Archive for the ‘Bill Clinton’ Category

by Lesley Lotto

So he went and did it.  Caved to the pressure of the masses who said, “you must resign” because he let his third leg do the talking.  For shame.

I’ve been privately hoping Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York would stay in office.  It seemed that things quieted down quite a bit when the Weenie, err, Weiner went off to “rehab”.  Then there was the dumbest press conference I’ve seen in years with who else, Gloria Allred, and her latest victim (I mean “client”) accusing some man of some thing.  Ginger Lee, the “featured dancer” read: stripper and former porn star who may or may not have sent naked pictures of herself to Weiner.  She said Weiner should step down because he lied and encouraged her to lie and lying is bad I guess.  And I care what you say, because?

Seriously, WE. DON’T. CARE.

At least I don’t care.  I always thought the Congressman had an itch in his pants, but not the literal kind.  He was going to be the next Mayor of New York City after all.  At least that’s what Janeane Garafalo said on Bill Maher last week.

For those of you under a rock the last month, Congressman Weiner tweets his stuff to the world, unbeknownst to him… allegedly, a simple typo apparently, an @ instead of a d.  Then the women start coming out of the woodwork, literally, saying he did nasty things to them ONLINE.  What was illegal about that?  So he was indiscreet, being a married man and all.  One of his “victims” even saying she had to tell because she feared for her life, she feared for her toddler and, oh yeah, there’s that $10,000 ABC News paid me to share my private Weiner tweets which came in quite handy while living as a single mom and all.  Now that’s what I call a stimulus!

Some of the “risqué” photos that have now circulated online show Weiner holding his thing all proud, showing off his rather impressive 6 pack and most recently, posing in the House Gym holding himself again.  I’m guessing all the Congress members pose with their stuff in the mirror, but I’m thinking Debbie Wasserman-Schultz doesn’t then tweet the pic to unsuspecting young coeds.

To me, the whole thing boils down to a sad, insecure individual who was clearly not getting anywhere near the attention he desired.

Now his wife, who’s “Hillary Clinton’s Shadow” aka Deputy Chief of Staff comes back from Africa.  (She’s also “newly” pregnant by the way).  She reportedly encouraged her hubby of a year to stay in office, not resign.  But of course that was before all the mega powers in Congress told him to split the scene and make it keen. But he was “defiant”!

Man it would have been awesome to be a fly on the wall in Africa when the wife found out and told Hillary.  I’m guessing Hill had some words of encouragement, like tell him to stay in office but make him sleep on the couch.  Word is Weiner even apologized to Bill Clinton.  A good President, by any measure, with a tiny blemish on his record, remember that?  A B.J. in the Oval Office.

What could Weiner have possibly apologized to President Clinton for?  “I disgraced you because I couldn’t get ‘er done”?  One does wonder…

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by Lesley Lotto

So Newt Gingrich has announced he’s running for President in 2012.  Whoop dee doodle.  Really?  Has there ever been a more hypocritical run for higher office?  Well, ya, probably.  The overly bloated, egotastical Newt made the announcement via Twitter last week to which his 14 followers all bellowed from the Internets, yahoo, wait, what?

Gingrich was of course the Speaker of the House when Bill Clinton was President. He was swept onto the throne on a tidal wave of popularity when the country was confused, kind of like right now, voting for whatever the opposite is to what there was at the time.  Sort of like an episode of Seinfeld.

Newt was also widely known as one of those who tried to get Clinton ousted from office through Impeachment, but of course Clinton would have none of that, shouting “I did NOT have sex with THAT woman” to which Newt and his clingerson found that so arousing, they had to bring in an investigator to search for semen on a blue dress or was it a cigar that landed in Clinton’s mouth after being in the nether regions of a White House intern?

For me, the best part of all of it during that era was ol’ Newt embroiled in some of his own sexual shenanigans while touting himself as the Family Values type.  Oy Vey.  He married one of his high school teachers when he was 19, she was 26.  He was married to her for 18 years when he allegedly went to the cancer-stricken, bed-ridden, hospital-laying wife and asked for a divorce because she just didn’t do it for him anymore. Besides he was sticking it to someone else and really wanted to marry her, ya know being the family values type and all.

That someone was 23 years younger than Newt and a Congressional staffer, oh my!  All of this happening at the same time Newt led the investigation into President Clinton.  Now I don’t personally care what Clinton did in the Oval office.  Heck, the country was hummin’ along ;) yeah, he lied, so what?  What politician doesn’t?  But Newt, after cheating on wife two with now wife three, to say G-d has forgiven me and so should you?  Ahem…I think not.  I think he needs to sidle right up to Bill and Hillary and ask for forgiveness.  You know, make amends.  Then it should be up to the Clintons to decide if he gets a mulligan.

Newt quit his position in the House after a government shutdown and Republicans made a horrible showing in the 1998 elections.  Not unlike another high-powered Republican leaving a high-powered position who we’ve yet to hear may also make a run in 2012.  They really are the cut and run party.  I hate that saying, but it really works here.

But Newt’s one of those types that went to rehab or went to G-d and saw the light.  He knows he can do a better job than the suddenly upright Obama.  He says Obama’s got it all wrong, he’s the “Food Stamp President” and to blame for all that is not holy.

Newt says he found G-d after seeing the Pope and seeing the peace that exuded from him.  Well Newt, the Pope’s never done it.  Shouldn’t you be way more peaceful than the Pope given how many women you’ve had?  While we’re on the subject, what’s wrong with your wife? She looks so frightened.  Is it me or does she look more plastic than Cindy McCain and Nancy Pelosi all rolled up into one. Newt might want to take a step back for a minute and meditate like Mike Huckabee who just said his heart said no even though his many followers said yes to a 2012 run.

Not as salacious, but just as damning, Newt was embroiled in a nasty ethics scandal which some say was the reason he finally stepped down.  He apparently misused election funds to help sweep Republicans into the majority in 1998 and was fined a stealthy 300-grand.  At the time he was going to borrow the cash from Bob Dole, but then turned up the cash.

Newt was also one of several members of the House involved in “Rubbergate” where the House Bank allowed Legislators to keep overdrawn bank accounts.   And this guy thinks he can bring the economy back from a banking scandal?

Over the weekend Newt said Congressman Paul Ryan had the budget bill all wrong and that his healthcare mandate and changes to Medicare were wrong for America.  When he was called out by his own party, he blamed the “Elite Media”.  Sounds awfully like another Cut and Runner Repub.

And all of this so easily investigated through Googling Newt’s name by a lil’ radio reporter here in Montana… Far from elite.

by jhwygirl

Spend a day out and about, and all kinds of things happening.

Looks like President Clinton pulled off an impressive feat considering all the efforts that have been undertaken to attempt to free U.S. journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

From President Clinton spokesman (and Missoulian Bozemanite) Matt McKenna:

President Clinton has safely left North Korea with Laura Ling and Euna Lee. They are en route to Los Angeles where Laura and Euna will be reunited with their families.

by Pete Talbot

The polls close in South Dakota at 7 p.m. (that’s 6 p.m. Montana time). Our polls stay open until 8 p.m.

Montana has the final word in this country’s presidential primary election season.

Montana is rivaled only by Iowa and New Hampshire in the number of visits by presidential candidates and their retinues. Are we becoming jaded?

Overheard at the Missoula Club Saturday night:

“Who’s that guy down at the end of the bar?”

“Oh, that’s just Bill Clinton.”

Not really but you get my drift. In all seriousness, this is Montana politics at its best. Bill really was at the Club, as reported in the Missoulian, and it was good old-fashioned Butte politics — he bought a round of shots for the bar.*

Montana, which is usually considered a wasteland on the national political scene, will be sending a final message to the rest of the country: here’s who we think will be the best (Democratic) presidential candidate.

If Obama beats Clinton by 20 points, as predicted, it sort of puts the race issue to bed. I mean, it doesn’t get much whiter than Montana.

(The exception to this is the Montana Indian vote and both campaigns have worked Indian Country. Obama has the edge with Indian leadership, but Clinton has some strong support from a few influential, elected Indian officials. Reservation numbers will be worth watching.)

If Hillary can make a run at Barack’s lead and pick up more delegates than expected here in Montana, she’ll have additional ammunition to keep her plugging away right up to the convention.

All eyes are on Montana.

State and county

There are some great Democratic primary contests in Montana and Missoula. Statewide, there’s a race for Montana’s lone U.S. House of Representatives seat, a contested governors race, a three-way attorney general race, four-way superintendent of public instruction contest, a PSC race in Eastern Montana, and a herd of legislative contests.

In Missoula of interest: the Rosie Buzzas/Ron Erickson Senate District 47 race, the House District 100 primary between Gary Brown and Willis Curdy, and a couple of races where sitting legislators are being challenged (incumbent Michele Reinhart v. James Boone in HD 97, and incumbent Tim Furey against Dustin Hankinson in HD 91).

And we have an important Missoula County Commissioner race with three in the Democratic primary: Dennis Daneke, Jeff Patterson and Michele Landquist.

Out of the area but close to our hearts is the Helena primary between Christine Kaufmann and Hal Jacobson (SD 41), and Paul Clark and Judy Stang (SD 7, which is made up of a huge slice of Western Montana).

We’ll be there

I, and I hope, others will be posting returns and comments on election night. There are events planned for Obama (the Wilma Theater), a Forward Montana gig at the Badlander, election returns at the courthouse, happenings at the Union and Missoula Clubs, and the Clinton camp is doing something at the Shack.  Not sure where the Republicans are gathering (yawn).

New voters will be turning out in huge numbers. On the coattails of the presidential primary, and with the incumbent governor and senator looking unbeatable, and with many strong down-ticket races — it doesn’t get much better than this for Montana Democrats.

*(A correction on Page Two of Tuesday’s Missoulian has the Mo’ Club picking up the round, not Bill Clinton. Darn.)

by Pete Talbot

In Montana, the Clinton campaign coaches are doing a better job than Obama’s. This is not an endorsement, just a fact.

There are a number of reasons for this and I’ll mention a couple here.

1) Messaging. Now, I can’t remember hearing a more dynamic speaker than Sen. Obama (Bill Clinton is close) but when it comes to Montana-centric prose, both Clintons have Obama beat. Check this Bill Clinton snippet out, as reported by the Missoulian:

“When I was president in 1995, the University of Montana won a national football championship,” Clinton said. “And I called the team to congratulate them. And I thought you might be interested to know or remember that one was won with a fourth-quarter comeback engineered by a quarterback named Dave Dickenson – and the game was won in West Virginia.

“Hillary won last night in West Virginia by 41 points,” he said to a cheering crowd. “I think it’s worth noting that no one has won the White House without carrying West Virginia since 1916.”

Mention the Montana Grizzly football championship and Dave Dickenson to a Missoula crowd and then tie in the West Virginia primary win — sheer genius.

There’s also this account of Bill Clinton in Billings from Dave Crisp at the Billings Blog:

“The guy is a master. He started by talking about his last visit to Billings, including the name of the horse he rode when he was here (“Phirepower”) and his visit to the Kit-Kat Cafe. He even knew that the Kit-Kat was no longer around — a tribute to great staff work, or a great memory, or both.”

Obama’s main reference to Montana was that he might try a little fly fishing. Not a whole lot of research done there. Hillary, on the other hand, spoke of Jeanette Rankin and acknowledged current Montana women in politics, like Carol Williams and Dorothy Bradley and Carol Juneau, etc., etc.

And here’s an email I just received from the Clinton campaign:

“Team Hillary will pass out stickers and candy along the Bucking Horse Sale Parade in Miles City this weekend. All participants will go home with limited edition “Team Hillary” courtesy of the campaign.”

Now I don’t think “Team Hillary” actually includes Hillary but still, the Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City? Man, you can’t get much more Montanan than that.

2) The Williams family. There are few Democratic families in Montana that garner as much respect or are as well connected. Pat, Carol and daughters have all been active in the Clinton campaign, and they’ve brought a number of other influential folks into the fold. I have a feeling that the Williams’ insights into campaigning in Montana (and the insights from people that they brought to the campaign) have been picked up by the Clinton camp.

Is Barack slacking in Big Sky Country? Not really. Obama is starting to campaign as if the nomination is already his, which is good strategy.

The stakes are definitely higher for Ms. Clinton. There is no recent polling in Montana for the candidates but the pundits are giving the nod to Obama, so a win for Clinton would be huge. Our June 3 primary will tell us if Hillary’s messaging efforts pay off.

UPDATE: The above piece was edited substantially, by me, from the original post. The original headline was, “In Montana, Clinton is better organized” and the first sentence read, “Hillary Clinton’s field organization in Montana is doing a better job than Sen. Barack Obama’s.”

Well, I took some hits on this, and rightfully so — although I don’t agree with all the criticism and stand by my premise that the folks prepping the Clintons are doing a better job. But it was unfair of me to paint the entire Obama field organization as being behind the curve. I appreciate everyone’s comments.

President Bill Clinton will be at the Adams Center West Auxiliary Gym on the University of Montana campus at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, May 14.

Information on his visit to Kalispell was posted here.

by Pete Talbot

Apparently, Sen. Hillary Clinton is in it for the long haul. Why else would President Bill Clinton be touring Montana, again?

We don’t have all the details — especially on the Missoula event, although it’s slated for Wednesday morning, May 14. From a press release, here’s what we know about the evening gig in Kalispell:

” … President Clinton will be hosting a “Solutions for America” event tomorrow (Tuesday, May 13) in Kalispell. Please join us for the President’s third trip to Montana. The event will be held outdoors at the Blake Hall Arboretum at Flathead Valley Community College, doors opening at 7:30 p.m.”

Hope it doesn’t snow. 4&20 will update you with the specifics, including additional venues, as soon as we know.

by Pete Talbot

The Montana progressive blogosphere is abuzz with Obama/Clinton analysis, opinion and prophesy, and rightly so. Montana’s Democratic primary is the biggest political thing to happen in Big Sky Country since Sen. Jon Tester took out Sen. Conrad Burns in 2006, effectively putting the U.S. Senate in Democratic hands.

For the moment, though, I have just two questions: Where’s Barack, besides Butte on April 5, and why isn’t Billings on any of the candidates’ itineraries?

I’m sure Obama’s advisors have a strategy for Montana but they’re not tipping their hand. The Clintons, however, are taking Montana seriously — with Bill’s April Fools tour to Havre, Great Falls, Helena and Butte, and Hillary in Butte on April 5 and Missoula on April 6.

Some say that with a little over two months until our primary, there’s still plenty of time for Obama to tour Montana. You’d think, though, that since he’s already in Butte that a quick trip to Missoula or maybe the MSU campus in Bozeman or somewhere else …

Which brings me to the next question: Why aren’t either of the candidates hitting Billings? Left in the West’s Matt Singer, in a comment over at Montana Netroots, blames it on geography. Billings is just too far away from the I-15 Great Falls/Helena/Butte loop. Could be, but Billings seems like the perfect city for a Clinton visit with its more moderate Democratic base and blue-collar roots. And it is, after all, Montana’s largest city with the second highest number of voting Democrats, after Missoula. As a matter of fact, if you go by the Montana S.O.S. numbers for the 2006 primary, a mere 210 more Democrats voted in Missoula than in Billings.

So, you pundits and prognosticators, where’s Barack and why not Billings?

P.S. I linked to a couple of Obama/Clinton posts in a paragraph above. For more, you can go to the center column of this site and click on almost any of the Mountain Blogs listed for additional commentary, from both the left and the right. For April Fools’ Day, I particularly liked this post over at Piece of Mind.

by Jay Stevens 

James Carville has been in the news lately for attacking DNC chair Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy. It was a sort of foolish move. Chris Bowers has an excellent post about the brouhaha – or lack of one – and how Carville’s attempt to smear Dean may have been a bald try to make himself and his consultant kind still relevant in the face of a growing grassroots and locally based Democratic movement:

Carville and Begala generally represent an older tactical vision for the Democratic Party. This was a vision that was dominant from 1988-2004, when Democrats heavily employed triangulation, focused almost entirely on the narrow targeting of a few “swing” districts and demographics, and when television advertisements and repetitious talking points aimed mushy-middle, low information voters where the primary tools utilized in all national Democratic campaigns. Wealthy donors and high-level consultants liked that strategy because it kept money flowing to the latter in the form of hefty commissions, and because it kept Democratic policy where the former would like it to be. Most state parties and progressive activists hated that strategy because it basically dictacted that their electoral concerns were either not important, or something that the Democratic Party needed to actively distance itself from. Whatever ideological differences there may or may not be between the two feuding camps, ultimately their dispute is grounded in a difference in tactical vision: narrow targeting versus the fifty-state strategy.

Basically Dean’s 50-state strategy has given the “power” to local activists and state party chairs, which means less attention and money flowing to the DC-insider consultants. That is, Carville and the like.

So imagine my joy to finally get The War Room delivered by Netflix to my door this week. I could watch the film and candidacy that propelled Carville (and to a lesser extent, George Stephanopoulos) into the limelight.

From today’s perspective, the film is hardly revolutionary. There have been a number of other campaign documentaries, and the youthful vigor so prominently displayed in the film almost seems like a cliché, because the quick-talking spin-master and the operations room seems so common in campaigns now. There’s not much substance here, either. As Bowers wrote, Carville and the gang worked incessantly on superficial spin, targeted “swing” districts, and used television advertising to win. In effect they exploited mass media.

Consider this: Carville’s legacy is his strategic haiku that’s still in part mouthed by politicos everywhere:

Change vs. more of the same.
The economy, stupid.
Don’t forget health care.

That’s it. That’s Carville’s “genius.” Boil down the campaign into these simple words and bring everything back to them. It works, yes, but it’s the same type of genius responsible for pulpless orange juice.

But the thing that makes the movie is Carville’s personality. He shines in the flick. He’s indefatigable, earnest, saucy, and sentimental. He’s got this way of trashing someone in a playful way that says, “hey, we’re all friends here,” and allows him to say outrageous things without suffering repercussion. Because after all, he’s working for Bill Clinton and is pressed to spin an unending stream of scandals, notably in The War Room, Gennifer Flowers on the eve of the New Hampshire primary.

And the striking thing about Carville’s performance is the genuine emotion he put into this campaign. I was moved by his dedication to the ideals Clinton stood for. Here’s the review from the New York Times describing it:

Mr. Carville’s distinctive brand of Southern charm emerges equally clearly. “The country’s goin’ el busto,” he says flatly. “Fix it. If you can’t, get out of the way.” Since both he and Mr. Stephanopoulos appear to believe in that sentiment fervently, their strategy sessions are seen to go beyond the cynicism and dirty tricks associated with too many political campaigns. Confronted with the specter of Gennifer Flowers, Mr. Carville speaks fiercely to a small group of campaign workers in New England, telling them that if they let Mr. Clinton sink under the weight of such a story, they will be giving up their own hopes of changing the political process. That same motif is heard throughout the film, most movingly as a tearful Mr. Carville thanks his staff on election eve.

In an interview with Frontline, Carville reveals that he suffered personally more than the film cameras showed:

You write in your book that, on the morning of January 26, you woke up in the middle of the night sobbing uncontrollably. Why?

That was the morning of the 60 Minutes interview. I was 40 at the time. I’m 47 years old. I had reached almost the pinnacle of my career in political consulting. I was a guy that mattered in a presidential campaign. I had been sleeping on floors and running statewide campaigns — and it came down to the sex interview being the biggest event in the campaign. . . . And I didn’t know which way it was going to go. I was tired and I was scared. I was scared for the people I was working with, and I was scared for myself. . . . It was fatigue, it was fear, and it was like, God, is this what I’ve worked all of this for? Did I come this far to get to this? So I just kind of lost it; I just got emotional (laughs).

It’s interesting to note that this emotional outburst – the “60 Minutes” interview Carville mentions here is the one the Clintons candidly discuss his marital infidelities – is the outcome of Clinton’s candidacy, and ideals and hopes behind it, resting on the outcome of a sex scandal and Carville’s frustration with that fact.

That’s what the film shows: Carville is genuinely believes in Clinton and what he represented for America. Take this question from the Frontline interview concerning the Starr investigation and Clinton’s eventual impeachment proceedings:

A few hours before the election, when the governor was sure he was going to win, Ted Koppel interviewed the Clintons. In that interview, Mr. Clinton says, “I’m going to keep this zone of privacy, even as president.” Was that a naïve view at the time?

Frankly and honestly, yes. When you run for president, and become president, they just rip you apart. Every facade of privacy that you have is gone. I think everybody believes that, to some extent, you can maintain privacy. And I think in the end, everybody gets proven wrong. . . .

She was distraught. She said that things were dark. . . . And she said, “I don’t know how we are going to get through this. Can you help me?” And I said, “Damn right I can help you.” And then they start . . . railroading the whole thing. It was just another railroad job, over nothing more than a grown man acting stupid with a young woman and not wanting nobody to find out about it.

Investigating everything, FBI agents all over the place, squeezing people. You know something that has never been pointed out? In the last 78 indictments that Ken Starr handed down, he never got one conviction. Not one. Zero for 78.

. . . They were mustering people to vote for impeachment like it was going out of style. They politicized this thing to no end. They wanted to make it political? Fine. I’d be glad to jump in to a political fight with them. . . . This thing will never ever go away from me. Never, ever. This is one of the great injustices that has ever taken place. And I wasn’t coy about it. I didn’t try to hide it or anything else. I wrote a whole book about it.

The movie brings this out, starkly, that Carville believes in this campaign deeply, and that it represents hopeful opposition to the “sleazy cabal” of Republicans who operate on behalf of the wealthy against the working poor and the everyday American. And in his answers on the Lewinsky affair, it’s obvious he takes the attacks on his former boss seriously and personally and that it’s more than just a political battle here.

Combine that desire for revenge with Carville’s own deification after the Clinton win in 1992 — it was Stephanopoulos who said Carville would “pass from a regular human being into a hero” as a result of the campaign — and maybe what we’re seeing isn’t bald self-interest as it is hubris. The man still believes he’s a miracle worker, he still believes he’s the superstar activist of the Democratic party, and he’s loath to give up his say and miss his chance at sticking it to those that attacked Clinton and the country.

But lastly, and most of all, I recognized the emotions I recently experienced in the Montana Senate race: exhaustion, giddiness, calculated coldness, exhaltation and despair, and hope.

Carville to the campaign volunteers: “Outside of love, the most precious thing you can give of yourself is your labor…you people showed you could be trusted.”




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