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Tensions boil between Obama-Clinton camps

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    John F. Harris, Mike Allen
    Sun Aug 24, 11:29 PM ET

    DENVER — As Democrats arrived here Sunday for a convention intended to promote party unity, mistrust and resentments continued to boil among top associates of presumptive nominee Barack Obama and his defeated rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton.


    One flashpoint is the assigned speech topic for former president Bill Clinton, who is scheduled to speak Wednesday night, when the convention theme is “Securing America’s Future.” The night’s speakers will argue that Obama would be a more effective commander in chief than his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

    The former president is disappointed, associates said, because he is eager to speak about the economy and more broadly about Democratic ideas — emphasizing the contrast between the Bush years and his own record in the 1990s.

    This is an especially sore point for Bill Clinton, people close to him say, because among many grievances he has about the campaign Obama waged against his wife is a belief that the candidate poor-mouthed the political and policy successes of his two terms.

    Some senior Democrats close to Obama, meanwhile, made clear in not-for-attribution comments that they were equally irked at the Clinton operation. Nearly three months after Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the nomination contest, these Obama partisans complained, her team continues to act like she and Bill Clinton hold leverage.

    After a period earlier this month when the two sides were working collegially over strategy, scheduling, and other convention logistics, things turned scratchy again in recent days.

    Some senior Obama supporters are irritated at how they perceive the Clintons fanned — or at a minimum failed to douse — stories that she was not even vetted as a possible vice presidential nominee. This is because she told Obama she preferred not to go through the rigorous process of document production unless she was really a serious contender, an Obama associate noted.

    One senior Obama supporter said the Clinton associates negotiating on her behalf act like “Japanese soldiers in the South Pacific still fighting after the war is over.”

    A prominent Obama backer said some of Clinton’s lieutentants negotiating with the Obama team are “bitter enders” who presume that, rather than the Clintons reconciling themselves to Obama’s victory, it is up to Obama to accommodate them.

    In fact, some senior veterans of Clinton’s presidential campaign do believe this.

    “He has not fully reconciled,” said one political operative close to the Clintons, “and he has not demonstrated that he accepts the Clintons and the Clinton wing of the party.”

    While the Clintons have a relatively easy job in Denver — to deliver gracious speeches and accept what are likely to be loud cheers from their supporters — it is “Obama who has the heavy lifting” this week, this aide said.

    This is because large numbers of Clinton backers — 30 percent in a recent ABC/Washington Post poll — are still not backing Obama over McCain.

    The peevishness on both sides and the volume of behind-the-scenes catcalls are noteworthy because both the Clinton and Obama teams had resolved in pre-convention talks that it was overwhelmingly in the interests of both sides to get along.

    Both Obama and Clinton associates have said for weeks that one of the challenges of Denver would be to control the news media narrative, in a city full of reporters and political sources, at an emotional moment for both the Obama and Clinton teams.

    Several hours after this story was first published, Obama strategist David Axelrod and Clinton senior adviser Maggie Williams, issued a joint statement. It did not address the reportedly bruised feelings over Bill Clinton's speaking assignment, but said:

    "We understand that some in the news media are more interested in reporting the rumor of controversy than the fact of unity. The fact is that our teams are working closely to ensure a successful convention and will continue to do so. Senator and President Clinton fully support the Obama/Biden ticket and look forward to addressing the convention and the nation on the urgency of victory this Fall. Anyone saying anything else doesn't know what they're talking about. Period."

    While Bill Clinton remains angry about how he and his wife were treated by both Obama backers and the news media — and he is particularly resentful at what he sees as unfair allegations that he tried to exploit racial divisions for political advantage — he has made the decision that he will put forward a positive face for Obama’s benefit at Denver.

    It is harder to do that when the topic is foreign policy and national security, which lends itself to restrained, rather than boisterous, partisan rhetoric.

    “That puts him in a terrible bind, because you can’t give a ringing endorsement when you’re talking about foreign policy,” a longtime Clinton adviser said. “Obviously, the hard thing to talk about with Obama is commander in chief, of all his many talents.

    “You don’t rah-rah about commander in chief. You rah-rah about hope and change and a new party and all that. So no matter what he does, somebody will find fault with it.”

    Hillary Clinton, who associates said seems more at peace with the results of the nomination battle than her husband, is treating her speech preparation as an all-hands-on-deck exercise, bringing back longtime aides who worked with her during the White House years and in her Senate office.

    Jim Kennedy, a veteran Clinton press hand and now an executive at Sony studios, was recalled to work on a speech draft, as was former White House speechwriter Lissa Muscatine, according to Clinton associates.

    Many of Hillary Clinton’s negotiations with the Obama team, aides said, have been led by former White House lawyer Cheryl Mills — a fiercely loyal associate of the Clintons who is known for her relentless and sometimes combative advocacy on their behalf.

    Another longtime associate, former White House chief of staff John Podesta, said he has little doubt that Hillary Clinton will easily meet her political challenge in Denver. He predicted that her supporters will “blow the roof” off the convention center with cheers for her, and that she will in turn make a rousing appeal for Obama.

    Podesta, the founder of the liberal Center for American Progress think tank, said Bill Clinton’s challenge is harder. “I think he’s got a high bar because he needs to show enthusiasm, and the press will be looking for any stray remark as a sign that he doesn’t fully support” the Obama campaign, Podesta said, adding, “It’s a bar he’ll get over.”

    Matt McKenna, a spokesman for Bill Clinton, said his boss "looks forward to making the case that Barack Obama is the best candidate to restore America's standing in the world."

    Paul Begala, a former operative who has spoken to both Clintons in recent weeks, agreed. He said the former president, whatever mixed feelings remain from the primaries, will work to elect Obama because, “It’s killing him to watch what has happened over the past eight years. It’s been torture to watch the slow unraveling of so much of what his administration achieved.”

  2. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    Can you imagine if a fight broke out? I actually think it's possible given how bitter that primary was.
  3. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I expect Hillary and Bill to play nice however there are many Hillary supporters who are not obligated to play nice. If there is an incident it will be with the Clinton supporters on the floor of the convention.
  4. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    It's a great idea for a new reality show...

    "Dem Wars"...
  5. Bizwah

    Bizwah Well-Known Member

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    This infighting is really all about nothing.

    It's not like the Democrats that supported Hilary are "really" going to go vote McCain.

    I would love to see the Democrats lose.....if they do, it won't be because they're upset with each other.
  6. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    and hillary will pull out "bs line #3" in that "i had nothing to do with that they did it without my knowledge!"

    she uses that one a lot.
  7. DStaub

    DStaub New Member

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  8. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. Not saying these Hillary supporter will vote for McCain but how many may not bother to vote at all. The key to any election is getting the vote out on Election Day and if you have some who are less than enthusiastic about going to the polls then it can have a major impact.
  9. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    :laugh2: :laugh2:

    That picture is pretty funny.
  10. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Probably about as many on the republican side that will vote for Barr or just not vote at all if McCain picks Romney, Lieberman or Ridge.

    I think all of that hooha equals out.
  11. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    It very well could but in the end as I said it is about who can get out the vote on election day. If McCain can't get the republican voters out he will not win and if Obama can't get a large section of the Hillary supporters out then there is a good chance he will not win. As for Barr his national impact is small but in a tight race in some states it could have a big impact. I know many people who voted for Perot and afterwards were upset because Clinton won and Perot taking enough votes in some swing states sure as hell played a big part.
  12. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    I think all of those fringe things will cancel each other out. Barr/Nadar will cancel each other out.
    Hillary Supporters/Those who won't like McCain or his VP will cancel each other out.

    But hey...who knows, it is all speculation and bs on our parts at this time.:D
  13. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    This is my Favorite Obama Clinton pic.



    cracks me up every time.
  14. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    As i said it does not change the #1 rule in any election and that is getting the vote out. Which candidate can do that will win the election and those parts play a role in the very task of getting out the vote which is why you see concession being made by the Obama camp to Hillary and why you see McCain trying to appeal to the crossover vote. There is a reason behind it and it does matter.
  15. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    :laugh2: :laugh2:

    My Caption...

    Hillary thought she was the master of the evil stare, until she met the mean stare of Obama and she knew she had just been rick rolled.
  16. ZeroClub

    ZeroClub just trying to get better

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    It's all about 2012 for Hillary.
  17. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    Does that mean you think Obama will lose, or that Hillary will go for the nomination again even if Obama wins?
  18. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    For Hillary to have any chance in 2012 Obama would have to lose this election.
  19. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Sure sounds like it. The better for them if Obama loses.

    NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Beverly Hillary-billies come to Denver.

    "It's not like [the Clintons] have been bending over backwards to help Obama get elected," says Jack Cafferty.

    If you look closely this week, you might catch a glimpse of Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in between appearances by the Clintons. Hillary Clinton is doing her dead-level best to take title to Obama's moment in the sun.

    She lost. He won. She and her family will be everywhere.

    She speaks tonight. Chelsea Clinton will introduce her. She will be preceded by a video produced by her own people, the same ones who produced the "Man from Hope" for Bill Clinton. He will speak tomorrow.

    The Clintons will also use the convention to raise money to retire her campaign debts. They even came up with a cute little contest. Hillary Clinton awarded one lucky donor a trip to the convention with her.

    And as an enticement to cough up some bucks, Bill Clinton sent an e-mail to potential contributors promising a memorable week with his wife. (Insert your own joke here)

    He said, "You'll get to see Hillary speak on Tuesday and Barack Obama -- the next president of the United States -- on Thursday. And I hear Hillary and you will have a chat -- I'll make sure I stop by."

    Makes you want to borrow money against your house, doesn't it? How gross.

    It's not like they have been bending over backwards to help Obama get elected. Bill Clinton has barely been polite. He couldn't even bring himself to say he thought Obama is qualified to be president. Now, Bill Clinton is reportedly not happy about the topic of his speech Wednesday night.

    Politico.com reports the former president wanted to talk about the economy under President Bush compared to his accomplishments during his term in office. The theme for Wednesday night is "Securing America for the 21st Century." It seems Bill Clinton is forever more interested in reminding us of what a charming guy he was while in office than in acting like one of the leaders of his party and trying to get his party into the White House.

    Kind of sad, really.

    Yet, Obama's people have gone out of their way to accommodate the Clintons this week in the hopes of achieving party unity. Obama told reporters on Monday that former President Clinton could speak about anything he likes.

    Some of Hillary Clinton's supporters had threatened to disrupt the proceedings if their candidate wasn't shown the proper amount of respect. They're called PUMAs, an acronym for "Party Unity My A*s*s." They appear to be a humorless lot who cannot come to terms with the fact that the country didn't want Hillary Clinton to be president. So they have been throwing a hissy fit ever since the primaries ended.

    For these people there will never be unity unless Hillary Clinton is president. For the rest of the Democratic Party, logic suggests that when it comes to a decision between Barack Obama and John McCain, they would be more inclined to stick needles in their eyes than vote to perpetuate the abysmal situation we find ourselves in courtesy of George W. Bush and his merry band of country-wreckers.

    Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton owes some big bucks, as in tens of millions of dollars. So if you're at the convention this week and you see her out in front of the hall selling pencils, buy one. She needs the money.
  20. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    I think hillary would be better suited playing the gracious loser and doing her legitimate best to help Obama win.

    I think this whole sour grapes thing just further reiterates what many people feel about the clintons and especially Hillary. That she is nothing but an egomaniac with a wicked temper and vindictive side.

    If Obama loses to McCain I think it also hurts her future efforts at running for president by acting the spoiled brat role now. It will only be brought up later and other people of the dem party will remember and also the republicans will use it against her at that time as well.

    If she is smart she will take her medicine now, do her legit best to help Obama and if he loses he loses and she can try in four more years. If he wins he wins and maybe she will try in 4-8 more years depending on how he does.

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