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Campaigning for Wife, Bill Clinton Walks Fine Line


Bill Clinton speaks at a Buffalo, N.Y. rally yesterday. (AP).

By Dan Balz
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- As the Democrats assembled here Monday morning to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. on the grounds of the state capitol, the show of harmony and unity around the King holiday could not disguise the simmering tensions between the Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns -- particularly the role that Bill Clinton has taken up in behalf of his wife.

The former president has emerged as more than just the chief surrogate for Sen. Clinton. He is playing a role almost akin to that of a vice presidential candidate in a general election, leading the charge against the other party's nominee.

His stature commands media attention and his popularity among Democratic voters gives whatever he says added weight. When he has weighed in publicly against Obama, or in strong defense of his wife, his words have been amplified beyond those of any other Clinton surrogate. When he has lobbied behind the scenes for endorsements or support, his arguments have carried special power. Few Democratic activists want to cross a former president.

But Bill Clinton's actions have caused consternation inside the party, even among those who are not publicly committed to either candidate. His "fairy tale" remark about Obama's Iraq war position sparked a sharp reaction, in part because it was interpreted by some African Americans as a slap at Obama's entire candidacy. His heated objections to a reporter's questions about the caucus rules in Las Vegas showed a petulant side of him that was highly unflattering.

The Obama campaign is now beginning to speak out in objection. Barack Obama gave voice to the mounting frustrations within his camp during an interview that aired today on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"You know the former president, who I think all of us have a lot of regard for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling," Obama told ABC's Robin Roberts. "He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts -- whether it's about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas."

Obama said Clinton is making a habit of such talk, adding, "One of the things that we're going to have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he's making statements that are not factually accurate."

Obama's chief strategist David Axelrod expressed his frustration in an even sharper language as he spoke with a number of reporters Sunday night, while his candidate was speaking to a large rally at the convention center here in Columbia. "He's basically attacked for several weeks," Axelrod said. "I think that's his role."

"He's becoming increasingly vituperative," Axelrod added. "The last couple weeks there have been a lot of statements coming from him that are just flat out distortions. I respect him as a former president. It's disappointing, because I admire him as a former president, to see that. But he's out there on the battlefield. We're not going to stand by and allow Senator Obama's comments to be distorted by anybody. No one gets a pass when they're parsing words or truncating quotes or trying to mislead people."

"We are in a political campaign," responded Howard Wolfson, Clinton's communications director. "The Obama campaign has passionate supporters who make a strong case for his candidacy. We have passionate supporters, first and foremost [Bill Clinton], who makes a strong case for her candidacy. That's the way the process is supposed to work. Everything the president has said is factual. He's going to continue to campaign on behalf of his wife. Everywhere and anywhere."

Wolfson defended the former president's comments as an accurate reflection of the record. "I think that Bill Clinton has been an enormous asset to us throughout this campaign," he added. "He draws enormous crowds everywhere he goes. He makes a great case for Hillary. I can understand why that would frustrate the Obama campaign, but the president is going to continue campaigning on behalf of his wife."

What is the proper role for a former president whose wife seeks the same office he once had? Whatever it is, it's not clear that Bill Clinton has arrived at the right one. He obviously cannot remain above the fray. But there is a sense among some of his critics in the party that this has become too personal for him -- that in challenging Obama, he is attempting to preserve his own legacy by assuring that his wife wins the Democratic nomination.

Hillary Clinton demonstrated earlier in the campaign that she was determined to win the nomination on her own merits and that her candidacy was not simply a Clinton restoration project. That, no doubt, is still the way she prefers it.

The Clintons long have been a political couple and a political team, and in the heat of battle against an attractive opponent, she risks allowing her candidacy to be seen as a vehicle for preserving the power of the Clintons and their network, rather than one that charts a more independent course.

It is too much to expect Bill Clinton not to fight hard for his wife, but he must know that, as a former president, there is a fine line he must walk in doing so. It's not clear he has yet found it.

Posted at 11:29 AM ET on Jan 21, 2008  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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I simply don't see where Obama has enough experience to run this nation. He has displayed nor discussed any strong specific things/positions/things he would do with this nation. What exactly does he stand for? At least with Huckabee, McCain and Mitt - you know. Obama? Nothing...Yes, ok, he's an intelligent guy who happened to work in the community. Lawyer for a firm that covered things for crooks.
Just gave the money back last week. But!! My greatest concerns after these last few "whining sessions" What will he do if ever opposed by the guys in the middle east? This isn't "woodstock - no "love in's" Ya gotta stand up. speak up and be counted.

Posted by: Shopper3 | January 23, 2008 2:02 AM

we want Obama to have still more fun
learn from this intense experience and
do whatever he wants to do for America
himself + beautiful family.
His smile deserves more time
of freedom to sharpen up his
fascinating gifts.
Top Notch ambassador of
new pages made in United States
without a doubt.
Paris, why not?
or whatever he wants best..
By being non aggressive to the aggressor
the aggressor defeats herself.
very zen somehow.

Posted by: tabita | January 21, 2008 8:03 PM

Are we letting the Clinton's race-baiting work? If O wins in Sc, it's written of as a "racial win", set up to hurt him elsewhere. Again, it's in the clinton's SHORT TERM interest to do this, and they are willing to bet that all will be forgiven in Novemeber. Rolling the dice, Bill! I do believe and fear they might just turn enough people off a bit too much to 'just get over' it, in showing their divisive cards so clearly. This is not what the party nor the country needs, but what do the Clintons care about that....

Posted by: kmvpc | January 21, 2008 7:58 PM

What a terrible thing Slick Willy and his pig wife have done to their daughter. Nothing really matters to jerk politicians, other than stuffing already over-stuffed pockets. The United States of Arrogance is a very uncool place on the planet. And it is in a very deep dew

Posted by: kentigereyes | January 21, 2008 7:29 PM

The headline should read "Bill Clinton walks fine LYING". I thought vaudeville ended decades ago!

Posted by: ValuesVoter | January 21, 2008 7:29 PM

TomJx's comments prove exactly how divisive the Clinton campaign is to the party. The ABC (Anyone But Clinton) group grows daily because of the antics by surrogates and false and almost-false Clinton twists... If the party leaders to not step in, the party will lose in November. Daily, the numbers of people who are pledging not to vote for the other dem. candidates grow... Rove smiles! Leave it to the dems to do this, and leave it to the Clintons to play the victim, willing to tarnish anything in their power-hungry path. I do not believe Bill is racist; I do believe that Bill would attack Mother Theresa if it served his personal goals, no matter what. The only party HRC can unite is the GOP; as McCaskills stated, she's fatal for the down-ticket and will leave the dem's weaker in house and senate. The ceiling HRC has in her own party is lowering every day she lets this go on (if she shows she can't control Bill now, why would that change in the WH?), she has NO cross-over appeal, and look how independents break for McCain v Hillary. Without independents, there is NO WIN in November. EVEN is she would somehow eke out a 50.01% victory, and would be "ready to lead", the other side will be "fired up and ready to go". Are we willing to go back to this drama, and sacrifice what it is all about?!

Posted by: kmvpc | January 21, 2008 7:27 PM

The headline should read "Bill Clinton walks fine LYING". I thought vaudeville ended decades ago!

Posted by: ValuesVoter | January 21, 2008 7:26 PM

Who in their right mind would want Bill and Hillary Clinton roaming the Whitehouse again? Bill Clinton who disgraced his family, and our country needs to go quietly into retirement. The man has no shame! And what woman would sell her soul to the devil as Hillary has for a political office? Who would stay with a man who fooled around with another woman in HER HOUSE under HER NOSE!!! What a sad and pathetic woman she is. The people are very scary. I'm an African-American registered female voter in SC and I will never vote for Hillary. If she ends up being the democrate nominee, I will for the 1st time vote Repuplican.I belong to a very large organization and 85% of my fellow members feel the same way and my family does as well. It is high time for black people to get off the Clinton Plantation.

Posted by: slnesbit | January 21, 2008 7:26 PM

Who in their right mind would want Bill and Hillary Clinton roaming the Whitehouse again? Bill Clinton who disgraced his family, and our country needs to go quietly into retirement. The man has no shame! And what woman would sell her soul to the devil as Hillary has for a political office? Who would stay with a man who fooled around with another woman in HER HOUSE under HER NOSE!!! What a sad and pathetic woman she is. The people are very scary. I'm an African-American registered female voter in SC and I will never vote for Hillary. If she ends up being the democrate nominee, I will for the 1st time vote Repuplican.I belong to a very large organization and 85% of my fellow members feel the same way and my family does as well. It is high time for black people to get off the Clinton Plantation.

Posted by: slnesbit | January 21, 2008 7:26 PM

Who in their right mind would want Bill and Hillary Clinton roaming the Whitehouse again? Bill Clinton who disgraced his family, and our country needs to go quietly into retirement. The man has no shame! And what woman would sell her soul to the devil as Hillary has for a political office? Who would stay with a man who fooled around with another woman in HER HOUSE under HER NOSE!!! What a sad and pathetic woman she is. The people are very scary. I'm an African-American registered female voter in SC and I will never vote for Hillary. If she ends up being the democrate nominee, I will for the 1st time vote Repuplican.I belong to a very large organization and 85% of my fellow members feel the same way and my family does as well. It is high time for black people to get off the Clinton Plantation.

Posted by: slnesbit | January 21, 2008 7:26 PM

The ENTIRE controversy over race was engineered and manufactured by the Obama campaign in order to fuel a win in South Carolina. Obama had seen the writing on the wall, namely that if he didn't win in South Carolina, a state whose Democratic Primary voters were composed of nearly 50% African Americans, he would be seen as nothing more than a boutique candidate on the order of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He understandably realized that Hillary was garnering the majority of black support, despite the fact he himself was black, and felt if he was going to have ANY chance at being nominated, he had to win South Carolina. His staff then decided they were going to play the race card, and did so. They sent their surrogates out immediately following the New Hampshire primary, including Professor Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown (a major advocate of the Obama campaign who speaks on Obama's half on every major political show on TV), who began questioning whether the win by Hillary in New Hampshire was NOT because she had swayed voters in that state based on their belief that she was a more experienced, more qualified, and more genuine candidate, but rather that they, the voters, had simply voted for her and not Obama because he was black. That same evening, Jesse Jackson, Jr. (a Senior Advisor to Obama's Campaign) went on MSNBC and made the following comment (and I'm paraphrasing here, but it's pretty accurate and you're welcome to google for the YouTube video that shows it) that Hillary's "tears" needed to be examined in light of the "Fact" (and fact is a complete falsehood on his part as he hasn't got a clue as to whether this is factual) that Hillary never cried about Katrina. He made this remark three times, and its clear intent was to say HILLARY CLINTON DOESN'T GIVE A RAT'S A$$ ABOUT BLACKS.

This charge of RACISM, leveled at the New Hampshire voters who supported Hillary was a veiled attempt at painting ALL of Hillary Clinton's supporters (at least the white ones), in fact ALL Democrats who DIDN'T support Obama, as RACISTS. They then manufactured a controversy over Hillary's statement about MLK, which was ONLY made in response to OBAMA'S likening HIMSELF to MLK and JFK, claiming she had "DISSED" the man. Nothing could be further from the truth, but the media, nearly all of whom hate Hillary to the core, picked up on this in a heartbeat, and were defacto Obama surrogates in their effort to paint Hillary Clinton as, AT BEST, someone who wasn't sympathetic to blacks concerns or sensibilities.

The Obama campaign then went on to use Bill Clinton's words, where he OBVIOUSLY criticized Obama for his claim that he had been ADAMANTLY opposed to the Iraq War CONSISTENTLY TO THE SAME DEGREE, since before it started, and tried to paint those remarks as racist as well by misquoting Bill, twisting his words, and taking them completely out of context to suggest Bill Clinton had suggested Obama's ENTIRE campaign (and thereby the entire notion that a Black man could ever be president) was a "Fairy Tale". The TRUTH, though, is that Bill had said, CLEARLY AND CONCISELY, that Obama's claim that he had been consistent on his views about the war was a "Fairly Tale". Now, some could argue this is an unfair criticism of Obama, and that would have been a valid, if incorrect opinion in my view. However, they didn't do this. Instead, they clipped the speech by Bill to include NONE of the context of what he had said, and simply used the words "Give me a break, this whole thing is a Fairy Tale" as their quote from Bill, and then claimed he had said this in the context of saying Obama's entire campaign, his entire dream of becoming president, was a "Fairy Tale". This was done in order to anger blacks, to incite them to believe Bill Clinton was a closet racist. And it worked beautifully. Obama's lame claim that he had nothing to do with it was EASILY refuted by the MEMO that had been released by HIS CAMPAIGN which noted Bill's remarks, and did EXACTLY what I stated above in trying to claim Bill had made the claim Obama's campaign was a "Fairy Tale." Not to mention the remarks by Michelle Obama to that same effect at a mostly black event where she is quoted as having said, "That win in Iowa ain't no Fairy Tale"

Now, if you want to dismiss all this, you're welcome to. But it is completely and utterly factual. If you'd like links to all of the stuff, including the comments by Dyson, Jackson, and Michelle Obama, they're on YouTube. The Memo is at HuffingtonPost.com. Again, you can dismiss it, but you're simply lying to yourself. Obama, and his campaign, in a desperate bid to stay alive in this contest, PLAYED THE RACE CARD. And while it's garnered him a great deal more support among blacks, he's also realized he's lost a great deal of support among women, whites and Hispanics because of it.

It was bad enough that he pulled such a lowlife move. The fact he's lied about it continuously, and is now having his campaign, his surrogates, and his supporters spread these vicious, EVIL, and completely phony stories about voter intimidation on the part of Clinton supporters shows me there is NO depth to which he won't go. People claim Hillary acts as if she's owed this nomination. I say they're blind. Hillary has NEVER acted like that. The Media has painted that narrative for a year and she's thoroughly rejected it. OBAMA IS THE A-HOLE WHO ACTS LIKE HE'S OWED THE PRESIDENCY. He acts, and his campaign acts, like any attack on him is an attack on blacks.

Now, I know that many blacks who are racist (and trust me, there are just as many racist blacks as there are whites proportionally), and many other blacks who aren't, but are no more interested in delving into the details of the campaigns as the majority of Americans, will be swayed by all of this nonsense that has been fueled by the Obama campaign and their defacto surrogates (the entire Hillary-Hating media). But they better remember one thing. WHITES MAKE UP THE MAJORITY OF THIS NATION, AND EVEN THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Obama may find he's won the battle (South Carolina), and lost the war.

And if his and his surrogate's rhetoric goes much further, he may find himself in political oblivion soon. I don't believe he ever would have won the nomination. I'm a Hillary Clinton supporter and fervently believe she will win. However, I had hoped for, in fact have called for it for over two years, that she would choose Obama as her running mate. However, if he himself, his surrogates, or his advocates hope for even that, he had better REALLY begin to tamp all this down. Because if he doesn't, he's going to find his support among whites even lower than Hillary Clinton's support among blacks in South Carolina following his little round of racial hucksterism. And if he wants to see who would REALLY win a race war between a black and white candidate here in America, all he has to do is look at the campaigns of ANY black man who's ever run for president such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Both of them were seen as the BOUTIQUE Black Candidate, and Obama's heading toward that demise. His only chance at the nomination, or ANY further political viability, is to UNITE people, not divide them.

Furthermore, as I said above, for two years I have been calling for a Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama ticket, which I saw as both a winning ticket, one that would go far in healing our nation, and would provide Democrats with control of the White House for at LEAST the next 16 years. I am a Hillary Clinton supporter, but I have to say that whatever my analysis above, and my belief that Obama can STILL avoid doom if he stops what he's been doing, I personally will NEVER vote for the man. I believe he is a racist, that the majority of his supporters are vicious Hillary-Haters and/or moronic racists themselves, and if Hillary does put him on the ticket in order to heal the party, I will seriously consider voting for an independent candidate or skipping the election altogether. Barack Obama is not fit to be dog-catcher of Podunk, Illinois, let alone President of the United States of America. In truth, if he's elected, I won't just vote against him or not vote, I'll actively work to get others to.

Posted by: hotnuke2007 | January 21, 2008 6:59 PM

The Clintons have jumped the shark.

Posted by: TomJx | January 21, 2008 6:57 PM

Where is the party's official chairman? Where is Al Gore? Why is Kennedy not speaking out publicly, like Sen. Leahy, in trying to stop this destructive scorched-earth campaign of the Clintons?

Posted by: kmvpc | January 21, 2008 6:50 PM

Y'all are being far too harsh. Poor Bill just had a rough week and the pressure got to him and he snapped a little. For goodness' sake, last week the press kept on harping about how it was the tenth anniversary of the "I did not have sexual relations with that woman... Miss Lewinsky" lie.

Just think how surly you'd be if the national media was constantly reminding you that you haven't had sex for ten years.

Posted by: whatmeregister | January 21, 2008 6:27 PM

Calmy pointing out that your record and words, again and again, are twisted and parsed- Clinton style _ is NOT whining! Should he just roll over and let them get away with this? Why does the press allow Bill more time than his wife?! If she can't stand on her own feet now, who will run the WH when things get tough?! The Clintons are showing their power-hunger so baltantly that I, a life-long voter, will never cast a vote for them. This is damaging the party, in November and beyond - not that the Clintons care about that! I think the party elders - Gore, Kennedy, Feineman, even senators who endorsed HRC should come out publicly and dondemn this damage. HRC has NO cross-over appeal, very limited independent appeal, esp. against Mccain, and senior dems. should be WORRIED SICK about people like me who will pleade, and advocate, never to support these two, based on their distortions, lies, low and divisives tactics. The only party Clintons unite is the GOP; she'll be "fatal" (McCaskill) to anyone on the ticket with her, as the GOP will come out in droves. Polls: please check what is happening in the dem. party BEFORE super Tue.; the numbers of ANTI-Clinton are exploding, and leave it to us, in an important election like this and with a divided field on the GOP side, to allow a narcissistic ex-president (impeached and convicted of PERJURY - as commander in chief) to distract us again... What % of Clinton I and II was spent on his antics?! HRC's experience?? Where is the press reporting that she could not be bother to read 94 pages NIE no staffer could see before voting FOR A WAR, "with conviction"? Is this another looking-Putin-in-the-eye moment, or did the polls that day show that that was the way to vote?! Show them that we deserve better!

Posted by: kmvpc | January 21, 2008 6:20 PM

Barack Obama inspires me. He gives me hope. When I speak of Barack to my friends, even those who are Republicans, respond positively. But, when I speak about Hillary Clinton, both mt GOP friends and even some moderate Democrats, roll their eyes and say one word in disgust: Bill Clinton.

If the Dems really want to win in 2008, we ought to consider that a Hillary candidancy will only produce negative results and 4 more years of a GOP administration.

Posted by: xiomart4 | January 21, 2008 5:53 PM

Obama campaign is in trouble and he knows that. Bill Clinton is the best there is in this field to campaign for his wife. Gore and Kerry decided not to use him - and look - they lost the presidency. In my mind he was the best president of this country after FDR. Republicans are running on Ronald Reagan's name, Democrats should do the same on Bill Cointon's name. It is a pity Obama don't really get that and invokes Reagan as his inspiration. For someone running on a Democratic ticket - it is a shame.

Posted by: johnflint1985 | January 21, 2008 5:41 PM

To all you so called "independents", even if Obama was the nominee in the General Election, you would vote Republican any way.....Go Hillary

Posted by: jsteph23 | January 21, 2008 5:29 PM

Thanks to Bill, I have seen the light. I guess I should be supporting Hillary. Let me count a few of the reasons.
We have an opportunity to elect an individual as President who, when the going gets too political and too tough, is not afraid to send out her husband to sling the mud.
We have an opportunity to elect an individual who is not afraid to use race and gender for her own purposes in order to build an alliance based on division so she can win a couple of primaries.
We have an opportunity to elect an individual well schooled in the art of being an actress who can appear to turn on the water works at the most opportune moment without actually shedding a tear.
We have an opportunity to elect an individual who has developed the experience on how to govern and lead by spending a couple of years sleeping in the White House while her husband was President.
We have the opportunity to elect an individual known for her understanding of economics and finance who in a couple of days was able to turn a few dollars into six figures by investing in cattle futures.
We have the opportunity to elect an individual who understands the mortgage and land development issues facing us today based on her involvement in the Whitewater fiasco while First Lady of Arkansas.
We have an opportunity to elect an individual who on day one of her Presidency has shown us that she will lead us into the future by following the failed policies of the past and will not need a learning curve to figure out the corrupt ways of Washington.
Actually, we have an opportunity to leave Hillary and her corrupt self in the Senate (and Bill in retirement) and vote for what is in the best interests for ourselves and our children. I trust that Senator Obama is that individual and we should give him that opportunity.

Posted by: zmptr | January 21, 2008 5:23 PM

Say Hello to President McCain, folks. That's where the Independent voters are going after this is all over. There is no Ross Perot this time to siphon off GOP voters when Hillary Clinton is nominated.

Posted by: jnhoward | January 21, 2008 5:19 PM

Say Hello to President McCain, folks. That's where the Independent voters are going after this is all over. There is no Ross Perot this time to siphon off GOP voters when Hillary Clinton is nominated.

Posted by: jnhoward | January 21, 2008 5:19 PM

goaway1
That's old news. Obama has already said he doesn't agree with Farrakhan's more outrageous statements. Andrew Young also received the Trumpet Award. Should he give it back? Do Catholics agree with everything the Pope says? The point is, I have never, ever heard Obama say anything remotely bigoted.

Posted by: joy2 | January 21, 2008 5:10 PM

Bill Clinton was an infinitely better president than W, but if he had had any shame, he would have resigned when it became clear that he had lied to the country about having sex. Gore would have become President, and we would not have gotten eight years of the disastrous reign of King George Bush.

The Clintons are trying to drag Obama into the gutter with them. If he made the above statement, it would be big news, and it just might shut up the Clintons. On the other hand, if he survives the Clintons' sleaze, he will easily handle the Republican's attacks.

Posted by: MillsLover | January 21, 2008 5:04 PM

Dudes, Obama is a sissy whiner who'll get torn apart by the Republicans. This is presidential politics: rough and dirty. Don't you all remember the stolen election in 2000 ? The Swift Boating in 2004 ? Haven't you had enough? Do you really think the Republicans are going to stop and play fair with Obama? They'll play the politics of polarization even more - after all, they perfected it. Democrats: grow up and stop getting punched in the face. Throw a couple of your own.

Posted by: princeps2 | January 21, 2008 5:02 PM

Dudes, Obama is a sissy whiner who'll get torn apart by the Republicans. This is presidential politics: rough and dirty. Don't you all remember the stolen election in 2000 ? The Swift Boating in 2004 ? Haven't you had enough? Do you really think the Republicans are going to stop and play fair with Obama? They'll play the politics of polarization even more - after all, they perfected it. Democrats: grow up and stop getting punched in the face. Throw a couple of your own.

Posted by: princeps2 | January 21, 2008 5:02 PM

filmex wrote...

lianette_steele wrote (and she is the typical Clinton supporter);

"It is really to sad that the Obama think we are stupit voters"

......did you mean stupid?
(etc.)
..............................

Oh you! You beat me to the punch!
Rock on.

Posted by: binkynh | January 21, 2008 4:55 PM

This string probably warms the cockles of the hearts of Republican operatives.

And as others have pointed out, we do have The Clinton Machine to thank for that -- for dragging out the vicious, "I'm the victim/ you never heard those commennts from me" bag of tricks they perfected against Carl Rove.

For the record, I have heard Republican operatives say that they'd far rather run against Hillary. Apparently they think they know her number -- and expect her high negatives to flood the ballotboxes with votes against her.

After the machine has run this slimy bag of tricks against Obama, Republicans could proabaly also expect a number of Democrats to be unwilling to vote to perpetuate The Clintons.

In serving his slick swill, Bill urges people to vote for his wife to support him. He is saying, in effect, elect Hillary and we'll get Bill, eight years out of touch with the fucntions of government. Why should we want that? In fact, why do we want him doing this now?

Posted by: thaimex | January 21, 2008 4:55 PM

Obama may be in big trouble very soon.
Read this:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/749138,obama20web.article
Another one for Obama guys - read this to see who is Saint Obama:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/432197,CST-NWS-obama18.article
This is an old one but good to know about Obama:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/425305,CST-NWS-obama13.article
After a while, Obama will have to deal not with the Clintons but the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald!!!!!

Posted by: henryvu | January 21, 2008 4:53 PM

Wouldn't you hate to run into Bill as a parent at a Little League game?

Posted by: joy2 | January 21, 2008 4:51 PM

The Clintons crossed whatever "fine line" there was the moment that Bill leveled negative attacks in a party primary involving a family/personal interest. Both the Clintons have compromised themselves in ways that will have some lasting impact within the party.

Posted by: JPRS | January 21, 2008 4:45 PM

As Bob Novak said after Iowa "THERE WILL BE BLOOD".. It's happening.

Posted by: pranag08 | January 21, 2008 4:29 PM

I am a Democrat but will not vote for Hillary because of the Clinton's dirty politics. I would rather vote for the Republicans

Posted by: sudeshna_das | January 21, 2008 4:27 PM

This is a bizarre picture: A woman who is running for the office of President of the United States repeatedly sends her husband out to rough up the people who are making her cry.

Posted by: starbuck1 | January 21, 2008 4:22 PM

B.J. Clinton's monster megalomania prevents him from understanding that he is hurting his wife's chances in the general election. If she gets nominated, voters will have to consider having this oafish buffoon stinking up the White House with his sexual antics and corrupt politics.

Sounds like every time he opens his lyin' yap, he's gaining votes for Republicans. And for Obama, if the truth be told.

But B.J. is immune from the truth---a complete corrupt Royal Fourflusher.

Posted by: djman1141 | January 21, 2008 4:22 PM

svreader, I guess (from some of the postings) I am not the only one who will boycott HRC in the primary and in the general election, should HRC become the DNC nominee. Who's running for president again, HRC or WJC? It's hard to tell these days. With HRC's claim to thirty-five years of experience, yet the spouse serves as her pitbull on the trail, her claim to being independent of her husband (in name at least) seems awfully suspect. What say you to this (without the usual "rahrah Hillary" stump speeches you put in your postings)?

Posted by: meldupree | January 21, 2008 4:13 PM

If only Bill Clinton could walk a fine line. Finesse is not one of his talents. He staggers about like a vicious drunk, stirring up trouble and vomiting insults. When the press check out his claim, they find the same thing as an Independent Prosecutor appointed by Congress. The man just can't hold his truth. That he is on the public dole while rendering such a public disservice should concern every citizen. He should recuse himself from this election, instead of investing venomous lies and being as intimidating as he possibly can be. His best friends claim that politics is a dirty, dirty business, and that Obama should leave it to the contaminated to continue as always. I am thinking specifically of Andrew Young, one time U.S. ambassador to the world, as it statutes at the United Nations, in writing this. Young has grown old and cynical. Martin King would be ashamed of this world-worn turncoat. The world makes itself, on a daily basis. We are who we have the courage of being. Let's not be intimidated by a self-acknowledged perjurer: William Jefferson Clinton. The "Jefferson" part was the first political lie Bill told, and he just can't quit since.

Posted by: rarignac | January 21, 2008 4:07 PM

I am a lifelong Democrat, who goes door-to-door in every election trying to get Democrats elected to office at the local, state, and national levels. I absolute despite President Bill Clinton.

It is also flat out shameful that Hillary has not put a stop to this. Why can't she do her own dirty work? Why can't she stand up to the attacks herself. All she has done is cry in the face of it all and send Bill out to go trash her opponents. That is not leadership to me. That is flat out weak.

The Clintons are done in my book. I wish I could take back my 1996 vote for Bill Clinton. That is the only vote in my life I regret.

Posted by: GoHuskies2004 | January 21, 2008 4:03 PM

If Mrs. Clinton says she is "Ready to govern on Day One," or whatever her rote expression is, I don't see any evidence of this if she's got her out of control husband out there fighting for her.

She should be doing this herself. She is hiding behind him. World leaders must be laughing at them.
And mind you, I never saw George W's father coming out and attacking either Gore or Kerry. Say what you will about our current president, at least he wasn't hiding behind Daddy.

Posted by: vbalfour | January 21, 2008 4:01 PM

Obama has demonstrated an appeal among all the different kind of citizens. I think He can do the change that AMERICA needs today with a strong majority and heals the divide

Posted by: valerymillet | January 21, 2008 3:58 PM

Bill Clinton is not "walking a fine line." He has crossed over the line and is not respecting boundaries. In psychiatric parlance, he is indeed "acting out." He truly seems to believe he is running for president again. He is a mess, with no self-monitoring mechanism.

I hope voters see through the Clinton's silly and childish tricks.
And yes, I was volunteering in New Hampshire for the Obama campaign and hurt plenty of whining from the Clinton camp about how our phone calls to voters "weren't fair." All the while they were mailing out literature that misrepresented Obama's stance on abortion.
All Obama volunteers are instructed never to speak ill of the Clintons when talking to voters. The same obviously, does not hold true in the Clinton camp.

Go, Obama !

Posted by: vbalfour | January 21, 2008 3:58 PM

If I want a monarchy I will move to Great Britain. I am distressed by the possibility of my party nominating Hillary and continuing the Bush-Clinton axis. If my party picks Hillary, I will most likely abstain from voting or even voting GOP...

Posted by: aestern | January 21, 2008 3:55 PM

I feel the same that Republicans know how to beat Obama, his church past is a big problem for the whites. 911 is not so far a way.


"The Washington post has turned into a total "right-wing rag"

That's why they're pushing Obama so much.

Obama is the Republican Party's dream candidate.

They know they can beat him.

Thats why Republicans are working so hard to push Obama.

Posted by: svreader | January 21, 2008 12:53 PM "


Posted by: yudong2 | January 21, 2008 3:54 PM

I attended a closed session with Bill Clinton, of about 1,000 people, here in Las Vegas just before the caucus. Since the session was made up entirely of Hillary Clinton supporters, I fully expected that Bill would come out swinging. However, not once during the session did he make a disparaging or derogatory remark about Obama. The general feeling at the session, as far as I could discern, was one of absolute respect and admiration for Obama. Successful Presidential politics is about taking punches and either not falling down or getting right back up after being knocked down. The Clintons have demonstrated a remarkable ability to take punches. Relative to historic Presidential campaigns, the Obama candidacy has taken very few serious punches. If the Obama campaign wishes to successfully continue on to the White House it will have to develop a thicker skin. If the Clintons don't slap him around a bit the Republicans surely will.

Posted by: tteates | January 21, 2008 3:54 PM

If Bill and Hillary Clinton continue down this path they will when
the Democrat candidacy but they will destroyed the black vote. I believe that most black people will not vote for Hillary in the general election if they believe she got the vote via character assassination of Obama Barrack. I also believe that Bill Clinton is
going to destroy the good will that the black community has for him.

Posted by: jjack1 | January 21, 2008 3:53 PM

People accuse Obama of whining but what about Hillary's crocodile tears and all of the complaining about Nevada?

Hillary is exactly what this country doesn't need, her campaign is run in the same electioneering style we've seen in the past 2 Bush elections, assasinate your opponent in the square of public opinion at any cost.

I am profoundly disappointed in Bill's nasty turn, and no longer hold the family in as high of a regard as I once did.

Posted by: oysterman84 | January 21, 2008 3:46 PM

The Clinton's are slightly amusing. Fighting so hard to get the Nomination. Only to then have to fight to keep it!

I honestly hope the Clintons do get the Nod. Then, the Supreme Court will get to Legislate once and for all, that a Marriage is a PARTNERSHIP, and that as a Partnership, BOTH clintons have already been in the Exectutive Seat for their Two Terms!

But, in the Meantime, someone throw some more "Chum" in the Legal Shark infested waters! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | January 21, 2008 3:44 PM

Is Mrs.H Clinton's spouse the only one who is not allowed defend her?What kind of uproar arose when Mr.Edwards spouse spoke up?None.

Posted by: andyod | January 21, 2008 3:44 PM

Let's face reality. Anyone that believes anything Bill Clinton says has the mental agility of an eggplant. Bill Clinton was impeached and disbarred because he couldn't tell the truth even when he had sworn to tell the truth. Bill Clinton is a degenerate of this highest order. His wife is just as dishonest. She's a bimbo of the highest order. People that would even consider voting for her are devoid of the ability to reason and shouldn't be allowed to vote in any US election.

Posted by: eco-pharm | January 21, 2008 3:42 PM

Whining and complaining is a sign of weakness. It shows me that Obama is a softy, and not fit to be commander and chief. We cannot afford to have a cry baby for president.
Posted by: autowx | January 21, 2008 03:13 PM

-------------------------

Is Obama "whining and complaining?" Or is he fighting back?

Was HRC "whining and complaining" in the NH diner? Or was she fighting back?

"Analysis" of the type offered by autowx, and in similar comments above, are just expressions of preference for one candidate. They have no value in deciding which candidate to support.

Posted by: mnjam | January 21, 2008 3:41 PM

I hope Bill lives to see the general election votes tallied.

And the band played on . . .

Posted by: jmlynch926 | January 21, 2008 3:37 PM

Whining and complaining is a sign of weakness. It shows me that Obama is a softy, and not fit to be commander and chief. We cannot afford to have a cry baby for president.
Posted by: autowx | January 21, 2008 03:13 PM

-------------------------

Is Obama "whining and complaining?" Or is he fighting back?

Was HRC "whining and complaining" in the NH diner? Or was she fighting back?

"Analysis" of the type offered by autowx, and in similar comments above, are just expressions of preference for one candidate. They have no value in deciding which candidate to support.

Posted by: mnjam | January 21, 2008 3:37 PM

I voted for Bill in 1992. I very well may vote for Hillary in 2008.

Here is the problem with Bill as the hatchet-man in chief: he is an ex-President. That status usually means you should act in a certain way. Going out on the stump and distorting a fellow democrat's statements is not what a former President should do.

Let's give one example:

Obama says that for the last 10 or 15 years, the Republicans have been seen as the party of ideas. He says that the Democrats need to become the party of ideas.

Bill goes to a rally and says something like "One of our opponents is going around saying the Republicans are the only party with GOOD ideas for the last 15 years. I am not making this up."

First of all, Obama did not say the GOP was the party of GOOD ideas. That is the key word in Bill's statement. Secondly, he then disdainfully says "I am not making this up." when, in fact, he did make it up.

This stuff happens in all campaigns, but it is typically done by people that are paid to distort and lie and mislead. A former President should not distort or lie or mislead.

Anyone who doesn't feel that is the case has little respect for our country.

To the Clintons: go ahead, and don't believe all the folks that say what you are doing is going to hurt in the general election. I am sure you can blame the vast, right-wing conspiracy when you lose.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 21, 2008 3:35 PM

I'm very suspicious of the comments written by those who claim to be supporters of Sen Obama on these posts. They sound remarkably like Republicans pretending to be Democrats, unconvincingly.

Posted by: zukermand | January 21, 2008 3:35 PM

Oh my goodness...such hatred, such loathing such anger...and for what? I haven't heard anything about Obama from Bill Clinton or Hillary that should rise at all to this level of hated. They are both in a tight election and it's unfortunate that Obama isn't doing as well lately, but like it was a surprise that Bill wouldn't support or participate in this campaign? I think the problem is that he's actually asking some tough questions. Obama wants to lump the Clinton years with the past or at least to paint them as the establishment or Bush lite. The Clintons came to Washington as outsiders...like Obama. The Clinton years were great compared to now, more wealth was shared by everyone, and more people, especially minorities started rising out of poverty. Obama even tries to elevate Reagan as a man of change primarily to shadow or obscure the Clinton years...please stop the madness!
I've googled and I seriously can't find too many hard hitting stories on Obama for the last six months. So where is the media? Is it the color of his skin that we don't want to ask real questions? I hope not.
So Bill Clinton questions Obama's statements and his followers label Bill a low life and a racist, a liar and tell him to chill out?! Obama deserves to be questioned to explain what he states and believes in.

When Hillary was confronted with a couple of male taunters at her NH campaign rally asking her to "iron their shirts", it was barely a blimp on the media radar screen. What if Obama was in a similar scenario only the signs read, "pick our cotton"? (I'm guessing the taunters would not make it out of the campaign rally alive). It's pretty certain the media world would go nuts and every person would be talking about this and analyzing the declining race relations in this country. Is that fair...no, but it is what exists. It's not fair that there are two of the Clintons to contend with. And it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, least of all a presidential candidate. They always knew he would be involved, unfortunately his team haven't come up with a good way to stop him. Too bad, so sad.

The Republicans will go after any Democratic candidate with great effort and effect. We know that is their nature. They will twist the words of any candidate and they will push up the negative numbers. And it's beneficial that the Democrats have someone in their corner who isn't afraid to fight. John Kerry, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore all let themselves be defined by the Republicans. Remember, Mr. Kerry became the flip-flopper, and his service in Vietnam seemed superficial by the time the Republicans got done with him.

And if the Democratic nominee is not prepared, be it Obama or Hillary neither should deserve to be president. Obama needs to buck it up, stop focusing on Clinton (Bill or Hillary) and talk about how and what he would change. He's a great speaker, and if he believes in himself and his abilities...he shouldn't have to worry about a former president with baggage who is married to his rival.

Posted by: tmcinroy | January 21, 2008 3:34 PM

Huge typo in my upper blog....I meant to say President Clinton..not President Bush

It should read: Hillary has President Clinton supporting her....

Posted by: badger3 | January 21, 2008 3:32 PM

Former presidents have frequently supported one candidate over another, so how is Bill Clinton's role any different? Simply because he's married to Hillary?

I find it particularly disturbing, however, that Obama is lumping President Clinton's two terms with Bush 41 and 43. And praising Reagan? What's up with that?

Obama is losing my support quickly, and that is unfortunate.
CaptainJohn2525 | January 21, 2008 12:37 PM

------------------------------

Former Presidents have not gotten involved in subsequent races. Who among the Republican contenders did Ford support in 1988, 1996 or 2000? Who among the Repulican contenders did Bush 41 support in 1996? While Bush certainly supported his son in 2000, he did not act out like Bill Clinton this year. Similarly, who did Carter support in 1988, 2000 and 2004? Clinton is misbehaving.

Obama's take on Clinton's presidency is accurate. He tried to to do the right things. He most failed. The one thing he did do was very important, namely eliminating the structural deficits due to Republican tax cuts for the rich, a sine qua non for progress in other areas like increased public investment in infrastructure, education, job training and research and for healthcare reform.

But Clinton, unlike Reagan, did not change the broader political culture. He was unable to convince the public of the wisdom of his policy approaches. His designated sucessor lost. Instead, Clinton was replaced by the ultra-Reaganite George Bush, who proceeded to ERASE anything that Clinton accomplished.

From the vantage of 2008, it looks like the Clinton presidency never occurred -- it's kind of like a brief, almost dreamlike exception to the rule of conservative social and economic dogma from 1981 through 2008.

Obama's point is not that Clinton had th wrong ideas. It is that he did not truly implement or institutionalize his ideas; that we need to practice a better politics going forward if we expect real and enduring changes in fiscal, health care, energy and other important policies.

Bill Clinton's campaign antics -- the polarizing and triangulating - are reinforcing this point.

Posted by: mnjam | January 21, 2008 3:31 PM


It looks as though we can count on Bill and Hillary to stoop to the lowest methods possible in this campaign. They really do want to move things backward to the mudslinging that they and the Bushes know so well and have used to such advantage.


The problem is that governing will be impossible after this. Their cutthroat tactics are even turning off Democrats. I've talked to at least 5 D's in the last 3 days who are questioning whether they can vote for Hillary if she's the nominee. Not a good sign of things to come.

Posted by: hermanSF | January 21, 2008 3:29 PM

Is it just too much to ask Bill and Hillary to be truthful? He just can't seem to resist getting in some lies about things he saw in NV and Hillary has to provide 2 or 3 different responses every time she gets a question. "Yes, I voted for that bill but I was glad it didn't pass." Huh?? Bill and Hillary are two peas in a pod as far as I'm concerned. They truly deserve each other but the country should be spared. If Obama wins, he'll get my vote. If it's Hillary vs McCain, I'll go with McCain.

Posted by: ke_gilbert | January 21, 2008 3:25 PM

Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, and now some people want to continue the cyle with another Clinton. Do Americans really think that only two families are capable of running this country? Wake up, people...the Clinton's are not in this race to help you, they're in this race because they like power.

Posted by: maryhedin61 | January 21, 2008 3:23 PM

Bill Clinton is the first Democratic two term President since FDR. He is also viewed by most Democrats as a success, policy-wise and politically, especially compared to what came before him and what has come since. His words thus carry a lot of weight with Democrats.

He is also HRC's husband and as such a staunch supporter of hers. In that regard, he is less than credible on the subjects of HRC or Obama or any other candidate in 2008.

There is a clear conflict of interest between Bill Clinton's role as the last Democratic president and as husband/supporter of one of the current candidates. He knows it, thus his mantra that "I honestly believe that she is the best." That's fine -- no one would expect him to say anything different.

But his attempts to pronounce Obama (or Edwards) as "unqualified" are over the top. (1) They are self-refuting: his wife's "experience" has everything to do with him -- her status as First Lady and a Senate seat which she would not have but for that status. Take all that away and HRC does not appear more "experienced" or "qualified" than Obama or Edwards. (2) It is divisive and hurtful to the Democratic Party of which he is a leader: it is extraordinary for one candidate to declare another "unqualified" and/or for a former President to do so. It is insulting to the Obama (or Edwards) and his supporters, including prominent Democratic politicians who have endorsed Obama and Edwards.

These tactics are also counterproductive. At least half of the Democratic Party is not enthusiastic about HRC. Bill Clinton's behavior is simply reinforcing the doubts and misgivings that this half of the party feel about her candidacy.

Clinton's stance prior to Iowa was to be partly "above the fray" -- to make appearances for his wife that involved discussing his take on the issues of the day, rather than advocating for his wife or trashing Obama or Edwards. He should have stuck to that.

Posted by: mnjam | January 21, 2008 3:17 PM

Out here in the far west, we have a term for Obama and his complaints..... SNIVELER. If he can't take the heat of the primary campaign, how would he be able to withstand the GOP attack machine. And if he were to survive the GOP attack machine, what would he say if someone like the Iranian president calls him a bad name? Whining and complaining is a sign of weakness. It shows me that Obama is a softy, and not fit to be commander and chief. We cannot afford to have a cry baby for president.

Posted by: autowx | January 21, 2008 3:13 PM

I once was a Clinton supporter. But after her tactics over the last few weeks. I will never vote for her. If she gets the nomination, I will vote for the Rebub.
The jackholes who put down Obama and say he's whining. Stop inhaling, its obvious to non bias voters what the Clintons are doing: lying, misrepresenting Obamas positions.
As i recall they were whining about the unions after the endorsed Obama. Then they whined about voter suppression and still won. In New Hampshire they whined about losing in Iowa.
To all her supporters, stop projecting and own your own neurosis! You are all starting to sound like loyal Bushies!

Posted by: priceisright | January 21, 2008 3:04 PM

So it's even. Hillary has President Bush supporting and campaigning for her. Obama has the entire media supporting and campaigning for him. (as proven by the bias in this article)

Posted by: badger3 | January 21, 2008 3:00 PM

A Hillary Clinton Presidency is not a legacy of the Bill Clinton Presidency; rather, the Bill Clinton Presidency was a steppingstone in a long-planned campaign to place Hillary Clinton in the White House.

Both Clintons love the idea of being the first to do something new in the presidency. People have suggested that a Clinton-Obama ticket would be a guarranteed win for the Dems, but I can't see Barack or Hillary volunteering for the VP position in either campaign. What I can see the Clintons doing would be for Hillary to nominate her husband as her running mate. This would be two firsts for the record books, and would be her way to claim the most experienced team ever for the office. It would probably blow the Republicans totally out of the running no matter who they picked.

Neither Clinton is very well known for their lack of prevarication. They are on the same plateau for distortion of the truth as George W. Bush and Richard Cheney.

Now I'm not going to lay this next tidbit at the feet of the Clinton supporters; but there is an e-mail campaign going around saying that Obama is a muslim. What these ignorant folks are doing is confusing him with Keith Ellison (who also happens to be black), D-Mn, who made history in Jan 07 by becoming the 1st muslim congressman and the 1st congressman to be sworn in using the Koran. I really hate it when people do this and then claim, "You know who I mean, all those blacks look alike to me." Grrrrrr!

Posted by: mhoust | January 21, 2008 2:54 PM

I don't recall ever seeing a former President acting as hatchet man against members of his own party during a Presidential campaign. It's disgraceful. Those who are so determined to see the first woman President should consider how devalued the accomplishment will be if Hillary rides in on Bill's tattered coattails.

Posted by: rlfast | January 21, 2008 2:49 PM

It feels too much like Bill is trying to fight Hill's fights for her, like the little lady can't handle it and I suspect she can. Also, Bush and his policies are the enemy. The message among the democrats should be that any democrat is better than any republican. We have a lot of good choices, here's why I think you should vote for me, but really, you can't go wrong. I don't appreciate this ego trip from the Clinton's, like somehow they think the nomination is theirs for the asking, owed to them. I'd like to see a more gracious stance from the Clinton camp toward the Obama camp.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 21, 2008 2:49 PM

Obama didn't know who slick Willie is? Now he starts mere complaining about him. Pretty depressing amateur candidate for US president as one of his supporters.

Mr. Neophyte, your nomination campaign is not picnic, but total war. To keep your high-road smug is one thing, to do belated whining is quite another.

Mr. Naive, fight back hard & instantly against mud-slinging Billary. Otherwise, you'll be just another history for feel-good orator along with "false" hope which Billary sneered.

And Americans will endure another 4 (or 8) years of Billary Clinton in addition to total 20 years of Bush-Clinton-Bush craps.

Posted by: sukkee | January 21, 2008 2:48 PM

To say that Bill Clinton is campaigning as a Vice Presidential candidate is off the mark. In fact, he is campaigning as a co-President! There would be little or no room at the table for a Vice President in a Hillary Clinton administration while Bill is still her husband. In this campaign, we are witnessing the reality of a Clinton White House, with Hillary and Bill running the country in tandem. What other kind of bargain would have kept her tied to him for so long? She has chosen to ride his coattails all the way to the presidency, where he and she will act as one. Give me a break! That's a fairy tale!

Posted by: ButchDillon | January 21, 2008 2:43 PM

Any American who was alive and awake during the Clinton admdinistration knows that Bill Clinton is Flawed. He is self indulgent, well disposed to dishonest and self seving characterizations. His ability to make incomnplete and fraudalent statements have been well exposed . (Most famously his statements that he didnt inhale and he didnt have sex with that woman.......) Essentially Bill will say whatever he thinks will advance his agenda. And putting Hillary in the White House looms large in his agenda. Let's face it foflks, Bill essentially disgraced himself and sullied the White House and the office of the presidency. This is not a paragon of virtue and honesty!
People want to characterize Obama's response to Bill's lies and distortions as whining. Obama strikes me as the only person inthis ra ce who is willing to try to abide by some standards of decency and civility. When he responds to Bill Clintons "inaccuracies" he is not whing, he is setting the record straight. Whining is when Hillary Clinton blames a vast right wing conspiracy is out to get her husband. That my frineds, is whining.
So when considering the candicies of Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton (and make no mistake they are a "tofer"), does anyone int their right minds want to repeat the Clinton years? Hillary is a divider,, who will do what ever is necessary to get the power she wants, tears, whining, and downright nastiness are not a problem! In her own way she is just aas dishonest and power hungry as her husband. Can anyone in their right minds want to see Groundhog Day the Clinton Years replayed at a theatre near you!

Posted by: hello3 | January 21, 2008 2:36 PM

I like Hillary and I like Bill but I don't like Billary! Bill needs to shut up and if Hillary can't handle her husband then she shouldn't be trying to be president. Bill already wasted a lot of our country's time with his lies about whats-her-name--day after day we had to hear about her (Monica) and our country became a laughing-stock of the entire world.

Posted by: lucyflann | January 21, 2008 2:35 PM

Whoever the Dem nominee turns out to be, they are going to have to be able to stand the heat. Republicans play hard ball. What has happened so far are just firecrackers compared to the missiles Republicans will be throwing at the Dem candidate.

Better to make sure the Dem nominee can take the heat now rather than repeat the "Kerry" moment in 2008 and have the Republicans want away with the prize right at the end of the game again while telling the Dems to stop your whining, you lost.

Posted by: cjones210 | January 21, 2008 2:32 PM

The difference between the three lead dems on Iraq is withhout distinction. Edwards and Clinton's provision for a mandate to carry health insurance mark their proposals as more determined and feasible. Clinton's refusal to buy in to right wing Social security scaremongering is exactly right. Edwards emphasis on empowering workers and restoring the essence of America's success is hugely relevant. I am not moved by Obama's calls for bipartisanship, I just don't see the middle ground on hating Mexicans, killing Iranians, spying on Americans and torturing prisoners. When Republicans get over the irrational response they've had to 9/11, we'll talk.

I probably prefer Edwards at this point, and Clinton if he should concede. I'll happily vote for any of the three in the general.

Now, what did we do to deserve the trivia obsessed gutter snipe weasel Dan Balz, who, being a wealthy man, shares none of our concerns and uses his preeminent position in our public discourse to relieve his boredom by typing ridiculous novelized stories to stir up trouble instead of helping us decide who to vote for? This is not fair to America.

Posted by: zukermand | January 21, 2008 2:30 PM

Hillary's been out on the campaign trail audaciously trying to claim credit ("experience") for Bill's presidency. Bill's been out on the campaign trail trying to make this election a referendum on his presidency, thinking that will redound to his wife's benefit. Well, if that's the campaign they want, let's have at it. There may be some Clinton nostalgia in certain quarters after 8 years of G.W. Bush, but there's also a lot of Clinton fatigue. Many of us remember the bitter divisions, the constant dissembling, the "small ball" politics of poll-driven triangulation. Bill diminished the presidency by failing to give the nation a vision, by failing to keep his pants on, by feeding us a steady diet of evasions and bald-faced lies, including a whopper that got him disbarred. Now he feels entitled to go about spreading distortions and naked untruths about Barack Obama, and Billary fans indignantly accuse Obama of "going negative" or "whining" when he steps up to set the record straight. It's a shameful but all too familiar pattern. Twenty years of Bushes and Clintons are enough. Let's move on to something better.

Posted by: bclintonk | January 21, 2008 2:23 PM

Its moronic to compare Bill's role in this campaign to Michelle Obama.

The untold story of this campaign is how successul Obama has been running against a two term president and first lady. He is winning the delegate race (minus super delegates).

Its about time we have a discussion of Bill's role and his possible future role. Our democracy iks at stake.

Posted by: RomanolePoliticien | January 21, 2008 2:18 PM

The sad fact is that Hillary can't control Bill.

She couldn't get him to zip it up when he was in the White House, and she can't get him to shut up now.

Posted by: drlbrty | January 21, 2008 2:16 PM

I'm still a bit confused about Senator Clinton's claim of "35 years of experience" that she talks about. Does she get credit for being married to Bill while he was the Attorney General, the Governer of Arkansas and the President? By my count, Mrs. Clinton has been a U.S. Senator only slightly longer than Senator Obama.

Posted by: ndmoore | January 21, 2008 2:07 PM

And the Clinton's are free of scandal? Norman Hsu? Mark Rich? Watergate? Filegate? Impeachment?

The obsession with the Clintons and the nineties is beyond me. Do you think all of these problems started with W?

They have found a way to subvert the 22nd amendment.

Posted by: RomanolePoliticien | January 21, 2008 2:06 PM

first, here is a link to the historic address of Barack Obama to the Ebeneezer Baptist Church today. It is an exhortation for all Americans, not a bid for Black support. i recommend the unabridged video rather than the abbreviated remarks.

http://bl122w.blu122.mail.live.com/mail/ReadMessageLight.aspx?Aux=4%7c0%7c8CA2A6B0704D340%7c&FolderID=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&InboxSortAscending=False&InboxSortBy=Date&ReadMessageId=23eb0825-31b8-485e-bf88-76b57961fe45&n=1863491595

Obama has legitimate cause for concern in this very big-media orchestrated campaign. the article above mentions the attacks by Bill Clinton to whom the media has in general been placating since he was a have said was private, he exploited and repudiated after using, out to dry.i would say that given the Billary history of dishonesty, spin, secrecy, lack of actual achievement, and selling out of the poor and working poor to the corporations and extreme ruthlessness during his popularity poll rather than leadership-based presidency, Clinton is more vulnerable than he knows to changing opinions.

in any case, this campaign is mired in dirty tricks by the DLC plutocratic beltway elites and their hechmen and women the rich upper middle class, the comfortably numb.

will the press ever stops trying to pick the winner and actually informs their readers and viewers about substantive candidate positions, views, and experience? why ignore Obama's community organizer and civil rights lawyer experience, and his tenure in state level politics?
it is my belief the media cares more about being right and also influencing outcomes that ebnefit big business than doing authentic journalism.

meanwhile OBAMA IS IN A VIRTUAL TIE WITH CLINTON:
in all white Iowa, and in all-white New Hampshire, Obama won or tied for delegates and party candidate percentages.

in Nevada he actually came aaway with more delegates than Clinton so who actually won?
we'll never know because the media coontinue to marginalize this important and historic candidacy.

Obama has shown cross gender,race, and even bi-partisan and strong independent voter support : this is a perilous time for USA awhen people try to polarize and exccluded him by claiming he only appeals to black voters.

BTW Billary's new Hampshire exit polls showed the support for her there paled in comparison to that for her ex-husband: most voters who voted for her were by proxy voting fro him. talk about hopelss dreams> the dirty tricks and broken promises of Clinton in office were terrible. Barack is not promising anything but peruades encourages, exhorts and leads us as an AUTHENTIC change agent for the most positive aspects of USA.

Posted by: fenwayfem | January 21, 2008 2:05 PM

Frankly, Mr Balz, you and your colleagues should keep your noses out of this. I would want Bill to support his wife, and I look forward to Obama getting support from some distinguished Black Congressmen. I don't understand why Jim Clyburn took a vow of silence. If he supports Obama then he should do so. This is a democratic system. The press has no business telling Bill how he should be supporting his wife. If a voter does not like it then put the "X"to convey the message.That counts.

And those two journalists who got smacked down by Mitt and Bill: stop whining. You want to dish it out but you can't take it. As a general rule you will find journalists very good and asking questions but very bad and taking any heat if they are questioned in turn.

Posted by: bitterpill8 | January 21, 2008 2:01 PM

To the Billary Fans - As an independent who is supporting Obama - I will vote Republican if either McCain or Romney win. Also, I will not support a Clinton/Obama ticket. I saw what the Clintons' did to Al Gore.

Posted by: agkhalil | January 21, 2008 2:00 PM

I hate to say this, but Obama comes off as a bit of a detached, disconnected wuss.

Wouldn't he do himself more good if, instead of his vague protests, he pointed out in detail where President Clinton is wrong?

Obama says things like "He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts..." but in absence of facts from Obama that contradict Clinton's statements, it's just a case of "He's wrong when he's says I'm wrong."

If America is just supposed to take Obama at his word, well....

Aren't we still suffering through two terms of that?

Posted by: pali2500 | January 21, 2008 1:58 PM

lianette_steele wrote (and she is the typical Clinton supporter);

"It is really to sad that the Obama think we are stupit voters"

......did you mean stupid?

"Race is not the issue and never will to elect a candidate"

......can someone please translate?

"It is also sad that Obama tried to put himseld like he care about other people's belief and faith"

....did you mean "himself", not that this really helps.

"Well, it we understand what he is coming from"

.....I'm sorry, but this seems to be the way all Clinton supporters express themselves.

"But believe me, we are smart voters than ever now"

....where is The Daily Show when you need it?

"We are intelligent voters"

....no, that would be the Obama supporters.

"We cannot afford to have someone that does not have the experience and all that candidate or someone is talking about is his race"

....looks like Howard Wolfson, Clinton Communications head has a rival for his job!

"People are seeing it that now since what happened to Iowa"

....why is it every post by a Clintonista appears to be produced a Special Ed class?

"It was still very hot issue when Oprah went with Obama"

....I think this is where Ed McMahon says, "How hot was it?"

"Now people becoming serious on how they ned to vote"

....but obviously not serious regarding grammar and spelling.

"We cannot afford another suffering like we are facing now"

....Are you speaking of reading your post?

"Under the Clinton administration, we have good surplu before they left"

.....unfortunately, there is no longer a dot.com bubble to give us a new surplu, although I'm not sure if having a surplu is a good thing or a bad thing...does it itch?

Posted by: filmex | January 21, 2008 1:57 PM

we don't know if Obama will be President what we do know is that he has not been swimming in same murky waters hillary clinton has.
Obama seems to be paving with style and brains
tha path for the real candidate to come.
Someone who would not need to lobby with the enemy to get some campaign bucks.

Posted by: tabita | January 21, 2008 1:54 PM

ramster and lowtreasures:

you each display the approach Sen. Obama is campaigning against. If you actually saw his interview during which he spoke about Pres. Reagan, he said that Pres. Raagan had tapped into a sentiment for change of the American people at the time and was thus able to change the direction of the country--but not for the better. It is sad when a factual statement about the history of the Presidency becomes fodder for short term political gain. Overcoming this type of "gotcha" politics is the change Sen. Obama is promoting. And God know we need it in the United States today!

Posted by: cdonham | January 21, 2008 1:51 PM

Bill Clinton was as good as FDR! Are you kidding? Clinton was an OK manager of the economy that Greenspan pumped up like crazy with the Y2K money bubble, but otherwise he governed as a Republican - NAFTA, the telecom act in '96 that gave away the rest of national media to the big corporations, welfare reform. He's actually the second-worst Democratic president of the twentieth century - Johnson is at the bottom only because of Vietnam.
Don't vote for HillBill vol.2!

Posted by: pkaren | January 21, 2008 1:47 PM

If you cannot take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
Senator Obama should not complain about what Bill Clinton or anyone else states--his wife and other staunch supporters are not exactly shy in going after Senator Clinton.

Having said that, both sides would be well advised to tune down their exchanges. The news media blow everything remotely critical out of all proportion in their hunt for drama, excitement, conflict--at the expense of substance. In the long run, this can hurt both candidates.
See also,
http://www.reflectivepundit.com/reflectivepundit/2008/01/the-road-to-the.html

Posted by: bn1123 | January 21, 2008 1:46 PM

EXACTLY, newagent99... I reiterate - If he thinks that he is going to come to Washington and sing kumbya with the Right, or even other Democrats, he has another thing coming. His actions of late harken back to the Democrats who would take endless pounding from the Republicans before and end up folding. If you can't take it, don't dish it! I love Bill Clinton, and I am falling in love with Hillary Clinton... because they fight for those things which don't come easily! GO HILLARY!!!

Posted by: saxa95 | January 21, 2008 1:44 PM

Meet the Press did a fine job yesterday comparing Bill's anti-Obama rhetoric to the facts. They played video of what Bill said and then played video of what Obama really said. There was no doubt that Bill was distorting, even lying, about Obama's positions.

The Meet the Press panel also raised some interesting questions:

If Hillary approves of what Bill is doing, then what does that say about her integrity and fitness for office?

If Hillary does not approve of what Bill is doing, what does that say about whether she will be able to control him if she becomes President?

I know of a few democrats who intend to vote for Hillary "because Bill will really be running things." Maybe they are right...

Posted by: NH_Hick | January 21, 2008 1:43 PM

Bill had his time. Now he should behave as a statesman, not as a lobbyist.
A vote for Hillary is a belated endorsement of Bill? Two for one all over again?
Even Daddy Bush behaved better!
In any case, if Hillary were to win the White House, the Bush-Clinton dynasties will have "reigned" for 28 straight years. A bit too monarchical for my taste!

Posted by: Jacqmotte3675 | January 21, 2008 1:43 PM

Bill Clinton is doing a great job of proving why Hilary's not ready for the White House. Although its noble to be concerned with your wife's campaign, you need to let her run her own campaign. She's trying to show the world that women can run this country, but stills needs her husband to fight her fight. This is the major reason Obama gets my vote this year.

Posted by: amsmith | January 21, 2008 1:41 PM

Rather than engage in poisoning rhetoric which seems to be unsupported, I will just post something from the Chicago Tribune.

Published in the Chicago Tribune yesterday:
By David Jackson | Tribune reporter
January 20, 2008

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama said Saturday that his campaign would give charities $40,350 in donations linked to his former friend and fundraiser Tony Rezko, a Chicago businessman who has pleaded not guilty to federal influence-peddling and bank fraud charges.

Obama already has divested more than $44,000 in Rezko-affiliated donations during the last year. But Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said the campaign made a comprehensive review of donations affiliated with Rezko and "found some we'd feel more comfortable not having."

Burton pointed out that other presidential campaigns have disposed of questionable funds, and added, "Our consistent practice in these circumstances is to give the funds to charity out of an abundance of caution."

Related links

*
Tales from the campaign trail Tales from the campaign trail Video
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Election 2008
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The latest on national politics from the Tribune's D.C. blog.
Clout Street
Local and state politics, scandal by scandal.

Election 2008
Complete coverage of local and national races.
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Obama Watch
The latest on the Illinois senator.

Presidential race
Profiles | Issues

Obama has not been accused of any wrongdoing and Burton said Obama had no reason to suspect at the time that the donations might be linked to allegations of impropriety. Obama and the campaign have not been questioned by federal agents investigating Rezko, Burton said.

Burton said the new divestments were prompted by a published report Saturday that one $10,000 donation to Obama's 2004 U.S. Senate campaign came from a fraud scheme that Rezko is accused of devising.

Although details of that donation have been made public -- and Obama divested the $10,000 last year -- the candidate has hoped to put questions behind him as he heads toward the Feb. 5 primaries, when 22 states are set to vote.

According to Saturday's Chicago Sun-Times, which cites an unnamed source, Obama was the unnamed "political candidate" referred to in a Dec. 21 court document that accuses Rezko of orchestrating a scheme in which a firm hired to handle state teacher pension investments first had to pay $250,000 in "sham" finder's fees.

From that money, $10,000 was donated to Obama's successful run for the Senate in the name of Glenview entrepreneur Joseph Aramanda, the story said.

Aramanda's attorney, Terence Gillespie, could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Business records show Aramanda once served as chief operating officer of a Rezko company, and Aramanda has been publicly identified as "Individual D" in the pension fraud case against Rezko. Aramanda has not been charged with any crime.

The Tribune had reported that Obama hired Aramanda's son as a 2005 summer intern in Obama's Capitol Hill office after Rezko recommended him.

Obama has denied using his government clout to do favors for Rezko.

As with Aramanda, no charges have been filed against the additional donors whose funds are being divested. None could be reached for comment Saturday evening. Among the donations are:

*$10,500 from Michel Malek, a neurologist and former investor in Rezko Enterprises.

*$2,000 from Fortunee Massuda, a founder of a chain of foot and ankle clinics and a former investor in Rezko Enterprises.

*$3,000 from Imad Almanaseer, a real estate and fast-food impresario and former member of LARC Realty, a Rezko business.

Rezko's trial is scheduled to begin next month. His attorney Joseph Duffy could not be reached for comment Saturday, nor could a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.

Comments to this story included:
Comments

IM A UNION MEMBER,AND IM VOTING FOR HILLARY CLINTON.DONT WANT OBAMAS CHICAGO STYLE POLITICS IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

I'm not at all confident that the Dems will regain the Office, but IF Hillary does get in, her very best bet would be to utilize the repore her husband previously developed with the leaders of so many other countries and make him a "World Ambassador." He should do nothing but travel (i.e. stay out of the White House) and reconstruct the reputation and respect our country once enjoyed throughout the world. Bill could do a lot to repair the incredible damage W has done to the credibility of our nation. Is Hill gets in she should focus on the many domestic issues our country faces and Bill can deal with the foreign ones. It's going to take a monumental team effort to get much done in 4 yrs.
Posted by: Beth | Jan 18, 2008 10:33:37 AM

Spouses usually help on the campaign trail...why is this any different? Michelle Obama holds her own rallies doesn't she? Also Sen. Clinton has already said that she would reorganize NAFTA.

As we move deeper into an economic morass, I would rather have the experience of Hillary. I respect Baracks speeches, but I just do not believe this is the time to start experimenting with someone so unproven on the economic front.
Posted by: rob | Jan 18, 2008 9:02:33 AM

IIlinoisans know the depths of Obama's con better than the rest of America.

He promised us "change" in Illinois too -- but failed to deliver anything. He has NEVER inititated or supported the kind of fundamental changes that would improve our lives or rid Chicago and Illinois of the politics as usual that has crippled it. On the contrary, he has supported, and benefited politically and financially from our corrupt system here.

The media has an obligation to provide a more insightful and meaningful exploration of Obama's profound lack of record on the issue of "change" in Chicago and Illinois.

Obama has done nothing while on our payroll as our senator but cut deals to enrich himself (e.g. Rezko) and his wife (tell us, Michelle, what was the deal Obama cut that more then tripled your salary at the U of Chicago Hospitals immediately after he was elected to the senate?).

Posted by: RetCombatVet | January 21, 2008 1:40 PM

Clinton walks a fine line? Clinton is well on his way to disgracing the Office of the Presidency, not that he hasn't had practice at that.

He tries to malign Obama's stance against the war, while he tries to revise history regarding his own pro-war stance, lying yet again by stating he "was against the war".

Can you imagine Papa Bush showing up after McCain beat GW Bush in New Hampshire, and spent the next month raging all purple-faced against McCain like some low-rent local political hack, as Clinton has done?

What a disgrace. No ex-President in history has been so involved in politics after leaving office, not to mention doing it on such a pathetic personal level. He often appears as if off his meds.

Obama is hardly whining. And all you Clintonistas, and of course nuance is above your capability of reason else you could not support 25 years of unending Bush-Clinton rule, would have to admit Obama was spot on in his reference of Reagan.

He didn't say Reagan's ideas were superior, as Shillary tried so hard to twist, as is her wont. He said Reagan was successful in creating a movement that succeeded in changing America.

Now intelligent people (Clintonistas excluded) can debate whether that was a good thing or bad thing, but as the Presidential historians and others observed on Meet The Press on Sunday, that's a very TRUE thing.

And there's no doubt the Clintons couldn't do anything of the kind. They were so busy trying to strong-arm healthcare (with Cheney-like secret meetings), so busy botching gays in the military, so busy picking the most Draconian AG since Ed Meese in Janet Reno, and Bill was so busy forsaking the dreams of followers to engage instead in his Libertine ways, that a nation collectively exhaled once he was gone.

Only the putrid stench of GW Bush has put the bloom back on Bill Clinton, but let's not kid ourselves.

Obama spoke of Reagan only in the sense of making the country believe things are possible again, as he did. All Shillary can do is divide the nation, and keep us fighting like cats and dogs in Red States and Blue States.

Do you really think that best serves the interests of the nation? Get off your Joan of Arc chromosome-driven suicide march.

Posted by: filmex | January 21, 2008 1:38 PM

The more Obama attacks Bill the fewer votes he will get; 90 plus percent of the "hate" Bill crowd are Republicans, who wouldn't vote for Obama anyway. While many of us felt let down by Bill, he's still the best president of the last century, or at least a tie with FDR.

Posted by: Pogoagain | January 21, 2008 1:37 PM

We are seeing the nasty side of the Clintons, especially Bill, that the Republicans all have talked about. I have lost all respect for the Clintons. Friends who have idolized the Clintons for years, are now so disappointed in them, especially Bill. If they get the nomination, it will be such a negative campaign, back and forth between the GOP and Clinton. I don't know if I can take it. I want the hope that Obama talks about instead. Clinton is just peddling meanness and despair.

Posted by: goldie2 | January 21, 2008 1:37 PM

Someone needs to tell Bill Clinton this election is not a referendum on his legacy.

Posted by: cjroses | January 21, 2008 1:30 PM

It is really to sad that the Obama think we are stupit voters. Race is not the issue and never will to elect a candidate. Obama tried to portray Dr. King's dream but unfortunately we don't need someone to try to put his image as someone that he can never be. Dr. King will always be different to Obama or to anyone who tried to portray him. It is also sad that Obama tried to put himseld like he care about other people's belief and faith. Well, it we understand what he is coming from. Obama tried to use people, the faith of others to get his votes. But believe me, we are smart voters than ever now. We are intelligent voters. We cannot afford to have someone that does not have the experience and all that candidate or someone is talking about is his race. Sorry, we don't vote for race. We vote for the best qualified candidate and so far that candidate that we have seen so far, I mean by far, is Hillary. People are seeing it that now since what happened to Iowa. We understood about what happened in Iowa. It was still very hot issue when Oprah went with Obama. But as the days passed by, people realized how our country is going, the economy especially. Now people becoming serious on how they ned to vote. They are not going to be swayed by anyone be celebrities or other politicians. We will vote inteligently because it is us the people who are going to suffer. We cannot afford another suffering like we are facing now. We cannot afford to put someone there because he is being endorsed by a popular celebrity but without the experience, knowledge to lead and run our country. No way......We love our country and we will do everything we can to vote for the best, to rebuild our country, to put the economy back to normal. Under the Clinton administration, we have good surplu before they left. If Hillary will be elected, our economy will be back to normal. They C.intons have done that before, they do it again. Viva America! Viva Hillary!

Posted by: lianette_steele | January 21, 2008 1:26 PM

In this campaign I have found that you need to LISTEN carefully to what is said, or you will easily be misled. Obama has been under attack since the IOWA win, and the campaign had been going on well before then, so clearly the Clinton's did believe that there was a fairytale chance that he would ever be the front runner. They then attacked the "hope" message, and said be careful of false hopes, then Obama went on to describe how JFK, and MLK would never have achieved greatness if they did not have hope HE DID NOT SAY HE WAS LIKE THEM. Now that HC has won Nevada, did she benefit from the casino caucas votes which were going to be counted 5 times more than the others??? Obama referred to the ELECTION period of Ronald Reagan and the transformation it had, he was not discussing the policies. It is clear to me, that they feed off the thirst of people to bring someone down instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt or uplifting them. Obama has never had the experience of running for the presidency but he has been able to organize a formidable if somewhat naive campaign in this jungle of politics with far more obstacles than the Clintons. He just needs to stick to the issues and leave the back and forth to his advisors, because the aim is to take him off his message. If Americans want more of the same, the choice is simple, if they want to regain so respect to the position that the American presidency used to hold then the vote must go to Obama. No need to fracture the party, we can all agree to disagree. We need substance from all the candidates.

Posted by: ladystewie | January 21, 2008 1:24 PM

Martin Luther King, Jr., talked about his dream of living in a nation where people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Barack Obama ran and won in the Iowa caucus by promising to unite "red" states and "blue" states in a common national cause.

Then he was ambushed by the Clintons, who knowing there are more white voters than black voters in the country, sought to define Obama as the "black" candidate.

( As Newsweek is reporting, Sen. Ted Kennedy has accused Bill Clinton of injecting race into the campaign. See: http://www.newsweek.com/id/96385])

Frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach that race is being used--in 2008!--in a Democratic contest. And now the Clintons will parade in front of black churches on MLK Day, claiming that is was all one big misunderstanding.

We know what the meaning of "is" is. And this "is" wrong!!!

Martin Edwin "Mick" Andersen

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | January 21, 2008 1:22 PM

newsagent99 - You are so right. Obama is whining. As one of my friends said during the Iowa caucuses - Obama is such a baby.

But what I find is even more offensive than his whining is his ability to use the "reverse dirty tricks" method of turning the table on Hillary and "blaming Hillary" for all the negatives in his past.

Obama blames Hillary if somebody - anybody brings up his negatives such as his past marijuana and cocaine use. He blames Hillary when somebody questions his muslim roots when he won't wear an American flag pin, or put his hand over his heart when people are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America.

Only today, I saw him giving a speech professing loyalty to the "stars and stripes." Why is it he can't pledge allegiance to the United States of America?

Obama blamed Hillary even for the assassination of Bhutto. How far will Obama go with his "blame game?"

Now, Obama is blaming Bill Clinton because the unhealthy Obama frenzy is wearing off and he has to face up to his rhetoric.

For example, Obama aligning himself with Reagan when Reagan was no friend of unions, or the mentally ill (Reagan literally stopped funding for the mentally ill and they were dumped out on the streets to fend for themselves. Reagan also fired all the air traffic controllers as soon as he got into office - practically on Day One.

When Obama aligned himself with Reagan, he may have scored some points with Republicans, but the Republicans aren't going to help him get elected and Obama has turned off a significant number of Democrats with his Reagan trajectory speech.

Obama was obviously bashing Bill Clinton. Nobody said Obama was walking a fine line.

Obama has caused more divisiveness in a presidential campaign than I have seen in my lifetime.

Michelle Obama is the one who injected race into the campaign when she went on the "60 Minutes Show" and started the discussion. Nobody told Michelle Obama that she was walking a fine line. But Michelle Obama caused a rift in the Democratic party that I have never seen before.

The people of this country will speak up for Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton should be entitled to freedom of speech as anyone.

Posted by: Iowatreasures | January 21, 2008 1:21 PM

Look, the whole Hillary campaign is really just Bill running for re-election. He didn't do that great a job the first time, and he's as corporate-friendly as the Republicans. We need to pick somebody else now.

Posted by: pkaren | January 21, 2008 1:20 PM

Why does everyone want another Clinton as a presidential candidate..regardless of what they say the Rebpublicans are rooting for her because she will energize their base..on top of that its a sad but true fact that many will not vote for a woman for prez..and she is not getting the independant votes..they will go Rebpublican rather than vote for her..Energized republicans + independants who vote Republican + people who wont vote for women = next Prez is a republican. Wake up.

Posted by: cmsatown | January 21, 2008 1:19 PM

As an independent voter, I have watched from afar as Mrs. Clinton distinguished herself as an effective legislator from N.Y. Senator Hillary Clinton is a tough, politically astute legislator who understands how to fight for her priorities and help to shape voter perceptions on issues she sees as important. She is especially tough when it comes to dealing with those she characterizes as the "right-wing" republicans...including the Republican "machine."

To counteract the Right-wing Machine, Mrs. Clinton and her husband, have built a Clinton Machine... which seems to this independent voter as every bit as hard-nosed and dedicated to beating the "right-wing" as they are to beating her national aspirations. The Clinton machine can match the Rignt-wing at every level...hitting back mercilessly when attacked and working the "system" to gain every advantage is what both sides think is a struggle for America.

I am tired of this zero-sum game approach to national politics. I'm tired of the Tom Delays and Dick Cheneys and I'm tired of the Clintons. These two warrior camps seem to epitomize the "no-holds-barred" approach to national politics which has emerged over the last decades.

We've seen what happens when one side suddenly gets in power...the neo-con driven approach to Iraq has failed miserably because the warrior camp under Cheney and Rumsfeld had no thoughts beyond the first step - crushing the enemy. I fear the same will be true if the Clinton Camp returns to power...swept along by the nation's disgust with the Bush administration. The Clinton pendulum will swing too far in its quest to crush the enemy...

Left to her own devices, Hillary might be a good President -but she will never, ever be left to her own devices...she is part of the machine warfare that practices what might be characterized aptly as the politics of rage. And, her husband, the former President, will play the "Cheney role" in her administration. He's gone over the edge -unrestrained by the limits of the Office, he is degenerating into a mean spirited "attack" dog for the "machine."

I think that a Clinton Presidency will just add to the politics of hate and rage that is poisoning our national political dialogue. A Clinton Presidency will merely add to the level of nastiness that have caused many, many elected officials on both sides of the aisle to attempt to distance themselves from the machines. In this first decade of the 21st Century, highly partisan politics is not going to help America, either domestically or internationally.

I hope that the broad middle sections of both parties and those of us who are true independents will find two national candidates that can give all of us a change from the current state of politics and hate and rage.... from the status quo that has infected Washington for decades.

Posted by: gandalfthegrey | January 21, 2008 1:18 PM

Bill Clinton is showing an ugly side of himself nobody wants to see, and it's going to back-fire on Hillary's campaign.

I can understand wanting to support one's wife, but that's all I understand about the way he's acting.

Watch Bill Clinton's ugliness begin to come back on Hillary come next Saturday in South Carolina.

Posted by: binkynh | January 21, 2008 1:17 PM

LOL........The Clinton's are getting it from all sides today. Old Bill was shamed in church. America is starting to see through o'l slick willy and his dirty political games.

Posted by: cakemanjb | January 21, 2008 1:15 PM

vishalg_99, your link attribute this "voter suppression" allegations to a Clinton staffer, that is hardly a credible source. Even if that is true, and there is no way to know it is, it in no way validates Bill Clinton's allegation. If he witnessed this act occurred, why didn't they file a formal complaint.

Hillary won most of the casino caucuses, this simply invented this claim of voter suppression.

Posted by: RealChoices | January 21, 2008 1:11 PM

Having just read the comments posted concerning Clinton vs Obama, I am saddened that the debate comes down to personal attacks rather than an examination of the issues facing our country, and more importantly, the proposals to address our pressing problems. Competence, knowledge, and the ability to work effectively should be foremost in our consideration of the next president. Let's examine foreign policy, health care, and economic policy with the same fervor we display in attacking the personalities of Clinton and Obama. Personally, I think both candidates are sincere, knowledgeable, and will passionately work at making this country better. Why not convert the energy of bitterness and hatred into positive action?
Alan Soddy
Missouri

Posted by: asoddy | January 21, 2008 1:09 PM


Hillary Clinton is an articulate grabber and psychotic multi-liar who is desperate to win the white house for petty ambition purposes NOT to restore the country she helped to betray.It is disturbing to see both of them blame the republican party for their personal flaws and colossal duplicity
when we know they underhanded their base since day ONE.
When hillary lies to the camera with astonishing ease more than a competent commander in chief she comes across as a maquiavelian operator we should begin to distrust with the same force propelling her to win a price she does not deserve.

Posted by: tabita | January 21, 2008 1:08 PM

If Obama win the Democratic nomination, the Republicans will chew him up and spit him out.

If Obama can't handle the campaign against the Clintons, he surely can't handle the campaigning against the Republicans.

Americans, you had ALL better think about that.

Posted by: Georgiapeac21556 | January 21, 2008 1:07 PM

Hey Smokescreen, thanks for the link. If you are ever in South Louisiana I will buy you a link of world class boudin. Ken

Posted by: kentigereyes | January 21, 2008 1:06 PM

Obama scares me, he reminds me of Mike Huckabee and his overzealous religious beliefs. If the dems actually woke up, they'd realize if they want God's Word ruling in the White House, then certainly by all means vote for Obama. I for one believe in the First Amendment that for good reason does NOT allow government to establish religion and allows us all the free exercise of religion without being subjected to any one person's overzealous beliefs. If its Obama vs. McCain, you'll see a lot of democrats & independents like myself voting for McCain.

Posted by: neecee | January 21, 2008 1:05 PM

MLK marched and fought for civil rights and civil liberties for all Americans.

Why is it that Bill Clinton is the only American that the pundits and the media say doesn't have the right of freedom of speech.

Every other president, past and present, and every other candidate past and present, including Obama and Edwards have had their spouses out front saying anything they can dream up to get their spouses elected.

Bill Clinton should have the same rights as everyone else. Bill Clinton is campaigning for his wife. They are family.

Everyone should leave Bill Clinton alone, it makes those who bash him for speaking, look like bigots and self-serving people.

Or perhaps they are just jealous of his charisma and popularity.

Bill Clinton (when the media does allow very brief sound bites of what he says) does make a majority of the people happy and we don't feel so lonely out here with all the bias that goes on in the media.

Posted by: Iowatreasures | January 21, 2008 1:02 PM

Click here to see the substance behind Bill Clinton's accusations:

http://facts.hillaryhub.com/archive/?id=5350&loc=interstitialskip

Posted by: vishalg_99 | January 21, 2008 1:01 PM

It is really way past time for jerk politicians to shut up. Unfortunately, we will never feel or hear that wonderful silence. The United States of Arrogance is in very deep doo.

Posted by: kentigereyes | January 21, 2008 12:58 PM

Svreader, you should check the facts before claiming Hillary is the stronger candidate. Obama consistently runs better against the leading Republicans.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/national.html

Bill Clinton's tendency for mendacity is really surfacing.

He told what I am quite sure was another whopper on the campaign trail the other day. Check out this video (the clip of Bill talking is about around 1:20)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/22756244#22755760

I think he just pulled this "incident" straight out of his behind. The Clintons may have a point when they complain about the right-wingers hitting them but Tim Russert is no raving right-winger, he is a former Democratic staffer (for the late Senator Pat Moynihan). When people like Russert, Chris Mathews (former staffer for Tip O'Niel) and Maureen Dowd (normally left-wing columnist for the New York Times) are dissing Bill and Hillary, I think they are doing it with good reason.

Posted by: RealChoices | January 21, 2008 12:58 PM

if Barack Obama gets this rattled from what Bill Clinton says, then he is not ready to be president yet.... period.

Posted by: mfoto | January 21, 2008 12:58 PM

No need to waste words on Mr. Bill's "Hoof in Mouth". Following link says it all with respect.

http://www.shutupbill.com/

Posted by: Smokescreen | January 21, 2008 12:57 PM

If Clintons distort Obama's record and continue play the race game, they might get the nomination but that will be it. Blacks will not vote for her during the national, especially if McCain is the repubs nominee.

Posted by: kwaboat | January 21, 2008 12:56 PM

Former President Clinton is unwittingly making the case that it is time to move past the Clintons. We can do better!

Posted by: bsimon | January 21, 2008 12:54 PM

The Washington post has turned into a total "right-wing rag"

That's why they're pushing Obama so much.

Obama is the Republican Party's dream candidate.

They know they can beat him.

Thats why Republicans are working so hard to push Obama.

Posted by: svreader | January 21, 2008 12:53 PM

newagent99 - "Obama Whines" ???

That is the most ridiculous comment i have seen. It is legitimate for any politician to defend their record when they are attacked and Obama is doing the same. Also Bill Clinton is using his position as a former President to try and lend legitimacy to half-truths. That is where he is crossing the line.
Obama has every right to call Bill Clinton on this.
These are the same clintons who actually complained that the Media is not giving a fair shake to them. Now that is whining..

Posted by: venky1 | January 21, 2008 12:52 PM

JoeCHI - we all read these blogs, buddy, try posting something original or your CTRL button is going to break.

I am disgusted by the behavior of the Clinton campaign. Who do these people think they are? Are we really to believe that they and the Bushes are the only people qualified to run this country? And to all you die-hard Democratic Clinton supporters out there, if you truly believe we're going to see a meaningful change from the Republican trajectory with a Clinton presidency, keep dreaming.

Apathy is the disease that infects this country, apathy is what threatens to destroy the very foundation of our democracy. Without an engaged citizenry, we have no hope of tackling the enormous domestic and international problems we face. Senator Obama understands this need, and his candidacy alone has sparked the the type of imagination and engagement needed to wrestle the government back from the few and powerful.

This country was founded as a rebuke to nepotism, in opposition to royalty and dynasties, to make it possible for the best person to lead. Once in a blue moon, one of those best people has the guts to step up and run, knowing full well what a disgusting mud pit Presidential politics can be. Senator Obama is such a person, and I'll be damned if these two power hungry lying crooks who left the Presidency in such shambles that the country turned around and elected a trigger-happy rich boy with a famous last name will take it away from us. I'm spending every night this week making phone calls for the Obama campaign, and I urge all the other supporters out there to do the same. Senator Obama's gorgeous speech in Atlanta yesterday said it all, we need to speak in one LOUD voice. Obama '08!

Posted by: squintz | January 21, 2008 12:49 PM

There's a huge difference between positively supporting your wife the candidate and promoting her record and tearing down one of her opponents with distortions, omissions, and downright lies.

The fact that the Clintons, their media supporters, and some voters can't tell the difference really scares me. What sort of America have we become?

Posted by: wontvotehillary | January 21, 2008 12:49 PM

After reading Mr. Cohen's article on the Trinity Church and Farakhan, I visited the church's website and was appalled. Not only did the Church's official magazine give an award to Farakhan as one of the "socially conscious giants who commit their life's work to saving the lives of Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora" the minister of the Church applauded Farakhan's remarks on the racial ills of this country. That same minister of the Church and Senator Obama's friend and "spiritual advisor" (according to Senator Obama)went, with Farakhan, to visit Libya during the Reagan administration when a ban on such travel was in effect -- and before Quadaffi's epiphany. Should Senator Obama win the presidency, it will be interesting to see who he appoints as his "foreign policy advisor" to go along with his "spiritual advisor".

Posted by: goaway1 | January 21, 2008 12:48 PM


The difference is I want to move on to what Hillary has laid out, not Obama or Republicans.

rd

Posted by: ralphdaugherty | January 21, 2008 12:47 PM

I wish all the Clintons..espescially Bill..would go quietly away. He kinda reminds me of the weird guy who graduated high school five years ago but who still goes to the high school parties because he cant let go. Now he's running for used to be Prez but still sorta prez (lite)..kinda weasily.
They already had their shot..done.. over..finito...lets move on.

Posted by: cmsatown | January 21, 2008 12:41 PM

Bill Clinton should give us a break and leave his lady do what she has to do in the run up to election day.

Bill doesn't seem to be aware that he is making it appear that his wife can't make it alone without hubby's help.

Further more, he reinforces the sentiments most of us have that the Simpson..er..Clinton clan are out for blood.

Posted by: boubker3 | January 21, 2008 12:41 PM


again, the fairy tale attribution was to Obama's rendition of his war record as Clinton was reviewing at the time.

To anybody who "thinks" or "feels" or "imagines" that it refers to something else, take your sensitive souls and harden yourself up. You don't have a clue what it will be like against Republicans. It won't be anything like this civil and polite discourse.

If a simple factual fairy tale assessment of his war record offends you, who are you going to whine to when Republicans tear your next to non-existent pathetic record apart? Answer. No one that cares.

rd

Posted by: ralphdaugherty | January 21, 2008 12:38 PM

Former presidents have frequently supported one candidate over another, so how is Bill Clinton's role any different? Simply because he's married to Hillary?

Yes, he has said some regrettable things, but so have the candidates themselves. Obama's phrase "You're likable enough, Hillary," ring any bells?

I find it particularly disturbing, however, that Obama is lumping President Clinton's two terms with Bush 41 and 43. And praising Reagan? What's up with that?

Obama is losing my support quickly, and that is unfortunate.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | January 21, 2008 12:37 PM

will0852

YES YES! AGREED!

Rena Silverman

Posted by: L_Rena_Silverman | January 21, 2008 12:36 PM

Who is actually running for President here. When you watch some of Bill's rallies, where he is working the crowd and lying about Obama, with Hillary standing quietly at his side, smiling, and you have to wonder if this campaign isn't an ego trip for Bill and a run around the Constitution rather than an actual election of a woman President. Pretty depressing actually. I don't think I want a Clinton Restoration Presidency. I think the country needs a radically different kind of leader.

Andrew Bellinger
New York

Posted by: andrewbellinger | January 21, 2008 12:35 PM

What this all boils down to is this:

1)Do you want this MAN in the whitehouse again? Not only with his recent bouts of attack dog politics, but Hilary had her healthcare initiative during his presidency, what will Bill do as First Husband?

2)Any candidate must appeal to the moderates of our country. Do you think at this point in time that the moderates would want another 4 to 8 years of this era of Hyper-partisanism that started with Clinton vs Gingrich?

I'm a left of center moderate. Obama vs McCain, I would have some serious difficulty picking between the two. Hilary vs McCain? No doubt: McCain. Really the only way you could get me to vote for hilary is if she was running against Emperor Gulliani.

Oh and you Clinton types whining about "survivability" of obama against the "GOP war machine", all I have to say is: Whitewater, FileGate, and...let's see, oh yea...Monica.

Posted by: ChiefJimbo | January 21, 2008 12:33 PM

Yes, Obama, you are JFK, MLK, and now Reagan and shame on anyone who disagrees.

Posted by: vishalg_99 | January 21, 2008 12:32 PM

Instead of putting party or country first, Pres. Clinton has chosen to put his political weight behind a restoration that asks us to forget the capitulating policies of the late 90s (NAFTA, banking/telecomm deragulation, welfare reform) and the moral/ethical depravity of the Clinton administration merely because it was coincident with an economic bubble.

Nice legacy Bill. You've certainly secured your place in history as the best Republican president the democrats have ever elected.

Posted by: jagomes1 | January 21, 2008 12:32 PM

Obama did say in 2004 that he didn't know how he would have voted on the Iraq resolution.

This is just silly. If you were interested in actually knowing the truth about Sen. Obama's comments, you'd do the research and find the context. Here's the exact quote -- note that it was just prior to the Democratic convention, where the party's nominee and Vice President both voted to authorize force in Iraq:
-------------
In an interview with The New York Times in July 2004, he declined to criticize Mr. Kerry or Mr. Edwards over the Iraq vote, but also said that he would not have voted as they had based on the information he had at the time.

''But, I'm not privy to the Senate intelligence reports,'' Mr. Obama said. ''What would I have done? I don't know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made.''
-----
If you want to act like Karl Rove, become a Republican. But stop distorting Obama's record on the war. It's embarrassing for you and the Democratic Party.

Posted by: RyanMcC1 | January 21, 2008 12:29 PM

All candidates are flawed to some degree, like the rest of us. But the arrogance too often displayed by Sen. Clinton, combined with the repeated mendacities of the former President (of which those uttered in this campaign in her defense become her responsibility) make them the dream ticket for the currently fragmented Republicans. Character and integrity will get this independent voter's nod this November, not the Clintons. Barack Obama will be a vastly better choice for the Democrats, if only they are smart enough to choose him. Don't bet on it.

Posted by: tmattist | January 21, 2008 12:27 PM

I do not think that Clinton supporters realize the damage they are doing to the Party. They are attacking the person who is bringing in independents and Republicans into the Party. They are attacking the person who is bringing in the youth vote. With these clear distortions of Obama's view (he never claimed that he agreed with Reagan, just that he brought change, which he did), they are turning off these young voters from the Democratic Party. We should be the party of the future, but they are hampering that progress.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | January 21, 2008 12:25 PM

Bill Clinton's legacy is not much different than Paris Hilton's now. Bill was a disgrace to the Presidency, having preyed upon a young aide for sex in the Oval office, making him the anti-family values candidate. He's now riding on the fumes of celebrity, an angry man, willing to do anything to retain power. I find it terribly unbecoming, and the Clinton's come off as collective bullies, fully capable of keeping the nation split for 4 more years.

Obama can heal the nation like no candidate in a generation. Go Obama. As to the Clinton's, calm down you two, power isn't everything. If you love your country, stop attacking people who sincerely believe they can help it.

I realize that Bill no longer has any dignity, a black sheep out in the pasture whose star power can still wow the stupid, but does he have to drag down the country with his attacks?

Posted by: robertell | January 21, 2008 12:25 PM

I would just like to add that it is not just Obama whining. Kennedy, Emanuel, and Clyburn have each called for Bill to dial it back.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/96385

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/01/21/congressman-to-bill-clinton-chill-a-little-bit/

Posted by: gtlarkin | January 21, 2008 12:23 PM

Typical Democratic strategy. Tear the party apart with internal in-fighting and hand the general election to the Republicans. Good show.

Posted by: will0852 | January 21, 2008 12:20 PM

Thank God we have Obama and Clinton in the Democrat Party. This primary discourse is a matter of declaring our party candidate. Clinton is the Party candidate and Obama is the everybody candidate. I'm proud of both of them.

Posted by: timbergkamp | January 21, 2008 12:19 PM

Bill Clinton should crawl back under his rock. He already disgraced the presidency once. Now he is performing a very un ex-presidential role, unlike the role George H.W. Bush performed when W ran for the office. Will the Clintons ever stop? Must Obama run against two candidates Clinton? Talking about ganging up. And if Hillary wins, who will be the President in reality? This smells like a disaster in the making for the Democratic Party. I guess people like Joe Biden and Chris Dodd must be in awe of Hillary's "35 years" of experience. These people are so power hungry they'll pull down the whole party and the ticket if necessary to achieve what they want. They did it in 1994, they'll do it again.

Posted by: jaybrams | January 21, 2008 12:12 PM

The Clintons like to talk about experience.
Most things are made overseas and that is because of President Clinton's bad trade deals that sent jobs overseas. The "We will retrain workers" line he use to use was bogus as the workers that were retrained for the high tech information society live in India. Bill Clinton along with the Republican Congress sent jobs overseas that we may never get back. Obama needs to start talking about the lost jobs from Clinton trade deals. There are few manufacturing jobs now in America mainly due to President Clinton signing the trade deals. Politicians need to be more concerned about the American economy than the world economy.

The truth is Bill Clinton's trade deals ten years later have hurt the American worker. The last thing we need now is his wife signing away more jobs to overseas factories.

Posted by: info4 | January 21, 2008 12:11 PM

Everything that Bill Clinton has said about Sen. Obama is correct. Obama did say in 2004 that he didn't know how he would have voted on the Iraq resolution. And many newspapers have reported that specific Culinary Union workers were pressured to support Obama.
It's clear that any time Obama doesn't get the victory he wants, he's going to whine about it. This is very different from the uplifting sentiments he gave us at Ebeneezer Baptist Church yesterday.

Posted by: ramster1 | January 21, 2008 12:10 PM

Obama "talks" about President Clinton's statement being "factually incorrect", but he does not directly contradict any of the statements. Because he can not show a single fact to support his "talk", just like he can not show any anchievemnts to support his "talk".

Obama has the choice to kiss Renoal Regan wherever he wants, but it seems he has taken over the Republican attack lines as well. It is actually good and shows that his guy may have some backbone, not complete waffler.

Posted by: SeedofChange | January 21, 2008 12:09 PM

IF the Clintons keep this up -- and none of it is an accident -- they will make it impossible for many Democrats to vote for Hillary in December. I know several Dems, including myself, who are prepared to vote for McCain or even Romney rather than continue the Clinton dynasty with its lies, scandals and gutter politics.
And the "whining" meme you Clintonoids have started? Nice. So Obama is just supposed to sit there and let them lie and cheat, and never say anything? BTW, have you seen the Clinton precinct workers' handbooks from NV that tell workers to close the doors at 11:30 instead of the correct 12:00? How do you explain that?

Posted by: ally | January 21, 2008 12:06 PM

Sen. Obama has consistently attacked Pres. Clinton's administration since he started campaigning. In every debate he's condemned the policies of the past twenty years, lumping together both Bushes and Clinton, as if they were advocating and achieving the same policies. Which part of Clinton's peace and prosperity didn't he like?
Now he's praising the dynamism of Ronald Reagan who brought disaster to many middle class families. What, exactly, are his goals?

Posted by: ramster1 | January 21, 2008 12:02 PM

Is it fair that Bill Clinton throw the gravitas of his former office behind his wife's candidacy for President? Legally, yes. Ethically, though, I don't think it is fair. Especially when in the eyes of so many, he is being disingenuous He's not only playing fast and loose with the facts, he's playing fast and loose with the dignity of his office. He's tarnished the presidency before, so we shouldn't be surprised that he's doing it again. The Clintons are great politicians and great lawyers. Quite willing to push aside the spirit of the law, provided they can find a loophole: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." Very convincing, but it wasn't the truth. I'm not interested in having either Bill or Hillary Clinton back in the White House. My vote is with Senator Obama.

Posted by: maq1 | January 21, 2008 11:56 AM

So Obama went on GMA today to whine about how the Clinton's are being too mean to him?

Pass the smelling salts!

Someone needs to inform the Obama's that this is Presidential politics. Further, if this is how Obama is going to over-react to what has been a very, very, mild and civil campaign, it gives me no confidence in his ability to withstand the the ruthless GOP attack machine.

All of the candidates have spouses who are strongly advocating for their respective spouses. Bill Clinton has every right to make his case as he sees fit.

Further, whatever the media thinks about Bill Clinton is irrelevant. Ultimately, it's for the voters to decide.

And if the the election results and exit polls from NH, MI, and NV are any indication, the voters seem support the conclusion that Bill Clinton knows what he's doing.

Posted by: JoeCHI | January 21, 2008 11:54 AM

The Clintons LIE with consumate ease. Bill Clinton was DISBARRED as a lawyer for LYING. The law community would not trust him to be an honest advocate in court. He is one of the few Presidents ever to be impeached and yet he is still given a pass in terms of honesty and integrity.

Go ahead..nominate Hillary. It's the surest way to have a Republican win the Whitehouse.

Edwards or McCain or Obama in 2008. We need some honesty and integrity in our commander-in-chief.

Posted by: ngatabaki | January 21, 2008 11:46 AM

again, Obama whines. Seems he can't take the heat.

Posted by: newagent99 | January 21, 2008 11:45 AM

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