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I was watching Thomas Roberts at 5:30 ET on MSNBC and he carried a story from BuzzFeed, “Obama Aides Doubt Clinton Strategy.” I hadn’t read the article at the time but the MSNBC story was another case of a sensational headline not lining up with the facts.

The premise was that Secretary Clinton was making the same mistakes as her 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary bid and the MSNBC “way too early with thomas roberts” segment went on to quote two President Obama operatives and then to quote a third President Obama anonymous source. This was a haphazard and poorly put together concept whose sources did not say anything to support the premise.

The first person quoted was Obama’s chief campaign pollster who said:

“I just don’t see any strategic value in stories positioning her as inevitable or the pre-emptive nominee, and I don’t think people who are out there talking about this help her, and I think she should make that clear,” said Joel Benenson, Obama’s chief campaign pollster and now the top White House pollster.

Is Clinton or her supporters writing these stories that are of no strategic value? No, they are not. MSNBC and other pundits, editorial writers, reporters and others are responsible for stories that have all but crowned her. Individuals and organizations representing the party have all said that she hasn’t decided yet and that everyone expects a strong primary season.

For the Democratic Party, the primary season is the opportunity for the Democratic spectrum to have the venues to express ideas as opposed to being a litmus test forcing candidates to raise their hand in an impromptu swear not to raise taxes.  Although candidate Edwards eventually fell short with his extramarital affair and felony charges on campaign contribution law charges in the cover up, his message of two Americas was a resounding part of the 2008 Democratic primary campaign.

The second person whose excerpt from the article quote was national press secretary for the 2012 Obama campaign Ben LaBolt with:

…activists, donors, and voters like to see candidates fighting for every vote. If they start to feel like their power and influence is diminished it could have unforeseen consequences.

Again, another quote that can be in no way contributed to a supposed Clinton strategy without regard to the fact that she has not declared a candidacy.

The third person quoted, an anonymous former top Obama aide said,

 “People are really getting worried about it,” said another former top Obama aide, who said she would like to see a woman elected but worried that Clinton “doesn’t have a compelling rationale for her candidacy.”

Once again, another quote that hasn’t nothing to do with the article title and the MSNBC segment on the Clinton strategy. People getting worried and the idea that Secretary Clinton doesn’t have a compelling rationale for her candidacy are both ridiculous, the latter even more so and have absolutely nothing to do with the Secretary.

An MSNBC segment that posits a premise supported by relevant quotes and facts should be the standard. We should not have the privilege of the exhaustive reporting of Steve Kornacki and the thorough analysis of Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and others only to be subjected to the sensational segments like the one this morning.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Occupy. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    niteskolar

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:41:30 AM PST

  •  Putting aside the historic nature (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    niteskolar, FG

    of a woman winning the white house, I am unable to muster a shred of excitement over the idea of the Clinton's returning to the White House. Better than a Republican? No doubt. But I must confess I have no idea what the point would be, other than another 4-8 years of triangulation, short-term political expediency, and, yes, I do expect they will deliver enough ammo to the GOP to wet the media's appetite for "scandals."

    She has my vote in the general but do I look forward to her presidency? No. In fact, I'm kind of dreading it.

    Anyway, she may not run and any sort of slowing of the economy, it's no sure thing.

    •  I cannot argue that a Secretary Clinton (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DanielMorgan, MartyM, joe from Lowell

      presidency would not mean triangulation or short-term expediency if you are considering the executive from 1992-2000 but my problem is that you can't take three quotes about other people's fears and questions and make them a news segment about the Clinton strategy that isn't even existence.

      •  I agree the story has issues (0+ / 0-)

        but the underlying concerns are valid.

        I hope Clinton doesn't get caught flat-footed when and if some reporter asks her the famous Roger Mudd to Teddy Kennedy question: Why do you want to be president?

  •  Honestly (4+ / 0-)

    Although she is not the most progressive choice, I strongly believe that her coattails have the potential to be the largest - I think with her at the top of the ballot in 2016, she could help to usher in a new wave of Democrats.  We need the House and Senate in 2016 to accomplish anything - and I think Clinton has the appeal to do that.

    Yes, I think we could win in 2016 with another nominee - but I think the race will be closer, and I think the potential to win some swing races will be lower.  If we don't re-take the house, we're in for another 8 years of nothing.

    •  I agree she isn't the most progressive voice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MartyM

      but the idea that you would premise that she is making a mistake in utilizing her 2008 strategy when she hasn't even declared is ridiculous.

      Then they ended with my governor, Governor Malley saying that he wouldn't wait on her declaring when again that has nothing to do with the idea of the segment which is that an undeclared candidacy is making mistakes as a candidate.

      •  Who is Governor Malley? (0+ / 0-)

        Do you mean Governor O'Malley of Maryland?

        Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

        by leevank on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:10:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. Sorry. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leevank
          •  No problem (0+ / 0-)

            There was a time when I could name just about every Governor, but I can't do it any more. I thought there might be another Dem. Governor out there who was thinking about running.

            I've voted for O'Malley twice for Governor, but I've got to confess a complete lack of enthusiasm for voting for him for President. I'd certainly vote for him over anybody in the likely GOP field, but I think there are far better alternatives in the Democratic Party who are, like O'Malley, younger than Hillary and Joe Biden.

            Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

            by leevank on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:34:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  BHO Isn't the Most Progressive Either (0+ / 0-)

      Now, TR, there was a progressive.

      "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

      by midnight lurker on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:48:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, there is history to go by (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    niteskolar, WV Democrat, Wendys Wink

    Hillary tried to do the same thing before her 2008 run:  promote herself as the inevitable candidate, with the help of her Beltway entourage, and thereby try to clear the primary field.  

    The same strategy seems to be operating now.  Did Hillary learn anything, or does she just think the strategy would have worked but for Obama's appearance?  If that's true, then the story has a firm basis.

    I don't think a Democrat with a Wall Street base is going to be an inevitable candidate in 2016.  Somebody will arise to challenge her, and that somebody will likely win if they adopt an economic populist message backed up with some accomplishments.  Maybe not Elizabeth Warren, but somebody representing those who support Warren has a very good chance to wipe the floor with Hillary in 2016.

    We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

    by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:13:35 AM PST

  •  What bothers me most about Hillary (and Biden) (0+ / 0-)

    is age. If Hillary to run and win, she would be the second oldest person in history to be inaugurated for a first term, and only a few months younger than Ronald Reagan was at his inauguration. If Biden were to run and win, he would be the oldest.

    I'm about a year younger than Hillary, and I don't know anybody my age or older who thinks they would have the energy to be tackling the Presidency beginning in 2017. Although it looks increasingly like she's running, I'm still not convinced she'll do it. She's been through two national campaigns as the spouse of the candidate, and one as the candidate herself. She looked exhausted at the end of her tenure as Secretary of State (which isn't surprising, given their travel schedule), and I'm still not sure that when it comes down to it, she won't decide that she just doesn't want to put herself through another national campaign (or possibly two, if she won the first one).

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:21:28 AM PST

  •  Hillary Needs To Show That She Is Not Her (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    midnight lurker

    husband.  To do that she needs to go to the left.  I believe that Hillary will be more liberal than President Obama because if she isn't the middle class is doomed.  No more corporate judges.   She needs to show she is not for just the 1 percent.  She needs to disconnect from her Walmart ties and promote more competition.  Pretty soon the only places for people to buy anything is going to be Walmart and Amazon.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:32:47 AM PST

    •  I could be wrong, but when the time comes, I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeremimi

      Hillary will prove herself to be concerned about women's issues and the conditions of women's lives around the world and in the US. For that reason I think she'll be plenty progressive.
      We are not going to be happy with any candidate's selection of "friends" (donors) as long as we don't have broad campaign finance reform in the country and create some separation between the lobbyists and the pols.

      Even if we elect a candidate with practically all $40 donations they're going to have to work with a Congress that spends all their time fundraising. So whoever's the President is going to have to cater to some degree to the people with money.

      If Hillary has a Dem congress to work with, I think she'll move the country in a progressive direction. If the gop are still in a position to obstruct, they will, and we'll see more of the same.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:52:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Agree (0+ / 0-)

      To be a viable candidate, HRC must demonstrate that she is not WJC in a skirt, because that would be a primary line of attack from the right. Bill Clinton was immensely better as President than George H.W. Bush would have been in a second term or Bob Dole in a first. But in her case, it would seem to be a big plus if HRC could show a real populist face.

      "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

      by midnight lurker on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:57:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No rationale for her candidacy? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1040SU, niteskolar

    She was the First Lady, Senator, and Sec. of State. She's the most qualified person out there, of any party.

  •  There seems to be a (0+ / 0-)

    tendency among certain folks to paint Hillary as a characture of how she was portrayed in 2008. I think she has evolved and continues to evolve. Those, like me, who strongly opposed her candidacy in the '08 primary would be well served by taking a deep breath and keeping an open mind about her candidacy this time around. It seems unlikely that she will be the same Hillary she was back in '08. The world is a different place and we may very well find her to be a different candidate. One thing she is not, is stupid. So don't assume she will necessarily embrace all the mistakes of her prior presidential campaign.

    •  Agree. (0+ / 0-)

      Now, I see her as our best hope for finishing off some of the Obama agenda, like healthcare, and educational opportunities for youth and unemployed, follow thru on immigration reform...ect.

      I mean, she must and will have her own agenda list, but getting her in the White House ensures that the Obama issues will not be reversed.

      She is smarter, I suspect, and knows the mood of the country is for no wars, and more opportunity for all.

      Packing the Supreme Court with young, progressive judges would also be a huge benefit for Hillary.

      Who else?  Schweitzer is the only name even on the horizon....he can make the debates interesting, but not sure if he is a sure bet vs a GOPer.

      As for the diary, I agree that Hillary has little control over the media speculation, but her advocates need to chill.

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