Election 08

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Howard Wolfson, former communications director for Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign, talks about the latest happenings in the presidential race.


Howard Wolfson

Comments [49]

hjs from 11211

well i hope that doesn't happen

Oct. 01 2008 03:47 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Know what you mean about the schadenfreude.

I'm trying not to let my mind go there. If there were ever an opportune time to attack the US it is now while we are already reeling.

Oct. 01 2008 03:41 PM
seth from Long Island

The one Oct surprise that I think could greatly benefit McCain would be another 9/11 style attack on US soil. I can already hear the Repub talking pts that would be used if another terrorist attack took place. They'd say that in a natl security crisis the nation requires a steady hand, someone who's been tested by adversity (POW POW), didn't back down, and grew stronger as a result.

Oct. 01 2008 02:30 PM
hjs from 11211

can't wait. i don't know what's left for october, but i'm feeling the schadenfreude.

Oct. 01 2008 02:02 PM
seth from Long Island


I expect the Oct surprise to consist of many, many more references to Wright, Rezko, and Ayers. I hope the undecided voters don't fall for this BS. The more I hear of McCain, the more I want Obama to give him a crushing, humiliating defeat.

Oct. 01 2008 01:44 PM
mc from Brooklyn

You are right about the bumpy ride. Both candidates look a little marginalized to me now.

We have had our September surprise - can't wait to see what October has in store.

Oct. 01 2008 01:14 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Digging what you said about not having a trust fund. Even if you did, it might not be worth much now. I am grateful that I do not live on credit.

The north west is gorgeous -- Switzerland has got nothing on us.

Oct. 01 2008 12:54 PM
seth from Long Island

To paraphase Bette Davis - "it's going to be a bumpy ride"
McCain's campaign is going to go all out with the mudslinging. I expect Palin to sling a lot of mud tomorrow to cover up her incompetence.
McCain has to be called out on his insane doubletalk. He says the failure of the bailout package belongs to Obama. Then he says this isn't the time to assign blame. Listening to McCain is a nauseating experience.

Oct. 01 2008 12:54 PM
hjs from 11211

u can't say i never warned u!
i saw the end coming and i don't have much hope.

vacation is always too short. went to the north west to save some cash.
never want to come back to work but i don't have a trust fund or anything so i did in fact come back. but still not in the swing of things

Oct. 01 2008 12:27 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Glad it was good, sorry it was short. See what kind of trouble we all got into while you were gone?

Oct. 01 2008 12:14 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Good for you richard, par for the course for texans

Oct. 01 2008 11:48 AM
AWM from UWS


I posted to the wrong thread.

Alberto, I don't like to complain, it's passive, self serving and useless. I like to argue. In order to craft an argument you have to learn about what you are arguing about rather than rely generalities and catch phrases.

I don't go out and do a song and dance for a candidate, not my thing, I'm a supporter of a path that enhances the future of my children. Every election there is a choice between the lesser of two evils, as long as we only have two choices that's all it will be. To me, the best path lies ahead of a country with Obama as president, especially when McCain/Palin is the alternative.

Oct. 01 2008 11:46 AM
hjs from 11211

it might be obtuse, as the guest said HRC has been working hard for senator obama

6 months ago "they" said bill was sabotaging hillary's campaign , i think he's just lost his mind but i'd like to move forward
ps he did help gore much either in 2000 gore did not want him, maybe BHO doesn't want him either.
ps has carter been campaigning for obama?

Oct. 01 2008 11:36 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Oh Brian you are so full of crap I almost can't listen anymore but it is like a train wreck, you have to look, I have to listen to see what additional ridiculous claims you will back mccain on.

Oct. 01 2008 11:35 AM
Richard from Texas

I am not in the $250k+ bracket, but McCain does support my moral values and will receive my vote.

Oct. 01 2008 11:34 AM
hjs from 11211

hi, thanks, vacation was good, but too short.

Oct. 01 2008 11:29 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

We should not be talking about HRC anymore, she lost, put it to bed! Who cares what the Clinton's think do or endorse right now, if they want betray their party then we don't need them. Sore losers!

Oct. 01 2008 11:26 AM
Alberto Fuentes from Manhattan


In your brief response, you have given a better and more reasoned explaination of the current situation than either candidate.

However, you refuse to give credence to the position that there is serious and very well-thought out political marketing taking place on both sides.

If you are an Obama supporter, kudos to you. Go vote, volunteer, and give money. My point is very different.

As to complaining, it seems both of are expressing our viewpoints. I look forward to hearing your complaints.

Oct. 01 2008 11:26 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Bottom line people McCain does not represent me or you unless you happen to be in the $250k and above tax bracket. You people of a lighter hue, need to stop fooling yourself if you are not in that financial group then you too are included.

Oct. 01 2008 11:22 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

This is an intelligent level headed guest, you should take some pointers from him BRIAN!

Oct. 01 2008 11:17 AM
Gary Krasner from NYC

The correct answer to WHY Pelossi attacked republicans BEFORE the vote was because she realized she didn't have enough Republican votes to give Dems cover in passing an noxious bill.

So she had to pull the plug on the bill without her fingerprints on the knife, to mix metaphors. By establishing the partisan accusation, it insured that the media would know who to blame, and use it as an election issue.

Oct. 01 2008 11:17 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Republicans blindly following McCain/Palin are just plain naive!

Oct. 01 2008 11:16 AM
AWM from UWS

@ Alberto

"Spin?" What is this?

"People need to remember that Bush is also very hands off."

We have time for this kind of silly comparison?

And, please, let us know how exactly this crisis can be handled well other than through careful analysis of the situation.

There are no easy alternatives and this is a very complicated problem.

I guess you know how to value trillions of dollars of opaque and layered CDOs and MBSs that have been spread throughout the global financial system while providing liquidity to frozen credit markets within a matter of days.
In addition, trying to figure out how to deal with the core issue of separating toxic mortgages from potentially solvent mortgages in the midst of historic foreclosure rates, housing surpluses, and home price devaluation.

Oh I forgot, you “think” that this is all a “mass marketing” ploy. If that is the case, all you have to do is sit there and complain about it.

Oct. 01 2008 11:15 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

andd...nothing strategic about it, McCain is a warmonger, grasping at straws and things that he thinks makes him look good. I don't feel financially secure with him as president and that is what he should be concerned with! Common folk!

Oct. 01 2008 11:14 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Good for you, I wouldnt go that far either, he was not wrong he clearly said IT TURNED OUT BETTER THAN EXPECTED, he still does not have to say it worked and I agree. The surge issue is worthless!

Oct. 01 2008 11:13 AM
Tony from Brooklyn

Have you considered that not voting democratic has contributed to cutting funding for arts in schools(except perhaps Iraqi schools)?

Oct. 01 2008 11:05 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Welcome back. How was your vacation?

If Obama's campaign to win is dependent on Bill's tatooing of his name on his arm then that is pathetic.

If Hillary acknowledges the sexism that does exist in the punditry while at the same time advocating for a vote for Obama then she is ahead of most of the Dems.

If a hard look at McCain's economic advisors coupled with the events of the past two weeks isn't enough to send people scurrying to Obama's side then nothing is.

Oct. 01 2008 11:01 AM
Gerry from Brooklyn

Brian please! I agree with Mark, you let Wolfson off the Hook regarding Bill Clinton not supporting the Obama campaign. Your regular listeners like me, know it was a mistake on your part...this guy is a professional communicator
and he turned the answer around on you big time.

Oct. 01 2008 10:58 AM
Alberto Fuentes from Manhattan


If this is truly a crises, there is no time for your type of spin. Both candidates have handled this situation poorly, The time for "reading" a situation is long over the time clear and objective thinking on the part of the public is now lest we fall prey to the mass marketing taking place to sell this bill e.g., "rescue" vs. "bailout."

Oct. 01 2008 10:57 AM
a woman from manhattan

Yes, Brian, there is no reason whatsoever for Pelosi to have held her peace at that moment. None. Why? Is she supposed to just hold her nose and jump into the "crap sandwich" with a smile? I applaud her for speaking up and saying what she felt.

And as for this Wolfson, why on earth are you still consulting anyone from the Clinton camp about anything Obama-related? It is so obvious that the Clinton camp has washed their hands of Obama, and are just hoping he'll lose. I have never been so disgusted by a democrat as I am with Hillary Clinton, and her stooge of a husband.

Oct. 01 2008 10:56 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

According to some news reports, old Newtie was behind the Republican revolt on the bailout vote. But mostly I think it was the (right on) skepticism of the public in this highly charged election year. McCain made hash of it, no question. As for Pelosi -- I thought it was a great speech -- though not perhaps at exactly that moment. She sounded angry and tired -- probably not a great combination but once again, the Republicans stood together and created a faux issue out of nothing.

Oct. 01 2008 10:51 AM
Ken Doe from NYC

Look out for the budget implications of reducing / eliminating the AMT (alternative minimum tax)

Oct. 01 2008 10:49 AM
AWM from UWS

@ Alberto

Pay attention. Obama wasn't detached from anything. He was working among his peers and contributing to a collective effort rather than flailing about and drawing attention to himself.

It's called reading the situation and acting in a fashion that is most appropriate and constructive.

Oct. 01 2008 10:49 AM
Leonardo from Queens


Why is Speaker Pelosi's statement as to what got us to this point a political attack.
It's about time that we became BRUTALLY HONEST as to the causes of this problem and started calling things for what they are. The Republicans have ben systematically undermining and destroying the government and our economy for their short term reelection benefit without any consideration for the long-term effects. - Pelosi merely made an HONEST STATEMENT at the Incompetent, corrupt Bush admnistration. Why should Republicans be insulted when they are called on their incompetence and moral corruption? WHEN is the the RIGHT time Brian?

Oct. 01 2008 10:48 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

The Clintons are not ripping Palin apart as she should be because (Palin has NO business being a VP NONE) they want OBAMA to lose.

Hilary wants to be president but can't if Obama wins.

The only way Hilary can be president is if McCain wins and is a bumbling fool as predicted.

Oct. 01 2008 10:47 AM
Mark from NY

You just let Mr. Wolfson off the hook. You asked him about Bill Clinton's lack of adequate support and he morphed the answer to Hillary!

Oct. 01 2008 10:46 AM
Tony from Brooklyn

I don't think anyone stated or implied that it's Clinton's job to elect Barack Obama. Perhaps if you were to listen again you'd realize that the implication is that...
Bill Clinton(former DEMOCRATIC President), has all but endorsed John McCain of late. This is a skilled politician who understands how his words influence people. And now his praise of McCain has been made into a GOP commercial. Seems unprecedented, no?
If Hillary Clinton is raising the issue of sexism as it relates to Sarah Palin, then she's given what is euphemistically called "low information voters" license to vote against their interests. Unlike Bill, I don't think she's being a petulant 14 year old girl about this. I think she's still explaining to people why she thinks she lost. She just can't help herself.
But to think that the Clintons wouldn't be reasonably expected to help the democratic nominee for President get elected is rather obtuse.

Oct. 01 2008 10:46 AM
Richard Williams from Larchmont, NY

I am a registered liberal Republican who votes third party for my representatives in Albany and Washington, DC. I am also an unemployed music teacher. After interviews with 22 school districts since 20029(No offers), I am further frustrated with politics as usual. All I simply ask for is to be on the conductor's podium in front of a concert band on a full-time basis and make a difference in students lives.

Oct. 01 2008 10:42 AM
Alberto Fuentes from Manhattan

With all the criticism of McCain's involvement in the crises it is hard to see how Obama's detachment has contributed to anything regarding this issue. People need to remember that Bush is also very hands off. This guy talks and talks and doesn't even feel the need to caucus with the 94 Democrats that voted against the bill. The press and punditry don't even go near this.

Oct. 01 2008 10:38 AM
hjs from 11211

why is it the 'clinton's job' to elect BHO

'you people' need to stop making the clintons the bad guys

Oct. 01 2008 10:38 AM
Jesse Califano from TPA/ NYC/

These are the facts- and as once said: 'facts' are stubborn things!

The current credit crisis in confidence was not caused by the free-market NOT working- it is the result of the DNP's ( Carter-1977 & Clinton-1993-95 ) social engineering of the America housing market by enacting the Community Reinvestment Act so that more financially deprived minority Americans would be able to participate in the 'American Dream' which begins with home ownership!
And then the Mortgage Broker Crooks came in to prearrange the funeral;
and the Wall Street wise guys came in to nail up that coffin! And now. . . the American Taxpayers are standing at the grave site and attending the interment!

Oct. 01 2008 10:36 AM
Dan Greenberger from NYC

The important issue on whether to extend the term of the mayor, or city council, to a third term should clearly be on the table, but it has to be freed from the desire to reelect the present incumbent. If the city council passes such a law it has to be written so as to exclude present office holders. That way it would apply to future elections, not the next one, and would possibly be based on the better judgment of the council and mayor, and not their personal ambitions.

Oct. 01 2008 10:34 AM
Maggie from New York, NY

A strategy is GW's plan to discredit McCain during the 2000 primary. A tactic is phoning constituents and lying about him having an illegitimate child with a black woman.

Oct. 01 2008 10:32 AM
norman from nyc

"Change" was one of the feel-good words that Newt Gingrich recommended Republican candidates use, in his GOPAC memo.

Oct. 01 2008 10:30 AM
Linda from East Village

Given the lackluster support to Obama from both Clintons over the past couple of weeks, as well as Bill's praise of McCain, does Wolfson envision a victorious Obama offering a cabinet or other high-level post to Hillary?

Oct. 01 2008 10:25 AM
Dianne Martin from Long Island City

I have never been in favor of term limits since it deprives the city of people with needed experience which is only accumulated over time in office. At least a 3 term limit rather than the current 2 would clearly be preferable. As to Bloomberg, it seems a "no-brainer" to me that he should run for a third term. He has been a great mayor in my view and he is needed even more now with the financial situation in the city. I totally support his run for a third term. The most viable alternatives, to me, are Christine Quinn and Thompson but they are just not in the same league in comparison with Bloomberg.

Oct. 01 2008 10:17 AM

"vote for bailout" = "vote for war"

-- in terms of a candidate negating his (or her in the case of hilary) credibility.

times of crisis are the test of authority and of judgement.

as bush and cheney are virtuosos of this symphony, obama is proving to be a rank amateur.

the only way i would vote for obama now is if he insisted on legislation requiring that borrowers qualify for loans -- and that banks remove immoral penalties (such as penalties for paying more than the minimum balance, etc.).

Oct. 01 2008 10:00 AM
Steve Mark from NYC

I'm not a McCain fan nor a fan of the bailout. But had McCain not "suspended his campaign" (and, George, it's hard to stop a train) the bailout would have gone through pretty much as King Paulson wanted it initially. Unfortunately, this campaign has become so toxic on both sides that few are able to acknowledge a sensible idea or comment with spinning it to extreme rotations.

Oct. 01 2008 09:00 AM

Last week, McCain suspended his campaign, and then went right on campaigning! He didn't stop for a second. He went right to CBS for an exclusive interview, then the next day made a speech in New york, then finally went to DC where he did nothing but, essentially, campaign on his talking points. Nobody is talking about what a lie this was because the whole trip to the budget bailout was such a disaster that it McCain's silly handling of it became the headline. It seems like he's gone completely off the rails.

Oct. 01 2008 07:55 AM

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