Is Hillary trying to force her way onto Team Obama?

Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) reaches for a sign to autograph after she spoke in Cheyenne, Wyoming March 7, 2008. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)


Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., speaks at a town hall meeting in Casper, Wyo., Friday, March 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


The Hillster has been kicking around the “unity ticket” gator bait to the press a lot lately and The Snob is all, “What the hell is this about?

From Crooks and Liars:

At first I thought she was just pulling a mind fuck on the press and the Obama camp, but since she keeps jabber-jawing about it I’m starting to think this is part of a hostile take over of Team Obama.

This isn’t dissimilar to what Microsoft was trying to do to Yahoo. Microsoft wants the smaller web search engine because it’s a distant number two to Google and MSN is crap. I have a Hotmail account and I STILL don’t use the thing. When Yahoo said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” Microsoft went public in its desires and started making moves for a hostile takeover. Google even stepped in to defend it’s tiny competitor (mostly to cover their own ass, but hey, Yahoo wasn’t complaining).

I’m starting to think that Hillary is pulling a Microsoft to Obama’s iMac.

From Crooks and Liars:

Hillary Clinton gets asked about the possibility of a ticket with Barack Obama with some regularity, and has, for many months now, ably dodged the questions. On Wednesday, she raised eyebrows, however, by straying from the script — asked on CBS about running with Obama, Clinton said, “That may be where this is headed, but of course we have to decide who is on the top of ticket. I think that the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me.”

It was possible that Clinton just spoke her mind without any real forethought. This strikes me as highly unlikely — Clinton is probably the most disciplined presidential candidate I’ve ever seen — but it was early in the morning and maybe she slipped.

She’s doing the, “We’re equals, we’re the same” tap dance. People like us. I want to be president, you want to be president. If you’re the ticket I’m riding your back. Put me on the team.

Why would Hillary do this? One, she will not accept sitting on the sidelines watching someone who’s not her run for president. She’s getting back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue one way or another. She cannot quietly retire from the limelight, so she’s trying to play both ends. She’s being aggressive to snag the nomination by forcing Obama to screw up while at the same time putting all this public pressure on Obama to consider a unity ticket if her efforts fail.

And it’s just sick enough to work if Obama doesn’t watch his back.

A lot of people want a unity ticket. Mama Snob, a Clinton apologizer, wants a unity ticket. Every time Hillary puts that olive branch of audacity out there she is raising the hopes of boat loads of voters in the middle of the Clinton-Obama divide who want to see this “Nightmare Team” pairing. She is going to keep playing this up so if Obama is the nominee there will be outside pressure to pick her or face the groaning of thousands of voters whose dream team dreams will be crushed.

Basically, she’s trying to blackmail her way onto the ticket. Obama has to call her bluff. She needs him more than he needs her. He can’t afford to be buffaloed by her manipulation of reality. She will point to the “illusion of weakness” in the Obama Camp, but it is a facade. The band will march on without her. She’s not necessary and in some ways might bring an Obama ticket down.

Or she might be a team player. You can never know with Hillary’s bipolarity. She might be the perfect running mate. Or she might be the running mate from hell. Either way, she’s playing a game that she has a good chance of winning if Obama can’t make up that learning curve on his political team.

The Samantha Power situation was the perfect example of Hillary buffaloing Obama. There was no f-ing reason why Power had to resign. She called Hillary “a monster,” so the fuck what? Tina Fey called her a “bitch” and she went on Saturday Night Live. Clinton’s subordinates have been all over the place on Obama, running off the reservation, comparing Obama’s team to, of all people, Ken Starr, the Whitewater prosecutor who dogged her and her husband in the 1990s. But Brier Hillary is the brier patch acting like she’s getting pricked when in reality she’s exactly where she wants to be.

She is playing the same game Republicans pull on Democrats all the time, mock outrage. She is using the cudgel of “You promised a clean campaign” Obama, when her campaign is dirty as hell. Someone needs to call her on her brier patch hollering, but so far the Obama camp has reacted the way Democrats usually do. He accepted Power’s resignation, even though she was a volunteer, and quietly tried to squash the whole thing. But Hillary is going to pimp his mock outrage for all its worth.

My favorite example of “mock outrage” at a Carson City Council meeting:

This is EXACTLY what Hillary is doing, but only with words. Oh my God! Obama is attacking me! How dare he! Oh the humanity! And the press can’t help but look. She’s Hillary fucking Clinton. They don’t know how to not look. Obama and his subordinates need to call her on this shit because it’s getting ri-goddamn-diculous.

Obama promised to run a campaign devoid of mal
icious smears and dirty tactics. He didn’t promise to not defend himself. He needs to pull a Dramatics and tell her to get the hell off his mountain.

My Rhapsody Playlist

I mean, he needs to tell her, politely, to fuck off. She will continue to pull this shit as long as Obama lets her. He needs to tell the press who’s the front runner, who’s the star, who is running this show. He is the commander of this ship and he can’t afford to be pirated by the pantsuit of doom. He’s got to call her more aggressively on these bluffs and not get sucked into her “Alice in Wonderland” world where up is down, left is right and lies are the truth. If he gets caught up in her whirlwind of prevarication he will fail. Obama’s strong suit is not cloak and dagger. His is the high road and the “finger of shame.”

Bill Clinton was good at he finger of shame. He needs to start laying some guilt trips on people for their comical and embarrassing attempts at tripping him up. He has to continue to be cooler than cooler and play off Hillary’s hostile takeover as sophomore hijinks. He has to be unaffected and charming. But if he takes every wail of hers seriously he will be in trouble. Hillary’s at her best when she can play the victim. Obama needs to remind people that you can’t be a victim when you have all the money and all the fame and you’re still failing.

8 thoughts on “Is Hillary trying to force her way onto Team Obama?

  1. The democratic party should step in and put a stop to the praise and elevation of a Republican candidate and the tearing down of a democratic candidate by Hillary. She is trying to make Obama damaged goods and at the expense of handing the election to the Republicans if need be. She has obviously decided that even if Obama is the nominee, she will work hard for him to lose by writing the Republican playbook for them, taking the heat for it, because she has calculated that the Republicans won’t do it themselves. Then she can run again in 2012. It’s 3AM, the phone is ringing, this calls for the kind of experience that only the Clintons have to offer, as their record has shown, time and time again, it is a crisis, it is Monica Lewinsky on the phone, good thing Hillary has the judgement to react in these kind of emergency crisis situations since she has the experience to deal with these type of crisis.

  2. TBS: A perceptive and comprehesive analysis, once again. There is no denying that HRC has run a very tough campaign. I think she’s furious that she’s pretty far adrift of a candidate she thought would be no problem. Obama, too, has be very tough at times. It’s hardly his fault that he checkmated her and Bill on race before South Carolina. I’d call that smart politics are the crucial time. The ideological distance is so small between Clinton and Obama, and in some senses among those two and McCain, and the stakes are quite a bit lower than anyone thinks. Naturally, the level of the discourse is commensurately weird. I BELIEVE there is a pretty big gulf actually between either HRC or BHO and McCave but the press won’t tell the truth about McCain’s record. They’re too into the “maverick” story.Welcome to professional football.It’s hardly Obama’s fault for picking the right consultant in David Axelrod to help plan strategy and tactics. Clinton bollixed this choice badly by picking Mark Penn. At LEAST she didn’t choose Bob Shrum. If it were me as Clinton I would have picked either Carville or Jim Dean, unless the latter’s brother being national party chairman would be disqualified on conflict-of-interest grounds. And if Carville didn’t want it, I’d have chosen Paul Begala. Her campaign was always going to be interwoven with Bill Clinton’s presidency so why not take Carville or Begala? Guys like Mark Penn have too many other corporate interests to do this job effectively.Hence, Clinton’s under-performing a huge advantage and Obama’s way over-performing. Clinton hasn’t made too many errors per se but Penn could not let her take Obama out in Novermber and December of 2007 because in order for her to just erase him, she would have had to offend all of Mark Penn’s corporate clients and her own corporate support. She could have eliminated Obama then by running ultra hard to Obama’s left. Instead, she sat back on her 20% lead and figured at worst she could try to run hard to Obama’s right, as she’s doing now.Hindsight’s perfect but how does she not see that she was only +20 because she had the huge African-American lead at the time? How does she NOT on November 16, 2007 begin making the case that she is the DEMOCRAT and Obama is a REPUBLICAN? She’s got to hit him hard right then following the Karl Rove strategy: attack Obama’s strengths. She’s got to hit him where he’s strongest. She has to make him seem not like a “muslim” but like a Fundamentalist Christian Extremist. That’s an Obama strength! Why do you think Obama kills all these small rurual states? She’s got to hit him then and there on this “non-partisan” thing, which has also been a selling-point. Also, she got to jam him up on hot-button social issues he’s avoided on purpose, cleverly: gay rights, women’s rights, contraception, abortion, separation-of-church-and-state, criminal justice, NAFTA, labor, and on “national security” she’s got to get THEM both committed to WHAT OBAMA SAID in the 2nd debate about talking with “enemies,” and all the core Democratic issues. She’s got to follow up on Jesse Jackson, Sr., and question why Obama seemed to favor the prosecution in the Jena 6 case. She (not Bill) has to make Obama seem like MORE a Bush-loving war advocate than she is or he really is. She’s got to hit him on the “streets of Chicago” thing and drag Rezko in it. She absolute cannot let that go. She’s got to make it clear that Obama was never dis-advantaged and if Obama handles the Rezko thing way better then he did recently, she’s got to say “Barack, believe me, I understamd. We politicians all need mentors who know the ropes. It’s an unfortunate thing and maybe with proper campaign finace reform we can make it easier for all up-and-coming politician younger than us.”Her negatives will away be high so, what’s the difference? She knows where the floor and ceiling are.Basically, she has to get Obama stuck between her and the as-of-then unnamed Republican and get him to give a variation on a pretty embarrassing thing Michael Jordan said when asked by his college coach Dean Smith why Jordan wasn’t campaigning with Gantt against Jesse Helms: “Because Republicans buy sneakers, too, coach.” Bingo. Obama campaign over.But she didn’t. She ran her campaign which, to be fair, had been mellow in style in her NY efforts and in the campaign for the nomination until recently. Or mabye not so mellow. She or an aide had Bob Kerrey do that stupid Barack “Huusein” Obama crap and Billy Shaheen drag out the ridiculous drug thing when anyone with half a brain knows that Clinton has been more involved with that than Obama has.I can’t criticize her too much because it’s very hard for a candidate to have such a huge summer and fall and then switch immediately to a style that’s not really hers but…….a combination of not thinking that she’d need to get LEFT of Obama and doing nothing along with Obama’s own emerging skills, has allowed him to hold together the strangest coalition I have ever seen in American politics. He’s got a good piece of everything from the Republican Right to the Democratic Left, the students, the Independents, the wealthy, and an African-American electore in toto which he only figured to win 60-40.I’ve got money on Clinton and I was beside myself pissed off when that 3AM commercial showed up. It was ridiculous. Again, beside myself when she praised McCain. Didn’t she learn anything from watching her own excellent performance in the November 15 debate? She pounded Obama so badly because Kucinich had stated quite early in the debate that he didn’t understand the Obama worship in the press and the attacks on Clinton because from his point of view they were the same and both too conservative for his tastes.Didn’t she learn anything from what has transpired since?If she keeps attacking Obama on national security and on his “middle name” or god knows what, she’s going to turn those into stregnths, too. I’m straight but I took Obama’s homophobic remarks as personally offensive. I’m Jewish but I took Clinton’s surrogates’ anti-Muslim remarks as personally offensive, as well as that whole line of attack. And I think it’s quite rich coming from the candidate with the “dovish” Iraq PLAN. It’s not my fight anymore — exit polls show Balbina Herrera winning ’09 PRD leadership btw — and I was never a conventional guy when I lived in the states but I’m perfectly comfortable in a gay or Muslim crowd but rather uncomfortable in a Fundamentalist Christian or hawkish imperialist crowd. And, yes TBS, I agree with you. This is not the “Dream Ticket”. If they can’t be real a lady and gentleman about this and get to some point where they LIKE each other, there’s no point having them as a ticket for political reasons which might not even be valid. Better either pick a person he or she is comfortable with.

  3. Kelso: In SC, the only thing I thought was overblown was the LBJ/MLK thing, because I immediately took it that she was trying to point out why it’s important who is president. A president can be the difference between neglect and action. LBJ had pushed Kennedy to act on Civil Rights legislation and LBJ worked with Dr. King on the legislation. Then LBJ forced it through Congress and signed it into law.It just seemed silly. A lot of people played roles in the Civil Rights Movement. It was a team effort. But I know that I was in the minority in that position. Everyone else was so up in arms.The “Jesse Jackson” comment, though fair game politically, was more flagrant in pissing folks off. I understood why people felt insulted over that one as Bill was equating Jackson less plausible bid with Obama’s more competitive one.I think both sides are extra sensitive and prickly. There’s a lot of sexist/racist invective being slung around, which is crazy for a party known for its diverse inclusion. I’m almost positive that both camps are milking any “offensive” material and pimping it to their favor. Most of it’s just so petty though in comparison to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Blind Hillary Hatred for Sexists Assholes Show, and the right wing’s love for screaming “Hussein” out like coincidences are indictments.If the worst the GOP can come up with in the fall is “No Girlz Allowed” signs and “LBJ singlehandedly saved the Civil Rights Movement” this thing will be a cakewalk.But I’m pretty sure they can come up with something far more damaging than that.David Axelrod has done far better than Mark Penn. I think he bares some blame along with both Clintons for that fiasco in South Carolina and other incidents before that which seemed beyond stupid. I couldn’t see Carville or Begala pulling amateur stunts like these. I’m sure they’ve been watching their friend’s campaign with their hands over their eyes, wincing. I don’t have much respect for Bob Shrum. I know he’s allegedly a great political mind, but I just don’t buy it. Donna Brazile also did a crappy job on Gore’s campaign, but at least she doesn’t promote herself as vigorously as Shrum who is constantly on “Meet the Press” jabber-jawing away.Because Hillary isn’t one to make many gaffes it made some of the bad decisions that much more amplified. If she hadn’t supplied so much fuel to the racial fire she could be getting 40 percent of the black vote as opposed to 10-to-15. A lot of blacks love the Clintons and don’t have a relationship with Obama. It would have made more sense to emphasize that relationship rather than institute a scorched earth policy. As long as they’d kept up some doubt about his experience while not going negative and offending folks, they could have slowed some of the momentum.It was just a boneheaded move to cede the black vote, but it’s a common mistake that politicians make. Republicans have excluded themselves right into a box. If you are a white Christian male who’s for cutting the capital gains tax and thinks more war is a good idea, you can’t be in our party. If the Republicans hadn’t been so greedy to gobble up the bigot vote after the Dems went inclusion, they wouldn’t be facing a nightmare this fall in both houses of Congress.An unknown beat Republican well-known ag-business rich dude Jim Oberweis for Dennis Hastert seat in Illinois. Hastert held that seat in a Republican leaning exurb for more than 20 years. That’s horrible news for the GOP. Horrible news that I pray will spread throughout the nation.Throw the bums out fever should be breaking out all over the place this fall. That’s why I think the best thing either Dem can do is wrap McCain in that George W. flight suit of accomplishment and choke him to death with it. Nothing but pictures of McCain and Bush hugging. The Judas kiss. The agreeing on things. Calling him McBush like they do at Crooks and Liars. Making him look like a fundamentalist neocon extremist is the smartest strategy to do. Not to make Dems seem weak on foreign policy, but reasonable and logical. They need to point out how INSANE the GOP sounds 90 percent of the time. Play a long loop of bigoted statements and warmongering in a commercial. They wouldn’t even need to script the thing. They can just pull the feeds off of C-SPAN.It’s so simple. I hope the Dems will draw that contrast. Not that we’re weak, but that we’re not crazy. That’s our number one appeal. We don’t want to go to war with everyone. We don’t think war is the answer to everything. And we won’t act rashly when provoked. Be reasonable, vote for a Democrat. Any of them. I’m not for a one-party system, but I’m for a little less nut job Congress.I think the Clintons have struggled to make the point that Barack Obama, while talented, is still a politician just like they are. I think the movement really caught them both off guard and they never figured out who to response to the tsunami of passion and good press pushing behind the surge.I don’t know how successful Hillary and her team would have been trying to paint Obama as a righty. The Christian pandering is annoying, but I think that has more to do with countering the charges from the right that he’s some kind of “evil” America-hating Muslim. Plus, he’s had to square a circle on the homosexuality thing. A lot of black people are conservative religiously and view homosexuality as a sin. Others don’t care, but our voices aren’t heard as much as the numerous ministers who preach against the gay “lifestyle.”I don’t know how sexual orientation is a “lifestyle.” I’m not constantly thinking about breeding and discussing “bride price.”So I was disappointed with how he handed that Donny McClurkin debacle. You’re willing to tell black folks that they need to get their act together and take care of their kids but you’re not willing to speak up for the countless numbers of gay blacks who feel rejected by both their race and their sexual orientation?I don’t think that’s what Obama thinks. I think he was just pandering. But I was still annoyed by it. More high profile black people need to speak up for black homosexuals. When you don’t speak up and challenge people’s bigotry you’re basically endorsing their bigotry through remaining silent.It’s just tragic considering what black gays, lesbians and the transgendered go through. As if you weren’t miserable enough from the discrimination.It irritates me that politicians play things so safe to protect themselves from controversy. I know that this was part of my parents initial reluctance in supporting Barack with their votes and not just their hearts. They were unimpressed with the fact that there had been no controversy over him in Illinois. Usually black candidates garner a lot of flack because they’re usually crazily vocal. Black politicians tend to feel a greater degree of freedom to speak their mind because they’re backed by the black community. Cynthia McKinney can do her thing because her folks have her back. But saying those things don’t endear you to most white people. You get labeled as a crazy, scary, militant black person.That’s why the campaigns of Jesse, Sharpton, Carol Mosely-Braun and Shirley Chisholm were considered “long shot” campaigns. These were vocally “black” candidates who did a lot of fighting and shit-kicking representing black people. Most were Civil Rights activists. They were doubly black candidates. Black by their skin color and black by the causes they supported.My parents equated lack of controversy with fear of making waves that could impede his political ascension. I agree with that to a certain degree with Obama. He has sidestepped some of the more controversial issues Clinton has voted on or was not challenged on the button-pushing issues Clinton was more pronounced in her support for or against.By being a relative unknown without a lengthy voting record to pick apart, and being that he avoided shackling himself with v
    arious controversial issues, made him much more palatable and electable.People have a lot of reasons why they love Barack Obama, but it usually has more to do with how they fit him into their world view. I think he has substance but I recognize that there is a lot of unknown, so I know there are those who have painted a picture of Obama that either he can’t/won’t be able to live up to or does not resemble at all. A lot of people are wrapped up in emotion and not rationality. I think it’s great that people want to vote for him, I just also want them to know realistically what he can and can’t do. The “3 am” commercial was just pathetic. It seemed cheap and thrown together like everything her campaign has done this year. It was no “Daisy” ad with mushroom cloud in it, or Republican ad with jihadis dancing in the streets, but it just made no sense considering that “it’s the economy, stupid,” and she had a better case to make in that area. Clinton definitely could have gone a harder left or gone “blacker,” so to speak. White candidates can get away with a lot more cuddling up to semi-controversial black figures than a black candidate. When you see a picture of Bill Clinton with Al Sharpton most whites just see a photo or perhaps a panderer. But you see a picture with Obama and Al Sharpton people see Obama as an extremist. A Black militant. Which is why he’s avoided Al and skipped out on the State of the Black Union event. He doesn’t want to freak people out. No one cares if Hillary shows up at these things because no one thinks she’s a black militant. She also could have run more left on homosexual and immigration issues with less flack than if Obama had. But she didn’t. She’s run a center-right campaign in a Democratic primary. It just seems odd, but I’m sure this plan made great since last summer when it was conceived.

  4. Its pretty obvious that she’s entered the 3rd stage of grief: 1) Denial (I am the front runner and doing “so well”) 2) Anger (Shame on you!) 3) Bargaining (I’ll let Obama be VP if you’ll elect me) 4) Depression (coming soon…) 5) Acceptance (coming soon…)Gerald

  5. This is all Obama has to say:I cannot have someone as my Vice Presidential RUnning Mate who has doubts about my abilities to be Commander-in-Chief. Senator Clinton has repeatedly expressed such doubts, so she understands why, in good faith, I could not choose her as my running mate. I would like to introduce to you my running mate -_____________.That’s all he has to say. Hang her with her own words.

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