Hillary’s new book unleashes fresh attacks from Democrats.

Hillary's new book about the campaign sets the record straight.Many of the Clintons’ most rabid enemies are not Republicans. They are fellow travelers, Democrats, who have long resented Bill and Hillary’s success, their intelligence, the network of supporters they grew from scratch, and — most galling to the left — the Clintons’ talent at turning practical Democratic principles into votes on election day. Hillary’s new book gives the saboteurs a new reason to whack her on the knees.

Yeah, I’ll get to the most recent “election day” in a moment, but what’s on my mind today is the pattern of resentment that began from the moment she entered the White House as First Lady, to her concession speech last November.

Back then I wrote an article for the Quarterly, “Women Who Hate Hillary.” I wrote that she was too smart, too accomplished, too attractive for many other women — especially professional women — to accept, much less admire. Most of what I wrote back then was tongue in cheek, but 20 years later I think it was closer to the truth than I realized at the time. The only difference today is that the resentment is not gender-based. There are certainly enough men among the Hillary-haters crowd to say we have reach gender equality.

Let’s be honest and admit that there are numerous theories about why she lost to Donald Trump. Trump thinks Hillary lost because he was a great candidate. Many think she lost because she was a terrible candidate. Within that spectrum, we can point fingers at the FBI director, the Russians, Bernie and his band of lefties, the media that ran scared at the sight of Trump, an Obama backlash, bad advice from her campaign team, and Democratic party regulars who were intent on doing as little as they could to help the woman they resented for so long.

My take is that all those reasons — excuses, really — have some merit (except the first, sorry Mr. President). My personal animus is directed more towards Sanders than anyone else, but that’s just me and I don’t pretend to be very objective about it.

So now Hillary wants to discuss the campaign from her perspective. The losing candidate, a woman who broke more glass ceilings for women than anyone else in our political history, wants to write about her campaign. Heaven help us!

The smug egotists on the far left don’t want to hear from her anymore. Though she won the popular election by several million votes, they want her to just fade away like an old soldier and not talk about losing an election she could have or should have won. They say her continued appearance in the limelight will ruin any chances they have in 2020.

To them I say, “Too bad!”

Their endless bad-mouthing of Hillary speaks volumes about their real priority. We have a demented, erratic president who is an embarrassment to our democracy and a threat to the civil liberties of all Americans, not to mention a danger to the world. Instead of saying “Hillary was right” and giving her credit for that, they blame her. Of course, that would mean that their own political ideology comes first; Hillary, the country, and ultimately the fate of the Democratic party are all at the end of the line.

The Hillary-haters don’t understand how much they need her. The reason is simple: left to their own twisted view of reality, in 2020 they will give us the Democratic version of Donald Trump: an extremist ideologue who doesn’t know how to bring two sides of an argument into the same room and hammer out a compromise when one is needed. To them compromise is a dirty word, forgetting that our electorate is so diverse demographically and politically, that compromise is the only way to accomplish anything in Washington. Just ask Bill Clinton.

If their chances in 2020 are ruined, it will have nothing to do with Hillary or her new book, although I am certain they would find a reason to blame her if they fail. My fear is that the 2016 campaign will be an excuse to move even farther to the left. Assuming they are really concerned about the next set of elections, I suggest that they focus on the current occupant of the White House and the fascists who support him.

Hillary’s not the enemy. Nor is Bill Clinton. If they want to find the real enemy of their success, they just have to look in the mirror.

For Joe Lieberman, it’s always been about the money.

For Joe Lieberman, it’s always been about the money.

Back in the mid-1970s I was working as a part-time PR writer for a non-profit day program for the elderly in Norwalk, CT, called Elderhouse. The director called me to say they were getting a visit from an influential state senator and would I drop by to cover the visit.

The state senator, of course, was Joe Lieberman, and he was a very impressive young man. What I remember most, however, was an incident that took place with one of the senior citizens who lived in the building on the Post Road in Norwalk. Lieberman and an old man were standing next to a vending machine. The resident — I believe his name was Harry Wenger — asked Lieberman to buy him a Coke. The senator smiled and said, “Sure!” He reached into his suit pants pocket and pulled out a handful of coins. He dropped a quarter into the machine and presented the resident with a cold can of Coke. We were all very pleased.

Later I spoke briefly with Lieberman as he was leaving to get a quote for my news release. When we were finished, he asked me for a quarter. I wanted to know why he wanted it. He explained that he had paid for the old man’s Coke and expected to be reimbursed. I was too startled to say anything and pulled a coin from my own pocket and gave it to him. I never thought about the incident again until October, 2003.

Let me confess that I do have certain politically suicidal tendencies. A glaring example of this was my support for Joe Lieberman during the 2003-2004 New Hampshire presidential primary season. On his behalf I made some phone calls, went to his events in Manchester and elsewhere. I tried recruiting others to the Lieberman cause, but that — it turned out — was a lost cause.

One dead giveaway was the attendance at Lieberman’s rallies. There wasn’t any. I was there and perhaps a dozen other non-paid New Hampshire supporters were there. That was it. To give the impression of a full house, busloads of state workers and other Democrats from New Haven were shuttled in while the cameras rolled. It was a great show, especially the night that his mother was there. She must have been proud of her son!

By the fall of 2003 Lieberman’s poll numbers in New Hampshire were in the low single digits. Instead of becoming more favorable as people got to know him, his favorability ratings went down. Those of us who were supporting him were working our tails off trying to keep our collective heads above water. One day in October, I called Lieberman’s headquarters to ask about an upcoming event with the candidate. I was told he had left the state for an important Senate vote and it wasn’t clear when he was returning.

What was this “important” vote? Lieberman dumped his campaign to vote himself a Senate pay raise. Technically, it was a vote to table a Russ Feingold amendment that would have made such a pay raise impossible. Lieberman understood that if the amendment failed, he could kiss his $15K raise goodbye.  (Hillary Clinton, by the way, voted against tabling the amendment.)

For me it was the last straw. Aside from the miserable symbolism of a presidential candidate voting for a pay raise when many Americans were still hurting from the Bush recession, it gave me a clear view of Lieberman’s priorities. It also contributed to the awful stereotype of Joe the Jewish Tightwad. Then, all in a flash, I remembered that moment in Norwalk, CT, 25 years earlier when he hit me up for a quarter because he had “splurged” and bought some old man a Coke.

I still have the press release somewhere. It was one my first and for a short time, one of my proudest. Then I got to see Lieberman for who he really was. In the past few days, it has become clearer to others in the media that for Joe Lieberman it was, and still is, all about the money.

Here’s John Farrell and US News about Lieberman caving to special interests on health care reform. Here’s MSNBC on Lieberman getting caught “red-handed” bowing to those interests and changing his position on the Medicare option.

You can watch Lieberman supporting the Medicare option here:

You can also read this story about Lieberman’s campaign contributions from the health care industry.

I think John Farrell got it right: “Who qualifies for the lower circles of hell? How about a politician who abandons interests, party, and constituents, and screws things up for the rest of us just to stroke his ego? How about Joe Lieberman?”

This story originally appeared as a “guest article” by Frank Marafiote in A Rake’s Progress. It was published in 2011 on the occasion of Lieberman’s retirement from politics. Given Trump’s consideration of Lieberman as FBI Director, it has been republished here.

How Obama killed Hillary’s campaign.

Obama and his failures became Hillary’s failures.

When Bill Clinton’s Administration got hammered during the 1994 midterm elections, many pundits blamed Hillary: it was health care reform, she was too liberal, the was too powerful as first lady, etc. etc.

One of the few who called it correctly was our own hyperventilating Chris Matthews. I personally called Matthews the day after the election. In fairness, he didn’t really know who I was, though the Hillary Clinton Quarterly was certainly well known among most political reporters at the time.

I taped the telephone interview with Matthews: This is what he said, verbatim:

Hillary’s Caboose

If Zuckerman was wetting his pants with joy over Hillary’s comeuppance, Chris Matthews, a new-Democrat type who writes for the San Francisco Examiner and appears regularly on Good Morning America, was doubled over in pain. It’s true: Matthews often looks like he’s about to pass a kidney stone, but the day after the election his anguish was unusually intense.

Matthews regularly faces off against former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett on Good Morning America. On this particular good morning, we thought we heard Matthews proclaiming Hillary the Guilty One during his post-election tete-a-tete with Bennett, so we got Matthews on the phone.

“Are you blaming Hillary?” we wondered, eager not to misquote him.

There was silence on the other end. Then he sighed. “I’m not saying it. I’m trying to be careful. I’m not giving you new material to exploit. The Clintons hate me enough as it is. You gotta give me a break here. I erupt some times and I say certain things. If you catch me, you catch me. But I’m not saying it.”

“We’re not trying to ‘catch’ you, Mr. Matthews. We’re just trying to check out the story. Were you saying that Hillary Clinton was at fault for getting Bill Clinton to drift away from his more centrist positions?”

“That’s not what I said.”

“Fine. OK. You didn’t say it. But what is your opinion? Did she play a role?”

Long pause. Then Matthews erupted, angrily squeezing out every word.

“Bill Clinton is a grown up. He’s the President, and if he wants a left-wing, socialized-sounding health care plan, he did that. If he wants to let his wife do that, he did that. It’s still him. How are we to interpret this? Is Bill Clinton just a caboose on her train? The whole health care thing was too far to the left. In substance and in selling. Both. The old Eleanor Roosevelt approach, the paternalistic ‘we know better, we’re gonna do this for the little people’ stuff is gone. It’s gone!”

Matthews took a breath.

“I am absolutely convinced that the reason the Administration lost every close race, the reason the Democrats were lambasted, the reason every Republican was reelected is because if the election had been held last year, this would not have happened. I know that, you know that. The economy’s gotten better this year, so what’s changed? The year-long push for a socialistic health care program, which was the showcase of this Administration, which gave it its definition as a left-wing Administration.”

While Matthews didn’t have the stomach to say it outright, he clearly believes that Hillary Clinton — directly or indirectly — was responsible for the gang bang of the Democratic Party. The equation, if we follow his logic, is this: Hillary = Health Care Reform = Left Wing Big Government = Crushing Defeat for the Democrats.

So Matthews placed most of the blame on the president, where it belonged, with Hillary playing a supporting role as the purveyor of left-wing health care reform

Now we have left-wing health care reform — Obamacare — and President Obama has to take responsibility and credit for getting his signature legislation shoved through Congress. Did that play a role in the 2016 debacle? You bet it did! (Whether it should have or not is another question — me? Health care reform was the right, ethical and moral thing to do. But I don’t decide elections.)

Then there is everything else. Obama has the most muddled, confused foreign policy of any president since Herbert Hoover. No one knows what he stands for, what his strategy is, what he sees as America’s role in the world and how he would fulfill that role. The economy bounced back but he deserves little of the credit for that — it’s just the economic cycle we have always seen after a recession. His appointments have been lackluster and uninspired and uninspiring ((where’s Janet Reno or Robert Reisch when we need a little excitement in DC?).

Let’s go on about the failed gun control policy, the flatulent nonsense that came from the Vice President every few weeks, and a first lady who has some partisans but who is basically considered as exciting as drying paint. He’s a photo-op president whose jutting chin in some photos makes him look more like Mussolini than our Democratic standard-bearer.

So it’s Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The heathens arrived at the gate and re-took control of the Senate AND the Congress. To take Chris Matthews’ 1994 indictment and update it for 2016, “He did it!” The “he” in this case is not Bill Clinton, it’s Barack Obama. It’s as if all the nightmares we pro-Hillary types had about an Obama presidency have come true. . over. . . and over. . . and over!

Yes, let the historians be kind to Barack. Perhaps they will. But in this moment, the day after he lost Hillary’s presidency and control of the agenda, Barack Obama has given us only one thing to be grateful for: He’s proven that Hillary was right in 2008. Everything we were warned about has come true and she can point fingers directly at the man who stole her presidency.

Obama’s failure is now Hillary’s failure.

I was not always sure that I wanted her to run again. There’s too much pain, negativity, money, and media for anyone to run for president. And what they dish out to male candidates, they double-down when it’s a tough woman like Hillary.

But I was convinced that she had to run. Obama made her case for her. It’s not liberalism or basic Democratic principles that lost the 2012 midterm elections. Incompetency lost the elections.

Hillary had to run because she was the only potential candidate with the forward thinking vision, historical perspective, and “get it done right competency” that America needed. But thanks to Obama, it will be generations before we get another chance to control our destiny. Given the resentment about Hillary that’s lingered in Obamaland, I’m sure that no one currently in the White House really feels sorry that she lost.