Friday, 22 February 2008
FALLOFF FROM THE TIMES' HIT PIECE ON MCCAIN
You read that right. Not fallout, falloff. This is because now that
the Times' factless innuendo about McCain and a female lobbyist has been out there for
two days with virtually no one on EITHER side of
the political fence seeing it as a legitimate story, it has fallen off the end of the
And who is treating it this way? Why the Times is, that's who.
When the paper initially smeared John McCain it was on page 1.
But where have they put McCain's flat-out denial of the allegations?
They have buried it deep in the news section (page 20 - that deep enough
Way to go, guys. Fairness incarnate.
Here is an excellent piece on just how ridiculous the Times has made
itself look, written by Clay Waters of www.newsbusters.org. In a word, it
Times Hit Piece Dying on Media
The fallout continues from yesterday's New York
Times hit piece on John McCain. The paper itself doesn't seem eager to put up a
fight as network news broadcasts, liberal bloggers, journalism professors, and
the general public are questioning the Times's journalistic standards.
Yesterday's inflammatory story, which used anonymous sources to forward
nine-year-old allegations from his first presidential run suggesting an improper
relationship by John McCain with a female telecommunications lobbyist, received
prominent front-page placement, today's follow-up on McCain's press conference
was relegated to page 20 -- Elisabeth Bumiller's "McCain Disputes That Aides Warned Him About Ties to Lobbyist."
Slate's "Today's Papers" columnist
Daniel Politi questioned the placement. (Yesterday he questioned the
"surprising" thinness of the original story.)
From Bumiller's piece:
Senator John McCain on
Thursday disputed an account in The New York Times that top advisers
confronted him during his first presidential run with concerns about his ties
to a female lobbyist. [...]
Later in the day, one of Mr. McCain's senior
advisers directed strong criticism at The Times in what appeared to be a
deliberate campaign strategy to wage a war with the newspaper. Mr. McCain is
deeply distrusted by conservatives on several issues, not least because of his
rapport with the news media, but he could find common ground with them in
attacking a newspaper that many conservatives revile as a left-wing
"It was something that you would see in The
National Enquirer, not in The New York Times," said Steve Schmidt, a former
counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney who is now a top campaign adviser to
Mr. Schmidt, in lengthy comments to reporters
traveling on Mr. McCain's campaign plane, said The Times had rushed the
article into print so it could beat The New Republic in the publication of an
article about the story behind The Times's investigation of Mr. McCain. The
Times article was first published on its Web site on Wednesday night; The New
Republic posted its account of what it described as staff conflict over the
Times article, on its Web site on Thursday afternoon.
Below is a round up of reactions.
National Public Radio quoted Media Research Center president Brent Bozell and Times
Executive Editor Bill Keller:
Conservative media critic Brent Bozell took a
shot on the Fox News Channel, by saying that The New York Times is
giving the National Enquirer a bad name.
Some non-ideological critics focused on the
failure to prove the affair, or the favoritism.
Keller says that misses the point.
"I think the story that emerged is actually
bigger, and more important and maybe more subtle," he says. "There's not a big
market for subtle these days but I think it's an important story."
Keller says people should judge his paper's
reporting as journalism, not as part of any political
All the networks led with the story, but did
feature criticism of the Times's standards. MRC's Brent Baker summarized:
All three broadcast network evening newscasts
led Thursday night with the New York Times story alleging an improper
relationship by John McCain with a female lobbyist, but questions about the
journalistic standards of the newspaper were given as much consideration as
the allegations against McCain. All three ran a soundbite from Rush Limbaugh
denouncing the paper while ABC and CBS featured establishment media observers
who castigated the Times for basing a story on the feelings of unnamed
sources: Ken Auletta on ABC and Tom Rosenstiel on CBS.
Ben Smith at The Politico rounded up
the surprisingly critical response of the left-wing blogosphere:
Greg Sargent, at TPM's Horse's Mouth,
writes that the Times doesn't "have the
goods" and "shouldn't have gone there." Matthew Yglesias accuses the Times of "shameful" dealings in "innuendo," though he's interested
in the sex-free, lobbying aspects of the story. Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft calls it "troubling" and bad for Democrats . Kevin Drum writes
of the Times that "there's no way that they 'nailed'
At the Washington Post, media reporter Howard Kurtz talked to Times
Executive Editor Bill Keller, who accused McCain's advisers of trying to "rally
the base" against the Times. (And it's working, as even conservative critics of
McCain have united behind him and against the Times' liberal bias.)
Bill Keller, the paper's executive editor,
dismissed a cascade of attacks yesterday accusing the Times of politically
motivated sensationalism. "They're trying to change the subject to us," Keller
said in an interview. McCain's advisers, he said, are attempting "to use the
New York Times as an opportunity to rally the base."
Critics were hurling conflicting charges
yesterday. Some said the story was unsubstantiated and should not have been
published. Others complained that the Times should have run it sooner, so that
voters in the early Republican primaries could have weighed the allegations.
Those critics accused Keller of sitting on the story until McCain had time to
secure the Republican nomination.
Keller denied deliberately delaying the story,
saying that would have put him in the position of withholding important
information from voters. "You can't let the electoral calendar govern your
judgment about when to publish stories," he said
Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen have a lead story
up at The Politico on how the McCain camp is
actually spinning the story as a positive:
Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign claimed
vindication Thursday night after a sophisticated 24-hour counterattack turned
a potentially lethal story in The New York Times into a conservative call to
How vindicated? McCain is actually raising money
off the Times's story, selling McCain as a conservative Republican being
attacked by the Times and pointing out the Times' embarrassment over a deep
discount granted to the far-left group MoveOn.org smearing General
Update 13:06 | Matthew Sheffield.
Even the Times's readers don't seem interested in this
story. When you look at their "most emailed" stories of the day, the McCain hit
piece doesn't even crack the top ten.
Update 13:57 | Matthew Sheffield. Jay
Rosen, a well-known journalism professor at New York University soundly
condemned the Times's editorial judgment yesterday (endorsing McCain and yet
unveiling this) provoking outraged responses from Grey Lady employees. But he
wasn't having any of it (h/t PJ Gladnick)
Two people who work for the New York Times wrote
to me with the same complaint: why was I raising questions about the editorial
page's endorsement of John McCain on Jan. 25 when I know--or should as a
J-professor know--that the newsroom and the editorial page operate
independently of each other and do not coordinate?
My answer: there's one person who would have
known about the paper's struggles with McCain and his lawyers over today's
story, and who read and approved the paper's endorsements-- or should have.
That is Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher.
And so to ask, "How does the Times endorse
McCain with a story like that looming, if it believes in the story?" is to
ask, at a minimum, what Arthur thought he was doing. But it's more than that.
Staffers who live the logic of their internal organization and its brilliant
divides sometimes fail to see what the institution as a whole is saying. The
Times endorsed a man it had reason to believe would face front page scrutiny
like we saw today from the news section of the Times. It is not unreasonable
to ask why. The two sides don't need to coordinate if both read Drudge.
Clay Waters is the director of Times
Watch, an MRC project tracking the New
It seems clear that the Times doesn't have anything left in its quiver on John
McCain. Otherwise you'd immediately be seeing more - if for no other reason so
the paper could try to heal the self-inflicted damage its
smear-story has caused.
Put another way, when you don't have anything else, and even your usual
allies are running in the opposite direction, about the only thing you can do
is bury the denial on page 20 and hope people forget it ever happened.
Maybe the best way to explain how bad this is would be to point out that, if
Jayson Blair were still working for the New York Times, he'd probably have
turned the story down cold.
Today's New York Times: All the news that's fit to wrap fish
BARACK AND HILLARY: SINGIN' THE BLUES
What you have just read is part of the lyric
line from "Singin' The Blues", a huge hit for Guy Mitchell in the mid 50's.
Well I never felt more like cryin all
cause everythings wrong and nuthin' aint
As I watched as much of yesterday's debate between Barack Obama and Hillary
Clinton as I could take, those lines kept coming back to me.
For well over an hour I found out that everything in this country is bad.
Not just the war (Troop surge success? What troop surge success?) and the
economy (52 consecutive months of expansion and a growth rate that is the envy
of the EU countries? So what). I found out that health care, social
services, treatment of "undocumented immigrants" (you may know them as illegal
aliens), education, foreign diplomacy, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum ad nauseam are
in a complete shambles.
The fact that this doom-and-gloom-fest was run on a college campus in Austin, Texas
(often referred to as a patch of blue in a sea of red)? The fact that the
audience was apparently comprised of virtually all Democrats who showered both
candidates with enthusiastic applause for every attack on everything, most particularly the
current President? Well, this is CNN, isn't it? Need I say
I also found out that the one person who will cure every ill is Hillary
Clinton; when she was speaking, that is. When Barack Obama was
speaking I found out that the one person who will cure every ill is Mr.
Both candidates tried to position themselves as new, fresh agents of
change, especially Mr. Obama. But to tell you the truth, when someone
says the other party's guy is a failure and he or she will make everything
all better, I don't exactly see it as a new and fresh. I see it as tired
and old, with the only variable being which politician is performing the
I think my favorite line was when Hillary Clinton derisively attacked President Bush
on the border fence (the one, to his discredit, that doesn't appear to
be going up any time soon). She sneeringly pointed out that if the fence
went through the University of Texas in Brownsville, it would actually cut off part
of the campus. I think she referred to Mr. Bush's stance as "dumb".
Meanwhile I'm sitting there thinking to myself that this is the
University of Texas, not the University of Tex/Mex. It is a United States
school. Could they have possibly built part of the campus across the
border in another country?????????
And if they did, WHO is dumb????? President Bush? Or whichever numbskull(s) signed
off on building the campus across an international border?
Needless to say, the CNN panel and the Democrat-stacked audience didn't
pick up on this. Why would they? Too busy applauding the
"everything's wrong and nuthin' ain't right" routine.
Another favorite was when Ms. Clinton tried to use a couple of minor
plagiarisms by Mr., Obama to build momentum against him. She played on one
of his campaign slogans, calling it "Change you can Xerox"
The funny part is, if her opponent had been a Republican it would
have worked. Since the charge was leveled a couple of days ago, media
would already have dutifully gone into overdrive to point out other egregious
instances of political plagiarism and how they destroyed the ones who did
it. They would be scouring the Republican's other pronouncements to see if
they could find additional plagiarisms (maybe Dan Rather could help). It
would any Republican on the defensive for weeks, maybe for the whole
But this was Democrat against Democrat, not Republican. So it went over
like a lead balloon. The audience actually cheered Obama's not-very-credible
answer about it.
Poor Hillary. It's not as easy to run against a D- as it is an R-.
The bottom line on this debate? Hillary Clinton needed to destroy Obama
and didn't even scratch him. To the contrary, he may have won the
If Ms. Clinton does not have something devastating to unload on Mr.
Obama in the next week and a half? She's finished for 2008. All
she can hope for is that Obama loses the general election so she can ride
to the nomination in 2012 on a "here's a chance to correct your mistake of
Does this read as if it is in Ms. Clinton's interest for Mr. Obama to
lose? If so, good. Because that is what I am saying.
Maybe she'll even help things along. It certainly would be more productive for her personal
ambitions than just fading away and singin' the blues.
ED MORRISSEY ON BARACK OBAMA'S INTERACTION WITH TERRORISTS
Ed Morrissey of www.captainsquartersblog.com has
put together an absolutely excellent piece detailing Barack Obama's connection
and interaction with unrepentant 1960's terrorists.
This is sufficiently important to be posted in its entirety. So here it
is, complete with a number of links that are equally worth reading:
Shaking Hands With Terrorists (Bump: The Hand Of
The Left has a big blind spot when it comes to the
history of violence among its radicals in the 1960s. Rather than seeing it for
what it was -- political terrorism -- and rejecting it completely, they continue
to romanticize its use and rationalize its effects. Most of the bomb-throwers
repented of their actions, but not all -- and two that remain proud of their
terrorism may impact the presidential election, according to Politico's Ben Smith:
In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer
introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the districts
influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left:
William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde
Park as local activists, theyre better known nationally as two of the most
notorious and unrepentant figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s
Now, as Obama runs for president, what two
guests recall as an unremarkable gathering on the road to a minor elected
office stands as a symbol of how swiftly he has risen from the Hyde Park left
to a man closing in fast on the Democratic nomination for president.
Obamas connections to Ayers and Dorhn have been
noted in some fleeting news coverage in the past. But the visit by Obama to
their homepart of a campaign courtshipreflects more extensive interaction
than has previously reported.
Ayers and Dohrn belonged to the Weather
Underground. They disappeared for a while after the group's activities put them
on the FBI radar, and they surrendered themselves in 1980. Federal prosecutors
could not put them on trial, thanks to illegal surveillance conducted by the
FBI. Dohrn later served almost a year in jail for contempt of court, refusing to
testify in the case of the Brinks armed robbery that left three dead, including
two New York state troopers.
Have Ayers and Dohrn repented of their violent
past? Hardly. Ayers told the New York Times that he didn't regret setting bombs
and using violence to intimidate people into adopting their demands. Indeed, he
regrets not planting more bombs to effect the change he desired. Both Ayers and
Dohrn have written about their continued support for the political terrorism of
Which brings us to the visit of Barack Obama and
the apparent blessing he received from Ayers and Dohrn. This doesn't mean that
Obama professes the same support for political violence as the Weather couple,
but it does show a lack of backbone in rejecting those that do. If Obama can't
stand up to two discredited American terrorists in Chicago ... well, you get the
drift. What does it say about Obama's politics that Ayers and Dohrn approved of
him, and what does it say about Obama that he felt he needed their
Let's also look at the mainstream media
disinterest in this story. Imagine what the media would report if John McCain
had met with Timothy McVeigh in 1995 to secure his blessing for re-election to
the Senate, or if he had met with Eric Rudolph the following year. After all,
both men planted bombs to effect political change in which they completely
believed. Rudolph killed about the same number of people as the Weather
Underground did. None of these people ever repented of their actions.
Would the media be as understanding? Would it fall
to Politico to report it, or would the New York Times have it in a two-column,
front-page spread next to a picture of a smiling Barack Obama?
UPDATE & BUMP: The Blotter reports
that Team Hillary has been moving this story today, but that they got a little
blowback for their efforts:
The Hillary Clinton campaign pushed to
reporters today stories about Barack Obama and his ties to former members of a
radical domestic terrorist group -- but did not note that as president,
Clinton's husband pardoned more than a dozen convicted violent radicals,
including a member of the same group mentioned in the Obama stories.
"Wonder what the Republicans will do with this
issue," mused Clinton spokesman Phil Singer in one e-mail to the media,
containing a New York Sun article reporting a $200 contribution from William
Ayers, a founding member of the 1970s group Weather Underground, to Obama in
In a separate e-mail, Singer forwarded an
article from the Politico newspaper reporting on a 1995 event at a private
home that brought Obama together with Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, another
member of the radical group.
Unfortunately for Hillary, some of that
"experience" on which she has run includes a big fat pardon to a Weather
Underground bomber, Susan L. Rosenberg. Rosenberg got the pardon on the last-day
flurry that also included a pardon for Marc Rich. It also recalls the fiasco of
the FALN pardons, in which Hillary played a major blundering role. What a great
way to get that story back in the headlines!
Still, John McCain hasn't issued pardons to
domestic terrorists, and he hasn't met with them to get blessings for political
campaigns, either. Singer is correct to wonder how Republicans use this
How many signs do we need? Obama votes straight left in the
Senate. He belongs to a racist, separatist church whose pastor is an
unabashed palestinian Arab apologist and Israel hater. His staff is
peopled with anti-Israel leftists. He promises to cut and run from Iraq
upon being elected without regard for the situation there. He refuses to
vote funding for our troops. He is pro-amnesty for illegal aliens. And on
and on and on.
When, I would like to know, do media present the totality of this picture to
their readers/viewers? Is that asking too much --- or are the (not
inconsiderable number of ) those who admire this set of positions
intending to "protect" voters from these facts until after the
Kinsley is one of the more hopelessly doctrinaire left wingers in
this country. And that's too bad, because he is such
an intelligent man.
If Mr. Kinsley were not so completely dedicated to fitting facts to
conclusions instead of the other way around he would really be
impressive. But that's what he does, and it makes him look ridiculous. Here,
courtesy of www.slate.com, is an example of what I'm talking
about. As usual, the bold print is mine:
No, the surge is not
Posted Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, at 2:59 PM ET
Why was President Bush's decision a year ago to
send another 30,000 troops to Iraq called the "surge"? I don't know who invented
this label, but the word surge evokes images of the sea: a wave
that sweeps in, and then sweeps back out again. The second part was crucial.
What made the surge different from your ordinary troop deployment was that it
was temporary. In fact, the surge was presented as part of a larger plan for
troop withdrawal. It was also, implicitly, part of a deal between Bush and
the majority of Americans who want out. The deal was: Just let me have a
few more soldiers to get Baghdad under control, and then everybody, or almost
everybody, can pack up and come home.
In other words: You have to increase the troops in
order to reduce them. This is so perverse on its face that it begins to sound
zenlike and brilliant, like something out of Sun Tzu's The Art of War.
And in Gen. David Petraeus, the administration conjured up its own Sun Tzu, a
brilliant military strategist.
is now widely considered beyond dispute that Bush has won his gamble. The surge
is a terrific success. Choose your metric: attacks on American soldiers, car
bombs, civilian deaths, potholes. They're all down, down, down. Lattes sold by
street vendors are up. Performances of Shakespeare by local repertory companies
have tripled. Skepticism seems like sour grapes. If you opposed the surge, you
have two choices. One is to admit that you were wrong, wrong, wrong. The other
is to sound as if you resent all the good news and remain eager for disaster.
Too many opponents of the war have chosen option No. 2.
But we needn't quarrel about all this, or deny the
reality of the good news, to say that the surge has not worked yet.
The test is
simple, and built into the concept of a surge: Has it allowed us to reduce troop
levels to below where they were when it started? The answer is no.
In fact, President Bush laid down the standard of
success when he announced the surge more than a year ago: "If we increase our
support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of
violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home." At the time,
there were about 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq. Bush proposed to add up to
20,000 more troops. Although Bush never made any official promises about a
timetable, the surge was generally described as lasting six to eight
last summer, the surge had actually added closer to 30,000 troops, making the
total American troop count about 160,000. Today, there are still more than
150,000 American troops in Iraq. The official plan has been to get that number
back down to 130,000 by July and then to keep going so that there would be about
100,000 American troops in Iraq by the time Bush leaves office.
Lately, though, Gen. Petraeus has come up with another
zenlike idea: He calls it a "pause." And the administration has signed on, meaning that the total number of
American troops in Iraq will remain at 130,000 for an undetermined
So, the best that we can hope for, in terms of
American troops risking their lives in Iraq, is that there will be just as many
next Julyand probably next January, when time runs outas there were a year
ago. The surge will have surged in and surged out, leaving us back where we
started. Maybe the situation in Baghdad, or the whole country, will have
improved. But apparently it won't have improved enough to risk an actual
reduction in the American troop commitment.
And consider how modest the administration's
standard of success has become. Can there be any doubt that they would go for a
reduction to 100,000 troopsand claim victoryif they had any confidence at all
that the gains they brag about would hold at that level of support? The proper
comparison isn't to the situation a year ago. It's to the situation before we
got there. Imagine that you had been told in 2003 that when George W. Bush
finished his second term, dozens of American soldiers and hundreds of
Iraqis would be dying violently every month; that a major American goal would be
getting the Iraqi government to temper its "de-Baathification" campaign so that
Saddam Hussein's former henchmen could start running things again (because they
know how); and "only" 100,000 American troops would be needed to sustain this
equilibrium. You might have several words to describe this situation, but
success would not be one of them..
What a guy.
Kinsley admits that just about everybody (but him, of course) sees the surge
as a success. But look at the sneering disdain he has for it.
Attacks on our soldiers, car bombings and civilian deaths are down --- and
immediately equated with sarcasms about potholes, latte sales and performances
of Shakespeare. This is supposed to convince us of how trivial a
signficant downturn in attacks and deaths are.
Speaking personally, all it does is convince me of how small and
juvenile Michael Kinsley is -- and that his opinions have no chance of
being based on reason..
Then "General Kinsley" lets us in on the true test of whether the troop surge worked -
not whether Iraq is significantly more pacified or refugees are streaming back
into the country or people are more and more able to resume their normal
lives. These are either brushed by or not mentioned at all. The one
and only true test is whether we can pull out fast enough.
"General Kinsley" admits we are reducing troop strength, but attacks our
military experts for doing it more slowly than he would. The
fact that this strategy is being employed to consolidate the huge successes
we have realized over the past year?
Irrelevant'n'immaterial. If we don't get down to Kinsley's magical
100,000 troop level by the end of the year, regardless of consequences, the
surge is a complete and utter failure.
And suppose for the sake of discussion that we do get down to
100,000 by the end of the year. Do you think in any way or form that
Kinsley will gleefully celebrate our success the way he is gleefully celebrating
his ridiculous contention that the surge is a failure? You know
better and so do I.
Sadly, in mainstream media today there are many "General Kinsleys" informing the news
reportage we get. They define as people who are delighted with
any failure, real or imagined, because it gives them a chance to sneer
at our military and at the President they so despise.
Whose side are the "General Kinsleys" on anyway?
I am sitting here thinking about how badly Hillary Clinton blew last night's debate opportunity.
Specifically I am thinking of how necessary it was to attack
Barack Obama successfully and how inept Ms. Clinton was when she tried to do so.
One of the most fascinating sidebars to this story is that - believe it or
not - Ms. Clinton was given a brilliant blueprint of how to accomplish an Obama
take-down the morning of the debate. And, even more fascinatingly,
the person providing this blueprint was Karl Rove, via an article in
the Wall Street Journal.
You can read the entire article by just clicking
here. But I have extracted the key excerpts for you below. Take
a look and see if you think Ms. Clinton would have benefitted from Mr. Rove's
By KARL ROVE
In campaigns, there are sometimes
moments when candidates shift ground, causing the race to change dramatically.
Tuesday night was one of those moments.
Perhaps in response to criticisms that
have been building in recent days, Mr. Obama pivoted Tuesday from his usual
incantations. He dropped the pretense of being a candidate of inspiring but
undescribed "post-partisan" change. Until now, Mr. Obama has been making appeals
to the center, saying, for example, that we are not red or blue states, but the
United States. But in his Houston speech, he used the opportunity of 45 (long)
minutes on national TV to advocate a distinctly non-centrist, even proudly
left-wing, agenda. By doing so, he opened himself to new and damaging contrasts
and lines of criticism.
Mr. McCain can now question Mr.
Obama's promise to change Washington by working across party lines. Mr. Obama
hasn't worked across party lines since coming to town. Was he a member of the
"Gang of 14" that tried to find common ground between the parties on judicial
nominations? Was Mr. Obama part of the bipartisan leadership that tackled other
thorny issues like energy, immigration or terrorist surveillance legislation?
No. Mr. Obama has been one of the most dependably partisan votes in the
Mrs. Clinton can do much more to draw
attention to Mr. Obama's lack of achievements. She can agree with Mr. Obama's
statement Tuesday night that change is difficult to achieve on health care,
energy, poverty, schools and immigration -- and then question his failure to
provide any leadership on these or other major issues since his arrival in the
Senate. His failure to act, advocate or lead on what he now claims are his
priorities may be her last chance to make a winning argument.
Mr. McCain gets a chance to question
Mr. Obama's declaration he won't be beholden to lobbyists and special interests.
After Mr. Obama's laundry list of agenda items on Tuesday night, Mr. McCain can
ask why, if Mr. Obama rejects the influence of lobbyists, has he not broken with
any lobbyists from the left fringe of the Democratic Party? Why is he doing
their bidding on a range of issues? Perhaps because he occupies the same liberal
territory as they do.
The truth is that Mr. Obama is
unwilling to challenge special interests if they represent the financial and
political muscle of the Democratic left. He says yes to the lobbyists of the
AFL-CIO when they demand card-check legislation to take away the right of
workers to have a secret ballot in unionization efforts, or when they oppose
trade deals. He won't break with trial lawyers, even when they demand the
ability to sue telecom companies that make it possible for intelligence agencies
to intercept communications between terrorists abroad. And he is now going out
of his way to proclaim fidelity to the educational unions. This is a
disappointment since he'd earlier indicated an openness to education reform. Mr.
Obama backs their agenda down the line, even calling for an end to testing,
which is the only way parents can know with confidence whether their children
are learning and their schools working.
These stands represent not just policy
vulnerabilities, but also a real danger to Mr. Obama's credibility and
authenticity. He cannot proclaim his goal is the end of influence for lobbies if
the only influences he seeks to end are lobbies of the center and the
Unlike Bill Clinton in 1992, Mr. Obama
is completely unwilling to confront the left wing of the Democratic Party, no
matter how outrageous its demands, no matter how out of touch it might be with
the American people. And Tuesday night, in a key moment in this race, he dropped
the pretense that his was a centrist agenda. His agenda is the agenda of the
In recent days, courtesy of
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Mr. Obama has invoked the Declaration of
Independence, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Franklin Roosevelt to show the power
of words. But there is a critical difference between Mr. Obama's rhetoric and
that of Jefferson, King and FDR. In each instance, their words were used to
advance large, specific purposes -- establishing a new nation based on
inalienable rights; achieving equal rights and a color-blind society; giving
people confidence to endure a Great Depression. For Mr. Obama, words are merely
a means to hide a left-leaning agenda behind the cloak of centrist rhetoric.
That garment has now been torn. As voters see what his agenda is, his opponents
can now far more effectively question his authenticity, credibility, record and
fitness to be leader of the free world.
Ok, I admit a couple of these strategies would have had to be dropped or
toned down to account for the fact that the Democratic party's hardline base is
pretty much owned and operated by the Sorosians of moveon.org,
crooksandliars.com and dailykos.com. But it stands as a treasure
trove of intelligence on how to bring down Obama entirely on issues and
Look at it this way: Ms. Clinton considers George Bush a dummy and
a failure. She tells us that the only way this dummy and failure
became President was due to the strategic skills of Karl Rove. That would
make Rove an incomparable political strategist, wouldn't it?
If so, why in the world would she not sop up Rove's insights like a
dry sponge? If they could win the presidency for a dummy and failure
they sure as (deleted) would give her something to work with, wouldn't
Remember that old stock market advertising classic; "When E. F. Hutton
Talks, People Listen"? Well, in political strategy, it seems to me that
when Karl Rove talks politicians should listen. Even Democrats looking to
win a primary battle.
Hubby Bill would have hung on every word.