Hillary Clinton Needs to Avoid the Al Gore/John Kerry Democratic Party Politburo Problem


http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/rubiner.jpegSenator Hillary Clinton’s Legislative Director, Laurie Rubiner, is mentioned prominently today in the Los Angeles Times. Such mention is long overdue for the work she did as the Health Program Director at the New America Foundation.
Rubiner incubated and hatched a “universal health care proposal” that many on the libertarian right as well as among moderate conservatives and the liberal left — and now the radical center with Arnold Schwarzenegger — have embraced as a sensible plan to actually reverse the disturbing trend of more and more Americans forgoing health care coverage. Rubiner developed the plan as health policy advisor to the late Senator John Chafee (R-RI). She brought the idea to the New America Foundation, and her mantle was picked up by Len Nichols who has helped move both Massachusetts and California politics to adopt the Rubiner health care plan.
It is a testament to Hillary Clinton that she has some extraordinary staff — like Rubiner, but also including others like Andrew Shapiro managing foreign policy and national security issues and Tamara Luzzatto as her chief of staff. Luzzatto was chief of staff for Senator Jay Rockefeller before joining Clinton.
But Clinton also has other arenas of advisors — a rumored five “super advisors” on the deep inside — who are the only ones who know the finite, gritty details of Hillary’s plans, strategy, and views. But then there is another ring of advisors, many of whom look like the somewhat drab advisors who have animated other Democratic campaigns. Perhaps Hillary Clinton and her inner circle have those “Democratic politburo” members in place to keep them from working elsewhere — and perhaps their bad advice will be gently overlooked while Clinton follows either better counsel or her own instincts.
But there will be tension around Clinton — and this kind of unresolved tension between excellent policy thinking, excellent political counsel and those who think that they have been around the block so many times they don’t need to learn anything more — is something that strangled Al Gore’s first phase presidential candidacy.
And guess what? The same tensions brought down John Kerry.
Hillary Clinton has a very smart policy team on her personal Senate staff. Hillary needs to remember that as she rolls forward because every previously “friend of Bill” is going to be knocking on her door, and many of them perhaps need to be greeted but then sent on their way.

— Steve Clemons


14 comments on “Hillary Clinton Needs to Avoid the Al Gore/John Kerry Democratic Party Politburo Problem

  1. Robert Morrow says:

    All these very fine people around the Clintons need to understand that Hillary and Bill are street criminals who only care about their own power advancement and not the USA or any political belief. Hillary and Bill use criminal intimidation tactics and violence when the political going gets tough. Two prime examples are 1) the near death beating of Gary Johnson on 6-26-92 because Gary had videotapes of Bill often entering Gennifer Flowers condominium. Hillary and Bill sent 3 big, beefy goons to beat the hell out of Gary, nearly killing him and they took the videotapes.
    A second example was the groping of Kathleen Willey in Nov. ’93 by Hillary’s crazed sex monkey Bill and then Hillary’s use of a secret police to intimidate Kathleen when she was deposed in the Paula Jones’ case. Hillary’s goons – hired by Nathan Landow – nailgunned the car tires of Kathleen, kidnapped or killed her cat Bullseye and a menacing stranger approached Kathleen while she was walking her dogs – mentioned her children by name – and told her she was “not getting the message.” That occurred on 1-8-98, just 2 days before Kathleen’s scheduled deposition in the Paula Jones’ case (taken on 1-10-98). On Sunday, the day after the deposition, Hillary’s goons placed an animal’s skull head directly in front of Kathleen’s door. Clinton pond scum in action.
    I could give you folks many, many more examples of how these Clinton sociopaths behave, but that is a starter list.
    Therefore, OBAMA – a total class act – or John Edwards are much more worthy of your vote and support.


  2. Pissed Off American says:

    Heres a couple of links for those of you wondering what the hell Steve and I are nattering about….


  3. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — I don’t like D’Souza’s recent book, but while it’s hard to understand — I do appreciate the odd demands of trying to demonstrate heterodoxy in this world. I think that papers and organizations don’t necessarily “endorse” the views of writers and speakers. What matters is how they handle the debate that is triggered. I’m going to try and write about this more a bit later in the context of Brandeis’s decision to block Jonathan Demme from filming Jimmy Carter’s talk there. It would frustrate you perhaps — but I might like to have someone like Ahmed Chalabi or Richard Perle speak some time for me — just so that I can organize the debate and the very “real” exposure of facts there….but little chance that will happen. Let’s discuss more another time — but wanted to acknowledge that I do read the LA Times. best, Steve Clemons


  4. Pissed Off American says:

    Steve, is the Los Angeles Times a regular part of your reading? If so, I would be extremely curious about what you thought of Dinesh D’Souza’s recent crock of shit piece that was in the Op/Ed section. I certainly defend a paper’s right to include opinion pieces by various authors, right and left. But D’Souza’s rant was so deceptive, and so full of lies, that you have to ponder what responsibility a paper such as the LA Times has to the truth. It is inexplicable to me that they would include such an inaccurate and deceptive depiction of history on their Op/Ed pages unless the D’Souza deceptions are deceptions they wish to advance. Of course, since the LA Times ended Scheer’s contributions to their rag, their political allegences are quite clear, so I guess I shouldn’t be suprised by their participation in advancing D’Souza’s lies and fantasies.


  5. JHM says:

    It is perfectly true that a big part of the problem for the last two Democratic campaigns for President was that the mainstream media swallowed and faithfully regurgitated Republican smears. It is equally true that the old guard campaign advisors that were on the campaign teams of both Gore and Kerry gave these candidates bad advice that was all too often followed when the candidates’ own messages – the stuff THEY really believed – would have worn better with the public. My fear is that Hillary will be the victim of the same double whammy. 1 She’s an easy target for the smears (Vince Foster anyone?. There are too many Reagan Democrats who are a receptive audience for the Hillary-as-Super-Bitch drumbeat we’ll soon be hearing. 2. What Pissed Off says: she has no real views. Everything she does, from her early support of the war to her current criticism of Bush’s handling of it, is totally calculated and focus-grouped before she speaks – and it shows. Maybe she’s smart enough to make it all work somehow, but I doubt it.


  6. TonyForesta says:

    Solid points POA, and you or others should bring these issues into the light of day, and force Hillary to defend her positions. Personally, though Hillary’s stances have been a little too “nuanced” for me, and while I hardly view her as “Bushlike”, and question her early support fot the war, – her recent positions and commentaries have been highly critical of the Bush government’s failed policies.
    With all due respect, you’re missing the point I am making, (which is not a defense or endorsement of Hillary) – but rather the fact the slime, swiftboating and venom that is certain to ensue now from the fascist on theright must be forcefully and thoroughly countered and defanged.
    Press her on issues. Point out her failings as a democrat or a leader. Shine a hot light on her failure “to oppose Bush in any meaningful way”. Stick to issues and policies and let the arrows fly. That kind discourse, transparancy, and accountibility is exactly what real democracy is all about, and vital to peoples understanding and awareness of the policies and positions of our elected officials.
    I’m not talking about democracy. I’m talking about, and warning against fascism, and the kind of black arts expertly practiced, and exceedingly well funded by the fascist warmongers, profiteers and disinformation warriors in the Bush government, the republican reich, the evangelical churches, the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM, and the fanaticus truebelievers in redneck America that conjure, concoct, and pimp a noxious slurry of PATENT LIES, UNSUBSTANTIATED FICTIONS, SCURRILOUS SLANDER, and OCEANS OF SLIME and VENOM.
    The first approach is based on and rooted in the facts and truth and is essential to a healthy democracy.
    The latter practice is the dark work of fascists based on and rooted in LIES, FALSEHOODS, VENOM, and unsubtantiated SLIME, and is extraordinarily deleterious and ultimately lethal to any hope of democracy.
    “Deliver us from evil!”


  7. Pissed Off American says:

    Tony, to any halfway sentient American, Hillary hardly needs to be pilloried by the swiftboaters in order to be dismissed as Presidential material. She has done more to assist Bush in his treasonous pursuits than she has done to rein him in. Across the board, through all the issues, she has failed to oppose Bush in any meaningful way. Hillary stands wherever the political winds blow her, and if the wind shows any sign of shifting, she stands for nothing until the shift is defined. And her stance towards Iran and Israel should underscore to you just how “Bushlike” she really is. This woman is all script and no conviction. She will tell you whatever it is she thinks you want to hear, whether it is her actual position or not. Do me a favor, tell this forum one single thing this woman has done to effectively counter the Bush Administration.


  8. TonyForesta says:

    Excellent point rich, and exactly why the most critical advisor in the Hillary camp will be the the individual tasked with countering the swiftboating and oceans of slime about to be unleashed upon her individually, her husband, her daughter, all her friends, the DNC, and all things liberal.
    This individual, (and I have no idea whom it may be) must be a dragon slayer, well armored, and armed, and fortified with an intrepid and interminable spirit, ferocity, and the courage to smackdown, undermine, defang, and push back the lying, conniving, ruthless, venomous snakes, shaitans, slime miesters, and fascist disinformation warriors in the Bush government, the republican reich, the evangelical churches, the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM, and the fanaticus truebelievers in redneck America.
    Failure to effectively counter and reddress the slime and venom of the disinformation warriors of theright is a recipe for disaster that has killed the last two presidential elections, and was responsible for the preemptive unilateral regime change and pornographic witchhunt that attempted to impeach her husband.
    “Deliver us from evil!”


  9. Pissed Off American says:

    Kerry’s campaign was so mismanaged that he deserved to lose. And if his tepid response to the swiftboating was any indication of his conviction and willingness to fight for his own ideals, then he would have made a lousy President anyway. But far worse than any of that was his early concession, and his subsequent failure to support John Conyers’ efforts to expose evidence of massive voter fraud. Kerry actually slinked out of the country when the bastards in the Republican Congress consigned Conyers’ “hearings” to some small basement anteroom. Kerry’s actions during his run for the presidency, if not those of a RW schill, were those of a meek and compliant coward. Whatever courage he displayed in Nam seems to have evaporated in the subsequent years. Kerry should just fade away and go spend Teresa’s money on some new skis, or a Maserati, or something.


  10. rich says:

    Joe C wrote:
    >>>”To a significantly lesser degree, but still a strong degree, weeks of swiftboating, and the mainstream media which gave those douche bags a platform, severely hurt Kerry.
    Its the media stupid. When will liberal writers “get that”?”<<<
    Not only that, but in 2004 the Toledo Blade’s 23-article, Pulitzer Prize-winning series on the actions of the elite Tiger Force unit in Vietnam blew away every claim the SwiftBoaters made against Kerry.
    That reporting blew away the SwiftBoaters supposed reason for EXISTING.
    Think about that: In 2004, the Toledo Blade wins a Pulitzer Prize in the middle of the 2004 Prezntial campaign–and doesn’t even get a passing mention on broadcast news, not even on all the political talk shows, and barely a whisper in the newspapers. JOURNALISTS don’t mention it.
    Now, why is that?
    The Toledo Blade’s reporting proved John Kerry’s 1970 “Winter Soldier” statements correct. It disproved the SwiftBoaters basis for forming in the first place. Yet the media feigned an inability to examine the issue or reach a conclusion on the “charges.” Or report on the issue.


  11. TonyForesta says:

    Hopefully, Mrs. Clinton will include her husband in some capacity in her inner circle of advisors, since his experience and crafty political instincts would benefit any campaign, or candidate.
    The most critical advisor in the Hillary camp will be the individual tasked with counter or pushing back the tsunami of slime, venom, scurrilous slander, salacious personal attacks, and reams of patently false, unsubstantiated, substantless assertions and accusation certain to be unleasehed upon the Mrs. Clinton by the fascist in the Bush government, the republican reich, the evangelical churches, the complicit parrots in the socalle MSM, and the fanaticus gospel according to fox, Limbaugh worshiping truebelievers in redneck America.
    Gore and Kerry never once successfully countered or defanged the disinformation and slime heaped upon them, and tragically unless a candidate is able to wash away the filth, – slime sticks!!
    “Deliver us form evil!”


  12. rich says:

    When Hillary Clinton gets around to speaking about an issue–AND when WE get around to listening closely to what she’s finally saying–she comes across as being reasonable, thoughtful, astute.
    I’m quite sure her staffers are capable and possess formidable intellects.
    My concern arises over whether Hillary’s actions will rise to the level of, or follow through on, her own intellect. This takes several forms.
    Steve identifies one: how much will Hillary be entangled in, beholden to, or part-n-parcel of, the Democratic or DLC politburo of political advisors?
    How in touch is Hillary–really in touch–with the crucial issues facing the country? She’s obviously checking into the grassroots, but will mere smarts deliver an adequate understanding of the electorate’s emphasis? Meaning, how seriously does she take the Constitution?
    How much does she owe to an unhealthy spectrum of moneyed special interests? I don’t know the answer to that, but the Carlyle Group, Rupert Murdoch, and AIPAC have been named here.
    Will her actions jibe with that reasonable rhetoric? Were the Rodhams really a “middle-class family”?
    I came from a family that admired Hillary Clinton tremendously back in 1991-199x. We shall see if she makes a better candidate than she’s been a Senator.


  13. Pissed Off American says:

    “But Clinton also has other arenas of advisors — a rumored five “super advisors” on the deep inside — who are the only ones who know the finite, gritty details of Hillary’s plans, strategy, and views.”
    Oh goody, five little rovian elves,hiding behind the curtains, writing Hillary’s script for her. What bullshit promises and insincere posturing are they dreaming up for public consumption?
    Any hope we have of pulling this country up by its bootstraps are being smashed by this obvious “business as usual” electoral cycle. This country needs another crew of lying posturing presidential candidates like it needs another George Bush. We’re in deep shit here, and seeing candidates like “stand for nothing” Hillary being foisted on us doesn’t bode well for our future.


  14. Joe C says:

    This old chestnut? The advisors brought down Gore and Kerry? Sorry, but that’s absurd.
    What brought down Al Gore was a hoard of mainstream media clowns who smeared his name and reputation for 20 months, as documented in detail all throughout this amazing period of American history by Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler.
    To a significantly lesser degree, but still a strong degree, weeks of swiftboating, and the mainstream media which gave those douche bags a platform, severely hurt Kerry.
    Its the media stupid. When will liberal writers “get that”?


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