Blogging Countdown 12/17 #5: Endorsement '08

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Blogging Countdown 12/17 #5: Endorsement '08

Postby Slfriend79 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:11 pm

Good evening, everybody. I‘m Alison Stewart. Keith Olbermann has the night off. In a fast food nation where burger eaters like to have it their way and caffeine addicts can get to make about five different decisions every time they step up to the counter for a grande skim macchiato but make it a half cup, hold the foam, the ritual of settling on just one individual. The choice of a presidential candidate might seem to be a bit out of place. Our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN:

Endorsement time in the race for president. Any American who likes to be told how to vote now has a wealth of opinions from which to draw. Politicians, wives of politicians, newspaper editorial boards, basically anybody who has decided on a candidate is now sharing that choice with anyone who will listen. Senator Hillary Clinton picking up the endorsements of the “Des Moines Register “ where of course the caucus is just 17 days away. The newspaper‘s editorial board says that while her main rival, Senator Barack Obama, quote, “Can be more inspirational when he speaks before a crowd, Senator Clinton appears to them more ready to hit the ground running.” Quote, “Readiness to lead sets her apart from a constellation of possible stars in her party. Senator John McCain winning the newspaper‘s endorsement among Republicans and among independent Democrats that seem like Republicans. Candidate McCain getting his nod from a colleague, Senator Joe Lieberman. This morning, Senator Lieberman citing national security issues as key to his choice.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN, (IND) CONNECTICUT: When it comes to leading America to victory against the Islamist terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, there‘s no one better prepared than John McCain. He has proven by his experience, by his strength, by his decisiveness that he is ready to be our commander in chief and take us to victory on the day he takes office as the next president of the United States.

STEWART: Did you notice the matching outfits? But later, when speaking to reporters out in the cold, Mr. Lieberman revealed that, well, the Arizona Republican was the one who actually wanted to talk to him.

LIEBERMAN: Let me just say something. The Democratic candidates didn‘t asked for my support and John McCain did.

STEWART: Senator Lieberman adding that McCain endorsement to the list of things that set him apart from his colleagues on Capitol Hill.

LIEBERMAN: Think of me as the eccentric uncle. You know, we like him but every now and then he says something very unusual things.

STEWART: For more Uncle Joe, time to call on E.J. Dionne, a columnist from the “Washington Post” and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Thanks for being with us, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you.

STEWART: Now, did the “Des Moines Register” pick John Edwards in ‘04 and Bill Bradley in 2000 but both of those campaigns ultimately fell flat. So, let‘s start by asking how much does that endorsement really matter?

DIONNE: Well, as your question suggests, newspapers are not like party bosses of old. They don‘t necessarily deliver votes, although Edwards really did get a boost into second place out of that endorsement. I think this is very important for Hillary Clinton for two reasons. One, she is in some very rough waters and this is kind of a life raft. It breaks the flow of a lot of bad news. And that‘s just helpful by itself. But the second thing is your story suggested is the paper made the same argument that she is using in closing this campaign against Barack Obama, which is he‘s more inspirational, but she, the paper said, is more ready to be president. She really needed this now. It doesn‘t mean she‘s going to win the caucuses, but it would have been a very—she‘d be in a very bad situation if it hadn‘t gone in this way.

STEWART: So, bottom line, it is helpful at this point for this particular candidate at this stage in her game?

DIONNE: Precisely right.

STEWART: Senator Lieberman said the sound bite saying none of the Democrats asked for my support, John McCain did. So, who does that say the most about or who does that say the most of that? The Democratic field, Senator Lieberman or Senator McCain?

DIONNE: I think first it may say most about Democratic primary voters. I think no Democrat asked Joe Lieberman to endorse them because Joe Lieberman these days is not all that popular in the Democratic base because of his strong support for President Bush‘s policy in Iraq. I think it does say something about a very longstanding friendship between John McCain and Joe Lieberman. They‘ve worked together on a lot of things, including global warming. They do agree on the war. I thought it was fascinating to hear Joe Lieberman talk about himself as an eccentric uncle. It will be very interesting in the next Congress to see what Democrats are going to make of Joe Lieberman. They desperately need his vote. In this Congress, they have is a one-vote majority, that‘s Joe Lieberman‘s. This will probably cause some upset in the caucus. Harry Reid who generally says nice things about Joe Lieberman, the leader of the Democrats, said he wasn‘t very happy about this one.

STEWART: So, I don‘t know who sits with whom at the Senatorial lunch table, like the cafeteria in high school, but you know, you mentioned the relationship between John McCain and joke Lieberman. But Chris Dodd and Joe Biden have been in the Senate for an awful long time. Why wouldn‘t they court their colleague‘s vote?

DIONNE: Well, again, I think when you‘re looking at, for example, an Iowa caucus electorate which is not only strong Democrats but a particular slice of strong Democrats, most of those folks are very, very much opposed to the war in Iraq. They are the sorts of people who may well have given money to Lamont, Joe Lieberman‘s opponent in the primary in the last time in his Senate race, so I think they didn‘t ask him because they weren‘t sure the endorsement could help him. It could help McCain in New Hampshire particularly among independents who can vote in the New Hampshire primary. And it will help McCain‘s toughness on foreign policy credentials with some Republicans.

STEWART: So, he did well to get that clean slip of endorsement from the “Des Moines Register,” “Boston Globe,” a New Hampshire leader. I do want to point out thing - eight out of nine of the “Des Moines Register” editorial board while the women which led to grumbling of the selection of Senator Clinton might have been due to gender bias. And I interviewed the executive editor of the “Des Moines Register,” Karen Washburn in NPR this morning and I asked her about that. She said she knew the board would take a hit. But she pointed out largely all male editorial boards have been picking winners and losers all along. Is she right?

DIONNE: Well, you, if some people would say gender bias, other people might say gender solidarity. You know, Hillary - one of the selling points for Mrs. Clinton is that she would be the first woman elected president of the United States if she won. I suspect that this group of folks who are basically a group of fairly progressive women would have a lot in common with Hillary Clinton. So I don‘t think that‘s shocking. We don‘t complain when men endorse men on editorial boards, as she suggested.

STEWART: E.J. Dionne of the “Washington Post,” thank you very much for your time tonight.

DIONNE: Thank you.

STEWART: If nothing else “The Register” endorsement is proving to be an excellent distraction for the Clinton campaign after last week‘s off the wall criticism of Senator Obama‘s youthful and indiscretion forced an adviser to have to actually leave the campaign. But, if any memos went out declaring Senator Barack Obama off limits for a while, the candidate‘s husband, former President Clinton didn‘t get the memo. On PBS Friday night, President Clinton told Charlie Rose that not only is his wife more qualified to be president but that voters who pick Senator Obama would be, quote, “Rolling the dice about America.” As for how Mr. Clinton went about doing this, I believe the phrase is damning with faint praise.

BILL CLINTON, FMR U.S. PRESIDENT: Obama is a person of enormous talent. You know, staggering political skills.

CHARLIE ROSE, HOST: Ready to be president?

CLINTON: Well, the voters have to make up their mind, but what I‘m

saying is -

ROSE: Will you sit in the office?

CLINTON: Yes, but what I‘m saying is in my experience, what I know about the job and what I know about the world—and I‘ve been in 90 countries since I‘ve been out of office—I want a president next time who has a good vision and has great programs but understands that even vision and programs don‘t necessarily change people‘s lives.


STEWART: President Clinton is pretty clear that Senator Obama is the only candidate with which he has concerns.

ROSE: Is Joe Biden ready to be president?

CLINTON: Absolutely.

ROSE: Is Chris Dodd ready to be president?

CLINTON: I think he‘s ready.

ROSE: Is Bill Richardson ready to be president?

CLINTON: I think all of them - all right, let me just explain it this way. I think all of them know enough and have made enough decisions including a few mistakes, which I think is good. I want somebody to be president who has made a few mistakes. I don‘t want somebody who has never made a mistake and never had to correct one.


STEWART: Now on the “Today Show” this morning, David Gregory tried to get Senator Clinton to explain what her husband meant by rolling the dice.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I would ask people to read the “Des Moines Register” editorial. Basically, what they said is that we need a proven leader. We have tough times.

DAVID GREGORY, HOST: But rolling the dice, what is rolling the dice mean? We know what “The Register” said.

H. CLINTON: Well, but I think that that‘s one of the principal cases

for my candidacy. You know, if you want to know what changes I‘ll make,

look at the changes that I have already made. Everybody talks about change

everybody talks about change in this campaign, some people think you get change by demanding it. Some people think you get it by hoping for it. I think you get it by doing really hard work. And a lot of people are making up their minds among real candidates, not abstractions, not hypotheticals. I welcome that scrutiny. I welcome that kind of, you know, examination of our records, our experience, our qualifications; our vision for the country. That‘s what elections are about. You know, this is the way elections are as you move towards decisions.

GREGORY: All right. So, you‘re choosing not to answer that question.

Let me ask you another issue on -

H. CLINTON: Well, no, wait a minute. No, wait a minute. I am making a case for my candidacy.

GREGORY: But your husband, but Senator Clinton made a clear statement

H. CLINTON: I have strong supporters and I have editorial support. Well, you know, I think that voters will have to judge us. And that‘s what I welcome. I invite people to do that.


STEWART: Let‘s bring in now our Howard Fineman, senior Washington correspondent for “Newsweek” magazine. Good evening, Howard.

HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: Good evening.

STEWART: In a politics, you know, it is common to get a surrogate to go out there and throw an elbow or two for you. Is President Clinton playing bad cop to his wife‘s good cop or he just standing by his woman?

FINEMAN: Well, he‘s doing both at the same time. Hillary‘s got some new ads and some new campaign themes that emphasized the personal side. Her mother, her daughter, the softer Hillary, if you will. Meanwhile, a lot of people around her in her campaign, including her own husband, are trying to say that you just can‘t trust Barack Obama, that he‘s a roll of the dice, that he‘s had some youthful indiscretions, that he‘s not been tested. He‘s an enormous talent, as Bill Clinton said, damning him with faint praise. That‘s all the game plan. That‘s exactly what they‘re doing and they have to do it because they‘ve got to slow Barack Obama down, who‘s been on a roll of those dice for the last few weeks.

STEWART: Yes, let‘s break that down a little bit. What does it tell you that he focused his criticism so specifically on Senator Obama?

FINEMAN: Well, it tells you that they are desperate to keep Obama from winning the Iowa caucuses. They would even accept or prefer a victory of John Edwards, who‘s very much in the ball game in Iowa. They can‘t afford to have Obama win, because if Obama wins, the New Hampshire primary is only four days later. And the momentum of Iowa will almost certainly carry him to victory in New Hampshire, then Hillary Clinton is really, really deep in it. She‘d have a hard time winning any of the early four contests. And don‘t forget, until a couple months ago she was considered the prohibitive front-runner. So, they have no choice but to attack Obama, to raise fears and concerns about him. That‘s where their campaign is. Now, she didn‘t want to say that directly on “The Today” show despite David Gregory‘s you know, heroic efforts to get her to say it directly, but she implied it very strongly. She said read the “Des Moines Register,” et cetera. That‘s where they‘re campaign is now. It‘s really not about Hillary. It‘s about Obama.

STEWART: I don‘t mean to sound super cynical so I would only go sort of cynical. I wonder if this has been focus group as a planned campaign strategy to go after Obama or do you think the former president was just shooting from the lip on Charlie Rose?

FINEMAN: They don‘t need a focus group. When you‘re staring at the desperate need for survival, you don‘t need a focus group to tell what you to do. They had to go after Obama. Hillary had a terrible few weeks starting with that Philadelphia debate and the whole business about driver‘s licenses, with the thing with Bill Shaheen, the guy in New Hampshire who raised questions about Obama‘s use of drugs as a young man. She was dropping in the polls in state after state, especially Iowa and New Hampshire. Obama was being treated like a rock star, especially with the tour that he did with Oprah Winfrey. He was hot, he was moving. He may still be. They didn‘t need a focus group to know that they had to go on the attack and that‘s precisely what they‘ve done in the last several days. And that‘s what they‘re going to keep doing even as Hillary herself and her ads are all warm and fuzzy.

STEWART: Big picture, does the interview like the one that President Clinton gave on Friday help the senator?

FINEMAN: Well, I think - I‘m of the school that it helps her. Because she needed somebody to get the attention focused on Obama, and whatever concerns or weaknesses he may have. Bill Clinton called it a roll of the dice. And that‘s a phrase that‘s going to stick around and probably help Hillary Clinton.

STEWART: Our own Howard Fineman of “Newsweek” magazine. Nice to see you Howard, happy holidays by the way.

FINEMAN: Same to you, thank you.

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"Laugh hard, run fast, be kind." - Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor (Twice Upon A Time)

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Early Blake
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Re: Blogging Countdown 12/17 #5: Endorsement '08

Postby Early Blake » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:22 pm

This just in. One wack job with senile dementia endorse another wack job with senile dementia. Film at eleven.
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Re: Blogging Countdown 12/17 #5: Endorsement '08

Postby Slfriend79 » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:56 am

Early Blake wrote:This just in. One wack job with senile dementia endorse another wack job with senile dementia. Film at eleven.


And they also wore matching outfits :lame ...You know Joe is just kissing McCain's butt :kma to try and get him to make Lieberman his 'Running Mate'. :roll:
"Laugh hard, run fast, be kind." - Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor (Twice Upon A Time)

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stretchdogg
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Re: Blogging Countdown 12/17 #5: Endorsement '08

Postby stretchdogg » Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:34 am

Alison Stewart is in for Keith tonight


Not one word about Alison's new Do? I didn't even recognize her. And extra added bonus, I read last week she and hubby are preggers. Congratulations, Alison!

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MrsData
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Re: Blogging Countdown 12/17 #5: Endorsement '08

Postby MrsData » Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:20 am

She does have pregnancy glow going on :) I like her new hair style too.

I can't believe Lieberman was almost our VP! Him and McCain are match made in hell.
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Lauralu
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Re: Blogging Countdown 12/17 #5: Endorsement '08

Postby Lauralu » Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:45 am

She's a beautiful woman, great smile, her eye twitch can be a bit distracting at times.

It's scary to say, but McCain seems like the sanest of the repubs right now--he's not waving a cross or bloviating about 9/11.

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Early Blake
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Re: Blogging Countdown 12/17 #5: Endorsement '08

Postby Early Blake » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:05 pm

Slfriend79 wrote:
Early Blake wrote:This just in. One wack job with senile dementia endorse another wack job with senile dementia. Film at eleven.


And they also wore matching outfits :lame ...You know Joe is just kissing McCain's butt :kma to try and get him to make Lieberman his 'Running Mate'. :roll:



I didn't notice the outfit thing, cause I can't stand to look that them. Hhhmmm the crazy old coot ticket. I predict they pick up Alaska, and the AARP endorsement.
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