Bill Clinton's '92 campaign manager backs Obama: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted February 13, 2008 1:52 PM
The Swamp

By Jim Tankersley

The man who managed Bill Clinton's winning 1992 presidential campaign endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president this afternoon, snubbing Clinton's wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the process.

David Wilhelm, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who now works as a venture capitalist in Ohio, said Obama's momentum, his message, the quality of his campaign and his potential to command a "broad coalition" as president "that can make change a reality" all contributed to the decision to endorse.

Obama, he said in a conference call, has tapped into "a sense of energy, a sense of idealism, that I'd like to think we were able to tap into in 1992" on the Bill Clinton campaign.

Wilhelm conceded his endorsement pales, on a name-brand basis, to those of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and former Sen. John Glenn -- both of whom back Hillary Clinton. But Wilhelm's support brings some tactical benefits for Obama. For starters, he's a "superdelegate" to the Democratic National Convention, which means Obama is now one vote closer to the party nomination. He's well-known in Democratic circles, and he said he expects to take an active role lobbying other superdelegates - the party insiders and elected officials not chosen by state primaries or caucuses - to support Obama.

He also brings a strategic knowledge of the political landscape in Ohio, a general-election swing state that is set to play an equally crucial role in the Democratic nominating process when it holds its primary on March 4. A year ago, the Ohio Democratic Party hired Wilhelm to "audit" its operations and recommend improvements to maintain the political gains Democrats scored in the Buckeye State in 2006.

Strickland told a reporter last year that Wilhelm "talked to scores of people, maybe hundreds, about messaging technology, management, fund raising – everything the state party should be doing to be successful. He brought me a number of recommendations which we are in the process of implementing."

Now, Obama will presumably get those as well. Wilhelm said he's already advised the campaign on advertising and superdelegate courting. "I'll do whatever the campaign asks me to do," he said today.

Wilhelm stepped down as DNC chairman after the 1994 "Republican Revolution" swept the GOP to control of Congress; he reportedly had fallen out of favor with the Clinton White House by that point. This marks the second time this election cycle he has backed a Democrat not named Clinton. He advised Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) in his short-lived White House bid. (Wilhelm also worked for Biden in his 1988 presidential run; his other clients have included Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.)

This afternoon, he cast his endorsement as the beginning of a movement to unite party leaders around Obama. He said it would be almost impossible for Clinton to catch Obama among "pledged" delegates - those won in state-by-state voting - by the end of the primary season and warned against what he called the "unlikely" scenario of Clinton then going on to win the nomination thanks to superdelegates. "If superdelegates override the choice of Democratic Party voters," he said, "that would be a very difficult and divisive scenario for the party."

Clinton has targeted Texas and Ohio for a goal line stand of sorts for the campaign, following a string of February losses to Obama. Because of that, Wilhelm called Ohio a "land of opportunity" for Obama.

"I don't think he has to win Ohio," he said, "but I think if he wins Ohio, he may wrap up the nomination."

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The Clinton's seems to be good at burning bridges. With the recent dump of Patty Doyle, and many other campaign workers sliding away in her absence, we may see an even greater move away from her by her voting electorate. Personally, I think Obama's adoration is reflected in the way he can win caucuses consistently:

one of the major themes of the Clinton campaign has been that the New York Senator is "battle-tested" and better prepared to take on McCain and the right wing attacks. But that has been turned on its head by the fact that a junior Senator from Illinois has ended up putting the Clinton campaign on the ropes. It's hard to argue that you can demolish John McCain when you can't decisively defeat an opponent who came from nowhere, with no national name recognition, in your own party's primary. That is just common sense.

Barack Obama has the real Momentum, no wild claims like Hilary made that it would be all over by the 5th February.

Hilary is looking and sounding a very tired and weary woman. Both Hilary & Billy have taken the voters too much for granted.

Barack Obama has run a very successful campaign, using communications and marketing getting ordinary people involved like never seen before this is what politics needs in 2008 and he can beat McCain

Obama is evry thing Americans needed for a president, he is what the world is waiting for. This is a revolution Americans should make it happen, which we are working towards it all around the world.

In Hillary's case "battle tested" now equals walking wounded.

Head to head she is doing ever worse against McCain.

And now after always being behind he has closed to a tie.

Back a winner in November, vote Obama.

The Clintons are depending on close quarter tactics to win, and if they succeed their sword play will need honing to beat McCain and the RNC machine. But Barack’s strategy transcends their gamesmanship. He’s winning the field and they keep retreating to the next hill. The fact is that Hillary's star is waning whilst Barack's is waxing. Her Politics-as-Usual is no rival to Barack’s ascendant zeitgeist.

General Wilhelm refuses to report for duty at the Alamo with Hillary?

Go figure...

I keep wondering when the "Clinton Machine" will kick into gear and begin to change the rules in their "ends justify the means" campaign strategy. I know that many of the people, Wilhelm included, who once were avid Clinton supporters have changed their minds. I am curious though to know what caused them to leave, as none, including Al Gore or Wilhelm, will say.

All Barack says is "CHANGE". Where does he stand on the issues. How much has he spoken about the issues? It's time we open our eyes past the hoppe and dream filled speeches and get right down to the issues. Hillary speaks about the issues. Not how she was poor and hopes and all that fairytale stuff. HILLARY 08!

Cheerleading is a good activity and one that has proven useful to the Obama camp, but "the devil is in the details" and what is he ACTUALLY going to do if he gets elected? Don't blame Hillary that she has PLANS to put in place and the experience to get it done.

I find the word "adoration" to be interesting word to describe a contender for the Presidential nomination (Jesse's post). I'm not the right religion to talk about the phrase, "come let us adore him," but I'd rather have a President who is capable of getting the work done.

Makes no difference to me. I will not join the BO cult following because what he says and what he has done are two different things.

Hillary can't get the work done.

She can't even budget her own campaign.

She voted for the war, which most of America is sick of. And will probably ignore the promises she made about troop withdrawal if she gets elected.

But her winning the presidency is laughable

Hillary and the whole Clinton machine needs to be put out to pasture. People are sick of them and their attack machine. They are the OLD way, we want NEW. I am a life-long Independent conservative and even I am going to take a risk and vote for Obama. I know it is a risk but, I and others, are so desperate for REAL change, I just have to vote for him and hope he isn't an empty suit. McCain is just part of the old Washington. I and others are sick of the status- quo. By God, we want government to start working again and begin to solve the many problems that have just been ignored and are getting worse. This is our last chance. Lets just hope Obama can deliver or we are finished as a nation. Stop all of the fighting and come together as a nation and do what needs to be done. Tell the American public that they are going to have to sacrifice. Be honest with us and we will follow.

Hmmmmmm. Who to support? Who to support? The candidate who's 20% lead has evaporated over the past 6 months, or, the candidate who has surged to the lead from 20% back over the same time period? The policy wonk, or, the inspirational leader? The one candidate guaranteed to unify the Republicans, or, a candidate who has proven "cross over appeal" for moderate Republicans? Hmmmmm. Why, oh why, is this such a difficult choice!

Fifty percent of the country has made up its mind about Hillary and will never vote for her. As can be seen by recent events, there are plenty of Dems who don't think too much of the Clintons. The conservative base is disspirited with McCain and probably can best be rallied by the appearance of a Clinton on the ticket, bringing back for them those glory days in the 90's when they were young, the world was new, and impeachment was in the air. And independents buy the BS that McCain is a "maverick". How does Hillary win under these circumstances? I don't see it. Maybe she wins by picking up Kerry's states and hoping to slide by with 51% in Ohio. Even if she's able to thread that needle - how does she realistically get anything done? I don't think she starts out with a honeymoon. She's not going to have a mandate. It will be a point of honor for the Republicans to obstruct everything and I don't think she's going to have much downticket impact - witness the Red State govs -Neapolitano, Sebellius, Kaine - endorsing Obama. How does she get anything done.

Obama pretty much has it in the bag at this point. After he wins these next few primaries more and more super delegates are going to start supporting him and by the time we get to march 4 Hillary's lead will have shrunk completely.

Hillary is substance! Obama is promises and faith!
Faith in what?paul tucker

Tick, tick, tick. The Clinton Dirty Tricks Machine is watching the clock as it considers what it can do to derail the Obama locomotive. Look for the Clintons' private detectives to be working on the backgrounds of all the Super Delegates.


Hillary has substance?? What, now that she's "found her voice" after all these years? No more Clinton scandals are wanted by this nation. Eight years was enough for me, and I agree with some of the comments here about the Clinton-machine...Obama better watch it, she'll bear her fangs as her campaign's meltdown continues. It will get nasty.

What's that sound I hear? It's "squeak", "squeak", "Squeak." In ever increasing numbers the rats are abandoning the good ship Clinton. Too bad - so sad - I'm glad. The super delegates are going to start backtracking too. The only crown Hillary will wear will be a box of Parkay! lol!

I find it Hillaryous that so many Clinton supporters find time to blog that Obama hasn't taken any position on the issues and lacks substance, but can't seem to find time to visit Obama's website and READ THE PLATFORMS HE'S LAID OUT ON 26 DIFFERENT ISSUES.

That includes a 34 POINT PLAN ON HEALTH CARE THAT INCLUDES 66 FOOTNOTES, one of the issues that I care most about.

Obama's health care plan is not only more detailed than Clinton's plan (18 points, no footnotes), its far superior. Clinton does nothing to reign in profiteering by insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Instead, she wants to garnish our wages to put more of our hard-earned money into their profits.

Nevermind that Clinton will never be able to get a plan through even a Democratic Congress that relies on garnishing wages and forcing people to buy health insurance against their will.

Obama's plan wins thumbs up.

It's intersting to note that Wilhelm is a venture capitalist, which means he is investing in a "high risk" venture (Obama) in the hopes of getting high returns. In addition, "the downside for entrepreneurs is that venture capitalists usually get a say in company decisions, in addition to a portion of the equity."* I wonder what kind of "company" decisions or equity Obama will promise to this Wilhelm for his support. Obama objects against lobbyists and yet he courts people whose motives or agendas are questionable.


Obama is the real deal!!!I will vote for him because of his stand on issues that he details on his website. I also want to know does it seem strange that when Hillary needed Hispanics to help her win California, she had a Hispanic campaign manager, now that bill has lost his "black" card, she has had an epithany and promoted a black "friend" to replace her Hispanic manager. Obama is winning all of the black votes now, and Hill needs those votes.!!!

Wilhelm, ugh. He's nothing to brag about.

It may just be that Obama is genuine, but he is swimming with the big fishes now, and among them are sharks. Seated in the Senate in 2005, decided he wanted to be President in February 2007 - too much too soon. I fear that his ideals will be compromised by those who are jumping on his bandwagon, and that he, will be ineffectual when it comes to fulfilling his promises to the American people. By the way, Obama made the following statements, "It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war," he said. "That's why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008."* Next month is March 2008, how many battalions will be coming home, Senator Obama?

One campaign promise that has not been kept. How many others will he not keep? Fancy words can inspire a desperate people to follow without reason a charismatic being who is without substance, but folks, he inspires.

Remember - power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.


Let's all go back to school and refresh our ABCs on the Clintons:
A is for Arkansas, where Bill Clinton got his political start, where Hillary Rodham Clinton worked at Rose Law Firm, and where Whitewater began as a land deal between the Clintons and Jim and Susan McDougal.
B is for Billing-gate, Hillary Clinton’s missing law-billing records. Those records — which raised questions about Mrs. Clinton’s role in the Castle Grande deal — were subpoenaed in 1994. They were missing until early 1996, when they turned up in a White House room next to her office. She says she doesn’t know how they got there.
C is for Cattlegate, Hillary Clinton’s mysterious ability to turn a $1,000 investment into a $100,000 profit on cattle futures, a feat experts say was virtually impossible in normal trading.
C is also for Castle Grande, a real-estate scheme that federal regulators say was a sham. A federal inspector general’s report found Hillary Clinton drew up the legal papers that were used to improperly funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to Seth Ward, father-in-law of her ex-law partner Webster Hubbell.
D is for Billy Dale, the career head of the White House Travel Office, who was fired along with six other career staffers, to make way for Clinton cronies in Travelgate. The White House then brought in the FBI to justify the firing, and Dale was hit with criminal charges that wrecked his life for two years. A jury cleared him in just two hours.
E is for Mike Espy, the former agriculture secretary who was forced out over charges that he got gifts and favors from Arkansas-based Tyson foods, whose owners were longtime Clinton backers. A special counsel has brought several indictments, though not against Espy.
F is for Filegate, the improper White House rummaging through 900 FBI files on Republican officials in the Bush and Reagan administration. The White House says it was an innocent snafu. Republicans suspect an enemies list. Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr and several congressional committees are probing.
G is for Golfgate, ex-White House aide David Watkins’ improper use of presidential helicopters for a personal golf outing. He was forced to resign. In the 1992 presidential campaign, Clinton aides tried to use taxpayer funds to help settle a sexual harassment case filed by a fellow campaign worker against Watkins.
H is for Hillary Clinton, whose role has been questioned in Filegate, Travelgate, Billing-gate, Whitewater and Castle Grande. She denies any wrongdoing.
H is also for Hubbell, in jail after pleading guilty to bilking law clients on charges brought by Whitewater independent counsel Starr. Hubbell was previously the associate attorney general, the No. 3 Justice Department office.
I is for Indonesiagate, featuring the Lippo group, a firm with long-standing ties to Bill Clinton, Clinton cronies and Arkansas. Republicans want to know why an Indonesian couple — of apparently modest means — with ties to Lippo gave $452,000 to the Democratic National Committee and what the firm may have gotten in return. Lippo also hired Hubbell, at a reported fee of $250,000, for the five months when he left the White House and went to jail.
J is for Paula Jones, who accuses President Clinton of sexual harassment, saying he dropped his pants and asked for oral sex in an Arkansas hotel room while he was governor and she was a state employee. The U.S. Supreme Court will rule this fall on whether her case must wait until after Clinton leaves office, as he demands.
K is for William Kennedy, another ex-Hillary Clinton law partner who became a White House lawyer and was forced to resign after concealing his failure to pay nanny taxes. He was reprimanded for his role in Travelgate.
L is for Craig Livingstone, the ex-bar bouncer with a history of drug use who was the head of White House security. Two FBI agents say it was Hillary Clinton who demanded his hiring, which she denies. Disgraced Clinton political guru Dick Morris’s hooker pal, Sherry Rowlands, claims Morris told her a “paranoid” Hillary Clinton was behind Filegate. He says he only told her that’s what polls show.
M is for Jim and Susan McDougal, the Clintons’ Whitewater partners, both of whom have been convicted of fraud. Jim McDougal is said to be helping Whitewater independent counsel Starr. Susan McDougal is in jail for refusing to say whether President Clinton lied when he denied knowing about an illegal $300,000 loan to bail out Whitewater. The loan wasn’t repaid, and taxpayers were left holding the bag.
M is also for disgraced political guru Dick Morris.
N is for Bernard Nussbaum, the former White House lawyer who barred federal investigators from searching Vince Foster’s office after Foster’s death. Nussbaum also withheld Foster’s diary on Travelgate problems from federal probers for more than a year. Nussbaum was forced to resign for botching damage-control efforts.
O is for Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary, the frequent flier who drew up an enemies list of reporters, hired an image consultant at taxpayer expense, and has run up huge tabs on overseas trips.
P is for Pardons, which President Clinton has refused to rule out for individuals like Susan McDougal who potentially could provide evidence against him.
P is also for White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, expected to leave in a second Clinton term — with the prospect that his deputy, Harold Ickes, could replaces him. Senate Republicans want perjury charges brought against Ickes for his answers on Whitewater damage control.
Q is for all the questions — unanswered — on Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, Cattlegate and Billgate.
R is for Sherry Rowlands, the $200-an-hour hooker who revealed her ongoing affair with Clinton political guru Dick Morris, the author of Clinton’s family-values strategy, forcing Morris to resign.
R is also for the Rose Law Firm, where Hillary Clinton, Vince Foster, Webster Hubbell and William Kennedy were partners, as was Joseph Giroir, a key figure in the Lippo group.
S is for Kenneth Starr, the Whitewater independent counsel probing Filegate, Travelgate and Vince Foster’s death. He has won 15 convictions or guilty pleas, including both McDougals and former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, who was forced to resign. Starr says his probes are active and ongoing, and there is widespread speculation he will have more indictments after the election, possibly including one of Hillary Clinton.
T is for Travelgate, the Clintons’ firing of career travel staffers like Billy Dale to make way for Clinton cronies. White House memos say Hillary Clinton was behind the firings — she denies it — and that she was spurred on by Clinton Hollywood pal Harry Thomason, who was seeking a piece of the lucrative White House charter business.
U is for undue influence and the question of whether that is what Lippo was seeking though megabucks contributions to Democrats. Lippo has close ties to Indonesia’s brutal dictatorship, responsible for near-genocide in East Timor, which it occupied two decades ago.
V is for Vince Foster, the former Hillary Clinton law partner who became a White House lawyer and was found dead, an apparent suicide with a gunshot wound to the head. He apparently was a central figure in Travelgate and Filegate and handled Whitewater matters for the Clintons. Starr is examining his death and has yet to confirm former prober Bob Fiske’s conclusion that it was a suicide in the park where Foster was found.
W is for Whitewater, the Arkansas land deal that started it all, with questions about whether the Clintons improperly benefitted from funds Jim McDougal’s Madison Guarantee savings-and-loan, which went belly up, costing taxpayers an estimated $60 million.
X is for the Xeroxed copy of Hillary Clinton’s law billing records that were found in the white House book room, two years after they were first sought. The pages had Mrs. Clinton’s fingerprints around the section on Castle Grande - there were red ink notations in the late Vince Foster’s handwriting.
Y is for the the young White House aides who were hired by the Clinton administration despite FBI background checks that found “recent” use of hard drugs like cocaine, crack and hallucinogens.
Z is for zippers — the one Paula Jones claims that the then-Arkansas governor undid (see J) and the one Gennifer Flowers claims Clinton undid during what she insists was a long-running affair. He denies the claims.

One campaign promise that has not been kept.

No. He said he had a plan. He did. He can't be blamed if it doesn't pass or the President vetoes it. That is not a broken promise.


Did the Swamp run a headline article when Wilhelm endorsed Biden?

I guess Wilhelm is only "vital" and "newsworthy" when he endorses the Trib's favorite, St Barack of Chicago/Honolulu/Indonesia.

by the way, the ABCs above are attributed to a website called "You Decide '08" By the way, when HIllary says she has been "vetted," (a big word she has recently learned, although it's been around for years), she was wrong. People simply lost interest in pursuing it once ole Bill left office.

I respect and i will always respect the brain of Barak Obama even if he fail to win the white house sit.

If this man can talk about meeting the leaders of states United state called rouges states,

this means he will be a good world leader.

Since the beginning of the campaigns, i was thinking about myself because if there is problem with the

United states, the whole world will have to look for a good doctor.

Until today in this world, we have never settle any problem with gun power. Instead, we complicate the


A good example is Iraq and Somalia, if we didn't forget, no one kill Hitler and United State left

Vietnam without victory. North Korean nuclear problems ends on the dragons table in Beijing not with gun powder

Maybe talking to all this rouges would have been a good thing since we all known that a stupid man has

some good time.

If we go back to Philosophy, we will remember that they said everyman has his/her 5 minutes madness in a day.

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