Obama, Romney, the Clintons and More

Monday, October 15, 2012

John Heilemann John Heilemann (jdlasica/flickr)

John Heilemann, national affairs editor for New York Magazine and author of Game Change, talks about the latest in the presidential race and his NY Mag cover story about President Obama's relationship with President Clinton, and the impact on a possible Hillary run in 2016.


John Heilemann

Comments [49]

I think President OBAMA should be held accountable for SENATOR OBAMA's vote in '06 to FORCE banks to award loans to people that couldn't pay them back that BROUGHT ON THE RECESSION!

Oct. 21 2012 06:28 PM
Not A Fan

Res ipsa loquitur, Savitra. Have fun walking in very small circles.

Oct. 16 2012 01:51 PM
savitra from manhattan

not a fan: my apologies! i thought your hypothesis was that i am either drinking or on drugs. instead, it is that i am childish, histrionic, foolish, banal, and immature. since you are clearly as adept a judge of wit and emotional development as you are of political realities, i must accept defeat here as well, and bid farewell to this topic.

Oct. 16 2012 01:38 PM
Not A Fan

Savitra -

I proposed a hypothesis. You made an assertion with the blanket statement that Romney and the Republicans lie. The entirety of your defense of that starement was that you disagreed with me. Usually, the way it works in the grown up world, is that the person making the claim has to support it. Of course, that's not how it works in childish liberal land, where you can just say anything you want and believe it's true.

By the way, your histrionic sarcasm makes you look foolish. It's not clever or witty, just banal and immature.

Oct. 16 2012 01:25 PM
savitra from manhattan

not a fan: " sound rambling, hence the assumption your under the influence of something..." - i am exposed! yes, another alcoholic, drug-addicted liberal. or, i should say, former liberal, as i have already admitted that " the exact same thing could be saod about Obama and the Democrats" (sic) has convinced me to change sides, in the manner of the "argument wrought with analysis" you demand.

but actually, "i disagree" was not meant to be an argument, simply stating where i stand. you see, i already saw that the end was near for my position, and that you were such an astute expositor of the far right position that unlike me, you deserve to be called far more than an alcoholic.

Oct. 16 2012 11:47 AM
Not A Fan

*you're. Yes yes, let the grammar mocking begin.

Oct. 16 2012 10:22 AM
Not A Fan

The same could be said for you. Saying "I disagree" is no argument wrought with analysis wor of wasting time debating. Also, you sound rambling, hence the assumption your under the influence of something, which is probably nothing more than the awe of liberal lies.

Oct. 16 2012 10:19 AM
savitra from manhattan

to "not a fan": o, i am defeated! your slashing wit, burning analysis and clear-eyed exposition of the facts has left me a mere hollow shell of a liberal! and not only that, you have convinced me that i must vote for romney now. it worked, you won, well done; please now, loudly and widely use your superior tactics to convince others of the intelligence and depth of your positions!

Oct. 16 2012 10:16 AM
mc from Brooklyn

@Robert: I can't help but feel a little schadenfreude for the "left" folks for whom Obama was the big hope. Asleep at the switch they were.

Oct. 15 2012 02:18 PM
Not A Fan

Savitra - did you start drinking early this morning?

Oct. 15 2012 02:05 PM
carolita from nyc

I voted for Obama because he's measured and civilized. I do not like vicious, manipulative, pushy politicians. So, Obama did NOT disappoint me in the first debate. In fact, he was exactly who I voted for. I think it's the pundits who want a knock-down, drag-out fight, and who have been baiting everyone to the point where all of a sudden, dems who were happy with Obama are feeling peer pressure to demand blood. It's ridiculous. I thought Obama gave Romney enough leash to strangle himself with, but instead of dwelling on Romney's lies, the media became obsessed with Obama's reserve. I never in my life thought I'd hear that interrupting was a virtue, but pundits actually praised Romney for interrupting constantly. It was like Planet Bizzaro.

I hope Obama will find a way to please the bloodthirsty amongst us, without becoming someone other than the man we voted for.

Oct. 15 2012 11:52 AM
savitra from manhattan

to art525: what i am noting is that these catch-phrases that were effective once are not effective any more, true or not (i happen to believe it is true about romney). my point is that the phrase "flip-flopper" has lost its force, people hear it and turn off, it is overused and nearly meaningless now and has no force any longer. if they are going to actually get the point through to people that romney is flip-flopping they have to do better than just say "flip-flopper" because people just think that is campaign rhetoric and name-calling now.

to "not a fan": i disagree that the exact same thing can be said about obama and his campaign. or rather, i agree - it can be said, but it is not true, or not nearly in the same degree or quality as it is for romney.

Oct. 15 2012 11:08 AM

@Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn They agree on the big things; War, NDAA, erosion of civil liberties...

Oct. 15 2012 11:00 AM
Robert from NYC

I am on the left, pretty far left. I was not criticizing the left but ironically the actual center "left" who adore Clinton. Clinton appeals to the center. The problem here is that the right has moved so far to the right that people in the center and may lean a little left are considered the left that's where my quotes around left come in. See I didn't mean the real left, I meant the "left". As for Obama's economic team, I have no use for them either, they are for the most part Clinton's people. I'm not voting in this election because I don't want either of these guys. I will never settle again, I've done it for decades and refuse to fall into it again. Either the American people get their butts off the sofa and change the political system I will not ever vote again as a "settler" one who settles on the best of two bad worlds. NO! Let what happens happen with the winner, the electorate deserve it. Que será será baby.

Oct. 15 2012 10:56 AM

OBAMA: It just reminds me of, you know, he says that he's going to close deductions and loopholes for his tax plan. That's how it's going to be paid for, but we don't know the details. He says that he's going to replace Dodd-Frank, Wall Street reform, but we don't know exactly which ones. He won't tell us. He now says he's going to replace Obamacare and ensure that all the good things that are in it are going to be in there and you don't have to worry. …I think the American people have to ask themselves, is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they're too good?... No…And the choices we've made have been ones that ultimately are benefiting middle-class families all across the country.

Oct. 15 2012 10:48 AM
ethan from bk

most of the people who have lost their jobs are, in fact, men (construction industry anyone?). your romney surrogate is accurate down to the "facts" being made up!

and the "real" unemployment rate being 11% ... until you're the department of labor services secretary, please don't make up numbers.

Oct. 15 2012 10:45 AM

Politifact rates Obama/Biden as substantially telling the truth 72% of the time. Romney/Ryan tells the truth 57% of the time. The GOP made a misrepresentation of the President's ' didn't build that...' an entire night of their convention. Eastwood's lecture to an empty chair is a symbol of the GOP tendency to have arguments against 'straw men' of their own making. It is also a weakness in their arguments since they are directed against their fantasy rather than the reality.

We can agree that a guy who lies to me four out of ten times should not be as electable as a person who lies to me three out of ten times. The media has failed by not pointing out Mitt's inability to say the same thing twice.

Oct. 15 2012 10:44 AM
Thomas Pinch

oh dear, callers who want to lower tax rates in the US. stop it. that might have worked when the tax rate was 75%, but not now. And it will not get Europe out of its depression, and our country is not going to get better until they can afford to buy our stuff again. stop living in a vacuum. it's a global economy, not some local issue that just needs to be tweeked.

Oct. 15 2012 10:40 AM

First, Brian, Clinton's wasn't an accent "from a barn". Southerners like to play with accents. That may have been his original accent, certainly one he would've heard in Arkansas schools and state house. The use of "boy" as he did, isn't just a demeaning term whites used to African Americans. Good 'ol boys called each other "boy" and still do, ironically or not. When I email Southern friends we play with all sorts of accents.

Main point: What scares me and most women to death is Ryan's stated opposition to abortion. What's Romney's line this week doesn't matter since Ryan says he would appoint Supreme Court Judges to eliminate Roe V Wade.

Third, reading the comments above, I think your show is being targeted by the Tea Party or Republicans. Your show has been too "fair and balanced" to the right. As when, regarding the stop and frisk video from The Nation, you failed to mention the pressure put on police to make more 250s, or else. That's important. Cover it in another show!

Oct. 15 2012 10:39 AM

clinton signed glass steagall
ruined the economy!!

Oct. 15 2012 10:36 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

What bothers me is that voters are more concerned about appearance than issues.

These two candidates are about as far apart as they can be on the actual issues and it would behoove American voters to familiarize themselves with the issues and base their votes on them rather than whether a candidate appears likable.

Oct. 15 2012 10:34 AM
mejimenez from manhattan

The problem with Obama's temperament cannot just be excused by citing the supposed differences between campaigning and governing. Communicating a vision to the populace is an essential part of governing, not just for campaigning. This was the point of the much discussed Westen NYT op-ed in August 2011 ( It is also a recurrent theme in most of Lakoff's columns.

Oct. 15 2012 10:32 AM
shara logan

Brian is losng me, an original liberal Democcrat, with his biased reporting in this election. Please don't be a cheerleader for Obama....that's what got him into trouble in the beginning. Be realistic.

Oct. 15 2012 10:31 AM
Robert from NYC

Sounds like a segment Liz Smith and Cindy Adams would do!

Oct. 15 2012 10:30 AM
Not A Fan

Savitra - the exact same thing could be saod about Obama and the Democrats.

Oct. 15 2012 10:29 AM
art525 from Park Slope

@savitra from manhattan- calling Romney a "flip flopper" is not some campaign gimmick, it's not a case of needing "a new catch-phrase" to call Romney out. It is a fact. It is an accurate assessment of Romney and his phoniness. The fact that you say it's an issue of a new catch phrase tells me you that you have bought into the shallow game of gotcha that the right is playing. They won't deal with facts but rather with gotcha catch phrases and strategic manipulation and dodging and lying.

Oct. 15 2012 10:28 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I will never forgive Clinton for the Mark Rich pardon - never..

Oct. 15 2012 10:27 AM
Xtina from e. village

Brian - there is concern in both camps about Candy Crowley's intentions in the next Town Hall debate. Why are journo's and achor people taking over the moderator role?

You are so close to Hofstra - how do we get Brian Lehrer, a real 'moderator' to take over tomorrow?

Oct. 15 2012 10:27 AM
Robert from NYC

@ JoeCorrao
Thanks for the article, very interesting.

Oct. 15 2012 10:27 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Robert: judging from the economic team Obama surrounded himself with he must be part of the left conspiracy to ignore the damage done on Clinton's watch.

Oct. 15 2012 10:26 AM
Not A Fan

This entire segment is an Obama/liberal apologetics piece. I despise you, NPR, and your so-called sophisticated audience. You're an embarrassment to anyone who has exercised an independent thought.

Oct. 15 2012 10:25 AM
mc from Brooklyn

From "Game Change" to "Bill and Hillary Clinton Forever?" What a world.

Oct. 15 2012 10:23 AM
savitra from manhattan

to "not a fan": yes, it is about dirty politicking, because romney and the GOP are extremely dishonest and misleading the people about "where obama is taking the country" and about where _they_ would like to take the country.

Oct. 15 2012 10:23 AM
Not A Fan

How about this fact check that the media has totally ignored - in spite of his barking that he voted against them, Biden voted
FOR both militaey actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Oct. 15 2012 10:20 AM
savitra from manhattan

like the music industry, the political advisers are quite behind the actual trends and sentiments of the people. for example, accusing someone of being a "flip-flopper" worked once: against kerry. hearing obama's people say it now about romney rings hollow, it doesn't have the devastating effect it did the first time. they need to find the _new_ catch-phrase to call him out.

Oct. 15 2012 10:19 AM

Heillman is embarrassing himself.

Oct. 15 2012 10:18 AM
Not A Fan

So if Romney wins it's because of dirty politicking (cue liberal cries against suler PACs) and not because the American people reject the direction in which Obama wants to take the country?

Keep protecting the left. Your journalism is a joke.

Oct. 15 2012 10:18 AM
ethan from bk

i think the "sudden switcheroo" vs. the "creeping change" method only works for romney because has flip-flopped *so* many time and in *so* many settings that no one will call him on anything anymore because he can just deny it and cite one of the eleven times he said something totally opposite to a different audience. in other words, i don't think a romney win will re-write the historic strategy -- i think this is a romney-specific tack.

Oct. 15 2012 10:17 AM

Have you 2 called Obama out on anything?...this segment has nothing to do with any issues, its all about the surface perception

Oct. 15 2012 10:16 AM
Not A Fan

I have a question - is there anything that this show, NPR and the media won't do to excuse away Obama's shortcomings and protect him from criticism?

Oct. 15 2012 10:14 AM
Terrence from Brooklyn

what the hell is this, the obama appologist segment?

Oct. 15 2012 10:12 AM
Bassett from Chappaqua

Good for Brian with his right on push back of the media's coverage !

Oct. 15 2012 10:12 AM
Xtina from e.v illage

Actually John, Barack Obama did push back on Romney's lies that he never proposed a 5 trillion dollar tax cut. At least 5 times. How much more could he do? The MEDIA and YOUR reporting has solidified the idea that he did not, and YOU have created that 'urban legend'. If the media hadn't freaked out, the perception would likely have been very differnt.

Oct. 15 2012 10:10 AM


Oct. 15 2012 10:10 AM
Seth Pickenstiff

Ed, Ed, Ed, conspiracy??? really??? come on. that's so sad.

Oct. 15 2012 10:09 AM

@Ed - If the GOP were made up of honest men and women who valued consistency with previous party positions over opposition to this President then they would have HAD to vote for PPAACA. It was, after all, just a warmed over Kemp/Dole proposal. Romney's argument that a state can do it but the federal government cannot does not hold water.
Why do you empower your party's un-democratic bigotry? Do you really think all of the filibusters are just honest differences in opinion?

Oct. 15 2012 10:08 AM

Ed from Larchmont

yes, like the people unexpectedly wake up?! still could happen

Oct. 15 2012 10:04 AM
Robert from NYC

Clintons, Clintons, Clintons. Well I'm sick and tired of the cult and myth of these two characters. The "left" seems to forget or rather chooses to ignore the fact that Clinton with influence and help from Robert Rubin and that other sleaze bag the then Senator from Texas, Phil Gramm--and UBS vice chair or something--brought down the Glass Steagall Act allowing the banks and financial institutions to ride roughshod over the rest of us and to destroy the entire economy leaving them and their millionaire/billionaire friends (the 1%) in control of not only most of the country's finances and money but taking from the rest of us any chance of living the "American Dream" (I say while lmao) which is and probably never was anything but a dream. We live, however, in the American Nightmare. We live slipping down into the nadir of a culture and society that is doomed because we have no respectable and honest or wise statesmen who can lift us up to acquire a real and decent life as the "American Dream" is or was. Whatever! Let me stop, I'm making myself sick.

Oct. 15 2012 10:00 AM
Ed from Larchmont

We saw how the HHS health care law passed the House by a hair, the Senate by a hair, and then was upheld in an unforeseen way by the Court. There might be something uncanny about President Obama. If that's the case, it wouldn't be a surprise if an unexpected event occurred which rescued his re-election hopes.

Oct. 15 2012 05:47 AM

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