 ::: Peter ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 08:50 AM:

Consider taking a break to be quiet and watch

I'm not sure that anyone has commented on your original post's sentiment. As someone who has watched with a bit of anxious glee at Obama doing well (though I have no particular animus or anything towards HRC), I think you're right that more empathy would be useful.

Of course, if/when she pull it out, then what? Vindication?

#94 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 09:01 AM:

Susan, as Fragano observed, it was written to tip either way, depending on your intent. Since you meant no harm, my response wasn't meant unkindly.

And now I'll ruin the effect by saying wheee! One doesn't often get the opportunity to set those up.

#95 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 09:12 AM:

I see Clinton losing to Obama (if she does) as rotten bad luck (for her, not the country). There's nothing about her choices which made her opposition be so charismatic.

I count Nixon's life as a tragedy in the classic sense.

#96 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 09:20 AM:

Lance, as you and Teresa have both said, tone aside, you make some good points. That said, however, I think the points aren't as large as you make them.

The Clintons, if anything, are not legitimately damnable for holding lifetime grudges, but rather for being insufficiently vindictive: Gingrich's fall is somewhat attributable to Bill drawing his venom, they were both entirely socially polite to Scaife during and after his attempt to criminalize them both, and Hillary went from an originally contentious relationship with most of our delegation to the productive one she has now. Whatever else they are, they are pragmatists.

And yes, I think their behavior is legitimate in this campaign. As usual, the media is bringing the Clinton-Hate, but I don't think it's appropriate. A bit of sleaze and needling has always been a part of politics, and in after the last 15 years, their behavior is STILL comparatively clean and conscientious (comparatively).

One of the reasons I respect the Clintons so much is that even when the baying for their blood was at its worst, there was no enemies list, no abuse of their office for vengeance.

#97 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 09:32 AM:

"(Y’all have more than once gotten angry at candidates in that position who haven’t fought when they should.)"

I'd rather someone not fight than fight like Karl Rove.

#98 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 09:40 AM:

Patrick at 72, saying that I needed to look up the term of a senator, and when HRC ran for re-election (2006)

Brooks at 78 and Juli at 79 have it right; I left out a not in the original sentence, which was a response to Nathan at 2 saying that 2004 may have been the best time for HRC to run for president. The sentence should have been:
By not running in 2004, she kept that promise, and I respect her for that.

Sorry about that.

While I'm fixing things in 63, here is the link to digby's blog which I was talking about.

#99 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 10:01 AM:

ADM @ 91:
Actually, I was referring to being unable to tell if Teresa was being nasty/sarcastic. Obviously you couldn't read my tone (unless you've discovered the magic over-the-net-tone-reader), so perhaps you should give me the same benefit of the doubt I was giving Teresa? You and Michael have it 100% backwards. My comment was perfectly sincere, not nasty or sarcastic. It did not occur to me that people would be unable to get their brains around the idea that one person's success is another person's failure.

I'll make a note for the future that using the example that's right in front of me (in the context of this blog) as an exemplar of success is not a good idea.

Sheesh.

#100 ::: Alex von Thorn ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 11:38 AM:

Obama has a slight lead in delegates. This game is not over.

In 2004, Clinton did not quite have enough experience to start a serious campaign. She's done a good job as senator since, building connections that may become useful in passing legislation in the future.

My concern continues to be that Republicans will be willing and able to capitalize on Obama's negatives if he becomes the Democratic candidate, and that he doesn't have a record of turning ideas into results.

#101 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 11:55 AM:

#100:[Note that I'm on record as:
1. Tilting in favor of Clinton vs. Obama
2. Wholeheartedly in favor of voting for whoever ends up as the Democratic nominee over the Republican nominee in the general election.]

Obama is a first term Senator and he's clearly mounting a serious campaign. If Clinton wanted to make a go of it in 2004, I don't think the experience issue would bother her much more then than it does Obama now. (However, Obama has experience as a state legislator which Clinton does not. Maybe that makes a difference?)

Also, as much as I like both of them, neither of them exactly has a long track record of turning ideas into results. In terms of withstanding the Republican attack machine, Clinton may have an advantage in that we already know her negatives all too well. OTOH, Obama is more charismatic than McCain, who looks to become the Republican nominee. The more charismatic person tends to win the presidency.

I will punt on the question on the question of whether Obama is more charismatic than Huckabee. The latter has the annoying gift of being able to say utterly hateful (or violent) things in a way that people find palatable. Obama has attacked Clinton in ways that draw undue notice, but he hasn't tried anything like that.

I'm not against charisma, merely its abuse. I don't think Obama has abused his charisma. However, I do wish some of the more excitable Obama supporters I've heard on the radio would realize that antagonizing Clinton supporters is counterproductive in the long term. If Obama should become the Democratic nominee, he will need those Clinton supporters to vote for him.

#102 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:21 PM:

My candidate was and is John Edwards. If his name is still on the ballot when Ohio holds its primary, I will vote for him.

If either Clinton or Obama become the nominee, I will vote for them in November. But I don't like the fact they aren't in the Senate doing the job they were elected to do just because they have to campaign.

Right now, if it weren't for the fact I don't want a President McCain or Huckabee, I'd give the back of my hand to both for failing to lead by example.

#103 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:23 PM:

96 @ BSD.
As usual, the media is bringing the Clinton-Hate, but I don't think it's appropriate.

Yeah, big time. Check out Melissa McEwan's round-up of the misogyny.

#104 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:24 PM:

#99 Susan: My comment was perfectly sincere, not nasty or sarcastic. It did not occur to me that people would be unable to get their brains around the idea that one person's success is another person's failure.... I'll make a note for the future that using the example that's right in front of me (in the context of this blog) as an exemplar of success is not a good idea.... Sheesh.

People are perfectly capable of getting "their brains around the idea that one person's success is another person's failure". C'mon. We all have that experience every day.

You made the mistake of saying something in a socially incompetent manner. This is hardly a mortal sin, especially in this place which is full of fannish types and thus absolutely overflowing with social incompetence, into the middle of which herd of nerds I fling myself.

You don't have to get all "Sheesh" about it. Just, you know, next time preface saying something like that with "Even though I understand the Hugo award for being an editor at Tor is a signifier of hard work and accomplishment (or whatever), receiving such an honor would gross me out."

Having said that, I'm guessing all this bugged other people more than it bugged Patrick.

And having said that, I can't count the number of times I've seen this "you said it in a socially incompetent manner"/"No, I did-dunt"/"Yes, you did" discussion in the years I've been on the intertubes. Must be the places I hang out.

#105 ::: David Bilek ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 12:27 PM:

Susan: I'll make a note for the future that using the example that's right in front of me (in the context of this blog) as an exemplar of success is not a good idea.

I think you should consider the idea that your writing was not nearly as clear as you think it was. Because, even after all this back and forth, I still have no freaking clue what you were trying to get across in the original message. I mean, I assume you were making a point about different definitions of success, but I still don't see how you get there from what looked more like a snide attack.

#106 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:01 PM:

I'd say that the context and tone of Susan's post made it clear even before the back-and-forth that it wasn't a snide attack, but you're right: what the context and tone suggested isn't what the words said. Perhaps there was just a missing "not" or something.

#107 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:11 PM:

Patrick #49, David Bilek #53:

Get your cogent explanation on how the Texas primary/caucus stuff works right here. I've lived in Texas for 31 out of the last 39 years, and until I read that, I had no idea.

#108 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:22 PM:

Matt #106: FWIW, I also found her post pretty easy to parse, but I'll admit, that is because the offensive way to read it was over-the-top offensive, which didn't make sense in context.

What was that old SNL skit/persona, where the guy (Al Franken?) would always end up saying something like "I'm just gonna go out on a limb here, and call for the violent overthrow of the United States government." Or Reagan's microphone test line about "We've signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union; we start bombing in five minutes." You could either take it as a joke, or as a deadly serious, but wildly inappropriate comment in that context. That's part of why it was funny.

And when that kind of humor falls flat enough, you get massively offended people, right? (We got moderately irritated people here, but then, nobody called for nuking or overthrowing anyone.)

#109 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:29 PM:

Michael:
"Even though I understand the Hugo award for being an editor at Tor is a signifier of hard work and accomplishment (or whatever), receiving such an honor would gross me out."

No, that's actually not what I meant. If I ever did anything Hugo-worthy (unlikely, since I don't do any of the things they have Hugo categories for), receiving a rocket would be nifty.

I'll spell it out once, and then I am going to drop this topic entirely.

(1) I have dreams and goals of my own, which are unconventional, but they're mine and I value them. They are, quite frankly, really the only thing I have to live for, and the major reason I deviated from my original plan to be long dead by now.

(2) Giving up these goals and diverting to a different career, even one which much of my social group (and, I assumed, everyone on this blog) would regard as grandly successful, would be an admission that I am essentially a failure at the one thing in my life I value. (I may, in fact, end up a failure at it, but I think success is not impossible, and I am certainly not giving up.) At that point, I will be essentially a hollow shell of myself, and might as well be dead, and probably would manage to arrange it, since I can't see any other reason to go through the motions of living. (And no, I'm not interested in going through an argument over the standard platitudes about why live is worth living. Heard 'em all before.)

(3) In order to express this, I needed shorthand for a clear-cut example of grand success. I suppose I could have used "made a bazillion dollars", but I don't actually regard money-for-money's sake as a good definition of success, possibly because certain elements of my family so define it and thus consider me a failure, which opinion I am not inclined to go along with. So I used what I thought of as something that would be both blindingly obvious and would be agreed upon by pretty much everyone here to indeed be success.

(4) The connection to the actual topic of discussion was that I found Avram's comment:

Isn't she still a US senator, even if she loses? At least for the next four years? And even if she loses that seat, won't she still have a lucrative career ahead of her as a lobbyist, or a speaker? Won't she still be able to write (or maybe even have ghost-written and just sign her name on) a book and get an advance that's more money than most of us will see in our lives?

to be an astonishingly callous dismissal of what failing at what I suspect is a lifelong goal, whether through her own shortcomings or via historical freight train, would mean to Hillary Clinton. For all her flaws, I don't think she's in this for the money, and I really don't think she'd consider becoming a rich lobbyist an adequate consolation prize for missing the big one. If I'd worked on something for 40 years and fallen short, and had someone tell me "too bad, but you'll still have lots of money", I sure wouldn't feel particularly consoled. More like insulted.

Having said that, I'm guessing all this bugged other people more than it bugged Patrick.

One assumes. I've said nearly the same thing straight to his face in person and he didn't seem either confused or upset by it.

David:
what looked more like a snide attack.

If I were attacking Patrick, it (1) wouldn't be misinterpretable and (2) wouldn't be on ML.

#110 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:44 PM:

Susan @ 109:

Okay, I can see that. It's quite a bit for us dopes to tease out of a much shorter original post, but I can see it.

#111 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:44 PM:

I'd just like to call for nuking and overthrowing...hmm, whom? I just really want to call for nuking and/or overthrowing someone! (While Bush certainly deserves to be nuked, I have friends in the DC area, so I dropped that idea right away.)

And I'd also like to say that if I were a Hugo-award-winning editor, I would DEFINITELY consider it my duty not to run for President. The (Hugo) voters would have made it clear what job they wanted me to do, and I'd feel an obligation to keep doing it. But even if my enthusiasm for the job flagged, I would still not run for President. I respect Patrick for refraining.

If I were a much-sought expert in many kinds of period dance, I would ALSO not run for President, nor would I attempt to become an editor, much less a Hugo-award-winning one. To do so would smack of greed, if nothing else.

And here is a supply of nots, in case one is missing from the above, or anyone needs one: not, not, not, not, not, not, not. Not. Not; not.

#112 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:49 PM:

Susan @#109:

So are you seriously saying that because of your particular hopes and dreams, you'd rather die than end up like Patrick? How is that not an insult?

I'm not saying we should all aspire to the same things, but it's rude to point out that you don't want the things that other people have sweated for, particularly if "fate worse than death" is how you really feel about it. And in this instance, a hypothetical like "win an olympic medal" would do, anyway, without bringing a real person into it.

#113 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 01:50 PM:

Btw, I have met with at best mediocre success in everything I have ever attempted. I've never been the best, or even the second or thirty-seventh best, at anything I've ever attempted. I know what being a failure feels like.

And I still have empathy for Hillary Clinton.

#114 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 02:02 PM:

Xopher @#113: I know what being a failure feels like.

Me too. I also know what being a sellout feels like, because I'm not doing what I dream of; I'm doing what I can succeed at. Which works for me but I'm not saying I recommend it...some days, life tastes ashy. So I do empathize with Hillary, and I hope she'll rebound well if she doesn't get the big prize.

(I'm still pulling for Obama)

#115 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 02:04 PM:

Xopher--

I don't know. Losing sucks. I hate it.

But if Hilary Clinton is anywhere near the caliber of person who should even consider making a bid to do something as big as, say, running the US government, I've got to figure that she has the inner resources to deal with the failure of her campaign, revise her goals, and move on. If she doesn't have that kind of emotional and intellectual maturity, rather than empathizing, I'm just going to be grateful that she didn't win.

#116 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 02:46 PM:

#111 Xopher:

I was following you okay until the end, where your point got all knotted up....

#117 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 02:53 PM:

albatross 116: It did knot.

#118 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 02:59 PM:

Oh, for a minute I thought you were all talking about this Hugo.

#119 ::: Scorpio ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 03:23 PM:

This is pretty much spot-on. Both Democratic candidates are gold. Only one will win. I'd like to see both of them on a ticket.

I remember seeing the 2004 Obama speech. I went in to work and made some people listen to his speech "because he's going to be the first black president." I just did not bargain for it to be this soon. And at a time when we need one, maybe he could be an FDR. Maybe she could, too ... but only one of them will have to try.

#120 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 03:34 PM:

albatross, #86: I've had workplaces like that, and others where the majority of one's daily interaction was all on a first-name basis, but the Big Bosses (people 2 or more levels up from department heads) were absolutely "Mr. X" (and yes, they tended to be all male). I think it's partly a function of how large and how corporate your workplace is.

I should also have noted that in any venue perceived as a community (of which ML is certainly one), the universal-first-name basis is likely. But then, that's because there's no hierarchal power distribution here; even the moderators are still perceived as part of the community, and our peers.

One of the more interesting things going on in this election is that there are people who won't vote for a black guy or a woman for president. It's interesting to ask whether that set of people will be large enough to cost the Democrats the election, which centers mainly on what fraction of those voters would have voted Democrat in any event, and how many more voters the first serious black or female candidate for president will bring in.

Repeating the whole paragraph because it's too key to cut. Yes, that's exactly the question, isn't it? It's rather like the calculus of whether or not to bring in a media guest to a SF convention -- will the presence of said media guest draw enough more people who would not otherwise have attended to cover the expense involved? I would like to think that Obama will draw in more new voters on the basis of leadership than he'll lose on the basis of race, and that's the way I'm betting... but I could be wrong.

Re children noticing, and the impact of that on the future, I'm with you 100%. Hmmm, side thought: I wonder how many of the people who are unsurprised by Clinton's campaign were just old enough to notice Mondale/Ferraro?

Susan, #99: FWIW, I understood perfectly well what you were trying to say, but I was still taken aback by the (perceived) tone. I don't know how I'd have said it instead, but I think your phrasing was less than successful.

Xopher, #117: I bow to the skill with which you hitch your arguments together.

#121 ::: Evan Goer ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 04:15 PM:

Well, way back in #4 I said that I was unconvinced that Obama had the lock over Clinton. But then today I just read about Mark Penn launching her new campaign message: Clinton is in the "21st Century solutions business." Now I'm convinced. It's all over for her.

#122 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 05:00 PM:

Evan: Good lord, Mark Penn sounds like "that guy" from the 80's, from the "Future Stock" episode of Futurama! Whiskey with Boesky, cookies with Milken, no doubt he's proactive and in your face... When is the terminal bone-itis gonna kick in?

#123 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 05:02 PM:

Charisma is a tool of the trade in politics, and disdaining it is part of why Mondale, Dukakis, and Gore all lost their bids. I figure Obama is the best chance we've had in a while....

#124 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 05:04 PM:

Lee 120: Xopher, #117: I bow to the skill with which you hitch your arguments together.

I appreciate your bowline, above. I'll keep you in the loop about my techniques; come over for a bight sometime and I'll bend your ear about it.

#125 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 05:18 PM:

Susan #109 -- So, what you're saying is that out of the 111 words I wrote in that comment, you're only paying attention to 66 of them, and pretending I never wrote the rest?

#126 ::: Spherical Time ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 05:36 PM:

Sorry, just on the topic of first and last names (#34 Lis), I don't think that it's necessarily patronizing and "overly familiar" to refer to Hilary Clinton as Hilary and Barack Obama as Obama for two reasons.

First, the absolutely historical groundbreaking thing about Hilary's campaign is that she's a woman with the first real shot at ascending to the presidency. Using her first name to emphasize her unique quality (that she's a woman) isn't un-empowering when it could in fact cause more people to vote for her.

Second, given the uncommon and non-Western origin of Obama's names, I usually have to think about whether "Obama" is his first or his last name. To me, I relate to both "Hilary" and "Obama" as though they were the first names of the candidates, regardless of the actual situation. I suspect I'm not alone in that regard.

Thus, I think that your argument that reference to her as Hilary is degrading disregards the reality of the situation.

#127 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 06:24 PM:

Xopher: Send a messenger (if that's too much work, you can just spring for a cable) and and I'll be round, to hear you out to the bitter end.

#128 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 06:30 PM:

You can't train in charisma. You either got it or you don't.

Some may have more of it or less of it than others. But you can't acquire it.

Love, C.

#129 ::: Richard Brandt ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 07:08 PM:

BSD @ 26: I don't think this is a tragedy. This is a fight that will end with handshakes and (likely) her stumping for him or (unlikely) him stumping for her.

Considering the unspeakable things that Rove and Bush did to McCain in South Carolina, and that he still ended up campaigning for the guy...yeah.

(Sandra Bernhard did a show here last week and really ripped McCain a new one for being that shameless in his pursuit of the conservative electorate.)

#130 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 08:09 PM:

124, 127:

Oh, I am so afrayed of the direction of this thread. In fact, I'm going to have to splice the main brace in order to get up the courage to join in. What's the hitch? The last time I tried, I ended up belaying it and then I came to the end of my rope.

#131 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 08:13 PM:

Ginger @ 130... I ended up belaying it and then I came to the end of my rope.

Better than being at the end of your trope?

#132 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 08:18 PM:

Constance Ash @ 128... You can't train in charisma. You either got it or you don't.

"Cringe, you hapless weaklings! Cringe, and tremble, as you finally behold -- JANUS, the Mega-man!"

I'd say that this Jack Kirby villain doesn't have charisma. For some reason though, this makes me think of the current White House occupants.

#133 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 08:49 PM:

Serge @ 131: I swear to tell the trope, the whole trope and nothing but the trope. But I'm knot running away this time.

#134 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 09:39 PM:

Ginger @ 133
Serge @ 131: I swear to tell the trope, the whole trope and nothing but the trope. But I'm knot running away this time.

Well, just so long as we're square on that....

#135 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 10:13 PM:

David Black at 70, I've been thinking in bits all day about your comment/question: what if the MI and FL delegates matter? and I really don't know what I think should be done then. The states signed on to a process with the DNC, and violated it, knowing their punishment would be loss of delegates. It seems wrong to disenfranchise the voters. However, in MI, at least, Clinton was on the ballot, but some of her competitors weren't, so what does it mean that she won? Even I could have won under those circumstances! It makes me hold my head and hope that the winner is clearcut, and the delegates from FL and MI wouldn't make a difference one way or the other.

#136 ::: David Bilek ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 10:40 PM:

Nancy: I think all we can do is hope that someone goes into the convention the clear winner. The Clinton camp is, unfortunately, making noises like they're prepared to go all the way with the superdelegate/MI/FL fight. I hope not.

#137 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2008, 10:47 PM:

Oh, sorry David! I spelt you last name wrong!

#138 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 12:01 AM:

Xopher @#124:

Say, aren't you one of those string guys?

#139 ::: Shelley ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 07:21 AM:

In the end, it is sad watching a legacy destroyed.
Still I guess it shows his loyalty to his wife (who deserves it).

"When former presidential candidate and Clinton-administration energy secretary Bill Richardson declined to endorse Hillary Clinton after dropping out, the candidate's husband, as Fornier notes, placed an angry call to the New Mexico governor.

"What," Bill Clinton asked Richardson, "isn't two Cabinet posts enough?"

"

#140 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 08:06 AM:

Lee@#120: On names in workplaces, I'm in the software industry, which is probably not typical :-). On the other hand, DEC and Sun are (were) relatively old-line companies for the environment, and DEC in the 70s and 80s and Sun now are first-name environments too. Everywhere I've worked has been.

The really telling one for me, though, was that when dealing with senior financial industry VPs in New York (from the *major* companies, JP Morgan and Salomon Smith Barney and Merril Lynch, 1996-2000) it was *still* first names, even for a technical guy from a small contract company.

I now think that, maybe, there's a reservoir of formality hiding down in the South or something.

#141 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 11:43 AM:

Though the connections may be slight, I can't resist telling an "underdog" story from recent events in tennis. (Skip past if you have no interest in the sport.)

At the Australian Open last month, the great Roger Federer wasn't playing at his best so there was room for someone else to get by him. Since last year, the main underdog has been the flashy (and charismatic) young Serb, Novak Djokovic. But in the last few rounds, an astonishing *new* underdog showed up, seemingly out of nowhere: the young black Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who had never won any tournaments at all before reaching the Aussie final. (It helps that he looks a lot like the young Cassius Clay/Mohammed Ali, if without as much swagger.)

During that final match, the crowd was so obviously rooting for Tsonga that Djokovic got quite peeved (you could read it on his face: "I'm supposed to be the underdog, dammit!). Though he may have gotten a bit grouchy, he still won.

(End of irrelevant anecdote.)

#142 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 11:55 AM:

Dick Cheney is Elmer Fudd. I'm disgusted that I had to point this out.

I think maybe George is the abominable snowman, but am not 100% sure on this pressing issue.

#143 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 12:12 PM:

bryan @ 142...

Because of the similar qualities of their shooting skills? There the similarity stops. Meanwhile, a couple of years ago, I caught a TV special where Richard Dreyfus was giving a tour of DC's various moments and I found it eerie to think how much he's starting to look like Richard Cheney.

#144 ::: Fuzzy ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 12:58 PM:

David Dyer-Bennet @ 140 I now think that, maybe, there's a reservoir of formality hiding down in the South or something

In fact, our country's Strategic Courtesy Reserves are kept just outside of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

#145 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 01:15 PM:

bryan @142: Noooo! We need someone else to pick him up to hug him and love him and squeeze him and call him George (*squish*).

#146 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 01:17 PM:

Julie L @ 145... Drat. Where did I put the She-Hulk's cell phone number?

#147 ::: Jeff ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 06:31 PM:

Also, as much as I like both of them, neither of them exactly has a long track record of turning ideas into results.

I thought that this had been well refuted for Obama. From the LA Times:

The conservative Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama in his 2004 Senate run, praising his "significant accomplishments" and "shrewd negotiation." The Tribune credited Obama with "legislative feats," including laws requiring that police videotape interrogations in murder cases, laws creating tax credits for the working poor and "laws to track racial profiling by law enforcement, prohibit public officials from accepting lobbyists' gifts [and] expand health insurance coverage for children of the working poor and their families."

Not exactly "no record".

#148 ::: Wrye ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 09:14 PM:

I agree with the original point, and I somehow would like to see a way for Obama to win that doesn't require that Hillary lose. Still, as I always say to myself when Local Team gets down 1 game to 3 in a best of seven series, this is where we see if they have the stuff of champions. Or in this case, presidents. What better test of presidential mettle than such a close race? The winner and loser will both have to exhibit remarkable grace and statesmanship to keep the presidency from being a posoned chalice, I think. We will see.

Alex@100: Obama has a slight lead in delegates. This game is not over.

Well no, but even we foreign folks can look at www.electoral-vote.com and tell that both candidates are rapidly running out of states. We may well see some sort of tie, even.

And as for tragedies, I think George is surely straight out of Brecht. This cannot be real and yet he is taking everything you hold dear.

#149 ::: Edward Oleander ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2008, 09:48 PM:

THN, please tell me that the Huck folks have to pay you at least some of their war chest to put their Google ad in your margin. I find the thought of them spending money to recruit on ML almost too delicious for words... It would be the best possible use of their funds ...

Actually, my fantasy is to see Huck run as an independent and let the Cons see what it's like to be Naderized...

And while I'm falling off-topic... Remember everyone... go to www.naderexplore08.org and tell him to keep his nose out of it this time!

#150 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2008, 10:24 AM:

I wonder if one of the reasons that Hillary is campaigning as "Hillary" is the fact that she no longer uses the last name "Rodham"?

From what I remember, early in their marriage, she kept her last name by birth, but changed it when it proved to be a political liability - not worth loosing elections over, and a distraction during campaigns from actual issues of merit. Along with other changes in her lifestyle that were (unreasonably) political liabilities, such as not bringing books to read at baseball games.

Campaigning as "Hillary" is a way of campaigning as herself, rather than as her husband's wife.

#151 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2008, 11:53 AM:

Wrye 148: I was thinking more Kafka.

#152 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2008, 01:26 PM:

Xopher @ #151: Would that I should be a fly on the wall, the day that GWB woke up to find himself transformed into a giant cockroach.

#153 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2008, 01:39 PM:

LMB: Oh, that happened years ago. We're just waiting for the American people to notice.

#154 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2008, 01:46 PM:

Just waiting for the outside to match the inside, here. I believe TNH mentioned martyrdom in another thread. While that idea is tantalizing, I'd agitate for "testing" on the caliber of Job's. Obviously, a public isn't an option.

#155 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2008, 10:24 AM:

Edward Oleander @#149: I went to the Nader site to do exactly that, but I couldn't find any part of it that was soliciting feedback. Whereas the "donate $100 now" link was ubiqutous.

#156 ::: Edward Oleander ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2008, 09:56 PM:

Mary, I had to use the "contact us" link. Somehow, I think the lack of an obvious feedback method was NOT an accident...

#157 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2008, 10:48 PM:

#154: Make that "a public shaming . . . ."

#158 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2008, 12:46 AM:

Obama speaks wonderfully. I am so damn impressed with his speeches, and a lot of the American public is, too. But if he wins the Presidency, how will he function one-on-one with other movers and shakers?

I'm talking China. Saudi Arabia. Russia. Europe. The Republican leadership. His own cabinet.

I want a President who knows how to deal with people who aren't impressed by speeches.

I like Obama, but I will vote for Hillary.

#159 ::: Shelley ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2008, 09:08 AM:

"I want a President who knows how to deal with people who aren't impressed by speeches."

If he can't handle something, he would likely find someone with experience who could.

#160 ::: Oliver ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2008, 08:43 AM:

While political lives may proverbially end in tears (#3), the most common formulation of the thought, on this side of the pond, is Enoch Powell's: "All political lives end in failure". (More fully, "All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs." -- from Joseph Chamberlain (Thames and Hudson, 1977), according to wikiquote). I think something is added by the specificity of failure (and that failure is in this way more tragic than tears, which are just sad).

Which comes off sounding much more nit-picky than I intended, for which apologies.

#161 ::: myrthe ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2008, 06:48 PM:

Brenda Kalt @158: Please by all means vote for Hillary, but not for that reason. Unless you think perhaps Chicago Police are excessively swayed by pretty words.

#162 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2008, 01:36 PM:

The Clintons are paying for me to have a weekend in New Orleans at his Global Initiative University next month at Tulane. Airfare, hotel, meals, everything.

I refuse to say anything bad about them, naturally.

My vote, however, will of course go to the candidate I believe is best-suited for the job, period.

#163 ::: Madison Guy ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2008, 03:04 PM:

Now that the dust has settled in Wisconsin, it's clear that one way Obama achieved his landslide was to bring in a large number of new, young voters. I voted my mind for Hillary, but my heart was with the kids -- including my exit pollster. Talking to a different kind of exit pollster after casting my vote in the Wisconsin primary. The young woman who interviewed me on a cold Wisconsin night was an Iraq War vet. She wasn't conducting a survey for the media but about the media.

#164 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2008, 08:02 AM:

Serge at #143: "Because of the similar qualities of their shooting skills?"

yes, and the similarity of their sartorial elegance, general wakefulness, and over-sized bald headedness.

Also here is a picture of Dick Cheney singing Kill the Wabbit: http://thephoenix.com/OutsideTheFrame/content/binary/55_cheney.jpg

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