Monday, June 30, 2008

Tim Russert Was Just a Average Guy with a 7.2 Million Dollar Home

According to a Cape Cod newspaper, the above photo is of Tim Russert's home in Nantucket. It has over 6,000 square feet and a value of 7.2 million dollars. Obviously, television punditry pays very well.

The point of posting this letter isn't to criticize the dead. Rather it is to illustrate that people like Tim Russert, regardless of their background, really don't have a lot in common with blue collar Americans. They can afford really expensive homes in places like Nantucket. They can afford to send their kids to really expensive colleges. They can vacation at really expensive resorts.

There is a reason why they identify with Republicans. Its because they are wealthy. How much do you think a Barack Obama victory would have cost Tim Russert? Obama wants to role back the reckless Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, or, to be more accurate, he doesn't want to renew them when they come up for extension in 2010. McCain does. As Business Week pointed out in an recent article, Obama's tax plans help the middle class and working class while McCain's plan helps the really wealthy.

As we have said before, if you want to know why the mainstream media talking heads favor Republicans, just follow the money.

Voinovich Bucks the GOP and the Shrub

In the past this blog has criticized Senator George Voinovich when he backed the party line in the United States Senate even though such actions hurt Ohio's working class families. Therefore, we owe to him to note that when the cloture vote came up in the Senate on June 26, 2008, he voted to end the Republican filibuster of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008. The cloture vote failed by two votes, 58 to 40. As a result there is the possibility of a 10% cut in physician fees paid by Medicare.

Interestingly Bush promised to veto the bill if it would have got past the filibuster. John "McSame" McCain was not present when this vote took place. Only two Senators missed this vote. One was Ted Kennedy, who has brain cancer, and the other was McSame, who is running for president.

Apparently McSame hasn't been around for a Senate vote since about April of this year. Apparently he thinks that running for President means he doesn't have to represent the people of Arizona in the Senate. Note, however, that Obama, who is also running for President was in the Senate and voted to end the filibuster. We wonder if the mainstream media will ever decide to examine Obama's and McSame's voting record for 2008 to see how often each of them was in the Senate. Now that would be a interesting story.

Medina Dems Visit the Gov

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Obama-McCain Enthusiam Gap recently posted the image shown above to illustrate the "enthusiam gap" between Obama and McCain's supporters. While Obama's Democratic supporters are generally enthusiatic about Obama's candidacy, a majority of Republicans are not enthusiatic about McCain's. This doesn't bode well for "Let's Bomb Iran" John.

Cindy McCain Owe Back Property Taxes in California

The picture above is of the beachfront condominum building in La Jolla, California, which contains a unit owned by a trust that is administered by Cindy McCain. According to Newsweek, the authorities in San Diego county, which is where La Jolla is located, have been sending out notices to the Phoenix address of the trust without receiving a response. This has apparently been going on for about four years. What is not clear from the article is how much back taxes are owed on the property.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Medina Gazette's Articles on Medina County's "Movers and Shakers" Looks Like a List of GOP Who's Who

The Medina County Gazette is running a series on the supposed top-ten "movers and shakers" in Medina County. This list was supposedly generated by taking an "informal survey of community and government leaders" in Medina County. So far, and we have just had profiles of numbers 10 and nine, but this list is looking like a Who's Who of the Medina County Repubican Party.

Number ten was Jim Renacci, former Republican Mayor of Wadsworth, and number nine is Don Simmons, former Republican Party Chair and former Republican Medina County Commissioner. Want to bet what the other eight will have in common?

17 Year Old Farm Worker Who Died in California Linked to "Two-Buck Chuck"

Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez was a 17 year old farm worker who died while working in a vineyard near Stockton, California. She was working in 100 degree plus heat and died of heat stroke. The vineyard that she worked for is a supplier to the Charles Shaw winery that makes a wine sold at Trader Joe's stores nationwide, including Ohio. In California the wine sells for around $2.00 and has earned Charles Shaw the nickname of "Two-Buck Chuck."

The United Farm Workers is urging customers of Trader Joe's to contact the company by email and urge them to make sure that growers who are supplying Charles Shaw provide their workers with adequate water and give them work breaks. You can read more about the UFW's campaign by clicking here.

Our family shops at Trader Joe's and often buys Charles Shaw wines. That's why we have joined the UFW's email campaign. If you are a customer of Trader Joe's, we urge you to click on the link above and, if you agree with the UFW's position, to send the recommended email.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Graph on McCain's Support of Bush

Last week we posted a short article about John McCain's support of Bush in the United States Senate. Below is a graph we prepared on the same subject. Anyone who wants to use it is free to do so, but we would appreciate credit being given to the Medina County Democratic Action Committee.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama's Decision on Public Financing Attacks Media's Influence

Most media outlets that have commented on Obama's decision to foresake public financing have expressed disapproval. The editorial that the Washington Post ran, entitled The Politics of Spare Change, is typical. Also typical was the comments made by Charles Gibson of ABC News on the nightly news program for June 20, 2008, when he wondered if Obama's decision was "unfair" and whether Americans would disapprove because American voters want a "level playing field." (Interestingly we have never heard of such sentiments from Gibson when Bush was raising millions of dollars to run in 2000 against his primary opponents, or when right-wing 527s were impugning Kerry's military service in 2004. Apparently he is only concerned when Democrats raise a lot of money to take on John McCain.)

So why does Obama's decision cause such media concern? The media would have you believe that it is because it is concerned about the influence of big money in the political system, and that may very well be, but there are other reasons. One of them is the fact that the more money that a presidential candidate can raise to get his or her message out, the less influence the media has in the election.

When presidential candidates are limited in the amount of money they can raise and spend, it makes "free" media more important. There is an incentive for candidates to court media representatives to try and get free publicity.

This is because a political campaign is really an advertising process. Candidates have a message they want voters to hear and, hopefully, approve. If they are limited in what they can raise and spend on "paid" media, then free media becomes more important. If, however, they aren't limited, then paid media takes on more importance and free media loses importance.

From a candidate's perspective, free media is always more problematic than paid media because the candidate has much less control over free media. Thus, while there is an incentive to get free media, it always comes with a risk.

Look at it this way: The media is in business to make money. Media representatives work for profit-making organizations. It helps their employers if there is less competition from political advertisers because it makes their product, political reporting, more valuable. It also plays into their sense of self-importance.

Obama's decision affects the media's power and influence. Of course they aren't going to like it, and of course, they are going to tell you that their concern has nothing to do with their loss of power. They can say that, but we don't have to believe it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We Won't Be Swift-Boated Again

Barack Obama's decision not to accept public financing of his presidential campaign means that it will be much harder to Swift-Boat his campaign. The reason is that his campaign will have the resources to immediately respond and won't have to wait for Federal funds to be distributed between the time of his nomination and the time of the election.

In 2004 John Kerry agreed to accept Federal funding and, once he was nominated, couldn't spend the money he had raised for the primary campaign on television ads. He had to wait until the Federal Elections Commission distributed Federal funds to his campaign. Not suprisingly, that was the the exact time frame of the supposed independent group, "Swift-Boat Veterans for Truth" ran their ads.

Now, because of Obama's success in raising money, that kind of tactic will be much harder to duplicate. Now, if those kinds of ads are run, Obama will have the resources to quickly respond. This is just one more indication that he has learned the lessons of the 2000 and the 2004 campaigns.

So you're running for office...

A winning campaign plans ahead. That's why this post is timely and important for your race. In 2009.

Local elections happen in the "off-year" elections. That means city council members, some mayors, some municipal judges, municipal clerks, school boards, educational service center boards, and other municipal elections are on the ballot.

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about your run for office next year- I'm going to lay out some of the preliminary things you should accomplish during the coming months.

First things first:

1. Gather Information: You'll need to get two kinds of data together: public and personal.

Public: Go to your local board of elections- you're going to need to get some documents there. Medina County, for example, doesn't have any previous municipal election results listed on the internet. To my knowledge, no local board of elections has financial data online.

Get these documents:

- Election Results from the previous cycles. You'll want to get precinct by precinct results from the previous elections involving the position you're looking at. The last two times the position has been up is more than sufficient.

-Filing Deadlines for the position you're looking for. What are the requirements? How many signatures do you need to have? When do the petitions have to be turned in? Strategically, you may not want to pull petitions just yet- but you need to know what time frames you're working toward.

-Voter Files (you may be able to get this from your local party as well) with the registrations for your entire area. In "off-year" elections, you have to make sure you're hitting the voters who will definitely vote.

-Financial Data. Pull up any and all information on your potential opponents either in a primary or a general election. Pull up information on any local clubs (example: Lodi City Libertarian Club) that might be helping to fund a candidate.

-Other Considerations: be sure to find out what your district encompasses. Some school districts are not equal to the municipal areas and some municipal areas have pockets of townships.


- People you know. Make a list of all the people you know on a spreadsheet. Get out lists of who you send holiday cards to, wedding guests, anything that you can think of. This is critical. It doesn't matter if they don't live in your city. This should also include any political contacts. All you know. Everybody. Don't skip anyone.

- Groups you're involved in. What kind of organizations are you involved in? If you're not involved in any, start getting out there. You need to be involved in the community you're planning to run in.

- Lists of party donors. Get any information you can about frequently donors in the Democratic Party in your county and in your city. Typically, these are your secondary donors including like minded groups like labor unions, progressive groups, etc.

2. Planning

-Materials: These will make your life easier. Buy a large calendar, get a map of the area you're campaigning in (broken down into precincts even!), at least one clipboard, have a spreadsheet program that you know how to use, and some envelopes/stamps.

-Media Costs: How much do newspaper ads cost in your area? How much do signs cost? What about mailings and literature? Figure these things out!

-Making the overall plan: This is going to brush over what can be a complicated process with a simple goal: how many votes do I need to win and how many times do I need to get my message to a voter to get their vote? Think: ideally I'd have a mailing at these times or I'll hit the doors this many times. Write it on the calendar.

-Make the Budget: This is also simplifying the process: but make a spreadsheet of the things that you wanted to do when you made your plan- place the costs next to it. What's the total? That's your fund raising goal. Place everything possible on here, you can take out things later if the money isn't coming in.

3. Action

Get Involved!

-Work on campaigns now- pick a race that gets you knocking on doors and meeting people. The race that will help you the most ISN'T for President. It's a local race involving local issues. Also, if you help get someone elected to a county office they will still be around when you're running next year. No matter what amount you help Barack Obama in 2008, he won't be around to hit on doors for your school board race in 2009.

- Join community groups- being involved in local community groups will help you meet contacts and network. This is about the number of people that will vote for you and if you know more people you know more votes. Plus, this can be fun. Join a community service organization, or even one that relates to a hobby of yours. Just be smart- you can't put your membership in NORML on a campaign flyer.

-With the Democratic Party- is there a mailing list? Are there precinct chairs in your city? Is the party having an event coming up? Make appearances and network. If the first time you meet the democratic party in your county and city is when you start running and ask for help and money... don't be shocked if they're less than willing to support you.

-Remember that list of names? Keep adding to it. When you meet someone them on it.

-Open a committee/fundraising- Depending on the amount of money you need and your budget, you may want to open a fundraising committee sooner rather than later. Find a treasurer and send out a mailer using the envelopes and stamps you bought that lets the people you know (remember that list?) know you're thinking of running and you'll need their help.

Summary: You've got to plan now to run in the future. It's like any business, sports team, or relationship. You need planning. A campaign is not magic- it's a strategic marketing campaign. Any questions? Or if you want to run- make a comment on this post or email MCDAC and let us know.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

MCDAC Survey on Clinton for VP

We surveyed the readers of our weekly email newsletter on whether they favored or opposed Hillary Clinton being the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee. By a margin of 57.4% to 37.5% they favored Senator Clinton being the VP nominee.

Every time we run a survey on Barack or Clinton, we find that our readers have very definite feelings about them. This survey was no exception.

Below are some comments from our readers who participated in this survey:

She knows what our country needs to surivive

I think Obama should go his own way. Many people were attracted to Barak because he is a change from the Clinton and Bush dynasties.

We know nothing about this man. She should be her own WOMAN and stay away from him.

She needs to fight all the way to the convention.

I would prefer Hillary-Obama, but if I can't have it, the opposite would do, and be precedent setting!

This is the ONLY way Obama will have any kind of a chance of winning.

IF he will give her a major role in his administration and she can follow his lead - it would be a win/win for the country. And WJC can't be involved.

She should be president/he, vice president. Then it would work...oh my how the world would change.

It is the only way I will vote for Obama. I just don't like the guy.

Many people have called our office and will not vote or switch to R. So if they are both on ticket perhaps It will be a good thing

As a Barack fan, I was in favor of Hillary being on the ticket, but with this party threatening behavior of the last day, I think she should be tossed

bad idea!

It's the only way they will get my vote.

NO, she has not improved her negatives. She will cost more votes than she will gain. She and Bill have been too negative and given the RNC material

An excellent team!!! They both shared much of the same ideas and hopes.

That would not balance the ticket, Obama needs someone with strong executive skills, a CEO or a general.

Definitely not. She is a blue dog Democrat. Barbara Boxer would be a better choice or Dennis Kucinich !

Why not, it's seems like a winning ticket to me. It's a good way to bring the party together and to draw out votes from many who never voted before.
It's possibly the only way I'd vote for Obama. And I know many other Democrats who feel that way.

Unfortunately, racism and sexism are real. So we will need to add a white male to the ticket.

Still would prefer it the other way around to give him some actual experience and training, but hope he is smart enough to do this! You go, girl

ABSOLUTELY NO. BARACK must be free to take the world in a new direction without the CLINTONS. She IS NOT the FIRST woman to run for president!

John Edwards.

Of course she'll "consider" the vice presidency. Screw her!

Their agendas compliment each other.Together they can win this election and undo what has been done in the last 8 years.I do not want a 3rd Bush term.

Although I would rather that she was named Secretary of State.

Those two together would give us the best of both worlds, and hopefully, Hillary could negotiate for a strong VP role.

Together you're looking at over 40 million votes. And Bill should be included. 3 heads are better than none (GWBush).

It would be better of it was Hillary P and Obama VP.

As she said: Remember Bobby!

That is probably the only way he can beat McCain. She has a lot of backing. Lot of people don't care for Obama.

I think it would be great. We need to beat the "R's" and get this great country new leadership.

ABSOLUTELY! She will then have the chance to truly show Americans what a great leader she will be.

I voted in favor, with this caveat: Former President Clinton must give up his investment dealings with foreign nations. And he must be reined in.

This is Obama's decision. It seems like she is forcing herself on him. I loved the Clintons back in the 90's. I now have grown tired of them.

I still want a woman for Pres in my lifetime, but I guess VP will have to do. I still hold hope that those super delegates will change their minds!

Would go against everything Obama has campaigned on over the last nine months.

I favor Clinton for VP. This is what the county needs. A historic time for all American's. Change come's with time and America is forever changing.

It's up to Obama.

He needs her for five reasons: Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Michigan, Florida!

I think she needs to run until the convention. She hasn't lost it yet.

The selection of Hillary as his running-mate is the ONLY way that I will vote for Barack as President. Without her, I do not intend to vote at all.

We can at least get that one step closer to having a female President. I think they could be a great team.

Too divisive and her illegal commodities deal will come back to haunt her. There are at least two highly qualified lady governors who would be great.

She has the poplular vote. I will vote for McCain before I vote for Obama for President.

Selling out!! Is there no pride or character left in our leaders? Picture dinner with Bill, Wright & Farakan? And i am a Hillary supporter!!!

of course it is up to obama to pick his running mate but if he feels comfortable with so do

Wouldn't it be great to have them both?

Needs his own person. Not someone with an agenda.

only way to unite the party and get the women who support Hillary to vote in November

Hillary should be the VP and then tackle health care

Hillary as VP would "accomodate" those (like me) who voted for her in the primary. Barack will be elected with Hillary on board!

If we can't have Hilary AND Bill. We'll take Hilary any way we can. What a strong ticket!

A Vice Presidential candidate virtually means nothing once the candidate is elected and becomes president- help for democratic image during election

This would become the "Dream Team".

I oppose, not because I have any particular dislike for her, but because I think another VP candidate might be more help in defeating John McCain.

Unite the party!

I favor assuming this will capture most of Clinton supporters for Obama and a win in November. Any other VP option that can provide this unity?

Obana & Clinton would probably be the best democratic team to win the presidency

Slightly favor. With or without her I think we are facing a tougher fight than most folks do. Like it or not, the short road to unity is through her.

It would never work, she would never take back seat to Obama nor would Obama be able to handle her. lcole.

I think it would be a marriage from hell,with obama as the DEVIL!!

Sounds like the dream ticket to me. Obama and Clinton are virtually identical on policy issues. It may be the only way to unite the Democrats.

No way. He is the candidate of change, she represents status quo. She brings nothing to the ticket. She should stick with the Senate.

let's move on. it's time to get past the clintons.

If this is true NOW is the time to put it together so the Democratic voters can support them both in November. Seems like a "no brainer" to me.

United we stand, divided we fall....

I said it before: Dick Cheney has been running this country for the past 7+ years...

I would rather Hillary be President, but the only way I will vote for Barack is if she is on the ticket.

It would be something between a "dream ticket" and a marriage made in hell. It would probably win the presidency, though.

I have been wrong about VP candidates before, but can't see this happening. Although this is a great ticket, both have too many negs. Hope for Dodd.

If JFK could take LBJ in 1960 to win the presidency, then Obama can take Clinton in 2008.

I want Obama to pick whoever will do the most to help him win in November.

That's the only way Barack Obama will get my vote. Although I'm a lifelong Democrat, I'll vote for McCain in November otherwise.

She has passionate supporters who will guarantee a win in Nov, if Barack does not team with her, he might still win but we'll lose down ticket races

I grudgingly support it, for the good of working towards getting the majority in november only.

She's run a despicable "kitchen sink" campaign. She has purposely weakened Obama for the GE. That said, I would still vote for him with her on ticket.

Now she is talking the talk....when she should have walked the walk.....Perhaps John Edwards?

Dont trust the Clintons!

A Maverick He Ain't

One of the myths that John McCain has been able to sell to the public through the mainstream media is the idea that he is some sort of maverick. Like with a lot of myths, however, this one doesn't bear close scrutiny.

Congressional Quarterly did an analysis of John McCain's votes in the Senate going back to the first year of the Bush Presidency. Over the last eight years, McCain has supported Bush 90.625% of the time with his Senate votes. The lowest percentage came in 2005, when he "only" supported Bush 77% of the time. So far in 2008, as of May 15, 2008 he has supported Bush 100% of the time.

So, given the fact that McCain has supported Bush over 90% of the time, why does the media keep referring to him as a "maverick"? Contrary to what liberals may believe, it is not their preference for Republicans. It is because most reporters and political commentators are part of a herd. Very few of them are original thinkers. Most of them just follow the lead of the rest of their group. The fact that they report it that way, however, doesn't make it so.

Friday, June 13, 2008

McCain Quotes on Iraq War

So, which one of these predictions from John McCain turned out to be true?

“But I believe, Katie, that the Iraqi people will greet us as liberators.” [NBC, 3/20/03]

“It’s clear that the end is very much in sight.” [ABC, 4/9/03]

“There’s not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shiahs. So I think they can probably get along.” [MSNBC, 4/23/03]

“This is a mission accomplished. They know how much influence Saddam Hussein had on the Iraqi people, how much more difficult it made to get their cooperation.” [This Week, ABC, 12/14/03]

“I’m confident we’re on the right course.” [ABC News, 3/7/04]

“I think the initial phases of it were so spectacularly successful that it took us all by surprise.” [CBS, 10/31/04]

“I do think that progress is being made in a lot of Iraq. Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course. If I thought we weren’t making progress, I’d be despondent.” [The Hill, 12/8/05]

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Barack Obama's Nomination: The Democratic Party Comes Full Circle

From the time of its formation until the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic Party was the political opponent of the African-American community. Its leaders championed slavery in the 1800s and helped start the Civil War over the issue. Its leaders, after the end of Reconstruction in 1876, dominated the states of the Old Confederacy and passed infamous Jim Crow laws. Laws that promoted segregation and deprived African-Americans of their political and civil rights.

Things started to change with the nomination of FDR. African-Americans in the north began voting for a Democrat for president for the first time in their political history. This trend continued at the 1948 Democratic convention with the adoption of a civil rights plank in the Democratic platform and the walk-out of several Southern delegates led by Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

Even in 1960, however, African-Americans were skeptical of the Democratic nominee for president. While Kennedy did get around 60% of the African-American vote, it took Lyndon B. Johnson and the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to convince African-Americans they could trust the Democratic Party.

During that process, the Democratic Party lost its hold on the states of the Old Confederacy. It saw the Republicans repudiate their own past and go from being the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Ol' Strom Thurmond. In so doing, the Republicans won 7 out of the last 10 presidential elections. The GOP won these elections by combining the 11 states of the Old Confederacy with the farm belt states and enough border and industrial midwest states to win the electoral college.

It was fitting that a Democratic President be the one to get the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed, given the fact that for most of the preceding 100 years, Democrats had been the party of white racists. It is also fitting, however, that the first African-American candidate for president nominated by a major political party be a Democrat. This is because, since 1968, the Democratic Party has done the most to advance the political power of African-Americans.

In about 100 years, the Democratic Party has gone from being the party of white racists to the party that embodies the hopes and aspirations of African-Americans. Now we will see whether it can get Barack Obama elected president.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Are Caucuses Really Democratic?

Huffington Post has a great article up on how Harold Ickes, one of the key advisers to Hillary Clinton, was heavily involved in getting the Democratic Party to adopt reforms that have allowed Barack Obama to do well in 2008. Besides pointing out the irony of all this, the article also raises some interesting questions about the use of caucuses in the Democratic Party's nominating process.

This is from the article:

As of June 2, according to RealClearPolitics, Obama had a 157 delegate vote lead over Clinton, 2072 to 1915.

In the 14 states that picked some or all of their delegates through caucus systems this year, Obama won 400 delegates to Clinton's 193, a 207 delegate advantage that more than accounts for his overall delegate lead.

An analysis (pdf) published on TalkLeft found that total Democratic voter participation in the caucus states amounted to 1.1 million people, compared to the 32.4 million voters in Democratic primaries, a ratio of 30 to one. Caucus participants made up 3.2 percent of the total of 33.5 million primary voters and caucus goers combined.

In contrast to the relatively close results in most primary states, Obama won many of the caucus states by huge margins, often substantially exceeding 60 percent. As a consequence, he piled up large numbers of delegates in the relatively low turnout contests.

The TalkLeft analysis noted that Clinton won 11 more delegates than Obama in the New Jersey primary, which she won by 112,128 votes, while Obama won 12 more delegates than Clinton in the Idaho caucuses which he won by 13,225 votes. Similarly, Clinton netted 12 delegates by winning the Pennsylvania primary by 214,115 votes, while Obama came out ahead by 14 delegates by winning the Kansas caucuses by 17,710 votes.

Charles Stewart III of MIT did a separate analysis of primaries and caucuses with results similar to those of the Talk Left study, finding that in primary states, Clinton won 1,557.5 delegates, 16 more delegates than Obama's 1,521.5. In caucus states, Stewart found, Obama won 366 delegates, or 191 more than Clinton's 175.

If Barack Obama goes on to win the nomination and the presidency, then there will not be any great desire to change the system. For the next four years, Obama will control the Democratic National Committee and will have no incentive to change a system that nominated him. If he wins the nomination, but doesn't win the presidency, however, then there will be a lot of discussion about whether we should change the nominating process to reduce or eliminate the role of caucuses in determining the nominee.

Monday, June 02, 2008

This is Momentum?

Since March 1, 2008, there have been 12 primaries. During that period Clinton has won eight primaries while Obama has only won four. If you are an Obama supporter, this is not exactly how you wanted the primaries to end.

Information listed below was obtained from Only primaries in which both Clinton and Obama appeared on the ballot were counted. Florida fits into that category while Michigan does not.

Did Clinton "Have" to Vote for the Iraq War Resolution?

One argument that women who support Hillary Clinton advance for why she voted the way she did on the Iraq War Resolution is that she "had" to vote that way in order to be a credible presidential candidate in 2008. The argument goes that since the public has questions over whether a woman can be "tough" enough to be president, she could not afford to vote against the Resolution because it would make her seem "weak." Thus, even though she might not have trusted what Bush would do with the power given to him by the Resolution, she had to vote "Yea" to maintain her political credibility.

Frankly, that argument makes Clinton look very calculating. Not only does it make her look calculating, it makes her look calculating with the lives of other people's children. What it basically says is that Clinton was willing to send other people's children off to die or be wounded so that she could be a valid presidential candidate in 2008.

There is only one reason to vote to send American troops into combat and that is because you believe that such action is absolutely vital to the security of the United States. You don't vote to send other people's children off to be killed because it helps improve your chances to become president.

It would be better to say that she believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and that removing them was absolutely essential to the security of the United States. Of course, that argument would be undercut by Clinton's own speech on the floor of the Senate when she claimed that she was voting for the resolution in order to strengthen Bush's hand diplomatically. The problem with that rationale is that it assumes that she was willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt when there is absolutely no evidence he deserved it.