Did Hillary over state her role in the peace process?

Toby Harden flagged up what looks like it could shape up into a major faux pas by Hillary Clinton as she tries to claw herself back into the political game. The trouble for Mrs Clinton is that Harden now the Telegraph’s US correspondent spent a long time in Northern Ireland, and places the ‘town hall’ meeting with women from the Ormeau Road in the Lamp Lighter cafe on the Ormeau Road. And it’s been picked up by one of the big blogs of Democrat politics in the US, the Daily Kos It’s part of the former First Lady’s self proclaimed role as having “helped to bring peace” to Northern Ireland. Brian Feeney says she was ancillary, the ‘lead U.S. negotiator’ described her input as “helpful”. The PoliGazette notes, it is the exaggeration makes her vulnerable. If you have any recollections of Mrs Clinton’s input, let us have them (keep it legal).

  • BfB

    This puts her in the proper place.

  • BfB

    Oops….
    This this.

  • Merrie

    Hillary never claimed the was a major player in the NI talks. She said ”I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland“. As Brian Feeney said “she was ancillary” and Lord Trimble acknowledges that “[he] does not know there was much she did…”. Lord Trimble does not know everything Hillary did. Good of him to say so.

    So Mick I don’t think it is a major faux pas

    However minor her role (which I understand included attending/arranging women’s group meetings ) it is still more NI experience than Obama’s.

  • Hubbie’s bagman George was the operator, not Shrillary!

  • latcheeco

    Actually Merrie,
    Its O’Bama 🙂
    She’s padding out her resume a little bit, which wouldn’t be a big deal but she’s the one who wanted to go negative so she can take any lumps. All she was in the North the first lady same as Laura Bush is. If you can’t blame Laura for the war in Iraq then Hilery doesn’t get credit for Bill’s foreign policy successes (depending on your view of the GFA of course).

  • Rory

    What is the story here, please? How is this, whatever “this” is, expected to play among US voters?

    Are US “Irish” voters expected to reject Rodham- Clinton because a sometime hack in a notoriously anti-Irish London newspaper attempts to belittle her presence as the wife of the then US president during his visit to Ireland?

    How will this play in Alabama? Will the Telegraph assure their numerous readers there that Obama’s credentials are assuredly Danny Bhoy and will they then be ever more impressed?

    Can it be that the Telegraph has begun to believe that the US electorate are as dumb as the last incumbent to the presidency that they allowed to assume office for the sake of domestic peace?

    I do not have the answers to these questions but I am sure that there might be someone from Boston who knows all.

  • latcheeco

    Rory,
    I’m sure the Telegraph treats us Irish in
    Alabama (Mobile BTW) with as much comtempt as they treat you.

  • Merrie

    Rory:

    I like the way Harndon headlined his article: “Nobel winner…”. Yes, gives a good spin and authority to Trimble and that’s accurate but perhaps not as apposite as:

    “Former UUP leader who lost his seat and those of all but one of his party… due to his seriously idiotic handling of the NI peace process”. Trimble was nowhere near a “wee bit silly”.

    I have been reading Harndon’s reports regularly over the past few weeks and he is an Obama man. He likes the happy company on Barack’s bandwagon and says it is a sign Obama will win, cf Hillary’s alleged in-fighting band.

    I am surprised that Harndon as a seasoned reporter can say that because in my experience and those of others there is always a lot of in-fights within campaigns amongst the minions whether they are in a winning team or not. The very enjoyable book “Primary Colors” has a pretty good description of this.

  • victor1

    I would say the Clintons input into the “peace prosess” was fairly extensive and influential, so why shouldn’t Hilary use that to help her quest, no problem here, good luck to her or whosoever takes over from Bush as he has had little to no influence on the ver same process.

  • BfB

    The Democratic electorate reads the Kos….Read it a bit yourself and make your own decision on what a sad situation we have in politics these days. Most of the US doesn’t give a second thought to anything involving white Europeans, so the Telegraph speaks to very few adults in the US. These libs are horrible little children and the race baiters are propping Obama up for a victory, or else. If Hillary wins the nomination, after the riots quiet down (in the anti-2nd Amendment states), it won’t matter if McCain wins or Hillary prevails, it’s gonna be bad for the US. But not nearly as bad as it would be if BO is elevated. I’m standing on the sidelines, making sure all my assets are in the BOI.

  • Comrade Stalin

    But not nearly as bad as it would be if BO is elevated. I’m standing on the sidelines, making sure all my assets are in the BOI.

    Fill us in here, Bob. What’s the BO and what’s the BOI ?

  • Barack Obama? Bank of Ireland?

  • Mick,

    It seems even you cannot resist putting the boot into Mrs Clinton, when Obama was well behind Clinton, would you have wrote he was trying to claw himself back into the political game. I doubt it?

    Yet now the two are pretty even and both candidates have all to play for you and the rest of the media pack can not resist a swift kick in Hilly’s balls in the hope of kick starting Obama’s momentum.

    Still I suppose it saves the media from doing the job and asking Obama just what he intends changing. Or could it be that the right believes McCann will have a chance of beating Obama, but will have a far harder fight with Clinton.

  • Granni Trixie

    I have many souveniers/photos of ‘women’s events’of which Hilary Clinton was the catalyst (and main speaker). I also stood on the Ormeau Rd to watch her when she visited Joyce McCartan in the Limelighter. I remember thinking how stereotypical the staged photo in the Belfast Telegraph of Mrs Clinton holding up a pot of tea to symblolise her engagement with Joyce and the women of NI. I think her role was to bolster the confidence of women in a context where there was little room for them at the decision-making table and it is impossible to quantify how she helped our spirits in such a frustrating situation.Trimble’s lack of understanding concerning women and equality,given his leading role in his own party and the whole country,was part of the problem – it is not at all surprising therefore that he underestimates the role that the first Lady played.

    Despite acknowledging and being grateful to Hilary Clinton,in my heart I want Obama to win the presidency!

  • Merrie

    Thank you Granni Trixie. These events you mention must have been overlooked by Harndon when he was reporting from NI.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    “…she visited Joyce McCartan in the Limelighter”.

    She was on Ormeau Avenue as well – which band was she watching?!

  • LURIG

    She came here and listened to people as did her husband for ALL his faults. They gave so much time to the North and the sarky bitterness is just anti Clinton rhetoric. NO her input was NOT overstated. I hope she gets the Democratic nomination because if Barak wins it will unite the racists and condemn the States to 4 more years of right wing rule AND the world to even more misery. She is the ONLY Democratic candidate capable of winning, that’s terrible to say and NOT a slur on Obama but a fact of life. Sinister elements in the U.S. will simply NOT tolerate a black President and you would honestly fear for Barak Obama if he won the nomination. Many respected commenatators in the States and Britain have already said this.

  • BfB

    Barack Obama? Bank of Ireland?
    Correctomundo.
    Obama has no CV for the job of POTUS. This assassination bullsh**, race baiting crap is all he has. Along with the empty headed, starry eyed, gloms he has following him around until they faint. His skin color has nothing to do with his experience, of which he has none. He was elected only because of a divorce sex scandal his opponent was going through. Hillary is a control freak , power hungry, ‘don’t do as I do, do as I say’ crackpot. Not that bright, and attached to her weirdo husband. Those who follow the whole ‘I am woman’ crap are the same bunch who fight for abortions for minors without parental consent, under the guise of ‘choice’. Truly a despicable lot.

  • Merrie

    Contrary to the pro-Obama spins, Hillary does have some valid claim to experience in international relations.

    This report from the BBC gives more detail of some of Hillary’s involvement in NI: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/17711.stm

    The last paragraph reports on her visit to Dublin and her participation in a closed seminar at Chequers when a guest of the British PM and his wife:

    “ Before her arrival in Belfast, Mrs Clinton visited Dublin where she was guest of honour at a government dinner hosted by the Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern. At the end of the trip Mrs Clinton will fly to London, where she will join Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie, at the Prime Minister’s rural Buckinghamshire retreat at Chequers. There she will participate in a closed seminar on shared policy perspectives and common challenges on both sides of the Atlantic.“

    Bill was not with his wife on this trip.

    I have just noticed a headline in a US paper equating Mrs Obama with Jacqueline Kennedy. Oh my. The Obama spin is really in overdrive. Michelle is OK, she is fine as Michelle. Jackie is a different person altogether, but the young people supporting Barack will not know that as many were born after J died and none would have known her as First Lady.

  • Granni Trixie

    Thanks Nevin for links to the Joyce McCartan lecture which will go in my arcive.Let me reiterate however that although I do see that Hilary Clinton played an inestimable part in helping NI through a crucial time,I find the manipulation of stereotypical images of ‘women across the divide’ ‘chatting’ having ‘tea around a table’ corney and irritating.

    In one way jaw,jaw has been womens preferred option in NI. But what about the Mairead Farrells of this world? What about those of us who wanted to break through the glass ceiling within political parties? And, given the week that is in it, I was insulted that SF used Mairead Farrell to represent the best of women for international womens day. Why not simply say that for Republican women alone she is an ideal? Or appeal to humanity because she was shot in cold blood and her family deserve sympathy?

    I hope I do not digress too much but I am trying to follow a logical thread…that women in Ni have differences and cannot be characterised by the teapot or their “courage” in planting bombs.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    latcheeco: “I’m sure the Telegraph treats us Irish in Alabama (Mobile BTW) with as much comtempt as they treat you. ”

    Deepest condolences… spent a week one there one Saturday, groomsman in an August wedding.

    Mick Hall: “Still I suppose it saves the media from doing the job and asking Obama just what he intends changing. Or could it be that the right believes McCann will have a chance of beating Obama, but will have a far harder fight with Clinton. ”

    Conventional wisdom runs counter to this — Hillary has higher negatives and McCain polls consistantly higher than Hillary, but is only competitive with Obama.

    Of course, this is the now, when Obama is getting frustrated at having been asked more than eight questions at a time and not really been mussed yet… time will tell.

    Lurig: “I hope she gets the Democratic nomination because if Barak wins it will unite the racists and condemn the States to 4 more years of right wing rule AND the world to even more misery. She is the ONLY Democratic candidate capable of winning, that’s terrible to say and NOT a slur on Obama but a fact of life. Sinister elements in the U.S. will simply NOT tolerate a black President and you would honestly fear for Barak Obama if he won the nomination. Many respected commenatators in the States and Britain have already said this. ”

    Obama is a light-weight, politically — arguably, he’s the anti-Gore — he give good speech, but has no real accomplishments, either in Illinois or in the US Senate. All he has done is talk a good game, thus far, and win states that he like as not wouldn’t win in a general election. Illinois politics are arguably one of the last bastions of old-school machine politics, where the Daley boys still use Nixon ballots for scratch-paper.

  • snakebrain

    I noticed this over the weekend, and since the topics been brought up I’ll throw my question to the masses. Can anybody identify this mysterious Mr McDevitt cited in the original Telegraph report? He seems to be on the Trimble side of play, but there’s no explanation of his role…

    “Once a peace deal was in place, Mrs Clinton supported women politicians and was always available if they visited Washington “to give them a pat on the back, give them moral support”, he added.

    “So in a classic woman politicky sort of way I think she was active.””

    Hmmmm, a classic woman politicky sort of way; if I was him I’d spend the rest of my days praying I never found myself alone in a room with Mrs C.

  • Dread

    I give little credence to polls these days and I do not feel it will be to far in the future when a massive scandal breaks out about how these polling companies are easily manipulated.

    I was hoping for some input about the lack of the media attention on exactly what Obama intends to change.

    It is not healthcare, nor Iraq, which are the two big issues in this election and it is certainly not the way the economy is run, so in fact it will be no change at all, agreed? For if he had claimed he wished to make real changes of a progressive type the US media would have crucified him by now.

    By the way the reason I believe McCain may beat Obama and not Clinton is because the mass of the US working classes will not vote for Obama due to his closeness to capital and his refusal to bring in a health care program free at point of need.

    Obama is a carbon copy of Tony Blair, little history thus no baggage, hungry for power and adulation, thick, vain and easily manipulated but crafty as hell, he admires those with great wealth and believes all things spring from them, thus when push comes to shove he will never go against the power elite. Ah he is also a religious nut who within a week of being in the White House will believe God speaks to him personally, although he will not have the balls to tell anyone, until he leaves office, when he will claim he is to become a trapist monk, in between working for multi national companies and solving the Iraq problem that has bankrupted the US economy.

    By the way I am beginning to wonder whether there might be a neo-con school for these types, Blair in the UK, Obama in the US, Sarkozy in French and Putin’s man in Russia. They all seem to rise to prominence totally unnoticed, leaving no trace and the next minute they have the top job, although I suppose this tells us more about us stupid fucks who vote for them. Is it any wonder the wold is in such a mess when we have the most dim witted electorate every, Jackie Kennedy my arse 😉

  • Merrie

    Mick Hall:

    >> stupid fucks who vote for them

    Yes, that is true. You may not recall all the rosy promises that George W made (he was pretty forgettable even then), but you may recall Ronald Reagan – vague but happy, able to instil “hope” among the electorate and who fell asleep at most meetings after he become president. Reagan was immensely popular in the USA.

    The US electorate does not have a very good memory for vague hopeful promises not becoming reality. So I think it will do it again – unless the Democrats can keep Barack from becoming their candidate. Note that many of Barack’s supporters are independents plus a few discontented Republicans who fondly remember those glory days of Reagan perhaps.

  • As Tic

    “bringing together for the first time Catholics and Protestants from both traditions”

    Sounds a bit like a very damaging statement.

  • Stamper

    From Nevin’s link:
    “Conall McDevitt, who served as the chief negotiator during the Good Friday Agreement talks that ended the conflict between England and Northern Ireland”

    Thanks Conall.

  • merrie

    You make some good points, I just cannot get my head around how non democratic party members can vote in the primaries for a democratic candidate. Surly that is abuse of the system waiting to occur, i e indies and republicans can play a role in who, or more likely who will not be the DP candidate. Or have I got this all wrong?

  • Merrie

    Mick Hall:

    No, you haven’t got it wrong. It is one of the stupid things about the US Democrat Party’s preselection process. And yes, abuse of the system is very possible. Some primaries (voting) are closed, others are open. It is inconsistent from state to state.

    The other thing I think is undemocratic is the caucus system in that it does not match the general presidential election. A whole bunch of people have to turn up and wait for hours and then go to the corner of the room for whoever they are voting for and get counted. Most Americans do not have the time to wait around for hours. But students do. And guess where Barack gets most of his support? And guess who has won nearly all of the caucuses? It was the basis of those wins he had between February 5 and last week.

    And yes, anyone can turn up for many of these caucuses – Democrat, indie, Republican, Nadarist, al Queda supporter and so forth. I am not sure if you have to live in the area to be eligible to turn up though – hopefully you are, otherwise there is even more chance of abuse of the caucus system waiting to occur if it hasn’t occurred already.

    Another thing about the Democrat system is the allocation of delegates. It’s done proportionately but on a geographical basis. Thus in Nevada, one of the few caucus elections Hillary won, Barack got more delegates than she did. Ditto Texas, which has a mix of voting and caucuses where Hillary won the popular vote but Barack won the caucuses and also more delegates. Apparently in Texas you can vote, then roll up to a caucus so you can be counted twice!!!

    Then there is the banning of delegates from Michigan and Florida because those states decided to hold their primaries early. Hillary won both of these by a wide margin. If they hold new elections or replace them with caucuses it is going to be costly – and probably costly to HIllary if a caucus is run. If both of these states’ delegates were counted, Hillary would be ahead of Barack by around 30 delegates.

    The system stinks. It is not Democratic.

    I don’t think that the Democrat National Committee went out of its way to penalise Hillary but that is how it has turned out.

  • Crataegus

    Did Hillary overstate her role well who knows, but one thing for sure is her role was infinitely greater than that of Obama.

    I would very much like to see the Republicans out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Obama is an utter gamble. We know little about him nor do we know what exactly he intends to change or how.

    Given Rezko we can question his judgement. His past connections the nuclear industry, funding and subsequent adjustment of proposed legislation would suggest hypocrisy comes easily to him. That Mr Obama claims that this is one of his successes merely further illustrates his dubious moral compass.

    His one awkward press conference shows that he is useless under even the slightest pressure.

    Then we have his half brother the rebel leader in Kenya who is an extreme Muslim with far left views.

    Now does anyone seriously think the American electorate will elect this man after the Republican machine is finished with him?

    Vote for B. O. but don’t complain if he turns out to be is less than fragrant.

  • latcheeco

    Mick Hall, it’s curious to see you leaning for the establishment canditate and someone who Murdock has backed 😉 It’s an echo of Hilery’s attitude that Obama’s supporters are just dumb wayward children who can’t think for themselves. I mean don’t they realise they can’t win, nobody will vote for an uppity black and anyway, bunch of leftist lunatics and he’s the most left wing senator, how dare they eh Mick?
    Merrie,I agree blame them feckin students it’s all their fault.Sure didn’t Hilery have tea with Joyce Mc Cartan and why there’s not been a cumman named after her and Bill is beyond me.
    Actually when you see the caucus in action it’s democracy at its rawest.Not all states are open btw (penn. is closed to just registered dems.)and if you voted in one you’re excludeD from any other.Crat your Moslem comment isn’t worth answering

  • latcheeco

    Dread,
    Tut, tut it’s Sweet Home Alabama, Big parade on Saturday:)
    Merrie,
    The Florida and Michigan primaries were the only large states where the Republican turnout was higher than the Democrat.What does that say given everywhere else had record crowds? Many dem’s did not vote because it didn’t count. Hilery is welching on the agreement that the results wouldn’t stand because they broke the rules. She might win Florida but Jesse Jackson has previously won in Michigan so she might not get what she’s after there.

  • Latcheeco

    I am not supporting either candidate, as I said in another post to slugger, the best I hope for is the one who will do the least damage.

    To even suggest that Obama is the most left wing senator is childish nonsense, the fact is even if he were, which he is not, he has not been in the place long enough for us to make a real judgement.

    Instead of pulling out silly old chestnuts like uppity blacks if you are an Obama supporter why not answer some of the worries people like me have.

    Obama is standing for President, he will be the most powerful man in the world, yet we have not heard a word about what he intends to change, this man uses the word change in exactly the same way that Blair used the word reform. and we all know where that led us. Both mens purpose is to lull gullible progressive into believing in them.

    To conclude I cannot believe you are using terms like uppity blacks when you are talking to me, remind me who is Bush’s Secretary of State. Ethnicity has nothing to do with my low opinion of Obama, imo he is just another opportunist politician on the make who will not in a billion years take on the power elite in the USA, but he will do their bidding.

    Two years in Washington, a few as a local representative, yet he can afford to buy a million plus home, nice work if you can get it, I take it you and the rest of the progressives who are supporting him will not be asking him to live on the US average wage.

  • latcheeco

    Oh Mick!
    So young yet so cynical. The Labour party has a lot to answer for :)In America (and this is unfortunate) you do what you have to do to get elected. “Childish nonsense” depends on your view of where left is? Its subjective. Being Michael Foot doesn’t work here either. The masses don’t see themselves as working class they see themselves rightly or wrongly as middle class. Apologies if I’m wrong but your tone sounded a bit high handed given you live in a country paying prince charlie’s wages. So we’re not the only idiot electorate around!He has been named as the most liberal senator on his voting record: that is a fact (I think it was an congress in house bipartisan poll). What is going to happen if he doesn’t get elected? Answer= nothing. What are the other options? Clinton/McCain?

    Like it or not he is the most progressive and if slick works for him, oh well. His opposition to Hil’s health care is on practicality because it will cause even more misery for the poor not unlike the poll tax did.You seem to have a visceral hatred of American pols.Fair enough, but there was no evil in the world before them damn yanks came along and ruined everything.They are corrupt, but where are they less corrupt, its just a question of scale? He may not be a lefty by your yardstick but he is here and wishful thinkin won’t get anybody anywhere. I don’t see how Cinton is a better option than a former community organiser from the south side of Chicago.No matter how cynical you are about him, big business is backing her.The masses here see themselves as middle not working class, that can’t be changed.The communards aren’t going to be storming the barricades here anytime soon. They don’t do socialism not even in the unions here ( apparently they don’t do it anywhere else either) . The mindset here is different.It’s capitalist with workers rights or without and that’s the view of the people.

    This may sound like a cop out but the best strategy for him is not to get caught in the weeds by details because a large part of the electorate is fickle here and soundbites can kill a campaign ( remember flipflopper) rather than generally entrenched as it is there.But talking to your enemies and getting out of Iraq are radical to most of these punters. The uppity wasn’t directed at you personally so apologies for any offence but its been an undercurrent/whisper against him here despite massive evidence to the contrary. BTW Trimble just made MSNBC this second they are quoting him as nobel prize winner who is poo-pooing Hil’s contribution in the North. “A wee bit silly” never thought I’d agree with that twat but there you go they lobbied for him and lowered the integrity of the prize and now he bites them in the arse.

  • Crataegus

    latcheeco

    The mention of his wider family will be a consideration with a percentage of the electorate, bound to be, that is reality, and don’t think the Republicans are not going to make an issue of security. Clinton’s 3 a.m. ad will be child’s play by comparison.

    I could have mentioned the NAFTA fiasco which simply proved yet again his total insincerity, but it was worse than that. Imagine telling a foreign government look don’t listen to what I am saying at home, I don’t mean a word of it, honest trust me??? Is this naivety or stupidity, right now I just cannot make up my mind, certainly it shows lack of experience and utter cynicism.

    There is nothing about this man that would lead one to believe he is either left wing or progressive. His track record does not support such claims and I am amused by his purchase from Rezko of a piece of land for his back yard. Amazingly Rezko sold it at a fraction of what he paid for it. In Ireland we are all too familiar with that sort of activity.

    Mick Hall

    he is just another opportunist politician on the make

    I fear you are probably right. He has not undergone adequate scrutiny by the press. A lot of idealism is being directed towards what will probably turn out to be a dud.

    McCain V Obama is the probability how depressing, anyone else standing?

    There are times when I think the American people would vote in a kitten if it looked cuddly.

  • latcheeco

    Crat cheers for the reply. He is still the best candidate. The Clintons gave out pardons to crooks who donated money to them and they play just as dirty as the repubs. The republican attack machine is no worse than theirs.McCain is dodgy over lobbists. Obama is not the worst of the three.
    Denis Kucinich aint ever gettin elected in this country, sad but true and Obama is closest to him.

    I’d rather vote for a kitten than have a queen or have Paisley as first minister 😉 (btw which most voted for by default).And Bertie’s no paragon either (glass houses and all). The moslem thing is already being done(by Hil. incidently) and there is a dumb ass constituency that will buy it but by and large this year there are too many other issues that weren’t as overiding as gays gettin married in ’04 (excuse the pun).

  • latcheeco

    Actually Crat, the Clintons were as guilty of smoothing Canadian feathers over Nafta as Obama was.Qui Bono from the Canadian leak/lie? Oh yeah the people that brought in Nafta or maybe the country that is worried that OBama might change it.How strange?Obama got flat footed because he’s learning, thats all.Do you really think Hilery has more integrity than him?( of course she has, sure didn’t she descend on the North and bring peace). The guy is making a career out of politics and shooting for the top job and hopes to do some good along the way. How dare he? BTW his wife is also a successful lawyer, a kid from the ghetto that went to Princton so I’m guessing she makes good money too.

    Ralph Nader will never get elected here, not ever.Again they don’t do socialism so whatareyagonnado vote for failure and get nothing done with people backed by Rupert Murdoch or take a chance?

  • latchheco

    BTW on the million plus home.Thats in dollars. He a U.S. Senator ffs. A small terraced house in Belfast costs 150,000 pounds or about $250,000. Keep it in perspective. Half this country got million plus homes thats why the economy is in crisis 🙂

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Mick Hall: “I give little credence to polls these days and I do not feel it will be to far in the future when a massive scandal breaks out about how these polling companies are easily manipulated.”

    Too late — already is out there — silly things like over-sampling Democrats and sampling “adults” rather than likely voters… strangely enough, the press is oddly mute… then again, it is the press that commissions these same biased / bent polls… funny thing that.

    Hope you’re not holding your breath waiting for the press to report their own malfeasance…

    Mick Hall: “I was hoping for some input about the lack of the media attention on exactly what Obama intends to change.”

    Whilst I was working on my advanced degree, one of my friends, a journalism major, told me an interesting statistic — something on the order of two thirds of his fellow journalism majors wanted to enter the profession “to change the world.”

    Obama is preaching to the choir, Mick. Why would they question their own core beliefs?

    Mick Hall: “By the way the reason I believe McCain may beat Obama and not Clinton is because the mass of the US working classes will not vote for Obama due to his closeness to capital and his refusal to bring in a health care program free at point of need.”

    I don;t think that the election hinges on any one issue, let alone a pie-in-the-sky giveaway — the money has to some from somewhere — *nothing* is free, even if the government tells you it is. As for the rest of your statement, it is the same as corporate taxes — corporations never really pay taxes — their customers do. The corporation just get to collect the taxes, collect a little interest, then transfer the money to the gov’t.

    Mick Hall: “By the way I am beginning to wonder whether there might be a neo-con school for these types, Blair in the UK, Obama in the US, Sarkozy in French and Putin’s man in Russia. They all seem to rise to prominence totally unnoticed, leaving no trace and the next minute they have the top job, although I suppose this tells us more about us stupid fucks who vote for them. Is it any wonder the wold is in such a mess when we have the most dim witted electorate every, Jackie Kennedy my arse ;)”

    I would tend to disagree — at least in so far as Putin’s sock-puppet is not really the same as the others. Likewise, I wouldn’t put Obama in the same category as Sarko — Sarko had a plan… a pity the French want a pipe-dream, not a plan.

    He does resemble smiling Tony — all sizzle, no steak.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    latcheeco: “Tut, tut it’s Sweet Home Alabama, Big parade on Saturday:)”

    Feh… Give me Oxford, Lafayette County, the Egg Bowl and Off-Square books any day of the week and twice on game-days.

    Merrie: “Yes, that is true. You may not recall all the rosy promises that George W made (he was pretty forgettable even then), but you may recall Ronald Reagan – vague but happy, able to instil “hope” among the electorate and who fell asleep at most meetings after he become president. Reagan was immensely popular in the USA.”

    Then again, the alternative was Carter, who was, despite being a nuke, was as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

    Merrie: “No, you haven’t got it wrong. It is one of the stupid things about the US Democrat Party’s preselection process. And yes, abuse of the system is very possible. Some primaries (voting) are closed, others are open. It is inconsistent from state to state.”

    Some of it is the states, such as in Texas, where there is no party affiliation, iirc — you register as a voter, not in a party. But most of it is the Democratic party — they get to set the rules for the primaries, right down to kow-towing to Iowa and NH.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Crataegus: “The mention of his wider family will be a consideration with a percentage of the electorate, bound to be, that is reality, and don’t think the Republicans are not going to make an issue of security. Clinton’s 3 a.m. ad will be child’s play by comparison.”

    Oh, the best ads the Republicans come up with usually are supplied by the Democrats — Al Gore was the first one to drag the proto-Willie Horton issue against Dukakis, f’rinstance.

    Obama’s problem is that he’s a light-weight who whines about having to answer questions.

    Crataegus: “I could have mentioned the NAFTA fiasco which simply proved yet again his total insincerity, but it was worse than that. Imagine telling a foreign government look don’t listen to what I am saying at home, I don’t mean a word of it, honest trust me??? Is this naivety or stupidity, right now I just cannot make up my mind, certainly it shows lack of experience and utter cynicism.”

    As a minimum, it means he and his team aren’t ready to move from the lounge to the big stage… but, then, given the back-biting and in-fighting of the Clinton cadre, is there that much of a choice?

  • Leckavrea

    It’s my first time on this blog. I wandered over from DailyKos where there has been much discussion over the last few days on Hillary citing Northern Ireland as one of her examples of foreign policy experience. The quote from David Trimble has received much play. To counter that some Clinton supporters are quoting John Hume:

    “I am quite surprised that anyone would suggest that Hillary Clinton did not perform important foreign policy work as First Lady. I can state from firsthand experience that she played a positive role for over a decade in helping to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

    She visited Northern Ireland, met with very many people and gave very decisive support to the peace process. There is no doubt that the people of Northern Ireland think very positively of Hillary Clinton’s support for our peace process, due to her visits to Northern Ireland and her meetings with so many people. In private she made countless calls and contacts, speaking to leaders and opinion makers on all sides, urging them to keep moving forward.

    Anyone criticizing her foreign policy involvement should look at her very active and positive approach to Northern Ireland and speak with the people of Northern Ireland who have the highest regard for her and are very grateful for her very active support for our peace process.”

    I thought that John Hume was in such ill health, that it was unlikely that he would make any public statement. Someone suggested that the statement may have been made by his wife. What do you think?

    Apparently, the Hume statement was issued by HRC’s headquarters. Is that not a bit odd? See http://www.independent.ie/national-news/hume-and-trimble-clash-over-clintons-peace-role-1311181.html

  • Crataegus

    latchheco

    The point is that Clinton is not selling herself as the Archangel Gabriel Obama is and as you say he lacks experience. With regards Cui Bono game set and match to Canada.

    Will Obama withdraw troops from Iraq, no he is talking about tens of thousands in ‘support’ roles.

    I am less than impressed with McCain also but like Dread believe that Clinton is a more solid opponent. The problem with Obama types is their support disapears very quickly if he comes under pressure. He will come under sustained attack and we have seen just how poor he is at dealing with a few questions from the Chicago press about Rezko.

    In reality economics in the USA is more likely to dictate policy than who is elected.

    Nader will get less than 1%. Pity there is not strong alternatives.

    Dread

    Agree very light weight and worryingly little is known about him and he is very selective in what he makes public. He would be a lot stronger 4-8 years on once he has some real standing and provided there are no skeletons.

    Leckavrea

    No not really that odd, is it? What would have been odd is Clintons team releasing Trimbles statement.

    But back to basics there is absolutely no doubt that her involvement in NI Peace Process was infinitely greater than Obamas as his, on this and many other issues, has been zero.

  • Latch

    Almost all that you wrote could have come straight out of the 1997 new labour hand book, things like progressive legislation will cause even more misery for the economically poor. Just how would a universal health care program free at the point of need cause more misery for the working classes?

    I believe in all probability you are typical of the neo liberals who are attaching themselves to Obama, Dread is correct the man is all sizzle and no steak, which suits the US power elite perfectly, as they will program him on the job.

    As to Obama being a former community organizer from the south side of Chicago, come on this tosh, working one evening a month in a community law office hardly makes you a community organizer and such tosh does not even wash with US Blacks let alone an angry old lefty like me. What did he organize and who, his fellow workers on wall street, I think not.

    As to US working class people believing themselves to be middle class, oh really, none that I have come across do, when I was a trade union organizer back in the 1980s I had regular contact with the baggage handlers who worked at US airports, especially those at Detroit and Minneapolis, they new exactly who they were and what class they belonged to by looking at their pay cheque each week.

    By the way, if Obama is such a great liberal, how come the US media has left him alone, you know why, it is because he is not, as you said in your last post he will be what every it takes to gain and maintain himself in power; and in a country like the USA that means dancing to corporate america or taking them on head first and a nice middle class boy like Obama, who has not fought a single political battle in his whole life, is not about to start doing so when he approaches middle age, life just aint like that.

  • latcheeco

    Mick,
    “Neo-libreal” who makes that shite up some clown in some polysoc dept. writing an essay? Who is a better choice than Obama? Hilery did not even have national security clearance in the white house so where is her experience from? By that logic you might as well say Barbara Bush is qualified with two sons and a husband(it wasn’t at night talking to Bill cause he couldn’t even stand her and was never home). I can only go on my own experience and they interpret the phrase working class as a slur. That must have been a nice gig the workers of the world were paying for flying you to the States ;)All no doubt crucial to the proletariat.

  • latcheeco

    Mick,
    She is not planning a European/Canadian style health service. She is planning to dock wages to pay for insurance and if you don’t /can’t pay you’re fined. It’s the system they have in Mass. and in reality it hurts the poor even more.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Mick Hall: “As to Obama being a former community organizer from the south side of Chicago, come on this tosh, working one evening a month in a community law office hardly makes you a community organizer and such tosh does not even wash with US Blacks let alone an angry old lefty like me. What did he organize and who, his fellow workers on wall street, I think not. ”

    Except that it *is* washing wtih African Americans. Oddly enough, Obama is picking up the tails of the diversity curve — places so lily-white that the notion of “diversity” on a racial basis is knowing a black lawyer or a Haispanic doctor and those places with high African American populations.

    What he is not winning are those areas where diversity is neither a nearly abstract concept or a fait accompli. These would appear to include large blue states. What he is winning are caucases, where higher motivation counts for more than numbers.

    Mick Hall: “By the way, if Obama is such a great liberal, how come the US media has left him alone, you know why, it is because he is not, as you said in your last post he will be what every it takes to gain and maintain himself in power; and in a country like the USA that means dancing to corporate america or taking them on head first and a nice middle class boy like Obama, who has not fought a single political battle in his whole life, is not about to start doing so when he approaches middle age, life just aint like that. ”

    The media types are drinking the kool-aid, Mick Hall… the *REAL* question, ala Jonestown, is whether Obama is drinking the kool-aid, too. Between us, I think we have two votes that he’s not…

    Latcheeco: “She is not planning a European/Canadian style health service. She is planning to dock wages to pay for insurance and if you don’t /can’t pay you’re fined. It’s the system they have in Mass. and in reality it hurts the poor even more”

    Seeing as more than half of the “poor” in Mass haven’t signed up for the program, how can we be sure?

  • “That must have been a nice gig the workers of the world were paying for flying you to the States ;)All no doubt crucial to the proletariat.”

    Latcheeco
    It is absolutely crucial for working people to organize across national borders as US workers know to their cost, Capital organizes globally, so to must the trade unions and others who are there to defend the workers best interest.

    I doubt you would have given a thought to business people flying around the world at the companies expense, just doing their job you would say and rightly so, but when it is a trade unionist you make a smart arsed remark and you claim you and Obama have the best interest of working people at heart. Cause you do old son.

  • latcheeco

    Mick,
    I’m a neo-liberal but you’re all sensitive and touchy? Sorry to disappoint but unions there by the eighties were all bought and paid for (often by junkets and internationale themed fact finding tours) being a union rep. has always been seen as a cushy number. It’s an old ruse of throwing a few crumbs to buy off the bright ones. I’m not holding the bag for big business but it has always struck me that you can’t really have workers rights without workers can you? So its a balance. Placards written by people with ologies doesn’t usually tend to get anybody in the ghetto anywhere does it?And business tends to generate workers doesn’t it? Unless we’re living in utopia of course but then that wouldn’t be any fun because in utopia there’s no struggle to struggle for.

    Again, who is better than Obama in this race? Abstention from your own government is sinning by omission so we have to choose one. She voted for the war in Iraq to look hawkish and everybody knows it, he had the balls to say no and you can’t get round that with “Hilery’s more meat” crap. She said she would not meet Chavez etc. He said he would talk to his enemies. Your main arguement seems to be better the murdoch supported devil you know. Well i say feck the devil you know cause it hasn’t worked so far and if we’re wrong what have we lost? All those years of socialist betrayal have made you too cynical. It’s not wooley idealism Mick trust me. I’ve has glorious failure up to the balleeks and its not for me. No hard feelins btw

  • he had the balls to say no and you can’t get round that with “Hilery’s more meat” crap.

    Say no to what? the war started five years ago, what vote are you talking about? Obama was not even in Washington back then. Is their nothing you people will not lie about.

  • latcheeco

    Mick,
    Not sure what you mean by “you people” every bit as patronising as “childish nonsense”. Maybe us dumb folks just don’t understand what’s really going on the way you do!Or should that be us neo-libs? 🙂 LMAO. Other Brits have called me worse so no hard feelings thick skin and all.

    Even the most ill-informed conservative opponent would admit he has been on record as being against the war from the start. She gave W the green light ffs and her candidacy in the general election will give Mc Cain the green light in Iran.

    BTW them ignorant ass po folks in Mississip what hasn’t been taught no better has just let Obama fools them too and by a huge margin.Lordy lordy.

  • Merrie

    >> BTW them ignorant ass po folks in Mississip what hasn’t been taught no better has just let Obama fools them too and by a huge margin.Lordy lordy

    If Obama hadn’t been around then they would have voted for Clinton as they have done in the past for her husband.

    Your argument is probably correct Latcheeco, because only white people can be racist.

  • latcheeco

    Not sure what your point is Merrie but here’s mine.

    The poorest, most persecuted, most down trodden people in this country are turning out in their millions to vote for this guy and what do we hear from the professional socialists: “They’re getting mugged by a snake oil/used car salsman because of his colour”.(And btw they know as much about getting used and mugged as anybody), why doesn’t Jeremy Paxman warn them quick? The insinuation is that they don’t know what they are doing. You can’t trust the lower orders to think for themselves you see. It’s not the socialist way. Not sophisticated enough to discern his obvious shallowness and vulnerability. They should go with Hilery and sure didn’t they before when there was no other option. they’re feckless.

  • latcheeco

    Moment of zen from Mick:”such tosh doesn’t wash with U.S. blacks.”

  • Merrie

    >> The insinuation is that they don’t know what they are doing

    That’s not my insinuation. I am simply saying some blacks are voting for Barack because he is black. Not all blacks, but some. The same reason why a lot of American Irish and Catholics voted for Kennedy in 1959 because he was a Catholic and of Irish descent. Perhaps in some instances racism is not necessarily a negative thing.

    There is a symbolism in being an American president, but the role is not all symbolism. This article is interesting:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120519540222325779.html?mod=todays_columnists

    Buried in there is a quote from Machiavelli which Obama should heed.

    Mick Hall: I too am tired of the Obama team harping on about voting for Iraq. It seems to be the answer to nearly everything especially foreign policy. I get the impression that Obama has nothing much else to offer in argument and debate.

  • latcheeco

    What has Hilery to offer, Merrie? What is her record? What are her successes that the novice Obama doesn’t have that you so admire? What does Tammy Wynette have to show for all her experience?Because I suspect, at root, many Irish Hilery supporters are really in love with her husband because of the peace process (when he helped bamboozle them into stormont,changing the Irish constitution and swapping a united Ireland for a united six counties)? Or is it because they feel they owe her one for having to stand at Belfast city hall in the cold listening to Eric Smyth preach about eemanyule the saviour :). Foreign policy and judgement are crucial in U.S. elections as is the devastation brought by trade agreements like Nafta and U.S. elections can be one issue affairs (flipflop).

  • Merrie

    Hey Latcheeco – for your answer maybe you should start re-reading this thread from the beginning.

    Note I haven’t said I support Hillary.

  • The poorest, most persecuted, most down trodden people in this country are turning out in their millions to vote for this guy and what do we hear from the professional socialists:

    latcheeco

    We seem to be visiting old ground, but I have enjoyed our debate even if you refuse to answer any of the question merrie and I have raised. You claimed Obama voted against the war, when I raised that you reverted to the old Tosh such as, “everyone knows that he was against the war”. No I do not know that.

    You also say the economically poor are voting for Obama in large numbers, I see no evidence of that but I am open to persuasion.

    As to your old crap about socialists etc, it is just that diversionary crap. I have not asked anyone to vote against Obama or for his opponents. The only one asking for people to support a particular candidate is you and I have a nagging doubt about your motives, but that could be me being unfair.

    What I am doing is expressing my personal opinion about Obama, if he becomes President and I am wrong I would be as happy as larry, but I fear I am not.

    As to me being patronizing towards you, unbelievable! read you early posts to this thread, if I remember correctly, in your ignorance, you opened one with a patronizing comment about my age, thus by doing so you opened the door to a very hot kitchen, if you cannot stand the heat, by all means fuck off 😉
    If you attempt to take a chunk out of me, do not whine when I bite you back, its unmanly.

    Now I have got all that out of the way, in fact you sound a very nice fellow who I would enjoy having a beer with, so I wish you no ill feeling. It would be nice to return to this debate after the Nov election and see where we three stand.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Mick Hall: “You also say the economically poor are voting for Obama in large numbers, I see no evidence of that but I am open to persuasion. ”

    IIRC, Obama has two main pillers in his vote — liberal whites and the African American community. It is Hillary who is winning the blue-collar union voter.

  • latcheecoo

    Actually Mick I think yourself and Merrie were shaking heads at each other in mutual pity at us dumb fecks first and thats patronising no matter what way you spin it. I your refering to me saying “so young and so cynical.” I apologise for hurting your feelings (but I didn’t really think you were that young :)and will be the first to admit to my ignorance.As for the heat, scorching! I’m off to the burns unit right away.

    Merrie you implied she was the better candidate and our electoral system was a mess: hello, you have two first ministers ffs and you haven’t said how she is better.I have said why he appeals.
    Anyway ar aghaidh chun bua!

  • latcheeco

    Mick,
    Actually I said she voted for it but he “said” no to it. Didn’t mention him voting. But we’re just playing games :)Why do you doubt my motives? I believe this country needs a black president called Barak Hussein Obama. I think its symbollically and materially important. Where have I refused to answer? Some people believe it needs a woman who was wife of a previous leader.Fair enough. Sounds a bit too aristocratic for me ( Never could warm to the idea of having a queen and the first iron lady left me jaded:)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    latcheeco: “Merrie you implied she was the better candidate and our electoral system was a mess: hello, you have two first ministers ffs and you haven’t said how she is better.I have said why he appeals. ”

    He appeals because he uses soaring rhetoric and never deigns to descend into the nuts and bolts of how he is going to achieve what he says are his goals.

    Or, as one wag put it, after uniting America and healing the world, will he be resting on the seventh day?

    latcheeco: “Actually I said she voted for it but he “said” no to it. Didn’t mention him voting. But we’re just playing games :)Why do you doubt my motives?”

    Given the weaselly word games you acknowledged, why *shouldn’t* we doubt your motives?

    latcheeco: “I believe this country needs a black president called Barak Hussein Obama. I think its symbollically and materially important.”

    That belief and a couple of bucks might get you a Starbucks, but it isn’t worth much on its own. Symbols are important, but only to the symbol-minded.

    Obama is a light-weight, long on rhetoric and short of substance — there is no there there. He says nothing in his speeches, but manages to look pretty good doing it.

    The longer this drags out, the less likely Obama is going to win. His first best opportunity — winning outright on the delegates — is all but gone. Hillary’s wins in Texas and Ohio have all but frozen the superdelegates, at least publicly. Hillary is in a position to close with Obama on the popular vote. She is the likely beneficiary of any “solution” on Florida and Michigan.

    Likewise, the bluster from some of Obama’s followers can’t be helping much — threats to make Chicago ’68 look like “a Sadie Hawkin’s Dance” aren’t going to win friends or influence people, at least not positively.

    Time, for good or for ill, is on Hillary’s side.

  • latcheeco

    Dread,”Weaselly words!.”LMAO So i’m a weasle now for supporting Obama.His record on the war has been vclear and it’s disingenuos to say its not.Is that all you’ve got? Na na nana na. Where did I mention word games?If there are any word games its the suggestion that the poorest aren’t voting for Obama or that he hasn’t been against the war from the start. Yall are gettin very tetchy. I’m stll waiting on the explanation for her weight.Was it her failure over healthcare the first time because she knew better than congressional dems?Or giving back congress to the republicans over gun control or standing by her man to get her hands on power or Is it her view that al quaida were in Iraq before the war?She is losing so she is the one dragging it out; she can’t win on elected delegates. Everybody should just roll over for the establishment candidate. Btw the real heavyweights on policy were dumped out of the primaries.

  • latcheeco

    Dread
    And while we’re on the subject of word games someone should ask the Clintons (cause she’s running on his record) when is genocide not genocide? Oh yes when it’s in Rwanda. Somebody should explain to all us mugs why with more states, more votes, more money, better polls he should roll over for her. Where again is her record better.

    If you judge how she would run a country bye how she has run her campaign it aint lookin too hot is it? She was a shoe in last year and managed to feck it up royally and is trailing a rank outsider. Experience at work.The only possible way she can win is to override ordinary voters and pay off superdelegates with favors to get their votes Ohio’s reps have already presented a shopping lis(fair play to them). Of course Obama can take no credit for his success because its only a campaign any light weight without substance could motivate a million punters to give money. But that is of course irrelevent.

    Symbols are important to most peoplethats why for example we’re proud of flags , well you may not be! ( btwSymbol minded-excellent,take a bow) , his election will be especially symbollic but it will also I hope prove to be materially better for the vast majority in this country.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    latcheeco: “So i’m a weasle now for supporting Obama.”

    Try reading what I wrote, rather that what you wished I written, latcheeco. You’re playing word games with Mick Hall — hell, you *admitting* to playing word games with Mick Hall. If the best argument you can conjure up is a wee bit of verbal legerdemain, then get used to being called on it.

    latcheeco: “She is losing so she is the one dragging it out; she can’t win on elected delegates. Everybody should just roll over for the establishment candidate. Btw the real heavyweights on policy were dumped out of the primaries.”

    Mayhap, but he’s not winning — in fact, the Dems primary system would seem designed to prevent anyone from winning outright, short of a complete collapse of all competition.

    Unless Obama can carry about three-quarters of the remaining elected delegates, he’s not going to win, putting this into the hands of the super-delegates. At that point, I would have to give the edge to Hillary.

    Now, as for Hillary’s weight, I would have thought a genteel individual such as yourself, being from Alabama and all, would know that it’s not polite to discuss a lady’s weight or age.

    Likewise, I must point out, you seem to be suffering from a failure of logic — pointing out that Obama is a light-wight makes absolutely no comment on whether or not Mrs. Clinton is or is not a light-weight.

    On matters of substance, however, she has explained how she plans to implement her stated goals — I think she’s unrealistic as all hell in her numbers, as do a number of economists who question her math, but at least there is a framework there to debate and discuss, as opposed to Obama’s empty rhetorical flourishes.

    As for the “policy heavyweights,” most of them were out even before they were in… Dodd was doing a victory lap prior to retirement, with hopes of rehabilitating his father’s reputation… Biden brought all the old problems back to the table, droning on foreign policy in an election year that is going to be more about domestic policy… Kucinich was still hoping people would learn to spell his name… Richardson was busy running for vice-president… I’m not wholly certain was Edwards thought he would accomplish, other than getting someone else to pay for his haircuts.

    Me, I will be voting for myself, this year…

    Cthulhu for President — why settle for the lesser evil?

  • Latcheeco

    You say Obama’s position on Iraq is clear, but is it, as far as i can see he is not calling for all US troops to be withdrawn let alone setting a date for it. Has he not said his government would keep US troops in Iraq. Mission creep Obama style. imo there is absolutely no way to solve the problem that is Iraq without US troops etc pulling out completely.

    I can see the need for UN troops in Iraq, just, but if Obama does not understand the above he clearly has no idea just how much the US government is hated in the middle east and Turkey. In the latter nation, Bush has eaten all the good will it took previous generations decades to build.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    latcheeco: “If you judge how she would run a country bye how she has run her campaign it aint lookin too hot is it?”

    Already noted in a previous post, latcheeco — neither side would appear to move from the lounge to play the big room at this point.

    latcheeco: “She was a shoe in last year and managed to feck it up royally and is trailing a rank outsider. Experience at work.”

    Not really — she’s not got a great deal more experience than he does — and I don’t put a lot of weight into the presumptions of the press. What I can say is that, in 20/20 hindsight, Obama has had three opportunities to put this race away and muffed all three. He wins mostly caucases, which is not a good indicator of wide support, and wins them in states that aren’t likely to go blue, based on historical track-record.

    The final decision is likely coming down to the super-delegates, meaning that the spectre of a “smoke-filled room” style brokered convention can’t be ruled out, meaning that the final candidate might be someone who didn’t even run in the primaries.

    latcheeco: “Of course Obama can take no credit for his success because its only a campaign any light weight without substance could motivate a million punters to give money. But that is of course irrelevent. ”

    The ability to fundraise is not a reliable surrogate or indicator for the ability to lead or accomplish goals or the ability to win in a tight election.

    latcheeco: “his election will be especially symbollic but it will also I hope prove to be materially better for the vast majority in this country. ”

    And there lies the problem — in summation, you have little to point at, other than a hope.

  • lLatcheeco

    Mick,
    He has said he will pull out, if it turns out he’s the same as every other pol. and renages then what is lost? Its just same old same old.I still think its worth the gamble. He has maintained that he will all the way through. Nobody here is going to countenence pushing helicpters off aircraft carriers again.No matter what happens the withdrawal will be phased.My point is Mick, the guy is playing the establishment at there own game and you’re not giving him a chance. If you were him, how would you play it to win?

    Dread!
    Mick’s a big boy, he’s been about and he has been fighting and winning his own battles here for years. Humble apologies if that wasn’t your implication with weasle but if they’re calling you names you’ve usually won, you seemed to be as concerned with my ability as Obama’s. I’m no reflection of him 😉 Glad we’ve now got to a point where we’re admitting they’re all light weight.So if they’re all of a muchness why not him?
    When did he have the opportunities to put it away? The press talked up ohio and tx but a month before they said they were soundly hilery and counted them in her camp.She/her camaign plannned for it to be over on Super Tuesday and wereleft flapping but you say it was Obama that didn’t put it away that night, so he’s lame. I think the boy did alright considering where he was six months ago or a year ago and he’s getting stronger. He wase always a long shot. But she getting a hell of a run for her money.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Latcheeco: “Humble apologies if that wasn’t your implication with weasle but if they’re calling you names you’ve usually won, you seemed to be as concerned with my ability as Obama’s.”

    When I ever get angry enough to call names, you won’t have to wonder… as for the other, your question needed answering.

    latcheeco: “Glad we’ve now got to a point where we’re admitting they’re all light weight.”

    Ah, but we’re not. All I said was that I made no real representation regarding Hillary’s weight, metaphorical, political or other.

    That said, I must concede that the last couple of elections have produced a disturbing crop of two-dimensional caricatures for candidates, albeit some heavier than others.

    latcheeco: “When did he have the opportunities to put it away? The press talked up ohio and tx but a month before they said they were soundly hilery and counted them in her camp.”

    Let’s see… there was New Hampshire, where the press said he was ahead in the polls… there was Texas and Ohio… I want to say there was one in the middle of those two scenarios.

    latcheeco: “I think the boy did alright considering where he was six months ago or a year ago and he’s getting stronger. He wase always a long shot. But she getting a hell of a run for her money.”

    Ah, but is that a matter of him doing better or her doing worse than expected, or, to be honest, a bit of both?

    Frankly, I’d lay a share of the blame on the media, who seem to prefer a good story to a bland truth.

  • I think for the time being I have chewed this bone about all that I can, I would be happy to be proved wrong about Obama, time will tell.

    On the wider issue of the quality of the candidates, this years crop seem especially weak. Can I ask this of the US sluggers, what do you feel lays behind this lack of real ability. Is it that rational and sane politicians will not run for Presidential office these day, either because it puts their private life under the media-spotlight, or because 2 years on the campaign trail, plus touting for cash is a lot to ask of anyone who has a life beyond politics.

    Mick

  • latcheeco

    Regards Mick,
    This was quare craic,
    Don’t give up the struggle mo chara 😉 btw I think the media here is guilty of dumbing down the message for mass consumption and talks to the audience like they are five year olds so very often what you see of the candidates is a response to this system rather than the candidates real intellect. I’d imagine being a Harvard Law Professor or even Rhodes scholar(or wife of one) might put you up therein intellect. Do you not agree though that there is a preconcieved European prejudice that yanks are generally dumb and shallow?

  • latcheeco

    Fair point and no we Europeans do not think all yanks are dumb and shallow, somewhat insular perhaps, although we do think your president is shallow. Although I am sure you would agree, being well educated and intelligence do not always go together. One of the most intelligent and astute people I have ever met in my life, could not read and write.

  • latcheeco

    Mick,
    Absolutely agree on last point.I’ve been in company of educated fuckwits often. Although on the European attitudes point I think you are being too kind,and I don’t mind W so much as the morons that elected him I mean he got to the top job so who was who’s useful idiot. 🙂 Incidently and we may have mentioned This but they tore up Kerry in 2004 for being too wonky on details.Obama’s game may be a reaction to this.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Mick Hall: “On the wider issue of the quality of the candidates, this years crop seem especially weak. Can I ask this of the US sluggers, what do you feel lays behind this lack of real ability. Is it that rational and sane politicians will not run for Presidential office these day, either because it puts their private life under the media-spotlight, or because 2 years on the campaign trail, plus touting for cash is a lot to ask of anyone who has a life beyond politics.”

    Homogenization… the glare of the spotlight, the proverbial microscope… the roar of the grease-paint and the smell of the crowds. The fund=raising / compromises / whoring a body has to make…

    Frankly, its all of the above.

  • Crataegus

    Would someone remind me of Bush’s qualifications?

    The other question that one must ask is does the President really matter or is it the Executive that is important?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Crataegus: “Would someone remind me of Bush’s qualifications?”

    Governor of Texas and President of the Texas Rangers (baseball team)… not necessarily in that order… he is one of the better advertisements for the benefits of name recognition.

  • latcheeco

    Crat,
    Cheney tried to make his presidency all powerful 🙂 Bush was just Rove’s useful idiot. The qualification was that the other guys were too…. mmmm how shall i put this? Oh yeah heavyweight. It is argueable that the pres. has really little control over the economy indeed John Mc Cain freely admits to not understanding any of that mumbo jumbo.

  • Rory

    “When did he have the opportunities to put it away?”

    If this question referred to Bill Clinton, Latcheeco, one would have to answer, “According to Monica (and others) it seems not very often”.

    Nor does it seem that he often had the inclination to put it away either, though I believe he was often advised that this might be a good idea. Which – since I liked him – “doesn’t amount to a hill o’ beans” in my book.

  • latcheeco

    I liked him too Rory.All droit de seigneur as far as I’m concerned 🙂

  • Rory

    I wouldn’t exactly describe his conquests as deriving from droit de seigneur, Latcheeco.

    I think it was simply a case of his finding it impolite to resist the many women who happened to find him simply irresistable. I expect that like me (and Bill) you also have had to suffer from the same difficulty and thus can afford to be understanding.

  • latcheeco

    Exactly , to say no to them would just be bad form.

  • Crataegus

    Dread & latcheeco

    And there I was thinking that G W Bush had the best education that money could buy.

    BA from Yale and MBA Harvard Business School.

    Point is I wouldn’t put too much faith in qualifications.

    There are several problems that I have with the current choice. Firstly none of them set my sole on fire. Obama is a chancer (NI term for trickster come opportunist}he is probably a dud, there is no real substance and no real scrutiny or testing of him. The press have been a lamentable failure. McCaim is past retirement and all the Vet stuff sits uneasy with me as does some aspects of his character. Not too sure (at all) about him and his war that could last 100 years. Then there is Hillary, very very driven and very focused. Boy does she want to be President.

    Secondly there really is no over arching vision of where the USA needs to go. Repeating the word change is about as useful as chanting religious text.

    Economics. The economy will dominate the next 4 years and none of them instil any real confidence.

    Comparing them with people who will also run or who are likely to run shows a distinct lack of any real vision, purpose or idealism. Nader, Ron Paul, McKinney…. Not saying that these people are the answer just that you can be in no doubt that what drives them is a purpose, a belief. These people really do want change.

    I find it hard to believe that a nation can fall for such nonsense as ‘Change, if you are up for it’ and Bob the Builder’s ‘Yes we can.’ What is the average IQ of those who vote?

    It all makes one question Democracy and the unconditional right to vote.

  • Whilst I can see Hilary Clintons flaws, and she obviously wants this job badly.
    However, she also understands the importance of free health care at the point of need; and that which ever US President introduces it will go down in history as one of the Presidential greats. [Just as Attlee and his Health Secretary Bevan have in the UK]

    At the beginning of Bills Presidency she bit off more than she could chew on Health and withdrew from the fray hurt, but she must have learned a great deal and to her credit is up for a rematch.

    Whilst I was born into a world where there was no NHS/etc, I have lived most of my life under the protective umbrella of free health care at the point of need, and I cannot imagine the hardships and worry one must suffer when this does not exist, especially if you have a young family.

    Hilary is the only candidate who has a long history of fighting for a decent system of health care and this is the reason why in my heart I favor here.

    [she also understand the damage bills private part did to his Presidency; and say what you will about her she is a woman who manages to keep her knickers firmly pulled up;)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Crataegus: “And there I was thinking that G W Bush had the best education that money could buy. ”

    You can bring fella to college, but you an’t make him think. A sheepskin is nice and a good start, but its not the keys to the kingdom.

    Also, completing a course of education does not necessarily make a fellow completely prepared for their chosen profession — physicians have internships and residencies, lawyers need to pas the BAR exam and politicians don’t get to start at the top.

    Crataegus: “There are several problems that I have with the current choice. Firstly none of them set my sole on fire.”

    Blacked cajun fish, or a hot-foot?

    Crataegus: “Secondly there really is no over arching vision of where the USA needs to go. Repeating the word change is about as useful as chanting religious text. ”

    Less, actually… most religious texts say what you should and shouldn’t do…

    Crataegus: “Comparing them with people who will also run or who are likely to run shows a distinct lack of any real vision, purpose or idealism. Nader, Ron Paul, McKinney…. Not saying that these people are the answer just that you can be in no doubt that what drives them is a purpose, a belief. These people really do want change. ”

    Nader is a self-promoter of the first water who is more interested in Nader than any ancillary good he does (or doesn’t) accomplish. McKinney is just a whack-job. Paul… I wish Paul wasn’t that far out there and attracting folks even further out than he is — he is a wee bit like Pat Buchannan — half the time he says things that are important and need saying and the other half you want to call the fella in the white coats to take him away.

    Crataegus: “I find it hard to believe that a nation can fall for such nonsense as ‘Change, if you are up for it’ and Bob the Builder’s ‘Yes we can.’ What is the average IQ of those who vote? ”

    IQ isn’t the problem, or at least not the main one (and I fear it drops with each election).

    The problem is the increasing intellectual laziness of the electorate… and, in some cases, the elected.

    Crataegus: “It all makes one question Democracy and the unconditional right to vote. ”

    Don’t kid yourself… there are conditions.

  • the dowie

    WILL CRY FOR VOTES

    WILL LIE FOR VOTES

  • Crataegus

    the dowie

    Nothing wrong with a few tears, a laugh, a smile or a frown.

    It is the lies, half truths and misrepresentations that really annoy me.

    Obama didn’t vote for the war, well no he couldn’t so plain misleading. He will bring the troops home; no he won’t. The NAFTA gaff, an admission of deliberately misleading.

    Rezko was bone headed; well someone selling you a piece of land for considerably less than they paid for it is called something else where I come from.

    Exelon Corporation (nuclear-power) is Barack Obama’s fourth largest patron. I wonder who helped to vote down an amendment that would have ended loan guarantees for power-plant operators?

    None of them are angels but the degree of hypocrisy surrounding Obama is equalled only by the amount of blind faith placed in him. It is a tragedy.

    Mick HallDread

    I don’t disagree with you.

    I was looking at some Obama clips trying to comprehend what it is about him that appeals to people.

    His style is very much like one of those born again preachers. His following really is like blind faith, and no one is more zealous than the newly converted. Boy are they going to be disappointed.

  • latcheeco

    Crat,
    Churchill said the best arguement against democracy is talking to the average voter for five minutes, I’m not sure that the north with two first ministers elected mostly by tribe is the exception to that rule btw before we cast stones. I imagine the pravince is where your cynicism really comes from.

    Your point on Bush is good but the trend is generally the opposite else we wouldn’t have our kids go to university would we?

    Mick as regards Hil’s pants she may just be waiting to meet the right girl;)

    When the media get anything real on Obama they’d bury him : its about the money and pullitzers for them and not idealism,and I know I’m biased but I still think it’s true.

    Mick its not universal at the point of need its universally paying insurance there’s a difference.
    The war arguement is a lost cause crat.

    Dread did you watch Oberman savage her last night?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Crataegus: “You are right about health provision, I don’t think there is any doubt that Hillary Clinton is genuinely interested in that issue and like yourself I think it is of major importance especially for young families and the elderly. No one knows when tragedy can strike and I don’t trust insurance. ”

    Yeah, but do you want your healthcarerought to you by the same people who dreamed up the USPS and the IRS? Likewise, access to a waiting list does not constitute access to healthcare. As someone who works on the finance side of government provided healthcare, as much as I like the notion of guaranteed employment for life, it’s not a winning idea.

    Crataegus: “Obama’s one difficult press conference where he was ask a few questions about Rezko gave a very real indication as to his lack of ability to address difficulties on the hoof. In my opinion he is not up to the job. ”

    He’s already had it, slinking off whilst whimpering that he’d answered, “like, eight questions already.”

    The problem is that the media is drinking the kool-aid and Obama running aground or melting down kills the race and no few of these news outlets rely on the interest in the elections — the more competative the election, the more political ads they sell.

    Crataegus: “His style is very much like one of those born again preachers. His following really is like blind faith, and no one is more zealous than the newly converted. Boy are they going to be disappointed. ”

    The possibility of Chicago ’68 exists as a non-zero proposition…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    latcheeco: “Dread did you watch Oberman (sic) savage her last night? ”

    No — I prefer information to polemic. Olbermann rants, he doesn’t inform.

  • latcheeco

    Dread
    Your right on Olberman.But it was interesting if a bit strong (even for me!)because they are opinion formers to many and how they slant it is important to the race.

    All the t.v news here is either preachy or inane and often both. O.K. maybe not PBS and Fox 🙂 Where are these bias free organs you speak of? (other than slugger:)
    Your point on the long race being a media business opportunity is fair enough but I think the individuals still want to be Woodward and Bernstein.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    latcheeco: “Your right on Olberman.But it was interesting if a bit strong (even for me!)because they are opinion formers to many and how they slant it is important to the race. ”

    Not really — Olbermann is pretty small beer, ratings-wise and influence-wise — hell, MSNBC is small beer around the clock. Even Fox, the cable news ratings gorilla (by audience numbers), doesn’t break two million sets of eyes on any given night. Olbermann’s audience tunes in to hear what they believe affirmed, not because he is some important opinion-maker.

    latcheeco: “All the t.v news here is either preachy or inane and often both. O.K. maybe not PBS and Fox 🙂 ”

    Eh. They all preach, some are just subtler than others… except PBS, which alternately begs and whines.

    latcheeco: “Where are these bias free organs you speak of? (other than slugger:) ”

    Oh, they’re not bias free — the sources I prefer just aren’t frothing at the mouth, ala Olbermann. I’m usually good for about six news-papers a day (two NY tabloids (referring more to format than content), two national broad-sheets and two local broad-sheets), along with a few national and internation news sites. The trick isn’t to be bias free, it is to find off-setting biases.

    latcheeco: “Your point on the long race being a media business opportunity is fair enough but I think the individuals still want to be Woodward and Bernstein. ”

    Thank you, latcheeco… the perfect segue…

    I completely agree that they want to grow up to be W&B;, but with one proviso… W&B;didn’t set out to topple a president or change the world or any other such foolishness or hubristic fantasy. They set out to get a story and the story they got toppled a president and changed the world. I think today’s “journalists” don’t understand the difference.

  • latcheeco

    Dread,
    I wish I had your job 🙂 reading all those papers.So its you that buys them; that’s impressive. Don’t you find them big words put you off though?. Did you say you worked for the government are you a researcher?

    Olberman prefaced his piece with reference to a couple of people who do apparently pay attention to what he says? And there are one or two repubs. who might disagree about the New York papers frothing at the mouth.

    Joe public’s viewing numbers may or may not be relevant or important but who really watches these shows closely are other networks and journalists and professional punditry and the campaigns themselves and they take their cues from each other. So they have influence even if we find that influence a tad lowbrow and yawn worthy.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    latcheeco: “I wish I had your job 🙂 reading all those papers.So its you that buys them; that’s impressive. Don’t you find them big words put you off though?. Did you say you worked for the government are you a researcher?”

    It comes down to a couple of things… First, speed-reading, believe it or not, was one of the educational fads in play when I was in middle-school. Secondly, your implied insult (the average American news-paper is written on the sixth-grade level, if you’re lucky…) has been noted.

    I work as a contractor in government funded healthcare. The office is awash with papers that get passed around. Between the style of writing and my background, most of the papers are a quick read.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Hilary is the only candidate who has a long history of fighting for a decent system of health care and this is the reason why in my heart I favor here.’

    And this will be the reason why many of the big insurance companies may favour Obama as the Democratic Candidate not in the hope that he will win but on the greater probability that he could lose against McCain in the electoral college vote .

    Based on the results so far those traditional Republican States would have 216 Electoral College votes (ECV’s) Democrats 183 ECV’s if these states go as expected . The 12 swing States account for 142 ECV’s .

    Assuming all the primary States so far voted for Democratic candidates only – Obama would have 247 ECV’s and Clinton 273 ECV’s

    When we subtract the definite Republican ECV States from both Obama and Clinton based on the primary results to date Obama’s ECV’s would be down to 120 and Clinton’s to 202 . Reason for Obama losing out more here is that he won many of his primaries in traditionnally Republican States -These States will vote McCain in November .

    When we look at the 12 swing States, again based on the Dem Primary results Obama would win 57 ECV’s and Clinton 85 ECVs . This would leave Clinton with 287 potential ECV’s against Obama’s 177.

    On balance the Democratic party would do better to choose Clinton over Obama based on a purely ECV approach . In the above exercise I have assumed Clinton wins the Pennsylvania primary.

    The States of Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania with a total of 85 Electoral College votes between them will be absolutely critical in this election . This is why the Democrats now seem to be favouring re votes or some solution which does not antagonise or alienate the potential democratic vote in Florida and Michigan .

    Obama would do well to settle for VP on this occassion and hope to go again later with a few years of hopefully ‘recognised’ experience under his belt . McCain’s men will hope to defeat Obama in Florida , Ohio and Pennsylvania and that is probably all they will need to ‘steal’ the next election . It’s conceivable with Obama as candidate he could do a Gore i.e win the plurality of votes but still lose the Electoral college . With Clinton that looks less likely IMO.

  • latcheeco

    Apologies Dread!
    You picked up the wrong insult:). It was in regards to the shallowness of us t.v. watchers who are not bright enough to “take the Times” and get fed their news through a drip.

  • lacthcheeco

    Greenflag,
    I may be reading this wrong. It’s been a long day and when it comes to math I’m with John McCain in special ed. but are you suggesting that losing a primary equates to losing the state in the election.Surely the point is that because Hil. can’t get more than 48% of the country to like her it’s the independents that count and Barack is winning there so far. The problem now is that she has made this so bitter with her “throw the kitchen sink” strategy that a no-hoper like McCain might win because now half the dems are going to hate her/Obama as well( rightly or wrongly) and McCain doesn’t raise their. fury way Bush does.

  • Crataegus

    latcheeco

    I couldn’t put in print what I truely think of NI politicians and the local electorate. I wasn’t raised here and often live elsewhere. Politics here is the politics of fear and ingrained hatred and mistrust. You can put all sorts of gloss on it but that is what it boils down to.

    What I said about Bush was, “that he had the best education that money can buy.” In these parts that could be construed that his qualifications were bought rather than earned! Of course the young should get whatever education and training they can.

    Dread

    On health care I think that the Health Service in Britain and many other European Countries are not bad. Fall ill or if you are in an accident you get treated no question. If you have kidney failure you will get dialysis three times a week every week. No worry no stress it is there. This is one area where I am glad to see proper provision for all. I may argue about efficiently and how it is delivered but not the basic principle.

    A repeat of Chicago 68 would be highly entertaining. Not getting nominated is the least of the problems for the acolytes. They could blame that on the selection being rigged and stamp off in righteous indignation. Worse would be for Obama to be nominated and then be tore apart in the Presidential race, or for him to be elected and prove either useless or insincere and a real disappointment.

  • latcheeco

    Cheers Crat, no offence btw :)Just fun and (weasel word)games. Your absolutely right about Bush and he is only the tip of the iceberg here in terms of nepotism and one of my minor motivations against Clinton is that it smacks of aristocracy. Again for all his faults I’m willing to give the boy a chance. He’s not going to be worse and he could be better.As one wag put it he’s the first contender since U.S. Grant to actually write his own book.(its supposed to be fairly well written btw). We’re going agree to disagree on Obama/Hilery but our ends/motivations seem to be the same.

  • Crataegus

    latcheeco

    Whoever gets in has got to be an improvement on Bush. They can’t be worse can they?