Saturday, May 17, 2008


Yes, I was on the conference call with Hillary yesterday, just like every other pro-Hillary blogger. If you weren't on the call, Taylor Marsh recorded it for everyone. Take a few minutes to listen to it, and give Taylor a donation while you're there for having the foresight to record it and the generosity to provide the bandwidth so it's generally available.

My impressions: Hillary herself was great, but the combination of her hoarseness, which made it difficult for her to speak, and the short duration of the call, which limited the amount of questions that could be asked, left me wanting something a little more substantial. I was impressed that the entire conversation was on the record and that no one was pre-screened for questions. She was ready to handle anything we could (quickly) throw at her.

The opening remarks started a little slow because of her voice, which made her sound flat and slightly disengaged. I winced a few times in sympathy. Things picked up when she talked about the Oregon Townhall she was doing that night. Humor and energy showed through - she obviously loves that kind of event. We moved to some talking points where she said they were ahead in the popular vote and that she is devoted to making MI and FL count because enfranchisement cannot be subordinate to punative rules. She wrapped up by talking about viability in the general election and that she is a stronger candidate than Obama. I had to chuckle a bit at the "the map not the math" meme, as I've been talking about the importance of the general election and how it is a simultaneous 50 state vote, not a national election per se, since last February.

Then she spoke about her treatment by the media, Obama, the Blogger Boyz, and the rest of her detractors, and I cheered on my end of the line. Hillary stated something that is just as important as the Electoral College calculation: I am impervious to the attacks.

Why does this matter? First, she's not running around making excuses for why she didn't do so well here or there and blaming others for being mean to her. Compare this to Scan's post on Taylor Marsh of Obama making excuses for why why he won't do well in Kentucky, and on how mean (!!!) the press is being to him. What. A. Whiner.

It also means that she is not going to be distracted from her goals because of the hubbub around her. This should be reassuring to voters who want someone who can concentrate in the middle of crisis. No "My Pet Goat" moment or watching a major US city drown for days before taking action.

Finally, and this is crucial for the general election, she is not going to let the screamers on the TV or in the blogosphere make her quit. She flatly said she was not leaving the contest, no matter how much bloviators like Timmeh, Tweety, the New York Times and WKJM rant and rave. She will not be swiftboated, intimidated, or backed down. She is not ready to make nice so that an unvetted opponent can waltz off with the nomination, and she would never allow herself to be bullied into conceding an election before every last vote had been counted. Considering that Gore and Kerry both conceded rather than be termed sore losers, I'm behind the candidate who will take it to the mat.

Hillary also wryly noted that the vitriol spewed at her was a perverse form of flattery. This is also true. You don't attack people who are not a threat. They must pay attention to who she is and what she does, even if it is only to try to tear her down. Well, it's been years now and they haven't succeeded.

Listen to the audio for the five questioners. I have lost a good deal of respect for Armando/BTD due to his cluelessly insulting opening statement. Everyone else was cool and I got a giggle over the backstory on Lambert's rather strange call noise.

While the campaign may want to get out the message about the general election map, the impression that came through to me is that Hillary is in this to ensure the Democrats win in November. This is someone who wants a win for herself, but understands the larger political picture. She is in this for the party and the country.



Pat Johnson said...

i listened to the podcast and was amazed at the calmness and assuredness of this candidate who has had to dodge the slings and arrows of the MSM along with the Obama supporters.

She and her husband have given so much to this country and to have to sit here and watch their destruction is unsettling. The DNC and those supers who have abandoned the Clintons for the sake of an unqualified and inexperienced one term senator is amazing. If this is the goal of this party to throw out the old and bring in the new then I want no part of it. I will never vote for Obama as I truly believe there is more to his rise than what has thus far been reported. He is being protected by the MSM who are not doing their job.

What else is new?

abycat said...

Anglachel - I have been reading your wonderfully insightful and illuminating posts for months, but have never commented before. Thank you for saying what I thought about BTD's comments yesterday. What a putz. Unbelievable. The egos of some of the Blogger Boyz is astonishing to me. I kept wondering if he was just going to give a speech or was ever going to ask a question.

I so look forward to your posts and am always a little disappointed when you take time for yourself and don't post for a day or two. Thank you for the intelligent analysis.

lakelobos said...

I agree with everything in the post.

It's a joy to read a blog that doesn't resemble a high school shouting match (even when it supports Hillary). The quality of the analysis, the knowledge of American political history and the writing itself are fascinating.

I want to support Armando despite his awkward question. He is honest, decent, perceptive and fair in all of his posts. He is not a hater like the Kos, Josh and the Matts. Sadly, he is a rarity.

I don't believe that the superdelegates have the backbone to support Hillary. It may be suicidal, but they will jump with Obama.

By the way Lambert and Corrente have vanish from the blogosphere.

CMike said...

Thanks for saying something about Armando's soliloquy so I don't have to. To tell you the truth, more times than not when I've heard bloggers step up to the mic to ask a question they don't seem prepared or they are inappropriately long winded.

I am very surprised Peter Dauo did not seem to be familiar with this YouTube clip. Certainly he had not shown it to Hillary Clinton - then again maybe for mom its same old, same old. I had posted a link to it in comments at Anglachel's Journal previously. I was impressed by it. Maybe Chelsea should be doing some speech writing.

(Lakelobos, I've been reading comments all day about Corrente vanishing. I have not had any problem connecting with the site.)

Anglachel said...

Re: Corrente, they had some DNS problems early in the day, and it is probably just taking time for the correction to propagate.


missplsd said...

I agree with most of your analysis here,* and I am glad you felt energized by the call. I too am pleased that Clinton is staying the race, and I think it will make the party and its eventual candidate stronger (as painful as primary season has been).

I just wanted to comment on the following:
You don't attack people who are not a threat.

Why, then, have some of you here been so hostile to me? Either this maxim is incorrect, or something about my questions and comments has been threatening to you. If the latter, you might want to think about why it's so difficult for you to read someone else's opinions and respond without resorting to name-calling.

As a related aside, I've noticed that some of you are entertaining conspiracy theories about Obama's fundraising and electoral victories. Of course it's important to be on guard for abuses of power but it's worth looking at simpler explanations too: they're more likely to be true and you can usually counter them or learn from them in some way. Obama obviously appeals to some people, if not to me or to you. If your goal is to build a winning Democratic coalition with Clinton at the helm, it might be a good idea to think about what so many people see in him. Are they wrong, and if so, can you find a way to communicate that to them? Do they have a worthwhile perspective that Clinton can accommodate somehow? By attributing his successes to conspiracies -- and caricaturing all of his supporters as morons, thugs, elitists, and reflexive identity voters -- you are likely missing out on important lessons from the campaign.

*The DNC never should have disenfranchised these states to begin with, and I wish they had funded new contests after carrying out their absurd threat to do so. I don't think the candidates should have agreed to boycott the Florida and Michigan primaries, and the Michigan results are obviously skewed by the fact that no major candidate besides Clinton was on the ballot. Now we're left with unreliable results. But seating the committed delegates (178 for Clinton, 67 for Obama) is the better of two unsatisfying options. I am less concerned about seating the superdelegates since, at least in Michigan, they likely had the ability to influence the decision to hold the primary early.

kaya said...

was no one else at least a little disappointed that the line got cut off before clinton could actually answer the only real questions (rather than statements) posed to her? i was looking forward to her responses, but alas.

pm317 said...

...she is devoted to making MI and FL count because enfranchisement has to be subordinate to punative rules.

Anglachel, this should be the other way around. She said it was inexplicable that they could not find a way to make the punitive rules subordinate to enfranchisement of these people.

I also felt irritated by BTD's pompous pronouncements. He seems to make all the right arguments for why Hillary and then declares in the next line he is for Obama.

Anglachel said...


Oops, You're right. Error corrected.


pm317 said...

Anglachel, I forgot to mention in my previous post -- I think you were one of the firsts to talk about Electoral votes and THE MAP. All credit to you!

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Slightly off topic--lots of interesting articles about Obama at, including one [page 2] about his Wall Street donors.

Hmmm...maybe I'm not crazy. ;)

riverdaughter said...

I was in on that call too and was very disappointed that we weren't better prepared with questions. It resembled more of a fawning fan club than members of the press, which is sorta what we are officially. We have to overcome our sense of awe or we won't be of any use to her.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

While a lot can change before Nov. 4, shows that, if the elections were held now, McCain would beat Obama, but Clinton would beat McCain. :)

orionATL said...

pm317 -


[I also felt irritated by BTD's pompous pronouncements. He seems to make all the right arguments for why Hillary and then declares in the next line he is for Obama.]

i did not listen to the phone call, so have no knowledge of the details, but

1) BTD is one of the best political analysts in the weblog world.

2) btd is a lawyer by training.

he thinks he sees the end of the game now (obama will be nominated by the dem party).

but he may not know what he is talking about, i.e., that may not be the end result at all.

btd's lawyerly training tells him to "calculate", "compromise" and "move on" (to the next case).

i can't say he is wrong; and he can't say he is right.

just be sure to read his generally excellent evaluations of
political events,

but ignore any predictions he makes.

he does not know the future any more than you or i do.

he is just making a lawyer's gambit, to whit,

it looks like there's nothing else we can do with this case, time to move on (to the future, i.e., to a new case).

my advice:

don't buy btd's line of thought;

it's no more sound than your own.

Cathy said...

Well, it's not just the lawyer thing for BTD (whom I also like very much). For months it's been the press likes Obama better and that will help him win in November. (I've heard that less from him lately as press has gotten more shameless.)

To BTD's credit, he has spent last several weeks pounding Obama people for arrogance. However, he absolutely loses me when he pushes a unity ticket with Hillary on the bottom.

Personally I suspect that he - like many of us - doesn't want to admit he was wrong. (That's another bad habit that law school gives us lawyers.)

Nance said...

anglachel, i hope you'll reconsider your position on BTD. i know he could've been more discreet; but what i've grown to appreciate about BTD is that he's the kind of person who, while abrasive at times, will always be candid and straightforward with you. which of course means that he may not always be the nicest person... but i truly believe he has a good heart, and he has integrity--which is more than i can say for most of left blogistan.

more importantly, he's the only pro-obama blogger, whether male or female, to forcefully and consistently condemn the misogyny and sexism this season toward hillary and her supporters. for me, that's earned him more than enough goodwill to completely overlook his occasional gruffness.

from everything i've seen this season, he's a truly decent person and an ally to women; and if we can help it, i hope we'll all avoid unnecessarily burning any bridges with such folks.

katiebird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CognitiveDissonance said...

I agree that BTD should be supported. He does have his gruffness, and I also hate the unity ticket meme. I would never support an Obama/Clinton ticket. And I can't believe he is still supporting Obama because he thinks he's more electable. Just looking at the many electoral college maps on various sites is enough to tell me that he's not. And then you add in Wright, Ayres, his wife, Bittergate, Auchi, et al, and it's simply dreaming.

But other than that obtuseness, BTD has been excellent in many other respects. He has criticized Obama deservedly over and over again for his policies, the way he has handled himself, and for his disenfranchisement of FL/MI. He has criticized the Big Blog Boyz for their dishonest commentary. And he has criticized Obama supporters for the way they have alienated Clinton supporters.

If every blog on the left had been as fair as BTD - no matter who they supported - I would feel very good about them and the future of political blogging. Right now, I feel that most of them are as bad - if not worse - than the MSM. They have not provided an antidote to the MSM at all, as they were originally conceived to do.

Talk Left, if nothing else, has shown us that blogs can be both astute and fair, and can house people with differing candidates and views. That's a good thing and desperately needed these days.

cynesthesia said...

That has to be my very favorite photo of Hillary from this campaign.

Yet one more note about BTD. I so agree he's been one of the few to speak out about the misogyny and today at TL he vigorously went after an Obama supporter over the principles involved in the pledged delegate mess. (Strongly enough that some comments were deleted.)

I get the feeling that the "Big Tent" part is key and he's trying to actually keep people connected to the party as opposed to the "creative class", etc. who are doing a bang up job of pushing people away.

gendergappers said...

Sometimes one gets lost in the initials - BTD, for example means something to the commentors but leaves me wondering, being "a bear of very little brain."

But it seems Hillary took her usual positive stance for going forward - how great that you and RD [Riverdaughter] could be in on it. Thanks for giving us a window.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Anglachel, so how did this work? How did you get invited to the news call?

Also, will you be one of the media bloggers with a press pass at the convention? I think Riverdaughter will be there, just wondering if you will too.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

"Hillary stated something that is just as important as the Electoral College calculation: I am impervious to the attacks."

Unfortunately, I've got a very busy day and can't listen to the whole podcast. Can someone who listened to it tell me: did Hillary actually use those words: "I am impervious to the attacks."?

If so, that is freakin' awesome!

Chinaberry Turtle said...

As to Riverdaughter's comment above, if I were on that call, I don't know how I could be objective and ask tough questions. Here would be my question:

"Hillary, how do you remain so strong? And one follow-up: how do you stay so awesome?"

orionATL said...

cognitive diss (11:19) -

your post is very observant and very fair.

i would add that btd (known as "armando" -his first name - in previous web incarnations)

has been both hard and fair.

his thinking and his comments have displayed the quality of intellectual honesty, a quality missing from the thinking and comments of markos zuniga or josh marshall these last few months.

btd has been a strong clinton advocate, but he has never been a clinton propagandist.

while it is as important that society have peacekeepers as warriors,

if, at this point in time, all of us accepted btd's judgment about the clinton/obama competititon,

there would be no one left to fight for clinton.

as a happenstance of personality, i would rather fight, any day,

than bow or compromise.

so, i bet, would many others who gather here to communicate their hopes and concerns.

minty said...

I listened to the POD cast and I was very impressed. Senator Clinton is focused and on a mission.

Senator Clinton has had to become impervious to the attacks. They have been ongoing for almost 30 years. I think many of her detractors have died from old age but yet she is still here.