Halperin’s theory in full!

TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2014

Part 2—Gregory starts to explain: If Hillary Clinton runs for president, is she “destined to get horrible coverage?”

We can’t answer that question, although events of the past few months make it a plausible theory. So do events of the past several decades, as David Gregory, and other insiders, mumblingly noted last week.

Let’s start at the beginning! Last Tuesday, Mika Brzezinski introduced a segment on Morning Joe about Clinton’s White House prospects. Needless to say, she also discussed Clinton’s troubling wealth, then asked a stupid question:
BRZEZINSKI (7/22/14): Meanwhile, a new study by Bloomberg shows that Clinton earned at least $12 million since she stepped down in February of last year. That figure includes the advance from her new memoir along with speaking fees which are said to command 200 grand per appearance.

I’m curious about these numbers. All the fees go to the Clinton Foundation? Some of them?
Say what? Was Mika kidding? As everyone knows, Clinton doesn’t donate all her fees to the Clinton Foundation. We can’t tell you why Brzezinski pretended she didn’t know that.

But in response to that silly question, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin began to outline his theory about the way Clinton will be covered if she runs for the White House. If you care which party holds the White House, you ought to be concerned by his views:
HALPERIN (continuing directly): They’re not totally transparent, but a lot of them do. But some critics say, you know, they control the foundation.

She’s lost control of her public image. It’s the worst thing that can happen to somebody thinking of running for president and it’s a time when she should be in command. She had a book tour, she can control the message. Her operation is playing defense on a lot of stories. And it’s fine—she can recover from it. But right now, she’s lost control of how people are thinking about her, how the media’s covering her.
According to Halperin, Clinton has “lost control of [the way] the media’s covering her.” This was the start of a theory he laid out in two different segments on Morning Joe last week.

If you care which party holds the White House, we think Halperin’s theory is well worth considering—is well worth considering now. We also think you should consider the way two panels of big-name journalists reacted to his assertions.

This morning, we’ll lay out Halperin’s theory in full, exactly as it was expressed on those Morning Joe programs. We’ll also review a reaction from David Gregory, kingpin of Meet the Press.

For now, let’s return to last Tuesday’s program.

After Halperin made the statements we've posted, Willie Geist Jr. jumped in with a typical Willie Geist question. In response, Halperin fleshed out his views:
GEIST (continuing directly): Would it have been better, in hindsight, if Hillary Clinton had not written this book and gone out on a book tour? Because look where she was when she was out of the fray. No one was talking about her in terms of politics, just in terms of how she’d done as secretary of state.

She’d have less money. That’s true.

HALPERIN: I think so. I think on balance it’s pretty clear that the timing of the book, the way the book went for her political aspirations, wasn’t a good thing.

But she has a lot of positive attributes that are currently just being overwhelmed by all this negative coverage. And it’s going to keep going. The momentum—there’s, there’s— The press loves to cover her hard.
Whatever his various merits may be, Geist is the Peck’s Good Boy of the celebrity press corps. According to Geist, things would go fine for Hillary Clinton if she just wouldn’t write any books or make any public appearances.

As he ended, Geist threw in a snide remark about Clinton’s quest for money. That is the very narrative to which Halperin was referring when he cited the way the press corps is covering Clinton.

Whatever! As he replied to the Geist, Halperin further defined his theory:

The “negative coverage” of Clinton is “going to keep going,” he said. “The press loves to cover her hard.”

Is that true? Does the national press corps “love to cover her hard?” Halperin was alleging gross misconduct on the part of the national press. As we’ll see, he extended this theory three days later, also on Morning Joe.

Is it true? Does the national press “love to cover Clinton hard?” At this point, insider pundit Mike Barnacle jumped in—and quite clearly, Barnacle seemed to agree with this general claim. At the same time, he seemed completely baffled as to the reasons why he and his colleagues cover Clinton in this negative manner.

Tomorrow, we’ll review the silly, disingenuous exchanges Barnacle generated, with help from the Washington Post’s equally puzzled Gene Robinson. For today, let’s skip ahead three days, to last Friday’s Morning Joe, where Halperin extended his theory about Hillary Clinton’s press coverage.

Three days had passed, and Mika Brzezinski was discussing Clinton’s prospects again. She quoted something Clinton had said, then threw to Halperin.

In response to Brzezinski’s toss, Halperin made his most dramatic prediction:
BRZEZINSKI (7/25/14): Former secretary of state and possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is admitting she may have some work to when it comes to media relations. Clinton has frequently clashed with the press, including during her 2008 presidential campaign and her recent book tour.

Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson said she believed the former first lady expected the press, especially female journalists, to be loyal to her. And now Hillary Clinton is responding, saying, quote:

“I think maybe one of the points Jill was making is that I do sometimes expect perhaps more than I should and I’ll have to work on my expectations. But I had an excellent relationship with the State Department press that followed me for four years and enjoyed working with them, and whatever I do in the future, I look forward to having the same kind of opportunities.”

Mark Halperin, your thoughts.

HALPERIN: Well, I don't ever like to overstate the media's role, but the media has a pretty big role in the presidential process. I think she's talking about what is the most important issue determining whether she'll be president right now. She'll raise the money, she’ll have policy positions. She needs to find a way—we talked about this the other day—to change the narrative about how she's being covered.

Right now, she's destined to get horrible coverage if she runs for president.
Halperin completed his theory, making a startling prediction. Unless Clinton can change the way she’s being covered, she is “destined to get horrible coverage if she runs for president.”

Rather plainly, Halperin said this horrible coverage could cause Clinton to lose the race. If you care which party holds the White House, you ought to be concerned about this prediction.

Is Clinton “destined to get horrible coverage?” The theory is perfectly plausible, as events of the past two months, and the past few decades, make abundantly clear.

Events of the past few decades? At this point, Brzezinski threw to David Gregory. Below, you see what Gregory said about Halperin’s theory:
HALPERIN: Right now, she's destined to get horrible coverage if she runs for president.

BRZEZINSKI: So how did that happen, David Gregory?

GREGORY [chuckles]: You know, I mean I just think this goes back a long time. One of the downsides to being in the public eye as a political figure for so long is that there's just a lot of baggage associated with that, that goes back now twenty-plus years. And relationships and views about the press and situations you've been in, I think that's very difficult to get out from under.

I think there's always been, if you go back to her presidential runs, what has surrounded her is the idea that she’s this formidable and perhaps unstoppable force. And I think the media will always look to kind of pick that apart, especially if there’s vulnerability and if you don't live up to expectations. I think that's part of what happened in 2008.

And I think if you don't make—if there's open disdain for a lot of the media culture, and members of the media, you're not able to kind of forge new relationships. I think the only way that can change is if there's a real effort to sort of, to sort of create new relationships.

And I think there, I mean, I think there was a kind of a deft comment, which is almost like, you know, “I'm sorry I care so much—”

BRZEZINSKI: Oh, my gosh!

GREGORY: “I'm sorry my expectations are so high,” you know, that they’ll never be met.
Instantly, Gregory said the situation “goes back a long time.” And uh-oh! Rather quickly, he suggested a link to Clinton’s alleged “open disdain for a lot of the media culture and members of the media.”

We don’t know why Gregory seemed to think that Clinton has made previous “runs” for the White House (plural). But we were struck by his instant reference to that alleged “open disdain.”

Some of what Gregory said this day made perfect sense. In the statement quoted by Brzezinski, Clinton did display her political tin ear, in something like the way Gregory burlesqued.

Clinton knows a lot about matters of substance. This has been clear in recent weeks in the TV interviews where she was asked about the affairs of the world.

In sessions with the likes of Diane Sawyer, she tended to reveal a shortfall in the realm of deft/glib political speech.

Having said that, let us also say this: By the laws of the upper-class press corps, you are not allowed to display anything like an open disdain for members of the media or their wonderful media culture. If the lords and ladies think you’ve done that, you will almost surely be treated in predictable ways.

The situation in question goes back a long ways, the chuckling Gregory said. Three days earlier, Halperin had made a similar statement to Brzezinski.

Most of the pundits on these programs seemed to agree that Halperin was talking about an actual state of affairs. They seemed to agree that Hillary Clinton does receive negative coverage.

That raises an obvious question: Why? Tomorrow, we’ll show you a very familiar manifestation:

Does Clinton get tons of negative coverage? With Mike Barnacle taking the lead, we’ll show you the way these disingenuous pundit panels pretended they really can’t explain why this problem exists.

Is Clinton “destined to get horrible coverage?” For two years, Candidate Gore did get horrible coverage. It led to a very bad end.

If you care which party holds the White House, we think you should be concerned by Halperin’s prediction of more to come. You also ought to be concerned by the silly faux behavior of major millionaire inside players like Robinson, Barnacle, Mika.

They can never explain their own misbehavior. Or at least so they pretend.

Tomorrow: Thoroughly baffled, Barnacle throws to Pace!

To watch these Morning Joe discussions: Last week, Morning Joe panels staged two discussions of Clinton’s press coverage.

For our money, Mike Barnacle was the star of last Tuesday’s discussion. We’ll discuss his clowning tomorrow. To watch that whole segment, click here.

On Friday, Mark Halperin made a startling prediction—and Gregory discussed the Clintons’ “open disdain for media culture.”

David said more than the law allows. To watch that full segment, click this.


  1. Here is the negative image of Clinton being promoted: If she cannot control her own press coverage, how can she control the office of the president?

    All the press needs to do is stay negative, while wondering about why Clinton gets all this negative coverage.

    1. "If she cannot control her own press coverage, how can she control the office of the president?"

      Believe it or not, that's a very good question. If she's going to get all that testy with Terry Gross, well . . .

    2. Maybe she'll get testy with Putin...and that would be bad because?

    3. Listen to the recording. This is testy? There is a much more limited range of emotion for female candidates allowed. This is the elephant in the room that everyone dances around. Clinton pushed back against a very loaded question. A man responding the same way would have been called "strong" and "forceful".

    4. I didn't hear "testy" at all.

    5. It had testy written all over it as only a sound recording can.

    6. Oh, by all means, the press should never ask "loaded" questions of politicians, particularly the politicians we like.

      And instead of getting into a pissing contest over the precise definition of "testy," I will concede that we listen and see things through our own perspective.

      From what I heard, Hillary ducked, dodged and evaded direct questions about the evolution of her thinking on marriage rights, and then went into "how dare you" mode when Gross kept pressing.

      It wasn't Hillary's finest hour.

    7. Asking loaded questions isn't good interviewing. It is promoting an agenda that a good journalist isn't supposed to have, given that they are supposed to objective reporters.

      When favored candidates evade questions, they are not pursued -- just Clinton because she is on someone's shit list. Then you pretend this is just journalism as usual?

      We all know why Clinton wasn't in favor of gay marriage, just as we know why Obama didn't favor it. Why is there any need to press Clinton on this issue when Obama was softballed on it during his entire campaign and even now? The "how dare you" tone is justified.

    8. We all know why you say we all know. Because you don't but you wanna be like TDH.

    9. Now we want "objective" reporters? After years of Bob telling us how we were denied a Gore presidency by those "liberal" pundits who failed to run to his rescue? The ol' "Code of Silence" conspiracy, not to be confused with Maxwell Smart's "Cone of Silence"?

    10. Since when is it "running to his rescue" to expect the press to quote properly and not repeat RNC misinformation without investigation? TDH asks the press to do its job, not to support favored candidates.

    11. And how dare any member of the press ask questions before checking with me first.

    12. Trolls gotta make noise, whether it makes sense or not.

    13. 12:45, go to the Incomparable Archives, both old and new, and search the name "E.J Dionne."

      Then count the number of times over the years that he has blamed Dionne for not sufficiently defending Gore against the onslaught of GOP disinformation.

      In fact, if you are a careful reader of Somerby, you will find that he holds the GOP blameless for the GOP disinformation that found its way into the press. Instead, he blames (rightfully) both reporters for reporting it and "liberal" pundits for not correcting it.

      Meanwhile, poor ol' Al was just so utterly defenseless and couldn't possibly fight his own fights and get his own message across against such a Code of Silence.

    14. "onslaught of disinformation" you say. It is not the job of the press to repeat any party's disinformation. They should have checked, not blindly repeated that disinformation, whether it was about Gore or anyone else. That is the role of the press. Now it is happening to Hillary. Why don't they check things instead of repeating criticisms of her, whether about speaking fees donated to their foundation or being in debt on leaving the White House?

      Why do they not press all candidates hard instead of singling out some for special treatment?

    15. My what a naive world we live in. Yes and if "ifs and buts" were candy and nuts ... etc.

      Here's an example. In March 1999, Gore uttered his famous "I took the initiative . . ." statement. Two days later, the GOP issued its first "invented the Internet" press release.

      That was a softball down the middle that Gore should have knocked 500 feet. He damned well did take the initiative that passed very important legislation that brought the Internet into the commercial arena and into homes and offices. It was a revolution that rivaled the telephone, electricity, the Automobile Age, TV, and anything else you can think of.

      Gore should have been screaming that from the rooftops -- in March 1999 -- and in such a way that the media could not ignore it.

      Instead, he allowed it to fester until it became ingrained to the point that to this very day, "Gore invented the Internet" is still spoken and written.

      In other words, don't whine about the press blindly repeating disinformation if you don't have the gumption to fight back. And don't expect anyone to do your work for you.

    16. Usually, Terry Gross is very good. That day she was a twat, and Hillary Clinton called her out.

    17. Of course, she was. She asked rude questions of a candidate you like. How twatty of her.

    18. Gore did correct the misstatements. When the correction doesn't get the same airtime as the misstatement, how does one "scream from the rooftops"? What is your evidence that Gore allowed things to fester, as opposed to the press ignoring his corrections?

      Please do not use the word twat. It is like cunt and most women find it extremely offensive, especially when applied to a woman. It is no excuse that the British seem to like the word.

  2. Here's another reason that Hillary might be getting "hard" coverage.

    Taken for what it's worth, Hillary is at the moment the presumptive (and even prohibitive) favorite not only for her party's nomination, but also for election as president should she decide to run.

    "Front runners" no matter how briefly they have that title, always get covered hard. Same thing happened to Rudy. Same thing happened to Herman Cain, or whatever flavor of the month happens to emerge.

    And I'm kind of glad that front runners to get extra scrutiny, even if we don't like some of the rude questions they ask of our favorite politicians.

    1. [QUOTE]>>>>>"Front runners" no matter how briefly they have that title, always get covered hard.<<<<<[END QUOTE]

      Thanks for sharing your impressions. Perhaps you'd be interested in looking at an actual case in point on this matter.

    2. Well, nice story you are trying to sell. Yes, Russert and Williams were mighty mean to Hillary that day in October.

      But you forget one thing.

      Hillary didn't put all that much money and effort into Iowa. She put her chips in New Hampshire and other primary states. Meanwhile, Obama was building an incredible ground game in Iowa and other caucus states. And when he won Iowa with Hillary finishing third, suddenly his campaign was viable. But it was a big gamble on his part.

      Then Hillary turned right around and carried New Hampshire. And suddenly the race was on. And it was a damned tight race that went down to a photo finish as Democrats had two very good, very worthy candidates to choose from, both of whom were also running very historic campaigns as well as very strong ones.

      But you got it all figgered out. It was Russert and Williams who chose our next president. I bet you still cry yourself to sleep over that notion.

      By advice? Go rent a brain somewhere that will let you realize that the world isn't as simple as you want it to be.

      And while you're at it, ask your mommy to change your diaper.

    3. Ha ha ha ha your so funny you slay me!!!!!!

    4. The New Hampshire primary was on January 8 in 2008. By February 26 of that year Barack Obama was the clear front runner for the Democratic nomination for president.

      (My advice to you @2:19, back off hinting at your scatological obsessions in these threads, you'll still come across as uninformed but, at least, you'll come across as a bit less obnoxious.)

    5. Clinton won primaries in the most populous states right up until the nominating convention. How did that make Obama the clear frontrunner?

    6. CMike, if Russert and Williams had their candidate picked and did such a job on Hillary in October, then why did it take Obama until Feb. 26 to become the front runner?

      Not that I disagree with 2:51. Even at that date, it was very much an open race with a long way to go.

      Entering the convention, Obama had 1,828.5 pledged delegates to Hillary's 1,726.5, and the nomination was really decided by the "super-delegates." That's pretty doggone close.

      Even the Super Tuesday results were a mixed bag for both candidates.

    7. @3:11 PM,

      Wikipedia says:

      Mid-February contests

      As expected, Obama swept the three nominating events on February 9, which were thought to favor him based on the results in similar states that had voted previously. He then scored a convincing win in Maine, where Clinton had hoped to hold her ground.[91] The same day, Clinton's campaign announced the resignation of campaign advisor Patti Solis Doyle.

      Obama's momentum carried through the following week, as he scored large delegate gains in the Potomac Primaries, taking the lead in the nationwide popular vote, even under the projection most favorable to Clinton, with Florida and Michigan included.

      NBC News declared him "Mr. Frontrunner" on February 13.[92] Clinton attempted a comeback win in the demographically more favorable state of Wisconsin, but Obama won again by a larger margin than expected. In a span of 11 days, he swept 11 contests and extended his pledged delegate lead by 120. At the end of the month, Obama had 1,192 pledged delegates to Clinton's 1,035. He also began to close the gap in superdelegates, although Clinton still led among superdelegates, 240 to 191.[93]

      Clinton's campaign tried to downplay the results of the February contests, and the candidate refused to acknowledge the losses in her speeches on election nights. Her advisers acknowledged that she would need big wins in the upcoming states to turn the race around.

      As to why it took Obama until February to become the front runner despite the Russert and Williams earlier efforts to promote him, I guess Clinton had enough support among people not swayed by those two to continue to poll well.

    8. Clinton's support came from voters, not polls.

    9. Front runner status is conferred by media entities at various moments during a campaign and, when done so in good faith, is determined by a conclusion based on the latest polling, a tally of any binding results from earlier in the process that will carry forward, and an analysis of both any relevant historical election trends and the implications of the rules being used to determine the winner.

    10. "...as Democrats had two very good, very worthy candidates to choose from..."

      Well, unfortunately, history has proven this claim to be wildly false as Obama has gone on to be an unmitigated disaster. You had one candidate who could barely utter the word Democrat, who praised Ronald Reagan and talked about "reforming social security". He has pissed away his entire presidency convinced that the sheer force of his magnetic personality was going to produce a "grand bargain" with social security in the pot. Obama seemed to be convinced that the republican wars against the Clintons were their fault and it wouldn't happen to him. This was obvious to anyone who listened to him.

  3. Isn't it Politics 101 that a candidate has to control their own image? They can't let their opponent or the press define who they are?

    1. I don't know if it is Politics 101. It certainly is Conventional Wisdom 101. You don't get to "Power of the Soccer Moms"
      until Conventional Widsom 102.

    2. Well, we got a pretty good example of it going on right now in flyover country in the the GOP primary for U.S. Senate from Kansas.

      Incumbent Pat Roberts is trying to define his opponent, a medical doctor, as a quack operating on the margins of the law.

      His opponent is trying to define Roberts as a closet Obamacare-loving liberal.

      Across the state line in Missouri, GOP Senate candidate Todd Aiken lost control of his image with two words: "legitimate rape."

    3. "Dead broke" was two words. "Creating the Internet" was three. Not learning a lesson from Love Story? Presidentless.

    4. How exactly does a candidate control his image when someone in the press makes up a lie and despite denial that lie is broadcast everywhere?

    5. All I can say is that a candidate who is so helpless and at the mercy of the press perhaps is not the best choice for president.

    6. All candidates are at the mercy of press because it costs a lot to run ads. The question is why the press chooses to help some and hurt others. And who chooses the targets.

  4. So you are OK with ceding selection of the president to the press, who need do nothing more than cover a disfavored candidate "hard" then ask "why can't the candidate control her image"?

    1. No, am I not OK with that, nor am I so stupid as to fall for Somerby's narrative of an all-powerful press corps.

      But even if that were true, that there is a vast press conspiracy telling us how to vote, exactly whose fault is that? As the old saying goes, in a democracy you get exactly the government you deserve.

      But then again, it is a far more pleasing tale to tell your rubes that when people don't vote the way you want them to, then there is a vast conspiracy afoot and the rest of the nation is simply not as smart as we are.

    2. Speaking of the all-powerful press who chooses our candidates for us, that was some humdinger of a race in 2000 between Dollar Bill and ex-President McCain wasn't it?

    3. How exactly did I, as a member of the public, come to deserve to have the press make my decisions for me?

    4. 12:13 considering all you know, not to mention all we know,
      we know why the press makes decisions for you.

    5. "How exactly did I, as a member of the public, come to deserve to have the press make my decisions for me?"

      The question is deliciously self-answering.

    6. Let me rephrase: The press is not supposed to be making decisions for the public. Its job is to place information before the public so that voters can make their own decisions. When information is manipulated, the press is misbehaving.

      If you think this is all a big joke, there are better blogs for you to play at.

    7. Nah, having too much fun watching you twist into a pretzel.

      Here's your dilemma. In a nation with a free press, you are going to get all sorts of "information" presented, not all of which you may like.

      And who exactly is the press manipulating? Certainly not your brilliant, perceptive self. Must be all those other dumber-than-thou rubes.

      What a pleasing tale Somerby tells.

    8. Last election it was all those misguided liberals who thought Obama was the answer. He was never vetted by the press so we all got stuck. If you want more of that, keep mocking Somerby.

    9. I will never settle for a President who is not crisply vet pressed again.

    10. Ha ha ha ha this is all big joke!!!!!!

    11. Never vetted by the press? Have we (conveniently) forgotten the Rev. Wright nonsense, just to name one?

      Yes, we all got led astray by a press not doing its job and telling us who we should vote for. And damn them for making our decisions for us anyway.

    12. That came from Wright, abetted by Republicans, not from the mainstream press, who demonstrably didn't want to touch it.

    13. So how did you find out about it? Because Wright told you so himself? Or because it was reported widely in the mainstream press?

      Nope, the mainstream press was blameless in this one. It came from Republicans. In sharp contrast to the War on Gore, which didn't come from Republicans, but the mainstream press who had it in for Gore.

      And Gore was ever so helpless and unable to define himself.

    14. 3:27 you write like a city slicker. Controlling your own image is slipperier than ploughing a steep hill behind a team of mules after you've done drained the hog trough down the slope.

  5. I can't wait for these people to take over "Meet the Press," because American and its culture just aren't declining fast enough.

  6. Bob writes that the media won't permit a candidate to display disdain for the members of the press. That's true only regarding Democratic candidates. Conservative/Republican candidates such as Chris Christie are given a pass when they display open disdain for the mainstream media. (That's not to say that they aren't criticized, but they're not treated in the same manner in which the Democrats and liberals are.)

    1. That's because it plays to their base. And their base has been fed "liberal media" conspiracy theories since Spiro Agnew.

      But then again, Chris Christie's "pass" seems to have expired, hasn't it?

    2. Governor Ultrasound still hasn’t been charged!

      This moment in Howler history brought to you by TRMS.
      TRMS. It takes a licking but it keeps on ticking.

    3. Yep, that was some GOP pass ol' Ultrasound got.

  7. Where's the damage to Hillary exactly?



    1. I showed you yesterday the change in polling that Clinton has suffered between last January and today. Yes, Clinton would beat Romney handily today (according to polls) but Romney isn't the putative Republican candidate and Clinton's numbers compared to Jeb Bush have decreased as a result of this press campaign against her.

    2. Here's an interesting passage from the CNN story:


      The poll was conducted more than a month into Clinton's book tour for her new memoir "Hard Choices."

      Did Clinton's well publicized book tour – including her controversial remarks that she and her husband Bill Clinton were "dead broke" when they left the White House in 2001 – hurt her standing with the public?

      The number who say that Clinton shares their values dropped from 56% in March to 51% now, and the number who say she cares about people edged down from 56% to 53% in the same time period.

      "But it's tough to tell whether Clinton's remarks were the reason for any change that might have happened. The number who believe that Clinton agrees with them on issue and can manage the government effectively also dropped, and those are not qualities that you would expect to be affected by any concerns over Clinton's wealth," said Holland. "The more likely explanation is that the book tour hurt Clinton - if it did so - not because of any specific comments that she made but because more Americans now view her as an active candidate for the White House."

    3. You are comparing apples and oranges here. The original remark was about a race between Romney and Clinton. Then the polling quoted was about general approval ratings. Then it shifted to "shares my values." These are all different questions with different numbers.

      If you want to know whether she has been hurt in terms of a potential presidential race, it makes much more sense to look at polling about voting, not about general admiration or amorphous "shares my values" types of questions. Her numbers decreased significantly (more than 13 points) against Jeb Bush, who is much more likely to be a candidate in 2016 than Mitt Romney.

    4. I merely quoted a passage from the story, without comment, about the extent to which Clinton has been "damaged" by her book tour. I did not compare it to apples, oranges, pomegranates or anything else.

      But I will say this. If you think a "head-to-head" poll in 2014 tells you anything worth knowing, including about the 2016 race, then perhaps you can be compared to a sack of hammers.

    5. There you go again, @ 12:58.

      Comparing sacks of hammers to boxes of rocks.

    6. Ha ha ha ha what funny this is to me!!!!!!

  8. "Say what? Was Mika kidding? As everyone knows, Clinton doesn’t donate all her fees to the Clinton Foundation. We can’t tell you why Brzezinski pretended she didn’t know that.

    Everyone also knows TDH knows what you know and when you are pretending.

    1. The press is supposed to know this stuff. Why didn't Brzezinski? It is their job to know this.

    2. Why? Aren't we the same two people who live
      through years in the dark?

    3. Everyone knows.

      SOMERBY: As everyone knows, Clinton doesn’t donate all her fees to the Clinton Foundation. (Today)

      We thought Mike Barnacle was the star of last Tuesday’s discussion. (Yesterday)

      BARNICLE: ... I bet 90% of the people don't know who the Secretary of State is now. (last Tuesday)

      Let's see if that comment makes the Howler cut and paste board on Wednesday.

    4. "SOMERBY: As everyone knows, Clinton doesn’t donate all her fees to the Clinton Foundation. (Today)"

      Well, they might not know it if they read The Daily Howler. Bob has been stressing the philanthropic nature of Hillary's lecture circuit tour for quite a few days now.

    5. You are failing to differentiate between Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. These are two different people.

    6. Nope, Bob has stressed for quite some time how much of Hillary's speaking fees, especially those from colleges, go directly to charity.

      He never mentions how much she has stuffed into her own pants suits.

    7. Perhaps 12:45 is confused. TDH has stressed that all of Hillary's $200 K per hour college speaking fees go the Clinton foundation. Not her $200 K speeches to Goldman Sachs.

      Has TDH mentioned the speeches to Goldman Sachs? You know Goldman? Everybody knows Goldman. Part of the plutocracy who pull the press corps strings?

    8. He has stated that the college fees go to the foundation but he has not stressed how much of her fees go to charity. That is your reading.

    9. It would take five seconds on Google to get an idea of the net worth of Bill and Hillary Clinton today, some 14 years after "dead broke and in debt."

      Bob hasn't done that. Apparently this is something he doesn't want his rubes to know as he continues to stress all the money they have raised for the foundation.

    10. Did Clinton claim to be dead broke today? She was $10 million in debt on leaving the White House. That is true.

    11. $10 million in debt, and still with the means to run a U.S. Senate campaign in 2000 in a rather expensive media state. I guess she wasn't too worried where her next meal was coming from.

    12. Don't forget that Hillary also said that not only were they dead broke and in debt, they also had mortgates and college tuition to pay, just like Joe Sixpack.


    13. And was any of that untrue?

    14. SHE was $10 million in debt on leaving the White House?

      I'd say the cigar probing, anal toungued devil she married was theoretically in hock to some high powered deep carpet lawyers who probably missed nary a meal or paycheck while defending the Fellated in Chief.

      But girl, get real. If she hadn't been a Tammy Wynette "Stand By Your Man" kind of girl and instead was a Tammy Wynette "D-I-V-O-R-C-E kind of woman any ball busting domestic relations litigator would have left Bill pulling those legal bills out of his own rimmed orifice and the Advance for Hill's memoirs would have jumped five fold. You can take that to the cookie bake off any day.

    15. Where did all these conservative commenters come from?

    16. 1:54, it's all true.

      It is also true that unlike us dead broke and in debt working stiffs with mortgates and tuition to pay, Bill and Hillary have amassed a rather sizable net worth in a rather short amount of time.

    17. Truth be told, 2:10 and 1:54 it may not all be true. The left the White House in January 2001. Chelsea's final tuition payment at Stanford should have already been paid by then.

    18. So did Bill Gates and Steve Zuckerberg. So did George Lucas. These are not ordinary people. It is silly to expect that of them. It is also silly to pretend Hillary was claiming normalcy. I just don't see that in her response to the question of why she gave speeches for high fees. She said they needed the money and that was true statement.

      Campaigns are run on other people's money. She has never claimed any difficulty with campaign fund raising. Everyone knows you don't comingle funds.

    19. Chelsea went to grad school.

    20. 2:07, why so quick to label them "conservative"?

      There are lots of "progressives" who were never too fond of the Clintons, dating back to his "triangulation" days. In fact, some will call him the best Republican president we've had in decades.

      They lament the fact that, at least in their view, the Democratic response to the Republican continued rightward shift over the last 34 years has been to move to the right themselves to the point that there is no real "left" left.

      I don't entirely agree, and I don't see Hillary as a tool of Wall Street interests, even if she is stuffing big speaking fees into her Gloria Vanderbilts from the likes of Goldman Sachs.

      But I can bring myself to admit that "dead broke and in debt" and "we pay ordinary taxes" were damned dumb things to say.

    21. By the time Chelsea enrolled in grad school, her mom's Senate salary and dad's Presidental pension provided the family with much higher income than they had during the
      period Bill Clinton was in the White House.

    22. Plus the book deal Hillary had to sign before she was sworn into office in the Senate.

    23. These were true statements. It takes motivated spite to hear them differently.

      Those concerned about Wall Street funding tend to apply one standard to Clinton and another to their own favored candidates, especially Obama, who received far more Wall Street money and generally ran to the right of Clinton on most issues (and has governed accordingly). It rankles when the criteria applied to assess Clinton are not applied to others. Her strengths are generally ignored in favor of these sorts of disqualifying criticisms -- things that would never be fatal flaws in someone else (and were not for Obama).

      If Clinton were simply just not the best candidate there would have been no need to rig the system to defeat her.

    24. "Campaigns are run on other people's money. She has never claimed any difficulty with campaign fund raising. Everyone knows you don't comingle funds."

      Nonsense. The wealthy often run, and comingle, with their own funds all the time. How do you think Linda McMahon won two primaries for the U.S. Senate? Or Mitt the GOP nomination? Yes, he got a lot of donations. And he spent a lot of his own money, too. There is also a line item in campaign disclosure forms for loans you make to your own campaign that are repaid through donations.

      The bottom line is, however, if your campaign is left with a debt, you are responsible for it.

      I donated $100 to Hillary's 2008 run. After it was over, a got a nice e-mail stating how deeply in debt her campaign was and could I please make another donation? If I did, my name would go into a drawing for dinner with Bill and Hill.

    25. "wouldn't say" meant to say before a foolish omission.

    26. When asked why she gave so many speeches for high fees she said they needed the money. I see nothing foolish about that response. I don't know what she could have said that would make more sense.

    27. Anonymous @2pm, I don't know where you were in the nineties, but Bill's extracurricular activities were not the main source or even a major source of the legal bills they faced. The media helped the right wing criminalize politics long before the intern in the beret came along. Hillary was hauled before a grand jury by a right wing lunatic both in person and on video as he tried to get her in a perjury trap. All this required lawyers. Read Joe Conasen and Gene Lyons sometime. The whole "dead broke" comment just means she's still pissed--and has every right to be.

    28. I think it also means she doesn't ever want to be in such a vulnerable financial position again if she were to become president. No one has pointed this out, of course.

    29. "When asked why she gave so many speeches for high fees she said they needed the money."

      Except by the time she started giving so many speeches for high fees after her term as Secretary of State, they no longer needed the money. They had amassed quite a personal fortune by that time.

    30. "Vulnerable financial position"?

      Oh, brother!

      This is where you Bob fans are going from the silly to the ridiculous.

      Yes, Bill and Hillary had no choice but to hit the book and lecture circuit to amass a personal fortune estimated at over $100 million today because they were damned near destitute in 2000.

      And like Scarlett O'Hara, they both swore never to be hungry again!

    31. That's very funny but stupid:they were financially vulnerable while in the White House. And they ere attacked by the ever vigilant media because they had to rely on friends for help. But who cares? We had become a Banana Republic with all the politically motivated inquisitions, and their political opponents knew they were vulnerable because they weren't rich.

    32. When asked why she gave so many speeches for high fees she said they needed the money."

      Good response Bobfan. Problem is that isn't what she was asked. Guess it is easy to see how the media screws up. too.

    33. Would you Bobfans please stop with the "financially vulnerable" stuff?

      Although they are both probably surprised by the amount of money they were able to earn after Bill left office, I also think they were pretty well aware that they did have some opportunities for some big paydays and wouldn't starve, even with all the legal bills to pay.

      And even in their days in Arkansas, Hillary was a full partner in a pretty big law firm. No, they didn't have Mitt Romney's money, nor George Bush's. Probably not Al Gore's, and certainly not Tommy Lee Jones' dough.

      But I bet they were pretty well off, and not just by Arkansas standards.

    34. "Chelsea's final tuition payment at Stanford should have already been paid by then."

      Unless, dead broke and in debt as they were, they had to take out loans.

    35. Why do billionaires keep working after that first billion? Do you think it has anything at all to do with their bank balances, or is there some other motivation involved?

  9. who ever is reading this testimony today should please celebrate with me and my family because it all started like a joke to some people and others said it was impossible. my name is Michael i live in Chicago i am happily married with two kids and a lovely wife something terrible happen to my family along the line, i lost my job and my wife packed out of my house because i was unable to take care of her and my kids at that particular time. i manage all through five years, no wife to support me to take care of the children and there come a faithful day that i will never forget in my life i met an old friend who i explain all my difficulties to, and he took me to a spell caster and and the name of the temple is called, okundonorgreatspell, i was assure that everything will be fine and my wife will come back to me after the wonderful work of dr okundonorgreatspell, my wife came back to me and today i am one of the richest man in my country. i advice you if you have any problem email him with this email: dr.okundonorgreatspell@gmail.com and you will have the best result. take things for granted and it will be take from you.

  10. HRC and TDH are similar in that some of the people like them but the many that hate them really, really, really hate them with a passion.

    1. We don't hate TDH. It is the sin that bother us.

    2. Ha ha ha ha, this is so funny I want to roll over!!!

    3. Neither sacks of hammers or boxes or rocks roll well.

    4. Ha ha ha ha this is so funny I can laugh without stop ever!!!!!

    5. What is sad and funny:

      Al Gore did take the initiative to create the internet.
      Romney's dog wasn't tied to the car.
      Hillary and Bill were broke.
      Rick Perry didn't say that.
      People are dumb.