Category Archives: Hillary Clinton

Terry McAuliffe and Big Russ’ Mark Twain moment

File this one under “do your homework” before you stoop to pander:

After a rapid-fire logghorea in which Terry McAuliffe extolled the virtues of Hillary’s tenaciousness as a reason why she has to be the Democratic nominee, the campaign’s bloodhound tried to butter up host Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” with a nod to his dad:

“But it’s not impossible for Hillary Clinton to win,” said McAuliffe. “A lot of people have said that. Big Russ, if he were sitting here today — nothing’s impossible. Jack McAuliffe, if they were with us today, they’re probably both in heaven right now Tim, probably having a scotch, looking down saying, you know what: this fight goes on. It’s good for the Democratic Party. Millions of people coming out to vote, it’s exciting.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/11/mcauliffe-tells-russert-t_n_101189.html

Finally finding an opening, Russert jumped in to say ..
“Big Russ is in the Barcalounger still watching this. God bless him.”

He is alive!  Praise the Lord.  Maybe McAuliffe thought that by resurrecting Big Russ he could also resurrect HRC’s chances.  But, just like his report of Big Russ’ death, just about everything coming from the Clinton camp has been, in Twain’s words, “greatly exaggerated.” Aside from the gaff, ironically McAuliffe is demonstrating why Hillary should not get the nomination: every week the campaign comes up with a new reason for her to be the chosen one.   

The only consistent thing about her campaign is the inconsistancy of the message.  

We’ve seen Hillary change her core values and shift her message to suit each race (Gas Tax, free trade/NAFTA, elitism vs. populism, reaching out to African Americans/Whites).   Sorry Terry, but this time Hillary is not like Big Russ with a hope and dream.  She was the anointed who lost her bearings (no age bias intended) and ran a sloppy campaign.  She represents the establishment at a moment when the American people are clamoring for change.

As we’ve said here before, Hillary has every right to continue campaigning through the final primaries.  She’s worked hard and the remaining states deserve a chance to cast their vote.  But her campaign is so desparate to win us over they keep digging deeper for reasons for her continuted presence. 

Here is a recommendation for Terry: instead of pushing your candidate so hard, keep the “talking points” related to the rights of the voters and the democratic process.   Stay in the race because your supporters want you to stay.  Give something back for a change.

Unlike Mike Love’s lament in the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA,” we can wait for June.

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Hillary: why don’t people trust me? Some clues on “This Week”

 If you watched Hillary’s performance on “This Week with George Stephanoplous” today you may have caught her continued insistance re: three key themes she’s been pressing this week:

1. She will stop or slow the movement of manufacturing jobs out of the U.S.
2. The gas tax holiday will provide “billions” of savings to truckers and not affect the funding of needed transportation projects by creating a “wind fall tax” on the oil companies
3. She continues to have the lead in the popular vote over Barack Obama, if you count Michigan and Florida.

Sounds good – as any pandering should.  Let’s take a look at these claims one at a time:

1. Stop the movement of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas: she wants to take away tax incentives for companies moving those jobs overseas and offer more incentives to those who keep jobs here in the U.S., all of which sounds reasonable.  But these simple fixes aren’t going to solve the problem.  Companies are moving those jobs overseas so they can continue to compete in a global market, not to mention to keep their costs down in this era of supercapitalism that requires that they offer “Walmart” pricing of most consumer goods.  What George failed to ask her in a follow-up question is this: if we “force” companies to keep manufacturing jobs here, do we run the risk of putting them out of business?  The net affect would be less jobs in the U.S. and more foreign-based companies to fill that product/service niche.  

It’s easy to blame “greedy” executives for the continued salary gap between those at the top and the eroding wages of the average worker.  The solutions to these problems are a lot more complex and require a serious debate, starting with the question of corporate influence in Washington. But you won’t hear about that in Indiana or North Carolina, at least not from this candidate who gets much of her support from the same lobbyists that are part of the problem.

2. Wind fall profits tax on oil companies – does Hillary think that this oil-friendly adminstration will pass a bill that forces oil companies to give up their profits?  Most experts don’t think so.  And speaking of experts, when asked on the show to name one economist who agrees with her that the gas tax holiday is a good idea, she couldn’t name one, saying instead that “we’ve seen a tremendous amount of … elite opinion behind policies that haven’t worked well for the middle class and hard working Americans.”   She is equating independent economic analysis from respected experts (including some of her current and past supporters) with the past eight years of Bush policy in one stroke.  Gee, I wonder if those same hard working Americans she is pandering to would rather go to a well meaning amateur next time they require some major heart of brain surgery instead of hiring an “elitist” doctor perform the job.

3. The lead in the popular vote: as most people know by now this is a strange fiction dreamed up by her high paid consultants to spin her 2nd place showing in the race against Obama.  It’s kind of sad that she would think the superdelegates that foolish. 

At one point in the interview, Stephanopolous asked her why a majority of voters distrust her, according to a recent poll.  Rather than focusing on current events she instead emphasized her two senate victories in NY state as proof of the electorate’s confidence in her trustworthiness.  We at the PW were glad to support her in those races, but something’s changed in her character since her realization that voters weren’t going to just hand her this nomination on a shiny blue Democratic platter.  Or maybe this is the real HIllary and she was just trying on a new persona for NY voters.

Her past supporters and the rest of the country should expect more.

 

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Gas Tax Holiday is Vapor: c’mon Hillary you know better

That’s the line being repeated by economists and other experts (those elitists!) this week.  We know that McCain already has questionable economic policy credentials and we covered his good politics/bad policy decision in a previous post.  But Hillary should know better. 

This gas tax holiday idea is a blatant pander to voters.  Now that the Democrats are divided on the issue, it’s on Barack Obama’s shoulders to explain why it’s a stupid idea.

The irony of this crazy “holiday” is that most voters are up in arms about the oil companies making record profits (Exxon Mobil up 17% this quarter).   Yet ..

Some economists say that suspending the tax will only promote greater consumption and drive prices up — sending more money to oil producers, not consumers.

That’s right.  Repealing the tax will just further line the pockets of oil companies and take money away from much needed infrastructure projects, despite what Hillary says.  And, it won’t do anything to help the long term issue of rising gas prices.

Hil’s other ideas sound great (pander, pander) but don’t have legs:
Additional tax on oil company profits. There is no way business leaders and the Congress will accept extra taxes for a particular industry. If oil companies, why not porn companies (bad moral values)? Why not McDonalds (too dangerous: they make food that causes obesity, resulting in higher medical bills)?  Why not Jewish or Black-owned businesses (too Jewish, too hip)?
Challenging OPEC : this is laughable. It’s like asking Saddam to give up his OMDs (oops!). On Bush’s recent trip to the Mideast he was kissing the rings of Saudi princes to no avail — and his Daddy is an employee!  OPEC is a monopoly because they don’t have to abide by the rules of our economy.  But they do have to abide by the rules of the market.  If demand is too great they can’t lower prices.  They wouldn’t be able to keep up production.
Price of oil won’t be based on the market “speculators”: okay, why not end speculative markets for corn, beef and other commodities?  Because that’s how commodities markets work.  Speculators read the market supply and demand and the price is adjusted accordingly.  The Enron analogy is a red herring used by Clinton to scare voters.  And, any government “watch dog” she may install will come from within the industry, making any true oversight benign.  C’mon.
Throwing a bone to truckers – her numbers on the $ savings for truckers are dependent on the price not going up as a result of increased demand.  Very misleading. 

Can this please stop. Now. Can’t anyone admit that it’s about demand, stupid? The $4 (maybe $5 this summer) gallon of gas is going to be here for awhile, so get used to it.

When will a leader step up and tell it like it is?  Certainly not our current president: Bush’s response to $4/gallon?  “Oh, yeah? That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that,” Bush said at a news conference just a few days ago.  When asked about it again this week he repeatedly claimed that he didn’t have a “magic wand” to make prices go down but would surely use if he did (although his first wish might be more along the lines of getting his low approval numbers up). We as consumers have to start changing our habits.  And, yes, it’s going to be painful. 

And our leaders have to stop pandering on this issue.  That’s what true leadership means.  It’s easy to make false promises.  It’s tougher to get people behind a policy that may hurt in the short term but will reap rewards down the line. Europeans, who have been paying $6-7 per gallon for years, took the hit early on out of necessity and it’s helped them be a lot more efficient.

Our government needs a realistic energy policy that has not been created in back rooms by the oil oligopoly (Bush, Cheney and their cronies).  Provide more incentives and additional investment in non-agribusiness (i.e., non corn-based) fuel alternatives.  And, people and their elected leaders have to insist on stricter fuel efficiency standards for auto makers – at the risk of losing some votes in Michigan. 

I’m chipping in: this summer I’m rolling down the windows of my Jeep rather than use the AC.  It’s a start.

For more gas saving tips: http://autotechrepair.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_improve_gas_mileage

Tell Congress to get some backbone re mileage standards: https://secure.consumersunion.org/site/Advocacy?JServSessionIdr007=k4mc5gs4u6.app44a&cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1499
(make sure to edit the personlized message by changing $3 to $4 in the part about gas prices.  Could be $5 by the time most people get around to sending it)

 

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Hillary update: grandfatherly love in Pennsylvania

The PW will let some things slide, especially during the weeks-long run up to the Penn primary.  Drinking with the boys, bowling and eating cheese steaks is par for the course for any primary season in this rust belt state.  And politicians love to talk about their connection to every state they campaign in, no matter how tenuous.   From the gal who has been quoted as saying “you can’t choose your family” and has more than hinted at being a little scared of the hard drinking Rodhams …

-Repeating her “my grandfather worked in the lace mill in Scranton for his entire life” line wherever she goes and in TV ads, Hillary continues to play from John Edwards’ play book (hey, did you know that his daddy worked in a mill too?).  Fair game.

But, in the debate in Philly this week, what’s not getting much coverage is her “generation of gun owners” line that she lifted directly from McCain  when she was asked about Obama’s “bitter” speech in SF.

I understand that both Obama and Clinton are scared to death to offend anyone that embraces their Second Amendment rights (btw, quick quiz – what does the 4th amendment say?  If pols are so concerned about the Constitution why do they keep subverting it in other ways?) but she could have at least come up with something more original.

The other non-issue moving through the cable news echo chamber, much of it fueled by Hil’s staffers, is the question: is Obama an elitist?  Yes, Obama was pandering to liberal donors in SF when he made that speech.  But it’s not as if the other two millionaires in the race, who are members of one of the most elite groups in the country (only 50 members last time I checked), can’t be painted with the same brush. This is clearly one of the “frames” that Republicans will be using to “position” the candidate in the minds of voters in the upcoming general election should Obama get the nomination.  If it means that Obama’s smarter than you and me then please, please put an elitist in the White House for a change.

Pander score: 60
Intended target: Pennsy voters, blue collars, undecideds, elite-haters

 

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