Tag Archives: New Hampshire primary

The Infamous Tears

There’s no way you’ve escaped the news that one of the defining moments of the New Hampshire primary centered upon Hillary Clinton getting all misty eyed when asked how she does it all.  New Hampshire resident Pernold Young was the foil for the exchange.  Here are the details from ABC News:

“My question is very personal, how do you do it?” Pernold Young asked, mentioning that Clinton’s hair and appearance always looking perfectly coifed. “How do you, how do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?”

Clinton answered first about having help to do her hair on some days and then went on to get misty talking about the opportunities she’s been given in this country as if she were an immigrant or at least the child of one (oh, wait, that’s the other guy). 

As a feminist, I have to tell you that the whole tears thing and the ensuing hubbub makes me want to tear my not-so-well-coifed hair out.  It is unimaginable to me that we would want to hold up as an ideal the visage of the emotional woman.  And if she can’t handle looking perky everyday, how in the hell is she going to handle the rigors of the Presidency?

Jesse Jackson, Jr. really put things in perspective:

“Those tears also have to be analyzed,” Jackson said. “They have to be looked at very, very carefully in light of Katrina, in light of other things that Mrs. Clinton did not cry for, particularly as we head to South Carolina where 45 percent of African-Americans will participate in the Democratic contest, and they see real hope in Barack Obama.”

Jackson continued: “We saw something very clever in the last week of this campaign … We saw a sensitivity factor, something that Mrs. Clinton has not been able to do with voters that she tried in New Hampshire. Not in response to voters. Not in response to Katrina, not in response to other issues that have devastated the American people — the war in Iraq — we saw tears in response to her appearance. So her appearance brought her to tears, but not Hurricane Katrina.”

So what he’s saying is that Sen. Clinton has not been moved to tears over other issues on the campaign trail such as Katrina or, I’ll extend his point, 9/11, soldiers dying in Iraq, children without health care or unemployment, but she can cry over the strength it takes to power through the campaign trail and remain perfectly coifed and perky. 

Foul!  You’ll cry.  She was really crying over how personal the campaign is to her!  Bollucks.  She picked that line up directly from John Edwards in the previous Saturday night’s debate, word … for … word.  What was personal was how she went from being misty eyed directly into a thinly veiled attack on Barack Obama:

“But some of us are right some and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not. Some of us know what we will do on day one and some of us haven’t really thought that through enough.”

Maybe that bait and switch was what made Pernold Young go out and vote on primary day for Barack Obama and not the misty eyed Clinton.  Certainly, it should make all of us question the real motivation behind the mist.

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New Hampshire Campaign Chairs – Obama v. Clinton

***January 7 UPDATE***:  Thanks to Lonee Hamilton for pointing me to this info from the LA Times.

 Obama aides found themselves on the defensive after Clinton said during Saturday’s debate that Obama’s New Hampshire campaign co-chairman, Jim Demers, is a lobbyist whose clients include pharmaceutical companies. The Clinton campaign kept up the criticism Sunday morning in a teleconference call with reporters, noting that Obama has repeatedly said he does not take money from federal lobbyists or political action committees.

Obama communications director Robert Gibbs said Demers is a state lobbyist and does not do business involving federal legislation or regulation. He said the campaign has drawn a distinction between lobbyists who are registered to work at the state level and those who lobby the federal government.

“A ban on lobbying money and PACs is far from perfect,” Gibbs said. “There is a difference between a college football player and professional football player,” he added.

During the debate, while Clinton referred to Demers, the camera caught Obama shaking his head, saying “not so.”

“He was shaking his head because her implication was that it violated our lobbyist pledge and his role quite clearly does not,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.

**Original Blog**

In the NH Debate last night, Hillary Clinton accused Barack Obama of having a lobbyist for his NH Campaign chair.  This is an issue, of course, because Obama has been clear about not having ties to and being beholden to lobbyists in this campaign.  I decided to dig into the issue.

First, let me say that Hillary attacking Obama over the possibility of having a less-than-ethical NH chair strikes me as a pot-kettle scenario.  Let’s recall that her NH co-chair, Bill Shaheen, resigned in December when he made the ridiculous suggestion to a reporter that Obama might have been a drug dealer. 

Moving on, let’s look at the man Hillary was talking about in the debate, Jim Demers, co-chair of Obama’s NH campaign.  He has a long history as a Democratic politician in his own right.  He’s a former State representative, he ran for the House in 1986 and was a delegate to the Dem convention in 2000. 

Hillary doesn’t care about all of that.  What she cares about is that he run the Demers group.  Yes, the Demers group provides lobbying services.  From their website, here is, in fact the list of all of the services they offer:

Legislative Relations

  • Legislative Monitoring and Analysis
  • Lobbying
  • Grassroots Organization
  • Development and Implementation of Legislative Strategies
  • Position Papers
  • Issue Research
  • Media Relations
  • Online Reporting

Regulatory Relations

  • State and Local Permitting Assistance
  • State Regulation Monitoring and Analysis
  • Regulatory Review Hearings
  • Hearing Representation
  • Online Reporting

Association Management

  • Identity
  • Public Relations
  • Member Recruitment
  • Issue Development
  • Event Planning
  • Membership Communications
  • Administrative Services

Community Relations

  • Coalition Building
  • Community Relations Programs

So, yeah, they lobby.  But they do a whole lot of other things and so has Jim Demers done in his career.  Finally, I’ve read in at least three separate places that Demers is VOLUNTEERING for the campaign, though named, because of his party stature, as a co-chair.

Even though Demers runs the Demers Group, he has clearly put any of that aside for this campaign as he is listed everywhere, except perhaps at Hillary’s attack site, as a “former lobbyist.” 

So which would I rather have?  A former lobbyist who has served his party for 20+ years and volunteers for my campaign or a man who floats unfounded accusations to see if they’ll get traction and then resigns?  I know my choice and my candidate.

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AshPolitics, Barack Obama and the NH Primary

I’ve decided to start a new blog today, AshPolitics.  I’ve been blogging at The Long Vortex for awhile, but that blog was getting personal and I want to spend some time focusing on the ’08 election.  So here we are at AshPolitics, “fired up, ready to go,” as the campaign slogan for Barack Obama goes.

In the interest of disclosure, I will tell you straight away that I am in support of Barack Obama for President.  Certainly, I believe that of all the candidates using the “change” buzzword, he is the one who will actually make it happen in Washington.  But that’s not the only reason, by far, that I support him.  For those of you looking for the substance of his message, let me detail below why, in policy language, I support him.

1.  Education.  As the parent of two young children, I’m concerned about the candidates positions on education.  With a young daughter, I’m interested in how our education system addresses math and science education for girls.  Here is Obama’s issue statement on that:

  • Make Math and Science Education a National Priority:  Obama will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. He will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.
  • OK, so this is not earth shattering language.  The point is that he recognizes this is as an issue and addresses it in his platform.  That’s major to me.  He has great things to say about recruiting, educating, and retaining teachers.  Check out his Education Platform.

    2.  Service.  As a military wife, I understand the importance of serving one’s country.  My husband and I have this dream that, once he retires from his second career (the one he will have after we retire from 23 years of military service this year), and the kids are safely off on their own independent lives, we will put everything we own in storage and join the Peace Corps.  We want to teach our children that service to others is not optional, but mandatory in this world.  Barack Obama has a plan to help us do this:

    Integrate Service into Learning

    • Expand Service-Learning in Our Nation’s Schools: Obama will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year. He will develop national guidelines for service- learning and will give schools better tools both to develop programs and to document student experience. Green Job Corps: Obama will create an energy-focused youth jobs program to provide disadvantaged youth with service opportunities weatherizing buildings and getting practical experience in fast-growing career fields.

    He has more great ideas on how to help people serve others and America, both domestically and world-wide.  Check them out here.

    3.  Foreign Policy.  Let’s face it, our reputation in the world is shot.  Our family knows first hand:  we lived in South Korea from 2003 – 2005.  As a nation, we must repair our relationships with our allies and work very hard on rebuilding the avenues of diplomacy with our current adversaries.  Part of our recent problems have been created by the manipulation of intelligence information for political gain.  Barack Obama has a solution for that problem:

  • Getting Politics out of Intelligence:  Obama would insulate the Director of National Intelligence from political pressure by giving the DNI a fixed term, like the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Obama will seek consistency and integrity at the top of our intelligence community – not just a political ally.
  • Currently, the Director of National Intelligence is a political appointee who reports to the President and serves at his will.  Obama recognizes the danger of such an arrangement and would solve the issue by modelling that position after the position of Fed Chair (remember Alan Greenspan?).  I think this is a fabulous idea.  For more information on Obama’s foreign policy initiatives, read his issue statement

    4.  Reproductive RightsRH Reality Check, Information and Analysis for Reproductive Health  issued a questionnaire to all ’08 Republican and Democratic candidates on sexual and reproductive health rights.  Barack Obama’s campaign staff responded and below are excerpts from their responses, all of which cement my support for him.  Read the entire response here.

    Throughout his career, Senator Obama has consistently championed a woman’s right to choose, earning him 100% ratings from pro-choice groups during his tenure in the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate. In 2005, he was the honorary chair of Planned Parenthood of Chicago Area’s Roe v. Wade celebration.

    And just last year, Obama was the only U.S. Senator who supported a fundraising initiative to defeat a proposed abortion ban in South Dakota. And Senator Obama was the only presidential candidate to weigh in on the controversy surrounding the opening of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Aurora.

    Senator Obama believes that reproductive health care is basic health care. His health care plan will create a new public plan, which will provide coverage of all essential medical services. Reproductive health care is an essential service – just like mental health care and disease management and other preventive services under his plan.

    Under Obama’s health care plan, women will be able to receive coverage of prenatal care under the new public health plan. And participating private insurers will be required to provide the same coverage.

    Obama has proposed a $1.5 billion fund to encourage all fifty states to adopt paid leave programs. Under these programs, women would be entitled to take paid maternity leave.

    Barack Obama shared these issue views and others with the people in Iowa and turned in a staggering win.  He is now moving through New Hampshire with tremendous grass roots support.  If you are in New Hampshire, my first plea is that you vote on January 8.  For information on the primary, a daily calendar of candidates’ events in New Hampshire, etc., visit the official site of The New Hampshire Primary.  My second plea is that you carefully consider the candidates.  Try and go meet as many as you can.  Listen to what they have to say.  If you can’t go see them, go to their websites and read about them.  Be an informed voter.  My final wish is that you strongly consider voting for Barack Obama.  But above all, vote.

    Here’s to an exciting ’08 political season!  Thanks for reading,

    ~ash

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