The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Independent Groups Dole Out Lumps of Coal

Clinton has the AFSCME endorsement--and now the union's fighting for her, against Obama. (Getty).

By Matthew Mosk
If you thought the Christmas spirit had overtaken the independent expenditure groups that have been paying for millions of dollars' worth of radio and television ads in Iowa, think again. Thus far the ads have been aimed at promoting candidates, not tearing them down.

But that's about to change.

The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees yesterday filed papers with the Federal Election Commission reporting that it will spend $40,755 on a mailing that opposes Sen. Barack Obama. Most of the union's money in Iowa has been directed to promoting the candidacy of Sen. Hillary Clinton. Also yesterday, the group Democratic Courage, which is run by a supporter of Democrat John Edwards, reported it will spend about $20,000 on a television ad opposing Clinton. And this morning a political action committee affiliated with Republican Alan L. Keyes reported it will spend $39,000 on telephone and mailing efforts to oppose Clinton.

Other papers filed with the FEC over the weekend were for positive mailings that promote Democrat Bill Richardson. Whether they help Richardson's campaign, though, will depend on what the Democrats who receive the mailers think about the group that footed the $9,000 bill: the National Rifle Association.

Posted at 12:30 PM ET on Dec 24, 2007
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drmondo wrote: Until Democrats grow a spine and stand up to this petty dictator using something stronger than "please stop", I will not be voting for them at the national level.

hi drmondo, actually we need you and others to vote for Democrats so we can get 60 Senate votes to break filibusters. In the case of dealing with a Presidential adversary like Bush, we would need a veto override margin, I believe another 6 votes.

So rather than say don't vote for Democrats because they won't do anything, vote for Democrats so they can do something.

The Republicans have done their worst, it's time to end their ruinous rule, and their ability to block a new agenda.


Posted by: ralphdaugherty | December 26, 2007 1:18 PM


Hopefully, lots and lots of Obama supporters will refuse to vote for Hillary in the general election.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 12:14 PM

I believe that Obama supporters are very bright people so I can only believe that they have a blind spot when it comes to their candidate.

The Republican attack machine will make mince meat of him. The fact that this nation is still racist won't go away because Obama makes a nice speech. The fact that this nation is moderate and not ultra liberal will not go away because Obama makes a nice speech. The fact that Obama has no experience won't go away because he makes a nice speech. The fact that Obama is naive when it comes to foreigh policy and voted "present" 130 times as an Illinois legislator won't go away becasue he makes a nice speech.

And those that try to comapre him to John F. Kennedy will find that comparison sorely lacking when someone actually looks at it. Kennedy was a war hero who wrote a book on history after his father was Ambassador to Great Britain. Obama would rather not talk about his father and wrote an autobiography before he did anything. The discrepencies in Obama's two books will be great grist for those attacking him.

It is time for the Democrats, 527's not withstanding, to take a sincere look at who can win the White House for us. Let us only look at which Democrats have been elected before and which ones have been defeated.

To get elected a Democrat needs to be in teh middle of the spectrum. They need to inspire the largest number of people that could possible come out and vote. Barack Obama can inspire 11% of populatiton who are African Americans to increase their vote. Hillary Clinton can inspire the 54% of the electorate that are women.

Hillary Clinton's negatives are now at their height. She has proven in elections that she can overcome certain negatives and has won reelection in New York in heavily Republican areas.

Barack Obama's negatives are at their lowest. No one has gone after him because in the Democratic party it is considered poor taste to attack someone's weaknesses. There is the fear that if you do go after Obama you will be called racist. But have no fear the Republican Attack machine will have no such scruples. They will pounce from day one and Barack Obama will see his negatives skyrocket. The only issue will be how high they go.

I think Obama is a nice guy and a bright and charismatic guy. I think he may be ready to be President one day. Unfortunately for his supporters if they would only open their eyes, the day isn't now.

Only look at Oprah's support and think to yourselves. She is trying to sell Obama like she sells books or gifts. Then remember one of her authors last year who wasn't quite what she thought. She "recalled" him to the show and castigated him- well you can't do that with a Presidential candidate. The other issue no one bothered to ask Oprah is which Republicans she voted for. She herself said her support for Obama isn't polictical and she has voted for both Republicans and Democrats in the past. Which Republican stood for what Obama stands for and which Republican could an African American woman find compelling enough to vote for.

This is a serious business we are facing. All the news media has given Obama a free ride in so many ways and the Republicans are just waiting to change that.

Let us not hand victory to the Repbulicans again by nominating someone who President Clinton correctly said,"is like rolling the dice".

YOu may not love Hillary Clinton, but if you support Obama's positions you have to support Hillary Clinton's. They are the same. Obama voted for all the funding for the war when he finally got to the Senatte two years ago and then continued his practice of taking a pass on the Iranian vote he critized Hillary for by not even showing up to vote.

Even when the press attacks Hillary for a screwed up answer in a debate, she learns the next time. But Obama then gives the same screwed up answer that Clinton gave in the first debate. He didn't learn because he is new at this and hasn't been tested. Accept that he just isn't ready.

As first lady, whether you think she was part of the Clinton administration or not with regard to policy, she did play on the world stage. She learnt that everything she says when visiting the 80 nations she visited was listened to and disected. She represented the US in all those visits. That is what a first lady does. She understands the dynamics of foreign policy even if she didn't develop it all. Obama just doesn't.

Let's make the right decision as Democrats and vote to win. Hillary can do that for the party.

Electing the first woman as President will make a statement to the world. We are moving forward and we are ready to deal with the world in a different way.

Posted by: peterdc | December 25, 2007 9:36 AM

Polls keep changing and even trends can sometimes mislead or remain obscure. Hillary Clinton runs ahead of 4 Republican hopefuls who appear to be weak or weakening.

Nonetheless, her 1:1 results as carried in USA Today and conveyed here by rockynr cannot be good news for those who think, or simply assert, that she would do well in the general election. Check in particular the running count on Clinton vs McCain and Clinton vs Hucklebee. There's a pretty severe electability issue here for Senator Clinton.

Posted by: FirstMouse | December 25, 2007 7:25 AM

Hey, "d.obermark", have you spiked your eggnog with too much rum? The major polls now show Obama winning against ALL FIVE Repub's and Hillary winning against only TWO of the five... get some rest, amigo, and lay off the holiday spirits for awhile!

["d.obermark" had said, "That the polls still show Hillary Clinton besting all the Republicans in a head to head matchup says everything about why the Democratic Party should nominate Hillary to run for President..."]

Posted by: rockynroll69 | December 24, 2007 10:35 PM

newagent99, here's some breaking news you should know about. Oh, and JakeD, did Romney REALLY see his dad march with Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Even Romney denies this now...) lol

"Zogby: Obama is only Dem leading all 5 Republicans"

Sen. Barack Obama is the only Democratic presidential candidate who polled higher than all five of the top Republican contenders in its latest national telephone survey of potential "general election matchups," Zogby International reports this morning.

Democrat John Edwards polled higher than three of the Republicans. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton edged out two, though all but one of her matchups produced results signalling nearly dead-even races.

Zogby's results, based on a survey of 1,000 "likely" voters that it says produced a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points on each figure:

Obama led:

• Rudy Giuliani, 48%-39%.
• Mike Huckabee, 47%-42%.
• Sen. John McCain, 47%-43%.
• Mitt Romney, 53%-35%.
• Fred Thompson, 52%-36%.


• Led Huckabee, 47%-41%.
• Led Romney, 50%-38%.
• Led Thompson, 51%-35%.
• Trailed Giuliani, 45%-44%.
• Trailed McCain, 46%-42%.


• Led Romney, 46%-44%.
• Led Thompson, 48%-42%.
• Trailed Giuliani, 46%-42%.
• Trailed Huckabee, 48%-43%.
• Trailed McCain, 49%-42%.

Posted by: rockynroll69 | December 24, 2007 10:18 PM

newagent99: I have been saying for months not only is Obama the weakest Dem candidate, but, IMHO, he has ZERO chance of being elected in 08. I base this on the "Fear" Factor Repubs have of Hillary, they know they can't beat her in 08. I am now convinced Hillary is the only Dem that can win in 08. I had been reluctant to say this for quite some time, but I am 100% sure of it now. Merry Xmas and a happy New Year to all.

Posted by: lylepink | December 24, 2007 9:34 PM

Abiud-Dream on Pal!

See,back on the Rock, Barack Hussein is what is called a Happa Haole!

Meaning, he's HALF WHITE!

LOL! One Haole Boy!

Mele Kalikimaka to you too!

Posted by: rat-the | December 24, 2007 7:56 PM

Nissi,haven't you figured out that the gop isn't vetting obama for a reason.. they want to him to be the canidate so they can shred him like taco lettuce.

as to your polls.. are you saying the polls from 11 months out are valid?
LMAO, why are you obama supporters of such naive natures?

Posted by: newagent99 | December 24, 2007 7:06 PM

Haw! Haw! Haw!

The hard-hitting WP fears even the negative coverage of the Doo Doo Democrats!

Haw! Haw! Haw!

Posted by: DaTourist | December 24, 2007 6:49 PM

JakeD, Romney's claim that his dad marched with MLK was debunked the next day. King wasn't at the march he mentioned and his father was overseas on a Mormon mission during the time period. Just another lie from the right.
I'll admit to being more liberal than most would claim. My major problem now is the lack of accountability. The Bush administration has broken numerous laws (torturing detainees, spying on Americans without a warrant, outing a CIA agent, etc) and both Republicans and Democrats seem content to run out the clock. This sets the precedent that ANY president can do whatever they want as long as they drag out any investigations until after they leave office. If Republicans don't want Hillary having the power W does, they should speak up against him now. Impeachment shouldn't be off the table. If, as it seems, laws have been broken then those responsible need to be tried convicted and sentenced. Otherwise we are nothing more than a third-rate banana republic. Until Democrats grow a spine and stand up to this petty dictator using something stronger than "please stop", I will not be voting for them at the national level. Hillary and Obama will not get my vote in the primary. I won't vote Republican (the candidates are much worse) but I won't support a group who says the right things but does nothing.

Posted by: drmondo | December 24, 2007 6:30 PM

Anyone tired of all of this negativity? Let's make a New Year's Resolution for America! (

Forward this video to everyone that you know!!

Posted by: Jeannie1960 | December 24, 2007 6:12 PM

That the polls still show Hillary Clinton besting all the Republicans in a head to head matchup says everything about why the Democratic Party should nominate Hillary to run for President.

Almost every American is familiar with everything bad that can be drug out of the depths to color her. Still, the polls show, she would be successful.

The Republican smear machine has not yet even gotten started on Obama. With Hillary, the Democrats possibly could withstand the Republican smear machine. Obama cringes when his candidacy is questioned with the felt lined gloves of critcism coming from his fellow Democrats.

Posted by: d.obermark | December 24, 2007 5:49 PM

No Rat-The

That was a racist attack on Black people. There is nothing funny about what you said. You cannot just insult people and then call it a joke. It shows you to be a coward. Either say what you want to say or don't say it. Stand behind your words. Mean what you say. Don't hide behind the veneer of humor.

Merry Christmas!

(Now that is funny)

Posted by: YerbaBuena | December 24, 2007 5:41 PM

Will this newspaper ever be nonpartisan about anything that it covers?

It's such a shame to see a formerly great paper descend to the depths that it has.

Posted by: Perry3 | December 24, 2007 5:12 PM

Hey, careful with that coal. Its an important part of the Bush's energy plan, "No child without black lung". Please send your lumps of coal to the nearest coal plants for burning.

Posted by: YouGotRooted | December 24, 2007 4:58 PM

Nissl-Lighten up sunshine! It was a little Holiday humor!

People with skin Thicker than yours, call it Satire!

Ho Ho Ho!

Hee Hee hee!

Posted by: rat-the | December 24, 2007 3:59 PM

I'm not sure you are going to be able to label SOUTHERN BAPTIST preacher Mike Huckabee a "racist" either.

Posted by: JakeD | December 24, 2007 3:34 PM


If Romney (who saw his dad march with Martin Luther King, Jr.) is the GOP against Obama, you'll have to get some new talking-points.

Posted by: JakeD | December 24, 2007 3:30 PM

So rat-the, is this your party's blueprint for the general against my candidate? Call Obama "colored" and revive reconstruction-era myths about violent blacks assaulting white women?

Gotta admit, calling democrats "socialist dimocrats" surely cuts us down to the bone.

I can't wait for the general, you guys have no candidates, no ideas, nothing but the fear and vicious negativity that is your party's core motivator. And moderates stopped buying it several years ago. 2008 is going to be fun.

Posted by: Nissl | December 24, 2007 3:23 PM

Right NewAgent, Obama is clearly the weakest general election candidate since according to average polls he outperforms Hillary against Giuliani (+1.8%), Romney (+4.6%), and Huckabee (+4.0%). The fact of the matter is, many right-wing groups simply hate Clinton from the '90's with a burning passion. I certainly wouldn't accuse any Alan Keyes-led group of electoral intelligence.

Posted by: Nissl | December 24, 2007 3:19 PM

These 527 groups think they are a bit smarter than they are. When my wife and I heard the "impartial" labor union ad that spent 60 seconds attacking Obama's health care plan, we immediately started thinking "I bet this group is supporting Hillary." A simple check online when we got home and voila! Folks in NH have seen and heard it all before, and are not morons. Whether the 527 groups are pro-Hillary, anti-Hillary, pro-Bush or anti-Bush, we can figure it out and vote accordingly. It is interesting that candidates only attack when they are starting to lose support, but their attack ads only help them lose support.

Posted by: steveboyington | December 24, 2007 1:53 PM


Did'nt this Country experience enough outrage when Colored guys were assaulting White Women?

Hillary going against Edwards? Ann Coulture would probably agree-that's a Cat-Fight! Mreeoooowwww! Hisss!

Seriously though, It is very bad for the Moderates in the Democrat Party. What is constantly not being addressed, is the role of those little Greens that snuck in. OR, the significance of their supporters and tactics.
It is not JUST Obama. It is going to be the combination of the Socialistic World Labor Party Loving supporters of Edwards(VP) and Richardson(Cabinet-or Secretary of State-God forbid!), that is going to obliterate Bill and Hill's Hopes! Biden's as well!

The Soon-to-Be Dimocrat Socialist Party, will leave the Moderates either in the Dark, or behind!

Know Moderates, the GOP is a Big Tent, and many of us are supporters mostly because of our distrust, and dislike, of the Socialists!

Socialism does not work, and neither do the People!

Posted by: rat-the | December 24, 2007 1:34 PM

'And this morning a political action committee affiliated with Republican Alan L. Keyes reported it will spend $39,000 on telephone and mailing efforts to oppose Clinton.'

the gop wants obama to be the nominee... the weakest canidate.

Posted by: newagent99 | December 24, 2007 1:21 PM

OH Alright!


Now I can stay warm!

LOL! In this "BUSHwacked" economy things are not what they used to be!

But again, Bushie does not deserve all the credit, he has had a lot of help!

More Coal!!!! I'll be Good or Bad-Whichever, or Both!

Posted by: rat-the | December 24, 2007 1:04 PM

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