Obama on Hillary’s “Bitter” Politicking

The same pattern has repeated itself throughout the primary campaign: Hillary’s people look for whatever they think they can hit Obama over the head with, no matter how logically suspect it is, no matter how weak an argument it amounts to, no matter how hypocritical it makes them. Their attitude appears to be: You can’t go wrong by underestimating the intelligence of the American electorate.

Obama’s approach has been the exact opposite. Like in this speech:

Barring a catastrophe for the Democratic Party, Obama will be the nominee. Barring a catastrophe for the country, he’ll be the next president. And you know what? He deserves it. Not because of any sort of entitlement rooted in race, or gender, or personal history. Not because he’s willing to say anything, do anything, to get elected. Not because he’s been bought and paid for by monied interests used to getting their way in Washington.

That’s why Hillary and McCain think they deserve it. Obama deserves it for a very different reason: because he’s earned it. He’s earned it by the way he has conducted himself in office and during the campaign, by the things he’s said and the actions he’s taken. He’s earned it by being, hands down, the best choice to lead the country. Not based on identity politics. Not based on who he is, but on what he has done.

In that sense, as I’ve said before, Obama is the anti-Bush. If there’s anything I’ve seen happen over and over again in this country’s presidential politics, it’s that when the nation is confronted by the failings of a particular kind of president, we will lurch in the opposite direction. The venality of Nixon gave way to the moralizing of Jimmy Carter. The hand-wringing of Carter gave way to the optimism of Reagan. The out-of-touch George H.W. Bush gave way to the feel-your-pain Clinton.

I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the national revulsion at the failings of George W. Bush. And Obama, in every conceivable sense, embodies the opposite of those failings. George W. Bush won the presidency because of who he was, in spite of what he’d done. Obama will win because of what he’s done, in spite of who he is.

16 Responses to “Obama on Hillary’s “Bitter” Politicking”

  1. yian Says:

    well said!

  2. enkidu Says:

    and he has said it before:

    If you aren’t unhappy with the state of the union, you are either a radical rwnj or you haven’t been paying attention. If you aren’t (just a little bit) bitter, you must be a 28%er.

    All R’s have any more is the wedge issues of Guns, Gawd and Gays (add some anti-abortion violence and there you have conservative Duhmurkuh).

  3. knarlyknight Says:

    Maybe the past eight years have been good for something then Enk, it has allowed people (all but the 28%ers) to clearly see that the simplistic rwnj policies lead to failure. Much like any dogma. Hopefully it will not be repeated again in my lifetime or in any of our children’s children’s lives.

  4. knarlyknight Says:

    Unless of course it is too late, sounds like the damage has been done and the “blowback” is set to braoden exponentially:

  5. knarlyknight Says:

    … broaden

  6. enkidu Says:


    talk about out of touch

  7. knarlyknight Says:

    Yuck, Enkidu that was gross. The hug says it all. Not an awkward manly hug, not a love hug, not a showing off for the crowd hug, no… it looks to me like an “I miss my mommy but Georgie you can be my mommy!” hug. Pathetic.

    Here’s something I’d like to share about the MSM coverage in general and on Obama in particular: http://www.commondreams.org:80/archive/2008/04/15/8300/

  8. Cassandra Says:

    Look, I think that Obama, has handled, each, and every question, extremly well. He has not, simply left a question un-answered, but what some of our brains, tend to do, is, un-think. Our brains seem to shut down. They act like…. umm, that T.V. show on M.T.V….. You all know the one
    “Pop-Up Video’s.” So are we truely going to allow the media to continue to dictate our thoughts. Or are we going to get caught up in the word game?
    Now I would like to know why, it’s so hard for a us to understand how Obama can embarce someone who is unsavory. Now I think that it goes to show just how strong his faith is. Because he was able to not judge these people because of what they had done about 40yrs. ago.
    Now I think that if you want change then you must accept change. We need to speak out more about the way that things are being done in the United States. How can we considerl our selves United, when we act devided. It truely breaks may heart to know that “The Constitution” that reads…… (We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of American.) Should start like this “We the media in order…….
    The Fox news media team has been in my view really one sided. Now Every since they caught wind that Obama was in the lead they have been doing everything with in the power to bring him down. Now on the debate, 04-16-2008 they haven’t covered what his statement was, When he was asked “How he’d handle Mc Cain if he was the democratical canidate. Now he said that “he is looking forward to being questioned by Mc Cain, on any topic.” But do you think that the FOX Lamo Channal would show that clip……. No way. They want use to think that he’s incapable of handling himself.
    It’s up to us, to snap back, at the so called, “Fair and Balanced” Fox New So called Head Quaters.”
    I do appologise for the lenth of this comment. But I felt that these are things that needed to be brought out.

  9. enkidu Says:

    turns out that Ayers fella has a blog


    by way of the excellent video blog Crooks & Liars

    And for the record, I have not done enough to end the Iraq War. I won’t condone violent protest, but the freewayblogger is my inspiration and guide.

  10. shcb Says:


    What on earth would make you think the constitution was written to provide political harmony? Just the opposite is true. The constitution provides protection for all sides to have a voice. Would you like it if everyone got along just fine after being forced to agree with Rush Limbaugh? Of course not, you want everyone to get along by having the same opinion as you. That just isn’t going to happen in a democracy, and it shouldn’t. The reason for the word “united” in United States isn’t because we all think exactly alike, to the contrary. The founders envisioned 13, expanding to 50 individual governments writing their own laws and governing themselves, forming together for a few specific purposes, principally defense and treaties. That is the “united” part.

    The balance of the press is between Fox on the slightly right (2 million viewers) and CBS, NBC, ABC on the slightly left (30 million viewers). No one is unbiased, even Mother Theresa had her biases. You are at least going to Fox news on occasion so you are getting both sides of the story, then it’s up to you to form an opinion based on those opinions. The only thing you should demand is that the facts presented are true. The way those facts are presented will be biased, it is up to you to be informed enough to recognize those biases.

    So why is Ayres so important? Because a pattern is developing with Obama. It is a pattern that if not anti American he is surely not pro American. Voters have a right to know, then they can make their decisions based on what they know. Take three Democrats, one may be a retired veteran that is proud of his country and proud of his service. Obama has freely associated with people who have made anti American statement like Ayres, his Pastor and his wife, and in the case of Ayres, actually bombing government buildings, to this old vet he may switch his support to Hillary because of these relationships. A moderately militant black woman may have been leaning toward Hillary because she is a woman, but the anti Americanism coupled with Obama’s statements that he places a high priority on Africa’s interests may sway her to Obama. Same set of facts. A poor single mother of any race may not give a hoot one way or the other, she is going to vote for Obama because he is going to increase here Earned Income Tax Credit and Hillary isn’t. So Fox gives its spin, CBS et al give theirs National Review and the Huffington Post join in from farther to the left and right and you make your own personal decision just like the vet, the black woman and the single mom. It’s called freedom.

    So don’t blame Fox News, they are just doing their job. They report things the liberal media glosses over or doesn’t find newsworthy and ABC does the same with news Fox undersells.

  11. knarlyknight Says:

    Good post, I like your ideas about the US states union etc. Even if I tend to disagree in some aspects, overall I recognize your depth of knowledge about the topic. So thanks for the post, it is good food for my thoughts.

    Now, to quibble: you asked why in the world would Cassandra think the constitution was intended to promote harmony? Since I can’t speak for Cassandra, I’d like to answer as to why in the world I would think the constitution was intended to promote harmony.

    It’s because that’s what civilized people do, they look to laws and structures as a means of promoting a peaceful and constructive co-existence that ultimately is of the greatest benefit to the collective union.

    Beasts and partisian fools look to the same structures as “rules of engagement” or procedures to be stretched to the max for individual (state) gain. That results in sub-optimal result for the whole.

    Just an opinion.

    Another opinion is that if you think Fox news is “a little” right wing then it is terrifying to consider what you think is “a moderate” right wing. Slightly more right wing than Fox would be plantation owners with slaves. Or is that an economic model promoted by Fox?

    Unrelated to this thread but appropos to eons of Lies.com discussions:

    The Pentagon’s premier military educational institute realizes that Enkidu has been 100% right about the Iraq War all along! They also realize now that the right wing nut jobs running this American administration are complete idiots. I think Bush’s 28% grasp might still have room to slip further, assuming that his remaining supporters can read.


  12. shcb Says:


    Civilized pacts like our constitution provide for civil discussions and debates, it’s not appropriate to pummel your opponent or shoot him in the knee because you feel 34% is a more appropriate marginal tax rate than 39%. But debate and competition are extremely important if you want to advance an organization. Whether that be a company, a country or an entire civilization. An old boss of mine was North American VP of a Swedish owned country at one point. He said they just don’t fight or raise their voices or even disagree in meetings, and nothing gets done. Years go by and the same problems exist because no one wants to make waves.

    Moderate right wing would be say National Review, the Heritage Foundation that type of thing, on about the equal left would be the Brooking Institute and the Huffington post, Huffington is probably more left than NR and Heritage is more right than Brookings but only by small degrees. Fox really isn’t that far right you are just coming from a far enough left perspective that you see the big three as slightly right I’m guessing. When they are really left of center by a scoach with CBS being the farthest left of the three. The BBC and CBC are farther left that at least ABC and NBC maybe on par with CBS.

    I like people like Cassandra who want to learn and are willing to voice their opinions. It seems from her comments she is just starting her quest of political knowledge, we’ve all been there, it’s a lifelong journey, but one worth taking. When I first read her post I thought ‘she’s reciting the Declaration of Independence not the Constitution’ just goes to show you, even old fools can still be fools.

  13. knarlyknight Says:

    Okay, I agree with all that. Except your Swedish VP is just an anecdotal story, it seems to me the Swede’s are doing pretty well and have always worked pretty well together. They got a good standard of living, and that applies to Stockholme’s inner city maintenance worker as well as Swiss Bank directors. The same can’t be said about a Washington maintenance worker who may not afford decent health care compared to say a lobbyist.

    Seems to me there is lots and lots of competition in life, it is basic human nature to want to be seen as useful, competent and more valuable than the next guy: even in a very socialist system. My first experience moving from rightwing Alberta, where I lived worked and breathed a fiercely independent and competitive environment, to the coasat to work in a labour Union environment, in government no less, was a big eye opener. At first I couldn’t beleive the sloth like mentalities out here. Then, over time I began to recognize that there was a certain wisdom inherent in such system.

    Which is better? I wouldn’t advocate for either. The best I’ve seen is when there are elements of both, playing against each other so there is some tension. But not so much competition that people are either scared to death of making mistakes and getting wiped out or so focused on the incredible prize to be won this Quarter or next that they lose sight of longer term objectives, their personal values, and their responsibility as a human being to better the society in which they belong and improve the natural world for their children, their children’s children, etc. Oh, also that they don’t forget to feed and walk their dog. That’s important too.

  14. shcb Says:

    There has to be some balance of course, the legislator knee capping the other in my example would think great progress was being made my his actions, but of course in the big picture huge strides in reverse would have been made. From our conversations it is apparent you are not a leader, I’m not either by the way, so you are probably more comfortable in a less competitive atmosphere. You obviously still have a competitive streak left or you wouldn’t come back day after day to spar with me. But when you institutionalize what you did voluntarily, moving to a place, whether that be a new job or geographically to find the balance that fits your personality the whole society is slowed, the question is how slow makes sense. Back to Cassandra’s government. This is one of the reasons our constitution is written the way it is, there are places where the process is so painfully slow because they wanted a lot of discussion and deliberation, civil but spirited discussion, there are other areas, like the president being commander and chief where they realized discussion would be detrimental and gave more power to just one man. Then there are middle of the road cases like judge selection, the House is completely eliminated from that process. These were no accidents.

    So Cassandra, we have taken over the thread again. What say you?

  15. knarlyknight Says:

    We probably bored her to death.

    Back to Obama’s decency, is this statement correct?

    Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, “Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for ‘spiritual counseling?’ THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!”

    But no, Obama won’t throw that at her. It wouldn’t be right. It wouldn’t be decent. She’s been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.

    from: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=225

  16. shcb Says:

    I just looked into it for a couple minutes but it looks like Wright was involved in a large luncheon of ministers that Bill Clinton addressed and asked forgiveness. Did Bill and Hillary bring him to the White House for spiritual guidance, well yes with a hundred of new best friends, is there a picture with Bill at the meet and greet, yes. I didn’t really see anything that would lead me to believe Wright was their spiritual advisor on a one on one basis which is what MM is insinuating here, but that is par for the course for MM. I could be wrong, I didn’t spend a lot of time on it.

    But of course Hillary is going to use every advantage. Right now the press is on Obama’s side and he is winning so it is easy to hold high ethical standards, we’ll see what happens if he starts to loose, because the press will drop him like a hot potato if he sinks below the 50% mark.

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