Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat

Blogging Indiana Politics and the 2008 Presidential Race.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Faking Iowa Nice...

Two days after Bill Clinton made this comment:
"If you listen to the people who are most strongly for him, they say basically, 'We have to throw away all these experienced people, because they have been through the wars of the nineties,'" Clinton said in an interview on PBS' The Charlie Rose show. "'They made enough decisions and enough calls that they made a few mistakes, and what we want is someone who started running for president a year after he became a senator because he's fresh, he's new, he's never made a mistake. And he has massive political skills, and we're willing to risk it.'"

Asked later in the interview if he thought voters would be "rolling the dice about America" if they elect Obama president, Clinton did not outright disagree, saying, "It's less predictable."
In their every continuing attempt to fake Iowa Nice, Bill Clinton then backtracked today and said:
...he seemed to say Barack Obama is too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief, but the former president told CNN Tuesday that's not what he meant to suggest.

“I am trying to say that I agree with what the Des Moines Register said that Hillary has the best record of positive change making in other people’s lives, and I think it is important and I think that this is why they endorsed her,” the former president told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.

“I bragged on all of them," he continued. "Sen. Obama, Sen. Edwards, all of them — I like them, I think she has the best record of making change in other people's lives in the most different circumstances and I think that's very important for the next president.”
Bill... I love you man... and I appreciate you're trying to help out your wife... but really, you're not.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Opportunity Knocks

And Hillary answers... (and by "Hillary" I mean her campaign)

Couple of notable opportunistic events today...

First... You may or may not have heard about the young lady who worked for KBR in Iraq. She claims she was confined against her will (can you be confined willingly?) and repeatedly raped by employees of KBR and that KBR is covering it up. Her congressman, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, has been all over the State Department trying to get some accountability because as we all know, KBR has no checks on it in Iraq. Army doctors did a rape kit on her but it magically disappeared after it was turned over to KBR security (WHAT?!?!?!). Two years later and the State Department can't even confirm that there's an investigation going on, much less anyone is considering charges against the animals that did it... Well she can rest easy now... because Hillary is calling for an investigation now! Phew. I'm sure Congressman Poe is wondering why Hillary is suddenly so interested in the case... Maybe it's because it's 3 weeks before the caucuses.

Secondly... Hillary's co-chair of NH is saying that Barrack's admission to using drugs as a kid will open him up for attack. Personally I believe the general public is a bit more intelligent than to fall for those kinds of attacks, but even if they are... Umm... Excuse me... Pot, Kettle, Black? Hillary is open for FAR more completely-baseless attacks than Barrack... Whitewater, Vince Foster, Travelgate, blah blah blah. Barrack's candor on the issue is at the least refreshing. How many people rolled their eyes when Bill said "I didn't inhale..." What did Barrack say? "Of course I inhaled... that was the point." At best it gives him credibility when he talks about drugs to kids. "I've been there, I know."

Monday, December 03, 2007

Welcome back...

Yeah I know it's been a long time... I've been tied up with other things and life in general but as the primary season is drawing nearer the political juices are stirred in me once again.

As many of you may know I am supporting Sen Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. Why? I can actually rather vividly remember the moment I came to conclusion that Sen Obama was the right choice. I was standing in the shower and I was thinking about what is important in a President. And I'm not really talking about issues here. I mean seriously, do any of the candidates really differ that incredibly much from each other issues-wise? So... what does matter?

The ability to lead.
The ability to inspire.
The ability to bring other people to you.

I thought about who was the last person to inspire me... Did I like John Kerry? Sure... how about Al Gore... yeah I liked him too... But they didn't evoke a passion from me... I didn't sit there and think "Wow... this guy's got it." I DO remember thinking that while watching the '92 Convention watching "A Man From Hope." And then I thought... Yeah... it's him. The last time I felt that was was 2004... Barack Obama's Convention speech.

I remember thinking that in Late December/Early January. So when Sen Obama did announce, I was in his corner.

So... that's where I'm coming from... If you don't like what I have to say, feel free to disagree.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Biden steps on it again...

Is there anyone in the Democratic Party who steps on it more often than Joe Biden? Last year you had him crowing about how the Indian population in Delaware was growing by leaps and bounds:
In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.
Now you have him "complimenting" Sen Obama...
I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.
As opposed to all those dimwitted, dirty African-Americans who couldn't speak right and were ugly...

Seriously Joe...


Leading with actions, not words

Actions, not words. Sen Obama understands that the American people want action out of Washington, not just words. Yesterday he stood before the US Senate and introduced a bold new plan.
The time for waiting in Iraq is over. The days of our open-ended commitment must come to a closed. The need to bring this war to an end is here. That's why today I'm introducing "The Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007". This act would not only place a cap on the number of troops in Iraq and stop the escalation, more importantly it would begin a phased re-deployment of US forces with the goal of removing all US combat forces from Iraq by March 31st, 2008.
Sen Obama understand that bold words never accomplished anything. Bold action, or shall I say, audacity, is the key.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Exposing Fox News for who they are...

If anyone wasn't convinced that Fox News is biased towards the right wing they have to look no further than their coverage of the Obama/Madrassa lie.

First "reported" at (which is owned by the right-leaning Washington Times) the story was that Obama went to school at a madrassa in Jakarta when he was 6. The story went on to say that Hillary Clinton's campaign is the one who dug up the information.

Now... rather than do the responsible thing and check out the story, like CNN and ABCNews did, they'd have found out that there was nothing unusual to the school Obama attended. "When I was six, I attended an Indonesian public school where a bunch of the kids were Muslim, because the country is 90 percent Muslim," Obama told ABC's Chicago affiliate.

But no... Here's the transcript of Fox&Friends:
DOOCY: Why didn’t anybody ever mention that that man right there was raised — spent the first decade of his life, raised by his Muslim father — as a Muslim and was educated in a madrassa?


DOOCY: We should also point out that Barack Obama’s father is the one who gave him the middle name of Hussein. And the thing about the madrassa, and you know, let’s just be honest about this, in the last number of years, madrassas have been, we’ve learned a lot about them, financed by Saudis, they teach this Wahhabism which pretty much hates us. The big question is was that on the curriculum back then? Probably not, but it was a madrassa and the big question is whether or not any of these revelations about the fact that he was a Muslim — right now I understand he does go to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, although not a regular parishioner — but raised as a Muslim, went to a madrassa.


DOOCY: Is it ancient history or do you think madrassa matters. [phone ringing] Josh joins us from Colorado. Good morning to you Josh.

CALLER: What’s up?

DOOCY: What do you think?

CALLER: I think that ultimately this will probably be one of the main reasons is he not elected.

DOOCY: Just the fact that his father was a Muslim, he was raised as a Muslim for awhile, and went to a madrassa school in Jakarta?

CALLER: Right. I mean, you think that would possibly give him better insight on the enemy, maybe he doesn’t consider terrorists the enemy.

KILMEADE: Well, we’ll see about that. Yeah, Josh says that.


CALLER: Hi, good morning. Yes, I think it does matter. The fact that he omitted it must mean that he feels that somebody is going to have an opinion. And President Bush certainly comes under scrutiny, so why shouldn’t he?

KILMEADE: Well, he didn’t admit it. I mean that’s the issue.

CARLSON: Well she said he didn’t.

KILMEADE: Says he didn’t come out, and I was over in Indonesia for five years, or roughly five years, went to a madrassa and there is some reports that Wahhabism was the curriculum there, which is a problem because they start with “We hate America” and work their way back from there.

DOOCY: Well, the way it was framed in one of his biographies, he said, “I was sent first,” this is in Indonesia, “to a catholic school and then to a predominantly Muslim school.” He doesn’t say, “I went to a madrassa, where they taught Wahhabism.” He simply says, “I went to a predominantly Muslim school.”

CARLSON: Alright, Jim from Alabama, what do you think?



CARLSON: What do you think?

CALLER: I think a Muslim would be fine in the presidency, better than Hillary. At least you know what the Muslims are up to. [Laughter]

CARLSON: We want to be clear, too, that this isn’t all Muslims, of course, we would only be concerned about the kind that want to blow us up.
Later in the day Fox News host John Gibson also parroted the same story:
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The gloves are off: Hillary Clinton is reported to be already digging up the dirt on Barack Obama.

The New York senator has reportedly outed Obama's madrassa past. That's right, the Clinton team is reported to have pulled out all the stops to reveal something Obama would rather you didn't know: that he was educated in a Muslim madrassa.

I was criticized on this show for outing Obama as a smoker, but look at what some anti-Obama Democrats are doing to her political rival now. They are playing the Muslim phobia card.

Is this just the beginning? Is the Obama honeymoon officially over? What other dirty little secrets will come out as they battle it out in the race for the White House? With me now is Republican strategist Terry Holt.

Terry, this is appearing on a Web site today, Insight magazine, which is a subsidiary of The Washington Times. Here's the question. I'll put it up on the screen: Barack's madrassa past. He says that "during the five years that we would live with my stepfather in Indonesia, I was sent first to a neighborhood Catholic school and then to a predominately Muslim school." That's from his book, "The Audacity of Hope."

Now in the meantime, this is what Democrats are saying, according to Insight magazine. They're looking into his background. They're saying: He was a Muslim. He concealed it. His opponents within the Democrats hope this will become a major issue in the campaign.

Now, we have heard about dirty politics before. Republicans aren't involved in this one. What do you think about what's going on over there?

TERRY HOLT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: John, the last time I checked, there was still a freedom of religion in this country. And this is either a despicable act by an absolutely ruthless Clinton political machine. We know that they are capable of doing this. But it wasn't directly linked to Hillary Clinton. If it wasn't her, then certainly she should disavow it because I think we have spent an awful lot of time in this country trying to tamp down anti-religious sentiments.

But you know, it's also, if you took a page out of the Clinton book and you are really shrewd and you were Barack Obama, you might want to put this out yourself so that you could deal with it early in the political campaign and get it over with. I don't know.

GIBSON: Let me show you what the press secretary to U.S. Senator Barack Obama said today in a statement about this story. They said: "The idea that Senator Barack Obama attended some radical Islamic school is completely ludicrous. Senator Obama is a committed Christian and attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago."

Nonetheless Terry, what damage does it do to Obama to have the word madrassa attached to his name?

HOLT: Well, I think that Barack Obama is such a white-hot political property right now that I'm not sure that it does any long-term damage. He may have to explain this, but, you know, Obama's story is unique to the political field at this point having been educated overseas.

I would also point out that a madrassa before it was politicized and really taken over by the fundamentalists primarily from Saudi Arabia, it was nothing more than a parochial school, and Barack Obama was in school 40 years ago. So I'm not sure that this is a campaign killer, but it does, I think, maybe put on him the burden of explanation, a little bit more about his bio.

GIBSON: Terry, this is a hotly contested race. Senator Clinton thought she had it in the bag and that she was the nominee already. He's made a surprise run at her. Does this give his team a warning of what sort of things are coming before he could possibly capture the nomination?

HOLT: Absolutely. You know, the Clinton team and the machine, make no mistake, it's still in place. They used to call themselves the masters of disaster. And if Barack Obama gets into the race against Clinton, I think that he can count on no small amount of disaster being forced upon him by running against one of the most effective and one of the most negative political machines ever assembled in this country.

But you know what? If you're going to run for president, you have to be prepared for everything and anything to be thrown at you, and in many ways voters are looking not so much for the facts about what you have done in your past, but really how do you handle it? Do you handle it with poise? Do you handle it with honesty and dignity? If he handles this well I'm not sure that this puts him in a corner he can't escape from.

GIBSON: Terry Holt on the madrassa bomb dropped on Barack Obama. Terry, thanks very much.

HOLT: Thanks, John.
Now that is outstanding journalism there... {Ed. Note: Sarcasm decoder rings are available in select boxes of Cracker Jacks.}

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And he's out...

Well... it seems no sooner than I posted my blog about Sen Bayh forming his exploratory committee... he announced he wasn't going to run.
During my two terms as Governor and now in the United States Senate, it has always been more about the people I was able to help than the job I held. As you know I have been exploring helping the people of my state and our country in a different capacity. After talking with family and friends over the past several days, I have decided that this is not the year for me to run for President and I will not be a candidate for the presidency in 2008. It wasn't an easy decision but it was the right one for my family, my friends and my state. I have always prided myself on putting my public responsibilities ahead of my own ambitions.

The odds were always going to be very long for a relatively unknown candidate like myself, a little bit like David and Goliath. And whether there were too many Goliaths or whether I'm just not the right David, the fact remains that at the end of the day, I concluded that due to circumstances beyond our control the odds were longer than I felt I could responsibly pursue. This path - and these long odds - would have required me to be essentially absent from the Senate for the next year instead of working to help the people of my state and the nation.

I am immensely grateful for the support of my family and friends and the thousands of people around the country who helped me with their time and their resources. There may be no campaign in the near future, but there is much work to be done. When the Senate returns, I will focus on the issues that matter to the people of my state and are critical to the future of the nation including reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating opportunity for middle class families, and implementing a national security strategy that is both tough and smart.
On one hand I'm extremely disappointed. I thought Sen Bayh was a great candidate and would have made a great president. That's the reason why I supported him from the start. On the other hand, we need to take a reality check. He's right... there were too many Goliaths. Confidence is one thing... bravado is another. As impressive as his all-star staff and huge bank account was, he couldn't compete with the star power that was sucking all of the oxygen out of the room. It was refreshing to see someone actually speak the truth rather than hide behind his family or other lame excuses. I can't win is what Bayh said.

So... the question then becomes... What happened? Just a few weeks ago Bayh announced the formation of his exploratory committee. What happened between then and now? Well no one has come out and say it, but I'll lend my speculation to the mix. Personally I think some of Bayh's financial backers looked around and saw the writing on the wall. Once Obama said he might run, Bayh's backers saw the opportunity and took him aside and told him that they were going to go with Obama if he ran. Once he saw his support dwindling, well that's the last thing he needed. He couldn't go down any further, he had to go up. And if he wasn't going to go up, well what's the point?

So... now what? Well I spent a few days thinking long and hard about what I wanted in a candidate. Who will best serve the country? Who will best promote the values that I hold? Who can win?

Each of us has to answer those questions for ourselves when deciding who we want to support in the upcoming primaries. I have my own opinion but I certainly welcome yours.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Combating Autism Act

It is with great joy I am telling you that the Combating Autism Act was passed by Congress and sent to the President.

Yesterday, the Congressman Nathan Deal (R-GA-10) asked the House of Representatives to suspend the rules and pass the bill by voice vote. The House did and passed it without objection. The Senate had passed it with a similar voice vote in August.

Tonight I sat down and personally sent messages thanking the sponsors from my state (Rep Mark Souder and Rep Julia Carson) and the primary sponsors of the bill (Sen Rick Santorum and Rep Mary Bono). I also sent a thank you note to Congressman Deal.

I also sent a message to President Bush asking him to quickly and publicly sign the bill to show that autism is indeed a national priority. I ask you to do the same.