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N.H. Blog Unmasks a Campaign in Comments

Something smelled quite fishy on Blue Hamsphire, the influential liberal blog in the Granite State.

And bloggers at Blue Hampshire were able to trace it back to Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign, which has lost ground to Sen. Barack Obama in a recent state poll.

As on other blogs such as Daily Kos, readers of Blue Hampshire -- about 800 a day, a relatively small but consequential group that includes party activists and state Democratic leaders -- recommend "diaries" that visitors should read. Yesterday, four readers who created new accounts and recommended pro-Clinton postings were traced back to Clinton's campaign. And those readers, Blue Hampshire noted, didn't disclose their relationship with Clinton. In the blogosphere, there's a word for this frowned-upon behavior: "sock-puppeting."

Dean Barker, one of Blue Hampshire's editors, wrote last night that the four accounts had been banned from the site. Kathleen Strand, a Clinton staffer, told Barker, he wrote, that "this was not an orchestrated effort but the product of over-eager staffers and volunteers, done without her awareness, and that it will not be repeated."

Already, the political blogosphere is buzzing about it. Josh Levy of TechPresident wrote this morning: "I'm still amazed that anyone with a basic knowledge of computers would think that they operate anonymously from a campaign office. Haven't we learned anything from Wikipedia?"

--Jose Antonio Vargas

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 13, 2007; 12:20 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: When it Comes to Bush, Republican Hopefuls Press the Mute Button
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Obama off the cuff has made comments about becoming President and singing into law a bill seeking reparations for the black community? I think that is an important issue and should not be ignored!

Posted by: sommergreensky | January 6, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

If NH voters want the Republicans to win and have four more years of Bush policies then they should vote for Hillary. If she is the Democratic candidate the Republicans will jump for joy. She is the only one they can beat.

Posted by: wfmurray | January 6, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton: The GOP's Favorite Democrat

Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers.
August 7, 2007

Officials at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation have contributed to Hillary Clinton's campaign, and Murdoch himself has held fund-raisers in her behalf. Lawyers at Kenneth Starr's law firm, Kirkland and Ellis, have donated more to Clinton than they have to all of the Republican candidates combined. In addition, reports that "Large US [law] firms ... are giving thousands more to Democratic hopefuls than Republicans. Top Wall Street investment banks and hedge funds are also giving more to Democrats." We can assume that most of these donations are going to the front-runners, Clinton and Obama. And finally, Hillary Clinton's appearance last week at the Yearly Kos, was cut short by her appearance at a fund-raiser at the estate of billionaire, Ron Perlman.

Hillary Clinton appears to be the favorite Democrat of Republican haves and have-mores.

Why is this so?

The oxymoronic "conventional wisdom" in the mainstream media would have us believe that these Republicans, assuming a near-inevitable Democratic victory in 2008, are backing the most likely, and, to them, the most tolerable, Democratic candidate.

I have a different take on it. The Republicans, far from conceding the next election, believe that they may have a plausible shot at winning. But to do so, the Democrats must nominate the weakest and most vulnerable candidate.

And Hillary is the one. How so?

There are many compelling reasons why the front-running Democratic hopeful is also the most vulnerable.
Most significantly, among the general voting population Hillary Clinton has the highest disapproval ratings of all the Democratic candidates - in fact, according to a June Mason-Dixon poll, she is the only candidate of either party of whom a majority (52%) have said that they would not consider voting. In addition, 42% reported an unfavorable opinion of Clinton, compared to 39% favorable; the only candidate with a net negative rating. These are devastating statistics which are unlikely to change significantly, since the public is by now well acquainted with Clinton. One would assume that such statistics would disqualify a candidate. However, the establishment Democrats who support Hillary are unperturbed.

Next, "the woman thing." Though the mainstream media has scrupulously avoided the topic, the fact that Clinton is the first woman in US history likely to be the presidential nominee of a major party must be a serious obstacle to her election. This is regrettable, and I sincerely wish that it were not so. But there it is, and the Democratic party will ignore this reality at its peril. And if Clinton selects Barack Hussein Obama as her running-mate, with the first black candidate on a national ticket the "blue" populist resurgence in the South will be stopped in its tracks and the Democrats will lose every electoral vote in the South. Jim Crow, while muted, still lives. Also regrettable, but true.

If Clinton were to be elected and serve two full terms, at the end of her administration in 2116, two families would then have occupied the White House for twenty-eight years. Many Americans are extremely put-off by the very idea of dynasties and royal families. I know that I am. Millions of voters, I suspect, would go to the polls in November, 2008 with this thought foremost on their minds: "this dynasty business must end, and end now."

Hillary Clinton is widely perceived to be a political "weathervane" who adapts her positions and talking points to shifts in public opinion. Most of the public has had quite enough of "focus-group politics," and yearns for a politician who acts and speaks clearly with conviction and on principle. In the eighties, voters would say of Ronald Reagan, "I may disagree with him, but I know where he stands." And then they would vote for him. Pop quiz: state in twenty-five words or less, the guiding principles of Clinton's politics. See what I mean? The failure of the Democratic Congress to exhibit courage and clarity of its convictions, and its unwillingness to act decisively has resulted in its dismal public approval ratings - lower, even than those of George Bush. The public will not look kindly upon similar behavior by the Democratic presidential candidate.

Clinton and her managers apparently believe that the winning votes are to be found in a presumed "center" between establishment (e.g., Congressional) Democrats and the Republicans. Thus they have swallowed the kool-aid served up by the GOP-lite Democratic Leadership Council and the beltway pundits. In fact, as poll after poll testifies, overwhelming public opinion concerning Iraq, the "war on terror," the rule of law, economic justice, health care, minimum wage, public education, government regulation of commerce, environmental protection, campaign finance reform, etc. is "outside" and to the left of both parties. The failure of the "official" Democrats to recognize the public mind, accounts in large part for the public contempt for the Democratic Congress.

While the mainstream media and the Republicans have been uncommonly gentle with Clinton - one might say suspiciously gentle - when the conventions are over and the campaign begins, the GOP and the media attacks will be brutal. And Clinton will be an especially vulnerable target. As we well know by now, GOP campaign themes have no necessary grounding in fact - witness Al Gore and "inventing the internet," and John Kerry's encounter with the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." Hillary Clinton can be expected to be overwhelmed by a barrage of malicious rumors and innuendos
While Hillary Clinton is clearly not the people's choice (cf. The Mason-Dixon poll above), she is most assuredly the media's choice. Democratic candidates such as Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson, whose views on Iraq, economic justice, and health care most closely coincide with public opinion, are relegated to "the second tier" - not serious contenders. And who decides this allocation? Not the public - there have been no primaries yet. Of course, the media decides. Early poll numbers largely reflect "name recognition." And the media repeatedly prints and broadcasts the names that are "recognized."

It is clear today that Hillary Clinton has been pre-selected by the media as the Democratic nominee, with Barack Obama and John Edwards as the runners-up. As The Independent of the UK reports, "the nomination as matters stand is Ms Clinton's to lose." If, in fact, Clinton is the weakest and most vulnerable of the Democratic candidates, the mainstream media has once again served the GOP well.

As David Swanson correctly observes, "there is a pattern well established in this country of the corporate media working very hard to nominate Democrats destined to lose." We saw this "pattern" at work in 1972, when the most formidable Democratic candidate, Maine Senator Edmund Muskie, was sandbagged by a phony letter attacking Muskie and his wife. While the letter originated with GOP dirty-trickster, Donald Segretti, the media inflated Muskie's emotional response to it, fatally damaging Muskie's candidacy. The GOP and its media allies then worked behind the scenes to promote Senator George McGovern, a WW-II war hero who was defamed as a weak-willed "peacenik." In the 1972 election, Richard Nixon won forty-nine states.

Among official Democrats, and in the liberal and progressive blogs, there is widespread talk of when, not if, the Democrats regain the White House in 2008. They correctly perceive a nationwide disgust with the unconstrained greed and lawlessness of the Bush/Cheney administration, and of the six years of total compliance with this villainy by the Congressional Republicans. These cheerful Democrats are confident that the GOP record assures a substantial victory in the 2008 election.

They forget that despite recent revelations of GOP finagling, the Rovian machinery of election fraud and massive disenfranchisement remains essentially in place. The "black box" paperless touch screen voting machines, built and secretly programmed by Republican manufacturers, will once again count and compile more than a third of the votes of the 2008 election.

Nonetheless, as we discovered in 2006, overwhelming public support of the Democrats can overcome a Republican "fix." And this time, the public has been alerted to the GOP's electoral shenanigans. Accordingly, the Democrat's prospect for victory in 2008 should be excellent, unless the party once again finds a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

It appears that they may have found that way in the "front-running" candidacy of Hillary Clinton

Copyright 2007 by Ernest Partridge
When a government fears its people there is liberty. When the people fear their government there is tyranny. -- Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: weaver3000 | January 5, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow: Ronulans vs. "he's not a Muslim!" You betcha, quite a matchup for leadership of the world's leading nation.

Posted by: gilld | December 29, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Ask the NH Governor 12-15-07
Written by Peter Macdonald 465 Packersfalls rd Lee NH 03824 603-659-6217
Ask the New Hampshire Governor, Who are the children giving their childhood for his freedom? Who is giving up a further education so that you can get one? Who is away from the ones he or she loves so that you can be safe? Who is the one living in constant fear of death while you receive a good night kiss from your child? Who are the ones that never come home because your (someone they never met) freedom was more important? Who are the ones that come home socially unacceptable because of the conditions they lived for you. Who are the ones that relive with flash-backs deplorable events you call sin full. Who are the uneducated economically challenged low income peasants you look down on. Who are the uneducated or educated bum's living homeless on the street using alcohol or drugs trying to accept this reality that they now live in. Who are these children willing to give everything because they realize that your freedom is only one generation away from extension?
We do not believe we are any thing special. Nor do we ask any thing special from society. We try to believe that we belong. We try to accept any thing we can to live the same life that those around us are enjoying. We try to hold on to the belief that our Constitution is worth the life we gave so future generation can enjoy freedom. We try to remember others from the start of the U.S. have given just as much. We try to believe that being placed in the Veteran's cemetery in Boscawen NH makes the treatment that you gave the ones lucky enough to return is an honor. Ask the Governor if we mean so little that we must pay $200.00 to speak to an elected official. We are the Veterans and you refused to speak with me even after I paid.
Maybe instead of asking the governor we should ask the eighty nine percent of the U.S. population that never serves in the U.S. Military. We know you speak highly in public of "We the Veteran" but your actions speak louder than your words. Maybe we should ask all U.S. citizens if they really know what a Veteran is? Maybe we should ask the Media why they take a blind eye to the way New Hampshire treats disabled veterans?
We Veteran's gave what you that have never been can possibly conceive, yet we ask nothing but peace and happiness for you-all
Peter Macdonald Sgt USMC Semper Fi

Posted by: usmcsgt | December 16, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

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

Posted by: Scrooge | December 14, 2007 5:52 AM | Report abuse

"How would your leadership get the 300 Bus Drivers to show up?"

The replies to this question by both Paul and Obama could be as memorable as Lincoln's House Divided argument in his Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Posted by: Scrooge | December 14, 2007 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Connect the two previous comments to this one:

Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama would be an election for the ages!
Just think, the story of the 300 Bus Drivers could be an element in the history to be written about the 2008 campaign, as was the 300 Spartans in the Greco-Persian War.

A question for the two candidates to debate: How would your leadership get the 300 Bus Drivers to show up?

Posted by: Scrooge | December 14, 2007 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Time for an earthshaking, mindblowing comment! Something to really think seriously about as the campaign develops.

The picture of 300 flooded school buses in a New Orleans parking lot after Katrina is all the evidence I need to prove that a government program will not save your butt. The emergency plan for New Orleans said that school buses would be used for evacuation. When it didn't happen, everyone blamed Bush, but did anyone ask why didn't the 300 bus drivers show up? No, they did not. I guess they were expecting Bush clones to drive the buses, similar to the star troopers cloned by the Empire in the Star Wars movies (Some people must have trouble distinguishing fiction from fact.)

In contrast to that photo, there was a story of a young man who stole one of those buses to save his family and neighbors. His example proves Ron Paul's message of freedom and self-responsibility. If you want a compassionate society, you have to be compassionate yourself and act when someone is in need. You cannot sit on your duff, and expect a clone of the president, essentially any bureaucrat, to act in your place.

We recently had a popular movie about 300 Spartans who acted to save their community. We need a movie about 300 Bus Drivers who failed their community in New Orleans. It would reveal what seriously ails U.S.

Thank God there is a chance for a good doctor to be in the White House, Dr. Ron Paul, to cure what ails U.S.

The Paul Revolution can take heart from this poem related to the Grecian war with Persia.

"Forward, sons of the Greeks,
Liberate the fatherland, liberate
Your children, your women, the altars of the gods of your fathers
And the graves of your forebears:
Now is the fight for everything."

Any chance to get a movie made about 300 Bus Drivers? Maybe in a couple thousand years. But you can vote in 2008 for Ron Paul.

Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama would be an election for the ages!
Just think, the story of the 300 Bus Drivers would be an element in the history to be written about the 2008 campaign, as was the 300 Spartans in the Greco-Persian War.

Posted by: Scrooge | December 14, 2007 5:11 AM | Report abuse

Hillary is just another slick talking used car salesperson wearing threadbare, shiny pants but no undergarments.

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 which she resided in 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. 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 ), it would be stunning if Barack Obama, Senator from Illinois is 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.

Posted by: Scrooge | December 14, 2007 4:48 AM | Report abuse

Who won the Des Moines Register Democratic Debate in Iowa?


Posted by: jeffboste | December 13, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Kathleen Strand, a Clinton staffer, told Barker [of Blue Hampshire], he wrote, that "this was not an orchestrated effort but the product of over-eager staffers and volunteers, done without her awareness, and that it will not be repeated."

If Hillary can't govern her own staff on this and Obama's youthful drug experimenting and rumors disseminated that he is a closet Muslim (until a Dodd staffer calls her on this), how can Sen. Clinton be expected to govern our country -- especially when about half of America bitterly opposes her?

Posted by: FirstMouse | December 13, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Devastating video from the mother of Wayne Dumond:

"My daughter will not be home for Christmas."

Posted by: Razorback1 | December 13, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Thompson staffer opens lunch bag to discover sandwich slightly stale, e-mails friend:"Whole wheat just doesn't hold up like Wonder."

Read about it in the Washington Post.

Posted by: zukermand | December 13, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

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