How to handle Hillary’s supporters

Now that Obama has sealed the nomination, there’s the notion that dealing with Hillary’s supporters is his next big test. How will he appease Hillary and her people to bring the party together?

I’ve got a better question: Why does he have to? Why is it his responsibility?

This isn’t to say that we don’t need Hillary’s supporters in November — we certainly do. But when Hillary continues to egg them on by insisting that she’s still in the race even after definitively losing, what can Obama do? Hillary isn’t giving him any options.

Here’s my suggestion: place responsibility for this issue on Hillary’s shoulders. The only message that Obama’s camp sends to send to the Hillary campaign is simply this, “Do you want to be blamed for a McCain administration?”

It’s Hillary who has caused — and continues to cause — the divisions which could harm the party. She’s the one who allowed her supporters to protest the DNC meeting. She’s the one who continues to peddle the lie that she won the popular vote. She’s the one who said that McCain but not Obama was ready to be president. She’s the one who didn’t quit the campaign a month ago when it was really known that she could never overtake Obama’s delegate lead. She’s the problem. And it’s time she’s forced to choke down a little responsibility for her actions.

8 Responses to “How to handle Hillary’s supporters”

  1. Kathy says:

    Tas, thank you for saying this. I *so* agree. Obama owes Clinton nothing except the minimum civility we owe to all people.

  2. tas says:

    She should be given civility because it’s perfunctory, but after the shitshow she just ran the party through I disagree that Hillary is owed anything. She obviously wants to play hardball. The Obama campaign should reply in kind and say “Give me your supporters or we throw your reputation under a bus.” Her only decision at this point should be helping Obama or being seen as the spoiler of 2008.

    This should be mentioned privately, of course. Let it be upto her to tell her supporters or keep mum about it. Maybe then she’ll see the reality of her choices.

  3. Quelle says:

    You asked: “Why is it his responsibility?”

    That is about the most dunderheaded question that I have seen posed by anyone so fortunate as are you to have access to a bully pulpit.

    I have watched my fellow Democrats savage her for quite some time now, as if she were not “one of our own”, while at the same time singing the praised of Sen. Obama “just as if” he had a track-record that would somehow justify their unquestioning adulation.

    So, from the mouth of a life-long Democrat (who is now old enough to be collecting Social Security), I will TELL you why it is HIS responsibility: Because if he doesn’t own up to this RESPONSIBILITY, an awful lot of folks-like-me, will feel something akin to what the honorable Senator. Jim Jeffords felt when he declared himself an Independent: “This isn’t the Republican Party that I joined” those many years ago.

    Well, this “savage our own” Democratic party that, in selecting Barack Obama, has just proven to me that it prefers “style over substance”, and vague promises over well thought-out policies that reflect core Democratic values, this Democratic Party is becoming increasingly unrecognizable to folks like me.

    And in case you have “no idea” what I refer to when I speak of core Democratic values vs. vague promises, let me spell-it-out for you in the form of questions:

    When does Barack plan to get us the hell out of Iraq?
    (I know where Hillary stands, got no idea about Barack).

    How does Barack intend to fix the health care system so that EVERYONE is covered?
    (Again, I know where Hillary stands, got no idea about Barack).

    Couple these two super-important core issues with the apparent coziness between Barack and both the pharmaceutical industry and the nuclear energy industry (protestations to the contrary notwithstanding), and couple these with his friendliness with big business, and then tell me which of these two candidates is most likely to “look after the little guy?”

    I am a Vietnam Veteran, so I don’t take lightly the possibility of “endless-war” that might come via a McCain presidency might spell. I want out of this losing war asap too, but I have absolutely no reason to think than an Obama presidency would get us out of Iraq one hour sooner than a McCain presidency.

    Couple all of this with Obama’s none too subtle dismissive attitude TOWARD WOMEN (in case you haven’t noticed, he does not respect them), and you have an enormous confluence of angry Democrat women voters (and the Party Big Wigs conspired against Hillary from the git-go), coupled with a lot of we older white males vets who think the Hillary is far more realistic about the war than is Obama, and you just might notice a huge block of angry Democrats who mean-what-they-say when they threaten to defect to McCain in November. THATS WHY he better do something, AND pretty damn soon.

  4. Quelle says:

    You Obombers have been trying to “throw her reputation under a bus” for quit some time.
    Don’t try to lay the blame for losing in November on Hillary. It is HIS show now, and regardless of what she does or does not do. I will be voting for John McCain unless BARACK makes all of the necessary moves to appeal to the base. When Barack loses in November, it will be HIS fault, not hers. HE is the candidate. He has to win on his own merits, and folks like you who suggest that he doesn’t need to reach out to Hillary supporters, you just diminish his chances by further angering her supporters.

    She doesn’t have the power to “deliver our votes” he has to curry favor in this venue…or else he will lose.

  5. tas says:

    How hasn’t Obama made the necessary moves to appeal towards the base? Oh, wait a second.. Was he supposed to support the war in Iraq before he was against it? That really appeals towards the base.

    I also can’t honestly see how you can support Hillary, then turn around and support McCain — at least on the platforms they have run on, the two are diametrically opposite to each other. How can you complain about Obama’s health care plan then threaten to vote for McCain when his health care plan sucks a thousands time worse? How can you criticize Obama on Iraq then threaten to vote for McCain who has no intentions of even getting us out of that claptrap of a war?

    How am I supposed to take you seriously when you harbor such bi-polar views? Do you really hate Obama so much that you would turn the country over to McCain?

    As for Obama hating women, give me a fucking break.

  6. Hold_That_Tiger says:

    I’m glad quelle has posted since what he has written seems to reflect the attitudes of many Clinton supporters that I run up against on various forums…that I and many Obama supporters have a diameterically opposed view of the campaign and the Candidate matters not one bit, we need to realize that this is really how the Clinton supporters believed that the election went down. Let me repeat: they believe it. I caution all of us to treat them with respect, but also counter their charges with THE FACTS. In that spirit I offer the following,

    “I have watched my fellow Democrats savage her for quite some time now…”
    It is true that she came in for a beating on various forums, and it could be argued that the MSM slanted toward Obama early on. But pointing out the way in which Mrs. Clinton savaged Obama has so forth proved useles in my experience. Bringing up the way Bill Clinton called his plans “a fairytale,” Hillary’s “White Americans” comment, Bill’s comparison of Obama to that buffoon, Jesse Jackson, etc. falls on deaf ears. We Obama supporters must Realize that Hillary’s supporters DON’T CARE that she was nasty.

    “Well, this “savage our own” Democratic party that, in selecting Barack Obama, has just proven to me that it prefers “style over substance”, and vague promises over well thought-out policies.”
    Clearly the Hillary people a.) Don’t bother to read Obama’s website with its pages of “well thought out” policy B) they simply don’t “get” Obama. What this poster calls “vague” promises we see as the sort of Idealism that John and Robert Kennedy fired their generation up with..(although Obama also has dry, concrete policy statements and plans…again a visit to his website tells all.)
    “When does Barack plan to get us the hell out of Iraq?
    (I know where Hillary stands, got no idea about Barack)”

    Sir, I also know where she STOOD: she voted to give Bush the ability to go to War. I find it slightly remarkable that Mrs. Clinton’s supporters now see her the champion of withdrawal; especially when she hawkishly has treathened to “obliterate” any Mid East Country that eh hem, fools with our friends. Obama has said that he would start withdrawing combat troops within 16 months with an eye toward transferring responsibilty of the security of the country to the Iraqis themselves. He also made Clear at AIPAC that he will, as President, “speak softly, but carry a BIG stick” when dealing with hostile Nations.
    “How does Barack intend to fix the health care system so that EVERYONE is covered?
    (Again, I know where Hillary stands, got no idea about Barack)”

    Obama’s plan is very similar to Clinton’s, except that he allows adults to opt out of the plan if they wish. Yes his plans will not get us to 100% coverage in all likelyhood, but it will come close, I believe, and more importantly, offering the flexibilty of “opting” out makes it more likely to get the plan through congress. Many believe that is was precisely Clinton’s inflexibilty that hampered her health care plan from getting any traction 16 years ago

    As for Obama’s coziness with various Industries…surely you aren’t implying that Mrs Clinton doesn’t cuddle up to some of these same people are you? I will also point out that while Mrs Clinton took 1.2 Million dollars in PAC money for her Presidental Campaign; Obama has taken 0 dollars from these powerful special interest groups. I also think that Obama’s 20 year career in fighting poverty as a community organizer then State Senator bodes well for establishing Obama’s bona fides vis a vis “the little guy.”
    “Couple all of this with Obama’s none too subtle dismissive attitude TOWARD WOMEN (in case you haven’t noticed, he does not respect them),”

    No sir, I haven’t noticed that he does not respect women, in fact, let me point to the fact that Obama was raised almost entirely BY women, and he married not an ornament (ala John McCain), or a kind, but traditional woman like Laura Bush, but a strong woman, Michelle Obama, who is highly educated and accomplished herself, ala Hillary Clinton. He is also the father of 2 women in training.

    I will also point out that Obama has been most gracious to Hillary Clinton thanking her profusely, praising her accomplishments, calling her, etc. He has his hand out, all Hillary needs to do is take it, and I believe she will tomorrow. Convincing her followers will be a tougher job, but If Obama is the man I think he is, he will accomplish the reproachment by Fall.

  7. DrGail says:

    HTT: Wow! Thanks for your eloquent comment.

    Hey guys, can we get Hold_That_Tiger to join our crew?

  8. tas says:

    Nice comment, HTT. The thing that pisses me off the most about Hillary staying in the race — and being as arrogant and dishonest as she was down the stretch even after everyone knew she had no shot of winning — is that she nursed the views of these crazies. In one of her last conference calls with her favorite bloggers (Taylor Marsh, Big Tent Democrat, and Lambert at Corrente were in on the call), she told them “It’s the map not the math.” Additionally, she told them that “she deeply regrets the vitriol and mean spiritedness and insults that have been thrown around at bloggers for supporting her and at women in general” — that “women in general” part is what gets me. It really explains the victim card that her campaign has thrown around. And as I have to say when bringing up this is point, this is not to say that there hasn’t been sexism in this campaign, but Hillary’s tone and plays at victimhood has allowed even the calls for her to concede to be considered sexist. This is a ridiculous level of sensitivity — all harbored by Hillary, controlling the message through her bloggers (then spreading to other blogs, as in the case with the latter link.)

    Her campaign staff also linked to a No Quarter post by a complete sexist, someone who had called Michelle Obama a “skank” and a “blowjob queen”. No Quarter was also well known for its racism.

    And she was connected with these people. Hillary was in contact with the most racist, sexist, conspiracy-spouting faction of her supporters — and she encouraged them. Absolutely fucking incredible if you ask me.

    That’s why we see their victim/martyr/spoiled brat attitudes now. Hillary may not have created to looney tunes, but she sure as fuck didn’t stop them. Not in the least.

    Which brings me back to my original point in this post: Hillary made this mess. Now she needs to be told to either clean it up or go down in history as a spoiler, handing the presidency over to McCain. Hillary needs to stop playing the victim card and start taking responsibility for her reprehensible actions.

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