VIDEO: Hillary bombs at bowling on the Ellen show

Think Barack Obama was bad with his 37 score? Wait til you get a load of this:

She only knocked down one pin. One. However in her defense she did only bowl one set of frames, although from the looks of things I don’t think it would have gotten any better.

The most unintentionally funny part of the segment: When Mrs. Clinton tries to solicit help from the audience, Ellen tells her, “No, don’t cheat.”

Here’s the story, via CNN’s Political Ticker:

(CNN) — Hillary Clinton is lucky Barack Obama didn’t bite on her April Fools Day wager.

Appearing on the talk show Ellen Monday, the New York senator showed her bowling skills may be every bit as lacking as those of her chief rival. On a makeshift bowling alley on the show’s set, Clinton missed the pins entirely on her first try, and only knocked out one on her second and final attempt.


She told reporters later on her campaign plane she even has her own bowling ball, bag, and shoes from her days in the White House, though acknowledged she hasn’t bowled since those days.

Riiight. And my lucky football helmet and cleats are collecting dust in the attic. 8-|

Memo to Hillary: Take my advice, and stick to what you’re good at – which is politicking, demagoguing, and lying … but I repeat myself.

And while we’re at it, how about another round of Caption This?

HRC photo courtesy of AP. BO photo courtesy of AFP.

Related: Is Hillary’s Much-Maligned Hospital Story Fundamentally True? (via Memeo)

Is she or isn’t she?

The rumors have been swirling for a while now that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was interested in the vice presidential nod, and today they reached fever pitch after this ABC News report:

ABC News’ Mary Bruce Reports: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is actively courting the vice presidential nomination, Republican strategist Dan Senor said.

“Condi Rice has been actively, actually in recent weeks, campaigning for this” Senor said this morning on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

According to Senor, Rice has been cozying up to the Republican elite.

“There’s this ritual in Washington: The Americans for Tax Reform, which is headed by Grover Norquist, he holds a weekly meeting of conservative leaders — about 100, 150 people, sort of inside, chattering, class types” Senor said. “They all typically get briefings from political conservative leaders. Ten days ago, they had an interesting visit — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — the first time a secretary of state has visited the Wednesday meeting.”

Steve Clemons wrote about that meeting here.

Other sources say Condi’s not interested in a veep selection:

But on Monday State Department spokesman Sean McCormack shot down speculation that Rice may be vying to be McCain’s running mate, saying she is still technically a tenured professor on leave from Stanford and she would be returning there at the end of the year.

Another very well-placed source inside Rice’s office told FOX News it’s “laugh out loud funny” that Senor would know anything about Rice’s plans since he has no connection to her at all.

The source said Rice’s plan is to go back to California after President Bush leaves the White House.

“Don’t buy the Condi talk. She is out (of) here — to have her life back” the source said.

If Rice is vying for the job, it also appears to be news to McCain, who has noted in the past that Rice shares some responsibility for what he calls the initial failed strategy in Iraq.

“I did not hear that. I missed those signals. I think she’s a great American. I think there’s very little that I can say that isn’t anything but the utmost praise for a great American citizen” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said, adding that she has served as a role model to millions of people around the world.

“As I mentioned to you, we’re not talking about the process because it just then gets into things that could easily to spill over into an invasion of privacy. I’m a great admirer of Secretary Rice just like all people” he said.

I seriously, seriously doubt that even if she were vying for the nomination, she would be picked by McCain. The left’s attacks on Rice – and the media’s complicity – would be vicious, because they see her more so than even John McCain an extension of President Bush on every major foreign policy decision, especially as it relates to Iraq. In other words, she’s got a lot of baggage McCain doesn’t need. Not only that, but she is not popular even among some conservatives who believe she’s accomplished very little in her role in her leadership position at State. Not only that, but the Obama camp would have a field day going after McCain for choosing a woman he previously criticized regarding the admin’s Iraq strategy.

Area events

FYI, Republican candidate for NC governor Fred Smith is currently holding a series of rallies this month to give voters an opportunity to get to know who he is and where he stands on the issues. Appearing at these rallies will be country music singer and Fred Smith supporter Lee Greenwood, who will sing several of his hits, including his signature song “God Bless the USA.”

I’ve been to a Fred Smith rally before as part of his 100 county statewide BBQ tour, and had a great time – and Lee Greenwood wasn’t even there, so I know it’ll be even more of a good time with him included.

Here’s a list of the upcoming rallies – links to info about each rally, including the time and the place, are here.

Apr. 07 Wilkes County Area Rally
Apr. 08 Pitt County Area Rally
Apr. 08 Moore County Area Rally
Apr. 09 Wake County Area Rally
Apr. 10 Johnston County Area Rally
Apr. 16 Mecklenburg County Area Rally
Apr. 17 New Hanover Area Rally
Apr. 21 Catawba County Area Rally
Apr. 22 Guilford County Area Rally
Apr. 23 Forsyth County Area Rally

Admission is free. To register to attend one of the rallies, click here.


The Elon Law School Republicans recently emailed with the following announcement:

On behalf of the Elon College Republicans, I would like to invite you to join us for our First Annual Reagan Dinner. Our event will take place on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 on the campus of Elon University.

It is our hope that we will be able to unite Republicans and those who support conservative ideas from around the Elon community, Alamance County and the State of North Carolina for a night of food, fellowship and politics. At this point several candidates who are running for statewide office have been confirmed! This dinner will provide an excellent opportunity to meet and network with many elected and party officials.

Tickets for the Elon College Republican Reagan Dinner are only $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. Special sponsoring options also exist for those would like to purchase an entire table (seats eight). Individuals, companies or organizations may sponsor a table for just $100.00. You can reserve your tickets to be picked up at the door by returning the attached registration form along with a check for the appropriate amount to:

Attn: Reagan Dinner
Campus Box 3051
Elon, NC 27244

The doors will open at 6:00 and dinner will begin being served at 6:15. If you have any other questions please feel free to call me at 910.391.9985 or e-mail me at

Thank you for choosing to support Republican ideals at the grass roots by contributing to the Elon College Republicans. I look forward to seeing you on April 16th!

Nick Ochsner
Event Chairman

Some of the confirmed attendees include local politicos Bob Orr, Bill Graham, Hugh Webster, Jack Sawyer, Joe Johnson, Greg Dority, Robert Pittenger, Jim Snyder, and Dean Poirier.

I’ve searched but don’t have a link to an online reservation form, so I’m attaching a copy of one to this post so that you can mail it in to the address above if you’re interested.

Ed Schultz continues the “McCain is a warmonger” battle cry

Over the weekend, Barack Obama found his campaign in a bit of hot water after it was reported that liberal talk show host Ed Schultz called John McCain a “warmonger” in an intro he did for the junior Senator from Illinois at a fundraiser for the North Dakota Dem party last Friday.

The McCain campaign responded in outrage by demanding Obama repudiate Schultz’s remarks. His campaign did not long after:

Barack Obama’s campaign distanced itself Saturday from a liberal talk show host who called John McCain a “warmonger” while introducing the Illinois senator at a North Dakota campaign stop the night before, after the McCain campaign called on Obama to denounce the comment.


“John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such” Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday. She added, “He’s a supporter of a war that Senator Obama believes should have never been authorized and never been waged.”

The campaign stressed that Obama was not present when the “warmonger” comment was made and that Schultz is not a campaign surrogate.

That wasn’t enough for the McCain campaign, which pressed Obama to personally repudiate Schultz.

“Barack Obama promises a new brand of politics, but today refused to directly denounce Ed Schultz and his vicious smear attack on John McCain. John McCain is committed to a civil debate worthy of the American people and has a record of standing by that commitment” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. “Senator Obama must personally and publicly repudiate his campaign supporter’s attacks — rather than give tacit approval to this blatant smear — or his rhetoric of change will be exposed as nothing but words.”

The McCain campaign likens the insult to the language used by conservative radio talk show host Bill Cunningham, who rallied the crowd for McCain in Cincinnati, Ohio, in late February by repeatedly invoking Obama’s middle name, “Hussein” mocking him as a “hack” and suggesting that as president he’d cozy up to Hezbollah and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. McCain condemned Cunningham, prompting a fierce response from the talk show host.

McCain said Sunday that as far as he is concerned, the statement from the BO campaign was enough, and that he considered the issue closed.

On today’s CNN American Morning show, Schultz didn’t back down from the remark:

“I’m sorry, John, the label sticks. John McCain is a warmonger,” liberal radio host Ed Schultz said a few minutes ago on CNN’s American Morning.


“Labeling a candidate is not being disrespectful,” Schultz told CNN host John Roberts. McCain’s policies, Schultz said, “fit the description, there’s no question about that. … John McCain has no end game in Iraq. … (He) is saber rattling with Iran. … The man is a warmonger.”

Of course, Schultz is playing to his audience who I suspect the vast majority of agrees with him – and many from that group have probably called McCain much worse.

In the scheme of things, who cares about this? The real culprit of the warmonger accusations is Barack Obama himself, everytime he (and the DNC, for that matter) falsely claims McCain “wants” another 100 years of war in Iraq. This assertion, which he has repeated in other various forms on the campaign trail, has been thoroughly refuted by at least three political fact check sites as well as (surprisingly) by a few brave reporters in the MSM, who have now started taking him to task for asserting it over and over again. Obama has even admitted that he realizesMcCain is not talking about another 100 years of war.

With that in mind, why won’t he publicy retract what he’s said about McCain “wanting” another 100 years of war in Iraq? I don’t care whether or not Ed Schultz stands by his “warmonger” accusation. What I care about is whether or not Barack Obama will be upfront with the American people by admitting that he severely distorted and mischaracterized (and I’m being charitable with that description) what McCain said about Iraq in the context of the possibility we could be there another 50-100 years.

So what will it be, Senator Obama? Will you show some honesty and stand by your pledge not to engage in the “politics of the past” – or will you prove once again that your rhetoric on running a new type of political campaign is … “just words”?

Hillary’s chief strategist Mark Penn has left the building

More shake-ups in the higher echelons of the Clinton campaign:

ALBUQUERQUE, April 6 — Mark J. Penn quit Sunday as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s chief strategist, the second shake-up in her campaign’s top ranks since the onetime front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination began trailing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Penn had been a polarizing figure within the Clinton campaign for months because of his personality as well as his strategic vision, but his departure came as a result of another continuing controversy — the conflicts of interest that resulted from his representing major clients as president of Burson-Marsteller, the giant public relations firm, while working for Clinton.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Penn had met with Colombia’s ambassador to the United States to discuss promotion of a free-trade agreement, one that Clinton opposes. Penn apologized Friday for an “error in judgment,” and the Colombian government responded a day later by firing Burson-Marsteller.

Clinton and her husband, Bill Clinton, were furious with Penn for going to the meeting, campaign officials said. Trade has been a divisive issue in the Democratic race and a particularly significant one in Pennsylvania, the next state on the primary calendar. The senator from New York has pledged to take a “timeout” from free-trade agreements until their impact on the United States becomes clearer.

“After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the Clinton campaign,” campaign manager Maggie Williams said in a statement. “Geoff Garin and Howard Wolfson will coordinate the campaign’s strategic message team going forward.”

This comes two months after the departure of Clinton’s (now former) campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, who was replaced by Maggie Williams, a long time Clinton confidante, who is infamous in conservative circles for her close ties to former Clinton money man and convicted felon Johnny Chung, as well as her role in helping “clean out” Vince Foster’s office hours after his suicide.

HuffPo writer Dylan Loewe says it’s about time:

Penn presided over a top-down campaign in which, to the surprise of most observers, he was responsible for both crafting the message and polling its effectiveness. Normally frowned upon, such an approach often leads to self-fulfilling polling that validates the assumptions of the strategist, rather than providing an objective assessment. Perhaps that is the best explanation for a series of horribly misguided message strategies that Penn employed.

There was the now infamous inevitability argument, a message that ramped expectations to heights that Clinton could never have expected to meet. There was the change vs. experience message, one that helped validate Obama’s persona as the change candidate. And of course, when times got tough, there was the “Let’s get real” message. Showing a clear sign that the campaign did not understand its opponent, this message criticized Obama supporters rather than Obama himself, driving the wedge further between the candidate and the voters she needed to persuade.

But Penn chose not to confine his incompetence strictly to messaging, allowing it to invade all parts of the campaign strategy. His decision to forego caucus states demonstrated a glaring misunderstanding of the delegate allocation process. In a system in which losses must be minimized and wins inflated, Penn surrendered essential turf. It is equally surprising that someone who perceived his candidate as having enormous weaknesses in caucuses would have steered the campaign directly into the Iowa caucus. Had Deputy Campaign Manager Mike Henry’s recommendation been adopted — that Clinton forego Iowa — she may well have earned the nomination months ago.

As a chief strategist, Penn consistently proved to be a disappointing spokesperson. His mannerisms and tone on television suggest an abiding arrogance; he is often described as unsavory and unpleasant. While on Hardball, he was chastised by Joe Trippi for invoking the word “cocaine” while talking about Senator Obama. When paired with Obama strategist David Axelrod, Penn seemed unable to control his disdain.

Even when he wasn’t speaking for the campaign, he too often found himself at the center of the story. Private infighting with staff was often public and unprofessional, with uncomfortable details making front page news on multiple occasions.

Whatever. The bottom line is that when you’ve got problems with top ranking officials in your campaign at this stage of the game, I think it’s pretty safe to say that your campaign is in big trouble, not that it hasn’t been obvious before now as far as the Hillary campaign is concerned.

Anyone else out there thinking what I’m thinking, in that the Dem convention has the strong potential to be bruising and brutal, especially considering that neither Hillary nor Obama will be able to win the nomination without the help of the superdelegates? DNC Chair Howie Dean is out there calling for party unity, but with Hillary continuing her calls for seating the Florida and Michigan delegates and vowing to take the fight to seat them all the way to the convention, this one could possibly make the 1968 DNC look like an episode of Mr. Rogers by comparison.