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Posted by on Mar 17, 2008 in Media, Politics | 10 comments

Clinton Rules versus Obama Rules

Those of us who support Hillary—and make no mistake, the numbers are substantial, or there wouldn’t be all this squabbling over delegates and the disenfranchisement of Florida—have noticed a certain imbalance not only in the media’s coverage of Hillary, but also within attitudes currently prevalent among many of our fellow Dems.

This perceptive blogger has looked carefully at current trends to articulate the following prevailing principles.

On the one hand, there are:

The Clinton Rules (TCR)

TCR 1.0. If anything bad happens to the Democrats in this campaign, it can and should be blamed on Hillary Clinton.

TCR 2.0. Every statement of any supporter or surrogate of Hillary Clinton is a reflection of Hillary Clinton’s personal views or directives.

* COROLLARY to TCR 2.0: Statements by any supporter or surrogate of Hillary Clinton that might cast her in poor light are most definitely a reflection of Hillary Clinton’s personal views or directives – regardless of whether she distances herself from those statements, supporters or surrogates.

TCR 3.0. If Hillary Clinton gets the nomination (through her evil machinations) and loses, it will be the fault of Hillary Clinton and her supporters.

TCR 4.0. Any votes that Hillary Clinton receives from Independents and Republicans are due to their interest in preventing Sen. Obama? from becoming the Democratic nominee and defeating Sen. John McCain.? After all, the GOP wants to run against Hillary Clinton in the Fall! [added, thanks to reader Wasab]

TCR 5.0. If Hillary Clinton attempts to work the completely screwed up primary system to her advantage, it represents vote-stealing and cheating. [added, thanks to reader Dawn]

Once you know The Clinton Rules, it is easy to derive….

B. The Obama Rules (TOR)

TOR 1.0. If anything good happens to the Democrats in this campaign, it can and should be attributed to Sen. Barack Obama.

* COROLLARY to TOR 1.0: All the good stuff that has happened and will happen is because of Obama’s unifying and positive campaign of change and his brilliant 50-state strategy (the resounding success of which is evident from the fact that he has so far already won in states with 193 electoral votes, while Clinton has only won in states with 263 electoral votes).

TOR 2.0. NOT every statement of any prominent supporter or surrogate of Barack Obama is a reflection of Barack Obama’s personal views or directives.

* COROLLARY to TOR 2.0: Statements by any supporter or surrogate of Barack Obama’s that may cast him in poor light, are most definitely NOT a reflection of Barack Obama’s personal views or directives – regardless of whether he distances himself from those statements or supporters or surrogates.

TOR 3.0. If Sen. Obama gets the nomination and loses, it will be the fault of Hillary Clinton and her supporters.

TCR 4.0. Any votes that Sen. Obama receives from Independents and Republicans are a result of his uplifting and positive campaign of hope, change and unity and his incredible coattails – and not because they are just becoming Democrats for a day. After all, isn’t it ridiculous that Democrats alone are allowed to pick the Democratic nominee? [added, thanks to reader Wasab]

TCR 5.0. If Sen. Obama attempts to work the completely screwed up primary system to his advantage, it represents hope, optimism and change and a reflection of the will of the people. [added, thanks to reader Dawn] (The Left Coaster; emphasis added)

I’d say that this is a fairly accurate reflection of what has been happening to date. Whether it will continue remains to be seen.

Readers who have noticed additional imbalances are invited to chip in.

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • And this is what happens in a “firsts” nomination. Strange rules, lots of emotion in campaigns, “shifting the paradigm-itis”, etc. Strange days.

    Senator Clinton has been around a long time. She had the cajones to drive a health care plan as the First Lady and in the process made all kinds of enemies on both sides of the divide. Fair or not (I think not), that’s the facts. So when you get another “first” without the track record, is charismatic, and who’s base is from a different pool of voters, you get this kind of strife.

    Personally I think both sets of rules or perceived rules suck. The fact that they are even in people’s minds show emotionally vested people have become in the Dem’s nomination process. Is this good or bad? I don’t know. But it sure keeps the MSM and blogosphere abuzz.

  • stephen1947

    This seems like just another in the endless stream of ‘my side is misunderstood/the other side sucks’ that has inundated blogs since Super Tuesday. I was very surprised to find myself a few months ago of being in the position of supporting a white guy when for the first time in my life I had the chance of supporting a viable female or African-American candidate – which is to say that neither of the two left standing represents what I think is most important for addressing problems in America going forward as did John Edwards. So it goes.

    I know which one I like better between these two, but I have to say that supporters of both are acting like big babies and to some degree must undercut the potential support for their candidate with their incessant whining. Rather than trying to slice each other to ribbons, why can’t both sides focus on the real enemy – the Publican kleptocracy and how to clean up its damage most effectively? I would have a lot more respect for the side I don’t currently support if I saw more of this going on.

  • StockBoySF

    Funny… I think some of your Obama rules are Clinton rules (and vice versa). That just goes to show that we all see what we want to!

  • Marlowecan

    Hahaha…as a conservative, I welcome you to the happy land of liberal double-standards.

    It has been refreshing to see so many on the left of the blogosphere decrying the ridiculous absurdity of “guilt by association” with Senator Obama and Wright (and earlier with Rezko)… while only a few days before damning McCain for Hagee’s endorsement.

    Welcome to Wonderland. Pick the pill of your choice and hang on…it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

  • Jim_Satterfield


    What about TDR? The Democrat Rule? One Democratic candidate should not praise the Republican candidate as part of a statement trashing her Democratic opponent. Given that Hillary has done this three times that I remember off the top of my head? I used to respect her. I had a hard time deciding who to vote for in the primaries.

    Then her campaign got into high gear. I heard her talk up her and John McCain’s excellent experience. I saw more and more of Mark Penn and Howard Wolfson. I see your comments. I see Holly’s comments. Suddenly my respect for Senator Hillary Clinton is in sharp decline and every time I see and hear the kind of BS being generated by her campaign it drops more. And I wonder about the more fanatical supporters on both side.

  • Funny… I think some of your Obama rules are Clinton rules (and vice versa). That just goes to show that we all see what we want to!

    I had this conversation the other night. Barak Obama is like Jesus. He speaks in parables and lets you fill in the blanks.


    Well, I don’t think I am exactly a ‘fanatical’ Hillary supporter. I greatly prefer her to Obama, but Edwards was and is my preferred candidate.

    I didn’t really start to dislike Obama till I watched his campaign engage in the very tactics of which they—followed by our grovelling, useless media, with its shallow reality-show approach to politics and desire to cast Hillary as ‘the villain’—accused Hillary.

    I consider that Obama has run a disingenuous and hypocritcal campaign and no longer believe he means a word he says.

    And to think I spent 20 minutes trying to choose between him and Hillary! As my knowledge of his tactics increases—I make my own observations; I don’t listen to what others say—-I feel less and less comfortable with him.

    I think the rules accurately express EXACTLY the attitude I’ve seen from Obama supporters, expressed at my own personal blog and elsewhere in the blogosphere and the media. I do agree that some Hillary supporters are reacting in an equal and similar fashion, but I see myself that they have been sorely tried before doing so.

    Thankfully, the tide may be turning.

  • domajot

    I’m in the peculiar position of being an Obama suppoeter who has often been disgusted with the every-accusation-is-true line of negative coverage of Hillary since before the campaign got under way. There was even a psyshological portrait of Hillary posted here at TMvV, which was much too remiscent of Frist’s video diagnosis of Terry Schiavo..
    At tthe same time, there are things she does and says that I really dislike.

    I really like what I’ve seen and heard of Obama,, but I become very uncomfortable when everything he says is swallowed in one gulp as being nothing short of pure truth and hypocrisy free. He claims to be the candidate of the future, yet his speeches are heavily based on fighting yesterday’s battles: Bush starting the Iraq war and Hillary voing for it.

    I’m very disturbed by the internal Democratic warring.coming from both directions and worry about what that will do to the election in Nov.

    In spite of it all, though, I would rather have the squabbles than to see Democrats adopt the Reagan rule of ‘never speak ill of a fellow Republican.” That smacks of putting party loyalty above independent thought, which is prettty darn close to slapping the un-American epithet on anyone in disagreement with a policy.

    It boils down to a question of degree. Squabble away, but don’t overdo it.

    I’m comfortable with supporting a candidate who is less than perfect but the best choice, in my view. I’m perfectly comfortable with people who make a different choice.. for their own reasons.

  • domajot

    Marlowecan , you said:

    “I welcome you to the happy land of liberal double-standard ”

    I’m so glad you haven’t lost your excellent sense of humor.
    As I’m sure you know, if double stndards were made illegal,our government would cease to function, because all parties would be forced to leave town.

  • Amanda

    You call it perceptive. I call it nonsense.

    TCR 1 – haven’t seen much of this at all. The news coverage I’ve seen in recent weeks focuses more on how the close race hurts both candidates and how it’s not anyone’s fault – we just happen to have two very competetive people in the race this year.

    TCR 5 – Working the primaries is one thing. Trying to change the rules halfway through the race is another.

    TOR 1- The 50-state strategy was actually the brain-child of Howard Dean and it worked pretty well for the Democrats in the 2006 elections. It’s working for Obama because it’s a good idea to reach out to people in all states instead of automatically writing a huge chunk of them off as too conservative. That’s a good way to lose elections, as John Kerry and Al Gore can attest.

    TOR 2 – Jeremiah Wright. Enough said.

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