Wednesday Open Thread [8.13.14]

Filed in National by on August 13, 2014

First Read: “Well, that didn’t take long. Less than 48 hours after The Atlantic published Hillary Clinton’s critical comments about Obama’s foreign policy, she walked them back. Spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement that Clinton called the president to ‘make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him, his policies, or his leadership,’ adding that the two will ‘hug it out’ in Martha’s Vineyard tonight. As we’ve noted, Clinton’s always been more hawkish than the president, but the handling of the interview and this apology just seem like more politically head-scratching decisions as she continues her book tour. The bottom line: This is not the first time Clinton and Obama are going to have a public split as Democrats transition from one standard-bearer to another. But is every one of those moments going to be as tortured as this one?”

This was the first time I seriously considered not supporting Hillary AND seriously considered whether, should a credible candidate challenge her, like Warren or O’Malley, she could win the nomination. Hillary wants to walk a tight rope and appear hawkish and strong, but when she does that, she sounds like a Neocon or John McCain. And I will not be voting for a Neocon. So Hillary better get her act together.

Meanwhile, what is going in Kansas? Sometimes the public just tunes out an incumbent and decides they are done with him. There are three such incidences this year: Corbett in PA, Quinn in IL, and now Brownback in KS.

KANSAS–GOVERNOR–Rasmussen: Paul Davis (D) 51, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) 41.

But I am sure Governor Brownback will say that people are just so fed up with Obama that they voted him out and voted in a Democrat.

OHIO–GOVERNOR–Public Policy Polling: Gov. John Kasich (R) 50, Ed FitzGerald (D) 44.

KENTUCKY–SENATOR–Public Policy Polling: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) 44, Allison Lundergran Grimes (D) 40.

KANSAS–SENATOR–Rasmussen: Sen. Pat Roberts (R) 44, Chad Taylor (D) 40

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  1. Add Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie to that list of incumbents who the voters tuned out.

  2. cassandra_m says:

    It is worth every minute to read Goldberg’s interview with Hillary. Specific to her reaction to the “Don’t do stupid shit” thing:

    JG: Is the lesson for you, like it is for President Obama, “Don’t do stupid shit”?

    HRC: That’s a good lesson but it’s more complicated than that. Because your stupid may not be mine, and vice versa. I don’t think it was stupid for the United States to do everything we could to remove Qaddafi because that came from the bottom up. That was people asking us to help. It was stupid to do what we did in Iraq and to have no plan about what to do after we did it. That was really stupid. I don’t think you can quickly jump to conclusions about what falls into the stupid and non-stupid categories. That’s what I’m arguing.

    JG: Do you think the next administration, whoever it is, can find some harmony between muscular intervention—“We must do something”—vs. let’s just not do something stupid, let’s stay away from problems like Syria because it’s a wicked problem and not something we want to tackle?

    HRC: I think part of the challenge is that our government too often has a tendency to swing between these extremes. The pendulum swings back and then the pendulum swings the other way. What I’m arguing for is to take a hard look at what tools we have. Are they sufficient for the complex situations we’re going to face, or not? And what can we do to have better tools? I do think that is an important debate.

    HRC: That’s how I feel! Maybe this is old-fashioned. Okay, I feel that this might be an old-fashioned idea—but I’m about to find out, in more ways than one.

    Great nations need organizing principles, and “Don’t do stupid stuff” is not an organizing principle. It may be a necessary brake on the actions you might take in order to promote a vision.

    JG: So why do you think the president went out of his way to suggest recently that that this is his foreign policy in a nutshell?

    HRC: I think he was trying to communicate to the American people that he’s not going to do something crazy. I’ve sat in too many rooms with the president. He’s thoughtful, he’s incredibly smart, and able to analyze a lot of different factors that are all moving at the same time. I think he is cautious because he knows what he inherited, both the two wars and the economic front, and he has expended a lot of capital and energy trying to pull us out of the hole we’re in.

    So I think that that’s a political message. It’s not his worldview, if that makes sense to you.

    So in context, I don’t think that her reaction to “Don’t do stupid shit” is all that horrible. Especially in light of what she claims is her organizing principle which is not exactly unique. There’s no doubt that she is more hawkish than Obama, and the scary part of that (to me) is that she can articulate some very good questions about our role in the world, but seems to presume that our role needs to be in stuff like “creating fighting forces” when that failed spectacularly in Iraq. America can be a real force for good in the world, but we can also be very destructive — especially when we pay more attention to our own interests rather than those of the individuals in the countries we are supposed to be helping.

  3. Jason330 says:

    …the two will ‘hug it out’ in Martha’s Vineyard tonight

    bow chick-a-bow, wow…

  4. Jason330 says:

    PDD endorsements up.

    Our endorsed candidates in 2014 are:

    State Treasurer — Sean Barney and Chip Flowers

    Oh boy, and that was the one I was waiting for the PDD to offer some instructions.

  5. No offense, but endorsing Sherry Dorsey-Walker over Bob Marshall is a fucking joke.

    Minimum wage, successfully preventing the frittering-away of the Port of Wilmington, supporting civil unions, marriage equality, gender equality, actually fighting for reasonable gun restrictions, opposing the death penalty.

    And Sherry Dorsey-Walker’s record is, what, exactly? Spending money on unfilled fire department positions? I know why she got the endorsement, though. Here’s a hint: Phone home.

    Not to mention an endorsement for Charles Potter.

    And no endorsement for Bryan Townsend, seriously?

    Oh, and a joint endorsement for Kim Williams and…Bill Dunn?

    Okeydoke.

  6. cassandra_m says:

    No endorsement in the 10th, either? (Williams v Matthews)

    I remember asking about the endorsement for Potter last election round.

    If this doesn’t highlight the Trouble with Delaware Progressives, I don’t know what does. How does voting on PDD endorsed legislation count for an endorsement?

    And I’m co-signing this:
    No offense, but endorsing Sherry Dorsey-Walker over Bob Marshall is a fucking joke.

  7. cassandra_m says:

    No endorsement for Brenda Mayrack!

    WTF?

  8. RunCV79 says:

    No thread yet on 30 day campaign finance reports? Lots of interesting stuff on those…

    Barney cobbled together a lot of money and Flowers wrote himself another $150k in loans just ahead of the filing deadline (assuming so he looks somewhat relevant).

    On the R side, Simpler seems pretty legit to me. Over $500k raised when you look at his candidate committee plus two separate PAC’s. And Sher Valenzuela looked completely irrelevant, as nearly every dollar she has came from herself.

    One more interesting point though – Sher Valenzuela has sent out a couple of primary mailers, has yard signs and 4×8′s, etc. but only recorded expenses of $1,500?! Hope she doesn’t keep Delaware’s checkbook the same way she does her campaign account if she were ever elected Treasurer.

    What else did I miss?

  9. Whether the $$’s come from others or from themselves, it’s still money.

    You’re right, though, guess I should head on over and check out the reports…

  10. You’re right. Simpler’s raised a lot of money. He’s also spent a lot, more than I would have expected. Math is not my best subject but, if you subtract about $130K in loans, he’s pretty close to break even.

    Still going through the reports…

  11. SussexAnon says:

    Simpler is the “all their eggs in one basket” statewide candidate for the Rs. I wonder how he is gonna play in deepest darkest Sussex County (he’s from Rehoboth, ya know, nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

    He is in town trying to get a variance to expand his families’ hotel. The classic tail of buying a piece of land, designing a hotel expansion that does not conform to current code, then ask the city to allow you to build it anyway. The current hotel was designed and built to conform to the old code, which he is asking to be able to build the new addition to the old code.

    If only the rest of us folks had the opportunity to build to whatever code we choose.

  12. Delaware Dem says:

    SussexAnon, the sole reason that Sher Valenzuela is in the race is because Ken Simpler is too friendly with the gays, given his hotel business in Rehoboth.

  13. liberalgeek says:

    Someone should call the fellow at the end of the PDD press release and ask about the absence of Brenda Mayrack.

  14. I’m guessing that the non-endorsed didn’t submit the questionnaires.

    Kinda surprising, if that’s the reason, and a change from two years ago.

  15. cassandra_m says:

    I would not be surprised to hear that the non-endorsed did not submit questionnaires. Combine that with some of the names that appear in the endorsements, then you have to ask what — exactly — is the value of a PDD endorsement. I’d be surprised to find that Bob Marshall didn’t vote for the majority of the issues the PDD thought was important. I guess that you have to submit the questionnaire in order to signal an interest in the endorsement, but on the other hand apparently just pushing the right buttons is enough to earn that endorsement.

  16. John Manifold says:

    The GOP folks consider a Flowers victory to be a path to the fast lane for Simpler. If Barney wins, they figure the game is over.

    Something like Chris Castagno 10 years ago, priming for a dance against Sherry. When her candidacy imploded and Chris Coons won, his candidacy could not rise much beyond the GOP base.

  17. puck says:

    If the Democratic Great White Hope can’t beat Flowers, what chance does the Republican GWH have?

    For me, it’s the other way around. If Barney wins the primary, I may be voting for my first Republican. Well, I may nave voted for Mike Castle once or twice in my foolhardy youth.

  18. auntie dem says:

    Too bad about the PDD endorsements. I’m glad I was shown the door a while back or I’d be having a hissy about now. It’s nice to be able to pick and choose who you support with your time and treasure without having to ask permission from people with an agenda. Freedom!

  19. Why any self-proclaimed progressive would have an agenda that prevents an endorsement of Bryan Townsend is beyond me.

    Unless, as has been the case in the past, certain people (cough, cough) can’t bear to admit that they’ve been passed by in the progressive food chain.

  20. John Manifold says:

    Brenda Mayrack and Bryan Townsend are the future of the Democratic Party.

    [PDD endorsed Bryan in 2012. Wha' happened?]

  21. Jason330 says:

    Is Kowalko still involved in This process?

  22. Delaware Dem says:

    No. To my knowledge he has never been directly involved in the Endorsement Process.

  23. How about his wife?

  24. Delaware Dem says:

    She is. But surely you are not that horribly sexist to suggest that she does not have a mind of her own,.

  25. Uh, was it a public process?

    If so, how did she vote?

    And, while I don’t consider myself sexist, has anyone ever known her to not reflect the wishes of her husband, John Kowalko?

  26. Delaware Dem says:

    Wow, so you are that sexist. Good to know.

  27. I’ve never been sure who wears the pants in that family, so, um, I’m not. Was it a public vote? How did she vote?

  28. Too. Much. Drama.

    Flowers just mentally exhausts me.

  29. Delaware Dem says:

    Agree. I am working on a post right now.

  30. SussexWatcher says:

    Oh, it’s an Endorsement Process? That’s good. So much better than a regular endorsement process.

  31. Jason330 says:

    John and his wife were both heavily involved in the process the last time I paid attention to it.

    A follow up… is there some kind of beef between JK and Brenda Mayrack or Bryan Townsend?

  32. rustydils says:

    I am assuming when you say a “credible candidate like Warren”, you mean someone who can and does lie as well as the Clinton’s and the Obama’s

    Today’s continuing episode of the award winning series “Liar in Chief”

    5 year anniversary of President Obama first time lying to the American public and telling them if they like their doctor and health care plan they can keep it.

    http://freedomslighthouse.net/2014/08/14/flashback-five-years-since-obamas-infamous-if-you-like-your-healthcare-plan-you-can-keep-your-healthcare-plan-pledge-video-2009/

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