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Clinton Promises No Surprises in Her Past

DES MOINES -- What exactly is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton suggesting about Barack Obama's past?

Yesterday, Clinton personally apologized to the Illinois senator for a remark made by a campaign official about his long-ago drug use, described by Obama himself in his memoir.

The official, Bill Shaheen, husband to former N.H. Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, suggested that Obama's teenage adventures could make him vulnerable to Republican attacks. An uproar ensued, and Shaheen resigned from his post as co-chair of the Clinton campaign in New Hampshire. The matter seemed put to rest.

Then today Clinton tiptoed back to the subject of Obama's background during a taping of the Iowa public television program "Iowa Press" and at a press conference afterwards.

She again denounced Shaheen's remark: "I made it very clear as soon as I heard about it that I not only disapproved, it did not reflect the campaign I am running. I did personally apologize. The gentleman in question has stepped down from the leadership role in my campaign."

But Clinton noted, by way of contrast, that she herself had been heavily scrutinized. "I've been tested. I've been vetted," Clinton said, according to an account by Mike Glover of the Associated Press, a host of "Iowa Press." "I've been in the political arena in our country for 16 years. There are no surprises."

Clinton later added, "I'm only talking about myself." But the implication was clear enough: She is a known quantity and Obama is a neophyte with little experience in the hot, often unforgiving glare of the national political stage.
Clinton brushed off concerns about the strength of her candidacy in early voting states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, where Obama has shown momentum in recent polls.

Had she listened to conventional wisdom in the past, Clinton told reporters after the taping, "I wouldn't be standing here. I believe in trusting my instincts and trusting the American people.That's what's gotten me to where I am, that's what I believe in, that's what my campaign is premised on."

But Clinton would not rule out tough tactics as she battles through the final weeks. "With respect to anything negative, I would be happy to enter into an agreement with everyone. But it would have to be an agreement with everyone," Clinton said.

--Shailagh Murray

Posted at 6:03 PM ET on Dec 14, 2007
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Ms Clinton is, by far, the riskiest candidate out there. A Hillary nomination will invigorate the demoralized Republicans like nothing else. The rednecks will come out of the wordwork to vote her down to keep her and her pathetic husband out the WH. Obama on the other hand has many supporters who are Independents and even some Republicans. I suspect there is not one single republican that supports Hillary.

Posted by: zb95 | December 15, 2007 8:30 PM

holdencaulfield,

I appreciate your detailed assessment of Obama, whether it is all true or not.

I wish I could produce a list similar to yours to detail all the bills Ron Paul voted against based on his strict interpretation of the Constitution.

Comparing the nature of the two lists results in my summation, radical change vs. commitment to American principles.

Many people say they can't distinguish between the two parties's usual candidates offered up for election.

It appears that an Obama vs. Paul
contest would offer a very clear choice for the electorate.

I think that's very good scenario. It will create a very exciting election that results in the highest voter turnout in history.

The country will make a clear choice about the future. Does it want significant change, or a return to its initial ideals.

Bring it on, We the People, and make an Obama vs. Paul contest happen.

Posted by: Scrooge | December 15, 2007 3:41 PM

Gosh, there are so many hateful Obama supporters. Why don't you guys just simmer down. There is nothing wrong with saying he hasn't been vetted yet. You guys are at least old enough to remember what happpened with Kerry, it is a VERY valid point. Simmer down. As a democrat, I would be fairly happy with any number of the democrats that are running right now, to be in the white house. Stop freaking out when someone mentions that he was elected a U.S. sentator in 2004. That's how long he's been a U.S. senator, and it's all well and great that he's the face of hope, but he's young and inexperienced. So take your chances and support your man, but stop bugging out when people say be wary, the republicans will have a field day with him.

Posted by: jessi_lc | December 15, 2007 3:37 PM

Obama has not been attacked once by the main stream media and the vrwc has barely even taken notice of him. He has not been vetted in the cauldron of political attack and destroy. But - if he was chosen to be our nominee...that would surely change.

Without going to google, just off the top of my head, the following list is comprised of "issues" that I KNOW that talk radio and the right would go after Obama on. There is no doubt that many of these "stories" and "issues" would migrate from the Rush world to the main stream media.

My question is - do you actually think Obama could win in November after 8 months of post primaries investigation, attack and abuse on subjects like these?

It would be so easy for the GOP - here's the initial Obama radio topic rundown:

-the man wants to BAN making guns
-the man wans to BAN selling guns
-the man wants to BAN - YOU owning guns
-hes against the death penalty
-he wants to let crackheads out of jail - NOW!
-he wants to let illegal aliens on your roads to kill your kids
-he wants to let MORE illegals into the USA to lower your wages
-he smoked pot
-he snorted cocaine
-he took extasy
-he was in the same room as 'HEROIN"!
-he wants to raise YOUR taxes by 1 TRILLION bucks!
-he was a college instructor/professor/lefty
-he was/is a HARVARD lawyer
-he IS the chicago Daley machine
-Rezko!
-the company his wife is on the board of - killed a town
-he goes to a church who's rector hates whites
-his brothers are both in the nation of islam
-Rezko, Rezko, Rezko!
-his wife got a $200 G raise from a Hospital when he got elected
-his grandma has no electric or water-and he seems ok with that
-his first name is "barack"
-his middle name is "hussein"
-his last name is "obama"
-he doesnt LOOK like you
-he is a liberal democrat
-he is a radical
-wall street financiers like him - why?
- who the heck were his parents, grandparents, his "people"
-as a kid he seems to have told everyone he would 1 day be prez
-he says he's of a "new kind of politics" but his history says NO
-at harvard he seems to have told everyone that1 day he'd be prez
-Young Hollywood likes him
-will smith says hes gonna be the NEXT black Prez
-he told his future brother in law on the FIRST day he met him that 1 day he would be prez
-OPRAH!
-how can he understand YOUR lives?
-he sends his kids to fancy schools you couldnt afford
-the 1st day he was in the senate he had a meeting about how to set a plan to 1 day become the president
-he says he's experienced enough for the WH because he "studied" international relations in college.
-he says he's experienced enough for th WH because he lived in indonsia when he was six
-he actually said those last two things with a straight face.
-can he be trusted to stop the muslims who want to kill your kids
-who IS this guy. really?

Posted by: holdencaulfield | December 15, 2007 9:23 AM

This does not include post by noway, I was typing at the time.

Posted by: lylepink | December 15, 2007 4:55 AM

These past two posters has it correct. The media is pushing Obama and as for the women becoming anti-Hillary, you point out the vast majority of them are highly educated and doing well in the business world. These are in a category I call my "Envy/Jealous" Factor. Another category is my "Fear" Factor, where the Repubs fit in for the simple reason they know they cannot beat Hillary in 08, and many are supporting Obama in the hope of stopping Hillary from getting the Dem nomination. This has been a consistent pattern for months, and given close scrutiny, the anti-Hillary women supporting Obama are mostly Repubs that would never support any Dem in the first place and are doing so in an effort to stop Hillary, then they leave Obama like rats leaving a sinking ship, and the Repubs will beat him like a drum. Wake up and wise up Dems before it's to late.

Posted by: lylepink | December 15, 2007 4:53 AM

All this talk of what the Republicans will do if Obama is nominated is a laugh riot! Hillary is the one throwing all these inept punches not the GOP. After she throws all this mud and then falls flat on her face the GOP will think twice about dredging up the same issues. Besides every major GOP candidate has at least one major problem in the general election that Obama does not.

Does anyone seriously think that anybody on the GOP side or a majority of independents will more likely vote for Hillary over Obama?

I say that if Hillary can't win the Democratic nomination then how exactly is the rest of the electorate supposed to decide they like her when poll after poll shows they don't and never will? This whole electability meme is tired and meaningless. Obama is doing better against every GOP candidate in the polls and remember how Kerry was marketed as the "electable" one? I say let's turn the page and quit pretending that Hillary is likable, honest or competent when she has proven she's none of those things.

Posted by: noway23 | December 15, 2007 4:52 AM

The major media and highly successful business women in US have become rabidly anti Hillary and rabidly pro Obama. They waited till a few weeks ago when Hillary, in a debate, made a blunder in answering whether she approves giving driving license to illegal immigrants. Then all of them jumped on her like a ton of bricks! In the very next debate, Obama made the same mistake about the same question and there is hardly a whisper about it. No organization wants to employ a fresh MBA as their CEO though he may be a straight A, when an expererienced and time tested MBA is available. It is high time that major media and doubting women show a little less partiality. US should not miss this opportunity to elect a woman president for the first time in its history. Hillary is a very capable person. It will not be possible to find another woman of similar capability for a long time. We should not miss this opportunity. It is very sad that the media is giving her such a bad publicity for a few of her minor snafus

Posted by: hcsubbarao | December 15, 2007 2:49 AM

The major media and highly successful business women in US have become rabidly anti Hillary and rabidly pro Obama. They waited till a few weeks ago when Hillary, in a debate, made a blunder in answering whether she approves giving driving license to illegal immigrants. Then all of them jumped on her like a ton of bricks! In the very next debate, Obama made the same mistake about the same question and there is hardly a whisper about it. No organization wants to employ a fresh MBA as their CEO though he may be a straight A, when an expererienced and time tested MBA is available. It is high time that major media and doubting women show a little less partiality. US should not miss this opportunity to elect a woman president for the first time in its history. Hillary is a very capable person. It will not be possible to find another woman of similar capability for a long time. We should not miss this opportunity. It is very sad that the media is giving her such a bad publicity for a few of her minor snafus.

Posted by: hcsubbarao | December 15, 2007 2:48 AM

Actually, Hillary's right. We know EVERYTHING about the Clinton's - it's all been aired and out on the table.

For me - I want the Dems to WIN. We don't know much about him or his past except his name is Barack HUSSEIN Obama and he admitted to using cocaine in his book.

I think he is ripe for the right wing attack machine.

This DEM will vote for the SURE THING which is Hillary

Posted by: nkivlen | December 15, 2007 2:20 AM

Hillary has no surprises in her past(?)...but she doesn't need them, she seems to generate enough in the present.

If Hillary wins the nomination, the Republicans won't have to do much, so many people have already decided to vote against Hillary that the election would almost be over.

Do we have any evidence of this?


THE HISTORY:

1. In the 90s the Republicans regained the Congress for the first time in decades.

2. Dems lost 9 Governor positions.

3. Al Gore, the sitting VP, lost the following election.

4. Hillary did win the Senate. She claims campaign prowess got her there. In reality, Giuliani dropped out of the Senate race with Hillary, she basically had no opponent. Her re-election opponent was under funded. So, she can't claim her Senate seat as proof of knowing how to win.

5. Two seats in the Congress were just now won by Republicans when campaigns linked the Dem contenders to Hillary.


THE PATTERN:

The Clintons are lethal to the Dem party, as much as people may remember the Clinton years fondly, it is not the Clintons who can bring them back.


THE 2008 PREDICTION

2008 prediction: If Hillary is the Democratic nominee, Republican's win the presidency. We can see that people WILL vote against her. We can see now that she can not run a successful campaign, even against someone she claims has no experience.

Thanks to Dick Morris at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316905,00.html

And to jayknoespel14 | December 11, 2007 09:31 PM from

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2007/12/clinton_seeks_to_regain_electa.html?hpid=topnews


Posted by: kiku | December 15, 2007 1:29 AM

zukermand: The media and their love affair with Obama has been going on for a long time now. I have spoken to dozens of people about this, and not one can come up with a logical explanation except they want a "Horse race" in order to charge more for their advertising.

Posted by: lylepink | December 15, 2007 1:17 AM

Shailagh Murray: "Then today Clinton tiptoed back to the subject of Obama's background during a taping of the Iowa public television program "Iowa Press" and at a press conference afterwards."

Transcript of subject interview:
Questioner:"Senator, you have recently personally apologized to Barack Obama for something your New Hampshire co-chair said about him. Tell us where the line is in regards to personal indiscretions, personal issues."

So, she's asked about it directly and Shailagh says "she tiptoed back" to it? What the hell is that about?


Shailagh Murray again: "She again denounced Shaheen's remark: "I made it very clear as soon as I heard about it that I not only disapproved, it did not reflect the campaign I am running. I did personally apologize. The gentleman in question has stepped down from the leadership role in my campaign."

But Clinton noted, by way of contrast, that she herself had been heavily scrutinized. "I've been tested. I've been vetted," Clinton said, according to an account by Mike Glover of the Associated Press, a host of "Iowa Press." "I've been in the political arena in our country for 16 years. There are no surprises.""

Sure, that "but" might lead you to believe she was still referring to Obama, if you were credulous enough to rely on Shailagh Murray for your information.
You wouldn't know that the second part of that answer came 2 questions and 2 minutes later when she was asked: "A lot of (Democrats) are looking for someone who can win in November. Why are you the most electable Democratic contender?"


Something stinks, here. I understand the standards have gotten pretty lax around the Washington Post, but this piece is intentionally misleading and someone needs to address it.

Posted by: zukermand | December 15, 2007 12:48 AM

The comments were distasteful, but let's face it, there's a grain of truth in it!

Would you have thought that the swift boaters would have said all those lies about John Kerry? And Kerry was a decorated soldier!

Do you remember all that talk about Bill "inhaling" and what a "scandal" that was?

Maybe you dont because you werent born then. But many of us remember.

How much mud and dirt can these republican operatives make out of Obama's afmission of smoking pot and trying on cocaine, etc? A LOT!

There is one reason why Bush and Rove want Obama to win the Democratic ticket. That is because they can throw so much "invented" mud at him.

Even if it is not true, like when they invented John McCain's black illegitimate child!

Wake up Obama supporters! Your guy is not an open book, and you got to be realistic enough to anticipate what the Republicans have in store for him.

Posted by: fjstratford | December 15, 2007 12:45 AM

brosen459: I have said all along, IMHO, Obama has a ZERO chance of winning in 08. The Repubs will eat him alive. I am almost to the point where I am beginning to think Hillary is the only Dem that can win in 08. The media has a love affair going with Obama on the Dem side and Rudy for a time that has switched to Mike for the Repubs.

Posted by: lylepink | December 15, 2007 12:33 AM

Hillary's tactics are no different than the Republican's; so if Obama can stand up to the Hillary onslaught, he'll be well primed for the general election.

Posted by: wpost7 | December 15, 2007 12:26 AM

are all of you in fantasy land. i can just see the october surprise by the republicans. i did coke with obama. that will really help the democrats win this election. if you think that won't happen you are kidding yourself. the republicans will go after him and being the nice guy will not work.

Posted by: brosen459 | December 15, 2007 12:21 AM

It's unfortunate for Hillary that her past and politics aren't more secret.

Posted by: ekim53 | December 15, 2007 12:09 AM

smloebi: I pretty much feel the same way, although I think the Repub nomination is at best Iffy, and the Dems will hoefully wake up by 5 February and nominate Hillary.

Posted by: lylepink | December 14, 2007 11:52 PM

Wow - now that is nasty - Hillary is insinuating not too subtly that there are 'others' running on dem ticket that do have problems in their background - its like two guys pursing you for a date and one of them tells you, "listen, I'd never beat you" as if to say that the other guy will.

Hillary is sounding pretty desperate - which is ok - neither she or Obama can win nationally -- polls show that Edwards beats all GOP candidates - and that's what we want and need to do - isn't it?

Posted by: kec132 | December 14, 2007 11:01 PM

This election cycle has turned into "win by media acclamation" rather than a real contest for individual votes. The fact that the early primaries are bunched so close together is providing the pundits with an enormous platform from which to steer the election.
In all national polls, Clinton still has a commanding lead. However, in all media accounts she has never even come close. Now that Oprah has endorsed Obama (and on the other side Chuck Norris endorsed Huckabee) the entertainment media has found their candidates, and the people are supposed to follow.
I expect they won't.

Posted by: smloebl | December 14, 2007 10:52 PM

There's at least one kindergarten truism that applies, "whatever bad things you say bounce off me (Obama) and stick on you (Clinton)." Her toxic behavior is reminding us why we don't want an old time Washington backbiter at the helm when the country need to unify and repair. It turns out the former first lady is no lady, and may well be only formerly first.

Posted by: cdc9 | December 14, 2007 10:44 PM

"today Clinton tiptoed back to the subject of Obama's background"

What's up, you ask? Seems she wants to keep in play the smears her machine has launched, hinting that other smears could befall him, again without leaving her fingerprints.

But Hillary would do well to recall that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks. Her claim of impunity will be viewed later if not sooner as a challenge. It's like daring curious googlers to pair "hillary" with various naughty words and see how easy it may be to prove wrong her self-proclaimed invulnerability.

Posted by: FirstMouse | December 14, 2007 10:28 PM

There may be no surprises but I have a hard time finding any accomplishments that display transformative leadership that produced observable improvements.

In fact I find one glaring question about her obvious lack of leadership.

Hillary authored book, It Takes a Village. What does she know about that subject when she sure didn't help the village of Washington, D.C. improve its miserable public school system? Chelsea went to private schools. Why didn't Hillary enroll Chelsea in a public school and then work as First Mother through the PTA to improve the quality of the school system? She might have obtained real credentials to qualify her as a transformative leader.

This book and her abdication of responsibility to improve the schools of the village in which she resided for 8 years is proof positive she is a Five Star hyprocrite just chomping at the bit to take over control of Uncle Sam's plantation to serve her own ambition. You loyal serfs shouldn't expect things to improve for you. Just take a good look at D.C. schools' improvement while she was a resident there. Washington, D.C. is the Village of the Federal Government.

As First Lady of that village, why didn't she work hard during her entire residency there to make a lasting improvement in the school system?

I hope Barack Obama asks her that question in a debate.

Hillary's candidacy and her book deserve to be thrown into the dustbin of history.

I rest my case.

P.S.- To strengthen an earlier analysis that the election of 1860 foreshadows the election of 2008 (see thread http://dyn.politico.com/members/forums/thread.cfm?catid =2&subcatid=30&threadid=227812 ), it would be stunning if Barack Obama, Senator from Illinois, were nominated by the Democrats to oppose Ron Paul. In 1860, Abe Lincoln defeated Stephen Douglas, a Senator from Illinois. It would also be fitting that an African American be the challenger against Honest Ron, a man of the same integrity to principles as Honest Abe. That would make for one exciting campaign that would galvanize the attention of the entire electorate.

Republicans I dare you to nominate Ron Paul, likewise I dare Democrats to nominate Barack Obama. Such a matchup would electrify the country like the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral on November 1, 1938, almost 70 years ago to the day of the election, Nov.4.

Go ahead, just do it! I dare both parties.

We the People, please make a Paul vs. Obama matchup happen. I would find anything else borrringgg.

P.P.S- I think a Paul vs. Obama campaign would be very focused on issues and avoid character assassinations.

Paul has never resorted to such tactics, and it would be fruitless for Obama to try it against Paul's record of integrity. Just go to Youtube and listen to Paul's radio ads. There is no name-calling or ad hominem attacks.

Paul can tap 4,000 mothers whose children he delivered as character references if Obama tried any mudslinging. Paul's rebuttal to negative campaigning could be a cohort of African American mothers he served in his career as an OB-GYN who can attest to his character.

The campaign between these two gentlemen, itself, could go a long way to unifying the country.

Further unification would occur if the winner invites the loser into his cabinet just as Lincoln assembled his cabinet.

Obama could serve as Secretary of
State in a Paul cabinet, and display his unification skills as he repairs America's damaged international relations. His service in a Paul administration would groom him as a successor to Paul in subsequent presidential elections.

In reverse, Paul could serve as Treasury Secretary in an Obama cabinet to reform the Federal Reserve's roll in our economy. His economic expertise would be just what the doctor ordered to improve the future solvency of the nation.

I just see a Paul vs Obama contest as a win-win situation for America. Our history of racial division will be behind us and our future prosperity will be improved.

Come on, We the People, let's not allow such a golden opportunity to escape U.S.

It would be sad, so sad if we did.


Posted by: Scrooge | December 14, 2007 9:28 PM

She is on C-span right now. She seems sad underneath that persistent smile... like she knows her dream is over.

But there's an angry edge to her voice too that I would imagine would be very grating to listen to for the next four years.

We need a change. Go, Obama.

Posted by: vbalfour | December 14, 2007 9:26 PM


clinton's uberused 'experience' is backfiring
like self-mudd,
amazing to watch

Posted by: tabita | December 14, 2007 9:08 PM

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