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Cosmic Campaign Meltdown?

Have we reached the point of total cosmic campaign meltdown?

First, we have a top campaign aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton comparing Barack Obama to the Clintons' all-time No. 1 enemy combatant: Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr.

Then, we have a campaign adviser to Obama calling Sen. Clinton a "monster."

And elsewhere -- in a "trickle-down" meltdown effect -- we have the leading GOP candidate to replace a one-time icon of the GOP Party, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, fabricating families from whole cloth on one of his campaign mailers. The mailers even included photos of smiling phony constituents -- phony, as in, stock photos of actors pretending to be real people -- and statistics about their made-up lives.

Jim Oberweis didn't just make up the "Wadsworths," according to a Chicago Tribune editorial, he also "made up Juan and Maria Garcia, a construction worker and a bank teller from Aurora who have three kids and haul in $54,778 a year. And DeKalb office manager Sheila Johnson, a divorced mother of two who makes $47,333. And Juan and Elena Marcos, who have a precious little baby boy and live on his $68,044 salary."

Saturday's special election to fill Hastert's seat is a bellwether test for Republicans in this November's congressional elections. From the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee comes the sound of much lip licking as Democratic operatives anticipate the surreal taste of victory in Illinois' solidly Republican 14th District.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, recently told the Hill newspaper, "We understand the symbolic importance of the race; it'll be spun out of all proportion if we were to lose it. It'll be, 'My God, it's the end of the Republican Party.' "

The race is close and Cole attributes Democratic candidate Bill Foster's strong run in the solidly Republican district to "Obamamania." (Obama has lent his wildly popular name to Foster's campaign by endorsing the well-funded physicist and businessman.)

Echoing the Obama campaign's main theme, DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer tells us, "The fact that Tom Cole spent 20 percent of the NRCC's cash on hand to defend a Republican seat easily won by Speaker Hastert for 20 years speaks volumes about voters' appetite for change. Americans are tired of nasty, dishonest Republican candidates like Jim Oberweis."

Read more about the special election race on our colleague Chris Cillizza's blog, The Fix.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  March 7, 2008; 10:30 AM ET
 
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Next: The Clinton Campaign's 'Monster' Fundraising

Comments

Obama's muslim mother and father:

1. Mother married a muslim man who already had multiple wives in Kenya
2. Mother married a second muslim man to help bring up her "only child" after first husband left her
3. Mother moved her "only child" to Indonesia to provide a muslim environment and life style for her only child. Indonesia is the largest muslim country in the world and site of "Bali bombing". Indonesia is a terrorist hot bed.
4. Obama has no record of participating in Christian church activities in his early age
5. Obama has no record of participating in Christian church during college years.
6. Obama has no record of church activities after his graduation
7. Obama started church activities after he decided to run for public office and started participating in voter sign up activities. His church leader is friend with Farrahkhan
8. Obama's relation with Farrahkhan is unknown at this time

Obama can not win a general election.

Posted by: Seed of Change | March 7, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Seed of Change:

This is smear, pure and simple. Obama is a Christian man with Christian beliefs, which by the way, include truth and justice- that is lacking in the obvious smear above. Go to his website if you really care about truth and you can begin to find the links that will show this continued attempt to paint him as muslim as false. Obama is also clear that the attempted link is an affront to Christians and Muslims alike. Not only can he win but he likely will. Do your homework and you may find he would make you and this nation proud when he becomes President.

Greg

Posted by: Greg Smith | March 7, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Seed of Change----

You are lying. Does it make you feel good to say false things?

That is the down side of these message boards, people can post as much nonsense as they like. I think after a certain number of posts like yours (yes I have seen you do this a few times) you should be banned.

Spreading dishonesty is not a good thing.

Posted by: Brendan | March 7, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Seed of Change, you are back with your "seed of discord"

Are you Christian? Or do you know what it means to be a Christian?

Posted by: Dan | March 7, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

DISPATCHES FROM THE GROUND WAR ...

Archivists block release of Clinton papers

By Peter Eisler, USA TODAY
LITTLE ROCK -- Federal archivists at the Clinton Presidential Library are blocking the release of hundreds of pages of White House papers on pardons that the former president approved, including clemency for fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich.

The archivists' decision, based on guidance provided by Bill Clinton that restricts the disclosure of advice he received from aides, prevents public scrutiny of documents that would shed light on how he decided which pardons to approve from among hundreds of requests...

Posted by: martin edwin 'mick' andersen | March 7, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

If someone is Muslim, Christian, Jew, or whatever, shouldn't really be our nation's first concern. The quality of their character and the values for which they will fight for should be what counts. Fear mongering and religious bigotry are just as bad as racism. Stick to the issues that really count and we'll all be better for it.

Posted by: A.Mr. | March 7, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Clinton is blocking release; or is it Bush's Executive Order blocking release of records which includes records of former presidents whether they like it or not.

Posted by: Donaldd | March 7, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah......... I can't wait for this whole damn election to get over with so I don't have to read any more Right-Wing crazy talk about Obama! I'm not voting for him, but people please!!!!!! This article was about a republican seat going to a Democrat! Where does this article talk about Hillary Clintons papers or Baracks might-be-a-muslim-but-really isn't?? You people are the reason that people hate politics. Well, that and the way the republicans have RUINED this country! Any Democrat will do a hell of a better job then this current jack-ass-in-chief and the republicans damn-i'm-really old candidate!!

Posted by: JamesNPhi | March 7, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Seed of Change" is a pseudonym used by paid Clinton staffers to drop attack lines on these blogs. Checkout the other posts to note the consistency. I heard this through a former classmate who did consulting work for the Clinton team.
The idea is simple enough, and Obama is too high-minded to do like-wise. Asymmetric warfare at its best. Clinton might be helpless faced with Iraq, but she sure can turn her guns on America!

Posted by: FLRepublican | March 7, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Quick disclaimer: I am not American and don't care about party politics.

The story about "fabricating families from whole cloth" seems blatantly unfair though. The mailer seems to only set up scenarios and explain what the tax hike would be in those scenarios. In fact, the bottom of the mailer that you linked to has an explicit disclaimer to that effect. If they had used real constituents, it may well have been a violation of their privacy. As a student of politics, I don't expect this kind of mistake from the Washington Post.

Posted by: ASG | March 7, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

While you folks sit here and squabble about a man's religious faith, your current politicians are taking your tax dollars home and are enjoying the good life. Interesting how they can have you squawk and moan about a man's religion, but you send your kids to go kill another human being in the name of what..christianity? defense? what? There were no WMD, no threat to the US unless the Iraqi's figured out how to load a bomb in a row boat and row it across the Atlantic. We have spent TRILLIONS for a BS war, killed about a million Iraqis (who by the way were NOT on any of the hijacked airlines) and the current american death count is what, 4000+, and all these idiots are saying we need to stay there for some vague purpose. There are no goals set, so we can say we met them and we are going home, instead it is what, "saving face" or defeating terrorists? Puhlease. It is about oil. At least these fools we call leaders should be honest. We are there for oil. Or can you give me another reason?

I am embarrased and ashamed of the current leadership of this country. I would be more impressed if they had packed up their offices, and made a camp in Iraq until they were done. Essentially put themselves in harms way until the mission was accomplished. Might have been a bit shorter, eh?


Patriot
USMC 1981-1987

Posted by: Patriot-USMC | March 7, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone believe Bill Foster would be doing this well if he'd hitched his wagon to Hillary's star? She'll be an absolute disaster for downticket races. It's all about her. She could care less about the Democratic Party. She's a party of one. Shame on her.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Cosmic Campaign Meltdown": You failed to mention that the Oberweis mailer clearly says at the bottom that "The four examples above are fictional." No wonder people in the U.S. give the news media about the same credibility rating as Cubans give "Granma."

Posted by: John | March 7, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The Lobbyist Party, whose candidates for president of the Untied States of America are Hillary Clinton and John McCain, are set on blocking the momentum of the Democratic candidate Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton this week relating her "experience" to that of John McCain's is no coincidence. The apparent unstoppable nature of the Obama campaign has the big corporations running scared. Clinton's mutual experience with McCain lies in the pandering to lobbyists seated in high positions in their presidential campaigns.
In terms of the Democratic party, Clinton has virtually destroyed her original stance with Obama, which was a mutual credibility and desire to defeat McCain in the general election. Clinton's strategy has now deteriorated into allying herself with McCain in an "anything but Obama" effort.
The status quo, (old Washington politics), is terrified of Obama's candidacy. It means the end on health insurance companys determining policy, it means the end of defense contractors lobbying for conflict, it means the end of energy companies destroying our environment while making record profits, and most scary of all to the status quo, it means the end of the auctioning of jobs by big corporations to the lowest bidder. There are huge profits at stake here. The lobbyists, working for the Clinton and McCain campaigns have determined that Obama's lead in the election is more dangerous to their profits than any event in recent history.
The mis-information strategy the Clinton campaign is now using is geared toward influencing superdelagates who are cleary tasked with settling this Democratic ticket. Superdelagates in this Democratic primary have the power to change the trajectory of American history, and to send a powerful message to the world. These superdelagates must prove the value of the Democratic party once again, and send Obama to the White House. I just hope they have the courage to see the truth and reverse our troubled path.

Posted by: Stephen Marder | March 7, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Seed of Change" is a pseudonym used by paid Clinton staffers to drop attack lines on these blogs. Checkout the other posts to note the consistency. I heard this through a former classmate who did consulting work for the Clinton team.
The idea is simple enough, and Obama is too high-minded to do like-wise. Asymmetric warfare at its best. Clinton might be helpless faced with Iraq, but she sure can turn her guns on America!

Posted by: FLRepublican | March 7, 2008 12:35 PM
___________________________________________

Please someone pay me :-)

Obama's theme song:

I waffle with the winds
I hate NAFTA in Ohio
I love NAFTA in Canada
I don't know Rezko
But we bought house and land
On the same day next to each other
I bought 10 ft of Rezko's land
Now Rezko can not build his house on the land
My kids can only play in Rezko's land
But they hate Rezko too
I am white in Iowa
Black in South Carolina
Regan lover in Nevada
Clinton hater in Texas
Hispanic lover in California
Asian hater everywhere else
I fight the senator from Punjab

I am everything for everyone
But in the end I am all about me

Posted by: Seed of Change | March 7, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm a citizen, I don't work for either campaign and she is a monster.

Posted by: MatterMax | March 7, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Hello, people! 63,000 jobs just lost today in the U.S. economy. Oh, and Clinton says Britney says Obama says Hilary has cooties. Can we get this show back to reality, please??! And I don't mean reality TV.

Posted by: 63,000 Jobs Lost! | March 7, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

THE NEW NAZIS

are alive and well.

They smear people by claiming that they belong to a religion.

Now they say "Muslim"; in the past, they said "Jew".

Only the religion has been changed........The Nazi philosophy is exactly the same!

(and these are Clinton supporters)

THE NEW ANTI-SEMITISM:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/08/29/18304493.php

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

look at this sh** these Clinton supporters spew, Obama is a Muslim, Obama is like Ken Starr, Obama middle name is too foreign, Obama is black, ... it is pathetic. Now compare that too the reporting of the fact that 48% of the nation has a low opinion of Senator Clinton. ... Hello! That's 48% before the campaign even begins that won't vote for her. I guess democrats don't understand odds. Clinton will unify the Republican base for John McCain, she's the only one who can do it.

Posted by: ron | March 7, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

GO CLINTONS!

YOU MAKE US HATE EACH OTHER

YOU MAKE US WANT TO VOTE FOR MCCAIN, IF WE CAN'T VOTE FOR OBAMA:

FOR A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
FOR A CHANGE!

Posted by: kevinlarmee | March 7, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it is inappropriate to falsely claim that Obama is a Muslim, although I don't believe that being a Muslim in and of itself should be anything about which someone should be ashamed. I do think, however, it is important for America to better understand the kind of "Christianity" which has so fascinated Obama for the last 20 years. Obama claims to belong to a Christian Church called Trinity United Church. He considers the just-retired pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to be his "mentor and spiritual advisor." According to the church's website, their members are "unashamedly Black and unashamedly Christian," and swear allegiance to the mother continent, Africa. Obama's church gave the racist and Jew-hating Louis Farrakhan a "lifetime achievement award" last November. Rev. Wright teaches Black Theology, and thinks about everything pretty much in terms of black versus white. He called 9/11, for example, a "wake-up call to white people." Commenting on the recent murder of Natalie Holloway, he decried the press coverage by stating that "one 18--year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and gives it up while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months." Rev. Wright likes to throw around the name of James Cone a lot when it comes to his theology. James Cone is another proponent of Black Theology. Here are just a couple of James Cone's quotes: (1) "To be Christian is to be one of those whom God has chosen. God has chosen black people." [Black Theology and Black Power, pp. 139-140]. (2) "While it is true that blacks do hate whites, black hatred is not racism." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 15] (3) "All white men are responsible for white oppression." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 24] (4) "Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man "the devil." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 40] (5) "If there is any contemporary meaning of the Antichrist, the white church seems to be a manifestation of it." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 73] **** Need I go on? These are the kinds of concepts that Obama has been soaking up for 20 years. The focal concern or center of black theology is the white oppression of blacks. Therefore, the usual theological discussions about God, Christ, and salvation are much less relevant. Although I respect anyone's right to belong to any religion they wish, this does not sound like a positive form of "Christianity" for any of those who are not members of the "chosen people." And, maybe Obama needs to be a little more candid about the brand of "Christianity" to which he adheres.

Posted by: Fred | March 9, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

First - congratulation's to Bill Foster for winning Hasturt's seat. Congrats to Senator Obama for helping him (super-delegates hope you are watching - we can grab more seats next election with Barack's help - not Hillary's)

I am appalled by some of the comments here, which are focusing on Senator Obama's religion. And for the obvious "disinformation" and smear campaign underway from both the McCain and Clinton camps.

Yes - there are black churches. Blacks were not welcome in many white churches historically, or if allowed in they had to sit in slave galleries. The Christian bible was used by slave owners and their supporters to justify slavery - forever (read your history). But as a testament of faith many black people remained Christian read the text - and ignored the racists. The Christian cross is revered, honored and burned by Klansmen to kept black people "in their place", yet black people have kept the faith.

Black American Christians grew tired of having the Bible used against them. But did they abandon Jesus - no. They did question portraits of him as blonde and blue-eyed however, as historically incorrect.

They began to do research. One of the oldest sects of Christianity is on the African continent - the Coptic Church. They began to ask why all over Europe there are shrines to Black Madonnas.
They began to shape sects all over America where they no longer had to worship a bogus bible, and listen to biblical interpretations that relegated them to second class status.

James Cone teaches at Union Theological Seminary. Rather than the patch-work of disinformation placed here by Fred, suggest readers who are really interested view the PBS special which included him:
http://www.pbs.org/thisfarbyfaith/people/james_cone.html


Just as Christians of other denominations have found a means to portray their faith in symbolic ways that are approachable in their local cultures (the Virgin of Guadaloupe for example in Mexico) many black churches, both Protestant and Catholic, have embraced Africa, which is quite understandable given the history of racial segregation here in the States.

My grandmother was a white woman from Kansas. Neither her church (Baptist) nor her state would allow her to marry my grandfather in 1915. He was black. She moved to Chicago and became a Bahai - the only religious congregation that supported interracial marriage at that time. Were she still alive today in Chicago today, I'm sure she would have been welcomed into Senator Obama's church.

I am clear that Senator Obama was never Muslim - his own father (who he did not know) was actually a Christian at one point in Kenya - but frankly the implication that his religion - Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Bahai, Morman, agnostic or even if he was an atheist - should have no bearing on his ability to serve as President of the United States. Our Constitution guarantees separation of Church and State. Too bad many of our citizens have obviously failed civics 101.


Posted by: Denise Oliver-Velez | March 9, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Seeds of Change" makes big hay over what religion he/she thinks Obama is affiliated with.

The inference is that Christianity is better, Muslim is terrible.

Reminds me of an old saying:

I like your Christ very much, its your Christians I can't stand.

Posted by: Laura Roslin | March 10, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure there are people on both sides of this campaign who are making their choice for the wrong reasons. Some will vote for Clinton because they think Obama might not be Christian, others will vote for Obama because of the color of his skin or because Hillary is a woman. Unfortunately, despicable prejudices run in every demographic. We should be making our choice not for the wrong reasons but rather based on our sense for who would make the best President. My sense is that while Obama may make a great President in eight years, right now Clinton has the experience, expertise, and effectiveness to make her the better candidate, no contest.

I reject the speculation that these inappropriate remarks are by Clinton staffers. In fact, I think that suggestion is rather absurd.

Posted by: abcde3 | March 10, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Denise: That interview has been already used by other Obama and Cone apologists before. Anyone, including racists, can come across as reasonable in an interview. The quotes I gave from Obama's mentor, Rev. Wright, and James Cone are authentic, and indefensible. Denise, racism is a terrible thing, no matter who it is coming from. I'm absolutely certain that if Hillary's mentor and spiritual advisor subscribed to these racists beliefs in reverse, you would be rightfully incensed.

Posted by: Denise | March 10, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll
http://www.votenic.com
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Posted by: votenic | March 10, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

religion is about personal choices, not the choices of your parents. if the man says he is a Christian, it doesn't matter what his mother, father, sister, wife, or children are or were. many people do not make their choices in this regard until they leave their parents home and this is particularly the case if their choice differs from that of their parents. We keep church and state apart in this country and we don't bar the white house from members of any religion. Terrorists aren't muslims, they are murderers and they would be murderers regardless of the religious banner they chose to hide behind.

Posted by: glosski | March 12, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Are we all so gullible as to be taken in by the Clinton campaign that we grab ahold of every tidbit they toss out to get us and the media to give her free advertisement and further her nods and winks to her supporters? What is behind the Ken Starr comment that Sen Obama is imitating Starr to win the election is not a view held by the Clinton campaign but rather one to upset her supporters and cause them to feel they need to defend them against that big bad man, which they are now attempting to paint Sen Obama's face in place of Ken Starr's. The news also plays into the Clinton Campaign little (yet big) game by repeating the mess she states and expressing certain views that upsets and energizes Clinton supporters by making statements such as,"Could this be the end of the Clinton era?" Remember after Clinton complained the media was easier on Obama than her, it was the media that renewed that frenzy about Obama's faith. All of that mess about his church is another pile of mess. The media is the first to criticize the black community about life styles, claim that there is a great number of single mother headed black households and a lot of other problems that are specific to the black community. What is wrong with a church trying to instill a sense of pride in its' membership by telling them to be closer, encouraging the fathers to take responsibility for their children, and do all within their power to save the "Black" family unit? Other ethnic groups have had to decide that they tackle problems whether true or perceived, i.e., Indians are drunkards. Unfortunately, when the media have no other news they come out quoting some survey/report that depicts certain groups in a bad light. When the Clintons have an uphill climb and lodge a complaint,their supporters comeout and rally about the Clintons feeling they need to be defended. How many primaries can she win like that? Since the first "Crying" scene, and just before every big primary, the Clinton camp comes up with something to incite their base who feel compelled to defend her (them)by voting for her, even to their own detriment. Down to the letter of resignation from Jeri, over her remarks made about Barack being black and in his current position. I don't believe Ferrah belives that garbage. The important remarks, or as it is - - the nod and wink -- to Hillary's supporters comes in her letter of resignation to Hillary. She states that they (Barack's campaign/supporters) are attacking her because they (Barack"s campaign, media, and others who question her statement) want to hurt Hillary (this is the nod and wink to Hillary's supporters to defend her)she therefore has to resign so that she can defend herself and Hillary can do the same. The tears won't work again and again so they fabricate situations, i.e., the media is unfair to Hillary and easy on Barack. We should wake up and stop furthering the nods and winks to her base, because whenever we criticize her or a spokesman/supporter's misbehavior, this fires up her base to come out in droves to defend her because of the appearance of others picking on Hillary. Notice this is after a defeat in Mississippi and before PA. There are a few weeks, just be wise, watch and see how many situations are fabricated by the Clinton campaign to incite her supporters to "feel" they must defend her. I heard a host of a cable news say (after he and many others who didn't consider Sen Obama a serious contender until the first super Tuesday contests) "Perhaps we help this guy by the way we describe his victories, perhaps we shouldn't use words like landslide, upset, big victory but describe the victories in a way that downplays them." So lets be wise and not promote the gameplays by repeating them, because that gets her base fired up, and they feel the Clintons are being attacked by everyone and they need to defend them.

Posted by: Anne | March 12, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: votenic | March 17, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Well this is depressing. Stop writing like that, your posts are spoiling your reader's mood. Boring.

Posted by: cheesemaniac | April 6, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

This whole situation is SO absurd. Your post strikes as serious for you only. What can we do but make jokes about it?

Posted by: alwaysLovely | April 9, 2008 6:50 AM | Report abuse

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