mm330: They’re ganging up on her!

MUDGE’s Musings

Can’t help it! It’s like a tennis match, this run-up to the Democratic convention.

Ooh, she hit a good one!

Swack! He got her good on that one!


And, the happiest tennis fan in the stadium is John McCain, who sees the Democrats doing the heavy lifting for he and the until recently hapless Republican party. They’ve gotta be figuring that Clinton and Obama are dealing each other unrecoverable blows; they’ll be too exhausted to put up a defense against him come the general election, and McCain and the Republicans must be taking notes on what stroke aimed where is the most effective.

End of the tennis allusion; never my game, actually. (I was left-handed before left-handed tennis was glamorous.) But, you see its appropriateness.

He’s winning; she and her staff are working at fever pitch to stop him. Kind of ugly out there.

And the professional commentariat notices (as, of course, do we modestly talented amateurs):


Hillary or Nobody?

By MAUREEN DOWD | Published: March 26, 2008

While the cool cat’s away, the Hillary mice will play.

As Barack Obama was floating in the pool with his daughters the last few days in St. Thomas, some Clinton disciples were floating the idea of St. Hillary as his vice president.

She can’t win without him, said one Hillary adviser, and he can’t win without her.

They’re stuck with each other.

It’s one of my favorite movie formulas, driving the dynamics in such classics as “A Few Good Men,” “The Big Easy” and “Guys and Dolls”: Charming, glib guy spars and quarrels with no-nonsense, driven girl, until they team up in the last reel. He spices up her life, and she stiffens his spine. And soon they hear the pitter-patter of little superdelegate feet, who are thrilled not to be pulled in two directions anymore.

And everybody’s happy. Or are they?

Dowd sees a downright Machiavellian twist: beat up Obama, let McCain win, and…

Even some Clinton loyalists are wondering aloud if the win-at-all-costs strategy of Hillary and Bill — which continued Tuesday when Hillary tried to drag Rev. Wright back into the spotlight — is designed to rough up Obama so badly and leave the party so riven that Obama will lose in November to John McCain.

If McCain only served one term, Hillary would have one last shot. On Election Day in 2012, she’d be 65.

Plausible, in an “inside the beltway” sort of analysis. Ugly though.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Hillary or Nobody? – New York Times

So, if this was just Maureen Dowd, one could chalk it up to “how am I going to fill the column inches today?” and move on.

Exhibit 2, from the day before:


The Long Defeat

By DAVID BROOKS | Published: March 25, 2008

Hillary Clinton may not realize it yet, but she’s just endured one of the worst weeks of her campaign.

It seems fairly clear from Brooks’ reading of the tea leaves, that Clinton can most likely not gain the nomination. Her chances now?

Last week, an important Clinton adviser told Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen (also of Politico) that Clinton had no more than a 10 percent chance of getting the nomination. Now, she’s probably down to a 5 percent chance.

Five percent.

Let’s take a look at what she’s going to put her party through for the sake of that 5 percent chance: The Democratic Party is probably going to have to endure another three months of daily sniping. For another three months, we’ll have the Carvilles likening the Obamaites to Judas and former generals accusing Clintonites of McCarthyism. For three months, we’ll have the daily round of résumé padding and sulfurous conference calls. We’ll have campaign aides blurting “blue dress” and only-because-he’s-black references as they let slip their private contempt.

And here’s the cruelest quote of all:

When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness.

Brooks thinks she should do the right thing, wait for the right moment (but a soon moment), and withdraw.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

The Long Defeat – New York Times

Now to Exhibit 3:

Obama has not only out-campaigned her, she’s also done an excellent job of stabbing herself in the eyeball.

This from one of our favorite writers at Slate, Emily Yoffe, posting in Slate’s “The XX Factor” blog:



By Emily Yoffe | Published Thursday, March 27, 2008 1:05 PM

One of Hillary Clinton’s rationales for staying in the race when she was getting battered in a string of defeats was that she was so much more experienced than Barack Obama, that over time his inexperience would cause him to stumble. That would leave Clinton, having been so gruelingly tested over so many years, ultimately victorious. But isn’t it ironic that now a central Clinton claim on the presidency—her experience—is making her look foolish.

One “exaggeration” after another, all that experience. “First Lady” is a very polite title; but it’s not “Vice President” for heaven’s sake!

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

The XX Factor : Experience?

So, let’s put these “mis-remembered” incidents into context. As the video that outed Mrs. Clinton this week shows, there are people who were there, and remember what was happening in Bosnia with, let’s just say, more certain accuracy.

Exhibit 4:


Imagined Snipers, Real Challenges

By ROGER COHEN | Published: March 27, 2008

Here’s some news for Hillary Clinton: the Bosnian war was over in 1996.

Those of us, like myself, who first went to Bosnia at the start of the war in 1992 and then, in 1994 and 1995, endured President Bill Clinton’s circumlocutions as we sat in an encircled Sarajevo watching pregnant women getting blown away by shelling from Serbian gunners, know that…

So, yes, the war was well and truly over when Hillary Clinton arrived in the northeastern Bosnian town of Tuzla on March 25, 1996. It was over, although she recently recalled “landing under sniper fire.” It was over when “we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

So what’s this all about, these lies about experience? Seems straightforward to me: it’s SOP today to distort, or lie outright on one’s résumé. For a journalist to make up quotes if the real ones are too inconvenient to acquire. For autobiographers to totally invent a colorful past. CEO’s invent college credentials. It’s a trend, folks, an ugly trend, and if it’s unseemly for our journalists, our autobiographers, our television stars, it’s absolutely outrageous for this nation’s leaders. Cohen says,

Clinton made up Bosnian sniper fire in an attempt to show that she’s tougher than Barack Obama; that she’s a hardened, seasoned, putative commander in chief ready to respond to crisis when the “red phone” of her fear-mongering ad rings.

John McCain’s own recent “misspeaking” about Iran, placing (Sunni) Al Qaeda in (Shiite) Iran, also smacked of muscle-flexing: he wanted to signal toughness to the mullahs in Tehran, where Obama has suggested he’d seek dialogue.

Cohen’s point: this country needs reflection, not reflexive reaction. This country needs intellect; we’ve had quite enough macho cowboy “shoot first and ask questions later” to last us forever.

The obvious contrast to shrill Hillary, and past his prime McCain? Erudite, reflective, Barack Obama, the anti-cowboy.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Imagined Snipers, Real Challenges – New York Times

Yr (justifiably) humble svt has only written at length regarding Hillary Clinton’s candidacy once before, about six weeks ago before the recent unpleasantness that has put a grin on the face of John McCain and the Republicans, who thought they might never smile again.

Here’s some of what I said then:

mm284: A vote against Hillary is NOT a vote against women in high office

… Thus, I have absolutely no trouble with the concept of a woman ascending to the office of President of the United States of America. Long overdue.


I’ve had trouble from Day 1 with the actuality of the particular woman who seeks that office this year.

And it’s not about her gender whatsoever.

Maureen Dowd in today’s NYTimes finally expressed out loud what many of us of the progressive persuasion have not expressed out loud, although perhaps it has been manifested in polling places for the past six weeks. Because, after all, it doesn’t seem very progressive, or very feminist, to be against a woman running for president.

It’s about this woman….

So, wife, daughter, mothers, bosses, please understand how sincere I am.

This country is more than ready for a strong competent leader.

If that strong competent leader is of a progressive frame of mind, so much the better.

If that progressive strong competent leader happens to be a black man, or Hispanic, or a self-made billionaire mayor, or a woman, well, it’s about time.

But this woman?

Sorry, can’t do it.

Even less now, than then.

It’s it for now. Thanks,


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