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Clinton as the Insiders' Shoo-in

It's official: Washington insiders believe Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee.

Evan Bayh and Hillary Rodham Clinton
The latest sign of Clinton's "inevitability" ... Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh endorsed her presidential bid Monday. (Getty Images)

Just take a look at some of the evidence:

* Sunday's front-page New York Times story led with this sentence: "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has consolidated her early lead in the Democratic presidential contest, showing steady strength as the candidates head toward the first voting early next year."

* Clinton appeared on five --FIVE! -- Sunday talk shows, winning generally positive reviews and, as importantly from her perspective, not making any errors.

* Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D) -- at one point a candidate for the 2008 nod himself -- on Monday threw his support behind Clinton, calling her a "seasoned, experienced leader who will be ready to lead this country on day one." The two serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee together and traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan in January.

* Early predictions for the third fundraising quarter, which ends Sunday, hold that Clinton will outraise Sen. Barack Obama.

Those four factors -- not to mention President Bush saying that he expects Clinton to be the nominee -- and, voila, you see the Washington establishment lining up behind the Clinton "inevitability" view.

"The 'establishment' fears nothing more than not having booked passage on a ship set to sail," explained senior party strategist, Carter Eskew, who is not supporting any of the current candidates. "She has passed early tests in the debates, built a great campaign, gained ground in Iowa, blunted negatives [and] mastered the Sunday talk gauntlet."

One senior party strategist not involved in any of the campaigns added that "not everyone is on board as there are mavericks amongst us all, but more and more she is pulling folks to her."

It's hard to disagree with this view. But the broader argument is whether it makes any difference that Clinton now seems to be the default nominee in the eyes of the inside-the-Beltway class.

Ask Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic party strategist supporting Clinton, and he insists that there is a real impact to the gelling of the D.C. establishment behind his chosen candidate.

"Iowa caucus attendees are somewhat like D.C. insiders in terms of how much attention they pay to the race and how focused they are in who can win," argued Elmendorf.

We agree -- sort of. Iowa voters like to tout their independence from national trends, but no well-informed voter can avoid paying some attention to what is going on nationally. People like to be with a winner, and if Clinton looks like a winner heading into the early days of January (when we expect the Iowa caucuses to be held), then Elmendorf's line of thinking says the caucus-goers will be behind HRC.

But it's harder for us to see the comparison between the D.C. chattering class and the average Iowa caucus voter. Both are, as Elmendorf says, far more politically minded than the average American, but most Iowans don't do politics as their full time job. That means that they don't live it day in and day out like people in Washington (The Fix included).

For those less favorably inclined toward Clinton, Washington's alignment behind her is to be expected and is relatively meaningless.

It's no mistake that on the same day that Clinton rolled out her endorsement from Bayh, the Obama campaign held a conference call to announce that Gordon Fischer, the former Iowa Democratic Party chairman, is supporting the Illinois senator.

The message? Clinton may have the Washington types behind her, but the people who really matter -- well-connected activists in early states -- are lining up behind Obama. Both Obama and Edwards have spent considerable time seeking to link Clinton to the Washington establishment (and to her husband's administration), believing that Democratic voters are ready for a change in politics as usual, regardless of which party is practicing it.

While political Washington is broadly unpopular, it's hard to argue that official Washington's belief that Clinton will be the nominee is bad for her. Like it or not, much of the campaign conventional wisdom is set in Washington; if a slew of politicians begin to come out for Clinton, it will further cement the idea that she is the inevitable nominee.

The short-term benefit for Clinton is financial. Donors who might have jumped on early with another candidate or simply hadn't opened their checkbook for Clinton yet are almost certain to hedge their bets to ensure that they aren't on the outside looking in if and when Clinton becomes the nominee.

One unaffiliated Democratic strategist, granted anonymity to speak candidly about Clinton, suggested there are benefits beyond money for her campaign as a result of the professional political class getting behind her. "She can use official Washington as validators on policy and positions, endorsements from organizations, organizers in key states, and [to] influence media coverage," the source said.

The long-term effects are less clear and could develop in vastly different ways.

Under one scenario, Clinton will use her growing sense of inevitability in Washington to turn her campaign into a juggernaut heading into the new year. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, people jump on with Clinton because she looks like the nominee.

On the other hand, Clinton's clear emergence as the candidate of the party establishment could raise expectations to an unreasonably high level, meaning that if Clinton doesn't win in Iowa it could be more devastating than if the race was still regarded as wide open.

Make sure to check out The Fix this Friday for the latest Presidential Line. Check out the last presidential rankings here.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 25, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tom Davis and the Politics of MoveOn Bashing
Next: Richardson Speaks to the Base


I do not know why all the anger? We do not attack the Republican party for their lack luster performances at their debates, meaning that they do show up. The Dont ask dont tell policy, and the domestic taxes including healthcare will be what carries Clinton over the top. The republicans are stuck in the 1950's still refussing to come out. She says you just gotta shoot straight not be straight to serve in the military, great quote. Hell Cheney couldnt even accomplish that so what does that say. We have not heard from the head hate monger Ann Coulter in months whose senate office is she sleeping around at??

Posted by: Khris | October 2, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

fascists fascists everywhere I heard they are building a death camp in the smithsonian museum of american history to open just in time for the election

Posted by: rufus | September 27, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse


Looks like we are going to nominate a republican look-alike, who will stay the course with the backpatting and baloney going on in DC

And we will get our clocks cleaned as it were.

And get 8 more years of Republican neo-fascism in the White House.

This is sooooo depressing. The Republicans may be right that the DNC has its head firmly inserted in its posterior.

Posted by: poor richard | September 27, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

When Clinton left office, 70% of the nation thought we were going in the right direction because he was leaving!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

More from October 2003:

Zogby: "Given where we stand now, it's hard to see a way to stop Dean."

Larry Sabato, Director of UVA's Center For Politics: "Over the years, I have followed so many of these and watched the candidates and the numbers and everything. . . . I don't want to give my own Crystal Ball away, but Dean is just running away with it. When you put all the factors together and weight them properly as I think we have done with this analysis, good luck to the others."

Headline: "Dean Appears To Be The Likely Nominee."

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile: "I think if I were Dean's campaign manager, Joe Trippi, I would feel comfortable now that for the last three months Howard Dean has been in the driver's seat."

Posted by: William | September 26, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Headline from October 2003: "Analysts And Insiders Say It's Looking Like Dean."

Posted by: William | September 26, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I didn't hear all this whining when the press was anointing Obama as the fresh face, new kind of politician, money-raising, change candidate.

When the debates and the race got in gear, Hillary energed with a strong lead that nothing so far has changed. It isn't the national polls, it's the people in the heartland, and everywhere else. Not Wahington (although she leads there) but everywhere. Tell us what states you think Obama or Edwards have a lead in.

And this without the national press dicussing some of her great advantages. Look at her involvement with establishment people, and with innovators and creative thinkers.
Look at the Clinton cabinet versus the Bush cabinet. Look at Clinton's global initiative which has gotten HUGE commitments from all sorts of movers and shakers to help in the area of global warming, healthcare, and other needed areas. Look up their accomplishments and see what the Clintons are really like. Tell us who is doing more.

I think I have just switched from liberal to something else. The idea on these blogs that corporations, republicans, the MSM, and the majority of Americans are inherently evil and anyone who doesn't subscribe to the left's entire agenda is part of that evil conspiracy is just as bad and is off-putting in the extreme. The majority of Americans like Hillary.
When you diss her, you diss them.
Those of you who think differently are welcome to put forth your better views and if you're right, you'll eventually win. But maybe, just maybe, you're all not the brightest bulbs in the room, as you obviously think you are. Maybe other views have validity.

But Hillary will consider your opinions and others, and will come up with her best views, which are smarter, more thought-out and more practical than anyone else.

Posted by: freckles | September 26, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

obama is still getting the most votes of peopel through grasssroots funding.
counting him out may not be wise.
polls have been known to be wrong.
im praying .
we need new and fresh.
i am very afriad with all the bush/ clinton dinners and more . we'll just be in for more of the same.. washington serving washington.
not the people.

Posted by: macdoodle | September 26, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Queen Hillary will be the Democraps offering in 2008 and lose. The left being the delusional whiney babies they truly are will cry foul again.

Posted by: SocialismSux | September 25, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

at least hillary won't make decisions with her penis


Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

While it is obvious that Hillary is the choice of the "establishment" and the media, I am hopeful that the people will stand up and say "no thanks, we are going with our heads and hearts".

All you hear about are the national polls, none of which mean anything. The nominee is not picked by national polling. The media also fails to tell people that 44% of the voters in NH are registered Independent, which means they aren't included in the "polling of registered Democrats". So the polls from NH are essentially worthless.

When the media to claim that Hillary is running away with the nomination with the national polls as their proof, they are making an invalid arguement. The cause (national polls) does not have a direct impact on the effect (her winning the nomination).

I would prefer the media talk more about the early primary states as individual elections. Of course, that would take a lot more intellectual effort by our 30-second sound bite media.


Posted by: PeixeGato | September 25, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, in the real world, Gore is the first choice in polls here in the NW with Obama if Gore doesn't run.

You guys just don't get it in DC.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | September 25, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

hillary is good at what she does, but Bill Richardson is the best candidate and his numbers are rising and will continue despite anyone deeming this race won.

Posted by: Ismael | September 25, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

'petra2' writes:
I've always voted Republican in elections -- going all the way back to Reagan. And guess what, barring something unforeseen, I'm planning to pull the lever for Hillary in November of 2008 (and yes, folks, I know there's that little matter of her having to win the nomination). I like Obama, too, but he's frankly a bit too far to the left for me. John Edwards just seems tired, and all the Republicans running are incredible pander bears (pandering to the extreme right wing, that is). It is somewhat disconcerting to have yet another dynasty member as our next president. But the times we live in are too critical NOT to choose the best person for the job. I don't care if she's not warm, or not spontaneous, or not likable. Dogonnit, she's clearly the most polished, intelligent, hard-working, well-prepared, and competent candidate running. We can't settle for anything else. I'm personally hoping for a Hillary-Obama ticket in 2008.
'freespeak' writes:
The question is, can anyone stop Clinton?
I say, if they can, now is the time to step up to the plate. She just did five talk shows in one day and hit it out of the ballpark.
Batter up?
I'm a proud supporter of Hillary Clinton (and an Independent from New Hampshire).
I don't understand who these people are, who have these 'HORRIBLE' memories of the nation under the leadership of Bill Clinton.
When Clinton left office, 70% of the nation thought we were going in the right direction.
Currently, 70% of the nation thinks we're going in the WRONG direction.
The people who have bad memories of the Clinton years think Bush is doing' a heckuva job!
I get it.
'charly_n' writes:
After the 2006 midterm election, I think Hillary couldn't choose a more perfect year to run for president.
The whole country is now leaning toward Democrats. People are just so unhappy and fed up with the Republican Party which has controlled the country for almost 8 years now. Any Democrats (yes even Hillary) has better chance to win 2008 presidency than any republican. I don't see all these unhappy Americans who clearly want a change in direction in 2006 would vote for another republican again over Hillary.
In 2006, we all saw a lot of good republicans lost their seats to some never-heard-before Democrats because of this effect.
I'm certain that Hillary will prove everybody wrong and she will become the first woman President.
'jnurse' writes:
All you Hillary haters on here are just mad because your candidates have been getting stomped by her for almost a year now. Underestimate her at your own expense. The woman is brilliant, and more politically skilled than her husband. In the general election, she is going to do the Republicans, what she has done to her fellow Democrats for the past year, and that is make them luck unprepared to lead the free world. In November 08, voters are going to be faced with a choice: vote to make history with electing the first woman and also change the course of the past 8 years, or vote for more of the same with a boring white male who backs all of Bush's policies. I think that we have 51% of America that will vote for the former. If you disagree, just wait and see. Her campaign has been flawless, and will continue as such... Enjoy the shadow.
'winngerald' writes:
petera1, no one could say it better than you did! The Republicans view her as a "bogeyman" because she fights back against their smears...and because they have sunk way below their previous depths to a point where they have NO positives to run on...they depend on nothing more than the modern equivalent of inciting mobs with pitchforks and torches into voting AGAINST anything/anyone from gays to non-Christians to communism to deficits (at least until Darth Cheney declared that deficits are GOOD when they're run up by Republicans) to Bill Clinton. I think their formerly mindless followers are wising up to the fact that their party has not been their friend. The left-wing fringe Democrats are so desperate to put a rehabilitated image of "liberalism" on a pedestal that they aren't bothering to notice that the nation isn't becoming, necessarily, more "liberal" as much as it is becoming "anti-right-wing-conservative"...and they hang their hats on my--yes MY--Senator Obama to be their champion without bothering to look at his actual history here in Illinois. He is NOT exactly a "liberal", and he hasn't proven that he can LEAD, let alone be an executive. You can't base your entire candidacy on a) not supporting the Iraq invasion during your tenure in the Illinois State Senate (which can't even manage to do the State's business right now), and b) NOT being Hillary. Edwards would be in the single digits were it not for sympathy for his wife (if it weren't for her tragic cancer, she'd make a better candidate), and ALL of the Republican candidates are flip-flopping jokes worse than fish just pulled out of the water.
You are absolutely right in pointing out Hillary's reelection support in highly-Republican Upstate New York...THEY have had her representing them for almost 8 years, and their Republican support of her says all that needs to be said. Her Republican Senate colleagues speak highly of her, too...she is OBVIOUSLY NOT a polarizing figure, but the fringes in both parties still try to paint her as one for the very simple reason that they are trying to beat her in the upcoming elections...and because she DOES know what she's talking about and DOES have more than basic competence, the only way they can beat her is to plant the red herring that many people have preconceived notions of not liking her. They are TRYING to scare support away from her without letting people see her for herself...without her being filtered and framed by the fringes of both parties. And they seem to forget that Bush was reelected with some very high negatives...people are so numbed by the partisan sniping of the past 12 years and incompetence of the past 6 years that personal negatives don't matter to them nearly as much as much as intelligence and competence do.
I hope that these people start pulling their heads out of their backsides pretty darned quick...and stop living in the past...and stop spewing the old venom that no one is interested in hearing anymore. The Nation has work to do, and no one is better versed, better educated, and better qualified to lead it out of the Republican-created nightmare...ready to roll up sleeves and get to work on Day 1...than Hillary. And when she DOES get elected, I hope that the Republicans give her the deference due her as President that they never gave her husband but expected for his successor for the 8 years to which we have been subjugated. They had their chance, and they've perverted everything they've touched. It's time for a woman to clean the White House!
'jmmiller' writes:
"As a moderate Republican, I find the remarks about Hillary being too divisive either unreflective or disingenuous. Of all the Democratic candidates, she is the one I would consider voting for because she is the only one who takes seriously America's role in the wider world. It strikes me that a lot of the animosity towards her is from the far left that wants to return to the labor glory days of the 1930's. They're upset because she won't hew to the MoveOn orthodoxy. The netroots who are drunk now with their power better get some religion soon - a perception that the Democratic nominee is too closely associated with them will be poison in the general election."
'ogdeeds' writes:
jeez...get over it...for every nasty accusation hurled at Clinton, you can find an equally nasty (if that is how some choose to see it) issue in someone else. All this talk about her taking big $ from corporations, is what she does with it that matters. Mostly what I hear her talking about is helping families, children, and the middle class. And oh, by the way, she also has to be president to all those other groups (lawyers, lobbyists, teachers, carpenters, rich CEOs, etc., etc.)Which some of you may or may not like, you know, like other Americans? The last thing we need is another president who only wants to be president to his base. Clinton is inclusive, and will lead for the good of all Americans as well as putting our country back where we deserve to be....respected and (jealously) admired, both for our greatness, and for the goodness we represent...and let me tell you, goodness does not include invading other countries under the guise of "protecting America" - just so one uninformed and ideological president can play out his ideological fantasies of 'transforming the middle east'...what a joke (instead of going after bin laden, the one who attacked us on 9/11 - oops, sorry, some of you still believe Iraq was connected to 9/11) we need someone like Hillary...thoughtful, knowledgeable and smart.
'wesfromGA' writes:
One has to smile at all the "I'll never vote for her" postings. If you are a Republican you were never going to vote for her anyway, if you are one of the distinct minority of Hillary haters on the left of the Democratic Party the essential silliness of this position will soon become apparent if she gets the nod. On present evidence this seems highly likely much to the chagrin of Mr. Balz and the media world who want a horse race because it sells newspapers and air time which is why there is all the parsing in his piece although he accepts the most likely outcome. Absent a major slip up there seems little doubt she has it wrapped up. Contrary to some assertions above she does not do conspicuously worse than Edwards or Obama against any member of the Republican field. On the contrary she does better than either of them and while they have been stuck for months in the mid twenties and mid teens for months she has steadily improved her position and has now been sitting in the low forties for weeks. In Iowa she has come from behind and leads in most polls. Why? Because she is self evidently the best candidate. She has a formidable machine, plenty of money and a few more difficult to pin down advantages like Gender and the presence of Bill who is widely respected much to the chagrin of the right.
The right must have choked over their coffee when Greenspan recently gave Bill stellar grades and of course they responded as they always do by launch personal attacks (there's a typical example in today's post from Novak).
There is no question she is going to get the nomination and a 60% chance she's going to win the presidency. Even some right wingers like Karl Rove are gloomily admitting it.
All the negative comments about Hillary on this board are from disgruntled Republicans who do not have a great choice in their party and will elect a nominee called "none of the above" because Republicans will stay home in 2008.
What a stark contrast there is in the Republican nomination and the Democratic nomination campaigns. Republicans know fully well after G. W. Bush we can only have a Democratic President and its going to be Hillary this time!
People and the writer of this article give undue importance to the Iowa caucus. Isn't it time to break the back of this myth of Iowa's importance? They haven't picked a winner since 1976. And Clinton and Kerry won the democratic nominations without winning in Iowa. Enough with the rural pandering.
I fondly remember the Bill Clinton administration years as pretty good ones in spite of the personal attacks from the right. The personal problems were Bill's not Hillary's. She had to deal with him and the public and she did it expertly with a win as a junior Senator in NY and a re-election where she won 67% of the vote, with 58 of 62 counties including the MOSTly Republican "red" counties in upstate NY.
In the General election Hillary will beat the pants off any Republican nominee trying to keep us fighting the Iraq war.
People forget that Giuliani dropped out in that first Senate race not because of prostate cancer, but because he saw the writing on the wall, which was a certain defeat and an end to his political dreams.
We may have the re-match that we never had. Rudy vs. Hillary. Single point campaign of 9-11 against well rounded Hillary.
When Bill Clinton left the White House we were a nation at peace, we had a sizable surplus, we had a growing economy, and today he is the most popular politician in the nation if not the world.
Maybe that is not such a bad thing to return to. But the reality is that Hillary is not Bill. She is by all accounts smarter and definitely won't have the personal problems that Bill had. She is a master politician and is becoming a master speaker as attested to by looking at her in some of her live appearances and on yesterday's sweep of the Sunday news shows.
It is Hillary's time and it is the time for a woman to be the US President. It is time to break the highest glass ceiling in the US. I predict that many Republican women will join because they have said "I have never voted or never voted for a Democrat in my life, but if Hillary is the candidate and I have the chance to see a woman US President in my lifetime, Hillary will have my vote!"
People underestimate the positive change that will occur around the world in the way the United States is viewed when we elect Hillary. She will be symbol for women everywhere.
It's time to give up the sniping and for some women to stop venting their jealousy, which is really what it is when they complain not about her policies but about her personal choices as relates to Bill.
It's time to think about the nation and Hillary will be good for the nation and the world.
'jmartin' writes:
For people that say Hillary unelectable? Let's see.
In the September 2007 poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, Hillary 49% vs. Rudy 42%. Hillary 50% vs. Fred Thompson 41%. Hillary 51% vs. Romney 38%.
September 2007 poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corp.: Hillary 50% vs. Rudy 46%, Hillary 55% vs. Fred Thompson 42%. Same poll, Obama 45% vs. Rudy 49%. Obama 53% vs. Fred Thompson 41%.
Inevitable? Perhaps not. Unelectable? Not that either.

Posted by: Ajay Jain, Dallas, USA | September 25, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

dyinglikeflies , you must not say "My Democrat of choice is Biden" you must say "My Democratic of choice is Biden"

"Democrat" is HATE SPEECH

Posted by: rufie | September 25, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Of course, I would vote for her over any Republican.

Posted by: Southern Girl | September 25, 2007 03:37 PM

That says it all, I'm afraid.

PS It's understandable why she stayed away from the 3rd rail. Unless you see SS as a senior welfare program, and not as an old-age annuity, you pretty much have to respect that position.

Posted by: JD | September 25, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The caucus has been mentioned a few times, and I think it is not a good representation of the average voter, but only the most committed, and can be easly misunderstood.

Posted by: lylepink | September 25, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Will Clinton's Democratic rivals ever attack her weakness as a Washington Insider? Her fundraising tactics? More voters cited corruption and ethics on Election Day in 2006 than the Iraq War.

It is most definitely an issue important to the Democratic base.

Both Edwards and Obama are campaigning as outsiders determined to change the business of campaigns and the business of Washington. Why have they been so timid in explicitly in calling out Clinton for her establishment love?

If they're waiting for the Republicans to do so, then they'll be waiting until after she wins the nomination.

Posted by: E | September 25, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I have been a fan of Hillary for President since Bill Clinton was first elected, but I am no longer so sure. I forgave her the early pro-war vote, but just last week she said she was not in favor of raising the cap on Social Security! What! That is the simplest and easiest way to save Social Security. She is sounding a bit too much like the Republicans in protecting the well off. For the first time in years, I am not sure I will vote for her in the primary.
I can't be the only person who noticed that new policy statement. And folks, I vote for policies not people.
Of course, I would vote for her over any Republican.

Posted by: Southern Girl | September 25, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"This way to the egress", you say?

Posted by: J | September 25, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Heck let's stop the primary/caucus/nomination process right now. This is the biggest joke since Dean screamed on Iowa caucus night 2004. 10-14 days after the Hsu fits, they name her the "lock" to be our Dem nominee. Barnum & Bailey lives after all.

Posted by: Gharza | September 25, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse


I agree the track record through primaries isn't terribly good. That's why I consider the smoke-filled rooms worth considering!

Lincoln was the crowning achievement of backroom nominees. But his nomination was also the result of brilliant political strategy. Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals" has an excellent account of Lincoln's management of the whole process.

Posted by: J | September 25, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

3riverscrossing writes
"The purchase of war bonds are all historic low considering we are at war, but the Chinese and Iranian governments to date have taken this opportunity to purchase our debt as it grows with our war effort in Iraq."

Are there bonds titled 'war bonds' these days? Or are you referring to the generic US Treasuries?


Posted by: bsimon | September 25, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

J said: Of course, the smoke-filled rooms have also given us Presidents such as Harding. A big reason for that choice was he "looked Presidential". Isn't that a favorite compliment these days? -

Well, it's the luck of the draw, I guess. Our current track record has been at least as bad as what we were getting prior to the 60's, when the primary process was strengthened, maybe much worse. And compared to Bush, Harding was almost Lincoln (who also, by the way, came from a smoke-filled room).

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | September 25, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary gets the nomination, it will only be because she has had the cooperation of the media in having her shoved down our throats.

It's Bush's tactic all over again, and it seems stupid americans are falling for it. It's the equivilent of a self-fullfilling prophecy.

Or in this case, a media-fullfilling prophecy.

I find it disgusting.

Posted by: julie | September 25, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse


I occasionally consider the benefits of returning to the smoke-filled rooms as well.

Though the first Roosevelt was purely accidental. The party bosses put Teddy on the ticket because at the time the Vice Presidency was where you sent people to die politically. They wanted to get him out of the way.

Not all agreed with the idea, though. Mark Hanna is supposed to have said something like, "Now that cowboy is only a heartbeat away from the Presidency." Prophetic, as less than a year later said heartbeat (McKinley's) was stopped by an assassin in Buffalo.

Of course, the smoke-filled rooms have also given us Presidents such as Harding. A big reason for that choice was he "looked Presidential". Isn't that a favorite compliment these days?

Really, you can't make this stuff up...

Posted by: J | September 25, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

To whomsoever called me a "Clinton fruitcake"- that's way off the mark. My Democrat of choice is Biden (brilliant, but somewhat insane) and on the Republican side it's Huckabee. I was just talking process, not preference. But it seems, to be honest, the Obama people are the biggest crybabies I've seen since the Dean candidacy folded.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | September 25, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I want a house

Posted by: rufus | September 25, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Our country is at a crossroad, where our long term financial security and foreign policies in the Middle East cross as forks in the road. We have a choice to continue on the current path with American occupation in Iraq for the long haul at the risk of ignoring our financial security or take a different path that puts the burden of security of region on the people of the region themselves and have our role to shift from occupier of the region to become a meditator of agreed solution(s) for the parties of the region.

It is true that a percentage of Americans believes we should have a long term occupation of region as the only way to get stability. But some fundamental questions must be asked about such a long term occupation. Did we not come to liberate the Iraq peoples or did we come to occupy and dominate them as greater vision to empower American interest in the Middle East? If it is the latter, then we lied to the world about liberation of Iraq.

Now who will pay this long term war debt and occupation for Iraq? Today, Americans who support the Iraq occupation have not stepped up to the plate to purchase war bonds. The purchase of war bonds are all historic low considering we are at war, but the Chinese and Iranian governments to date have taken this opportunity to purchase our debt as it grows with our war effort in Iraq.

Richardson is correct, we must shift our role from occupier to meditator and pursue our long term American interest for security and stability with foresight. As Richardson has stated many times, a nation with a strong foreign policy and weak military is a weak leader, a nation with a strong foreign policy and strong military is a powerful leader, and nation with a weak foreign policy and strong military is blind. We are at crossroads.

Posted by: threeriverscrossing | September 25, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

dyinglikeflies - I see you Clinton fruitcakes are as nasty as ever. Come on out and discuss THE ISSUES. Hillary isn't some football team you cheer on, no matter how dirty they play, she is a candidate for the presidency! And she is a lousy choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe we should send the nominations back to the guys in the smoke-filled room, who gave us Eisenhower, Truman and two darn good Roosevelts.

Or the court rooms, and lawyers that gave us bush twice

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 25, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

And so the "expectations" kabuki dance begins. The Obama spinners realize their guy is behind but will do reasonably well in Iowa where they are highly resourced; they are positioning their candidate to be the "winner" there, whatever the outcome, simply by his not having been obliterated by the press-appointed front runner, Clinton. Watch for Clinton to "counter-spin" the expectations, by letting word out that Obama is spending money like a drunken sailor in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Hillary is running against his cash juggernaut. But the real entertainment is being provided by Ms. Edwards, behind whom her husband is hiding. She can say any looney thing she likes, declaring her husband to be blacker and more of a woman than the other candidates, because she and her husband know her illness makes her immune from press criticism. Maybe we should send the nominations back to the guys in the smoke-filled room, who gave us Eisenhower, Truman and two darn good Roosevelts.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | September 25, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cilliza should have titled his article "Beltway Democrats Endorse Status Quo." Hillary's foreign policy is neocon-lite and her domestic policies are dictated by powerful domestic oligarchic interests despite her contrived "populist" rhetoric!

The last thing which establishment democrats want is substantive change! Remember, the Beltway's maturity and integrity level is that of a delinquent teenager!

Posted by: David G. Ward | September 25, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Dewey Defeats Truman! , Chicago Daily Tribune

It's official: Washington insiders believe Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee. , The Fix

Isn't this why we have actual elections.

111 days (maybe) until the first votes at the Iowa Caucuses.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 25, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

'Blackwater has lots of competitors, and they didn't get a slice of the pie," Singer adds.'

Posted by: iraq is pie | September 25, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"and they didn't get a slice of the pie,""

A slice of murder for hire, slice

Posted by: kingof zouk | September 25, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Earlier today I guessed that a potential prosecution of Blackwater by the Iraqi government would cause a panic from other security contractors fearing a similar fate. But a leading expert on private military companies says I'm underestimating the allure of the financial score.

Peter W. Singer of the Brookings Institution has done pioneering work on the emerging role of private security, going back to his landmark 2003 book Corporate Warriors. Singer says that even in the unlikely event that Iraq prosecutes Blackwater, its rivals will look to take over its multi-million contract with the State Department rather than look to the next flight out of Baghdad (the contracts since 2003 have been worth approximately $678 million). "People are going to weigh risks differently," he says. "Just like [security firms] ask 'is moving a convoy worth the risk to life and limb?', they'll ask 'is making a certain amount of money worth it?' It'll be another weighting factor if there are prosecutions. Some will accept it, and some will say it's not worth ending up in an Iraqi jail."

If anything, Blackwater's rivals were angered not so much by the Iraqis' threatened expulsion of Blackwater, but by the Maliki government's flip-flopping on the issue, said Singer. "This was a business opportunity that opened up for them and then very quickly closed off. Blackwater has lots of competitors, and they didn't get a slice of the pie," Singer adds.

"But if they are prosecuted, then yes, it's going to cause a lot of wringing of hands in the contractor corps, particularly among non-Iraqi nationals, and especially among western companies, including those from the U.S. 'Am I now going to potentially be prosecuted by an Iraqi kangaroo court?'"

Posted by: a 'piece of the pie' | September 25, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The Clinton's used an exclusive interview with Bill as leverage to get GQ to pull an investigative report that was damning of Hillary. Bush and his team are *advising* Hillary about Iraq, foreign policy and trade policy matters. Clearly, Hillary is the favorite of the Neocons, the Republican's, the Washington insiders, and the corporate crowd. But this isn't news, everyone whi has been paying attention has know all along that Hillary Clinton is just Bush in drag. Only a complete fool would even consider voting for her. She represents the same hyper secret government, spying on American's, foreign military adventures, government corruption, all of the awful things we have experienced under the Bush Whitehouse.

Posted by: MikeB | September 25, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

'Realtors say sales of existing homes drop for sixth consecutive month, to lowest level in 5 years; separate report shows steepest price drop in 16 years.

NEW YORK ( -- Housing markets continued to slump across the nation in August as the number of existing homes sold dropped for the sixth straight month, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.'

What I don't understand is why anyone would want to be president right now... by time whoever's coronated is in office they'll have 3 foundering wars at once, the biggest deficit in history, the enmity of all other nations, and a plunging economy. I mean, seriously....

Posted by: Christy | September 25, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

There's only one Democratic candidate (besides Gravel) who the Republican's know they can win against in 2008 and that's Hillary Clinton.

Wake up and stop saying this is in "shoo-in" makes people really sick of politics.

Posted by: Nate | September 25, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

' Time and time again, CC goes to an R source, gets a wildly partisan quote, and stops there.'

Desn't seem to matter how many times we say it, Judge CC only listens to the cocktail weenies.

Posted by: drindl | September 25, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

How reliable are polls? Do the pollsters contact people using cell phones? Is anyone paying attention to the MSM or the races? Why is the GOP so anxious that Hillary is the nominee?

Seems like there are still a lot of unknowns ... and, lot of undecideds.

For example, Biden has quietly been gathering the backing of most of the Dem state legislators in Iowa. Which should give him a good base of caucus-going workers. Forget the former-gov Vilsack party clout for Hillary. His endorsed candidate for gov lost out to our current Dem Gov. Culver.

Propaganda is mostly making the same claims over and over until the public accepts them as fact. Isn't that what we have going on here with the tsunami of MSM's declarations of the inevitable nomination of Hillary?

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 25, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"The Dems in Congress aren't resigning/retiring, unlike the Repubs that Chris covers. "

But bsimon it's more than just retirements; pick a topic (like yesterday's manufactured controversy, the ad) and CC quotes only R's. Whatever happened to at least the appearance of impartiality? The press usually bends over backwards to find an opposing quote on even the most indefensible Bush policy position. Time and time again, CC goes to an R source, gets a wildly partisan quote, and stops there.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 25, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Why is MSNBC reporting this morning that the Clinton camp says they will be out-raised by Obama by $10 million this quarter. Where are you getting your numbers CC?

Posted by: Desert Rat | September 25, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Can HRC win the general election? Well, that depends what the match ups are for both parties. Let talk about the dynamics with the Democrats, well the Clintons are calling the shots for the party (Bill Clinton is Democrat President Emeritus) so it should be no surprise that all the DNC Inc. shareholders and investors will back his candidate.

The tough question is who will run with her as VP? Followed by a tougher question who would want the VP gig with HRC? With Bill Clinton as the most trusted advisor, we would see the Office of VP held by Mr. Cheney go from the most powerful to the weakest political link in the history of the office. The VP position may an opportunity for lesser experienced politician like Obama or a lesser known name recognition politicians like Bayh.

Obama VP strength is in name recognition practically a brand name for the left wing side of the party but his weakness is he would not have the brand appeal to moderates and conservatives in the key swing states. Bayh VP strength is he can bring in Mid-West swing votes of moderate and near conservatives but his weakness is he lacks political brand name recognition to the point the average voter would say Bayh who?

In either case, HRC has a tough road ahead to get the right balance to her ticket based on electoral math but her greatest liability and strength are herself and Bill Clinton - a breaks even deal, no top line.

Posted by: threeriverscrossing | September 25, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't line my online birdcage with the Washington Post. They have lost all credibility with the "HORRAY FOR HILLARY" parade. It's disgusting.

Posted by: TJFRMLA | September 25, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Hillary, I am oh so very liberal, but I hate you oh so very much.

Posted by: ga | September 25, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

This is the 'small price' John Boehner-R, says we are paying for oil:

'FORT RILEY, Kan. -- The Defense Department has confirmed the death of a soldier in Iraq one day after his wife gave birth to their first child, a son.

"A tremendous joy came into the family and then all of a sudden we got the sad news," said family friend Lynn Joyner. "No family wants to have a baby born and then have the father or the mother taken away from them. We don't even know why."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"MSNBC, get that man his own show!

Download (6007) | Play (9303) Download (2127) | Play (4889)

Shuster: "Let's talk about the public trust. You represent, of course, a district in western Tennessee. What was the name of the last solider from your district who was killed in Iraq?"

Blackburn:"The name of the last soldier killed in Iraq uh - from my district I - I do not know his name -"

Shuster: "Ok, his name was Jeremy Bohannon, he was killed August the 9th, 2007. How come you didn't know the name?"

Blackburn: "I - I, you know, I - I do not know why I did not know the name..." [Snip]

Shuster: "But you weren't appreciative enough to know the name of this young man, he was 18 years old who was killed, and yet you can say chapter and verse about what's going on with the New York Times and Move" [Snip]

Shuster: "But don't you understand, the problems that a lot of people would have, that you're so focused on an ad -- when was the last time a New York Times ad ever killed somebody? I mean, here we have a war that took the life of an 18 year old kid, Jeremy Bohannon from your district, and you didn't even know his name."

Posted by: WWW.CROOKSANDLIARS.COM | September 25, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The mainstream media is so in the tank for Hillary it's ridiculous. After going on and on about how national polls don't matter, both the NY Times and the Post run pieces Sunday claiming that her lead in national polls does matter, coincidentally the same day she appears on all five Sunday morning shows, essentially saying nothing. This on top of the news that they go out of their way to kill negative stories in their crib by threatening to remove access and how her campaign's strong-arm tactics keep threatening people supporting other candidates that they will be frozen out of any Clinton administration if she wins. She's Dubya with a brain wearing women's pantsuits. The Democrats can't afford to lose in 2008 but handing the nomination to Hillary who stands for nothing other than her own ambition is the biggest hope the GOP has for retaining the White House.

Posted by: Edward Copeland | September 25, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Judge Crater writes
"Funny, last time I looked there were more D's in Congress than R's. When do they at least get equal time?"

I think that's an invalid criticism. The Dems in Congress aren't resigning/retiring, unlike the Repubs that Chris covers. The critique is more on-target with reference to the Pres candidates.

Posted by: bsimon | September 25, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

vwcat echoes many prior posts in saying
"However, we don't listen to these people. We listen to ourselves and most of us don't want [Senator Clinton as President]."

I hope you're right. However my faith in the nomination process is such that I predict an HRC nomination from the Dem party.

Posted by: bsimon | September 25, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

See? NRO has already spun it, even before the vote:

'The resolution -- an amendment to a defense appropriations bill -- is sponsored by Jon Kyl, Joseph Lieberman, Norm Coleman, and Lindsey Graham. It expresses the sense of the Senate that the U.S. should "combat, contain, and roll back" Iran's "violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq." It counsels doing so "through the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of [U.S. power], including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments."

No great imagination is required to predict the Left's attack on the amendment. "Needlessly provocative," they will say. "What we need is more diplomacy." And, "If you don't like American soldiers dying from Iranian-made IEDs, bring them home."

The last is of course another way of saying, "Surrender" -- not a bad policy, if you don't mind giving an Islamist, terrorist-sponsoring, nuclearizing theocracy the dominant role in the Middle East. '

This is exactly how Iraq happened. This is how Iran will happen. The rightwing media will make it happen. And when the hundreds of terrorists attacks start here at home, in earnest, we won't know what hit us.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

This is how it will happen. Joe Lieberman, a member of Likud, apparently, is panting for war with Iran. So this is how it will happen. An amendment, which Dems will be forced to pass, because not to pass it will be spun as 'soft on terrorism' -- and the press will willingly make that the message. So you see, war with Iran is not only likely, but INEVITABLE. The vote will come up today or tomorrow.

'Amazingly, no one anywhere in the US media seems to have noticed that yesterday Jon Kyl (Arizona) and Joe Lieberman filed an extremely threatening amendment on Iran to the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill. I guess all their time was taken up with the earth-shakingly important issue of newspaper ads.

It's a "Sense of the Senate" resolution, which means it has no legal force, but as the Congressional Research Service will tell you, "foreign governments pay close attention to [such resolutions] as evidence of shifts in U.S. foreign policy priorities." If you want you can read it yourself (.doc), but here are the most important paragraphs:

(3) that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies;

(4) to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy described in paragraph (3) with respect to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies.

Note 'military instruments.' If this passes both the House and Senate, Bush would argue that between it, the War Powers Act and the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations to Use Military Force, he has all the authority he needs to attack Iran.

And he will.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"I find it interesting how CC alternates between talking about Republicans and talking about Hillary."

You beat me to it, Blarg.

"Also, she might outraise Obama this quarter! Of course, Obama outraised Hillary the last 2 quarters, but that didn't put a dent in her aura of inevitability. Fundraising only matters when Hillary is in the lead, apparently."

Maybe next CC will cover Obama. And then talk about an R Congressman. And then cover RG. And then cover HRC. And then talk about an R Congressman. And then cover RG. And then cover Obama. And then talk about an R Congressman....

Funny, last time I looked there were more D's in Congress than R's. When do they at least get equal time?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 25, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

the establishment and punditry have told us clinton is our nominee a year before anyone announced so why is this any different.
People know that the corporations, the cocktail circuit yahoos and the DLC establishment has been pushing clinton at us and telling us not to bother with the primaries as Hillary is the nominee.
However, we don't listen to these people. We listen to ourselves and most of us don't want her.
Why does Obama have such a historical amount of donors and people volunteering and working on his behalf? Why is the netroots behind Edwards?
Because the insiders are not the one who vote. the people are. and the people are just not that into Hillary.
We vote for and choose who we want not who we are told to vote for and come voting time, the Washington crowd is always left surprised and confused because we just are not getting with the program and voting for their candidate.
Hillary may be the corporate DLC establishment's grrrrrrllll. But, she is not ours.

Posted by: vwcat | September 25, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

This is the real story. This is why the pundits are saying whatthey say. Because the corporations have already decided. After all, they are the ones who actually appoint our 'leaders'-- to execute their policies:

'Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Dozens of corporate executives who backed President George W. Bush for re-election in 2004, including some of his top fund-raisers, are now helping Democrats running for president.

John Mack, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., and Terry Semel, chairman of Yahoo! Inc., are among some 60 executives writing checks to Democrats such as Senators Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, a review of U.S. Federal Election Commission records shows.

While the vast majority of business leaders still back Republicans for 2008, the stature of some of those donating to Democrats suggests that support may be eroding, seven years into the Bush presidency. Some executives expressed concern over Republican positions on issues ranging from the war in Iraq and stem-cell research to global warming and the fiscal deficit.

The shift in political-spending patterns is ``very unusual,'' says Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a Washington-based group that advocates campaign-finance reform.

``Normally, if you have dissatisfaction with the administration, you figure out who in your own party you'll support in the next election,'' he says. ``You don't look at other parties.''

Posted by: Linda | September 25, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Yet prior to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to New York for the United Nations' General Assembly, Podhoretz said he believes that "Bush is going to hit" Iran before the end of his presidency.

If Podhoretz were merely another old man of the chattering class, his intellectual instincts would hardly be worth pondering. But Podhoretz, after a half-century in argument, remains fiercely relevant.

He is a senior foreign policy adviser to Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani. He participates in weekly conference calls with the campaign and says he is in constant contact via e-mail with the foreign policy team. The meeting with the president was at Podhoretz's request.

Posted by: iran is next | September 25, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON -- A supporter of Rudy Giuliani's is throwing a party that aims to raise $9.11 per person for the Republican's presidential campaign.'

How cheesy and disgusting is this?

It's like a photop of a man with a bullhorn standing on a pile of incinerated bodies...

Posted by: Linda | September 25, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bush-lite confirmed! | September 25, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Blackwater's ties to the GOP run deep. Company founder and former Navy Seal Erik Prince has given more than $200,000 to Republican causes, a pattern of donation followed by other top Blackwater executives. The company's vice chairman is Cofer Black, a former CIA counterterrorism official who is serving as a senior adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Members of Blackwater's legal team have included former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr and current White House Counsel Fred Fielding. The company tapped a GOP-connected public relations firm after the grisly 2004 deaths of four Blackwater employees who were ambushed by insurgents in Fallujah.

Posted by: the usual suspects | September 25, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

David Shuster subbing for Tucker Carlson just made MINCEMEAT out of Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn R-TN 07. First he asked her how Rush Limbaugh airing a caller who referred to Sen. Chuck Hagel as "Senator Betray Us" was somehow okay, but the later MoveOn General Betrayus ad was such a big deal. She responded with some blather about how Rush didn't BUY AN AD, as if airing something to millions of listeners is somehow not important because, again, Rush didn't Buy An Ad.

Then David moved in for the jugular. He asked her, what is the name of the last soldier from her district killed in Iraq. Congresswoman Blackburn was forced to admit that she didn't know. David then told her. He was 18 years old. He then reiterated his puzzlement about why it is that Congresswoman Blackburn knows so much about, yet doesn't know the names of KIA from her own district--this was after she claimed that she and her staff "keep in touch every day" about what is going on with service people from her district.

Posted by: Murray | September 25, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Within days of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, State Department and Department of De-fense officials were in Riyadh meeting with Saudi Arabian officials in an attempt to convince them that Iraq was determined to invade Saudi Arabia. US representatives argued that Iraq posed a grave threat to Saudi Arabia and that the United States must be allowed to deploy hundreds of thousands of soldiers in their country to 'help protect the Saudis.'

What purpose would the United States have in deceiving the Saudis? "Well, you have to understand that there were principal focuses over the world amounting to military commands," says General Norman Schwarzkopf. "But there were certain areas in the world that had no focus. The Middle East was such an area. The problem was that no Arab country wanted a major US military headquarters in their country." The Saudi government was sufficiently frightened by the United States' scare tactics. On August 7, 1990, the Saudis officially accepted the American delegates' offer of "protection."

and so we had 9/11. and so it goes... and will keep on going, indefinitely, as the world continues its war for oil.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

'Documents obtained by Congress show that in the 80s, during the height of the Iran-Iraq War, the United States knew that a $1.7 billion "agricultural aid" package to Iraq was actually being used by Saddam Hussein to purchase helicopters, trucks, pesticides, and even anthrax. One document shows the purchase from the United States of "bacillus anthracis (ATCC 240) Batch #05-14-63 [3 each] Class III pathogen."

so the US knew that Saddam had anthrax BECAUSE WE SOLD IT TO HIM.

and the anthrax attacks [remember those?] against DEMOCRATIC senators -- were never solved. The press just swept them under the rug... and the gov't never followed up. Just mysteriously -- vanished.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

fascists fascists everywhere

Posted by: rufus | September 25, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Even David Brooks of the NYT added his 2 cents to the corination of H. Clinton. According to Brooks in Tuesday's NYT, Clinton, on Sunday,"delivered hawkish mini-speeches that few Republicans would object to". Let the Democratic Republican lite establishment support her, and we can only hope that they go down with her, when she loses the general election.

Posted by: Janet | September 25, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

In truth, however, a Congressional investigation found in 1992 that the CIA and the State Department were very much aware that Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons, made by and bought from American companies, against Kurdish civilians and Iranian soldiers.

From as early as 1972, the CIA and State Department had been monitoring Saddam Hussein's ambitious determination to acquire "non-conventional weapons of mass destruction." Documents obtained by Congress show that in the 80s, during the height of the Iran-Iraq War, the United States knew that a $1.7 billion "agricultural aid" package to Iraq was actually being used by Saddam Hussein to purchase helicopters, trucks, pesticides, and even anthrax. One document shows the purchase from the United States of "bacillus anthracis (ATCC 240) Batch #05-14-63 [3 each] Class III pathogen."

Immediately, Congressional leaders began questioning these practices. The State Department and CIA, under former presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr., began to systematically quell all Congressional inquiries about US support for Iraq's military build-up, and eventually the inquiries faded away.

As a result of Saddam Hussein's unprovoked war with Iran and massive arms purchases, by the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988 Saddam Hussein had managed to ruin Iraq's economy and place it about $40 billion in debt. Because of this debt, Iraq was desperate to nationalize its oil fields so it could profiteer and help offset its war-related economic woes.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Face it folks, if Obama's the nominee Bayh's hopes of being Vice-President go down the tubes. Neighboring state and this exiled Hoosier knows that Hillary is about as popular in Indiana as Osama, but he's going to give it a shot anyway. Too bad as he was a great Governor and is, or was until yesterday, a voice for moderation in the party.

All of you who are rushing to the coronation had better reread a few polls. In particular, negative ratings and performance in the general election when all voters count not just Democrats. She's leading in the former and losing in the latter. Not a good omen.

The country is thirsting for change, this voter included. Hillary offers more of the same Washington insider "you scratch my back, I'll scratch your", questionable campaign financing, flip flops, evasion of real answers and the list goes on and on.

The SEIU yesterday didn't sign on to the coronation. You want the change we need then look to Obama, Edwards and Richardson not the same old tired receipe for another disaster with special prosecutors, tell all books etc. Yikes, they indicted OJ and Hillary's got a health plan. Hey Yogi, deja vu all over again!

Posted by: Joe in Vermont | September 25, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"This coup came as a result of an oil deal between Iraq and a French company, IRAB," says Ahmed Al Bayati, London Representative of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution In Iraq. "This contract upset the West and the Americans in particular. So they encouraged a coup in Iraq at that time." In 1972, according to former Iraqi Oil Minister Fadel Chalabi, a former Ba'ath Party member named Al Saadi spoke openly of having been trained for their successful coup by the CIA.

Also in 1972, OPEC, the international cartel of oil-producing nations, raised the price of crude oil from $3 per barrel to $22 per barrel in an effort to profiteer from the West's dependence on their product.

President Saddam Hussein reacted to this price-gouging opportunity by immediately nationalizing Iraq's oil fields. The United States reacted by branding Saddam Hussein "unreliable," a "terrorist leader," and throwing its primary Middle Eastern support to Iran, led by the pro-Western Shah.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I disagree, Sharon. The press didn't build up Dean like they're building up Hillary. The Dean buildup was meant to question his candidacy. All of the articles pushed the message that he was too liberal and too angry to be elected. The articles on Hillary, on the other hand, are totally uncritical. The media really seems to love her.

Posted by: Blarg | September 25, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

In the 1920s, American and European oil companies discovered and exploited the first oil fields in the Middle East. But World War II changed everything. Despite being victors, both France and England began to lose control of their former colonies. The Middle Eastern nations recognized their potential to become economic world players through their oil. Many of them--much to the chagrin of London, Paris, and Washington--attempted to nationalize their oil reserves, only to have the West retaliate.

In 1953, Iran's President Mossadegh nationalized its oil reserves and kicked the British out of the country. The United States responded by having the CIA assist in a coup that re-established the Shah of Iran as ruler. General Abdel Karim Qassem, the ruler of Iraq, also attempted to nationalize. United States CIA Director Allen Dulles immediately and publicly declared General Qassem's actions to be "Communist," but also added that he didn't think the situation "was hopeless." Almost immediately afterward General Qassem was assassinated in a coup led by Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party.

Posted by: fyi | September 25, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

'It's official: Washington insiders believe Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee.'

Exclaims CC breathlessly. Someone please explain to me why I should care...

Posted by: Cassandra | September 25, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

'A senior Senate Republican accused President Bush yesterday of holding a bipartisan expansion of the popular State Children's Health Insurance Program hostage to his broader policy goals of using tax structure to help private health insurers.'

'Kids can go to hell,' Bush said. 'They can't even vote. But insurance companies, they got the big bucks.'

Posted by: Et tu, Grassley? | September 25, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

If Obama stays close, but has more individual donors, that has to bode well for Iowa. Big corporations and Lobbying companies don't have a vote in the Iowa caucuses, only people do. So, in that sense, Hillary is at a disadvantage. But now that she has Bush's endorsement that should count for something. Rove likes her too.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 25, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

'Israel on Monday welcomed a U.S. announcement that Syria will be invited to an upcoming Mideast peace conference, saying it has "no problem" sitting down with its archenemy.

The Israeli announcement came as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said his country is not interested in violent conflict with Syria and expressed confidence that recent tensions between the enemy nations will subside.'

What sane leaders do. What ours cannot.

Posted by: sorry chickenhawks | September 25, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Agree wit zonker. This whole inevitability thing really reeks. The corporate press is building Hilllary up for the primary, just like they did Howard Dean, so they can crush her in the general and hand the election over to whichever R can manage not to get too maimed by the bloodthirty R base.

Posted by: Sharon | September 25, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

There is something very unsettling about the CORONATION going on in the media. It remains to be seen how much that ends up hurting Clinton in the primaries. We can only hope that at some point she is asked and made to answer tough questions. And if she does ultimately make it to the White House I only hope she is more capable of handling the job then what we have to base that hope on at this point, which is nothing.

And, honestly Chris, with Clinton getting total saturation in the press wouldn't your forum be better served covering those who have to actually work hard to be heard?

Posted by: Zonker | September 25, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

'New Levels of Ridiculousness
House GOPer demands congressional investigation of New York Times over MoveOn ad, which apparently comes in response to yesterday's column by the NYT's public editor.

Late Update: Or as Matt Stoller puts it, "I'm a little worried about upcoming fights over funding for Iraq, inasmuch as they might distract us from discussing the Moveon ad."

The sky is falling! The world is ending! The NYTimes published an ad which criticized a general! Omigod! Never in the history of the republic have we faced such a serious threat. Congress must put aside all other business--nothing is as serious or as threatening as the specter of free speech.... look over there! George Soros gave MoveOn some money once -- he's a Holocaust survivor -- worse than Osama bin Ladin!

All the terrifying threats we face in this country--omigod! MoveOn! Daily Kos! George Soros! Michael Moore! I'm afraid to get out of bed in the morning! I'm a Republcan! that means I'M TERRIFIED all the time! Please save me from newspaper ads!

Posted by: Donald | September 25, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh look, it's yet another post fawning over Hillary. I find it interesting how CC alternates between talking about Republicans and talking about Hillary. The other Democrats only get mentioned in the context of their mistakes.

But of course Hillary is inevitable. Look at all the evidence. Other media outlets also write fawning articles about her. She's been on TV. She was recently endorsed by a senator that upwards of 1% of the population may have heard of. (And he was himself a candidate for president, for about 2 weeks last year. So that's a big gain.) Also, she might outraise Obama this quarter! Of course, Obama outraised Hillary the last 2 quarters, but that didn't put a dent in her aura of inevitability. Fundraising only matters when Hillary is in the lead, apparently.

At least CC admits that the support of the Washington political establishment doesn't mean much to actual voters. But that doesn't excuse this article.

Posted by: Blarg | September 25, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

'The LAT fronts a look at Rudolph Giuliani's migrating position on immigration: As New York City mayor, Rudy was a staunch defender of the rights of undocumented workers, but as a presidential candidate, he's sought to deflect criticism by calling for strict border controls and tough deportation policies.'

Flipflopper extraordinaire...

Posted by: he was for undocs before he was against them | September 25, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Peter | September 25, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

'The LAT fronts a look at Rudolph Giuliani's migrating position on immigration: As New York City mayor, Rudy was a staunch defender of the rights of undocumented workers, but as a presidential candidate, he's sought to deflect criticism by calling for strict border controls and tough deportation policies.'

Flipflopper extraordinaire...

Posted by: he was for undocs before he was against them | September 25, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

1. Chris... could you perhaps drool a little less over Hillary? I've been skeptical of people on this blog who bag you as a Clinton insider... but I am seriously starting to wonder dude...

2. How is it "news" that the Establishment back Clinton? They have done so for MANY months now! I don't think the fact she does 5 shows on a Sunday is worthy of such a news break.

3. Time will tell about the fundraising. I think 2 things are very important about Obama's fundraising... firstly, he will have more individual donors than Clinton. Secondly, each of those donors will have given LESS on average than Clinton. This is SO important as it means there is a wide base to continue to draw on for more cash.

I do NOT buy the idea that there are truck loads of people holding out to give Clinton cash. Her backers have given big already, and many are maxed out. Watch Obama continue to put distance betweeen himself and the other candidates with fundraising.

Posted by: Tony Story | September 25, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I think all this talk is a Republican strategy to get what they see as a vulnerable candidate nominated. "Whatever you do, don't throw me in the briar patch!"

Well, be careful what you wish for, folks. I get the feeling the GOP couldn't win next year if their candidate ran unchallenged.

Posted by: Mobedda | September 25, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Hillary is smart and strong and would be the best candidate against the GOP attack machine.

And all those random poll participants who are telling poolsters they are voting for Hillary are not from the Washington establishment.

Posted by: craig | September 25, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

'Above the fold, the Post investigates the sequence of botches that last month saw a nuclear-armed B-52 make an unauthorized flight above the United States. Officials say the incident, in which nuclear warheads equivalent to 60 Hiroshimas slipped from the Air Force's safety net for more than a day without anyone noticing, was due to human error.'

the Keystone Kops Rumsfeld Military gonna kill us all

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 8:06 AM | Report abuse

In recent years, Wall Street investors have snapped up thousands of nursing homes across the United States, cutting costs and slashing staffing levels in the hope of reselling at a hefty markup. That's led to plummeting standards, according to government data, with elderly residents receiving less care than they need and increasingly suffering from bedsores and preventable infections. Worse still, the companies' Byzantine corporate structures make it hard for disgruntled residents to sue--or for regulators to impose meaningful fines.

Posted by: just what you'd expect | September 25, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

The WP's Richard Cohen becomes the latest to speak in favor of partitioning Iraq. Unlike many other commentators, he at least begins by recognizing that such a plan might be complicated by the fact that Baghdad isn't controlled by a single ethnic group. Except he then goes on to say that's what they used to say about Sarajevo and that Baghdad has "fragmented into ethnic safe zones." An article in last week's NYT cited data showing that "migration is not neatly dividing Baghdad along the Tigris."

If Cohen predicts it, it's wrong...

Posted by: Cohen the Clueless | September 25, 2007 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Washington insiders are NOT the american public. Why don't you let us decide for a change? When will all these clueless pundits just STFU?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"It's official: Washington insiders believe Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee."

In other news, Pope found to be Catholic, and the sun rises in the East.

Posted by: JD | September 25, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

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