Did anyone listen to the podcast of the Politico interview with President Obama that was released yesterday? It was a short interview that focused mostly on the state of the primary today plus PBO’s memories of his own early campaign. The podcast is embedded below, and the transcript is here.
It seems to have been interpreted by many (including Charles Pierce and CNN’s A. Cuomo in his town hall moderator turn last night) to be tantamount to an endorsement of Clinton. That wasn’t my takeaway when I first heard it; I got the sense that PBO knows HRC better since he worked closely with her, so he had more to say about her. Anyway, here’s an excerpt:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, here’s my view: that whoever the nominee is is going to need the other person’s supporters. And I think it is entirely legitimate to draw sharp contrasts where there are contrasts and it is important, however, to maintain a tone in which people feel as if you’re playing fair. And I think Hillary has done that so far, and I think that the truth is in 2007 and 2008, sometimes my supporters and my staff, I think, got too huffy about what were legitimate questions she was raising. And, you know, there were times where I think the media probably was a little unfair to her and tilted a little my way in the — in calling her out when she was tough and not calling some of our folks out as much when we were tough in ads. So—
GLENN THRUSH: So that famous thing — like, on the Saturday Night Live thing, where she was — you know, that great skit that she — that her — remember that thing, where she pushed that around?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yeah. Yeah. I think — look, I’ve gotten to know Hillary really well, and she is a good, smart, tough person who cares deeply about this country, and she has been in the public eye for a long time and in a culture in which new is always better. And, you know, you’re always looking at the bright, shiny object that people don’t, haven’t seen before. That’s a disadvantage to her. Bernie is somebody who —although I don’t know as well because he wasn’t, obviously, in my administration, has the virtue of saying exactly what he believes, and great authenticity, great passion, and is fearless. His attitude is, “I got nothing to lose.”
GLENN THRUSH: Right.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “I”— you know, “I’m here to help move the country forward.” And so I think it’s a healthy dynamic. So, to me, the relevant contrast is not between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but relevant contrast is between Bernie and Hillary and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and the vision that they’re portraying for the country and where they want to take us and how they think about everything from tax policy to immigration to foreign policy, and that gap is as wide as I’ve ever seen.
So basically, he’s saying play nice, kids — we’re all in this together. Good advice that will go unheeded!
During last night’s town hall, Cuomo asked Clinton if she was surprised by what PBO said about his staff and supporters being too tough on her sometimes, and she said she was (and also that she was grateful for PBO’s kind words, etc.). I wish the Politico dude would have followed up with a question about specifics, but hey, it’s Politico.
Anyhoo, an interesting perspective that’s worth reading / listening to in full.
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
I think Obama was smart not to commit based on HRC’s legal problems.
@Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:
Has any prez before got involved in the primary fight? Not a gotcha question, honest one.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@amk: my recollection is Reagan and Clinton were officially neutral but gave similar just-short-of-endorsement support to their Veeps
I actually hate looking at stuff from the 08 primary, because goddammit he has aged so much. He was very nearly a contemporary of mine at Harvard – he arrived at the law school just as I was leaving undergrad – and during the 08 campaign he looked so youthful, and now he really, really doesn’t.
it makes me sad.
Oh, yeah, whosits, with the thing. I love that guy!
Just noticed that Tom Delay I saying that the FBI intends to “indict” Hillary. The FBI can indict? Thought a court had to do that. Earlier heard that FBI would move to indict but the court wouldn’t given the flimsy reasons.
@Chyron HR: I honestly don’t know why the kenyan deigned to give the bird brain bw hack the interview.
Obama would look a bit foolish if he endorsed one candidate and another became the nominee. Not very foolish, but maybe enough to hinder him in his last few months as president. He won’t want that. Hillary should worry about legal problems when she does have them, not before. After years of obsessive scrutiny, nothing from the email server thing has panned out; until and unless the FBI actually has her doing a perp walk over it, I shall assume that nothing will.
@Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: What legal problems?
@japa21: Whitewater, Vince Foster, the whole cocaine smuggling operation in Arkansas – you know, the usual Clinton legal problems.
@bystander: Tom Delay of all people should understand the mechanics of an indictment! I’ve heard enough Fox News from visiting wingnut relatives to know that they’ve been hyping HRC’s imminent arrest and incarceration for at least a year now.
Even Jeb claims that if HRC is elected, she’ll divide her time between “The Whitehouse and the Courthouse”
… and he’s the moderate.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Thanks. Wonder what would have happened if uncle joe had decided to throw his hat in the ring.
Old Dan and Little Anne
@Betty Cracker: MY FIL, BIL, and a few wingnut friends are sure she is going to be arrested. I just laugh at these asshole that have been wrong about absolutely everything since PBO’s inauguration.
Mike in NC
@Germy: We just caught a laughable JEB! ad on the radio that mentioned something about 39 retired generals and admirals think he’d be an outstanding Commander in Chief. Must mean they were able to bribe 39 but couldn’t quite reach number 40.
CPS chief Claypool turns to political hack for help
What could be the second teachers’ strike in four years is looming.
The Chicago Public Schools already are many billions of dollars short of what they need.
And Springfield is ignoring the desperate cries from CPS CEO Forrest Claypool and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Never fear. Claypool has called in a favor from an old pal from one of his many previous stops in local government.
CPS officials confirmed Tuesday they are getting help from James D’Amico — a Chicago Transit Authority executive with a scandal-pocked past and deep-rooted clout.
An anonymous tipster thought I might be interested in D’Amico’s recent appearances at the school district because I wrote about him a couple of years ago.
At the time, D’Amico had gotten into trouble in his job at Cook County. Claypool, then Emanuel’s main guy at CTA, found a cushy landing spot for D’Amico in March 2014.
There was no mention of a college degree on D’Amico’s resume. What a background search would show, however, is a guilty plea.
In 1996, D’Amico was sentenced to six months court supervision after threatening to “beat the s— out of” a political rival of his well-connected Northwest Side clan.
D’Amico comes to public service from the 39th Ward Democrats, who were early and important supporters of Emanuel’s 2011 mayoral bid.
D’Amico’s brother John is a Democratic state representative. His aunt Marge Laurino is the 39th Ward alderman.
Both his parents and a grandmother were convicted in a ghost-payrolling scheme in the 1990s. Ald. Anthony Laurino, his grandfather, died before his federal corruption trial could start.
Despite his own criminal record, James D’Amico somehow kept his job in county government for many years.
He might be there still if it not for county Inspector General Patrick Blanchard’s push for his removal. Blanchard alleged that D’Amico sought campaign contributions at work and directed aides in county government to pressure lower-level workers to make political donations.
Rather than fight the charges, D’Amico retired from the county and soon decided to join Claypool at the CTA. Claypool became Emanuel’s schools’ chief last summer, after a brief stop in the mayor’s office.
@Old Dan and Little Anne: Yep. These same people believe wholeheartedly that the Obama administration is the most scandal-plagued in history. They are unburdened by a connection to reality, bless their hearts!
@Old Dan and Little Anne: Arrested for what?
As Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Soar, G.O.P. Leaders’ Exasperation Grows
JAN. 26, 2016
DES MOINES — Republican leaders are growing alarmed by the ferocious ways the party’s mainstream candidates for president are attacking one another, and they fear that time is running out for any of them to emerge as a credible alternative to Donald J. Trump or Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Leaders of the Republican establishment, made up of elected officials, lobbyists and donors, are also sending a message to the mainstream candidates, such as former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, that they should withdraw from the race if they do not show strength soon.
The members of the party establishment are growing impatient as they watch Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz dominate the field heading into the Iowa caucuses next Monday and the New Hampshire primary about a week later.
The party elders had hoped that one of their preferred candidates, such as Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, would be rising above the others by now and becoming a contender to rally around.
Instead, they have a muddled field of battered mainstream candidates: Mr. Bush, Mr. Rubio, Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Lead poisoning strikes another US town
AFP By Mira Oberman
16 hours ago
Chicago (AFP) – A lead poisoning scandal has struck a second US town, with schools closed Monday in Sebring, Ohio, and the water treatment plant operator accused of falsifying reports.
Elevated lead levels were detected months ago but local officials failed to warn residents until last week despite pressure from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Some 8,100 people rely on the Sebring water system.
The agency said it has “reason to suspect that the operator falsified reports” and has asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal division for help with the investigation.
@elmo: This happened to Bill Clinton too. It did not happen to GWB, and my sister and I were often complaining about how he actually looked BETTER than when he started his presidency and how it was clearly a sign that he was not doing his job because the position aged Bill Clinton so much.
Well only if there’s a civil suit, because even Scalia can’t override the constitutional dictate that a sitting president can’t be tried in a criminal court, unless they are impeached. Now, I’m sure the Republicans will give it a go and try to impeach Clinton, but I don’t think they will succeed.
@Punchy: 4Deadghazi, Emailghazi, Lying under oath during Gowdyghazi, and for wearing pantsuits.
3 felonies and a misdemeanor. 6 years to life, or something.
He thinks the media was unfair in his favor?
Okay, I didn’t pay much attention to the primary, maybe they were that way then… as opposed to the general.
Has Obama joined Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Campaign as an enemy of the revolution?
Voting for Hillary for two terms just to see wingnut heads explode alone is an awesome reason to vote for Hillary.
Anybody see that Sebring, OH also has an elevated lead in the water problem? We don’t need to import any stinkin’ Ay-rab terrahrists to attack our infrastructure, we’re doing a kickass job of it all on our own.
@Chris: Most were, but some weren’t. The Media loves narratives as it makes their jobs easier – and the Obama story provided one hell of a narrative.
Even then, Obama had a media environment that was more friendly than not.
They’ve been talking about impeaching Obama for damn near eight years, but they’ve always had enough sense, somehow, not to go for it. Maybe they remember their last attempt enough to know better. Maybe they will if Hillary’s in the White House, too.
@Mai.naem.mobile: Rikyrah linked to an article about it above. I’m just reading it now. Can we just put people in jail?
I think he would still try to be neutral, for the sake of party unity, but I think he would also say nice things as often as he could about Biden.
@Betty Cracker: And will continue to hype her imminent arrest through her 8 years of being President. We’ve seen this movie before when it was called President William Clinton 1992-2000.
@Betty Cracker: So should I but not for the same reasons Delay should be. I was thrown off by the indictment of the jerks who tried to frame PP when the charges were evidently aimed at PP.
Steve in the ATL
@Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: @NonyNony: Major legal problems indeed. My sister has been assuring me for months that Hillary will be in prison well before the election. She supports her thesis with links to breitbart.com and similar sites.
These imminent arrest stories are timed to get wobbly primary voters to go with Bernie. The Rs are clinging desperately to the hope that he gets the nom; they know they’ll lose if it’s her. With him there’s at least a ghost of a chance.
I think the main reason they haven’t impeached Obama is because they haven’t found the right scandal. They need something that the media and the public won’t just laugh at, and Obama hasn’t provided. It took them years of trying to find the nothingburger Monica Lewinsky to use against Clinton, and Obama has given them even that much to work with.
Actually, I’ve had a copy of The Whitey Tape this whole time, just been waiting for the perfect time to release for max effect. However, it’s not The Whitey Tape we’ve all been led to expect, where MO curses out White America. Nope, this The Whitey Tape has PBO getting down and dirty with the whitest woman in America, America’s Sweetheart – Sandra Bullock!
The Blind Side was only prelude…
In 2009, they were telling us that Eric Holder was going to resign over Fast and Furious and Solyndra, too. Also.
@JPL: nobody will go to jail, much less uu7JUn. In order to end up in jail have to be tell a cop you won’t put out your cigarette while in your own car.
The GOP Michigan AG appointed a guy whojuju fdonated to Gov Snyder’s.and.his campaign, to investigate the Flint.issue. Apparently there are no other uavailable Michigan.who.don’t.have conflicts of.interest.
@Steve in the ATL:
This is the kind of thing that that is time limited and can bet tested with a bet for real money.
So the Delay story is that he has “friends in the FBI” who are “ready to indict” Clinton and that if the Justice Department won’t go along they’ll go public with the information.
Leaving aside that we’ve been hearing some variation of “she’ll be indicted real soon” from Republicans for months, the likelihood that FBI agents would violate the confidentiality of an investigation the way he describes is essentially zero, so I’m guessing he’s either pretty much making it up or that the “friends in the FBI” have nothing at all to do with the investigation.
The _They_ who have been talking about it do NOT have the sense not to do it. They just don’t have enough idiots to go along with them.
@Mai.naem.mobile: Your newsletter. How may one subscribe?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@randy khan: IIRC back in the 90s Bob Novak often had “sources” who assured him that the First Lady’s indictment was imminent.
Steve in the ATL
@catclub: Indeed, but if you have any close friends or relatives who have been thus afflicted, you know that’s it better to ignore the insane comments and pour another drink than to engage them in any way. People who believe this shit are living in state of delusion and are not rational.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
OT: Turned on MSNBC long enough for Tamron Hall to tell me to stay tuned for Andrea Mitchell’s interview with Bob Gates.
Iowa Old Lady
I’ve had this thought too. They lost their minds over Obama. They’ll be howling at the moon over Clinton.
@Cacti: this is my issue with Sanders. When you’re angry and think you’re in a REVOLUTION you end up saying this sort of stupid thing. Then again, Hillary had to go and step in it with her Reconstruction was too hard on the South baloney, so I’m not feeling either of those two right now.
I would love a Dem President, for no other reason than to know that Scalia has to work for 8 more years and thus postpone his retirement to he’s pushing 90…
@bystander: One more proof that (modern) Rethugs don’t understand government. So much easier to demand it all be dismantled when you have no idea how it works.
@japa21: Inadvertently disclosing that Shrubbery lied about Iraq and the GWoT. To some, that’s proof she can’t be trusted (well, not with their secrets anyway).
LOL. Yes, according to Berniebots on FB re how PBO sold us out, the peasants are revolting.
@Chris: 08 primary media was all about HRC and the various scandals (from ages past) for which they pursued her. There was the blip of Edwards’ implosion, but the press went light[er] on BHO until he jumped WAY ahead in the elector count. The Reichwing was as scared of a HRC Presidency in 08 as they are today, and apparently comfortable that they could easily defeat any Dem ni-CLANG who dared to seek the office.
I think that the main reason they didn’t impeach Obama prior to 2014 was that the House leadership could count to 60 and knew that a failed impeachment would only make them look bad (to their own voters – nothing like getting them all loaded up into the impeachment bus and driving it off a cliff to get yourself Tea Party Primaried).
The main reason they haven’t impeached Obama since 2014 is so that they can continue to run against him (running against Joe Biden just wouldn’t be as effective) and because a failed impeachment would just get them primaried (see above).
Hooray! Bernie is getting enough support to cause cat fights among the rank and file!
Now if he can pull ahead, perhaps somebody will persuade Hillary to address the problems and causes of economic inequality that she has been ignoring for some time.
BTW, Hillary Rettig’s picture below is awesome!
But I liked that movie! I didn’t realize that Holder was the director. Why would anyone want to impeach him just because he did a little moonlighting to work in Hollywood?
You’re probably right about that.
@boatboy_srq: A lot of Dems also thought the GOP could easily defeat any Dem ni-CLANG. A lot of Dems were also wrong.
@Linda Featheringill: They promptly shifted to Obama being the most liberal senator, and the most liberal candidate ever nominated for President.
@catclub: When it was Clinton v. Obama in the ’08 primary, the GOP leadership didn’t think they could beat Clinton (after 8 years of Disaster W Bush) but thought that maybe – just maybe – they could beat the young, black, one-term Senator from Chicago.
They were wrong, of course. They weren’t going to win no matter who they ran in ’08 – Bush was too much of a disaster for anyone to think of returning a Republican to office that quickly.
The gap in policy between Clinton and Sanders is insignificant next to the policy differences between them and any of the Republicans. Obama’s tacit admonition to “play nice” is well taken, given what a disaster any of the Republican candidates would bring to the table and I am thinking mainly of the Supreme Court.
Whether you support Bernie or Hillary, Democrats have to accept that for at least 25 years Clinton bashing has been an acceptable bipartisan sport refereed by a media that encourages it. Seeing a young Bernie supporter stand up at last night’s townhall and tell her that young people think she’s dishonest, was proof that Republicans have been fairly effective in controlling the Clinton narrative. It’s discouraging to see young, supposedly liberal, kids speak like rude Republican Party hacks. I’m sure Bernie’s fans loved it, but it was totally cringeworthy for me.
@Linda Featheringill: Not sure it is fair to claim that Secretary Clinton has ignored issues of income inequality. I agree that Senator Sanders has forced the issue to the forefront though which is great.
Exactly. The difference beteen Sanders and Clinton is much less than between them and what the Republican clown car is going to spit out.
@dogwood: People think Secretary Clinton is dishonest because ??????
I find it puzzling that anyone would let the Rightwing tell them who to think is dishonest when Republicans have bathed in the well of deception. One famous example of this is the Iraq war where Republican operatives lied us into sending troops into the Middle East.
@NonyNony: I am not so sure about that. I think they certainly THOUGHT they had a huge amount of things they could throw at Hillary, and knew how they would attack her, but had not given Obama much thought. The media would have been ready to oppose dynasties after the failure of the Bush dynasty.
I would guess that Hillary-Obama (Obama getting elected after two terms of Hillary) is much less likely to be successful than Obama-Hillary.
OTOH – would Obama have been her VP choice if she had won the primaries?
You know, there is a reason for lack of support of Hillary Clinton, an important reason. When the chips were down and the anti Iraq war protests were in the street, we needed Hillary, and she simply wasn’t there.
Incredibly, after letting liberals be dragged through years of rightwing attacks and smeared with bitter monkeycrap for defending her husband, she abandoned her ‘base’ or whatever I thought I was at that time. Changed things, that did. Apparently I’m not good enough for Hillary except when money and voting time comes.
That was a big deal to me. She HAD MY VOTE, all she had to do was stand up for my interests that she claims and is very well paid to represent. And she did not. She is a known quantity, and I don’t want it.
I realize this is not necessarily how others see the situation, but I’m surely not the only one who does.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Not just REpoubicans. I saw that kid in a clip and he didn’t seem to be speaking with much conviction
Paul in KY
@Mike in NC: Wonder what the pool is of ‘retired Generals/Admirals’ is? Probably North of 100.
@dogwood: It was cringe-worthy to me too, and I am not HRC’s biggest supporter. I thought she answered the question ably, though, and put the blame for that meme where it belongs.
@Bartholomew: Well, I never had any illusions that my two votes for Bill Clinton and support for him during the impeachment farce purchased me any loyalty from the Clintons. I supported Obama over Clinton in 2008 in large part because of her Iraq War vote, which she has wisely disavowed. However, when it comes down to the general, I know it’s not about my personal validation, and if Hillz is the nominee, I’m voting for Hillz.
Having to spend time in the company of dittoheads during the 90s may not have been fun, but I don’t think the Clintons OWED you anything for doing it.
I did. definitely worth it.
On the last question: ‘Do you think that Sanders should address more issues?”
…… long pause …..
“I don’t want to be a campaign consultant, because, obviously, what he is doing is working.”
There is a man who thinks before he speaks. And as Sidney Poitier put it in some movie. Every damn day.
Paul in KY
@Dork: I wouldn’t think that fat fuck would reach 90, I don’t care how good his health care is.
Paul in KY
@Bartholomew: I don’t like that either, but if she’s the nominee, I will crawl over used hypo needles to vote for her.
@Paul in KY: In 2006 it was estimated that there were 4700 retired general officers
Paul in KY
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: So 30 out of 4700. Woohoo!!
J R in WV
A Grand Jury “hand up” an indictment to a Judge, sitting on the bench.
That’s why they hand up an indictment, because the judges sit highest in a courtroom.
But you are right, law enforcement agencies do not, can not, indict someone. They provide evidence to a prosecutor, who shows a Grand Jury the evidence, and they can then vote to indict. Here there are 17 members of a grand jury, and IIRC 12 members are needed to indict someone. When I sat on the county’s Grand Jury we indicted 10 or 15 different people in one day. It was much more stressful than petit jury, which is 12 people (in criminal cases) working on a single case.
I think people talking about Hillary being indicted are probably delusional… Many of them evidently don’t know how criminal law works, babbling about the FBI going to indict someone is not how it works.