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Des Moines Register Picks Clinton and McCain

The Des Moines Register endorsed Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) this evening, handing Clinton a boost of momentum with the crucial caucuses less than three weeks away.

The newspaper also endorsed Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in the Republican presidential race. The Register, Iowa's statewide newspaper, described Clinton and McCain as the candidates it believes are most competent and ready to lead.

"With dissension at home and distrust abroad, as American troops continue to fight wars on two fronts, the times call for two essential qualities in the next American president," the Register's editorial board stated. "Those qualities became the paramount considerations in making endorsements for the Democratic and Republican nominees in the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

"The times call for competence. Americans want their government to work again. The times call for readiness to lead. Americans want their country to do great things again. They'll regain trust in their government when they see a president make that happen."

The Register's endorsement is one of the most coveted prizes of the Democratic presidential primary season. All three of the Democratic frontrunning candidates in Iowa -- Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) -- as well as many, many of their surrogates lobbied hard for the endorsement, believing, perhaps rightly, that a stamp of approval from the Register could put them over the top in this tight race.(Read Jeff Zeleny's terrific piece in the New York Times for more on the courtship efforts, especially by Clinton and former President Bill Clinton.)

"Of Clinton, the Register wrote: 'That readiness to lead sets her apart from a constellation of possible stars in her party, particularly Barack Obama, who also demonstrates the potential to be a fine president. When Obama speaks before a crowd, he can be more inspirational than Clinton. Yet, with his relative inexperience, it's hard to feel as confident he could accomplish the daunting agenda that lies ahead.'"

That paragraph essentially affirms the argument Clinton has been making on the campaign trail. Yes, Obama is an amazingly talented politician and leader but he is not yet ready for the tremendous responsibility that comes with being President of the United States.

Patti Solis Doyle, campaign manager for Clinton, said the campaign was "grateful to the editorial board and humbled by the confidence it has in Senator Clinton's ability to make change happen as president."

In 2004, the Register backed Edwards who at that point was still running behind better known candidates including former Gov. Howard Dean (Vt.), then Rep. Dick Gephardt (Mo.) and Sen. John Kerry (Mass.). Buoyed by the Register endorsement, Edwards surged in the final three weeks of the campaign, placing a strong second to Kerry and eventually winning a spot as the Massachusetts' Senator's running mate.

Four years earlier, the Register's endorsement had far less impact. It chose former Sen. Bill Bradley (N.J.) over then Vice President Al Gore but Gore rolled to a 63 percent to 35 percent victory.

Poll after poll shows the Democratic race within the statistical margin of error. On Friday alone, two polls came out; the first, conducted by Hotline/Diageo had Clinton and Obama knotted at 27 percent and Edwards slightly behind at 22 percent. The other survey, conducted by Research 2000 for the Quad-City Times showed Obama with 33 percent to 24 percent each for Clinton and Edwards.

Unlike in 2004, when the field was incredibly wide open, it's hard to see anyone outside of the Big 3 winning Iowa due to the large amount of money they have spent in the state on advertising and organization coupled with the loyalty each exerts on a base of at least 20 percent of voters.

For more on the fight for the endorsement and on the editorial board making that endorsement, click here and here.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 15, 2007; 9:04 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alaska: A Target-Rich Environment for Democrats?
Next: The Register Endorsement: How Clinton Won It and What It Means

Comments

Chris writes
"The Des Moines Register endorsed Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) this evening, handing Clinton a boost of momentum with the crucial caucuses less than three weeks away."

Considering that her momentum has been downward, a boost to her momentum would not be helpful to her candidacy.

I hope you're correct.

Posted by: bsimon | December 17, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

viejitadeloeste....you miss the point. I said she had experience INDEPENDENT of her husband....both pre and post the white house years....and, unless the spouse is also trained as a surgeon, she could not be construed as being able to do the same, no matter how much consulting, etc. she did for her husband surgeon...much less, gasp!, to take over the surgery herself as well. point being....HRC is qualified...whether she was married to bill clinton or not....even if she wasnt first lady...she would still be qualified based on her experience inthe senate and her experience and work in public service. her years as first lady certainly add to what she brings....but no one is claiming that is the only qualifying factor. even if all you do is compare senate experience, she is more qualified than either obama or edwards.

Posted by: ogdeeds | December 16, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

How do you know the surgeon's spouse hasn't been by the doctor's side all the way along, advising, consulting and even operating when necessary? Then again, without access to Clinton White House papers and with the lack of straight answers to "co-presidency" questions at the time: how do any of us know what HRC's real experience has or has not been? If the Des Moines Register has information that proves her experience one way or another, then they have a responsibility to share it with the rest of us. Otherwise, it is merely a case of taking the candidate's word for it.

Posted by: ViejitaDelOeste | December 16, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

to dc_attorney....if you dont know how HRC is experienced to be president...then your analogy of your husband being a surgeon not making you qualified to be a surgeon explains why. your husband is qualified to be surgeon because hes learned everything there is to know (I presume)about being a surgeon. however, he is only qualified to be a surgeon, and nothing else. and I dont think anyone would ascribe his surgery talents to you simply because you are married to him.
HRC, on the other hand, has a history pre and post her years at the white house of public service (independent of her husband)and has accumulated years of experience in the process that is most fitting to serve the american people and to lead our country...both domestically and abroad. I would also say that she is smarter than her husband...more focused and without his inherent weaknesses. obama's new world vision comes more from the fact that he is of a different generation than HRC and from the fact that he lived overseas for a few years followed by his struggle, as he put it, to find his 'black identity'.
the HRC haters simply cannot view hillary in any other light other than to minimize her as a person and as the professional and public servant that shes been all her life. even reading those letters that were published by her old classmate from college shows a young woman torn between the middle-class life she had and the inadequacies experienced by others. obama, onthe other hand, had more than a middle class experience, he led a privelaged experience....nothing wrong with that....but his life experiences simply do not add up to knowing what the average american struggles for every day. the time for his generation to lead our country and by extension the world...is not now. but, more importantly....HRC is simply the more qualified candidate if you look at her in totality and on her life as well as public service and professional experience.
Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 02:46 PM


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Posted by: ogdeeds | December 16, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I welcome the endorsement, every little bit helps. I doubt this will sway more than 2 or 3%, but in a close caucus it could be critical.

Posted by: lylepink | December 16, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

How is Hillary so experienced? If my spouse were a surgeon, does that give me the experience to become a surgeon myself?

The Democrats will self-destruct if they nominate HRC.

Posted by: dc_attorney | December 16, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

great for HRC for getting another important endorsement...and those who minimize its importance, are ignoriing the fact that their candidates worked just as hard to get that endorsement as well. except we dont know to what lengths their candidates went to try and get it also. obama...bottom line....is too inexperienced to lead our country in these troublesome times. nice and very appealing....but so was bush...can this country really afford to take a chance on someone who is untested and inexperienced again?? absolutely not. and....those who think that the repubs arent going to dig and exploit into obama's admitted cocaine use are simply naieve. the repub candiate may not do it directly....but the swiftboaters are standing at the ready....while that may be unfair....it is nonetheless realistic to expect that it will be done. in that regard...hillary has had her guts shown to the world and she is still standing. that speaks volumes to her strength as a person and as a politician. sometimes people think that ambition and politician are dirty words to ascribe to someone who wants to be president...which is frequently done to HRC. I say those qualities are a must...without them, there simply is no place for an idealistic dreamer...and at this point, that is the only sure thing we know about obama....that he is a dreamer who thinks he make change happen simply by changing the tenor of our political world into one of cumbaya. while that may be nice to think about...it is an idealistic view that our country simply cannot afford to take a chance on. HRC is simply the best choice out of a field of many.

Posted by: ogdeeds | December 16, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

See where Hillary told the NY Times she's been vetted and with her there is no surprises. I like to believe that most people on this blog understand politics 101 and the Clinton machine is all but telling everybody they got the dirt on Obama. Why do you think Bill has been telling the media they need to scrutinize Obama more? They want them to do their dirty work for them, all but telling them where to follow the bread crumbs.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 16, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The last nominee they pick was Fritz Mondale in 1984! Great track record. I admire both the "Des Moines Register" and the "Boston Globe" for endorsing Mc Cain. While I don't agree entirely with him, he stands for trustworthiness and independent thought.

The Clinton endorsement may not mean much. Any more weeks like the last two and she'll be lucky to finish third in Iowa. As Adlain Stevenson once said "In America, anyone can grow up to be President. That's the chance we take." Add a bumbling campaign leadership, a husband and past President with "hoof in mouth", Andy Young's "Black Women" and, now, Billy Shaheen and I've got to wonder if something's in the water in Des Moines.

Posted by: Smokescreen | December 16, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

At 10:15A CST, Romney on MTP is reminding me of his father, whom I greatly respected.
So far, this is the best WMR I have seen.

Russert will inquire into his position shifts and WMR will have trouble with that. And if Russert asks about Seamus, I will become angry all over again.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

janus555, I respectfully suggest that it is an error to equate Sen. McCain with the neocons. He is not one.

He was perhaps the loudest critic of the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Cheney pipedream in Iraq.

But he, like Gen. Shinseki, knew that to invade and secure Iraq took a great deal more force than the neocon smoke blowing permitted. He supported the surge - led the call for it - not in support of the Administration, but in support of a workable military tactic. And he was correct about that.

If you always thought the invasion of Iraq was unwise, you can fairly criticize
McCain for having supported it.

If you do not think McCain has stressed diplomacy enough [I do not, but I still favor his R candidacy] I would understand.

But to compare him to the neocons and the secret government types in the Bush Administration crashes against the evidence of an entire public career in government devoted to transparency in government and opposition to excesses of power.

If you do not agree with my general characterization of the thrust of his public career, I am capable of arguing for him, from historical facts, with cites, at length.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Endorsement bought and paid for, signed sealed and delivered. Thank you DMR for ensuring politics as usual... clintonian style. Pathetic.

Posted by: zb95 | December 16, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

McCain in the same Iraqui hole as Bush is still digging. Ultimately, the voters can and probably will reject him. His being endorsed by the Des Moines Register hopefully will send Rambo Giuliani farther down the political tubes in Iowa, as appears to be the case for Rambo now in Florida. From the uninspiring stable of ultra-Right Rambo and Reagan wannabes, it looks like the Country will be saddled with another Bush style foreign and domestic policy if the public is duped into voting for the worst of the worst again by the media right-winger propagandists.

Posted by: janus555 | December 16, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

To me the key part of the NYT article was the following. Basically HRC, on her own, was a bust and Bill had to come in and close the sale. Another indication of who HRC supporters are really supporting!!!

"Not long afterward, Mrs. Clinton scheduled a Sunday breakfast meeting with the editorial board at her West Des Moines hotel.

It did not go so well.

"I think they thought it was going to be a more chatty meet-and-greet kind of event than it was," Ms. Washburn said. "Her staff called and said: 'That was a pretty intense conversation. Maybe you didn't get to see her lighter side. Would you like to do that again?' "

The next time, Mr. Clinton was on hand with his wife..."

Posted by: dyork | December 16, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Is it true that the DMR has picked the picked the Dem loser in every general election since 1984?

Posted by: elroy1 | December 16, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Many of us here have confused the objective markers of leadership with the subjective value of experience.

Every candidate has experience, and every experience in life is useful in one sense or another.

Fewer of the candidates have performed as leaders, but many have. One could credibly point to McCain's leadership positions in the Senate and the many battles he has led succesfully. One could point to RG's leadership of a difficult city, or to Romney's as a captain of business and the Winter Olympics. The governors have records of leadership, as do Biden and Dodd in the Senate, who have substantial histories as key Committee Chairs.

A history of leadership can be compelling because it might show that one has led from strength with compassion, or it might show that one has led with bluster, or guile, or intimidation. It might show character and the quality to inspire, or it might suggest a willing worker, or it could reveal a demagogue or a con-artist.

We can come to know these qualities in those we know well or in those we have studied intently, before they become leaders. George Marshall saw qualities of the right kind in Eisenhower. Lincoln's Illinois friends - judges, legislators, and businessmen - saw these qualities in Abe so clearly that they were willing to strive for his R nomination endless days without pay or promise of favor - and the NYT of the day conceded, after his Cooper Union speech of 1860, the masterful inspiration of his words.

Most of the time most of us are flying somewhat blind about these candidates. They pander to us because they know we do not know them.

We used to count on editors to actually analyze, study, and make a detailed and credible case. I do not fault the DMR for supporting HRC. But I think its case was not made. From its own premises, Biden deserved the paper's D nod.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

This is really sad. I am flexible. Although I am aligned entirely with Kucinich, I can also happily vote for Obama. I am one of the many on the left who simply cannot under any circumstances vote for Clinton.

I hope those who are thinking of voting for her really take into question her electibility. Do you really want 4 more years of war between the parties. Because that is what you will get without a doubt. The Republicans will spend every ounce of the energy to destroy her and in 2013, we will find our country mired in even deeper problems we never solved.

Can we please put the Clintons and Bushes behind us?

Posted by: shahpesareh | December 16, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Oh the denial, the misogyny, the accusations of special favors, the praise for the McCain endorsement the damnation for the Clinton one. There's not much rationality amongst the Clinton haters that's their distinguishing characteristic. The Register made an entirely sensible decision that largely reflects the opinions of mainstream democratic voters if one can judge from the WAPO's own poll about a week ago. Obama's numbers on all the issues questions like the economy and Iraq were worse than anaemic and his attributes like electability, experience and leadership were just as bad. He's a very talented guy but he's not going to be chosen candidate for the very sound reason that she is so much better.

Posted by: johnbsmrk | December 16, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Why did the Washington Post put the Des Moines Register endorsement of Senator Clinton on page 4 instead of page 1? If the Register had endorsed Obama, I think the Post would definitely have put that on page 1. And why isn't anyone in the press reporting on the fact that Oprah's endorsement of Obama does not seem to have moved his poll numbers much at all?

Posted by: lsockett | December 16, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

No surprsise here, We all knew ahead of time the Des Moines Register would play ball with the Clintons as not to be frozen out of access if Hillary wins. And of course McCain is the favorite of dems, but bad for him, he's running for the GOP nomination where their is respect for him but little trust or love.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 16, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Con Crusher: Shrewd? You said Hillary is the shrewdest politician in recent memory.

How can that be? She runs a campaign based on experience and ties to the 90's when the electorate seeks change. She runs as an invinceable pseudo-incumbent, yet finds herself out-raised on the money trail and locked in a three way tie in the Iowa caucuses. She watches the spotlight shift away from her and tries to get it back by Nixonian/Rovian gutter tactics against an opponent. She votes to ratchet up the tension in Iran shortly before the CIA says oops, our bad, they're not really building a nuke.

Oh yeah, she's shrewd and gifted alright, as long as she controls tightly how the script plays out. When it doesn't and she tries to fall back on her 35 years of "experience," her invinceability vanishes and it becomes Amateur Hour. If this isn't a guide to how she will perform as President during crises, I don't know what is.

Posted by: rich5 | December 16, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

response to: (protagoras | December 15, 2007 10:36 PM)

In Hillary's case, much of her experience goes beyond being Senator of NY. Hillary is no librarian - she's been involved in politics since at least Watergate, and took a proactive role while her husband was governor and president. Also, her husband happens to be one of shrewdest politicians in recent memory. I'm guessing they talk politics from time to time. Much of her "experience" is indirect, but experience nevertheless.

Posted by: con_crusher | December 16, 2007 7:01 AM | Report abuse

response to: (nquotes | December 16, 2007 05:15 AM)

I don't see that happening. It will be a squeaker, with her coming in first or second. If she takes second, it will be Edwards, not Obama, who beats her.

Posted by: con_crusher | December 16, 2007 6:55 AM | Report abuse

According to the post, the Register noted: "With dissension at home and distrust abroad..."

For the love of god, it's SNAFU with a Repub in the White House. Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr, and Bush Jr. have been some of the most corrupt and irresponsible American presidents of all time. Once again, a Dem will have to clean up the mess that a Repub's wingnut policies have made. McCain impressed me a few times in the past, but he's obviously too old and has been jaded by his long tenure in the Senate. However, he may be the best that their gay old party has to offer in '08. The Register is also right on the money about Hillary. Hallef'nlujah that she's not as boring as Kerry and Gore. She definitely lacks Obama's charisma, but she also lacks Duhbya's disingenuous demeanor and indolent work ethic. She reads polls too much, as her husband did. But what you see is basically what you get.

Posted by: con_crusher | December 16, 2007 6:52 AM | Report abuse

In hindsight Bill Clinton might be saying Hillary Clinton should've never went to Iowa. The truth of the matter is there's a chance that she might come in third in Iowa and she could've pulled third without even going. A lot of campaign resources were spent there and the image of the perennial frontrunner have been tarnished there as well... http://www.enewsreference.wordpress.com

Posted by: nquotes | December 16, 2007 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Iowans are actually quite smart and well-educated. The state often tops all others in SAT scores, and Iowa City has the highest average IQ in America. So I wouldn't be so quick to write off sports and hog farming.

What I do wonder is whether Iowans might register (ha ha) this endorsement the way western Washingtonians seem too--namely that they'd see it as evidence that Hillary is part of the establishment, and the candidate the establishment wants. And thus mostly vote for someone else. Washingtonians are pretty rebellious politically, but so are most other Americans too. I'm not in Iowa, I've never lived there, and I've never really read the Des Moines Register, so I can't say with much authority. Unless the polls start showing something different (and duly note that caucuses really are harder to poll than primaries), this still seems like a 3-way dead heat. If any candidate has the edge right now, I think it is Obama. He's tied or leading in Iowa, caught up to Hillary in NH, and if the national polls start showing him tied with or ahead of Clinton, O-mentum is going to be the story of the race.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | December 16, 2007 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Bill Richardson has no chance of winning anything here, except, as Saturday Night Live poigiantly satirized, a VP slot.

He's got too many weaknesses anyway; I'd prefer Biden or Dodd over Richardson in a heartbeat.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | December 16, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

freedom41 has a great point. The idea that ANY of the top 3 Democrats has much real experience is ludicrous. Edwards spent one term in the Senate not doing a whole lot, while Hillary has been there 7 years. That's less experience than either Al Gore in 2000 (or 1988 for that matter) or Bill Clinton in 1992. Being First Lady does not count as elected experience. If Democrats *wanted* a nominee with experience, they'd vote for Biden (35 years in the Senate) or Dodd (27 years in the Senate, 6 in the House). Biden has more experience than most of the other Democrats combined.

And even then, a look back at our presidents through history shows that experience level is a poor predictor of performance. Lincoln had served 2 years in the House after a stint in the IL legislature. Teddy Roosevelt was an overhyped Navy Secretary. Nixon had been VP for 8 years and a senator before that. James Buchanan had all the experience you could want and was a terrible president.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | December 16, 2007 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Whom do you trust to end the Iraq war? Candidate A or B.

Candidate A pledges to end the war but has no plan whatsoever to do so. Instead, Candidate A intends to study the issue after taking office. Candidate A relies upon advisers that support the surge and see a U.S. presence in Iraq continuing for a decade. Candidate A refuses to commit to bringing all U.S. troops home by 2013.

Candidate B says as long as U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq reconciliation among the Iraqi factions will not occur. Candidate B pledges to bring all U.S. troops home within one year of taking office and has offered a realistic plan to achieve this. Candidate B is being advised by military and diplomatic experts, including former generals, that have been highly critical of the U.S. intervention in the Iraq and strongly advocate a prompt exit from Iraq.

Candidate A is Hillary Clinton; candidate B is Bill Richardson.

Posted by: shcassidy | December 16, 2007 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone really surprised that the Gannett/DMRegister endorsed HRC? Puh-leeze. They've wined and dined this ed board for months--would love to see how many times a HRC campaign person/HRC herself/Bill visited or called these people.

The DMR has *zero* political clout, or clout in general, in this state. Shoddy journalism is their forte. Their endorsement does not equal caucus goers for HRC--if anything, this will hurt her campaign! People will think, "if the DMR likes her, then there's something wrong--I'll find another candidate!" The only ones to benefit from this endorsement are Obama and Edwards.

Posted by: OceanDog | December 16, 2007 1:08 AM | Report abuse

If I were making the argument for HRC, I would not tout her as "most prepared to LEAD" in a field that includes Biden and Dodd. That is plainly a false claim.

No, I would argue that she is well qualified to SERVE and I would include, as the DMR did, high points in her career to demonstrate her commitment to SERVICE. After all, HRC does have a record of public service, just none as a leader, since Wellesley. I am not mocking DMR's choice - many people admire or revere HRC - I am criticizing DMR's "weak as water" summation.

McCain, on the other hand, has a distinguished record of both service and leadership. As someone has already posted, the DMR had the fortitude to endorse one great American who has no real chance of winning in IA.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2007 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Boston globe endorses obama...Chris forgot to mention that. The most influential NE paper...so much for firewall. Obama didn't have to have the DMR he is surging. She needed the Globe she is dying

Posted by: dsmith2 | December 15, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

The Hillary haters who comment on everything just floor me. Ah well, maybe one day things will change. Good endorsment Rgeister; Clinton, Biden Richardson or Dodd were all possibilities. Since I prefer to offer positive comments about my team, I won't comment on the other candidates. The comments of their supporters speak volumes of themselves, what type of party they want, what type of nominee they would be and what type of defeat they would suffer. Contrary to popular belief, the Republican attack machine won't surrender the White House because the elite, liberal, chattering classes want it back. It has to taken back from them and only a shrewd, tested, political tactician can do that. Hillary, all the best.

Posted by: Carlyle_R | December 15, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

P.S. After I served as Senate Majority Whip Alan Cranston's foreign policy advisor, I worked as a senior advisor for policy planning in the Criminal Division of Janet Reno's Justice Department.

There I won the federal service's highest award as a national security whistleblower by shedding light on how top Reno aides--including the one she had just appointed to "clean up" the Immigration and Naturalization Service--were, according to the Department IG, guilty of "egregious misconduct" and "willful disregard for national security," including trying to arrange fraudulent visas for Russian women, one of whom the seniormost Reno aide (the one supposed to "clean up" the INS) involved the scandal was sleeping with. (http://foi.missouri.edu/whistleblowing/commentary.html).

As they say in Spanish, the fish rots from the head.

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | December 15, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

The Register is stuck in a time warp. Hillary is totally insincere as is Bill. Ask her to explain cattle futures and Whitewater. Obama will be the winner. On the Republican side don't overlook Ron Paul.

Posted by: qualquan | December 15, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

vwcat:

"Six of the seven members are women. So, the Register goes shallow."

Why is that shallow? Because the Regiter didn't pick your candidate, the better public speaker? Are you so shallow?

Posted by: maiapapaya | December 15, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

My, my, my, Sen. Clinton is endorsed by the Register editorial board.

Why are they trying to foist the most ethically challenged candidate on a party still in therapy after eight years of Mr. Clinton, his "bimbo eruptions," sleezy Chinese financial backers and the smelled-to-high-heaven pardon of union-buster Mark Rich? (See http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0212-04.htm).

Did they ask her what roles will her brothers, Tony and Hugh Rodham, play in her administration? Tony helped gain a presidential pardon for a Tennessee couple convicted of bank fraud. Hugh pocketed $400,000 in legal fees after two of his clients were granted last-minute pardons. One, Carlos Vignali Jr., was convicted for transporting 800 pounds of cocaine; and his pardon was granted against the wishes of the Justice Department.

President Jimmy Carter's chief of staff Hamilton Jordan called the Clintons our "First Grifters"?

Why visit this upon us again?

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | December 15, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

This is the worst endorsement ever, and I am disappointed, but not deterred. McCain is the man though. Go Barack!

Posted by: GoHuskies2004 | December 15, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, I believe this endorsement could benefit Obama. The logic is as follows: Clinton is in real trouble in Iowa and nothing is more illustrative of this than Bill Clinton's comments on the Charlie Rose show where he said it would be a "miracle" if she won Iowa, attempting to lower expectations, thus avoiding the Goliath-like fall that will happen if she loses. What the endorsement does is raise the expectations for her yet again, making her potential fall more costly thus making an Obama win even more "momentum-producing." Obviously, an Obama win in Iowa is most important for the momentum that it will provide for him to surge from behind in NH, NV, SC and the super-tuesday states in February. The person who is hurt most by this endorsement is John Edwards who received the endorsement in 2004, whose supporters, if defecting will defect to Obama mostly. Finally, all of this only matters if Obama wins Iowa DESPITE the endorsement. I think he will. His organization is better, his momentum won't be stopped by this endorsement and the Iowa process favors him. The Des Moines Register has influenced the race indeed, just not the way it intended.

Posted by: jeffrob1 | December 15, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm thrilled by the Register's endorsement of HRC. I think she'll be a huge asset for our country.

Posted by: maiapapaya | December 15, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

A disgraceful endorsement! OBAMA/WEBB08!

Posted by: lumi21us | December 15, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

This newspaper is, sure, not ready to lead Iowan people. It was advertised a big number of times that Iowan were and are very much concern with Iraqi war and want USA withdrawal from Iraq even more intensively that other USA states do. However, this newspaper endoeses two the most aggressive warmnogers on both sides.
This newspaper would run out of business in no time, treating its main customers like it did now.

Posted by: aepelbaum | December 15, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

The Register endorsement is meaningless. They have not endorsed a winner in decades. Obama will take Iowa big time. Actually, the Register endorsement did the Obama campaign a favor. The Iowa voters will defy the endorsement. Obama got the bigger endorsement from the Boston Globe.

Posted by: dee1126 | December 15, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I am a female and a Democrat, who thinks the possible return of the Clintons to the White House, will be harmful, not good, for the country. The sight and sound of Bill Clinton before the media promoting his political partner makes my skin crawl. In addition, there does not appear to be a political campaign advisor who could be any more slimy than Clinton's Mark Penn. As far as John McCain goes, I lost all respect for him when he sold all he previous stood for in order to gain favor with the likes of Jerry Falwell and the Christial conservatives. By endorsing Clinton, The Editorial Board of the Register basically endorsed the continuation of political polarization in the Nation's capital and the continuation of the Bush Administration's failed agenda in Iraq by their endorsement of McCain.

Posted by: bringbackimus | December 15, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

OMG! How shallow is this endorsement. Biden would have been outstanding, Obama and Edwards each much better than the ultimate loser. What a waste! How is HRC ready to lead?? She's not Bill. She's Not Bill! She's NOT Bill! Let me be plain - the Republicans are awful, but I will not vote for HRC! Sorry.

Posted by: dab23 | December 15, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

And this is the same editoral board that said four years ago that Edwards' lack of exprience was exactly what was needed at that time, and this was after Iraq and 9/11. I guess the DMS as become part of the Clinton machine. GO OBAMA. OBAMA/WEBB08.

Posted by: lumi21us | December 15, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Looks like they picked a loser. Hillary won't win in Iowa, NH, nor in SC.

Posted by: coolbob | December 15, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama I gaurantee is going to win the Iowa caucus big! This endorsement by the DMS is hopeless for Hillary.

Posted by: lumi21us | December 15, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Lets see Biden has more experience; Obama is charismatic; Edwards is more sincere; and the Register supports Hillary, and pretend she has experience. BS

Iowa will always be known for it's wrestlers and it's hogs, not it's thoughtful newspapers.

Posted by: protagoras | December 15, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

How far we have fallen.

Posted by: slim2 | December 15, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Six of the seven members are women. So, the Register goes shallow.
Besides, when was the last time they picked a winner???
Also, Chris, I notice you failed to mention that the Boston Globe endorsed Obama.
Isn't that just as huge.
I'm surprised the Register is endorsing someone who falls apart like HRC has over one bad debate. Look how her campaign has fallen apart.
Clinton has demonstrated what horrible judgment she has on an ongoing basis.
And, Obama was the one who had to tell her what real leadership is on the tarmac that day.

Posted by: vwcat | December 15, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

how sad for iowans -- and americans -- who REALLY want change. thank god the boston globe got it right: they endorsed barack and mccain.

gee, i guess bill sealed the deal that his wife couldn't. lord knows if he wasn't coming along for the ride, the editorial board would've gone biden or obama. thankfully, they haven't picked a winner in ages. and their argument in support of mrs. clinton are SO ten years ago.

an idiotic decision, bless their hearts ...

Posted by: esles2000 | December 15, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

good analysis CC, but it's Diageo/Hotline, not Hotline/Diageo.

Posted by: iltrovator | December 15, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I understand McCain, but Clinton? I mean, with Joe Biden in the race how could they pretend she has the most experience? Why make an honest but hopeless choice on the republican side (McCain) but a less honest one for the Democrats (Hillary). Unfortunately, CC's political analysis is correct and this will probably help Hillary. It will also probably kill Edwards as a repudiation of its 2004 endorsement (to which I say good riddance).


Posted by: freedom41 | December 15, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

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