According to Republican David Frum, it would be a huge mistake for Democrats to nominate Hillary Clinton for President in 2016, because 1) she’s the obvious choice and picking her would be doing what Republicans have done–nominating the next person in line; 2) she’s too old, 3) Her husband has made speeches in foreign countries and has “ethics problems,” and 4) she would prevent the party from reassessing and renewing itself.
Obviously, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Democrats chose the next guy in line in 2000 — Vice President Al Gore — and they may well do so again. But speaking from across the aisle, it’s just this one observer’s opinion that Democrats would be poorly served by following the Republican example when President Obama’s term ends.
Hillary Clinton is 14 years older than Barack Obama. A party has never nominated a leader that much older than his immediate predecessor. (The previous record-holder was James Buchanan, 13 years older than Franklin Pierce when the Democrats chose him in 1856. Runner-up: Dwight Eisenhower, 12 years older than his predecessor, Thomas Dewey.)
I have no idea why Frum thinks that’s a serious argument against a Clinton nomination.
Relying on Hillary Clinton’s annual financial disclosure reports, CNN reported last year that former President Bill Clinton had earned $89 million in speaking fees since leaving the White House in 2001. Many of these earnings came from foreign sources. In 2011 alone, the former president earned $6.1 million from 16 speeches in 11 foreign countries.
Is it an ethical problem for the husband of the person charged with the foreign affairs of the United States to earn so much foreign-sourced income? Let’s rephrase that question: How much time do Democrats wish to spend arguing the ethics of Bill Clinton’s foreign earnings over the 2016 political cycle?
Um…Bill Clinton is not in the running for the nomination.
The rest of Frum’s post is so ludicrous that you need to go read it for yourself to get a sense of how out of touch he is. Basically, he argues that nominating Hillary would “shut down” any discussion of where the Democratic party is going. Instead, it would be “a debt long owed, now collected. If successful, it would arrive in office without a platform and without much of a mandate.”
I wonder why Frum supposedly cares about what happens to the Democratic Party? His “advice” is useless, primarily because he doesn’t even begin to understand that nominating the first woman to lead a U.S. presidential ticket would electrify the world and a woman president would radically change U.S. politics.
That Frum completely misses any reference to women, girls, the tapping of an economic stream that could ricochet around the globe through the activism of more women rising to lead, none of this makes a dent.
Republicans never cease to amaze me when it comes to underestimating the importance of women’s leadership and what the Hillary Effect’s continued reverberation could mean to the world, especially if she became the first female Democratic nominee in American history.
If Hillary Clinton became president, the impact on women’s rights and the ability for women of every culture to take a step forward would rebound exponentially.
Nothing is a bigger nightmare for Republicans than Hillary Clinton as the 2016 Democratic nominee.
Furthermore, as Ed Kilgore points out: Hillary Clinton Is No Mitt Romney.
I’ve always thought the “next-in-line” explanation for Republican presidential politics was a considerable over-simplification, and actually wrong if it was used to suggest ideology matters less to conservatives than we’ve been led to believe. But even if you buy it entirely, comparing HRC to such next-in-line Republican pols as Poppy Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012 just doesn’t pass the smell test.
The three Republicans just mentioned never had overwhelming grassroots support in their own party and eventually prevailed over weak fields after relentlessly repositioning themselves to the Right. Both McCain and Romney, in particular, survived what can only be described as demolition derbies, and had to spend precious general-election resources pandering to the party “base.”
HRC’s immensely popular among grass-roots Democrats, not just because she is the last candidate not named Barack Obama who ran an effective presidential nomination contest, but because of the personal capital she’s built up over the years, her performance as a very popular Secretary of State, and the widely shared belief among progressives that it’s far past time for a woman to serve as president. Plus she is crushing every named Republican in early general-election trial heats.
Even if Frum means well, which I seriously doubt, I think we can confidently ignore anyone who can’t see America’s changing public attitudes and demographics. Just look at the polls showing support for marriage equality, immigration reform, and gun control. Women represent 51% of the population. Meanwhile Republicans are working overtime to limit women’s rights and individual freedoms. David Frum and his clueless party just don’t get it.
Superstorm indeed. I just saw on the weather channel that we’re having high wind warnings and may even get snow here in central Indiana today. Exhaustion finally set in for me last night from drive 1,000 miles, so I’m writing this at 5:30 AM.
I had MSNBC, CNN, and the weather channel on a few times during the night, but most of the news was still about New York City only. You’d think something would have happened in other parts of New York state that was worth covering. Of course I don’t want to minimize how bad things are in NYC, It’s just that with a storm so huge, you’d think there might be some TV coverage of other places.
This morning they were actually talking about the snowstorm in West Virginia a little bit, but I have no idea if the storm did anything in New England. So let’s see what’s happening out there–largely in link dump fashion.
Superstorm Sandy hurled a wall of water of up to 13 feet high at the Northeast coast, sweeping houses out into the ocean, flooding subway tunnels in New York City and sparking an alert at a nuclear power station in New Jersey.
At least 10 people were killed, more than 7 million were without power as the historic storm pounded some 11 states and the District of Columbia. More than a million people across a dozen states had been ordered to evacuate.
Power outages are expected to be widespread and could last for days. NBC meteorologist Bill Karins warned to “expect the cleanup and power outage restoration to continue right up through Election Day.”
The New York Times has massive coverage and lots of photos: Storm Barrels Ashore, Leaving Path of Destruction
The mammoth and merciless storm made landfall near Atlantic City around 8 p.m., with maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. That was shortly after the center had reclassified the storm as a post-tropical cyclone, a scientific renaming that had no bearing on the powerful winds, driving rains and life-threatening storm surge expected to accompany its push onto land.
The storm had unexpectedly picked up speed as it roared over the Atlantic Ocean on a slate-gray day and went on to paralyze life for millions of people in more than a half-dozen states, with extensive evacuations that turned shorefront neighborhoods into ghost towns. Even the superintendent of the Statue of Liberty left to ride out the storm at his mother’s house in New Jersey; he said the statue itself was “high and dry,” but his house in the shadow of the torch was not.
The wind-driven rain lashed sea walls and protective barriers in places like Atlantic City, where the Boardwalk was damaged as water forced its way inland. Foam was spitting, and the sand gave in to the waves along the beach at Sandy Hook, N.J., at the entrance to New York Harbor. Water was thigh-high on the streets in Sea Bright, N.J., a three-mile sand-sliver of a town where the ocean joined the Shrewsbury River.
“It’s the worst I’ve seen,” said David Arnold, watching the storm from his longtime home in Long Branch, N.J. “The ocean is in the road, there are trees down everywhere. I’ve never seen it this bad.”
But, you know, global climate change–that’s not happening. It must be gay marriage that’s causing this.
There was a huge explosion at a Con-Ed power plant in lower Manhattan during the night. Here’s the viral video.
I’m relieved to see that Sandy’s wrath wasn’t quite as bad in New England.
Sandy brought snow to West Virginia.
And in Virginia…
In other news…
Think Progress: PA radio station runs misleading voter ID ad
Everyone’s talking about how Mitt Romney recommended getting rid of FEMA and making state handle their own disaster responses, but of course now he’s flip flopped once again, according to Politico: Romney would give more power to states, would not abolish FEMA
Here’s something incredible from Bloomberg: Romney Avoids Taxes via Loophole Cutting Mormon Donations
In 1997, Congress cracked down on a popular tax shelter that allowed rich people to take advantage of the exempt status of charities without actually giving away much money.
Individuals who had already set up these vehicles were allowed to keep them. That included Mitt Romney, then the chief executive officer of Bain Capital, who had just established such an arrangement in June 1996.
The charitable remainder unitrust, as it is known, is one of several strategies Romney has adopted over his career to reduce his tax bill. While Romney’s tax avoidance is legal and common among high-net-worth individuals, it has become an issue in the campaign. President Barack Obama attacked him in their second debate for paying “lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less.”
In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity — the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing — to defer taxes for more than 15 years. At the same time he is benefitting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires, according to tax returns obtained by Bloomberg this month through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Wow! This guy is the champion of sleezeballs! Too bad no no one is paying attention now that Sandy has taken over the next few news cycles.
Former President Clinton and Vice President Biden blasted Republican nominee Mitt Romney over a campaign ad that says Chrysler is moving Jeep production to China because of President Obama’s policies.
The Hill kinda-sorta tries to make it sound like the ad is OK and the Obama campaign is just whining!
The Obama campaign has complained about the Romney campaign’s Jeep ad, which links the president to a report saying Chrysler plans to move its Jeep production from the U.S. to China.
Chrysler released a statement on Monday saying it had no plans to stop producing Jeeps in the U.S.
The statement said, “U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation.”
Yeah, because there’s two sides to every story even when one is a bald-faced, blatant, dirty lie.
Now it’s your turn. What’s going on where you are? I sure hope all you Sky Dancers are staying safe and warm.
It saddens me that the world doesn’t stop when an iconic advocate for the hungry, the poor, the least of these dies. Not the way it stops for a celebrity. There’s no wall-to-wall media coverage of the international/intergalactic outpouring for days on end. Just some obligatory press. So I had to put this post up even though I’m in the middle of a migraine and studying for the last of my midterms…I’m going to let President and Secretary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders do most of the talking. Oh, And Senator McGovern himself (see pic to the right).
Emphasis below in bold is mine. The statements belong to Sanders and the Clintons, respectively.
via Bernie Sanders’ senate website, Statement on the Passing of George McGovern:
October 21, 2012
BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 21 - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today issued the following statement on the death of former Sen. George McGovern:
“George McGovern was a champion for progressive values in America. As a bomber pilot in WW II, he saw the horrors of war and became a strong advocate for world peace. As a U.S. senator, he grasped the tragedy of world hunger and fought to develop nutrition and agricultural programs to prevent starvation. At home, he advocated health care for all, defended working families and the poor and was in the vanguard of the movement for civil rights for women and minorities.
“He will be remembered as a man of conviction and clarity and character.”
Via Greta Van Susteren, Statement by President and Secretary Clinton on the Passing of George McGovern:
We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend George McGovern. The world has lost a tireless advocate for human rights and dignity.
We first met George while campaigning for him in 1972. Our friendship endured for 40 years. As a war hero, distinguished professor, Congressman, Senator and Ambassador, George always worked to advance the common good and help others realize their potential. Of all his passions, he was most committed to feeding the hungry, at home and around the world. The programs he created helped feed millions of people, including food stamps in the 1960s and the international school feeding program in the 90’s, both of which he co-sponsored with Senator Bob Dole.
In 2000, Bill had the honor of awarding him the Medal of Freedom. From his earliest days in Mitchell to his final days in Sioux Falls, he never stopped standing up and speaking out for the causes he believed in. We must continue to draw inspiration from his example and build the world he fought for. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Everybody at Skydancing knows, I’m more drawn to our foremothers than our forefathers… but McGovern was one of the good ones.
I am reminded of this quote I saw recently from MLK (see pic to the right):
McGovern, like MLK, was one of our modern political forefathers who learned to walk the Earth as a brother amongst sisters and brothers.
RIP, George McGovern.
It’s another night of Middle School Football for me, so here are some Interesting and strange and funny links to get you going this evening.
Let’s start with the interesting ones first.
You may have heard about this already…GOP BLOCKS JOBS FOR VETS – Political Cartoon by Deb Milbrath, Cartoon Movement – 09/20/2012
And then, check out what is being “ignored” until after the election: Boehner Confirms Farm Bill on Hold
Typical bullshit! You all know what is part of that farms bill, but let me repeat it…SNAP, Foodstamps, WIC and all that other good stuff, you know the “food” that those people feel entitled to?
Numbers are out for Illegal Immigrant Deportations, Report: Number of undocumented immigrants arrested and deported in 2011 hits record high
There is this news on the Akin front: The GOP is stuck with Todd Akin
And in my redneck of the woods: Senate leader allegedly billed taxpayers for campaign mail
Still on the interesting links BTW, here are a few NASA articles:
And, Bill Clinton has written something for TIME, Bill Clinton On Why The World Is Getting Better All The Time
Okay, now for the strange news, I’ve only got one story for you there: Valerie Spruill, Ohio Woman, Finds Out Husband Was Her Father
It is obvious that the family knew the truth, but no one said shit about it. That is f’d up!
From the Funny department, gotta love these next few links…
Even as he joked“I just hope I survive,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declined to defend Mitt Romney’s now-infamous 47 percent remarks Thursday, and insisted the Republican ticket can still win.
Asked repeatedly about Romney’s secretly videotaped admissions that he doesn’t care about the 47 percent of people who he said pay no income taxes and therefore won’t vote for him, Boehner demurred, instead saying the election is about jobs.
“Everybody is going to try to make this election about everything other than what it is,” Boehner said. “The American people are asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’”
While he declined to defend Romney’s comments, he pointed out that he has connections to people who are less fortunate.
“I’ve had family members who lost their jobs in this downturn. Two of my brothers, two of my brother in laws. I know what’s happening out there and I know how difficult this economy is,” he said. He then suggested that Romney’s remarks fell into the territory of a typical gaffe.
“You’re going to have both campaigns on both sides that say things that get off the message. The message is let’s stay focused on jobs,” he said.
And he insisted that the widespread feeling that Romney is doomed is flat out wrong.
Pour that man another drink! He needs a refill.
But has it gotten so bad that Romney is now resorting to “brownface” in order to make himself more appealing to Univision viewers? Democratic Underground has looked at the photo above from last night’s “presidential forum” and concluded that, yes, Romney definitely “dyed his face brown.”
Wonkette wonders if perhaps the GOP nominee was involved in some sort of “self-tanner accident” or perhaps went out tanning with John Boehner “for a little pick-me-up.”
Mitt Romney is certainly looking more crispy than usual, but is that enough to call him out for, as Gossip On This put it, trying to win “browning points”?
Hey, is that a shot of the holy magic underwear in that first photo?
And at last, this woman deserves the royalties…let’s give it to her…she’s got balls to ask for them.
The elderly Spanish woman who ruined a religious fresco with her botched restoration is now demanding royalties from her work after it became an unlikely tourist attraction.
Bwahaaaaa Ha Ha…now that is funny!
This is an open thread.
Here’s a new thread in case y’all want to stick around. I’m going to stay up a little longer myself. The Big Dawg went on a little too long, as usual–but his speech was still incredibly good.
Here we go with the nomination and roll call.