Young activists furious with Clinton, Dodd

Many youth activists are furious with the campaigns of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) for suggesting that college students who did not grow up in Iowa should not caucus there in January — and they are delivering that message both publicly and privately.

“It’s terrible to have candidates making misleading statements about whether or not students can caucus,” said Alexandra Acker, executive director of the Young Democrats of America.

“I’m very worried about the caucus-day implications of this,” Acker said, concerned that discouraging students from caucusing will make an existing problem worse. “Students are disenfranchised at higher rates to begin with.”

Young Voter PAC, another Democratic youth organization, has also responded aggressively. The political action committee, which works with Democratic candidates to engage young voters, founded the Facebook group “Hey Clinton, Stop Telling Young Voters to Stay Home.”

Rock the Vote issued a statement encouraging students from out of state to vote. Student PIRGs Young Voters Project put out a release from a number of its student leaders in Iowa saying, “We live here in Iowa for the majority of the year. … To say that students who didn’t grow up in Iowa, but who now live here, shouldn’t have the choice to participate in the caucuses is blatant voter disenfranchisement.”

The argument centers on whether to encourage Iowa college students from out of state to caucus in Iowa — as the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is doing — or to frown at it, as the Clinton and Dodd campaigns have hinted at.

Drawing an implicit contrast with the Obama campaign, Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said, “We are not systematically trying to manipulate the Iowa caucuses with out-of-state people; we don’t have literature recruiting out-of-state college students.”

And Dodd’s Iowa state Director Julie Andreeff Jensen accused Obama of “scheming to evade either the spirit or the letter of the rules that guide the process.”

By last week, it seemed that youth activists like Acker had made some headway when both campaigns released statements saying that all eligible voters should caucus. But both candidates and their surrogates have continued to sound ambiguous notes since then.

Dodd declared that students who did not grow up in Iowa should not caucus, saying, “If you’re from Hartford, Conn., and you’re going to school at the University of Iowa, and you’re paying out-of-state tuition, you’re [unfairly] casting yourself as an Iowan.”

David Yepsen, the influential Des Moines Register columnist, criticized the Obama campaign Dec. 1 for distributing a pamphlet informing student supporters that even if they are out of state on Jan. 3 they can return to Iowa and caucus at their school precinct.
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“devious, calculating, and a divisive figure.” No, Not Chavez or Ahmidenijad – they’re talking about Hillary

I know, it’s hard to believe that Democrats would say those “oh so true” things about Hillary – but it’s all here. and I like it!

Hillary Clinton on Immigration – will the real Hillary please stand up?

My prior posting (see it here – On the Issues: Hillary Clinton on immigration)

paints a different Hillary – aaah, likely the one she wants the country to think is really her. My question is – WHY HAS SHE NOT BEEN QUESTIONED ON THIS ONE??

So incase you missed it, which you likely did, you can read the real Hillary on immigration here, and read about the real Hillary at gop.com

Hillary’s San Francisco Treat

Hillary’s National Co-Chair Signs Legislation Giving Benefits To Illegal Immigrants

As Hillary Travels To California, Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor And Sen. Clinton’s National Co-Chair, Signs Plan To Issue IDs To Illegal Immigrants:

“San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Signed Legislation Wednesday Requiring The City To Issue Identification Cards To Illegal Immigrants And Other Residents Who Can’t Or Won’t Apply For Driver’s Licenses.” (“San Fran OKs ID Card for Immigrants,” The Associated Press, 11/29/07)

  • Mayor Newsom’s Spokesman, Nathan Ballard: “The Mayor Strongly Believes That This Identification Card Should Be Extended To All San Franciscans, Regardless Of Their Immigration Status …” (Wyatt Buchanan, “Supervisor Ammiano Drafting Legislation For ID Card For Illegals,” San Francisco Chronicle, 9/7/07)
  • Newsom: “I Don’t Think It’s That Big Of A Deal …” (“San Fran OKs ID Card for Immigrants,” The Associated Press, 11/29/07)

Newsom Is Hillary’s National Co-Chair. “The Clinton Campaign announced the endorsement of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom … Mayor Newsom … join[s] the campaign as a National Co-Chair.” (Hillary Clinton For President, “San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Endorses Hillary Clinton: Newsom Named A National Co-Chair Of Clinton Campaign,” Press Release, 8/10/07)

Hillary Will Be In California Today. (“Hillary Rodham Clinton,” The Washington Post‘s “Campaign Tracker,” www.washingtonpost.com, Accessed 11/29/07)

Illegal Immigrants “Will Benefit Most,” According To The Author Of The Legislation:

“Supervisor Tom Ammiano, Who Introduced The Measure, Says Illegal Immigrants Will Benefit Most. They Will Be Able To Open Bank Accounts And Use The Card For City Services Such As Checking Out Library Books.” (Emily Bazar, “San Francisco Approves ID Cards That Exclude Gender,” USA TODAY, 11/21/07)

  • “The Supervisors Directed The City Clerk To Start Issuing The ID Cards Within Nine Months.” (Lisa Leff, “SF To Issue ID Cards To Immigrants,” The Associated Press, 11/14/07)

Newsom Is Picking Up Where Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) Left Off — Just Last Month, Sen. Clinton Said Spitzer’s Driver’s License Plan, Made “A Lot Of Sense”:

“[A]s Spitzer Began Spreading The News That He Was Dropping His Case, Over In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom Was Helping To Pass Very Similar Legislation.” (“Gavin Newsom, Taking Over Where Spitzer Left Off,” New York Magazine‘s “Daily Intelligencer” Blog, www.nymag.com, 11/14/07)

“Gov. Eliot Spitzer Formally Announced … That He Would Abandon His Plan To Give Driver’s Licenses To Illegal Immigrants …” (Nicholas Confessore, “Spitzer Drops Bid To Offer Licenses More Widely,” The New York Times, 11/14/07)

  • Hillary First Admitted Spitzer’s Driver’s License Proposal Made “A Lot Of Sense.” Hillary: “You know, Tim, this is where everybody plays gotcha. It [Spitzer’s plan] makes a lot of sense.” (Sen. Hillary Clinton, MSNBC Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Philadelphia, PA, 10/30/07)
  • Then, Only Two Weeks After Her Initial Response, Hillary Responded “No” To The Same Proposal. “CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “[D]o you support drivers licenses for illegal immigrants? … Senator Clinton?” Hillary: “No.” (Sen. Hillary Clinton, CNN Democrat Presidential Debate, Las Vegas, NV, 11/15/07)

Sen. Clinton Blames Federal Government For Failing On Immigration Reform — But Won’t Commit To Passing It, And Fails To Mention It On Campaign Trail:

“Clinton Said Governors Around The Nation Are Left With The Burden Because She Said The Bush Administration And The Federal Government As A Whole Have Failed To Bring About Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” (Chris Welch, “Clinton ‘Broadly Supports States’ Efforts To License Illegals,” CNN’s “Political Ticker” Blog, politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com, 8/05/07)

But “Mrs. Clinton Did Not Commit To Passing Immigration Reform In Her First Term …” (Christina Bellantoni, “Hillary Touts Bill To Unite Illegals’ Kin,” The Washington Times, 10/4/07)

Hillary Failed To Address Immigration Reform Issue In 35-Minute Campaign Speech. “Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told potential caucusgoers … that immigration reform begins with border security, broaching the issue only after she was questioned about it by an audience member.” (Abby Simons, “Clinton Questioned On Immigration Reform In Perry,” The Des Moines Register, 11/25/07)

  • An Audience Member “Posed The Question [About Immigration Reform] … And Was Somewhat Surprised It Wasn’t Brought Up In Clinton’s 35-Minute Speech That Ran The Gamut From Global Warming To Health Care.” (Abby Simons, “Clinton Questioned On Immigration Reform In Perry,” The Des Moines Register, 11/25/07)

 

Tension in Hillaryland Grows as Plan Goes Awry

Bloomberg – By Albert R. Hunt

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) — To appreciate Hillary Clinton’s fundamental political problem, consider the 11 Democrats from Philadelphia who gathered last week to discuss the U.S. presidential race, almost all of whom would vote for her in a general election.

The focus group was moderated by an expert on such forums, Democratic pollster Peter Hart. The participants were informed and enthusiastic about their party’s prospects, had no interest in the Republicans or third-party candidates, and were about equally balanced between front-runners Clinton and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

When Hart pushed the group during a two-hour conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of the two candidates, a different picture emerged.

Obama, they worried, can’t win the nomination; voters aren’t ready for an African-American president (a point expressed most directly by the two black women participants), and he may not be sufficiently experienced.

A couple of victories in Iowa and New Hampshire would cure most of those problems.

The concerns about Clinton, 60, a New York senator, are that she is devious, calculating and, fairly or not, a divisive figure in American politics.

Those are a lot tougher to overcome.

It was revealing, too, when Hart pushed them to envision these senators as leaders of the country or, as he put it, their “boss.” Obama, they say, would be inspirational, motivating, charismatic and compassionate. After praising Clinton’s experience and intelligence, they say she would be demanding, difficult, maybe even a little scary.

Driven by Polls

Candor and authenticity were repeatedly cited. “I don’t feel like I look at her and see someone who’s telling me the whole truth,” says Allison Lowrey, a 30-year-old human- resources consultant. “I’d like to see her approach a problem without the polls” helping her make her decision, says Andrew Alebergo, a 39-year-old tanning-salon operator.

Even strong Hillary supporters acknowledge the electorate’s deep-seated concerns. “She is walking a fine tightrope now, because she is such a divisive personality,” says Lynda Connelly, a thoughtful 58-year-old Red Cross manager. She plans to vote for Clinton while fearing that, if elected, “the right- wing noise machine is going to do everything it can to derail her.”

This isn’t an anti-Hillary crowd. She gets high marks for her experience, intelligence and toughness; these qualities, they suspect, are what voters demand.

Their hopes and dreams, though, are with Obama, 46. If he can dispel misgivings about his electability or experience, the formidable Clinton forces may be powerless.

Crying Out for Obama

After the session, Hart, who has done scores of these focus groups across America this year and directed major polls, summarized the challenges facing the front-runners.

“Obama fits the year in terms of aspirations and hopes,” he says. “When these voters talk about America today, they want a picture that almost cries out for Obama. But post-9/11, these voters may not be willing to take a chance. They need reassurance that Obama will be ready from Day One.”

Conversely, Clinton, in trying to get to the top of the mountain, Hart says, “has only looked at one face of the mountain — her experience, the emphasis on strength and toughness. She hasn’t recognized the other side of the mountain; she hasn’t allowed voters to see who she is and her personal dimension.”

Evaporating Lead

The Clinton camp has similar research; things are tense in Hillaryland these days.

Her once-commanding advantage over Obama in Iowa and New Hampshire — the two critical initial contests — is evaporating. She has gotten the worst of recent exchanges over Iran and health care.

There are also political strains with her greatest asset and surrogate, Bill Clinton. The former president was quoted last month as saying he had really opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning; he later claimed he was misquoted.

Top Clinton campaign officials were privately furious at the former president, saying he had revived the complaint that the Clintons lack credibility, unfairly tarnishing his wife in the process.

For his part, the former president, one close associate says, has been bouncing off the walls at the campaign’s ineptitude in the past few weeks. (It is not known if the Clintons shared any of these sentiments with each other).

The anxiety being felt by Bill Clinton, America’s most skillful politician, is understandable. Hillary’s campaign is off-balance.

Turning Negative

After falling behind in the Iowa polls, Senator Clinton, who earlier condemned attacks by other Democrats, turned negative on Obama. Fair enough. Except her attacks were neither focused nor effective. This strategy raised more questions about her than Obama.

And her campaign has a near-obsession with what it perceives as a hostile press. They were incensed at a New York Times story that reported skepticism about Hillary’s contention that her proposal to overhaul health care would help a lot more people than the plan of her rival. The best advice to them: Get over it.

It’s a good bet that Clinton, encouraged by her husband, is weighing a shakeup, such as bringing in former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta to direct the overall campaign. The question is whether it’s too late and too awkward before those first contests, which are to be held in 3 1/2 weeks.

Plan A Failing

The Clinton organization had a clear plan A: It envisioned the candidate, as the choice of the party establishment and natural heir to the presidency, to so dominate 2007 that she would be able to corner, not have to capture, the nomination. It worked perfectly for most of the year.

The strategy has imploded. In a similar situation, Bill Clinton would have changed plans on a dime — he could have gone from B to E during a rest stop.

Hillary has all the strengths cited by those Philadelphia Democrats and much more discipline than her husband. If she can’t adjust and rise to this challenge, however, she may well finish third in the Iowa caucuses and lose to Obama in New Hampshire. In the past 30 years, no candidate has lost both these tests and won the nomination.

(Albert R. Hunt is the executive editor for Washington at Bloomberg News.)

To contact the writer of this column: Albert R. Hunt in Washington at ahunt1@bloomberg.net .

The “honesty campaign”; Clinton campaign asked for resignation from second Iowa volunteer

…why am I not surprised? . Crooks, lies, dishonest and Clinton are synonimous..

Associated Press – December 9, 2007 7:54 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign has asked for the resignation of a second Iowa volunteer coordinator who forwarded a hoax e-mail that says Barack Obama is a Muslim possibly intent on destroying the United States.

Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ and says he has never been a Muslim, but false rumors attempting to tie him to Islamic jihadists are circulating on the Internet.

The Clinton campaign calls the rumors offensive and outrageous. Last week, the campaign forced Jones County coordinator Judy Rose to resign after learning that she forwarded an e-mail in November. It turns out she wasn’t the only one.

A coordinator in Iowa County, Linda Olson, forwarded a similar version in October.

1 of the recipients was Ben Young, who’s with Democrat Chris Dodd’s campaign, who provided a copy to The Associated Press.

The Clinton campaign responded by asking for Olson’s resignation. Olson did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment.

Original post found here

Clinton’s endorsement list debatable

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s support from South Carolina’s black religious leaders may not be quite as extensive as her campaign suggests.

Clinton got a boost last week when she shared a South Carolina stage with dozens of supporters, accepting what organizers said were endorsements from nearly 90 ministers in the state. But an Associated Press review of an endorsement list supplied by the New York senator’s campaign found that some of the backers were affiliated with religious ministries and outreach groups rather than churches, some were wives of ministers, two were church elders and at least two were not members of the churches listed beside their names.

All told, about 50 different groups were represented, rather than more than 80 congregations as initially implied, the review found.

Read the rest here

Huckabee Leads Clinton in Arkansas, Clinton Leads Other GOP Hopefuls

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee leads former Arkansas First Lady Hillary Clinton in the race for that state’s Electoral College votes. A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey found that Huckabee attracts 48% of the vote in Arkansas while Clinton earns 42%.

Not only that, many Arkansas voters are expecting to see such a match-up in November 2008. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Arkansas voters expect Clinton to win the Democratic nomination. Thirty-nine percent (39%) expect Huckabee to be the Republican nominee. Twenty percent (20%) expect Rudy Giuliani to win the nomination and no other GOP hopeful reaches double digits on this question.

Huckabee has an even larger lead in Arkansas when matched against Barack Obama . In that match-up, it’s Huckabee 54% Obama 35%.

Read the rest of this Rasmussen report right here