Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

McCain just as cool as Hillary: Note – she got beat (too?)

On the Senate floor yesterday, Barack Obama made his way to the Republican side of the aisle to offer John McCain a handshake.  McCain, after hesitation, returned the handshake coolly, barely looking at Obama.  Here’s the rundown from The Hill (rec’d via email):

McCain Cool to Obama’s Handshake
by Walter Alarkon

Barack Obama went to greet John McCain on the Senate floor Wednesday during the bailout bill vote, but McCain didn’t seem too pleased to see him.

Obama “crossed over into the Senate’s Republican floor territory and offered an effusive handshake,” reports The Hill’s J. Taylor Rushing. “McCain, who appeared hesitant, accepted it.”
McCain at the time was standing with Sens. Mel Martinez (D-Fla.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), both of whom greeted Obama more warmly.

Others picked up on McCain’s ice cold response.

Though McCain shook Obama’s hand, he did it “with a ‘go away’ look that no one could miss,” reports CQ’s David Nather. “He tried his best not to even look at Obama,” Nather added.

“McCain offered a chilly look and a brief return handshake,” wrote The New York Times’ Carl Hulse.  “While it took Mr. Obama several seconds to make his way over to see his rival, Mr. McCain barely pivoted his body as he took Mr. Obama’s hand for a handshake that lasted just a moment,” according to The Times’s Michael Cooper and Jeff Zeleny. “The eye contact was just as brief.”

This takes me back to Hillary’s snub of Obama just after he began talking about a possible run for President.  From the NY Times:

The relationship began to change, according to several Democrats who are friendly to both senators, when Mr. Obama began musing aloud about a presidential bid. The day he opened his exploratory committee, several Senate observers said, he extended his hand and said hello on the Senate floor. She breezed by him, offering a cool stare.

For right or wrong, the pundits and public began to see Hillary as cold and calculating while they felt that Obama was sincere and caring.  I think we’re finding that the public has the same impression of McCain in this election.  Do I think that how he treats Obama will make or break the election?  Of course not.  But it’s a comparison I found interesting this morning.

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Twenty-two percent? Are you kidding me????

David Gregory, on ‘Race to the White House’ on MSNBC, just flashed up a graphic which showed that 22% of former Hillary Clinton voters are, at this point, committing to McCain.  What???  It’s just inexplicable to me.  The McCain – Palin ticket is vehemently anti-choice.  McCain voted against equal pay for equal work.  It’s just insane.  If you’re one of these former HRC voters who now is committing to McCain, please explain this to me.  Please.

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Clinton gets her roll call

After weeks of negotiation, Obama and Clinton announced in a joint statement today that HRC will get her roll call vote at the Convention.  Obama trotted out the “party unity” excuse and Clinton, for her part, will hear the call, offer her Super Delegate vote for Obama and then release her delegates and call on them to vote for Obama.  All of this smacks of so much of the old politics of which the Obama campaign promised to rid us.  I’m tired of it and actually glad that the credential I will share with other bloggers will be around someone else’s neck that night and I won’t have to witness this debacle on the floor in Denver.  I’ve said before, the Clintons need to go away and let Obama have his moment.  They are, of course, incapable, with their power insatiable personalities, to accomplish this.

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The Clintons need to go away

I’m gonna get into hot water for this post.  But it’s 5 am, CST, I’ve been up for hours, I’m living in a hotel with a four year old and a seven year old, and maybe I’ve lost enough of my mind not to care.  If you see me on the floor in Denver and I try to discuss something with you and you’re an HRC supporter, please talk to me anyway.  I’m really a nice person.  But I’ve just had it with the Clintons.

Let me say that when Bill did his thing (you know what I mean), I defended him.  I loved Bill Clinton.  I loved his Presidency.  My thinking then was that I didn’t give a rat’s ass what he did in his personal life.  That was between him and his wife.  When he lied about it, though, I cared, because that reflected his ethics and I do think those are important for a President.  But I do think that he’s one of the smartest men on the planet (intellectually) and was a fantastic President.

I’ve never been able to stand Hillary, not as a First Lady, not as a Senator.  Why?  Who knows.  I have friends in New York who love her because she’s been a great Senator for them and I have to respect that.  I do think that she is extraordinarily smart and extremely capable.  Were she our party’s nominee, I would have supported her whole heartedly.  I do think she would have made, and maybe someday will make, an excellent President.

But right now, Bill and Hill need to go away.  I am so tired of all of the negotiations, the tip toeing, the figuring out of how to make them happy at the Convention.  I’m tired of the two-step the Obama campaign is having to do to make Bill and Hill satisfied with their roles.  This is his time.  They need to get over it.

I read this morning that Bill is getting speaking time on Wednesday before the Veep speaks.  I’m sure the party faithful will love to hear Bill, but Obama should not have *had* to concede this time to Bill, giving the Clintons more face time at the Convention.  I’m positive that I heard a week or so ago that HRC was not going to submit her name for nomination at the Convention.  Yesterday, however, I read that she’s still not sure and her supporters are still demanding that she does so they can be heard.  Chicks, you’ve been heard loud and clear.  You all need to get over it, too.  If you’re desperate to hear her and spend time with her, there’s an EMILY’s List fundraiser on Tuesday, 8/24 at the Sheraton in Denver and for as little as $50 you can have HRC, Pelosi and Michelle. 

Getting back to Hillary, herself, I’m tired of her non-committal crap.  On a discussion on her website yesterday, she danced around the nomination issue and the VP issue.  Just commit to bowing out, please.  You know that it’s the right thing to do for the party.  You know that the party, for the sake of unity, needs you to simply say that you won’t submit your name.  Then the media can get over this “subterranean grumbling” line (I swear I just heard this on CNN).  Yes, your die hard supporters will be pissed, but, honestly, nothing will ever help them see the light.  As Obama said, “”We’re not talking to those people ….”

This is Obama’s time.  Had Hillary won the nomination, it would be her time and I know that Obama would have had the grace to step aside and let her have it.  Now she needs to do the same.  She gets her night at the Convention to speak and be front and center.  That needs to be the end of it.

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Hillary’s role in this election

Do yourself a favor and go over to Alternet.org and read this piece by Matt Taibbi:

Hillary’s Pivotal Role:  Help Obama or Let Him Twist in the Wind

Matt makes the same points I would make, so there’s no need for me to write my own post.  And he’s probably a better writer, anyway. 

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BuzzFlash Editor’s Blog

Today, I’m sending you over to BuzzFlash to read yesterday’s Editor’s Blog.  There’s a very good discussion there on the current climate in the Clinton campaign, the tactics coming out of that campaign, the issues facing feminists in this election, and the decisions we, as Americans, need to make about what kind of politics we want to engage in in 21st century America.  Check it out:

BuzzFlash Editor’s Blog, Sunday, February 24

Thanks to Curtis Walker for pointing this one out to me.

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On Patriotism and the First Amendment

I’ve been off grid for a week, vacationing in the land of Mickey and sunshine.  Returning to the frozen northeast, I find that the political world is turning its myopic brain back to the issue of patriotism as related to Barack Obama and his non-flag-pin-wearing-self.  In an AP article this morning, the question of Obama’s patriotism is once again front and center.  I say, “once again,” because this nonsense was bantered about last summer when Obama was “caught” without his hand over his heart during the Star Spangled Banner.  Oops.  As usual, folks got the story wrong and began spreading the rumor that he didn’t put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance.  And then came the flag pin flap.  

I think it’s useful for us to have a bit of a civics lesson.  First, the Star Spangled Banner.  According to The Code for the National Anthem of the United State of America, adopted by the National Anthem Committee in 1942, “the audience will stand facing the flag or the leader in an attitude of respectful attention.”  There is no mention of placing one’s hand over one’s heart.  Yes, it’s customary.  No, it’s not required, but I’m sure you’ll never catch him singing the National Anthem without his hand over his heart again. 

Moving on the the Pledge.  Did you know that it was originally written for a children’s magazine in 1892?  It has gone through several revisions through the years, including the addition of “under God” in 1954.  The form of salute has changed through the years, as well, from an outstretched arm with right palm up (which was way too Hitler like) to the now customary right hand over heart salute.  Barack Obama is clear that he always puts his hand over his heart for the Pledge, whether at school as a boy or leading the Pledge in the Senate.

As of 1940, school children have been compelled to recite the Pledge in school, even if it is against their religion (i.e. Jehovah’s Witnesses).  There is currently a frightening move in Congress to pass legislation, called the Pledge Protection Act, which would strip the judicial branch of “jurisdiction of Federal courts over certain cases and controversies involving the Pledge of Allegiance.”  In other words, folks would no longer be able to sue to retain their right under the first amendment to not say the Pledge in school.   

There is another assault on the first amendment underway regarding the flag.  The first amendment, of course, ensures our freedom of speech.  That freedom allows people to burn our flag.  Oooh, did I make you mad there?  I’m not a proponent of flag burning or desecration, but it is vital that we protect that freedom under the first amendment. 

Year after year, folks in Congress try to pass laws to ban flag burning and desecration, almost strictly for some perceived political gain.  In fact, in 2005, while preparing for her presidential bid, Sen. Hillary Clinton co-sponsored a bill with Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah that would make flag burning illegal.  In order to do this, they have to amend the Constitution.  Anyone who has read my previous posts knows how I feel about folks mucking about in my Constitution.  If you’re going to mess about with my Constitution, it should only be to guarantee more freedoms, not take them away.  Constitutional changes should be for things like prohibiting slavery (Amendment XIII) or giving women the right to vote (Amendment XIX).  Or for grand Democratic procedural issues like presidential term limits (Amendment XXII).  Sen. Obama, who has taught the Constitution, issued this statement , in part, on the flag burning amendment:

“But we live in a country of laws. Laws are what stop people from resorting to physical violence to settle disagreements, and laws are what protect free speech. And when I became a Senator, I swore an oath to protect the Constitution. Under that oath, my first allegiance is not to a political party, or to an ideology, or to a president, or even to popular opinion, but to the Constitution and to the rule of law.

“The Framers made it difficult to amend the Constitution because our founding document should not be changed just because of political concerns or temporary problems. And even the strongest supporters of this amendment are hard-pressed to find more than a few instances of flag burning each year. Those problems were left to be solved through legislation, and I support legislation introduced by Senator Durbin that makes it illegal to burn the flag without changing the Constitution. The Constitution has only been amended 27 times. These amendments include guarantees of our most basic freedoms, the freedom of religion, the right to a trial by jury, the protection against cruel punishment.

“Today, there are hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops risking their lives for their country, looking to us to come up with a plan to win the peace so they can come home. Across America, there are millions who are looking for us to do something about health care, about education, about energy. The Senate will likely be in session for about 50 more days for the rest of this year. To spend the precious time we have left battling an epidemic of flag burning that does not exist is a disservice to our country.

“As Richard Savage of Bloomington, Illinois wrote to me, “I am a Vietnam veteran and Republican. . . . Those who would burn the flag destroy the symbol of freedom, but amending the Constitution would destroy part of freedom itself.” Mr. Savage is right, which is why I will vote against this amendment. Senator Durbin’s amendment is a way forward to balance our respect for the flag with reverence for the Constitution.”

Putting aside the fundamental problems I have with amending the Constitution for this issue, let’s look at what this would actually mean.  Even according to the current state laws on the books regarding the use of the flag, hundreds of people should be arrested, fined and even jailed for their improper use of the flag.  Car dealers who use the flag on their literature are breaking the law.  Political parties who use the flag on their letterheads are breaking the law.  Ordinary citizens who wear flag bathings suits, use flag bandanas, have flag doormats are breaking the laws of many states.  No one, however, is arrested, except in the very rare, nightly news making instance when they take flame and burn the flag in extreme protest over something.  Their arrests, and the state laws on the books, are, however, unconstitutional in the face of the first amendment.  If, however, we change the constitution to make flag desecration illegal, the police could come into your home and arrest you on July 4 for using flag napkins.  They won’t, of course, but then we’ll be walking down the slippery path of selective enforcement and I can’t imagine anyone wanting that. 

We don’t want folks to burn the flag in protest.  On the opposite extreme, we get really, really pissed if a politician doesn’t wear the flag pin.  I’m not going to argue this one on behalf of Barack Obama.  Let me just show you a couple of pictures.

This is Hillary Clinton as she announces her candidacy for the presidency via the web.  Do you see a flag pin?  I don’t.  Seems like a pretty important occasion. 

Watch the Speech

This is a picture from the front page of John McCain’s website.  Do you see a flag pin?  I don’t.  Seems like a pretty prominent place to have your picture.

So when is it appropriate to wear a flag pin and when isn’t it?  What are the rules?  Do you only wear one on TV?  Do you only wear one in red states?  Do you only wear one in front of military audiences?  Barack Obama is clear:  he doesn’t wear a flag pin as a stand in symbol of his patriotism.  He is a patriot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and he doesn’t need a pin to prove it.

We get really worked up in this country over perceived patriotism.  Perhaps there can be no greater show of patriotism than joining in the democratic process and running for office.  Deciding to sacrifice one’s life for politics, to put one’s family under a microscope, to have one’s every move dissected in the hope of helping our country make the changes and enact the laws and policies that will help us remain the strongest democracy on earth is, perhaps, the strongest evidence of patriotism one can ever hope to offer.

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