Tuesday Reads: Super Duper TuesdayPosted: March 15, 2016 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: 2016 presidential primaries, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Florida, Hillary Clinton, Illinois, Marco Rubio, Missouri, NEGATIVE campaigning, North Carolina, Ohio, Super Duper Tuesday March 15 47 Comments
Sorry to be so late in posting today. I’m really struggling with a sinus/chest cold and I don’t have much energy these days.
Today’s primary elections will actually be bigger for the Democrats than Super Tuesday was. The media is playing up the possibility that Sanders could win in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri; but even if that happens, which I think is doubtful, Clinton should win handily in Florida and North Carolina. She will most likely end the night with an expanded delegate lead.
Trump will probably sew up the Republican nomination, especially if he beats Marco Rubio in Florida, which looks likely.
The attacks on Hillary Clinton are escalating as she gets closer to becoming the first woman presidential nominee of a major political party.
It’s kind of difficult to remember now, but at the beginning of the primary campaign, Bernie Sanders promised to run a positive campaign focused on the issues. It’s been quite awhile now since he switched to attacking Hillary Clinton personally and using innuendo to question her integrity. NBC News examines his move to negative campaigning.
A Month on Offense: How Sanders Upped His Attacks on Clinton.
The candidate who went out of his way to avoid attacking his rival throughout the summer, fall and winter has relentlessly unleashed on Clinton for three straight weeks, focusing on familiar talking points now strung together as a fixture of his stump speech.
“Now let me say a few words about some of the strong differences of opinion that I have with Secretary Clinton,” he now normally begins one portion of his speeches before hitting her on a litany of issues. The go-to critiques include trade, the Iraq War, and Clinton’s use of Super PACs.
Boos and heckles quickly arrive from his supporters as they outwardly delight in hearing the differences between their candidate and the Democratic frontrunner.
Sanders no longer makes any effort to tone down his followers’ abuse of Clinton and her supporters–whether in rallies or on social media. Instead, he encourages it.
Depending on the day, Sanders also has dinged Clinton on her and her husband’s support of the “homophobic” Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and her support from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
“I do not want Henry Kissinger to ever praise me!” he roared during a Michigan rally at Grand Valley State University near Grand Rapids.
The shift in tone has been drastic. In 2015 and early 2016, even uttering Clinton’s name would draw headlines—then unwanted by the candidate himself.
“I cannot walk down the street—Secretary Clinton knows this—without being told how much I have to attack Secretary Clinton,” Sanders told NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell during the NBC’s January Democratic Debate, “Want to get me on the front page of the paper? I make some vicious attack. I have avoided doing that. I am trying to run an issue-oriented campaign.”
He still emphasizes issues, but things have changed since that debate.
They certainly have. Sanders has become just another dirty politician shouting lies and half-truths about his opponent. In on-line forums, his followers have taken his behavior as encouragement for stunningly sexist and racist attacks on Clinton. The similarities between the Trump and Sanders campaign are growing as time goes on. I don’t like to think what will happen if Sanders loses in Illinois or Ohio tonight.
Go to the NBC link to read the rest. It’s a long piece.
The media has found another gaffe to hang on Hillary. In her “town hall” with Chris Matthews on MSNBC last night, she said that “we didn’t lose a single person” in the 2011 Libyan intervention. Naturally, that is being interpreted to mean that she has forgotten the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and four others in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2012. Politico:
“Libya was a different kind of calculation. And we didn’t lose a single person. We didn’t have a problem in supporting our European and Arab allies in working with NATO,” the former secretary of state said during an MSNBC town hall on Monday night.
Clinton may have been referring strictly to the U.S.-backed overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, which indeed saw no loss of American lives and cost just around $1 billion. But her comments ignore the 2012 attacks at the U.S. mission and CIA outpost in Benghazi, which killed four people including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Right. After years of being attacked and blamed for the deaths of four people, Clinton has probably just forgotten all about them. Good grief.
The Sanders campaign committed a far worse gaffe yesterday.
Jane Sanders appeared with racist, anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona and actually let him lead her on a tour of his “tent city.” It’s not clear the campaign planned this meeting, but why didn’t they hustle her away immediately when Arpaio showed up?
Channel 12 News: Jane Sanders meets with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, tours Tent City.
Jane Sanders wasn’t planning a tour of Tent City on Monday, but Sheriff Joe Arpaio made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.
Sanders planned to view Tent City from the fence, with the help of Puente leader Carlos Garcia. But Arpaio hustled over here from another news conference and the two of them talked policy, politics and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Sanders also asked inmates about the conditions and why they were in Tent City.
And of course, we know that Sanders surrogate Ben Cohen told Fox News he didn’t know if he could vote for Hillary Clinton in November. Jane Sanders later tweeted that she wasn’t expecting Arpaio to show up, but the damage was done.
As an antidote to the Clinton bashing from Sanders and the media, I suggest reading this post by Peter Daou at Blue Nation Review: Hillary Clinton Is (By Far) the Most Trusted Candidate in 2016.
Let’s define “most trusted” in its literal — and most measurable — sense: More people trust X than anyone else.
And let’s further refine that definition to an act of trust, such as a vote or public endorsement….
Hillary has been endorsed by a greater number of respected public figures and organizations than any other candidate. And more importantly, she leads all other candidates in the popular vote….
Take Bernie Sanders. He had the opportunity to vote against Hillary’s nomination for Secretary of State. After all, he voted against Tim Geithner for Treasury Secretary. Instead, he voted to confirm her, an affirmation of his trust in her ability to represent America to the world….
Think about the numerous political leaders, public officials, organizations, and labor unions who trust Hillary with their future. President Obama, John Lewis, Emily’s List, Lilly Ledbetter, Dolores Huerta, Jim Clyburn, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, Julian Castro, Brady Campaign, Eric Holder, League of Conservation Voters, Tammy Baldwin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Claire McCaskill, Cory Booker, Sheila Jackson Lee, Bernice King, and countless more….
NEARLY 5 MILLION VOTERS HAVE PLACED THEIR TRUST IN HILLARY.
That’s more than any other candidate in the 2016 election.
Let’s see what the media is saying about the possible outcomes of today’s primaries.
The Guardian: From Ohio to Florida, your cheat sheet for the next crucial primaries.
Although this Tuesday will be less frantic than Super Tuesday two weeks ago, when 12 states and one territory held primary elections, it’s just as important. By 16 March, the race for the White House could look very different depending on how Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio vote.
That’s partly because the delegate numbers in those states are so high – in total, 367 Republican and 792 Democratic delegates are available on 15 March. That brings us significantly closer to the finish line of having just two presidential candidates: at the moment, 33% of Democratic delegates have been pledged but by the time the polls have closed on 15 March, that number will rise to 50%. For Republicans, pledged delegates will jump from 46% to 61%.
Those percentages just mean that playing catch-up gets harder from here. Hillary Clinton is still on track for the nomination – to change that, Bernie Sanders needs to pick up at least 326 of the pledged delegates (in the Democratic race there are also 712 “superdelegates” who are not pledged to a specific candidate based on primary results, so they’re less relevant here).
On the Republican side:
The Republican contest is also likely to change significantly. If, for example,Marco Rubio fails again to pick up a single delegate (and polling suggests that’s a real possibility), his pursuit of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination becomes futile – even if he were to win every single remaining delegate after 15 March. That’s partly because, unlike Democrats, Republicans do not always distribute delegates in proportion to votes. In fact, four states holding Republican primaries on 15 March will be the first in this election to assign delegates on a winner-takes-all basis, which is why this date is such a turning point in the 2016 political calendar.
Check out some interesting charts as well as detailed discussions of each state’s demographics at the link.
The Washington Post: March 15 primaries: Will voting in 5 states cement front-runners?
Voters are casting ballots in the five states across the Midwest and Southeast holding primaries Tuesday — contests that could shore up the two front-runners or breathe new life into the lagging campaigns of their challengers.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) was working to pull off more come-from-behind wins in states where voters feel damaged by globalization, allowing him to claim momentum from Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state enjoys a sizable lead in delegates but has not been able to seal the nomination.
The contests are especially important on the Republican side, offering a chance for billionaire Donald Trump’s remaining rivals to finally slow his march to the nomination with two winner-take-all contests that have particularly high stakes for a pair of favorite sons, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
This one is a long and interesting read. I suggest you check out the whole thing at the link.
CNN: What’s Next if Marco Rubio Loses Florida?
Rubio, who began his White House campaign 11 months ago as a hero of Florida Republicans, now faces the prospect of defeat in his home state. For years, Republicans believed that Rubio was destined to be a presidential nominee and that even if he fell short in 2016, he would be well-positioned to run for governor in 2018.
But polls suggest Rubio might not just lose Florida — but get thumped here. A Quinnipiac survey released Monday found Rubio trailing Trump by 24 points in his home state.
A loss of that magnitude could be devastating to Rubio, and leave him in a tough spot if he ever wanted to seek public office again.
Quite a comedown. It will be interesting to see what happens when the polls close in Florida.
Florida’s polls close at 7PM ET (8PM in the Panhandle), North Carolina’s and Ohio’s at 7:30 ET, and Illinois’s and Missouri’s at 8PM ET.
So . . . what are you hearing and reading? Let us know in the comment thread, and please stick around for an exciting day! I’ll add a live blog later on for discussion of the returns.
Afternoon Open Thread: Nobody Likes Mitt ShadyPosted: July 18, 2012 Filed under: 2012 presidential campaign, open thread | Tags: Barack Obama, Eric Fehrnstrom, Mitt Romney, NEGATIVE campaigning 67 Comments
Howard Fineman posted a scathing piece about Mitt Romney this afternoon. Fineman is always telling the MSNBC hosts that he talks to Romney’s staff all the time. I wonder if they’ll still be talking to him after this?
Fineman says that the reason so many Republicans are hounding Mitt Shady to release his tax returnsis that most of them can’t stand the guy. They’ll probably enjoy seeing Mitt embarrassed.
“The fact is, no one likes the guy or believes in him,” said the campaign manager for a former Romney rival, who declined to be quoted by name because his former boss is on record supporting Romney’s campaign against incumbent President Barack Obama.
“Look back at our 2008 primaries,” he said. “Who did all the other candidates dislike? Romney. Look at this year. Who did all the other candidates dislike? Romney. No one wants Obama to win, but no one likes the guy who is running against him.”
Republican leaders, especially conservatives, see Romney as a malleable, cynical power-grabber without principle or compass. They warned voters that Romney would be unable to take the fight to Obama on health care because he had fostered a similar program as governor of Massachusetts, and they argued that a wealthy, well-connected son of privilege was not a good spokesman for selling free-market ideas to the middle-class.
Over the last week, a disparate array of Republican and conservative leaders have called on Romney to do what he is clearly loathe to do: release several years if not a decade or more of his federal tax returns. It is an unspoken form of payback.
The list is not only a veritable who’s who of the party, but a not-so-subtle roster of people who opposed Romney for the presidential nomination. That they have not fallen in line behind Romney’s stonewalling is a telling sign.
If the party leaders hate Mitt that much, how are voters going to feel about him once they start paying closer attention the race? The more they see Mitt, the less they’ll like him. To know him is to dislike him.
This could happen sooner rather than later now that Romney and his sidekick Eric Fehrnstrom have announced that “the gloves are off.” According to Buzzfeed,
Romney has always been careful to hedge his tough digs at Obama with a civil nod toward the president’s moral character: “He’s a nice guy,” the Republican has often said. “He just has no idea how the private economy works.” But Tuesday’s speech included no such hedge — and one campaign adviser said there’s a reason for that.
“[Romney] has said Obama’s a nice fellow, he’s just in over his head,” the adviser said. “But I think the governor himself believes this latest round of attacks that have impugned his integrity and accused him of being a felon go so far beyond that pale that he’s really disappointed. He believes it’s time to vet the president. He really hasn’t been vetted; McCain didn’t do it.”
Indeed, facing what the candidate and his aides believe to be a series of surprisingly ruthless, unfounded, and unfair attacks from the Obama campaign on Romney’s finances and business record, the Republican’s campaign is now prepared to go eye for an eye in an intense, no-holds-barred act of political reprisal, said two Romney advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity. In the next chapter of Boston’s pushback — which began last week when they began labeling Obama a “liar” — very little will be off-limits, from the president’s youthful drug habit, to his ties to disgraced Chicago politicians.
Romney has unleashed his inner bully on President Obama. This could get really nasty, ugly, and petty; but I’ll bet it’s not going to help Mitt with the independent voters he needs to attract.
The attacks began yesterday morning with creepy John Sununu implying that Obama isn’t a real American and then a little later with Romney himself saying that “Obama’s course is extraordinarily foreign.” I guess we can assume now that Romney has been hanging around with Donald Trump because he actually has no problem with using the birther issue. We’ll probably see Trump mouthing off about it again soon.
Let’s see what an expert on both Romney and Fehrnstrom has to say about this, shall we? Charles Pierce:
Well, this certainly ought to be fun.
There are, of course, a few problems here. The first one is that, when you start borrowing talking points — the president wasn’t “vetted” in 2008 — from Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods, you’re already running a few lengths below the intellectual Mendoza line. The second is logical; we already know far more about the president’s relationship with both Tony Rezko and cocaine than we do about Willard Romney’s relationship to the U.S. tax code for the years, say, 1999-2008. The third is strategic; if you have to remind people that you’re preparing to get tough, you’ve pulled your own punch before throwing it. And the last one is perceptual; Willard Romney — and most of his surrogates — look utterly ridiculous in the role of political hatchetmen.
This is the new, tougher Willard Romney, who is so damned rugged that he’s afraid of what the president’s people might do with the information in his tax returns. This is the saloon brawler who won’t shut up about all the mean things the president’s “opposition research” might do to him. This is Willard Freaking Romney, for pity’s sake, of whom an “adviser” warns the president:
“Obama has always benefited from being able to shape the argument such that he avoided harsh negative attacks,” the adviser said. “That served him well. He made other pay a price for going negative. These past couple weeks have completely squandered that positioning. They are now taunting how tough they are. OK, but once you cross that line, there is no going back.
Well, he’s certainly thrown down the well-tailored gauntlet there, hasn’t he? Remember, Mr. President, this is the stone killer who ended the political career of Shannon O’Brien. Gaze upon his mighty might and despair.
Somehow I don’t think this is going to scare either Obama or Axelrod that much. But as Pierce says, it’ going to be fun to watch.
Tuesday Reads: More Caucuses and a Beauty Contest; Dems Support Anti-Union Bill; and Protecting Children vs. Parents’ RightsPosted: February 7, 2012 Filed under: 2012 presidential campaign, 2012 primaries, Mitt Romney, morning reads, Newt Gingrich, Reproductive Rights, Republican presidential politics, U.S. Politics, Women's Rights | Tags: Braden and Charlie Powell, breast cancer, Colorado caucuses, Josh Powell, Komen Foundation, Maine caucuses, Minnesota caucuses, Missouri primary, Nancy Brinker, NEGATIVE campaigning, Rick Santorum, Susan Powell 51 Comments
There are four more Republican caucuses and one “primary” coming up this week. Tomorrow, Minnesota and Colorado will hold caucuses and Missouri has a beauty contest, a non-binding primary (actual delegates will be apportioned by the Missouri Republican party on March 17). Maine holds it’s caucuses on Saturday. After that, we get a two-week respite with no primaries. Won’t that be great?
Right now, Rick Santorum is leading in the polls in Minnesota, and Mitt Romney has wasted no time in turning his mean-spirited attacks on the new upstart. Wall Street Journal:
In a radio interview in Minnesota on Monday, Mr. Romney criticized Mr. Santorum for voting to raise the country’s borrowing limit, allowing earmark spending to proliferate and letting government spending explode.
“His approach was not effective and, frankly, I happen to believe if we’re going to change Washington we can’t just keep on sending the same people there in different chairs,” he said in an interview on WCCO.
The Romney camp also circulated a research memo to challenge Mr. Santorum’s contention that Mr. Romney imposed a “top-down, government-run” health-care system in Massachusetts that led to higher costs and longer wait times. For good measure, the Romney team rereleased Mr. Santorum’s endorsement of Mr. Romney in the 2008 race.
Romney is currently leading in Colorado, but there are suggestions that Santorum could do well there too–maybe even take first place. From CNN:
Could Rick Santorum pull off a surprise victory in this week’s caucuses? Newt Gingrich thinks so.
“I think that Santorum’s going to have a pretty good day tomorrow and he will have earned it. He targeted differently than I did,” Gingrich told reporters gathered outside an energy forum in Golden, Colorado….
Speaking to reporters after the same forum, Santorum opted against setting any expectations for the caucuses. But he questioned Mitt Romney’s ability to close the deal with Republican voters, noting the former Massachusetts governor has failed to attract as many voters as he did in 2008 in some previous contests.
“He’s underperformed from four years ago. And I suspect he will again,” Santorum said about Tuesday’s caucuses.
Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has spent the past few days shuttling among Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado hoping that a good showing in one or all Tuesday would show the conservative electorate was not solidly behind former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
“Our hope is conservatives are stepping back and looking at the race and making the same calculations that I’ve just made that a Romney nomination will not be in the best interest of us winning the general election,” Santorum told reporters here Monday. “We need to have a conservative alternative and my feeling is that Speaker Gingrich has sort of had his chance in the arena and came up short in Florida and Nevada, and now it’s our turn.”
Santorum has spent a great deal of time in Missouri while the other candidates were competing in Nevada. He apparently thinks the “show me” state will help him launch a comeback in the race.
Tomorrow’s primary in Missouri is the staging ground for Rick Santorum’s latest campaign message—that he is the real conservative alternative to Mitt Romney and that he is the person who can best compete with Barack Obama.
A win in Missouri would be absolutely crucial in keeping Santorum’s campaign afloat. His chances look good there because Newt Gingrich—whose campaign has been plagued by logistical missteps such as failing to get on the ballot in Virginia—decided not to sign up for tomorrow’s primary.
Unfortunately for Santorum, a win won’t get him any delegates.
Yesterday, Democrats in the Senate joined their right-wing colleagues in passing an anti-union FAA bill.
The Senate passed a Federal Aviation Administration bill on Monday that includes an anti-union measure bitterly opposed by labor groups.
The bill, which modernizes America’s air traffic control system and funds the FAA through 2014, was fought over for four years, leading to a partial shutdown of the FAA last summer because of anti-union measures added by the Republican-controlled House.
It passed 75 to 20, with a majority of Democrats backing it.
Among the controversial provisions were changes to labor law for rail and airline workers — backed by the airline industry — that would count anyone who did not vote in an election for a union as voting against it, making it much more difficult to certify attempts to organize new unions.
What’s the point of voting for Democrats if they’re no different from Republicans?
This story makes me so sad that I had to share it with you. It demonstrates one of the worst thing about U.S. family courts–they care more about parents rights than they do children’s safety and well-being. Yesterday, the husband of a missing Utah woman, Susan Powell, committed suicide and chose to take his two sons along with him.
The deaths of a Washington man and his two sons in what authorities believe was a murder-suicide may mean the 2009 disappearance of the children’s mother may never be solved.
Josh Powell, a suspect in the disappearance of Susan Cox-Powell, died Sunday along with his two sons, 5-year-old Braden and 7-year-old Charlie, in what police believe was an intentionally set fire in Powell’s Puyallup, Washington, home.
It was a tragic development in a puzzling case that began two years ago in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Valley City, Utah, when Susan Cox-Powell, 28, went missing.
Josh Powell was never charged in her disappearance, and was embroiled in a bitter custody dispute with his wife’s parents.
Why was this man allowed access to his children? If the court believed he had the right to see them, why not arrange for the meeting to take place in a neutral location? Not only was this man a strong suspect in the murder of the children’s mother, but also he had allowed the boys to live with his father who was arrested awhile ago for possession of child pornography. The arrest led to Powell’s in-laws getting custody of the two boys. Powell apparently had been planning the murder suicide for some time.
Authorities say Josh Powell planned the deadly house fire that killed him and his young sons for some time, dropping toys at charities and sending final emails to multiple acquaintances.
Powell, the husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, died along with his children Sunday.
Authorities say they found 10 gallons of gasoline inside the home. A five-gallon can was spread throughout the house and used as an accelerant in the huge blaze. Another can was found by the bodies.
They say Josh Powell did send longer emails to some people, including his cousin and pastor, with instructions such as where to find his money and how to shut off his utilities
The motive for killing the boys might have been the fact that once they were away from their father, they began talking about the night their mom disappeared.
The children of missing woman Susan Cox Powell have said for years that “Mommy’s in the mine,” an attorney representing the Cox family said on Monday….adding the boys mentioned their mother may have been looking for crystals in the mine.
Another lawyer representing the Cox family said the children had started talking to their grandparents about things they remembered from the night their mother vanished.
“They were beginning to verbalize more,” said attorney Steve Downing. “The oldest boy talked about that they went camping and that Mommy was in the trunk. Mom and Dad got out of the car and Mom disappeared.”
The attorney said Charlie Powell drew a disturbing picture as a part of a school assignment several months ago. The drawing depicted the boy’s father driving the van with Charlie and Braden sitting in the backseat, and their mother in the trunk.
“There was a subsequent question with regard to, ‘Why is your mother in the trunk?’ And his response was simply that he didn’t know, but his mother and father had gotten out of the van, and his mother then got lost,” said Downing.
So why was the man allowed access to his children? A psychologist quoted in an article in the Christian Science Monitor seems troubled by the decision.
Joy Silberg, a psychologist who specializes in child protection and abuse cases, says courts often place more value on parental rights than a child’s safety – or see them as equal concerns, when in her view, the parental rights should be secondary.
“I have situations where the child has disclosed very clear disclosures about a parent, or terror at being near a parent … and the judge still orders a child to go [to visitation] because the parental right is seen as having so much more power,” says Dr. Silberg.
While she doesn’t know all the facts of the Powell case, she adds, “it’s hard for me to believe that this was completely out of the blue and that no one knew he was this destructive. People usually leave clues.”
In fact, Powell was named a “person of interest” by the authorities when his wife, Susan Cox-Powell, disappeared two years ago. But he was never officially charged with any crime, and no details have ever been made public linking him with the case.
I don’t like to end with an utterly heartbreaking story like that, so I’ll add this one from The Daily Beast on Nancy Brinker and her really really bad decision to defund Planned Parenthood. Apparently Brinker is real meanie when it comes to competition with other groups raising funds for breast cancer.
“Komen plays hardball and is determined to stay on top,” says a member of another cancer organization, who declined to be identified. “Let’s be honest about all this: people think of breast cancer as a charity, but it’s really a major business.”
I’m going to keep that in mind the next time I get a request for funds for breast cancer. I’ll especially want to find out what each group’s attitude is toward women’s autonomy. More from the article:
…in the early ’80s, she [Nancy] met and married multimillionaire restaurateur Norman Brinker, a major Republican donor. He had previously been married to Grand Slam tennis star Maureen “Little Mo” Connnelly, who had died from ovarian cancer.
When they tied the knot, the union provided Nancy with a network of A-list political connections and friends, plus the funds to lead a luxurious lifestyle and create the Komen Foundation, now the Susan G. Komen for the Cure with affiliates in 170 communities in 50 nations. (Interesting note: the largest Race for the Cure, a three-day run, is held in Rome, Italy.)
In 1993 Norman Brinker suffered severe head injuries during a polo match and remained on crutches for the rest of his life. Several years later the couple divorced and with a hefty settlement, formidable drive, and her chum George W. Bush in the White House, Nancy was ready to step onto the world stage. First the [resident appointed her ambassador to Hungary and then U.S. chief of protocol.
Did Nancy dump her rich hubby because his health problems were a pain in the a$$. Inquiring minds want to know. There’s more gossipy stuff in the article if you’re interested.
Now what are you reading and blogging about today?
You Don’t Fool Me: Candidates ARE responsible for the tone of their CampaignPosted: June 22, 2008 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: attack ads, campaign attack, campaign violence, NEGATIVE campaigning, obama campaign, Paula Abeles, racisms 1 Comment
I was working late on a research paper last night when some one from Bitterpoliticz sent me to HireHeels to give a word of support to Paula Abeles’ response to the threats she’s been receiving from overzealous Obama supporters. Here’s the link:
I wrote an immediate, supportive response because I know how it feels. Back in the year of the woman, I ran for the Nebraska unicameral. I was a republican back then and basically had the squeakiest clean of normal lives. The problem was I was a pro-choice republican woman and the anti-choice side will have none of that.
The seat was held by an anti-choice democratic man at the time I ran. He was a powerful incumbent. He choose not to run after I successfully pulled a lot of support away from him by doing basic grass roots work. No one knew he wasn’t running for re-election until a day before the final filing date expired. Labor scrambled and came up with a very weak candidate. A trial lawyer signed up. All the usual types of special interest candidates were on the ballot. There were a total of 7 of us during the primary. The anti-choice folks found a beautician who had lived in the state for six months that began the run as a simple housewife. I won the primary handily. I continued knocking on doors and talking to people. I never changed my positions, my image, or my promises.
The general election was a different story. It was the ugliest, nastiest dirty campaign and you’d have thought Rove was running it. By the time it was over, I was having nightmares and afraid to walk in my own neighborhood. This candidate not only completely remade herself into a small business person, but an incredibly large number of people with serious personality and emotional disorders were running amok in my kid’s schools, in my church, in my neighborhood. There were whisper campaigns, hateful things said from evangelical church pulpits, and phone calls every night to my answering machine explaining where my small children had been that day and exactly which abortion procedure would be applied to them if the caller had their way. I had to deal with the newspaper calling me up and asking me if I’d been fired from a teller job in college for stealing money (complete fabrication on ALL accounts). My good pictures all disappeared mysteriously from their files and the only one that they had left to run was one of me when I had just recovered from inoperable cancer and looked exactly like I’d been sick for two years. The evangelical churches bussed folks into the state from surrounding areas to make my life a living hell. All because I was a pro-choice woman republican candidate.
After that experience, I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and re-registered democrat. I had lost the election by a small margin,but the impact it had on my life was not marginal. Folks that I had gone to school with since I was a kid were no longer speaking to me.
I had tons of donated money and support in that campaign because my opponent was so out of her league and so far to the right that she scared every interest group from the firefighters and policemen to the bankers. She ran her campaign with her own funds and some support from the Biker anti-helmet crowd, truckers (her husband was one), and the anti-choice movement. I never ran ONE negative ad. Believe me, I even had the money to do tv ads and I could’ve done it. I told my campaigners to stay out of her immediate neighborhood and focus on my message which was basically one of economic development and re-doing the tax structure of Nebraska. I made it clear I wanted to sit on the expenditures committee and that I had no plans of staying in there once I’d worked on these things because I had a successful consulting firm and wanted to return to it. I kept waiting for the press to do some research, but all they were interested in was starting a cat fight on the choice issue between two women. (It was the first time two women had come through the primary in the state, you’d have thought they’d have better things to focus on.)
If a campaign goes hyper negative and acts hyper angry and incensed all the time, it attracts emotionally damaged people and simply hypes them into a frenzy. The candidate may get an ego charge from all that worship, but that frenzy will turn on the opposition’s campaign. Innocent people will experience threats of violence for just doing their thing as an U.S. citizen. This kind of evil is a DIRECT reflection on the character of the candidate. A candidate calls the shots and can reel back the attack dogs. A candidate can be honest about who they are and what they stand for or they can let their campaign remake them and sell them like a can of soup. A candidate may say they have no control over their minions, but that is NOT true. The character of the candidate is ALWAYS THE ISSUE and always at the center of ANY decision. If you see a campaign doing questionable things, it is because that candidate has questionable character. As an example, the race-baiting started with the Obama campaign. They have a pattern. Take an innocent comment, some surrogate blows it out of proportion and labels it racist. Obama comes out a few days later to say, ah no, maybe not. But by then, the damage is done. By then, the angry, whipped up mob has gone into attack mode and the damage is done to innocent people.
Paula, I am so sorry for what you are going through. It’ll end. Right now, you’re living a nightmare and that means your children will too. But just think, if you stop now, your country, OUR country will be living that nightmare for at least 4 years. You are my hero.
Senator Barrack Obama … YOU DO NOT FOOL ME and you didn’t fool 18 million other voters. Call off your attack dogs.