October 26, 2007

Like George Bush, Hillary Clinton "presides over an office of intense and focused workaholics, protective of their patron and wary of outsiders."

Mark Leibovich writes near the end this big NYT piece. The idea of this article seems to me to be to portray Hillary Clinton as possessing solid management style, and you have to wade through a lot of flattery before you get to the interesting negative stuff:
“The Clinton campaign seems to be dominated by the same old people,” said William Mayer, a Northeastern University professor who is an expert on presidential campaigns.

Having a tight inner circle can cut both ways, Professor Mayer said. With Mr. Bush, he said, “it looked fine to have this group of loyal Texans in there, until his approval ratings went under 40 percent and there were no fresh eyes to see the mistakes.”

Mrs. Clinton, not surprisingly, bristles at such comparisons. She contrasts what she calls the “echo chamber” around the president with her own willingness to expand her own circle, hear disputes and solicit opposing views.

“I’m very interested in how you reach and implement decisions in a very efficient way,” she said.

The people who thrive within Mrs. Clinton’s “process” are those who best provide the currency of choices. “She wants to know, ‘O.K., what are my options here?’” [says Clinton’s campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle]. “She wants a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C. She wants recommendations. Then she’ll make a decision.” She and Mrs. Clinton speak two, three or four times a day, in a kind of shorthand.

Ms. Solis Doyle said she knew intuitively which items required the senator’s attention. When news surfaced of the criminal record of Norman Hsu, a Democratic fund-raiser, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers suggested a range of responses, including defending him, keeping the money he had raised for her campaign, or returning it.

In the end, Mrs. Clinton decided to refund $850,000 in contributions linked to Mr. Hsu.

“Her overriding sentiment was to move on and not get bogged down in the matter,” said a person familiar with the deliberations.

That was a departure from how Mrs. Clinton might have handled a comparable situation in the 1990s, when she might have been more “lawyerly,” dug her heels in and said little — generally her default method of crisis management back then. Today, “it is what it is” has become a favorite phrase of Mrs. Clinton.
So, how do we put together these 3 things? 1. surrounding oneself with a tight group of loyalists, 2. having others present a set of options so you can, efficiently, perform the "decider" role, 3. accepting what is.

It certainly sounds Bush-like. But remember, this is how her people portray her management style, so this is campaign spin. Who knows what she is really like as a "manager"? What have we seen her manage in the real world?
Mrs. Clinton has never led a large enterprise, a point her Republican rival Rudolph W. Giuliani has made in recent days. She has overseen a Senate office (staff of 55), a first lady’s office (staff of 25), an ill-fated “health-care task force” (involving 511 people), a presidential campaign (staff of more than 500) — and attended many, many meetings....
It seems we've only seen her manage one thing, and it was a spectacular failure.

95 comments:

rhhardin said...

Don't forget the White House Travel Office.

AllenS said...

"In the end, Mrs. Clinton decided to refund $850,000 in contributions linked to Mr. Hsu."

How hard would it be for reporter Mark Leibovich to find out if the money was returned? Did he ask who the money was returned to? My BS detector is going off.

Ron said...

Well thank goodness she's attended many, many meetings! That'll make me feel safer with her finger on The Button!

Bruce Hayden said...

I have somewhat gleaned the following from some who worked with but not for Hillary (including Dick Morris). Here are some of the rules for working for her:

1. Loyalty is everything. Remember Sandy Burgler? Susan McDermitt? Her people are insanely loyal, and she is loyal to them.

2. Part of loyalty is doing what it takes to get or keep Hillary in power. The result is some of the most cut throat staffers around, making Bush's people look like Boy Scouts. If you think of the most ruthless members of the Clinton I team, they were almost all HIllary's.

3. Hillary is the boss. Self explanatory, except that she is far less collaborative than most women managers.

4. If you aren't on the team, you are the enemy.

5. If you aren't part of the elite inner circle, you are considered a functional, and had better do your job and stay out of the way.

I have heard on multiple occasions that when she was First Lady, the White House staff (the staff that comes with the White House, not that which she hired) was instructed that when they saw her coming down the hall, to stand by the wall and not to try to make eye contact. If true, this is one of the more worrying things about her and her management style.

Contrary to the fawning article, I expect that a President Hillary! would end up being a lot more insular than George W. Bush has been. She seems to have Nixon's paranoia, seeing everyone who opposes her as enemies, and members of some evil conspiracy.

EnigmatiCore said...

I disagree that we have only seen her manage one thing, and it was a failure.

Although, as those things go, her health care task force was a doozy of a failure, and one that it appears she has learned only lessons of tactics, not of policy.

But we have seen her manage a Senate campaign, and it was very successful.

We have seen her manage the early portion of a Presidential campaign, to a monumental lead in the Democratic side and a decent lead in the general, according to polls.

Simon said...

"Mrs. Clinton has never led a large enterprise, a point her Republican rival Rudolph W. Giuliani has made in recent days. She has overseen a Senate office (staff of 55), a first lady’s office (staff of 25), an ill-fated “health-care task force” (involving 511 people), a presidential campaign (staff of more than 500)....

Meanwhile, there's circa 14-15 million federal employees, and regardless of whether Hillary believes in the unitary executive or not, she'll be in charge of all of them if she becomes President.

Ralph said...

I thought Magaziner managed the health care clusterfuck, at least day-to-day.

I've never understood how some people create a cult of personality when their personality is not very attractive. Is it mostly the power?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Wasn't she in charge of managing "bimbo eruptions"?

Ralph said...

No, that was Betsy Wright.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that some are on to something here. The claim has been that Hillary doesn't have any real executive experience, and this appears to be an attempt to counter this.

Of course, she doesn't. Running a Senate campaign is not executive experience, nor is running a presidential campaign. Managing a state (Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney), a city, or a big business (again, Romney) is. She also has no management training or education (G.W. Bush and Romney again).

So, how does she get around that big hole in her resume? Apparently with a soft ball article on her management style.

Bruce Hayden said...

Hillary! did have overall management of HillaryCare and the Bimbo eruptions, though others had day to day control. The first was by choice (that was her price for helping her husband get elected), and the later was by necessity (said husband was temperamentally incapable of damage control).

Bruce Hayden said...

As far as Team Hillary! is concerned, I am not sure who scares me worst: Sid Blumenthal; Ira Magaziner; or Sandy Burgler.

Tim said...

"It seems we've only seen her manage one thing, and it was a spectacular failure."

Yes, but it would have been an even more spectacular failure had Hillary!'s health care reform actually been enacted. The process worked, as enactment would have been the real disaster.

antiphone said...

So Bruce Hayden, you’re an 18-year-old patent attorney with inside information on working with Hillary? Isn’t the Internet amazing.

Trooper York said...

I think Hillary is pretty good manager. It must be tough to keep control of all those flying monkeys while maneuvering on a thin broomstick in stiff tailwind

Doyle said...

Uh, her Senate office is a pretty tight ship. Her current presidential campaign is going rather well.

But you're right that Hillarycare is the only thing she's ever managed and it was a spectacular failure. Certainly not the rousing success that the Iraq War has been, as pet projects go.

Simon said...

Doyle, you make a compelling case that nobody should vote for George W. Bush in 2008. Of course, what relevance that is to anything isn't clear, but you do make a good case for it.

Doyle said...

I was mostly talking about Hillary, but Bush is relevant as an indication of Ann's credibility on who's a good manager and who's not.

Bill Harshaw said...

I think "managerial experience" is mostly irrelevant. The issues are whether she does things (so she inevitably makes mistakes), whether she admits them, whether she learns from them. One of our two greatest Presidents never ran anything but a store, and he failed at that. But Lincoln learned continually.

The tight circle is worrisome--can they admit in private that GWB did some good things (give me a week and I'll think of something) and build on the past. Can Hillary pull in strong people as did Lincoln?

But, as an ex-bureaucrat, it's nice to have tight, well-run meetings with an agenda. Better than Bill in that regard.

Doyle said...

Hillary is my least favorite Dem candidate, but the argument that her weakness lies in her ability to get done what she wants to get done is silly.

Presidents have more clout than first ladies, and universal healthcare is much more popular now than in the 90s.

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"I was mostly talking about Hillary, but Bush is relevant as an indication of Ann's credibility on who's a good manager and who's not."

Even if we assume that the question of who to vote for turns on management ability, the question was never whether Bush was a good manager or not. The question was whether he was a better manager than Al Gore in 2000 or John Kerry in 2004. Do you really think -- I mean, we've been cheerfully batting stuff back and forth here for, what, two, years? -- that I think Bush is a good manager? Come now. ;) There are a lot of Republicans who think Bush is just awful. I think Revenant aptly captured my mood about Bush (and I suspect Ann's in 2004, too):

No one much likes George Bush, I confess
In Iraq we ain't had much success
So please answer me, quick
Why'd the Democrats pick
The one guy that we all wanted less?

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"[U]niversal healthcare is much more popular now than in the 90s."

I find it quite ironic that the same party that likes to (often mis-)quote Franklin's dictum that "[t]hose who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" as a weapon against the present administration, advancing the highly debatable proposition that this administration has violated that dictum, also advocates a program that would unquestionably sacrifice essential liberty to safety of a kind. Still, since this is the same party that from one side of its mouth argues that the Bush administration has disrespected the Constitution in pursuit of national security while from the other side of its mouth trying to shepherd through Congressional representation for the District of Columbia in pursuit of partisan advantage, we shouldn't be surprised to find such doublethink.

Doyle said...

Jesus Simon are you still trying to make an argument out of this?

Let me spell it out for you: Vote for Bush, lose your standing to doubt anyone else's presidential timber. I don't think they should all have to go live in the Ozarks (though that'd be nice), but they should really refrain from making "competence" "honesty" or "intelligence" criticisms of presidential candidates until 2048.

Fred said...

For a few years, before my three year stay in Madison, I worked for the Texas State Senate. President Clinton and Al Gore made rounds and our staff got to mingle with people who work for Hillary Clinton.

The word we got back then, was she was a major bitch and a pain in the ass to work for. I can see the workaholic in Hillary, a lot of politicians (especially ones coming from law firms) end up with that kind of lifestyle. Typically, from what I've seen in government, most of that stuff is standard.

You have the 'decider' meet once a week (sometimes more) with the staff. They sit around a table, decider asks staff to present research, Q&A, advice and recommendations on various topics and 'decider' goes off.

The comparisons between Clinton and Bush are puzzling to me. Aside from issues of ego and arrogance, I don't see their personalities as much the same at all. If they run their operations similarly, it'll still turn out differently because of how they carry themselves.

I do see the negative on Clinton, though.. Former Bush staff members have suggested that they advised the President to go one way on certain major issues and despite their urging, he went his own way. I think Hillary is that kind of thinker, she is going to do what she believes is right, even if it goes contrary to the advise of her staff.

What I am curious about, is at the end of the day, the Clinton's will go to bed. Will bedside chatter ever be about politics and the general operations of the White House, and if so... how is that going to affect Hillary Clinton's decision making.

Gedaliya said...

What I am curious about, is at the end of the day, the Clinton's will go to bed. Will bedside chatter ever be about politics and the general operations of the White House, and if so... how is that going to affect Hillary Clinton's decision making.

She'll never be the president of the United States, so your question is moot.

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"Let me spell it out for you: Vote for Bush, lose your standing to doubt anyone else's presidential timber."

Bullshit. It always depends who the other candidate is. Suppose the 2004 election had come down to Bush or David Duke - who do you vote for? A lot of French voters who swore that they'd never vote for Chirac (many of whom would no doubt have said something akin to what you just said, that anyone stupid enough to vote for Chirac forfeits credibility in assessing a political candidate) nevertheless cast a vote for Chirac in 2002 - indeed, lobbied friends through gritted teeth that they, too, should go out and vote for Chirac. Do you think those voters had undergone a conversion on the road to Paris?

I think not. Elections are about picking the lesser evil. In 2002, for many of our French friends, that happened to be Chirac. In this country, in 2000 and 2004, for many Americans, that happened to be Bush. You don't often get to vote for a candidate that you like, you get to vote against the one you think will do more damage. So to say that Ann or anyone else loses credibility to assess a Presidential contender because they're, you know, any actual grown up who knows how our system of government and elections works, is just absurd. It's childish. If she were Queen and had anointed Bush her Prime Minister, you might have a case.

Simon said...

Fred:
"What I am curious about, is at the end of the day, the Clinton's will go to bed. Will bedside chatter ever be about politics and the general operations of the White House, and if so... how is that going to affect Hillary Clinton's decision making."

You mean purely because Bill's Bill and a former President, I hope. Otherwise I don't see how a female President talking to her husband about politics is any different to a male President talking to his wife about politics.

Doyle said...

Would I have a case if I called you a humorless wanker? I think I would.

Ralph said...

it's nice to have tight, well-run meetings with an agenda. Better than Bill in that regard.
Who wouldn't be?

Bush, like Truman, will look better in retrospect. As the anti-Clinton, he's pushed for what he said he would do, with varying amounts of success. As you recall, in 2000 he said he wouldn't go around nation-building, and he hasn't.

Simon said...

Ralph said...
"Bush, like Truman, will look better in retrospect."

I think it'd be hard for him not to.

Fred said...

Simon: define Politics.
Then go back and read your post.

On the Franklin quote:

the short:

the Constitution grants Congress the authority to tax... spend... for the general welfare.

the policy:

It is a bit of a stretch to argue that security that comes from receiving Health Care is similar to national security. On the one hand, you have foreign threats that are aimed at harming civilization and democracy that is thwarted by government protection. Whereas with domestic issues, it is Americans ('the people') taking care of their own. The poor and middle class are on the verge of snapping, it seems the U.S. has a pretty weak lower and middle class compared to other industrialized and "first world" nations.

Finally: You suggest that there is hypocrisy if you support both positions that seem to contradict one another [using Franklin]. On a political spectrum (in 2d) if you disagree with both positions, wouldn't that also be hypocritical?

e.g. You want to diminish the liberty argument when it comes to national security, but you'd like it wide open when it comes to being free from taxation and social redistricution.

Fred said...

Simon: You mean purely because Bill's Bill and a former President, I hope.

correct.

g: Hehe, I know you hate me.. but I like your style, thanks for not ignoring me, I'm really not trying to be offensive when I argue on certain war points.

:)

Cheers.

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"Would I have a case if I called you a humorless wanker? I think I would."

You can call me anything you like, just be respectful towards our Hostess, thanks.

Fred said...

Oh, and don't give me the "it doesn't directly say in the Constitution...[spend]" because historically, we know that our government engages in this practice and it isn't gonna stop with Clinton, I'm afraid.

Doyle said...

You can call me anything you like, just be respectful towards our Hostess

[Barf]

mtrobertsattorney said...

There's even a more serious problem with Hillary; one that is hardly ever mentioned: she's not very bright.

She has consistently allowed herself to be tricked by men.

Bill tricked her into believing that his almost infinite series of female conquests, some willing, others not, was a vicious falsehood spread by a vast right wing conspiracy.

George Bush tricked her into believing that he would never ever use her vote in favor of the Iraq resolution as authorization for him to invade Iraq. Then Bush tricked her a second time when he bamboozled her into believing that her vote in favor of declaring part of Iran's armed forces to be a terrorist organization was really a vote for negoiations with Iran.

If she's elected, what will Bin Laden, Ahmadinejad and the mullahs will trick her into believing?

Gedaliya said...

I know you hate me.

I don't hate anyone, especially some anonymous fellow commenting on a law-professor's blog.

I'm really not trying to be offensive when I argue on certain war points.

Nonetheless, you succeed marvelously with very little effort. You must have a gift.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If running a successful campaign is proof of competence, I guess the Republic will automatically be in good hands no matter who wins.

Ralph said...

she's not very bright
When everyone favorably inclined has to report on her amazing intelligence, you know something's up. I was suspicious in 93.

Luckyoldson said...

rhhardin said..."Don't forget the White House Travel Office."

Are you kidding?

I wake up every day of my life thinking about it.

I hear Coppola is making a feature length movie about it starring actors who look exactly like, well, you know...whoever it was that was in the travel office...in 1992.

Luckyoldson said...

AllenS asks: "How hard would it be for reporter Mark Leibovich to find out if the money was returned? Did he ask who the money was returned to? My BS detector is going off."

Yes, he called every one of the donors and they confirmed they got their money back.

Hoosier Daddy said...

the White House staff (the staff that comes with the White House, not that which she hired) was instructed that when they saw her coming down the hall, to stand by the wall and not to try to make eye contact.

I'm surprised they weren't required to genuflect.

Luckyoldson said...

Clinton bad.

Bush good.

And, based on Hillary's massive lead in the polls, she can't possibly know what she's doing.

*Maybe if she conferred with George and Dick (and I do mean DICK) she could come up with some really good ideas of how to "manage" effectively...you know...considering how well things are going right now in Iraq, Afghanistan, America...

You people get funnier and funnier every day...and I can't wait to hear the high pitched WHINE we'll hear when Hillary wins in 2008.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You don't often get to vote for a candidate that you like, you get to vote against the one you think will do more damage.

Or to turn a phrase, you go to the polls with the candidate you have and not the one you want.

I can't wait to hear the high pitched WHINE we'll hear when Hillary wins in 2008.

I don't like whine so I'll be having bourbon.

Luckyoldson said...

Ralph said..."When everyone favorably inclined has to report on her amazing intelligence, you know something's up. I was suspicious in 93."

Yeah, she's obviously not very bright.

1. Yale Law School, where she served on the Board of Editors of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action and was named one of the nation's top 100 lawyers by the National Law Review in 1988 and 1991.

2. During her second year, she worked at the Yale Child Study Center,learning about new research on early childhood brain development and working as a research assistant on the seminal work, Beyond the Best Interests of the Child (1973).

3. She also took on cases of child abuse at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and volunteered at New Haven Legal Services to provide free advice for the poor.

4. Her first scholarly paper, "Children Under the Law", was published in the Harvard Educational Review in late 1973[44] and became frequently cited in the field.

5. Elected to the United States Senate in New York, 2000.

6. Has received over a dozen awards and honors during her career, from both American and international organizations, for her activities concerning health, women, and children.

And then...we have G.W. Bush...

Luckyoldson said...

Hoosier Daddy,
Based on your comments, I have to assume you're already knocking back the bourbon right now.

I try to wait until about 5ish...somewhere.

Luckyoldson said...

mtrobertsattorney said..."There's even a more serious problem with Hillary; one that is hardly ever mentioned: she's not very bright."

You're an attorney...and have been chosen as one of the top 100 attorneys in America...how many times??

*Hillary: Named one of the nation's top 100 lawyers by the National Law Review in 1988 and 1991.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Luckyoldson said...

Speaking of "management" skills:

Make it a point to see "Michael Clayton."

One of the smartest films in quite some time.

*And yeah, yeah...I know you hate Clooney...but give it a shot anyway.

Luckyoldson said...

More about Hillary...the one that isn't that "bright."

In high school Clinton was class president, a member of the student council, the debating team, National Honor Society, and the winner of Maine South High School's first social science award.

After graduation, she attended Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, at a time when American college campuses were actively protesting the Vietnam War. The assassination of clergyman and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., whom Clinton had met when Reverend Jones took her to hear him preach in 1962, further increased her belief in social justice. Graduating from Wellesley with honors, Clinton became the college's first student commencement speaker.

As president of the student government, she polled her classmates on what she should say and solicited from them poems and ideas. Her goal was to communicate the turmoil of America at a time of an unpopular war, political assassinations, and rioting in cities.

The speech drew a standing ovation and an article appeared in Life, giving Clinton her first national media exposure.

Luckyoldson said...

Speaking of women who are very good at managing, here's a book I think most here should put on their must read list:

Britney Spears’ mother Lynne Spears is writing a book on parenting called "Pop Culture Mom: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World."

Doyle said...

When everyone favorably inclined has to report on her amazing intelligence, you know something's up.

Yes, something is up. It used to be you'd fully expect a presidential candidate to be erudite and intellectually curious. Recently, that assumption has become less safe, because we've had to endure a president who sounds like he was kicked in the head by a mule.

Simon said...

Fred,
You allude to the Constitutional issue of whether the Federal government can provide some form of healthcare, which is a separate question to whether the Federal government ought to do so, assuming it's authorized so to do. The point I was making ways that we see Democrats arguing against one policy that (they say) purchases too little security (of a kind) with too much liberty (of a kind) while at once arguing for another policy which everyone agrees ("we're going to take things away from you for the common good") attempts to purchase security (of a kind) with liberty (of a kind). They aren't completely parallel, I'll readily admit. As to your other point, I think you're making assumptions about my view on the proper balance between liberty and national security. :)

Luckyoldson said...
"Clinton bad. Bush good."

It's amusing that both you and Doyle are desperately keen to try and make the merits of Bush an issue in an election in which he's not even a candidate. Bush isn't relevant.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon says...with a straight face:

"It's amusing that both you and Doyle are desperately keen to try and make the merits of Bush an issue in an election in which he's not even a candidate. Bush isn't relevant."

So the sitting President, whether it be Republican or Democrat, "isn't relevant" during an ongoing Presidential campaign?

Now, other than merely taking a cheap shot at Doyle and me...would you say something so incredibly stupid?

Even you're not that dumb...are you?

Ralph said...

So we were right to vote against Gore because we didn't like what Clinton did (and didn't)?

Actually, I think many people vote that way, but often more on personalities than on issues or accomplishments.

Trevor said...

Simon said: "Suppose the 2004 election had come down to Bush or David Duke - who do you vote for?"

Are you seriously saying that Kerry was as odious to you as a leader of the Ku Klux Klan?

I believe you when you say you held your nose and voted for Bush, but I'm wondering if you really had a fair view of the "damage" Kerry could have done if elected.

Luckyoldson said...

Ralph said..."So we were right to vote against Gore because we didn't like what Clinton did (and didn't)?"

I certainly didn't say or infer that.

Simon apparently thinks the sitting President holds no sway over voters and I think he's out of his fucking mind.

As for Clinton, you can bet your ass many didn't vote for Gore because of his time in office (and I wish they had voted for Gore), and I think anybody tied to closely to Bush & Cheney can expect the same treatment.

You don't agree?

Luckyoldson said...

Trevor,
Simon us grasping at straws...as usual.

Simon said...

Luckyoldson said...
"So the sitting President, whether it be Republican or Democrat, 'isn't relevant' during an ongoing Presidential campaign?"

Of course, the sitting President can be an issue - but is not in this issue. The sitting President may well be an issue in a race where one contender is closely identified with that administration - of course, the same President seeking re-election, but also perhaps a Vice President or a former cabinet secretary. That isn't the case here: Dick Cheney is not running for the GOP nomination, and nor is Mitch Daniels, for example. The sitting President may well be relevant if they have been closely identified with one or more failed policies which have failed because the policies themselves were faulty (as opposed to failing through incompetent administration of those policies) and candidates actually running want to maintain the same policies. That isn't the case here, either: with few exceptions, the failings of the Bush administration are the result of issues confined to that administration, principally corruption, incompetence, and sheer bad management by a President who, again, isn't seeking reelection. (Nor are any of the people responsible for maladministraton of those policies seeking office: Rumsfeld, for example, isn't a candidate). By the way, that same principle is why Obama boosters are simply wrong when they say that Obama was right about the war when he opposed it before it began: it was never true that the war must necessarily go bad, as Obama contended, and competent administration could have produced a better result.

So the answer is that of course a President can be relevant, but isn't so automatically and in all circumsstances. You can't just assert Bush's relevance to the 08 election, you have to show why he's relevant despite the fact that he isn't running and neither is anyone else associated with his administration.

Ralph said...

I certainly didn't say or infer that.
I think anybody tied too closely to Bush & Cheney can expect the same treatment.

Your rules apply only to Repubs?

Luckyoldson said...

Ralph said..."Your rules apply only to Repubs?"

CAN YOU READ???

I said: "As for Clinton, you can bet your ass many didn't vote for Gore because of his time in office (and I wish they had voted for Gore)..."

What are you missing? "...you can bet your ass many didn't vote for Gore because of his time in office..."...isn't plain enough for you??

Clinton..."in office"...Gore tied to him as his...V.P.

Good Lord...

Simon said...

Ralph said...
"So we were right to vote against Gore because we didn't like what Clinton did (and didn't)?"

Within the rubric of my comment above (2:05), Clinton might well have been relevant to the 2000 election, because Gore was part of the Clinton administration and was promising to continue policies advanced by that administration that many people thought (rightly or wrongly) had failed.


Luckyoldson said...
"Simon apparently thinks the sitting President holds no sway over voters and I think he's out of his f[**]king mind."

I think that in this election, the sitting President's merits and demerits are irrelevant, for the reasons given above. And since you've demonstrated repeatedly that you think anyone who's to the right of Hillary Clinton is ipso facto and at all times "out of [their] f[**]king mind," the invocation of it vis-a-vis a specific point doesn't have a whole lot of impact.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon says...again, with a straight face?

"Of course, the sitting President can be an issue - but is not in this issue."

Then why isn't Bush out there on the campaign trail? Why isn't his name raised during the debates? We heard Ronnie Reagan over and over again and he's been gone for quite some time.

Are you brain dead??

George W. Bush is proving to be one of the most overriding factors in a Presidential campaign...ever...and you say the man "isn't relevant"..."in this issue."

Get real.

Invisible Man said...

By the way, that same principle is why Obama boosters are simply wrong when they say that Obama was right about the war when he opposed it before it began: it was never true that the war must necessarily go bad, as Obama contended, and competent administration could have produced a better result.

Dick Cheney(circa '92)sure thought it wouldn't end up to well.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon says..."I think that in this election, the sitting President's merits and demerits are irrelevant..."

You ARE brain dead.

Simon said...

Luckyoldson said...
"As for Clinton, you can bet your ass many didn't vote for Gore because of his time in office (and I wish they had voted for Gore), and I think anybody tied to closely to Bush & Cheney can expect the same treatment."

I agree with that - and the reason I think Bush is irrelevant to this election doesn't conflict with that point. A candidate tied too closely to this administration might well get a rough ride. But which candidates are tied - too closely or at all, for that matter - to the Bush administration? I don't think any of them are, with the possible exception of Duncan Hunter, who isn't a serious contender and won't be the nominee. The closest you can get is Fred Thompson, and his role in the Bush administration was supernumerary at best, involving the singular task of shepherding the Chief Justice around on the hill.

Luckyoldson said...

Anybody think if this continues...it just might be "relevant" to the elections?

Oil hit another record Friday rising $1.40 to settle at $91.86 a barrel.

*$30 when G.W. took office.

Simon said...

Luckyoldson said...
"Then why isn't Bush out there on the campaign trail? "

I don't know that this is true, but my opinion is that most of the leading candidates - possibly excluding Thompson - have as low an opinion of Bush as I do, and have no desire to associate themselves with a sinking ship.

Ralph said...

I'm sorry, I took this:
"I certainly didn't say or infer that."
as a negation of my comment and wondered why you immediately contradicted yourself. Why did you say that?

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
You don't think the fact that Republicans running for President...rarely if ever even mention the sitting Republican President's name...isn't "relevant" to the coming elections??

Did you watch the last debate?

Other than a moderator's question...I don't think the man's name was even raised...once.

C'mon...give it up.

Luckyoldson said...

Ralph said..."I'm sorry, I took this:
"I certainly didn't say or infer that."
as a negation of my comment and wondered why you immediately contradicted yourself. Why did you say that?"

Want to run that by me again?

Simon said...

LOS, oil prices could scarcely be expected not to have risen in the last seven years, since they ended the 90s at a nearly three decade low. They weren't low then as a result of Clinton administration policies, and they haven't risen as a result of Bush administration policies.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
When was the last time oil prices have tripled over a 7 year period, other than a blip during the embargo in the late 70's?

Oil averaged about $26-30 a barrel from 1985-2003.

Simon said...

Luckyoldson said...
"When was the last time oil prices have tripled over a 7 year period...[?]"

When was the last seven year period in which burgeoning demand from massive and rapid expansions of two massive economies - of the kind currently taking place in India and China - would provide a sound basis for valid comparison?

Luckyoldson said...

Yeah, that's it.

Demand has created a tripling of the price of oil.

It has nothing to do with turning the Mideast upside down or OPEC taking full advantage of the situation.

Nothing at all.

Trooper York said...

The last time oil prices tripled over a seven year period was between 1957 and 1963 during what was know as the “Gallo” wars. Joey and Albert Gallo demanded a higher piece of the pie from Joseph Profaci who was in control of the olive oil distribution in the United States (he was the prototype for Vito Corleone). The Gallo boys disrupted shipments of olive oil and the streets ran green with the spilling of gallon after gallon of virgin pressed oil. Thus the prices skyrocketed from a low of $2.56 to approximately $15.00 per gallon. The prices have since stabilized so you can get a very nice vintage for around $22 or $23 per gallon. If you filled your car with olive oil instead of gasoline, you would really be crying the blues. OPEC doesn’t have a freaking’ clue how to run a cartel.

Joe said...

I don't recall anyone saying that events in the middle east had nothing to do with the price of oil. It's one factor among many. Currently, all indicators are that a slowing in the rate of additional production combined with a very large increase in the rate of additional demand are the major contributors to the price of oil.

Events in oil producing regions have also influenced the price of oil beyond the control of OPEC (even if those regions, like Venezuela, are part of OPEC.)

(Do note that OPEC controls only 40-45% of the world oil supply. Significant, but not enough to unilaterally control the price.)

Steven said...

The fundamental problem with the Democratic Party this election cycle is that total lightweights whose only qualification for office are charisma were taken seriously by Democratic donors.

Remove Obama and Edwards from the running, and Richardson would be the #2 candidate, with a reasonable chance of winning the nomination. Federal and state executive experience, decades of foreign policy expertise, specific experience in energy issues. And it's all going to waste because Democratic primary donors are infatuated with pretty boys.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Hey Lucky, if Hillary is so smart, how is it that George Bush keeps tricking her into supporting his Middle East policy?

By the way, how many times did Hillary flunk the DC bar exam? Once? More than once? Check it out.

Luckyoldson said...

Steven said..."The fundamental problem with the Democratic Party this election cycle is that total lightweights whose only qualification for office are charisma were taken seriously by Democratic donors."

And you consider Romney, Rudy and Thompson "heavyweights?"

Luckyoldson said...

mtrobertsattorney,
Yeah, Hillary's a real dimwit.

Kind of makes you wonder about how she's leading in ALL the polls, doesn't it?

You just keep getting dumber and dumber an dumber an dumber.

Keep 'em comin'.

Luckyoldson said...

The price of crude oil almost topped $92 a barrel this morning. Compare that to $55 a barrel just nine months ago and $20 a barrel six years ago.

Those dramatic increases translate directly into the costs the airlines pay for jet fuel.

Since the beginning of the year, our average monthly fuel price has gone up 32 percent.

*Couldn't possibly effect ticket prices...

Luckyoldson said...

I'm sure most here don't realize this, but every time someone votes for a Republican...God kills a kitten.

Meow.

tc said...

Ann,
They should get (another) life, for I will destroy feminism and all its misbegotten spawn such as gay, lesbian... thought -and more.

Tom

Luckyoldson said...

Tom,
Got anything for sale?

Trooper York said...

Nurse Ratchet: If Mr. McMurphy doesn't want to take his medication orally, I'm sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way
(One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest, Ken Kesey)

B said...

A kiss-ass article like this on the front page of the New York Times, and some still have the gall to say that Fox News is biased, but not the Times?

Every time I hear a person say that Fox News is biased but the Times is fair and accurate in it's reporting, I grieve because that person has the same right to vote that sane, intelligent people have.

Luckyoldson said...

B said..."A kiss-ass article like this on the front page of the New York Times, and some still have the gall to say that Fox News is biased, but not the Times?"

When was the last time you heard any of your buddies here...say the NYT's was unbiased?

I have news for you...THEY'RE ALL BIASED...

Steven said...

Rudy was the executive of a large city, Romney was that of a state, and Huckabee was a governor, too. They aren't in Richardson's class of qualifications, but they all have managerial experience with /something/ employing more than a thousand people.

Thompson, on the other hand, is just a lawyer/Senator with no real management experience. The difference is, there's only one of him in the Republican leading four, while there are three lawyer/Senators with no serious managerial experience in the Democratic leading four.

Doyle said...

I agree with Simon that the industrialization of China and India are vastly more important to the price of oil than whether Saddam or an impotent Maliki regime "runs" Iraq.

The supply threat is really not that big, even with Iran. They need to keep pumping oil and selling it into the market.

Also, pretty much all commodities, copper, gold, corn, wheat, etc. have skyrocketed in price.

Lastly, the dollar is declining as a currency, so oil hasn't appreciated nearly as much in euros.

Doyle said...

Although to Lucky's point, it matters who actually controls the oil and what kind of deals they give US oil cos and so forth. But the oil companies can't really pounce until it's less of, ya know, a war zone.

Luckyoldson said...

Speaking of "MANAGEMENT"...

someone here, preferably a WING NUT, please explain this...considering what we saw in New Orleans:

And please...isn't it rather bizarre...that the White House WOULDN'T know...??????

The White House scolded the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday for staging a phony news conference about assistance to victims of wildfires in southern California.

The agency -- much maligned for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago -- arranged to have FEMA employees play the part of independent reporters Tuesday and ask questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the agency's deputy director.

Luckyoldson said...

Bush & Company bring you...

Oil Hits New High...Dollar Hits New Low

Steven said...

I've always found the term "wing nut" interesting. The fact that it doesn't specify which wing makes it fully as applicable to left-wing nuts as to right-wing ones.

It's like the contraction "anal". The two Freudian categories are "anal retentive" and "anal expulsive"; without the deleted part, the sole meaning remaining is "person I am showing contempt for".

Cedarford said...

Bill Harshaw said...
I think "managerial experience" is mostly irrelevant. The issues are whether she does things (so she inevitably makes mistakes), whether she admits them, whether she learns from them.
One of our two greatest Presidents never ran anything but a store, and he failed at that. But Lincoln learned continually.


Not exactly true. Lincoln was elected captain of his militia in the Blackhawk wars, though he never saw action. As a riverman, Lincoln Lincoln managed several men as "captain" of river flatboats doing Illinois-New Orleans trade. And, Lincoln was one of the key leaders in creating, managing, and growing the new Republican Party. It was for his Party organizational skills and success as a leader in Illinois in law and State politics, his perceived at the time to be "historic" debates with Stevens, and Cooper's Union Hall - more than one Congressional term - that led the Republicans to nominate him.

Truman had plenty of managerial experience. He ran the family farm, then went from an enlisted volunteer in the Guard in 1905 to be Commanding Officer of the 129th Artillery. He was in major combat for 22 continuous days, only having a his horse shot and pinning him with serious bruising and cracked ribs his only wartime wound. His men gave him a 4-foot tall loving cup for his leadership, and his courage and superb condition of his men and equipment and their combat effectiveness was noted.
Truman was promoted to major at the end of WWI, then to full colonel in the Guard.
Truman had no degree, but self-taught himself law, passed the Bar, and was elected Judge in the 20s.
He also rose to Grand Master in the Masons, managing activities in the Midwest and nationally. He also, and this is ironic, proved to be a superb manager of the Pendergrast Gang's pork and patronage biz.

Both would be far ahead on resume items of executive experience over Empty Suit Obama, Slick Edwards, and Hillary!, Thompson!

Comparable to Rudy.

With Romney more qualified than Truman or Lincoln from the standpoint of success and executive experience and ability.
(Note on Mitt: I like what I see on paper, but he hasn't exactly inspired the masses...He needs to get moving more on how he will work to solve America's major problems - than his kissing butt with the Religious Right.

Luckyoldson said...

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy...

David Shuster, substituting for Keith Olbermann as host of Countdown, reported on Thursday that Rudy Giuliani's description of himself as the only candidate who foresaw the danger posed by al Qaeda before 9/11 has now been refuted by a leaked document.

Typical of Giuliani's claims on the campaign trail is a speech he gave last summer in which he said of the pre-9/11 period, "Bin Laden declared war on us. We didn't hear it. ... I thought it was pretty clear at the time -- but a lot of people didn't see it, couldn't see it."

Wayne Barrett, a reporter for New York's Village Voice and author of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, has now obtained leaked memos describing Giuliani's testimony before the 9/11 Commission which directly contradict that claim.

Barrett told Shuster that taken as a whole, Giuliani's testimony "was a confession of ignorance. He basically said, 'I knew nothing about al Qaeda.'"

For example, Giuliani acknowledged that even though he had received information on threats between 1998 and 2001, "At the time I had no idea it was al Qaeda." He further told the commission that after 9/11, "we brought in people to brief us on al Qaeda. ... We had nothing like this pre 9/11, which was a mistake."

Giuliani's testimony, like that of other witnesses describing New York City's response on 9/11, was supposed to remain secret until after the 2008 presidential election.

Barrett also emphasized Giuliani's continuing ignorance of technological systems involved in the fight against terrorism. As late as April 2004, when he testified before the commission, Giuliani admitted that he didn't know much about a New York Police Department system called ComStat -- which he's now saying he'd like to see extended nationwide.

He was also unable to answer questions about the malfunctioning radios which caused many deaths among firefighters or about a repeater installed in the World Trade Center after the 1993 bombing to amplify radio communications.

"He still wasn't studying the response issues," Barrett said.