Pres. Obama “quietly” backing Sen. Warren over Hillary for 2016?

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Hillary and Obama

Has the backstabbing between the two already started?

An intriguing report from the NY Post’s Edward Klein (via):

President Obama has quietly promised Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren complete support if she runs for president — a stinging rebuke to his nemesis Hillary Clinton, sources tell me.

Publicly, Obama has remained noncommittal on the 2016 race, but privately he worries that Clinton would undo and undermine many of his policies. There’s also a personal animosity, especially with Bill Clinton, that dates from their tough race six years ago.

A former Harvard law professor and administration aide, Warren would energize the left wing of the Democrat Party just as Obama did against Clinton in 2008.

Thanks to her outspoken stand against big banks and the top 1 percent, Warren is the darling of progressives. She won her Senate seat thanks to millions of dollars in donations from outside Massachusetts, including from rich environmentalists and Hollywood celebrities.

Obama has authorized his chief political adviser, Valerie Jarrett, to conduct a full-court press to convince Warren to throw her hat into the ring.

In the past several weeks, Jarrett has held a series of secret meetings with Warren. During these meetings, Jarrett has explained to Warren that Obama is worried that if Hillary succeeds him in the White House, she will undo many of his policies.

Back in April, Legal Insurrection’s Bill Jacobson wrote of his belief that Senator Warren would “crush” Clinton in the Democrat primaries because she’s even more left wing than Hillary:

Forget the current polling as between Hillary and Elizabeth Warren. It pits Hillary against someone who “isn’t running.”

For all my criticisms of Warren, and they are extensive, I am convinced that if she ran, she would crush Hillary, just as Obama did.

Warren, as did Obama, has a unique ability to demagogue the core Democratic narrative of victimhood in ways that would make Hillary blush. She is more cunning than Hillary, more popular with the base, would bring an excitement the contrived Ready-for-Hillary movement could only dream of.   Democrats may be “ready” for Hillary, but they don’t really want her.

He referenced a Byron York piece written around the same time that listed several reasons why Warren should run whether or not La Clinton decides to do the same:

1. Life is unpredictable. Clinton will be 69 years old on inauguration day 2017, nearly the oldest president ever. She has had a few health scares. By all accounts, she left her previous four-year stint in government service exhausted. She might not run, and the Democrat in second place in the polls, Vice President Joe Biden — 74 on inauguration day — is too old to be president. Beyond them, Democrats have nobody — except Elizabeth Warren.

2. Parties need competition. The primary process isn’t just to allow voters to pick a nominee. It’s for the candidates to become better candidates. The rigors of campaigning, the day-to-day jostle with competitors and the stress of high-profile debates all make candidates better. Conversely, a cakewalk through the primaries could leave a nominee in poor fighting shape for a general election. Warren would make Clinton a better candidate, and vice-versa.

3. The Left wants a hero. Clinton has never really excited the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party. They see her as an overcautious centrist like her husband, and on top of that, many have never forgiven her for voting to authorize the war in Iraq. Warren, on the other hand, has thrilled the Left with her attacks on inequality, plutocrats and big financial institutions.

4. Hillary ran a dumb campaign in 2008 and might do so again. For a group of seasoned veterans, the 2008 Clinton campaign showed a stunning ignorance of how to win delegates in a Democratic contest. Rival Barack Obama exploited that weakness brilliantly. For example, Obama collected more net delegates by winning the Idaho caucuses, with 21,000 participants, than Clinton did by winning the New Jersey primary, with more than 1 million voters. Clinton just didn’t pay attention to the smaller stuff, particularly the caucuses, and her cluelessness helped Obama win. It might help another rival in 2016.

5. One more time: Life is unpredictable. This is Warren’s only chance to run. She will be 67 on Inauguration Day 2017. (Has any party ever fielded a group as old as Clinton, Biden and Warren?) A run in 2020 or later is out of the question. Hillary, now struggling to define her legacy as Secretary of State, is running on pure entitlement. The only thing about her candidacy that truly excites the Democratic base is that she would be the first woman president. Of course, that applies to Elizabeth Warren, too. And Warren would present a far fresher face to voters than Clinton, who has been in the national spotlight since 1992.

Heck, I dunno what the future holds for either of them – in spite of the fact that I’ve predicted outright that Hillary will make one last try of it in 2016.  As noted above, Senator Warren is an unashamed Massachusetts liberal while Hillary likes to pretend she’s a middle of the road type.  Not only that, there is no love lost between the Clintons and the Obamas – in spite of public appearances to the contrary – especially when it comes to Bill and the President, so it certainly wouldn’t be outside of the realm of possibility that Obama has already placed his legacy cards in Senator Warren’s basket, believing she would be a viable female contender for President against Hillary.  No matter what happens, though, one thing I’ll be doing over the next few months as decisions are made and announced is stocking up on the popcorn, because things are shaping up to be quite interesting in terms of potential 2016 contenders, at least on the Democrat side …. ;)

What about *your* gaffes, Hillary?

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**Posted by Phineas

Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop

Yes, my friends, it’s time once again for one of our favorite games, “If it had been a Republican…”

Remember, how, back in the 2012 campaign, the press and the Democrat support groups (redundant, I know) hounded Republican nominee Mitt Romney over supposed misstatements and gaffes while on a foreign tour? I can recall one incident in particular, when Romney was in Poland and his campaign wanted to deal US foreign policy issues, a reporter chased after him shouting “What about your gaffes??” The purpose, of course, was to plant the idea with the public that Mitt’s minor faux pas showed he wasn’t qualified to be president.

In which case, I eagerly await Hillary being pestered about her foot-in-mouth moments:

The former Secretary of State, who’s been heavily promoting her new book “Hard Choices” in a likely precursor to running for president in 2016, appeared to state the Conservative and Tory Parties in Britain were rival political parties during a BBC interview.

“Tory” is in fact another name for the Conservative Party in Britain.

Asked by the host what she thought of the “Special Relationship” between the U.S. and Great Britain, Clinton declared it was “very special between our countries.”

“There’s not just a common language, but a common set of values that we can fall back on,” she said. “It doesn’t matter in our country whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat or frankly, in your country, whether it’s a Conservative or a Tory. There is a level of trust and understanding. That doesn’t mean we always agree because, of course, we don’t.”

As the article points out, Hillary was our Secretary of State, who had to deal with our close allies in the UK on a nearly daily basis, and yet she didn’t know “Tory” and “Conservative” were synonyms? It reminds me of the recent Obama ambassadorial appointee who didn’t know his soon-to-be host country, Norway, has a king and not a president.

For supposedly being so much smarter than everyone else and for all their claiming to know what’s best for us, progressives sure are ignorant of the wider world, no?

Of course, it could easily have been a simple slip of the tongue on Hillary’s part, saying “Conservative and Tory” when she meant “Conservative and Labor,” the kind of mental backfire we’re all subject to from time to time.

But not all of us are (probably) running for president, an office that has almost sole control over US foreign affairs, including relations with one of our closest allies.

And so I expect the MSM to grill Hillary mercilessly over this gaffe, hounding her incessantly with questions about her competence and knowledge

Just as soon as she becomes a Republican.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

UNLV students to Hillary: Your $225,000 speaking fee is “outrageous”

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Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rahm Emanuel

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton embraces Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during an appearance to promote her new book, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker)

The fallout from La Clinton’s bizarre “dead broke” comments continues – via The Hill:

Hillary Clinton is in hot water over a $225,000 speaking fee she will reportedly receive for an upcoming appearance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

UNLV students are demanding Clinton to return what they see as an “outrageous” speaking fee for an October event and have criticized the school for paying her so much money at a time when tuition is scheduled to spike by 17 percent over the next four years. 

“We really appreciate anybody who would come to raise money for the university,” UNLV student body president Elias Benjelloun told a Nevada television station. “But anybody who’s being paid $225,000 to come speak, we think that’s a little bit outrageous. And we’d like Secretary Clinton, respectfully, to gracefully return to the university or the foundation.”

Benjelloun said the potential 2016 presidential contender should donate her fee to the university.

[…]

Republicans have spread a video of student leaders slamming the university’s decision, hoping to paint Clinton as out of touch with working families, much the same way as Democrats attacked Mitt Romney for being too rich in the 2012 presidential campaign.

It’s not often we see liberals hoisted by their own petards, so to speak, and I have to admit that I’m immensely enjoying the Clintons’ decades-old class warfare arguments being turned against them at a critical time in the run-up to the former Sec. of State’s expected (expected by me) announcement at another run for President.  

For better or worse, Democrats have “set the standard” upon which the so-called “rich” should be judged going back many years, and Mrs. Clinton right now is on the receiving end of the negative backlash of a ridiculous, divisive (not to mention double) standard she and her party have held Republicans to since they’ve been active in politics, one which is now being used as a criticism against … her. It is to laugh.  

Hillary Clinton does not want to be compared to Mitt Romney

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**Posted by Phineas

Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop

Lady Macbeth sure stuck her foot in it when she claimed she and Bill were “broke” when they left the White House — just before moving into a multi-million dollar home in Chappaqua, New York, that is. Now even liberal PBS is giving her a Spockian raised eyebrow at her claims to know what it’s like to struggle financially, to be one with the middle class. Hot Air has the video, but I want to call your attention to this bit:

“I shouldn’t have said the five or so words that I said, but my inartful use of those few words doesn’t change who I am,” Clinton told PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill on Wednesday, referring to comments she made that she and her husband Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House. She later tried to clarify her comments by saying the couple was different from others who are “truly well off” and don’t pay “ordinary income tax.”

In the interview, Clinton accused others of taking her comments out of context or trying to “create some caricature.” When Ifill noted that such a strategy “sticks sometimes—ask Mitt Romney,” Clinton emphatically rebuked the connection.

“That’s a false equivalency,” Clinton said. “People can judge me for what I’ve done. And I think when somebody’s out in the public eye, that’s what they do. So I’m fully comfortable with who I am, what I stand for and what I’ve always stood for.”

She’s right, it is a false equivalency. Mitt Romney, after all, made his wealth the Evil Way(tm)(1): he earned it by starting his own business, working long hours, taking risks until he found himself a multi-millionaire, at which point he turned himself toward public service.

Hillary, on the other hand, earned her money the Good Way(tm)(2): by marrying herself to a rising star of a politician, perhaps the most skillful of his age, and sticking with him through thick and thin — ignoring that he was a randy old goat of a serial philanderer who humiliated her publicly and, per Christopher Hitchens, may be a rapist — until she reached the White House. After some nondescript years in the Senate, she got her next big break, becoming Secretary of State… by the grace of the man who beat her in the 2008 primaries. Over all these years, from wife of a governor to wife of a president to chief diplomat for another president, any fortune she’s made and power she’s accumulated has been based on her dependence on men.

Yep, it is wrong to draw an equivalency between Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.

And unfair to Mitt.

PS: Yes, this was mean of me, but her faux-feminism, her hypocrisy about wealth, and her ludicrous “woman of the people” act makes me ill.

Footnote:
(1) If you’re a progressive.
(2) See above.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Bubba Clinton: Hillary’s comments on money woes are “factually true”

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Bill and Hillary Clinton

All about image.

Yeah. Ok. Via Reuters:

(Reuters) – Former U.S. President Bill Clinton jumped to his wife Hillary’s defense on Tuesday, saying that the potential presidential candidate is “not out of touch,” after criticism that she mishandled media questions about their personal wealth.

Hillary Clinton told ABC News earlier this month that the couple had been “dead broke” after leaving the White House in 2001 and then drew more fire after suggesting to The Guardian newspaper last weekend that the Clintons are not “truly well off.”

“It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt,” Bill Clinton said Tuesday of the couple’s previous financial situation. He was speaking to NBC News’ David Gregory, in an interview that will air on Sunday.

Bill Clinton said his wife, a former secretary of state and likely Democratic contender for the White House in 2016, has been working to reduce poverty for as long as he has known her, and that this was reflected in her tenure in the U.S. Senate.

The Clintons’ finances have become a tricky subject for her possible White House ambitions.

Hillary Clinton, who did not grow up wealthy, has given a series of speeches that earn her up to $250,000 each since leaving the State Department in 2013. Bill Clinton also delivers lucrative speeches, and tax returns released in 2007 showed the two had earned $109 million jointly since 2001. The couple owns a pair of homes – one in Washington and one in Chappaqua, New York.

To sum up: What have we re-established from all this back and forth regarding La Clinton’s ridiculous – not to mention unbelievable – comments on the family’s wealth? That the infamous, willfully deceptive Clinton PR/spin machine is alive and well, and that both of them will still say and do anything they can for another chance at the White House. Some things never change … 8-|

Related: Daily Caller – Bill Clinton laughs about buying 14 fancy Swiss watches

Raging Rangel: Most Obama critics are from “Confederate states”

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Rangel relaxes

Rangel relaxes at one of his tax free ”retreats.”
Photo via Splash News/Daily Beast

Sigh. Via The Politico:

New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel, locked in a contentious primary battle, suggested in an interview that aired Monday that the level of Republican opposition to President Barack Obama is partly due to race.

When asked by MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt whether GOP opposition to the president is “based on race,” Rangel paused and said, “You know, that’s a subjective question. But, let me say this: Are most of the states that they represent, are they in the Confederate states that fought the Union? Were they slaveholder states? And when they come to Washington, do you see more Confederate flags than American flags?”

Rangel, an 84-year-old, African-American congressman who has served in Congress for more than four decades, added that he thought some Republicans were willing to hurt themselves politically by opposing the Obama administration’s domestic agenda just to attack him.

“Who would hurt their own people — in terms of cutting off health, job opportunity, food stamps — to get after this president? It takes a lot of hatred to hurt yourself just to embarrass the president. So, I’m trying to think with the tea party — and basically what they have said and what their spokespeople have said — this would not be the same if the president was not of color,” he said.

I’m beginning to suspect that the only deck of cards Rangel owns is the deck that is full of nothing but race cards. The guy really has no other card left to play at this point in his political career – and why not? It’s helped him often in the past.  Predictable yet sad, really, when you think about it.

By the way, I wonder if race is what continually motivates President Obama to refrain from endorsing Rangel in his NY-13  Democrat primaries year after year? It’s not, of course, but it’s amusing to use Rangel’s own card against him sometimes. Heh. ;)

May comments from Chelsea Clinton on wealth generate fresh scrutiny

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The Clintons

The Clintons

Her mother can’t seem to answer questions about the family wealth without tripping up and apparently neither can Chelsea. Via the New York Daily News (hat tip):

Hillary Clinton insists she isn’t “well-off” and now daughter Chelsea, according to a recent interview, claims she couldn’t care less about money.

“I was curious if I could care about (money) on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t,” she told Fast Company in an interview that ran in the magazine’s May editionexplaining why she gave up lucrative gigs to join her family’s philanthropic foundation.

Comparing her experience to the average millennial, the 34-year-old former first daughter defended jumping around to different careers — from consulting to a hedge fund to academia to journalism — before finding her true calling working with her parents.

[…]

The Clinton name likely opened doors for the political heiress, including an eye-popping $600,000 annual salary for an irregular stint as an NBC special correspondent, but Chelsea insists her work speaks for itself.

“I will just always work harder (than anybody else) and hopefully perform better,” said Clinton, who along with former banker husband Marc Mezvinsky, purchased a $10.5-million Gramercy Park apartment in 2013. “And hopefully, over time, I preempt and erase whatever expectations people have of me not having a good work ethic, or not being smart, or not being motivated.”

NRO’s Jonah Goldberg reacts:

But she’s not a “boomerang kid.” She’s not living in her parents’ basement (in any of their homes). She’s living in a 10.5-million-dollar apartment in Gramercy Park with her ex-banker husband. In other words, she doesn’t care about money because she has all the money she could ever want or need. That’s not her fault, nor is it something people should begrudge her. She seems to be aiming for a more productive life than a lot of kids raised in unimaginable privilege and wealth. Good for her.

But it does cast a pretty harsh light on her mother’s repeated and awkward claims to be in touch with the needs of those who are economically struggling. Hillary Clinton isn’t worried about the problems facing parents of most Millennials. And that’s fine. It would be odd if the former first lady of the United States had such problems. What’s problematic is Hillary’s inability to own up to this obvious fact and talk about it in a sincere or convincing way.

I’m of a similar mindset. Again, as I’ve stated repeatedly – I don’t care that the Clintons make money and are well-off.  But the attempts at coming off being “just like common folk who struggle” really don’t hold water, and the Clinton women (Bill, as far as I know, hasn’t yet flubbed on this subject in interviews) need to stick to topics that don’t make them look like pandering, self-centered, out of touch hypocrites.   Just my .02 …

Hillary gets tripped up again when asked questions about her wealth

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Bill and Hillary Clinton

All about image.

Via Post Politics:

Hillary Rodham Clinton defended scrutiny on her and her husband’s personal wealth by contrasting herself in an interview published Sunday with other multimillionaires who are “truly well off.”

The comment immediately drew scorn from Republicans, who have highlighted a series of stumbles the former secretary of state and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate has made on her book tour this month when talking about her personal fortune and six-figure speaking fees.

In an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Clinton was asked whether she could be a credible champion for fighting income inequality in the United States despite her wealth.

“But they don’t see me as part of the problem,” she told the paper, “because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we’ve done it through dint of hard work.” The Guardian wrote that Clinton let off “another burst of laughter” in answering the question, suggesting that she found the question “painful.”

Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have earned well over $100 million giving paid speeches and writing books since leaving the White House in 2001.

[…]

Still, mentioning that she pays taxes as a defense of her wealth is striking considering that Bloomberg News reported last week that the Clintons use “financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth” to shield some of their wealth from standard estate taxes.

Hillary Clinton’s speaking fee is $200,000 or more – and although the advance for her latest book, “Hard Choices,” has not been released, she received an $8 million advance for her first memoir, “Living History.”

Like I wrote in my previous post on this issue, I have no quarrel with the Clintons making a lot of money.  And wanting to keep as much of it as possible. I do, however, take offense to her acting like she’s not “truly well off”, saying one thing and doing something different when it comes to their taxes, and suggesting that in the past – after their time in the White House – that she and the former President were “dead broke” when she knows good and danged well they weren’t.  

This is a lame attempt by her as trying to come off as just an ordinary “woman of the people”, and she’s failing miserably.  She should be relieved that this is happening so early on before the 2016 campaign really gets ramped up, because most people are likely to forget what she said.  That is, unless the Republican contenders for President see fit to remind the American people again (hint hint) ….

Rick Perry to Obama: Come visit the Texas/Mexico border, Mr. President

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TX Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Not one to mince words, Texas Governor Rick Perry today issued a written invite to President Obama to come take a look at the Texas/Mexico border himself to see how bad the illegal immigrant influx has become, especially in recent weeks:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is inviting President Obama to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, saying he needs “to see firsthand” the humanitarian crisis from an influx of illegal migrants.

In a letter sent to the White House on Friday, Perry called the president to Texas to survey the areas where tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have illegally crossed the border.

Perry also asked Obama to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to the border, authorize the use of Predator drones for surveillance flights, and direct the Centers for Disease Control to survey facilities where detained children are being held. 

“There is no doubt that I have disagreed with you and your administration on many policies over the years,” Perry wrote. “This crisis, however, transcends any political differences we may have.

“The safety and security of our border communities is being threatened by this flood of illegal immigration, and the crisis worsens by the day,” he added.

Perry also called on Obama to “modify or rescind policies that serve as a magnet to encourage illegal immigration,” in particular the so-called catch-and-release program. That program releases illegal immigrants into relatives’ care and orders them to appear at a later date for deportation proceedings.

“The complex situation along the border is deteriorating, and it requires a multifaceted approach to resolve, and must begin with border security,” Perry wrote.

Earlier Friday, the White House announced it would send tens of millions of dollars to Central American countries to help them improve security and repatriate immigrants who had attempted to enter the U.S.

How many want to bet that this emerging humanitarian crisis comes as a direct result of the Obama administration’s astonishingly naive and politically motivated executive actions that have relaxed immigration rules and regulations over the last few years? It’s something even they seem to be acknowledging indirectly, if this report from the New York Times is any indication.  

Make sure to read Hot Air’s Noah Rothman for much more on this developing story.  And pray for those children a safe return home, no matter what you think on the issue of illegal immigration. 

(Video) #Benghazi — why it matters

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**Posted by Phineas

Aside from owing a true accounting to the memories of the dead lost there and their survivors, the truth about the Benghazi massacre matters because of two words: “competence” and “character.”  Bill Whittle explains:

Remember, one of the two top American officials mentioned in the video plainly desires to be President of the United States. Ignore the faux-outrage of her supporters; questions about Hillary Clinton’s conduct, competence, and character before, during, and after the attack are absolutely appropriate.

And the answers should disqualify her from office.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)