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Hillary booed by liberal bloggers

By
August 4, 2007

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton refused Saturday to forsake campaign donations from lobbyists, turning aside challenges from her two main rivals with a rare defense of the special interest industry.

“A lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans, they actually do,” Clinton said, drawing boos and hisses from liberal bloggers at the second Yearly Kos convention.

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois put Clinton on the spot during a debate that featured seven of the eight major Democratic presidential candidates fielding questions from a crowd of 1,500 bloggers, most of them liberal. The gathering marked another advancement for the rising new wing of the Democratic Party, the so-called netroots.

The candidates were put on the spot from the start.

The first question went to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who was asked why he once cited Justice Byron White, a conservative, as a model Supreme Court justice. “I screwed up on that,” he replied.

Clinton was asked what three lessons she learned from her failed health care reform effort during the presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton. “It is not enough to have a plan. You’ve got to have a political strategy,” the New York senator said.

“In 90 seconds, I don’t have the time to tell you all the mistakes I made.”

Plunging headlong into the Internet era, all seven candidates fought for the support of the powerful and polarizing liberal blogosphere by promising universal health care, aggressive government spending and dramatic change from the Bush era.

Edwards received the loudest applause when he suggested his rivals were tinkering around the edges — “I just heard some discussion about negotiation, compromise” — rather than overhauling government. He said the nation needs “big change, not small change.”

The party’s 2004 vice presidential nominee, Edwards called on the field to join him in refusing donations from lobbyists. He suggested that accepting lobbyists’ money would make Democrats no better than Republicans.

“We don’t want to trade their insiders for ours,” he said.

Clinton, who accepts such donations, did not respond to Edwards until much later in the forum when the question was put to her. Even then, she stalled by stating the obvious.

“I think it’s a position that John certainly has taken,” she said, drawing laughter from the crowd. It was not clear whether the audience was laughing with her or at her.

Nonetheless, the bloggers booed and hissed when Clinton insisted a moment later that nobody would believe that she could be influenced by lobbyists’ money. So would she continue to accept those donations?

“Yes, I will,” she said, arguing that plenty of lobbyists represent good causes. “They represent nurses, they represent social workers, they represent, yes, they represent corporations that employ a lot of people.”

Obama rejected that argument, saying Clinton should know better because special interest money helped sink her health care package in 1993.

Edwards asked crowd members how many of them were represented by lobbyists. A few hands went up, and his point was made.

While they don’t accept money directly from lobbyists, Edwards and Obama are not above benefiting from the broader lobbying community. Both accept money from firms that have lobbying operations, and Obama in particular has tapped the networks of lobbyists’ friends and co-workers.

Again and again, Edwards took swipes at Clinton. On terrorism, he said: “I don’t believe we’re safer. I don’t agree with Sen. Clinton on that.” In a previous debate, Clinton had said the country had been made safer.

Clinton explained that while post-9/11 reforms have improved the nation’s safety, the country is not as safe under President Bush as it should be. “I listened carefully to John. I think we have a vigorous agreement,” she said, coldly.

The Kos convention is a sign of the times.

Gone are the days when candidates and political parties could talk to passive voters through mass media, largely controlling what messages were distributed, how the messages went out and who heard them. The Internet has helped create millions of media outlets and given anyone the power to express an opinion or disseminate information in a global forum, and connect with others who have similar interests.

Clinton is viewed skeptically by the the blogging community, mainly for her history of hawkish views on Iraq. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of Daily Kos and spiritual leader of the convention, said Clinton still might be able to mitigate her problems.

“We may decide she’s not our first choice, but she’s not a bad choice,” he said.

Appearing solo at a session of bloggers before the debate, Clinton was warmly received, especially when she jokingly blamed a microphone malfunction on the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

One thing most bloggers have in common — regardless of their political leanings — is an intense frustration with the political establishment. And so it was a convention dripping in irony when liberal bloggers welcomed the living symbols of the Democratic status quo — seven presidential candidates.

An audience member asked the candidates whether they would hire an official White House blogger. Edwards said yes, “and her name will be Elizabeth Edwards,” his wife.

A gruff-speaking Democratic darkhorse, former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, had a better idea: “Do it yourself.”

___

On the Net:

Convention site: http://www.yearlykosconvention.org

6 Responses to Hillary booed by liberal bloggers

  1. Carl Nemo

    August 5, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Hillary is now booed too by a “libertarian” CHB poster…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. SEAL

    August 5, 2007 at 5:06 am

    People complained about the presidential campaigns starting so early and that it would be filling the news in boring repetitions for a year and a half. But I said at the time that I thought it was going to be a blessing for the democrats and the country. I have always considered that the more “close” exposure Hillary Clinton gets and the more candid it becomes, the less appealing she will be, not only to the people, but to the string pullers in the democratic party. It should have been obvious to them from the beginning that she is not a good candidate. There are several others that would be very electable with the amount of backing she has had.

    For the first time, the Internet is going to have a serious impact on a national election. And the more impact the Internet has the better it will be for the nation because the Internet is the honest expressions of the people instead of controlled propaganda which is what the mainstream media has become.

    The beauty of the Internet is that any skewerd or untrue view expressed by someone can be immediately challenged and discredited. That cannot be done with 90% of the mainstream media and, unfortunately, they seriously outweigh the Internet. TV news is still the heavyweight in a nation of [Gene's favorite "supersize me"] people conditioned to believing whatever is expressed on the 6:00 and “film at 11:00″ mind controllers. But the advantage of the Internet is the large number of those “independents” in their audiance. The so-called swing voters who have been credited by the political analysts with actually determining the outcome.

    Getting these candidates in front of audiances like the KOS is the best thing that could happen. They will not be fed bumper sticker questions for talking point answers, or is it the other way around? Questions from real people will be confrontive and challenging for real answers. That exposes a candidate for better or worse. However, they must alter the formats to allow more time to answer questions that deserve it like, “What would you do about Iraq?” No one could answer that in 90 seconds. Another thing that should be done is to schedule the debates in front of a variety of politically orientations. One of the most obvious tricks the Bush people used was audience control and it was very successfull for them. They and the mainstream media still do it.

    A person/candidate like Clinton will always suffer whenever they are forced to defend their history with their reasoning. That is why “executive privilidge” exists. Bush does not want to expose “why” they did what they did. Neither does Clinton in many cases. Why? Because they did it for the wrong or self beneficial reasons. This is why there should be no executive privilidge or any candidate for office allowed to dodge the “why” questions. That is what the Internet will provide. It will demand to know “why.” The more of that we have the better our chances will be of electing officials that will serve the interests of the nation and it’s people rather than the bankrolls of the lobbyists. Welcome to the Internet, Hillary.

  3. gene

    August 5, 2007 at 9:24 am

    No one person can even put a dent in the issues that this country faces over the next several days, months, or years. Its simply (this nation and its citizens) have already dropped over the edge and headed for the bottom as in “splat” like a cockroach I stepped on the other day. Hope their are no cockroach lovers in here. That would be like saying “I respect Bush and Cheney”…that would qualify you as a “cockroach lover”…..excuse me I need too take a moment and “throw up”.

    Can’t blame the clueless masses of suburbia, why?, well their (clueless) and were programed (effectively) to be so. Hillary is just another talking mouth with absolutely no substance. And even if by some miracle someone were to appear with (substance) how in God’s name could they turn this nation around.

    I’m sure some (inspiring) CHB commenter/ranter will have something to say about that. What about you (LFTL), want to give it a shot? Your wisdom I find infallible. I respect your opinion!!!

  4. LurkingFromTheLeft

    August 6, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Okay – ask and ye shall receive –

    …don’t care for her one bit –

    …she would be among the very bottom of the group I could stomach –

    …I also very pity the poor full that does get to take over The USS Constitution Be Damned –

    …the hole that Dumbass has dug is so deep that not even all the political bullshit in the UNIVERSE could fill it up –

    …and the fickle public – being as they are – will be screaming for the admiral to get back on course NOW –

    …just MHO though –

    LFTL

  5. ekaton

    August 5, 2007 at 11:33 am

    “Plunging headlong into the Internet era, all seven candidates fought for the support of the powerful and polarizing liberal blogosphere by promising universal health care, aggressive government spending and dramatic change from the Bush era.”

    Aggressive government spending? How about an aggressive cut in military spending to finance that universal health care? And what about the 9 trillion dollar national debt?

    “The party’s 2004 vice presidential nominee, Edwards called on the field to join him in refusing donations from lobbyists. He suggested that accepting lobbyists’ money would make Democrats no better than Republicans.”

    Followed later in the article by:

    “While they don’t accept money directly from lobbyists, Edwards and Obama are not above benefiting from the broader lobbying community. Both accept money from firms that have lobbying operations, and Obama in particular has tapped the networks of lobbyists’ friends and co-workers.”

    What sheer arrogance! How little disregard for the intelligence of the people! But then I guess taking a bribe directly from the source eliminates the inefficiencies of middle men.

    “Nonetheless, the bloggers booed and hissed when Clinton insisted a moment later that nobody would believe that she could be influenced by lobbyists’ money. So would she continue to accept those donations?”

    Sure. She is pure as the driven snow. Pristine and holy. If she actually believes what she said, “nobody would believe…” , she has to be seriously deluded.

    “Yes, I will,” she said, arguing that plenty of lobbyists represent good causes. “They represent nurses, they represent social workers, they represent, yes, they represent corporations that employ a lot of people.”

    Would these actually be the corporations that USED to employ a lot of people in the United States but that now employ lots of people offshore? Yup. They sure do employ a lot of people.

    — Kent Shaw

  6. bryan mcclellan

    August 5, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Nice shot Mr. Shaw,last paragraph is outstanding.The more they blather the stronger the bile of contempt rises in my gut.As election time gets nearer we will be subjected to more of,you the people don’t know squat and we are here to define it for you.As you stated,their arrogance is rampant in that the means(lying) to their ends(our enslavement) has been thrown right in our faces and they don’t care if we see through them or not.They know that even if we won’t dance to their melody of shit,they can still make us pay the piper.It’s the old soft shoe with the Jackboot waiting off stage.Wake up America !!