Clinton-Obama Rift Begins

Clinton-Obama Rift Begins

A little bit of daylight has begun to emerge between the Clintons and President Obama. As the president’s ratings drop — recently, particularly among liberals — the first signs are beginning to show of distance between the former rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.
As always with the Clintons, the signs are made evident by a carefully choreographed two-step in which they fill their separate roles, one as an outsider and the other as a loyal insider to the Obama administration. But never doubt that everything these two do is coordinated and orchestrated.
On Bill’s end, there emerge faint signs of disagreement with the president. Commenting on the Gulf oil spill, the former president warned against ratcheting up the rhetoric against BP noting that it is that firm’s expertise upon which the administration must rely to end the spill and terminate the slide in his ratings that it has triggered.
More confrontationally, Bill has endorsed Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff for the Democratic Senate nomination in Colorado even as the Obama White House is strongly backing Michael Bennet, the Democratic senator appointed to fill the seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
For Bill Clinton to challenge Obama so overtly to a proxy battle in the Colorado Senate primary is, indeed, remarkable considering his wife’s role in the administration.
Hillary, as befits her position — but not necessarily her personality — is more demure. While she takes no shots at her boss and does not cross him in any way, she is gradually expanding her purview beyond the foreign affairs mandate of her job.
It was Secretary of State Clinton who first released to the media the fact that Obama’s Justice Department would be suing the state of Arizona over their new anti-illegal immigration law. And it was also the secretary of state who noted that she felt that rich people were not paying their “fair share” of taxes in the U.S., while carefully explaining that she was only expressing her personal views.

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The Tea Party, Timothy McVeigh, and Tainted History

The Tea Party, Timothy McVeigh, and Tainted History

By Jayna Davis

Anyone waving a placard or voicing dissent against the Obama administration dare not protest too loudly. President Bill Clinton has reignited the incendiary rhetoric of April 19, 1995. He effectively sealed his second White House bid in 1996 by blaming conservative talk radio for inciting the heartland bomber Timothy McVeigh. Now, fifteen years later, the Democratic playbook promises to claim far more victims. Only this time, hardworking Americans stand in the crosshairs.

In a recent CNN interview, the former commander-in-chief sounded a battle cry to the political left, press and pundits alike: Vilify the Tea Party, deeming its membership capable of the violent rampage of the Oklahoma City bomber. This stigma imperils the most influential grassroots movement in modern history. Nothing threatens to muzzle free speech more than being stereotyped a “Tim McVeigh wanna-be.”
For me, this political correctness run amok triggers déjà vu. The smear campaign represents an instant replay of the backlash that I endured as a TV news reporter on the trail of the infamous John Doe 2. I was branded a “racist” for pursuing leads that illustrated how Iraqi intelligence agents, soldiers who served in Saddam Hussein’s army during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, infiltrated the United States in order to recruit and assist Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in executing the worst act of terror in 20th-century America.
What I discovered shatters the Tim McVeigh mold as an “angry white male” who vented his hostility through published letters to newspaper editors — and soon thereafter, crossed the threshold from peaceful discontent to wholesale mass murder. Instead, copiously researched evidence, as outlined in my book The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing, exposes McVeigh as the ultimate traitor, acting in collusion with al-Qaeda terrorists and hostile foreign governments such as Iran and Iraq.  
The decorated Bradley gunner openly expressed to an Army buddy during Operation Desert Storm that he “wanted to become a mercenary for the Middle East because they paid the most.” Upon returning from the Persian Gulf War, he failed the cut for the elite Special Forces. The combat hero suffered a blow to the ego from which he would never recover. 
The lanky, awkward teenager from upstate New York had joined the military to shake the childhood stigmas of ordinariness and anonymity. Beneath his clean-cut persona, he harbored a warped sense of empathy for Osama bin Laden, the first World Trade Center mastermind Ramzi Yousef, and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. During his incarceration, McVeigh penned personal essays unveiling his deep-seated sympathies for Middle Eastern terrorists that fueled his anti-government zealotry. He unabashedly expressed regret for the killing two Iraqi enemy combatants, for which he earned the Bronze Star. 
Jailhouse interviews recently broadcasted by MSNBC confirm McVeigh’s obsessive need for notoriety. Shortly before his 2001 execution, he granted unlimited access to two authors of his biography in order to dictate how history would portray his role as the Oklahoma City “super bomber.” McVeigh lauded himself as an emotionless executioner, an ingenious mastermind, and the author of his own fate.     
Demented pride impelled the American terrorist to fire off letters to the press following my appearances on cable news programs. His ire inflamed as I announced to a nationwide audience that Osama bin Laden, Iraq, and Iran sponsored the Oklahoma City operation. My investigation demeaned the Army sergeant’s status and relegated his role to that of a mule, or rather, a button-pusher. In the lexicon of the intelligence community, Timothy McVeigh was nothing more than a “lily-white” delivery boy — someone who had no ostensible ties to a Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, and thereby could operate below the law enforcement radar screen. He was a handpicked dupe, set up to take the fall in order to save his Islamic collaborators from prosecution. Bill Clinton’s FBI ensured just that.  
The Bureau failed miserably in its prodigious quest to find McVeigh’s legendary accomplice, John Doe 2. It soon became evident that federal agents conducted a myopic manhunt bent on collaring a “homegrown” third terrorist of Caucasian, not foreign, descent. In early 1996, the Bureau conducted an unprecedented investigation in a herculean effort to connect a religious compound of white separatists and a band of Aryan Republican Army bank robbers to the Oklahoma City bombers.  After all, they were cut from the same cloth as Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. These right-wing extremists indubitably fit the profile of the angry white men who would avenge their hatred of the establishment by destroying a federal complex. 
After conducting twenty-five thousand witness interviews, the FBI could not find one witness who tied the neo-Nazi suspects to downtown Oklahoma City, Timothy McVeigh, the Ryder truck, getaway vehicles, or the bombsite. All had irrefutable alibis. In short, the FBI failed to produce one eyewitness account, fingerprint, motel registration log, or phone record linking these alleged conspirators to the commission of the crime. The judge who presided over Terry Nichols’ 2004 state murder trial ruled the Bureau’s pursuit of additional domestic terrorists amounted to nothing more than “hyperbole and a dry hole.”   
The FBI compliantly accepted the court’s rebuke rather than take receipt of my voluminous dossier indicting Iraqi soldiers in the crime. In 1997, when I attempted to surrender the witness statements and corroborative evidence, the FBI flatly refused to take it. But I persisted, and in 1999, FBI Agent Dan Vogel accepted the witness affidavits and investigative file. From there, the documents simply vanished. 
To this day, the FBI has failed to investigate the multiple sightings of Iraqi Republican Guardsman Hussain Al-Hussaini in the presence of Timothy McVeigh prior to the bombing, exiting the bomb-laden Ryder truck the morning of April 19, and escaping the ill-fated Murrah Building in a getaway vehicle pursued by the FBI in an all-points-bulletin issued for Middle Eastern terrorists. More significantly, two federal court rulings establish that this Iraqi soldier has no provable alibi for the morning of the bombing. 
The FBI never questioned Hussain Al-Hussaini and has refused repeated requests from Congress and the press to clear him officially of complicity in the Murrah Building bombing. Why? It is my firm belief that Bill Clinton and Janet Reno should be called upon to answer that question. Meanwhile, the Democrats will continue to spin the fictional portrait of McVeigh to the party’s advantage. 
Undoubtedly, Tim McVeigh espoused hate. He advocated civil disobedience. He called for armed resistance to punish a republic he no longer trusted to protect the liberty of its citizenry. But by no means does his crime symbolize anything other than the maniacal act of an unstable individual living on the fringe of society. For Bill Clinton to draw a comparison between a bloodthirsty terrorist and Tea Party conservatives, many of whom are senior citizens on walkers, is nothing short of a national outrage.
However, those threatened by the mounting ranks of dissatisfied voters will continue to stoke the flames of demagoguery. McVeigh was a soldier of fortune — a far cry from the peaceful citizens of the Tea Party. Yet until the evidence embodied in The Third Terrorist is prosecuted and validated in a courtroom setting, Americans who hold their elected leaders to account will continue to bear the onus of “Tim McVeigh wanna-bes.” The historical record, as written by the Clinton Department of Justice, leaves the door open to malign protestors as latent terrorists just awaiting the impetus to act. This insidious distortion of truth demands redress. 
The time has arrived to exorcise the ghosts of Oklahoma City and bring to account the Arab terrorists who butchered innocent Americans and the officials who suppressed the evidence of their guilt. 

Cole to Clinton: Don’t ‘cheapen’ Okla. City

Cole to Clinton: Don’t ‘cheapen’ Okla. City
By: Andy Barr
April 20, 2010 09:41 AM EDT
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) is warning former President Bill Clinton to not “cheapen” the memory of the Oklahoma City bombing by comparing the anti-government sentiment that fueled it to the anti-Washington anger that drives the tea party movement.

In the lead-up to Monday’s 15th anniversary of the bombing, Clinton frequently drew parallels between the two periods and warned that extreme rhetoric sometimes encourages violent action.

Cole took exception to Clinton’s comments in an e-mail to POLITICO and cautioned the former president against invoking the memory of the bombing to move the ball in political debate.

“No one respects what Gov. Frank Keating and President Bill Clinton did during the Oklahoma City tragedy more than I do,” Cole said in response to Clinton. “And each of them has been careful never to use the incident for partisan purposes or to stigmatize opponents by suggesting that legitimate political dissent generates violence. Others who discuss the Oklahoma City tragedy should likewise be cautious.”

“We should not cheapen the event or the heroic and compassionate public response it engendered by using it as a talking point against those with whom we disagree,” said the Republican congressman.

What’s behind the anti-Tea Party hate narrative?

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Clinton alludes to 1995 bombing, says words matter He is still clueless

Clinton alludes to 1995 bombing, says words matter


Apr 16, 7:04 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former President Bill Clinton warned of a slippery slope from angry anti-government rhetoric to violence like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, saying “the words we use really do matter.”

The two-term Democratic president insisted he wasn’t trying to restrict free speech, but in remarks Friday he said incendiary language can be taken the wrong way by some Americans. He drew parallels to words demonizing the government before Oklahoma City.

On April 19, 1995, an anti-government conspiracy led by Army veteran Timothy McVeigh exploded a truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.

“What we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or that we should reduce our passion for the positions we hold – but that the words we use really do matter, because there’s this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike,” he said.

“One of the things that the conservatives have always brought to the table in America is a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility. And the more power you have and the more influence you have, the more responsibility you have.”

Clinton made the remarks at events sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund on the upcoming anniversary of the bombing.

He mentioned the rancorous fight over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Passage of the law elicited threats against some lawmakers.

“I’m glad they’re fighting over health care and everything else. Let them have at it. But I think that all you have to do is read the paper every day to see how many people there are who are deeply, deeply troubled,” he said.

He also alluded to the anti-government tea party movement, which held protests in several states Thursday. At the Washington rally, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota railed against “gangster government.”

Clinton argued that the Boston Tea Party was in response to taxation without representation. The current protesters, he said, are challenging taxation by elected officials, and the demonstrators have the power to vote them out of office.

“By all means keep fighting, by all means, keep arguing,” he said. “But remember, words have consequences as much as actions do, and what we advocate, commensurate with our position and responsibility, we have to take responsibility for. We owe that to Oklahoma City.”

Clinton’s North Korean Odyssey

Clinton’s North Korean Odyssey
By: Bruce Thornton
Thursday, August 06, 2009


More proof to our enemies that the U.S. is weak and vulnerable — courtesy of Bill Clinton.
The great powers of history understood the truth of Virgil’s dictum that “they have power because they seem to have power.” As much as soldiers and weapons, prestige and perception are critical for a great power’s ability to pursue and defend its interests. Both allies and adversaries must show by their behavior that they respect and honor a dominant state, and understand that consequences will follow the failure to do so.  And to reinforce the perception of its power, a major power must be willing to take actions that demonstrate that is worthy of this respect. To do otherwise is to create a perception of weakness and to invite encroachments on the state’s security and interests. The decline of great empires like that of Rome or of England is in part a consequence of the loss of this respect on the part of enemies and rivals, and the perception that they were weak rather than strong.

Unfortunately, this is a wisdom that the United States has forgotten, as evidenced by former President Bill Clinton’s recent trip to North Korea to rescue two reporters who had been imprisoned for “illegally” entering North Korean territory. Many will no doubt praise Clinton’s “diplomacy” and hope that it may jump-start the languishing efforts to pry loose North Korea’s nuclear arsenal from Kim Jong-il’s dying grip. In fact, the whole episode is another in a series of humiliations, whether petty or serious, that have damaged America’s prestige and convinced its enemies that for all our power, we are weak and vulnerable.

How else can one understand the sorry spectacle of the one-time leader of the world’s most powerful state flying cap in hand to a dysfunctional country ruled by a psychopathic thug? Does anybody think it shows strength for Clinton to apologize to said thug on behalf of two Americans who had been wrongly arrested and jailed? Doesn’t it rather redound to North Korea’s prestige that it has compelled a representative of American power to solicit a favor, pose for photos, and chit-chat with one of the most brutal dictators of recent history? And who knows what other concessions were promised or implied.

Legitimizing rogue regimes and dictators, and creating the perception of equality by summits, conferences, and photo-ops, does not advance our interests. The symbolic elevation of such regimes necessitates the degradation of the United States, for what we think of as a demonstration of strength––that we can resolve disputes just with talk–– our adversaries see as craven weakness. After all, begging a favor always implies inferiority: as the African proverb has it, “The hand that gives is always above the hand that receives.” We may have infinitely greater power, but if we make it clear that we will not use it, then the perception of our weakness is just as effective in controlling our behavior as are fighter jets and tanks.

Some may argue that our strength lies in our principles such as the rule of law and a preference for reasoned discussion over force. Indeed it does––but only when it is clear that our power lies behind our principles, that we believe in them ardently enough to use force not for territory or wealth, but to strengthen our principles and defend our security when we have determined they have been attacked. But to think that those principles and beliefs can stand on their own without being guaranteed by force is delusional, for the simple reason that most of our adversaries do not believe in the same principles.  To our enemies, those principles are not self-evidently the best way to live, and so our adversaries must be compelled to respect these principles with deeds rather than words. The prestige of our principles depends on the prestige of our power.

Liberals, however, have a different view of foreign policy. They think that our adversaries are like us and believe in the same goods, such as the resolution of conflict through reasoned discussion, and so liberals take force off the table. They think that our example alone will be sufficient to convince our enemies to change their behavior. We see this approach in the current administration’s overtures to Iran. More discussion, more diplomacy, more offers of various material boons like increased trade supposedly will convince the mullahs to forgo the enormous boost in power and prestige they will enjoy by possessing nuclear arms.

Yet without the credible threat of force, all this diplomacy does not mean a thing to a regime that has nothing but contempt for us. Why else would they imprison three of our citizens? They know they will pay no price for dishonoring us in that way, that instead we will offer concessions, whether material or symbolic, the end result of which will be to further Iran’s prestige as a regime willing to stand up to the Great Satan and expose once again its weakness and corruption.

This decline in America’s prestige started after the debacle of Vietnam, where a military victory was squandered because of a massive failure of nerve on the part of both Congress and the people. Four years later, Iran confirmed the estimation of our weakness by seizing with impunity our citizens and embassy. In 1983, we failed to punish Iran for its part in helping Hezbollah blow up 241 of our soldiers. Ten years later, we ran from Mogadishu after 18 of our soldiers were killed, putting the QED to our enemies’ perception that we were through as a great power.

In 1996, Osama bin Laden explicitly linked al Qaeda’s bomb attacks on Americans in Saudi Arabia to the loss of prestige that followed these multiple failures to punish our enemies. In this fatwa, bin Laden starts by responding to Secretary of Defense William Perry’s statement after the bombing the lesson is “not to withdraw when attacked by coward terrorists,” which bin Laden correctly scorned as mere bluff:

“Where was this false courage of yours when the explosion in Beirut took place on 1983 AD (1403 A.H). You were turned into scattered bits and pieces at that time; 241 mainly marines soldiers [sic] were killed. And where was this courage of yours when two explosions made you to leave Aden [site of the 1992 al Qaeda bombing of a hotel where U.S. servicemen stayed on their way to Somalia] in less than twenty- four hours!

But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens [sic] of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge, but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the “heart” of every Muslim and a remedy to the “chests” of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu.”

One would be hard-pressed to find a more telling example of how the damage to prestige invites aggression, how blustering words not backed up by vigorous action creates contempt in our enemies.

And now a new administration promises to repeat the same mistakes: avoiding the hard choices and tragic consequences a great power must accept in order to remain a great power, relying instead on words to pursue aims only deeds can achieve. If this policy persists, the perception of our weakness could very well in the end be more powerful than all our armies and weapons.

Bruce Thornton is the author of Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow-Motion Suicide (Encounter Books).

Election ’08 Backgrounder


Financial Crisis | Iraq | Defense | Background & Character | Judges & Courts | Energy



Quick Facts:

  • Democrats created the mortgage crisis by forcing banks to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
  • In 2006, McCain sponsored a bill to fix the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Barney Frank and other Democrats successfully opposed it.
  • Obama was one of the highest recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donations in Congress.

Related Editorials



Quick Facts:

  • When the U.S. was on the verge of losing in Iraq, McCain chose to stand and fight.  Obama chose retreat.
  • Even after the surge succeeded, Obama told ABC’s Terry Moran he would still oppose it if he had the chance to do it all over again.

Related Editorials



Quick Facts:

  • Obama has promised to significantly cut defense spending, including saying “I will slow our development of future combat systems.”
  • John McCain has vowed: “We must continue to deploy a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, robust missile defenses and superior conventional forces that are capable of defending the United States and our allies.”

Related Editorials

Obama Video: Watch Now




Quick Facts:

  • Obama voted “present” 135 times as a state senator, and according to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, “gained a reputation for skipping tough votes.”
  • McCain has taken stances unpopular with his own party and/or the public on controversial issues, including immigration, campaign finance reform, judicial nominations, the Iraq War and more.

Related Editorials




Quick Facts:

  • In a 2001 interview, Obama said he regretted that the Supreme Court “didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.”
  • In the same interview, Obama criticized the Supreme Court because it “never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.”
  • Obama has focused on empathy, rather than legal reasoning and restraint, as his basis for appointing judges, saying, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy…to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.”
  • McCain opposes judicial activism, saying, “my nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power.”

Related Editorials

Obama 2001 Interview: Listen Now



Quick Facts:

  • McCain has proposed building 45 new nuclear plants by 2030 and is in favor of drilling in sectors of the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Obama has refused to take a stand, saying only “we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix” and he will “look at” drilling offshore.

Related Editorials

McCain: The Energy Candidate

» McCain On Nukes: Yes We Can
» Breaking The Back Of High Oil


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1999 NY Times – Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

September 30, 1999

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending


In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates — anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

”Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990’s by reducing down payment requirements,” said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chairman and chief executive officer. ”Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.”

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.

”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

Under Fannie Mae’s pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 — a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites..

Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990’s. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University ‘s Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.

In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.



Bill Clinton: I won’t dump on McCain


Bill Clinton: I won’t dump on McCain
Sep 24 04:21 PM US/Eastern

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former President Clinton says if Democrats want someone to dump on John McCain, he’s not the guy.Some members of his party have been complaining that Clinton has not been enthusiastic enough in his support for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, who defeated Clinton’s wife in the primary campaign, and heaping too much praise on McCain.

But Clinton told CNN’s “Larry King Live” on Wednesday that he doesn’t think “dumping” on McCain or his running mate, Sarah Palin, is a winning strategy. He said undecided voters aren’t interested in attacks but solutions for the problems they face.

“I just don’t believe that getting up here and hyperventilating about Gov. Palin, or Sen. McCain for that matter, is a productive use of a former president’s time and is not a vote-getter,” he said, adding that he admires McCain even though he disagrees with several of his positions.

Clinton said he and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, gave vigorous endorsements to Obama at the national convention last month and that Hillary Clinton has traveled extensively on Obama’s behalf. That includes a tour of Michigan on Saturday.

“I think you can argue that she has done more than all other runner-ups have in the Democratic Party in 40 years,” the former president said. “We have been quite clear on this. We’re not party-wreckers, and we believe that the country needs to take a different course.”
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Clintons Set to Upstage Obama

Clintons Set to Upstage Obama

Monday, August 25, 2008 10:49 PM

By: Dave Eberhart, Newsmax contributing editor

For some disgruntled and worried Sen. Barack Obama supporters at the Democratic convention, the program is too much Clinton – too much of the time.


With both Hillary and Bill featured prominently at the Denver conclave, the fear is that the dynamic duo will overshadow the candidate and dilute the big bounce he seeks and needs from the four-day showcase.


Add to the mix the fact that Hillary has demanded her name still be placed in nomination. Already, press reports indicate key Clinton aides will leave the convention before Obama’s Thursday night speech.


According to a report in the Financial Times, the Obama camp is counting on as much as a 10-percentage-point bounce in opinion polls post-convention.


But with Hillary holding the podium Tuesday night, and husband Bill on Wednesday, there are real fears among Obama backers they may steal his show and the media’s focus will stray from Obama and running mate Joe Biden.


Consider, for instance, the anointed Obama-Biden pair touring the swing states of the Midwest on the grand and triumphant journey to Denver on Wednesday.


Wednesday happens to also be Bill Clinton’s big day in the sun – with his address to party delegates slated for prime time.


The Financial Times cites an unnamed Washington think-tanker as noting how nominee Al Gore suffered under the Clinton glare at the 2000 convention. “The Clintons have done this before,” said the unnamed source. “And they are capable of doing it again.”


Meanwhile, The New York Times recalled the particulars of how the Gore campaign did its best to neutralize Bill Clinton – only to have the best-laid plans backfire.


In 2000, Bill Clinton got assigned the prime-time speaking slot on a Monday, with a symbolic “passing of the torch” to Gore scheduled for the next day in Michigan.


Bill Clinton, however, shot into the limelight the prior Thursday with a surprise heartfelt plea that voters should not hold Gore accountable for Clinton’s personal shortcomings. The president then arrived at the Los Angeles venue three days early, becoming a media sensation right up to the time of his big convention speech.


And there is good reason the Clintons want to distance themselves from Obama.


During his recent trip to Africa, Bill Clinton was asked whether Obama was prepared to become president, according to a Fox News report. He replied, at best, unenthusiastically: “You can argue that nobody is ready to be president.”


True to form, Bill Clinton has already gotten a jump on his time slot, making it known that he was unhappy about the assigned topic of his speech.

Politico reported that Bill Clinton was to address the theme of Securing America’s Future — explaining how Obama would be a more effective commander-in-chief than his Republican rival, McCain.


According to several media reports, the former president would rather address the economy and general Democratic doctrine, outlining among other things how his own administration successfully pulled the economy along.


Meanwhile, Hillary and her still-loyal delegates have their own opportunities at the convention to act the role of the loose cannon.


Tuesday night in her own prime-time slot, Hillary gives the keynote address to an audience of 20,000 in the Pepsi Center downtown. Just prior to the speech, she has the singular privilege to screen for the hall a film about her life.


She will also hold a private meeting with her top financial supporters Wednesday at noon, and will thank her delegates at an event that afternoon.


On Thursday, disaffected Hillary delegates will get the opportunity to make a symbolic roll call vote for her nomination.


In a move that perhaps speaks volumes about the quest-for-unity theme, several of Hillary’s key supporters are then planning to leave town – before the Obama acceptance speech that caps off the final day of the convention.


Among them, reports The New York Times, are Terry McAuliffe, Hillary’s campaign chairman, and longtime supporters Steve Rattner and Maureen White.


Of everything on Hillary’s busy convention itinerary, however, it’s the delegate roll call that has Obama supporters the most nervous.


Tension in the Air


As the Financial Times reports, the delegates in the hall will be greatly outnumbered by rank-and-file Hillary fans that have descended on Denver.


These diehards are still hoping for a miracle that a consensus will build at the convention that the former first lady is the better nominee. They also know that the mood of the delegates inside may be the key to any one-in-a-million upset chance.


The Denver Post recently reported that a small group is trying to gather the signatures needed to put Hillary’s name back on the ballot.


Hillary has promised to formally release her 1,896 pledged delegates on Wednesday, but U.S. News & World Report noted in a report that as the Democratic National Convention opened Monday, “there were still behind-the-scene jitters among party leaders about what her most ardent supporters might do Wednesday when the nomination roll is called.”


Not worried, however, according to U.S. News, is New York Sen. Chuck Schumer. After coming from a New York delegation breakfast where Hillary spoke, Schumer said that her disgruntled supporters who have been threatening to shut out Obama represent a “small, small number of people that the media pay lots of attention to.”


Despite Hillary releasing her delegates to Obama on Wednesday and all the concessions to the Clintons – including the symbolic placing of her name in nomination – some of her supporters still say they will refuse to move their votes to Obama.


Pat Bakalian, a Clinton delegate from Santa Cruz, Calif., told The Associated Press she had come to Denver to vote for Hillary, “and it’s what I’m going to do.”


On Monday, Hillary and Obama were still hammering out the particulars on how to give her some votes in the roll call for the Democratic presidential nomination, but then quickly end the divided balloting in unanimous consent for Obama, according to the AP.


The AP also reported that Democratic officials involved in the negotiations said Monday the concept is that at the start of the state-by-state vote for the presidential nomination Wednesday night, delegates would cast their votes for Hillary or Obama.


Then, however, the voting would be cut off after a couple of states, the officials said, perhaps ending with New York, when Clinton herself would call for unanimous backing for Obama from the convention floor.


Sounds like a plan, but the truth is that the delegates can only be advised – not dictated to.


The New York Times in its recent review of a video taken at a private Hillary event noted that Hillary professed to a gathering of the faithful: “We do not want any Democrat in the hall or in the stadium or at home walking away saying, ‘I’m just not satisfied, I’m not happy.’ That’s what I’m trying to avoid.”


Ominously, however, she added,


“I’ve made it very clear that I’m supporting Senator Obama and we’re working cooperatively on a lot of different matters. But delegates can decide to do this [or not] on their own; they don’t need permission.”





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