Tag Archives: independents

Poll: How Worried Are You About Election Fraud in 2008?

Please take a moment to vote in this poll and let us know how worried you are about the possibility of being disenfranchised in this year’s election. Unlike some election officials, we promise to COUNT YOUR VOTE!

Protect yourself! Check out “7 Ways To Steal Back Your Vote” by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Greg Palast at our sister site, RFKJrNews.com and also be sure to download a copy of the FREE voter guide sponsored by RFK Jr. and Palast at http://StealBackYourVote.org.

Steal Back Your Vote

Steal Back Your Vote

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Ralph Nader Demands A “Real” 9/11 Investigation

NADER TAKES RISKY-BUT-BRAVE STAND

On the 7th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, Ralph Nader has become the only presidential candidate (besides Green party nominee Cynthia McKinney, who has been a 9/11 Truth advocate since 2002) to demand a “real investigation” into the events of that fateful morning.

It was more than just campaign rhetoric; more than just the usual faux indigination we so often get from the candidates on days like these. Ralph Nader made it a promise, a solemn pledge to the American people.

So if you’re skeptical of the government’s official story about 9/11, and you want to see a real investigation into this national tragedy, looks like Ralph Nader’s your man this November. Or Cynthia McKinney is your woman.

Nobody else in this race is going to crane their necks very hard looking for the truth. They’re all too busy reading the TelePrompTer, checking their hairstyles in the mirror, and putting lipstick on pigs.

Remember that old Southern saying, “when pigs fly?” That’s exactly what you’ll hear from both John McCain and Barack Obama if you ask them for a new investigation into 9/11.

When pigs fly, indeed. Next thing ya know, we’ll be watching painted pigs flying into skyscrapers.

Hey, stranger things have been known to happen in America.

The flying pig, unofficial symbol of the City of Cincinnati, Ohio

The flying pig, unofficial symbol of the City of Cincinnati, Ohio

If, by some miracle, Nader actually got elected, I think I’d feel pretty good about letting him run the store. One thing I do know about Ralph Nader: he loves the Constitution and knows the law like nobody’s business. He prosecutes people who violate it, which is more than I can say for our Democrats in Congress.

Here’s the full story and video of Ralph Nader’s explosive comments:

RALPH NADER CALLS FOR “REAL” 9/11 INVESTIGATION

Independent presidential candidate says he supports 9/11 truth movement

Story by Steve Watson
Infowars.net

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader pledged support for a new investigation into the events of 9/11 Monday, commenting that the 9/11 Commission was “flawed, right from the get go”.

Nader was questioned by members of We Are Change Ohio at a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio earlier this week.

Asked if he supported the 9/11 Truth Movement and the efforts of activists and victims’ families to expose the lies surrounding the attacks, Nader responded;

“I was there when they were collecting signatures in the audience and I supported it.” Nader ommented, referring to We are Change’s activities at the meeting.

“The 9/11 Commission, first of all, it took the members of the great families to push the administration even to have an inquiry, can you imagine an attack like that and the government didn’t even want to have an inquiry?” stated Nader.

“And second, the ground rules for the 9/11 Commission were that they weren’t going to name names, or hold anybody responsible, that’s a real investigation,” he added with irony.

“So right from the get go it was flawed and there needs to be another one, and the best place to have it is New York City.” Nader concluded.

Nader was a key figure in the original movement to establish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a government agency that has been fiercely criticized for its role in declaring the air at ground zero safe to breathe, when in reality it contained deadly toxins that have led to the chronic illnesses and slow deaths of hundreds of first responders.

Nader recently spoke with Alex Jones (Mp3) concerning the lack of difference between the two main party candidates, the violations of the Constitution by the current administration, the futility of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the reasons he is running for president for a fifth time.

HERE’S THE VIDEO FROM NADER’S SPEECH YESTERDAY:

(Apologies for poor audio/video quality)

NADER ASKS RON PAUL SUPPORTERS TO JOIN HIM

* Ralph Nader posted this message on his website after holding a news conference at the National Press Club yesterday with former presidential candidate Ron Paul:

Ron Paul and Ralph Nader, September 10, 2008

Today, along with other third party candidates, I joined Congressman Ron Paul to endorse a common agenda that stands up for the US Constitution by ending illegal wars, and protecting the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We also jointly called for an immediate halt to the increase in the national debt, an end to corporate subsidies and taxpayer bailouts of corporations, and to start aggressively pursuing prosecution of corporations that commit crimes and frauds.

Both Congressman Paul and I also support holding President Bush and Dick Cheney to account for their transgressions against our Constitution.

Today’s coming together of third party candidates marks the beginning of the realignment of American politics.

While Congressman Paul and I do not agree on all things — such as health and safety regulations and health insurance systems and how to handle areas where the market fails or is not up to the task of getting the best outcomes for the American people — on the overriding foreign policy, reckless waste financed by deficit spending, and civil liberties issues of the day, we stand together. He is a stalwart who has consistently stood up for what he believes in and never wavered when he is opposed by the legions of commercial interests and lobbyists that swarm the Capitol.

Congressman Paul said today, “the strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two-party system, which in reality is a one-party system with no possible chance for the changes to occur which are necessary to solve our economic and foreign policy problems.” He also called on his supporters to vote for Nader/Gonzalez or one of the other non-establishment, principled candidates, who support the joint statement issued today.

For all the millions of people who have broken free from the establishment parties’ domination over our dwindling democracy, Nader/Gonzalez presents a clear choice for those who want to support a candidate who will stand up against the war and stand up for personal liberties and privacy that have been trampled on by the notorious, misnamed, PATRIOT Act, the FISA ‘snoop’ Bill, and the unilateral dictates of the Bush/Cheney regime.

Some unfairly paint the Nader/Gonzalez candidacy as being for big government. Nothing could be more untrue.

Nader/Gonzalez supports a government of the people, by the people, for the people. We agree with Congressman Paul that government is rife with waste and corporate demands, and needs to be scaled back in many areas — most of all the bloated, wasteful US military budget, which is half of the government’s total operating budget.

We are also against big government doling out hundreds of billions in corporate welfare, subsidies, and bailouts to companies.

We support abolishing income tax on the first $50,000 of income to be made up with a fraction of a percent Wall Street speculation tax, especially on derivatives.
Click here to listen to Ralph’s remarks at yesterday’s press conference.

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No, They Wouldn’t Dare Steal Another Election…Or Would They?

STEAL BACK YOUR VOTE!

*Will the 2008 election be stolen? You’ve GOT to see this video! (Might as well have a laugh, eh?)

But seriously…they did it in 2000, 2004, and may have a plan for this November, too. So be informed and ready to fight back! Be sure to check out Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s article, “Was the 2004 election Stolen?” and learn how he’s trying to prevent it from happening again in 2008.

Bobby is also working with investigative journalist Greg Palast on a separate voting integrity project called Steal Back Your Vote. RFK Jr. appears in the video with Palast below:

Both of these projects, NoVoterLeftBehind.net (a byproduct of the Democratic party), and StealBackYourVote.org (totally nonpartisan) need your support right now! Please consider making a financial contribution to help fund these very worthwhile efforts.

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Ventura Hints at 2012 Presidential Run

“LET’S GET THE REVOLUTION GOING!” – JESSE VENTURA

Forget all that crap the mainstream media tells you about John McCain being a maverick. Want to hear a REAL maverick speak? Well, you ain’t gonna hear him at the RNC Convention, folks. Better switch your tee-vee set to C-SPAN and watch the amazingly well-attended Ron Paul counter-convention coverage instead.

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura delivered some mighty impassioned remarks yesterday at the Rally for the Republic, and we encourage everyone - Republican, Democrat, Independent, or Indifferent – to listen to the speech and consider the powerful truth this man is speaking.

During his speech, in which Ventura called for a peaceful revolution to “take our country back,” he said that can only happen once the American people stop falling for the phony left-right paradigm. “I am not a Democrat!” Ventura said to thunderous cheers. “And I am not a Republican! And I say that very proudly today because I think these two parties are destroying our country.”

Ventura also talked about his success as a third party candidate and encouraged people to vote locally for independent candidates to break the Republican-Democrat stranglehold.

“So it can be done – don’t ever allow anyone to tell you that it can’t be done, it can be done!” Ventura exclaimed.

Ventura concluded his speech by saying, “We can take our country back, it can be done, but it’s not gonna happen with talk – it’s gonna happen with action. I wrote the book Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me – well I’m here….let’s get the revolution going!”

 He also strongly hinted at a Presidential run in 2012, adding that if the country showed him it was possible, he would consider running, “we’ll give them a race they’ll never forget!”

Absolutely, Jesse. And be sure to bring Robert F. Kennedy Jr. along as your running mate. (Yeah, we know you’re thinking about it, buddy!)

 

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Q&A With RFK Jr.

RFK JR. AT FORECASTLE FEST THIS WEEKEND

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is this year’s keynote speaker at the annual Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky (happening all weekend, with RFK Jr.’s speech scheduled for Sunday at 2:30 p.m.).

In advance of his appearance at Forecastle, Kennedy gave an interview to Velocity Weekly, in which he discusses green solutions to our energy crisis, the 2008 election, why he’s supporting Senator Obama for president, and hints at his own political plans for the future.

Although the interview is quite good, we did have to wonder, “what’s up with that photo?” As for the cutesy caption, we think what the cutline editor meant to say was “Don’t mess with this Kennedy” rather than “don’t miss with this Kennedy.”

Perhaps Bobby should consider sending one of his hawks over there to demand a correction.

Q&A:

Robert Kennedy Jr.
Sound environmental policy is in our economic and security interest, the Forecastle keynoter says


By Joseph Lord

 

What got you involved in environmental activism?

I’ve been interested in the environment from when I was a little kid. I went hunting and fishing when I was very, very young. I was just involved with animals. I was raising homing pigeons when I was 10 years old, training hawks when I was 9, which I still do today. My father took us to lakes and to see the wildlife in the area, and he was very careful about explaining to us that this is part of our American heritage. The environment was a source of our virtues and our values as a people. I always looked at the environment as a civil rights and human rights issue — the most important one.

You co-host a program on Air America Radio, but what other environmental work do you do?

For 25 years I’ve been working for the Riverkeeper and the National Resources Defense Council. As an attorney, I’ve worked on several hundred public interest cases against polluters on the Hudson River and waterways across North America. Riverkeeper was a group started by a blue-collar coalition of commercial and recreational fishermen to protect their livelihood. And it was very much consistent with the kind of values I’d been raised with, to believe that a clean environment was a democratic right, that the best measure of how a democracy functions is how it distributes the goods of the land: the air, the water, the wildlife, the fish — assets of the community. Does the government allow those to be concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy people, or corporations, or does it maintain it in the hands of all the people?

Are you encouraged by the recent surge of interest in environmental issues?

There’s a vested interest by powerful people in continuing to pollute — it’s not a battle that you “kind of” win. It’s one you have to keep fighting. But today, there’s much more of a realization that good environmental policy is also 100 percent of the time good economic policy. For individual corporations, governments and nations, we need to start focusing on our environment.

So what is the most serious environmental issue we’re facing?

In the United States, the most critical issue is the way we use energy. We use it in a way that weakens our national security and makes us more prone to entanglement with foreign dictators who hate democracy and who are despised by their own people. We’re more likely to be involved in trillion-dollar wars. And it causes global warming. It also destroys our economy. We’re buying oil mainly from nations that don’t like us, that don’t share our values. Are we going to continue down that path or are we going to look at the alternatives? We have really extraordinary alternatives in this country. Every country that has de-carbonized its economy has experienced immediate prosperity. We’re losing jobs abroad — if we invested in a clean economy, we’d be creating an economy that can’t be outsourced. We’d be building solar and wind and geothermal plants in this country and growing our economy and creating jobs that can’t be sent to other countries.

What one action, if every American took it, could improve the environment?

One small thing: Vote for Barack Obama. That’s the one small thing that’s more important than recycling your garbage or buying a Prius or a compact fluorescent light bulb. There are these politicians who are just indentured servants of Big Coal and Big Oil.

You were an early Hillary Clinton supporter, right?

Yes. I’ve always loved Barack Obama, too. I always thought we had two great candidates. I’m proud to be supporting him and working for him now.

Have you ever considered seeking public office yourself?

You know, I’ve got six kids, and my priorities are there. But if something opened up, I would definitely consider it.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will give the Forecastle Festival keynote address at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Belvedere.

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Opinion: Obama is NOT the Next RFK

* We’d like to share with our readers this Letter to the Editor of the Washingtonian in response to a recent article asking “Is Barack Obama the next RFK?”

The author (who is a frequent commentator on this blog) sent us a copy and granted permission to post it here at the Kennedy for President website as well. We think you’ll enjoy what she has to say.

OPINION: 

OBAMA IS NOT THE NEXT RFK!

To: The Editorial Staff of the Washingtonian 

I thank you for allowing me and like-minded others to address this important issue.  Your article on RFK was very painful to read, as I was a young, passionate campaigner in that glorious quest that was Robert Kennedy For President in 1968. 

What is all this nonsense of comparing Obama to Robert Kennedy?  Are all of you deaf and blind to the fact that one of the most charismatic, capable, and noble of men is alive and well?

He is right now one of the smartest stewards of Planet Earth.  A man who draws crowds of strangers who walk away disciples.  A man capable of leading when major societal surgery is necessary.  A man who will appeal to cross generations of Americans, a man who can appeal to Blacks, Muslims, Jews and Catholics alike.  A man who will once again inspire our youth with patriotism and give them effective programs, like JFK’s Peace Corps,  in which to invest their talents and skills in a way that supports our country at large. 

He is a man every inch his father’s son and his name is ROBERT F KENNEDY, JR!  

We missed the opportunity this year, but I pray somebody in agreement with me, somebody REAL powerful and passionate about Bobby Kennedy Sr. will see the light and get RFK’s torch in his hand.

There is a group of devoted volunteers and Kennedy supporters who have started a web site and petition to encourage RFK Jr. to run for the White House. I invite readers, or whoever happens to read this in editorial office to take a peek at http://www.RFKin2008.com

I have nothing against Obama, but he does not move me like Kennedy, Jr. does and I can not, for example, see him coaxing Americans to find and implement radical new ways of transportation to keep ourselves alive in the years to come.  Our enviromental policy has been disasterous; we can no longer keep giving our money and wealth away to the Arab Emerates.  We live in deadly serious times that cry for a level of charisma, common sense, and leadership that I have only seen evidenced in Bobby, Jr.  As Barry Goldwater, a good friend of JFK, used to say, “In your Heart You Know He’s Right!”. 

Right now the dreams of many of us who were behind Bobby Kennedy for 2008 seem dimmed.  However, the times we are living in are so crazy, this campaign has gone off into the most aberrant directions in both campaigns that yes, I CAN, visualize millions of voters going to the polls and drafting our Next President.  After all that is going down, what was once unthinkable is now plausable.

 

– Suzanne Silverstein

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Caroline Kennedy Will Help Obama Pick VP

Barack Obama and caroline Kennedy

The presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee: now that it’s all but official, Senator Barack Obama is getting down to the business of selecting a running mate. Today he announced that Caroline Kennedy will be part of a three-member team who will help him choose a VP.

OBAMA TAPS CAROLINE KENNEDY TO LEAD VEEP SEARCH

WASHINGTON (AP) – Barack Obama turned in earnest to the general election and the hunt for a running mate Wednesday, embraced by Democratic leaders who signaled forcefully and sometimes impatiently to Hillary Rodham Clinton that her marathon duel with Obama was over. Clinton kept her silence in public, while supporters made a case for her as Obama’s No. 2.

Obama himself moved to link himself more closely with a young Democratic hero of a half-century ago, picking President Kennedy’s daughter Caroline to help him choose a vice president.

While Clinton still wasn’t conceding, even after Tuesday’s primaries and a flood of “superdelegate” endorsements of Obama sealed the nomination, there were signs aplenty that she was closing shop. She began bidding campaign staff members farewell, and a number were told not to come to work after Friday. Last paychecks were expected to go out June 15.

The primary rivals ran into each other backstage at a hall where both spoke to Jewish leaders, but Obama said there was no mention of how or when she would formally end her long campaign to become the nation’s first female president.

Obama showed no impatience, merely smiling and accepting congratulations from colleagues in both parties as he returned to the Capitol for a Senate vote. But other Democrats urged her to get out of the way.

“I don’t see why we don’t get on with it and endorse” Obama, said Rep. Charles Rangel, a congressman from Clinton’s home state of New York. He said it was only a matter of time before he and other Clinton supporters formally back Obama.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, an Obama supporter, said Clinton’s non-concession “creates a pretty delicate situation here, an awkward situation.”

“I don’t want to push her. Nobody is going to push her,” Durbin said on MSNBC. “But the sooner she does, I think the more likely we’re going to be organized and ready to win in November.”

Obama began focusing on who will join his ticket in the fall. His campaign said the vetting of potential running mates was to be managed by a three-person team of Caroline Kennedy, former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and longtime Washington insider Jim Johnson.

Clinton has told lawmakers privately that she would be interested in the vice presidential nomination. Obama was noncommittal after his chat with her behind the scenes at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“We’re going to be having a conversation in coming weeks, and I’m very confident how unified the Democratic Party’s going to be to win in November,” he told reporters after a vote in the Senate where he received congratulations from all sides.

RFK Jr. campaigns for Hillary in NJ

RFK Jr. on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton earlier this year in NJ.

(Well, if an Obama/Clinton ticket ain’t gonna happen: Pssst…Caroline! if it wouldn’t be too classic a case of Kennedy nepotism, we’d like to nominate your cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for the VP selection committee’s consideration.)

CLINTON CAMPAIGN IS OVER

Update: As of late this afternoon, CNN is reporting that Senator Hillary Clinton will officially end her campaign Friday.

Meanwhile, the dam holding back endorsements broke from coast to coast on the day after the primary elections concluded.

Seven senators who had stayed out of the matter said they were giving Obama their commitment and would work toward uniting Democrats for the election, now exactly five months away.

In Nashville, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen was joined by two other superdelegates to say they hoped to bring the party behind Obama even though Clinton won their state. Former Vice President Walter Mondale, who had been a Clinton supporter, announced he was backing Obama.

It hardly mattered in terms of delegate math – after months of struggle, Obama had more than enough to prevail at the party convention in Denver in August. But Obama’s new backers were also sending a message to Clinton that her race was over.

Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, was lobbying members of the Congressional Black Caucus to urge Obama to place Clinton on the ticket. He said he was doing so with her blessing.

Rangel, a founding member of the caucus, expressed doubts that Johnson’s approach would work. “I don’t really think that the way to get Obama to (choose) Clinton would be to put pressure on him. I think it would have the opposite effect,” Rangel said.

The Obama camp’s disclosure about the three-person veep vetting team was an effort to change the subject from the long, divisive primary campaign toward the general election.

Kennedy’s name came as a surprise, although she endorsed Obama at a critical time last winter, saying he could be an inspirational leader like her father. She also campaigned for Obama.

Holder is a former federal prosecutor and District of Columbia Superior Court judge who held the No. 2 job at the Justice Department under President Clinton.

Johnson is widely known among Democrats for having helped previous candidates, including John Kerry four years ago, sift through vice presidential possibilities. He is a former chief executive officer for the mortgage lender Fannie Mae.

Clinton visited her campaign headquarters in suburban Arlington, Va., where she thanked staff members for their work. Aides said she was also phoning superdelegates and supporters, and planned to host an 89th birthday celebration at her Washington home for her mother, Dorothy Rodham.

Several high-dollar fundraisers who had spoken to the former first lady described her as upbeat and realistic about what she faced.

“She’s very resolved, but open minded about whatever’s coming. She’s going forward with an optimistic eye,” said Susie Tompkins Buell, a San Francisco-based fundraiser who flew from New York to Washington early Wednesday morning.

Some lawmakers showed deference to Clinton, an indication of the political and fundraising power that she and her husband still wield.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, an uncommitted superdelegate, said he will be supporting Obama but declined to make a formal endorsement. “I expect Mrs. Clinton to say some things over the next couple of days and I think that’s appropriate for her to do. And I expect her to say that, at which time I may make a more formal” announcement, Hoyer said.

Associated Press writers Devlin Barrett, Laurie Kellman, Beth Fouhy and Jesse Holland contributed to this report.
06/04/08 18:05 © Copyright The Associated Press.

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Your Thoughts: Who Should RFK Jr. Choose As His Running Mate?

bumperstickersm.jpg 

NAME THAT TICKET: KENNEDY/??????

Just for grins (this ain’t no scientific poll!), we’d like to know your thoughts:

If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ran for President of the United States, who would you like to see as his running mate? Who should he pick for VP?

A few names have already been floated over the past year as potential running mates – we’ve heard some great suggestions so far, such as:

  • Al Gore (wouldn’t that be the environmental dream ticket of the century?)
  • Senator Edward Kennedy (a Kennedy/Kennedy ticket? Interesting!)
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich (always thought Kennedy/Kucinich had a great ring to it)
  • Former Senator Mike Gravel (longtime Democrat and 2008 presidential candidate who has now converted to Libertarianism)
  • Ralph Nader (although at age 74, we worry a bit about the “one heartbeat away” thing)
  • Senator Hillary Clinton (yes, it has been suggested that if she loses the Democratic nomination, she might just go renegade! How bad does she want the White House, anyway? And as VP, would she actually be the one to answer the phone at 3 A.M.instead of the President?)
  • Former Minnesota Governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura (who speaks of a possible independent run for the presidency in 2008 with RFK Jr. as his running mate. No jest!)

 

These are just a few ideas that have been suggested – some are flat crazy, some make sense. But we think the readers of this blog probably have some better ideas. Many of you are Bobby’s biggest fans – you know better than anyone who would make a great running mate for him – so let us know your thoughts.

We want to hear from you: imagining not only a winning ticket on the campaign trail, but who would serve him best in a presidential administration. Who would you like to see as Bobby Kennedy Jr.’s Vice President?

 

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Hillary Clinton: The Comeback Kid Does It Again…and Again…and Again

Senator Hillary Clinton, RFK Jr.'s choice for President

(Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: She takes a licking and keeps on ticking)

CLINTON: THE COMEBACK KID 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

After 11 straight primary losses in a row, there’s only one word (or an old Rolling Stones song, if you prefer) to describe how Hillary Clinton’s supporters must be feeling today: Satisfaction.

Last night, Clinton once again stunned the pundits and savants by pulling off a sweep of three key primary states in what by any standard must be deemed an impressive comeback.

Just a week ago, the press and pollsters were all but declaring her candidacy dead in the water. Again. And so in a command performance of Senator Clinton’s astounding comebacks in New Hampshire and on Super Tuesday, she proved `em all dead wrong. Again.

I DIDN’T MEAN TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO, BUT…

If there is one time-honored rule of modern politics, it is: never count the Clintons out.

No matter how many scandals may befall the Democratic golden couple, no matter how many “Hillary Haters” there are out there, no matter how many attacks Hillary takes for being too-this-or-too-that, she survives it all and somehow seems to take it in stride. Like Elton John, she’s still standing, baby. And she’s still fighting. More than that, she enjoys a good scrap. Which means she’s one hell of a good politician.

Love her or hate her, you’ve got to admit this woman is a master of the political art. With a keen sense of knowing when to pull back on her opponent and when to pounce, Hillary Clinton stayed above the fray earlier in the campaign by letting her husband do the dirty-work.

The former president took the flames for his comments about Barack Obama on the campaign trail while Hillary took the high road. Brilliant good-cop/bad-cop strategy, and unprecedented at that; who ever heard of a former president and first lady tag-teaming her opponent in a presidential race? Who could have been ready for it? Certainly not their unfortunate opponent, who was too blindsided to respond adequately. (“At this point, I’m not exactly sure which Clinton I’m running against,” quipped a baffled Senator Obama.)

Shedding a few perfectly-timed tears on the eve of the Hew Hampshire primary (when she was trailing by as much as 13% in the polls) didn’t hurt a bit, either.

Even when many within the Kennedy family (longtime Clinton allies) split off and endorsed Obama just after the South Carolina primary and all the pundits once again declared this was surely the end for Senator Clinton’s candidacy, she rebounded again on Super Tuesday, claiming the biggest prize of all, California…even with a Kennedy sitting in the Governor’s mansion. (Maria Shriver had just endorsed Obama two days earlier.)

You wanna talk about Shock and Awe? How about Clinton winning Massachusetts, the home state of Democratic darlings Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who also endorsed Obama?

Then there were those 11 straight primary losses. Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. The mainstream media could hardly wait to write her political obituary and deem her as insignificant to this race as Mike Huckabee. But then… something happened in the week before the March 4th primaries.

Something turned this thing in Clinton’s favor last night, and now all the pundits scratch their heads in bewilderment and engage in more Wednesday-morning quarterbacking. Particularly amusing was watching the MSNBC gang, who can’t seem to bring Obama enough pillows here lately. (Although Clinton is not my candidate, I’ve got to tell you that I rather enjoyed watching these overpaid geniuses try to figure out what her secret was.) How did she do it, despite their best efforts to effectively kill her campaign?

WAS OBAMA OVERCONFIDENT OR DID CLINTON JUST TRY HARDER?

Here in Austin, Texas, I had a front row seat for the whole process and can easily lay out how Clinton’s victory happened. Simply put, Hillary and her campaign staff worked their asses off. The Clinton campaign did a lot more than just throw a zillion ads on TV. They didn’t just relax and wait for the inevitable votes to come rolling in. They took nothing for granted this time.

From my standpoint on the ground here, not just as a political reporter but as a voting citizen, here is what I personally saw: over the past three weeks, every single candidate (regardless of party affiliation) has called my home to ask for my support. EXCEPT, to my surprise, Barack Obama.

I’ve recieved numerous pieces of direct mail from every candidate running for dog-catcher, let alone the presidency…everyone, that is, except Barack Obama. Campaign volunteers have come to the door pushing their candidate’s literature under my nose so often that I nearly ran out of milk and cookies to offer them all and began to reconsider just how far this whole Southern hospitality thing should really go.

Not that they weren’t pleasant to talk to…all of them were, even the Republicans. (Ron Paul’s people were especially cool to hang out with – hell, I even invited them to stay for lunch.) As a political animal and staunch independent with no dog in this race, I quite often enjoy hearing their sales pitches and of course, engaging them in a bit of friendly debate. So I sparred with campaigners for John McCain (thoroughly enjoyable!) and the Clinton camp, too, of course. Was really looking forward to a tete a’ tete with the Obama people, but unfortunately, they never showed up.

Inexplicable as it seems, it’s true. As longtime readers of this blog know, I’m not supporting any of the current candidates in this race and therefore have no reason to lie. I’m just telling you what I saw – and most importantly, didn’t see. Never once did I get a piece of direct mail from the Obama campaign, not a single phone call, no email, no one knocked on my door. Meanwhile, every other candidate courted me like the belle of the ball.

Voters like that sort of thing, you know. When our state is in the primary spotlight, we enjoy the process of candidate courtship. Most of us do not object to a quick phone call or better yet, a personal visit. We may not wind up voting for you, but we sure like being asked to. Matter of fact, we are far more likely to vote for you if you simply ask for our vote. I know it sounds simple, but you’d be surprised just how well it really works. 

Barack Obama (Stetson and all!) in Texas

(Senator Obama may have learned a valuable lesson from his Lone Star defeat: that it takes a lot more than donning a ten-gallon hat to win the hearts, minds, and votes of Texans.)

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED? WELL…MAYBE NOT JUST YET.

Now, I’m not exactly sure what all those fervent, youthful volunteers over at the Obama camp do all day long -eat pizza, play video games, post Hillary-hatin’ attacks on Democratic Underground, who knows? – but they’re sure as hell not out knocking on doors and ringing phones. At least not in my neighborhood, which is largely comprised of young middle-class, college-educated whites and a mix of Hispanic and African-American families, presumably the target demographic they hope to reach.

Whereas the Obama campaign was conspicuously absent from my doorstep, mailbox and answering machine – hell, I didn’t even get one of the obligatory recorded messages from the candidate himself which are so popular nowadays – Camp Clinton pursued me fervently. Their approach was surprisingly personable, even…dare I say it aloud? – humble.

For example, two Sundays ago, my phone rang all day long with campaign calls – McCain, Huckabee, Ron Paul, Governor Rick Perry endorsing McCain, even Cindy McCain called with a pre-recorded pitch for her hubby (who doesn’t sleep around with attractive lobbyists)…to the point where I just let the answering machine take all these bothersome robot calls. It was bad enough to have my Sunday afternoon constantly interrupted by candidates I wouldn’t consider voting for anyway, but something about all these damn prerecorded messages was rather off-putting. If a candidate really wants my vote, you’d think they might go to the trouble to put a live human being on the phone.

Just when I was about to rip the blasted phone jack out of the wall, it rang again. I let the call go to my answering machine, thinking, “oh shit, here comes another canned campaign message,” and lo and behold, it was the sound of a real human being on the other end of the line. She introduced herself as a volunteer for Hillary Clinton, gave her name and a callback number, encouraging me to call anytime if I had questions for the candidate or wanted to volunteer. While I certainly had no intentions of doing either, something about the personal approach appealed to me and I picked up the phone.

The Clinton campaign volunteer I spoke to was a Hispanic woman calling from New Mexico, and she was audibly relieved just to hear a friendly voice on the line. It was obvious she hadn’t had much luck calling Texans today, and had already been yelled at a few times. Sheepishly, she went into her script about how men have been running the country forever (and just look what a mess they’ve made of things! My goodness gracious!) and didn’t I think it was time to give a woman a try?

Nice approach – and since I am female, I got script B. If I had been a male voter, I’m sure I would have gotten script A, as I somehow don’t think the whole feminist slant would have proved effective with menfolk down here in Texas. Nonetheless, after talking with the volunteer for a few minutes, it was apparent that Camp Clinton was putting in the effort that no other campaign was, and I must say, I was duly impressed.

(Not that it changed the way I voted, but it did change the way I view Hillary Clinton as a candidate, and to be honest, my impression is far more favorable than before. I respect any candidate who is hungry enough to work hard to win every last vote. That’s The Way It Ought To Be, dont’cha think?)

That was even before the now-infamous-but-effective “3 A.M.” ad hit the airwaves late this week, and before Hillary Clinton made her perfectly-timed, self-effacing appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show. All of this, combined with her raising questions about Obama’s NAFTA rhetoric and some of his campaign advisers in the days leading up to the Texas primary, was again a brilliant strategy and proved decisive in swaying the vote of the last-minute undecideds.

The proof of all that hard work and strategizing was in the pudding: big victories for Clinton in Rhode Island, Ohio and Texas.

THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING, BUT THE DEVIL IS IN THE DELEGATES

As the old saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding, but the devil is in the details.” And in this case, the details are the delegates. On that front, Obama is still leading in Texas.

Texas, always priding itself on being different (often just for the sake of being different), has an admittedly bizarre system of having both a primary and a caucus.

“Run that by me again,” you say?

Okay, here’s how it works: the delegate count is not given on a winner-take-all basis here. Two-thirds of the delegates are awarded by the popular vote count from the primary – then the remaining third are decided through caucuses held at local polling precincts the same night. After the polls close, you simply return to your precinct and caucus for your candidate, sometimes into the wee-wee hours.

While Clinton won the popular vote in Texas by a slim margin, Obama is doing very well in the caucus, the results of which are still being tabulated at press time today. If the caucus vote turns out as expected, Obama will beat Clinton by 10 points or more, which certainly makes a considerable dent in her delegate count. So win or lose, this thing may well turn out to be a draw..but it ain’t over. Just ask Hillary.

Little more than a week ago, everyone from James Carville to her own husband, former president Bill Clinton, were saying if she didn’t win big in Texas and Ohio, she would just have to fold up her tent and go home to Westchester. Well…better rewrite that headline.

Hillary may not have scored landslide wins across the board last night, but it was enough to keep her viable and very much in this race.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

While the Republicans caved quickly, the challengers fell away, the conservative opposition melted, and a nominee was decided last night in John McCain, the Democrats may well be taking their fight to the convention floor in Denver. And that’s five months away. While I like Barack Obama and think he’s a candidate with incredible promise, allow me to just offer a bit of advice on the subject of Hillary Clinton: if you think she’s going to drop out of this race before Denver, you’re out of your mind.

This resilient woman has proven herself not only a formidable political force to be reckoned with down through the years, but she has also proven in this race that she always knows the right move to make at the right time. She’s a shrewd strategist and a brilliant politician. She’s a tough campaigner and a down-in-the-alley streetfighter when need be. Just ask Barack Obama, who spent most of this week fending off the slings and arrows.

Is this good for the country? In my humble opinion, no. Is it good for the Democratic Party? Well, I’ll probably get shot for saying this, but yes, I think it’s very healthy for the Democratic process, and even for the party itself.

If this battle winds up on the convention floor this summer, not only will it be the most exciting convention in recent memory, but will keep the process exciting – not just for Democrats, but for the country and all who are closely watching our elections around the world.

After all, who wants to pick a nominee in February, forcing all other contenders out of the race? Borrrrrrring. We might as well nap `til November. And isn’t that exactly why so many Democrats fought against the idea of Hillary as the “inevitable” nominee all this year? Did this attitude not contribute to the sudden rise of Barack Obama as the anti-Clinton?

Hillary Clinton didn’t turn out to be the inevitable candidate she first painted herself to be, that’s a fact. Senator Obama is certainly giving her a good run for her money. But, Hillary has proven over and over again that she can’t be quite so easily dismissed or defeated.

In the fight for her political life these past few weeks, Senator Clinton has shown us that she’s still got “it” (whatever ‘it” is). Call “it” blonde ambition or fanatic feminism, a refusal to be a loser, an ego-trip, a mad grab for power, or what you will, but after last night, you’d also have to call her a winner.

Again.

So hold that obituary, MSNBC. I have a sneaking suspicion that Hillary just might surprise ya’ll a few more times before it’s all said and done.

 

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

 

 

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Filed under austin, election 2008, hillary clinton, media, politics, RFK Jr., robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, texas, the kennedys, Uncategorized

Op-Ed:”This Endorsement Stinks”

We present below a very provocative editorial from DailyKos and Op-Ed News regarding Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s formal endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign this week.

While the author is clearly an RFK Jr. fan and takes care to choose his words carefully, he doesn’t mince them, either. After all, how much clearer than “this endorsement stinks” does one have to be in order to get the point across? Yikes!

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Disappoints

By Joel S. Hirschhorn

RFK, Jr. has disappointed millions of liberals, progressives and environmentalists by endorsing Hillary Clinton.RFK, Jr. once said: “the Republicans are 95 percent corrupt and the Democrats are 75 percent corrupt.”  This has been widely quoted because of its honest assessment of the corrupt two-party system.

He has also pointed out: “While communism is the control of business by government, fascism is the control of government by business.  …The biggest threat to American democracy is corporate power.  …our most visionary political leaders have warned the American public against the domination of government by corporate power. That warning is missing in the national debate right now. Because so much corporate money is going into politics, the Democratic Party itself has dropped the ball. They just quash discussion about the corrosive impact of excessive corporate power on American democracy.”

Those these statements were made some time ago, a few days ago on November 28 he talked about the impact of industry on environmental agencies: “It’s been a revolving door of plunder.”  Kennedy saved special scorn for “the negative and indolent press of this country,” which he said has become controlled by corporate interests in the last 20 years.  

“Americans have become the best-entertained, least-informed people on earth,” Kennedy said.  He also said five companies control 80 percent of newspapers and almost all radio, and those corporations are not in business to tell news thoroughly or fairly.  “The only ideology they represent is their own pockets,” Kennedy said.  So his criticism of the corporate plutocracy seems as strong as ever.

Such honest views of the sad state of America have made Kennedy the darling of many people – liberals, progressives and environmentalists. But the news yesterday was that this esteemed honest liberal has endorsed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.  

Now he says: “Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to bring the war in Iraq to an end and reverse the potentially devastating effects of global warming.  …Hillary will inspire the real change America needs.”

Kennedy said he feels “very uncomfortable” about the amount of corporate money flowing into Clinton’s campaign, “But I also think you can’t come into this race with one arm tied behind your back.”  

How’s that for convenient rationalization?

In examining media coverage of Kennedy’s endorsement of Clinton I could find no references to his earlier critical remarks of Democrats. 

But people commenting on the New York Times article often were aghast at his endorsement, noting that it would have made much more sense for him to endorse Obama or Edwards.  Bloggers, so far, have also not been critical of the Kennedy endorsement.  The progressive community seems frozen by self-delusion.

Here is my take: Hillary Clinton represents the worst of the Democratic contenders.  She is totally committed to take all the corporate money she can get.  She really is a hawk when it comes to the Iraq war and even voted the wrong way recently when it comes to Iran.  She is incredibly dishonest and phony.  The reason why there are millions of Hillary haters is that she inspires distrust.  

A Hillary presidency would pursue corporate globalization and the terrible trade policies of her husband that has done so much to destroy America’s middle class.  Her views on universal health coverage do not seem focused on getting rid of all the insurance industry involvement.

Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary just shows how the status quo political establishment can rig the system to get what it wants.  What has Bobby been promised?  Head of the US EPA?  Support for replacing Hillary in the Senate?  Who knows?  But his endorsement stinks and puts a big blemish on his credibility and reputation. 

Authors Bio: Joel S. Hirschhorn is the author of Delusional Democracy – Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government (www.delusionaldemocracy.com). His current political writings have been greatly influenced by working as a senior staffer for the U.S. Congress and for the National Governors Association. He advocates a Second American Revolution, beginning with an Article V Convention to propose constitutional amendments.

COMMENTS ON THIS STORY:

posted by MsTweetie
When Is The LameStream Media Going To Wake UP!

RFK, Jr. isn’t the only one who disappoints in their endorsements.  Are the Clinton’s so bought and paid for by huge neocon-run corporations that the teflon on them is hermetically sealed?  And why is it that every major news operation won’t dig into Clinton’s inappropriate fundraising tactics that go back to when she was running for Senator?!  I am livid that the politicians are not really “elected” anymore.  That was obvious during the last Presidential election (if not the one before that also. “

Richard Mynick     I totally agree with your assessment of RFK’s comments –ie, with how deeply disappointing they are, in view of his earlier track record for candor regarding the 2 parties, & the corporate plutocracy. His earlier comments, in fact, could be applied with perfect accuracy to a phony sellout like Hillary, on the take from the corporatocracy.When I saw the headline about his Hillary endorsement, I groaned aloud.”

Christie     So disappointed RFK Jr. that you have sold out.I am sure you have engraved on your heart the statement. “ I dream of things that never were and ask why not?” As you remember who said that inspiring statement, I wish that you would speak words of support for someone who also dreams of things that have never been, such as Kucinich, who talks about a  Department of Peace — something that has never been.You are aware, of course that he also speaks strongly against the Iraq war, certainly not someone who supports its indefinite continuance. You hopefully are aware that presidential candidate Christopher Dodd promises his first action as president would be to restore the Constitution. And I trust you realize that the Constitution has been shredded under Bush/Cheney. How can you endorse a presidential candidate who supports continuation of the war and refers not at all to the freedoms we have lost — to refresh your memory with a couple of big ones: habeus corpus and the Geneva Conventions. What has your endorsed candidate said about these things?More comments on the DailyKos article:

She got a tepid A from Grist – but the real tell that she is not good at all on the environment was during an environmental debate a couple weeks ago she was only willing to go for “incremental change.” That says she doesn’t get climate change at all – an inconvenient truth indeed.

Hillary is the establishment candidate.

by voltayre

Which is why I’m surprised.

I haven’t, though, changed my opinion of him.

by Terre

This apple fell miles from that particular tree.  RFK was no saint but his son here is kind of a nut sometimes.  And if the Democrats are 75 percent corrupt — not really much to pick from if the GOP is at 95 — why stay in the party?  Be a full-fledged green and tell us how there’s no difference. Better yet, tell it to the Iraq War dead.  

Hillary: the GOP’s Only Hope

Much like Gen. Wesley Clark, or Amb. Joe Wilson, RFKjr loses some credibility with me. Hillary Clinton represents the status quo at time we need bold leadership to undo the damage done by the Bushies. Corporations and lobbyists LOVE Hillary Clinton.

But, he has the right to endorse whomever he wants and even though all three of the above have lost some credibility, I can still respect what they all have done in the past.

by lams712

Sorry you’re disappointed but I think your assertion that he was somehow bribed by the Clinton campaign is over the line and extremely disrespectful.

by phoenixdreamz

RFK Jr is not an ambitious guy.  He could have run for major elective office and won at virtually any point in the last 25 years, but has chosen the vital and thankless task of progressive activism instead.

by Matisyahu

In Order to Be Disappointed, It is first necessary to have expectations.

The only expectations I have of any Kennedy are that they are likely to have a sense of entitlement, a substance abuse problem, a tendency toward promiscuity, and a need to be seen as having done well by doing good in public, along with a willingness to cut the most odious imaginable deals in private.

Those aren’t even necessarily bad things.

I don’t expect to take cues from any Kennedy as to how to deal with my own sense of entitlement, substance abuse problems, tendencies toward promiscuity, needs to be seen as having done well by doing good in public, or my willingness to cut the most odious imaginable deals in private. For one thing, they can afford better lawyers than I can, and that alone makes a great deal of difference.

by greenskeeper

I thought it was a great endorsement for Clinton II, but f*g bizarre by Jr.. I cannot describe how dumbfounded I was to read it, given his policy positions.

Clearly Obama suits his good government ideas.

Clearly Edwards suits his clearing out the corporatist agenda

Clearly Kucinich suits his healthcare position

I just don’t get it…

But good on Clinton II.

by CeeusBeeus

bizarre by Jr, I just don’t get it

Agreed. I’ve been listening to his Ring of fire broadcasts from Air America Radio every Saturday for years, and he’s always slamming “Corporate Toadies” and “Corporate Lap-dogs”, then he endorses one for president. Of course on the other hand, now that I look back on his interview with “His cousin Arnold” he had a few months back when he called him Arnold a Liberal, it all makes sense. I think I’m going to take what RFK Jr says with a grain of salt from now on.

by William Domingo

Disappointing but not surprising.

The insider’s guide to power in America: A few political families, the Bushes and Clintons and the vast power of big oil shares it. Democrats tend to ignore the fact that it was the Clinton administration that approved the Exxon/Mobil and BP/Amoco mergers.  Those vertically integrated monoliths have led us into national interest wars over their oil and their profits, paid for by the lives of too many and trillions in tax dollars. It is one thing to acknowlege the Halliburton/Cheney relationship.  It is another to sadly realize that a Democratic president paved the way. A two party system limits choices.  A two family system is just short of the end of our democratic process.  

by Wally in Miami

 

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Filed under election 2008, hillary clinton, media, politics, RFK Jr., robert kennedy jr., the kennedys, Uncategorized