Has Obama become safely complex since February?

posted at 8:30 am on June 7, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Hillary Clinton will do her best to walk back her rhetoric over the last six months when she officially endorses Barack Obama for the nomination and general election. Her reluctance to concede the race on Tuesday makes this even more awkward, and she will have to show some real enthusiasm for Obama. That will require a lot of work, especially given all of the blasts she has leveled against the nominee for the past four months:

After a tumultuous 17-month journey, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) will formally withdraw as a presidential candidate today, publicly declaring her support for Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) for the first time since he secured the Democratic nomination.

Clinton drew the wrath of many Democrats when she did not acknowledge Obama’s victory in her speech on Tuesday night. Her farewell address to supporters, scheduled for noon today at the National Building Museum at Fourth and F streets NW, is intended to repair any lingering damage from the Tuesday speech and will close the door on an epic primary campaign that, after dividing Democrats, produced the first African American presumptive nominee of any major party in history.

The two candidates wound up meeting on Thursday night at Dianne Feinstein’s house in DC, a useful and neutral setting for the beginning of their rapprochement. According to Senator Feinstein, she greeted them and then left them alone for an hour to talk between themselves with no staff present at all. At the end of the hour, they were in a jovial mood, so the ice had been broken at the very least. Feinstein says she has no idea what was discussed or what agreements were reached, but Clinton scheduled her concession for today shortly afterwards.

Can she win back her supporters to Obama’s side? Perhaps the better question will be whether she can retain any credibility while doing so. She has a lot of explaining to do as to why she thinks Obama has more qualifications to be commander-in-chief other than “a speech he gave in 2002”, and where he acquired those credentials in the few short months since she made that accusation. Hillary has to also explain how Obama stopped “dangerously oversimplifying” foreign policy in a time of war:

The problem for Hillary is that these statements stick because they have a great deal of truth in them. The RNC has a library of these comments ready for ads in the fall. Every time she hits the road for Obama, the Republicans will remind voters of Hillary’s real opinions of Barack Obama. She’ll either have to say she was lying then or come up with ridiculous rationales to pretend that Obama has overcome these gaping liabilities — and with Obama making gaffe after gaffe, those rationales will look very weak.

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Only as complex as $20 million!

Can you say “political foreclosure”?

Nah, more like poltical bankruptcy.

singlemalt_18 on June 7, 2008 at 8:36 AM

For the good of the country, Bob Barr should withdraw and support McCain.

slp on June 7, 2008 at 8:36 AM

In the subliminal and sometimes not-so-subtle manner that the Clenis undermined his wife’s campaign, so Hillary will “endorse” Barack.

IrishEi on June 7, 2008 at 8:41 AM

Since the Clintons have a legacy of being able to spin the truth on a dime with no sense of shame whatsoever, suddenling coming out for Obama should be like shooting fish in a barrel for Hillary.

The fun thing to watch will be how the media handles this pirouette — over the past five months they’ve been practicing due diligence in calling both Hill and Bill out on their contradictions and negative statements towards Obama, and haven’t been reluctant to go to the video replay to really hit home the point. But if Hillary’s suddenly going to be one of Barack’s biggest supporters and a possible VP choice, look for those past attacks and contradictions to be replayed about as much as the networks have replayed the images of people jumping out of Towers 1 and 2 at the World Trade Center since 9/11.

jon1979 on June 7, 2008 at 8:44 AM

So an endorsement from Hillary costs $20 million? Is that about what Bill got for his pardons?

indythinker on June 7, 2008 at 8:46 AM

Angle of truth about Hillary Clinton…

You’re right on target with this evaluation Ed. A few additional thoughts.

Hillary Clinton had this nomination in her bag when she proudly announced “I’m in, and I’m in to win” well over a year ago. The first woman to run for potus; historical by nature. With her popular husband standing beside her, how could she lose esp. given the probable choices on the GOP side. What then transpired has been truly amazing to watch. Obama enters his name into the mix. We all thought this was simply an attempt to get on the ticket with Hillary; grooming for a possible lengthy run of Democrat Presidents for the next 16 years. I never thought Obama had a chance against the Clinton machine. Hillary started to makes huge mistakes, lying repeatedly while campaign finance corruption surrounded her like flies on a fresh pile. Hillary started to throw her weight around with the press, as did her husband. Next thing I knew, the press had thrown the Clinton’s under the bus in favor of Obama; a rookie Senator from Illinois with absolutely NO experience or qualifications to even be considered for potus. WOW!

Hillary and Bill Clinton just got their lunch handed to them by a complete empty suit nothing of a politician. This campaign truly was amazing to watch. The darlings of the media turned out to be nothing other than a tool that got replaced by a new tool.

That’s gotta hurt!

Keemo on June 7, 2008 at 8:51 AM

She’ll either have to say she was lying then or come up with ridiculous rationales to pretend that Obama has overcome these gaping liabilities — and with Obama making gaffe after gaffe, those rationales will look very weak.

Some liberal blogs acually try to make Obama’s gaffes seem like brilliant policy innovations. Get the popcorn and watch the kool-aid drinkers squirm.

Right_of_Attila on June 7, 2008 at 8:55 AM

Ed, you completely misunderstand politics as practiced by the democrat party.

IF, as expected, Hillary gives up, all she has to say is, “the people of this great nation have spoken”. “They would accept EITHER Sen Obama, or myself as president of the US”. “The leadership of the democrat party have decided to support Sen Obama, and as a result, I have no choice but to accept the majority opinion, and put my support behind Sen. Obama.”

See how easy it is?

rockhauler on June 7, 2008 at 9:01 AM

“she will have to show some real enthusiasm for Obama”–

not for a minute

maverick muse on June 7, 2008 at 9:08 AM

Of course Hillary will “support” Obama for the moment. But as for showing real enthusiasm, only enough (it may be over the top at that) to provide the cover she’ll use when the big bang theory explodes on the scene.

maverick muse on June 7, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Amazingly, Hillary ended up quite likable by the end of the primary. Obama just seemed more like a huckster who’ll say anything, a carnival barker just trying to get people into the tent.

Mojave Mark on June 7, 2008 at 9:18 AM

“This isn’t the Hillary Clinton I knew”

– Barack Hussein

drjohn on June 7, 2008 at 9:23 AM

A while ago, I figured that if she didn’t get the nomination, Bill would have more health problems and she would “have to” stay home to “help” him out. Perhaps she’ll find another excuse to not campaign much. Unless he’s managed to offer her something she wants. Nothing, including her getting the vp spot, would surprise me.

MamaAJ on June 7, 2008 at 9:42 AM

Barak promised to put Hillary on the Supreme Court.

T J Green on June 7, 2008 at 9:46 AM

I believe Ann Coulter puts it best when she says it must be nice to be a Democrat, because history only goes as far back as this morning.
You think the MSM are going to pull out any of the Hillary bashing Obama clips when covering the upcoming love fest? Yeah, didn’t think so. It’s Republicans job, apparently, to call the Dems on their lies. The MSM are mostly a PR wing of the DNC from here until November.

Sugar Land on June 7, 2008 at 10:02 AM

After Hillary issues a retraction of virtually every important judgment she has made over the last 5 months, some clever GOP wag ought to respond:

“I think that the reports that you provide to us really require a willing suspension of disbelief.”*

* A direct quote from Hillary Clinton in her 2007 smear of General Petraeus.

jeff_from_mpls on June 7, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Barak promised to put Hillary on the Supreme Court.

T J Green on June 7, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Don’t be ridiculous, and learn how to spell his name.

Jaibones on June 7, 2008 at 10:47 AM

“This isn’t the Hillary Clinton I knew” – Barack Hussein

drjohn on June 7, 2008 at 9:23 AM


Needless to say, we all question the timing.

Jaibones on June 7, 2008 at 10:48 AM

I don’t see Obama using her for anything after her speech today. As pointed out, every time she opens her mouth, the RNC will replay earlier statements she made about the Obamassiah. The overhead caption will read: “Lying then, or lying now”.

GarandFan on June 7, 2008 at 11:15 AM

The Dems will ignore everything but HOW TO WIN.

This election depends on those who are not already sold on the HISTORICAL candidacy of an inexperienced, uninformed, judgment-challenged radical neophyte who happens to have the right melanin content of his character.

No one else is listening to the moronic gaffes, preposterous flip-flips, instantaneous reversals of position , laughable “corrections”, et al.

The media will not let Obama make any mistakes.

Only something mindbogglingly insane would even make his supporters hesitate for a moment.

Pray for a Gaffe the size of Barry’s bus.

profitsbeard on June 7, 2008 at 11:30 AM

Don’t forget that this woman has no shame. She will say what she thinks needs to be said and then sleep well tonight.

In the coming months, take a drink whenever she responds to questions about flip-flopping on Barry by either saying she was misquoted or her commments were taken out of context.

Mallard T. Drake on June 7, 2008 at 11:54 AM

We are a nation at war that seem to be forgotten…

yea, because President Bush has kept America safe since 9/11, while you democrats have done everything that you could to fight him all the way… kicking and screaming like children.

Chakra Hammer on June 7, 2008 at 1:28 PM

The Clintons are finished !!! Took a Black Guy to kick the 1st Black President’s rear end. Great to see a Bitch … bitch !!!

aniladesai on June 7, 2008 at 7:00 PM

aniladesai on June 7, 2008 at 7:00 PM

Beware what you wish for.

Along with trying to muddy the race as long as possible, Operation Chaos was a tacit admission that, for all her kleptomaniac, lying, grandstanding, personal vendetta foibles, Hillary would have still made a better President than Obama – if one had to choose only between those two.

Perhaps that isn’t saying much, but just remember: past is prologue. Obama is parroting every policy position that Carter screwed us with back in the late 1970’s, from the economy to foreign policy. And if you haven’t been paying attention to your history, Carter’s ineptitude gave us a severe worldwide recession, revolution in Iran, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

1976 should be a lesson to us all: never discount the damage a President can do in a single term.

Wanderlust on June 7, 2008 at 9:23 PM

Barak promised to put Hillary on the Supreme Court.

T J Green on June 7, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Don’t be ridiculous, and learn how to spell his name.

Jaibones on June 7, 2008 at 10:47 AM

What’s so ridiculous about Hillary wanting a seat on the Supreme Court? It makes more sense than assuming she wants the VP.

my2cents on June 7, 2008 at 11:36 PM