Knox Views » How things work around here: Sandra Clark called on the carpet by Mike Edwards and Dr. McIntyire
"Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out. Hey I will stand my ground. And I wont back down." Those were the words of Tom Petty piped in through the loudspeakers shortly after Hillary Clinton's speech tonight in New York City. What this morning's news was telling us might be be a concession speech turned out to be something else entirely. What was it though? One of two things, one with her withholding her endrosement and concession one could interpret her speech as a warning to Obama.
"I understand that a lot of people are asking, what does Hillary want? What does she want? I want what I have always fought for in this whole campaign. I want to end the war in Iraq. I want to turn this economy around. I want health care for every American. I want ... the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard, and to no longer be invisible."Sure, party unity is going to happen eventually but how quickly and to what extent is ultimately up to Hillary. Was Clinton essentially saying to Obama, "Listen Hoss, we can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way. You can either pick me as your Vice President and we can hold hands together as a ticket and I can become your defacto co-president or I can continue this campaign as "a listening tour" on how to best serve the interests of my popular vote-winning 18 million voters all the way to the convention." That, believe it or not, is the charitable view. The alternative is that tonight was not about unity this year. The alternative is that she doesn't want the Veep the nomination or concessions on health care or any of that mess. The alternative is that she is simply going to go as long as she can laying the groundwork for 2012. In the speech, you will notice, Clinton calls attention to her popular vote victory. You can quibble with it all you want. Note the uncommitted vote in Michigan. At the end of the day, though, what she says is true. More voters voted for her than any other candidate in a primary in history. Is Hillary trying to undermine the nominee, Barack Obama, by trying to make herself Al Gore 2.0? While many Democrats hang their belief that Gore was rightfully elected in 2000 on shenanigans in Florida many are just as emboldened by the fact that he won the popular vote. They are just as emboldened by an electoral college that they view as an illegitimate relic. Democrats, after all, believe in Democracy. They believe in counting the votes. Clinton clearly reiterated this belief tonight. Many Democrats were clamoring for Al Gore in 2008 because they believed him to be a duly elected president denied victory by an unfair system in 2000, a system stacked against him. With this speech is Hillary laying the groundwork for her own similar mythology as victim of a Democratic primary system flawly engineered to hand an unelectable candidate victory. Was this speech not the last one in a defeated campaign for President but the first one in a campaign to become a legend. For if Barack Obama loses this election, there will be revisionism. History is written, they say, by those who have hanged heroes. Democrats, in the 2000 campaign, were never really all that enthused by Al Gore but the circumstances of his defeat and his subsequent career after it allowed him, through his future actions, to create a new image. To become larger than life. Could not Hillary achieve the same thing? All signs point to a Democratic victory in 2008. High gas prices, and unpopular war a sagging a economy. By no rights should a member of the incumbent party win this election. Hillary's campaign might have been defeated tonight and along with it the imposing Clinton machine that has ruled the party since the 90s. But if Obama loses the general, the circumstances of his primary victory Hillary may very well use to put the band back together with a new image more fierce than her jubilant enemies inside the party tonight could ever imagine. UPDATE: From Ben Smith:
Her homepage, to which she directed supporters, asks supporters to send Hillary a "message of support"and to "stand with Hillary" -- words of confrontation, not concession.SEE ALSO: Sadcox Media Lizzy Ben Smith Big Boys react Brendan Loy Andrew Sullivan National Journal Parsing Clinton's Speech Defiance
Jun 3, 2008 9:49 PM
The shout out:
Senator Clinton has earned great respect for her tenacity and courage. The media often overlooked how compassionately she spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans, and she deserves a lot more appreciation than she sometimes received. As the father of three daughters, I owe her a debt for inspiring millions of women to believe there is no opportunity in this great country beyond their reach. I am proud to call her my friend.
Jun 3, 2008 9:44 PM
The race for President in a nutshell:
One says that McCain’s great advantage is that he’s basically acceptable to the public as president. The question is whether or not Obama is. If he is, he’s the next president because it’s such a Democratic year. Another friend makes the same point a little differently. He says that people want McCain to be president—except they don’t want a Republican to be president. They do want a Democrat to be president—except maybe not this particular one. The campaign will be run on the horns of that dilemma.
Jun 3, 2008 7:44 PM
Frank Strovel thinks the Democratic electorate made a monumentally stupid decision, but what's done is done:
After a surprisingly large segment of the Democratic voting public went batshit crazy American Idol–style over a virtually unknown, unproven, untested junior Senator from Illinois, I’m left hoping he can win Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, California, New York and Texas come November against a well–respected war veteran. A man who oozes Commander-In-Chief. I do hope he’ll give serious thought to asking Clinton to join him on the ticket. I really feel it’s his best chance to win. And ours.
Jun 3, 2008 7:28 PM
Rex Hammock reviews an explanation of the demography of the Democratic electorate currently displayed on the frontpage of the New York Times:
I believe it’s an impressive (dazzling) use of subtle interactive-animation and information design that effectively translates a mountain of incomprehensible data into an understandable statistical narrative. I’m especially struck by the way the NYTimes artists eschewed colors and relied on the animation and the relative placement of data to interpret the statistics.
Jun 3, 2008 7:24 PM
One of the most vociferous and prolific pro-Hillary Clinton bloggers in the state is now advocating feminists depart from the Democratic Party. Aunt B., for one, is livid:
But the fact is that, when Egalia posted something about the plight of women in this state, it got wide-spread attention. And for the past little while, she hasn’t been posting on any other women’s issue, other than the election of Clinton. And on the one hand, fine. That’s her business. But on the other hand, we’ve needed her. Campfield didn’t suddenly become less a problem. Hobbs hasn’t turned Tennessee into some place full of sweetness and light. Babies are still dying in Memphis like it’s a third-world country. We needed her to give voice to those issues, because she gets heard, but she was singularly focused on the Clinton campaign. Okay, fine. I thought, “Well, okay, for her this is a big deal, a lifetime opportunity, the culmination of a lot of work that she and second-wavers like her want to see through.” And I hoped she would come back to the work we women in Tennessee have benefited from her doing.Well, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over this. The power and pull of the two party system on folks is a powerful force. Sure, a few activist feminists may go ahead and cast a protest vote for Cynthia McKinney to show their disgust with the party (and avoid the charge of racism while doing it, I might add) but despite the influence of these highly-educated feminist white women, most Democratic women will vote for Obama. They are no different than anyone else. The world has them convinced there are only two choices and that is what they will choose between -- and they won't choose McCain. Conservatives, BTW, were just as upset about McCain. They got over it, they always do. So too will the feminists. And even if they don't. they will find themselves alone because as much influence as some would like to think they have, they are, in the end, just a few passionate ideologues and we all know that a passionate few cannot mobilize the masses....right?
Jun 3, 2008 7:17 PM
It has now been officially reported that Governor Phil Bredesen will announce his support for Barack Obama tomorrow and Jennifer Peebles wants to know what took him so long:
He’s a mid-term governor – one who carried all 95 counties two years ago -- who can’t run for re-election again in 2010 because of term limits. What would it have cost him if he had put his bets on the wrong horse? What would he have had to lose by possibly ticking off half the members of his party in his home state? It’s hard to say. His nonstop, wall-to-wall media exposure touting his superdelegate mini-convention idea sure stirred up a lot of talk that he was angling for a vice presidential nod or trying to raise his profile nationally for an eventual run for some kind of higher office. If that’s the case, then his reluctance to openly support one candidate over the other would make a good bit of sense. We’ll just have to ask him tomorrow morning at Swett’s, won’t we?MORE: The superdelegate breakdown
Jun 3, 2008 7:00 PM
The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement Of Colored People is not yet standing in opposition to a school rezoning plan which would change dramatically the demography of two Metro high schools:
Members of the NAACP’s education committee met with school board member Mark North last week to discuss the proposal. It would create neighborhood schools and effectively end bussing students across town. Its strikingly similar to a plan that the NAACP characterized as “ethnic cleansing” of schools in October. The rezoning effort was then given to a task force, and NAACP education chair Mebenin Awipi says the rezoning now appears inevitable. But he’s calling for at least some legal recourse if the district doesn’t keep its part of the bargain. “Any financial promises they are making are just that, promises. To be trusted with the goodwill of the communities that are going to be affected, we want the mayor and city council to weigh in.” The rezoning proposal would push additional guidance counselors and technology funding to schools that become more concentrated with poor students. Awipi, who is a former Metro school board member, says that promise would be easy to forget several years down the road.MORE: Dennis Ferrier
Jun 3, 2008 6:43 PM
Walker Duncan has been advancing the story on the employment status of Metro Planning Commission attorney David Kleinfelter quite a bit today on the mother page. First, Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors addresses her and her spouse's role in the controversy:
Like each of you I also clearly understand the need to completely separate my public service from my spouse’s business affairs. The sidewalk issue in question has been in process for several years. The Planning Director has previously publicly acknowledged that a mistake was made by his staff when the original side walk conditions were placed on the development in question. It is my understanding that the recent action by the Planning Commission that was “questioned” by some, merely corrected the original minutes to reflect the actual decision that was made. No special consideration was requested by my husband or me nor do I believe was any given to any of the participating parties in this regard. Furthermore, I have never advocated for or against the hiring, firing, or retaining of anyone at the Planning Department. Personnel issues are the complete and total responsibility of the executive branch of our government, the Planning Commission, and the Director of Planning. Councilman Jameson has assured me that the statements attributed to him in the news media were in fact not what he said to the various reporters or intended to imply by any of his statements. He assures me that my involvement was totally a creation of the reporter’s imagination. I, of course, take him at his word.Then Councilman Mike Jameson retorts:
In a series of emails sent to me over the past four days, Vice Mayor Neighbors has asked several questions of me regarding whether I spoke to reporters about her, or whether I invited reporters to last Thursday's budget hearing. While I believe there are larger matters at stake here, I answered each of her questions and then requested twice that she return the favor and answer mine. She has failed or refused to do so.Read both stories.
Jun 3, 2008 6:37 PM
From the AP:
The state Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville rejected the appeal by Byron Looper, a former property assessor in Putnam County who was convicted for the 1998 shooting death of Sen. Tommy Burks of Monterey. He's serving life in prison without the chance for parole. Looper added the middle name "Low Tax" before running against Burks for the Senate. Burks's widow, Charlotte Burks, was elected to fill her late husband's seat and still serves in the Senate.
Jun 3, 2008 5:42 PM