I never really bought into the notion that there’s a friendly peace between the Obamas and the Clintons. Sure, Bill Clinton is campaigning for Obama, Hillary is the Secretary of State, and all appears to be tranquil in Democrat land. But I still don’t buy it.
I’m old enough to remember the political cage-match that was the 2008 Democratic primary, with its ugly charges of racism, the ‘pimping’ of Chelsea, the whole bit. Despite her bitter loss, Hillary still wants to be president, and I have no doubt that she will make another go of it. (I’ll leave the speculation as to whether she replaces Biden on the ticket this year or makes a solid run in 2016, for another time).
All that being said, there’s a literal endorsement battle between the two for Democrat candidates down ticket, one specifically in a congressional race here in New Jersey:
A top Obama campaign adviser is taking sides in a member-versus-member primary in New Jersey, with senior adviser David Axelrod set to campaign for Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), according to a national Democratic aide.
Rothman faces Rep. Bill Pascrell in a North Jersey district that was merged by redistricting.
Bill Clinton endorsed Pascrell this month, making this race the seventh in which he has supported a Hillary-endorsing candidate against an Obama backer.
The Pascrell campaign thinks so highly of Clinton, he made it to their latest campaign ad:
For what it’s worth, Pascrell’s district is a predominantly middle class, blue collar constituency, whereas Rothman’s former district included a sizable portion of the more affluent Bergen County which is closer to Manhattan, consisting of upper-middle class NYC commuters, and a growing immigrant population. Demographically, there’s a noticeable difference between the two, but both districts are solid blue Democrat.
And then there’s this–a source I know with knowledge of the Pascrell campaign implied that there was a financial strain on both camps because of the redistricting fight, but acknowledged the Pascrell got “a boost from the Clinton endorsement,” adding “…[Clinton's] favorables are much better than Obama, even in the cities.“
The primary’s on June 5th, and I’m thinking Pascrell wins the district, based on the demographics I mentioned and it could very well be that the Clinton endorsement puts him over the top. I’d be interested to see how the other Obama vs Clinton endorsements in other CDs go, and I’m sure the Obama campaign will be keeping an eye on that as well.
Everyone knows this, or should know it anyway:
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Libya did not pose a threat to the United States before the U.S. began its military campaign against the North African country.
On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”
“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about. The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake,” he said.
How does the White House reconcile this with the fact that President Obama has authorized the use of US military in the war on Libya? The War Powers Act allows for the deployment of our military when the country is threatened. Our Secretary of Defense has acknowledged no such threat exists. So exactly when did we elect Barack Obama as King?
From the same Jake Tapper interview, this time from Secretary of State Clinton:
Tapper asked Clinton, “Why not got to Congress?”
“Well, we would welcome congressional support,” the Secretary said, “but I don’t think that this kind of internationally authorized intervention where we are one of a number of countries participating to enforce a humanitarian mission is the kind of unilateral action that either I or President Obama was speaking of several years ago.”
Clinton jumped in to offer an extended justification for going to war. “Did Libya attack us?” she asked. “No, they did not attack us. Do they have a very critical role in this region and do they neighbor two countries — you just mentioned one, Egypt, the other Tunisia — that are going through these extraordinary transformations and cannot afford to be destabilized by conflict on their borders? Yes. Do they have a major influence on what goes on in Europe because of everything from oil to immigration?”
At that point, Clinton suggested that the U.S. went to war to repay NATO allies for support in Afghanistan. “We asked our NATO allies to go into Afghanistan with us ten years ago,” she said. “They have been there, and a lot of them have been there despite the fact that they were not attacked. The attack came on us…They stuck with us. When it comes to Libya, we started hearing from the UK, France, Italy, other of our NATO allies…This was in their vital national interest…”
This is the real Obama Doctrine of American non-exceptionalism in action. Having no sense of exceptionalism means not having to take action, and not having to take any leadership role in what goes on. Oh, but we will send our military when other countries interests are at stake.
Isn’t it amazing how this new brand of non-exceptionalist, leftist Democrats suddenly have the backbone to use our military, the same military they loathe so much, at the drop of a hat? Or at least, when there’s an election in less than two years?
Are there protests in the streets yet calling for an end to this imperialist Presidency?
I’m convinced that listening to Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech — not the words, but the man — were more than a few young Arabs who were saying to themselves: “Hmmm, let’s see. He’s young. I’m young. He’s dark-skinned. I’m dark-skinned. His middle name is Hussein. My name is Hussein. His grandfather is a Muslim. My grandfather is a Muslim. He is president of the United States. And I’m an unemployed young Arab with no vote and no voice in my future.” I’d put that in my mix of forces fueling these revolts.
That was Tom Friedman in a recent column. What he writes must be true, because like, Friedman writes for the Times and is therefore, like, super smart.
Unfortunately for Friedman, he still thinks his 2009 fantasies are still valid, because 2011 has an alternate reality:
A coalition of six youth groups that emerged from Egypt’s revolution last month has refused to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrived in Cairo earlier today, in protest of the United States’ strong support for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who was ousted by the uprising.
“There was an invitation for members of the coalition to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton but based on her negative position from the beginning of the revolution and the position of the US administration in the Middle East, we reject this invitation,” the January 25 Revolution Youth Coalition said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
Apparently, these young Egyptian rebels didn’t listen to Barack Hussein Obama’s speech in Cairo, despite the fact that they only live there. Unlike Friedman’s fantasies, they did indeed have a voice in their future, and they made change happen on the streets of Cairo. All of that, in spite of Barack Hussein Obama, not because of him. Can you blame the Egyptians in giving the administration a big “thanks, but no thanks”?
And this is in Egypt, where the revolution went off relatively smooth, as Mubarak washed his hands of the whole thing and went on his permanent vacation. Imagine how the young revolutionaries in Libya feel right now? As Colonel Qaddafi is steam-rolling the rebels, murdering his own people, while President Speechmaker’s administration and the world community dawdle over what’s appropriate.
We were told all along that Obama would take a more “pragmatic” approach to the Muslim world. No more pissing off Muslims with military interventions that would just tick them off even more than they already were. No, we were told, they hated us because of George Bush and the neocons. Well, Obama made his nation building speech. A lot of good that did.
The Obama administration has painted itself into a bit of a corner:
[T]he State Department and the Pentagon have been adopting positions that would make intervention to change that military balance difficult, if not virtually impossible. On Monday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said an arms embargo included in the U.N. resolution meant that “it’s a violation for any country to provide arms to anyone in Libya,” including the rebels. On Tuesday Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that “it’s very important that there be a U.N. decision on whatever might be done,” including imposing a no-fly zone. [...]
It’s beginning to look as if what Mr. Obama has “engineered” is a situation in which the United States and its closest allies have declared that a dictator must go “as quickly as possible” – and have not only constrained themselves from ensuring that outcome but are actively hindering it by refusing to provide arms to the opposition. So far the United States has not even recognized the opposition administration set up in Benghazi – even though the White House has said repeatedly that Mr. Gaddafi’s regime is no longer legitimate.
Mr. Obama, who skipped a meeting of his top aides on Libya Wednesday, may hope that the Libyan rebels will defeat the Gaddafi forces without outside help – or that other Western governments will provide the leadership that he is shunning. Meetings of NATO, the European Union and the Arab League in the next several days may produce decisions that loosen the straitjacket the administration has applied to itself. If not, the world will watch as Mr. Gaddafi continues to massacre his people, while an American president who said that he must go fails to implement any strategy for making that happen.
I’m not sure that the United States has any reason to interfere in a Libyan civil war, especially one that would warrant military intervention, unilaterally or otherwise. The problem is that as soon as the President made it the position of the United States that Qaddafi needed to go, he needs to back that up. The Libyan revolt began while the Mubarak regime closed up shop in Egypt, and I can only assume that team Obama felt that Qaddafi would leave just as easily, as the protests grew.
If that’s the case, the Obama administration is just as inept and clueless as previously feared, and probably even more so.
Chris Hayes leads the futile charge of anti-capitalist, anti-free market fervor.
When you’re done with that, read the debunking here, as just about everything Hayes says is wrong.
This really comes as no surprise. With a Democrat in the White House, and Democrats running Congress for the better part of five years, there’s really not choice but to find somebody else to blame for the volatility in oil.
I think it’s humorous and disingenuous for Hayes to cite warnings by people like George Soros on the dangers of speculation. It was Soros after all, who famously earned a hefty profit by speculating on the British pound in 1992, nearly devastating England’s economy in the process.
You see, speculation for profit is okay so long as liberals are the ones profiting.
As long as that double standard exists, nobody should take the professional Left seriously when they whine about fairness in financial markets.
Fresh death threats against Christians residing in Iraq are terrorising families and inciting them to flee, according to reports from ‘al-Hayat’ newspaper, which cites interviews from Iraqi security officials.
Seven hand written messages for which Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility were found in various locations throughout the city, Abdullah al-Nawafili, a Christian community leader in the Iraqi capitol, Baghdad confirmed.
“Threats of these types have been coming in over the past few days that push us to leave the country,” he said.
The messages were delivered to the Camp Sara neighbourhoods of Baghdad which is home to a predominantly Christian population as well as the districts al-Amin and Baghdad al-Jadid and were written on white paper resembling doctors prescription pads. “Leave Iraq immediately or you will be killed by us,” the notes read.
The response from the United States? Near silence, and this only perpetuates the tragedy:
[...] without enormous pressure from his backers in the U.S., [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki] has little incentive to turn his attention to this problem. And yet the U.S. and the international community thus far have barely managed to muster the most muted response to anti-Christian violence in Iraq.
What is needed is a firm condemnation by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reacting specifically to al Qaeda’s explicit plans to rid Iraq of its Christian communities and warning the Iraqi government that there will be dire consequences to its continuing inaction on this urgent matter.
This silence cannot stand. Americans of all faiths must band together and pressure the State Department to do something about the wanton murder of Iraqi Christians before it’s too late and there are no more Christians in Iraq to protect. What is happening in Iraq is genocide, plain and simple. It must be stopped now.
As Advent approaches for Catholics, its second-nature for us to involve ourselves with the traditions of the faith and go about our business. While we deal with the stresses of the season, and conveniently and vociferously complain (myself included), let’s not forget that there are those on the other side of the world, who are literally dying to practice the tenets of Christianity.
My copy of Game Change arrived last week and I have to say it reads very smooth and it’s a must read for political junkies like myself. What makes the book good is that it’s recounting very recent history—the 2008 primary season was barely over two years ago.
Almost into the fourth chapter, and I find myself almost feeling sorry for Hillary. Almost.
But imagine this. It’s 2006. Hillary is coming to a decision on whether or not she wants to run for president. Halperin and Heilemann are delving into the mindset of the Senatress of New York and what she can bring to the Democratic party in 2008.
Then I read this:
Clinton’s prescription for both her and the party’s reformation was rooted in the lessons she drew from recent history, from the failures of 2004, 2000, and especially the nineties. Although her husband had dragged Democrats kicking and screaming into the modern age substantively and ideologically, she considered his administration a tactical and operational disaster: soft, undisciplined, woolly minded, and leaky.
I understand that the Clinton years are a sense of pride for Democrats in mostly moderate and even some liberal circles.
Yes, the Clinton administration ideologically “dragged” the party into its new reign of power, after 12 years away from the White House—healthcare reform, gays in the military, et al., were all on the agenda in that first year of 1993. And all of it was radical for its time. In fact, these were the impetus for the Republican tsunami awaiting the Democrats the following year.
And it was the Republicans taking control of Congress which kept the otherwise radical Clinton agenda (with Hillary in the sidecar) in check.
But is that really how Hillary looks back at the Clinton administration? As a disaster?
Unless I’m reading this wrong, the implication in this excerpt is that she didn’t like the moderation of the administration, a moderation which probably won Clinton a second term.
Did she really believe that Bill didn’t pull hard enough to the Left? Did she really think that she needed to forge ahead on her disastrous push for healthcare reform that resulted in massive fail? Does she still think this way now?