Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’ Category

by jhwygirl

Don Brown in a landowner near Fort Peck who will be directly affected by the proposed KeystoneXL pipeline. He’s been a vocal opponent to the Keystone XL pipeline since early on. He’s criticized Max Baucus’s attempts at circumventing legal process for the pipeline, and more recently, he signed a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama that included signature of affected landowners in 5 states.

Keystone XL pipeline will utilized eminent domain to obtain the land this Canadian company needs to transport its Athabasca tar sand oil from Canada across the State of Montana and down to Texas.

This weekend Don Brown asks Montanans whether this pipeline is in our national interests. I ask whether it is in Montana’s:

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and President Barack Obama have a decision to make soon — whether TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline is in the “national interest.”
As a landowner along the route who has much to lose when this pipeline comes through, I hope that our decision-makers are absolutely clear about whether this pipeline is in the national interest when it is permitted, but I think there are questions that still haven’t been answered.
Since TransCanada is a foreign corporation, is this pipeline in the national interest? Since this pipeline goes to a port on the Gulf Coast, and they already have a pipeline going to a refinery in Illinois (Keystone I pipeline), that would lead me to believe they plan on exporting the product carried on the Keystone XL. Is that in the national interest? And tar sands, which Keystone XL is going to be carrying, are especially corrosive, and the Keystone I pipeline has already had 14 leaks in about a year of operation — is that in our national Interest?
Should we just be the nation where the pipe crosses, potentially with leaks, en route from one foreign country to another? Is that in our national interest?

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…

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 LesleyLotto

3 years ago Senator Barack Obama was little known by most people.  He was a U.S. Senator from Illinois who gave a kick-ass speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention, so Hillary Clinton told us.  I was comfortably on the John Edwards bus back then, that face, that message, the hair.  Be still my bleeding, liberal heart.  Hillary was shrill and arrogant with her “It’s 3 A-M” message.  And who remembers the other 9 candidates in the Democratic Party anyway.  But who’s this Barack Obama?  What do we know about him after all?  What audacity he has thinking that after only 2 years-ish in office he could become President of the United States (POTUS).  I always kind of admired John McCain as the Maverick, you know – the guy from the Republican party who walked the talk.  Mitt Romney looked like he was a waffler before we knew he was a waffler.  C’mon, who admits they hunt grouse as a sport anyway?  Mike Huckabee, likable enough, but a tad too Christian for this Jew. I literally forgot all of the other candidates because they were so dull.  Well John Edwards turned out to be a big fat lying disappointment that the National Enquirer outed for sexing it up with, well, words cannot express.  Hillary Clinton – still shrill, now add lying to that, and her husband, oh Bill, really, where to begin.  Then there’s the Maverick, who’s not a Maverick anymore, he’s a meandering, near-senile man hanging onto his glory days that he can barely remember, who slides in a Vice Presidential candidate, a hot mess of a woman, nobody know,s but we all want to take to bed with a nice tourniquet outfitted snugly around her mouth.  Maybe even camouflage in color?  Barack Obama came out of nowhere, with the “Hope”, the “Change”, and the “Yes We Can”.  But still, we know nothing about him.  Where was he born with that name?  And so it begins…

After McCain imploded in 2008 during the worst economic crisis in modern history, Obama slid into victory.  The first Black man to be elected to the highest office in the land.  Tears flowed freely around the world when he was elected.  But then he took office and his first order of business as POTUS was to put together a decent administration (slim pickins round here, might as well find me some old Clinton hangerson),  create jobs and fix the reputation of the United States, which had been so badly tarnished by the administration before. And oh yeah, maybe fix the economy while you’re at it.  The first few little bits of business were okay, passing some equal pay legislation, which has done exactly nothing, passing a massive Healthcare Reform Bill and another Bailout or two for whoever cares to further screw with our economy and announce the closure of the notorious Guantanamo Bay Prison.  Little did poor POTUS know the mean ol’ Republican party would stand at every door putting their palm up to anything remotely  Bi-partisan while crying “Oh, No you di-n’t”.  They also cried, wait, “where were you born again”? or “No, the American people didn’t vote for THAT kind of change”.  The Liberals were also crying, what happened to Single Payer Health Insurance, what happened to my 401k, what happened to the war in Iraq, wait, what, you’re putting more troops in Afghanistan? Then all the independents and liberals ran screaming from the room and took another look at the Republicans, maybe they’re not so bad or maybe they just plugged their noses and voted them back in to take the ever-incompetent, weenie of a Democratic party off their throne in the House of Reps.

What’s a poor liberal to do?  The mean ol’ Republicans are creating (well not really creating, but fomenting) a frustrating, lying, cheating, brickwall of a party who are doing exactly nothing for the American people and the POTUS seems to be cowering in the corner, shivering under the mist of I told you so’s.  Time to bring in David Plouffe to save the day!  He’ll make the President’s message more Badass.   But Plouffe doesn’t do that at all, he hides in the corner with the POTUS devising a plan to walk tall and maintain his lackluster ratings.  Hey, at least they didn’t fall to where “W” was when he left office.  Some of those way over on the left were already holding caucuses to find a contender to run against Obama in 2012, then it happened, something to really make them bleed, ANOTHER war.  Oh my!  After several uprisings in the Middle East, the attacks on civilians, the murder and public rape of journalists and the toppling of a leader or two, the POTUS does the unfathomable, he jumps into a war with Libya, but claims we’re not at war, really.  The blood-thirsty leader of that country now has a rag-tag team of “Rebels” fighting against him and they’re not so far removed from the 2002 “insurgents” in Iraq.  John McCain calls the Rebels his heroes and all is right in the world.  So POTUS with his big, bad multi-kazillion dollar army blasts into Libya to oust Colonel Ghaddafi, but only for two days, “then we’re gone”.  All the while the Republicans, while weeks earlier chided the President for not intervening in Libya, now complain, it’s too late, and oh my yes, “where’s that birth certificate?”.

Then walks in the savior for an entire country, the host of an NBC Reality Show who says, he’ll be the best damn president this country has ever seen, says he too wants to see that missing birth certificate and oh wait, does anybody have a comb?  He spouts off all kinds of foreign policy expertise like he once talked to the Colonel in Libya about a real estate deal on a 6 bedroom tent.

Meanwhile the country people are sufficiently confused because a majority of them say they might just vote for the Reality Show star instead of Mr. Hope and Change.  Then it happens, out of nowhere the President pulls his “long-form” birth certificate out from under his hat, swoops into Libya and kills the Colonel’s son and 3 grandchildren, visits the Tornado decimated south, delivers a hilarious speech at this years “Geek Prom” that makes the Reality Star’s crazy comb-over hair blow back onto his wife’s botoxed forehead with a grin, then coolly let’s his people know the most notorious terrorist the world has probably ever known has been murdered on his order, following his death plan, WAIT, WHAAAA? Back up, yo!

I’m still happily back in March wondering why I voted for this guy when all of the sudden his Hope and Change steel balls descend and the angels start singing and the butterflies of spring are flying and I’m all slathered up in his Hope and Change juice again. Then the POTUS sends an email to all important News organizations who still deliver fair, accurate, truthful, objective and impartial news telling them to get to work and not to worry about the who, what, where, when and why.  His balls descend further as he interrupts the Reality Star’s Show to make the Steel Bally announcement that Osama Bin Laden has been killed.  A picture surfaces of the bloody room where the dirty deed happened and another of the POTUS and his National Security team where Obama’s determined and Hillary looks like she might puke (it might have been about 3 A-M in Pakistan when it all ended Ms. Clinton ;)).  The Republicans limply praise our leader’s moves, then go on Fox News demanding pictures and death certificates and videos and first borns and pieces of helicopters and DNA samples.

But after all he’s been through in this one silly weekend, the POTUS maintains the cool character that is he and of which we’ve been disdaining and tells them all to go back to work before he sends the newly minted head of the Democratic Party Debbie Wasserman-Schultz down to ruin their 2012 dreams.  So I admit I’ve been waffling, but now “I’m In”.  My President’s badass.

by Pete Talbot

At the Democratic state delegate convention in Helena last Sunday, I didn’t get elected to go to Denver to represent Barack Obama. This is a good thing.

Montana Obama delegates going to the national convention were basically new faces to the party — mostly young, and included an African American and two Native Americans.

(For the delegate names, counties and which candidate they’re representing in Denver, go to Charles Johnson’s succinct piece here. But for a more personal perspective on the convention, read on.)

When I first started going to conventions like this over a dozen years ago I could hear folks whispering, “Who’s that young guy over there?” I’d look around to discover that they were talking about me. I was in my early forties at the time. If I’m the “youngster,” what does that make the rest of the party faithful?

Frankly, this was worrisome. Where are all the young people? This does not bode well for the party.

But this latest convention gave me hope. I may not be going to Denver but there is a slew of new Democrats going in my stead. These are the youngsters who got excited about Obama and knocked doors in Montana neighborhoods, made phone calls and did data entry at the various campaign offices around the state. They showed up en masse at the convention and voted for their friends and co-workers.

So, an old, white guy like me didn’t make the cut, which is just fine.

(Jay, over at LiTW, has an excellent take on the Clinton delegation.)

by Pete Talbot

One woman showed up sporting a newly inked Obama tattoo on her arm. She was one of many folks running for a delegate slot at the Missoula County Democratic Convention on Thursday night. Those who were elected at the county convention will be in Helena on Sunday to decide delegates for the national convention in Denver.

It used to be that Missoula couldn’t field enough delegates to go to the state convention. The local party could muster maybe nine or ten out of the twenty or so positions allocated to the county. Last night, roughly forty people battled for twenty spots to represent Barack Obama in Helena.

Hillary Clinton supporters were there, too. Ten delegates from Missoula will represent Clinton at the state convention.

Seventeen seats are up for grabs at the convention in Helena. (Montana will be sending a total of 25 delegates to Denver but eight are super delegates — folks like Schweitzer, Baucus, Melcher, etc.).

There wasn’t any media there last night that I noticed, which is too bad because it was a raucous caucus. All kinds of people were there pitching themselves for a chance to go to Helena and then, maybe, Denver.

I haven’t seen this kind of energy in the Montana Democratic Party in the nearly 20 years that I’ve been active in this state’s political scene.

by Jay Stevens

As always, Digby nails it:

As to what happens next, you all know that I believe this is the Democrats’ year and I think that as soon as everyone licks their wounds and takes a little rest and, more importantly, sees what the Republicans are going to unleash on Obama and the Democratic party, we will all make our way back together. As I wrote the other night, I think both of the leaders need to do their part to make that happen, and I expect they will, for both personal and political reasons.

Finally, whoever you supported in this race and however your feel about the candidates, there still remains the problem of our sick, sick political media and that’s something that the blogosphere — as alternative media — need to sort through. I know that many of you have felt that this campaign’s coverage wasn’t as bad as I have painted it. But I think that when we look back on this we will see that it was yet another disgraceful performance on the part of our mainstream media (and, alas, our “liberal” media as well.) There is a lot to be written about that and I’m hopeful we can all look at this with clear eyes once we take a breather.

Clinton will officially suspend the campaign on Friday, (which is perfectly in keeping with the usual timing of these things contrary to the gasbags’ ahistorical and overwrought blathering of last night.) We will see what the Republicans have in store for us. And maybe we can start behaving like ourselves again. Family fights are always painful, but they are usually easily healed as well. Here’s to the end of the Long March of 2008. It’s been real.

by Pete Talbot

Here’s a new election strategy: don’t campaign. It worked for John Driscoll, who raised no money and did no campaigning and beat odds-on favorite Jim Hunt in the Democratic primary for the U.S. House.

Then there’s the Bob Kelleher win in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Granted, Kelleher did some campaigning (I saw a couple newspaper ads) but still, that had to send shock waves through the Montana Republican establishment. Bob Kelleher! He has run for almost every elected office under almost every conceivable party banner. And check out those eyebrows.

Closer to home, the Missoula County Commissioner race isn’t over yet. Dennis Daneke is ahead by four votes. He campaigned hard. The third place finisher, Jeff Patterson, also campaigned. But I saw nothing from the second place finisher, Michele Landquist — and she could be the winner after the final canvass next Tuesday.

You can go here for Missoula County results and here for the statewide totals.

A couple of other surprises, for me anyway: I thought Mike Wheat would take the attorney general Democratic primary. But Steve Bullock won it with around 9000 more votes, statewide.

In Senate District 7, Democratic candidate Paul Clark went to bed trailing Judy Stang. In the morning, though, he was up by 166 votes and will face Greg Hinkle in the general.

Some folks were surprised that Willis Curdy, a high school teacher and Democratic candidate in House District 100, lost to Gary Brown. Brown did a serious get-out-the-vote effort in the final days of the campaign to win 722-654.

Not as surprising was Denise Juneau’s strong finish. She beat her closest rival, Holly Raser, in Raser’s home county of Missoula (by only 140 votes, but still … ). Statewide Juneau received 18,130 more votes than Raser.

The Republicans stayed away in droves. My unofficial statewide count is 181,906 Democrats casting ballots and 95,252 Republicans.

Did Republicans cross over to vote in the Democratic primary? Local blogger Andy Hammond, at Rush Limbaugh’s request, was urging Republicans to do just that and to vote to keep Hillary Clinton running as long as possible so the the Democratic Party would stay splintered and in disarray. Since Barack Obama beat Clinton 102,544 to 75,053 statewide (16,423 to 8084 in Missoula County), I guess that strategy didn’t work.

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 Rebecca Schmitz

NOT!

When I turned on my computer 30 minutes ago, I was greeted with this:

Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign officials said, effectively ending her bid to be the nation’s first female president.

Somehow, even in my bleary-eyed just-woken-up state of being, I didn’t think it would be that simple.

by jhwygirl

Boy, the events keep coming! One week before our primary, I hope we can keep up with them all!

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has announced visits to Pablo and Billings for Tuesday, May 27th. First, Clinton will speak at the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., and the Senator is expected to speak sometime around 3:30 p.m. The event is entitled “Solutions for America”, and the town hall-style meeting will be held in front of Darcy McNickle Library, at the intersection of Division Street and U.S. Highway 93 North.

Later, in Billings, Clinton will speak in The Magic City at the Heritage Building in Metra Park. Doors open at 6 p.m.

by jhwygirl

Andrea Palm, Senior Health Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton is coming to town for a special Progressive Happy Hour, sponsored by Forward Montana.

Reforming our Health Care System is this coming Thursday at the Badlander. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5, and the presentation by Ms. Palm begins at 5:30.

Palm serves on Clinton’s senate staff, and Senator Clinton sits on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. Palm handles the Senator’s health committee work as well as her health agenda more broadly.

This is a pretty darn unique opportunity to discuss reforming our healthcare system with a top political expert in the field.

For more information on the event, click on the Forward Montana link, above. For more specifics on Clinton’s healthcare proposal, click this.

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.

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

(CLARIFICATION: The Miles City event on July 25 is the platform convention.  The delegate selection convention is on Sunday, June 8 in Helena.)

This summer, Montana Democrats will be holding their convention in Miles City. The Republican’s convention is here in Missoula. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Now, I appreciate doing outreach to the disenfranchised voters by holding conventions in disparate locations but with gas prices the way they are, there’s going to be some pricey cross-country driving for the GOP and Democratic faithful.

Anyway, each party will be picking delegates to go to the national conventions later in the summer. I don’t know about the Republicans but there’s going to be more competition than usual for the 16 Democratic delegate slots. First, the national convention is in Denver, which is close to home, for a change. Second, once we get this pesky little nominee situation settled, it should be a rockin’ good convention.

Which half?

Speaking of delegates, Clinton has a slight lead over Obama in the national super delegate category, 274.5-271. How do you get half a delegate? And which half is it — the left or right, or top or bottom?

Nooney, again

Republican candidate for HD 100, Bill Nooney, had a guest opinion piece in last Sunday’s Missoulian. He’s advocating for a Medicare/Medicaid program that helps seniors and others, and is about to be phased out. Funny, though, when Nooney was in the legislature last session he voted against setting up a trust fund for Montana’s Aging Services. He also voted against expanding CHIP, the children’s health insurance program.

Maybe he’s practicing a little of that compassionate conservatism that the Republicans are so famous for. Nooney needs to look better in the eyes of his constituency. His voting record on his district’s interests was horrendous. He’ll have some stiff competition from whichever Democrat makes it through the primary — both Gary Brown and Willis Curdy are raising money and hitting the doors.

by Rebecca Schmitz

Hey, I’m bitter. As if the existence of this manufactured controversy wasn’t enough, now we’ve got local politicians using it to play a little CYA. It’s irritating to be told how to feel about Obama’s comments. It’s even more irritating to watch fellow Democrats take a page out of the Republican play book of division, derision and fear.

[Bill] Kennedy said. “Senator Obama showed a real disconnect with rural Montana. It might work to look down on us from San Francisco, but it won’t sell when he comes back to Montana.”

Who can blame Bill? He was only taking a cue from the ringmaster of this three-ring media circus.

Clinton, at an event before the Alliance for Manufacturing Forum in Pittsburgh, noted that “I am well aware that at a fundraiser in San Francisco, he said some things that many people in Pennsylvania and beyond Pennsylvania have found offensive…”

Excuse me, Hillary? As that SF Gate article correctly noted, San Francisco in politico-speak is usually code for homosexuals and environmentalists and single mothers and peace activists and all the other liberal bogeymen Republicans use to scare up votes. I’m sure John McBush will be using the code come this autumn; I expect this kind of behavior from the GOP. However, I sure as hell don’t expect it from MY candidate. I don’t want a Democrat who plays the divide-and-conquer game just like a Republican. Why on earth would I vote for someone who sounds just like professional gasbag and former Dick Cheney employee Mary Matalin?

What he said accurately reflects the current Democratic Party. It’s more affluent. It’s more liberal. That’s the way it’s moving. He was saying it to San Francisco Democrats, rich San Francisco Democrats…

Mary’s wrong, as usual. Thanks to politicians who encourage fear and hysteria, the party will be moving in another direction, one that attracts people like this guy:

“I’m pro-life, pro-family, pro-seal-the-borders,” King said. “I think we need to stop the pork in Washington; and I stand for family issues like traditional family, not all these kinky things on the outside.”

Scapegoats. Politicians use them to pander to voters. Some politicians use guns and religion. Some, like Ravalli County Republican precinct chairman Bruce King up there, use anyone having better sex. Bill Kennedy and Hillary Clinton? Well, they use their fellow Democrats.

by Pete Talbot

Here’s the New York Times’ take on the Mansfield-Metcalf dinner in Butte. I wasn’t there but it seems to mirror the impressions that folks in Missoula have about the speeches and campaigns that the candidates brought to the Garden City. (Hat tip to Juniper.)

by Pete Talbot

The audiences were vastly different: in size, age and gender. The message, though tailored to different crowds, had a common thread.

I saw Sen. Obama at the field house in Missoula and the next day, Sen. Clinton at a fundraiser at the Hilton Garden Inn. The Clinton event didn’t get much media coverage so let me report on that.*

The crowd numbered about 400, was well-dressed and women outnumbered men by about three to one. It was an older audience than at the field house, but if you figured in all the daughters and granddaughters sitting at the tables, maybe not that much older. Clinton spoke for about 20 minutes as opposed to Obama’s 50.

The people were quite supportive and enthusiastic; after all, most had paid between $250 and $1000 to attend. This was a dedicated group. One woman at our table had gotten off work at 2 a.m. in Lewistown, Montana, slept two hours and then drove for five hours to be at this event.

Another woman sitting next to me at the brunch, who said she was leaning toward Obama, nevertheless commented that the Obama event the previous day had been dominated by males: introduced by men, staffed by men … as a matter of fact everyone on the stage that morning had been a man.

I spotted many women in the audience who have worked hard for Montana: State Sens. Carol Williams and Carol Juneau, former gubernatorial candidate Dorothy Bradley, Reps. Teresa Henry and Diane Sands, to name a few.

And I was more impressed with Ms. Clinton than I thought I would be. Here’s why:

Her comments were much more Montana oriented. She spoke about rural economies and rural health care. She talked about her husband’s recent tour of Montana. She referenced Indian Country several times.

She was sharp, engaging and discussed her campaign strategy. She talked about her experience and about uniting the party after the convention. She spoke on how the work of Martin Luther King allowed Barack Obama and herself the opportunity to run for the highest office in the land.

But most of all, she shook my eight-year-old granddaughter Grace’s hand and signed her poster and inspired within her the possibility that some day Grace, too, could be the president of the United States.

I hope that this is the same inspiration that African-Americans feel when they see and listen to Barack Obama.

But Sunday morning was a Montana celebration of the first woman to have any sort of a real shot at the presidency.

*(You can go many places for Obama pieces. Start here, here and here, and then go surfing. The only other story I’ve seen about the Clinton brunch is a Daily Kos piece that takes a different perspective but also offers some similar insights.)

by Rebecca Schmitz

Okay, so while I’m downloading 139 photos (130 of which will probably be blurry) and a movie of yesterday’s events from my digital camera, I wanted to share something from the Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner: no one cares about Max Baucus.

That might be an exaggeration, but anyone paying attention to the audience couldn’t have thought otherwise. Cece–jhwygirl and I sat with her, Shane, and their families–live blogged about the crowd’s ho-hum reaction to his speech. Just like in the Adams Center people were enthralled with Obama. They were enthusiastic (if slightly less energetic due to the wine, beer and length of the program) for Hillary, and very friendly to Tester, Schweitzer and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. But Max? During his time at the podium, people stepped outside for a smoke, used the bathroom, got themselves another drink or another hors d’oeuvre, wandered around the Civic Center, and visited with friends and colleagues. I think Cece perfectly summed it up in her post. Take note, Max.

do you think baucus is getting the hint yet. Pay attention to your constituents or we won’t pay attention to you. simple enough?

Ouch.

by Rebecca Schmitz

As you know, today is the fortieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. It’s amazing to open the newspaper—or, more and more these days, a browser—and find serious discussion of two presidential candidates who embody Dr. King’s dream. Well, almost all of it is serious. Over the last month, we’ve watched some in the media attempt to steer the discussion from one of policy to one of personality. It hasn’t worked, largely because most people realize nothing in this world happens in a vacuum; historical context is everything. We’ve been asked to believe, through the use of shallow sound bites, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright woke up one morning and decided to “God damn America!” We’ve been asked to forget that this is someone who lived before the civil rights movement gained momentum, a man who watched as his fellow citizens were beaten, his leaders assassinated, and the authorities tolerate—if not encourage—injustice at the movement’s height. We’ve been asked to demand of Rev. Wright that he not carry into the 21st century the rage and pain that comes with being a witness to those events. While the pundits exchange their inflammatory Fox News clips like so many children trading baseball cards, the rest of us should just give them a pat on the head and move the national political discussion back to policy.

This is where Dr. King’s dream becomes reality. America has two presidential candidates that allow us, if I may broadly paraphrase Dr. King, to judge them not by the color of their skin or the shape of their bodies, but on their politics. However, should we, as some have insisted, ignore any misgivings about her record and vote for Hillary Clinton because right now is the time to break the glass ceiling and elect a female president? To do so goes against everything Dr. King wanted for his children. Particularly when you consider that Senator Clinton voted for the Iraq War resolution. As I said above, historical context is everything; nothing happens in a vacuum. The men behind the currant occupant of the Oval Office wanted to invade Iraq at least four years before and not quite four days after September 11, 2001. Their agenda was not a secret. The evidence was clear: this was a war of choice. Plenty of people, courageous people, voted no on the resolution. They knew the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and everything to do with this Administration’s politics and ideology. Anyone voting otherwise was either willing to go along with the deception or were themselves easily deceived. They ignored American history or were unable to learn the lessons of another war of choice, one based on a web of lies spun at the highest levels of government, one that divided the nation during the final years of Dr. King’s life.

The best way to honor Dr. King’s vision is to not merely vote for the woman or the black man. Instead, we should vote for what’s right–not just the right now.

by Pete Talbot

Here’s the link to the event, which we just received.

A cryptic email in my inbox said that the fundraiser for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had been moved up to 9 a.m. on Sunday, “to accommodate a Town Hall in Missoula that has just been added to her schedule at the Missoula International Airport.”

Details are sketchy. The “Town Hall” is tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. There are no tickets and it will be “first come, first served” according to an email from Forward Montana, and limited to 2000 people. I’m not sure where you can fit 2000 people at the Missoula airport. Maybe the Northstar Air hangar at the east end of the airport property? It is at the Northstar-Neptune hangar. This from the official press release:

Sunday, April 6

Missoula, MT

Doors Open: 9:00 a.m. MDT

Event Begins: 11:00 a.m. MDT

Hillary Clinton Hosts a “Solutions for America” Town Hall

Northstar-Neptune Aviation at Missoula International Airport

1 Corporate Way

Missoula, MT

Anyway, 4&20 will make details available as we get them.

by Rebecca Schmitz

For reasons known only to ourselves and our therapists, jhwygirl and I have been super secret squirrel silent about our good news: we’ve got tickets to the Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner. We’re going to leave Missoula just after Obama rocks the Adams Center. So, who wants to meet us in Butte on Saturday afternoon? Pat? Wulfgar? There’s a round of drinks at the M&M on us!

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 Pete Talbot

Our little city and big state made the news again. This time it’s about our influence on the presidential Democratic primary race.

Chris Cillizza, whose political column, The Fix, appears on washingtonpost.com, wrote about the battleground state of Montana. (A tip o’ the hat to the anonymous, alert reader who forwarded the link to me.)

It’s an insightful piece about which Democratic candidate is going to come out on top in our June primary. It mentions Sen. Tester, the Good Gov. and the Honorable John Engen, Mayor of Missoula, among others. Take a look.

by Pete Talbot

I’m pissed

Anybody else out there NOT get tickets to Clinton and Obama in Butte? I went online at 9 a.m. this morning with two laptops and never did get through. I had better luck scoring tickets to the Rolling Stones when they played Missoula.

I missed my chance to get tickets to the Mansfield-Metcalf dinner when I learned last month that the event had already sold out. (Note to Democratic Party headquarters in Helena: the one “save-the-date” email I received in January isn’t the best way to market an event to folks like me.)

So I was left with the only other option available — go online and try to get bleacher tickets. They were sold out by 9:30 9:04 9:40 9:15 a.m. I have to wonder if tickets are going to start showing up on eBay, and for how much.

I’ve only missed one Mansfield-Metcalf dinner in the last decade. Back when the Democrats were in the minority in both the state house and senate, and we had a Republican governor, attendance at this yearly Democratic event could be pretty paltry. I know “it’s a new day” in Montana but please don’t forget regular folks who supported the party during the lean times. Give us a better than average shot at the big-time gigs when they come around.

Now I know how rank-and-file Republicans must have felt when they were excluded from the caucuses last month.

It appears that a few other bloggers had similar online experiences. Maybe I should take Shane’s advice, though, and not blog when I’m angry.

Max gets jobs for Montanans Virginians

I’ll probably never work in this town again, at least in political TV production, but I can’t keep quiet any longer.

Sen. Baucus rolled out his first radio and TV spots last week, spending some of his $9 million war chest. According to Lee State Bureau’s Chuck Johnson:

“The television spots, produced by GMMB Creative, a Virginia firm, will run for several weeks.”

I saw one of the spots and it wasn’t bad. The sort of cookie-cutter commercials that DC beltway consulting firms are known for, with a standard feel good message and high production values.

Thing is, I know at least four producer/directors in Montana that could have done the same quality commercial, and for less money.

And one has to wonder who purchased the TV time for the spots, another Virginia media firm? The commissions generated for that firm would have kept a Montana advertising agency afloat for at least a year.

(Note to Gov. Schweitzer: I received a fund raising call for your campaign from a telemarketer in California. Surely there’s a firm in Montana that can do that.)

And I’m going to stay on top of this. The next candidate who says they’re for jobs for Montanans and then spends their money on out-of-state production companies, ad agencies, printers, pollsters, etc., will receive some special attention.

Happy Birthday, Congressman

On a more upbeat note, Pat Williams’ 70th birthday bash on Sunday was quite the gala affair. One might consider it a warm up to next month’s Mansfield-Metcalf dinner in Butte. Granted, Barack and Hillary weren’t there, but they should have been because every almost every Democratic leader in Missoula was in attendance, and a lot of out-of-town Democrats, too. (Note to presidential campaign coordinators: there are more registered Democrats in Missoula County than any other county in the state.)

Here are just some of the folks I spotted there: Mike McGrath, candidate for Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court; Jim Hunt, who’s challenging Congressman Denny Rehberg; and Democrat candidates for Montana Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Secretary of State.

Pat served for 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, the first 14 years as Montana’s Western District Congressman and the last four years At Large (the entire state), and he served honorably. Unlike some of our other elected representatives and senators, he didn’t stay in D.C. and become a lobbyist upon retiring. He returned to Western Montana where he continues to work on policy for Rocky Mountain states. His wife, Carol, is majority leader in the Montana Senate.

Pasties were served to about 300 people and around $20,000 was raised for Democratic legislative candidates.




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