Why Didn't This Clinton Show Up Earlier?

by: Matt Stoller

Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 19:26

Clinton is absolutely correct on this attack; Obama's health care arguments (and his notorious flyer designed to neutralize her health care advantage) have been dishonest and mimicked the Harry and Louise ads that destroyed major progressive potential in Bill Clinton's Presidency.  I'm wondering why this criticism from the left against Obama didn't happen earlier.

Matt Stoller :: Why Didn't This Clinton Show Up Earlier?

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No she isn't (4.00 / 5)
For one thing, she's saying a Democrat can't attack another Democrat on health care, despite the fact that she's been attacking him on health care all year.

For another, the NAFTA charges are completely accurate.

And third, she's accusing him of Karl Rove politics?

Come on.

It shows her "moment" on Thursday to be completely disingenuous, and it's going to backfire.

Further Reading

health care (4.00 / 1)
The statement clipped here has to do with health care, not NAFTA.  She's certainly on thinner ground with the NAFTA complaint if that is what she is also complaining about, though I have to say she has been consistent on the health care criticism so I believe that is what she is referring to.

[ Parent ]
She's talking about the NAFTA fliers too... (4.00 / 3)
From the press release:

The Obama campaign is distributing two dishonest mailers in Ohio. The first mailer falsely claims that Hillary said NAFTA was a "boon" to the economy. Hillary never said that. The Obama campaign is basing the quote on a 2006 Newsday article that characterized her views this way without any substantiation. In fact, Newsday recently said that the Obama campaign's use of their article was "misleading." The Politico called the Obama campaign's use of the quote "bogus."

The second mailer from the Obama campaign mimics Harry and Louise ads that the health care industry used to scare people into opposing universal health care. The ad claims "Hillary's health care plan forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can't afford it."

Further Reading

[ Parent ]
good point (0.00 / 0)
The NAFTA stuff isn't all there.

[ Parent ]
One ... (0.00 / 0)
Obama was criticized for it .. and two .. the flyers are like a month old .. they aren't new .. haven't you been reading Krugman? .. why do you think all the Obama supporters were PO'ed?

[ Parent ]
The health care charges are completely fair (0.00 / 0)
I mean, Hillary's point on Obama's HC attack.  

Join us at the Missouri community blog Show Me Progress!

[ Parent ]
You think... (4.00 / 4)
....this is a good clip for her? Eye of the beholder and all that, but she just looks desperate to me. Oh, that last bit with the Rove comparison... bad, bad, bad.

Right on Hillary! (4.00 / 2)
I'm glad you posted this.  It shows some backbone first of all but more importantly what the obvious "media" machine (including obviously some "bloggers") are doing a royal hatchet job on Hillary on trade and health care and it's bogus.  It really is, I've dug into her policy positions, record, legislation, votes and she's assuredly to the left of Obama on trade and healthcare.  These two issues are very important to me so I've really been digging around.

This is bad to me because Obama does not have policy, advisers, votes to do anything about trade really...
so it's incredibly misleading.

But, I just like seeing her get pissed off.  I like it, good for her.  


The Economic Populist

Exactly (4.00 / 2)
That 65-page document on Obama's site, detailing his positions on trade and healthcare, as well as other things, is all just B.S. Nothing to see here, move along folks. Yeah, and your "research" is so bullet-prove, we don't even get to see it. Makes it pretty hard to refute, huh. Yeah, he has no policy or votes or statements about any of those things, let's take your word for it.

Also, I do love that you still try to push that "most Bloggers are biased towards Obama" narrative, even as Matt posts something supportive of Hillary Clinton. Sorry, you really can't have you cake and eat it, too. Stop attacking people as being "Obama biased" and just accept that some people have different opinions, based on objective facts.

Finally, if you think someone being pissed off as they lose a campaign is good for their image, then I have a bridge to sell ya, real cheap, too!

Former Edwards Supporter, Obama Supporter since January 30, 2008

[ Parent ]
I suggest you do read it (4.00 / 2)
I sure did and I read Hillary's.  Then I went and read their various economic advisers academic papers.  I watched the economic adviser debate.  Then I went into the congressional record and researched the votes, what bills were actually introduced, what amendments were voted on.  Oops, I also followed the money trail too...

so by all means, read it and if you do you will realize that Hillary is more open to changing trade agreements entirely AND that her health care plan is built on a structure that is recommended by a series of Progressive, labor centric think tanks.  


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
You're changing the subject (0.00 / 0)
First, you said Obama has no policy on trade, etc.  Now you're saying you disagree with his policy.  That's cool, but it's at odds with what you said before.

So, are you admitting that your initial criticism was wrong?

[ Parent ]
little ad hominem? (0.00 / 0)
the statement was:

Obama does not have policy, advisers, votes to do anything about trade really

action clause:  to do anything.

It is well know that environmental standards and workers standards are not enforceable per the Jordanian trade agreement.  


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Haha (2.00 / 2)
Once again, you cite nothing, give no sources, don't even give examples. You just say "do it yourself!" Well, sorry, but from what I have seen, Obama has been ranked the most liberal, Hillary, has at best, flip flopped on trade. Unlike you, I like to give examples, or "evidence supporting my positions":

Hillary Clinton Claimed China's Entry Into The World Trade Organization Would Be Good For American Workers Despite The Already Massive Trade Deficit With China. "I know many people, here in Western New York in particularly and Erie Country, are concerned about this vote, and I share the concerns that many of my supporters in organized labor have expressed to me, because I do think we have to make sure that we improve labor rights, we improve environmental standards in our bilateral and our multilateral trade agreements. But on balance, I've looked at this, I've studied it, I think it is in the interests of America and American workers that we provide the option for China to go into the WTO." [CNN, 4/26/2000]
Hillary Clinton Supported Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) For China, Claimed It Would Create Leverage. "Senate candidate Hillary Clinton said Thursday she supported permanent normal trade relations for China, but slammed Beijing's restrictive birthrate policies." [AFP, 5/25/00]
2006/2008: Newsday Reviewed Clinton's Statements, Concluded She Supported NAFTA. According to a Newsday issues rundown, "Clinton thinks NAFTA has been a boon to the economy." Newsday wrote in 2008, the word "boon" was their "characterization of how we best understood her position on NAFTA, based on a review of past stories and her public statements." [New York Newsday, 9/11/06; Newsday blog, 2/15/08]
Hillary Clinton Expounded on Benefits of NAFTA, Calling it An Important Legislative Goal. "Creating a free trade zone in North America-the largest free trade zone in the world-would expand U.S. exports, create jobs and ensure that our economy was reaping the benefits, not the burdens, of globalization. Although unpopular with labor unions, expanding trade opportunities was an important administration goal. The question was whether the White House could focus its energies on two legislative campaigns at once [NAFTA and health care]. I argued that we could and that postponing health care would further weaken its chances." [Living History, 182]
Clinton Called NAFTA a "Victory" For President Clinton. In her memoir, published in 2003, Clinton wrote, "Senator Dole was genuinely interested in health care reform but wanted to run for President in 1996. He couldn't hand incumbent Bill Clinton any more legislative victories, particularly after Bill's successes on the budget, the Brady bill and NAFTA." [Living History, p.231]
Clinton Said "I Think Everybody Is In Favor Of Free And Fair Trade. I Think NAFTA Is Proving Its Worth." A questioner pointed out that UNITE opposes the North American Free Trade Agreement, backed by the Clinton administration, on grounds it sends American jobs to Mexico. In March 1996, three years after President Clinton signed NAFTA into law, Hillary Clinton said, "I think everybody is in favor of free and fair trade. I think NAFTA is proving its worth," she said, adding that if American workers can compete fairly, they can match any competition. "That's what a free and fair trade agreement like NAFTA is all about," she said. [AP, 3/6/96]
Clinton "Vowed That Her Husband Would Continue To Support Economic Growth In South Texas Through Initiatives Such As The North American Free Trade Agreement." AP wrote, "Mrs. Clinton vowed that her husband would continue to support economic growth in South Texas through initiatives such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Rio Grande Valley empowerment zone, which allows tax breaks to businesses that relocate to the border." [AP, 11/2/96]
Hillary Clinton "Touted" President Clinton's Support for NAFTA, Saying it Would Reap Widespread Benefit. On a trip to Brownsville, Texas, Clinton "touted the president's support for the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying it would reap widespread benefits in the region." [United Press International, 11/1/96]
Sirota: "What A Total Joke" That Clinton Camp Tries to Argue She Did Not Support NAFTA, "Clinton Has Made Statements Unequivocally Trumpeting NAFTA." In response to Barack Obama's attack on NAFTA, the Hillary Clinton campaign has gone into meltdown mode...The Huffington Post has followed along with a laugh-out-loud piece in which the chief architects of NAFTA (many who are now wealthy corporate lawyers and lobbyists) are now saying, no, no, Hillary Clinton was really opposed to it. These are the same people, of course, who are looking for jobs in the Hillary Clinton White House. What a total joke, really. This campaign clearly thinks we are all just a bunch of fools. Hillary Clinton has made statements unequivocally trumpeting NAFTA as the greatest thing since sliced bread." [David Sirota, 2/14/08]
Bloomberg: Clinton "Praised" NAFTA, Friends Said She Was "A Free-Trader at Heart." Bloomberg News reported, "Clinton promoted her husband's trade agenda for years, and friends say that she's a free-trader at heart. 'The simple fact is, nations with free-market systems do better," she said in a 1997 speech to the Corporate Council on Africa. 'Look around the globe: Those nations which have lowered trade barriers are prospering more than those that have not.' Praise for Nafta At the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she praised corporations for mounting 'a very effective business effort in the U.S. on behalf of NAFTA." She added: 'It is certainly clear that we have not by any means finished the job that has begun.' Clinton 'is committed to free trade and to the growing role of the international economy,' said Steven Rattner, a Clinton fundraiser and co-founder of Quadrangle Group LLC, a New York buyout firm. 'She would absolutely do the right thing as president.' There was little evidence of a protectionist tilt to Clinton's trade views during either her 2000 campaign or first years in the Senate. She stressed issues such as homeland security and children's health care, and wasn't a major voice in trade-policy debates. As she began to gear up for a White House run, Clinton became less of a free-trade booster and more skeptical about the payoff of globalization." [Bloomberg News, 3/30/07]
Ø Clinton's NAFTA Rhetoric Is Not Driven By Policy. Bloomberg News reported, "Clinton's positioning on trade reflects the changing nature of the debate in the U.S., which increasingly focuses on concerns over outsourcing and the shift of jobs to other nations such as China and India rather than on the benefits of tariff reductions. It also - as with Republicans grappling over illegal immigration - demonstrates the extent to which grassroots sentiment can alter candidates' platforms. A Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll conducted in January found 39 percent of Democrats believe free trade hurts the economy; only 18 percent say it is a benefit. Both parties agree that a backlash on trade helped Democrats in the 2006 elections. West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat, said U.S. workers have been 'so decimated' by unfettered competition that 'I think the American people understand they will be hit by it.' Clinton promoted her husband's trade agenda for years, and friends say that she's a free-trader at heart." [Bloomberg News, 3/30/07]

Those are all EXACT quotes from Hillary and Bill Clinton, and people close to the two of them. And don't try that "but that's from Obama's flyer" crap with me, because they are still EXACT quotes. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has opposed all of those things, the only time he has voted for a Free Trade agreement being the Oman FTA (which Hillary voted for as well, so the point is moot), and so at best, Hillary has flip flopped during the campaign season, not exactly a good trait for someone running for President, making many, including myself, a lot less likely to trust her on this issue.

Former Edwards Supporter, Obama Supporter since January 30, 2008

[ Parent ]
tons of references (0.00 / 0)
If you check my other comments in here, very recently you will find at least 20 referenced trade positions, votes and policy.

You quote statements from Hillary's role as first lady, which is to support her husband's administration it is not a political position in and of itself.    

She became a politician, in her own right and her own views in 2000.  


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.......... (4.00 / 2)
Care to comment on this:


Got a problem here folks. Mr. 'Hope' and all, did you read his book by the way, ain't hangin' with the progressives on Wall Street....

As if there actually were any there.

Cui bono?

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.

[ Parent ]
It's a good article (0.00 / 0)
and valid criticism, but the fact remains, none of these lobbyists are running his campaign, and he has taken no PAC money, and if "actions speak louder than words," than his actions are showing a pretty big break with his previous actions.

Former Edwards Supporter, Obama Supporter since January 30, 2008

[ Parent ]
Seems fair to me (4.00 / 1)
    Hillary attacks Obama because his plan supposedly isn't "universal". He attacks her because her plan mandates everyone buy insurance. Both their health plans are flawed. Both deserve to be attacked. Hillary just wants the women to think that she is being abused. It worked in New Hampshire, maybe in Ohio.  

Hillary just wants the women to think that she is being abused. (2.00 / 2)
She wants women to think that Obama is punching her?

[ Parent ]
that (0.00 / 0)
is so sexism in assumptions I don't know where to begin.


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Re: that is so sexism (0.00 / 0)
Well, I think you are saying that he is using sexist assumptions in his statement, but once again, the buzzer just rang, and did the studio audience use "sexist" to describe this statement? No! Sorry, try again. Whether or not he is correct in his assessment of HRC's tactics, which is up to debate, this is not a sexist statement, he is not implying any derogatory things about women in general, and accusing people of such a horrible disposition is honestly a lot worse than the unflattering picture he used to portray Hillary Clinton (crying for sympathy is not a woman-centered trait, as it is not illogical for the other sex to do so).

Former Edwards Supporter, Obama Supporter since January 30, 2008

[ Parent ]
that is very sexist (4.00 / 1)
you are sexist in what you are typing.  Hillary is angry and telling Obama the "gloves are off".  That is not sympathy, whining or anything like that, she's saying she's going to confront him in the next debate.  There is not one implication of anything else and for you to imply somehow that's going to get women's sympathy for "abusing her" ...well, I don't know what planet you are on.

More it might get a few women to vote for Hillary cause she's going to hit Obama right back and she's saying so.

Abuse?  I mean that is just from what, well I don't want to know.


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
HAHAHAHAH (0.00 / 1)
God, your posts get funnier by the second. Being that I am a member of several pro-choice groups, it is pretty hard to accuse me of being sexist, but ok, keep on doing so. It's even funnier, since I didn't even MAKE any of those arguments, someone else did. I just pointed out that accusing her of trying to get sympathy from women (when she has campaigned as the "woman candidate" on several occasions) isn't sexist, as there is nothing derogatory about women in the statement. Personally, I don't agree with his theory (I think she is just getting unhinged), and never said I did, but ok, just ignore that silly little fact and accuse me of sexism. You know, you morons really hurt women when you accuse everyone who disagrees with you of sexism (it makes valid complaints, such as Chris Matthew's HORRIBLE treatment of HRC look as silly and petty as these, and thus less susceptible to criticism).

Former Edwards Supporter, Obama Supporter since January 30, 2008

[ Parent ]
Stupidest. Comment. Ever. (0.00 / 0)

Being that I am a member of several pro-choice groups, it is pretty hard to accuse me of being sexist,

[ Parent ]
god. (0.00 / 0)
I was extracting the sexism out of the previous comment.  In particular, the ridiculous use of the word 'abused'.

[ Parent ]
Here is the WI mailer she sent (0.00 / 0)

The mailer linked to above should make clear that once again, Hillary C. is attacking Obama for something she is doing herself !

And as someone stated above, "good" is in the eye of the beholder. When I saw the attack on paper, I thought "That's a smart angle". The actual video however is VERY VERY unappealing and plays up to the worse cliches about her.

I really don't think people are going to want to listen to whatever she has to say, when she behaves like that, whatever the merits of her case.

The Problem is (4.00 / 2)
Matt, that this looks REALLY bad for her, mainly because it makes her look like a hypocrite. After the debate the other night, where she claimed that 'Barack and she were fine,' to come out and attack him on this, for a flyer that has been out for weeks, looks REALLY disingenuous. Even more so, I think this HURTS her mandate argument, which, as an Obama supporter, I happen to agree with, because it now makes that argument look desperate, and instead of mending fences, and thus securing some influence with which she can influence his Plan, she is now dividing the two, and tying the Mandate so much to her obviously failing campaign, that it makes it harder and harder for Obama to later add such a Mandate without looking like he is back-peddling. If she had instead bowed out of the race and attempted to join forces and change his plan for the better, she could have gotten a lot more done instead of simply flailing about and ruining the discourse on such an important issue.

Former Edwards Supporter, Obama Supporter since January 30, 2008

B. S. Matt! (4.00 / 1)
These mailers has been out there for weeks. When Clinton says she is going to garnish wages to enforce her mandate, that's a clear target for criticism. She has also been a supporter of NAFTA from the beginning. So what's the rub! As for her histrionics, it's a political stunt. She is trying to get some contributions. People in Iowa are sueing here because she can't pay her primary bills there.

Sen. Obama's Response:
From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
Obama vigorously defended two negative mailers dropped in Ohio that Hillary Clinton says came "straight out of Karl Rove's playbook."

The mailing, one on NAFTA and the other on health care, raised the ire of the New York senator, who forcefully pushed back against them at a press conference earlier today.

Saying that the mailers had been out for weeks, Obama suggested that Clinton's fiery reply this morning may be a political stunt rather than a genuine reaction. "I am puzzled by the sudden change in tone. Unless these were just brought to her attention, it makes me think that there's something tactical about her getting so exercised this morning."

He added: "And unlike some of the attacks that have been leveled about me that have been debunked by news organizations, these are accurate. Sen. Clinton, as part of the Clinton Administration, supported NAFTA. In her book, she called it one of the Administration's successes. And we point that out in a state that has been devastated by trade and has been deeply concerned about the position of candidates on trade."

Obama was pressed on his health-care mailer, which when it appeared weeks earlier had been compared to the Harry and Louise ads that scuttled Clinton's attempt to pass universal health-care in 1993. The ad that Clinton held in her hand and emphatically gestured with during her press conference was the health-care mailer.

"I have seen the mailer and I completely dispute that characterization. There are many people who support Senator Clinton who support health-care mandates who didn't like the characterization of it. But there wasn't anything inaccurate in what was said," Obama said.

He went on to say that there was nothing "factually inaccurate" about the mailer.

"What think Senator Clinton would argue is that she doesn't like how the mandate is characterized, because she wants to characterize it as universal health care. Just like I don't like her characterizing my plan as leaving 15 million people out. But there's nothing in that mailing that is inaccurate. When she says she's going to mandate health care, and her own experts have indicated this a mandate does not work unless you propose harsh stiff penalties on those who don't purchase it and that's what we point out in this mailer."

he said it's accurate and that's enough!!!! (0.00 / 0)
If Obama says it it must be true!!!!

how dare we use facts or anything else to say it's not true.

If assertion is sufficient..the entire mailer is a distortion

And so waht if it came out before?  that doesn't make the mailer any less ethical....the mailer is nothing but a bunch of lies that they send to one state after another

Because it's the only way he has to counter her healthcare advantage ....lie

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
How does this help her? (4.00 / 4)
This can't help her win voters. In order to win the nomination, she needs to state her own case. She needs to win back some voters from Barack Obama.

The only thing she's doing here is sliming the potential nominee of our party with flimsy accusations of "Karl Rove politics."

She's clearly decided to play dirty for the last two weeks of her campaign. It's a damn shame. She's gotten terrible advice this entire campaign, but this one can only be blamed on her.  

Further Reading

what is this (4.00 / 1)
"behaves like that"?  Seriously.  What.  Are women supposed to be demur, submissive, never get angry or assertive?  

I mean what.   Get real with it.  Are women sugar, spice and everything nice and boys are snails and puppy dog tails?

I'm finding some pretty smelly perceptions going on here.

To me she comes across as authoritative, a leader and she is confronting something real.  I noticed the Karl Rove play book a while ago on this.  But is the real issue for people she had the balls to show some emotion that is not lady like for you?


The Economic Populist

Temper is an issue whatever the gender (4.00 / 1)
Temper is not good for NO Presidential candidate. Whether it is Obama, McCain or Clinton or Dean. People do NOT like their candidates to be angry, whatever their gender, or even to lose their cool.
Whether you agree on the actual things she is saying, you have to admit she is not coming off as poised and Presidential here.

And, by the way, if Obama lost his temper like that, I am sure it would play on the "angry black man" card. They both have to fight against stereotypes.
Which is why he has kept his cool all campaign long. If she is so in control, she should know better that to reinforce the idiotic cliches she has to fight against as a woman.

[ Parent ]
I don't see (4.00 / 2)
anyone writing up such stuff about McCain the last few days.  hmmmm.....I guess in his case of temper and showing anger there is an exception.


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
this wasn't about "balls" (0.00 / 0)
Her outburst today was childish and screams entitlement.  

[ Parent ]
your perception (4.00 / 1)
which is what I'm calling on because that is all protection on your part, which is why I'm pointing out the incredible sexism going on in this thread.

Haven't any of you people worked with women, had a woman boss, can you hang with that one?  How about your own mother?


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Karl Rove politics... (0.00 / 0)
are the politics of division and fear.

Pitting race against race, religion against religion, gender against gender. Red state versus Blue state.

Tell me, what campaign does that sound like to you?

The campaign that injected race into the debate prior to South Carolina? The campaign that accuses anyone (including females) who support their opponent of sexism? The campaign that calls anyone who lives in a red state "second class" and "insignificant?"

Or the campaign that has talked about ending those tactics since day one?

Further Reading

[ Parent ]
The campaign that had a homophobic singer... (2.00 / 2)

.....rant about god's hate for gays?

The one who runs on not being a 'liberal' who called Wellstone a 'gadfly'. The campaign that uses race when it thinks it can get away with it.

Obama's got just as many identity politics dog-whistles as Hillary.

Put down the Kool-Aide.

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.

[ Parent ]
Ah... (4.00 / 1)
There it is. The "cult" reference.

Argument over. You've lost all credibility with me.

Further Reading

[ Parent ]
Don't you guys love it ... (0.00 / 0)
... when you discuss a specific issue and suddenly people start attacking the other candidate on minor and completely unrelated issues ?
Doesn't exactly scream confidence in your own arguments in the present debate about misleading mailers.

[ Parent ]
Has nothing to do with 'lady like' ... (0.00 / 0)
If it was a male candidate who got up there and had an angry rant yelling about how his opponent wasn't playing fair I'd say his campaign was also on it's way out.

[ Parent ]
An unhappy ending (0.00 / 0)
I feel sorry for Hillary, she is going down and has not chosen to do it gracefuly. This flyer has been out for several days and her much scripted attack shows she is taking the low road to loss. She has attacked and belittled Obamas healthe care plan on numerous occasion, she may have even crossed the line of outright lying on his anti abortion stand. But now because her position on NAFTA, that has cost so many people their jobs,is being exposed,she tries to shift the focus. Mark Penns attempt at this chicanery shows once again how low this man will go in order to win. Unfortuneatly she has chosen to follow him.  

I don't know (4.00 / 1)
  Hillary Clinton is extremely vulnerable on NAFTA, and that's a BIG issue in Ohio. An issue Obama can use, and has used, to cut into her support base in the state.

 So I think she's just trying to get the focus off NAFTA and into friendlier territory for her.

 It's not a bad tactical move for her, but its execution is absolutely atrocious -- especially in the wake of her "concilatory" debate-closer.

 Instinctively I doubt this helps her, but we'll see how the media spins it...  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

This is a bad way to do it... (4.00 / 1)
Because one of those fliers is about NAFTA. And now Obama has an opening to bring everything he's got on NAFTA against her.

All of her praise for NAFTA. All of her votes for NAFTA. Everything.

This was a spectacularly bad tactical error from a campaign that has made many, many tactical errors.  

Further Reading

[ Parent ]
I half-agree with Matt, half-agree with you (0.00 / 0)
  If she'd ONLY focused on healthcare and not mentioned the NAFTA flyer, it would have been a solid tactical move on her part. It would have moved the debate to her relative strength.

 But she couldn't resist referring to NAFTA as well. And that's a serious minefield for her.

 That said, none of us knows how the visceral impact of the video will play on Ohio households. It will either finish her, or rally voters behind her.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
She did NOT vote for NAFTA! (4.00 / 1)
That's the issue, she did not, she fought with Bill as first lady on it and her voting record, she voted against CAFTA-DR and she has said she will oppose S. Korea, Columbia additional trade deals.

So the flier is a complete lie.  Obama is more free trade than Hillary.  Hillary is not Bill.


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Evidence? (0.00 / 0)
she fought with Bill as first lady on it

Do you have any evidence of that?

Obama's site contains a number of quotes from her:


And this is from a 2007 interview in Time:

TIME: Do you think NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed by Bill Clinton] was the right thing to do?

CLINTON: I think NAFTA was, in principle, a good idea to try to create a better trading market between Canada and the United States and Mexico. But I think the terms that it contained, and how it was negotiated under the Bush Administration and the failure to have any tough enforcement mechanism, like pollution on our border with Mexico, for example-

TIME: That was your husband's Adminstration, wasn't it? Because I recall a lot of debate about it not having labor standards and environmental standards.

CLINTON: But it was inherited. NAFTA was inherited by the Clinton Administration. I believe in the general principles it represented, but what we have learned is that we have to drive a tougher bargain. Our market is the market that everybody wants to be in. We should quit giving it away so willy-nilly. I believe we need tougher enforcement of the trade agreements we already have. You look at the trade enforcement record between the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration, the Clinton Administration brought more trade enforcement actions in one year than the Bush Administration brought in six years.


[ Parent ]
uh (4.00 / 1)
she wasn't in government, that's a start and then you should consider reading her positions or voting record, that might clue you in.

Obama and Hillary on Trade

I have no idea why I'm bothering to respond to someone who doesn't even know Hillary was not in government when NAFTA passed, she was in the role of wife to a President.


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
So does that mean (4.00 / 2)
she has 27 years of experience working on the issues that matter to Americans?

Because, I you seem entirely unaware (at least for the convenience of this post), HRC has been counting her years in the White House as professional experience.

[ Parent ]
it means what it is (4.00 / 1)
If you cannot understand this...next time you are in a business meeting at your job, and you secretly disagree with your boss, I suggest you stand up in that meeting and announce that clearly to everyone.  Even issue a memo and circulate it out to the entire corporation.  Give it a whirl, after all you don't agree with your boss and so you should let that be known....better yet, do that in front of important customers.  Go ahead and for good measure mention your boss is only promoting this because the CEO wants him to and he's going to get some large bonus for doing so.  Maybe then you might grasp different roles in life.  


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Who was Hillary's boss (0.00 / 0)
in this analogy? I thought you said she wasn't employed...

[ Parent ]
again (0.00 / 0)
1st spouse is not to rail against their partners administration and policies.

If you cannot grasp that one and why that is so, or how the 1st spouse is not an elected office, there is no hope for you.


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Putting aside the snippiness for a moment (0.00 / 0)
I think that the issue of HRC's role as first lady is very interesting. To what extent should it count as experience? She has been including it in her resume (35 years of experience) and implicitly and explicitly running on her experience as first lady.

Personally, I think it does count in some fashion but it's very difficult to know exactly how to judge it, what to call it, how to qualify and quantify it, etc.

I would just like it to be consistently argued.  

Do you have evidence that she was opposed to NAFTA during that time period?  

[ Parent ]
you obviously (0.00 / 0)
are not married, nor familiar with the role of 1st spouse and what it means and does not mean.  Do a little bit of reading on Eleanor Roosevelt and you might get a clue.

Yes, there are many staffers and biographers saying there was a shouting match in the Presidential bedroom over NAFTA and she was opposed.


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Tee-hee (0.00 / 0)
Your response made me giggle. Not only am I unmarried and entirely ignorant of the role of 1st spouses, including Eleanor Roosevelt specifically, I am only 2.5 years old. I was raised by chickens. I live in a shrub.

There is much mind reading skill in this one, there is.

[ Parent ]
I thought so (0.00 / 0)
since you're so  busy hen pecking the thread.  


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
And I suppose we can discount her health care reform (4.00 / 1)
attempt, where she got her ass handed to her and destroyed the ability to reform it for nearly a generation with a non-coalition based, back door, here's what I will do, take it or leave it approach, because she was not in government - so she gets a mulligan.

As soon as her campaign stops telling people Obama is anti-choice, and Obama is like Jessie Jackson, and Obama has ties to domestic terrorists, and Obama will get you killed because al Qaeda will hit us hard, and Obama is a plagiarist, and Obama is all hype, and gets unhinged for the cameras as the poor victim as she attacks and attacks and attacks Obama over the same issues in the most Machiavellian, hypocritical manner, and stops disenfranchising voters by trying to close caucus locations before their ordered times, pre-filling out ballots with her name, and through law suits, and getting her maxed out big donors to spend $10 million smearing Obama with a 527, then I might listen to one complaint she is making about unfair tactics.

Help support "CRASHING THE STATES"--a Netroots Film!

[ Parent ]
She spoke out for it (0.00 / 0)
But she called it "one of the administration biggest success" in her book. She went to Davos in 1996 to talk about how they were about passing NAFTA.
Like it or not, she talked publicly about her enthusiasm for NAFTA in the 90s. Whether she changed her mind or not, and whether she was not that convinced behind the scenes, it is matter of public record she spoke out for it when her husband pushed for it.

[ Parent ]
that is 1st lady (0.00 / 0)
Can't you grasp the role of 1st spouse versus being a politician with policy and power of your own?  It's not the job of a wife of a President to contradict their policy positions, they are not the one elected.  


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Can't you grasp that (0.00 / 0)
this is the exact experience she is running on? So it counts according to her until it doesn't count, according to you and the distinction seems to be drawn somewhere at the following: it counts when it makes her look good and it doesn't count when it makes her look bad.

[ Parent ]
But she is campagning on .. (0.00 / 0)
experience .. and because Bill signed NAFTA .. it's a chain around her neck .. whether she liked it or not

[ Parent ]
Let's play this game. Based on Obama's Senate voting record, (4.00 / 1)

would he have voted for the Iraq war resolution in 2002, even though he gave a speech against it? He's voted exactly like Hillary on all Iraq stuff since. Where did he lead in the Senate against the war? Being in the Senate and facing peer and constituency pressure is different.

Plus, remember the country was for the war in Iraq back in 2002, and didn't turn against the war until 2005 or later. These pols don't run or go into office by bucking the national trend. If you look at Democrats in the Senate who voted against the war resolution, they had no shot in hell of ever becoming president. Obama's virtue on Iraq is mainly from not being there.

If he were in the Senate back in the 1990s, would have he voted for NAFTA? He's just taking a position against it now because NAFTA is unpopular. I have no idea how he would have voted on NAFTA. I'm just saying he does everything exactly like Hillary (centrist/ popular eventhough his brand of centrism is called unity and bipartisanship and hers is labeled as triangulation), and his supporters gives him a pass for it. There's no virtually no difference in the two on the substance, and on Senate records. Why do Obama backers think he would be so progressive (read: much better) in the WH?

[ Parent ]
What is the dishonest part? (0.00 / 0)
Obama's health care arguments (and his notorious flyer designed to neutralize her health care advantage) have been dishonest

What part is dishonest? I'm not really a fan of either health care proposal, but where has Obama been dishonest in his critique of her plan?

Does anyone else remember.. (4.00 / 3)
Does anyone else remember Hillary's "Barack wants to raise your taxes" flyer from Nevada???  Republican style tactics?? Hypocrisy anyone??

um (4.00 / 1)
Two wrongs don't make a right and all that kindergarten stuff does have value.

[ Parent ]
Matt, I respect you, man... (4.00 / 2)
but my point is a candidate can't go around feigning righteous indignation about a certain tactic that they themselves are guilty of...it rings terribly hollow.

[ Parent ]
2 Wrongs = One irate Woman (4.00 / 2)
and we were taught as women in a man's world to keep our cool and not to constantly react to everything that come our way.

These mailers are nothing new but this was clearly a tactical move by the HRC Camp to have Hillary blaring all over the stage and waving the flyers.

With many a primary or caucus that did not look favorable to the HRC Camp there was a negative mailer sent out about Barack.  Did we have to witness an irate Barack - flailing and waving the flyers and yelling about these destructive mailers?

What demeanor do we wish our Commander in Chief to have in very trying times?

Just saying...

If not NOW, when?

[ Parent ]
and who has bought into (0.00 / 0)
that message that a woman cannot get pissed like a man?  Do you have a mirror?  I think you need one from this post.


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Everyone is entitled to getting angry (0.00 / 0)
when it is justified. This was not justified, this was a reaction - a tactical reaction. And Hillary does not come off looking good.

***the mirror speaks***

If not NOW, when?

[ Parent ]
And the choice direct mail pieces? (4.00 / 2)
That claim Obama's "present" votes, which were part of a strategy with Planned Parenthood, demonstrated that he was not sufficiently pro-choice?

Seriously, she has no ground to stand on here. It makes her look increasingly desperate.

Further Reading

[ Parent ]
Yes (0.00 / 0)
That one also went out in New Hampshire!

[ Parent ]
I love Matt's posts (0.00 / 0)
But this one is off(Matt this is almost as bad as when you said Taylor MArsh is another Digby).....Hillary looks bad!

when (4.00 / 1)
When did I say Taylor's another Digby?  They have very different styles, I'm surprised I would compare them like that.

[ Parent ]
Go to her site (4.00 / 1)
Hold your nose when you do. It flashes across the top of her banner every now and then

it says...."The newest digby-esque blogger on the net.....
Matt Stoller"

[ Parent ]
I doubt Matt really said that ... (0.00 / 0)
trying to compare those two is an insult to Digby

[ Parent ]
Really? (4.00 / 6)
Come on, Matt...this is an awful moment for Clinton to come out and do this. It makes her 'moment' on Thursday seem even more disingenuous.

If that Clinton showed up earlier ... (0.00 / 0)
... Obama would've sealed up the nomination earlier.

Let's get real (as Clinton says). That was Clinton's Dean Scream. She lost her cool and looked angry and unhinged. People like vulnerable Clinton. Not ... well, I won't say the word ... Clinton.

And what is that "shame on you" line? Know what I hear when she said that? I'll tell you: "How dare that uppity negro challenge me!" That's what I hear.

this is not good (0.00 / 0)
she sounds hysterical...not what you want in the Whitehouse

Perhaps Matt likes Hysteria (0.00 / 0)
Anyway.. here's a clip of Sen. Obama's response. Encapsulates it all pretty well.
Much more effective delivery I might add.


Hillary's proposal IS better than Obama's.. (0.00 / 0)
the thing is, I just don't trust her about it. Not from "Business Loves Hillary," not from someone who supported NAFTA until her campaign began, not from the biggest recipient of money from the insurance industry, and not from someone who makes statements saying that she voted for the AUMF, but she had no idea Bush would actually use it to go to war!

This doesn't help either:

The Clintons recognize the skill Rove has brought to politics and admire his craft, if not his ideology. Just days after the November 2004 election, Bill Clinton pulled Rove aside at the dedication of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas. "Hey, you did a marvelous job, it was just marvelous what you did," Clinton told Rove, according to the book "The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008," by John F. Harris and Mark Halperin. "I want to get you down to the library. I want to talk politics with you. You just did an incredible job, and I'd like to really get together with you and I think we could have a great conversation."

Or this:

Clinton's campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, seems to agree with that assessment, having effectively vowed to run her operation much as Rove did his two successful national campaigns. "She expresses admiration for the way George W. Bush's campaign team controlled its message, and, given her druthers, would run this race no differently," Michelle Cottle writes this month in New York magazine. " 'We are a very disciplined group, and I am very proud of it,' she says with a defiant edge."

credit to: http://www.dailykos.com/storyo...

I was really disappointed to see the the Harry and Lousie 2.0 fliers. Health care and mandates really are the best thing for Hillary to run on. But what I've seen this campaign has given me a massive distrust of the Clintons, and with a devil is in the details thing like health care, I just don't think she'd be all that much better than Obama. With all politicians, but particularly with the Clintons, there's a lot of room between what they say, and what they actually have done/will do.

Sorry, i don't want my wages garnished. (0.00 / 0)
I want government out of my life as much as possible.

that is ridiculous (4.00 / 1)
no one is garnishing your wages.  That's mud and not true.  


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
I suppose you don't drive or take public transportation then (0.00 / 0)
just saying.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
From an Obama Supporter (4.00 / 1)
Unfortunately this will be (and already is being) spun as either a Dean Scream 2.0 or the Return of the Fighter. It's silly. They've both put out terrible flyers throughout this campaign.

On the healthcare point, she's got him. It's a crappy ad he put out and I wish they send that layout to the trash bin.

On NAFTA, that's certainly debatable.

That's the thing though, why the aggressiveness today and not at the debate on Tuesday? These ads have been around for a while. Why the outrage today, at a press conference, instead of confronting him in front of millions of people? Hopefully they'll air it out Tuesday, but I think today's conference was weak sauce ... please slam him, I'm curious to see how he takes it, but say it to his face.

even if she loses (0.00 / 0)
if she stays in the race long enough to push Obama left on health care, that  would be great. but given her performance today, I think it would just be counter-effective.

[ Parent ]
agree (0.00 / 0)
I agree with you. I am giving you a 4 not for that but for being the first reasonable Obama supporter I've seen in along while. I am pretty much agnostic , I have my days, about whom I want to win at this point. But, the behavior above, the right wing talking points coming out of supposed progressive voters, is beyond me. On that front, Clinton is absolutely right. THe fact is this poisons the well for whatever reform will happen. I mean one guy above actually claims she plans to 'garnish wages"

[ Parent ]
The evening news was brutal (0.00 / 0)
on Clinton...they showed Clinton hitting Obama, and then spent the next several minutes praising Obama.

Some of the arguments here... (4.00 / 1)
   ....which include words like "hysterical" and "unhinged", are NOT going to convince Hillary Clinton voters to switch to Obama.

  I am an Obama supporter in this primary, in large part because I want to drive a stake through the heart of the DLC, and that won't happen if elements like Wolfson and Penn and McAuliffe and Carville retain power within the party.  

  But these sexist attacks are NOT helpful or dignified in any way. Hillary's on shaky enough ground in the substance of her attacks on Obama, and her tone here is in direct conflict with the conciliatory persona she projected in the debate. That should be convincing enough -- there's no need to revert to sexist ugliness.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

At least online (0.00 / 0)
I begining to question whether all these people are actually Obama supporters or insteand reject Republicans with no place else to go.

[ Parent ]
At the end of the day (0.00 / 0)
I sadly think this is likely to get more coverage as a "New Dean Scream" rather than for the substantive issues at heart.

Former Edwards Supporter, Obama Supporter since January 30, 2008

What? (0.00 / 0)
What notorious flier?
You linked to a web page without the flier on it.

anyone else not able to view comments in this diary? (0.00 / 0)
I see it says there are 72 comments, but they don't show up. The other diaries seem alright.

Having trouble seeing the comments... (0.00 / 0)
But I don't know why this is so out of play.  Clinton has certainly criticized Obama's health plan (in ways that are also not entirely accurate), why can't her's be criticized as well?

And if she wants to argue against NAFTA, by all means, she should.  But if she wants to claim that she never supported it, then that's just lying.  She can apologize for supporting it, or say something along the same lines as how she defended her Iraq vote if she wants (ie, "It was good at the time, but now it's not", or something thereabouts), but she's basically flat-out lying if she said she never supported it.

anybody else having trouble loading comments? (0.00 / 0)
i cannot see the comments on this thread no matter what I do...

Hillary's reaction is so over the top (0.00 / 0)
that it makes one wonder what she is trying to accomplish at this point.

John McCain doesn't care about Vets.

Not even close (4.00 / 2)
Today's demeaning rant was over TWO issues, healthcare and NAFTA.

1.  factcheck.org confirmed that the criticism of the Clinton mandatory concept was accurate when the mailers came out three weeks ago.

2.  Clinton herself introduced the scary term "garnish wages" as one of her potential means of forcing people to pay for her plan whether they could afford it or not.

3.  The confirmed innaccuracy in the healthcare debate is Clinton's claim that 15 million people would be left out under the Obama plan.  The Clinton researcher who came up with that number is on record admitting that his number was unsubstantiated.

4.  And as to NAFTA, Clinton has been on record for years praising NAFTA, called it a great Clinton achievement in her book, and didn't flip on her position until recent debates.

5.  It is Clinton, not Obama, using the Rovian tactics she decries with this pathetic attempt to kill the messenger.

To parse out one tiny portion of her wild attack while ignoring the rest of the substance is simply supporting the tactics which she tries to blame on others.

Obama's attacks have been justified and correct--he should extend (0.00 / 0)
Individual mandates are the TOP lobbying priority of the insurance industry nationally and in states around the country.  9 of California's 10 largest insurers, for example, suppored Arnold Schwarzenegger's version, and actively campaigned for the measure.  These insurers see guaranteed profits, a future in the heart of the healthcare industry, the replacement of group policies with individual ones, and an end to the "threat" of genuine healthcare reform on the individual models.  Progressives who think this is a good idea are fooling themselves.  

Obama smartly hits one failure of this policy, that people can't afford this deal; and they can't; the idea of forcing people to buy products no matter the price is ridiculous.  Obama should in fact extend his attacks on the individual mandate in order to clarify his arguments against them.

That said, at this point, the candidates' plan specifics are not too important.  Either one will end up with a bill on their desk written by Ted Kennedy.  Fortunately, he is a leading advocate for single-payer reforms.

Join the California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee in the fight for guaranteed healthcare on the single-payer model at www.GuaranteedHealthcare.org/blog

Exhibit A of what I said above- (0.00 / 0)
this person is on record in a diary of mine over at mydd as saying she will vote for McCain should Clinton win. Does that sound like a Democratic to some other fellow Obama supporters to you? Just want to make it clear who is in your coalition. Some of them not only aren't Democrats, they are also not progressives in any shape or form.

[ Parent ]
Go check the California Nurses Association website (0.00 / 0)
This is the actual position of CNA, one of the most progressive and powerful unions in California. Not that they would endorse McCain over Hillary, but the strong opposition to individual mandates. Hillary is carrying some very heavy water for the insurance industry, and she's livid at Obama calling her on it. This little sweetheart deal was supposed to pass through unnoticed in the process of her coronation. Obama's done us all a huge favor by killing it in the primary, however, because if he can make hay out of it amongst the liberal Democratic base, just imagine how bad it would go over in the general election.

[ Parent ]
WHOA (0.00 / 0)
I think this comment may be mis-located, and referring to another comment.  No one from CNA has ever said what you wrote re: McCain.  His healthcare plan is by far the worse of the the three remaining major candidates, in fact he seems to refuse to recognize that there is a healthcare crisis at all.

That said let me underscore again--individual mandates are seen by the insurance sector as their golden ticket; they will hurt patients and hamstring healthcare reform.  They are bad bad news, and any noise activists or candidates can make against them is quite welcome.

Join the California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee in the fight for guaranteed healthcare on the single-payer model at www.GuaranteedHealthcare.org/blog

[ Parent ]
Well, maybe this is how Obama felt in NH (4.00 / 1)
as she LIED about his record on Choice.  

We have seen this Clinton before (0.00 / 0)
In New Hampshire before the primary and during the whole MSNBC Chelsea Clinton dustup.  

On the merits of this particular case (Ohio mailers) the Harry and Louise comparison seems hyperbole.  The mailers are often the most questionable of all the campaign tools, and the Clinton mailers sent out days before the Massachusetts primary seemed pretty questionable to me.

As for the campaign angle HRC has more than once gone the route of casting herself as under unfair attack.  This may work in the very short run in a particular spot for a few days, but this strategy also raises difficult questions: how can a campaign that began with so many advantages plausibly be cast as the underdog?  And why should Democrats put their faith in such a campaign for the general election?  It is possible that the HRC campaign may be able to resuscitate itself by playing up a few (possible and not at all certain) victories in the most favorable possible circumstances, but the Clinton campaign seems best at losing leads.  Sometimes they lose all of a lead, and sometimes they lose only most or part of a lead.  These are not qualities to inspire confidence for the general election.  A best case scenarior argument: by circling the wagons I just managed to avoid complete collapse in a few major states--make me your Presidential candidate in November.

It is also not certain how many times the HRC campaign can run the unfairly under attack gambit, especially in a long general election campaign.  

This Clinton Has Always Been Around--That's the Problem (0.00 / 0)
Clinton is absolutely correct on this attack

My questions, Matt, and Clinton refuses to answer them are:

1. How is she going to enforce this mandate?
2. She says that the poor will not have to pay, but what about the middle class who are already over extended?  Will they still have to pay and/or be fined? What will be considered poor--a family of four that make under $20,000/year or a family that make under $40,000/year?

These are questions Sen. Clinton refuses to address, and this is why her health care plan is flawed.

Now if she had a single-payer plan, I would be all about that.  But it seems like her plan still is putting the burden on the middle class.

BTW--this feigned outrage was a tactic by Sen. Clinton.  These flyers had been going out for weeks, and now she's upset.  Why didn't she challenge Obama on NAFTA Thursday when she said it was an "honor" to be sitting next to him.  She knows her constituents in south Texas love NAFTA, and her constituents in Ohio hate NAFTA.

Why Didn't This Clinton Show Up Earlier? (0.00 / 0)
Ask Machiavelli...

Help support "CRASHING THE STATES"--a Netroots Film!

Obama Has Been (0.00 / 0)
parroting right-wing talking points all along; remember "fixing" Social Security?  She should have been taking him on all long on this.

I also agree with the substance of her argument. (0.00 / 0)
Substantively I agree with the criticism. Had she picked this theme and stuck to it as a major campaign point - campaigning against Obama on health care from the left - I probably would have preferred her to Obama.

Health care is too important an issue to elect a "centrist" on, and Obama's health care proposal (even before the inevitable watering down) isn't very far left of "centrist".


Practically, Clinton won't get much traction towards a nomination out of this attack because:

(1) a majority will see the attack as mostly artificial/contrived, because it is an abrupt shift of tone, it has arrived only when Clinton's behind in the race, and because Clinton is especially vulnerable to this charge (insert media bias here);

(2) it's too late anyways because Clinton needs to win both Texas and Ohio to stay viable, and that's extremely unlikely.

I guess she's not so honored to be with Barack (0.00 / 0)

I think Barack is wrong on this, and its distressing, as has been previously noted, that the flier was printed. But its also pretty funny to hear HRC decrying someone using Rove tactics cough Jessie Jackson Vote cough.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare


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