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The Clinton-Obama turmoil continues in Denver; now it's Bill

Ah, Democrats. There's something about the circular firing squad that just seems to hold endless fascination for them. Why do they even need a Republican opposition when they can just battle themselves?

At this convention, the well-reported rift is between the Obamaphiles and the Clintonphiles and it's the continuing narrative. Tonight, Sen. Hillary Clinton herself will speak.

From the bad feelings that sprung up during the nasty primary season, to the ire in the Clinton camp over how they believe she was allegedly mistreated in Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential selection process, to the dissension from her supporters over the role she and they would be given at the convention, to the resentment in the Obama camp over the Clintons' inability to act like it's Obama's party now, there's been bad blood at every turn.

Former President Bill Clinton reportedly is miffed that he's been given the assignment Wednesday night of selling Americans on Obama as a better commander-in-chief than Sen. John McCain, the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee.

Evidently, the former president would've preferred to talk about domestic policy and the economy in order to trash-talk the Republicans who he sees as destroying the prosperity and trend towards growing economic equality that characterized his presidency nearly a decade ago.

Also, since Obama doesn't have much of a national-security or foreign policy track record, to speak of, what is Clinton supposed to speak of? That's a fairly challenging assignment, even for a renowned campaigner as ex-president Clinton.

Our colleague Frank James has more on this unfolding soap opera over at the Swamp.

--Andrew Malcolm

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Comments () | Archives (80)

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Obama is not legally qualified to run for president.Why is everyone ignoring this fact?Reporters,do your job!Bring the proof to the public before it is too late.

Of course, if Democrats are good at the "circular firing squad" as you put it, pro-Republican writers like yourself are good at silly articles like this.

You have got to be kidding...

President Clinton is being asked to do what?

How can Bill justify Obama's national security prowess when he doesn't have any experience to justify such a recommendation?

Is Barack trying to make a "fool" out of Bill or what...

President Clinton should be "crushing the GOP" over their policies concerning the economy... After all, it was Bill that captained the ship during the prosperous 1990's. right?

You know, after Axelrod invoked race into the primary campaign and "slimed" Bill without justification ... Mr. President, say whatever you believe is "fair".

Why is LA times creating a wedge between Hillary and Obama? If you are for Mcain come in the open! otherwise you have no difference with Zimbabwe's state-run press

Mr. Malcolm obviously missed the memo that Senator Obama had told Bill Clinton in an extended and very friendly phone call that he could talk about anything he wanted in his speech at the convention. Mr. Malcolm must be one of those pundits who likes to "stir the pot" in an effort to "create" news instead of reporting it. Good luck with that. The Dems will finish their convention more united than ever and roll on to victory in November, regardless of what folks like Mr. Malcolm may say.

So Billy is miffed that he can't talk about muff, I mean enough. Yes economy has tanked, and Iraq war a certain fiasco. I don't hear anybody saying throw everyone at Fannie Mae into prison. As far as Iraq we shoul d make them our 51st state and nationalize the Oil Fields like Hugo Chavez... It's ALL about oil and everyday democrats and republicans alike all drive cars. Lots and lots of driving everyday.... We like to mix blood with our oil. Oh yes one other thing, I'm sick of being tolerant. Islam is the worst religion in the entire history of the world.

A -nice- first sentence!

I get the nagging feeling that the LA times is totally 'against' Obama...

It's great to hear from the Rush side, without having to go to his website. Shame on you, Malcolm.

a great title for an article, but devoid of substance or serious content. Amazing how the lines blur tabloid trash and what passes for news "blogging" these days. Quite frankly the National enquirer and People's at least are delivering their sauce and racour with data and facts. This attempt to stoke the fires of what might make for delicious gossip news is just that....idle mischief not fit to be taken seriously...

Tweets from The Ticket's...sent to your cellphone. Soon we'll be having a fake text in vote a-la- american idol for this kind of garbage.

It seems to me that the stage is being set to blame on the Clintons’ the Barack Obama’s presidential election defeat in November of 2008.

They are going to use the Clintons’ as the scapegoat for the Democratic Party fiasco in November 2008.

You can read the entire piece at the following forum:


There's also the possibility that you needed something to write. In a twenty-four hour news cycle, when there is no news the media makes up news. To me, all this seems to be that kind of thing.

If Billary really wants to preserve their legacy they should wake up to the fact that as hard as they fought in the primary they still lost. If they are willing to sacrifice the future of America on their own pettiness and the American people let them, we will get exactly what we all deserve; 4 more years of Bush. Hillary voters really need look at what was important to Hillary and compare that to what is important to John McCain and see if they can still look at their own children with hope for the future and not just fodder for the war machine. Noun…Verb….POW

For some one who claims to be about UNITY, Obama sure does everything he can to create dissention among the ranks.

How can he pick a VP that only received 9 thousand votes....over the candidate who received 18 million?

What a moron.

His continued childish behavior is what is going to cost him the election in November.

Someone needs to tell him to grow up suck it in and pick the VP that guarantees a win....Sen. Clinton.

His actions are anything but professional or Presidential.

God Help Us

Prosperous years of the 90's? Often repeated with no real knowledge. Just as Slick WIllie was handed a growing economy, he handed a dying economy to "W" - the ecomony was going into the tank at the end of Willie's term and began that great slide in June, 1999.

How do I remember? I retired in May, 1999, and I watched my stocks begin to drop in June. The properous 90's? That they were, but Willie didn't start it and Willie didn't end it that way.

I am Republican supporting Obama...but when I see Dems behaving so foolishly makes me almost think twice. McCain was not the initial choice for the Republican however once he had the nomination the discussion was over. The Dems (particularly Hillarry, Bill and her Crew) chose to fight it out until they damaged their nominee. Yes, the Media and McCain or exploiting the situation but who gave them the ammunition?? If Hillary does not come out strong for Obama tonight I may go back to McCain not because of Obama but because for the Dems, to allow this or have this in their party makes me question their ability to unite the country.

LOL - "I get the nagging feeling that the LA times is totally 'against' Obama..."
Nagging feeling - the LA Times is so anti-Obama they're down right racist

Omama= Hope and Change, right?
Clinton , it was claimed during the primaries, had too much baggage (i.e. Bill and Monica which embarrasses democrats.
Last night they propped up Ted Kennedy as the shining example of all that They (The One's campaign) hold as sacred. Ted Kennedy. OMG, doesn't anyone remember Mary Jo Kophene? That is Okay and Monica's little seduction is, so wrong? Ted Kennedy left her to die while he triued to cover up what he did. That she was alive for at least 2 hours is assumed to be true, but that does it mean it is. But it is at least a possibility and that means there is a posiibility he is guilty of at least man slaughter, oh, but Hillary Clinton is the one with baggage. Are the Obama/Dean/Pelosi people on crack? I felt like Alice in the Wonderland last night watching Democrats celebrate Kennedys as symbols of Hope and Change. Then Michelle, all cleaned up and posing as the poster woman for motherhood, sisterhood, wifedom and daughter extraordinarre. Hitting all the right notes the MSM pundits said she needed to. Righting the wrong Hillary created by forging an identity on her own accomplishments, Michelle set the feminist movement back several steps by defining herself in terms of others (her children, brother, husband and parents).Then the icing on the cake the 2 adorable little girls trotted out to create that oh so perfect Kodak moment, ignoring the history their supporters have had of harassing Chelsea with questions about her father and Monica, forgetting Michelle's angry accusation that Hillary couldn't control Bill (Monica) so how could she possibly control the White House? The Audacity just never ends.

I agree with Thomas Jackson post above. These purported jounalist on both the internet and the network seem to think that it is necessary to write of say something stupid to generate a response from their listeners of readers. These folks are empty suits looking for attention. The write stories and hope that it is picked up by a network so that they may be asked to be a guest. Journalism in America is awfull, no substance, no thought and no critical analysis. Ignore the headlines you see on the internet sites.

Hey Joe, maybe you need to adjust the coat hanger on your TV. The "he's not legal" lie died months ago. You must have missed it the first 2000 times its been refuted.

As for the article, its typical right wing nonsense and one more reason why bloggers should never be taken seriously, unless their facts can be verified.

Former presidents are better seen than heard.

Vote for McCain - the true American Hero. Not this fraud NOBambi, who is a terrorist hugger.

McCain in November.

Registered Democrat for McCain

Why would you believe that? He was born in Hawaii. John McCain is the one not qualified to be president! He was NOT born in the United States, but in Panama.



it's not true that the Clinton presidency was a time of growing economic equality. Inequality grew at a historic rate.

What about the comments hillary made. do you believe her to be a intelligent and honest person. If so, then you cannot vote for obama. because hillary said he is not ready to lead this nation. ponder that for a few, im voting mcain!

There is not a huge problem in the Democratic camp. What you are seeing is the big business media joining together to do what big business dopes well. They can manufacture whatever fantasy that they want to get this election in the pocket of big business friends like the Republicans and Mccain. Its charades good people. " Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" as he says in wizard of OZ. Wake up America you are being had again.

"Obama is not legally qualified to run for president.Why is everyone ignoring this fact?Reporters,do your job!Bring the proof to the public before it is too late."

I readed it on the internets!

Honestly perhaps people could just drop the thinly veiled racism disguised as fretting about "rules".

Billary will do the job that is expected of them. The cannot be seen to do anything else if they want to remain influential within the party.

First off, we have a very 2-dimensional and tennis match-like political system here. With sports-like narratives from the government-controlled, talking heads like you.

Our system of government should be a multi-team (more than 2) event and all the teams able to play on the same playing field! The Democrats and Republicans are like watching, a league that only has two football teams in it..."There goes Green Bay for another touchdown and oops, they fumbled the ball and New England picked it up and wins the game! Well folks, next week the game is guessed it...Green Bay and the Patriots....and for the next fifty years!" How absurd would that be? Fifty years of watching, the same strategy...same plays...same mistakes...and the Public gets to pay billions of dollars to watch it!

These two arrogant, rich, business-driven parties have done nothing to advance the Rights and Freedom of Americans. For eight years we've had a Congress that gave Bush everything and ANYTHING he the Public's peril.

The Congress and the President have sold-out the American Worker on foreign trade agreements, encouraged illegal immigration (by doing nothing to stop it,) and based on premeditated lies, involved our resources and young men in Wars that will not end to our advantage!

So, report on something that matters. We're sick of reading your repetitive bantering, about the same two teams that have be "playing with each other" for the last 100 years!

I'd be miffed too. He just doesn't believe it. It will definitely sound staged. The democrats have too many special interest in the party including Bill and Hill. And after her speech, I guess I know why Michelle's Salary doubled after Obama became a Senator. It will be interesting to see todays daily gallup.
Obama 761,354
mcCain 361,275

I don't know what they teach in journalism school these days. This is under sourced. Uses only anonymous sources (non-existent). It is a simple retreading of lines pushed by others. If the author is paid to produce this stuff it would be called "hack" journalism". What are we to conclude? Tthe LATimes now promotes hack journalists to do hack jobs? I guess that's what happes when you fire people who know what they're doing because they're too expensive. You end up with people who know nothing at any price.

I think a "fairly challenging assignment" is how the writer makes this story seem believable The only people who eat this slop up are his fellow neo-cons. Bon Appetit people !!

This goes well beyond just malcontent. Many Clinton supporters report widespread voter fraud in several Caucus states. It is being well documented at the website
We Will Not Be Silenced:
The Obama win was a sham. It goes to the very concept of Democracy. The Clinton supporters were robbed of their rights.

Yawn. Of course, since the republican whipping boys can't find anything good to say about Johnny boy the best that they can come up with is trying to manufacture a "rift" that doesn't exist.

For the readers out there, when someone writes, that something is "well-reported" it means that they can't find any credible sources for the information, but they want to believe that it's true. When he says, "reportedly miffed" it's basically the same thing (notice that there is no source for this "reportedly"). When he says, "evidently", what he really means is, "This is entirely my own biased opinion, but..."

Mr. Clinton is still living off the Y2K scare that fed the economy for years? It is amazing how smoke and mirrors can make people forget.

Man... it must really be hard continuing to try to engineer the non-existent story of a supposed rift between the Obama and Clinton camps. I smell conservative fear. Oh, and you conservatives should be afraid. Michelle Obama was stellar in her performance last night. There were women weeping everywhere. I'd like to see Cindy McWar give a speech like that. Yeah, right...

Anyway, good for you LA times. Keep your greedy selfish supply side dreams alive. It's cute. Really.

McCain is not legally qualified to run for president.Why is everyone ignoring this fact?Reporters,do your job!Bring the proof to the public before it is too late.

The news media has be stating for months that the electors did not know the Obamas. Well that was sure answered last night. They are decent hard working people who worked the American dream by working hard to achieve tremendous sucess. They represent the perfect picture of a typical American family of high values.How gratifying it was to see the first day of the convention where we had no slimy Rove politics and good family viewing.But of course that is terrible of the networks and journalist because you did not have dirty politics, attacks on individuals, smear politics. But do not worry Hillary may provide you with the garbage that you so desperately need to go down to your standards.

Mr. Malcolm, did your experience being press secretary for Laura Bush influence your opinion in writing this article at all? Should we have expected anything different from you? Sounds like you are still on the Bush band wagon of misinformation.

Like a majority of Americans, I never voted for Clinton. I also work for the left's #1 bogeyman on the right. When I heard that Obama had assigned Clinton a topic, I was shocked. You don't tell a former president what to talk about. You just be glad he's there. You show some respect. It's a rookie mistake, and an insult. I was surprised by my own reaction, 'cause it was as if Obama had asked Clinton to grab a broom and help sweep up afterwards. Granted I have an exhalted view of the presidency, but so does Clinton in his way. Especially after all that Obama did to Hillary, this was a slap in the face. I wouldn't be surprised if Clinton veers right off the topic. If not, the only way he can talk about Obama and foreign policy is probably by talking about the Clinton presidency -- which is a favorite topic for him -- and say, "They called me inexpeirenced, too," and try to make the case that he was successful overseas and Obama can be too. If Obama can't handle his own party, how's he going to handle the United States?

Abe: why is it always that anyone that says anything against Obama a RACIST?

It's hard for me to understand, that out of all the more qualified candidates, the democratic party has to choose someone that voters can't even be sure is a trustworthy American. The liberal agenda pales when it is handed to a candidate that might sell the country down the road. I would vote for Larry the Cable Guy before I would vote for Obama. At least I feel confident that Larry is an American.

If Mr. Obama is such a good candidate, why would he ned the Clintons??? Like the one comment- thye need someone to blame when Obama looses. I am a Dem but I voting Rep this year because I don't need my taxes to go up anymore the they have and thats the only place Mr. Obama can get money for all his pet projects to support the lazy dirty bags and drug dealers. We have enough social programs in this coutry and we don't need to be sending anymore money to other countries and forgetting about our own citizens. If we spent that mmoney here at home we would have so many social problems. This guy is tax and take. take from the working class and give to the looser's. One more thing,,,Mrs. Obama didn
't show me anythng last night,, she didn't inspire anyone with a speech that was written for her. i would think that she would of talked from her heart instead of someones else words and thats what it souded like.

I find it interesting that Democrats continually bash Bush and the Republicans for the Iraq war and it causing the bad economy. Well I guess the simple minded have to rely on fairy tales when they don't have substance to argue their case. If rules state that you only present the facts, then the Democrats would be out of business. The facts are the Iraq war is certainly NOT the cause of our bad economy. The problem has been mounting for years and finally caught up with us. If anything, the Iraq war prolonged the bad economy and Obama nor anyone else will be able to fix what has been festering for decades of irresponsible spending by Congress, unions pushing cost of American goods beyond our competitiveness, and taxes erroding away out income. Another fact American voters need to consider is that Democrats have caused more war dead than Republicans. It was Democrat Presidents who got us into WWI and WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. If you count the deaths of all wars with over 100 dead starting with WWI the Demcrats caused 99.4 percent of all war deaths. The totals in the Republican Presidents wars (Gulf, Iraq, and Afgan.) only total one half a percent of the total war dead. Even if you only include Korea and Vietnam, the death rate far exceeds what has been lost during Republican Presidents. War is bad at any rate, just get the facts straight before you start throwing rocks. Democrats are the real war mongars.

I'm sorry to burst the republican dream of world domination, but McCain simply will not win in. nope. nada. no way. better luck next time. buhbye.

Unfortunately it's going to take about 10 presidencies worth of damage control to clean up Bush's global disaster area.
Don't worry, you can thank the dems later.

btw, useless article from LALA-land.

I'm not sure where to start..
.. the baseless claim that HIllary was treated badly in the veep process.. the rumor mongering that Bill doesn't want to give a pro Obama speech..

You're detached from reality on too many levels for reason to make a difference to you.
You're an idiot


Several hours after this story was first published, Obama strategist David Axelrod and Clinton senior adviser Maggie Williams, issued a joint statement. It did not address the reportedly bruised feelings over Bill Clinton's speaking assignment, but said:

"We understand that some in the news media are more interested in reporting the rumor of controversy than the fact of unity. The fact is that our teams are working closely to ensure a successful convention and will continue to do so. Senator and President Clinton fully support the Obama/Biden ticket and look forward to addressing the convention and the nation on the urgency of victory this Fall. Anyone saying anything else doesn't know what they're talking about. Period."

It's been said before, but bears repeating -- Democrats can barely run their own party. Who thinks they can run a country?

Does anybody really believe that a president controls the economy? The current status of the economy in any given era, is generally a product of of forces and events that occurred years and decades before that point in time.
As for Bill, he should chill. This need for the self aggrandizing Clintons to be front and center and lauded and cheered is getting way old. For Bill Clinton to blame Obama for his own self created image as racially insensitive is hard to digest. I was aghast all by my lonesome, with no one propelling me, when I heard first Hillary comments elevating LBJ above MLK as a civil rights leader, and then Bill stamp Obama as just another "black" candidate who can take South Carolina like Jesse Jackson did.

The problem with Bill speaking about domestic policy is that he sold out to corporate America and his policies continued the destruction of the middle class begun with Reagan. We need to get out of trade deals that unfairly reward trans-national companies who export American jobs overseas. We need to take a long, hard look at NAFTA, the WTO, and other treaties which cede American sovereignty to organizations and nations which do not have America's interests at their heart. We operated for 150 years with Customs Duties as the primary source of income for the Federal Government. That's how we built our nation into the global manufacturing giant that offered well-paying jobs to milliions of people and built the middle class. Now we have a society moving rapidly into a cross between fascism and feudalism. Unless we change directions, the robber barons will have won.

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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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