Monday, March 3, 2008

Hillary Still Hiding her First Lady Phone Logs

The Clintons have been trying to stall any and all releasing of records that might derail and candidacy that is on the verge of collapsing anyway:

Hillary Clinton has taken heat throughout her presidential campaign for not forcing the release of documents detailing her activities during her time as first lady. Conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch and rival Barack Obama, among others, have called on Clinton to intervene to expedite the release of the documents.

Obama had this to say on the matter: "We have just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history. And not releasing, I think, these records — at the same time, Hillary, that you're making the claim that this is the basis for your experience — I think, is a problem."

Now the Associated Press reports that the National Archives said today that "it expects to release Hillary Rodham Clinton's schedules as first lady later this month, but has asked a judge to delay the release of thousands of her telephone logs for one to two years."

Clinton critics suggest that the Clintons are intervening to keep the papers secret[...]

Obama Must Build a Movement Beyond Winning White House

This is an excellent article on how its not enough to just win the White House. Obamamania must get beyond just winning the White House. We need a movement that will sweep out the old guard that has run this country on behalf of the few for so long:

For her win was the product not just of electoral momentum but a political movement. For several years now online activists have been building a progressive counterweight to rightward drift within the Democratic party. In general elections, they attack Republicans. In primaries, they support progressives. And in between time they light a fire under Democrats lest they forget why they were elected.

Edwards was, among other things, a product of that movement. It made her candidacy viable and sustained it after her narrow defeat in 2006. If she goes to Congress and sells out, they will turn on her. If she delivers progressive policies and comes under fire, they will support her. The interests of her candidacy and their priorities coincided. But they are not identical.

As the primary race reaches its denouement, Obama needs to reflect on how he can nurture a similar relationship with his base - not just to sustain his candidacy but to bolster his prospects of actually delivering on his promises. Obama has been described as running a grassroots movement. This is only half true. It is certainly grassroots. In the various states that I have seen it operate there are plenty of local volunteers and local staff. At web-driven meet-ups people get together, independent of the campaign. On Facebook his candidacy has a life of its own. One of the reasons he has won every caucus state is because his supporters are far more dedicated and far better organised at a local level than Clinton's.

But it is not a movement. It has no purpose or meaning beyond getting him elected. Once he wins or loses it will cease to exist. It operates not from the bottom up but the top down. The change he refers to is principally a change in leadership. The chant "Yes we can", in essence, means yes he can.

[...]What Obama does have is a highly professional electoral campaign that has proved itself adept at getting people involved at every level and harnessing new technologies to that end. So far so good. It is perfectly possible (although by no means inevitable) that by the end of tomorrow night Obama will effectively be the nominee. His team could be forgiven for dwelling on making that immediate prospect a reality.

But then what? If Obama is serious about his desire to fundamentally change the way America operates at home and abroad then he will have take on entrenched, vested interests to beat John McCain and deliver on his promises.

[...]An electoral coalition of independents, wealthy progressives, African Americans, white men and the young have come together to vote for him, but has yet to mobilise itself into a political movement that can support him. A movement sparked by the issues his candidacy has raised that moves beyond his personality as a candidate.

Were he to win, he would need to tap their outrage at the pharmaceutical companies, Halliburton, lobbyists, Pentagon torturers and corporate tax-dodgers. He would need them sufficiently empowered to confront the banks over their lending practices, multinationals over outsourcing, and universities over rising fees. And in his negotiations with Congress and other powerbrokers he would need to know the limits to what he can concede without antagonising his base.

Obama cannot turn this around on his own any more than Bush got America into this mess on his own. Enough of the public had to be actively complicit in the Bush agenda for it to be possible to make things this bad. Indeed, the right has been extraordinarily adept in this regard. When Bush nominated Harriet Miers or sought to pass immigration reform, they blocked him. When he cut taxes and started war, they backed him. Without them his presidency would have crumbled sooner, and even more dramatically. Enough of the public would have to be equally complicit in Obama's agenda for him to right Bush's wrongs.

Obama: Hillary Clinton Getting a "Little Desperate"

This is an excerpt from a Nightline interview to be shown on Monday:

The Obama campaign accused the Clinton campaign of "fear-mongering."

"I think she has got a little desperate toward the end of this campaign," Obama told "Nightline's" Terry Moran, while campaigning in Ohio. "[She] has been a lot more aggressive in her negative attacks.

"As I've pointed out, we've actually had a pretty significant moment in the last several years, that called people's judgment into question. And that was the war in Iraq."

On the war:
Regarding the Iraq War, this weekend, Clinton told reporters that if she runs against McCain, she will "put forth my lifetime of experience. Sen. Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002."

Obama disagrees with that characterization. "I was in the midst of a U.S. Senate race," he said. "It wasn't simply a speech. It was an ongoing opposition."

On experience:
On the question of experience, Obama welcomes the contrast between him and Clinton, who has repeatedly described herself as someone who is "tested" and "ready."

"I think the question is, how do you know any president is ready?" Obama said. "[Until] you're president, you haven't made these decisions."

"What people can take a look at is how I exercised judgment on key foreign policy questions over the last several years," he said. "And I think they can have confidence. ... More often than not, I have shown judgment that was superior to some of these people who are claiming much lengthier experience."

As part of her proven experience, Clinton has highlighted her visits to more than 80 countries, her time spent in the White House and her service on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Look, I've lived overseas," said Obama. "I have family overseas. I have served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee."

As for Clinton's experience in the White House, Obama is dubious. "It is true that I've not lived in the White House," he said. "Although, one of the tough things about Sen. Clinton's campaign has been the degree to which she takes credit for good things that happened and doesn't take credit for bad things that happened."

And what about temperament:
Obama believes that his "matter of temperament" best prepares him for the White House.

"One of the things that I've known about myself for a long time," he said, "is that, in difficult or stressful moments, I don't get rattled And I don't get rattled during campaigns. I don't get rattled when things are up ... and I don't get too low when things are down."