Whatever Happens

I’ve contended here for months now that the Obama campaign is not above the fray, as they claim. Last night, within moments (“immediately“) after the candidates left the debate stage, Obama’s campaign “began circulating a similar comment” to Hillary Clinton’s closing comment to the media, one that was “delivered by former presidential candidate John Edwards” during a debate in Iowa, in December.

Oh… the indignation! How dare she! How dare she speak about the tests she has faced in her life and bring it around to this race for the nomination and reach out and say “I am honored to be here with Barack Obama.” How dare she show the American public, yet again, that she is gracious and passionately cares about the people.

Hillary Clinton reached out last night in a moving and genuine moment that resonated with the audience enough that she received a standing ovation. And how did the Obama camp respond to that moment? They bitch-slapped her. Yup. Bitch-slapped. They bitch-slapped her for “using a common English phrase” — “whatever happens, we’re going to be fine.”

I’ve said it myself hundreds of times in my life — you probably have too. In fact it’s use is widespread:

Laura Bush: ‘Whatever happens will be fine’ [El Paso Times, 5/19/00]

NBA Star Shaquille O’Neal: ‘We’ll be fine, no matter what happens.’ [AP, 10/8/03]

Actress Lindsay Lohan: ‘No matter what happens, we’re going to be fine.’ [AP, 4/19/07]

Former Redskin Dexter Manley: ‘Whatever happens, I’m going to be fine.’ [Washington Post, 7/26/98]

Former Redskin Gus Frerotte: ‘I look forward to whatever happens. We’re going to be fine.’ [Washington Times, 12/22/98]

Notre Dame football player Tom Zbikowski: ‘Whatever happens, we’re going to be fine back there.’ [Notre Dame football player Tom Zbikowski, 4/22/07]

Angels GM Bill Stoneman: ‘Whatever happens, I’m going to be fine.’ [Los Angeles Times, 2/22/03]

Former Giant Christian Peter: ‘And whatever happens, I’m going to be fine.’ [Asbury Park Press, 1/29/01]

Chicago Cub Larry Rothschild: ‘I’m not worried about that. Whatever happens, I’m going to be fine.’ [St. Petersburg Times, 4/1/01]

Diamondback Edgar Gonzalez: ‘Whatever happens, I’ll be fine because I’m in the big leagues.’ [Edgar Gonzalez, Diamondbacks, 5/2/07]

Hockey player Richard Hamula: ‘Whatever happens I’ll be fine with but hopefully I can still stick around here.’ [Richard Hamula, hockey player, 9/20/02]

Leonard Hamm, interim commissioner for the Baltimore City Police Department: ‘Whatever happens, I’m going to be fine.’ [Baltimore Afro-American, 11/19/04]

The reaction from the Obama campaign last night to Hillary’s closing statement showed me a petty, small minded response to a gracious woman, not unlike the moment when Hillary Clinton reached out to Ted Kennedy before the SOTU and Barack Obama, standing next to Kennedy, turned his back on Hillary.

Barack Obama — above the fray? Hardly. He and his campaign are just as capable of getting in the muck — but don’t tell supporters that. He’s all about hope and change, isn’t he? No he’s all “politics as usual.”

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24 Responses to Whatever Happens

  1. I was unaware of the move by Obama. Good reporting.

  2. Sandra says:

    Hi Pamela,

    Yep, it’s me from the old Kerry forum! Just wanted to drop a line to tell you that I’m enjoying your blog and look forward to reading it each day.

    It’s rare to find anyone telling it like it is about the Obama campaign. Keep up the great reporting!

    Sandra

  3. Hi Sandra

    Good to hear from you. So many of the Kerry blog and forum folks are supporting Obama, so it’s always nice to hear from those who aren’t. It’s funny because I look at the media treatment of HRC to be similar to what JK got in ’04 and Obama’s campaign reminds me of Dean’s in many ways.

  4. alex says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the media’s lack of questions to the presidential candidates about global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be a bigger issue.

    Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw an article describing each candidate’s stance on global warming and climate change on earthlab.com http://www.earthlab.com/articles/PresidentialCandidates.aspx . So obviously they care about it. Is it the Medias fault for not asking the right questions or is it the candidates’ fault for not highlighting the right platforms? Does anyone know of other websites or articles that touch on this subject and candidates’ views? This is the biggest problem of the century and for generations to come…you would think the next president of the United States would be more vocal about it.

  5. eddy says:

    Obama is far from above the fray. He should be charged with patent infringement in the way he copied the Clintons in pandering for Greek American votes.

  6. NewHampster says:

    Love your blog Pamela and finally decided to join up.

    Not only is Obama not above the fray, I think he, actually Axelrod, has run the most negative campaign in many years. They’ve just done it in an incredibly positive looking way. His campaign is totally against the politics of the past, meaning Hillary. Every speech is anti-Hillary and they have created the largest anti movement ever. So sad.

    By the way, I was a Deaniac for Kerry and my wife and everyone I know have had the Obama kool-aid.

  7. Maybe I need to get something other than rabbit ears so I can see some of this stuff myself.

    My absolute number one issue is that I want a President who will go toe to toe with anyone on the planet, anytime, anywhere and do verbal battle on our behalf. This tops global warming, Irag, health care, etc.

    As I understand it, Obama said last night that he will be that kind of President. Clinton said that she will not.

  8. Darrell

    You can watch the debates online FYI — CNN, MSNBC — they all live stream them now on their websites.

    I’m not at all sure that I have ever heard Hillary say she wouldn’t go toe to toe an any issue that matters. I think you are probably referring to an exchange in the debate that started out to be about Cuba. Clinton’s response was one that showed she understands more about foreign policy and diplomacy. You can’t counter the Bush years of refusing to utilize diplomacy by simply announcing I’ll meet with everyone as Obama is saying.

  9. New Hampster

    Welcome to The Dem Daily. I am actually originally from your neck of the woods – the MA/NH border on the coast. You totally nailed it with this:

    Not only is Obama not above the fray, I think he, actually Axelrod, has run the most negative campaign in many years. They’ve just done it in an incredibly positive looking way. His campaign is totally against the politics of the past, meaning Hillary. Every speech is anti-Hillary and they have created the largest anti movement ever. So sad.

    It just astounds me that people don’t see this. I don’t get it at all. Every speech includes the same anti-Hillary talking points, ad nasuem. Can anyone say neuro-linguistics. Eventually if you hear the same thing over and over it sinks in.

  10. Jessica says:

    It was indeed lame of the Obama campaign to ping Hillary for “lifting lines.” And it looks as ridiculous as it did when the Clinton campaign did the same thing last weekend. So let’s count how many words were lifted and how many people lifted them over time and then come up with some cryptic algebraic equation to determine when it is, or is not acceptable to lift. Are we really going to spend time on this? Political rhetoric, like literature, is largely derivative. Let it go.

  11. Alex

    Once again we’re in an election cycle where the questions are not being asked in the debates on the environmental issues. Both Clinton and Obama have put it out there though in speeches, particularly when talking about the economy. I think they both have good platforms on these issues.

    Grist.org is a good resource.

  12. Pamela: “Live streaming”. Thaks! I’m going to have to try to figure out what that is.

  13. Sandra says:

    It’s funny because I look at the media treatment of HRC to be similar to what JK got in ‘04 and Obama’s campaign reminds me of Dean’s in many ways.

    I’ve had the same thought many times!

  14. Sandra

    It’s so go to hear that you have thought the same thing. It’s been lonely out here! What’s up on CGCS? I would assume it’s more Obama than Hillary there.

  15. Slave Revolt says:

    There is no way a progressive can support Hillary–not with her record of backing illegal US agression, sanctions that lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi children, and then the US invasion of Iraq that lead to hundreds of thousands of more deaths of innocent Iraqis.

    All for the lust for empire and oil.

    To Obama’s credit, he is not associated with such brazen criminality.

    In a sane world Hillary would be held accountable for the inhumane and illegal acts of agression that she has supported.

    And she dare’s call Hugo Chavez a ‘dictator’.

    You people are deluded to the extreme.

  16. Slave Revolt

    Um… sorry but blame for the Iraq War does not rest solely on Hillary Clinton’s shoulders. And incase you don’t get it, since elected to the Senate, Barack Obama has voted to extend the war, fund the war and voted against Kerry – Feingold, which was the first solid plan to withdraw from the war.

    So,indeed, Barack Obama has “associated with such brazen criminality.”

  17. Slave Revolt says:

    Indeed, Obama’s votes are sheer political opprotunism.

    But he did not support a decade of murderous sanctions that saw hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people dead–nor did he back this current, illegal, criminal, murderous endeavor, the so-called ‘war’ that is really about stealing those folk’s oil resources.

    Hillary’s faux-sentimentality toward the wounded soldiers is only impressive when the far greater trauma and maiming of Iraqi children is left out of the frame.

    Being willfully blind toward Hillary’s record of imperialist terror is really pathetic.

    Obama wins my support exactly because he opposed the illegal invasion of Iraq. That counts for something.

    There is a reason that Russ Feingold–one of the few that voted against the illegal Iraq attack–is supporting Obama.

    If Hillary is elected it would be business as usual–the Iraq occupation and attempt to set up a puppet, comprador government would proceed as it is now being planned.

    Hillary is a total fake and an advocate for an adgenda of imperialist terror. Only someone deluded by the corporate propaganda and blind, ignorant nationalism cannot see that this is true.

    Simple–Obama is the lesser of the evils in this contest. This is beyond refutation given Hillary’s record of corporate whoring and war-mongering–not to mention her kicking the US workers in the balls with corporate protection/investor’s rights agreements like NAFTA.

  18. Slave Revolt

    Obama’s claims about Hillary Clinton’s positions on NAFTA have been proven to be false.

    Most of your comments here have fallen under “bashing or attacking members of The Democratic Daily, Democratic leaders in office or candidates” and I will ask you not to make false claims here about Hillary Clinton again. If you do your comments will be moderated.

  19. Slave Revolt says:

    Sorry, the truth is that Hillary has consistently backed NAFTA.

    This was one of her hubby’s big pay-backs to the Wall Streeters.

    Care to comment on the fact that Hillary never mentions the women and children (hundreds of thousands) that has been killed and maimed by this illegal war?

    The idea that she supports ‘human rights’ in any authentic sense is laughable–but it does point up the power of the corporate propaganda machine that this point can even be forwarded.

    But her Hugo Chavez bashing is perhaps the most brazen of all–considering the long US history of backing rightwing dictator, terrorists in South and Central America.

    Care to refute me on this–or does your blind support necessitate ‘disappearing’ truths that have been submerged in the collective psyche?

    Will you allow me to post the evidence that Hillary has consistently backed NAFTA? Or will my comments simply be disappeared?

  20. Slave Revolt says:

    If calling out people for their support for imperialist state terror can be construed as ‘bashing’–then I guess I am guilty.

    But I prefer to call something what it is.

    Vietnam was imperialist terror too–murdered millions of decent people trying to defend their country.

    What now? Calling me a ‘commie’–giving my email or ip to the FBI?

    Figures.

  21. Slave Revolt

    She voted against CAFTA – was NOT in the Senate on any NAFTA votes – is on record as disagreeing with Bill on NAFTA. There is NO justification in the claim that she consistently backed NAFTA. NO justification — no proof.

    What now? It’s called the moderation queue. You were asked politiely not repeat your false claims here.

    If you don’t like it go find a blog that allows Hillary bashing because this blog does not.

  22. alrudder says:

    Here’s an idea for Hillary: Have her high command (Mark Penn, Howard Wolfson, Mandy Grunwald) announce they are going without pay for a while. They are soooooo overpaid for their lack of planning.
    All money not going directly to TV stations, should go to the grassroots. That would motivate her donors and activists.

  23. alrudder: Seems fair to me, but what do I know.