Hillary puts her faith in Texas and Ohio to retain hope of nomination
By Leonard Doyle
Thursday, 14 February 2008
As news of her defeats in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC sank in, Mrs Clinton was as far away as possible, courting Hispanic voters in El Paso, Texas. She did not mention Tuesday's defeat, even as the wheels started coming off her campaign. Mrs Clinton's deputy campaign manager Mike Henry, who ran her field operations, quit in an internal power struggle.
But by yesterday morning, her campaign was on the offensive, demanding Barack Obama engage in more televised debates and accusing him of misrepresenting her positions.
Part of Mrs Clinton's strategy is to build a "firewall" in the Ohio and Texas primaries on 4 March, to hold back the prairie fire of enthusiasm driving Mr Obama forward. But staking everything on one or two important races is a very high-risk strategy, one which failed Rudy Giuliani in Florida, forcing him out of the Republican race.
In her desperate attempt to wrest the Democratic ticket for the White House from Mr Obama, well-heeled backers of Mrs Clinton are now expected to turn to the dark arts of the political playbook, including discrediting her opponent. It would be a role reversal for Mrs Clinton who once complained that there was "a vast right-wing conspiracy" out to get her.
But if the fight turns ugly, Mrs Clinton could end up wrecking both her and Mr Obama's chances of winning the White House in November. The Clinton campaign has already suffered badly by trying to raise the issue of Mr Obama's use of cocaine as a youth and then attempting to use the race card against him before and during the South Carolina primary. But more is now expected and the Obama campaign has said all along that there will be a lot of turbulence before it clinches the nomination.
Mrs Clinton's latest strategy could be to discreetly encourage independent organisations to fight on her behalf – a variation of the "Swift Boat" campaign that helped destroy John Kerry and win George Bush a second term in 2004. Some of her wealthiest backers are drawing up plans to skirt around election laws and run their own independent advertising campaigns attacking Mr Obama ahead of the primary battles in Ohio, Texas and elsewhere.
Susie Tompkins Buell, the founder of the Esprit clothing company, is considering paying for advertisements that would deliver a harder punch than the bland, uplifting advertisements the Clinton campaign is running. "We're just trying to figure out things to do to help," Ms. Buell told The Wall Street Journal. "We all feel very passionate about it, so the question is, what is the best thing we can do to get her across the finish line?"
Mrs Clinton and her staff are forbidden by law from talking to anyone running an independent campaign on her behalf. But in an extended television interview on the eve of her defeat in the "Potomac Primaries" she did the spadework for anyone contemplating running "attack ads" on her behalf. "We still don't have a lot of answers about Senator Obama and his dealings with Mr [Tony] Rezko," she said referring to a former political backer who is facing trial on federal corruption charges.
The danger for Mrs Clinton is that attack ads by independent organisations could backfire. Mr Kerry has already warned against the sort of tactics employed by the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" group that questioned his record in Vietnam.
Hillary Clinton greets supporters during a Solutions for America rally at Saint Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas
Keywords: Hillary Clinton, Ohio, Texas, Solutions for America, workers, jobs, unions, foreclosures, NAFTA, trade, Barack Obama, overseas, debate
At the democratic debate in Texas, Hillary Clinton borrows some lines from John Edwards.
Hillary at the Presidential Debate in Texas
February 21, 2008
By comparing Barack Obama's South Carolina win to Jesse Jackson (1984 & 1988), was Bill Clinton also then comparing Hillary Clinton to Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis? Or was he just being a jerk?
*** UPDATE *** The Obama campaign sends along this response: “Everything in those mailers is completely accurate, unlike the discredited attacks from Hillary Clinton’s negative campaign that have been rejected in South Carolina, Wisconsin, and across America. We look forward to having a debate this Tuesday on the facts, and the facts are that Senator Clinton was a supporter of NAFTA and the China permanent trade treaties until this campaign began. And she herself has said that under the Clinton health care plan, she would consider ‘going after the wages’ of Americans who don't purchase health insurance, whether they can afford it or not.”
After the talk, she continued to take the fight to Obama while talking to reporters, displaying two of Obama's direct mail attack pieces, which she called “blatantly false” and claimed that his rhetoric doesn’t match reality.
"Let's have a real campaign,” she said, her anger palpable. “Enough with the speeches and the big rallies... Shame on you Barack Obama... Meet me in Ohio. Let's have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign.”
A supporter had showed Clinton the mailers in the rope line earlier at the event. One mailer is about NAFTA, and uses a Newsday quote saying Clinton says it was a "boon" to our economy. She claims never to have said that and that Newsday printed a correction. The second mailer is about health care and says her plan would force people to buy policies they cannot afford. It is the one that resembles the Republican Harry and Louise ad.
Clinton also fielded questions about her campaign's spending habits, saying that the money goes directly to communicating with voters, and defended her position on NAFTA, saying she was not in the Senate to vote for it and has criticized it since she entered the Senate. When asked about the fact that NAFTA was enacted when her husband was in office, she said it was negotiated by the first President Bush.
The Clinton campaign also held a conference call to criticize the Obama mailers with Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Clinton supporter, and Wolfson.
"Quite frankly Sen. Obama is sending out information in the mail in Ohio that is apparently quite false in some of its claims regarding Sen. Clinton and NAFTA," Strickland said.
Wolfson followed up with some past pro-NAFTA statements made by Obama, one apparently in Illinois to a group of farmers. Wolfson said there is a "pattern" of Obama saying different things to different groups.
Clinton also began a town hall meeting here last night by acknowledging the Dallas police officer who died after an accident while driving in her motorcade this morning. She then tied the plight of the officer’s family to that of other families struggling in America today.
Keywords: Hillary Clinton Barack Obama mailers NAFTA blatantly false Ohio Texas primary caucus pledged delegates superdelegates
During debate Hillary reflects on how Monica Lewinsky tested her.
Panaromic view of Indian Ocean from Hillary's Boat Harbour
The Hill's Associate Editor, A.B. Stoddard, answers viewer questions about Hillary's standing in the democratic race and the New York Times' McCain article.
Hillary Clinton Steps Up controversial Ad Wars against Barack Obama, Asks Who Voters Want 'Answering the Phone' in Crisis
Hillary Clinton on Friday stepped up the ad wars with Barack Obama, releasing a 30-second TV spot that hammered away at her campaign’s theme that she will be “ready to lead from Day One” — and that the Obama campaign dismissed as fear-mongering.
The new ad shows images of children sleeping in their homes and asks viewers who they want “answering the phone” in the White House during a crisis.
The Obama campaign retaliated by re-releasing an ad in which retired Gen. Merrill “Tony” McPeak praises the Illinois senator for his judgment in opposing the Iraq war. Obama said Clinton is just trying to “scare up” votes.
“I don’t think these ads will work this time because the question’s not about picking up the phone, it is about what kind of judgment will you exercise when you pick up that phone,” Obama said in Houston Friday. “We have had a red phone moment — it was the decision to invade Iraq. Senator Clinton gave the wrong answer.”
Clinton’s new ad underscores her insistence that she has more experience than Obama. It is being launched in Texas, which holds its primary on Tuesday and where she is now trailing Obama in some polls.
The ad begins with a somber voiceover that says:
“It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing. Something’s happening in the world.
“Your vote will decide who answers that call … whether it’s someone who already knows the world’s leaders, knows the military — someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world.”
After panning across shots of babies and children sleeping in a quiet suburban setting, the ad cuts to Clinton answering that ringing phone.
“I will never see the threat of terrorism as a way to scare up votes because it is a threat that should rally the country around our common enemies,” Obama said in response. “That is the judgment we need at 3 a.m.”
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe noted that the ad is similar to one created for Walter Mondale during the 1984 Democratic presidential campaign. That ad, produced by Clinton adviser Roy Spence, showed a red phone in a dark room and intoned: “the most awesome, powerful responsibility in the world lies in the hand that picks up this phone.”
The ad voiceover said Mondale’s ability to know what he’s doing in a crisis was the difference between him and then-primary rival Gary Hart.
Democratic strategist Kelly Bingel said the Clinton spot even reminded her of the controversial ’60s “Daisy” ad from Lyndon B. Johnson’s campaign that showed a little girl playing a field to the backdrop of a nuclear attack.
“That’s a pretty harsh ad, but it’s a fair point for her to bring up,” Bingel said. “Clearly the Texas and Ohio votes are critical for Senator Clinton to stay in this race, and she’s taking it to the max.”
Dan Palazzolo, political science professor at the University of Richmond, said the Clinton spot taps into a clear “fear factor,” but doesn’t rise to the level of the Daisy ad.
He said it will only be effective for Clinton if she repeats the ad’s theme on the stump leading up to the March 4 vote.
“She’s gotta stick with it. She can’t just keep jumping around,” Palazzolo said. “This could be their last card that they’re playing.”
In a statement the Clinton campaign released about the ad Friday, retired Gen. Wesley Clark said: “One of the most important duties of the president is ensuring the safety of the American people. Inevitably, another national security crisis will occur. And when it does, voters shouldn’t have to wonder whether their president will be ready. As president, Hillary will be ready to act swiftly and decisively.”
Keywords: Hillary Clinton, negative ad, attack, Barack Obama, national security, Children, Gulf, Answering the Phone, TV spot, fear-mongering, campaign
an original song I wrote about what life might be like under a Hillary Clinton admin.
Well it is down to these two primaries, Texas and Ohio for Hillary and Obama. Obama can pretty much wrap it up unless Hillary has a stunning victory. Download the free Vote 2008 coloring book at *******www***loracrossthelines****
Business owner "Delfina" moves to Hillary Clinton after voting for George W. Bush (twice) over national security issues.
Hillary Clinton talks with CBN News about Barack Obama, the critics, her faith, and the presidential campaign (story aired on The 700 Club).
For this business owner and long time Austin, Texas resident, 2008 is a very different election than the previous two. Instead of voting for a Republican, “Delphina” plans to vote for Hillary Clinton. The UpTake’s Noah Kunin gives us a street level view of the Presidential campaign in Austin.
Please vote for Hillary so she doesnt have to cry herself to sleep at night