Disgusting Tactics from the Hillary Clinton Campaign

Or, Why I Would Rather See Obama Win the Democratic Nomination. First off, this is not a post about energy policy. Nor is it an endorsement of anyone. I am not overly inspired by the energy policy of any of the candidates in either party. I think there was one candidate who had a pretty good grasp of energy issues, but that candidate – Bill Richardson of New Mexico – has dropped out of the race. I think both Obama and McCain have a more realistic view of energy than Hillary does. Hillary, in my opinion, has demagogued on this issue more than the other candidates. I believe her policies would lead to an energy shortage faster than the proposals from Obama or McCain. Obama has his own issues with his push for CTL, but I think that is a more realistic – if not wholly desirable – direction that energy policy will go. McCain and Hillary both have ethanol flip-flops that, while politically understandable, say to me that their principals are based on polls.

But this essay is about something else. I have to admit that I developed an unfavorable impression of Hillary Clinton a long time ago. I don’t believe Hillary is a person of integrity. Her actions lately have just reinforced what I have always thought about her: She is driven by blind ambition and will say or do anything to win. Earlier in the campaign, she cried almost on cue in New Hampshire after some said she didn’t show enough emotion. Me? I would have said “I am who I am.” (You can probably tell why I am not in politics.) Hillary showed them she could cry, and I heard a quote from one woman who said that sealed her vote for Hillary.

I also don’t believe that she can beat McCain in the general election, but I believe Obama can. Do you think the Democrats will unite behind her after the tactics she has employed with Obama? Do you think Republicans will work with her? Furthermore, why is she qualified to be president? How did she get to the position she is in? Was she an inspirational leader? Did she have good political skills? Was she a consensus-builder? No, she benefited from being married to someone with (some of) those skills (but who also had a penchant for philandering and then perjuring himself – yes, let’s subject the country to more of that; We all look forward to having to censor the evening news from young children once more as I did during the Clinton-Lewinsky fiasco). The position Hillary is in reminds of the wife/brother/son of some senator who has died, and then they step into the void and benefit from name recognition. Many voters, it seems, are idiots.

My major beef with Hillary is her actions over the Michigan and Florida delegates. In case you are unaware, these two states moved their primaries up to gain more influence in the election, and in order to prevent an escalating war of states constantly moving their primary dates, the Democratic Party stripped those states of their delegates (after warning them not to move their primaries). All of the candidates agreed to abide by this decision. This was Hillary Clinton back in October, when asked why she was keeping her name on the Michigan ballot: “Well, you know, It’s clear, this election they’re having is not going to count for anything.”

Right, until Mrs. “I will say or do anything to win” started to need more delegates. I have to tell you that I do not want this woman to lead our country with these ethics. The Clinton campaign, in their desperation to win and not caring how badly this disenfranchises voters, is now trying to change the rules. I think it’s called “cheating.” And her top advisor? What a hypocrite:

Ickes argues for seating delegates

WASHINGTON—Harold Ickes, a top adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign who voted for Democratic Party rules that stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates, now is arguing against the very penalty he helped pass.

Ickes explained that his different position essentially is due to the different hats he wears as both a DNC member and a Clinton adviser in charge of delegate counting. Clinton won the primary vote in Michigan and Florida, and now she wants those votes to count.

I find that revolting. Agree to abide by the rules, but then if you find yourself in a tight spot, try to get the rules changed after the game has been played:

In response, the Obama campaign said Ickes’ viewpoint runs counter to democratic principles.

“The Clinton campaign just said they have two options for trying to win the nomination — attempt to have superdelegates overturn the will of the Democratic voters or change the rules they agreed to at the 11th hour in order to seat nonexistent delegates from Florida and Michigan,” said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. “The Clinton campaign should focus on winning pledged delegates as a result of elections, not these say-or-do-anything-to-win tactics that could undermine Democrats’ ability to win the general election.”

The media has not been kind to Clinton over this, and rightfully so:

Do-or-die Hillary turns bully as Obama starts to pull away

The campaign entered a nasty phase last week with the determination of Clinton’s team to revive delegates from the “ghost” primaries of Michigan and Florida, by legal action if necessary.

The two states broke party rules by bringing forward their contests to January and were stripped of their delegates by the Democratic National Committee. The candidates did not formally compete in either state but Clinton won both handsomely.

“Two million people voted and their votes are going to count,” said Doug Hattaway, a Clinton spokesman.

They were not ruling out legal action. Even some Clinton supporters are aghast at the prospect that she might try to “steal” the election in this way. Obama leads by 1,301 delegates to 1,235, according to RealClearPolitics.

That’s right, Hillary. File a lawsuit to overturn rules that were agreed to by overyone, and resulted in the other candidates not even being on the ballot. Has this campaign no shame?

Clinton Campaign Gearing Up For Convention Showdown

The current delegate count shows Clinton and Barack Obama in a relative dead heat, with Obama slightly ahead. But what the Clinton campaign hopes will happen is that delegates from Florida and Michigan – two states she won but whose delegates are not counted because these states moved up their primary dates without the blessing of the DNC – will actually get seated.

The Clinton campaign feels that if they hold on throughout the primaries until the convention, odds are that the Democratic Party will choose to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates.

“We are the party that constantly fights voter disenfranchisement. We are also the party that is hungry for a win and we understand how important these two states are in the general election,” the Clinton campaign source said.

“An empty Florida and Michigan section at the convention would hurt our chances in the general election,” the source added.

And the Clinton source argues if that happens, and Obama is the nominee, “it would be pretty devastating to his chances in the general election without Florida and Michigan.”

Give me a break. Hillary trying to take the high ground over voter disenfranchisement? Is there any doubt that if the shoe were on the other foot, she would argue not to seat the delegates? I don’t want a president whose opinion shifts based on what is personally most beneficial. And the comment about Obama’s chance in the general election? Again, give me a break. Whole new election, Obama versus McCain. He will be walking in with a fresh slate, and I know he has a lot of support in Michigan, where even though Hillary was the only candidate on the ballot, a very large percentage voted “uncommitted”, and polls show that Obama would have won Michigan had he been on the ballot.

If she didn’t suffer from so much blind ambition, she would do what is best for the party and bow out of the race. (If she gets beaten in Wisconsin, Texas, and Ohio the pressure for her to step down before the convention will be intense.) The only way she is going to win the nomination at this point is by resorting to sleazy tactics, and enough voters thoroughly dislike her that I don’t believe she can possibly beat McCain in the general election (especially after months of reporting on her sleazy tactics against Obama). And if the party goes ahead and installs her as the nominee, it will be justice to see her go down to defeat against McCain. But it will have been a horribly raw deal for Obama, and it will cause some very deep national wounds.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

40 thoughts on “Disgusting Tactics from the Hillary Clinton Campaign”

  1. RR – Good analysis of Senator Clinton. The Clinton’s strategy early on was to declare her the front-runner and scare any serious Democrat contenders from running, with the super delegates as a backup. This seems to be unraveling ont them.

    I would agree that she is not qualified by either experience or temprament to be POTUS. Before you jump on the Obama bandwagon, you need to know a bit more about his rise to power.

    Expect to hear more of this in the next 2 weeks as the Clintons become more desperate. Obama decries the Clintons for strong-arm tactics to win the nomination, yet in 1995 he used similar tactics to keep Alice Palmer and other challengers off the Democrat primary for State Senate. In 2004 sealed divorce records for his Democrat challenger for US Senate mysteriously got unsealed. The same thing happened to his Republican challenger, essentially giving Obama the Senate seat by default.

    Neither Democrat candidate has fought in a competitive election. Both have paper thin resumes. Both have serious character flaws.

    I just sit back and think are

  2. Not that I like Senator McCain much better. I disagree with him on immigration, judicial appointments (Gang of 14), drilling in the 1002, global warming, and lot of other things.

    No matter who wins the Democrat primary, the mainstream press, who seem to LOVE John McCain now will all of a sudden find out that he is: old, grumpy, has a mean temper, was born in Panama (you will hear a mini debate on whether he is constitutionaly qualified), dumped his first wife for a rich trophy wife, not mentally stable, or whatever else they can dig up on him.

  3. As a Canadian, by the time the US election campaigns are done I don’t like anyone.

    I don’t just mean the candidates.

    It takes me the better part of four years to start liking any Americans again and then it starts over.

    🙂 just kidding… I wuv yous guys.

  4. Interesting.

    Have you ever been exposed to recent concepts on the human mind and the nature of consciousness? The best book to represent this new school might be “Descarte’s Error” by Antonio R. Damasio. Pinker’s “The Blank Slate” covers some of the same ground. Gilbert’s “Stumbling on Happiness” comes at it from yet another angle.

    The rub of the research is that, while we have the ability to reason our way to solutions, we don’t use that machinery as often as we think we do.

    Most dangerously, when asked “why” we think up a rational sequence to justify our answers.

    Early psychologists did not have access to PET scans nor split-brain experiments, but they got a glimmer.

    There is sizeable evidence that when we look at Presidential candidates we choose them for their likability or some other emotional level, and map them to our political beliefs only after.

    Surveys have shown that voters are very adept at pointing out where they and “their candidate” agree, but not at mapping their support to the candidate with whom they most agree.

    We are social creatures and our minds are acting very much on subconscious levels here.

    Let me pause at this point to say that I support Obama (I think I would have preferred “old McCain”), but that when I take those on-line tests which start from my own opinions and map me to a candidate … they put some of the “also rans” first and Clinton before Obama.

    (I test out as a “moderate”.)

    So I’m falling victim (or using?) the same sub-conscious methods here. I choose Obama based on some gut (“Blink”) level.

    But Robert, I think I’m a little more self-aware about it.

    I don’t need to cast the “crying” incident into something other than it was. I heard it, in context, same-day, and was able to draw my own conclusions (emotion from lack of sleep).

    To be honest I think your post moves from energy issues to a bit of an emotional screed … but then you aren’t really alone in that are you?

    Election year commentary is full of reasons that we should not map our specific political beliefs to one candidate or another. It is about how we should decide our emotional relationship to the candidate.

    Who is the truest moderate in the group?

    No one knows, but they are ready to tell you who to like (or dislike).

  5. I think Robert has a sense of fairness about him, and that is why this incident seems to have gotten under his skin. He is right, it isn’t fair. When was politics ever fair? That’s why people hate politicians.

    This has to be one of the worst bunch of presidential finalists I have ever seen though.

  6. Hey, it’s not like I always “like” Clinton (or Gore) that much either.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have been so harsh … but I think we all have a tendency (as humans) to personalize broader issues.

    We are more suited to dealing with people than abstract concepts.

    And so we are tempted to use people as place-holders for those concepts. We puzzle though our beliefs using those place-holders.

  7. BTW, my perception of the 3 front-runners is that they might all run a good moderate administration.

    But we can’t peer into people’s souls. GWB argued (as he ran against Gore) that he was a moderate. Heck, it became boring as GWB and Gore tried to out-moderate each other.

    Maybe Obama is the least-risky wildcard?

  8. The thing about Hillary, is I bet Robert also has plenty of common ground with her. We also all have common ground with many people that we would rather not see as president. Ted Bundy and I may have both liked the same movies. Robert is saying he doesn’t care, presuming he admits to common ground with Hillary. Hillary can’t be trusted. That’s what I got out of this. Do I want someone I can’t trust to be my president? I have already had that for the past 8 years.

    Interesting discussion though.

  9. What RR is saying is that the Clintons made a deal before the primaries. When that deal turned into a disadvantage for them they are trying to get out of the deal and change the rules in the middle of the game. Interesting.

    How will RR (and the NY Times which proudly heralded this deal a year ago) feel if Obama breaks his word on this deal: NYT: McCain and Obama in Deal on Public Financing (requires registration)

    WASHINGTON, March 1 — Senator John McCain joined Senator Barack Obama on Thursday in promising to accept a novel fund-raising truce if each man wins his party’s presidential nomination.

    The manager of Mr. McCain’s campaign, Terry Nelson, said he welcomed the decision.

    “Should John McCain win the Republican nomination, we will agree to accept public financing in the general election, if the Democratic nominee agrees to do the same,” Mr. Nelson said.

    A spokesman for Mr. Obama, Bill Burton, said, “We hope that each of the Republican candidates pledges to do the same.”

    Mr. Burton added that if nominated Mr. Obama would “aggressively pursue an agreement” with whoever was his opponent.

    So the candidate of “change” trailing badly in the polls at the time makes a pledge which will help him in the primaries to appear “different” but clearly hurts him in the general election. Will he be as good as his word?

  10. I think the Florida thing is a more rational criticism that the crying thing, that is true.

    BTW, why does’t “old John McCain” versus “new John McCain” bring out the same emotion?

  11. An incredible blunder by the Clinton camp. She’s basically announcing “I can’t win unless I cheat”. That’s a bad message to send in any event, but sheer lunacy when millions of voters have yet to cast ballots. This gaffe not only makes her look desperate and dishonest (which voters already suspect), but incompetent to boot. And competence was the only thing she had going for her.

  12. Wow, not voting for the stimulus was almost “old John McCain” … and at a time like this too!

    I’ve been following the credit crisis fairly closely and quoting what I think are the best analysis at my blog.

    There are arguments for and against the stimulus. It is a bad idea in general, but this situation could be dark enough that it couldn’t hurt.

    (The credit crisis is not just bigger than “crying” right now, it is bigger than “energy” and more immediate than “environment.”)

  13. kingofkaty said,

    “is this the best we can do?”

    Obviously, the best brains head for top spots in corporate America, not politics. Government is very far from a meritocracy, but more like some sort of “aristocratic society” with rules of lineage (e.g. “superdelegates”) and rewarding of party fealty (see the resume of the Speaker of the House and see the paucity of mental prowess versus church-going and political squatting.)

    Perhaps we would get “good government” if the rewards were there. For example, some Singapore gov’t officials have salaries in the millions. Any wonder, things go well there????

  14. OK I have been a lurker here for a while, but I have to jump in here. OK, RR, you don’t like Hillary, as she is breaking some agreements she made. But isn’t this several orders of magnitude less important than the constitutional and basic morals broken by our current prez — need I list preemptive war, mass domestic spying, torture, illegal extradition, and a “war on terror” that has already been a thousand times more harmful to the U.S. (not to mention the world) than the 9/11 attacks?
    When you mention B. Clinton’s infidelities, you seem to be equating them with W’s actions, which in my eyes are about a million times more reprehensible, as they have led to six-figure loss of life, trillion$ down the toilet, etc. If the media covered _that_ with a scintilla of the detail they devoted to The Dress, etc., you wouldn’t be able to touch your television without your head exploding. And any vote for Mr. Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran would seem to be a vote for more of the same.

    OK, *flame off*, deep breath. I respect you all and your opinions, and I enjoy your thoughtful blog and the generally thoughtful comments every day. I look forward to making calm, technical contributions in the future. Thank you for creating this forum, RR.

  15. farmer on mars, that’s the reason I’d have to vote for any passable Democrat. Despite the fact that I lean from the right towards the center, I feel that my party has to lose this time.

    To do anything else is to give them positive reinforcement that those things you named (and many more!) will give them continued power.

    I abstained in 2000 because I thought (at the time) that Bush and Gore were equal idiots (my mistake). I voted against Bush in 2004 because I thought he violated the one princilpe that is necessary before all the others:

    to honor the important truths in a democracy

  16. i am a resident of new york state. mrs clinton is a senatorial representative of this state. she became a “carpetbagger” candidate to achieve/extend political ambition. the people of new york accepted this ruse, electing her twice. her record is empty/abyssimal. [speak of voting idiocy, we represnt that!].

    had she had principles, she would have sent bill packing for the abuse/desaseing her marriage/union received from him. just what she will do/accept to achieve her ambition can be no better be illustrated than her values illustrated in her “marriage”. remember, in this “marriage/combination” we get two for one.

    what you point out in your blog are more illustations of “lake of principle”.

    but who remembers all this. analyzes same?
    we idiots would be required to THINK.

    we’re not up to that, man!


  17. “I think the Florida thing is a more rational criticism that the crying thing, that is true.”

    That’s because you feel it was sincere. What if it wasn’t, and was just another ploy to win votes?

  18. King, I’ve taken those “two axes” tests before (social vs fiscal conservatism) and I scored so close to 0,0 it was scary. I think that’s because they poll you for absolute beliefs, rather than “on the one hand” style thought.

    On my identity as conservative, that might be because by the standards of my youth was. And … I had this hiking buddy. On long hike’s we’d talk. I’d start from the conservative direction, and he’d start from the liberal. We disagreed about starting philosophies, but we usually met in the middle, on what was practical.

    Having said that first, I’ll go try these new tests …

  19. Jeez that first quiz is too obvious. Stupid question. Trust or distrust government? Both! They manage some things and screw up others brilliantly. That is not a test for moderates.

    The second quiz annoys me even more:

    15. Should all people (rich and poor) pay fewer taxes?

    What kind of imbecile answers that in the abstract without a workable budget plan?


    7. Should we repeal [or substantially change] the Patriot Act?

    In my youth the freedoms conservatives championed were not compatible with the Patriot Act.

    results: moderate progressive, economic moderate, authoritarian leaning(what even repealing the Patriot Act?), defense moderate.

    They call me a Democrat, and it’s true that I’ll vote that way. As I said above, the party of Bush 2000-2008 has to lose.

  20. I think the test at


    is better. It asks more nuanced questions. I’ve shifted, or the world has shifted with a new center:

    Your political compass
    Economic Left/Right: -1.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.95

    I’m slightly left-libertarian, but still pretty close to neutral though

  21. Odo – If you would have asked me I would have put you left of center.

    On the politicalquiz.net I came out as a neoconservative. I hate that term, but since in my 20’s I was a liberal, maybe it applies.

    I may do something this week I haven’t done in over 20 years. Early voting for the Texas primary begins today. We have an open primary system here. You can declare your party affiliation at the polls. I may cross over to vote for Obama.

    I just want the Clinton’s (and the Bush’s for that matter) to just go away. There has been either a Bush or Clinton in the line of succession for President for 28 years. We shouldn’t have political dynasties in this country. Holding out for Bobby Jindal in 2016.

  22. Well King ;-), with a 38 surely a lot looks “left.”

    The interesting thing for me this morning was to think about how much I’ve moved, or how much the nation (and the nature of “conservatism”) has moved.

    One thing is fairly certain … if this past 8 years had been from my perspective successful, I’d probably lean a little more that way. Instead I might be leaning away from things that leave a bad taste …

    But it’s interesting that we are both open to Obama! His campaign managers would be so pleased :-

  23. Odo – I think the Republicans have abandoned Conservative principles. The electorate is swerving left, away from what they believe was conservatism, but really wasn’t.

    President Bush brilliantly managed the Iraq war but bungled the following 3 years of transition. I think he was so focused on the war on terror that he let Congress get out of control with spending and earmarks. Tax cuts increased revenue to the Gov’t but gov’t got bigger. At the same time he has failed to protect the borders while illegal immigration has gotten worse.

    The Dems are even more pathetic. They don’t see any problem that can’t be solved by a big government program or a tax. Hillary wants to “take ExxonMobil’s” profits and redistribute them to alternative energy. What like ethanol? As if that will fix the problem with no unintended consequences.

  24. I share RR’s views, almost completely, on his last post.
    No, Obama is not perfect. I wish he had an energy policy.
    I like McCain, and respect his service record deeply. But when would we ever get troops out of Iraq, or the Mideast, if he is elected?
    Clinton, at this point, seems driven only by ambition. I have a different take on her crying. She doesn’t cry when she talks about people starving, or troops dying, or anything. She cries when she is asked how hard this campiagn has been on her. Boo-hoo.
    Let me tell you something: My wife is from rurtal Thailand, and if you want to see hard, see how some people live there. Planting rice is backbreaking. The sun is hot. Housing can be bamboo. Even yet, people drop out of high school to work in fields, to bring in more income to the family. Yet if a family of four works all day, every day, they can never save up enough to buy their own farm. A single mishap — an illness, death of a wage-earner — and they are back to square one.
    When Clinton cried about her hard life…oh, forget it.
    BTW, exciting article in Monday’s L.A. Times. Californians used 1.1 percent less gasoline in 2007 than 2006. This is huge. The nation will follow.
    Peak Demand. You have seen it.

  25. King, I would expect he would criticize Obama just like he did Hillary if that happens.

    That is exactly correct. I only became aware of this a few days before I wrote this article, and I almost included it. But I have been aware for this thing with Hillary for a month.

    If Obama actually agreed to abide by this deal with McCain, then I will be upset with him for not keeping his word. Is it too much to ask that my President is a person of integrity? All 3 candidates have potential issues in this area.

  26. OK, RR, you don’t like Hillary, as she is breaking some agreements she made. But isn’t this several orders of magnitude less important than the constitutional and basic morals broken by our current prez

    But you see, that’s not my standard for measuring a president. I don’t say “Well, you only lied, cheated and threatened to sue to win, whereas the other guy got us into an ill-advised war and has been generally incompetent.” I expect a lot more from my President.

  27. But Robert, I think I’m a little more self-aware about it.

    No, Odo, I am perfectly self aware of the situation. There are just certain things that get me riled up – regardless of whether I might (or might not) have more views in common with Clinton or McCain than Obama. In fact, I don’t trust Hillary. So who is to say what her views are? They seem to be prone to change based on the polls. And that is a pretty important issue for me, especially for a would be president.

  28. Three days ago I said:
    “No matter who wins the Democrat primary, the mainstream press, who seem to LOVE John McCain now will all of a sudden find out that he is: old, grumpy, has a mean temper, was born in Panama (you will hear a mini debate on whether he is constitutionaly qualified), dumped his first wife for a rich trophy wife, not mentally stable, or whatever else they can dig up on him.”

    Well that didn’t take long: NY Times dumps on McCain

    Printing unsubstantiated rumor and inuendo is the worst sort of journalism. Expect more of the same over the next 8 1/2 months.

  29. King,
    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    A few years ago the LA Times tried to bomb Schwarzenegger with groping allegations, right before the recall election. Result: Schwarzenegger won by a landslide and the LA Times took a major hit as disgusted people cancelled their subscription en masse.

    The funny part to me is the high standard that McCain is supposed to meet, just because he labels himself the “Straight Talk Express”. This coming from many of the same people who a few years ago argued that Clinton’s escapades in the Oval Office (and the resulting perjury) did not affect his ability to do his job! LOL!

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