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FRED
03-08-08, 01:35 PM
http://www.itulip.com/images/hillary.jpgEmbrace "The Bitch"

Editor’s Note: Do not interpret the following as an endorsement of Hillary Clinton by iTulip. The script below is about the economy.

I wrote it in early January 2008, after the Iowa caucus and before Romney dropped out, at the request of a radio network based on a comment I made to a staff member there. I remarked that Hillary Clinton was making a mistake by trying to beat Barack Obama in a likability contest. They decided not to run it because, after a lot of internal discussion, they concluded that the use of the word “bitch” on broadcast radio was too edgy for their audience and perhaps also for the FCC.

Too bad for the network because months later “Saturday Night Live” came out with a skit that became popular and drew attention and new viewers to the show by making similar points. Too bad for listeners who’d like to bury the term “bitch” as used for decades by bigots to derogatorily label assertive women. “Bitch” should be used over and over until it doesn’t mean anything. Also too bad for their listeners because the commentary would have exposed the audience to what is happening to the economy and what to expect months later, now front page news.

No matter. Here it is for iTulip readers. If you’d like to hear more—not about Hillary and Obama but the economy—tune in to new Hampshire Public Radio Tuesday March 11 at 9AM Eastern for “The Exchange (http://www.nhpr.org/taxonomy/term/15001)” show when Laura Knoy interviews yours truly for an hour about the economy and I take your calls. - Eric Janszen (March 8, 2008)
Embrace "The Bitch" by Eric Janszen (Jan. 5, 2008)

The various reasons for not liking Hillary Clinton boil down to one: She’s not likable. Barack Obama is likable. In politics, likable matters. Iowa caucus voters figured Mitt Romney for a jerk for using his money to buy attack ads. So they voted for Mike Huckabee, who’s more likable.

In politics, it pays to be likable. Usually. But there are times when other traits, like competence, are more important. Such as during times of crisis.

Well, crisis is upon us. Not terrorism but the economy, the one the Republican Party has been saying for years is great but which the majority of Americans say has not been great for them. Now most Americans say the economy is in recession.

The crisis started over a year ago with a slowdown in housing and a rise in inflation, reflected in food and energy prices. The crisis expanded to include the banks that financed the housing bubble, which is now collapsing. The result is a credit crunch that’s spreading across the global financial system and economy, reducing the availability and increasing the cost of consumer and corporate debt financing. Demand for goods and services is off and firms started to reduce hiring last summer in response.

Now, six months later, unemployment is up and rising nationally. Housing prices rise and fall with regional unemployment. If housing prices were falling for the past year while the labor markets were strong, what will happen to housing prices now that unemployment is rising? The root of the recession, the housing market correction, will accelerate.

The economy is already a political issue. Polls of the New Hampshire debate audience consistently showed the economy as the number one topic they wished the candidates had discussed more. The symptoms of recession are not yet obvious but will be by November. The stock market smells recession and entered a bear market at the end of 2007. It will be off by more than 20% before November, further cutting consumer confidence.

Voters will be looking for a competent, hard-nosed problem solver with solutions.

So here’s my free advice for Hillary and worth every penny.

Stop trying to be likable. Play to your strengths. Embrace "The Bitch."

You probably thought you’d never hear that term used on this station but this is no time to mince words.

When the U.S. has an economic crisis, the world has an economic crisis. So imagine Clinton, Obama, Romney, McCain or Huckabee in a wood paneled room in Moscow, arms folded, across from Russia’s new president with Putin right behind him, perhaps literally. He’ll be under heavy domestic political pressure because global demand for the commodity that gives his party power – oil – will be declining and his economy with it. How will a conversation about not selling more weapons grade uranium to Iran go under those circumstances? Who do you as a voter want in that meeting?

Or picture a confrontational meeting with China’s president whose export-based economy may experience its first recession in 30 years, challenging his Communist Party at a time when U.S. protectionist sentiment will be rising. Who looks better, in your mind’s eye, sitting across the table? A talker or a fighter?

Geopolitics during global economic turmoil isn’t a knitting circle. Likability matters in politics but not in running nations in time of crisis. Then toughness and competence matters more.

Project it. Embrace "The Bitch" and let events catch up with you.

iTulip Select (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1032): The Investment Thesis for the Next Cycle™
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jk
03-08-08, 04:36 PM
going back to a remark she made during the health-care reform debacle, i have long despised hillary. it is a joke in my family. but this piece makes me reconsider.

Jim Nickerson
03-08-08, 05:11 PM
going back to a remark she made during the health-care reform debacle, i have long despised hillary. it is a joke in my family. but this piece makes me reconsider.

jk, exactly what did she say that hurt your feelings to the extent it made you despise her? That is rather strong antipathy.

World Traveler
03-08-08, 05:38 PM
Fred/EJ's comments also got me thinking. I read a similar comment on talkingpointsmemo by Josh Marshall (guy whose investigations triggered Congress to investigate U.S. Attorney office politization, which ultimately forced resignation of AG Gonzalez).

My point is I respect opinions of the Freds, EJ, and Josh Marshall and consider them carefully.

Josh Marshall basically said the same thing this week re: Obama and Clinton's attacks on him. Obama needs to manage these attacks and react appropriately because it'll be a lot worse in the General Election if he makes it to that point. Meaning, "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen".

I voted in Texas Democratic primary and caucuses on Tuesday. I was amazed at the turnout at our local precint in conservative, Republican, northwest Harris county (just outside Houston). There were a thousand or more at the Caucus and we had to wait outside an extra hour, because regular voting did not wind down till 8:30 PM due to heavy turnout.

I initially thought the U.S. needed a visionary who would try new solutions, reach out to the opposite side/ideologies, and also appeal to young people.

But things in U.S. economy are now spinning out of control so fast, maybe we need a "tough cookie" who is willing to knock heads together and take no prisioners, if that is what it takes to fix things.

jk
03-08-08, 06:30 PM
jk, exactly what did she say that hurt your feelings to the extent it made you despise her? That is rather strong antipathy.
during the discussion of mandated coverage, hillary was asked about small businesses for which the extra expense might mean going out of business. she could have said, "every solution has unfortunate side effects..," or "you can't make an omelet....." what she said was, iirc [not quite verbatim], "i can't worry about every 2 bit businessman out there." of course not all of us are blessed with the skill to turn $1k into $100k in cattle futures in 6 months time, so we are forced to be 2 bit businessmen. i was affronted by her arrogance.

FRED
03-08-08, 06:49 PM
during the discussion of mandated coverage, hillary was asked about small businesses for which the extra expense might mean going out of business. she could have said, "every solution has unfortunate side effects..," or "you can't make an omelet....." what she said was, iirc [not quite verbatim], "i can't worry about every 2 bit businessman out there." of course not all of us are blessed with the skill to turn $1k into $100k in cattle futures in 6 months time, so we are forced to be 2 bit businessmen. i was affronted by her arrogance.

"Two bit businessman," eh? Contempt for the "petite bourgeoisie" is common among socialists. Here we call them entrepreneurs and they are exalted.

Hey, we said it wasn't a pitch for Hillary.

World Traveler
03-08-08, 07:46 PM
I also agree that entrepreneurs and small businesses should be exalted - they create most of the jobs in America.

I do think we need a change in management at the federal level - we know where the policies of the last 7 years have brought us.

I'm HOPING there's a presidential candidate out there who can put us on a better, more sustainable track. The 2 non-FIRE Economy guys are out of the race, so I've put my hopes on the young guy. We'll see...

WDCRob
03-08-08, 08:21 PM
I didn't vote for her when I had my chance, but I've managed to piss off quite a few friends and family members by pointing out that she' taking Obama to the woodshed right now and that if he can't handle her he sure as hell isn't up to the Republicans in the general, or a world full of banditos and brass-knuckle geopoliticians.

And I have to admit I don't find ruthless ambition unattractive when the stakes are so high. If you aren't willing to fight to win, or fight for yourself, why should I trust that you'll fight for me?

jimmygu3
03-09-08, 12:16 AM
I initially thought the U.S. needed a visionary who would try new solutions, reach out to the opposite side/ideologies, and also appeal to young people.

But things in U.S. economy are now spinning out of control so fast, maybe we need a "tough cookie" who is willing to knock heads together and take no prisoners, if that is what it takes to fix things.

I find Obama to be incredibly calm when under attack, defusing the situation and using the opportunity to say what he wants. To me, he is a lot like Bill Clinton in that way, much more so than Hillary is. I see no reason to think she would be tougher or more effective as president.

metalman
03-09-08, 12:32 AM
I find Obama to be incredibly calm when under attack, defusing the situation and using the opportunity to say what he wants. To me, he is a lot like Bill Clinton in that way, much more so than Hillary is. I see no reason to think she would be tougher or more effective as president.

looks like we got ourselves a thread going here, then. glad you chimed in. was turning into a hillary love fest.

don't like either of them but this is fair counsel... be yourself, hillary, if ya wanna win.

GRG55
03-09-08, 04:32 AM
...The various reasons for not liking Hillary Clinton boil down to one: She’s not likable...

Evidently the likability thing goes back a ways. One Friday evening, ten years ago, I was waiting at Boston Logan to board our corporate plane after an exhausting road-show week doing presentations to institutional holders of our stock. Just as we were about to leave, the Blues Brothers squad showed up with wires poking out of their ears, and blocked our entry onto the airport ramp.

Moments later one of the taxpayer's airplanes, done up in Presidential livery (a Kennedy era B707), rolled up next to our little budgie. Hillary was in town to give a speech. They made us wait more than 2 hours before we could get to our plane. Wouldn't even let me take a picture of their plane. Even in Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts they were concerned about the likability of a wealthy socialist...

Chris
03-09-08, 08:29 AM
I thought this might of interest while we're on this topic. It may explain why the Republicans chose McCain over the other two more able candidates.

http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php/archive_menu?art_id=4987 (http://%5BURL=%22http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php/archive_menu?art_id=4987%22)



Booby-trapping the economy

Martin Hutchinson


The powers of the Presidency may wane as the President becomes more and more of a lame duck, but in the last year of his Presidency even the most unpopular and powerless President has one ability remaining: he can booby-trap the economy for his successor. In American history, there are a number of examples of this.

The first example was probably accidental, since Andrew Jackson was an economic illiterate and his successor was his hand-picked favorite. Nevertheless, in 1836 Jackson booby-trapped the economy very successfully for Martin Van Buren by withdrawing the charter of the Second Bank of the United States. This caused money supply to collapse. Since there was very little gold in the United States at that time, and no federal note issue, Second Bank notes were the only currency with nationwide acceptance. Consequently, when the Second Bank was shut down, trade between Pennsylvania and Mississippi was only possible on the basis of local Pennsylvania or Mississippi bank paper, each of which traded at a substantial discount in the other state. Effectively, the United States had lost its common currency. Not surprisingly, a grinding six year recession followed, at the nadir of which in 1841 no fewer than eight states defaulted on their bonds, the last state defaults in US history. Only the California gold finds of 1849 restored the US monetary system to its usual liquid state.

Abraham Lincoln’s partisans often accused James Buchanan of booby-trapping the Union for Lincoln’s accession to office, but they could not accuse him similarly on the economy, which was thriving in 1861 after a short but nasty recession in 1857. The next booby-trap therefore, a somewhat more pre-meditated one, was that of Benjamin Harrison for Grover Cleveland in 1893. Harrison and the “billion dollar Congress” had both raised tariffs sharply by the McKinley Tariff of 1890 and spent the accumulated Federal surplus. Consequently Cleveland in 1893-97 was confronted both with a deep recession immediately and with a serious Federal budget and funding crisis in 1895, which he was compelled to call in J.P. Morgan to fix, an act which struck at the very foundations of Democrat ideology even then.

Herbert Hoover and his apologists later accused Calvin Coolidge of booby-trapping the economy for him in 1929, but there is no truth to this. The US economy was in excellent shape in March 1929, with only a speculative stock market froth causing concern. While a stock market crash was pretty well inevitable, Hoover caused the Great Depression almost single-handedly by raising tariffs though the notorious Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 and then raising taxes, the top marginal rate from 25% to 63%, after the depression had reached full force. (The Federal Reserve also had a hand in it, by allowing the money supply to contract through bank failures.)

Hoover thus left Franklin Roosevelt with the opposite of a booby-trap situation; FDR only had to avoid economic policy as catastrophic as Hoover’s and the economy would recover on its own. FDR cleared this very low hurdle, but only just. The NRA protected monopolists and damaged the price mechanism, the Wagner Act hugely increased costs in heavy industry, the prohibition of the Gold Clause wrecked security of contract and the Securities Act of 1933 de-capitalized the brokerage industry, leading to a capital raising dearth that lasted a decade. As I said, better than Hoover, but not by much.

Lyndon Johnson undoubtedly booby-trapped the economy for Richard Nixon in 1969, although given his pathological nature he may have wanted his faithful but despised Vice President Hubert Humphrey to inherit the mess. Johnson ran the economy at full tilt, raising government spending at a hair-raising rate to fund both the Vietnam war and his expensive social programs, then raised taxes by 10% in his last year. The result was a very unpleasant recession in 1969-70, combined with an ongoing inflation problem that took a decade to fix. Nixon was no great economic thinker, but Nixonomics would have been remembered more fondly if he had not been forced to clear up Johnson’s mess.

Johnson’s legacy demonstrates a key feature of a successful economic booby-trapping: the outgoing President’s responsibility for hard times must be apparent only to dedicated economic mavens, so that to the general public the difficulties that appear with the new administration seem to be caused solely by the new President’s own incompetence. William McChesney Martin, Chairman of the Fed, was only too well aware of Johnson’s responsibility for the inflationary mess of the 1970s, as he set out in his memoirs, but the great majority of the public blamed the difficulties on Nixon, and later on Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, seeing Johnson’s years as the last period of real prosperity before problems descended.

After this survey of 200 years of chicanery, we come to the present, or at least the recent past. Unlike Andrew Jackson, Bill Clinton was highly economically literate, and there can be little doubt that he viewed with great pleasure the 1998-2000 manic phase of the dot-com bubble, realizing that his successor would have to deal with the inevitable following recession. (Like Johnson, his personality has elements of the pathological; he may well have relished leaving this poisoned legacy to his pompous and self-satisfied Vice President Al Gore rather than to the Republicans.) Purists might suggest that the stock market crash was timed a little early, since the first really bad month was November 2000, while Clinton was still in office, but Clintonites would no doubt claim that even the prospect of replacing their beloved master with George W. Bush was enough to spook traders.

George W. Bush however, while no economic genius, was well endowed with low cunning – he shared with Clinton the facility of being far more successful in arranging short term successes and public relations triumphs than in providing a sound long term future for the American people. Instead of just accepting the recession he had been endowed with, he cut taxes aggressively, following one substantial cut with a second cut targeted at reviving the stock market. He also persuaded Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan to slash interest rates far beyond the level that would have been considered appropriate at any earlier time.

Bush was lucky, too – his period of economic stimulus coincided with the peak of the Internet-led reshaping of the world economy, allowing low wage manufacturing centers to supply goods at a fraction of the cost of Western sources and thereby quelling inflation. Thus the normal effect of such aggressive money creation, a surge in inflation, was slow to appear and concentrated itself largely in the overheated housing market. As a political survivor of economic booby-traps, Bush deserves high marks, whatever his failings as long term steward of the US economy.

As a designer of booby-traps for his successor, Bush appears currently to deserve no more than a B. Having successfully combined excessively low interest rates with high budget deficits without causing inflation, Bush could regret that the inevitable credit crunch appeared in August 2007 rather than a year later. The emergency rate cuts by Ben Bernanke, from 5.25% to 3% for the Federal Funds rate, at a time when inflation is well over 4% even on the fudged official statistics, have managed so far to stage off disaster in the form of a deep recession and any more than a mild stock market downturn.

If Bush were due to leave office next week, he could regard himself as a remarkably successful booby trap designer. The economy would stagger on for only a few months at most, then fall prey to the triple whammy of a worsening housing downturn, an unavoidable credit crunch and rapidly increasing inflation. This would cause huge economic pain and a deep recession, but it would all be satisfactorily within the new President’s term, and Bush would be absolved from blame, except by economic historians who have few votes. How satisfying it would be to have the messianic Barack Obama blamed for the economic misdeeds of his two feckless baby-boomer predecessors!

However, it seems unlikely that disaster can be completely postponed as long as January 2009. Bernanke is beginning to run out of room to cut rates further – as was remarked in 2003-04, 1% is pretty well the lowest feasible level for the Federal Funds rate; below that level money market funds start going bust. Long term interest rates have stopped reacting to the Federal Funds rate and have started creeping back up, with the 10 year Treasury bond yielding around 3.8% today compared with 3.3% a month ago. Each month’s inflation numbers run the risk of cracking the market – it survived January’s unexpectedly high Consumer Price Index figure, but will not survive many more such. The economy and the market may well survive the summer of 2008, but a crash in September would still be four months before the change in administration, while Bush was still clearly in charge and expected to do something about it. Thus even if the worst effects of recession occurred under the next President, Bush is unlikely to escape blame from the populace as a whole.

It is to be hoped that the forthcoming recession clears the excesses out of the US economic system, so that the new President of 2013 at worst gets the inheritance of Franklin Roosevelt rather than yet another booby-trap to defuse. That requires 2009’s President not to find a way of dodging the booby-trap, as Bush did, but instead to engage in the politically highly unpleasant work of cutting the budget deficit, raising interest rates to quell inflation and restore saving and eliminating the US balance of payments deficit. Fortunately, if we cannot rely on the next President’s integrity, we should at least be able to rely on him lacking sufficient economic skill to avoid the fate that is in store.

WDCRob
03-09-08, 09:09 AM
To me, he is a lot like Bill Clinton in that way, much more so than Hillary is. I see no reason to think she would be tougher or more effective as president.

I'm not sure I agree Jimmy, but time will tell. Clinton was fantastic at fighting without really looking like he was fighting. Jujitusu. The government shutdown is the best example - he just let the overreach go where it wanted to go anyhow and the Republicans paid the price.

So far Obama is letting Hillary go where she wants to go, but she isn't paying a price for it. I read where he thinks of his strategy as the Rope a Dope - he'll let Hillary punch herself out and take the nomination by virtue of the fact that he has a marginal lead in delegates and votes. I think he's taking a hell of a chance that the Superdelegates blindly ratify his very slender margins.

And I think he's forgetting that Ali came off the ropes in the eighth and knocked Foreman out.

metalman
03-09-08, 11:05 AM
I thought this might of interest while we're on this topic. It may explain why the Republicans chose McCain over the other two more able candidates.

http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php/archive_menu?art_id=4987 (http://%5BURL=%22http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php/archive_menu?art_id=4987%22)

an early example of post depression reflations...


Only the California gold finds of 1849 restored the US monetary system to its usual liquid state.

print it or dig it out of the ground. same dif.


The US economy was in excellent shape in March 1929

not so! the usa was dragging ass into the industrial age. the agricultural economy was already in the dumper and employed a lot of americans. the economy was poorly diversified with a lot of jobs in an industry that was going through massive change... kind of like the real estate and fire industries today, right?


FDR only had to avoid economic policy as catastrophic as Hoover’s and the economy would recover on its own. FDR cleared this very low hurdle, but only just. The NRA protected monopolists and damaged the price mechanism, the Wagner Act hugely increased costs in heavy industry, the prohibition of the Gold Clause wrecked security of contract and the Securities Act of 1933 de-capitalized the brokerage industry, leading to a capital raising dearth that lasted a decade. As I said, better than Hoover, but not by much.

that's a weak summary of what happened. fdr did force the banking system to clear... forcing insolvent banks to go under and leaving the good ones... with the bank holiday. that helped. the nra was flawed, for sure, but 25% of the population was unemployed. "Securities Act of 1933 de-capitalized the brokerage industry"? evidence? "the economy would recover on its own"? evidence? not till wwii did the economy recover. now there's a big old government works project!


George W. Bush however, while no economic genius, was well endowed with low cunning – he shared with Clinton the facility of being far more successful in arranging short term successes and public relations triumphs than in providing a sound long term future for the American people. Instead of just accepting the recession he had been endowed with, he cut taxes aggressively, following one substantial cut with a second cut targeted at reviving the stock market. He also persuaded Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan to slash interest rates far beyond the level that would have been considered appropriate at any earlier time.

wrong, wrong, wrong. greenspan cut a deal with clinton early in his first term: cut spending and reduce the deficit, especially mil, and i'll keep rates low... it'll be a low inflation, low rate paradise. in this clinton made powerful enemies in the mil industrial complex as he made friends on wall street and main street.


The economy and the market may well survive the summer of 2008, but a crash in September would still be four months before the change in administration,

wrong, at least from what i read on these pages. recession started q4 07 and now the economy is crashing. by nov. it'll be a total disaster.


It is to be hoped that the forthcoming recession clears the excesses out of the US economic system, so that the new President of 2013 at worst gets the inheritance of Franklin Roosevelt rather than yet another booby-trap to defuse. That requires 2009’s President not to find a way of dodging the booby-trap, as Bush did, but instead to engage in the politically highly unpleasant work of cutting the budget deficit, raising interest rates to quell inflation and restore saving and eliminating the US balance of payments deficit. Fortunately, if we cannot rely on the next President’s integrity, we should at least be able to rely on him lacking sufficient economic skill to avoid the fate that is in store.

"cutting the budget deficit, raising interest rates to quell inflation and restore saving and eliminating the US balance of payments deficit"?

during a depression? riiiiiiiiiight. not holding my breath. (insert holding my breath smilies here)

Verrocchio
03-09-08, 02:25 PM
he thinks of his strategy as the Rope a Dope - he'll let Hillary punch herself out and take the nomination by virtue of the fact that he has a marginal lead in delegates and votes. I think he's taking a hell of a chance that the Superdelegates blindly ratify his very slender margins.

And I think he's forgetting that Ali came off the ropes in the eighth and knocked Foreman out.

Obama is taking a hell of a chance if that's really his strategy. Yes, it worked for Ali, a highly skilled heavyweight boxer, but it's about the dumbest political strategy ever. You don't see the Rope-a-Dope used much, even by professional boxers. If you want to know why, try getting in the ring with a skilled pugilist and use the Rope-a-Dope. You'll soon have your ass soundly thrashed. Back in the political arena we find that the last politician who tried the Rope-a-Dope was Fred Thompson (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/balance/stories/DN-parker_24edi.State.Edition1.2a4d3f8.html), and look how he ended up -- knocked out.

WDCRob
03-09-08, 03:58 PM
The other thing that's happening here that Obama hasn't effectively addressed is that Hillary's accurately reading the economic mood of the country and has done a better job of moving into the vaccum left by Edwards than Obama has.

If the SHTF between now and the Dem Convention, or things just continue to deteriorate, her messages about winning in 'gritty places like Ohio' while Obama racks up votes among the 'latte drinkers' is going to make his job even tougher. Not only does it make him look a little more out of touch, it gives her ammo that she's the one who can win Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania in the general.

Again, I'd put my money on Obama at even odds, but I really don't like his strategy.

Off topic: Even in rounds 1-7 Ali slipped Foreman's punches and picked him apart with counters. The Rope a Dope was mostly PR - he gave better than he got through most of the fight. It only looked like he wasn't fighting.

Maybe there's a lesson there?

bill
03-09-08, 04:15 PM
" of course not all of us are blessed with the skill to turn $1k into $100k in cattle futures in 6 months time,

They are both skilled investors,,slick William gives a speech and turns it into 700K.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080307/NATION/15653289


March 7, 2008
The spring before his wife began her White House campaign, former President Bill Clinton earned $700,000 for his foundation by selling stock that he had been given from an Internet search company that was co-founded by a convicted felon and backed by the Chinese government, public records show.


Mr. Clinton had gotten the nonpublicly traded stock from Accoona Corp. back in 2004 as a gift for giving a speech at a company event. He landed the windfall by selling the 200,000 shares to an undisclosed buyer in May 2006, commanding $3.50 a share at a time when the company was reporting millions of dollars of losses, according to interviews.


A spokesman for the William J. Clinton Foundation declined to identify the buyer....................

Verrocchio
03-09-08, 05:58 PM
Off topic: Even in rounds 1-7 Ali slipped Foreman's punches and picked him apart with counters. The Rope a Dope was mostly PR - he gave better than he got through most of the fight. It only looked like he wasn't fighting.

Maybe there's a lesson there?

Yes, there is a lesson in that classic championship fight and Obama's corner men would do well to analyze that fight before they start boasting about their Rope-a-Dope strategy. As it is, it is only serving as a convenient story to cover inaction and ineptitude.

Ali did lay on the ropes, but by leaning backward, outside the ring, he caused Foreman to punch far out from his power zone. He easily anticipated Foreman's punches and then leaned a bit further out or twisted to the left or right so that Foreman seldom landed a solid hit. When Foreman did make contact, they were mostly ineffectual strikes.

If we extend this analogy a bit further, then Obama's Rope-a-Dope must employ similarly sophisticated tactics to neutralize and absorb most of what the "B" can throw at him.

jtabeb
03-09-08, 06:52 PM
But things in U.S. economy are now spinning out of control so fast, maybe we need a "tough cookie" who is willing to knock heads together and take no prisioners, if that is what it takes to fix things.

Yeah! Let's get Putin to come over here and rule this country too!!:eek:

(be careful of the Knight on a white horse, It's how nice folks like Hitler and Mussolini come to power. It should be the most worrisome thing to all this election cycle)

P.S. I think McCain will win, there can be no positive resolution of the internal democratic rift. 50% of democrats are going to be pissed off after the nominee is announced. This will pave the way for a republican victory this November. Speaking of a knight on a white horse...

World Traveler
03-09-08, 07:16 PM
I think Democrats will pull together no matter who wins the nomination.

They may be pisssed at end of the nomination process, but they REALLY dislike the current Republican agenda - Iraq, crumbs for the little guy, wiretapping, Don Siegelman, Karl Rove's tactics, etc., etc.

Most polls show Independents veering Democrat, but election is really too early to call.

Who wins? Not clear at this time.

DemonD
03-09-08, 09:43 PM
I read the original article as an advisory for the clinton campaign - not an endorsement as it states. I think this, indeed, is exactly what she has done - she's saying I'm the one that's going to point a nuke at Putin, while obama is going to give chocolate and flowers and poetry.

My vote is for Obama. My rationale is simple. I don't care whether someone is likable or not, I want the best person for the job. Ms. Clinton owes the most favors to people in power and has more hooks in her back than any politician I can remember. Including Bush. Bush's problem is that his fishhooks are connected to some of the absolute morally reprehensible people in modern politics - and that's saying something. When push comes to shove, Wall Street owns her. All the rhetoric directed against Mr. Obama is just that- rhetoric. One of the things that is good to do is to actually look at the record of these people. Obama ran for senate on a specific platform of being against the war. If you look at his website and political stances, they are well thought out and very much in line with my beliefs.

As far as the rope-a-dope, and Obama being able to stand up to attacks from the Repubs, I think this is a great learning experience from him. I think he will come up off the ropes -we'll see what happens in PA. But I think it's plain to see that Obama will be a much better ambassador leader than either Clinton or McCain, and in that way he is much more like Bill Clinton.

I have a different perspective on Obama, which gives me even more respect and admiration and trust in the man. He is running a campaign based on mass-seduction techniques. He believes he is the best man for the job, he knows that a crybaby bitch of a president will not endear us to the rest of the world or the military, and she will be at the mercy of Wall Street who will control her more than any other president. He will be much better as a consensus builder, and while special interests will get their due, the people will be better off - and in this way his presidency will echo bill clinton's. Obama, like Clinton and JFK and many other world leaders before, know that the best way to win an election is, indeed, to win it as a popularity contest, where charm and looks and being cool is more important than specific policies.

If someone would like to debate this point, I would be happy to. While politics is a more popular topic of conversation nowadays, your average voter is nowhere near as informed as those of us who read and discuss it ad nauseum. One small impression will give the casual voter a reason to or not to vote for a candidate, and Obama knows this.

Hillary is not just a bitch. She is disconnected from reality with unsound policies, and very little actual experience. Obama correctly pointed out that her mortgage freeze plan is the worst thing to do in a credit contraction. This shows to me he understands "the law of unintended consequences" - whereas she is clueless. And, sleeping next to a governor and president for 20 years does not make you an expert. Especially when you probably haven't actually slept next to that guy, probably ever. Give me a constitutional law professor who grew up middle class and has been on city councils over a rich know-it-all who has 8 years of posh senatorial experience and has a record of following the path others tell her to follow.

Oh yes, did we know Obama was a senior lecturer at the U of Chicago Law school?
http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/obama
Not active but plenty of articles confirm he indeed did teach there (not as a tenured professor but as a lecturer).

The really funny thing is is that Obama has stood up for a lot of principles I hold dear, things that Ron Paul would even be proud of, but he never gets credit for it. The reason for this is, I believe, that he knows that talking about this stuff is boring for the average ADD 3 second attention span TV watching voter, and that further he knows the intelligent voter, of which he has been CLEANING THE FLOOR WITH HILLARY'S FAKE SMILE, will go out and research on their own his record. Which is pretty freaking stellar from everything I've seen.

I saw some redneck hick guy in ohio who was voting for hillary because he heard obama didn't know the pledge of allegiance and the star spangled banner and he was a muslim. It is this voter he is trying to reach, the ignorant peon voter - and talking about constitutional law, gitmo, mortgage foreclosures, and NAFTA will not get this man's vote. Hillary was able to get his vote on the basis of her husband's economic policies giving this gentlemen a decent living in the 1990's.

So, while I would agree with the article - that hillary should embrace the bitch - I think it would be better for the democratic party if people gave her a bitchslap and told her to get out of the way of history and let Barack start campaigning in earnest against McCain.

Ant
03-10-08, 01:23 AM
I'm surprised to see as much support on this board for Ms. Clinton as there appears to be (I understand that the original post was not an endorsement.)

I'm short of time tonight, and DemonD has already posted much of what I would normally add, so I'll just add the following bullet points:

1) If you're honestly thinking of supporting Clinton for the nomination, please do yourself a favor and go read her mortgage plan. It should be anathema to any regular reader here.

2) Actual strategic aptitude and skill are every bit as important as "toughness." Bill Clinton had these skills, but I am not convinced that Hillary does. To the contrary, her campaign itself stands as a testament to poor planning. She has been outworked, outhustled and outmaneuvered by the the Obama organization and its 50-state strategy at most turns.

3) Actual principles matter too. Clinton has sold hers to Wall Street backers at every opportunity. Yes, all politicians are beholden to special interests to some extent, but Obama is much less so than any other candidate in the field. It would be a joy to have a candidate who was not Wall Street's bitch for once.

4) It's hard to debate an attribute as poorly defined as relative toughness, but I would remark on something that I don't see discussed frequently - - Obama is widely regarded by personal security professionals to be placing himself in mortal danger every day in a way that the other candidates for president simply aren't. Yes, he has SS protection, but frequently they aren't even able to complete full sweeps before events, given the massive turnout he draws.

Remember that no less a tough guy that Gen. Colin Powell is rumored to have declined running for the Republican nomination (which he probably could have won) in 2000 due to family concerns for his personal safety. My point is that Obama is exhibiting a level of personal toughness that gives me confidence that he is up to the job.

----

Obviously, I support Obama for president. My primary personal motivation is actually pretty simple. There's been either a Clinton or a Bush in the White House EVERY YEAR SINCE 1980 (including Poppy's VP years.) If Hillary wins, what's next, Jeb or one of the other Bush kids in 2016? Who knows, maybe we can keep trading the most important job in the world between these two weird families for a century.

Enough. I'm ready for a change.

/end rant

GRG55
03-10-08, 01:40 AM
...Enough. I'm ready for a change.

/end rant

The rant from Ant.

Metalman...you got competition now :cool:

Ant
03-10-08, 04:17 AM
My point is I respect opinions of the Freds, EJ, and Josh Marshall and consider them carefully.

One difference, however, is that editorial on ITulip has proven over time to have predictive value.

I like Josh Marshall too - he's an excellent journalist and has done great things with the TPM site.

However, that doesn't mean he has any particular judgement when it comes to other matters. For example, if memory serves, he thought invading Iraq was a good idea in '03.

If he were giving financial advice, I might consider his opinion to be a contrarian indicator.


I voted in Texas Democratic primary and caucuses on Tuesday. I was amazed at the turnout at our local precint in conservative, Republican, northwest Harris county (just outside Houston).

How many of them were Dittoheads following Rush Limbaugh's instructions to vote for Clinton? :0 (see WSJ link below.)

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/03/06/the-limbaugh-effect-on-clintons-texas-win/

World Traveler
03-10-08, 11:45 AM
Re: Dittoheads, I don't know. This I can say, they would have to be very dedicated dittoheads to attend the caucuses where 1/3 of Texas primary votes were determined.

The caucus I attended was supposed to start at 7:15. So the large crowd (about 1000) was waiting outside the polling place at 7:10. It was a cold night for Houston, high 40's. There was no place to sit. We had to stand around until 8:30 till regular voting finished, and then wait in line an average of 30 minutes to caucus vote (sign a sheet of paper identifying your candidate).

I do think the times they are a-changing based on 2 recent events that I thought I would never see in my lifetime.

1. Tom Delay's district in Sugarland Texas elected a Democrat in Nov 2006 (southwest Houston suburb).

2. Dennis Hastert's district in Chicago northwest suburbs just elected a Democrat to take his vacant seat in special election following his resignation. (He's former House Speaker.) I'm originally from Chicago and all my relatives live in northwest suburbs, so I know that area well also. That district is fairly affluent and has always been Republican.

WDCRob
03-10-08, 12:09 PM
Considering that Dem turnout has been been more than double Republican turnout in most primaries this year I think it's safe to say that Rush Limbaugh's ignorant frothing is pretty close to irrelevant.

For example... both Hillary and Obama received more votes in Ohio than McCain and Huckabee combined.

c1ue
03-12-08, 04:30 AM
Clinton was fantastic at fighting without really looking like he was fighting. Jujitusu.

Not really. Check out: the 4 part BBC series: Century of the Self

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2637635365191428174

In Part 3, maybe 4, there is an explicit section on Clinton - how he was using polls to determine which way to sway.

That, and masterfully grabbing credit for other's ideas in the same vein as Josef Vissarionovich Dzugashvili (Stalin) - who proved that a committee secretary is equivalent to its master.


Obviously, I support Obama for president. My primary personal motivation is actually pretty simple. There's been either a Clinton or a Bush in the White House EVERY YEAR SINCE 1980 (including Poppy's VP years.) If Hillary wins, what's next, Jeb or one of the other Bush kids in 2016? Who knows, maybe we can keep trading the most important job in the world between these two weird families for a century.


I agree - there doesn't need to be another Clinton/Bush as President.

But choosing a complete novice is not a good choice either. Besides Obama's willingness to embrace the crazy eco-kids (unlike Ron Paul), what exactly has Obama shown he can do? He should take a few terms as Senator, take a position as a Cabinet member, then take his shot. He's plenty young enough.

Professor at U of C? BFD. Bernanke is a professor and look where that's leading us. Academics have NO place as a head of major government apparatti, much less as heaqd of state.

But instead, Obama is killing the Democrat party by undoing the magical Clinton I unification of the working class and the Boston Brahmin/eco-kids/left elite.

Should he win the nomination, he'll effectively both have whacked the Demo platform for many years, plus give the Presidency to McCain.

Why? Because McCain isn't a Bush nor Clinton - in fact Bush has always attacked McCain; Mac has experience, he is tough, he's not African-American, and the Hispanics love him.

And why would the Hispanics love McCain? Besides his progressiveness on immigration and other issues (and an actual track record!), many Hispanics live in political districts dominated by African Americans such as LA.

These Hispanics feel - rightly or wrongly - that these token political overlords are kicking it down to them, and the last thing they want is a national administration with that as a policy. And there are now more Hispanics than African Americans in this country - and more importantly they could very possibly sway the traditional Democrat strongholds in the far West.

Were it Guiliani or some such, Obama might at least get something, but McCain is as progressive a Republican as you're going to find outside of East Texas.

touchring
03-12-08, 08:00 AM
Why? Because McCain isn't a Bush nor Clinton - in fact Bush has always attacked McCain; Mac has experience, he is tough, he's not African-American, and the Hispanics love him.


What if US recession gets really bad before the election, regardless of what Bernanke does??

c1ue
03-12-08, 03:02 PM
What if US recession gets really bad before the election, regardless of what Bernanke does??

That's the beauty of it.

McCain is separated enough from Bush for deniability.

He's also too old - this is his last shot so he won't care if he takes the helm when everything is going to hell. Not that he'd care anyway, just look at the jut on his fighter's jaw.

McCain's biggest baggage is his Iraq policy - and even there he has been very critical on how the whole thing has been handled.

Sure, the eco-kids and peaceniks won't vote for him, but they would never have anyway.

Slimprofits
03-12-08, 05:57 PM
Considering that Dem turnout has been been more than double Republican turnout in most primaries this year I think it's safe to say that Rush Limbaugh's ignorant frothing is pretty close to irrelevant.

For example... both Hillary and Obama received more votes in Ohio than McCain and Huckabee combined.

Yep. The trend in turnout has continued from 2006.