TWN on the Road: Off to Chicago


Senator Chuck Hagel‘s wife, Lilibet, may be watching the debates tonight with Michelle Obama at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York — but I’ll be watching (and live-blogging as usual) in Barack Obama’s home base city, Chicago.
For any who want to try and assemble a TWN coffee hour, I’ll be staying at 401 North Wabash – so if it’s close by and there’s an interested group that can agree on a time – I’m happy to meet and chat.
I’ll be in the windy city until Sunday.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons


16 comments on “TWN on the Road: Off to Chicago

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    Hagel’s own ties to voting machinery scandals alone disqualifies his consideration as anything but part of the problem.
    He can’t distance self from what he’s enabled.
    The point is this, that not even a clown such as Palin would have the ability to overrule the true power callers. If that were the case Cheney would have already gone to war with Iran. The entire edifice of the three articles is seeing a major effort to put in place policies for dealing with unitary excess in the event certain persons don’t wish to leave in the event of some bad attack or a leader takes office whose vetting isn’t entirely trusted. None of this matters to the highest level decisions, they’re set in stone.
    Obama isn’t going to end the war, he’s just going to paint it a rosy shade of unity and call the troops there something other than combat troops. perhaps he’ll even game their pay and benefits for the same reason. See also Mission Accomplished. He’ll also legitimize the coming deployments in Africa to the Sudan and Ethiopia, etc. Hope your kids get registered for the draft or can find a contractor’s gig there for better pay at taxpayer expense.
    Remind me, please, when Hagel mentioned Impeachment as part of the majority party? Go ahead, I’m patient enough to be reminded of his courage exemplified upon the floor of Congress, where he even had immunity.
    Some how Hagel’s own convoluted pretzel efforts to claim he held the President accountable may hold water with you as well. Remind me again when he put Impeachment up to vote so his own party would have to face such consequence in coming elections as a member of the 109th.


  2. Paul Norheim says:

    Mr.Murder, I have to say that your fragmented, but highly
    detailed bits of information, your frequent cryptic allusions and
    elliptic syntax, spread on thousands of short comments at TWN,
    may create the impression that you`re a smart guy. You
    probably are. But unfortunately, your facts and allusions are
    sometimes not matched by sound judgement and good instinct.
    In hindsight you can easily trace dark patterns from day one of
    Bush`s presidency (and of course especially the voting fraud in
    2000). But Bush and Cheney really showed who they were, their
    heart of darkness, after 9.11. And especially during their
    manipulations towards attacking Iraq (and what happened in the
    aftermath), the alarm bells should have rung for any normal and
    decent person.
    I am probably not half as well informed as you are regarding US
    politics, but I know that at least from august 2005, Hagel has
    frequently criticized several aspects of the Iraq war. That`s
    admittedly rather late (“too late” depends on the issue: the
    decision to attack versus the conduct of the messy war). In early
    March 2007 Hagel mentioned impeachment as a POSSIBLE
    option (as I formulated it above). You may wish for more, for
    something stronger and more committed, but this is NOT a
    “move after the fact”. Impeachment is still an issue, a year after.
    Here is one, among many links (I remember another one linked
    to an interview on YoyTube, you may easily find that one too):
    He`s not a hero to me, far from it. But he said SOMETHING
    while others were silent, and no, Mr. Murder, not always to late.
    I can make a long list of bad votes or statements from Obama.
    That`s not the point here.
    Judging politicians, I rarely think in black and white, in heros
    and scumbags. Hagel and Obama may be gray, with some
    darker, some lighter spots. Palin is grey as well, but that grey is
    almost indistinguishable from pure black, and that very dark
    grey was visible the very day McCain picked her as his VP
    candidate. If you`re not even now capable of seeing this, Mr.
    Murder, you`re more than color blind.
    Or perhaps you agree with her that Obama is not “like us”, and
    clearly prefers company with “terrorists”?


  3. Mr.Murder says:

    He did what during 2000 when the country got hijacked by GOP staffers flying to Dade COurthouse from an Enron jet?
    It only took one person challenging the results from the Senate….
    As for Obama, he’s done what in Senate? Voted for FISA immunity? This makes him different how? He’s not going to remove troops either. He’s simply changing what they are called. This makes him different how?
    He offered Articles of Impeachment up so the GOP would have to run against its own vote? Inform me when he did this. No guts whatsoever. He moves after the fact, he’s the Napoleonic rear guard on a good day.


  4. Paul Norheim says:

    Dear Mr.Murder, you already said to much when you claimed
    (above) that there are just tiny differences between Obama and
    the honorable Sarah Palin. This reveals bad judgement. Study
    “rich`s excellent comment above, and you may learn a couple of
    I`m not saying that Hagel is a saint. But he talked against Bush re
    Iraq while others in his party were silent. He also mentioned
    something about impeachment as an option, while dems. kept
    quiet. This puts him above some other politicians in my book.


  5. Mr.Murder says:

    So shocked and disgsuted. Tell me, do either of the Hagels still own stock in ES&S? What of Diebol?
    You know, the company that handles banking tranfsers for most of the bailout benefactors….
    Oops, I’ve already said too much.


  6. Paul Norheim says:

    It would surprise me if people like Chuck Hagel doesn`t see
    exactly what is going on.
    He must be shocked and disgusted, watching the decline within
    his own party: the strong dominance of right wing extremists and
    adventurous neocons, the cynical populist manipulation, the fiscal
    irresponsibility, the lies and abuses etc. I would guess that he`ll
    endorse Obama now, and deliver some strong and pointed
    criticism against McCain/Palin.
    At least I hope so.


  7. rich says:

    Now would be a good time to call John McCain and Sarah Palin on their campaign tactics.
    “Kill him!” shouted at campaign rallies? And no real pushback from nominally ‘responsible’ Republican figures?
    A litany of lies—not obfuscations, not shades of gray—outright egregious lies about Barack Obama. But no pushback.
    It’s about the performance. Not the resume, not the perceived experience, not the summer reading list, and certainly not the familiarity or or perceived depth of the nominees.
    Sarah Palin is dangerous because she can turn out the base—and because she’s very tight with mainstream Republican decision-makers—
    —but more important, Sarah Palin is dangerous because of her use of the Big Lie. Never mind her church, her secessionist impulses, her Ruby Ridge philosophy. When manly fascism isn’t enough, go straight to Big Mother. Few in her target demographic can/does distinguish between the fresh, spunky GOP mouthpiece and the river of lies and conscious tactic of whipping up hate, and fear, and if they can, violence.
    Worse, no one’s really bothering to mount a real or effective push-back. Now would be a good time.
    Gov. Palin’s selection was no accident. Big Mother wouldn’t lie to me, would she? Same tactic that Reagan perfected; projecting a reassuringly white, avuncular demeanor, and dropping the Big Lie is a virtually unbeatable combo.
    We’ve got threats of violence against a Presidential candidate.
    And not a lot of pushback.
    We’ve got overt racism:
    We’ve got ongoing purges of voter rolls, even though the last two Przntl elections were plagued by just such malfeasance:
    And we’ve got a ‘maverick’ a self-described man of principle actually refusing to lead honorably by informing his followers—who are legion—that Barack Obama is not a terrorist, is not a Muslim, and hails straight outta Kansas and so is pretty much like them.
    Sarah Palin’s record (abuse of power), performance and tactics are all legitimate issues. Whether she “comes from a small state,” attended Yale, or belongs to a church that’s kissing cousin to George Bush’s is just not terribly relevant.
    Those aspects are an untimely and significant distraction from the corrosive and extremely dangerous tactics used by John McCain and the Republican Party. Which are not new.
    And it’s high time moderate Republican leaders call those tactics what they are, publicly, and call out their fellow Republicans while they’re at it. Rather than murmuring under their breath for 8 years while George W. Bush veers off the American Reservation but suddenly finding voice enough to call Gov. Palin a “cocky whacko.” How courageous. The error isn’t just the silence—it’s in failing to recognize that Palin uses the same Big Lies and scapegoating tactics as George W. Bush, and is an instrument, for the same interests, used in the same way.
    Underestimating Sarah Palin and misunderstanding her role is just a recipe for allowing the Reagan method sneak up on the electorate. Worse, not speaking up ‘under’ Bush just opened the door for Sarah Palin—though failing to comprehend which is worse speaks volumes about the frailties and blind spots of privileged, yet humble horse farriers.


  8. Karl says:

    Interesting. Let’s hope Lilibet convinces her husband to say publicly what we all know.
    Also rumors of a imminent Powell endorsement floating around. That would be a big knock out punch.


  9. Paul Norheim says:

    Mr.Murder, I`m not a big fan of Obama, but I`m surprised if you
    can`t see a huge difference between him and Palin. And we`re
    not only talking about resumes here.


  10. Mr.Murder says:

    Palin’s unqualified status isn’t too different from Obama’s status. Extremely thin resumes.


  11. Florestan says:

    Haven’t read the Slate post yet, but all discipline is not the same.
    There’s a decisive difference between maintaining focus, control
    and priorities, and rigid control of information and chain of
    command. The latter, a hallmark of the last 8 years seeks to
    define and control reality and got overwhelmed by events it
    refused to foresee. The former can seek new information and
    opinions, analyzing, evaluating and adapting but not being
    distracted by them. So far this better characterizes the Obama
    organization’s approach, and we may hope it will remain so when


  12. Paul Norheim says:

    tricia, Maureen Dowd quotes some remarkably negative
    comments in her New York Times column today – not from
    those moderate Republicans you asked about, but it`s still
    “On Tuesday, Matthew Dowd, the former Bush strategist who
    offered a famous apologia for helping get W. re-elected, offered
    a scorching assessment of Palin’s not being ready, saying that
    McCain “knows that in his gut. And when this race is over, that
    is something he will have to live with. … He put somebody
    unqualified on that ballot, and he put the country at risk.”
    Christopher Hitchens endorsed Barack Obama on Slate on
    Monday, calling Palin’s conduct “a national disgrace” and
    writing: “Given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the
    whack-job fringe of the party’s right wing and of recycling
    patent falsehoods about Obama’s position on Afghanistan, she
    has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses.”
    Christopher Buckley endorsed Obama on The Daily Beast,
    writing of McCain’s embrace of Palin: “What on earth can he
    have been thinking?” (The endorsement led to Buckley’s
    resigning from The National Review, founded by his father.)
    On “The Colbert Report” on Monday, the conservative columnist
    Kathleen Parker stuck by her assertion, which she said caused
    the base to treat her like a traitor, that Palin should have bowed
    out. She said she’d gotten some secret e-mails from
    Republicans in the White House agreeing with her.
    William Kristol, a Palin fan who thinks she has been horribly
    managed, wrote in The Times on Monday that McCain should
    fire his campaign for malpractice. David Brooks, speaking at an
    Atlantic Magazine event, called Palin “a fatal cancer to the
    Republican Party,” bemoaning the fact that she did not fit in
    with the late William Buckley’s desire to have a party that
    celebrated ideas and learning.”
    Two or three weeks ago, some commentators complained that it
    was a tactical mistake for Obama to pick Biden as VP candidate
    when McCain had picked Palin. Others (remember Tahoe?)
    celebrated the fact that Palin was on the GOP ticket.
    Things have changed a lot in a couple of weeks, and they may
    still change again.
    The GOP became desperate, and started to mention Obama`s
    “terrorist” connections, etc. This obviously have backfired:
    people notice that while a tsunami hits the global financial
    system, Palin responds by recycling old accusations against
    Since this have backfired, the GOP must really be desperate
    now. Given McCain`s erratic behavior and lack of a consistent
    strategy, it`s difficult to make him look “presidential” for the
    remaining days of the campaign. And given the confirmation of
    Palin`s abuse of power back in Alaska, the hockey mom is
    looking more and more like an eagerly winking pitbul, not
    credible in the role of fighting corruption in Washington.
    I wonder what those two “mavericks” are up to in the remaining
    days of the campaign.


  13. DonS says:

    For all his foreign policy realist credentials, let’s hope that the Obama-Hegel melding does not presage a future in which Hegel’s more repulsive views on social issues become the currency of an Obama administration.
    For all the hope many seem to have in Obama, I’m not sure we’ll see the kind of progressive reform that is needed. Are we to suppose that the first black president will not feel himself under scrutiny to continue to prove himself not a threat to the status quo, a status quo that has shown itself beholden to moneyed interests and damn the rest of us?
    After all, Obama even courted the evangelicals. While it’s a great step along the road of equality in America, being black (or a woman) at this time may hamstring a president, perhaps psychologically more than anything, in being the assertive transformative force that is needed, if he even has it in him.
    Politicians — from the lack of outrage I don’t hear — still don’t get it. The mass of Americans are really hurting. And very angry. How will that call be addressed? This could all turn out very badly. a la Germany in the 30’s. Sarah’s out in front


  14. lurker says:

    Zathras makes an interesting assertion about message control in the Obama years that may be correct.
    But I don’t think that there is any power on earth that can keep Steven Clemons from connecting with Senator Chuck Hagel. Clemons wanted to run Hagel as President, and that’s worth the Obama team remembering.
    Clemons will support Obama-Biden-Hagel-plus because Clemons is pushing Obama to look more like Hagel I think.


  15. tricia says:

    could you please ask Senator Hagel when the moderate Republicans are going to come out and denounce the McCain/Palin campaign for instigating hatred, violence, and racism towards Obama and all progressives. I have never seen anything like this campaign and it disturbs me deeply. You seem to have the ear of many powerful, decent people of all political stripes. Where is the outrage from the moderate Republicans?


  16. Zathras says:

    Steve Clemons is privy to many conversations that he can’t report on, but he’s a longtime admirer of Sen. Hagel and may therefore be on tolerably good terms with Mrs. Hagel.
    I wonder if he might, just to see what happens, ask her some questions about her evening with Mrs. Obama, on the record. According to one source ( what may happen is that Mrs. Hagel will be instructed not to talk to Steve Clemons, at least until after the election.
    We’ve had eight years of an administration that has sought at all times to preserve its message discipline by placing tight restrictions on press access to people and information. I suspect that we are about to have at least four more.


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