Clinton-Obama: the gloves come off

Apparently the Clintons are pretty pissed at the attention being lavished on Obama in Hollywood these days (and likely surprised.) One of the Clinton’s former biggest supporters has come down on the side of Obama and had some harsh comments on the Clintons:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003548043

And the Obama camp has replied to some Clinton “demands”

http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2007/02/obama_camp_take.html

Now it gets fun. ;)

Yeah, I kinda got google-eyed when I saw who organized yesteday’s big Obama love-in in Hollywood. Spielberg, Katzenberg, and Geffen? Those are all supposed to be FOB’s. Could only imagine what Bill and Hillary thought about that.

I think what we are seeing is that being a FOB most definitely does not translate into being a FOH.

It’s really interesting to see all this stuff play out. I can’t remember pre-election stuff like who’s grabbing which fundraiser and pollster got this kind of coverage.

Lum: I suspect that a lot of Democratic insiders don’t think Hillary can win. I mean yeah she’s got the Clinton machine behind her - but conservatives hate her and she can’t win the center against Guiliani.

They don’t. She’s alienated her original root supporters, the liberals who put her husband into power. She’s now too conservative for their tastes, and when combined with the fact that a whole lot of people are unconvinced that America is ready for a female President, it’s a big hurdle to overcome. People like Spielburg see that and want to back a winner.

FOB/FOH?

friend of bill/hillary

There’s probably a few democrats like me, who would be more inclined to vote for Hillary if she wasn’t related to a president. That is to say, her dynastic cachet is actually a negative. But even if she was Hillary Smith, I like Obama better.

I am amused by the prospect of watching democratic spin doctors coming up with strategies for selling either a black president with zero with plenty of muslim smears waiting in the wings or a female president with an explosive combination of a somewhat Liberal past and a compromise based present. It’s hard to discern who has more baggage from American history, recent and otherwise, to deal with before they can appeal in any serious numbers.

Since neither one will take a stand worth mentioning on my wedge issue (Iraq), I will settle for the next crucial litmus test…and Obama grudgingly makes the cut for staying away from my violent video games.

At the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in November 2005, Senator Obama called for: (1) a reduction in the number of U.S. troops; (2) a time frame for a phased withdrawal; (3) the Iraqi government to make progress on forming a political solution; (4) improved reconstruction efforts to restore basic services in Iraq; and (5) engaging the international community, particularly key neighboring states and Arab nations, to become more involved in Iraq. In January 2006 he traveled to Iraq and met with senior U.S. military commanders, Iraqi officials and U.S. troops in Baghdad and Fallujah.

Senator Obama introduced legislation in January 2007 to offer a responsible alternative to President Bush’s failed escalation policy. The legislation commences redeployment of U.S. forces no later than May 1, 2007 with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008 – a date consistent with the bipartisan Iraq Study Group’s expectations. The plan allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces. If the Iraqis are successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks for progress laid out by the Bush Administration, this plan also allows for the temporary suspension of the redeployment, provided Congress agrees that the benchmarks have been met.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/

I dunno, LK, sounds like ISG stuff or close enough to me. And he’s not entirely against ‘staying the course’ provided Iraqis do what they say they’re going to do. Though he is clearly skeptical.

That is interesting. I’ll put that under the category of pieces of news that should filter down to Iraq but instead are overwhelmed with filler. Did his proposal get anywhere (the website kind of left me hanging), or is this still pending, or are they on vacation or something? (I really don’t have any idea beyond what gets to me in month old magazines)

I’ll see what I can dig up on that.

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, one of the most prominent Democrats in the 2008 presidential field, proposed for the first time setting a deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq, as part of a broader plan aimed at bolstering the freshman senator’s foreign policy credentials.

Obama’s legislation, offered on the Senate floor last night, would remove all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008. The date falls within the parameters offered by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which recommended the removal of combat troops by the first quarter of next year.

“The days of our open-ended commitment must come to a close,” Obama said in his speech. “It is time for us to fundamentally change our policy. It is time to give Iraqis their country back.”

The senator offered his ideas in the midst of an intense congressional debate over President Bush’s latest Iraq proposal, to deploy an additional 21,500 U.S. troops to curtail an increasingly virulent insurgency. It also coincides with the launch of the 2008 campaign, with Obama, as well as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), former senator John Edwards (N.C.) and other Democrats forming exploratory committees.

Obama’s timetable for completing a withdrawal puts him at odds with other leading rivals for the Democratic nomination. Clinton supports capping the number of troops at their levels of Jan. 1. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) has proposed a similar troop cap. But neither has embraced a timetable for a troop removal. Edwards has been outspoken in his opposition to Bush’s new plan and has called for the immediate withdrawal of 40,000 to 50,000 troops. But he, too, has stopped short of setting firm date by which all would be removed.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is the only other prominent Democrat in the field to set a withdrawal timetable, declaring that troops “can and should” be brought home by the end of 2007.

The Obama plan, called the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007, would begin a troop withdrawal no later than May 1, 2007, but it includes several caveats that could forestall a clean break:

It would leave a limited number of troops in place to conduct counterterrorism activities and train Iraqi forces. And the withdrawal could be temporarily suspended if the Iraqi government meets a series of benchmarks laid out by the Bush administration. That list includes a reduction in sectarian violence; the equitable distribution of oil revenue; government reforms; and democratic, Iraqi-driven reconstruction and economic development efforts. Obama’s proposal also would reverse Bush’s troop-increase plan.

Obama described his proposal as a mainstream package of well-vetted ideas, consistent with the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations and “with what the American people demanded in the November election,” when they voted Republicans out of power in both the House and the Senate.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/30/AR2007013001586.html

I can’t seem to sort out just yet what happened to it. My recollection is that nobody took it too seriously because it wasn’t likely to pass and many Senators were offering different plans. It sort of got lost in the shuffle. I’ll see if I can’t track down whether it was voted on or even made it out of commitee. I did see this on his Senate website, LK, and it’s something else you might find interesting.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced that they will introduce legislation that would improve the quality of care and require more frequent inspections at active duty medical hospitals when the Senate reconvenes next week. The Washington Post reported this weekend that the soldiers and facilities at Walter Reed face extreme neglect – wounded soldiers taking care of other wounded, soldiers with psychological disorders attending to suicidal soldiers, and “mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses” scattered throughout.

http://obama.senate.gov/

Here’s the big story that was in the Post. One of my favorite reporters, Dana Priest, did the investigation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172.html

She’ll be having a live chat today as well:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2007/02/16/DI2007021602013.html