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Clinton campaign spending worries supporters

Friday, February 22, 2008

Can struggles be traced to lavish spending on accommodations, advisers?

By Michael Luo, Jo Becker and Patrick Healy
updated 11:26 p.m. ET Feb. 21, 2008

Nearly $100,000 went for party platters and groceries before the Iowa caucuses, even though the partying mood evaporated quickly. Rooms at the Bellagio luxury hotel in Las Vegas consumed more than $25,000; the Four Seasons, another $5,000. And top consultants collected about $5 million in January, a month of crucial expenses and tough fund-raising.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s latest campaign finance report, published Wednesday night, appeared even to her most stalwart supporters and donors to be a road map of her political and management failings. Several of them, echoing political analysts, expressed concerns that Mrs. Clinton’s spending priorities amounted to costly errors in judgment that have hamstrung her competitiveness against Senator Barack Obama of Illinois....(Click here for remainder of article).


Analysis: Clinton likely didn't slow Obama's momentum

By Bill Schneider

CNN Washington Bureau

(CNN) -- It was one of Hillary Clinton's last chances to knock rival Barack Obama -- seemingly on a path to the Democratic nomination -- off course.

But throughout the CNN/Univision debate in Austin, Texas, on Thursday night, the New York senator struck a cautious and, at times, conciliatory tone toward Obama, and likely did little to blunt the momentum of a candidate who has won 11 straight contests.

It wasn't quite the love-fest of the CNN debate in Los Angeles, California, three weeks ago, but Clinton repeatedly shied away from challenging her rival, even when the debate's moderators gave her ample opportunities to do so.

Obama emerged relatively unscathed as a result. It was, by all measures, a victory for the Illinois senator given the clear front-runner status he now holds....(Click here for remainder of article).


Holes in the Wall

Homeland Security won’t say why the border wall is bypassing the wealthy and politically connected.

Melissa del Bosque | February 18, 2008 | Web Exclusive

As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security marches down the Texas border serving condemnation lawsuits to frightened landowners, Brownsville resident Eloisa Tamez, 72, has one simple question. She would like to know why her land is being targeted for destruction by a border wall, while a nearby golf course and resort remain untouched.

Tamez, a nursing director at the University of Texas at Brownsville, is one of the last of the Spanish land grant heirs in Cameron County. Her ancestors once owned 12,000 acres. In the 1930s, the federal government took more than half of her inherited land, without paying a cent, to build flood levees.

Now Homeland Security wants to put an 18-foot steel and concrete wall through what remains....(Click here for remainder of post).


Obama deflects Clinton's jabs

He seeks to demonstrate that he also can be a candidate of substance in the largely civil Texas debate.
By Peter Wallsten, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 22, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Facing what many view as a dream candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton set out Thursday night to prove the point -- that Barack Obama is just a dream.

She said his soaring rhetoric had been stolen from others -- "change you can Xerox," she called it -- and said she had been "amused" to watch one of Obama's supporters wilt on national television when asked to name a single legislative accomplishment by the Illinois senator.

Clinton's attacks were one part of an otherwise largely civil encounter between the two Democratic presidential contenders. But her comments underscored exactly how she intends to burst the Obama bubble in the days leading up to the crucial March 4 primaries in Texas and Ohio -- by trying to inflict buyer's remorse on the growing number of Democratic voters moving to his camp even though they may know little about his record....(Click here for remainder of article).


Can I vote for Hillary Clinton?

Over the past few months I have been struggling with whether I would actually be able to vote for Hillary Clinton. This quandary has been the cause of great distress to my psyche actually. I'm a dyed in the wool Democrat. Anyone would be hard pressed to find someone who is more liberal that I am. My presidential candidate was Dennis Kucinich for Christ's sake! But I am finding it very difficult seeing myself casting my vote for Hillary Clinton.

No, this doesn't have anything to do with the fact that she's a woman. If it was Barbara Boxer or Janet Napolitano, I would not be going through this crisis of faith. As it stands now, it is just Hillary Clinton. What has she really said? Well she's ready to go on day 1, whatever that means. I don't really think that there's a job that will prepare you to be President of the United States. Is she counting her time as First Lady? Should that count as "experience"? I'm going to go with no. Was she elected? No. What happened with health care? Oh, that's right, nothing. If she's going to claim that it was a co-Presidency with Bill, then she must take the good with the bad.

Bill Clinton was responsible for NAFTA and GAT. Two trade deals that have decimated American manufacturing and industrial might. For a president who claims to be the 'first black president' he sure put a lot of young black men and women in prison. It was under Bill Clinton that the mandatory minimums for rock versus powdered cocaine were implemented. Where there was such a huge disparity, that an overwhelmingly conservative Supreme Court recently just overturned them. Next, we have the health care thing. Do we have it? No. Enough said. Next, we have the Hatred of Gay People Act, aka Defense of Marriage Act. For an administration that so claimed to be on the forefront of social justice, and civil liberties, this was a Machiavellian move. The list goes on, and on, and on. So if Hillary Clinton has to claim all of these total screw-ups if she's trying to say that her experience as First Lady counts.

I'm also completely turned off by what seems, to me at least, to be totally petty barbs that are thrown at Barack Obama. Items like "he won't debate me in Wisconsin" and "he used someone else's words." Whah whah whah. Bitchy bitchy bitchy. That's what is sounds like. Sounds like she's being whiny and bitchy because she's not winning!Allow me to tackle these two statements in turn. "He won't debate me in Wisconsin." Really? Is this really a statement that you think is going to get any traction after we've just seen 442,396 debates? It's a meaningless statement. "He used someone else's words." Well according to Hillary Clinton, "words don't matter." So not only is she complaining, but she's a hypocrite? Hmm, good to know. Yes Barack Obama did use the words of Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick. However, this needs a little context. Gov. Patrick is a very close friend of Barack Obama. He is in fact the national co-chair of the Obama for America campaign. AND, he told Obama to use the lines! Again, petty and bitchy with nothing to do with anything.

How many people does complaining about a speech feed? How many jobs does complaining about a debate create? How are the civil liberties of the LGBT community improved by complaining about experience you lack as well? How is the health care of America fixed by this whole ready to go on day one, and he's not thing? The answer, as I'm sure you can deduce by yourself, is they're not.

The other issue that must be faced is of course the right-wings absolute HATRED of Hillary Clinton. Up until this point we have seen very lackluster turnout in all the republican primaries and caucuses. The neo-fascist zombie brigade1 has not been able to rally behind John McCave2. But you can be damned sure, that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee they'll turn out in force! At that point you can be assured that the Democrats will loose the White House. Furthermore, let's not forget that if Hillary Clinton does manage to become the nominee, Ralph Nader and Michael Bloomberg will almost certainly jump in the race. Once again, denying the White House to the Democrats.

So these are just a few of tidbits that are flowing through my head. I really don't think that I'll be able to vote for Hillary Clinton. I used to say that I would vote for whomever the Democratic nominee was, but now, I just don't know.

1 Marc Maron
2 Sam Sedar


Clinton accuses Obama of weak resume

By Steve Holland and Claudia Parsons

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused surging rival Barack Obama of having a weak resume and using borrowed rhetoric in his speeches as she tried to slow Obama's momentum at a crucial debate on Thursday.

Clinton, her political life on the line based on whether she can gain big victories in Texas and Ohio on March 4, went on the attack about halfway into an otherwise genteel debate that featured some differences on how to deal with Cuba without Fidel Castro in charge.

The New York senator ridiculed Obama for using uplifting rhetoric in his stump speeches that had already been used by a supporter, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick....(Click here for remainder of article).


In debate, Clinton works to distance herself from Obama

By Scott Martelle, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 22, 2008

Facing a set of primaries March 4 that could either revive or cripple her presidential campaign, Sen. Hillary Clinton tonight struggled to create space between herself and rival Sen. Barack Obama in a crucial debate in the heart of Texas.

Seated side-by-side at desks on a stage, Clinton and Obama engaged in discussions of what ultimately were complementary or overlapping policy issues.

But midway through what had been a genial interplay, their exchange sharpened as both candidates were asked about their rhetoric toward each other on the campaign trail, including accusations by the Clinton campaign that Obama had plagiarized part of a speech from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a key campaign advisor."If your candidacy is going to be about words, then they should be your own words," Clinton said, then took a shot at one of Obama's campaign slogans. "Lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in; it's change you can Xerox."...(Click here for remainder of article).



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