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Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama supporters get carried away

Credit Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with having the good sense to each take a respite from grueling, enervating struggle for the Democratic presidential nomination. Now, someone needs to advise a couple of their most ardent backers to chill.

James Carville -- apparently feeling the need to offer a reminder of how he earned his "Ragin' Cajun" nickname -- responded to Bill Richardson's endorsement of Obama by comparing it to the most infamous betrayal in the history of the Western world.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Carville told the New York Times.

What strikes us as odd -- if not quite ironic -- is that Carville's superheated reaction came as Mark Penn, the Clinton campaign's chief strategist, was doing his best to dismiss the impact of Richardson's move. "I don't think it is a significant endorsement," Penn said in a widely disseminated quote. "The time when he could have been most effective is long since passed."

Carville was giving vent to the widespread attitude within the world of the Clintons that Richardson owes more gratitude than he's displayed to the former first family. Undoubtedly, Richardson's political stature was elevated when Bill Clinton, during his presidency, named him to serve as ambassador to the U.N. and later appointed him secretary of Energy.

But that latter job proved a ...   

mixed blessing for Richardson, since he inherited the messy Wen Ho Lee spying case. And even without his tenure in the Clinton administration, he was on a track to eventually win the job he now holds -- governor of New Mexico. And that's the perch he needed to launch his run for the presidency last year.

Carville's comment is going to be hard to top for most overheated rhetoric of the week, but an Obama aide, retired Gen. Merrill "Tony" McPeak, gave him some competition.

Reacting Friday to yet another remark by Bill Clinton that may or may not have been a barb directed at Obama, McPeak likened the ex-president to the notorious Red-baiter of the 1950s, Sen. Joe McCarthy.

Clinton's words -- referring to his wife and presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, he said, "I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people (competing in the general election) who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country" -- raised eyebrows because of the obvious omission of Obama from the equation.

But the Clinton camp moved quickly to insist that the ex-president meant no offense. True, Bill Clinton's track record in this campaign leaves that open to interpretation. Still, by invoking McCarthy's name, McPeak opened the door for Hillary Clinton's chief spokesman, Howard Wolfson, to send out an e-mail Saturday to "interested parties" (that includes us) noting that the general, during an interview with L.A. Times reporter Peter Wallsten earlier this year, offered intemperate remarks about Hillary Clinton that he has yet to live down (though he retracted them).

As we said, it seems some vacation time is in order for more than just the candidates themselves.

-- Don Frederick

 
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It would be tough to find a more diverse Congressional District than the Northwest New Mexico District which Bill Richardson represented. It includes Santa Fe, which is mega-wealthy, liberal, artsy and has the great bulk of New Mexico's state bureaucrats. But the District also has the oil and gas industry in Farmington, Aztec and Bloomfield, the Native American tribal groups -- Dineh (Navajo), Hopi, Jicarilla Apache, Zia and other tribes, pueblos in Taos and elsewhere, virtually all of New Mexico's ski industry at Taos, Santa Fe, Angel Fire, the grinding poverty of Tierra Amarilla and the other historic animist communities of North Central New Mexico and the over the top scientific community at Los Alamos. Richardson was a popular member from that District and could have been re-elected for his entire life.

He has been an incredibly popular and successful governor and has tackled really tough problems with notable success, such as an appalling rate of drunk driving deaths. He has dealt with the tensions of the second longest border with Mexico of any American state (only Texas has more and Texas has the Rio Grande for separation where New Mexico has only the Sonoran desert).

Richardson has revived New Mexico for location shooting for numerous feature films. That brings recognition, publicity for a state which needs tourism, and good paying support jobs.

Richardson has been the most successful international negotiator of an entire generation.

Richardson took on the mess which had become of the great national laboratories at Brookhaven, Los Alamos, Sandia and Livermore. He has a phenomenal command of the nuclear weapons/nuclear power issues which will dominate the transition away from oil and coal.

He speaks fluent Spanish as a native Speaker. He grew up in Mexico City.

He could have been just as bitter as the Clintons seem to be over being passed over by the Democratic electorate. His credentials entitled him to be considered in the first rank of candidates. But he bore being passed over with good humor and good grace. Alas, it appears we cannot say that of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Our country is going through some very useful John Adams recollections and while doing so it would be useful to note how very much the arc of Richardson's commitment to our great Republic resembles that of Adams. Richardson continues to step up to the tasks which need to be done.

At this moment in time one of those tasks is to bring the Democratic nomination contest to a graceful and workable close. That will occur as reality is recognized.

The Obama campaign took the process as they found it and they worked hard to make it work for Senator Obama. Where there were caucuses they organized. Where money was needed, they raised it. Where message and inspiration were important, they had both. Now the numbers favor Senator Obama in a way which almost all of us can see is inevitable.

We have seen a succession of attempts by the Clinton campaign to try to do what they never thought they would have to do, which is come from behind. But they have less money, fewer delegates and a struggle to project an inspirational message. They are neither as bad as some of the commenters say nor as virtuous as they see themselves to be.

The Clintons have in some cases not adjusted well to having to cope with setbacks. Hillary looked radiant the night after Ohio. But much of the time she looks forced and awkward which tells us, alas, that she does not cope as well with adversity as with success.

Senator Obama, by contrast, has been able to display an equanimity and sense of poise in both victory and defeat, which calls to mind the great Kipling quotation which confronts every player en route onto Wimbledon Centre Court: "If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same . . . "

I think Bill Richardson has sensed that, as indeed, have we all.

Telluride, Colorado

GALLUP POLL asks:

DO YOU TRUST THIS CANDIDATE?

McCain: 67% YES, 27% NO

Obama: 63% YES, 29% NO

Billary: 44% YES, 53% NO

SEE FOR YOURSELF:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/105097/Perceived-Honesty-Gap-Clinton-Versus-Obama-McCain.aspx

Hillary is a liar, from her lies about her "major role" in all kinds of events from peace treaties to war strategies, to her claim she was against NAFTA and Iraq (but supported one in her First Lady role and voted for the other as senator). She cannot be trusted.

No way Jose I am never voting for Billary. It's Obama or McCain. Billary is the least trusted of them all.

Hillary will win Republican of the year.

EVERYBODY LIES, even YOU. Now if Hillary lied for the good of the nation, great. If Barack lies about his hating character, together with Michelle and that black racist Wright, thats not good because that would be detrimental to America. We cannot trust a person who HATES AMERICA. I would make it my job to email and chain mail the hate delivered by this nutjobs who want to be the most powerful people in America. Barack, this is personal. I am going to put down every poster of yours.

Obama's original appeal was that he was fresh and clean and seemed so sincere. He was articulate and appeared to be a truly "nice guy." Now that we learn about Rev. Wright's ministry of hate; we're all surprised that Obama's superior intellect and judgement didn't tell him that Wright's sermons were unChristian and flagrantly unpatriotic. Sad really,

The fact is, even if we wanted to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and consider this association with someone as hate-filled at Rev. Wright poor judgement on his part, we have too many unanswered questions-- who is Obama REALLY? Who would he appoint to key positions in his administration? Can we trust him to protect and defend our lives and our childrens' future. We simply don't know who this man is, and the idea that he could someday soon be the most powerful man on the face of the earth is scary. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up, and that's not a good sign. My instincts tell me the stakes are too high to take this gamble.

Obama: Sorry dude, not this time...

Liz: you need some common facts regurgitated for you, it seems.

Since when has Hillary ever "LIED FOR THE GOOD OF AMERICA????"

Delete "America," insert "Billary," and I would say you have a valid point.

Lying about her records has no positive bearing on America. It fools those who are too lazy or don't want to look at the actual records (you??).

NAFTA has not been good for America. Iraq has not been good for America. Hillary supported both from the start, and now she's backpedaling, no, actually LYING about her records.

Her husband Bill was in full support of a free trade agreement with CHINA, a country that would have proven disastrous for the US as a partner, with its otherworldly cheap labor and its horrendous human rights records (have you heard of Tibet??). Thanks goodness there is a two-term limit.

Which part of Hillary's lies don't you understand?

I'm from New Mexico, and Richardson's endorsement makes me more likely to vote for Hillary. We lost a lot of respect for him while he was campaigning; seemed like he went out of his way to look so sloppy, donuts and all. Our biggest issue in New Mexico is the border and Richardson's mi casa, su casa attitude.

How is it that so many illegals are able to come here and set up shop, and yet after all these years of affirmative action, government subsidies, etc., that the black citizens of the country can't seem to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and find their destiny in the mainstream of America? What's holding the black population down, besides themselves? Whitie can't get away with the things he used to before the 1960's....

Liz:

actually you sound so self righteous you just might be a McCain GOP plant already attacking Obama, the ONLY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE GOP IS AFRAID OF.

As far as you, the GOP supporter is concerned, it's viva Hillary since McCain will beat her handily.

And Liz, I ask you again:

WHICH OF HILLARY'S LIES WAS EVER GOOD FOR AMERICA?? Lying about her Iraq vote? Lying about her support for NAFTA? Those were good lies for America? You made no sense.

I am a Brit living in London but with 10 years living just to the South of the border working for the Mexican government in a senior capacity.

I think Richardson’s endorsement is significant. As with Obama he was partly brought up in a very different Country (Mexico) where the common US assumptions that the USA is the greatest and always on the side of good are openly and deeply questioned. While surprised at some of Reverend Wright’s language it strengthens my support for Obama. I feel he has the intellect to listen to anti-American government statements -even from someone he trusts over a period of time - and not get panicked by it and continue to make up his own mind. There is no hint in any statement made by Obama of concurrence with Wright’s views. Not a hint.

A president who has been through this is in a better position to lead in a world where many if not most of the world are highly skeptical of the US's good intentions –especially right now. I don't expect any US president to have those views -because if they did they would be unelectable as we all tend to be nationalists first an foremost- but I do think it is valuable to have a President with the confidence and intellect that he/she can listen to them and not run or panic. Richardson shares this life experience with Obama and I think that is what tipped the balance to the endorsement. A remarkable endorsement given that Richardson worked closely with the Clintons. Begs the question as to why Al Gore can not brig himself to endorse Clinton. Silence speaks with Gore and it is not complementary for Clinton. He must harbor deep doubts from a position of knowledge.

Please America do not get panicked just because someone stayed in the room or Church when anti-American government statements were made. It is a sign of intellectual strength not weakness. That viewpoint is out there and it is better to be prepared for it rather than scared of it.

Liz at 10:47 above, you need to turn off Faux News, Hannity and Limbaugh and try thinking for yourself. America needs people, not sheeple.

Some want to blame Rev. Wright or Obama for injecting race in the campaign discussion.

Get real!

The real blame goes to the Hannity/Limbaugh/McBush, Fox neo-con slime machine. Until the MSM explores the true origins of the out-of-context smear and examines how it was used to manipulate voters' opinions, the smear will keep its traction all the way to November. It's incumbent on someone in the MSM to speak up about this new McCarthyism of character assassination, guilt by association, and "patriotic correctness." Is there no 21st century Joseph Welch or Edward R. Murrow to speak truth to America? Perhaps Rev. Wright's sermons this week will make the point, if only the MSM will dare to report it.

"At last, sir, have you left no decency?"

HERE IS THE REAL ANSWER TO THE QUESTION WHY OBAMA DID NOT LEAVE HIS CHURCH/PASTOR OF 20+ YEARS, if Rev. Wright’s comments were not reflective of Obama feelings and thoughts about America and it’s citizenry, and why stay in the church for 20+ years even if the church was also known for its social ministry. I think Obama should have made it more apparent in his race speech regarding the influences of his early childhood experiences. I believe that for the lack of a father figure, Obama conscientiously chose Rev Wright as a substitution for what might had been had Obama’s real father stayed in his parent's marriage. It is that emotional tie, that psychology behind Obama choice to stay in the church/pastor for 20+ years. Yes, Obama could have gone to another church, etc. but it’s Oama probably viewed his father through Rev. Wright - both for what Obama says is the Rev’s intellect and biblical scholarship. Those feelings seem mutual as quotated here: “Wright didn't mention Obama by name but nevertheless recounted the candidate's life story. The minister spoke about a biracial child using hope to overcome racism, go to an Ivy League law school and become a politician. "How many children of biracial parents can make it in a world controlled by racist ideology?" Wright asked. "But if you use your mind, instead of a lost statistic in a hate-filled universe, you just may end up a law student at Harvard University. In fact, if you use your mind, you might end up as the editor of the Harvard Law Review. If you use your mind, instead of [being] a statistic destined for the poor house, you just may end up a statesman destined for the . . . Yes, we can!" Wright said, without mentioning the White House, but using the Obama campaign slogan to bring the crowd to its feet.”

Obama will not be able to shake J. Wright from his bid for the presidency. J. Wright has latched onto Obama's leg like a Pit Bull and he is not going away. There are many questions that Obama cannot answer such as why would you stay in this church for 20 years? And, what is a "typical" white person? You made a statement that J. Wright is like everyone's Rabbi, Priest or Minister in which you may not agree with their views, but you continue to attend that church. No! If you disagree with a church's view, a reasonable person will find another church. Ask yourself, why did Oprah disassociate herself from this church?

In conventional politics campaigns will play dirty and use whatever tactics possible to gain an edge. The problem is playing the race card is not an edge to gain. Everybody loses. The Clintons have done very well marketing themselves to African Americans over the years. Was it genuine or assets? Consider the bag of bricks Obama has to carry when the Clinton campaign allows open ended race words and phrases slip. When it comes to dodging racism anyone who thinks Hillarys bag is just as heavy or heavier needs to look no further than Geraldine Ferraro. Clearly racist. Hillary denounces and apologizes days later and it goes away. Assets protected. No other presidential candidate has ever had to go through what Barack has had to regarding a former pastor. Is that what we call tough love here in America? African Americans should stand strong through this process. Slavery and its residue of racism happens to be much larger part of society than some would admit. Hillary will benefit from that for a minute. Barack Obama will be president.

THIS I VERY SIMPLE.

OBAMA ATTENDING THIS CHURCH FOR 20 YEARS IS

LIKE A WHITE CANDIDATE ATTENDING KKK-MEETINGS

FOR 20 YEARS.

WOULD YOU VOTE FOR Y PERSON LIKE THAT?

Rev. Wright's statements are in no way similar to the rhetoric of the KKK. He did not ask any his parishioners to harm or burn anyone's home but he did ask Black Americans to wake up and get an education in order to become doctors so as to take care of their communities (do you realize that there are no clinics that look at the medical issues affecting African Americans); and to become lawyers which will help them get into the political arena (the funds for legal services to the poor were cut during Regan's era); and to become educators who can teach future generations (scholarships for Blacks are few none what with the backlash against affirm action) ... that's what I heard in his sermon. These statements may be divisive like some of the speech out the Clinton campaign but it is not racist. However, many of the statements from some bloggers on this site definitely have a hateful tone.

As noted above, Gov. Richardson is an incredibly popular and successful governor and I am happy he is supporting Senator Obama for President. Hopefully, John Edwards will do the same soon, so that the Democratic party can move forward and bring these primaries to a close and began preparing to win the Presidential race.

I am amazed at how ordinary American folks think their situation would change simply because an afro-americo-asian becomes president. It does not matter who; the American presidency is shaped by the president's desire for political survival, the circumstance of the day and by the bureaucracy. Or, will an Obama preach peace if in his time as president the Pentagon is attacked by terrorists? Americans should get real: look at the bottomline of the candidates on issues that matter such as healthcare, security and education. On all counts I think that McCain and Clinton look better

obed awowede:
I am amazed at how ordinary American folks think their situation would change simply because an afro-americo-asian becomes president.

Skeevie Mack:
THINGS A BLACK PRESIDENT COULDN"T GET AWAY WITH:
1) Going to the wrong country (IRAQ) in search of Bin Laden.
2) Taking billions of dollars from ordinary Americans while funding a war for oil who's revenues go to Oil companies and ordinary Americans struggle financially.
3) Lie about going to Bosnia and other presidential experience
2) Get exposed for shoving a cigar into an interns vagina in the sacred Oval Office while cheating on his wife.
3) Run an arrogant administration - void of any logical reasoning - based on greed, violence and intimidation - resulting in decreased constitutional protections for average Americans - increased protections for the rich and corporate interests.
4) Get a blank check to fight any war
5) Be an Alcaholic and steal the election from Al Gore
6) Have a wife like Michelle Obama and commit adultry while she was home (without being castrated on sight).
7) Be commonly called "dumb" or inarticulate" and respected as the leader of the free world
8) Lead our service men into harms way without proper justification - and dare anyone question his authority
9) Lie to the American people
10) Support foreign nations better than he supports this nation
White Americans wouldn't allow any of the above from a person of color. People of color in America know they are not entitled to these privileges which are reserved only for old white men.

THINGS A WHITE CANDIDATE COULD NEVER GET AWAY WITH:
1) Belongs to a church with a pastor that could be interpolated as Racist, Hate filled, unpatriotic or Bigoted.

Americans tend to be more tolerant of black bigots. Black bigots are a harmless bunch. Whites are more likely to be killed by an aquatic sea animal than a black racist. Blacks are more likely to kill themselves, although blacks tend to be the victims of race related violence more than whites. The bottom line here is there still is an inherent privilege associated with being white in America. White criminals are far less likely to serve jail sentences when compared to their fellow American's of color. American's of color and women earn less than their white Americans counterparts for the same jobs with similar education and work experience. Double standards exist - either people need to accept them and quit beeachin - or start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable dialog of race.

thanks skeevieMac, people who donʻt understand that Barack is not a white bread nor a panther type are tending to overreact; but does that surprise anyone?
Itʻs too bad; I wonder what the REAL reason for going with the alternative choices are... McBush, Billary.... give me a break.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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