Supplemental: Parker and Chozick frisk Candidate Clinton!

TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2015

In search of the Clinton rules:
Is Candidate Clinton facing a problem with a phenomenon known as “the Clinton rules?”

On July 6, Jonathan Allen became the latest mainstream reporter to say that she actually does. At Vox, he listed his version of the “Clinton rules”—five rules the mainstream press corps allegedly follows in covering Candidate Clinton.

Allen’s piece is underwhelming, largely because he largely follows the press corps’ “code of silence.” He lists five basic ways in which, he says, the press corps systematically mistreats Candidate Clinton. But he provides virtually no examples of the journalistic behavior he alleges.

He criticizes exactly one journalist by name—Maureen Dowd, who he cites, late in his piece, for something she wrote in January 2008. According to our arithmetic desk, that’s more than seven years back!

Who would write an exposé in such a denatured fashion? In his underwhelming piece, Allen alleges the existence of the Clinton rules, but he unmistakably proves the existence of the code of silence!

We can’t tell you how Clinton will be covered from here on out. But on the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, Ashley Parker and Amy Chozick displayed some of the lazy, hapless ways our upper-end press corps functions.

We won’t say that they were subjecting Clinton to some sort of special treatment. But let’s look at two things they did.

Parker and Chozick were reporting on the way a Republican super PAC, American Crossroads, is trying to develop lines of attack against Clinton. Given the subject matter, you’d think a couple of upper-end scribes would try to be especially careful in what they wrote about the targeted pol.

If you thought that for even a second, you don’t know Parker and Chozick or their pitiful paper. Headline included, this is the way their report began, above the fold on the front page of the Sunday New York Times:
PARKER AND CHOZICK (7/12/15): The Best Way to Vilify Hillary Clinton? G.O.P. Spends Heavily to Test It

Inside an office park here, about a dozen women gathered to watch a 30-second television spot that opened with Hillary Rodham Clinton looking well-coiffed and aristocratic,
toasting champagne with her tuxedoed husband, the former president, against a golden-hued backdrop.

The ad then cut to Mrs. Clinton describing being “dead broke” when she and her husband left the White House, before a narrator intoned that Mrs. Clinton makes more money in a single speech, about $300,000, than an average family earns in five years.

The message hit a nerve. “She’s out of touch,” said one of the women, who works as a laundry attendant.

“Her reality is just so different than mine,” murmured another, as operatives from American Crossroads, a Republican “super PAC,” watched closely from behind a one-way mirror.
Parker and Chozick are discussing an effort to “vilify” Candidate Clinton. They open by describing an attempt—apparently, a successful attempt—to “vilify” her for something she said in June 2014.

Under the circumstances, you’d think the reporters would want to include a full account of what Clinton actually said. These freaks never do that.

It isn’t that hard to flesh out Clinton’s fuller remark. “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt,” she told NPR’s Terry Gross, making an accurate statement.

In fact, the Clintons were millions of dollars in debt, due to legal fees from President Clinton’s impeachment trial. Candidate Clinton’s fuller statement wasn’t just fuller. It was fully accurate.

Let’s be fair! Different people will have different ideas about the best way to flesh out a two-word “quotation” which is being used by Karl Rove to vilify a candidate. There’s no perfect way to explain what Candidate Clinton “actually said” to Terry Gross. But Parker and Chozick made no real attempt to perform that service.

It isn’t that the pair of deadbeats never attempted to add some context to Clinton’s vilified comment. Much, much later, in paragraph 22, they finally managed to tell their readers this:
PARKER AND CHOZICK: Right to Rise, a super PAC supporting former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, recently held its own briefing for Republican groups to highlight data it gathered from its own focus groups and polling of women, information that can be used in attacks against Mrs. Clinton. It stressed that Mrs. Clinton’s “dead broke” comments were particularly devastating, as were her deleted emails, though they required more explanation. Though the Clintons were in fact dealing with debt and legal fees when they left the White House, Mrs. Clinton later called her comments “inartful.”
Let us translate that for you:

At the end of paragraph 22, Parker and Chozick added a tiny suggestion to the effect that Clinton’s remark was actually accurate! But before they even finished their sentence, they interceded against this suggestion, telling us that Clinton once criticized her own remark.

In our view, this is terrible journalism. On the other hand, this toying with an offhand remark virtually defines the way in which modern hacks like Parker and Chozick pretend to report our campaigns.

Similar treatment has been afforded to offhand comments by other candidates in recent campaigns, including Republican candidates. Can we say that Parker and Chozick were playing by something like the “Clinton rules” in this particular instance?

Not necessarily, no. But consider the way the Times is treating a recent imperfect remark by the glorious Candidate Bush.

Our first example is as fresh as this morning’s paper. On page A3, in his opening paragraph, youngish Josh Barro bends over backwards to be more than fair:
BARRO (7/14/15): Jeb Bush said last week that Americans would ''need to work longer hours'' if we're going to meet his ambitious target of 4 percent real annual economic growth—nearly double the average growth rate the Congressional Budget Office expects in the future. Then he clarified his remarks to say he was talking specifically about the 6.6 million American workers with part-time jobs who say they would like to work full time.
Did Bush really “clarify” his remarks—or did he possibly spin his remarks, clean them up or possibly even “put the best face on them?” It all depends on whether you believe his later account of what he actually meant.

Puppy-like, Barro rushes to do so. Two days earlier, on the front page, Parker and Chozick made no real attempt to be fair to Candidate Clinton.

If we were in the editor’s hammock, we wouldn’t have accepted Barro’s construction; we would have told him to change “clarified” to some version of “said.” We would have required the other chimps to make a stronger attempt to present, then explain, Clinton’s fuller remark.

Are we looking at a double standard here? Not necessarily, no. But later in their front-page report, Parker and Chozick also offered the dreck shown below. They were describing another ad designed to “vilify” Clinton:
PARKER AND CHOZICK: An ad titled “Shadow,” which ranked among the most effective ads that Crossroads tested in Orlando, argued that scandal trailed Mrs. Clinton like a menacing shadow. “Whitewater, Travelgate and Filegate,” a narrator began, referring to scandals from decades ago, including one over a real estate deal. Then the narrator moved on to more recent controversies, including her deleted emails, the foreign donations to her family foundation and the four Americans killed in the 2012 attacks on the United States compound in Benghazi, Libya.

“There’s a sense of distrust, a sense of unease about her authenticity and her candor, that isn’t hard to stimulate,” said Steven Law, the president of Crossroads.
Should “Whitewater, Travelgate and Filegate” be described as “scandals” by Parker and Chozick?

We think the scribes could do better. Were the Clintons ever found guilty of any wrongdoing in connection with these events, whose names are easy to throw around at this point in time? We think Parker and Chozick should answer such questions when they play with their finger-paint on the front page of the Sunday Times. Also, please note this:

Our scribes permitted the Crossroads president to characterize those ancient matters. But they presented no one from the other side to say that these were actually pseudo-scandals, devised by creeps like Kenneth Starr and half the New York Times’ staff.

In fairness, Parker and Chozick come from the finest homes. They also went to the finest schools. (Penn 2005, Texas 2001. Barro is Harvard roughly 2006.) By one of their own admissions, one of them lives in the hippest neighborhood in all of Manhattan.

Unfortunately, they’re extremely marginal journalists, a fact they’ve established in the past. Were they working from “the Clinton rules,” or were they just bumbling ahead on automatic pilot?

Parker was once Maureen Dowd’s “research assistant!” At the Times, it’s amazingly hard to answer questions like that.

Someone else bent over backwards: At the Times, someone else bent over backwards to be fair to Candidate Bush. Needless to say, it was Chozick, writing on-line at First Draft:
CHOZICK (7/13/15): In a speech intended to lay the groundwork for the economic message she will carry throughout her 2016 campaign, Mrs. Clinton singled out by name three of her potential Republican rivals: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

Mrs. Clinton alluded to comments Mr. Bush made last week about Americans needing to work longer hours.

"Let him tell that to the nurse who stands on her feet all day or the teacher who is in that classroom or the trucker who drives all night," she said. "They don't need a lecture, they need a raise."

Mr. Bush later clarified that he was referring to the 6.5 million Americans "stuck in part-time work" who haven't been able to find a full-time job. A spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Well, all righty then!

For the record, no one seems to self-promote quite the way Chozick does. This month, she’s featured in Cosmopolitan.

Can you see this culture for what it is? Do you have confidence in it?


  1. "Parker and Chozick added a tiny suggestion to the effect that Clinton’s remark was actually accurate! But before they even finished their sentence, they interceded against this suggestion, telling us that Clinton once criticized her own remark.

    In our view, this is terrible journalism."

    We agree with our own Harvard blogger. It is terrible journalism to suggest Clinton's remark was actually accurate. Because only the debt part was. The "dead broke" part was not. Bill Clinton immediately had a pension and Hillary had started collecting her salary as a U.S. Senator two weeks before they left the White House. Combined annual gross salary and pension: $300,000 +.

    Now why does Bob Somerby, if he is concerned about the order of paragraphs in which a crucial fact occurs, not mention at all that $300,000? Why does he not mention what the "dead broke" Clintons were drawing down the day they left the White House, before any allegation somebody left the place with all the "w" keys stuffed in their pants?

    We don't know. We have read somewhere you could call someone who practices that kind of writing a "freak."

    If pressed, we will talk about how many years it takes an average family to make what the Clintons got from federal taxpayers before all the fancy speechifying and book royalties they got kicked in. That pays a lot of debt and could even leave some left over to buy some finger paints for daughters who went into journalism.

    PS. Did we mention that we would vote for Hillary Clinton? That we have voted for a Clinton twice and would proudly do so again?

    1. [QUOTE ]Padres' Gwynn, Owing More Than $1.1 Million, Files for Bankruptcy
      May 24, 1987

      SAN DIEGO — Outfielder Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres and his wife filed for bankruptcy, citing liabilities of $1,147,000 and assets of $690,150.

      A petition for liquidation of the Gwynn's debt was filed Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Diego.

      Gwynn, who will earn $700,000 playing for the Padres this year, refused to comment on the matter. According to his attorney, Bob Teaff, of La Jolla, Gwynn's liabilities "predominantly arise from business and investment claims."

      "Mr. and Mrs. (Alicia) Gwynn were exposed to substantial liabilities during a period of time when they were receiving advice from a former attorney-agent," Teaff said.... [END QUOTE]


    2. And twenty two poverty stricken years later the destitute Gywnn, who beat Republican reform of bankruptcy law by longer than Bob Somerby has been publishing the Howler, was able to give his sweet daughter a pauper's wedding.

      Nice try CMike.

      And RIP Tony. If anybody is coaching BP in heaven it is you.

    3. Shorter troll:

      Because it refutes me, I refuse to get the point: Having an income does not mean you can't be bankrupt, as I stupidly implied.

    4. You know, Somerby jumped all over the late Tim Russert for citing his humble beginnings while living in nice digs in Nantucket. He also jumps on every story that Rachel Maddow tells that, according to him, is a bold attempt to make her sound like "one of us."

      Yet he not only gives Hillary a pass on "dead broke and in debt" but blasted Diane Sawyer for daring to ask the question that prompted that response. Yeah, some trick question.

      Please also note that in addition to the income that 4:38 cited, the Clintons were BOTH negotiating multi-million dollar book deals at the very time they were "dead broke and in debt" and Hillary actually had to sign hers before she was sworn into office because of Senate ethics rules.

    5. You know, Somerby jumped all over the late Tim Russert for citing his humble beginnings while living in nice digs in Nantucket. He also jumps on every story that Rachel Maddow tells that, according to him, is a bold attempt to make her sound like "one of us."

      Yet he not only gives Hillary a pass on "dead broke and in debt" but blasted Diane Sawyer for daring to ask the question that prompted that response. Yeah, some trick question.

      Please also note that in addition to the income that 4:38 cited, the Clintons were BOTH negotiating multi-million dollar book deals at the very time they were "dead broke and in debt" and Hillary actually had to sign hers before she was sworn into office because of Senate ethics rules.

    6. Russert is supposed to be reporting news in a fair and unbiased manner. When he gets big bucks and spends his time with the moneyed interests he is supposed to be reporting on, he loses his objectivity. Reporters are not supposed to be high society or 1% insiders.

      Hillary's job is different.

      I find it amusing that unlike Ted Cruz, both Bill and Hillary's books were read by real people and were actual bestsellers. I have read them myself and especially liked Bill Clinton's thoughts in My Life. At the time, reviewers expressed admiration that he had written a real book, not the usual presidential memoir.

      Is there another Clinton rule I don't know about that forbids them from earning any money? Are conservatives like you still spiteful because you didn't actually put them in the poor house with the impeachment effort? That must have been a big disappointment to you all.

  2. The complete quote:

    "We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt and we had no money when we got there and we struggled to piece together mortgages for houses, Chelsea's education, it was not easy". HRC June, 2014 ABC News Diane Sawyer

    HRC was still claiming to Terry Gross about her and Willie's problems in paying mortgages for two homes after they left the White House after she said the infamous phrase to Diane Sawyer back June 9, 2014?

    HRC finally realized how imbecilic her lame woe is me story by the time she hit fusion TV's Jorge Ramos.

    "Hillary Clinton regrets saying she was ‘dead broke,’ feels blessed by success"

  3. During our destitute service in the White House where we accumulated additional debt, I took the initiative in creating mortgages for two million dollar plus mansions and expensive Stanford tuition. Is American great, or what?

  4. Hill was dead broke, she made that claim therefore it must be true.....

  5. Candidate Clinton and President Obama routinely praise Planned Parenthood. Enjoy your "progress" progressives. As sickening and evil as it gets, in either party or at any point in American or world history. Especially Orwellian is how the censors like referring to the body parts of a human individual, such as hearts, lungs, and liver, as "tissue."

    “I’d say a lot of people want liver,” she says in the video posted on the Center for Medical Progress’s Web site, between bites of salad. “And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.”

    She continues: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

    1. Don't expect to hear "Safe, Legal, and Rare" from Bill or Hillary, who coined it. "Safe, legal, empowering, and profitable" is what the dead of conscience demand now.

  6. I like what she said. It shows me the girl's got spunk. Of course she was much more polite than I would be. I would have said, we were in debt because those fucking traitorous treasonous bastards tied my husband - the President of the United States - up in frivolous legal battles his entire presidency. May they rot in hell.

    Of course, that's just me.

    1. @mm

  7. "Did Bush really “clarify” his remarks—or did he possibly spin his remarks, clean them up or possibly even “put the best face on them?” It all depends on whether you believe his later account of what he actually meant."

    Did his brother really mean "put food on their families"?

    Alas there is no way to work "longer hours" unless you declare the hour to be more than 60 minutes. So clearly some clarification was needed, In our view.

    1. As I've been saying for some time now, that NY Times, they love them some JEB(!).

    2. @mm

      These headlines must be the playing hard to get type of love. Imagine if the NYT actually loathed Jeb.

      "Jeb Bush Works to Recover From a Shaky Start"

      "The Arrogance of Jeb Bush"

      "You thought he was the smart Bush. You thought he was the reasonable one. You thought he was the Republican with one foot in the 21st century, the man who wasn’t going to say crazy things to win the primary voter who believes in crazy things. But you haven’t been paying attention to Jeb Bush."

      "Bubble!" Paul Krugman

      "It’s tempting! to ridicule! Jeb Bush! over his ludicrous campaign logo! But it would be wrong.

      He should, instead, be ridiculed over his ludicrous, self-aggrandizing economic claims."

    3. Perhaps if Hillary Clinton said within 24 hours of her appearance on Diane Sawyer's broadcast "by broke I didn't mean we couldn't buy and pay for the two houses we bought for $4.5 million in 1999 and the equity we had in them" she would have clarified a false statement enough for it to merit mention of that clarification now.

      But the best she has offered in the way of clarification is that her words were "inartful." They were not inartful. They were stupid. Worse, they were false. And you can't clarify or spin your way out of that.

      Now, how long has Bob Somerby and supporters of Al Gore tried to prove that, when you really look at the record, there is some truth to his claim that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet"? About as long as they have been crying that the treatment of that statement helped lead to Mr. Gore's fate in the election.

      I won't argue the merits of Gore's statement or its impact. I won't debate the Clinton's financial assets versus liabilities on January 20, 2001. I will argue that Hillary Clinton, for someone who went through the attacks leveled at her and her husband, apparently missed the lesson provided by the inartful Mr. Gore.

    4. If I am unemployed I don't have a job, regardless of my ability to get hired at some point in the future. If someone has no money, they are broke regardless of their ability to get more money in the future. If you owe money, you are in debt. You have negative net worth, regardless of how much money you might have in the future. Clinton told the truth.

    5. Hillary Clinton was employed on the day her husband left the White House and he was immediately a pensioner. That means the day he left the White House their income was much higher than the day before they left. They were not
      broke, much less "dead broke."

      Having a negative net worth does not mean you are broke.

      Nobody has used the "we were in debt" line against Mrs. Clinton. And none of those to whom the Clinton's owed money were sending over goons with baseball bats or lawyers with liens threatening them with either crippling injuries or seizure of assets.

    6. You do not have the right to interpret much less define the circumstances of someone else's life. Not many people share your attitude about debt

      What was Hillary's job on the day she left the White House?

    7. United State Senator from a state in which she had apparently never lived in before she bought a $1.7 million home there while dead broke.

    8. She ran for office before Clinton left office? I don't remember that.

    9. I won't interpret much less define the circumstances of your memory.

    10. 12:07, she was elected to the Senate in November, 2000. Bill left office in January 2001.

    11. Be more specific to refresh 12:07's memory.

      Poor broke Hillary Clinton, who had been scraping together money for Chelsea's tuition since Fall '97, must have left the White House sometime in 1999 when she and Bill bought the $1.7 million dollar home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

      "Under the terms of the deal, the Clintons will put down $350,000, drawn from their blind trust, Mr. Lockhart said. That represents a down payment of about 20 percent. The remaining financing comes in the form of a so-called securities-backed mortgage from Bankers Trust for $1.35 million.

      In this case, the collateral on the loan is the $1.35 million cash put up by Mr. McAuliffe."

      Want to take a tour of the Homes of Politician County? It is guided by someone quite trustworthy who makes more than a middle infielder.

      While struggling to make mortgage payments, tuition payments, and fretting about those huge legal bills, Mrs. C. found a new hobby in suburban New York, running for the U.S. Senate. She was elected in November, 2000. Anticipating the extra spending money the Clinton's would have once Mrs. Clinton began her new job, the family purchased a home in Washington right before New Year's
      for the bargain price of $2.85 million.

      "The Clintons are making a down payment of $855,000 and have a loan commitment from Citibank for $1,995,000, said the White House spokesman, Jake Siewart."

      So, settled into two new homes, with two pools and 10 bedrooms, the broke empty nesters joined millions of everyday Americans with a net negative balance sheet in an uncertain terrifying financial future.

      On January 3, 2001 she was sworn in as U.S. Senator. For 17 days they were both full time federal employees before Bill officially began his life as a retired gentleman on January 20, 2001. But Hillary worked hard and passed the probationary period in her new job, and Bill "worked really hard" at temporary jobs he had to travel to and some free lance writing he performed in an old barn. They survived.

      To recap: The Clintons "had no money" when they got to the White House. They were "dead broke" when they left. But in between they managed to scrape a few pennies together after paying for three years of Chelsea's history degree at Stanford and find over $1,200,000 for two houses.

      It is a story that clearly will inspire laundry attendants all over America. They may even want to take JEB!'s advice and work "longer hours" so they too can achieve the dream realized by this poor penniless broke couple who went from public housing to affluence in a few short years.

    12. And yet Hillary and Bill have such high favorability and poll numbers! What accounts for that given their utter greediness and "out of touchness"?

    13. Hillary. You can take those high poll numbers to the bank!

      Hillary Clinton unfavorable numbers highest in 14 years
      By NICK GASS 6/2/15 7:11 AM EDT Updated 6/2/15 9:39 AM EDT

      Hillary Clinton is seeing her highest unfavorability ratings in 14 years, according to the latest CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday. Just 46 percent said they view the Democratic presidential front-runner favorably, compared to 50 percent who said they have an unfavorable view. In the preceding April survey, Clinton polled with 53 percent favorable, compared to 44 percent unfavorable.

      Consistent with other polls on the issue, just 42 percent say they think the former secretary of state is “honest and trustworthy,” compared with 57 percent who say they do not."

      Read more:

    14. And that honest and trustworthy question is asked only about Clinton -- not about any of the others running. Clinton rules. Given the perception of politicians in general and the 18% favorability rating for Congress, 42% may be pretty high. We have no way of judging when they don't ask the question about anyone else.

      Who thinks Jeb is honest? He starting running for office and raising money ahead of declaring, so he could coordinate with his PAC, deliberately subverting the rules. How honest is that? And then there's Rubio with his money problems, and all the folks Jeb was in business with who turned out to be crooks, and Christie's honesty problems in Bridgegate and so on.

      Hillary's numbers have decreased to the extent she is now a politician. That says more about being thought of as a politician than it does about Hillary personally.

    15. anon 11:30 - she said what she said, that at a particular point in time she and her husband were "dead broke" and "in debt" as part of a response to Diane Sawyer's question about the big speaker's fees. Apparently there were large legal fees owed, so their liquid assets and probably net assets were in the red. Presumably, given their status, there prospect for future earnings to cover the debt were pretty good, or at least it turned out that way. (I know I, and I'm sure most people would be willing to give speeches at a much lower rate than what they charged).This answer has blown up in her face, to the point where Karl Rove is testing ads highlighting it to focus groups, But your response vigorously defending the press's treatment of this issue is quite wrong in my opinion, or rather, misses the real issue. We want whoever is elected president to be the one who will do the best job. Presidents don't have super powers to get everything they want happen. But they do have power, e.g., appointing Supreme Court justices and other federal court judges; getting us into war or not; veto power; etc. These trivial gaffes, like saying she was dead broke, (often these gaffes are actually true statements) the way the main stream press covers them, and how they are cynically exploited in campaign ads, turn the process into an absurd soap opera. That it might make some difference which person gets elected is ignored - its all horse race, process, gaffes, valuations of levels of authenticity and comfort in one's own skin. Actually, how important is it that she made that remark? And is the degree of media focus on it justified?

  8. How can anyone be concerned about human baby organ harvesting when prison rape jokes are being told?

  9. Before Turkish porn gets to this thread, I find it interesting that this post generated so few comments in defense of Mrs. Clinton's comments.
    Or so few arguing on behalf of Somerby's position that "Candidate Clinton’s fuller statement wasn’t just fuller. It was fully accurate."

    1. All that means is people are busy with their lives and have no time to argue with trolls.

    2. Freaks indeed:

      "Under the circumstances, you’d think the reporters would want to include a full account of what Clinton actually said. These freaks never do that.

      It isn’t that hard to flesh out Clinton’s fuller remark. “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt,” she told NPR’s Terry Gross, making an accurate statement."

      Well, if they had taken something Mrs. Clinton said to Terry Gross they might have shifted the article from "dead broke" to"

      "No, I don't think you are trying to clarify. I think you're trying to say that, you know, I used to be opposed and now I'm in favor and I did it for political reasons. And that's just flat wrong. So let me just state what I feel like you are implying and repudiate it."

      Terry Gross and Clinton discussed gay marriage among other things. They did not discuss her wealth.

      Of course, to be fair, Gross is an old person. We don't know if she is oily, oleaginous, and a coot to boot. That may explain the confusion. But we think Bob is not totally accurate about where Clinton made her statement.

    3. You seem to be arguing that it is fine for Rove to slime Clinton in ads because she didn't describe her finances the way you would have.

    4. No. I am arguing that Clinton foolishly handed Rove his best ammunition.

    5. Just like John Kerry foolishly handed Rove ammunition by foolishly earning his medals serving his country in Vietnam.

    6. That's one of the Clinton rules. Whenever she is treated unfairly, it is always her fault.

    7. The other Clinton rule, of course, is it is never her fault.

      Rule 1) She didn't really lose the nomination in 2008.
      (All others do not matter)

    8. mm you poor pathetic fool.

      Karl and Co. had to work very hard for what they used on Kerry and it fooled almost nobody.

      Clinton's gift popped right out of her mouth. Just like Gore's.

      And with all due respect to the Blogger you so admire, clarifications, no matter how complete or incomplete, placed in paragraph 1 or paragraph 22 in July 2015 mean nothing when the barrage of television in swing states starts. It won't be imaginary sniper fire.

    9. When the press and people like @10:37 pretend that it is only chance remarks that matter and that a candidates policies and experience are irrelevant, the public loses. At that point we get the leaders we deserve -- people like G.W. Bush, who show us vividly that it really does matter who becomes president. mm is not the pathetic person here. The folks who deliberately manipulate voters into forsaking their own interests are cynical scumbags who subvert our democracy for the interests of those looting our economy. There is a special place in hell reserved for them.

    10. "There is a special place in hell reserved for them."

      Let's hope so. The rest of hell is going to get pretty crowded what with all those gay couple and the ministers who married them jostling for space.

      If you believe those things.