Saturday, June 7, 2008

Obama Supporters Thank Hillary

and you can, too, here.

Sedaris on How to Quit Smoking

Move to Hiroshima. Why didn't I think of that?
Sorry, embed didn't work. Go here.

Hillary Post Mortem II

Ben Smith at Politico has a fairly short summary of what worked and what failed, although I suspect his sources aren't high enough to allow him to conclude they never had a plan.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 16-month bid for the presidency transformed her public image from that of a remote, ever-calculating and hyper-ambitious candidate into a sort of female version of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell — warm, earthy, tough and flying by the seat of her pantsuit into the occasional gaffe.

But at the heart of the campaign was a candidate who changed little, and whose managerial weaknesses — loyalty, distance and a damaging indecisiveness — became central features of her campaign, from the January day that she was forced into a premature announcement of her run to the hour that she was forced to withdraw. To a striking degree, the campaign was propelled by outside forces and its own mistakes, rather than by anything resembling a plan.

Hillary's Endorsement

got pretty good reviews in the 'sphere today, even from Andrew Sullivan, an obsessive Clinton hater.

I think history will show that she didn't quite have the talent to do it on her own steam, but that she made it much easier for another woman to become president one day. Her two biggest problems: She first married a man who was her political superior and was then defeated by one. She is a very talented politician but it was her fate to find her career hemmed in by two even more talented ones: Bill and Barack. She made up for it all with enormous hard work, diligence and ruthlessness. At any other moment, she would have won. But this is history and politics at the highest level. You cannot defeat such a moment if you are a Salieri. And she had to deal with two Mozarts.


Here's a bit of it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

More Hillary Postmortem

Time magazine's Amy Sullivan offers up Why Didn't More Women Vote for Hillary?
Good question.
One of the Democratic campaign's great misperceptions has been that Clinton held an overwhelming advantage among women voters. But that isn't the case. As expected, Clinton captured the over-65 vote, and Obama won over younger women. But women in the middle split almost evenly between the two. And while both Senators boasted historic candidacies, Obama's seemed to resonate more deeply, translating into 70%, 80% and even 90% of the black vote in primary contests. No one expected Clinton to sweep 90% of Democratic women voters, but 60% wouldn't have been an unreasonable accomplishment for the first woman to have a serious chance of winning the presidency. Instead, Clinton won just over a majority of women's votes.

McCain's YouTube Problem

Eleventh most popular today.

Hillary Crisis in Women's Movement?

It's a bit of a long read, contrariennes, but worth it. Some think Obama should give a speech about sexism, just as he did about race. I think so, too.

What might have been:
One of the central premises of the movement was that women had been artificially set against each other, and that, if they could unite behind their common interests, they could revolutionize their roles in the world. In the mid-'70s, elite young women were already pondering who could break the ultimate glass ceiling, and among their candidates was an impassioned young lawyer, Hillary Rodham, deemed an icon of her generation by Life magazine after her 1969 Wellesley commencement speech. In his biography of Hillary Clinton, Carl Bernstein describes Betsey Wright, later Bill Clinton's gubernatorial chief of staff, imploring Bill not to marry Hillary, take her off to Arkansas, and thus spoil her chance at becoming the first female president. "I really started in on how he couldn't do that. He shouldn't do that," Wright said. "That he could find anybody he wanted to be a political wife, but we'd . . . never find anyone like her" to run for office.

Good Lord, she might have run against Bill. And beaten him. Heh.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jon Stewart on Hillary

Oh, and she says today that she's not after the veep spot, too.

The Pound

Get with it, white people.

Gone On Saturday. Toldja.

TPM had this early today:
Dear XXX,

I wanted you to be one of the first to know: on Saturday, I will hold an event in Washington D.C. to thank everyone who has supported my campaign. Over the course of the last 16 months, I have been privileged and touched to witness the incredible dedication and sacrifice of so many people working for our campaign. Every minute you put into helping us win, every dollar you gave to keep up the fight meant more to me than I can ever possibly tell you.

On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy. This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with Senator McCain and the Republicans.

I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party's nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.

When I decided to run for president, I knew exactly why I was getting into this race: to work hard every day for the millions of Americans who need a voice in the White House.

I made you -- and everyone who supported me -- a promise: to stand up for our shared values and to never back down. I'm going to keep that promise today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life.

I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.

I know as I continue my lifelong work for a stronger America and a better world, I will turn to you for the support, the strength, and the commitment that you have shown me in the past 16 months. And I will always keep faith with the issues and causes that are important to you.

In the past few days, you have shown that support once again with hundreds of thousands of messages to the campaign, and again, I am touched by your thoughtfulness and kindness.

I can never possibly express my gratitude, so let me say simply, thank you.


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The End Is Near

according to TPM. Friday. What'd I tell ya?

Does She Really Want to Be V.P.?

I didn't watch any of the speeches last night. I tried to watch Obama's, but it quit loading early on and I gave up. I tuned in to a little of Hillary, but I really can't stand her voice anymore. It's not sexism, I can't stand Bush's voice either.
I read reviews of McCain's speech. Apparently even FOX News panned it.
Everyone's speculating on why Hillary was so ungracious and what she's holding out for. Does she want to be asked, intending to decline? Does she want to be asked, intending to accept?
What kind of deal is she looking for?
Maureen Dowd posits something I haven't seen elsewhere. There's a rumor that Hillary wants to be a option on the first floor vote at the convention.

She just urged her supporters to keep the dream alive, and talked privately about what she would settle for. She has told some Democrats recently that she wanted Obama to agree to allow a roll call vote, like days of yore, so that the delegates of states she won would cast the first ballot for her at the convention. She said she wanted that for her daughter.

Obama supporters are worried that it’s a trick and she’ll somehow snatch away the nomination.

I say we'll know by the end of the week.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Farewell, Primaries. Farewell, Hillary.

From the NYT:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton invited fund-raisers and other supporters to an election-night rally in New York City where, aides said, she was prepared to deliver what they described as a farewell speech that summed up the case for her candidacy. They said Mrs. Clinton was not likely to withdraw from the race on Tuesday night, probably waiting until later in the week, once Mr. Obama’s victory appeared clear.

Sensing an opportunity to shut down the nominating contest, Obama campaign advisers said that they were orchestrating an endorsement of Mr. Obama by at least eight Senate and House members who had pledged to remain uncommitted until the primaries ended, and that the endorsements would come the moment the South Dakota polls closed on Tuesday night.


WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign officials said, effectively ending her bid to be the nation's first female president.

Obama is 40 delegates shy of clinching the nomination, but he is widely expected to make up the difference Tuesday with superdelegate support and votes in South Dakota and Montana. Once he reaches the magic number of 2,118, Clinton will acknowledge that he has secured the necessary delegates to be the nominee.

The former first lady will stop short of formally suspending or ending her race in her speech in New York City.

She will pledge to continue to speak out on issues like health care. But for all intents and purposes, the two senior officials said, the campaign is over.

UPDATE II: Hillary camp doesn't like the word "concede."

Sunday, June 1, 2008

R.I.P. Yves Saint Laurent

A Poet on Creationism

J. T. Barbarese weighs in. Heavily.
It's copyrighted so here's the link.

Us Aging Hippies

Apparently, we're expected to continue our illicit drug use into old age with all sorts of dire consequences for our health and health care, according to a short article in Scientific American.
I'm always suspicious of data based on self-reporting, but I kinda like this part:
Intriguingly, the so-called cannabinoid system, which mediates the effects of marijuana in the brain, reduces addictive behavior in aging mice that have been genetically altered to crave alcohol. As the mice age, the cannabinoid receptor binds less frequently to a specific protein, which seems to diminish the animals’ taste for alcohol. No one knows how aging may alter the cannabinoid system in people, but the system has wide-ranging effects on appetite, memory, addiction, and the perception of pain and pleasure.

What wide-ranging effects, exactly? Like less pain, more pleasure, better appetite, worse short-term memory (temporary). Addiction? Good or bad? If it reduces alcohol craving, does it reduce other drug cravings? The author doesn't say, expecting readers to find the original study or something.

Season's Best

(From a friend)

Ten thousand flowers in spring,
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
If your mind isn't clouded
by unnecessary things,
this is the best season
of your life.

-Wu Men

Our Bill w/Update

A snippet from an excellent — though long — Vanity Fair story by longtime Bill-watcher (and Dee Dee Myers' husband) Todd Purdum about the post-presidential Bill Clinton that told me many things I hadn't really known or thought about before. Like how his bypass surgery and a later complication may have affected his cognition, mood and behavior.
Like his unsavory personal and business associations.
Like how the once great campaigner may also be unskilled with and unappreciative of the immediacy of news in the internet age. (I suspect this is also true of many in Hillary's campaign, including her. And Mark Penn.)
“Look, the game has changed,” said Mike McCurry. “He ran his last national campaign in 1996, and remember, we kind of ran unopposed. It’s been a while since he did that, and the way you summon people up and get them to do things has changed. All of this stuff, the blogging and the YouTubing and the way in which everything is instantaneously available: I tell you, until you get out there and are actually dealing with the consequences—having what you just said as you were walking out the door [all over the Internet], that’s brand-new to him...”

...It is Clinton’s invariable insistence that his problems are someone else’s fault, and that questions or criticisms of him, his methods, motives, or means are invariably unfair, that is his unforgivable flaw.

He has told friends that he is not worried that his aggressive performance this year has done lasting damage to his reputation (some of them are not so sure). Whatever the future holds for Hillary Clinton, her husband is not fading away. He will remain a presence, a force to be reckoned with, as long as he draws breath.

But for a politician with so many admirers, allies, acquaintances, faithful retainers, and hangers-on, Clinton remains a profoundly solitary man, associates say, without any real peers, intellectual equals, or genuine friends with whom he can share the sweetest things in life. (The one who has always come closest, for better and worse, for richer and poorer, is simply too busy these days.)

The Bill Camp, of course, hates it.

The Clinton camp responded today to Vanity Fair's long article on Bill with its own 2,244-word memo, which includes attacks on the magazine's "penchant for libel," on editor Graydon Carter, and on writer Todd Purdum and his wife, former Clinton aide Dee Dee Myers.

The memo (after the jump) calls the piece "journalism of personal destruction at its worst" and singles out, among other things, Purdum's suggestion that Clinton's heart surgery changed his personality.

Why They Call Him McBush

Frank Rich is my favorite New York Times columnist. Here's why:

In the woe-is-us analyses by leading Republicans about their party’s travails — whether by the House G.O.P. leader John Boehner (in The Wall Street Journal) or the media strategist Alex Castellanos (in National Review) — Iraq is conspicuous by its utter absence. The Republican brand’s crisis is instead blamed exclusively on excessive spending, scandal and earmarks — it’s all the fault of Tom DeLay’s K Street Project, Jack Abramoff and that Alaskan “bridge to nowhere.”

This transcends denial; it’s group psychosis. Nowhere is this syndrome more apparent than in the profuse punditry of Karl Rove, who never cites Iraq as a problem for Mr. McCain (if he refers to it at all) and flatly assured George Stephanopoulos last Sunday that Mr. McCain has no need to make a “clean break” from Mr. Bush.