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March 13, 2007

Comments

Thanks for this -- it expresses a lot of my reasons for really not liking the idea of HRC being the nominee, let alone President, better than I've been able to.

The only thing I'd add is: to me, anyone who voted for the war not because s/he believed it was right, but as a political calculation, drops to near the bottom of my list (the bottom being reserved for the frankly insane.) I understand the need for compromise and ambition. But if ambition is to be anything other than unbridled selfishness, there has to be a point at which you say: if I have to compromise on this for the sake of my career, then so much the worse for my career -- after all, if I don't want to be in office precisely to do the right thing at moments like this, why on earth do I bother? And Iraq was just such a moment.

That was one reason why I would not support Kerry in the primary: I think he made exactly that call. It's also one reason why I will not support HRC. (I should add: this doesn't rely on mindreading as much as it seems; if she actually did support it, and still does, then I also wouldn't support her, albeit for different reasons. So in a sense I don't have to know why she's doing what she's doing.) And it was a reason I liked Clark: he actually did sacrifice his career over Kossovo, so I knew that for him, there was a point at which he'd say: well, what is all this ambition for, if not for this?

"It’s not merely though that she supported the war"

Evidence? Shred of?

"As Yglesias has documented, she consciously played up an image as a war supporter and a hawk for years"

I think Yglesias is very weak on this subject. "Repeatedly asserted without a shred of evidence" seems to me much closer to the truth than "documented".

hilzoy: "voted for the war"

This I think is right-wing spin.

rilkefan: more like an indicaation that I should go to sleep, daylight savings or no daylight savings.

On the other hand, I took the Iraq War resolution that way at the time. It seemed pretty clear that that was where Bush was headed. It was surely enough of a possibility to have warranted a serious effort in support of one of the alternate resolutions that would not have given him carte blanche.

"I took the Iraq War resolution that way at the time"

I think there's important error about agency in there, and would argue on other grounds, but it's your field and I have to go to sleep myself.

And here’s the heart of it – the Iraq issue matters because it shows, at heart, what most motivates Clinton is the fear of being perceived as too liberal. I don’t know if these fears are rooted in coming of political age in Arkansas during the Reagan years, or with the scars of 1994, or what.
Bill's lost gubernatorial relection of 1980 is the usual root pointed at.

Your thoughts on Clinton echo mine. The attacks on her in the left blogosphere for being Republican, a warmongerer, evil triangulator, etc. are patently silly. At the same time she obviously lacks political guts. There's a time to compromise and evade in politics, and there's a time to take a bold stand. She's taken no bold stances whatsover since getting burnt in 1994. She'd be a good caretaker president and do the political equivalent of making the trains run on time. But she wouldn't do anything important or historical, and after the Bush years we have both need and opportunity to get some big stuff done. Obama and Edwards both have strategies to make a difference - Obama attacks the divisiveness the Bushites need to prevent real reform and Edwards is working for a mandate for a lot of specific policies.

Agreed. Her position on Iraq is not the only thing I dislike about HRC, but it is emblematic of her lack of character. And agreed, I wouldn't pillory her for wimping out on the actual vote as a brand-new freshman with a bare majority in her state, but her performance afterwards was far from inspiring.

I might point out that her husband had the same problem with character. And no, I'm not talking about his loose zipper, about which I could really care less, I'm talking about his endless backing down on every liberal issue. Bill Clinton was a fine orator, apparently a really sweet guy, and a good policy wonk -- but he had exactly zero spine and very little ability to lead the country in directions it didn't wanna go. Hillary appears to be cut from the same cloth -- except for not being a fine orator, really sweet, or a good policy wonk.

Dare I hope that the cold wind of reality is starting to blow over the Hillary bandwagon?

And here’s the heart of it – the Iraq issue matters because it shows, at heart, what most motivates Clinton is the fear of being perceived as too liberal.

This is exactly right, but I'm a little more sympathetic to HRC on that count, for two reasons.

One is personal -- I can't imagine undergoing the kind of public demonization that she did, so I'm not surprised that she's leery of setting herself up.

The other is political -- rightly or wrongly, being *perceived* as a "liberal" is bad news with the general electorate. (As opposed to actually having liberal policies.) I really can't say that HRC's concern on this score is baseless.

It may simply be that HRC has too much baggage to run an effective campaign -- that she will ultimately be crippled by having been President Clinton's wife. But if that's the case, I find her situation a bit tragic.

I'm afraid that Hillary Clinton is guilty by association in my book. I didn't vote for William Clinton second time around in the presidentials when I discovered that he had, before being elected President the first time, returned to Arkansas to supervise the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a black man who had lobotomized himself in the course of a robbery and wanted to save the dessert of his last meal for later.
Pretty revolting, huh ?
And please spare me any lectures about what the effects of appearing liberal on the subject of capital punishment would have had at that time ; I already know. It still doesn't excuse him in my book.
From everything that appears in this post, it looks like Hillary is basically more of the same thing, in a skirt this time...

Huh. "Unable to achieve a higher office than United States Senator" =/= "tragic", in my book.

I tend to agree with Anderson on this. Hillary - for a few bad reasons - was already battling a pretty heavy presumption of extreme "liberalness" in the most perjorative sense of the word (as crafted by the Right throughout the 80's).

Being a woman didn't help - let alone a "lesbian, black panther defending, 60's radical, feminazi, Wiccan, etc." [the spin, not the reality]

She more than most needed to, and still needs, to disabuse the electorate of that notion. Getting attacked from the left-flank doesn't hurt her, it helps her if she can get out of the primaries intact. I think that explains her reluctance to vote against the resolution, or jump out too quickly on the anti-war wagon.

Would it have helped end the Iraq war effort if she had? Uh, no.

And it has worked for her to some extent. She is seen as more moderate, hawkish and responsible by more of the American electorate as a result (not necessarily the blogosphere, but the rest of the voting public). In the post-9/11 world with national security and conflict likely to take center state again in 2008, that's a nice reputation to be toting around.

That may all sound like cold, political calculation, but I'd say that is how the game is played. Bill and Hill just know how to play it better than most. It's not inspiring, or morally righteous, but, well, ain't that America.

They might have played it too clever by half this time, though, and it could end up biting her in the ass if she's left dangling too far out toward the middle, but we'll see.

Now how will this translate into governance style and future penchant for risk taking? That depends on the mood of the electorate, but I don't think she'll have to do as much posturing as a leader than as a candidate.

What she has had to do is define - or re-brand - her personal narrative for the election. After that, she will have a freer hand to govern and I don't think she'll be any more inclined to do something stupid for political reasons than any other candidate.

Any future Dem Prez will be tempted and cajoled by the same forces, but I actually think she has a certain toughness that could break the other way. There certainly won't be the inexperience factor to worry about.

at heart, what most motivates Clinton is the fear of being perceived as too liberal.

It's the stink of the DLC clinging to her. It's just like being sprayed by a skunk, except that she did it to herself.

If she really is trying to persuade the voters that she's not the bull-dyke feminazi that the Noise Machine make her out to be, then she's deluding herself. They'll stick with that story for the rest of her political career, and there's nothing she can do to stop them.

And as Hilzoy notes, if she really has been as oblivious on Iraq as her public statements make her sound, that's even worse.

If she really is trying to persuade the voters that she's not the bull-dyke feminazi that the Noise Machine make her out to be, then she's deluding herself. They'll stick with that story for the rest of her political career, and there's nothing she can do to stop them.

Here's the thing, though: it's not what the Noice Machine makes her out to be, it's how convincing the Noise Machine's blather will be.

Think of the coordinated Noise Machine attacks on Bill Clinton about their preferred narratives: corrupt, immoral, criminal, uncouth, sexually depraved, etc. Bill didn't get the Noise Machine (including the NY Times) to stop that. EVER. To this day even!

What he got was the American people to dismiss it. To not care. To vote for him anyway. To still hold him in extremely high regard (that I believe is improving with age).

That's the trick. Untracking the Noise Machine is unlikely. Dealing with it effectively is possible.

it could end up biting her in the ass if she's left dangling too far out toward the middle

i must note that this is the first time in my life that i've ever formed a mental image of Hillary's ass.

i'd be very happy if Hillary fails to get the nod. she seems cold and empty, to me - completely insincere.

Shorter Anderson: would that "cold political calculation" had been one of John Kerry's talents.

Agree with most of all above. But, and this is a big but, if she gets the nomination we will all vote for her because, well, have you seen any those repub candidates? Arg!

Not only vote for her, but work tirelessly to get her elected.

The last time well-informed and well-intentioned people let the hawkish-centrism (and electoral cynicism) of a candidate lull them into either apathy, or outright withdrawal and diversion of electoral support, was the year 2000. The candidate was Al "Coke v. Pepsi" Gore.

The result?

Nuff said.

Debra: "From everything that appears in this post, it looks like Hillary is basically more of the same thing, in a skirt this time..."

Actually, a pants suit. (Most of the time)

right -- these issues go away in a general b/c of the state of the modern gop.

but responding to eric's excellent points (new arcade fire, good by the way) -- I think we can agree that maybe Clinton NEEDED to act this way, but still be turned off by the action itself. while i understand the crap narrative imposed on her, the argument i suppose is that war is more important (to me) than saving hillary's unfairly-created image.

but you're right that clinton's outspokenness wouldn't have changed much, but it could have given the issues more visibility and got the serious mustached pundits talking earlier, i think (same is true in spades for lieberman, whose opportunity costs approach infinity).

but for the primary, it's hard to get over this sense of just abandonment, leaving "men" on the field to get shot (both figuratively and literally). maybe she had good personal reasons to do it, but she did it. and these things have consequences.

more generally -- i almost went into this, is that i think clinton/clinton for all the smarts are stuck in the pre-9/11, pre-Rove world. there's a great Nation (?) article on this sort of laying out the three major candidates (Kari -- do you still have the link?).

the point is that clinton's strategy is very much a product of Clinton's successful 1992 strategy. but, the world has changed. the dems don't need that anymore, they need clearly defined differences. that's what the kos crowd is right about even if they're wrong on certain tactics. (lucas, duckworth).

i really should read my comments before posting -- ignore that last paren, it was part of a sentence i deleted

what most motivates Clinton is the fear of being perceived as too liberal.

Yes indeed. HRC is yesterday's pol. I'm coming to kind of despise her for running at all, although I know that's not really fair; opportunities for liberals like the post-Bush/post-Reagan era don't come along very often, and nominating someone as passive as her would basically confirm the idea that American liberalism is worn out. To quote Rick Perlstein from The Stock Ticker and the Superjumbo:

"The traumas that shaped the worldview of a Teixeira, a Greenburg, a Judis were the post-60s backfiring left-of-center boldness. The same goes for Al From, whose formative political experience, he has told me, was McGovern's loss in 1972. The traumas of my own political generation, conversely, were the backfirings of left-of-center timidity.

(I was posting at the same time as pub - not trying to be redundant!)

I think we can agree that maybe Clinton NEEDED to act this way, but still be turned off by the action itself.

No doubt. It turned me off as well, but then, I sort of got over that with the Kerry candidacy.

My problem is that the groupthink on Hillary is that she's calculating, cold and power hungry. Everybody - Right and Left -seems to have adopted thi. Further, that these "Clintonian" traits are somehow unique to her in the world of politics.

When in fact that profile describes almost every Presidential candidate EVER, and most candidates for lower office too. But Hillary is "Teh One" - and everybody knows it.

Not that I'm accusing you of this P-Diddy (or anyone else opposed to her candidacy on principled grounds), but there is an umistakable scent of sexism in this double standard. Is she really any less calculating and cynical than Kerry? Gore? McCain? Guiliani? Romney? Bush? Rove? etc. Suuuuuree.

while i understand the crap narrative imposed on her, the argument i suppose is that war is more important (to me) than saving hillary's unfairly-created image.

I agree with you here. You know my position on this war - and you know that I was against it well before it ever started. But the vote for the resolution was not really what led to the war - what led to the war was Bush defeating Al Gore. The war was going to happen one way or the other once that happened (though 9/11 sure made it easy, and without it, avoiding war was at least possible).

Hill's vote meant nothing, though, nor did her tepid response post-invasion. She's not that powerful.

Still, her tactician's game is not overly inspiring, but then again, Bill Clinton enraged many of us as well. But man do those seem like good times now.

the point is that clinton's strategy is very much a product of Clinton's successful 1992 strategy. but, the world has changed. the dems don't need that anymore, they need clearly defined differences. that's what the kos crowd is right about even if they're wrong on certain tactics.

That's the million dollar question my good man. Everything hinges on that. We'll see.

But if Hill does emerge, I just want to make sure we don't commit another 2000 shoot-ourselves-in-the-foot-fiasco just because the candidate isn't the most inspiring or ideologically pure figure. Nader's gonna be there again singing his siren's song, but will we row so close to the rocks again?

God I hope not.

"I think we can agree that maybe Clinton NEEDED to act this way, but still be turned off by the action itself."

I can see why she might have thought that a lot depended on it. But one of the things I like about some politicians is that they reject this idea of "need", in favor of the thought: I am ambitious, I want to be President, but there are some things that are not worth it. Maybe not many, maybe not enough, but somewhere there is a line that ambition will not make me cross.

Iraq should have been that kind of line. Giving this President, of all people, the power to go to war should have been a point at which decent people said: no, that's too much to give up for the sake of ambition. (Decent people who actually opposed the war, at least.)

We need to breathe. We need food and water and human contact and affection. We do not need to support the war in Iraq, because we do not need to win reelection. No one does. Not HRC, not anyone.

I should add: of course I will support her over any GOP candidate now running, because I think she'd make a better President than any of them. (Good Lord, what a weak field.) I am not into foot-shooting. And I recall a wonderful line from Adrienne Rich:

"I am tired of innocence and its uselessness."

The problem with HRC, for me, is not that she's 'calculating' (of course Eric is right that they ALL are that) - it's that she's passive, merely reactive. And I don't mean that in any sexist way; god knows the world is full of essentially passive male pols. When history gives you an inch, you have to take a mile. I don't see her doing that.

I am not into foot-shooting.

You're so old fashioned. ;-)

We don't have to row close to those rocks if we're smart enough to achieve an alternative to HRC -- and we have two attractive alternatives. Californians, get cracking.

Wonder how she'll vote on Jim Webb's bill (S. 759) to force Bush to come to Congress before any attack on Iran?

"no, that's too much to give up for the sake of ambition."

Mindreading, what-the-person-said-ignoring.

We don't have to row close to those rocks if we're smart enough to achieve an alternative to HRC -- and we have two attractive alternatives.

Just so you know, I'm not on Carville's payroll. If the NY primary were held today, I'd vote for Obama. By all means, work for alternatives if that's where your judgment lies (mine does too). But we don't have to row close to those rocks no matter what happens. Hillary is NOT that bad.

I just don't want to hear that Giuliani or McCain would be close enough to Hillary that wasting a vote on Nader would be a good idea.

That same argument led so many to abandon Gore - which gave the election to Bush. Gore, BTW, is now considered to have a keen judgment, to be prescient, principled, decent and an attractive candidate by so many of the former detractors.

Sigh.

agree on that eric -- and you won't be hearing that argument from me. basically, the world changes the day after the primary given that this bunch is in office.

Jeez, Kos is going after everybody. Bizarre.

Incidentally, still waiting for publius to defend "support" above.

Jeez, Kos is going after everybody. Bizarre.

maybe he's planning a run of his own

Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton told Democrats Tuesday the "vast, right-wing conspiracy" is back, using a phrase she once coined to describe partisan criticism.

Back!?! What does she mean back? Have we been so ineffectual of late that she thought we retired? This can not stand.


Nell:Wonder how she'll vote on Jim Webb's bill (S. 759) to force Bush to come to Congress before any attack on Iran?

Democrats already stripped that prohibition from the spending bill. I’ll be surprised if 759 makes it out of committee.


Judson: well, have you seen any those repub candidates? Arg!

Sadly yes. McCain vs. HRC would actually cause me to write in someone else. I have to research Thompson a bit more as he is making noises.

I'm aware of what happened with the Iran provision in the House version of the supplemental funding bill, OCS. But Webb's is a standalone bill.

He did express hope in his floor statement that it could be attached to the supplemental in the Senate. Back then, on March 5, it looked as if there would be matching language in the House funding bill. That would have made it harder for Bush to veto.

But he also welcomed it being taken up separately, which is now the route before us. Walter Jones and Pete DeFazio have had corresponding bills in the House since January, with 55 cosponsors between them.

Harry Reid has welcomed Webb's bill, and once the AIPAC conventioneers have left town, may do so again. The senior Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee are Biden, Dodd, Kerry, Feingold, and Boxer. Other members include Obama, not to mention Webb himself; I give it a good shot at coming to the floor.

It's worth noting that the bill does nothing but assert Congress' correct Constitutional role. I like this passage from Webb's floor speech:

In signing the 2002 Iraq resolution, the President denied that the Congress has the power to affect his decisions when it comes to the use of our military. He shrugged off this resolution, stating that on the question of the threat posed by Iraq, his views and those of the Congress merely happened to be the same. He characterized the resolution as simply a gesture of additional support, rather than as having any legitimate authority. He stated, "my signing this resolution does not constitute any change in ... the President's constitutional authority to use force to deter, prevent, or respond to aggression or other threats to U.S. interests..."

This is a sweeping assertion of powers that leaves out virtually nothing. It is a far different matter than repelling an immediate attack, or conducting a war that has been authorized by the Congress. Let's just match up a couple of these words. The President is saying, for instance, that he possesses the authority to use force to "deter ... threats to U.S. interests." How do you use force to "deter" a threat, rather than preventing or responding to it? And what kind of "U.S. interest" is worthy of the use of force? And, most importantly, how do these vague terms fit into the historically accepted notions of a Commander in Chief's power to repel attacks, or to conduct military operations once they have been approved by the Congress?

Mr. President, during our recent hearings on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I asked both the Secretary of State and the Deputy Secretary of State for clarification of this paragraph in the President's signing statement. My question was whether this Administration believes it has the authority to conduct unilateral military operations against Iran in the absence of a direct attack or a compelling, immediate threat without the consent of the Congress. Both wrote me lengthy letters in reply, but neither could give me a clear responses. The situation that we now face is that the Administration repeatedly states that it seeks no war with Iran, at the same time it claims the authority to begin one, and at the same time it continues a military buildup in the region.

The legislation I introduce today is intended to clarify this ambiguity. In so doing, the Congress will be properly restating its constitutional relationship with the executive branch. The Congress will be reinstituting its historical role as it relates to the conduct of foreign policy. And the Congress will be reassuring the American people that there will be no more shooting from the hip when it comes to the gravely serious question of when we send our military people into harm's way.


As with most of Webb's speeches, the whole thing is worth reading -- the man has one of the lowest blather-per-paragraph ratios in the Senate.

@Eric M: I should have been more precise. We can avoid any temptation to row near the rocks, with all the the demoralization and tension that would bring, if we take one (or both!) of the attractive alternatives on offer.

I think we can all agree that it would be best if the largest possible swath of voters and activists are as enthusiastic as possible about our 2008 nominee. On that scale of evaluation, HRC comes in third on the list of current front runners.

Plus: As OCS demonstrates, depending on how things turn out on the other side, HRC as nominee might depress voting overall. That's not a tendency to encourage.

Gotcha Nell. Lord knows I have my issues with temptation...

That being said, I remain agnostic on whether or not Hill will be able to appeal to the independent vote, and what effect she'll have on overall numbers. It could easily cut the other way - with her bringing in some disgruntled GOP types and other middle of the roaders.

I respect OCSteve's voice on this matter, but he is only one voice after all. I have a few acquaintances that represent the exact opposite phenomenon.

Good Webb quote, Nell. It mystifies me why we don't have 90-odd senators talking that way.

but he is only one voice after all

Definitely speaking only for myself here. I have almost as much visceral dislike for McCain as I do for HRC so if that is the match up I’m stuck. Most of the Republicans I know will vote for whoever the R candidate is. All of them would vote for practically anyone running opposite HRC.

I just want someone to vote for, rather than against. I don’t see anyone on the stage at present that could fill that role. Maryland wants to move our primary up to Feb. 12 so maybe this time my primary vote will count for something.

You'd think that support for Congress' war powers (as distinct from support for a given war) would be broad and bipartisan.

You'd think that this very historical moment -- when the dangers of failing to have a full and honest debate about initiating military action would seem to be as clear as they're ever going to be, and when the executive branch is being daily more clearly revealed as a collection of reckless, shiftless, lying, contemptuous autocrats -- would be a moment of opportunity for Congress to reclaim its rightful place as the first branch of government.

I live in hope.

OCS: All of them would vote for practically anyone running opposite HRC.

Yep. She "stirs up the 4's", as they say in voter ID talk, without offering any compensating gain on policy. Worst of both worlds.

"I just want someone to vote for, rather than against. I don’t see anyone on the stage at present that could fill that role."

At least Captain America is still around: you can count on Steve Rogers to be-- oh, wait. What? No kidding.

Drat.

"She "stirs up the 4's", as they say in voter ID talk"

So Republican ads playing on Hillary's perceived liabilities with the Republican base could be said to "Use the 4's?"

Can we hope for a Hagel v. Obama matchup? Or a Hagel v. Gore? If it's McCain or Rudy v. Hillary, god help us.

Maybe Hagel will have another big press conference to announce that soon he'll announce when he's planning to announce that he's thinking about organizing a press conference to announce an exploratory committee on when to announce what he might consider doing in 2008.

It's just too soon for that, KCinDC.

(Crazy leftwing commie terrorsymp William Arkin thinks Hagel will be the next President, btw.)

I'm sort of afraid that Hagel will run and my vague "Yes he's conservative and supported the president in actuality but he's been a principled maverick" impression will burst following the McCain model.

Dantheman: So Republican ads playing on Hillary's perceived liabilities with the Republican base could be said to "Use the 4's?"

Sort of -- only to the Republicans those voters are "the 1's". ;>

I first heard the term in a training by the late great Paul Tully, in the context of explaining where you do high-visibility get-out-the-vote (precincts where support is dense) vs. 'silent' GOTV by phone and mail (swing areas, where you're trying to get your vote out without reminding your opponents' supporters that the election's coming up). If you do parades and billboards and sound trucks in an area where there are a lot of your opponents' voters, you're "stirring up the 4's".

But another way to stir up the 4's is to run a candidate who has very high negatives with the other side's voters -- someone who by themselves boosts opposition turnout.

George Allen's campaign did use a version of the tactic in the 2006 elections. In the last debate with Webb, and in interviews during the last three weeks of the campaign, Allen managed to work the name "Hillary Clinton" into almost every answer he gave, no matter how out of place it seemed. It got ludicrous.

The idea was to get Republicans fired up to vote, by "pushing the Hillary button" (and associating Webb with her). I haven't studied the results with an eye to seeing whether the tactic worked at all; it clearly didn't work well enough.

On the same principle, Republicans in Virginia would much rather have their presidential candidate run against Sen. Clinton than against Edwards or Obama. The feeling's shared by a lot of Dems here: our governor's endorsed Obama, and our state party chair is backing Edwards.

Nell,

Never mind -- I was trying to make a Star Wars pun.

I don't get the reason for the term "4's". It's probably obvious--I'm good at missing the obvious.

I think it has to do with canvassing for a campaign. 1 = committed to voting for you, 2 = leaning towards you; 3 = undecided; 4 = supporting your opponent. But I don't remember exactly.

Urk.

Obama on Pace:

Obama stopped short or criticizing military Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace for calling homosexuality "immoral" this week.

"We're having a ongoing debate in our culture about homosexuality," Obama said. "I believe that gays and lesbians are entitled to the rights that every American enjoys and if they are able and willing to serve in our military then we should re-examine those policies that prevent them from serving."

and HRC:

I also asked her about the comments by General Peter Pace that homosexulity is "immoral." Clinton has opposed the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, so I asked her if that law -- signed by her husband in 1993 -- was a mistake, and if homosexuality is "immoral."

"General Pace has clarified his remarks, but let's not lose sight of the fact that 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' is not working," she said. "We are being deprived of thousands of patriotic men and women who want to serve their country who are bringing skills into the armed services that we desparately need, like translation skills. And one can argue whether it was a good idea when it was first implemented, but we know have evidence as to the fact that we are in a time of war -- when we really need as many people as we can to recruit and retain in an all-volunteer army -- we are turning people away or discharging them not because of what they've done but because of who they are."

But is it immoral?

"Well I'm going to leave that to others to conclude," she said. "I'm very proud of the gays and lesbians I know who perform work that is essential to our country, who want to serve their country and I want make sure they can."

Back to sanity for HRC. Ditto Obama elsewhere.

@Dantheman: D'oh! I am slow.

Katherine has the scale exactly correct. I neglected to add that vital bit of background info.

"I don't get the reason for the term "4's". It's probably obvious--I'm good at missing the obvious."

Use. The. Force.

Star Wars.

rilkefan--man, that's depressing.

I've gone from leaning towards Obama to toss up between him and Edwards, lately.

Edwards was able to say plainly (not via a later press release) that he disagreed with Pace. Otoh I would guess he's less gay-friendly than Obama, who I would guess is slightly less so than HRC.

Of course all three of them are subject to the (to me odious) fact that a majority of Americans (including otherwise unobjectionable liberals of my acquaintance) oppose gay marriage, many enough to want a constitutional amendment. So I'm not expecting paradise in 2009, just happier days.

Otoh I would guess he's less gay-friendly than Obama

On what basis would you guess that?

I don't there's a lot of daylight between them policy-wise on gay rights...It's more the general political approach their campaign takes. I'm getting pretty tired of Obama thinking vague platitudes about bipartisanship and hope are sufficient; I'm all for hope and bipartisanship but to me his campaign seems utterly conventional and cautious. For all his brave talk about changing the country, and all his speaking ability--he's got to show me, not tell me, and after a few promising signs in January he's settled back into not.

I realize Edwards has to run left to win the primary, but damn, at least he realizes it. And what starts out as a political move for politicians has a way of changing them permanently.

It may be Edwards' statement on Gonzales that really won me over.

I can't imagine voting for Clinton, for all the usual bitter liberal reasons.

'Otoh I would guess he's less gay-friendly than Obama'

Nell: "On what basis would you guess that?"

Edwards's "I'm from a small town and that shaped my attitude towards gays" stance from a few years back and the feeling he seemed a bit backwards in 04, plus my sense that Obama's got a younger, more worldly view of things. I've read (somewhere in the jungle of DK) that Edwards has gotten better since the last time.

Anyway, "guess", I wouldn't be that surprised to be wrong.

Also, of course, they're all hardly distinguishable from the "gay marriage is a no-brainer" POV.

Thanks, rilkefan. I ask because I didn't pay very much attention to Edwards in 2004, despite having ended up as an Edwards delegate to the state convention in June (like many refugee Deaniacs; our guy didn't clear the 15% bar). The true Edwardsians were very gracious, probably because they were convinced their guy would end up with the VP slot.

Google says Edwards was anti-civil-union in '04, so I'm not totally crazy above.

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