Palin’s Going Too???? Run Away! Run Away! Hillery Chickens Out Of Anti-Iran Rally

Clinton Delegate Upset With Her Party

It’s All About Me

It’s All About Me

By Kathy Shaidle | 8/27/2008

How can a self-congratulation double as a paean to someone else? That was the question observers asked of Hillary Clinton’s bout of rhetorical self-preoccupation last night. Her speech, bumped out of primetime at the last minute, had been billed as the speech that would close party ranks around Obama and end the most fractious primary debate in decades. But as usual, the Clintons looked out for themselves above all.

This proved unfortunate for Barack Obama, who is yet to score any discernable bounce after Monday’s widely panned convention kickoff. According to the latest Rasmussen tracking poll, Obama and McCain remain tied at 44 percent as of Tuesday morning; Gallup gave McCain a slight edge. Furthermore: 

Obama is supported by 78 percent of Democrats while McCain gets the vote from 85 percent of Republicans. The GOP hopeful also has a slight advantage among unaffiliated voters. 

Worried Democrats looked to Hillary Clinton to come to the rescue on Tuesday night. However, in a National Journal poll of “Democratic insiders” that day, only 52 percent felt confident that Clinton would deliver a gracious address designed to unite the party. One conservative pundit blogged Tuesday morning: 

This is a dream come true for Hillary, no? She gets her big moment tonight with two major national polls pointing squarely at the idea that she should have been named VP and that she, perhaps, alone can deliver the election to the Dems by rallying the PUMAs. 

“PUMA.” That’s the Hillary loyalists’ adopted moniker, standing for “Party Unity My A**.” Almost a third of them say they’ll vote for McCain this November rather than Obama. The PUMAs are considered the convention’s wild card, too; rumors have swirled for weeks that they’ll stage an embarrassing pro-Hillary stunt on live TV, perhaps during the nomination itself. “It seems to be a little more of a problem than I anticipated,” admitted Democratic Party chairman Don Fowler just hours before Hillary Clinton stepped behind the podium. “All you need is 200 people in that crowd to boo and stuff like that and it will be replayed 900 times. And that’s not what you want out of this.”

At least an undisciplined floor demonstration might improve the ratings. Meagan McArdle blogged the bad news about Day One at 

According to Nielsen, none of you are watching the conventions.  An even lower none than in 2004, which was itself a dramatic decline from the lackluster ratings of 2000.  And why would you?  You could replace all the speeches with the following template:

Blather, blather, blather, American dream, blather, blather, hard working American families, blather, blather, future, blather, blather, anecdote about how the candidate comes from a hardworking American family, blather… 

Arguably Hillary’s most formidable supporter, her husband and former President Bill Clinton, definitely didn’t follow that tedious “blather” template on Tuesday afternoon, and it may come back to haunt them. Mr. Clinton doesn’t officially address the delegates until tomorrow; it was his unscripted remarks to an international affairs forum that made news yesterday afternoon: 

He said: “Suppose you’re a voter, and you’ve got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don’t think that candidate can deliver on anything at all. Candidate Y you agree with on about half the issues, but he can deliver. Which candidate are you going to vote for?”

 Then, perhaps mindful of how his off-the-cuff remarks might be taken, Clinton added after a pause: “This has nothing to do with what’s going on now.” 

Protests aside, that hypothetical musing was clearly aimed at Obama, whose supporters have complained about the Clintons’ tepid support, if not outright disrespect, for the presumptive nominee:

Throughout the 2008 primary season and beyond, Clinton has made no secret of his exasperation with Obama’s success. He called Obama’s anti-Iraq war message a “fairy tale,” and after facing accusations that he had played the “race card” in the run-up to the South Carolina primary, Clinton later accused the Obama campaign of “playing the race card on me.” When asked in a recent ABC-TV interview if Obama was ready to be president, Clinton replied: “You could argue that no one’s ever ready to be president.” 

Hillary Clinton, in turn, energized her loyal supporters throughout the campaign by almost any means necessary, arousing sympathy from them (and ridicule from others) with her famous on-camera crying jag, for example. It doesn’t help that a new McCain campaign ad replays Hillary Clinton’s stinging dismissal of her one-time opponent for the nomination:

“I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.” 

Clinton wasn’t above playing the sex card, either: for millions of women, Republican and Democratic alike, the prospect of electing the first female President evoked powerful emotions. A deferred dream that compelling won’t die after a single speech by Hillary Clinton, no matter how brilliantly crafted and delivered. And this speech was cultivated to do anything but bury them. 

Take two battling personality cults nursing simmering resentments about money and power, add mostly unspoken (perhaps even subconscious) divisions related to sex and race, and the result is a potentially explosive situation. The word “unity” doesn’t fit comfortably in that equation.

In the end, Hillary Clinton valiantly squeezed that word in more than once, and put on a fairly convincing show of sincerity, complete with a little self-deprecating humor. But the focus remained on her own accomplishments, and her hopes for the country, rather than the personality and platform of the nominee.

Clinton stepped onto the stage clad in a startling neon orange pantsuit, and received a passionate ovation. A tearful Bill Clinton repeatedly mouthed the words “I love you” from his box high above the crowd. Hillary Clinton drew another round of applause by describing herself as “a proud supporter of Barack Obama.” She bracketed her praise for the presumptive nominee with tame, generic political boilerplate about “teamwork” and “opportunity.”

“Barack Obama is my candidate, and he must be our president,” Clinton concluded. But he barely rated a mention beyond that. Clinton briefly attacked the other ticket – the one she had praised during the primaries – trying out a somewhat awkward new slogan: “No way, no how, no McCain” and taking a pointed jab at “a Supreme Court in a right-wing headlock” (whatever that might be). An Obama presidency on the other hand will deliver “millions of green collar jobs,” “universal, high quality health care,” “make college affordable again,” and “promoting unionization.”

Missing in all of this was any discussion of the candidate’s character, the experiences that made him uniquely qualified to run the government, or a perfunctory call for her delegates to vote for him instead of her during the nomination roll call.

Instead, Hillary’s speech dwelled on her own campaign, her hopes and dreams, and how Barack Obama frequently agreed with her prescriptions for America. She included a number of anecdotes about herself, including a touching story about a cancer stricken woman who greeted her with the word “Hillary” “painted on her bald head.” In fact, she mentioned the deceased leader of the Arkansas Democratic Party and a relatively obscure Ohio Congresswoman before spending much time on the star of the convention, the man she was allegedly urging her voters to support in November.

The speech only hit its stride when discussing – wait for it – Hillary. The most stirring sections of Clinton’s address likened Hillary ’08 to Underground Railroad conductors and suffragettes, harkening back to the historical accomplishments of Harriet Tubman and the women’s rights proponents of Seneca Falls. (Naturally, Clinton neglected to mention that Tubman was a registered Republican, as were many early feminists.)

The crowd tried to make the best of the Hillary 2012 campaign. As she spoke, tall vertical signs throughout the rapturous crowd read “OBAMA” on one side and “UNITY” on the other. With their bold capital letters and sheer enormity, the signs seemed more like a totalitarian order than a friendly call to come together. On Tuesday night at any rate, the assembled Democrats seemed ready to follow orders. If there was an outburst, the cameras didn’t catch it. But nearly 18 million Clinton voters weren’t at the convention last night, and their reaction to Hillary’s speech remains to be seen.

A blogger since 2000, Kathy Shaidle runs Her new e-book Acoustic Ladyland has been called a “must read” by Mark Steyn.

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.”





© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Hillary releases her hounds; Update: RNC hosts Hillary Happy Hour

Obama and the Hillary voters

Obama and the Hillary voters

Thomas Lifson
Robert Stacy McCain sees trouble ahead for Obama when he announces his VP choice and it isn’t Hillary. While political insiders have all but dismissed the possibility of a unity ticket, he sees many of Hillary’s supporters as not yet aware of the inside baseball:

…many of Clinton’s supporters in the primaries were independent voters who, as American University political scientist Candace Nelson has observed, “are the least likely to pay attention to politics, least likely to be engaged in the political process.” [….]
..many of those 18 million Clinton voters no doubt feel that the former first lady has earned a place on the ticket.

These voters will be shocked when, as now seems likely, Obama picks a white male running mate with little national name recognition. This week’s decision to allow Hillary a roll-call vote in Denver is one indication that Team Obama may be anticipating a backlash. [….]

Most political insiders see Hillary’s defeat in the Democratic primaries as the result of her own overconfidence and incompetence. Yet she still has millions of supporters who view Obama as an arrogant upstart who cheated Clinton out of the nomination.


He may be correct. Which is why the speeches allocated to Bill and Hillary Clinton at the convention will be particularly interesting. Most observers, including me, expect the Clintons to walk a delicate line, seeming to offer support to Obama while laying the groundwork for his defeat, so as to clear the decks for a Hillary run in 2012. The Clintons seem particularly skilled at smiling while positioning the stiletto behind the back.


It is still theoretically possible that Obama will shock everyone by offering Hillary the second spot,  and perhaps equally possible Hillary will launch a coup, if enough super delegates abstain in the first roll call vote, in order to throw the voting open on subsequent ballots.


There are still opportunities for surprises.

Could Obama still lose the nomination?

Could Obama still lose the nomination?

By Denis Keohane

Will Hillary outsmart Obama and take the nomination at the last minute?

Many of us familiar with Hillary Clinton’s approach to achieving her goals refused to believe that she ever gave up all hope of winning the nomination and the presidency. Her words and actions on the subject of the convention itself always left the door open for a return, should Obama falter or suffer some calamity. 

Her artful evasions were enough to lull journalists and (more importantly) Obama and his supporters into the presumption of inevitability. No further rumblings of a mass protest in Denver should the first black candidate be denied his rightful due were heard. After all, he received enough publicly expressed support from super delegates to put him over the top. And he won the popular vote in the primaries, we were assured, lending legitimacy to the super delegates who voiced their support.

Everyone presumed the presumptive nominee was a lock.

Now there are a few signs that Hillary may be making her move.


 – Blogger Patterico alludes to the Hillary Clinton campaign burning up the phone lines to the super delegates.

 – Bill Clinton told ABC News, “I am not a racist” and contended the race card was played against him. Even when prompted in the same interview to state that Obama was ready for the Presidency, he did not deliver.


 – Hillary’s PUMA ( short for “Party Unity My A–.”) supporters in Denver and nationally plan a rally at a Denver park during the convention.


 – ABC news reported yesterday that Hillary Clinton does not rule out putting her name in nomination,contradicting earlier press reports.


Many people, including no doubt a goodly number of nervous Democrat super delegates, are asking themselves the David Brooks’ question about Obama’s standing in the polls: “Where’s the landslide  ?” After evaluating him for several months, voters in the middle still aren’t ready to embrace him.


National polls show not only a tightening of the Obama-McCain race to a statistical dead heat but momentum toward a McCain lead, something inconceivable only weeks ago. The specter of an Obama collapse has to haunt more than a few super delegates.


Buyer’s remorse seemed evident and growing among many Democrats toward the end of their primary season when Obama lost again and again to Clinton, even as the delegate math was by then stacked in his favor. That remorse was put on hold (but apparently not resolved) by Obama’s seeming to secure the nomination and the subsequent popular boost he enjoyed at first. But lately the candidate with a difference has had a hard time living up to his promise to be a new kind of politician.


According to RealClearPoliticsObama has 1766.5 pledged delegates, 352 short of the 2118 needed to secure the nomination. He also has 463 super delegates, which puts him over the top — if they hold. If a combination of Clinton campaigning and nervousness can cause a hundred and twenty or so super delegates to sit out the first ballot, Obama does not get the nomination on the first ballot and perhaps not at all. After that first vote a great many pledged delegates and all the super delegates are free to vote as they choose.


How much pressure could there then be for the forty-seven year old Obama to take the VP spot under Hillary, with the understanding that he would as such be the next Democrat in line for the top nomination whether Hillary won or lost, served one, two or no terms?


It looks like Obama’s belief in his inevitability may have led him into a blunder, making it easier for Hillary supporters to prevent a nomination on the first ballot. After that point, anything goes, as all super delegates and many pledged delegates are free to vote their preferences.


After accepting the party’s decision last June to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida but with half votes, only days ago Obama said he wanted the delegates to have full votes


Obviously, he said this believing he has won the nomination and that pandering to voters in critical general election states is of more importance.


If the party goes along with Obama’s request, it reduces the number of super delegates who would need to sit out the first ballot for Obama to be denied the nomination, opening the way for Clinton! Ouch!


This is proof that the man should not be negotiating with Ahmadinejad. If he cannot think strategically and recognize his vulnerability to a last minute ambush at the convention, he would be eaten alive in big league world affairs.


Worst of all, in his letter to the Credentials Committee arguing in favor of full votes for the two delegations, he writes:


Democrats in Florida and Michigan must know that they are full partners and colleagues in our historic mission to reshape Washington and lead our country in a new direction.


These words tacitly argue for acceptance of the popular vote results in those states. Obama cannot see one step ahead, for adding them to the vote count would give the Democratic primary season popular vote majority to Hillary.
There are about three weeks to the delegate voting. Things can still happen or even, as sometimes suspected with the Clintons, be made to happen.

Hussein/Clinton In Unity: Hussein Explains How He Wants To “Rebuild The Military”-Video

Government health care and its complaints

Government health care and its complaints

Danny Huddleston
The promise of free government health care from Obama and Hillary is a tempting proposal. But before we jump on board let’s take a look at how our cousins across the pond are doing. They’ve had “free” health care in England since 1948, and it seems they still haven’t worked all the bugs out of the system. Here are some excerpts from an illuminating article in the left wing newspaper The Guardian:

A big variation in the performance of NHS trusts across England is revealed today in the health inspectorate’s annual survey of patients’ experiences.

In some hospitals more than three-quarters of inpatients said the standard of care was excellent, compared with less than one quarter in others.

In the best trusts, staff almost invariably helped frail patients to eat, but in the worst nearly half the people who needed assistance at mealtimes said they did not get it.

There was also a wide variation between hospitals in the quality of food, cleanliness, responsiveness to call buttons and the proportion of patients expected to share bathrooms and toilets with members of the opposite sex.

The level of quality care seems uneven at best. A hospital in West London had an approval rating of only 24%, almost as bad as Congress! Here is a ground breaking idea they just instituted:
“Since last month people have had the right to choose between any NHS hospital in England and any private clinic meeting the Department of Health’s standards on quality and cost.”


Imagine, you can now go to any hospital. Maybe we should try that.


Unfortunately effective infection control and good basic hygiene have gotten worse:


Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: “These results will make worrying reading for a government that claims to be committed to infection control and patient dignity. The key indicators of effective infection control – good basic hygiene – have got worse rather than better.”

The Department of Health responded by publishing research from last year showing patients were more concerned about hospital cleanliness than single-sex accommodation. A Mori poll showed 58% of patients thought staying clean in hospital was most important, compared with 17% who wanted single-sex wards.


When you get a toothache in Great Britain the quality of care you’ll be receiving is not your main concern, it’s just hoping you can find a dentist. The conservative  Telegraph has this story:


People who cannot get an NHS dentist are pulling their teeth out with pliers and using Superglue to put caps back.
So declared Mike Penning, from the Tory front bench, in a bid to destroy the “complacent” picture of dentistry painted by Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary.
Let us leave the glue on one side, or beneath whatever caps it may be holding in place: what worried some of us was the thought of the pliers.
Canada is also having a few problems with their nationalized health care system as reported in this article from the Canadian Medical Association:
It is well known that Canada is facing a shortage of maternity care providers in a trend that has been developing over the past two decades. This shortage is being felt most acutely in rural and remote communities. For years, maternity care has been provided in these communities by family physicians with the assistance of registered general nurses. Increasing numbers of family physicians are deciding not to provide intrapartum care. Rural hospitals are finding it equally difficult to attract nurses with maternity care experience.
In many cases, women and their families are leaving their home communities up to 4 weeks prior to their due dates and residing in hotels or with relatives until the birth of their baby. In the most remote communities, women are usually flown out alone, and accommodated in hostels located in large cities, completely unfamiliar to the expectant mothers. The emotional, social, and financial costs to these women and their families are immense.


It looks as though in order to get free health care we may have to give up a few perks such as “infection control” and “patient dignity.” And we may have to become more adept at home dentistry.


Maybe this is why the Democrats never give any examples of other countries where nationalized health care is a success worth emulating, because they can’t find any.

Clinton: $2.3B in earmarks