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Perhaps The Most Disingenuous Statement of the Year


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It s distressing to me that we have to follow the former president of the United States to make him tell the truth, said **** Harpootlian, former chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party and an Obama supporter. I know he loves his wife, but we hope he loves his country, too.

Ouch!

http://www.thestate.com/447/story/293545.html

Truth squad targets Clinton camp s lies

By WAYNE WASHINGTON

wwashington@thestate.com

Former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday picked up the line of attack his wife has used against Barack Obama, repeating to S.C. Democrats that the U.S. senator from Illinois has not been a consistent opponent of the war in Iraq.

While Obama criticized Hillary Clinton s vote to authorize force, Bill Clinton said there s not a nickel s worth of difference in their voting records.

The Obama campaign, in a fight with Hillary Clinton to win the S.C. primary Saturday, formed a truth squad to follow Bill Clinton, the party s heaviest of heavyweights, around the Palmetto State to point out what the Obama campaign said are lies about Obama s record.

It s distressing to me that we have to follow the former president of the United States to make him tell the truth, said **** Harpootlian, former chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party and an Obama supporter. I know he loves his wife, but we hope he loves his country, too.

Harpootlian, who campaigned for Bill Clinton when he ran for president, added: This guy is telling a big lie here, but the bigger the lie, the more people believe it.

Harpootlian is joined on Obama s truth squad by former Gov. Jim Hodges, former state superintendent of education Inez Tenenbaum, state Rep. Bakari Sellers, D-Bamberg, and Joe Erwin, another former chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party.

During stops around the state Tuesday, Obama accused Hillary Clinton of Washington-speak, noting her initial support for a bankruptcy bill she later said she hoped would not pass.

What does that mean? Obama asked.

Hillary Clinton, who has beaten Obama in back-to-back contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, has decided to focus her personal attention this week on states that will vote Feb. 5. Her campaign has dispatched Bill Clinton to campaign in South Carolina on her behalf.

The former president remains enormously popular among black voters, who are expected to make up half of those casting ballots Saturday.

Bill Clinton s presence in South Carolina, coupled with his wife s attacks from elsewhere, underscores the tough challenge Obama faces in squaring off against a pair of formidable politicians.

I don t know who I m running against sometimes, Obama said Monday night.

Bill Clinton stopped at Lizard s Thicket in Columbia on Tuesday morning and said he and his wife have not been dishonest in criticizing Obama s record on the Iraq war. That criticism from Bill Clinton led to a series of frosty exchanges between Obama and Hillary Clinton Monday night.

Obama said then that Bill Clinton has misrepresented his position.

Not so, said the former president Tuesday.

There was nothing specific I said that was said to be inaccurate, Clinton told reporters and patrons at Lizard s Thicket.

Hillary Clinton told reporters in Washington, D.C., Tuesday that it was Obama, frustrated by the losses in New Hampshire and Nevada, who came into Monday s debate spoiling for a fight.

I think what we saw last night was that he s very frustrated, The Associated Press quoted her as saying. I believe that the events of the last 10 or so days, the outcome of New Hampshire and Nevada, apparently have convinced him to adopt a different strategy.

Obama said his opponent has taken pleasure in distorting his record.

Obama spoke out against the war in Iraq before Congress with Hillary Clinton voting in favor gave President Bush the authority to use force.

After winning election to the U.S. Senate, Obama voted to fund troop operations.

Obama has argued he correctly determined the war was a mistake and frequently says Hillary Clinton exercised poor judgment in voting to give Bush the authority to use military force.

The Clinton campaign says Obama s opposition to the war was easy since he wasn t in the U.S. Senate when the vote to authorize it was held.Both Hillary Clinton and Obama voted against the most recent Iraq war funding request.

Staff Writer Gina Smith contributed. Reach senior writer Wayne Washington at (803) 771-8385.

© 2008 TheState.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.thestate.com

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It s distressing to me that we have to follow the former president of the United States to make him tell the truth, said **** Harpootlian, former chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party and an Obama supporter. I know he loves his wife, but we hope he loves his country, too.

The bickering annoys me to no end, but I swear I laugh every time I read the bolded part. Harpootlian must be an amazing actor to deliver that line with a straight face.

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etifan (1/23/2008)
It s distressing to me that we have to follow the former president of the United States to make him tell the truth, said **** Harpootlian, former chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party and an Obama supporter. I know he loves his wife, but we hope he loves his country, too.

The bickering annoys me to no end, but I swear I laugh every time I read the bolded part. Harpootlian must be an amazing actor to deliver that line with a straight face.

It's frustrating as ****! Obama is getting sucked down into it and I don't know what he can do? He's getting skewered by the politics of distortion. If you actually do the research, it's clear how dishonest the Clintons have been. But the truth doesn't seem to get reported. The media quotes the Clintons, then quotes Obama saying it's a distortion . . . but the media doesn't actually do the research, show the facts, and CALL OUT THE OFFENDER on the lie.

Why? Because it's easier and sells better if they can get the attacks out there.

And the psychology of it is devestating. Once the sead of doubt is planted the cynicism remains even after the accusation has been proven wrong.

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rsa linkster (1/23/2008)

It's frustrating as ****! Obama is getting sucked down into it and I don't know what he can do? He's getting skewered by the politics of distortion. If you actually do the research, it's clear how dishonest the Clintons have been. But the truth doesn't seem to get reported. The media quotes the Clintons, then quotes Obama saying it's a distortion . . . but the media doesn't actually do the research, show the facts, and CALL OUT THE OFFENDER on the lie.

Why? Because it's easier and sells better if they can get the attacks out there.

And the psychology of it is devestating. Once the sead of doubt is planted the cynicism remains even after the accusation has been proven wrong.

I agree...this bickering back and forth is really making Obama look bad even though he didn't really do anything wrong in the first place. But at the same time, it's making Hilary look bad too so I guess they cancel each other out?? All this bickering is going to accomplish is making people stay away from the polls b/c they're disillusioned with both of them. I would say it may help Edwards, but he just seems too far behind for this to give him the kind of push he really needs.

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It's frustrating as ****! Obama is getting sucked down into it and I don't know what he can do? He's getting skewered by the politics of distortion. If you actually do the research, it's clear how dishonest the Clintons have been. But the truth doesn't seem to get reported. The media quotes the Clintons, then quotes Obama saying it's a distortion . . . but the media doesn't actually do the research, show the facts, and CALL OUT THE OFFENDER on the lie.

Why? Because it's easier and sells better if they can get the attacks out there.

And the psychology of it is devestating. Once the sead of doubt is planted the cynicism remains even after the accusation has been proven wrong.

Well of course...truth is dull and it doesn't sell papers/ad space.** They won't "waste" efforts to fix it b/c human drones only care about sensationalism. It's this nonsense that makes good people apathetic toward politics and the really sad thing is, I don't believe Obama is antagonistic like the stereotypical politician. He really wants to focus on a SOLUTION (madness, I know!). It's something I really like about him (and Edwards) but at the same time, the Clintons will DEVOUR him if he doesn't react. When he reacts, he becomes one of them. He's kind of screwed.

Forget race, forget gender, and forget BILL...the focus should be on voting records and issues...of the actual candidates. But in a society that is more concerned with whether a bald, druggie pop princess is wearing panties, than with reporting something that might make us think, inspire us to act, anger us into action...what do we expect?

**Disclaimer: I have personal history that will forever taint my view of the media. Apologies.

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One more thing...do you honestly believe the average American will EVER put forth effort to do their own research? Something besides whatever CNN/Fox/MTV tells them? Even just look a little deeper into a few headlines? If it isn't incredibly convenient, the masses won't do it. MUCH easier to get your information from the loudest/cutest/most popular person you know...whether that person is a neighbor or a celebrity. It's frightening how many people never progress past junior high.

If you do believe the first line, pass those pills...I need hope.

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etifan (1/23/2008)
One more thing...do you honestly believe the average American will EVER put forth effort to do their own research? Something besides whatever CNN/Fox/MTV tells them? Even just look a little deeper into a few headlines? If it isn't incredibly convenient, the masses won't do it. MUCH easier to get your information from the loudest/cutest/most popular person you know...whether that person is a neighbor or a celebrity. It's frightening how many people never progress past junior high.

If you do believe the first line, pass those pills...I need hope.

We have met the enemy and they is us. These guys are, of course, "political ANIMALS". And they are where they are because they have EVOLVED as political animals. They know what works and how to survive. And this crap works. It would NOT work if people were not lazy sheep. When we express frustration with the dishonesty and shameless games of our polititicians, were are recognizing our own failures.

I just listened to a radio spot Hillary is running in S.C. that is exclusively about Obama's "Republicans were the party of ideas" statement. It is a gross distortion and obscenely intellectually dishonest. On THAT issue, the media HAVE been clear. Why is she running tha add anyway? Because she thinks the folks in S.C. are idiots.

Ultimately, these kinds of attacks are insulting to us, the voters. But sometimes, insults are acurate.

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We have met the enemy and they is us. These guys are, of course, "political ANIMALS". And they are where they are because they have EVOLVED as political animals. They know what works and how to survive. And this crap works. It would NOT work if people were not lazy sheep. When we express frustration with the dishonesty and shameless games of our polititicians, were are recognizing our own failures.

I just listened to a radio spot Hillary is running in S.C. that is exclusively about Obama's "Republicans were the party of ideas" statement. It is a gross distortion and obscenely intellectually dishonest. On THAT issue, the media HAVE been clear. Why is she running tha add anyway? Because she thinks the folks in S.C. are idiots.

Ultimately, these kinds of attacks are insulting to us, the voters. But sometimes, insults are acurate

And I'm not the only one saying that:

The Clintons Patronizing Strategy

The latest attacks on Obama insult voters' intelligence.

By Jonathan Alter

Newsweek Web Exclusive

Updated: 11:29 AM ET Jan 24, 2008

The last major presidential candidate from Illinois, Adlai Stevenson, was approached by a voter in the 1950s. "Governor, you have the vote of every thinking American," she said. "That's nice," Stevenson replied. "But I need a majority."

Politics, as Bill Clinton said Tuesday in South Carolina, is "a contact sport." And while Barack Obama is trying hard to shed his professorial and all-too-Stevensonian air, he's just not a good enough eye-gouger at the line of scrimmage, especially with two people teaming up against him.

Obama's best hope is that Democratic voters aren't as dumb as Hillary and Bill Clinton think they are. The outcome of the primaries depends on whether, amid their busy lives, voters can get a general fix on who is more often telling the truth about the barrage of charges and countercharges.

This is ironic, because the way Bill Clinton survived impeachment was by betting on the intelligence of the American public. Now he's betting against it.

In South Carolina, Hillary is airing a radio ad that goes back to a theme she pushed in the debate there Monday night: that Obama liked Republican ideas. As Obama pointed out in his response ad, this is "demonstrably false," as referees from ABC News to the Washington Post to factcheck.org have established. (The Obama response ad ends with a new tag line that Hillary will "say anything and change nothing.")

The Republican story goes back to an interview Obama did with a Nevada newspaper in which he praised the way Ronald Reagan communicated with the public and changed "the trajectory of American politics." He added that, unfortunately, the Republicans had some fresher ideas than the Democrats in recent decades.

These are completely ordinary comments. In fact, as Obama pointed out in the Myrtle Beach debate, Hillary is considerably more effusive about Reagan in Tom Brokaw's new book, "Boom." Bill has also made many statements over the years that were much more complimentary toward Reagan. Nobody paying attention thinks either Obama or the Clintons likes Reagan's right-wing politics.

But instead of moving on to another line of attack with more grounding in what Bill Clinton called "indisputable facts," the Clinton campaign decided to bet that this Reagan horse could be flogged for more votes among less educated voters in South Carolina who might be inclined to believe Hillary's preposterous version.

Less educated? Yes, downscale voters are their target group. Obama is stronger among well-educated Democrats, according to polls. So the Clintons figure that maybe their base among less educated white Democrats might be receptive to an argument that assumes they're dumb. Less well-educated equals gullible in the face of bogus attack ads. That's the logic, and the Clintons are testing it in South Carolina before trying it in Super Tuesday states. They are also road-testing major distortions of Obama's positions on abortion, Social Security and the minimum wage.

I'm all for aggressive, even negative, campaigning, but I'm not so sure this patronizing approach will work for Hillary down the stretch. Let's take the battle in New Jersey, a delegate-rich state that votes on Feb. 5. Hillary will almost certainly win there, in her backyard, but the question is by how much. New Jersey delegates are awarded proportionally, which means that if Obama can come within five or ten points, he's ahead of the game in the delegate hunt.

As the Reagan ad aired in South Carolina, Hillary was campaigning in New Jersey. That gave the Obama campaign an excuse to assemble a rapid response team to create a little backlash in the Garden State.

Cory Booker, the inspiring mayor of Newark, is especially popular with white liberals in the suburbs. Here's what he said about the Clinton ads, beyond calling them "outrageous" and "dishonest":

"We're trying to offer an alternative to the Republicans' fear and smear campaigns, and now we're being dragged down to their level by the Clintons."

I live in New Jersey and can attest that plenty of Democrats there will be responsive to Booker's argument, as well as that of New York-area newspapers blasting Hillary for the Reagan shot. Disgust with this kind of thing may help bring Obama closer than expected.

Bill Clinton rightly complained in the 1990s about the politics of personal destruction. In both 1992 and 1996 he managed to run general election campaigns against George Bush and Bob Dole that mostly stayed on the high road. Then, in 1998, he survived a withering assault by relying on the common sense of average people.

On the day his testimony about his sex life was being replayed on TV arguably the most embarrassing day in the history of the presidency I slipped into a reception for Clinton in New York.

He was amazingly serene. With enough time and information, the president told me, the American people figure out the truth. They aren't as dumb as [former House GOP strategist] Tom DeLay thinks, he suggested. "The people always get it right," Clinton said.

They did then, supporting Clinton against a witch hunt. But will they now?

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holymoses (1/24/2008)

Ultimately, these kinds of attacks are insulting to us, the voters. But sometimes, insults are acurate

And I'm not the only one saying that:

The Clintons Patronizing Strategy

The latest attacks on Obama insult voters' intelligence.

By Jonathan Alter

Newsweek Web Exclusive

Updated: 11:29 AM ET Jan 24, 2008

The last major presidential candidate from Illinois, Adlai Stevenson, was approached by a voter in the 1950s. "Governor, you have the vote of every thinking American," she said. "That's nice," Stevenson replied. "But I need a majority."

...

He was amazingly serene. With enough time and information, the president told me, the American people figure out the truth. They aren't as dumb as [former House GOP strategist] Tom DeLay thinks, he suggested. "The people always get it right," Clinton said.

They're worse than animals...they're parasites. I liked Bill as President. Hillary? I know this isn't a popularity contest, however, it gets more and more difficult for me to place the security and future of the American people into the hands of someone who I firmly believe will do anything necessary (ZERO boundaries) for PERSONAL survival. If Hillary has to choose what's best for her personally v. what's best for her people, we are in serious trouble. She's capable of doing a good job as president, but does she have the character?

As for the Republican/Obama comment...I thought at the end of the day we were all Americans? No one is allowed to praise a group with whom they have historically disagreed? It's treason to believe someone else might have a good idea?

Unfortunately, the article you posted will not spread through inboxes like wildfire, as it would if it were inflammatory fluff. And I hope Bill's quote at the end comes back to bite him in the bal...ahem, rear end.

BTW, I forgot to mention this earlier, so you probably already know, but Jean Carnahan is for Obama. Thought that was cool.

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etifan (1/24/2008)
holymoses (1/24/2008)

Ultimately, these kinds of attacks are insulting to us, the voters. But sometimes, insults are acurate

And I'm not the only one saying that:

The Clintons Patronizing Strategy

The latest attacks on Obama insult voters' intelligence.

By Jonathan Alter

Newsweek Web Exclusive

Updated: 11:29 AM ET Jan 24, 2008

The last major presidential candidate from Illinois, Adlai Stevenson, was approached by a voter in the 1950s. "Governor, you have the vote of every thinking American," she said. "That's nice," Stevenson replied. "But I need a majority."

...

He was amazingly serene. With enough time and information, the president told me, the American people figure out the truth. They aren't as dumb as [former House GOP strategist] Tom DeLay thinks, he suggested. "The people always get it right," Clinton said.

They're worse than animals...they're parasites. I liked Bill as President. Hillary? I know this isn't a popularity contest, however, it gets more and more difficult for me to place the security and future of the American people into the hands of someone who I firmly believe will do anything necessary (ZERO boundaries) for PERSONAL survival. If Hillary has to choose what's best for her personally v. what's best for her people, we are in serious trouble. She's capable of doing a good job as president, but does she have the character?

As for the Republican/Obama comment...I thought at the end of the day we were all Americans? No one is allowed to praise a group with whom they have historically disagreed? It's treason to believe someone else might have a good idea?

Unfortunately, the article you posted will not spread through inboxes like wildfire, as it would if it were inflammatory fluff. And I hope Bill's quote at the end comes back to bite him in the bal...ahem, rear end.

BTW, I forgot to mention this earlier, so you probably already know, but Jean Carnahan is for Obama. Thought that was cool.

I sent an email to Drew Westen last week saying that watching the Clintons lately reminded me of a review I read of the movie "Cacoon II". The critic said "It's like going back to your high school reunion and finding out all the kids you thought were really cool are complete ********."

TOTALLY describes how I feel about the Clintons these days. Especially Bill. He's breaking my heart.

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holymoses (1/24/2008)

I sent an email to Drew Westen last week saying that watching the Clintons lately reminded me of a review I read of the movie "Cacoon II". The critic said "It's like going back to your high school reunion and finding out all the kids you thought were really cool are complete ********."

TOTALLY describes how I feel about the Clintons these days. Especially Bill. He's breaking my heart.

The betrayal is worse than if he'd just been an ##### all along. It definitely stings. I remember feeling ELATED the day I had fifth-row seats to see him speak (when he was still President). I was pretty excited when Hillary decided to run. I'm numb to a lot of the evil displayed by politicians...it's just part of the atmosphere. But the Clintons just keep racking up negatives.

One of my closest girlfiends (a journalist for whom I have a ton of respect) insists that I am being harsher than necessary on Hillary b/c of the gender issue...I disagree.

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