Another Day, Another Indication that the Clinton Campaign Remains Dangerously Clueless About What Will Matter Most in the General Election. Ho-hum.

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Yves here. This post puts some meat on an observation made by political scientist Tom Ferguson months ago: that the strategy that Clinton was using to win the Democratic party nomination, that of heavy reliance on identity politics, would be a loser in the general election. Beverly Mann describes how Team Clinton seems unable to change course. And she makes an additional astute point: it isn’t just that Hillary is a terrible candidate. She is a terrible campaigner. In other words, her defects in how she comes off aren’t simply those of not having charisma or being able to fake enjoying pressing the flesh. It’s that she has lousy political instincts, likely reinforced by years of surrounding herself with sycophants.

The relentless focus on lowest common denominator issues also suggests that her campaign holds voters in deep contempt, as incapable of digesting anything other that the political equivalent of raw meat.

By Beverly Mann. Originally published at Angry Bear

Clinton’s aides say they have settled on the big story they want to tell about Trump: He is a business fraud who has cheated working people for his own gain, and his ideas, temperament and moves to marginalize people by race, gender and creed make him simply unacceptable as commander in chief.

Clinton thinks she knows how to take on Trump. Will it work?, Philip Rucker, Washington Post, today

I’m assuming that Clinton’s aides have considered also pointing out that, on policy proposal after policy proposal after policy proposal, Trump has now adopted an extreme version of the Paul Ryan supply-side fiscal-policy as stated in the Ryan budget plans, including the current one that passed the House.  I’m assuming they’ve considered illustrating that Trump, rather than having coopted the Republican Party and its elite-dictated establishment policies, has been cooped by the elite, the establishment as their puppet.

Romney promised to reduce upper-income taxes only by 20% initially, with a promise to cut further later and then cut some more after that.  (See, e.g., Romney’s speech to the Detroit Economic Club shortly before the 2012 Michigan primary.)  Trump ups Romney’s ante.

But, I assume, since the above quote implies it, that Clinton’s aides have rejected mentioning any of this.  And—just an educated guess here—that that is because they will be saying instead that Trump’s ideas, temperament and moves to marginalize people by race, gender and creed make him simply unacceptable as commander in chief.

This should suffice, because, I mean, don’t identity politics always suffice?  And because these messages are mutually exclusive.  You can’t argue identity politics and fiscal policy; you have to choose one or the other—and the power of identity politics trumps elite-establishment-dictated fiscal policy whose very purpose is to dramatically increase wealth and income inequality and of course consequently political power that will be used to further increase wealth and income inequality.

Always.  Even when the driving themes of the election cycle are anti-elitism, anti-establishment, anti-wealth inequality and anti-donor-and lobbyist-dictated government policy.

Which I guess explains why the very first thing Clinton did after winning all those northeastern primaries earlier this month and virtually ensuring her the nomination—literally, the very first thing she did, beginning the very next day—was to phone some of Jeb Bush’s donors and ask them for donations.

Just sayin’.

Clinton continues to run a really awful campaign.  And I’m betting that that’s not entirely her top campaign staff’s fault.  They do play a role in this, obviously; not the sole role, though.

Not the sole role, though.

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  1. hidflect

    Fine piece. It’s definitely Hillary’s love of being surrounded by sycophants that’ll be her undoing. Anyway, someone who has a weakness for that sort of thing is a flawed personality unfit for leadership.

    Just one thing:
    “And because these messages are mutually exclusive. You can’t argue identity politics and fiscal policy; you have to choose one or the other”
    Mutually exclusive means if you can’t have one then you can’t have the other..

    1. aab

      Her love of sycophants is probably a result of her lust for power and control, not a driver of her problems. It’s not like she used to be a nice person and gradually got warped and lost her way. That story about her and Bill’s first date seems both authentic and salient. They LOVE tricking and conning people to gain power and privilege, isolating themselves in an barren world of inaccessible rare and precious goods while unnecessarily screwing over those beneath them in the economic hierarchy just for fun.

      She wanted what she wanted. She got it — everything except “First Woman President” (I don’t think that’s happening; we’ll see). Yes, she has terrible political and management skills, but I also think she WANTS to win like this. She WANTS to crush leftists and young people under her heel. She WANTS to assert her power and domination and and use raw power to force America to elect her rather than ask for people’s votes. She WANTS to drag black people along in her wake, doing her bidding and consenting to their own exploitation. I think she’s nowhere near as bright as her PR claims and is extremely incompetent in her chosen field. But I don’t think this is mere or mostly incompetence. I think she really, really wants to win like this, and her desire has blinded her to wiser messaging and strategy that might have helped her obtain her prize.

      Look at her relationship with Huma Abedin. Whether or not it’s sexual, the power dynamic is creepy (that’s based on approved reporting), and given how she generally treats communities of color, Abedin being East Asian and Muslim and doing stuff like carrying Hillary’s purse is also creepy.

      And that’s on top of all the neoliberal project training people to accept less stuff.

    2. Quentin

      I’m not so sure about that. I thought it means one or the other, as used here, not both at the same time. Maybe I’m wrong.

      1. hreik

        nope. you are right. My quoted comment from investopedia got lost. If A and B are mutually exclusive you cannot by definition have both.

  2. participant-observer-observed

    Because any mention of the economy would remind voters of HRC campaign & MSM censorship of Bernie Sanders & his economic/finance policy focus?

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    Interesting campaign. Looks like Trump will relentlessly hammer away on all Hill’s baggage. Plus, her e mail debacle continues. Maybe she doesn’t want to look too anti-trickle down economics because she constantly seeks trickling of money onto her corrupt campaign. The former Jeb donors that she “scored” might have strings attached to their donations. The attempts at hit pieces on Trump re womanizing has so far only revealed he has a sexual attraction to women. Whereas HRC’s hubby has been accused of rape, biting, exposing himself, and other irregularities and had to pay nearly a million bucks in an out of court settlement. So they are getting nowhere fast with those tactics.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘The attempts at hit pieces on Trump re womanizing has so far only revealed he has a sexual attraction to women.’

      Substitute ‘Hillary’ and ‘she’ in this sentence, and many other hit pieces emerge — most of them from ex-girlfriends of “Bill.”

      Are they ‘hit pieces’ if true? With the evolution of social attitudes, most Americans wouldn’t have a problem with a gay candidate, male or female.

      Some of Hillary’s key demographics — that mighty phalanx of elderly, church-going African-American women in the South, for instance — wouldn’t see it as a positive, though.

      Thus, whatever the facts may be, Hillary will remain closeted because transparency wouldn’t serve the goals of Clintons’ permanent campaign.

  4. SteveB

    I love Trump.. Let me be clear I think he is a egomaniac, blowhard, disingenuous, self promoter and would make a terrible President.

    What I love is that whether or not Hillary becomes the first woman president (imo the REAL reason she seeks the office) Trump has succeeded in making the label “Crooked Hillary” stick..

    She will be forever known as “Crooked Hillary” and for that alone we all owe Mr Trump a debt of gratitude.

    1. Harry

      Yeah but how would having a terrible president be a departure? And voting in Trump would terrify the incumbent rent seekers on Capital Hill. Think of all the mortgages that would be at risk.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Voting for Trump is like breaking eggs.

        Less clear is whether you will have an omelet.

        Perhaps your preference is to have them scrambled.

        1. jgordon

          Even if all you end up with is a soggy mess on the ground, breaking the eggs is still way better than leaving in the hands of the elites.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Can someone on this fine site please explain to me how Trump has a chance in the Electoral College?
            So we can get back to opposing the things we hate: Permanent War, free pass for Wall St crime, police state, health care as a profit extraction exercise for billionaires…ETC
            To me it looks like Trump might make a race of it but will definitely fall short.

            1. John

              Pennsylvania and Ohio and Arizona and North Carolina and maybe Florida.

              He might take Wisconsin.

              Don’t listen to the talking heads he is promising bringing jobs back and ending free trade.

              She is promising 1st woman president.

              Most people are in too bad of shape to care about that.

  5. Joe Formerly of BKLYN

    Fortunately for Hillary, Trump is not very smart — and if his advisors ARE, they are ineffective in providing him with direction.

    The obvious road to defeating Hillary is a clear statement, which Donnie Boy perhaps cannot bring himself to utter:

    “There is No Question that it’s time for a woman to be President of the United States. However, the question in 2016 is clear:

    “Is THIS woman the right person to fill that role?”

    1. Damian

      Mr. Formerly:

      it is “not” the right time for a woman! concept demeans women to promote that focus.

      The Clinton(s) are faltering because of themselves. They always live in the moment. They create value for themselves no matter how illegal, corrupt or the effect on the next issue. Get what they can get done in the moment.

      you take $140 million for speeches that promise the world to the donor and worry about the optics later and clean it up, ignore it or deny it. Over time warts, calluses, disfigured images result and even the blind and dumb can see.

      In the attic is the picture of Dorian Gray growing ever more hideous as time passes and the murder of jobs domestically and people internationally pile up.

      Grifters have no alternative.

    2. Eleanor Rigby

      I heard him say just this at one of his rallies a month or two ago. He said, “I want us to have a woman president, too, I just don’t want it to be this woman.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Every time I have a strange idea, I am always reminded by the good people here that it’s already in a book somewhere.

        So, this is what I am thinking now – what if you have a male candidate who promises to change gender in the second half of his term?

        Then, you will have a male/female presidency.

  6. Scott

    Anyone who looks at her record should agree that Hillary is just bad on the campaign trail. In each of her elections, she ran behind how an average candidate would have done. In 2000, Al Gore ran a bad campaign, but Hillary still managed to run behind him in New York. In 2006, she ran behind Elliot Spitzer. In 2008, she lost the primary to senator who was only in office for 4 years and this year, she’s had trouble against a 73 year old Socialist who is running because no one else will.

    1. Peter Bernhardt

      I know you were just emphasizing a point about the weakness of Clinton’s candidacy, but that’s an unfair characterization of the Sanders phenomenon. He has genuinely connected with voters and is focused on the issues that matter to a broad spectrum of Americans. And yes, there is a big difference between a Socialist and a Democratic Socialist (see

    2. John Morrison

      Actually, I prefer to say that there’s a huge difference between a democratic socialist and a Communist dictatorship — as in, there’s no resemblance. Also, I’m pretty sure that there were many other Democrats who tried to run. I am suspicious about why Sanders and Clinton were the only ones promoted.

      A year ago, the MSM were pushing Clinton hard. One tactic was to portray her as a huge Mecha, with challengers as tiny creatures about the size of her foot. (Time Magazine) So, as in 2008, I’m suspicious of the leads of Sanders and Clinton. Are they being set up for the Fall? Or can they be trusted to maintain the status quo? Or both? Can they be trusted to maintain the Prison-Industrial complex and the Military-industrial complex? Can they be trusted to ignore crimes against humanity?

    3. John Morrison

      Actually, I prefer to say that there’s a huge difference between a democratic socialist and a Communist dictatorship — as in, there’s no resemblance. Also, I’m pretty sure that there were many other Democrats who tried to run. I am suspicious about why Sanders and Clinton were the only ones promoted.

      A year ago, the MSM were pushing Clinton hard. One tactic was to portray her as a huge Mecha, with challengers as tiny creatures about the size of her foot. (Time Magazine) So, as in 2008, I’m suspicious of the leads of Sanders and Clinton. Are they being set up for the Fall? Or can they be trusted to maintain the status quo? Or both? Can they be trusted to maintain the Prison-Industrial complex and the Military-industrial complex? Can they be trusted to ignore crimes against humanity?

      I don’t know if my previous posting got through…

  7. MDBill

    Clinton’s aides say they have settled on the big story they want to tell about Trump: He is a business fraud who has cheated working people for his own gain…

    A dangerous tack for a political fraud who, along with her husband, has cheated working people for her own gain.

    1. Optimader

      Clinton, Inc has directly and indirectly “cheated” far more people, and that goes beyond money and opportunity.
      HRC is such a blunt instrument stratagist that she might just take that self wounding approach.

  8. David Carl Grimes

    Isn’t Bill Clinton famous for his political instincts? Hasn’t he been advising his wife on her campaign. Or he too lives in a bubble?

    1. Larry

      I think some of Clinton’s instincts no longer play well in the internet driven media. Witness his tone deaf rebuttal to Black Lives Matters protestors at a speech in Harlem. His anti-crime dog whistling agenda is not accepted by a younger and more savy audience, which is why Bernie has done so well with those that are truly left and not just Democrats. Bill hasn’t had to face any fire for a significantly long period of time and what he finds himself doing is defending his own political record that is currently being trashed.

      1. Pat

        While I would not disagree with the idea that Clinton does not understand a media where your mistakes blow up in hours and you can not adjust your message for your audience and that will be called out, I think there is also a simpler explanation. You can make the case that the biggest reason she couldn’t overcome Obama were Bill’s missteps in an even less internet driven race. There is every chance that underneath the support he really wants to knee cap her. That he has no interest in her being President but supporting that is the bargain he made.

        The problem of having a marriage based on being psycho/sociopaths, self interest will always win.

        1. Ralph Anske

          I’m not sure about the Big Dog’s objective in this run-around. Hillary will be insufferable if elected and even more so if she loses. But if she’s in the WH at least that takes her focus off her loving husband and gives him more time to stalk the moors and alleys of White Chapel. Can you imagine actually living with, or even in proximity of, Hillary if her Goddess-given right to the Presidency is thwarted again? The mind boggles.

      2. DorothyT

        “Bernie has done so well with those that are truly left and not just Democrats.”

        Astute comment. I would add that the “truly left” are the millions that are “truly left behind.” Not all have realized that yet.

        I also wonder why we haven’t seen an anti-Trump campaign meme that contrasts his “using bankruptcy (four times?) because he can” to escape financial difficulty, when students laden with loans they can’t repay who were caught in the job market fallout in 2008 are barred from filing bankruptcy? A perfect example of “left behind.” Is this silence because it would come back to bite many Democrats who voted for the legislation to exclude them from bankruptcy provisions?

        1. Ivy

          Joe Biden was a big proponent of the No Bankruptcy on Student Loans legislation. He had to look out for his financial industry constituents in Wilmington. The students in his state might not look so kindly on his representation.

          1. Dave

            He’s the senator from Delaware, the place the big banks choose to incorporate in. He’s servicing their debt collection. South Dakota has no interest rate cap, that’s why the Credit Card companies are “headquartered” there.

        2. Optimader

          Are you suggesting Trump is an advocate of the Bush initative of recourse loans? If so, it would an interesting to read a link

        3. sd

          I would not be at all surprised to see Trump grab student debt relief via bankruptcy and run with it.

          Trump consistently wins every time he is underestimated.

          1. reslez

            Trump announced an education policy just the other day. He wants to privatize all student loans which will result in much higher interest rates. He’s cool with fewer Americans going to college because that will somehow lower tuition. (The real reason is to fatten the profits of private lenders, of course.) Standard right-wing garbage, which no longer surprises me after his tax plan.

            If Trump proposed a tenth of the stuff Sanders has he would be crushing Clinton by 20 points. Instead all his supporters have is hopium. It’s 2008 all over again.

        4. steelhead23

          If you haven’t noticed, Senator Warren has been on the warpath and is going after Trump’s scalp with an array of tools, including his failed businesses.

          1. optimader

            Which is why the shrewd play for T.Rump is to embrace the concept of bankruptcy and elimination of no recourse loans. It’s the American way! ect ect..

            As a campaign strategy, this combined with elimination or curtailment of government sponsored student loans for profit, putting the educational institutions in loan the nonperforming student loan repayment risk pool, and a framework for merit based free college tuition (tuition only) would put Hillary on the spot.

            Whether any of it were to be legislated is beside the point when it comes to useful campaign platform positioning.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            Gee, is Trump bad? Is a member of one party attacking the other party? I bet SNL has a great for modern SNL sketch on the matter. I bet that Trevor Noah will make shadow boxing movements after playing bits from the latest Warren piece.

            Trump named his kid “Baron.” This election is about Washington. Liz made her name describing how things can be better, how poor legislation was passed, and how we can fix the system. Attacking Trump to line up behind one of Trump’s good friends and an architect of the policies Liz supposedly hates is why Liz is losing relevancy.

            Trump is a clown and can’t be attacked by a corrupt establishment. You beat him by being better which isn’t that hard, but when the Democratic stage is all Trump and slogans, Trump will do to the Democrats what he did to the GOP. Warren is walking into the trap.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s estimated minority turnout was the lowest since the voting rights act in 1996. When I was a yellow dog Democrat in the 00’s, African Americans we registered would always discuss being abandoned by the Democratic Party for years. There were unregistered voters everywhere.

        1996 was done in the wake of Gingrich demonstrating how unhinged he was with his shutdown. I don’t think Bill’s tough on crime rhetoric and brutalization of poor people ever sat well except with partisan Dems who only care about the “D” next to the name.

        Sanders was not covered in the msm at all and did poorly in areas with low Internet access, but despite Hillary’s vaunted black support, she appears to have largely won a reduced number of her voters from 2008 after pushing antisemitic dog whistles against Sanders.

        1. Adamski

          Agree with first two paragraphs. But today Clinton dominates with black people and Sanders with working class whites and the under 40s. And Clinton is on 55% or so of the vote, it isn’t a reduced share of her 2008 vote. Black ppl went for Obama in 2008 and working class for Clinton. And that race was much closer. As for antisemitic dog whistles can you give an example? I didn’t see any

            1. optimader


              indeed, when identify politics goes granular, it fails at the boundaries…

              owned by a friend of mine, oh, he happens to be black and a first generation “African-American”.. ahh cant wait til we can just drop the race pretense and get along with saying “American”, easier to type…

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Hillary is winning her old voters from 2008 which is not synonomouus with blacks. The vaunted black advantage of Hillary is likely made up of die hard Democrats.

            Blacks have already shown limited support for team Clinton in the general. It’s likely nothing has changed.

      4. Ralph Reed

        That last sentence is a good point about how screwy concerns about “legacy” and the “judgement of history” are. It’s one thing to not acknowledge ones own limited perspective, but regarding collective knowledge as static and rooted in consensus is theocratic and seems like begging for the advent of Uber-Hal.

      5. John

        Bill had great instincts but that was 20 years ago. He has been out of the game for a while and the political landscape has completely changed. Obama is basically a Clintonite and tried to be the same type of president but it didn’t work at all in this political climate. So even if Clinton were young again, I don’t think he’d be of much use.

    2. RabidGandhi

      You mean the same Bill Clinton that presided over the greatest Democrat losses in legislatures, governerships, the Senate and the House in the last 75 years?

      With his Mendoza-line record, HRC would be well advised to keep him on the Lolita Express and away from her plummeting campaign.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        -Mr. 43%. 3rd parties only do well because for major credibility gaps.
        -49% despite Gingrich and the shutdown and Bob Dole.
        -Gore 2000 and Kerry 2004 were run by Clinton people
        -TerryMac ran the party during the wilderness years.
        -the 2008 campaign against the empty suit in the White House. Seriously, the Clinton seemed to be shocked by how delegates were allocated and spent much if their efforts trying to rig the primary calendar.
        -Arkansas is parochial and has elections every two years. Everyone is running all the time.
        -Democrats brought Bill in to help with 2010 strategy.

        Bill seems like he has a gift largely because he destroyed the Democratic Party leaving himself and Hillary.

        1. Treadingwaterbutstillkicking


          The Clintons are the Manchurian Machine.

          The neocons took over the Republican party going way back to the 60s. Why don’t we think a similar thing happened to the Democrats? It’s not just the dems going astray and representing corporate interests more than labor for example, but rather it is more insidious than that–they would eviscerate any and all opposition over time, creating a monolithic establishment within the party, designed not to “win” but rather to simply provide the same alternatives (TINA in reality) to the republicans, but with a minor tweak to minor positions (like gay marriage, basic civil rights, etc.) that do not threaten economic and political power.

          We are all equals in this party–we all have a right to be jobless, homeless and healthcare-less. We have the right do die earlier because we all don’t have access to the same money and resources. And we all have a right to suffer from climate change.

          Wouldn’t the perfect pair of people to lead that effort be a good ol’ boy and a Goldwater Girl able to push the corporate agenda while at the same time play the identity politics game (and lie about most of their real feelings and true positions)????

          The democratic party is not robust. There are few opposing viewpoints and absolutely no islands of power outside the Clintonistas within. This leads to the sycophancy apparent to everyone here. This also means there are no alternatives, no non-Clinton tainted people within the party to save it or take over the controls as the ship starts sinking. Even the Republicans were divided enough to throw Jeb, Walker, Carson, Cruz, Christie and Kasich overboard and still come back together and (generally) unite. They can claim Biden or Kerry might work for them, but they are just as tainted as HC and will only sink the ship faster.

          The Democratic party is the perfect example of a rotten, decomposing, fascistic, corporate-like shell of an institution falling apart right before our eyes. There aren’t any real Obamistas and the Clintonistas are done within the next election cycle no matter what. Pelosi, Boxer, whomever–they do not have the cult of personality to take over whatever skeleton remains of the Clinton machine and even if HC is elected she will likely become the most hated President in history. (Which is maybe why Obama wants her so badly now too–make him look better the way he made Bush look better so soon after exiting the stage.

          1. Ishmael

            Pelosi and Boxer — give me a break! Ms we have to pass this bill to find out what is in it! Boxer is just as corrupt or more so as Hitlary!

    3. Peter Bernhardt

      I think Bill Clinton is surprised that his administration has fell under criticism from his own party – and both the BLM incident and yesterday’s report that he argued for 30 minutes with a young man about his record on education indicate he has lost his legendary people skills and this campaign may, for him, be more about defending his diminishing legacy than anything else.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Bill has been out of office for 15 years and a lame duck for 17. Where are the books about his Presidency? Where is the nostalgia? You know it eats at Bill.

  9. thoughtful person

    I don’t agree with the argument that you can’t talk about economics if you are using identity politics. Problem with Clinton using economic arguments vs Trump, however, is she is not credible making those, and her donors oppose those policies…Trump now tied with Clinton in rcp national polls. Within 2% (margin of error) in closely contested states like Fl, Va, Oh. Even trailing by just 5% in Pa.

    Seems like a serious offer will have to be made to the candidate clearly preferred by the American people (per state polls v Trump in a general election race).

    1. Synoia

      Problem with Clinton using economic arguments vs Trump, however, is she is not credible making those

      Ah, and what arguments can Clinton make which are Credible?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar,
        in numbers to big to ignore,
        and I know too much to go
        back and pretend…
        I am woman watch me grow
        See me standing toe to toe
        As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
        But I’m still an embryo
        With a long, long way to go
        Until I make my brother understand”

  10. sleepy

    Not much else Clinton can do in attacking Trump. She can attack him for ripping off working people because he’s a bad man with bad temperament, but she won’t attack him for being part of the same rotten system that she is. That wouldn’t do. Blame the ogre Trump, not the rigged system. He’s a bad man!

    Same thing with identity politics. Civil rights for marginalized groups is worthy in its own right, but her version leaves out healthcare rights, labor rights, or rights to a living wage. Non-discrimination in her version simply means recognizing rights that don’t cost the elite a dime, a system that treats everyone the same, but still rigged.

    1. Minnie Mouse

      Yeah , aren’t we all entitled to an equally horrible economy whether we got a group identity or don’t give a hoot about identity?
      She could challenge Trump to release his tax returns as a case in point to illustrate what a complicated loop hole ridden unfair mess the tax code really is. Gee, but that is a nerdy system thing not a personality thing and he is just a bad man – that is all that is wrong with him! Or she could challenge him on Trump branded merchandise “made in China” but she flip-flopped really big time on the TPP and we all know what Bill got us into with China.

  11. Pat

    I will say that Trump trying to thread the needle and keep the Republicans together is going to make things tougher on him. The Kimmel interview last night did not go well and yes, on an issue of identity politics. His first statement on transgender bathroom use was the most realistic and sensible – it is stupid and they just be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. Last night, it was all “up to the states”, and he couldn’t maneuver when Kimmel continued to ask him about it. It was obviously a script he was uncomfortable with, and he couldn’t riff on it which hamstrung his usual ease with interviewers.

    Doesn’t mean that Clinton’s plan isn’t her usual mode of making the worst choice possible, but I do think it is not the total loser it should be only because of pressures on Trump she has nothing to do with.

  12. Pavel

    This new potential Trump vs Sanders debate in California is a real wild card. I suspect (along with Lambeth, I believe) that Trump will cancel it (he has much more to lose than Sanders), but even the possibility is causing more anguish over among the Daily Kos Hillbots, charging Bernie with “misogyny” for daring to debate Trump. Huh? It’s HRC who turned down the Calif debate!

    I’d like to see more debates of all kinds. One would almost think it would help Clinton as Bernie would no doubt land some punches.

    Anyway, get out the popcorn if it does come to pass!

    1. Waldenpond

      I don’t see it happening either. He’ll bait and switch and eventually cancel. Fox or TYT hosting a charity political event just seems odd. Clinton is breaking an agreement so I have no issue with Sanders getting a full debate schedule to himself or debating Trump but the D branch of the money party will punish him by subtracting delegates.

      1. Ishmael

        Trump has nothing to win debating Sanders and everything to lose. Why do it unless Sanders is the nominee which currently seems unlikely. I agree, he will cancel.

    2. Travis

      You want to see anguish, drop in on OLH site “BJ”.
      It’s always someone else’s fault if “Hillz” is doing poorly.
      Truly amazing.

  13. voteforno6

    Their insistence on using identity politics could really boomerang on them. It would be fine to argue that negative stereotyping in all its forms is wrong. That’s not what the Clintonistas are doing, though. Just look at the continued insistence of some of them on referring to Trump as “Drumpf,” and other comments that could be construed as anti-German. There are a lot of German-Americans in this country, and by the Clintonistas implicitly signalling that at least this form of ethnic stereotyping is acceptable, they risk turning off a lot of people.

    1. PhilK

      The “Drumpf” usage reminds me of the dead-enders who for years insisted on calling Muhammad Ali “Cassius Clay”.

      1. CraaaazyChris

        It must be something in the water here, but I keep having visions of Trump preparing for debates with Hillary like Ali did for that Rumble in the Jungle (Spike Lee joint ‘When We Were Kings’ tells the Ali prep story). Trump is looking for some linguistic rope-a-dope to use. Is it “Crooked Hillary” or something even more audacious? Does the CraazyMan fund include popcorn futures?

  14. DJG

    Would we like to discuss fascism once again?

    I note this quote: “He is a business fraud who has cheated working people for his own gain, and his ideas, temperament and moves to marginalize people by race, gender and creed make him simply unacceptable as commander in chief.”

    The presidency of the U.S. of A. is a civilian office. The stress on “commander in chief” in the Obama and Bush W administrations is a way of keeping the fearful chickens in line and blurring the disasters of our current foreign policy. I realize that the sentence is a summing up, but this business of “commander in chief” is a sign of our decadence.

    1. sleepy

      And the prez is only commander in chief of the military. The widely used phrase that he/she is “our commander in chief” when applied to civilians is nonsense.

  15. John Wright

    Hillary surrounded by sycophants may dovetail with the Hilbot statement that HRC is “the smartest person in the room.”

    Instead HRC may simply surround herself with other than wise, caring and smart people.

    Indeed, the Hilbot statement may be correct, HRC may be “the smartest person in the room”.

    But that represents a HRC character flaw, and is not something to be touted.

    1. Ishmael

      Smartest person in the room (John — I understand your point, I am just highlighting how ridiculous the statement is when looking at the facts):

      On November 3, the District of Columbia Bar Association notified Hillary that she had failed the bar exam. For the first time in her life, she had flamed out — spectacularly, given the expectations of others for her, and even more so on her own. Of 817 applicants, 551 of her peers had passed, most from law schools less prestigious than Yale.

      Now why do people say that? Can someone please show me support for that statement.

      1. Pavel

        Well, to be fair, she was smart enough to turn $1000 into $100,000 by reading the Wall Street Journal and investing in cattle futures… That takes some intelligence (of one kind or another). /snark

        1. Ishmael

          Pavel — yup, she does know how to turn power and influence into money in her pocket.

          1. John Wright

            HRC did pass the Arkansas Bar, so perhaps Washington DC is not the easiest..

            If you want to read some early history on Clinton, including the bar exam fail, I found a three part series (based on an earlier 2007 series) at Counterpunch interesting.

            Here are the links to all three parts, as the parts are not cross linked that I could find and it will save others from searching for them.


            Connections, not competencies, explains HRC’s rise to almost President.

        1. Ishmael

          Thanks Vatch. I had heard that statement and did confirm it with Snopes before I posted it but I appreciate your confirmation. Hey, maybe she had a bad day taking the exam, but she is over 60 and can someone point out at least two things which could highlight that the woman is very smart. Even while practicing law did she take cases to the Supreme Court and win. I do not know but most things I saw her do while Secretary of State I have to say that is not too bright.

          Okay, let’s eliminate that she married Bill as one of the smart things. I would say that was a case of a grifter seeing a far more talented grifter and riding his coat tails.

      2. Arizona Slim

        Yipes. She failed a bar exam that two thirds of the testing pool passed.

        And she never attempted to pass it again.

        ISTR that John-John Kennedy made several attempts before he passed the NY bar.

  16. Ed

    Paul Ryan has a tendency to push really stupid ideas in public, but the Obama campaign made very little of this in 2012.

    My suspicion is that as Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers keep sinking against Trump, and as prosecutors keep pushing to indict her, she will withdraw from the race for health reasons and the Donks will substitute someone who actually has a chance of winning. Speculation has been that this will be Biden, but Biden crashed and burned every time he ran for President, so I think it will be Kerry, who at least got the nomination and came close in the general election.

    However, I agreed with Yves’ take that the Trump campaign was a publicity stunt and he would find a reason to withdraw, so I’m really no expert in these matters.

    The Donks’ problem in elections is that their leadership and financiers really want to do all the unpopular things the GOP leaders argue for in public. They actually have senior politicians who could win a national campaign, Sherrod Brown comes to mind at the moment but there are others, but they are off the reservation on one key plank or another of the neo-con/ neo-lib platform. So they are stuck with running people like Hilary Clinton, Biden, or Kerry.

    1. Peter Bernhardt

      Agree with you up until the last paragraph. The Democratic establishment is in no position to choose who would replace Clinton. Anyone other than Sanders would be a disaster.

      Meanwhile, “BernieTrumpDebate tops the trending list on Twitter. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of I’mWithHer HQ today!

      1. Amateur Socialist

        Yes the online response so far makes it look like they are completely unprepared for this monkeywrench. Superb! My only complaint is it makes me want to send him more money.

      2. thoughtful person

        True re Sanders politically, but establishment prefers anyone over Sanders. Kerry sounds like a likely choice if Clinton does pull out. Who knows if he’d beat Trump.

        Agree also that Trump campaign was a publicity stunt – until he started winning!

        No doubt Sanders Trump debate would pull in huge ratings…but likely won’t help Clinton or Trump. Will enjoy it if it happens.

        1. jrs

          Kerry sounds like a ridiculous choice, even if he was close, it was against W Bush for heavens sake, if you can’t win against W after 4 horrendous years of W then really what have you got?

          1. John Wright

            I remember reading about John Kerry’s yea vote for the Iraq War resolution.

            CA senator Barbara Boxer voted against this resolution.

            She advised Kerry to vote against it.

            His response was “I have to vote for it, I want to run for President”.

            A fine principled stand from John Kerry.

            It is ironic that if Kerry had followed Boxer’s advice, by the time he ran for President he might have won due to his manifest wisdom in opposing the Iraq war.

            Kerry also voted against the “pursue UN diplomacy” Levin amendment, agreeing with HRC in both votes.

            Author Kurt Vonnegut characterized the Bush-Kerry election as “Two C-students from Yale who were members of Skull and Bones”.

            I agree Kerry is a ridiculous choice.

      3. Treadingwaterbutstillkicking

        This is 11 dimensional chess played by the Bernie campaign.

        Debate Trump now.

        When Hillary is pulled Bernie becomes the ONLY obvious democratic candidate, Biden and Kerry won’t even be thinkable to the masses. The Dem establishment knows this and will do everything now to shut down the debate and will call Bernie “Benedict Sanders” or some other thing for going outside the DNC and making them all look bad/forcing their hands.

      4. Fiver

        I was surprised to hear Sanders went for this, as I don’t see how anyone can actually come out looking good in a ‘debate’ with Trump given normal argumentation, including making the better case, is not what either Trump or MSM is interested in presenting or discussing.

        Does anyone claim to know who Trump is beholden to or what his genuine motivations are? In any other universe Trump would have been out early in the game – what interest did the owners of major media have in making Trump a superstar, while doing their utmost to prevent a Sanders win? Are MSM not likely to be hostile to Sanders first and Trump second until Clinton is safely nominated ?

        Would a great performance by Sanders actually sway the DNC?

        The credible threat Sanders’ supporters now possess is that of not supporting Clinton in November, and even some tangible fraction going for Trump to ensure the message is heard. It strikes me that this debate from Clinton’s perch looks tailor made to turn off Trumpish types who might support Sanders and some Sanders supporters that might have voted Trump.

        The issue with which Sanders can actually win remains the e-mail – Clinton is about as disqualified by that set of actions as anyone can ever be for ever holding any important position, let alone the Presidency.

        1. aab

          It’s a David strategy. If he gets a debate, he gets free media that he DESPERATELY needs. Besides, it’s the right thing to do. We should have debates!

          As a Californian, I am really offended at the arguments the Democratic establishment are making. We Californians send more money to the Federal government than we get back. Candidates from both parties routinely come here to fundraise. But our votes NEVER matter, in the primary or the general. We’re just taken for granted. Here is a rare opportunity for California to actually possibly pick the Democratic candidate — California, which funds the government, funds the candidates, has launched most of the major political movements of the last century, is big enough to be its own country. California, which is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL to a Democrat winning the electoral college. And Sanders is being told we don’t matter, he shouldn’t talk to us, and how dare he try to win the nomination with Californian support.

          Why, it’s as if they don’t believe in democracy or something.

  17. flora

    It’s the entire Dem neoliberal establishment that is out of touch. Hillary’s candidacy is just the most glaringly obvious example.

  18. EndOfTheWorld

    If Hill drops out, I don’t see how they could just ignore Bernie and grab somebody else. No way.

    1. Vatch

      By ignoring Bernie Sanders they would infuriate millions of voters. Yet that seems to be exactly the sort of thing that Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and their ilk would do.

      1. Alex morfesis

        bush 1 is the only vp to become president after the end of a term in over 150 years…biden as $hillary replacement…if you thought bill and el donaldo had women issues…biden is at a minimum a cad…but probably much worse since he is so public and cavalier with agressive flirtation towards natural born females…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They will give a good show.

      Perhaps, first a running mate will be chosen, then the would-be empress hands over the burden of saving the empire reluctantly to her second in command.

      There will be plenty of tearing of hair, rending of clothes, gnashing of teeth.

      At that stage of the drama, it will be ‘Bernie who?’

  19. Will Cooper

    Attacking Trump on his temperament and personal style is a loser. That’s what draws people to him. They want an outsider. That’s all that counts. They want somebody to step in and shake things up. They see Clinton as the consummate insider, the poster girl for the Eastern establishment that they see as the culprit in driving the race to the bottom. They won’t be confused by the facts. Wonky arguments about policy won’t cut it in this cycle. It’s all about sticking it to The Man (or in this case The Woman).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If the economy slows down this summer and fall, and Hillary continues to attack Trump on his personal style, she will come as another Nero.

      “Where is my lyre? That Donald has no elegant taste.”

      She fiddles, as bubbles burst.

      1. Dave

        “If the economy slows down this summer and fall, and Hillary continues to attack Trump on his personal style, she will come as another Nero.”

        So, we should all go on a buyers’ strike for Bernie?
        How about holding a giant garage sale for Bernie?

        “Everything will be cheaper after the election” :-)

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Wonky arguments about policy would be great. Repeating “experience” and “remember the 90’s” isn’t policy. Outside of Sanders, no one else has made those arguments. There is a reason Trump beats everyone but Sanders.

  20. zapster

    Of course, Hillary is as much of a supply-sider as Trump. All the substantive issues, outside of identity stuff, they’re pretty much in agreement with.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Why would Hilary go near anything approaching substance, maybe she can just sweep aside her Mao outfit and show off the only substantive bit that seems to matter to the millions of her gender who are falling for her lies: her “non-man parts”.
      Presumably there are no lies behind that curtain.
      So we had one Permanent War corporo-fascist elected because of his dermis, and we’ll have the next one elected because or her pubis. It’s the final apotheosis of “identity” politics.

  21. Dave

    A question that I like to ask Hillary supporters:

    What exactly do you like about her policies”?

    Vacant stares result.

    1. aab

      I often get answers that are actually inversions of her real policies. Now, sometimes that’s because they are parroting her misleading misrepresentations of her policies. But often, it literally flies in the face of even minimal facts. My favorite is “she’s a cautious person, so she’s the least likely to launch a war,” which is hilarious since she has been quite open in debates about her warmongering desires.

      My favorite is: name one accomplishment. Not one of her many claims to have “fought for” something but failed. Something she actually achieved. Usually they then redirect. Sometimes I get SCHIP, at which point I direct them to the reporting on how it was Kennedy’s initiative, she wasn’t even allowed to lobby for it on the Hill (because after the health care fiasco, they ALL hated her), and other than taking credit for something that wasn’t her idea, that she did not draft or lobby for, the best you can claim is she talked to Bill about it. She really has no governing or legislative achievements. It’s AMAZING that she’s running claiming the opposite.

  22. Darthbobber

    An example of cluelessness and missed real attacks. Recently the Donald harrumphed a bit on the minimum wage, opining that people needed to make more money. Team Clinton seems to have ignored this interview, and the press usually occupied with the Trump as Fascist meme also missed the key point.

    It was almost universally reported as Trump changing his mind and supporting some minimum wage increase. But if you read his actual comments, it could well have been headlined “Trump proposes total elimination of Federal minimum wage.” Because WHAT HE SAID was that the minimum should maybe be higher, but that this should be a STATE matter, and that there shouldn’t be a minimum wage at all at the FEDERAL level. Now, he’s running for a Federal and not a state office, so what he proposes to do about federal law might mean something, but what he opines that states should do means nothing at all. Since about the only states that have a state minimum are the ones that exceed the federal minimum, the immediate impact would be that no minimum at all would exist in a large fraction of the country.

    But this was neither picked up on or attacked by the very folks who SEEM to make a full-time effort of attacking Trump to no great effect.

  23. Fiver

    Sanders has already given Clinton a ‘fail’ on character, and the message has been widely received. With even the best possible spin put on it, on the subject of e-mail, Clinton also ‘fails’ so spectacularly she clearly is not qualified. Sanders supporters need to raise the bar and make that what it’s all about.

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