I know a lot of noise has been made lately of the divisions between the Clintons and Obama, but I’ve always felt that Hillary has been nothing but a team player since she suspended her campaign. Today, she hit the campaign trail for Senator Obama in Nevada. Some money quotes from her appearance, from the AP:
“Anyone who voted for me or caucused for me has so much more in common with Sen. Obama than Sen. McCain,” Clinton told her cheering audience in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson. “Remember who we were fighting for in my campaign.”
She said Friday that “we may have started on two separate paths, but we are on one journey now.” She said her long primary campaign against the Illinois senator showed her “his passion, his determination, his grace and his grit.”
The truth comes out:
John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extra-marital affair with a novice film-maker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today.
Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter’s baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test. Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby’s birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.
According to friends of Hunter, Edwards met her at a New York city bar in 2006. His political action committee later paid her $114,000 to produce campaign website documentaries despite her lack of experience. Edwards said the affair began during the campaign after she was hired. Hunter traveled with Edwards around the country and to Africa. Edwards said his wife, Elizabeth, and others in his family became aware of the affair in 2006.
So he denies being the father based on the timing of the affair. Even if that’s true–and frankly, it’s besides the point–his political career is finished. People who have affairs while their wives are dealing with Cancer are unlikely to be forgiven by the public.
In the context of his presidential run: Given that it was unlikely that this story wasn’t eventually going to see the light of day, you have to wonder why he decided to run for president in the first place since the affair was uncovered by his family in 2006. He didn’t declare his candidacy until December 28th of 2006, well after the time of this affair (I doubt it happened between the 28th and the 31st). That to me is the most perplexing part of this sordid story. In any case, a very sorry situation for all involved.
As to how this could affect Senator Obama, I don’t see how it does in any way. Edwards is not the VP nominee, and he isn’t going to speak at the convention. His endorsement of Obama in Michigan, while nice at the time, has been mostly forgotten. So this will be fodder for the cable talking-heads (conveniently timed as Obama will be on vacation for the next week, giving them something to chatter about), but not much else.
The McCain campaign today has agreed to return $50,000 in donations collected for him from a Jordanian foreign national, Mustafa Abu Naba’a. The McCain fundraising questions started out two days ago, when the Washington Post noticed that a large number of contributions being raised for McCain by Harry Sargeant, a Florida defense contractor, were coming from unlikely places such as an auto mechanic and unregistered voters. Yesterday, the NYT reported that a number of those contributions that Sargeant raised were not raised directly from him, but raised from his Jordanian business partner Mustafa Abu Naba’a. These contributions were raised again from people who were very unlikely sources of donations, including several people who did not intending on supporting McCain for president.
If anyone is interested in reading up on the questions that have been raised about John McCain’s fundraising, I wrote about the issues both at Daily Kos and Strategy 08 in 2 articles: McCain raises questionable contributions from Mechanic, unregistered voters and NYT Raises More Questions About McCain’s Fundraising. They’re both worth a read if you’re interested in reading more about McCain’s questionable fundraising.
Today, the McCain campaign must finally be feeling the heat, because the AP reports that the campaign has agreed to return $50,000 in donations that have been raised by Mustafa Abu Naba’a.
The main crux of these celebrity ads is to diminish Obama’s ability to draw crowds, make him seem like an empty suit, paint him as shallow, etc.
But here’s another thought: what if they’re running these heavily now in order to reduce the convention bump Obama will get? In other words, they want to implant into as many minds as possible the notion that Obama in front of big crowds = just a celebrity. It’s a way to pre-influence millions of people before they watch the big convention during which Obama will accept in front of 75,000 people.
Pre-spin, that’s my theory. Make any sense?
Below is John McCain’s newest spot. I’m not sure if it’s going to be his Olympics ad (will keep you updated), but I will say this: it is damn tough and pretty damn effective at painting Obama as an elitist.
It cries out for a very tough response, perhaps time to point out just how insanely wealthy McCain is. Take a look:
NOTE: I actually would NOT be surprised if he chose to run this tough spot during the Olympics. $6 milliion of this ad will have an extremely negative affect on Obama. Of course the whole thing is a lie and 95% of Americans will get a tax cut under Obama, but it doesn’t matter. He’s trying to box Obama in knowing Obama won’t respond during the Olympics. Let’s not underestimate these guys.]
UPDATE: It’s not an Olympics buy, it’s a battleground state buy, per Politico.
Here is the new ad from the Obama campaign that will be running during the Olympics. The good news? It’s all economy, all-the-time, a positive message that stresses new jobs. Whether it succeeds or not or is strong enough or not, I don’t know, but debate it out.
Transcript after the jump, YouTube coming as soon as it is available (keep me informed if you see it):
Why does MSNBC continue to feature hosts who go out of their way to insult their audience? The amount of “blogger-bashing” that goes on has now crossed the ludicrous level. Last night I was watching Hardball (God knows why) and guest-host Mike Barnicle pulls out this gem:
…if it’s one thing that John McCain has going for him with the average voters in this country, not the bloggers, not the nitwits with computers who blog all day long, it’s his character…
Note to MSNBC: You call yourself the “place for politics.” Many of your shows focus on the minutiae, the tiny ins-and-outs of the political process, the horse-race stuff, the stuff that political junkies are most likely to follow. Bloggers are amongst the most passionate political junkies that exist, and I’d guess that they make a not-insignificant portion of the viewership of MSNBC shows.
Therefore, try really hard not to have hosts who go out of their way to insult your audience (anyone remember Joe Scarborough and the famous “Cheetohs” comment?). And blogging, by the way, has become so mainstream that you have to think it’s encompassing even some “average voters.” What we see here is a journalist who is: (a) hopelessly out-of-touch in the 21st Century and (b) someone feeling very insecure about his job.
One last word: I have a couple of degrees from great schools, I’m married to a wonderful woman and consider myself an intelligent, fun out-going guy. And when I think of the expression “nitwits with computers” these days, it’s not bloggers that leap to mind usually, but the political press.
The Bill Clinton drama has blown up in the Democrats’ faces. It has been the talk of the town, now getting extensive coverage on the nightly news telecasts. Obama, sensing that things were on the brink of getting out of hand, has moved to (partially) resolve the situation:
NBC News has learned that the Obama campaign, in an effort to quiet talk of the Obama-Clinton drama, has offered Bill Clinton a speaking role on Wednesday night at the Democratic convention — before the vice presidential running mate speaks.
Sources say that Clinton in fact will speak.
I doubt this will do much to tamp down the animus between the camps, or the media chatter about it. Frankly, it’s hardly shocking that media took this bait that Clinton served up on a silver platter. Clinton is not even trying to conceal his rage, and notwithstanding Obama’s admirable attempts to smooth things over, as the old saying goes: “It takes two.” It should be very interesting to see how Clinton responds to this gesture. Will he be more generous in his praise than his disastrous statements to ABC? He now has a prime speaking slot during the convention. Will he continue his passive aggressive behavior? If he does, we’ll know that he has no intention of helping Obama win this fall. As such, he should be relegated to the dust bins of history as a solid president who let his personal feelings and lack of self-control tarnish what could have been an excellent legacy.