POLITICS AS USUAL | ITS ON AND POPPIN’ : HILLARY VS. OBAMA ROUND I
Ding, ding – ding! It’s official, Hillary and Obama got beef. This is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a political clash of the titans. Somebody might end up getting hurt. This will be Jay-Z vs. Nas writ large. It all started with this Maureen Dowd column in the New York Times yesterday. In said column, David Geffen – Multi-Media Mogul, who is the finance campaign chair for the Obama candidacy, made it his business to go at the Clintons with a vengeance. In keeping with the whole celebrity couple thing, the Clinton duo will now be referred to as Billary. I just coined that phrase – if you want to use it please make sure I’m cited for it. These are just some of the choice words he had for Hillary and Bill Clinton.
“Not since the Vietnam War has there been this level of disappointment in the behavior of America throughout the world, and I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together."
“Obama is inspirational, and he’s not from the Bush royal family or the Clinton royal family. Americans are dying every day in Iraq.”…“It’s not a very big thing to say, ‘I made a mistake’ on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can’t," Mr. Geffen says.
The beef between David Geffen and Bill Clinton stemmed from the fact that Bill Clinton gave a Presidential Pardon to Marc Rich in 2000 but refused Mr. Geffen’s request to grant the same clemency to Leonard Peltier, who is something akin to the Nelson Mandela of the Native American movement.
David Geffen expounds: “Marc Rich getting pardoned? An oil-profiteer expatriate who left the country rather than pay taxes or face justice?”
“Yet another time when the Clintons were unwilling to stand for the things that they genuinely believe in. Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”
The Clinton campaign folks who are no slouches themselves struck back immediately, this is what they had to say.
"While Senator Obama was denouncing slash and burn politics yesterday, his campaign’s finance chair was viciously and personally attacking Senator Clinton and her husband.
"If Senator Obama is indeed sincere about his repeated claims to change the tone of our politics, he should immediately denounce these remarks, remove Mr. Geffen from his campaign and return his money."
Say what. While I agree that Dave Geffen certainly kept it real with his scathing remarks and might have gone a bit too far so early in the game but for Hillary’s camp to ask Obama to give back the loot is a complete come-mierda (translation: shit-eater) move since David Geffen raised big money, 18 million to be exact, for them back in the day. Not to be undone, Obama’s communications director Robert Gibbs blasted back with this.
“We aren’t going to get in the middle of a disagreement between the Clintons and someone who was once one of their biggest supporters. It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when he was raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom. It is also ironic that Senator Clinton lavished praise on Monday and is fully willing to accept today the support of South Carolina State Sen. Robert Ford, who said if Barack Obama were to win the nomination, he would drag down the rest of the Democratic Party because he’s black."
That has got to hurt. Robert Gibbs exposed the Clinton folk’s hypocrisy on two levels. One for hating and the other for praising and taking money from State Sen. Robert Ford, an idiot who espouses such racially-tinged nonsense. The fact that Barack Obama is Black won’t drag down the rest of the Democratic Party but the Democrat’s uncanny ability to shoot themselves in the foot surely will. Round 1 goes to Obama for somehow remaining above the fray and not letting any of the punches stick but you got to admit that the Clinton camp is not playing and has no compunctions about hitting below the belt. Stay tuned. This is about to get bloody.
Correction | 02.24.07: Dave Geffen is not the Finance Chair for the Barack Obama campaign. That was how he was characterized by the Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson. Dave Geffen has no official role in the Obama campaign beyond co-sponsoring the star-studded Hollywood fundraising event this past week, which raised nearly 2 million dollars. The actual National Finance Chair is none other than Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker whose family founded the Hyatt Hotel chain.