17 January 2008

The ‘white hands’ ad ran by Jesse Helms in the week previous to his first general election contest with Harvey Gantt was authored by Dick Morris, who has worked for the Clintons in Arkansas and became the architect of their political identity since 1994. In a column published yesterday, Dick Morris said what I had been thinking the past few days, that the Clintons after Iowa have been seeking to make Obama out to be ‘the black candidate.’ What throws people for a loop is that the comments about ML King came before the SC ‘black’ primary, and everyone assumes that they are directed at African-American voters. Actually both Bill and Hillary commented on the topic right before NH. Since Hillary’s comments, she has gained new momentum with white voters after the race had been effectively declared over, maintaining a seven point cushion over Obama over the past few days.

On the day after Obama’s Iowa victory, Morris in his NY Post column with Eileen McGann said “Obama - by winning in a totally white state - shows that racism is gone as a factor in American politics.”

Yesterday Morris had new observations to share: “(The Clintons) embarked on a strategy of talking about race -- mentioning Martin Luther King Jr., for example -- and asking their surrogates to do so as well...

“According to the Rasmussen poll of Monday, Jan. 14, Obama leads among blacks by 66-16 while Hillary is ahead among whites by 41-27. The overall head to head is 37-30 in favor of Hillary.

“It does not matter which specific reference to race can be traced to whom. Obama's campaign has resisted any temptation to campaign on race and, for an entire year, kept the issue off the front pages. Now, at the very moment that the crucial voting looms, the election is suddenly about race. Obviously, it is the Clintons' doing. Remember the adage: Who benefits?”

The Morris and Clinton saga is critical to the careers of both Morris and Clinton. When Clinton lost his gubernatorial reelection in 1980 in Arkansas' response to the thirtysomething Yalie kid’s motor vehicle tax, Clinton joined forces with Morris for the 1982 race and joined the Democratic Leadership Council, getting the job back. In 1994 he started corresponding with Morris again during Newt Gingrich’s Contract for America campaign against him, and upon losing the House over Hillary’s ability to botch a universal health care proposal that the public overwhelmingly wanted, Morris became the most influential advisor to Clinton, the architect of ‘triangulation,’ and chaired his successful reelection campaign. During the period when Morris advised Clinton on race politics, Clinton fired Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders and signed the welfare reform bill written to Gingrich’s specifications that he had previously vetoed.

When Morris got caught with the call girl in the Willard, Clinton sent him packing with two months to go in the election. Morris said publicly that the disclosure was insufficient reason to can him, effectively ending his career as a campaign operative, and I think that is why he has run an obsessive campaign against the Clintons starting with a publication of a tell-all the next year.
Media Matters, the center-left watchdog organization started by former GOP smear artist David Brock (The Real Anita Hill) after he was outed, has called attention to how Morris teamed up with David Bossie, a renegade Clinton-hating Dan Burton staffer that produced with Morris the conservative response to Fahrenheit 911, to do a ‘swift boat’ style documentary (as Morris characterized it) on Hillary. Morris’ opinions and credibility should be seen with this perspective, but he knows Bill and Hillary’s political mindset concerning what Leon Panetta called ‘the dark side’ of race politics more than anyone.

In addition to insinuating that Obama, despite more support of independents and better polling in general election head to heads against every Republican, is less electable because he is black and thus less likely to pass reforms in the tradition of LBJ, Hillary Clinton sat beside Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson and watched while Johnson made racially tinged insinuations about Obama’s admissions of early drug use. Imagine if a white politician said Obama was ‘doing something in the neighborhood - and I won’t say what he was doing.’ Hillary then said she had no input on the statement and Johnson said he was referring to Obama’s community organizing, which is obviously dishonest as ‘I won’t say’ wouldn’t apply to community organizing.

Why does Johnson support the Clintons? He has a film company backed by JP Morgan Chase, an equity fund financed by The Carlyle Group, and a hedge fund backed by Deutsche Bank. The Carlyle Group, cited by Michael Moore and others for a board of directors including both the Bushes and the bin Laden family, currently has Arthur Levitt, Clinton’s SEC Chair, as its Senior Advisor, and William Kennard, Clinton’s FCC Chair, as its Managing Director.

Gloria Steinem’s piece in the New York Times has provoked an inevitable response from African-American intellectuals. She doesn’t need to win the argument, and she doesn’t and can’t, but her objective is to initiate a conflict that divides white women and blacks. There are fourteen woman Senators and one African-American Senator (Obama) and both Hillary and Elizabeth Dole have been treated as major presidential candidates. Carol Moseley-Braun was not treated seriously by the media because she had lost her Senate seat to a white challenger, not showing Obama’s skill at winning white support.

Steinem and Hillary are making the argument together that women are more marginalized but blacks can’t win. Steinem’s is the same approach that Dick Morris utilized for Helms’ benefit: make an enfranchised class feel disenfranchised so that they rally together in opposition to the disenfranchised. Obama, of course, has never said that anyone should vote for him because African-Americans are disenfranchised, which is why the Clintons’ strategy is significant.

If Hillary wins the nomination, it will come at the cost of her having divided the party amongst racial lines, despite the African-American candidate being less divisive, more popular amongst conservatives and moderates, and more electable in November. This is a price the Clintons are willing to pay because they don’t care about the party, as evidenced by how they let the Congress go Republican in the 90s, and because after Iowa the pundits left their presidential hopes for dead. Hillary's current lead for the nomination has vindicated her cynical strategy for gaining the support of white Democrats.


Ian Keenan said...

it's good to see Margaret Carlson also said the same thing in Bloomberg yesterday


Ian Keenan said...

a friend emailed to say that it was Hillary that originally recruited Morris in Arkansas in the early eighties:

"The man charged with supervising the Clintons' makeover was selected by Hillary: Dick Morris, a political consultant known for his work for Southern racists like Jesse Helms. Morris ultimately guided President Bill Clinton into the politics of triangulation, outflanking the Republicans from the right on race, crime, morals posturing and deference to corporations. As Hillary said in 1980, "If you want to be in this business, this is the type of person you have to deal with".

Bill Clinton duly pushed aside the Playboy centerfolds and pored over Dick Morris' polling data, trimming his positions to suit. He recaptured the governorship in 1982 and as a reward appointed his wife to head a special task force charged with reforming Arkansas' education system, at that time widely regarded as the worst in the country. The plan Mrs. Clinton came up with showcased teacher testing and funding the schools through a sales tax increase, an astoundingly regressive proposal since it imposed new costs on the poor in a very poor state while sparing any levies on big corporations. The plan went through. Arkansas' educational ranking remained abysmal, but Hillary won national attention as a "realistic Democrat" who could make "hard" choices, like taxing welfare mothers.

While enjoying this limelight, Mrs. Clinton was invited onto the board of Wal-Mart as the first woman director, the only Rose Law partner at that time to have accepted an outside position."


jacksmith said...

Bottom Line:

Like all of you. I know that health care is the most critical, and important issue facing the American people. Now, and in the coming elections. And like the vast majority of the American people, I want HR 676 (Medicare For All) passed into law NOW! "Single payer, Tax Supported, Not For Profit, True Universal Health Care" free for all as a right. Like every other developed country in the world has. See: http://www.house.gov/conyers/news_hr676.htm

“HR 676:
For church goers: less money to insur. companies and more to the church- lots more.
Srs on Medicare: save way over $100/wk. Because no more medigap, long term care & dental insur. needed. No more drug bills.”

But if we the American people fail to bring enough pressure on our current politicians to get HR 676 passed into law before the elections. We will have to identify, and replace all the politicians standing in the way of passage of HR 676. And, I think the best first place to start is with the politicians that blocked the bipartisan SCHIP bills for the kids. Passed by congress twice.

But what about the President. It was Bush after all that blocked the bipartisan SCHIP bill passed by congress to assure more health coverage for Americas kids. So which of the presidential hopefuls do I think will be most supportive of implementing the demand of the majority of the American people to have HR 676 (Medicare For All) passed into law immediately!

We have some very fine presidential candidates who would make good presidents. But none of the top Presidential candidates directly support HR 676, the only true Universal Health Care plan. So I am supporting Hillary Clinton. She is the only top candidate that has ever actually fought for universal health care before.

I have enormous admiration, and respect for Hillary Clinton. She fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds back in 1993. To prevent this disastrous health care crisis that is now devastating the American people, and America. She fought so hard for the American people that she risk almost completely destroying her husbands presidency. I haven't forgotten her heroic effort. If any Presidential hopeful for universal health care deserves my support, it's her.

Also, if we the American people fail to bring enough pressure on our government to give us HR 676 which we all so desperately need NOW! Then we will need the most skilled politician we can get on our side to broker the best health care plan for the American people that we can get. Though it will be less than we need, and less than we deserve. The politician I think to best do this is Hillary Clinton. The Clinton's are probably the most skilled politicians in American history.

The insurance industry, and medical industry that has been ripping you off, and killing you has given Hillary Clinton so much money because they fear her. They have also given Barack Obama so much money because they fear Hillary Clinton. They think they can manipulate Barack Obama against the best interest of the American people better than they can manipulate Hillary Clinton. There is no race issue with Hillary Clinton. The Clinton's are the poster family for how African Americans want white people to be towards African Americans.

My fellow Americans, you are dieing needlessly at an astounding rate. In higher numbers than any other people in the developed world. Rich, and poor a like. Insured, and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. And we the American people must stop it. And fix it NOW! Keep Fighting!!! Never! give up hope. There are millions of lives at stake. Bless you all... You are doing great!

Ian Keenan said...

Jack, Hillary is a member of the United States Senate and has been approached by the sponsors to support Kucinich-Conyers HR 676 and has refused to do so.

We agree that Kucinich’s system is the best system of any in the race and he urged his Iowa caucus goers to support Obama if they could not attain a representation threshold in his favor.

Hillary created a healthcare plan in secret in 93, which was promoted and legislated so badly the Republicans won an historic victory to control the House of Representatives, despite a majority of the nation supporting single payer health care. Then Hillary let the major insurance companies create the managed care system to suit their profit motives. She has refused to revisit any policy that puts her career at risk, choosing to utilize the ‘triangulation’ strategy, following Republican policies and using certain wedge issues to create a distinction for the base to support her.

Both Hillary and Obama began their campaign with no plan to ensure all Americans for health. Edwards produced a plan which many public interest analysts said was flawed and started to campaign on it. Then Obama came up with his plan and campaigned on it after Edwards’ support increased then Hillary followed suit. All three plans have been described as flawed and inferior to single payer. I surmise that the enthusiasm about using the executive branch to legislate a health care bill to ensure all Americans would follow the lines of how much pressure it took for the candidate to acquiesce to the will of the Democratic base. By that test, Edwards would win and Obama would come in second.

Consumer credit reform has followed the same pattern. Edwards proposed a plan to run on recently and then Obama came up with a proposal a few days later. Edwards is mostly driving the issues in the race, with Obama trying to match Edwards’ proposals and Clinton running on name recognition, organization, smear campaigns, and racial division. My preference for Obama over Edwards relates to the consistency of Obama’s positions over the course of his career, the content of his policies, and his personal integrity and leadership skills.

Ian Keenan said...

Been looking at the Black Box Voting site and all the paper ballots in the state that went through the optical machines are going to Concord. The site is ably covered by Team Harris, who have found the paper ballot boxes resealable with suspicious slits on the side of the boxes, but Kucinich is looking for volunteers to monitor.

From their fora there are some interesting statistical analyses, including Chris Chatham correlating the Diebold results with demographic expectations to check the official story that demographics are responsible for the error, and Mark Schauer’s comparisons of equal sized towns. Both studies on face value show that demographics and size of voting districts do not explain the difference between the Diebold results and the hand count.


Chris Chatham:

I've redone my regression with the correct diebold vs hand count values.

I'm am not a professional statistician, BUT:

1) Diebold machines give Hillary 5.6% more on average (with less than 1:1000 odds of this occuring due to chance alone) after controlling for the influence of total population, median age, and education [% holding bachelor's degrees].

2) Diebold machines give Obama 4.2% less on average (same as #1: less than 1:1000 odds of this occuring due to chance alone) after controlling for the influence of total population, median age, and education [% holding bachelor's degrees].

3) The simple interpretation I gave in previous comments is no longer supported: if anything, hillary gets more votes from diebold machines where obama is weaker rather than stronger (less than 1:1000 odds for this occuring through chance alone) after controlling for fluctuations due to obama's votes, population, median age, education [% with bachelor's] and the simple effect of diebold machines [reported in #1 above]).

Caveat to #3: when I include quadratic effects in the model (meaning that I allow for different effects due to obama's votes on average as I do for districts with extreme obama votes) they are highly significant and go in the more obviously nefarious direction I'd described earlier... BUT that level of complexity is pretty much beyond my comfort-zone for interpreting things. So I'll leave it to the experts from here out, with a STRONG recommendation for them to look at quadratic effects and interactions with the diebold variable.


The following precincts using accuvote have unusually large numbers of Clinton AND unusually small votes for Obama AFTER ADJUSTING for any skew due to variance in education, income, total population, and municipal water [urban/rural]:

Priority-Precinct-"Summed" Skew
1 Seabrook 0.55162
2 Winchest 0.23201
3 Berlin 0.22736
4 Salem 0.22171
5 Sandown 0.22065
6 Wakefiel 0.2038
7 Atkinson 0.20201
8 Raymond 0.20138
9 Plaistow 0.18041
10 Rocheste 0.17726
11 Pelham 0.16831
12 Franklin 0.16694
13 Hampstea 0.16582
14 Danville 0.16514
15 Somerswo 0.16374
16 Hampton 0.15637
17 Allensto 0.149
18 Hampton 0.14576
19 Farmingt 0.14495
20 Hampton 0.14397
21 Newton 0.13764
22 Fitzwill 0.13212
23 Lee 0.12032
24 Gorham 0.11991
25 Epsom 0.11909
26 Milton 0.11385
27 Belmont 0.1107

"Summed Skew" is the extra percentages Clinton seems to have after controlling for demographics PLUS the absolute value of Obama's apparent "undershoot" after controlling for demographics.

That's right, Seabrook is diverging from what we'd expect based on demographics by 50% !. I assume there is something going on there - whether a mistake in our data (this is all with Mark's figures and Brian's demographics, thanks to both) or something more nefarious.

There are more than 27 but it becomes increasingly difficult to tell what's measurement error and what's not below that.

Here is the same list but only for Clinton's votes.
1 Seabrook 0.30301
2 Winchest 0.13898
3 Salem 0.13553
4 Plaistow 0.12304
5 Atkinson 0.116
6 Sandown 0.11495
7 Pelham 0.11285
8 Berlin 0.11071
9 Wakefiel 0.10493
10 Raymond 0.10322
11 Danville 0.10035
12 Rocheste 0.10011

For statisticians: to arrive at these numbers I ranked the sum of the unstandardized residuals of both CLINTON and OBAMA's vote percentages after regression on % holding bachelor's degrees, median household income, total population, and whether the precinct has municipal water supply. I listed only precincts with accuvote machines. The second list is just the rank ordering of CLINTON's unstandardized residuals for precincts with diebold machines.

Mark Schauer:

H-Clinton 15423/46734 = 33.00%
H-Obama 18096/46734 = 38.72%
M-Clinton 97185/238800 = 40.70%
M-Obama 86908/238800 = 36.39%

For similar sized towns (400 1200 Votes)
H-Clinton 34.47%
H-Obama 39.67%
M-Clinton 36.89%
M-Obama 37.65%

Ian Keenan said...

11 days later, Chris Hitchens writes almost the exact same article in Slate.. citing Morris and the White Hands ad.. good to see more people getting this message..


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