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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 10, 2010

GAME CHANGE

Jonathan Martin, Politico - The relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden grew so strained during the 2008 campaign, according to a new book, that the two rarely spoke and aides not only kept Biden off internal conference calls but refused to even tell him they existed. Instead, a separate campaign call was regularly scheduled between the then-Delaware senator and two of Obama's top campaign aides - "so that they could keep a tight rein on him," write journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in "Game Change," a long-awaited account of the 2008 campaign.

In addition to the discord between the president and vice-president, the authors write:

-In lobbying the late Sen. Edward Kennedy to endorse his wife, former President Clinton angered the liberal icon by belittling Obama. Telling a friend about the conversation, Kennedy recalled Clinton had said "a few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee," the authors paraphrase. . .

-There were apparently "two Americas" within the marriage between John and Elizabeth Edwards. The former North Carolina senator's wife viewed herself as a worldly intellectual and publicly called her husband "a hick" and his parents "rednecks," according to the authors. "She was forever letting John know she regarded him as her intellectual inferior," they write, mocking her husband, the presidential hopeful, as somebody who "doesn't read books.". . .

- Members of what the authors call Clinton's "war room within a war room" became convinced in 2006 that Bill Clinton was having a serious extramarital affair, prompting Hillary Clinton to instruct her aides to be prepared to combat the story.

- After Billy Shaheen, Clinton's New Hew Hampshire campaign chairmen and the husband of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, told the Washington Post that Obama's youthful drug use made him unelectable, Clinton initially cheered him on and encouraged her staff to draw attention to the comment. "Good for him!" she told aides. "Let's push it out." Clinton subsequently personally apologized to Obama over the matter and Shaheen quit the campaign.

- Following the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton was shocked to have been offered the Secretary of State job and decided to reject the offer. She prepared a statement explaining why she would turn the new president down and remain in the Senate. But in an after-midnight call between Clinton and Obama, he persuaded her - only after Clinton expressed concerns about the problems posed by her husband, the former president. "You know I can't control him, and at some point he'll be a problem" the authors paraphrase Clinton as saying. Obama indicated that he was willing to take that risk.

Marc Ambinder, Atlantic - On page 37, a remark, said "privately" by Sen. Harry Reid, about Barack Obama's racial appeal. Though Reid would later say that he was neutral in the presidential race, the truth, the authors write, was that his "encouragement of Obama was unequivocal. He was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a "light-skinned" African American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one," as he said privately. . . .

The authors write on page 50 about the "war room within a war room" that Hillary Clinton put together to deal with questions about her husband's "libido." The circle of trust included media strategist Howard Wolfson, lawyer Cheryl Mills and confidant Patti Solis Doyle.

The war room within a war room dismissed or discredited much of the gossip floating around, but not all of it. The stories about one woman were more concrete, and after some discreet fact-finding, the group concluded that they were true: that BIll was indeed having an affair -- and not a frivolous one-night stand but a sustained romantic relationship. . . For months, thereafter, the war room within a war room braced for the explosion, which her aides knew could come at any moment

Not only, it turns out, did many senior Edwards staffer suspect that John was having an affair, several confronted John Edwards about it, and came away believing the rumors. At least three campaign aides resigned because of their knowledge of the affair well before the national media picked up on those early National Enquirer stories.

And John and Elizabeth (who the book says was known to Edwards insiders as "abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending, crazy woman") fought, in front of staffers, about the affair. The authors describe a moment where Elizabeth, in a such a state of fury, deliberately tears her blouse in the parking lot of a Raleigh airport terminal, "exposing herself. 'Look at me," she wailed at John and then staggered, nearly falling to the ground." . . .

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1 Comments:

Blogger Barbara said...

He said, she said, someone said, sources which remain anonymous say, someone heard someone say that they heard someone say....
what a bunch of crap.

January 11, 2010 10:03 AM  

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