Paul Krugman Hates Hate, and Obama, and Obama Supporters

Paul Krugman is at it again. If nothing else, he sure shows that the rules at The New York Times against a columnist endorsing a candidate by name are rather meaningless. Everyone knows he hates Obama. He first backed Edwards but with Edwards out of the race he has become as firmly a member of the Clinton camp as anyone who can openly back a candidate.

Krugman warns that the nation is in danger of becoming “Nixonland” based upon an upcoming book on the subject. Nixonland is “a land of slander and scare; the land of sly innuendo, the poison pen, the anonymous phone call and hustling, pushing, shoving; the land of smash and grab and anything to win.”

This sure sounds a lot like Bushland. The problem for many Democrats is that this also looks like Clintonland. Krugman claims “most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody.”

As with so many of his recent columns. Krugman gets it backwards here.

It is the Clinton campaign which has resorted to smears and race baiting. It is not that Obama supporters want Obama or nobody. We want somebody who does not resort to the tactics of Nixon and Bush, as Hillary Clinton has. If the tactics of Nixonland are bad, we do not want to support a candidate who engages in such tactics regardless of party. We have not protested the actions of Nixon and Bush only to back a Democratic candidate who practices the same type of dirty politics.

The Clinton campaign has frequently been based upon distortions of the issues, reminiscent of Bush’s campaigns. While Obama discusses the demographic changes which will affect Social Security honestly, Clinton sends out mailers which lie about Obama’s position and Krugman claims that telling the truth on Social Security is repeating a right wing meme.

While both Clinton and Obama support abortion rights, Clinton again resorted to distorting Obama’s record. This led Lorna Brett Howard, the former President of Chicago NOW, to drop her support for Clinton and back Obama.

Obama presented a health care plan which is superior to Clinton’s. Rather than honestly discussing the plans, the Clinton campaign, and Krugman, again relied on distortions by attacking Obama for not including a mandate. What is important is the quality of the plan to improve access to health care to those who want coverage, not whether Clinton can force more people into her plan by making it mandatory. Again Krugman claims that Obama is raising right wing frames, but freedom of choice is hardly a right wing position. Freedom is a fundamental liberal value.

Clinton has adopted the Rove tactic of attacking the opposition at their strongest area by distorting the difference between their views on the Iraq war. This includes dishonestly claiming a false equivalence between the decision to go to war and votes to continue funding the troops after they are at war. Clinton also lied in claiming that Obama had taken his speech opposing the war down from his web site when searches with the Wayback Machine have shown this was not true.

Clinton even tried to make an issue out of Obama making a historically accurate statement about Ronald Reagan and Republican ideas by misquoting Obama and falsely claiming Obama was supporting the Republican ideas he was actually criticizing.

Clinton has attacked Obama by distorting he meaning of voting “present” in the Illinois legislature.

Krugman writes, “What’s particularly saddening is the way many Obama supporters seem happy with the application of ‘Clinton rules’ — the term a number of observers use for the way pundits and some news organizations treat any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent.” Sorry, such claims no longer hold up. The Clintons have proven themselves to be dishonest in the manner in which they are campaigning. This is not the fault of the media or of a vast right wing conspiracy. This is the fault of the Clintons themselves. The actual venom comes from the Clinton campaign and supporters like Paul Krugman.


  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    “What’s particularly saddening is the way many Obama supporters seem happy with the application of ‘Clinton rules’ ”

    No, Mr. Krugman. The reason Clinton is losing support is because we have grown tired of the “Clinton Rules.”

    I thought he would be smart enough to get the irony of his column.

    I used to respect Krugman. I used to admire and defend the Clintons. I used to think I wanted Hillary to be president. Sigh. Big Joke on me. She only gets my vote if she is the only democratic candidate and it will be a joyless vote.

  2. 2
    William says:

    Ditto. Only, I am really not sure after the South Carolina fiasco, and the accusations of ‘strongarming’ in Vegas, while they protest the caucus on the strip which they set-up, if I will vote for her. After all, she comes with Bill, who quite suddenly, I am not sure I want to see wagging his finger around anymore…

  3. 3
    Sarah says:

    Gently, individual reporters (Joe Klein, Time) columnists (Krugman, NYT), and everyday people begin to note the arrogance of the Obama supporters. Their guy is simply the best — so handsome, so eloquent, so polished.

    I ride my bike through San Francisco’s Pacific Heights and see all Obama signs. I hear people on the street speak confidently of a new politics. I hear Obama fans around town or on the blogs: they revile Hillary Clinton, and when they can’t find fault with her, they reach out to criticize her husband.

    I watch CNN, MSNBC commentators’ homosocial love affair with Obama. I turn to Fox to get election day coverage of the Democratic primaries, so that I can hear something nearer to fair. Who would have thought?!

    I am a Clinton supporter, a dedicated, small-dollar contributor to her campaign. I’ll be open about that. But I will support Obama in the general election if he’s the nominee. What/Who is the realistic alternative? I don’t know if many of Obama’s dreamy-eyed, untempered supporters will do the same for Hillary Clinton. They seem too precious to care about anyone who doesn’t walk their walk and talk their talk. Now, is theirs an identity politics or just a politics of self-involvement?

  4. 4
    gracie taylor says:


    Every time Obama attacks Bill Clinton, his administration or policies…Krugman writes a hatchet article….then Bill goes into full-fledged attack dog mode…

    Obama sure knows how to jerk WJC’s string and make him dance to his tune.

    Obama is brilliant he knows that he is running against Bill Clinton and he comes out and swipes at him instead of Hillary since to attack Hillary would be viewed as ‘sexist’

    Go Obama!!

    I love how he is such a brilliant strategist.

  5. 5
    Sarah says:

    Gracie Taylor,
    Everybody seems like a brilliant strategist when they are winning. It’s like making money flipping houses in a red-hot real estate market. But it’s when the chips are down that you will see how great a strategist or candidate or leader someone is. So, let’s wait and see with all these candidates, shall we?

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Obama is the one who came out of nowhere to take a lead over the Clinton political machine which everyone said couldn’t be beat. Obama passed the test of being a brilliant strategist when the chips were down. In contrast, Clinton flunked the test when we consider how she resorted to dirty politics when her campaign got into trouble.

  7. 7
    gracie taylor says:

    you missed my point. I am not dancing causing we are winning. Obama’s strategy has proven effective in making Bill flip his wig. That is what I am admiring. Don’t get it twisted. Obama succeeded in doing this after his loss to HRC in NH. Whether Barck is up or down he deploys this tactic because he deduced long ago that Bill Clinton is his true opponent.

    That’s the point admiration for his being a brilliant tactician not gloating about his recent string of wins. I am taking the long view and this tactic is worth lots of admiration particularly given that folks think Barack is a wuss. He isn’t. He deploys a far different strategy qute effectively.

  8. 8
    Sarah says:

    Ron Chusid,
    Yes, Obama has risen. But was he ever really “down”? In the beginning of the campaign it was Clinton and about 8 or 9 guys trying to get known to the public. Obama was the only other candidate to get traction; that is to his credit. (And hey, you got to respect his fund-raising, organizing and ground game in the caucus states especially!)

    But once he got some traction, it seemed to me that much of his momentum was created or helped along by an adoring press, a press that despises Hillary Clinton.

    That press, and you, Ron keep reporting that Clinton has resorted to dirty politics. Over and over I hear this, but I really don’t see it. For example, I see the Clinotn LBJ/MLK comment as a valid observation, not dirty politics and not racism. Obama seems to want to have it both ways — the mantle of the civil rights era on his handsome black man’s shoulders AND the right to be the first post-racial candidate. He opened up that little history box and that made Hillary’s interpretive historical comment apropos, not racist.

    Now, Obama is criticizing Hillary Clinton for her lack of appeal, her high negatives in the electability game, and the short-comings of her husband’s administration. Is that playing dirty politics? I don’t think so. I don’t agree with many of Obama’s criticisms, but it’s more a matter of interpretation of the facts, nuance, that sort of thing. Just as you could disagree with Clintonian analysis of Obama’s weaknesses without having to resort to the meme of “oh, they are so racist, so dirty, so negative!”

    I’m bothering to say all this, because I am afraid. Afraid that what should be majority of citizens united against continuation of the Bush tax cuts and Bush’s foreign policy and the packing of the Supreme Court with strict constructionists, etc. will splinter and sputter in stupid, hair-splitting debates over voting for Hillary or Barak in the general election.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:


    Many of Clinton’s attacks were factually incorrect, as I described above. She resorted to using mailers and robocalls which intentionally lied about what Obama has said and his record. The manner in which the Clinton campaign brought race into the campaign was also dirty, as is her attempts to change the rules in Michigan and Florida after the rules were set.

  10. 10
    Sarah says:

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree about Hillary Clinton’s campaign tactics.

    I would point out that the title of this article we’re posting about is “Paul Krugman hates Hate, Obama, and Obama supporters”. I went to the NYT site and found that Krugman said nothing of the sort. That headline is, to me, an exmaple of the overwrought and righteous approach of many of the Obama supporters I’ve encountered in San Francisco. They are enraptured. Rapture doesn’t meld well with political compromise. Obama himself may be more temperate, but some of his supporters are over the top in their seeing dirty politics and insults when someone offers criticism. That’s what concerns me — how will that approach lead to any sort of conciliation at the convention? There’s probably going to have to be some major making up and making nice. As to your points:

    1)I frankly don’t know much about the robo-calls, so I’ll have to go research that fact, okay? And I don’t hear a lot about the robo-calls, so it hardly seems like an issue the Obama campaign decided was worth much focus. Since the Chicago Tribune criticized Obama’s present votes, that at least seems like a reasonable thing for another candidate to criticize. But again, I don’t know what the robo calls focused on, so I have to plead ignorance on that.

    2)But I would simply strongly disagree with your assertion that Hillary Clinton (or Bill) brought race into the campaign in a “dirty manner”. I think that really is a matter of interpretation, not fact. And it appears to my eyes that Obama campaign loves it, loves making everybody tiptoe around race, while they reap the benefits of it in this election. Well, better that black race can finally be an advantage instead of detriment to a national candidate, at least in the Democratic primaries, but I wish it played no role at all. Sigh.

    3) What to do with Michigan and Florida is a much bigger issue than Obama or Clinton. What Clinton has done thus far is nothing — that’s fact. The rest is interpretation. But I think, yes the problem’s resolution may mean we possibly need to change the rules after rules were set, because who set those rules? Certainly not the voters. Leaving FL & MI out of the convention results in the disenfranchisement of millions of primary voters in two states. What will be more important — the Democratic Party’s ability to enforce discipline and the primary calendar (a highly problematic thing!) or the votes of all those people? Especially since those states, particularly Florida, are swing states and huge. We need those folks geared up and ready to vote in the general election for either Obama or Clinton, not pissed off and staying home or voting for McCain, as nice a guy as he is.

    Should the Dems hold another set of primaries? Should the current non-recognized delegates be seated? Hillary Clinton is right to want to try to get those two states’ votes into the convention, but I hope it can be done in a way that satisfies both partisan camps. As far as I know, she hasn’t launched any initatives yet to do anything. But simply leaving Michigan and Florida completly out seems no solution at all. Though doing so would be very convenient to Obama in the short term, it would hurt him (or Clinton if she got the nomination) in the long term.

    I have probably taken up too much of this blog’s comment space, so I’ll sign off and shut up for a while. But I did want to thank you and Gracie Taylor for the back & forth. I enjoyed it.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    “I went to the NYT site and found that Krugman said nothing of the sort.”

    That is the attitude that Krugman gives in this and his other columns on Obama. This is just one in a long string of columns and blog posts by Krugman with this attitude. My comments here are based upon direct quotes from his column.

    This has nothing to do with being enraptured by Obama. I would feel this way if Krugman was using his column and blog to attack others too in the manner in which he has been attacking.

    The Chicago Tribune and other papers have defended Obama on the present votes. Clinton’s portrayal of them has been dishonest.

    Clinton’s campaign has repeatedly lied about Obama’s position. They have tried to use race as an issue. They are trying to retroactively change the rules with regards to Michigan and Florida. This is all dirty campaigning.

    Florida and Michigan are about Clinton. The candidates agreed not to campaign and take their names off the ballot. Clinton cheated. The vote was held with rules stating that the primary would not count.

    You have it backwards with regards to disenfranchising primary voters. I live in Michigan and do not want delegates gained by such dishonest tactics to be given to Clinton. This would be an act of going contrary to my wishes and the wishes of many other Michigan voters.

    An important part of democracy is that election rules be followed. If Clinton wins the nomination because of Michigan or Florida delegates being improperly given to her, I will vote for the Republican nominee in protest of this gross violation of the Democratic process. So if you don’t want Michigan residents like me voting for McCain, urge the Clinton campaign not to violate our rights in the manner she is now attempting.

    Another vote in those states would be preferable, but Clinton is specifically fighting to have delegates seated based upon the illegal votes. Clinton is trying to steal support from us in Michigan and Florida. She is not defending our rights. Unless some other mechanism is devised to fairly choose the delegates, delegates from Michigan and Florida can be seated after one of the candidates has enough support to win without the delegates from either state.

  12. 12
    William says:


    Your comments sound condescending.

    “I don’t know if many of Obama’s dreamy-eyed, untempered supporters will do the same for Hillary Clinton. They seem too precious to care about anyone who doesn’t walk their walk and talk their talk. Now, is theirs an identity politics or just a politics of self-involvement?”

    Has it occurred to you that many Obama supporters are ex-clinton supporters? This is an election, and if we have had enough dirty pool and want to switch to Obama, why the personal attacks?

    In SC, I grant you that what Bill said was completely misconstrued and the racist attacks unfair. However, what he said was also a complete distortion of the truth, that Obama’s opposition to the war was “the biggest fairy tale I have ever seen, give me a break!” Why did he say this? Because many ex-clinton supporters moved to Obama because of his incredibly articulate opposition tot he war. “It’s not that I don’t believe in war, it is that I believe in dumb wars, and this is a dumb war”

    He was way ahead of the lemming stampede to war, of which hillary was in a tough place. We know she needed to look tough or the republicans would eat her alive, but guess what, it WAS THE WRONG CALL! I just can’t understand how clinton supporters give her a pass on that. We wouldn’t be in this war if the dems had shown some leadership, and he clearly did! Yes, he votes to continue funding, because the troops are in harms way, and cutting funding without a political agreement is dangerous and dumb. It doesn’t mean he didn’t give the speech he gave, or that he is not working for a solution. He had the better judgement, and Clinton supporters just can’t admit that. Why?

    The voters, however, are rewarding him. Did she learn her lesson on Iran. Nope, gave Bush the authority to take hostile actions against the revolutionary guard. Guess where that is leading? Bad call again, and it may cost her the election.

  13. 13
    gracie taylor says:

    Sarah you say:
    )But I would simply strongly disagree with your assertion that Hillary Clinton (or Bill) brought race into the campaign in a “dirty manner”. I think that really is a matter of interpretation, not fact. And it appears to my eyes that Obama campaign loves it, loves making everybody tiptoe around race, while they reap the benefits of it in this election. Well, better that black race can finally be an advantage instead of detriment to a national candidate, at least in the Democratic primaries, but I wish it played no role at all. Sigh.”

    Sigh. You seem to not only make the assumption that Obama somehow loves the racial polarization the Clintons indeed introduced into the campaign but you also think somehow you are an arbiter of racial polarization not being dirty politics? Sorry Sarah, race as a divisive issue is the very definition of dirty politics and that is precisely how the Clintons introduced it. Obama did not at any time raise the issue of race. I challenge you to cite any such instance on his part.

    The Clintons with Bill leading the way engaged in a series or remarks that were designed to polarize and incite the electorate to vote for Hillary on the basis of white racial solidarity. That was unmistakable. How you missed that is unclear. It began right after Hillary loss in IA. Bill was on the campaign trail and he called Obama’s campaign a fairy tale. Quote he said ‘this whole thing is a fairy tale’ unquote, after asserting that Obama had somehow flipflopped on his position about the war. That was a flat out lie, but worst of all Bill Clinton attacked the entirety of his campaign as being ‘imaginary’ not just his position on the war. A campaign spokesperson for Hillary additionally claimed that folks who voted for Barack ‘were looking for a hip imaginary black friend’. Her NH campaign manager, Sheehan raised not just the fact of drug use by Obama but vilely speculated whether he had been a drug dealer. Clinton fired Sheehan as well as and a campaign worker for sending out e mails circulating the bold faced lie that Barck was a muslim. All of these actions on the part of The Clintons their surrogates and staff were rightfully interpreted as race mongering by the black community and black media. The pattern was clear. Obama, however, did not make nor inflame the remarks that the Clintons made. The black COMMUNITY did so. Blacks were outraged at the blatant race baiting by the Clintons.

    Hillary then, in the debate accused Obama of spreading false hope to the electorate with his words while claiming she had the experience to bring change. The next day on the campaign trail Barack spoke of how both JFK and MLK had hope and that they used words to inspire Americans and did not say ‘oh the moon is too far’ or ‘we can wait for justice’ but rather they used their words and imagination to make America better. They called upon the American citizenry to reach those ideals. His point being that change comes from the bottom up. Hillary upon hearing this decided to make a very poor analogy about LBJ and MLK saying that MLK needed LBJ to make his dream a reality. Following the aforementioned series of remarks that had previously incited the black community this then was the spark that lit the fuse and was deemed intolerant as Hillary was now calling into question the very greatness and struggle and courage the masses endured under King’s leadership to bring about the civil rights changes in this country.

    Hillary was trying to make the point that change comes from the top down and that it took a President to enact the law. The black community could not believe that Hillary was so callous and condescending to Kings legacy, similiar to the dismissive tone of your posts here. The black community thought it was unmitigated gall on Hillary’s part to credit LBJ as being the white savior for Martin’s ‘dream’ or false hopes. Hillary seemed to not get that without Martin’s political activism and thousands dying there would not have been an opportunity for LBJ to do anything. So yes, while it is factually true that LBJ signed the bill the bigger truth is he would not have ever had that opportunity without MLK’s work. The struggle brought about civil rights. LBJ was not some kingmaker.

    Her words in contrast to Obama’s illustrate the very fundamental difference between the candidates in terms of how they see power and leadership. Hillary believes she will rule as the President over the people and decide for us. Change comes from the top down is her credo. While Obama believes that the power of our democracy lies with the citizens and that he is their to implement their political will. I prefer his understanding of leadership when it comes to the Presidency. I beleive that change indeed comes from the bottom up.

    At no time did Obama seek to capitalize upon this nations deep racial scars…it was the race baiting Clintons who did out of desperation to win the nomination at all costs. Obama said nothing and he has been the victim of the Clintons attempts to ghettotize his candidacy. The black community has spoke out against the Clintons both with words and their lack of support for the Clintons when it comes to the ballot box.

    So Sarah, please don’t make the false allegation that somehow Obama has tried to benefit from the racism in our society he hasn’t. Barack is biracial and as such has had to personal endure and bridge the racial division in the country in order to succeed in life. He knows all to well the consequences of polarizing race. Hillary however has used her gender as an affirmative action club to clobber the media, rant about sexism and misogyny every chance she gets as a leverage for sympathy and beat us into submission out of fear of being sexist towards her as she feels entitled to the Presidency on the basis of affirmative action simply because she is a female. Her oft repeated sexism is offensive and her girls club mentality is divisive.

    There was a clear pattern of racial remarks on Bills and Hills part that constituted race mongering which was completely unwarranted as are the sexist claims on Hillary’s part. This is however the Clinton brand of politics. They do not fight fair they are brawlers and seek to sully their opponents as opposed to winning on their own merits and accomplishments. The Clintons beleive in the politics of personal destruction as it is the very crux of their political success ever since they hired Dick Morris after Bill lost his first attempt at re-election as Gov of AK.Hillary particularly excelled at this brand of dirty politics and success by any means as she revels in the politics of division. Once she mastered the technique Bill was elected to a THIRD term as Governor.

    Let’s be clear, the GOP learned from the Clintons not vice-versa and if Obama gets pass the Clintons he will be more than prepared to handle the GOP.

  14. 14
    MarjorieG says:

    Extra venom from me that Bill and Hill were our opponents before in their selfish return to to the spotlight and power. Many of Obama’s team were also with Kerry, and know their true opponent.

    No ambition was worth terms with Bush, just for Bill’s do-over.

  15. 15
    Sarah says:

    I appreciate the time many people (especially Gracie just now) took to explain their positions, their appreciation for Obama, and their take on things like the MI + FL primaries, their distaste for both Clintons, etc.

    One caveat: Criticizing my “tone” or imputing condescension to me is beside the point and the last refuge of a weak argument. Furthermore, you all really don’t need to resort to those kind of backhanded slaps, since you had plenty of compelling facts to bolster your points, and I considered those points. Honest.

    What becomes clear to me is that we value different things the candidates have to offer, and we weigh differently the importance of various facts of their records or personal histories. I could go through each post with a fine-toothed comb showing which of the facts from Gracie, William, and others I agree with or learned something new from. I could then show you the facts you cite that I think are wrong or distorted or given improper importance or are unfairly ignored. But there comes in any discussion, a point of diminishing returns, and we have to agree to disagree, vote our convictions, and find workable compromises in policy, govt action, and the like after the elections.

    What I find distressing is the lack of willingness on the part of some Obama supporters, and yes, from some of them here on this blog who have stated their intentions, to accept defeat of their candidate, should that occur. Actually, I think Obama’s going to win the nomination, but what are you all going to do if he doesn’t? Attack Hillary Clinton? Call the whole primary/caucus and convention rules a rigged game if your guy doesn’t triumph through it? Sit home on election day? Vote for McCain as a protest? I don’t get a sense that you are willing to compromise with the next best choice or the less bad alternative, depending on your perspective.

    I don’t have patience for that kind of all-or-nothing approach. I find it dangerous in an electoral democracy. And if that makes me dismissive or condescending, so be it. For that kind of absolutism, that villify-your-opponent “politics” and remain pure idealists — for that I have no patience.

    I’m voting for Obama in November, if he’s the nominee. With clenched teeth, if I must. He does not inspire me, not one jot. I find him smug, coddled by the media and Daddy figures like Ted Kennedy, full of hot air, and the least experienced of any of the candidates who ran this season. Only a man could run on that thin a resume and find support. A woman would be told to get back in line, crushed for her hubris. That is one of my truths, a hard one I’ve watched from being female. Most importantly, I think Obama’s whole idea of overcoming partisanship in Washington wrongly conceives of the problem. The problem is not partisanship or division, but rather the Neoconservative agenda of endless war, lies, propaganda, and nosing about in women’s business, screwing over the non-rich, and doing all that while not compromising on anything.

    But I’ve looked at the consequences of refusing to vote for Obama in a fit of pique, of not voting at all or of voting for McCain. The result is not an America I want to live in. I’m not sure it’s an America that can survive in the world much longer.

  16. 16
    Jon Burdick says:


    You defend Clinton’s JFK/MLK observation as a valid comment, but you don’t attempt to justify the timing. In the context of a heated campaign, it doesn’t matter if her comment was accurate. What matters is her intent.

    Hillary Clinton is not generally inclined to reference history, except to refer to her personal history. Far from it. Contrast any of her speeches with any of those made by Obama. So why did she make this historic analogy when she did? I’ve thought about it a lot, and the only plausible conclusion I can reach is that she was trying to contrast Barack Obama as a marginal, “movement” candidate with herself as a leader who could use the power of the Presidency for change.

    One problem with her choice is that Obama is not a non-violent protestor, a civil rights critic or a preacher. He is a pragmatic politician just like her. A second problem is that Johnson was white and King was black, so she was either willfully or stupidly planting her feet on one side of the color line.

    I don’t think she meant to re-fight the civil rights movement or to enrage black Americans. Despite the press reaction, I don’t think she was thinking for more than two seconds about whether she was minimizing the real legacy of Dr. King. Above all, I don’t believe she was trying to alienate black voters deliberately

    However, she was more than ready to use anything that came to her mind to try to stem the tide of her opponent. In this rare instance, what came to her mind was history.

    It blew up in her face a little. That’s politics. She would have been better off staying well clear of historic analogies, as she usually does.

    But seeing her comment for what it is–naked ambition–does help us yet again discern Hillary Clinton’s moral reasoning. As she makes clear every time she opens her mouth, her priorities are in order: 1) the things she wants to do; 2) attaining the power to do them; 3) anything and everything else.

    This approach to life makes her, as she often claims, a great “fighter.” It just doesn’t make her a great President. POTUS is an office where sometimes tapping into a larger, more abstract and less personal way of thinking has value. She has a very hard time getting up to the 30,000 foot view, and when she tries she makes mistakes. I prefer a President who has Obama’s habit of thinking.

  17. 17
    Ron Chusid says:


    “Only a man could run on that thin a resume and find support. A woman would be told to get back in line, crushed for her hubris.”

    I think that says it all. You are looking at gender and ignoring the facts because you want a woman president.

    Obama is far more experienced than Clinton. There is just no comparison. Obama has far more years of legislative work, and a far better record considering how many times Clinton has been on the wrong side.

    Obama also has experience in Constitutional law. This is an important difference considering Clinton’s views with regards to expanding presidential power and executive privilege, and her poor record on civil liberties issues.

    Obama’s experience as a community organizer also leads to important differences. Clinton sees a top down approach of imposing her views on others, even if it comes down to lying and cheating. to get her way.

    “The problem is not partisanship or division, but rather the Neoconservative agenda of endless war, lies, propaganda…”

    That’s why I oppose Clinton. She is for more of the same. I see very little difference between Hillary Clinton and George Bush. Clinton is a neoconservative on foreign policy. Clinton practices the same form of lies and propaganda. This is why the dishonest manner in which she campaigns is so important. A candidate who runs such a dishonest campaign will probably also govern in a similarly dishonest manner. Her campaign is utilizing the same type of propaganda as the Republicans now use.

    Just asthe way Bush stole the 2000 election and the way he utilizes propaganda are bad for democracy, I now see Hillary Clinton as the major threat to democracy in this election. I will no more tolerate her stealing the primary that I will forgive Bush for stealing the 2000 election. In the case of Michigan and Florida it is even more personal as it is my vote she is trying to steal.

    Defending democratic principles are more important than which party wins any given election. This is not a matter of Obama or nobody. Obama was not my first choice but was one of several acceptable Democratic options. Hillary Clinton is not an acceptable choice and it might become necessary to support the Republican candidate to oppose the anti-democratic principles she represents.

  18. 18
    harkin says:

    When Hillary pulled her ridiculous LBJ v MLK card in the debate, Obama really missed a huge oportunity.

    He should have said:

    “If Mrs Clinton is serious that LBJ was more responsible for advancing peaceful civil rights in this country, I guess she probably thinks President Johnson is more deserving of the coming holiday. If she tries to change the name from MLK Day to LBJ Day however, I will do everything I can to oppose her and I know I have the facts and the American people on my side”.

    When Bill pulled the Jesse Jackson card after the SC primary, any respect for this disingenuous, double-talking, good cop/bad cop team of ultra-ambitious freaks was gone forever.

  19. 19
    laura says:

    Thank you for writing this article. I feel like the misunderstanding is a result of a disconnect between those who support Clinton and those who don’t support Clinton. Those who support Clinton either don’t see the aggressive misleading campaign tactics or they accept them as a necessary part of political life. They also don’t seem to be in touch with the population that was disappointed by the Clintons’ behaviors during their first time in office.

    For instance, my father was never going to vote for Clinton based on what he believed to be her lack ethics in her pursuit of power. He was a non supporter of Clinton before he became a supporter of Obama. So yes, if Clinton wins the nomination he will not vote for her. He’s an independent voter and opts to vote for who he views to be the best candidate regardless of party lines.

    Clinton’s campaign attempted to discredit Obama’s wins this weekend by saying that “activists” are more likely to attend caucuses and they don’t represent the voice of the majority. Bush use the same method and language to squelch the voice of the millions of people around the world who protested the Iraq war. She needs to change her strategy if she wants to appeal to independent voters.

  20. 20
    William says:


    In the end, most Obama supporters will probably support her over McCain, even if Obama is not the VP, IF and ONLY IF, she wins the nomination with Integrity.

    This means specifically, that the delegates from FL and Michigan cannot be seated according to the voting b/c Obama agreed not to campaign there.

    AND, if Obama has won more delegates, that the Clinton machine doesn’t lock up the super delegates with promises of powerful positions, and the super delegates vote Hillary in on their own.

    Either of these abuses of power, and machinations of party politics rears its ugly head, and i guarantee you Obama voters will vote for the republican, even if it is Huckabee.

    Obama supporters will accept these terms if the shoe is on the other foot. However, where it gets really interesting is what if Clinton has the popular vote, but Obama the delegate count and the most states? Then the Clintons and superdelegates can feel comfortable relying on the superdelegates, and may be able to pull it off. If not, her supporters will be very unhappy, and this is bad for both sides. If it is indeed this close, then I think John Edwards ends up selecting the VP. Clinton I think will happily have him as the VP, but I don’t know if he is the best choice for Obama. If Obama picks clinton, then her divisiveness still motivates the republicans, but if he picks Edwards, the Clinton donors and supporters will be up in arms. Let’s hope the voters make a clear decision, because every other option leaves somebody very, very angry.

  21. 21
    gracie taylor says:

    You make good points. Integrity is key. Otherwise, it will appear that Obama was bamboozled, as he choose to follow the rules and gets robbed for doing so.

    Obama has made clear that he is a person of integrity, honesty and lots of moral clarity combined with principled purpose. He is far more of a statesman than a politician.

    For the rules to change after the fact would indeed be wrong and unjust. Just like in the debate when Obama answered first and straightforwardly to the question ‘what is a weakness’. Only to have his opponents comeback with I am too passionate about poverty and I am too impatient for change.

    Obama doesn’t feel a need to weasel about such and he knew to follow the rules of the DNC would be the best way to go.

    Hillary should not be rewarded for essentially not following the rules.

    I personally do not see how the Floridians or Michiganders are being disenfranchised as they will still have a Democratic nominee to vote for in the general election.

  22. 22
    mothermaven says:

    “see the Clinotn LBJ/MLK comment as a valid observation, not dirty politics and not racism.”

    It was politically tone deaf. There is no upside in saying that Washington politicians are better than a morally based grassroots movement where people gave their lives. It was people who stood non-violently against vicious dogs, the brilliant rhetoric based on biblical and moral scholars, and the work of brilliant lawyers like Thurogood Marshall who picked apart segregation and revealed it in a manner that shocked basic decency in the minds of Americans. It took a courageous Supreme Court hearing brilliantly argued cases. LBJ did knock heads to get the Civil Rights Act through to his credit, but he did so from the safety of the Whitehouse.

    She and Bill may not have meant to be racist. It was just an unnecessary thing to say. She didn’t stop to think how that would make african-americans feel and it is that insensitivity that came across as she was taking them for granted.

    This comment was said to build herself up in comparison to Obama’s grassroots campaign. Then she wonders why people react to her the way they do. She is making light of a movement that encourages people to retake the government and create change for themselves. We want to change politics and they way we treat each other. They are young people who only know a Bush or a Clinton in office and want something different. We want a leader who will inspire our best instincts.

    I support Obama, but I will vote for Hillary in the General Election if she is the nominee. I have yet to find a fellow Obama supporter that couldnt be convinced that allowing the republicans to win is just crazy. We will come together to keep the republicans out, but we may not be as enthused with Clinton as we were for Obama. It will be the old, same old — voting against instead of voting for someone.

  23. 23
    Ron Chusid says:

    With regards to the racism, if you take any one particular incident, such as the LBJ comment, it is not clear that racism was intended. However if you look at the large number of incidents it becomes clearer that the goal of the Clintons was to turn this into a black vs. white race for their benefit.

    “I personally do not see how the Floridians or Michiganders are being disenfranchised as they will still have a Democratic nominee to vote for in the general election.”

    The problem with this argument, as with so many of the Clinton arguments, is that there is a grain of truth but the Clintons use it to distort the issue.

    Michigan and Florida are disenfranchised from the perspective that we don’t have a say with regards to the nominee. However, the Clinton solution is no solution. For her to take the majority of the delegates because she kept her name on the Michigan ballot does not mean that this result fairly reflects the views of Michigan Democrats.

    If disenfranchisement was Clinton’s real concern, she would push to have a primary or caucus under party rules where there is a fair distribution of the delegates. Instead she pushes for an unfair solution which only benefits her.

  24. 24
    William says:


    And now they are pounding the sexism issue to unite women, a true, practical way of winning, but I think disingenuous, again. Yes, pimping is an inappropriate word. He apologized, but that doesn’t seem to satisfy. They keep harping the issue into a bigger sexism issue by MSNBC and all the media.

    The reason he chose the word pimp is because the clintons were severely protective of Chelsea, and now suddenly they have her making superdelegate calls, because they think she can be effective. Her privacy was always their number one concern, and they had an agreement from the news media not to cover Chelsea and let her grow up. It was a DRAMATIC change to have Chelsea campaign, and was apparently decided because hillary was losing the young vote badly, and because they were trying to softer Hillary’s Image by showing her mother, and showing her daughter. This is the root of the comment, that after all this over/highly protective attitude, they have suddenly decided she can be of good use to their political aims, so forget protecting her for her own good. Schusters comment, although a totally inappropriate use of words, had a thread of truth that maybe they were injecting Chelsea into the campaign for their own gain.

  25. 25
    Sean C Higgins says:

    Sen. Clinton has yet to explain where she got this 35 years of experience??? She was first lady for eight years. The experience she must be refering to is Planning State Dinner’s ect. That’s a sure formula for running america!!! She has been a Senator for less than six years. She vote for the Iraq War, She voted for the Banking Law changes but hope it didn’t get passed, she was a part of the mid 80’s S & L MESS!!! SHE will say almost anything to get to the White House. Do we really want more lying Clinton’s in the white house???

    On the other hand Sen. Obama shares a view that we need to bring america together and make real change!!! He has the vision to change how the World view us meaning AMERICA !!!! This race has little to due with experience but WHO WILL MAKE CHANGE FOR THE GREATER GOOD!!! The next president will surely be bogged down in clearing the MESS OF G.W. & will need fresh ideas, new concepts, and a different view on what will make us a great nation. He must change the way the world view us!!! Remember that after every two term president there goes a recession. History has shown this. Nixon, Reagan, Clinton left the next office holder in a recession. G.W. never really got us out it. Although he gave it a good try even after 9/11.

  26. 26
    scourtney says:

    Did you even read the article??? Why don’t you print the article with yours, so we can see how embarrassingly misleading you have been????

    Another typical Obama supporter, acting shocked and dismayed that us ‘regular, uneducated, lower class’ folks care about a man with such little experience that we have to discern what on earth kind of bravery and ‘new politics’ it is to vote PRESENT! Yes, the CHICAGO TRIBUNE criticized this record as well.

    You are misinformed or lying when you claim Obama has a superior health care plan. The American Medical Association has endorsed Hillary because of her superior plan, and economists across the country have compared the two and overwhelmingly concluded hers is dramatically lower in costs. Obama has been hit on not having a mandate, which will actually make it more expensive health care because people won’t buy into it until they need it, which drives up the cost for everyone. Obama’s response is that he will come up with a way to punish those who do that…typically he did not get specific.

    YES, Obama supporters are hero worshipping followers that care less about the issues that affect us–health care, the economy, the staggering rise of foreclosure that folks like Oprah have the luxury not to worry about–and are employing vicious tactics to smear Hillary Clinton, then snarling “Well, they started it!” when anyone dares point out how ridiculous they are behaving.

    Why don’t you rich white people, and young college folks–all of you who undoubtedly have yet to worry about health coverage or mortgage payments–stick to voting for personalities on American Idol, and let these candidates go at it.

  27. 27
    scourtney says:

    And for Obama supporters who love to compare his lack of experience to Lincoln’s, the crucial difference here is that as a legislature, Lincoln consistently took unpopular, difficult positions and stoop up for what he believed. His debates on race, at a time when he was unknown, are still studied today. He certainly didn’t vote Present because he was plotting his run for the Presidency asap. Obama has coasted with no experience. For Lincoln, nothing came easy–because he took a stand, not in times of comfort but in times of adversity.

    Obama is going to introduce prayer in schools and religion in goverment…and what a surprise…we’ll have a republican easily follow him in 4 years.

  28. 28
    Ron Chusid says:


    “Did you even read the article???”

    Yes. Did you happen to notice that I directly quote from Krugman and respond to what he said? Did you also notice that this is responding not only to this article but is part of an entire series of articles responding to Krugman’s columns and blog posts attacking Obama. Did you even read the links to follow the whole discussion before making such an accusation?

    “Why don’t you print the article with yours, so we can see how embarrassingly misleading you have been????”

    Have you ever heard of copyright laws. That’s why the post includes links–which prove my post is not at all misleading if you actually bother to read them before jumping in with a comment like this.

    “care about a man with such little experience”

    If you care about a man with “such little experience” what about Clinton who has far less experience than Obama?

    The Chicago newspapers as well as fellow members of the legislature have defended Obama on this issue. Voting present is a common practice in the Illinois legislature. Clinton dwells on smears like this to avoid the real issues.

    “You are misinformed or lying when you claim Obama has a superior health care plan.”

    Again you show a preference of insults over rational discussion or presenting evidence. Clinton’s health care plan has not received the type of support you claim. The American Medical Association has not endorsed Clinton. If you actually read their newsletter, as I do, you would see that they are very critical of her plan. Similarly many economists are critical of her plan.

    The arguments on mandates are total nonsense. Mandates lead to a more expensive plan, not a less expensive plan. Mandates require money to pay for an enforcement mechanism. Under mandates there is no need to get the price down as people are forced to buy. Without mandates Obama is forced to make sure the cost is affordable. The free rider argument is also nonsense. There re many ways to build incentives into a plan to purchase early and disincentives to wait until you need the coverage. Medicare currently does this with the Part D plan which is voluntary. Obama has provided specific answers to this question, but of course you haven’t bothered to read what he actually said and instead just repeat talking points from the Clinton campaign.

    “YES, Obama supporters are hero worshipping followers that care less about the issues that affect us–health care, the economy, the staggering rise of foreclosure that folks like Oprah have the luxury not to worry about.”

    No, we are not hero worshipers. Obama is just one of many potential candidates who have good proposals and is qualified to be president. Obama has far better plans on health care, foreclosures, and the economy as I show in several posts here. In contrast, Clinton has presented a pack of plans which don’t hold up to scrutiny. The Washington Post compared their economic recover plans. Obama received an A- while Clinton’s plan received a C-.

    “–and are employing vicious tactics to smear Hillary Clinton, then snarling “Well, they started it!” when anyone dares point out how ridiculous they are behaving.”

    Just reading the tone of your comment shows what nonsense this is. I responded to Clinton’s smears with facts. My facts are backed up with hard evidence if you follow the links. What smears against Clinton? Arguing with facts are not smears. Clinton has employed dishonest Rove style smears against Obama while Obama vowed not to engage in such tactics, and has kept his word.

    “Lincoln consistently took unpopular, difficult positions and stoop up for what he believed.”

    Just like Obama who speaks about fuel economy in Detroit, or speaks about merit pay for teachers before a group of teachers.

    “He certainly didn’t vote Present because he was plotting his run for the Presidency asap.”

    Again, repeating this dishonest smear. The President of NOW has commended Obama’s present vote on abortion as being a courageous vote to help their cause.

    “Obama is going to introduce prayer in schools and religion in goverment”

    That’s absurd considering the number of times Obama has spoken out about the importance of separation of church and state–even before religious groups. This is just one area where Obama’s experience pays off as he has had the experience teaching Constitutional law.

    “we’ll have a republican easily follow him in 4 years.”

    Again you argue with smears rather than anything of substance. This makes absolutely no sense considering that it is Obama who receives the support of independents and Republicans while they oppose Clinton. Remember, it was Hillary Clinton who was greatly responsible for the Democrats losing control of Congress the last time the Clintons were in power. Bill Clinton only managed to stay in office due to his tremendous political skills. Hillary Clinton is no Bill Clinton so don’t count on her being able to do so.

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