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View Diary: NY-11: John Murtha, Jim Dean, NY Times and the Soul of the Democratic Party (23 comments)

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  •  What's with Major Owens / Anthony Weiner? (0+ / 0-)

    I happened to hear the Murtha interview on Brian Lehrer's show.  Murtha appeared in Brooklyn yesterday, in Major Owens district at an event sponsored not by Owens but by Anthony Weiner (everyone's hero in the Democratic mayoral primary last year).

    Major Owens called into the show for one of those "my great and dear friend" exchanges that made it clear that some serious shit is going down in the district.

    What's up with that?

    Is America finally suffering from Idiot Fatigue?

    by LarryInNYC on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 05:23:01 PM PDT

    •  Backstabbing (4+ / 0-)

      Anthony Weiner talked John Murtha into endorsing Yvette. So far so good. He also talked Murtha into doing a Town Hall meeting on Iraq in Major's district. Also so far so good. Problem is, they didn't invite Major but DID invite Yvette Clarke. In otherwords, they turned a Town Hall Meeting into a second endorsement event without billing it that way. Major was pissed that he wasn't invited and the other candidates were also pissed because they are all supporters of the Murtha amendment and Yvette is perhaps the last to jump on the anti-war movement (not sure about Yassky, but Carl and especially Chris were anti-invasion from day one). So the whole thing, which should have been a wonderful event, was turned to their own benefit.

      In the end, we swarmed Murtha and Weiner with complaints and Major WAS included, though Weiner and Clarke still tried to make it a Clarke event. Murtha, to give him full credit, did not. He stuck to the subject and did an excellent job. I don't think he had intended the town meeting to be conflated with the endorsement. That was Andrew's idea, I suspect. Murtha freely admitted that Major Owens was right and he was wrong about the Iraq war.

      I cornered Weiner and berated him. He acted smug, but he also later admitted that Major had led the way on Iraq.

      •  This is amazing bkgrd, mole. (0+ / 0-)

        n/t

      •  Well. . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mole333

        it sounds like a lot of twisty politics.  What's Weiner playing at, by the way?  Is he supporting Clarke, or is his stepping all over Major Owens an attempt to strengthen Yasky, or what?  And what's up with the New York Congressional delegation that Weiner and Owens are at each other like that.  (I'll just remind you that, unlike many other dKossers, I never liked Weiner that much -- definitely more conservative than Bloomberg).

        Anyway, on the one issue of the Clarke endorsement, in the interview I heard Murtha sounded like it was really his endorsement, not something he got talked into.  He said that Clarke was one of the very first people to call him when he came out against the continued troop presence in Iraq and was sponsoring a City Council resolution modelled on his.  He also said nice things about Chris Owens, but presented the endorsement as sort of a precedence thing -- Clarke contacted him earlier and asked for his endorsement earlier.

        That's all for what it's worth.  I obviously have no knowledge of the facts of the matter.  Murtha did impress me otherwise in his Lehrer interview.

        Is America finally suffering from Idiot Fatigue?

        by LarryInNYC on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 05:55:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Comments (0+ / 0-)

          Murtha said elsewhere that Weiner introduced him to Yvette. It was arranged by Weiner. I am not saying yes or no to Murtha's heart being in it. But Weiner arranged it.

          What is Weiner playing at? Well, the common wisdom is (this isn't just me, it is also people I seldom agree with otherwise like the blogger Gatemouth) that Weiner wants city or state-wide office. He endorsed Yvette to garner the support of her backers. Yassky does nothing for him. In fact, his endorsement of Yvette was seen as something as a betrayal of Yassky since they both were Schumer buddies in the past. But Weiner appeals to the same demographics as Yassky, so he needed someone else.

          Chris is the longshot and doesn't see eye to eye with Anthony on some foreign policy issues. Andrews is corrupt. I kind of like Andrews, but let's face the bottom line that he is part of a corrupt machine. So, to get a connection to minority voters, he endorsed Yvette. That is the common wisdom there.

          Murtha wants the Speakership if Dems win back the House. The common wisdom assumes Weiner offered him support for that if he endorsed Clarke. Clarke has only one other Congressional endorsement, compared with Chris' 26 or so Congressional endorsments. So she needs it. She also faced a recent pretty damning scandal where she lied about graduating from Oberlin. She didn't graduate from Oberlin...in fact, it turned out she never gradtuated at all. But she had claimed she had. So the Murtha endorsement was intended to save her, and Murtha's incentive was another vote for Speakership. Two more votes if Yvette wins.

          All of that is the most cynical view. Another aspect is that Yvette really is the most conservative of the candidates. So Murtha might like that. He may not have taken as much convincing and dealing as we all assume. He may really want the most conservative to win. However, Yassky is the most hawkish. So many figure without Weiner's intervention Murtha would naturally go for Yassky. Who knows?

          I also was not much of a Weiner supporter. I actually (and I am not TOO embarassed by it) supported Miller. But I did petition for Weiner as a favor to a friend (you might know Marjorie...if so, let me know). And I sort of liked him. But wasn't convinced by him. Now I am not so likely to support him again, and neither are others who really did support him.

          As usual, Brooklyn politics is Byzantine. But it is my home!

          •  Murtha is running for (0+ / 0-)

            Majority Leader, not speaker (Lehrer made the same mistake in introducing him, by the way).  I believe Majority Leader (Tom Delay's former office) is technically an open position if the Democrats attain a majority -- Murtha made it clear that he supports Pelosi as Minority Leader and prospectively as Speaker.

            Weiner is certainely a very wily politician -- his surprise finish in the primary demostrates that, as well as his wise decision to run, not walk, away from a runoff challenge to Ferrer.

            Do you really think something like the Oberlin scandal will hurt Clarke -- on the Brooklyn scale of wrongdoing I would imagine that hardly rates.

            Can't believe the same person would support Gifford "Sticky Fingers" Miller and Chris Owens.

            Is America finally suffering from Idiot Fatigue?

            by LarryInNYC on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 06:32:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sidnora

              You are right about Murtha. My mistake.

              Some think that Yvette's lies may have cost her the NY Times endorsement. I don't. I think that was sewn up for Yassky on day one. But it will make it almost impossible for her to get beyond her core support group. It also isn't isolated. She has pissed off lots of people by claiming endorsements that don't exist (or, in one case, she claimed it prematurely). People don't trust her. Speaking for myself, she was starting to sound better than Yassky to me for awhile. But not anymore. Her credibility is shot. I don't think it will hurt her core support, but she has to get beyond that to win. I think she is failing to do so.

              Ah, Gifford. Who else would I have supported? Not anti-Civil Liberties, give-debvelopers-what-they-want Bloomberg, of course. Ferrer was not my choice...though you may have only seen my later obligation-driven work for him. I heard Gifford speak several times and both my wife and I really liked what he said. It was logical and fit with what we wanted to hear. I liked him! For the record, my baby didn't. He cried each and every time we heard Gifford. And, again for the record, my baby likes BOTH Yassky and Chris, though seems to like Chris a bit more. He was not impressed by Mark Green, yelling "Cat Nuts" (his word for Cashews, which we were feeding him at the time) throughout Green's speech and finally started saying to Green "bye, bye" indicating he was sick of him.

        •  I agree with mole's assessment (0+ / 0-)

          of Weiner's motivation, this is about boosting his name recognition and support outside of his obvious constituency, which closely overlaps Yassky's. And I admit, with much regret, that I did support him last year. That, I readily concede, was a mistake - but I'd still never back Bloomberg (but you knew that already).

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Send Chris Owens to Congress!

          by sidnora on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 05:22:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The fingerprints were there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blue Waters Run Deep

      for all who cared to see. The neighborhood (I live 4 blocks from where the meeting took place) was blitzed with flyers for the event, paid for by the Clarke campaign, and on the afternoon before forests of Clarke signs appeared on lampposts. It's an area where Clarke is pretty much a stranger, known only for her primary run against Rep. Owens in 2004, and her profile here this year had been the lowest of all the candidates prior to this.

      The venue was chosen because it is deep in the most antiwar and progressive section of the district, but it also happens to be the meeting place of our local Democratic Club, which endorsed Owens. Whether that choice was intended as a deliberate slap I can't say, but it certainly helped motivate Owens' supporters to turn out in force, both inside and outside the meeting.  It was pretty obvious that Weiner and Clarke intended to use Murtha's celebrity and antiwar cred to attract the attention of the local peace activists and make it a high-profile endorsement event, congressional protocol be damned.

      The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Send Chris Owens to Congress!

      by sidnora on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 05:10:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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