Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

January 5, 2008

Dis-endorsing Hillary: The One Remark that Makes Her Sore Loser of the Century

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 7:14 am

Okay, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. But this remark was not only ugly it was stupid. I’m talking about Hillary Clinton’s super-gracious opening remark in her New Hampshire campaign. “Iowa doesn’t have a good track record in determining who’s going to be the presidential nominee”.

I forget, when she was campaigning in Iowa did she make that point? Did she tell potential Iowa voters about how poor their political judgment was? What’s that you say? She only said it after they rejected her?

It was not just graceless it is likely to guarantee a loss in New Hampshire too. Doesn’t she have a clue that New Hampshire voters can figure out they will retrospectively be spat upon too if they reject her.

Yes, I did write an endorsement of her a year ago on the basis of idealism–that election of a woman president would be a civil rights victory. (this was before Obama announced) And on the basis of machiavellianism: that she was a cynical calculating machiavellian (i.e. a Clinton), but that was a virtue: we needed a mean, calculating, machiavellian president in a world full of danger.

But now I think she’s a second rate machiavellian, so transparent and heedless in her attempts at calculation, embodied in that sore loser kiss off to the Iowans she professed such love for up until the day after the election. In this respect she’s taken on the worst traits of her husband, treating voters the way her husband has treated women, only even more clumsily.

If we’re looking for a civil rights victory, well, there’s another candidate who can give it to us. In the post I reprint below I said, as far back as November 19, when Hillary led all the polls, that Obama had me “wavering” over my Hillary endorsement. He doesn’t seem much like a machiavellian but he seems so much smarter than anyone else in the field that the could play one when it’s needed. An idealist who knows how to play to win.

And so, not that anyone cares, but on the basis of her ugly, graceless, sore-loser, second rate machiavellian remark alone, I’m dis-endorsing Hillary.



  1. Hillary’s only shot is to go South and attack Huckabee, play the Arkansas card. She is getting whipsawed among women by Huck and Obama. The desire for change is coming from below; the candidates are just echoing it and Hillary is a cigar store Indian, Popular change hunger transcends party and organization and its results can be ominous. Nixon was the ultimate beneficiary of the change campaign in 1968.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 5, 2008 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  2. Ron,

    Welcome to the movement!

    You are right for dis-endorsing Hillary.

    Her move on civil right was all about women, and if Obama was all about blacks i would not support him either. What makes Obama the true civil rights candidate is not only his biography as a cilvil right lawyer and community organizer but also his message of unity. Unity across man and women, black and white, red states and blue states. This is resonating with democrats, independents and republicans. A return to the one america of yesteryear.

    Welcome to the movement, a politician can be stopped, a dream and a movement cannot.

    Comment by Nadeem — January 5, 2008 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

  3. You haven’t seen anything yet. Hillary Clinton believes that the gods of the universe have selected her to be our next leader. Nothing should get in the way of that Hegelian inevitability. It’s going to get real nasty. Hillary is something of a true believer follower of Saul Alinsky and learned to be very vicious towards those deemed the enemy. Personal attacks were a specialty of the late socialist Chicago area activist.

    Comment by David Thomson — January 5, 2008 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  4. O.k., I’m trying to work out the logic here. If race and/or gender is a valid reason to vote FOR a candidate (or to endorse one), isn’t it just as valid a reason to vote AGAINST a candidate? Isn’t it racist/sexist on either side; judging a person by race/gender rather than by abilities or character?

    Well, here’s my view of the logic: a history of discrimination and exclusion might be a reason–though not the only reason–to vote for a candidate for someone from a group that has been discrimated against, because thereby one helps end the history of exclusion on the basis of an inherently illogical and unscientific bias. I don’t see how voting against someone from a group historically discriminated against because of a prejudice is the same, if one believes that one’s choice should be based on logic and policy rather than bias. I hope that clarifies.

    Comment by WM — January 5, 2008 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  5. Beautiful – let’s make a Junior Senator who wants to invade Pakistan our President because it would be a Civil Rights victory.

    Comment by Dan — January 5, 2008 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  6. This woman has all of the charm, panache, and charisma of Richard Nixon. Her unbridled ambition, coupled with her absolute lack of respect for any who disagree with her, will to be her downfall, and none too soon. Her post Iowa dismissal sounds an awful lot like Nixon’s “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore…” after losing the 1962 election for governor of California, certainly in spirit if not exactly in substance.

    Comment by GCA — January 5, 2008 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  7. “But now I think she’s a second rate machiavellian, so transparent and heedless in her attempts at calculation, embodied in that sore loser kiss off to the Iowans she professed such love for up until the day after the election. In this respect she’s taken on the worst traits of her husband.”

    Oh so Now you just figure this out? How did you gain prominence as an editorialist? And Islam is the Religion of Peace ….Right?

    Comment by solomonpal — January 5, 2008 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  8. “Yes, I did write an endorsement of her a year ago on the basis of idealism—that election of a woman president would be a civil rights victory. (this was before Obama announced)”


    So, I assume you mean that being black trumps being a woman. Geez you idealists are jus’ so so much more sophisticated than those knuckle dragging fundamentalist Christian red neck reps. What you really need is a Democrat dolphin candidate. That would surely be the St Gorist ideal and none of those pesky policies to bother your superior brains about. Flipper for president.

    I don’t think you read the post clearly. It’s not about one quality “trumping” another. it’s about both candidacies offering an added value to the polices proffered–that value being ending a long shameful history of exclusion and discrimnation (something I’m sure you’d favor, at least in the abstract)–and then deciding that the character of one (not the race or sex) as further revealed in the course of the campaign, makes her less appealing than the other.

    Comment by sean birnie — January 6, 2008 @ 5:31 am | Reply

  9. Hey, why do you link Nicolo with Hillary? Such a bad move, this woman fails all tests in knowing and thinking like Machiavelli, much less being able to understand his thoughts on how to govern wisely.

    Then again, maybe it is you who fails to understand what that thinker really presented to his Prince.

    Either way, we should all ask for Chelsea to join our military, to become a part of real America, not just one more rich kid who is trying to close on a $3 million pad in New York!

    Aren’t we all so tired of the “me” generation? I know I am.

    Well I suggested she was a ‘second rate” machiavelli. As for understanding Nicolo, I’m sure you’re aware of the centuries old dispute among scholars about how to interpret his work, so I’m puzzled by your certainty about it.

    Comment by RJ — January 6, 2008 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  10. I question your premise that the selection of a candidate should be based on whether or not it would be a “civil rights victory”.
    Why do we need a “civil rights “victory and just what is the definition of one in a presidential election?
    And if “we”(I’d like to be excluded}need this victory based on past exclusion why not vote for Guiliani since there has never been a person of Italian heritage?
    Why not Romney since Mormons are obviously widely disliked?
    And if there were a minority elected to the presidency what makes you think he or she will act kindly toward their “own” but instead the opposite attempting to prove impartiality

    So I guess, by your logic, it would be better if Rosa Parks stayed in the back of the bus, because she might have said somethng rude to the other passengers.

    Comment by mbrandi — January 6, 2008 @ 9:05 am | Reply

  11. My favorite Saul Alinsky was the one in which to protest discrimination in the Pittsburgh Philharmonic he held a bean supper for some African-American friends and then took them to the concert to provide additional airy percussion. As for Machiavelli, he would work with his vineyard workers all day and then change into fine raiment to read Plato and Aristotle at night, saying “I always have questions for them and they always answer back.”

    Comment by charlie finch — January 6, 2008 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  12. rosa parks?back of the bus?what a stretch.
    when did I say obama should not run for president?
    by your logic we should just appoint him president.otherwise we are all racist.

    those were the grounds.

    Comment by mbrandi — January 6, 2008 @ 10:02 am | Reply

  13. Ron:

    Since when are we electing a “civil rights victory”? We’ll be lucky enough to get a competent president.

    See comments above on “added value”

    Comment by d neal — January 6, 2008 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  14. I believe any serious analysis of Hillary’s candidacy would conclude that much of her support comes from the unstated premise that in voting for her, one would be voting to reinstate the Clinton administration, including her husband. She has no individual attraction as a candidate.

    As your post recognizes, Obama’s campaign likewise attempts to capture votes by appealing to one or more vague principles rather than to the individual achievements and abilities of the candidate. What, exactly, is “change” or “a victory for civil rights?” Even the very least of us has a “vision” and “dreams for a new America.”

    Obama is no Rosa. Does he risk jail? A beating? He plays on a nearly level playing field because of others whose courage should not be attributed to him. Think of this. A victory for civil rights would be getting the Native American Indian Tribes out of that independent nation existing inside this country and assimilated into American society sufficient that one of them could run for President. When we elect a black candidate, I hope it is for a reason other than guilt.

    At this point, both of these contenders could fairly say that while they really have no experience in anything important to being president, they both slept at a Holiday Inn Express.

    Comment by Mark Van Wagoner — January 6, 2008 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

  15. If you want a president who will treat ANY group of society in a more favorable way than all the others, Then YOU are a racist and/or bigot! Don’t try to dress it up as noble. Why can’t the president be the most qualified, likeable, or smartest? Must he/she make you feel better about your own misgivings or further your own idealism?

    This is a completely erroneous interpretation of anything I wrote (or believe)–the assumption that a reason for favoring Obama is that he will “treat any group of society in a more favorable way”. Nor is there any evidence that Obama holds such beliefs or predispositions. See above comments for my view on the “added value” I believe fulfilling one of the nobler strains of American politics would have. perhaps we have different views of the importance of the civil rights movement to America. I consider it one of the few most important and beneficent develoments in our recent history. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    Comment by Gene Herron — January 6, 2008 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

  16. You hit the nail on the head. She is machiavellian to the core. Your observation is so spot on it’s hard to believe it wouldn’t be a consideration in “sophisticated” Clinton campaign machine.

    Comment by Mike C — January 6, 2008 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

  17. Mrs. Clinton’s remark was tactless, to be sure, but it might help to recall that she wasn’t too far wrong, statistically speaking.

    Since 1976, only 7 out of 12, or 58%, of the candidates (or either party) who won Iowa went on to win their party’s nomination.

    Thanks for the stats, but the point was that she only spat on their judgment after they’d rejected her. She didn’t give a campaign speech in Des Moines saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing here, you people have no judgment”. No she totally sucked up to their supposed wisdom when it was covenient for her.

    Comment by William Briggs — January 6, 2008 @ 7:17 pm | Reply

  18. THE SPEECH HILLARY COULD MAKE Look at the debates last Saturday night: one had six white males; the other: a young, dynamic African American, the first female Senator from New York, a Latino man with a wide and honorable government service and our most recent Vice-Presidential candidate, a charismatic man of working class origins. Any of these would make a better President than any of those on the other side, because our candidates mirror the reality of American progress in the last fifty years. This reality includes the civil rights mvement and the women’s movement. It is a false dichotomy to match us against each other because the other side, the Republicans, have no such thing. They are stuck in a long dead world. As the first female Senator from New York I stand on the shoulders of women who aimed for higher office and lost: Bella Abzug, Carol Bellamy, Bess Myerson, Elizbeth Holtzman, Shirley Chisholm and Geraldine Ferraro. Barack Obama stands on the shoulders of Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Dr, King, Jesse Jackson and so many others. Shoulder to shoulder these and hundreds of thousand of others made the America which now gives Senator Obama and myself a real chance at the White House. A vote for either of us means the same thing, an affirmation of all the changes the great progressive movement for equality, justice and freedom has wrought. I hope that I am your choice, but I would also welcome the sight of Senator Obama with opens arms, as an affirmation of everything I have worked for in American life.

    It would be smart. Why do I somehow feel she’s not gonna go that way? But why not find a way to get it to her?

    Comment by charlie finch — January 6, 2008 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  19. Re: mbrandi: you’re response makes no sense. It’s an ad hominem attack. I can’t figure out how your logic relates to the actual post of mbrandi.
    S/he asked you a valid question, and the best you could do was employ a “politics of destruction” attack rather than an answer.

    Sad. I expected better.

    I’m sorry to disapppoint you, but, really, the issue wasn’t personal. It was a disagreement over what I actually said and how we saw the “logic” of our positions. The commenter attacked my logic, I sought to show the implications of the commenter’s logic. See my further coments on the question all of which are issue-related, not personal.

    Comment by S. Marshall — January 6, 2008 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

  20. Obama is no Rosa? Check out the reports on Drudge about beefed up security, Obama’s resisting it and African-Americans’ attendant fears.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 7, 2008 @ 10:56 am | Reply

  21. For some reason only Hillary and Barack are considered electable. Yet I think almost any Democrat put up in 2008 wins because of the huge thirst for a change in leadership; iew, away from GOP.

    Perhaps it is time for a woman or an african-American. Butis the righjt time? Personally I hope the election gives us a leader with the yearning to truly improve things for middle class Americans So far, NO CANDIDATE other than John Edwards has presented that view.

    The 2008 election is so very important to the middle class in the country. Another 4 – 8 years of neglect and America will only be loweer and upper class with no middle class to speak about.

    Choose wisely America.

    Comment by Edwards Fan — January 7, 2008 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

  22. Hillary Clinton is the ‘Lady Macbeth’ of American political theater. Her craven sense of entitlement, was exposed to all that care to see. How cynical she really is…

    Comment by A Rosario — January 8, 2008 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  23. 39%: God help us all

    Comment by charlie finch — January 9, 2008 @ 1:16 am | Reply

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