Streams

Green In The Garden State

Thursday, May 15, 2008

WNYC reporters Bob Hennelly and Andrea Bernstein discuss the week's developments in the presidential campaign, including John McCain's recent visit to New Jersey and John Edwards' endorsement of Barack Obama.

Guests:

Andrea Bernstein and Bob Hennelly

Comments [46]

seth from Long Island

James Carville made the point even more vividly, giving Clinton a two-gonad edge on her primary rival, Senator Barack Obama. "If she gave him one of her cojones, they'd both have two," Carville said.
(Source: Swing Low, Sweet Hillary, Politico, 5/6/08 http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10115.html)

President of the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union, Paul Gibson, said he supports Hillary Clinton because she has the strength to take on tough problems like NAFTA. Gibson characterized the strength necessary to be president as a person who has “testicular fortitude.”
(Source: Union Boss Says Clinton Has “Testicular Fortitude”, April 30, 2008, http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/04/30/politics/fromtheroad/entry4059528.shtml)

May. 15 2008 07:42 PM
seth from Long Island

To mc 44, citing exs of my previous point

James Carville made the point even more vividly, giving Clinton a two-gonad edge on her primary rival, Senator Barack Obama. "If she gave him one of her cojones, they'd both have two," Carville said.
(Source: Swing Low, Sweet Hillary, Politico, 5/6/08 http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10115.html)

President of the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union, Paul Gibson, said he supports Hillary Clinton because she has the strength to take on tough problems like NAFTA. Gibson characterized the strength necessary to be president as a person who has “testicular fortitude.”
(Source: Union Boss Says Clinton Has “Testicular Fortitude”, April 30, 2008, http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/04/30/politics/fromtheroad/entry4059528.shtml)

For me, Obama beats Hillary hands down on policy and style.

May. 15 2008 07:26 PM
mc from Brooklyn

When did they question his masculinity? I must have missed something.

I try to ignore all the rhetoric. Look at the policy. They all stumble, they all pander, it's just a matter of everyone waking up to it. Figure out what's important, vote on that basis. There is no need to beat up on anyone.

May. 15 2008 05:47 PM
seth from Long Island

Obama's mistatements(bitter) are nothing compared to Hillary's rhetoric during this race. Hillary is using Rove/Atwater tactics and sounding like George Wallace and Jesse Helms in the way she has campaigned on race-baiting and fear-mongering. Her surrogates questioned Obama's masculinity in the crudest language and Hillary never denounced or rejected them. She said McCain is better qualified than Obama to be president. Hillary's tone and conduct should disqualify her from consideration as Obama's running mate.

May. 15 2008 05:24 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Albert #38,
I can't speak for anyone else here, but what I mean when I say that Edwards' actions were divisive is that he made a divisive situation worse. The divisions were there already; I believe they have been there since LBJ. His jumping in when he did looks like a pile-on and it may turn a number of her supporters, particularly women off. Like it or not, he will need those supporters in November.

May. 15 2008 05:23 PM
mc from Brooklyn

seth,
I will not for an instant excuse the MSM for the job they did with Ayers, Wright etc. It was disgusting. I also don't give anyone a free pass for race baiting or gender baiting which has been getting a free pass. Obama does not do this but some of his unofficial satellites do, as do much of the MSM. I will also say that this is not the end of smears against Obama, and that he has the benefit of a much shorter history in the national eye, so he's farther behind in getting beaten up. None of this makes anyone a good candidate. I am satisfied that if most of the Democratic voters choose Obama that he should be the nominee and I will support him in Nov. I think that his supporters, including a number on this comment board would be well advised, as he clearly is that he needs Hillary's supporters and that they may not automatically come on board. His domestic policies are very squishy - he needs to do more homework and get better quality advisors, particularly in the area of health care economics.

May. 15 2008 05:20 PM
seth from Long Island

One reason we need an Obama win in Nov is to end the Bush Clinton monopoly over the White House. I regret the cowardice of Superdelegates who continue to sit on the fence. The longer Hillary stays in, the more it looks like she's working for Obama's defeat in Nov so she can say I told you so and begin her 2012 presidential campaign.

May. 15 2008 05:00 PM
hjs from 11211

Albert
HRC is in her second term as senator from NY. i won't say she's on anyones coattails. as for "American electorate... same old politics that people are getting tired of. " we'll have to see in the fall if america is ready to move in the 21st century.

May. 15 2008 04:57 PM
Albert from Greenwich, CT

Re post [26] Pat. So now the divisions in the Democratic Party will be Edwards fault? What about Bill’s comments in South Carolina marginalizing the impending Obama victory? What about Ferraro’s comment that Obama only doing so well because he is black? What about Hilary’s declaration that she knows that she and McCain have the credentials to be Commander in Chief, but all Obama has is a speech? What about the pandering to voters to grant a summer vacation from the gas tax, when not a single economist right, left or center can fathom how it can work? What about her repeating the contents of the AP article about her vs. Obama’s ability to get the white working class vote; which she made sound as though the only hard working people in this country are white and poor. Hilary Clinton, her husband and some of her other segregates have made this election about race, class and gender. This bitter sentiment that Obama and his supporters are ruining her chance is completely unfair. She has been divisive, dishonest, and has presented the American electorate with the same old politics that people are getting tired of. She did not try to be fresh and new. She does not even stand on her own merits as an individual, but needed to ride in on the coat tails of her husband. This is the shining example of what women want as their role model? I mean you or your candidate no disrespect Pat, but every other person who ran for president this cycle came to it of their own accord.

May. 15 2008 04:31 PM
hjs from 11211

seth,
and where are the super delegates hiding! if it's over like we are told why are the silent

May. 15 2008 04:17 PM
seth from Long Island

hjs

Thanks for the heads up. Since you got off the phone with Terry McCaulife, what time is Hillary giving her presser where she announces her official withdrawal? Hillary will drag this fight out to the last nanosecond humanly possible before conceding anyhting. Unfortunately, Obama hasn't sewn up this nomination.

May. 15 2008 04:12 PM
hjs from 11211

seth
ur news is 6 months too late. obama to be dem nominee. leave HRC alone for now. you can bash her again in 2016

May. 15 2008 03:57 PM
seth from Long Island

To mc33 and hjs32,
If Hillary wins this nomination, Republicans won't let Bill's scandals rest in peace. My previous point was the MSM's double standard in whacking Obama with Ayers, Wright, and bitter, while giving Hillary a free ride on selling the Lincoln bedroom, and the littany of ethics challenged adventures of Bill Clinton's White House. Obama's dirty laundry is a tiny fraction of Hillary's dirty laundry. Obama is hands down the better candidate than Hillary

May. 15 2008 03:51 PM
mc from Brooklyn

seth,
Of course she wasn't neutral. This was her husband, Leave it alone. It's personal. This is a Republican talking point.

Obama's policies are more "Republican" than Hillary's, so that doesn't fly either. How about we send in the one whom most Democrats want. That looks like Obama, so leave it at that.

May. 15 2008 03:40 PM
hjs from 11211

seth
who cares about anyone's sex life? move on! why did the gop congress distract the president with this nonsense you are dreading up?
why didn't the same members of congress hold bush accountable for his public conduct? I mean really are you working for the rove hate machine or what?

May. 15 2008 03:26 PM
seth from Long Island

to mc#28
News reports have shown that Hillary played an active role in seeking to discredit Bill's female accusers. Hillary wasn't a neutral bystander. Bill and Hillary are Republican lite. It's time to nominate an actual Democrat(Obama) and not Hillary(DINO) to run against McCain. Bush Clinton Bush Clinton - The US can do better than a banana republic and not just switch back and forth between two corrupt families of politicians.

May. 15 2008 03:11 PM
hjs from 11211

pat,
i'm comforted by the fact that your state's elector college votes will go to the democratic nominee. most NYers are fearful of the supreme court moving further to the right, and mccain's 100 years wars. while we might be sad our state senator won't have a chance to serve our country we don't want the same GOP faces selling our nation to the highest bidders. so you stay home in Nov, the rest of us will save our country.
the race is over. we need more leaders like edwards to help us move forward. where are the superdelegate hiding?

May. 15 2008 03:01 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Pat#26,
Edwards actually said exactly that over the weekend, that he thought that to come out and endorse now, before the voting is over would just divide people more. Then two days later he does just that. It looks really insincere.

Now Obama is throwing a gasket over something Bush said to the Israeli Kennesit. This sounds really paranoid to me, it gives the other side the high ground which is not good.

May. 15 2008 02:51 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Where was Elizabeth?

seth,
(from yesterday) I think holding a wife responsible for her husband's marital indescretions is repugnant.

As for equating the Clinton administration with the Bush administration - go ahead. You are making a great case for a VERY small tent for the Democratic Party.

May. 15 2008 02:33 PM
seth from Long Island

To # 26
Dividing the party is Hillary's job. Hillary is the one who said McCain is more qualified to be President than Obama. The longer Hillary stays in the race, the more talking points she hands the GOP. If Obama loses in Nov, she'll say I told so and start her 2012 campaign. Hillary doesn't care about the Democratic party or the nation. With Bill and Hillary, it's always about what's best for them.

May. 15 2008 02:31 PM
Pat Burns from New York

I am sorry. Let me just tell you that this endorsement by Edwards did nothing but divide the democratic party. If I am an indication of the result of it, the party has now lost me on any vote for anyone but Hillary. I thought it was a despicable kick in the face to Hillary, and I cannot come back from it to vote for him.
I think letting the thing go to its natural end would have united the party. Not this slimy, nasty act. He must be looking for a job because had he done this to get his health care program or his help for the poor, he would have endorsed Hillary.
pat

May. 15 2008 02:09 PM
hjs from 11211

seth
it's not over until one of them gets 2,025 delegates

May. 15 2008 12:19 PM
seth from Long Island

Hillary, step away from the Credentials Committee and come out with your hands up! You're completely surrounded and your campaign is finished. It's time for you to turn yourself in.

May. 15 2008 12:09 PM
antonio from park slope

hjs

Well the most obvious reason in their case would be bigotry..
I hear you about that myth, though I am not sure if it went through the civil-rights era like most of us did...

May. 15 2008 11:51 AM
John from Brooklyn

I, too, was surprised, disappointed and, frankly, appalled at Hennelly's equivocation about Obama's Christian faith -- especially coming from Hennelly, a reporter for whom I have a great deal of respect.

For any journalist presented with the "Obama is a Muslim" myth, the correct response is some version of the following:

"Actually, Obama has been an active member of a Christian church for 20 years.

"During that time, he has written and commented extensively and explicitly -- including in two books -- about his own faith and about the role of faith in society.

"All of the evidence -- including observations from those who know Obama well -- indicates that Obama is a Christian.

"This is as much as any of us can say about anyone's faith -- Christian or motherwise."

Given that the "Obama is a Muslim" myth has been circulating virtually for the duration of the campaign; and given that, for months now, voters have been using this misinformation as a reason to vote against Obama (and to urge others to do the same), there is no excuse for ANY reporter not to have a corrective response cued up and ready to go.

Let's hope that Hennelly and, if applicable, other WNYC reporters do much better in the future.

May. 15 2008 11:45 AM
hjs from 11211

acs & albert
agreed, something to look out for in the general election.

antonio
i know he's only 10 but why would some kids (and some adults) think people of other faiths (or no faith) are disqualified to be president? guess it's just another america myth that "anyone can be president" as i was taught growing up.

May. 15 2008 11:29 AM
antonio from park slope

hjs:

maybe, But I think the worst part was he was trying to convey that Obama was just wrong, because of his race or religion, perhaps even for his name..

May. 15 2008 11:02 AM
Albert from Greenwich, CT

I just backed up my real player to listen to this segment, and I have to agree with post [12] acs. It is a sad world when even WNYC reporters are lending to the fears of the ignorant masses with his response that he thinks Obama is a Christian. Weeks ago when confronted with the same incorrect labeling of Obama as being from a different religion, 60 minuets reporter Steve Kroft had no qualms about flat out stating that Obama is a Christian. Bob Hennelly needs to explain himself, this is not journalistic integrity. The clip is also disturbing just for the fact that a fourth grader is identifying being an African American as a being of a different religion. I am a 40 year old black man and I am shocked that non-black kids in the fourth grade seem to be learning the same ignorant nonsense that was so prevalent when I was that age.

May. 15 2008 11:02 AM
acs from brooklyn

hjs

Although I am as skeptical as you as to Bush's particular value system I would never -- nor would any member of the press-- discuss his religion as if he were anything but what he says he is. He calls himself a Christian, it is the religion he has claimed for himself, and therefore I would not question it. More to the point, the press would NEVER say on the air or write that President Bush SAYS he's a Christian or CLAIMS he's a Christian or name his religion with any doubt or qualifier whatsoever. Why do they do this to Obama? I do not believe they are commenting on the quality of his Christianity (as you do of Bush's), they are commenting on the truth of it. I find this very disturbing because the press is contributing to the misconceptions and deliberate distortions that people are holding. I would hope that NPR and its reporters would try to be more sensitive to this.

May. 15 2008 11:02 AM
John from Brooklyn

FACT CHECK re EDWARDS ENDORSEMENT SPEECH

Andrea Bernstein said that Edwards spent more time talking about Hillary Clinton than he did talking about Obama.

In fact, Edwards's speech clocked at about 17 minutes. He spent spent the first 4 minutes talking about Clinton and the next 13 talking about Obama.

May. 15 2008 10:54 AM
Baby from Forest Hills

No, we can't believe anything a politician says, and what it means to be a Christian differs from person to person.

Some people call themselves Christian and are born again, right wing Fundamentalists and don't consider people who aren't saved Christian.

Some people go to church on Easter and Christmas and they call themselves Christian. For some it is cultural and they just do what they like and don't pay any attention to their religion till they want the magical white wedding in the church after 10 kids with 3 men and living together for 15 years.

What a Christian is is subjective to the person.

I do believe that Obama is at least culturally Christian. I think that people are trying to clarifty that Obama is not Muslim and he will not lead terrorists in attacking America if he is President.

May. 15 2008 10:53 AM
hjs from 11211

acs

bush claims to be christian but he sure doesn't act like it. can we really believe anything a politician says

May. 15 2008 10:44 AM
Baby from Forest Hills

What is wrong with saying black? "White" people are called "white" not Causcausin Americans. Anyways "white" people are now a minority in this country. There are more people that are black and hispanic. Black is a skin color. It includes people from the Caribbean also.

May. 15 2008 10:41 AM
hjs from 11211

kid's parents were probably gop. in the kid's defense maybe he uses the term black to refer to African Americans. (do people still use that term?)

May. 15 2008 10:34 AM
acs from brooklyn

Why when the child says Obama's religion is African American, does Bob Hennelly reply,"I THINK he's Christian." This is simuilar to a recent reply by a GMA reporter ("He SAYS he's a Christian" or something to that effect) when a woman told her Obama was a Muslim. Why are news reporters -- who have every right to introduce FACTS into interviews, don't they?--why are they equivocating? Why can't they simply say Obama IS a Christian. I understand, although find appalling, Hillary Clinton's "...as far as I know" as an underhanded political strategy. But why is the press participating?

May. 15 2008 10:32 AM
BORED

So thats what clinton supporters talk about at the dinner table. This is what it has come too. I wonder if the kids mother is proud.

May. 15 2008 10:23 AM
hjs from 11211

guess Hennelly didn't think to talk to the mother about that one?!

May. 15 2008 10:23 AM
Bryony from Scarsdale

African-American is a religion. Great. I weep for the future.

May. 15 2008 10:22 AM
antonio from park slope

poor kid, racist parents...

May. 15 2008 10:21 AM
John from Brooklyn

EDWARDS DELEGATES

Edwards has about 19 pledged delegates -- this move frees them to throw their support to Obama.

Also, Edwards's move frees the DNC Rules & By-Laws Committee to do two extremely important things, with respect to the Michigan and Florida delegates:

-- fuse Edwards's popular vote with Obama's in Florida

-- count ALL of "uncommitted" in Michigan for Obama (since Edwards, Richardson, and Dodd now have endorsed Obama)

This cuts off Hillary's Michigan / Florida argument at the knees.

May. 15 2008 10:21 AM
antonio from park slope

HRC does not need your paychecks!

May. 15 2008 10:20 AM
Matt L from Washington, DC ala Queens NY

John Edwards' endorsement defies reason. Hillary Clinton's healthcare plan mirrored his, whereas Obama's is a fiscal nightmare. Hillary is the candidate of the economically struggling, Obama, of the affluent (Obama's economic plan leaves something like $50 billion unaccounted for.) This was purely political. Edwards and Clinton are pragmatists, Obama, an idealist. The two are not normally mutually exclusive, but in a Clinton v. Obama battle, they are opposites.

Let's see...getting people to vote (or endorse) against their economic interests. Sound familiar?

May. 15 2008 10:15 AM
hjs from 11211

so edward now endorsed obama. where are the rest of our party leaders? i think it's time for superdel's to come out of the closet! what are they hiding from?

May. 15 2008 10:14 AM
anonymous from park slope

I just tuned in. Did Andrea Bernstein refer to Appalachia as stretching from NY to Arkansas?.... I don't think the Ozarks qualify.

May. 15 2008 10:14 AM
Chris O from New York

Endorsements seem pretty useless, no? In this case it may help Obama to surround himself with whites and trusted white endorsers that will re-assure the white voters who either consciously or subconsciously are worried about Obama, who may fear he is somehow not one of "us".

But on the other hand, this subconscious illogical feeling probably can not be allayed by endorsements. But maybe it can be allayed in enough people by Obama himself.

May. 15 2008 10:13 AM
John from Brooklyn

Edwards going to Michigan -- rather than Oregon or Kentucky -- makes this a GENERAL ELECTION endorsement.

Indeed, Edwards said for months that he was unlikely to endorse until the primary race was over -- his endorsement now signals that he thinks it is over.

May. 15 2008 10:12 AM

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