When Not Campaigning in Florida Seems Like it Is


One of the more amusing twists in the Obama-Clinton battle at the moment is how they are both trying to campaign in Florida without technically doing so.
While watching the Democratic debates the other night in South Carolina from Washington, DC, I saw my first Obama TV ads. Apparently, he had made a “national ad buy” that had his commercials running on major networks around the nation — including in Florida. All of the Democratic candidates had sworn not to campaign in that state because of the Florida’s Democratic Party bucking the decision of the Democratic National Committee that its primary could not move ahead of February 5th. Florida moved ahead anyway.
Hillary’s team got miffed at Obama ads running on Florida TV sets, but now I just received this creative approach from the Clinton campaign to not campaigning in Florida:

Statement by Senator Hillary Clinton on the Seating of Delegates at the Democratic National Convention
“I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.
“I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.
“I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.
“I will of course be following the no-campaigning pledge that I signed, and expect others will as well.”

More later.
— Steve Clemons


24 comments on “When Not Campaigning in Florida Seems Like it Is

  1. austin says:

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  2. Norquist 3.0 says:

    DonS: The bottom line for Republicans, what has always been heard from them, is to cut taxes and be fiscally responsible which can only boil down to slashing expenditures of the Federal government and thus federal departments and programs, most of which were either started by FDR or were born of his philosophy. The third leg to the Republican stool is national defense, one of the few places Republicans think federal taxes should go. A strong defense against the Commies and keeping the fear factor high, is the father of their current Isalmofacism garbage, and its new found fear card.
    Republicans are the same as they ever were. It does not take a conspiracy of clandestine winks and nods for them to know that trashing the treasury with war followed by howls for fiscal responsibility and tax cuts means slashing and burning FDRs legacy. This is their DNA.
    Their whole current being was created from their hatred of FDR and more recently their absorption of the Dixiecrat southern racist/backwardness stronghold and its ideology.
    I’ve long said, the only thing you have to know about Republicans is that they howled that FDR was “a traitor to his class.” Undoing all that FDR had done and his philosophy is what they live for for.
    What government in the history of the world has ever cut taxes during wild expenditures for war? Answer: A Republican government whose eyes are on the prize of having to dismantle government in a fiscal crisis they created during a hoped for 100 year war they also created.
    These are an Evil breed.


  3. Carroll says:

    Jew-Baiting again I see. Cool.
    Posted by frank at January 26, 2008 03:02 PM
    So you are saying all Jews are part of or identified with Israel and there is no difference between average Jews and the Israeli zionist involved in the above activities?
    Interesting…and wonder why you think that.


  4. DonS says:

    But Norquist, that sounds like a prescription for third world status in a hurry.
    Between you and JohnH it sounds like a giant conspiracy, a velvet revolution in reverse.
    Only partly tongue in cheek, of course. We can all see the slide in this direction. The virtual abdication of the notion of social responsibility of the government for the welfare of its people, the safety net, etc. A retreat to 19th century morays.
    Are we alarmists? Even the best case scenario is not good.
    And, yes, if this is a conspiracy, however soft, the same cadres are pulling the levers of foreign “policy” as of domestic destruction.


  5. Norquist 3.0 says:

    The entire plan of the Republicans is to bankrupt the government so that to dig ourselves out the Federal departments will have to cut to bare bones, some eliminated entirely. All the horrendous spending on the war is to effect just that as well as line the pockets of their contributors.
    With the next President, whoever, great howls will go up about the deficit and how government spending is going to have to be cut drastically, NOW! They will be reborn to their fiscal conservatism when they no longer are the spending power that rapes the treasury for their constituents’ benefit.
    That’s always been the plan. Next phase: Slash and Burn!


  6. JohnH says:

    “If you are voting for goodies you want like health care and unity and etc. be aware they will only be temporary and last about as long as it takes for our congress and next president to bankrupt and bury America under the Israeli sickness.”
    Actually, they’ve already bankrupted the country. With Boomers retiring, the US government will have to pay out all the Social Security taxes it collects (and then some) instead of looting the trust fund to pay for war. And with conservatives and their DittoDemocrat allies adamantly refusing to consider any tax increases to pay for war, well, it’s hard to see anything but bankruptcy. The only thing to be decided is whether Social Security or ‘defense’ gets the lion’s share of the cuts after bankruptcy. My guess is that it will be a repeat of corporations’ using bankruptcy courts to jettison pension obligations. The corporate media will be filled with propoganda trying to prove that Boomers don’t deserve to get any of the $2 Trillion they’ve saved into the Social Security Trust Fund while arguing that Boeing, Lockheed, and Dubai based Halliburton deserve to get a share of each year’s Social Security tax collections.
    And who’s to stop them? They’ve already bought the Congress.


  7. Carroll says:

    Want a major terror event? Well here is one waiting to happen.
    I assure you the Israelis will use every advantage of their office within US Dept.of Homeland Security to employ America against their enemies and make them our enemies.
    A Memorandum of Understanding
    Michael Chertoff (left) and Avi Dichter
    Also in February 2007, the United States and Israel signed a landmark joint memorandum of understanding that lays the groundwork for enhanced cooperation between the two allies in the field of homeland security. The agreement includes provisions for U.S.-Israel cooperation on airline security, explosives detection, responding to terrorist and criminal activities and training.
    The memorandum also establishes a joint Homeland Security Steering Committee that will meet annually to ensure the implementation of the agreement. Signed by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Israeli Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, the memorandum mirrors a similar agreement established between the two countries in 1996 that delineates parameters for counterterrorism cooperation. Dichter called the latest memorandum “a breakthrough signing of an understandings agreement” between the two nations
    Read the Memo
    And we will see their most recent operations on Iraq-Iran war for America played out over and over by Israel’s operatives in the US and now in the DHS.
    Sunday, August 29, 2004
    Pentagon/Israel Spying Case Expands:
    Fomenting a War on Iran
    It is an echo of the one-two punch secretly planned by the pro-Likud faction in the Department of Defense. First, Iraq would be taken out by the United States, and then Iran. David Wurmser, a key member of the group, also wanted Syria included. These pro-Likud intellectuals concluded that 9/11 would give them carte blanche to use the Pentagon as Israel’s Gurkha regiment, fighting elective wars on behalf of Tel Aviv (not wars that really needed to be fought, but wars that the Likud coalition thought it would be nice to see fought so as to increase Israel’s ability to annex land and act aggressively, especially if someone else’s boys did the dying).
    Franklin is a reserve Air Force colonel and former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst. He was an attache at the US embassy in Tel Aviv at one point, which some might now see as suspicious. After the Cold War ended, Franklin became concerned with Iran as a threat to Israel and the US, and learned a little Persian (not very much–I met him once at a conference and he could only manage a few halting phrases of Persian). Franklin has a strong Brooklyn accent and says he is “from the projects.” I was told by someone at the Pentagon that he is not Jewish, despite his strong association with the predominantly Jewish neoconservatives. I know that he is very close to Paul Wolfowitz. He seems a canny man and a political operator, and if he gave documents to AIPAC it was not an act of simple stupidity, as some observers have suggested. It was part of some clever scheme that became too clever by half.
    Franklin moved over to the Pentagon from DIA, where he became the Iran expert, working for Bill Luti and Undersecretary of Defense for Planning, Douglas Feith. He was the “go to” person on Iran for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and for Feith. This situation is pretty tragic, since Franklin is not a real Iranist. His main brief appears to have been to find ways to push a policy of overthrowing its government (apparently once Iraq had been taken care of). This project has been pushed by the shadowy eminence grise, Michael Ledeen, for many years, and Franklin coordinated with Ledeen in some way. Franklin was also close to Harold Rhode, a long-time Middle East specialist in the Defense Department who has cultivated far right pro-Likud cronies for many years, more or less establishing a cell within the Department of Defense.
    UPI via Dawn reports,
    ‘ An UPI report said another under-investigation official Mr Rhode “practically lived out of (Ahmad) Chalabi’s office”. Intelligence sources said that CIA operatives observed Mr Rhode as being constantly on his cell phone to Israel, discussing US plans, military deployments, political projects and a discussion of Iraq assets. ‘
    Josh Marshall, Laura Rozen and Paul Glastris have just published a piece in the Washington Monthly that details Franklin’s meetings with corrupt Iranian arms dealer and con man Manuchehr Ghorbanifar, who had in the 1980s played a key role in the Iran-contra scandal. (For more on the interviews with Ghorbanifar, see Laura Rozen’s web log). It is absolutely key that the meetings were attended also by Rhode, Ledeen and the head of Italy’s military intelligence agency, SISMI, Nicolo Pollari, as well as Rome’s Minister of Defense, Antonio Martino.
    The rightwing government of corrupt billionnaire Silvio Berlusconi, including Martino, was a big supporter of an Iraq war. Moreover, we know that the forged documents falsely purporting to show Iraqi uranium purchases from Niger originated with a former SISMI agent. Watch the reporting of Josh Marshall for more on this SISMI/Ledeen/Rhode connection.
    But journalist Matthew Yglesias has already tipped us to a key piece of information. The Niger forgeries also try to implicate Iran. Indeed, the idea of a joint Iraq/Iran nuclear plot was so far-fetched that it is what initially made the Intelligence and Research division of the US State Department suspicious of the forgeries, even before the discrepancies of dates and officials in Niger were noticed. Yglesisas quotes from the Senate report on the alleged Iraqi attempt to buy uranium from Niger:
    ‘ The INR [that’s State Department intelligence] nuclear analyst told the Committee staff that the thing that stood out immediately about the [forged] documents was that a companion document — a document included with the Niger documents that did not relate to uranium — mentioned some type of military campaign against major world powers. The members of the alleged military campaign included both Iraq and Iran and was, according to the documents, being orchestrated through the Nigerien [note: that’s not the same as Nigerian] Embassy in Rome, which all struck the analyst as “completely implausible.” Because the stamp on this document matched the stamp on the uranium document [the stamp was supposed to establish the documents bona fides], the analyst thought that all of the documents were likely suspect. The analyst was unaware at the time of any formatting problems with the documents or inconsistencies with the names or dates. ‘
    Journalist Eric Margolis notes of SISMI:
    SISMI has long been notorious for far right, even neo-fascist, leanings. According to Italian judicial investigators, SISMI was deeply involved in numerous plots against Italy’s democratic government, including the 1980 Bologna train station terrorist bombing that left 85 dead and 200 injured. Senior SISMI officers were in cahoots with celebrated swindler Roberto Calvi, the neo-fascist P2 Masonic Lodge, other extreme rightist groups trying to destabilize Italy, the Washington neocon operative, Michael Ledeen, and the Iran-Contra conspirators. SISMI works hand in glove with US, British and Israeli intelligence. In the 1960’s and 70’s, SISMI reportedly carried out numerous operations for CIA, including bugging the Vatican, the Italian president’s palace, and foreign embassies. Italy’s civilian intelligence service, SISDE, associated with Italy’s political center-left, has long been a bitter rival of SISMI. After CIA rejected the Niger file, it was eagerly snapped up by VP Dick Cheney and his chief of staff, Lewis Libby, who were urgently seeking any reason, no matter how specious, to invade Iraq. Cheney passed the phony data to Bush, who used it in his January, 2003 address to the nation in spite of warnings from CIA . . .
    So Franklin, Ledeen, and Rhode, all of them pro-Likud operatives, just happen to be meeting with SISMI (the proto-fascist purveyor of the false Niger uranium story about Iraq and the alleged Iran-Iraq plot against the rest of the world) and corrupt Iranian businessman and would-be revolutionary, Ghorbanifar, in Europe. The most reasonable conclusion is that they were conspiring together about the Next Campaign after Iraq, which they had already begun setting in train, which is to get Iran.
    But now The Jerusalem Post reveals that at least one of the meetings was quite specific with regard to an attempt to torpedo better US/Iran relations:
    The purpose of the meeting with Ghorbanifar was to undermine a pending deal that the White House had been negotiating with the Iranian government. At the time, Iran had considered turning over five al-Qaida operatives in exchange for Washington dropping its support for Mujahadeen Khalq, an Iraq-based rebel Iranian group listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department.
    The Neoconservatives have some sort of shadowy relationship with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization or MEK. Presumably its leaders have secretly promised to recognize Israel if they ever succeed in overthrowing the ayatollahs in Iran. When the US recently categorized the MEK as a terrorist organization, there were howls of outrage from “scholars” associated with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (a wing of AIPAC), such as ex-Trotskyite Patrick Clawson and Daniel Pipes. MEK is a terrorist organization by any definition of the term, having blown up innocent people in the course of its struggle against the Khomeini government. (MEK is a cult-like mixture of Marx and Islam). The MEK had allied with Saddam, who gave them bases in Iraq from which to hit Iran. When the US overthrew Saddam, it raised the question of what to do with the MEK. The pro-Likud faction in the Pentagon wanted to go on developing their relationship with the MEK and using it against Tehran.
    So it transpires that the Iranians were willing to give up 5 key al-Qaeda operatives, whom they had captured, in return for MEK members.
    Franklin, Rhode and Ledeen conspired with Ghorbanifar and SISMI to stop that trade. It would have led to better US-Iran relations, which they wanted to forestall, and it would have damaged their proteges, the MEK.
    Since high al-Qaeda operatives like Saif al-Adil and possibly even Saad Bin Laden might know about future operations, or the whereabouts of Bin Laden, for Franklin and Rhode to stop the trade grossly endangered the United States.
    The FBI has evidence that Franklin passed a draft presidential directive on Iran to AIPAC, which then passed it to the Israelis. The FBI is construing these actions as espionage or something close to it. But that is like getting Al Capone on tax evasion. Franklin was not giving the directive to AIPAC in order to provide them with information. He was almost certainly seeking feedback from them on elements of it. He was asking, “Do you like this? Should it be changed in any way?” And, he might also have been prepping AIPAC for the lobbying campaign scheduled for early in 2005, when Congress will have to be convinced to authorize military action, or at least covert special operations, against Iran. AIPAC probably passed the directive over to Israel for the same reason–not to inform, but to seek input. That is, AIPAC and Israel were helping write US policy toward Iran, just as they had played a key role in fomenting the Iraq war.
    With both Iraq and Iran in flames, the Likud Party could do as it pleased in the Middle East without fear of reprisal. This means it could expel the Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan, and perhaps just give Gaza back to Egypt to keep Cairo quiet. Annexing southern Lebanon up to the Litani River, the waters of which Israel has long coveted, could also be undertaken with no consequences, they probably think, once Hizbullah in Lebanon could no longer count on Iranian support. The closed character of the economies of Iraq and Iran, moreover, would end, allowing American, Italian and British companies to make a killing after the wars (so they thought).
    Franklin’s movements reveal the contours of a rightwing conspiracy of warmongering and aggression, an orgy of destruction, for the benefit of the Likud Party, of Silvio Berlusconi’s business in the Middle East, and of the Neoconservative Right in the United States. It isn’t about spying. It is about conspiring to conscript the US government on behalf of a foreign power or powers.”
    If you are voting for goodies you want like health care and unity and etc. be aware they will only be temporary and last about as long as it takes for our congress and next president to bankrupt and bury America under the Israeli sickness.


  8. DonS says:

    Della, Della? You there?


  9. iamcoyote says:

    C’mon, Della’s a parody. Gotta be.


  10. DonS says:

    Della, while I appreciate your point about the plight of women in general, and the need for an agressive candidate,it is a curiously convenient time, is it not, to assert that as the rationale for gut pucnching ones democratic bretheran.
    As I recall, Hillary’s negatives are high, and playing the tougher than though role reinforces the negatives. Unless, of course, one assumes that the general election will be largely a male versus female breakout if she gets nominated; and I don’t think that is likely or a winning strategy (not the least because of those anti-feminist females who vote more like chauvinist males in that scenario).
    On Hillary’s vulnerability in general, particularly against a McCain, I believe it is virtually impossible that she could win the “I’m tougher” vote over the mad one and, as I said, reinforces her negatives at a faster rate than it pushes the populace learning curve to support powerful women.
    Parenthetically, as I’ve said before, a major terror event (real or fabricated) before the election puts a Jonh McCain in the WH by my odds.


  11. Eugene says:

    Keep yer shirt on lady.


  12. Della Croix says:

    As a thoroughly buxom woman I have a natural affinity for our Hillary whose election shall bring our people another step out of being traditionally the true the niggers of the world since time immemorial. Obama’s people have only suffered that fate for 400 years, a drop in the bucket compared to the plight of the womanly class.
    That said, I am naturally one hundred percent behind our Hillary in snatching up the Michigan and Florida delegates in a bold power play move. What if Sore/Loserman had such chutzpah in 2000?! What if Kerry displayed some courage in OH in 2004?! It is taking a superior powerful and determined woman to show you how the game is supposed to be played to win if you care anything about the fate of the country. This move is a mere small precursor of what you will see when November turns into electoral vote mayhem courtesy of Republican machinations.
    You all want again some wussy Democratic male cowering in the corner in the face of Republican evil? Or, do you want someone who will fight for victory like all the Furies wrapped into one; a regular she-demon who WILL call you out into the streets in a violent display of civil disobedience that you cowardly commentors regularly fantasize about against the Bush regime but never lift a finger past the keyboard to do anything about.
    This time you will have a leader, and you will gladly follow her to the barricades.
    Lady Liberty Leading the People!


  13. Carroll says:

    Why does anyone here expect anything they do to make any difference?
    You can sign a thousand petitions, call a thousand times, send a thousand letters and faxes, rant ,rave, cry, vote and pretend one of the candidates is the answer and the other is evil…it makes no difference.
    All you will get is same old thing and the same kind of politicans.
    We have to come up with something different to do folks.


  14. JohnH says:

    POA said, Hillary “has no more respect for the law than Bush does, and can’t wait to get her slimey little mitts on the reins of power.” It will be almost worth it to hear Republiscum sanctimoniously squeal when she gets caught wiretapping them…
    And will the DittoHeadDemocrats heed their calls for impeachment? (Rhetorical Question) It could get very interesting when illegality ends up on the other side. But in the heat of the moment, who could possibly blame our Congresscum for forgetting the precedents Bush set?


  15. Donna says:

    Someone please out her as a lesbian or some other scandal and put an end to the Bill and Hillary excellent ego campaign.
    Corrupt, deceitful and corrupt. Enough of the Bush/Clinton legacy.


  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yesterday Harry Reid again brought forward the version of the FISA
    bill containing a provision for telecom immunity for their criminal
    complicity in illegal wiretaps of American citizens. Sure we need to
    win another filibuster, but we also need a stronger message. Reid
    must go.
    What part of exercising power doesn’t Harry Reid get? The Washington
    Post reports him “pleading” with the White House. And yet, it is his
    decision which version of the FISA bill to have the Senate consider,
    and by choosing to bring forward the bad one, he is knowingly forcing
    opponents of yet another “get out of jail free card” for Cheney
    cronies to get 60 votes to strip it out of the bill. Or filibuster
    yet again.
    Step Down Harry Action Page:
    http://www.usalone.com/step_down_harry.php (anyone can use this link)
    Facebook Version:
    http://apps.facebook.com/fb_voices/action.php?qnum=pnum784 (for this
    link must be a member of Facebook and logged in)
    This is the last straw. Time and again he has abdicated his
    leadership, claiming he is “personally” opposed to things, while
    collaborating to stack the deck in favor of the other side of the
    policy issue. Reid has got to go.
    And call them on the phone too. Here are the tested toll free
    numbers, 800 828-0498, 800 614 2803 and 866 340 9281. And there is a
    local phone number lookup on the regular action page above to get you
    all the local district phone numbers.
    OK, those are the basics. Now it’s time for us to breathe some fire
    of our own.
    And please keep in mind, as with all our action pages, no words will
    be sent on your behalf to your members of Congress, neither from this
    alert nor on the action page itself, but the stated subject line,
    “Reid Must Step Down As Majority Leader Over His Telecome Immunity
    Surrender”, and your additional personal comments if any.
    The word feeble does not even begin to describe how ineffective Reid
    has been as majority so-called leader in representing the interests
    of the people. A leader does not repeatedly tell his caucus they are
    on their own, while working behind the scenes to cripple any real
    opposition. And in so doing, he has done nothing but grease the
    neocon agenda for as far back as the eye to see. For them he has been
    as very effective, as a co-conspirator.
    He gave his private blessing to the Gang of 14 that stuck us with two
    additional lockdown reactionary votes on the Supreme Court for the
    next generation. And it goes downhill from there. More recently his
    unilateral caving in has stuck us with an evil White House con job
    dubbed “The Surge”, the sole purpose of which was to drag out the
    death and destruction in Iraq at least another 2 years.
    On the few occasions there have been successful filibusters under his
    rudderless non-leadership he has actually publicly apologized for it,
    like when we practically prostrated himself on the rejection of the
    John Bolton nomination, promising to cave yet again if they would
    just provide a couple extra redacted documents pretty please. We’re
    surprised that Dick Cheney doesn’t make him wear a flowered dress
    with little pink bows on the Senate floor.
    Is he the Senate majority leader or is he a mouse? Reid makes Neville
    Chamberlain look like Richard the Lion Hearted. He is long overdue to
    be put out to pasture, hopefully one without gophers that might
    accidentally frighten him.
    So again, none of these words of ours will go to your member of
    Congress, unless you choose to paste some of them in as part of your
    own personal comments on the action page.
    Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed
    to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.


  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “After Bush’s flagrant disregard for the rule of law, Democratic candidates should bend over backwards to play by the rules to show that somebody cares about the rule of law.”
    You gotta be shittin’ me! Have you been on Mars for seven years, John? When has Hillary lodged any substantive opposition to Bush’s criminality? She has no more respect for the law than Bush does, and can’t wait to get her slimey little mitts on the reins of power.


  18. DonS says:

    Marcy cuts to the chase on Hillary’s “overreaching”.


  19. JohnH says:

    Hillary is bucking rules set by the DNC. This is very disturbing because it may indicate whether she will respect the rule of law if she becomes Prez. After Bush’s flagrant disregard for the rule of law, Democratic candidates should bend over backwards to play by the rules to show that somebody cares about the rule of law. Should we believe what Hillary says (advocating for the rule of law) or what she does (openly trying to buck the rules)?


  20. jackifus says:

    What strikes me about the Clinton tactic of not removing her name from the ballot – then pushing for delegates to be seated – is that it follows the instructions given to candidates in letter, but not in spirit. Really, the tactic runs directly counter to the spirit of the party decision.
    That is too reminiscent of how GW Bush approaches the Constitution.


  21. Studly says:

    Steve Clemons is increasingly becoming one of the most powerful voices in Washington. I was in a meeting today where Clemons was given a ton of praise and some criticism from people who fear him for moving things. This blog matters. I love it.


  22. Bill R. says:

    What a crock! Hillary did this to get the endorsement of Sen. Bill Nelson. She has no chance, no chance of getting this transparently self-serving delegate grab. Sleazy, sleazy stuff.. See this post from Josh Marshall:


  23. DC says:

    I would be more persuaded of Obama’s quisling nature if he had conducted local ad buys. Rather, I would propose that she doth protest too much…


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