Don’t Let the Edwards Story Let This Get By You…Next Week, “The Atlantic” is Possibly Publishing “Leaked Clinton Campaign Memos” on the Internet (Updated 3X)

OK, I’m so disgusted by John Edwards that I can’t express it strongly enough.  I was an Edwards supporter originally…another one goes down the tubes…Enough said.  Onward with this:

The Atlantic is supposed to be publishing on the internet “leaked” memos from the Clinton campaign next week. Josh Green is the reporter. Green is a SENIOR EDITOR at The Atlantic.  According to Limbaugh, who broke this today, there are a couple of hundred of them, and about 150 are going to be released.  Some are written by Mark Penn and other people in the campaign.

Some of the quotes from them include remarks about Obama’s “unelectability” and a few others that I can’t recall at the moment.

I will admit that I heard this on Limbaugh, but quite by accident, since I never tune into him willingly. But I don’t doubt it. The Atlantic is a big enough publication that unfounded rumors about what they were doing wouldn’t go down very well. Limbaugh said he got the info from an insider. We know it’s a center-right publication. On this matter, I am inclined to believe him.

Now, the big question is:  WHO LEAKED THESE MEMOS if this is all true?? My mother, who listens to Limbaugh regularly, has told me that he has been saying that the Clinton team has a plan in place.  He speculated today that it was the Clinton camp that leaked these memos.

Frankly, when he first said they were going to be published next week, MY FIRST REACTION was that it may very well have been the Clinton camp.  When Limbaugh read the purported quotations, which were all negative about Obama, I thought it sounded like even more of a possibility.  They were the sort of comments that most people would not find all that shocking, considering how the Obama team has been screwing up lately.  They sounded like logical conclusions reached by people who could see a train wreck coming.

(UPDATE–Hat tip to SUGAR for reminding me of another quote…”The only person Obama could beat is Attila the Hun”!!!)

My other reaction was “Why not release them all? Why are some being held back?”  Maybe we’ll be figure that out once the released memos come out, maybe not.

I am simply offering this info as food for thought. I know nothing else about this leak, other than what I heard today.  We’ll have to see what comes down the pike next week.

As for the Edwards story…who knows if the Obama camp originally floated it to get Edwards out of the primary race?  Whoever was behind it may never be known. It’s just really disgusting that it turned out to be true. My heart goes out to Elizabeth and the kids.  Their oldest daughter must be as devastated as her mother must be. She listened to him talk about morals and trust throughout the primary season. It is a very, very sad situation all around.

What an AWFUL political season this has been…

UPDATE 3

Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic: announcement on August 8, 2008 about the upcoming memo release…

UPDATE 2

I did hear right the first time. He did tell Elizabeth about the affair back in 2006. Sigh.  And she listened to him talk about morals and trust during the campaign.  Not my business about their relationship.  But, I don’t know….I just don’t know anymore…

UPDATE

I was under the impression that Elizabeth had known about this in 2006.  I heard Hannity reading the story as it broke and I thought he said “the family knew about it in 2006.”  I can’t verify this, so I’ve deleted the mention of Elizabeth knowing about it then…

GUTSY Elizabeth Edwards Not Part of Endorsement–Outshines Husband in “Courage of Convictions” Department (only a week after couple tells “People” they won’t endorse) (UPDATED)(UPDATE 2)

In my post on the Edwards endorsement of Obama posted yesterday, I commented that I didn’t know what Elizabeth Edwards thought about it.

Well, it’s now pretty clear that she may have thought differently about her husband’s decision.

According to the AP,

Edwards didn’t even tell many of his former top advisers because he wanted to inform Clinton personally, said the person close to him. Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, who has said she thinks Clinton has the superior health care plan, did not travel with him to Michigan and is not part of the endorsement.

As recently as May 5, it was apparent that the couple were not totally on the same page.

In a People Magazine interview entitled “John and Elizabeth Edwards: What We Like (and Dislike) about Clinton and Obama” , Elizabeth had some pointed reactions to some of what John was saying:

But, she adds: “I don’t like his health care plan or his advertising on health care, which I think is misleading.”

John Edwards Speaks Out

Her husband, who said he got yet another phone call from Obama as recently as last week (both Clinton and Obama have heavily courted the Edwardses’ endorsement, and Mrs. Edwards said she had an email from one of the campaigns that very morning), also weighed in on the pros and cons.

On Clinton: “I like something different about Hillary. I think her tenacity shows a real strength that’s inside her.”

What doesn’t he like about Clinton? “Um, still a lot of the old politics,” John Edwards said.

As for Obama, he says: “Sometimes I want to see more substance under the rhetoric.”

But he cited two things he likes about the charismatic young senator from Illinois: “One is, I think he really does want to bring about serious change and a different way of doing things. And secondly, I think it’s a great symbolic thing to have an African-American who could be president.”

Differing Opinions?

At that, Mrs. Edwards rolled her eyes and, gripping the arms of her kitchen chair with some exaggeration, seemed about to lunge from her seat. “What about the great symbolic thing about a woman …”

“It’s important. It’s important,” her husband said. “I know it.”

Bottom line: the couple said they will not endorse either remaining candidate, saving their political capital for their own causes – his, fighting poverty; hers, fighting for universal health care.

Just a week later, John Edwards reneged on that statement.

If John Edwards “knew” that the symbolism of a woman candidate was important, not only to the electorate but also to his wife, he apparently forgot as he made his speech on Wednesday. He also seemed to stray from his hopes for health care for all Americans to support a candidate whose plan does not offer universal coverage…and he definitely chose to ignore his wife’s support of the Clinton plan which does require universality and support Obama’s which his own wife describes as “misleading.” He also apparently shelved any qualms he may have had with the the “Harry and Louise” ads that Obama copied from the GOP and used against Clinton (a real indicator of “change,” I suppose).

And Clinton’s pledge to elevate the issue of poverty through the creation of a cabinet-level position in her administration was discounted as well.

So, does Edwards support help Obama or does it just make Edwards look like an opportunistic follower? I think it’s the latter, I’m sad to say, as a former Edwards supporter.

Of course, there is the “coincidence” of a sudden email from John Edwards asking for money for his “College for Everyone” project. I’m glad he’s mentioning this again, especially because he has had no real involvement with the Poverty Institute at UNC since he announced it’s creation in February 2005. The “College for Everyone” project was also started in 2005 after Edwards first talked about it during the 2004 campaign. I’m hoping that the new focus on this project is in deference to Elizabeth, who has been involved in several education-related activities in the past:

She shares her husband’s commitment to serving the community and expanding educational opportunities for all children. She volunteered with the Parent Teacher Associations at the children’s schools, and has been active in their youth soccer leagues in several roles….In 1996, they helped establish the Wade Edwards Foundation and helped build a computer learning center – the Wade Edwards Learning Lab – for youngsters in Raleigh…. Despite the demands of raising two young children, she finds the time to participate in community service. She remains active in the Wade Edwards Foundation and is involved in a variety of charitable efforts, including fundraising for the March of Dimes benefit. She also serves on several boards, including the UNC Board of Visitors and Books for Kids. (Announcement, Pace Law School visit, 2/25/2004.)

Perhaps he figured that hooking up with the Obama campaign and creating a higher profile would help bring in a lot of money for this project (and maybe an appointment in an Obama adminstration). But, in the end, the move may be viewed more cynically and wind up tarnishing the goal that was perhaps intended…which would be a very sad result in the long run.

Even if John Edwards had a “nobler” purpose behind his endorsement than just a hope for a political gain, the fact is that Elizabeth didn’t travel with him and made clear that she wasn’t part of his endorsement. We’ll never know the full extent of their differences on this situation, but one thing is clear and that is that Elizabeth Edwards still has the guts to stick to her convictions.

UPDATE

John Edwards also forgot how Obama practically stole his announcement speech (Link to video showing side by side comparison) or how in the Nevada debate, he remarked on how Obama had accepted more money from Big Pharma which Edwards claimed was hurting Americans directly and how this issue was very important to him.

UPDATE 2 May 19, 2008

Guess what?  I came across a reference to Kate Michelman supporting Obama aftrer Edwards dropped out!

VERY DISAPPOINTED IN KATE!!!!

John Edwards, MAJOR Disappointment…NARAL/Obama Doesn’t Surprise Me, A Perfect Fit

John Edwards has been making squeaky noises in the last week about change and how Hillary has to be sure she doesn’t “damage” the party.

Well, he’s about to endorse Obama in a moment. Oh, yeah, all the props are there….SENIORS FOR OBAMA, etc., etc.

I don’t know what Elizabeth Edwards thinks, but I know what I think…Edwards is DEAD for me, and I supported him originally. I guess he was faking us out after all. All that business about the poor and the growing divide between rich and poor. A lot of people voting for Clinton fall in that category and, apparently, he’s put away his interest in them.

Reminds me of our Governor Richardson and Sen. Jeff Bingaman here in NM. Hillary wins the state, but they endorse Obama.

My disgust grows by leaps and bounds as every moment goes by….

PS–So NARAL endorsed Obama earlier. Well, that should tell you something. NARAL has already sold us out by endorsing “rape gurney,” “short ride” Joe Lieberman. And poor Kate Michelman, former head of NARAL when it really was for women. She endorsed Edwards…she must be as disgusted as I am.

Especially because Barack calls women reporters “Sweetie.” What a piece of sexist crap!!!

Oh, Edwards is talking about “kids going hungry.” He’s doing his poverty bit. Does Obama even care?? A lot of struggling voters don’t think so…

Hillary Clinton, Medicare, and Me

Medicare Could Go Broke” says the headline from last week (see here.)

Medicare will go broke by 2019, seven years earlier than predicted a year ago, and could begin squeezing the rest of the federal budget as soon as 2011, according to a report released Tuesday by the trustees of Medicare and Social Security. The annual report blamed the deterioration in Medicare’s long-term financial outlook on lower-than-expected revenue from workers’ payroll taxes, higher spending on health care and the prescription drug benefit Congress passed last year….

“This is bad news for seniors and for retiring baby boomers,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “President Clinton added 30 years of solvency to Medicare, but under President Bush, we’ve lost 10 years.”…On paper, Medicare is backed by a “trust fund” that is supported by Medicare premiums and payroll taxes. But in fact, the trust fund is regularly tapped by the federal government to pay its general expenses and filled instead with IOUs the government issues to itself. Once the program’s annual costs exceed its income — which Tuesday’s report said will happen in 2011 — the extra money to cover Medicare’s growing expenses will have to come from raising taxes, cutting other spending or increasing the federal deficit.

(Sort of ironic seeing Dick Durbin, who supports Obama, referring to Bill Clinton’s efforts to preserve Medicare, isn’t it?)

Medicare’s status may be of little interest to younger voters, but it sure caught my attention, particularly since the effects of underfunding doctors’ payments have begun hitting home. The staff at my family doctor’s office believe that the push is on to destroy Medicare. One has to wonder how doctor’s can stay in a system that won’t even guarantee a payment rate for a whole year? Because that’s what has happened this year…their reimbursement schedules are only fixed for the first 6 months of 2008! What happens then?? (see here.)

Last year I had to go to a doctor who didn’t participate and who required that sign a pledge not to file a claim, because she didn’t want Medicare to come after her and push her into becoming a provider. Just last week, I needed to find a specialist and was able to get an appointment with a doctor who doesn’t accept assignment (meaning I have to pay more that Medicare allows) — in OCTOBER!! The one other doctor in town in this specialty is NOT accepting any more Medicare patients! To top it off, because I had “insurance,” he refused to take payment in cash!! Imagine, refusing self-pay, most likely because he also didn’t want to tangle with the Medicare system. After expressing my fear and confusion, the nurse took pity on me and told me to go to a surgeon who does participate and luckily for me, I had already seen him once before for a consult and was “in the hopper” as an existing patient. Because, you see, if you are an EXISTING patient you’re lucky and may be able to see the doctor; if you’re not already on his patient rolls, you’re probably out of luck these days. And, lucky for me, the surgeon was able to refer me out to a doctor who will do a biopsy. Perhaps this is a new doctor in town who needs to add patients to his roll and is therefore willing to take Medicare. LUCKY ME, I’ve made his list! But for a few days, I was extremely worried about finding a doctor and very angry!

So, it’s with great interest that I read Hillary Clinton’s mention of Medicare on March 25 when she responded to McCain’s remarks on Social Security (see here.)

The Social Security trustees just issued a report, actually while I was speaking, and there has been some improvement in the outlook for Social Security according to some, to the Social Security trustees. So I think that it reinforces what I have said for a long time, which is we have some long term challenges. It is not a crisis. We can fix what’s needing to be changed in Social Security. Our real challenge is Medicare which is much more in crisis and deserves closer attention.” Continue reading