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The Hillary Clinton Campaign That Could Have Been

Hillary Clinton at Obama event

Sen. Hillary Clinton campaigns for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in Henderson, Nevada. Ethan Miller, Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ethan Miller, Getty Images

That's a photo of Hillary Clinton campaigning solo for Barack Obama in Nevada last week. If you are still trying to figure out how in the world Clinton, the once presumptive Democratic nominee (presumed by many, at least), could end up stumping for the actual presumptive party nominee, The Atlantic takes an inside look:

How did things look on the inside, as they unraveled?

To find out, I approached a number of current and former Clinton staffers and outside consultants and asked them to share memos, e-mails, meeting minutes, diaries—anything that would offer a contemporaneous account. The result demonstrates that paranoid dysfunction breeds the impulse to hoard. Everything from major strategic plans to bitchy staff e-mail feuds was handed over.

Two things struck me right away. The first was that, outward appearances notwithstanding, the campaign prepared a clear strategy and did considerable planning. It sweated the large themes (Clinton's late-in-the-game emergence as a blue-collar champion had been the idea all along) and the small details (campaign staffers in Portland, Oregon, kept tabs on Monica Lewinsky, who lived there, to avoid any surprise encounters).

The second was the thought: Wow, it was even worse than I'd imagined! The anger and toxic obsessions overwhelmed even the most reserved Beltway wise men. Surprisingly, Clinton herself, when pressed, was her own shrewdest strategist, a role that had never been her strong suit in the White House. But her advisers couldn't execute strategy; they routinely attacked and undermined each other, and Clinton never forced a resolution. Major decisions would be put off for weeks until suddenly she would erupt, driving her staff to panic and misfire.

Read the rest, including adviser Mark Penn's strategy to zero in and attack Obama's "lack of American roots."

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Please accept my apologies for interjecting the following comments into this particular blog entry. However, I feel that these comments are important enough to warrant doing so. I didn't want to miss the opportunity to express these thoughts if a relevant blog entry was not forthcoming.

I was extremely encouraged by the headline; "Candidates Vow To Keep Politics Out Of Science," on NPR's website this morning... until I actually read the rest of the article.

Abortion and related topics such as embryonic stem cell research continue to be at the top of our country's list of most relevant issues. This is because these topics put into question fundamentally guaranteed rights expressed in our Constitution. Consequently, the resolution of these issues remains pertinent to all Americans as well as to all persons within American jurisdiction. It is extremely important to us all... that we get this right!

Regretfully, at least according to this article, both of our Presidential candidates have gotten it wrong.

If we are not to politicize science, a most worthy endeavor, then we simply have to accept what current science tells us, objectively. Since the successful mapping of the human genome in 2003, science shows us, irrefutably, without question, without regard for personal religious or philosophical beliefs, that a distinctly identifiable person, begins it's life at the moment of conception. This scientific fact cannot be stated more succinctly or more truthfully. It is extremely important that if you question this statement, as you should; conduct your own independent search for this information... it is readily available to anyone of even modest enthusiasm or intelligence.

The due process claus of the 14th Amendment clearly states that; ... nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deprive to any person within it's jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Embryonic stem cell research entails the destruction of a distinctly identifiable, living person, for the purpose of scientific research. An individual's Constitutionally guaranteed right to their life takes precedence over any scientific benefits that could possibly be gained through the forced forfeiture of their life.

Zygote, blastomere, embryo and fetus are simply designations we have assigned to the very earliest stages of human development. In this sense these terms are no different than; infant, child, adolescent, adult or geriatric, they simply designate earlier stages of human development. However, it has become fashionable to bandy these terms about in an effort to "dehumanize" these developmental stages... for political motives.

Although John McCain's position on abortion comes closest to acknowledging this relatively new scientific understanding, he clearly shows that he does not fully grasp these objective realities, exemplified in his decision to support embryonic stem cell research. Regretfully, as illustrated in his position on all related topics, including abortion, Barack Obama simply doesn't get it at all.

We cannot afford to continue to base our decisions upon 1973 science! If our goal is to truly "de-politicize" science, again, a phenomenally important endeavor, then we simply have to have the courage to accept what the science of today tells us; that all humans begin their lives at conception.

Sent by Jon | 9:36 AM | 8-13-2008

Jon,

When you refer to the 14th amendment, you politicize science.

A better idea is to keep religion out of politics. Religion is at the heart of stem cell research issue.

Instead of all the energy put into advocating constitution rights for an embryo, I'd prefer revoking bill of rights protection for corporations which in effect recognizes a corporation as a person. No science needed for that a corporation isn't a living/breathing human being. This action would have a far greater effect on the lives & health of more babies than protection from stem cell research.

If one is really concerned about babies and not just using them as parable figures in a grander strategy of promoting & imposing one's religious beliefs.

But is your issue abortion or stem cell research?

Sent by Jon J | 8:16 PM | 8-13-2008

Granted, the Hillary campaign went in for excess. Still, her 180 degree turn from "inevitable" frontrunner to leftist, Populist working class champion was one of the most spectacular political shifts in recent memory.

Sent by Ron Mwangaguhunga | 12:38 PM | 8-14-2008

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