Hillary in Meltdown

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Dana Milbank's report from a Clinton spin session for bigfoot media personalities is the read of the day: The scene resembles less Harold Ickes and Phil Singer explaining what they're up to and more the closing scenes of Terminator 2.

Ickes could suspend reality for only so long. He referred to Clinton's opponent at one point as "Senator Barack," swapped 1992 for 1972 and Michigan for Vermont, and said of the Pennsylvania primary: "Um, what month is it?" Eventually, Carl Leubsdorf of the Dallas Morning News drew a confession out of Ickes: "I think if we lose in Texas and Ohio, Mrs. Clinton will have to make her decisions as to whether she goes forward or not."

Ickes's return to Earth seemed only to further outrage Singer.

When Amy Chozick of the Wall Street Journal asked about how combative Clinton would be in tonight's debate with Obama, Singer informed her that it was an "absurd" question. "I don't think . . . any of our senior people have the ESP skills that you all ascribe to us," he said.When Time's Jay Newton-Small inquired about the Obama photo on Drudge, Singer used the occasion to complain about the press's failure to examine Obama ties to violent radicals who were part of the Weathermen of the 1960s. "As far as I can tell there was absolutely no follow-up on the part of the Obama traveling press corps," he said.

Even Broder, asking about why Clinton had abandoned the North American Free Trade Agreement, was informed by Singer that "elections are about the future."

Cook, the host, got similar treatment when he asked why Clinton won't release her tax returns yet. "When she's the general-election nominee she'll release the tax returns," Singer said.

The Clintonites have a sensible complaint here: As John Heileman got a Democratic strategist to argue in New York, reporters have been writing the story of the Clintons' downfall and the story of Obama the Redeemer, not tales of two candidates slugging it out.

Citing the Times primary-beat reporters assigned to the candidates, a competitor of theirs observes, "Pat Healy's job is to challenge the Clinton myth and machine. Jeff Zeleny's is to write the epic rise of Barack Obama. That's generally the media's approach—Clinton and Obama are just at different points in their stories."

I'd add that the far right assisted Obama, too, by spooling seven years of stories (and at least five books) about the ruthless Clinton machine, which would mow down anyone who tried to prevent the Restoration. Obviously the Clintons wanted to come back, and obviously they were unusually good at destroying flawed opponents like Bob Dole and Jeanine Pirro (the Fox News personality and New York DA who Hillary made a monkey of in her brief Senate challenge), but the legend this created got out of hand. This is why I don't think the Clinton campaign's current spin about fighting on and on even if they lose Texas or Ohio is credible. People still believe them when they talk tough; donors believe it enough to keep sending in checks and limiting the debt Clinton will have when she quits.

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  1. When Amy Chozick of the Wall Street Journal asked about how combative Clinton would be in tonight’s debate with Obama, Singer informed her that it was an “absurd” question.

    There’s no such thing as an “absurd” question asked of a politician running for the most powerful office in the world.

    It’s this attitude amongst the Clinton camp that makes me a little glad Obama’s up right now…

  2. The picture is pure magnificence. Bravo.

  3. There’s probably more similarity to that flick than the closing moments. I would not be at all surprised to hear that Hillary can turn her left arm into a giant steel stabbing weapon that could pierce your skull and the carton of milk you put your disgusting cake hole on.

    Plus she can morph into Hugo Chavez in a pant-suit.

  4. sage,

    And they say the Clinton’s dog died by accident…

  5. “Hillary in meltdown” is pro-Obana biased media spin against Hillary Clinton.

    Pro-Obama biased media against Sen. Clinton has swayed votes to cult leader Obama and moved polls in his favor.

    Hillary Clinton will win Ohio and Texas. If she does not win these states, it will be because of the pro-Obama biased media that swayed votes to Obama.

    The undermining of the Democratic nomination process by the pro-Obama media biased against Hillary Clinton will produce a candidate in cult leader Obama, who will have no legitimacy for supporters of Hillary Clinton.

    Cloaked in illegitimacy, cult leader Obama will crash and burn in November, compliments of the pro-Obama biased media against Hillary Clinton.

    There should then be a movement to reform the media to rein in the biased, tyrannical role of the media in American democracy.

  6. Schadenfreude is such a guilty pleasure. My visceral dislike of Ms. Clinton is as inexplicable as it is deep, and reveling in her misfortune isn’t something to proud of. In the name of self awareness, it shouldn’t be denied either. If I were still a Catholic, I’d have to confess this unseemly delight at Hillary’s distress.

  7. crat3 is apparently what happens when Pauliacs shift their allegience to Clinton.

  8. I agree that the press has been tough on Hillary and easier on Obama, but consider one confounding detail: it took about 9 consecutive defeats for Clinton before the press stopped describing her as the frontrunner. Had Clinton and Obama switched outcomes in all the states that have voted to date, at what point would the press have written him off?

  9. There should then be a movement to reform the media to rein in the biased, tyrannical role of the media in American democracy.

    There already is a movement. It’s called “move your thumb to the ‘off’ button on you remote control.”

    When tryng to halt the media’s influence, it works every time.

  10. The media made me misspell trying, FYI.

  11. Cook, the host, got similar treatment when he asked why Clinton won’t release her tax returns yet. “When she’s the general-election nominee she’ll release the tax returns,” Singer said.

    Maybe that’s their next strategy. “C’mon, we’ll show you Hill’s tax returns if you vote for us. Trust us, it’s a good deal! You know you want to see what’s in there.”

  12. The undermining of the Democratic nomination process by the pro-Obama media biased against Hillary Clinton will produce a candidate in cult leader Obama, who will have no legitimacy for supporters of Hillary Clinton.

    Silly boy you got so much to live for
    So much to aim for, so much to try for
    You blowing it all with paranoia
    Youre so insecure you self-destroyer*

    *Ray Davies

  13. Candidate Clinton was taken to an undisclosed medical facility for observation after being forcibly removed, weeping and cursing, from the podium at the Democratic National Convention last night. Governor Spitzer is rumored to already be interviewing potential replacements for her Senate seat. Former President Clinton, was said to have left for Reno, Nevada, shortly after midnight, on a private jet.

    -from the “Stories I’d really like to read” file

  14. Pro-Obama biased media against Sen. Clinton has swayed votes to cult leader Obama and moved polls in his favor.

    And lookit here, a Clintonite complaining about media bias because the media isn’t humping their candidate. I LOVE IT!

  15. Hillary Clinton will win Ohio and Texas. If she does not win these states, it will be because of the pro-Obama biased media that swayed votes to Obama.

    What a wonderful little coccoon you’ve built for your thoughts on this matter. Whatever happens, your opinion will be insulated from any contrary considerations.

  16. crat3 –
    You’re complaining to the wrong people about having your candidate disadvantaged by the media. Your candidate is HILLARY CLINTON! She at least GETS media.

    There should then be a movement to reform the media to rein in the biased, tyrannical role of the media in American democracy.

    Yup. You’re barking up the wrong tree here also.

  17. Didn’t Christopher Hitchens recently say something like – “the most confounding trait in American media is the importance of “the narritive” in the story – that the facts, will be used or not be used, to advance that narritive”.

    And wasn’t this on Reason TV?

    Bill benefits from this trait as “the comeback kid”.

    “it took about 9 consecutive defeats for Clinton before the press stopped describing her as the frontrunner” – joe is right. It just took the media a little longer then usual to adopt a new narritive.

  18. I think the media were just waiting for Obama to get a lead in elected delegates prior to calling him the “frontrunner.” I think they were actually trying to be fair on this one.

  19. I guess I should say they were including what they thought were pretty concrete, publicly pledged superdelegates as well.

  20. “And lookit here, a Clintonite complaining about media bias because the media isn’t humping their candidate. I LOVE IT!”

    Yes indeed, Hillary and her followers are livid because she hasn’t been getting the fawning media treatment that she has been so used to for all those years before she started running for Prez. Like the presidency itself, Clinton, Inc. thinks that’s something to which they are entitled. Of course in times past, the MSM slavishly took her side because her attackers were Republicans and/or conservatives and the MSM will always take the opposite side in such instances. Now, her opponent is another liberal and she is not given a pass in the same way.

    And she can’t stand it.

    LOL

  21. Schadenfreude is such a guilty pleasure. My visceral dislike of Ms. Clinton is as inexplicable as it is deep, and reveling in her misfortune isn’t something to proud of. In the name of self awareness, it shouldn’t be denied either.

    Its like you’re reading my mind, J sub D. Only I think you’re feeling worse about enjoying her suffering than I am.

  22. So I guess all that crap spewed about the Clintons being lying, manipulative bastards was correct after all.

  23. I feel bad about feeling good about her going down to defeat for about five minutes. Then I just hear she or Bill speak on TV, and the bad feeling goes away.

  24. Obama should pick Chris Dodd as a running mate.

  25. Reinmoose-

    So the Republicans can scream NEW ENGLAND LIBERAL? They’re going to try to paint Obama as a “McGovern” figure so its important he gets a red state Democrat.

  26. crat3-
    Can you go fishing w/ me this weekend. I haven’t caught that many in months.

  27. I hear the Clintons speak on teevee, and I hate them. Then, I hear Chris Matthews or some Republican speak about the Clintons, and I like them again.

    Now, as a liberal and an Irish Catholic, I pretty much feel guilty 24-7, so that’s no help at all.

  28. Well, I just read that Chris Dodd endorsed Obama, and I thought “you know, that Chris Dodd fellow is an OK guy.” I didn’t really mean that was my final answer.

    Now, Bill Richardson. That would be a fun VP pick. Or, as long as you want to find a Red State democrat for him to run with, how about…. OOOH OOH! John McCain! He should offer the VP to John McCain!

  29. Reinmoose Chris Dodd is probably my favorite Democrat in the entire Senate. Hes very good on what Democrats are supposed to be good on from a libertarian POV. But speaking from political strategy, he wouldn’t help Obama much.

    Obama should pick Gov. Brad Henry of OK–probably the only Democratic Governor in the nation besides Richardson who cuts taxes. The guy won one of the reddest states in a landslide twice.

  30. Thank you for this joe…”I agree that the press has been tough on Hillary and easier on Obama, but consider one confounding detail: it took about 9 consecutive defeats for Clinton before the press stopped describing her as the frontrunner. Had Clinton and Obama switched outcomes in all the states that have voted to date, at what point would the press have written him off?”

    I have been presenting this argument for over a week to all that will listen. It boggles my mind that they are giving Clinton such a pass. After losing 11 in a row how on earth can she “still be in it”? And she has not just lost but lost BIG in almost every contest since Feb 5th. Obama would have never been allowed to continue if this was playing in reverse.

  31. I believe the press is giving her a “pass” because she is in statistical dead heat in Texas and I believe up a bit in Ohio, if the last set of polls I looked at were current.

  32. I early voted for Obama in the Texas primary. I’ve never voted Democrat or Republican in my life. I saw it less as a vote and more of my personal opportunity to say to the Clintons,

    “Enough of your shit! Go the fuck away!”

    It felt great. I probably won’t even vote in the general.

  33. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are the only Dems to win the Big One in what, forty years of recent history? A lot of pundocracy therefore believed for a long time it takes a Southerner for the Democrats to win. But the more I look at it, the reason Dems from the South have had a better chance is because they are far enough from the establishment so the establishment can’t ruin their chances.

    Look at the people Bill Clinton had working for him in ’92 and ’96. The Raging Cajun, Boy Wonder George Stephanopolus, and the appropriately named Dick Morris. None of whom could be considered Democratic Elite at least when they were doing their best work.

    But look at the Dems who hire the supposed wunderkind of the Dem-verse…people like Chris Lehane, Howard Wolfson, and the incredibly ineffective Bob Shrum. All losers – none have ever been on a campaign in a competitive contest and won. Yet the Establishment morons keep hiring the same goofballs and paying them millions to sink the ship, and then jump like rats. People talk about Clinton Inc, but right now it’s Democratic Establishment Inc, which is why they are losers. Its in their blood.

    The internet is a good example. The last Insurgent was Howard Dean in 2004. His crew had the internet E-Money Machine in full swing, and outside of Dean’s self-implosion, they would have beat the pants off John Kerry. You would think the Geniuses would have realized the potential in the internet though. Four years later, Obama has the same E-money machine going. Hillary has a lot of Kerry’s old people working for her, and they got blindsided by the ‘net again. What a bunch of luddites! Obama is too good a game-show host to fold like Dean – leavomg HRC is screwed by her own people no less. Its her fault to rely on them so much, she doesn’t trust herself…she deserves to lose. If her campaign is that badly run, that bad with finances, and lacking in planning, how the hell does she think she’s qualified to be Prez? She’d run a Burger King into the ground (as the Night Shift manager no less!).

  34. I agree, HAL9000. The funniest bit of information is that Ron Paul is the only one that has been in this race that has actually only spent money he had. I forget the source I read to that effect, but I figure it wouldn’t be hard to find.

    Obviously, being able to balance finances shouldn’t be the be-all end-all of skills to determine a president, but you’d think that more people would be able to run a race without going into debt.

  35. “I early voted for Obama in the Texas primary. I’ve never voted Democrat or Republican in my life. I saw it less as a vote and more of my personal opportunity to say to the Clintons,”

    “Enough of your shit! Go the fuck away!”

    My wife and I also voted for Obama in the Texas primary last weekend. The first time I ever voted in the Democrat primary and the first time I ever voted for a Democrat for President. I usually vote Libertarian although I did vote for Nixon (sorry) and Reagan. I voted for Obama to vote against Hillary whom I loathe. I’m considering voting for Obama against McCain in the general because McCain is nothing but a warmonger, but I’ve always been opposed to Socialized Medicine which Obama would bring us. I may end up voting Libertarian again.

  36. Aw crap. “Meltdown” is only figurative. I thought somebody spilled a glass of water on her finally.

  37. “I believe the press is giving her a “pass” because she is in statistical dead heat in Texas and I believe up a bit in Ohio, if the last set of polls I looked at were current.”

    According to a polling outfit called “Decision Analyst”, Obama is ahead of Hillary in Texas by 57 to 43 and ahead of her in Ohio by 54 to 46. They claim that their data is based on more carefully selected demographic compositions than the other pollsters.

  38. …a polling outfit called “Decision Analyst…

    Do you know their track record? Since pollsters have had serious cranial/rectal inversion problems this cycle, I’m wondering if these folks are any better.

  39. Surveys USA has been pretty good this cycle.

    They kicked butt on Super Tuesday.

  40. “Hillary Clinton will win Ohio and Texas. If she does not win these states…”

    I admit, I lol’ed.

  41. I agree that the press has been tough on Hillary and easier on Obama…

    I have no idea if Katie Couric’s interview with Hillary on 60 Minutes was seen by enough people to influence the race, but she made Clinton look really, really superficial and non-presidential by not even coming within a mile of being tough on her.

  42. “Cloaked in illegitimacy, cult leader Obama will crash and burn in November, compliments of the pro-Obama biased media against Hillary Clinton.”

    The polls show Obama to be a stronger candidate against McCain at this point.

    AP has Obama defeating McCain 51 to 41, while Thunder Thighs defeats him by only 48 to 43.

    CBS has Obama defeating McCain 50 to 38 but has a tie between Hillary and McCain at 46 to 46.

  43. National Polls, those head to head matches, at this point in the race don’t really mean anything, and won’t until mid summer when the conventions roll around.

    Obama did something recently that I am very much in agreement with him on:

    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2008/02/25/obama-distinguishes-between-pro-israel-and-pro-likud/

    But I also realize, it will damage his chances in the November elections. Even though most Jews disagree with the Lobby on almost everything, the Lobby’s support is also a good indicator of Jewish support in elections.

    So a close race in a key state like Florida, a hawk like McCain may actually have an unfortunate advantage.

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