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Clinton camp fires volley on Obama. Barack fights back.

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Ellis Redding, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. Oh, the hypocrisy from Hillary Clinton on this issue is delicious. Let the games begin. I'd also like to add that, hopefully, they don't fight each other so vociferously that the winner (Obama, God willing) won't have anything left by the general election. And it's nice to see Obama can take a punch, and throw one of his own.

    Clinton, Obama, come out swinging

    Fundraiser's barbs spark war of words

    By Mike Dorning and Jill Zuckman
    Tribune national correspondents
    Published February 21, 2007, 10:39 PM CST

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- One day after Sen. Barack Obama made a glittery statement with a Hollywood fundraiser that brought in an impressive $1.3 million, the top two Democratic presidential contenders went after each other in the first big food fight of the 2008 presidential election.

    It started when David Geffen slammed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York in remarks published Wednesday morning, accusing the presidential candidate of lying with "such ease" compared to other politicians, dismissing her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as "reckless," and blasting the Clinton "machine." Geffen, a powerful Hollywood producer and executive, was once a major Clinton supporter but has switched to Obama and was a host of Tuesday's bash.

    The Clinton campaign, perhaps stung by Obama's successful incursion into Hollywood, which at one time was unchallenged Clinton country, hit back hard, saying Geffen's comments contrasted poorly with the Illinois senator's self-promotion as a new breed of politician, unifying and optimistic.

    "If Sen. Obama is indeed sincere about his repeated claims to change the tone of our politics, he should immediately denounce these remarks, remove Mr. Geffen from his campaign and return his money," said Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson. "While Democrats should engage in a vigorous debate on the issues, there is no place in our party or our politics for the kind of personal insults made by Sen. Obama's principal fundraiser."

    The Clintons have long been known for skilled, aggressive political infighting, and Geffen's comments provided a way for the Clinton campaign to test how Obama, relatively new to the national stage, would take a punch. It also was the first of what will no doubt be many attempts by rivals to knock the halo off Obama's head.

    The Obama camp—eager to show that it knew how to handle criticism and could stand up to an experienced political warrior like Clinton—issued a biting statement.

    "We aren't going to get in the middle of a disagreement between the Clintons and someone who was once one of their biggest supporters," said Obama communications director Robert Gibbs. "It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when he was raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom."

    Obama also took the opportunity to go on offense, suggesting that Clinton was being hypocritical, since she had not disavowed the recent comments of South Carolina state Sen. Robert Ford. Ford, who has endorsed Clinton, said last week that if Obama were the Democratic nominee, "Every Democrat running on that ticket next year would lose, because he's black and he's top of the ticket. We'd lose the House and the Senate and the governors and everything."

    Gibbs said Wednesday that it is "ironic" that Clinton has praised Ford and accepted his support.

    If both candidates had reasons for engaging in what might seem like a minor squabble, the spectacle of Clinton and Obama duking it out so early in the campaign was nonetheless striking. It was the sort of rat-a-tat-tat political spat that usually breaks out in the snowy cold of New Hampshire in the critical days before the nation's first presidential primary, rather than 11 months before that contest and almost two years before the 2008 election.

    Geffen interview sparked spat

    What ignited the battle of words was an interview with Geffen in Wednesday's New York Times by columnist Maureen Dowd, in which Geffen portrayed himself as disenchanted with both Clintons, their failure to always stand firm on principle and their style of political battle. "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it's troubling," he said.

    He called Bill Clinton "a reckless guy" who "gave his enemies a lot of ammunition to hurt him and to distract the country." Geffen slammed Hillary Clinton for refusing to apologize for her vote to authorize the Iraq war. "It's not a very big thing to say, 'I made a mistake' on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can't," Geffen said.

    Asked if Obama would be able to stand up to the Clinton machine, Geffen said, "I hope so, because that machine is going to be very unpleasant and unattractive and effective."

    This rhetorical eruption came one day after Geffen—along with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, his partners in DreamWorks SKG—hosted a $2,300-per-person fundraiser for Obama at the Beverly Hilton, site of the glitzy Golden Globe Awards.

    There was no red carpet, but stars of the entertainment world showed up in packs. Flashes popped in the hotel lobby as tourists spotted stars like Jennifer Aniston. She walked past purposefully, though she tossed her hair, turned and smiled when a fan with a digital camera yelled her name.
  2. Continued ...

    An all-star cast

    Actors Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Morgan Freeman, and Christine Lahti also showed up. Singers Jackson Browne and the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines were there. And so were producers Norman Lear, Ron Howard, Lawrence Bender, producer of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," and J.J. Abrams. The heads of several major studios also attended.

    Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington bought tickets but did not show up.

    Despite the star power, the event was a low-key affair. No cameras were permitted inside the fundraiser, which drew 300 guests and raised about $1.3 million, according to Katzenberg. Hotel security guards ejected camera crews and ushered out several reporters who had not registered as guests, explaining that they were acting on instructions from the organizers.

    Obama and his wife, Michelle, came and left through a back entrance out of sight of the media and guests in the lobby. The couple spent about a half-hour mixing with the guests before the senator made his remarks.

    Inside the ballroom, according to a pool reporter allowed in for the senator's remarks, Obama spoke of the entertainment industry's "enormous power," which he said comes with an "enormous responsibility" because of Hollywood's impact on American culture.

    "Don't sell yourselves short," Obama said. "You are the storytellers of our age."

    For a change, it was the Hollywood powers who were seeking autographs. The senator's aides invited guests to bring their own personal copies of Obama's books, "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams From My Father," and he agreed to sign them.

    Guests noshed on carved meats, phyllo turnovers, shrimp dumplings and crab cakes. The audience crowded the open bars inside the hotel ballroom, which was dressed with stunning displays of cut flowers and bathed in a flattering peach light.

    Most of the celebrities had little to say on their way in or out.

    "Mr. Stiller? What did you think of Sen. Obama?" asked one reporter. No answer.

    As she left, Aniston did not slow down for her two-word response: "He's lovely."

    Browne paused just long enough to belt out a more enthusiastic verdict: "He's great!"

    When the Dixie Chicks' Maines stopped to speak to a knot of reporters, a hotel security worker tried to do what President Bush's supporters could not: shut her up.

    As she talked to reporters, the security guard nudged his way into the middle. "No interviews," he told the Grammy Award-winning anti-war singer.
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member


    I love his defense tactics so far. Hope he keeps it up.
  4. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Wolfson is an extremely poor choice to be Clinton's spokesman.

    He has a sleepy-eyed, criminal look about him.
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    I felt dirty reading that.
  6. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Actually, doesn't that sort of thing make him ideal for the job? *cough*marc rich*cough*

    It's also noteworthy that Bill Richardson is calling on Obama to make amends for Geffen's remarks:

    "I believe it's best if Sen. Obama apologize for the comment made by David Geffen about the Clinton administration," Richardson told reporters in Denver. "This is the kind of statement by a supporter of Sen. Obama that should be disavowed. A mistake was made. Apologize when you do something dumb."

    Anybody know if Richardson has asked Clinton to do the same for what Ford said about Obama?
  7. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    And this sets up the rest of the campaign nicely ... for either Richardson or Edwards.
  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    or Tom Vilsack
  9. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Well-Known Member

    As an Iowan, I have to laugh at that. :)
  10. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    The whole hillary/geffen/obama pissing match is the perfect example of everything that is wrong with our fucking election system.
    It's all bullshit. It's all about money. It's all about whoring yourself to get elected.

    And I'm not happy to see Obama "fighting back." It just lowers him to the one more scumbag politician level.
  11. ScottyDan

    ScottyDan Member

    Well said, Spnited. I truly want to vote for the Dems in the next election. But there isn't a chance in hell I would ever vote for Hillary. She's a bright, intelligent woman and very able. But I can't get past the fact that she has absolutely no morality. I'm not sure what kind of arrangement she and Bill have or have had over the years, but it's not something I can stomach.
  12. OK, now you owe me for a new monitor screen. Severe Diet Coke inundation.
    After that bullshit about Social Security the other day, Governor Who? is slipping beneath the waves below Dennis Kucinich.
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